Anti-Semitic Symbol Found on Rose Hill Classroom Desk


On Oct. 24, a Fordham College at Rose Hill (FCRH) student found a swastika written on a classroom desk. (COLIN SHEELEY/THE OBSERVER)


In a university-wide statement, the Office of the President reported on Oct. 24 that a Fordham College at Rose Hill (FCRH) student found a swastika written on a classroom desk the day prior.

University President Rev. Joseph M. McShane, S.J. noted that a professor reported the student’s discovery to Public Safety officers. They promptly removed the desk from the property and notified the NYPD Hate Crimes Task Force of the incident.

McShane condemned the hate symbol. “Such behavior has no place on our campus or in the heart of any Fordham woman or man,” he said. “The University will continue its efforts to ensure that the Fordham community is one in which mutual respect and our Jesuit, Catholic mission define our words and actions.”

Jewish Student Organization (JSO) president Brandon Satz-Jacobowitz expressed his disappointment in the university. “The Fordham community is supposed to be a place of diversity and respect, and for the most part it is, but sadly there are some looking to actively harm the Jewish population, students of color, and all marginalized communities at Fordham,” he said. “I’d like to extend the JSO as a safe space for all marginalized groups here and I hope we can continue the conversation about our respective identities to help make our school less painful and more inviting for everyone.”

In the past years, sightings of other swastikas have been reported at the Rose Hill campus. In September 2015, one was discovered in the stairwell of an FCRH residency hall. In August of 2017, another was found in a Tierney Hall bathroom.

A similar incident had also occurred at the Fordham College at Lincoln Center (FCLC) campus in November 2015, when a swastika was drawn in one of the restrooms. It marked the third bias incident on campus that year.

On Tuesday, Oct. 23, the Fordham Students for Sex and Gender Equity and Safety (SAGES) group, an activist group not endorsed by the university, posted on Facebook a brief recent history of hate crimes and alt-right activities at Fordham.

“We said on the post that we feared that without the Fordham community and the administration holding those that perpetuate these crimes accountable that it would continue to happen. Unfortunately, that turned out to be true,” said a Melissa Alamilla, FCLC ’17. A contributing alumnus who works closely with SAGES, Alamilla added, “ We hope that Fordham takes this opportunity to change past patterns and take this seriously. Fordham admin [sic] shows a huge double standard when they use resources to crack down on student activism towards just causes but doesn’t show the same effort towards expressions of white supremacy which is an actual threat to the safety of POC and Jewish students on these campuses.”