A Recent Incident of Targeted Vandalism Near Campus
February 11, 2021 8:02 AM
Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff,
I write to alert you about an incident of targeted vandalism that happened at a student apartment near campus earlier this week when someone threw raw eggs at a balcony where an Israeli flag was displayed. The University of Illinois Police Department is investigating the incident and will take appropriate action if those responsible are identified.
As a campus community, we cannot allow disrespectful and hostile acts such as this to happen without comment and condemnation. Anonymous, targeted vandalism of expressions of personal and national identity create a climate of fear and distrust, threatening a sense of inclusion and safety that is foundational to our campus community. It is our responsibility to speak together to say loudly and clearly that this behavior is antithetical to the values of our university, and that anti-Semitism in any form will not be tolerated.
We must not only respond to incidents such as this with condemnation, but also actively create a campus community where these incidents do not occur, and I want to be as transparent as I can about incidents of intolerance and hate when they happen and our response to them. To do the work needed to live our community values, we are committed to the actions outlined in the Joint Statement on Anti-Semitism released in November, including the creation of an Advisory Council on Jewish and Campus Life. We are now moving swiftly to organize and confirm the full membership of the council, and we will announce the members in the near future.
We are also conducting listening sessions that began during the fall semester, as part of ongoing efforts to be supportive and responsive to the needs of Jewish students, faculty and staff. We invite all members of our community to bring their whole selves to Illinois. For this to be realized, we must ensure that each person is not deprived of the chance to live and learn in an atmosphere free of fear and intimidation. All members of the university community have the right to express their viewpoints, identity and lived experiences, and we stand united against all forms of anti-Semitism.
We are still gathering information about this recent incident, and we will share additional information about the Advisory Council soon. If you experience an incident of bias or discrimination in our community, please report it to the Bias Assessment and Response Team.
Sean C. Garrick
Vice Chancellor for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion