Photo By: 

The Swastikas at my College

Trump inspired Nazi posters were put up as students celebrated the last night of Chanukah at SUNY Purchase

Ashley Blom's picture
Jan 11, 2019

As a student at Purchase College, I am baffled by what has happened on the last night of Hanukkah. As many students and staff were lighting candles to celebrate the last night of Hanukkah, on campus a vicious act was done by a student.

There was sixteen “Nazi-Themed posters” placed around campus throughout the night with swastikas and Adolf Hitler on them. Gunner Hassard, an 18-year-old from Oneonta NY who is a student at Purchase College, was linked to the “Nazi-themed posters” and arrested. Hassard has been charged with Aggravated Harassment in the First Degree, class E felony and a hate crime. Bail was set at $5,000.

Governor Cuomo tweeted about the incident saying “I am disgusted by the discovery of neo-Nazi fliers at SUNY Purchase today, and I have directed the State Police Hate Crimes Unit to assist in the investigation. Those behind this noxious act should know that these fliers only harden our resolve to combat hate in all its forms”.

Following the incident, the College also issued  the following statement:

For many students, this wasn’t that shocking to them since there was another case of anti -Semitism at SUNY Purchase. This case of anti-Semitism took place on campus back in 2016 by Vadim Imperioli, the son of Sopranos star Michael Imperioli who played mobster Christopher Moltisanti on HBO. Vadim was caught spray painting swastikas in Farside Dormitory on November 20, 2016. University police found a total of three swastikas spray-painted on to the dormitory boards. Imperioli was arrested and charged with criminal mischief in the fourth degree. After each of these events, many photos and words were shared by students on the “Open Forum” on Facebook. Due to their alleged criminal activity, both Gunner and Imperioli have been banned from SUNY Purchase’s campus.

Since Trump was elected there has been a rise in anti-Semitic acts, compared to previous years. Just in the year 2017, there was a 60% rise in these acts over 2016. Like at SUNY Purchase, social media has helped to promote these acts and has become a cesspool of anti-Semitism. The actions of so-called leaders like Trump are also making it worse each and every day, leading to an increase in these types of incidents.


Sign up for our e-Newsletter!