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An Update Into the Investigation of Swastikas Found on Campus Last Month

November 14, 2019

I write to update you on the investigation of the 10 swastikas found on our campus on October 24, 2019. 

Since the report of the incident, Campus Police has consulted with multiple law enforcement agencies and conducted multiple interviews as part of their investigation. Here are the findings to date.

  • There is a broad consensus from the law enforcement community that this incident, while undeniably heinous, does not represent an “active threat of violence to our community nor ties to any organized white nationalist movement.” 
  • There are no indications that this act of vandalism is connected to any of the similar incidents within the broader Five College community. 
  • There are no active leads or information about potential suspects. I recognize that this is disappointing to all of us.

Just because there is no active threat does not mean that individual members of our community were not harmed. Symbols of hate carry a history of violence to which we must remain cognizant and vigilant. 

So many of you—students, faculty, staff, alumnae, parents and community members—have written to me with messages of support. Let us continue to cultivate Smith as a place where hatred cannot take root. 


Kathleen McCartney