After an act of antisemitism occurred on campus, The Phoenix Editorial Board denounces discrimination of all types and emphasizes the importance of a safe campus.
Staff Editorial: Everyone Deserves to Feel Safe at Loyola
Content warning: Antisemitism
In a Feb. 2 email to the Loyola community, Loyola’s Division of Student Development reported a swastika was drawn in Campus Ministry’s Hillel Social Room in Damen Student Center, in addition to obscene items drawn in the room earlier that week.
“It is incumbent upon all of us as a community to stand clearly and strongly against antisemitism,” Vice President for Student Development Dr. Keith Champagne wrote. “We are unwavering in our commitment to ensuring that our Jewish community feels safe and supported on our campus.”
Let’s be clear, the swastika isn’t a symbol of any legitimate political belief. The swastika is a symbol of a regime that systematically killed 9 million people — 6 million of them Jewish. Drawing it on a Jewish community room is a clear and flagrant act of antisemitism. Any assertion to the contrary or downplaying it is patently false.
The Phoenix Editorial Board denounces any and all forms of religious discrimination and persecution. This disgusting and cowardly act is also a blatant breach of Loyola’s values as a welcoming university for people of all faiths and creeds.
While there hasn’t been a hate crime reported on Loyola’s campus in the last three years, nationwide is a different story. In 2022, the FBI reported 11,613 hate crimes nationwide — of those, 2,014 were motivated by religion. The number has been going up. In 2021, there were 10,875 hate crimes and in 2020 there were 9,994 crimes.
This trend should be concerning to anyone, especially those at an institution which ought to derive its strength from its diversity. No one should be made to feel threatened because of their religion. Everyone at this institution has a fundamental right to feel safe and express their religious beliefs in a way they’re comfortable with.
Any action which affects the safety of even one Loyola student is a threat to all Loyola students — no matter their religious identity. It is our sincere hope that instances of such violence and intolerance will never happen again and Loyola can be a place where students feel safe in their beliefs on this campus.
Featured image by Ryan Pittman / The Phoenix