Two eating clubs and a brick wall near the Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment were vandalized with pro-Palestine and anti-Israel graffiti on Dec. 23 and 24. Princeton town police are investigating the occurrences as a possible “bias incident,” according to Lieutenant Thomas Lagomarsino.
Graffiti on the cannon in front of Cannon Dial Elm Club reads “Free Gaza” on one side and “Fuck Israel” on the other. Further down the street, a wall in front of Cottage Club also displays “Free Gaza.”
Josh Coan ’24, the president of Cannon, subsequently contacted President Christopher Eisgruber ’83, who offered the University’s support, including connections to several other administrators. According to Coan, no one was in the club at the time of the incident, which took place around 11:30 p.m. The semester had officially ended the previous day.
“We appreciate the university’s immediate response,” Coan wrote in an email to The Daily Princetonian.
Cottage Club President Caleb Coleman ’24 did not respond to requests for comment in time for publication.
Lagomarsino told the ‘Prince’ that the department is working to identify people involved using video footage from the clubs. No one has been detained so far.
According to logs from the University’s Department of Public Safety (PSAFE), the graffiti by the Andlinger Center occurred the following day, on Dec. 24. The ‘Prince’ was unable to confirm details of the graffiti’s message.
PSAFE has jurisdiction over most crimes committed on University property, but the eating clubs are not owned by the University.
“The Department of Public Safety is working with local police to investigate the incident and has increased patrols in the area,” University Spokesperson Michael Hotchkiss wrote in an email to the ‘Prince.’
At other universities, there have been incidents of vandalism related to the war. In October, a property next to a Jewish fraternity at the University of Pennsylvania was vandalized with graffiti equating Jewish people to Nazis. Authorities in Boston are currently investigating the writing of “Free Palestine” on the window of the Boston University Hillel in November as a possible hate crime.
More recently in December, posters at Williams College raising awareness about Israeli hostages taken by Hamas on Oct. 7 were graffitied with messages that the university said “supported violence against Israelis.” In a Dec. 14 press release about the incident, Williams President Maud Mandel did not specify the content of the messages.
The graffiti is the first public-facing reported incident of vandalism at Princeton related to the conflict in Israel and Gaza. An incident where a student's sketch of an Israeli flag on their chalk board was drawn over alongside a racial slur against Black students was also reported to PSAFE in October.
Miriam Waldvogel is an assistant News editor for the ‘Prince.’
Please direct any corrections to corrections[at]dailyprincetonian.com.
Correction: This article was updated after the ‘Prince’ became aware of an earlier instance of vandalism on Princeton's campus.