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Swastika found in men’s restroom near Miller Center

Hatred has, once again, made its way into the University of Miami’s Coral Gables campus.

A swastika was found Tuesday scrawled on the wall of a men’s restroom near the Sue and Leonard Miller Center for Contemporary Judaic Studies in the Merrick Building, according to a statement released by University of Miami President Donna E. Shalala.

In a message to the university community, President Shalala confirmed that the campus police had been notified and that an investigation has been opened.

The office of Media Relations declined to comment on whether or not there were any leads in the case.

“Defacement of University property is a crime—and to do so with this symbol of hatred, which is offensive to all of us, is a despicable and cowardly act,” Shalala said in her statement.

The drawing of the swastika is the latest in a string of hateful crimes that included a similar one last November near the same location and another one two years ago that involved someone leaving feces in front of the Muslim Students Association’s place of meeting.

In that case, an investigation was not opened because the students removed the evidence right away out of respect for their place of prayer.

In the past incident with the Muslim Students Association, Dean of Students Ricardo Hall said that if a culprit was found, they would have to face serious consequences, such as suspension or expulsion.

“My office and I take these types of incidents very seriously,” Hall said then to The Miami Hurricane. “It is disrespectful, disgusting and uncalled for in a college campus and anywhere else.”

In President Shalala’s Dialogue letter on Thursday she echoed this sentiment.

“The University of Miami is a place where all are welcome in a spirit of learning and acceptance. There is no place in our community for bigotry and intolerance,” she said. “I condemn these acts in the strongest of terms on behalf of the University.”

Students, faculty and other members of the university community with any information regarding these crimes are asked to immediately contact the University of Miami Police Department at 305-284-6666.

October 29, 2009

Reporters

Lila Albizu

Assistant News Editor


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The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.