PROVIDENCE, R.I. – A swastika made out of human feceses was discovered in a dormitory's gender-neutral bathroom at a top U.S. art school over the weekend.
The Rhode Island School of Design, known as RISD (RIZ'-dee), said in a statement that the level of "disrespect and vitriol is completely unacceptable." Public safety officials are investigating it as an act of vandalism and a hate crime.
It's not clear whether the anti-Semitic incident was also aimed at LGBT students, coming on the heels of a national debate over the right of transgender students to access bathrooms that correspondd with their gender identity.
“To say we condemn the RISD graffiti is too mild and obvious a statement,” said Rabbi Michelle T. Dardashti, an associate chaplain at the college, according to the Huffington Post.
“Students of Jewish history understand that deadly anti-Semitism has been cyclical, thus current manifestations (in the forms of graffiti, bomb threats, cemetery vandalism and white-supremacist and alt right rhetoric) are hard to write off as trivial or innocuous,” Dardashti said to HuffPost.
The school said it has met with students on the dorm floor and has encouraged those with information to come forward.
"It's kind of disgusting, actually, and really sad that somebody would go to that length to kind of express their frustration or some kind of angst or mental disease," student Rory Hernandez told WJAR.
Hernandez said it was more disturbing considering the location where the swastika was found.
"That could be somebody's safe space," he told the station. "So I don't think that's right in any bathroom, especially a transgender bathroom."
The incident comes on the heels of several waves of bomb threats against Jewish Community Centers accross the United States and an incident of vandalism at a Jewish cemetary in Missouri. In total, there have been 69 against different JCCs over the last two months, according to the JCC Association of North America.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.