By Paul Burton

MEDFORD (CBS) – Tufts University says it is looking into two “incidents of hate” on campus in the last week.

In one incident, several Asian students were walking together when they were “verbally assaulted with hateful anti-Asian rhetoric,” by a people in a passing car, according to Tufts president Tony Monaco.

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“A car drove up slowly next to us and starting yelling racialized things and told us to take our COVID –a** back to China,” one female student, who didn’t want to be identified, told WBZ-TV.

“It was definitely scary,” said a male student who was there.

The two Tufts university seniors said they are deeply disturbed by the hateful comments shouted at them. They had just finished graduating and were walking down Professors Row when a man in a black truck pulled up alongside their group and yelled.

“It made our hearts hurt more for communities that it’s hit really hard,” the woman said.

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“I am not surprised that I had to experience racism. That’s nothing new, especially in light of recent events in this country. It’s more disappointing and frightening that it happed on campus,” the man added.

In the second incident, Monaco said a large swastika was found painted on a Bello Field shed.

“Unfortunately, these anti-Asian and anti-Semitic incidents are part of a larger trend in the United States. Our campus has not been immune to this trend as complaints of bias to our Office of Equal Opportunity have increased significantly over the past several years. This is not acceptable,” he said in an email to the campus.

It’s still not clear if the perpetrators are part of the university or outsiders. Police are investigating both incidents as a hate crime.

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“There are a lot of groups that are feeling marginalized and targeted. Everyone from the top-down, number one needs to take a stand against it and needs to be sure their north star is pointing toward justice, equity and inclusion,” said Robert Trestan, director of the Anti-Defamation League New England.

Paul Burton