2 students confess to placing swastikas in San Jose State University dorms

Katie Marzullo Image
ByKatie Marzullo KGO logo
Friday, September 23, 2016
This image show San Jose State University.

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- Two students have now confessed to placing swastikas and hateful language on residence halls.

The university's president met face to face with students Thursday night to calm fears.

The university president said she wanted to go to where the students were, so she spoke at the dining hall, which is across the street from one of the dorms where a swastika was found.

"I thought we had a animated and really a terrific conversation," said the the university president Mary Papazian.

Papazian answered students' questions about the swastikas found on campus. The informal meeting took place inside dining commons. ABC7 News was not allowed inside.

"What I wanted to reassure them is we are thinking all the time about how we can work together to live our values, and our values of social justice, our values of community," she said.

"She just said that, although some of us might not realize how rude it is to say or draw things like that, other people are really affected," said SJSU sophomore Zain Hussain.

Hours earlier, the campus police chief revealed they had identified two students who admitted they were each behind a swastika and hateful language found in two residence halls.

"I don't want to go too much into motivation. I think it was characterized by both as a joke in essence," said SJSU campus police Chief Peter Decena.

One swastika was found Monday in Washburn Hall. It was pieced together with nametags. The other was discovered Tuesday on a white board in campus village. Police say the cases are unrelated.

The university says the cases are not criminal, because the words and images did not target a specific person. The students will be subject to the student conduct process. They face anything from education to expulsion.