DePaul groups plan vigil following anti-Semitic vandalism

  • By Peter Sachs
  • Staff Writer
  • May 26, 2009 @ 3:04 PM

Three student groups at DePaul University will hold a vigil tonight in response to the appearance of swastika graffiti on campus last week.
The vandalism is the second time since March that swastikas have appeared on DePaul’s Lincoln Park campus. Last time, fliers promoting an Israeli reporter were defaced with the Nazi symbol and Hitler-style moustaches.
Last week, the swastika graffiti appeared in two places on campus, including written on a wall inside a residence hall to which only students and their guests would have had access, says DePaul spokesman John Holden. The swastikas appeared to have been drawn in pen or pencil, he said.
“We find it particularly abhorrent to see this type of thing taking place and we are trying to communicate to our students that this is the kind of thing that’s unacceptable,” Holden says.
Jewish groups on campus were similarly upset.
“It’s unacceptable from our perspective,” says Nicholas Liebman, the program director for Hillel, a Jewish organization on campus. “It is unacceptable as Jews to be confronted with it and it’s also unacceptable as members of the DePaul community.”
Liebman says while Jewish groups have been meeting with DePaul’s administration in light of the recent incidents, he isn’t satisfied with the school’s response so far.
“The administration sent a letter to people who live in residence halls (after last week’s incidents) that vaguely mentioned and vaguely condemned the incidents,” Liebman says.
And many people on campus aren’t even aware of the problems, he says.
The vigil is being organized by Hillel, the Student Government Association and United Muslims Moving Ahead, according to The DePaulia, the school’s student newspaper.
Tonight’s vigil starts at 5 p.m. outside of the Lincoln Park Student Center, 2250 N.Sheffield Ave.

Daily News Staff Writer Peter Sachs covers higher education. He can be reached at 773.362.5002, ext. 18, or peter [at] chitowndailynews [dot] org.