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Price condemns recent campus incidents in email to Duke community

By 1 a.m. Monday morning, the swastika had been covered up by a trash bag.
By 1 a.m. Monday morning, the swastika had been covered up by a trash bag.

In light of recent events, President Vincent Price condemned racial hatred in an email to all undergraduate students Tuesday.

He wrote that the University is committed to the safety of its students and will continue expanding security and fostering dialogue on campus. Price also addressed the group Identity Evropa—identified as a white nationalist group by the Southern Poverty Law Center—whose stickers were found on West Campus over Thanksgiving break.

“To be clear: the goals of this organization are detestable and absolutely contrary to Duke’s community values of respect and inclusion,” Price wrote in the email. “Their purpose is to frighten, not educate, and as such should be condemned at every opportunity.”

The university-wide email comes on the heels of several "acts of vandalism and hate" on campus. Last week, a swastika was found spray-painted over a bridge painting memorializing the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting. And, earlier this month, swastika-carved pumpkins and flyers reading “It’s okay to be white”—a slogan adopted by racist groups—were found on East Campus, as well as other colleges in the nation.

“Duke is not the only campus experiencing these incidents,” Price wrote. “Every day we read about new and intentional provocations that are clearly conceived to generate attention. We have been in regular contact with colleges across the country that have experienced similar attacks to share information and seek ideas.”

In the email, Price emphasized the security measures and resources at Duke available to students in the face of hate incidents.

“I know these displays of intimidation may be particularly stressful to members of our African American, Jewish, Latinx, LGBT and Muslim communities, among others,” Price wrote. “Let me again affirm our foundational commitment to public and personal safety, which includes enhanced security activities in a number of areas.”

These security activities include additional security at the Freeman Center for Jewish Life, as well as planned security cameras for the East Campus Bridge, where the mural was vandalized, Price wrote in a similar email Nov. 19.


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