Antisemitic Graffiti Found Inside On-Campus Jewish Space

A swastika was found inside Campus Ministry’s Hillel Social Room.

Loyola’s Campus Safety sent out an alert Feb. 2 around 1:40 p.m. about vandalism in the Damen Student Center. This was later identified in an email around 7 p.m. from the Division of Student Development to the Loyola community as a swastika in Campus Ministry’s Hillel Social Room. 

The incident is still being investigated by the Office for Equity and Compliance, according to the email sent out by Dr. Keith Champagne Feb. 2. Champagne wrote anyone found responsible will be held responsible and disciplined accordingly. Loyola community members will be notified once the investigation is complete, according to the email.

“It is incumbent upon all of us as a community to stand clearly and strongly against antisemitism,” Champagne wrote in the email. “We are unwavering in our commitment to ensuring that our Jewish community feels safe and supported on our campus. Campus Safety continues to be responsive to security concerns and continues to support Hillel and our Jewish community at Loyola.” 

Jewish Life Associate at Loyola Katherine O’Neill wrote Hillel is outraged at the swastika drawn in the campus ministry space. Hillel is a student-run organization supported by Metro Chicago Hillel where students can connect with all things Judaism, according to the Loyola website.   

“Swastikas are a profound symbol of antisemitism and this was deliberately drawn in a Jewish space to intimidate and harass Jews on campus,” O’Neill wrote in an email to The Phoenix. 

O’Neill said Hillel is appreciative of the seriousness with which the Loyola administration is addressing the situation and said the safety and security of students is their top priority. 

“Hillel at Loyola will continue to be a welcoming place to gather in community and celebrate Jewish life and culture,” O’Neill wrote. 

Fourth-year Jonathan Nerenberg said he wasn’t shocked by the graffiti but was surprised it happened at Loyola. Nerenberg, who is a Jewish student on campus, said he was sad someone at Loyola wanted to spread that kind of message around the university. 

Nerenberg said he was a little annoyed by the vagueness of the initial email sent out by the university when it happened but was content with the context in the following email later in the day. He said he was happy Loyola reassured students they don’t stand for any antisemitism.

“Whoever did this act was really trying to make division and hatred and make Jews feel like they are unsafe around their fellow students,” Nerenberg said. And I think the most important thing is to not let that infect our minds and make us think that we are something else and we are separate and people don’t accept us but that’s not the case.”

Featured Image by Ryan Pittman / The Phoenix

Isabella Grosso

Isabella Grosso