AMHERST, Mass. (WWLP) – Police at the University of Massachusetts are trying to find out who is responsible for hateful graffiti in a bathroom stall. A swastika was discovered earlier this month in a stall at the Integrative Learning Center.
22News went inside that building Friday, and were shown to a men’s bathroom on the third floor, which employees said had been closed a few weeks ago. Once the swastika was found, UMass taped over it, but somebody crawled underneath the stall to remove the tape. The university then closed the entire bathroom until they could permanently remove the symbol of hate.
The incident caught the attention of UMass Chancellor Kumble Subbaswamy, who sent a message to the community saying that he was saddened and angry about the situation. UMass students told 22News they are surprised that someone would do that.
“Maybe somebody did it as a joke. It’s not really a funny joke at all. People take that kind of thing seriously. It’s a really big deal,” sophomore Michael Maxwell said.
“I just thought that in this day, we would be more understanding of people, and I just think that a swastika is a symbol of hate,” graduate student Margaux Audett said.
It is not the first incident of hate on the UMass campus. A racist message was put on a sign in the Student Union last March. Graffiti was also found in several UMass dorms.
UMass police have not found a suspect in this latest incident of vandalism.