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Pumpkin carved with swastika, flyer saying 'It's okay to be white' found on East Campus

Chronicle File Photo
Chronicle File Photo

Two racially charged incidents were reported on East Campus overnight, wrote L.B. Bergene, associate dean of East Campus, in an email to residence coordinators on East Thursday morning.

A pumpkin with a swastika carved into it was found near Gilbert-Addoms dormitory and turned into the Duke University Police Department. Sheets of paper with the words “It’s okay to be white” were also discovered on the Wilson dorm bench and in the area by Baldwin Auditorium and Bassett dorm. Bergene wrote that it was unknown who carved the pumpkin or disseminated the flyers.

“Other than expressing my personal dismay with any act of hate, with investigations still underway, I have nothing more to add,” wrote Larry Moneta, vice president for student affairs, in an email to The Chronicle. 

When contacted, Bergene deferred to Moneta for comment. John Dailey, DUPD chief of police, wrote that the anyone with information about the incident is encouraged to contact his office.

"Multiple staff members have been working on this," Dailey wrote in an email. "Any member of the Duke community who may have information or who may have seen something related to this may call us at 919-684-2444 or report anonymously through the LiveSafe app or on the Duke Police webpage."

Wednesday evening, Duke Student Government Senate passed a resolution urging University administration to implement a policy against hate and bias, and to define acts of hate and bias. The resolution was passed in response to racially charged incidents on campus—including vandalism at the Mary Lou Williams Center for Black Culture and a small carving of swastika that was found in a bathroom stall.

Check back for updates to this developing story.


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