The University of Southern California (USC) is among several colleges across the nation that received a rash of antisemitic fliers in their printers and fax machines.
The incident appears to be the work of an Internet prankster who exploited the fact that many printers are connected to the network without additional security, even if the computers that they serve directly are protected from hackers.
— Shlomo Shekelberg (@Shlomo247) March 24, 2016
“This despicable incident reminds us that we must not be complacent as we continue to strive for a society that embraces diversity, inclusion and equity — a society where everyone feels safe and welcome,” Kumble Subbaswamy, chancellor of UMass Amherst said, according to Southern California Public Radio. Subbaswamy reportedly called the fliers “cowardly” in a schoolwide email to students and faculty.
The flyers began appearing on Thursday. Other institutions that have been the recipients of the messages reportedly include Princeton University, Brown University and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
The messages appeared just one day after the UC Regents approved a statement that equates anti-Zionism with discrimination. However, the “Statement of Principles Against Intolerance” was only passed after two words were added to the legislation. The original document sought to draw a straight line between anti-Zionism — the rejection of Israel’s right to exist — antisemitism.
The addition of “anti-Semitic forms of” anti-Zionism and other kinds of discrimination was amended by UC Regent Norm Pattiz, apparently out of concern for infringing on academic freedom.
In February of 2015, the UC Students Association voted on two resolutions that called for the UC school system to divest from Israel, the U.S. and much of the rest of the world.
Follow Adelle Nazarian on Twitter @AdelleNaz.