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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President Schill addresses vandalism on Deering Meadow

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Daily file photo by Jacob Wendler
University President Michael Schill said “Northwestern’s commitment to freedom of expression does not include vandalism.”

University President Michael Schill released an email statement on Monday addressing recent acts of vandalism on Deering Meadow.

In the email, Schill brought up a Sunday incident in which several Israeli and American flags planted on Deering Meadow were defaced with red paint overnight. 

A small group of students originally planted the flags in honor of Israel’s Memorial Day. A participant told The Daily the group planted 1,200 flags, one for each life lost in Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack against Israel.

The same participant said the display was meant to bring something “nicer-looking” to Deering Meadow, referring to the remnants of a de-escalated pro-Palestinian encampment that sit on the lawn nearby.

“I wanted to show (encampment demonstrators), ‘We are not you,’” said McCormick freshman Samuel Feldman, another participant who planted the flags. “We’re going to show some peace and solidarity and support for both Israel and America.”

The incident comes as Israel’s offensive in the Gaza Strip has killed more than 35,000 Palestinians, according to Palestinian officials, following the Oct. 7 attack.

Newly spray-painted signs appeared along with the painted flags, reading “All eyes on Rafah” and “Israel has blood on its hands.”

Schill also referred to an earlier event on Sunday of a woman tearing down signs and banners hanging at the Meadow.

“Northwestern’s commitment to freedom of expression does not include vandalism,” Schill said in response to the events. “And let me be clear — spraying red paint over Israeli or American flags is vandalism and is unacceptable.”

Schill added that the University will investigate those incidents and will pursue disciplinary action if individuals are identified.

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