KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Top administrators at the University of Missouri's Columbia campus on Tuesday condemned at least the fourth case of anti-Semitic graffiti in a dormitory in less than a year as the school grapples with racial unease that toppled two executives in November.
University police Maj. Brian Weimer said officers are investigating a flyer scrawled in magic marker with the words "Hitler rules" that was found early Monday on a bulletin board at Gateway Hall, where a swastika of feces was found in a bathroom last October.
The earlier incident helped propel student protests over what activists said was administrators' indifference to racial issues on the Columbia campus. In November, as the protests escalated with a student's hunger strike and a pledged boycott by the school's football team, the university system's president and the campus' chancellor resigned.
The school's interim chancellor, Hank Foley, and the interim head of the campus' inclusion, diversity and equity efforts, Chuck Henson, said in a joint statement that the latest graffiti left them "angry."
"This type of vandalism attacks everyone," the statement read. "Our core values — including that of respect — must become more than words on paper or a banner. They are the foundation of who we desire to be as a campus community and the way we all need to conduct ourselves."
"In the meantime," they added, "we'll continue to talk more about the importance of respect in fostering a campus culture that enables all students to feel included and valued in our community."
Last October, 18-year-old student Bradley Becker was sentenced to two years of probation and a suspended 90-day jail sentence after pleading guilty to misdemeanor property damage involving swastikas found in April in a Mark Twain residence hall's stairwell. According to a probable cause statement, Becker said he committed the vandalism "in the spur of the moment" and was inspired by YouTube videos.