SOU reports hate symbol carved in campus residence hall

Southern Oregon University president Linda Schott acknowledged that someone carved a large swastika into a residence hall elevator.

Posted: May 18, 2020 10:07 AM

ASHLAND, Ore. — The administration of Southern Oregon University (SOU) reacted on Saturday following the discovery of a hate symbol carved into a campus residence hall.

SOU president Linda Schott wrote an address to students and staff on Saturday, saying that she was "angry and very sorry" to report the discovery of a large swastika carved into the panel of an elevator in the Shasta Residence Hall.

A staff member reportedly found the hate symbol on Friday and immediately reported it to the campus Housing Administration, prompting an investigation by Campus Public Safety and the Office of Equity Grievance. The vandalism was also reported to Ashand Police, which documented the evidence and created a case file.

The swastika was buffed out of the elevator panel so that it is no longer visible, Schott said. There have been several incidents of this type of vandalism on the SOU campus this year.

"I will not tolerate such displays of hatred on the SOU campus. I have ordered Housing to install cameras in public areas of our residence halls, and we will take all appropriate disciplinary actions when the perpetrator is identified," Schott said.

Students and staff were encouraged to report any information about the vandalism to campus administration, or fill out an online form.

"Resource centers and other groups are planning events that will provide support and encourage action against all acts of hate on our campus. I will provide more information on these events and on the investigation as it becomes available," Schott continued. "Finally, I assure you as president of this university and with all that I hold dear, that I denounce acts of bias and hatred and will not stop working to eliminate them from our campus. I will remain vigilant, with your help, and look forward to keeping you informed of SOU’s progress."

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