COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — Racist and antisemitic graffiti found in an Ohio State University academic building last weekend has prompted a university investigation.
According to a report filed by an Ohio State police officer Monday, an employee found racial slurs and antisemitic hate symbols spray-painted on walls in multiple stairwells of Hitchcock Hall, an engineering building on Neil and West Woodruff avenues.
On the basement level, the responding officer found a swastika and other pro-Nazi images, as well as the phrase “White Power Zone,” the report read. Stairs leading up to another floor had the phrase, “Whites Only” spray-painted in red. On the third-floor landing, the officer noted an anti-Black slur.
“It happens, but to think, ‘Oh, it happens at my campus,’ is like, ‘Ugh,'” said second-year OSU student Briari Russell.
No cameras cover any of the vandalized areas, according to the police report. The incident likely occurred between Nov. 9 and last Saturday, Nov. 12. A spokesperson confirmed the graffiti was removed, and an investigation into the incident is ongoing.
In a university-wide statement Tuesday, Ohio State President Kristina M. Johnson condemned the incident and all antisemitism and racism, on campus and nationwide.
“There is no room for hate in our home,” Johnson said. “The university is where we work and live — and we will not tolerate violations of the values, principles and behaviors that constitute the Shared Values we agree to uphold when we become part of Ohio State.”
That sentiment was shared by sophomore Gabrielle Tarr.
“Just to think like, ‘Yeah, that happened to me, near me, that could have been me or my group of people,’ that kind of hurts,” she said.
“I was just honestly shocked at how somebody could think to do that,” said freshman Nastia Klyniouk. “Like, how somebody has those thoughts alone and then to go and vandalize a wall.”
Rusell said she wants to see the university take more action.
“Kid of makes you want to not attend because it’s, like, this is still going on,” she said. “Like, I don’t feel safe where I should feel safe.”
Students, staff, and campus visitors can report discrimination, harassment, and hate speech to Ohio State’s Office of Institutional Equity here or by calling 614-247-5838. Johnson encouraged anyone subjected to violence or threats to call Ohio State’s non-emergency police line at 614-292-2121.