Two swastikas found on campus in one week
October 14, 2019
By Samantha Boyle
A swastika was reported drawn on a bathroom stall in the Foreign Language Building Monday. In response, Chancellor Robert Jones sent out a Massmail denouncing anti-Semitism and apologizing to the University. One day later on Thursday, another swastika was found drawn onto a bathroom stall in Taft Hall.
No Massmail addressing the second incident has been sent; however, in Wednesday’s address, Jones stated, “acts and expressions of anti-Semitism are acts and expressions of hatred and discrimination that are in direct opposition to our core values.”
In addition to these incidents, Jones addressed concerns about anti-Semitic content made by a University Housing student-worker at a staff development program. He assured housing staff will meet individually with all who were involved to fully understand the presentation.
“We will always recognize the rights of those on the campus to safely and freely express their perspectives and opinions,” Jones said. “But we will also be ready to condemn statements and actions that violate our shared values and seek to demean, intimidate or devalue others in our community.”
Jones said a few immediate initiatives would take place in response to this first incident. He said the vice chancellor for Student Affairs will fully review the hiring, training and professional oversight of resident advisors and multicultural advocates. Anti-Semitism training for all full-time University Housing staff, RAs and MAs will take place at the end of the semester, and an external review of University Housing multicultural educational programs will take place.
In a previous article about the first incident, Erez Cohen, executive director of Illini Hillel told The Daily Illini in an email he was more shocked about the mandatory training than the actual swastika found.