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Racist and Antisemitic Graffiti on Campus

October 14, 2022

To: The Campus Community
From: Thomas F. Rosenbaum, President; David A. Tirrell, Provost
Date: October 14, 2022

Wednesday afternoon, Caltech's Campus Security responded to a report of racist and antisemitic speech drawn in marker on a bathroom stall in the W. M. Keck Engineering Laboratories building.

Hate speech and hate symbols in any form will not be tolerated at Caltech. We are a learning community that fundamentally depends on the exchange of ideas, an exchange that honors the worth of all individuals and provides an environment in which all feel included in our mission of forefront research intertwined with education. These markings—and the violent reductionism of individuals to stereotypical tropes—are a direct attack on our community, our mission, and our shared values.  

Campus Security is investigating the incident internally and also have reported it to the Pasadena Police Department for further investigation. The hate speech, which has been removed, was included alongside several other drawings on the stall. In addition, we have conducted a full search of all campus buildings to look for any further signs of hate speech or violent graffiti. To the extent it is determined that a member of the Caltech community was involved in or responsible for these actions, appropriate disciplinary action will be taken, up to and including termination of Institute affiliation.  

If you have any information about this incident or see anything else that is of concern, call Security immediately at extension 5000 from any campus phone or 626-395-5000 from any off-campus phone.

This incident and similar expressions of hate not only on campus but across the country can cause alarm, especially to those individuals of color and those who identify as Jewish, for whom these symbols are a direct and personal attack. Students who would like to seek support are encouraged to call Student Counseling Services at (626) 395-8331. Staff members may utilize the Staff and Faculty Consultation Center. All members of the community are also encouraged to reach out to and connect with staff in the Center for Inclusion and Diversity at (626) 395-6207 or by email at [email protected].

We ask all members of our community to remain vigilant in rejecting hate speech in all its forms, to disavow those acts that seek to divide us, and to continue to advance an inclusive culture in which all members of our community receive the support they need to realize their full potential.