UNR taking steps after swastika discovered at Wolf Pack Tower

The University has renamed the interim hall “Wolf Pack Tower.” Photo courtesy: University of Nevada, Reno
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - University of Nevada, Reno police are investigating after a swastika was found in the stairwell of Wolf Pack Tower at Circus Circus.

According to the University's Communications Officer, Nicole Shearer, the swastika was discovered Friday, August 23, 2019 in a stairwell on the 17th floor and was a few inches in size.

Wolf Pack Tower is the new residence hall for students following an explosion back in July that damaged two dorms on campus. Shearer says University Police are not 100 percent certain the swastika was not already in the stairwell before students moved in, as the stairwell was not accessed frequently prior to students moving in.

Assistant Director for Residential Life, Toby Toland, sent an email about the swastika on August 24, 2019, outlining the steps being taken following the vandalism:

Last night one of our residence halls, Wolf Pack Tower, was subject to an act of vandalism, inspired by ignorance and hate, where someone painted a swastika in the stairwell. The swastika represents Nazi’s and other current hate groups who encourage discrimination and violence against many underrepresented populations and has no place in our campus communities. This and other acts of hate and discrimination not only create an environment of hostility, but are a violation of university policy.

University Police were called and have begun an investigation. They are currently working with the Row security firm to review video footage around the affected area. Once photographs and other evidence had been collected, the vandalism was repaired by facilities staff.

Going forward, the staff within the Department of Residential Life, in conjunction with various partners, will provide educational opportunities around the areas of diversity, social justice and inclusion. One of our best ways to combat incidents of hate and bigotry is through education. We encourage you all to attend, and offer suggestions for additional events that you think would be beneficial.
Additionally, we will continue to make every effort to monitor and confront statements and acts of discrimination.

But most importantly, we need your help both as individuals and as a community. We ask that you all come together and hold each other accountable. If you or someone close to you is subject to any form of discrimination, please reach out to a student staff member or your Resident Directors for additional support. You may also report through the Title IX office in the Continuing Education building or through their website.

Lastly, please take advantage of the leadership available to you. The Residence Hall Association (RHA) will be working in conjunction with ASUN to provide a response of support in reaction to this event and are constantly evaluating ways in which they can advocate for all students. Please take the opportunity to let them hear your concerns and how you would like your elected advocates to respond on your behalf.

The Associated Students of the University of Nevada also released a statement to students saying in part:

As a leading University aimed to better our society and foster a safe environment for students, we are saddened to hear that vandalism, expressing anti-Semitic hatred, has taken place at our own Wolf Pack Tower. Our greatest wish, as the leadership of the Residential Hall Association and the Associated Students of the University of Nevada, is to ensure students feel a sense of belonging on campus. This act of vandalism is a direct attack on that mission. We understand that it is our job and duty to be vigilant in confronting and speaking against hateful speech and actions.

Copyright KOLO-TV 2019