Three swastikas were found on and near the Indiana University (IU) Bloomington campus over the weekend, CBS4 reported.
One of them was discovered by IU freshman Sophia Newman on Saturday in downtown Bloomington
“I’d never in person seen one myself so it was just really shocking,” she told CBS4.
She added that she told Rabbi Levi Cunin, the director of the IU Jewish Center, about the swastika.
“Shaken up, she says, ‘I saw a swastika today,’” Rabbi Cunin said. “And I was shocked.”
He decided to immediately take action.
”Within a second I’m like, ‘Sophia, let’s light the menorah there,” Rabbi Cunin said.
He assembled a group of students who went to the spot where the swastika had been spray painted on a building and held a menorah lighting.
”It’s not a place of hate, campus is a place of love,” he said while lighting the menorah.
According to IU and Bloomington police, there were two other swastikas found on Saturday.
They told Fox59 that one of the swastikas was on the side of a railroad overpass on campus and the other was in an alleyway on a nearby street.
Newman did not think that the swastikas being discovered during Hanukkah was a coincidence.
”The fact that it’s during Hanukkah, I think it's a direct attack,” Newman said.
The three swastikas have since been painted over. The swastika discovered by Newman was cleaned up by Rabbi Cunin and the Jewish students after the menorah lighting ceremony.
IU police said in a statement that there are no suspects so far, and that they are “aware of the swastika that was located off campus and at this time we don’t know if both crimes are connected by one person."
Bloomington police said in a statement that the third swastika case is “active as we are trying to determine if the suspect(s) can be seen on any nearby cameras.”