Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern


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NU student charged with committing Sargent Hall hate crime

University Police charged a McCormick freshman Thursday night in connection to anti-Semitic graffiti found Sunday morning at Sargent Hall, said Asst. Chief Daniel McAleer of University Police.

Neil N. Gajare, 19, was charged with institutional vandalismand felony criminal damage to property, according to a press releasefrom Northwestern University Relations. Gajare lives in Slivka Hall,according to Northwestern’s directory.

A community assistant found the graffiti on walls and in thestairwell of Sargent’s second floor. Anti-Semitic statements, twoswastikas and sketches of a rabbit were drawn throughout the dorm. Thegraffiti did not target any particular student, McAleer said.

A bond hearing for Gajare was held at the Circuit Court inSkokie Friday morning, said Marcy Jensen, spokeswoman for the CookCounty State’s Attorney’s Office. Gajare posted bond and was released,she said.

A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Jan. 26 at the CircuitCourt, Jensen said. Gajare could face up to five years in prison ifconvicted of the two felonies, she said.

“We are extremely disappointed in the alleged actions of one ofour students,” Northwestern vice-president for student affairs WilliamBanis said in a press release. “This type of activity is an affrontnot just to our Jewish students, but to the entire Universitycommunity. Such behavior is reprehensible and completely unacceptableat Northwestern.”

Al Cubbage, Northwestern’s vice president for universityrelations, would not comment on whether Gajare would remain atNorthwestern or what penalties Gajare could face.

The Anti-Defamation League praised Northwestern for its quickinvestigation.

“Northwestern University deserves high praise for its handlingof this anti-Semitic incident,” said Lonnie Nasatir in a pressrelease. Nasatir is the Regional Director of ADL’s GreaterChicago/Upper Midwest Region. “The University Police took the graffitiseriously from the moment it was discovered. We are grateful to ChiefBruce Lewis and Deputy Chief Daniel McAleer for their leadership ininvestigating this incident effectively and professionally.”

Gajare could not be reached Friday for comment.

Reach Laura Olson at [email protected].

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NU student charged with committing Sargent Hall hate crime