SUNY Cortland president notes ‘racist and antisemitic’ graffiti found in campus building

The Old Main building on the SUNY Cortland campus. (Photo provided by Kevin L. Smith of The Cortland Voice).

The SUNY Cortland president on Tuesday evening notified campus of “racist and antisemitic” graffiti found in a building on campus.

According to an email sent out by SUNY Cortland president Erik Bitterbaum, the “n-word” and a swastika were discovered in a men’s bathroom located inside the Old Main building.

“SUNY Cortland condemns threats and symbols of hate in the strongest possible terms,” said Bitterbaum in his email, noting the University Police Department (UPD) is currently investigating the incident and is working alongside the campus’ Institutional Equity and Inclusion Office.

Those with information on the incident are asked to report information to UPD at 607-753-2111 or use the bias-related incident reporting form.

“Perpetrators will be met with the most severe sanctions available,” Bitterbaum said via email. “Please know Cortland is committed to maintaining an environment where students, faculty, staff and all members of our community can safely pursue their dreams.”

Bitterbaum mentioned that several campus resources are available for those who do not feel safe, need to report information or to just have a conversation, including:

  • University Police Department: 911 (emergency) or 607-753-2111 (non-emergency)
  • Bias Incident Reporting system offers an online form through which incidents can be reported with the option of anonymity 
  • Institutional Equity and Inclusion Office: 607-753-2263
  • Multicultural Life and Diversity Office: 607-753-2336
  • Counseling Center: 607-753-4728 

“SUNY Cortland is proud of its diverse community and its ongoing efforts to nurture an inclusive campus climate. On behalf of the university, I want to remind you there is no place for actions of bias, racism or hate at SUNY Cortland,” Bitterbaum said. “These behaviors will not be tolerated. The university remains steadfast in its support of people from all faiths, races and backgrounds.”