Carthage College students respond to hate symbols discovered in campus dormitory

Jewish community targeted with antisemitic vandalism
Posted at 9:20 AM, Jan 04, 2024

KENOSHA — Carthage College officials continue to investigate antisemitic symbols discovered inside one of the campus dormitories.

The incident was discovered by Carthage security on Dec. 9, 2023. Three swastikas and the word “Jew” was carved into several doors at a Carthage dormitory.

The student believed to be targeted is a resident adviser at the dormitory and a member of the Carthage Jewish Student Union.

“I think Jewish students around the country see the stories on their news feed every day about antisemitism on college campuses around the country,” Carthage senior Tyler Kelly said.

“This time it really hit home that this is happening not just on the coasts, but here at Carthage.”

Michele Hancock, Carthage vice president of campus culture, sent an email to Carthage students, faculty and staff in response to the incident.

“Carthage College does not tolerate any form of racism, antisemitism, bigotry or white supremacist activity on campus,” Hancock wrote. “Carthage is committed to providing our students, faculty and staff with a safe and welcoming environment.”

Kelly is one of the founding members of the Carthage Jewish Student Union. He said the student targeted had the word “Jew” carved into his dormitory door.

“Being Jewish is something that he carries with him and antisemitism is something that he’s had to confront in his life as a result,” Carthage College chair Stephanie Mitchell said. “So I don’t think he was especially shocked. He’s just horrified the way the rest of us also are.”

There are roughly 20 Jewish students at Carthage, according to Kelly.

“I think we’re all a little bit worried,” Kelly said. “I think that all Jewish students are, but I think we’re all hanging in there.

“We’re all satisfied the school has made communications and made an effort to do something about antisemitism, especially seeing schools across the country not taking those basic steps.”

The incident was not reported to local authorities, according to Kenosha Police Department.