The University of Minnesota continues to see an increase in anti-Semitic incidents.
With the discovery of swastika-covered fliers advertising a neo-Nazi website Friday and the arrest of a student for allegedly committing vandalism using a swastika, the University has documented at least eight incidents involving swastikas, neo-Nazi propaganda and other anti-Semitic graffiti since December, according to the school’s Bias Response and Referral Network.
“We are profoundly disturbed by a series of ugly and frightening anti-Semitic incidents that have occurred over the past two months. Some of these incidents have been publicized, but there have also been other less visible, but equally painful, incidents threatening members of our Jewish community,” University President Eric Kaler, Provost Karen Hanson and Vice President for Equity and Diversity Katrice Albert said in a campus-wide email Sunday.
Discovery of the fliers at multiple spots near campus came one day after the University of Minnesota Police Department arrested an 18-year-old University student for an incident involving a swastika at the 17th Avenue Residence Hall.
The student was arrested for allegedly committing felony criminal damage to property with bias after a desk was found vandalized with a swastika in a public area of the residence hall .
The vandalism was reported Feb. 7. No other details about the incident were immediately available.
The student first enrolled at the University last fall, said University spokesman Steve Henneberry.
He was booked in the Hennepin County Jail Thursday morning and was released later that night.
The Minnesota Daily is not naming the student because it’s unclear if he’s been charged with a crime yet.
UMPD is investigating Friday’s flier incident, according to Sunday’s campus-wide email.
The string of incidents at the University involving anti-Semitic symbols and graffiti — which included a student discovering a swastika and scene of a Nazi concentration camp scrawled in his Pioneer Hall dorm room Feb. 8 — is part of a national trend, according to the University.
“These incidents are not isolated. There has been an upsurge in bias crimes locally and nationwide targeting not only the Jewish community, but also other religious, racial, immigrant, and GLBTQ groups and individuals,” Kaler, Hanson and Albert said in Sunday’s email.