by the Forward

Rutgers Jewish Student Says Administration Coddled Swastika Classmate

A Jewish student is accusing Rutgers University of mishandling a mid-January incident in which one of her roommates taped a swastika to the ceiling of their shared living room.

Sara Rosen, a senior at Rutgers, is faulting the New Jersey state university administration for responding to a swastika by moving her to a different dorm rather than forcing the perpetrator, who refused to take down the swastika, to relocate.

After Rosen’s roommates told campus police the symbol was intended to represent a Buddhist symbol associated with peace and not the infamous Nazi icon, the officer advised them to take down the swastika but said, “I cannot force them to do so and infringe upon their freedom of speech,” according to

Rosen said the Rutgers dean of students, Mark Schuster, implied “she was exaggerating” when she complained, according to, which unsuccessfully attempted to interview Schuster. Schuster instead referred the publication to a statement from Rutgers spokesman Jeff Tolvin saying that after an “extensive investigation,” the Prosecutor’s Office at the university “determined there was not probable cause to charge the suspect with a bias crime.”

According to Rosen, neither roommate is Buddhist and “This is all done as an act of intimidation towards me.”

The New Jersey Jewish Standard reported that Rosen posted on Facebook that “the culprits should have been totally ousted from University housing.”

The Facebook post quoted Rosen’s father saying, “Rutgers needs to shout loud and shout often that it will not tolerate these thinly disguised messages/symbols of hate and intimidation. Period.”

This story "Rutgers Jewish Student Says Administration Coddled Swastika Classmate" was written by JTA.


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