‘Obscene items’ found at Loyola U. Jewish campus ministry center
Universities in Illinois and New York were vandalized with swastikas within one week amid on-going concerns about festering antisemitism inside higher education.
The incidents at Loyola University, a private Catholic institution in Chicago, and the University of Rochester in New York are just the latest in a long list of incidents targeting Jewish college students since October.
At Loyola, a swastika and several “obscene items” were discovered on two separate days last week inside the Hillel Social Room, the Chicago Sun-Times reports. Hillel is a campus ministry for Jewish students.
The university condemned the vandalism and said it is investigating, according to the report.
“It is incumbent upon all of us as a community to stand clearly and strongly against antisemitism. We are unwavering in our commitment to ensuring that our Jewish community feels safe and supported on our campus,” Vice President for Student Development Keith Champagne said in a statement.
Meanwhile, the University of Rochester also announced an investigation after the discovery of swastikas and other antisemitic language Friday on the walls of the tunnel system that connects several of its buildings. According to the university, the tunnels traditionally have been a venue for students to express their opinions and share news and events.
In a joint statement Wednesday, Vice President for Student Life John Blackshear and Vice President for Equity and Inclusion Adrienne Morgan said the university will not tolerate hatred.
“The tradition of tunnel painting is part of what makes Rochester a special place to live and study, and we are saddened that anyone would use the tunnels to express hatred,” Blackshear and Morgan said.
Many universities have been facing criticism for their actions regarding antisemitism in recent months. In some cases, prominent donors and alumni have pulled their support, and Jewish students have filed lawsuits accusing their institutions of negligence.
The Oct. 7 Hamas terrorist attack on Israel revived attention to the problem and spurred a wave of vandalism, harassment, threats, and other incidents on U.S. campuses.
In one case, a Jewish student’s door was set on fire at Drexel University in Philadelphia. A Cornell University student also was arrested after allegedly threatening to slaughter Jews, The College Fix reported.