Editor’s note: This story has been updated with details from the Princeton Police Department.
Princeton University public safety has increased patrols on campus after inflammatory anti-Israel and pro-Palestinian graffiti was painted at three spots in late December, according to a Princeton Police Department (PPD) incident report, the University, and a Department of Public Safety (DPS) log. No suspect has been detained.
Two individuals spray painted the cannon on the lawn in front of Cannon Dial Elm Club with “Free Gaza” and “[F---] Israel,” at 11:25 p.m. on Dec. 23, according to surveillance camera footage cited in the PPD report. One of the individuals appeared to be female, but according to the report, “the suspect(s) are unknown at this time.”
“Free Gaza” was painted on the brick wall in front of Cottage Club, according to the incident report. A Dec. 24 Princeton University DPS police log also shows “criminal mischief w[ith] damage” occurred sometime between 11:30 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. at 86 Olden Street, home to the Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment.
As of noon on Dec. 29, the graffiti had been removed and a police car was parked on Prospect Avenue between the two eating clubs.
“The Department of Public Safety is working with local police to investigate the incident and has increased patrols in the area,” University Spokesperson Michael Hotchkiss wrote in an email to PAW. The PPD report notes the manager of Cottage Club requested extra patrols after the incidents.
According to the PPD report, after police learned that the eating club managers at Cannon and Cottage are both Jewish, they believe “it is possible these two clubs were targeted” and they are “now treating the incident as a Bias Incident.”
Josh Coan ’24, president of Cannon Club, said no one was in the building when the incident occurred, and that after contacting President Christopher Eisgruber ’83, he was offered support “including connections to several other administrators,” according to The Daily Princetonian.
“We appreciate the University’s immediate response,” Coan wrote in an email to the outlet. In an email to PAW, Coan said he had nothing to add.
The incidents raise the temperature on campus, which has been on edge in the wake of continued pro-Israel and pro-Palestinian events, though, despite some calls of “intifada,” hasn’t yet boiled over.
According to an Instagram post by Princeton for Palestine, a silent processional to honor victims in Gaza caught in the ongoing war was planned for 1 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 30 at Palmer Square.