Nostalgic For Fall Semester?

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Around 3:30 PM, the men’s bathroom on the 5th floor of Butler (the one by the east elevator) was promptly closed, locked and surrounded by two police officers and a CU Security official. One B&W staffer overheard the policemen saying that an incident had occurred around 3 PM and heard the cops muttering the words “hate crime.” The staffer also reports that the police have not questioned any students on the 5th floor of Butler.  

Bwog just finished talking to the police officers and security official, who hastily doled out three “No comment”s and suggested we call Public Safety. Public Saftey, was “not at liberty to say anything.” According to the policemen and security official, they have no knowledge of any Univeristy plans to release a statement about the incident.

Check back as the story (maybe?) updates.

UPDATE 6:50 PM: Two more Public Safety officials just showed up to the bathroom, one of whom directed Bwog’s questions to James McShane and refused to comment. However, as Bwog was walking away, conversation started up again. The Public Safety official asked the policeman, “How were you guys even notified about this?” The policeman replied that someone had sent an email. “There’s a swastika on the wall,” he said.

UPDATE 7:11 PM: Another staffer tipped Bwog off to the fact that the second floor men’s bathroom has also now been locked. The staffer explains that he was in the bathroom, men rushed in and began photographing the wall of a stall. The men left, locking the door behind them. The third and fourth floor bathrooms remain open. Bwog’s been scurrying around Butler for ten minutes and has also noticed that inconvenienced male studiers are not pleased.

UPDATE 8:10 PM: About eight official-ish looking people with reporters’ notepads (including two cops) are standing around the second floor bathroom. A third B&W staffer reports that he saw the group looking at printed photographs of the fifth-floor swastika. Both bathrooms are now open, despite signs on their doors proclaiming otherwise.

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  1. so wait  

    is there a difference between a bias incident and a hate crime? was someone physically hurt, maybe?

    • anonymous

      You're so racist!!! It's enough that someones FEELINGS were hurt!!!

    • yes  

      This is technically a hate crime because it's vandalism of private property motivated by hate. A bias incident would be if someone taped a picture of a swastika on the door--not a crime, but still motivated by hate.

      • wait, so  

        was all the hullaballoo in the fall because the vandalism was written on walls and such? i mean, if i decide to draw a swastika and make 10,000 copies of it and just post it lots of places, is that a bias incident that no one can do anything about? will prezbo write us all an e-mail about a bias incident where they found out it was me and that i'm a big racist but that they can't do anything to me? (i'm not trying to be an ass, i'm interested in the limits and the rules of when something gets called a crime vs. an incident vs. relatively hateful but free speech)

        • hmm  

          Well, I'm not a legal expert or a law student, but I think it depends. If you made 10,000 copies of a swastika and used them to target an individual or a Jewish organization, that could be considered harassment, and a crime. But if you just distributed them around campus it would be a bias incident and the university could punish you (probably expel you) according to its own regulations, but you wouldn't have an official record.

          • swoosh  

            On what grounds would the university expel you for distributing swastikas? It'd be a pretty despicable/stupid thing to do, but I'm not aware of a Columbia rule that prevents it. (This could just as easily be my ignorance at play -- I'm genuinely curious.)

          • swish

            By all means, indulge your curiosities. It would be fun to see you suffer the undeniably imminent consequences.

          • the

            university doesn't need rules to expel you. in a private institution you have no rights. crimes can be created ex post facto.

            so bollinger would need no justification.

          • swoosh  

            Wow, I can tell you've really familiarized yourself with the University's disciplinary procedures.

            First, Bollinger doesn't just expel people on a whim. If he tried to -- especially over an issue relating to free expression -- there'd be an unholy outcry.

            The Rules of University Conduct (see here: outline the insanely long procedure by which violations at a demonstration are adjudicated on. The president is only involved in the process as an appeal of last resort; the rest is dealt with by the rules administrator, a hearing officer, and/or the judicial board. Also, the rules themselves only refer to time, place, and manner -- not content, like flyers containing swastikas.

            In the case of a minor protest violation or any other type of violation (except sexual misconduct), each school has its own 'dean's discipline' process. For CC/SEAS, the guidelines are technically nonbinding but also pretty specific. (See here: My guess is that it would take something fairly extraordinary for the school to circumvent its own procedures or make up rules, because doing so often would invite more uproar.

            So while legally an private institution can kick out anyone it so desires, Columbia happens to have a set of self-imposed rules/guidelines for situations like these. And my point was that there doesn't seem to be any rule making 'distribution of controversial material' a violation, unless I'm missing something. (Vandalism, on the other hand, is a violation.)

