Bowdoin College is investigating messages found in a campus building which included a swastika and homophobic language. Dean of Student Affairs Tim Foster notified students and employees on Aug. 31, two days after the graffiti was found.

According to Foster, housekeeping staff reported that three dry erase boards in the group study space on the third floor of the Visual Arts Center had been defaced with two lewd drawings, a swastika, and apparent reference to the Ku Klux Klan. The defacement also included the names of two individuals and “language that can be interpreted as homophobic,” Foster said.

A number of chairs in the space had also been knocked over.

Foster wrote that Bowdoin security interviewed building occupants to see if they had noticed anything unusual. The vandalism is believed to have taken place between midnight and 2:30 a.m. on Aug. 29.

The college’s security team would be reviewing card swipe information and video footage, Foster said. He encouraged anyone with helpful information to alert the college.

“It is not clear that this was done by a person or people in our community, so Bowdoin security is also following up with local officials,” Foster said.

Brunswick police confirmed Thursday they had been made aware of the incident.

“Let me be clear,” Foster wrote, “hate-based expression and infantile acts like this have no place at Bowdoin. Whether perpetrated with malice or out of stupidity, we will simply not tolerate or ignore symbols of hatred, racist and offensive drawings or language, or acts of violence.”

He adds that by reporting incidents like this when they happen, “we denounce intolerance and violence, and we challenge everyone in our community to reflect on what each of us can do to prevent them from happening in the future.”

Earlier in the summer on July 7, the college reported to Brunswick police several stickers that appeared at various locations around campus including light poles, a recycling bin and on the door of the Russwurm African American Center on campus. Brunswick Police Cmdr. Mark Waltz said the stickers were from a group called Identity Evropa, a college white supremacist group.

Waltz said police don’t believe that incident was related to an anonymous flier that a Brunswick town councilor found on her car Monday with what appeared to be an anti-homosexuality message. An identical flier was found at the Brunswick Burger King Sept. 6. The flier claims to be from “The Forest Brothers,” and depicts what appears to be a rainbow flag, an equal sign and a Soviet hammer and sickle.

Brunswick police continue to investigate the origins of the flier.

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