Statement Regarding Suspect Caught in Incidents In Which Hateful Words and Emblems Were Posted in One GW Residence Hall

Please attribute to Tracy Schario, university spokesperson

November 04, 2007

The University Police Department has charged a GW student with writing racial epithets, and other hateful words, and drawing swastikas on doors in New Hall this past Friday night and on a previous occasion reported to police earlier.

The suspect has been barred from campus, will face student judicial action, and a determination will be made as to whether District of Columbia and/or federal laws were violated. In compliance with federal privacy laws the university will not disclose the name of the student.

Meanwhile, the investigation continues to determine the source or sources of earlier incidents involving the drawing of swastikas on two other residence hall doors. Currently, there is no evidence to suggest any connection between the suspect charged Saturday night and the incidents still under investigation.

President Steven Knapp expressed his thanks to the University Police Department and Chief Dolores Stafford for the hard work and professionalism that have brought us to this point. The President also expressed his appreciation to the many students, faculty, and staff of GW who have come together in solidarity against hatred.

As President Knapp has said: the posting of symbols of hatred anywhere on our campus is unacceptable no matter who is responsible and no matter what the motives may be. Whether intended as hate crimes or pranks, such acts are utterly incompatible with the spirit of mutual respect that is essential to the life of our university.

Senior Vice President for Student and Academic Support Services Robert A. Chernak emphasized that while this part of the investigation has been resolved, University Police will continue to vigorously pursue those responsible for the previous swastika incidents in Mitchell Hall and Potomac House, the two other residence halls involved.

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