      • right winger  

        What about vandalism of private property motivated by love?

        Would that be a love crime?

  2. waiting

    god. would it kill you would-be hate crimers would there to come up with something more original than a bathroom swastika next time?

  3. like maybe  

    swastika crackers?

  4. just get back  

    to studying.

    • The King of Spain  

      "Killing is killing, it shouldent matter what race the murderer or the dead guy on the floor is."

      Posting links to websites full of illiterate people who know nothing about law is sure to prove a point, but I suspect it's not the one you want.

      It did make me laugh though. Stupid crackers.

      • The King of Spain  

        Oops, that was classist and racist.

      • uhh  

        i think there's a distinction between what the law says is a crime and what should actually count as a crime.

        we may have little choice but to go along with the former, but we can still discuss the latter.

        or is this distinction perhaps too complicated for your pathetic little mind... king of spain?

  5. a joke  

    knock knock!

    who's there?

    hate crime!

    hate crime who? (pause) hate crime who? (opens door and sees 10,000 pasted swastikas) god, damn it.

  6. WTF who cares  

    I... what? Aren't we inured to bathroom wall trash by now? However ugly, it's freedom of speech (though illegal defacement of property). Why do we overreact to it?

  7. LOLhate  

    im in ur campus, motivatin bad stuff

  8. inured Jew  

    Oh God, don't care, don't care, don't care. I think someone just saw the Varsity Show and felt bad for James McShane, so they decided to give him something to do.

    Hey, a spicy-a meat-a-ball-a!

  9. observer

    Strange that these things always seem to happen in bathrooms. It's not a Columbia thing by any means. The same thing happened in my high school. There must be something about bathrooms that brings out the Nazi in some people.

    • why  

      is it surprising? There's no easier place to scrawl something unnoticed. The cowardice flourishes because of the anonymity.

    • privacy  

      well inside of a bathroom stall is one of the few public places where u are guaranteed privacy, so if u want to commit a hate crime in public without the chance of anyone walking in on you, inside a bathroom stall seems logical

  10. lolcat contingent

    ceiling cat is watching you mastur-hate.

    hitler-cat approves

  11. ZvS

    Morningside Heights? More like Morningside HATES! Am I right?

  12. caterina the fifth  

    why don't they just clean it off? paying attention to this stuff just makes people do it more, i doubt the person who drew it is actually a neo nazi

  13. how is a  

    swastika necessarily indicative of hatred? and if it were, who cares? i hate like 8 or 9 people, what the fuck is the difference?

    this is a hunk of bullshit. stop bothering us.

  14. hypocrites  

    I'm assuming the campus police respond the same way every time they discover that someone has written something like "(Insert name) is a fag" on a bathroom stall, right?

  15. Well-meaning

    I thought we lived in America, not swastika.

    Yay! Obama '08!

  16. why is it always

    butler w/ the swastikas (back in like 03 as well)? nicholas murray's past haunts the place?

    maybe its a jewish student hating on butler's bldg for this:

  17. i once  

    wrote poop on a bathroom stall. i thought it was meta.

    • Really? Well

      I'm the guy who draws the fairly realistic face, except for the enormous cock nose and scrotum cheeks, on every stall, in every public restroom in the entire world.

      And I do it to promote tolerance, too. Go figure.

  18. meh  

    Happy Birthday, Israel!

  19. jeez  

    we look like such IDIOTS caring what's written on bathroom walls.

    • but  


    • Pro/con  

      On the one hand, treating the symptoms won't address the problem. On the other, as symptoms go this is, yes, pretty benign in both its ineffectiveness and its cowardice. So I dunno.

      Once upon a time graffiti everywhere was a warning of worse things to come. We'd all like to think we've advanced beyond that era. I mean hey, nobody in the University has actually died from a hate crime since, uh... well, April. But that was those nasty neighborhood kids! It's not indicative of anything on OUR enlightened campus, amirite.

  20. at least  

    the dude didn't piss all over the seat

    i mean come on

  21. DHI  

    Man, just revandalize the swatika into a diamond made of four small diamonds and then write RHOMBUS or some shit because you can't call a diamond a diamond in the field of GEOMETRY

  22. Alum

    At least this time no one has accused Madonna Constantine.

  23. HATE! HATE! HATE!  

    ...i hate you all.

  24. Maybe  

    It was an attempt to commiserate with other Butler-dwellers during finals time. Remember, the swastika was a symbol of good luck for hundreds of years, and in the early 1900's Americans used it all over the place.

    Work with me here, I'm trying to be optimistic!

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