Swastika, threat similar to Norris graffiti found on Leverone

Dalia Naamani-Goldman

A swastika and anti-Semitic threat were found Saturday on Leverone Hall, the third incident of religious graffiti on campus in the past week.

Alan Cubbage,vice president for university relations, said University Police is investigating the recent incidents. UP would not provide details of the grafitti, although police said the phrase, “Die Jews,” accompanied the swastika, as it did in a similar incident at Norris University Center this weekend.

University President Henry Bienen sent an e-mail to the NU community Monday night that was a public condemnation of the incidents.

“I truly believe these recent actions are not indicative of the values of the larger Northwestern community,” Bienen wrote. “As an institution, Northwestern seeks to provide a diverse learning environment that welcomes students, faculty and staff of all races and religious beliefs. I also believe strongly that … the university will overcome the hateful acts of a few individuals and will build an even stronger Northwestern community.”

Students reported five instances of racial and religious vandalism during Winter and Spring quarters last year. A student also was threatened Saturday with a knife and racial threat on campus.

University officials announced Thursday they are offering a $2,500 reward for information leading to the arrest of people involved in the incidents.

Some students criticized administrators for not responding more promptly to incidents over the weekend. But several administrators said they would not speak publicly about the graffiti or the attack until they knew details of the incidents.

“One of the things that’s irresponsible to do is to issue statements before we know the facts,” said Mary Desler, associate vice president for student affairs. “I don’t know who’s doing it. I don’t know what else we can tell people.”

Desler urged students to come forward with information related to the incidents.

“Students are going to know who’s doing this before we are,” she said. “We need your help.”

Fiedler Hillel Center Executive Director Rabbi Michael Mishkin said he discussed the incidents with Residential Life and UP officials Monday.

“One (incident) in itself is horrific,” he said. “The fact that someone is willing to write these things more than once is meant to continue to scare people.”

Associated Student Government President Mike Fong, other ASG members and student group leaders spent Monday evening visiting sororities during their chapter meetings. Fong said the visits served to inform students about the $2,500 reward and about upcoming campus events protesting the incidents.