Swastikas drawn on Roble dorm whiteboard

Nov. 17, 2023, 1:51 a.m.

Students found three Nazi swastikas drawn on a whiteboard in Roble dorm on Nov. 9, according to Stanford’s Protected Identity Harm Reporting website. The students erased the swastikas after photographing them. The incident was reported to Stanford University Department of Safety (SUDPS) and a Protected Identity Harm (PIH) report was filed. 

This incident is the third reported case of Nazi swastikas found on Stanford’s campus this month. One was found in Lathrop Library on Nov. 7, and another found in a different dorm on Nov. 3. In all three cases, a PIH report was filed and SUDPS was made aware.

“If the DPS review results in a determination that the facts amount to a violation of the California Penal Code section addressing hate crimes, the act could be subject to legal and/or disciplinary action,” according to the University’s PIH website. 

Roble’s Resident Fellows, Jeff Ball and Becky Ball, sent out a dorm-wide email the day after the swastikas were found to condemn the incident and offer help to students who feel threatened. They are unaware of who drew the swastikas or if the perpetrator is a resident in Roble.

“In too many places, anger is boiling over into expressions and acts of hate against entire groups. Each of us has an ethical responsibility to call out and reject such hate when we see it,” the Balls’ wrote in the email.

This incident comes amid rising tensions on campus after Hamas killed 1,200 civilians in Israel and took over 240 hostages on Oct. 7. Israeli launched retaliatory airstrikes and a ground invasion that has killed over 11,000 Palestinians. Multiple student demonstrations from Israeli and Palestinian students and allies have occurred since.

Rabbi Jessica Kirschner, the executive director of Hillel, expressed concerns about rising antisemitic incidents in a statement to The Daily. “Stanford students, your fellow students are being targeted and harassed in your dorms, in your community, on your watch. What are you going to do about it?” Kirschner wrote.

“Ironically, while [the swastika] draws attention to us, antisemitism doesn’t teach you much about Jews, but it teaches you a lot about antisemites and the communities that allow them to flourish,” Kirschner wrote.

The University responded to calls from community members demanding further support for students affected by the Israel-Gaza war on campus by introducing new committees for Jewish, Arab, Muslim and Palestinian students. The committees seek to support students and educate the Stanford community on discrimination and hate crimes. President Richard Saller and Provost Jenny Martinez also promised increased security at key locations on campus and a third-party review of campus safety.

“Now is not the time to abandon community — the one in Roble or the one on earth. Now is the time to rededicate ourselves to realizing it,” the Balls wrote.

Greta Reich '26 is the vol. 265 co-Magazine editor, University desk editor for News, staff writer and copy editor for The Daily. She is studying Political Science and Communication and can almost always be found at CoHo. Contact her at greich 'at' stanforddaily.com.

Login or create an account