Skip To Content
We’ve Taken Down the Forward Paywall: An Open Letter to Our ReadersRead Now
Breaking News

George Washington Reverses Suspension of Swastika Student

George Washington University has canceled the suspension of a student who displayed a swastika on the bulletin board of a campus dormitory.

The student, a member of the predominantly Jewish fraternity Zeta Beta Tau, said he had hung the swastika in order to educate his fellow students about the symbol’s meaning of auspiciousness and good fortune, which he learned about during a trip to India. The Metropolitan Police Department and University Police Department launched and later closed a hate crimes investigation into the incident, which occurred on March 16.

Three swastikas had been drawn on walls at the dormitory, called the International House, which houses members of nine fraternities and sororities, at the end of February in an incident that is now also being investigated as a hate crime.

The suspension was recently overturned after Hindu, interfaith, and Jewish groups wrote to University President Steven Knapp, to educate him about the significance of the swastika for Hindus, the Times of India reported Wednesday.

The symbol looks slightly different from the Nazi swastika.

“The swastika is one of the most sacred symbols of Hinduism, with a three thousand year history of peace before it was misappropriated by the Nazis,” Samir Kalra, Hindu American Foundation senior director told the Times of India.


Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.