Albion College campus
Albion College campus (Facebook/Albion College).

The antisemitic graffiti found was the Star of David with “666” around it.

A Black male student at Albion College who admitted responsibility for anti-Black and antisemitic graffiti in the stairwell of a campus dorm last week has been temporarily suspended. 

Albion College released a statement April 14 saying it identified the individual responsible for the graffiti. The student, who was acting alone, acknowledged responsibility for the incidents and was removed from campus and placed on temporary suspension. A full investigation is still being completed. Albion is located west of Jackson.

The antisemitic graffiti found was the Star of David with “666” around it. Also included was pro-KKK graffiti, including use of the N-word.

The 21-year-old Black male was brought in for questioning by Albion police on April 6, according to Chief Scott Kipp. The student admitted to creating most of the graffiti, and video evidence confirmed the statements made by the student, Kipp said. 

“We know the acts of racism that have occurred this week are not about one particular person or one particular incident,” the college stated. “We know that there is a significant history of racial pain and trauma on campus, and we are taking action to repair our community. We will change and heal together as a community, because we are committed to doing the work.”

Carolyn Normandin, regional director of ADL Michigan, says it has taken a report about the incident and been in contact with the Hillel Campus Alliance of Michigan (HCAM) along with outreach to the new president of the college, Dr. Mathew Johnson. 

Normandin said ADL Michigan is taking this very seriously and looks forward to working with Albion and have already provided some resources for them. 

“It’s a little too soon to tell what’s going to happen, but we’re definitely aware of it, and it will be tracked the way every incident that’s reported to us is tracked,” Normandin said. “We’re quite concerned.”

Abby Calef, Jewish Student Life coordinator for HCAM, said similar graffiti was seen at Albion last year, but the Star of David was misidentified as a five-pointed pentagram, which Calef met with the former president about.

“It’s been a recurring issue for Jewish students to feel heard on campus,” Calef said. “I’ve been working with the administration this past week and the new president seems a lot better with his response. I feel like this president is dedicated to making things better.” 

On April 5, approximately 450 people, including Albion students, faculty, staff and community members, marched on campus after multiple incidents that have taken place on campus in the last few weeks, including this latest one.

Calef says there have been community healing sessions, including a day of community conversations along with the protests, where students had opportunities to speak.

“One of our Jewish students was asked to speak, which was really awesome to see,” Calef said.

Calef said she’ll be meeting with the president to talk again about ways to educate their administration about what Jewish symbols look like, how to identify things that are antisemitic, possible changes and more. “I think the community needs time to heal,” Calef said.