Police at the University of Maryland, College Park are investigating "two incidents of bias and hate," President Wallace Loh said in a Wednesday e-mail to the campus.

Loh said an elevator in an academic building was vandalized with anti-Semitic messages and that a campus facilities supervisor found a noose hanging in a space that was being renovated.

A spokesman for the campus police said investigators believe the incidents, one discovered Saturday and the other Monday, are unconnected. But police have no suspects.

Loh wrote that on-campus incidents of bias and hate have decreased from 33 in 2003 to five in 2011 but added that "even one incident is too many."

"These incidents are abhorrent," Loh wrote. "The University of Maryland does not tolerate hate or bias in any form. And, it is the right of all members of our community to work and live in an environment in which they feel safe, respected, and included."

Staci Armezzani, communications director for the university's student government, said she and others she had spoken to were unaware of the incidents until reading Loh's e-mail.

"I was surprised more than anything," said the senior criminology major. "This is such a diverse university, and this is the kind of thing you never want to see or think about it."

childs.walker@baltsun.com

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