Lehigh has been awarded the HEED award for a commitment to diversity five years in a row, but student surveys show that some students still feel they lack support in their endeavors. (Zeyang Zhang/B&W Staff)

BREAKING: Swastika symbol etched in Lehigh residence hall


Lehigh President Helble sent an email to the campus community Wednesday evening concerning a recent notification that a swastika was found etched on the handrail of an interior stairwell in a Lehigh residence Hall.

“I am profoundly angry. I am saddened. And I am deeply disappointed. The swastika is a symbol of hate. Its entire purpose is to intimidate and sow fear. Such expressions of hatred are absolutely unacceptable, and in stark contrast to what we stand for as a Lehigh community,” Helble said in the email.

He said that this action “not only violates the Principles of Our Equitable Community but also erodes the essence of our mission.”

The email says the swastika was reported by a student to a Gryphon, who reported the incident to the Lehigh University Police Department. It has since been removed, and an investigation has been immediately initiated.

“I want to be clear that this incident will be investigated fully, and we ask for the community’s help in identifying those responsible. This behavior is not tolerated at Lehigh and will be met with appropriate consequences including potential prosecution by law enforcement,” he said.

He said there should be no doubt that acts of hate and intimidation have no place at Lehigh, as they are antithetical to Lehigh’s values.

He said this incident is a stark reminder that antisemitism is real and growing, and a reminder of the work that is necessary to combat hate.

“Together, we reaffirm our dedication to the principles that define us, and continue to work tirelessly to ensure that our campus remains a community of belonging, inclusivity and mutual respect,” the email states. “I call on each of you to join me in this commitment.”

This is a breaking story. Updates to this story will be covered as more information becomes available.

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