New Jersey: University investigating anti-Muslim graffiti in student center
MONTCLAIR — Montclair State University is investigating a bias incident in which someone drew a picture of planes hitting the World Trade Center on the door of a Muslim student group’s headquarters, campus officials said today.
The graffiti was found Monday outside the Office of the Muslim Student Association in the student center, said Suzanne Bronski, a campus spokeswoman.
“The university police immediately launched a full investigation, which is continuing, and the university’s Bias Response Team was appropriately alerted and has been involved,” university officials said in a statement.
Montclair State has a history of bias graffiti incidents on its 18,000-student campus. In 2011 and 2012, graffiti and notes with anti-gay messages were found in and near the school’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Center.
In 2004, a Montclair State freshman was charged with a bias crime for allegedly scrawling swastikas and racist graffiti in a campus dormitory.
University officials said they also consider this week’s graffiti incident a criminal act.
“Actions of this kind are a blatant violation of university policies and are considered abhorrent and unacceptable in a campus community that values its diverse constituencies and strives to create a supportive environment for all students, staff, faculty and guests,” the university’s statement said. “Since a bias incident is a criminal act, anyone found responsible for such actions will be arrested and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”
On Thursday, the university held a Day of Unity, a series of campus-wide events aimed at combating bias, prejudice and hate, Bronski said.