Skip Navigation
A Culture of Care

Read Smith’s plans for the fall 2021 semester.
Current Operating Mode: GREEN

The Grécourt Gate welcomes your submissions. To discuss a story idea of interest to the Smith community, contact Barbara Solow at 413-585-2171 or send email to bsolow@smith.edu.

Smith eDigest
The Smith eDigest is sent to all campus email accounts on Tuesday and Thursday each week during the academic year and on Tuesdays during the summer. Items for eDigest are limited to official Smith business and must be submitted by 5 p.m. on the day prior to the next edition’s distribution.

SUBMIT AN EDIGEST ITEM

News & Events for the Smith College Community
News of Note October 25, 2019

Responding to the October 24, 2019 Hateful Symbols on Campus

Detail shot of the top of the Grecourt Gates

On the evening of October 24, 2019, Campus Police responded to multiple reports of swastikas drawn in marker on the walls of Seelye, Bass and Burton halls. In accordance with college policy, the incident was referred to the Bias Response Team and was investigated by Campus Police.


Letters to the Community


Frequently Asked Questions

Q: When and where were the swastikas discovered?
A: The swastikas were found written in red marker on the walls of three academic buildings—Seelye, Bass and Burton halls—on the evening of October 24, 2019.

Q: How many swastikas were found?
A: As of October 28, 2019, 10 swastikas have been found and removed.

Q: Are these symbols still visible?
A: No. The swastikas were covered immediately after they were reported to Campus Police; they have all been removed.

Q: What is the status of the investigation?
A: President McCartney released an update to the investigation on November 14, 2019

Q: Are any outside organizations providing support?
A: Yes. The college has spoken with the Anti-Defamation League, which recorded details of the incident and offered support.

Q: How is the college supporting students and other members of the campus community?
A: Several events have taken place and more are planned to offer support through curricular and co-curricular engagement. They include:

  • A “Smith in Solidarity” community gathering held Friday, October 25, 2019.
  • An invitation from the Jewish community for students, faculty and staff to attend Shabbat dinner on October 25, 2019. Students and faith leaders from the Five Colleges and the local community attended as well.
  • A lecture titled “Lucy Dawidowicz, the New York Intellectuals, and the Emergence of Holocaust Consciousness in the U.S.,” by Nancy Sinkoff, associate professor of Jewish studies and history, Rutgers University, was held on November 4. 2019.
  • Professor Rachel Rubenstein will lecture on March 30, 2020, as part of the series “Thinking Through Race” on “Racial Confusion: Jewishness, Racial Formation and the Many Faces of Antisemitism.”
  • Public art: a short-term response to recent vandalism—public artist Melissa Gollance will create a large mural designed to invert and counteract the hateful image of the swastika.

More events will be added to this list as they are confirmed.

Q: How can alumnae or members of the broader community offer support?
A: Alumnae can continue to offer support by responding to the all-alumnae email sent on October 25, 2019. Additionally, messages of support can be shared on social media using the hashtag #SmithRejectsHate. These messages will be shared with members of the Jewish community, the Office of Equity and Inclusion and others on campus affected by this incident.

Q: Have changes been made to campus security protocols?
A: The Campus Police department has offered additional support to the community, including increased patrols and presence at specific events if requested.