January 26, 2017 | Office of the President

Message to the Bowdoin Community (January 26, 2017)

To the Bowdoin community,

It is our practice to notify you when an anonymous act of bias takes place on our campus. Regretfully, such an act has occurred.

Late last night, a student reported that his floormate had discovered, photographed, and then destroyed a swastika that had been carved into the snow on the Osher Quad. We do not know how long the swastika had been there—the student discovered it upon returning to campus from the break early Saturday afternoon.

In the context of the past century, the swastika is a symbol of one of the darkest periods in human history and the horrors of the Holocaust, and is intended to threaten, harass, and terrorize. It is a despicable symbol that has no place at Bowdoin or in any civil society.

The student who discovered the swastika has shared her photograph with Bowdoin Security, which is currently investigating the matter. I know each of you joins me in condemning this vile act and in speaking out forcefully against what this symbol represents, those who abide by it, and those who seek to persecute and intimidate others.