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Davis, California

Thursday, May 23, 2024

Hate crimes target UC Davis students

Last week, two reportedly unrelated hate crimes shook the UC Davis community, echoing the recent racial turbulence within the University of California as a whole.

A swastika was carved onto the door of a Jewish student in the Tercero dormitories on Feb. 19. A week later, the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Resource Center was the target of an attack when derogatory terms were spray-painted on the center’s front entrance, said Lt. Matthew Carmichael of the UC Davis Police Department.

The attacks add to the growing number of hate crimes recently experienced in the University of California system. Several weeks ago, members of a UC San Diego fraternity held a “Compton Cookout”-themed barbeque mocking Black History Month, and a noose was later found hanging in the campus library. At UC Irvine, a group of students attempted to disrupt the speech of the Israeli ambassador to the United States in early February. Many students consider the arrests to be associated with the recent controversy.

The acts gained widespread attention, prompting reaction from both UC and state authorities.

“I am deeply troubled by the horrific incidents that recently took place on various campuses of the University of California system,” said Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger in a Saturday press release.

UC Davis Chancellor Linda Katehi also condemned the acts in a letter released to the UC Davis community.

“We cannot ignore deliberate acts that demean and threaten others based on race, ethnicity, gender, national origin or any personal characteristics,” she said.

Carmichael echoed this concern, commenting on the alarming proximity of the two crimes at UC Davis.

“Every once in a while, graffiti will show up on campus, but it’s not a common occurrence for us,” he said.

No witnesses reported seeing the two inch swastika being carved into the wooden door in Tercero, and residents could not point to any obvious suspects.

“The victim doesn’t have any idea who might have done this,” Carmichael said. “She says everyone on the floor gets along really well.”

Meanwhile, the LGBTRC did not remove the vandalism immediately following the crime in an attempt to raise community awareness about the hatred present on campus, waiting until Monday night to paint over the graffiti.

“We feel it is easier to erase physical representations of violence than to heal from the ongoing impacts of this hatred,” said LGBTRC staff members in a letter to the community. “Erasing it makes it possible to avoid believing these things happen on our campus. We want to work towards a healing resolution.”

LGBTRC community intern Mark Yanez, a senior women and gender studies and sociology double major, said the attack on his home campus and workspace was traumatic, but not unprecedented.

“In my mind, someone saying ‘that’s so gay’ is the equivalent of this happening to the center,” he said. “[The vandalism] is a physical manifestation of homophobia on our campus.”

Leaders of the LGBTRC held an anti-hate rally yesterday in front of the Memorial Union at noon. Approximately 50 people attended. The rally was followed by a small march through campus.

A town hall meeting also took place Monday night in the ARC Ballroom, during which community leaders discussed possible reactions and plans to deal with the vandalism.

Though police are following several leads in both cases, they have yet to identify suspects. Anyone with information about these crimes is encouraged to contact the UC Davis Police Department at 752-1727.

MEGAN MURPHY can be reached at campus@theaggie.org.


  1. …in a departure from the rest of these comments, it would have been interesting to hear what the leaders discussed at the meeting (or perhaps a link to Jeremy’s story about it?)

  2. @ TJMaxx, please quote where I claim it was a hate crime. The link I posted shows that all of the cases are being investigated. Nonetheless, people should know the symbolism of a noose and a KKK hood. This is stuff we learn about in elementary school. More reason to increase funding to education so people become aware.
    @ AggiePride, I agree with you.
    @ ArabMuslim, even if I were to accept what you wrote as true, how does any of what you said negate the egregious acts committed by the Israeli government? There would be no Palestinian refugees if they weren’t being pushed into the sea. Also, no need to get on people for misspelling things. Language is for communicating. If you got what the person meant, they did a good enough job. Let’s keep this a safe environment for anyone to write.

  3. And for the reporting in this article about the Irvine protests. They did not “attempt to disrupt” they DID disrupt. And a little online research will show that, while the students were escorted out, not charges have been filed against them.

  4. AggiePride: first of all it’s spelled Israel, not Isreal. Secondly, have you heard of a people called the Israelites? Those are the Jews. And no, you are not anti-Semitic if you condemn the Israeli government. If anything, included in today’s protests should not be defending the “Irvine 11” but should be condemning them. If Jewish students did the same thing to a Pro-Palestinian speaker, you’d all be crying foul. And for espoirpaz, thank you for the statistics. Now that you took the time to look that up, you should ask yourself, why all those Arab countries are keeping the Palestinians as refugees? Israel has welcomed thousands and thousands of Jewish refugees who were either expelled from Arab nations or rescued. These refugees were welcomed into Israel with open arms. Some of Arab countries keep Palestinians in refugee camps. Why? If California were invaded by Canada, and we were forced to move to Nevada or Colorado, wouldn’t you expect them to embrace us and welcome us and help us? Not keep us in refugee camps. You should do some research and find out why the Arab and Muslim countries hate Palestinians.

  5. Why is it that the anti-Isreal protesters are being targetted as anti-semites? Am I anti-Catholic if I condemn Argentine aggression towards the Falklands? Am I anti-Asian if I condemn the actions of the Junta in Burma? So why the hell am I an anti-semite if I condemn the actions of the Israeli government towards the Palestinians? And since when are Isreal and Judaism the same thing?

  6. If espoirpaz will do some further reading, it looks likely that, with some background knowledge on Seuss’ writings and the interpretation of the rose placed on the statue, that is what not intended to be a hate crime directed at those persecuted by the KKK. But thanks for throwing up a link and claiming another hate crime. The ones we have are already bad enough. Each situation must be investigated and examined individually.

  7. info about the noose:



    the student told the police she did it and apologized, saying she made a mistake and did not intend for it be offensive.

    Just yesterday (Monday) night they found a KKK styled hood outside the library on top of the Dr. Seuss statue.


  8. Is there any other information associated with this discovery of a noose found in the library? Was there a note attached with it? Was there anything left nearby? Is there any investigation undergoing to ensure this was in fact meant as a hate crime? About 1100 suicides occur on college campuses a year and this could have been a failed attempt. I would love to see more information on this finding and the pending investigation. TJM

  9. Those protestors at UCI were defending Palestinians against oppression.
    According to the United Nations there are “4.7 million registered Palestine refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and the occupied Palestinian territory.”
    The Palestinian people should be defended just as people of different sexual orientations, race and (non)religious beliefs should be defended.

  10. ANTI-SEMETISM (the swastika), HOMOPHOBIA (vandalism at the LGBTIRC) & RACISM (the noose and facebok event) ARE WRONG!!

    But these should not be tied together with the interruption of the Israeli ambassador to the US.


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