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UC Santa Cruz condemns student celebration of Hitler’s birthday

UC Santa Cruz condemned a group of its students who gathered on campus to celebrate Adolf Hitler’s birthday last month, the school said.

The unidentified students met on campus on April 20, Hitler’s birthday, and reportedly sang “Happy Birthday” to the Nazi leader and served cake “adorned with hateful and horrific symbols,” Akirah Bradley-Armstrong, vice chancellor for student affairs and success at UC Santa Cruz, said in a statement.

Just over a week later, on April 28, a UC Santa Cruz student found an antisemitic and anti-LGBTQIA+ flier on their car windshield off campus, the school said. There were “despicable and degrading” claims about the groups on the flier, Bradley-Armstrong said.

“We unequivocally condemn these — and all — antisemitic and anti-LGBTQIA+ actions,” Bradley-Armstrong said.

Bradley-Armstrong said the actions violated the school’s “Principles of Community” and had been referred to “student conduct for follow-up and adjudication.”

The flier was reported to officials with the city of Santa Cruz, according to the school.

Though the incidents are upsetting, they are not surprising, said Donna Harel, a third-year student who is the president of social life at UC Santa Cruz Hillel.

“It feels like the administration doesn’t care about the Jewish students here,” Harel said.

Besides public statements made by UC Santa Cruz, Harel said she’s not seen any effort to stop these incidents from occurring.

Harel said there are near weekly reports of swastika graffiti on campus and that there have been insensitive comments from professors and teacher’s assistants comparing “irrelevant things” to the Holocaust.

On March 5, UC Santa Cruz reported anti-Black and antisemitic graffiti.

Though the school did not describe what the graffiti said, it noted that “the spray-painted images and words are horrific and have historically been used to inspire terror and to degrade and dehumanize Black and Jewish people.”

The incident is being investigated by the UC Santa Cruz Police Department.

According to a report released in March by the Anti-Defamation League, antisemitic incidents on U.S. college campuses have increased by 41% in the last year, with 219 incidents reported at more than 130 campuses in 2022.

Stanford University is investigating an antisemitic incident from March, when drawings of swastikas and Hitler were found outside a Jewish student’s dorm room.

This story originally appeared on LA Times

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