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The University of California Santa Cruz is condemning recent antisemitic and anti-LGTBQ actions, including an event to celebrate Hitler’s birthday

<i>David Rodriguez/The Salinas Californian/USA Today Network</i><br/>The University of California
David Rodriguez/The Salinas Cali
David Rodriguez/The Salinas Californian/USA Today Network
The University of California

By Elizabeth Joseph, CNN

The University of California, Santa Cruz, is condemning recent antisemitic and anti-LGBTQ incidents reported on and near the campus, including a group of students who allegedly gathered to celebrate Adolf Hitler’s birthday.

“They sang happy birthday and ate cakes adorned with hateful and horrific symbols,” UC Santa Cruz Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs and Success Akirah Bradley-Armstrong said in a statement. The reported party took place on campus on April 20, the statement said.

A second reported incident involved a student who “found an antisemitic and anti-LGBTQIA+ flyer” on their vehicle’s windshield in downtown Santa Cruz on April 21. “The flyer included despicable and degrading claims about Jewish people and LGBTQIA+ people,” the statement said.

“We unequivocally condemn these — and all — antisemitic and anti-LGBTQIA+ actions,” Bradley-Armstrong said in the statement.

The report of the Hitler party on campus has been “referred to student conduct for follow up and adjudication,” the statement said. School officials reached out to the city to help address the flyers reported off-campus.

“Whatever the purpose and wherever they take place, we reject any and all acts of antisemitism. Our Jewish community members and our LGBTQIA+ community members are an integral part of our Banana Slug family, and we stand with them against all such acts of hate,” Bradley-Armstrong said.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom tweeted about the reported party for Hitler’s birthday, writing, “This is absolutely sick. These kinds of disgusting acts have no place in California.”

The reported incidents at UC Santa Cruz come less than a month after the Anti-Defamation League reported antisemitic incidents in the US reached their highest level last year since the organization began recording them in 1979.

The annual audit found incidents including assault, vandalism and harassment increased by more than a third in just one year and reached nearly 3,700 cases in 2022.

Just an hour’s drive north of Santa Cruz, campus police at Stanford University have been investigating an antisemitic drawing left on a Jewish student’s dorm room door in March, which included “multiple swastikas and an image modified to resemble Adolf Hitler.”

“This incident is being investigated by the Department of Public Safety as a crime motivated by hate,” the university said in a statement. “Purposely intimidating and threatening people based on protected identities is antithetical to Stanford’s values,” the statement said.

UC Santa Cruz is encouraging students impacted by “worry, fear, and anger” surrounding the reported incidents to reach out to the school’s Counseling and Psychological Services for support.

“White supremacy has no place at UC Santa Cruz. Nor does any action intended to degrade, dehumanize, or intimidate another based on identity. We will not tolerate such vitriol; nor will we abide the fear and terror it intends to inspire,” Bradley-Armstrong said in the statement. “United by our shared sense of humanity, we must strive to be a welcoming place for all people. Together, we must continue to reject all expressions of hate.”

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CNN’s Krystina Shveda and Rebekah Riess contributed to this report.

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