University student Jawan Fox attended a party Friday night expecting to have fun. Instead, Fox went home with swastikas drawn on his neck.
Fox, a business sophomore, attended a party at Oakbrook Village for University students. Fox said he was the only African-American person at the party.
About 45 minutes after his arrival, Fox said he found himself being drawn on by his friend, University student Allison Seidel. Fox said he was slightly intoxicated, but aware of what Seidel was allegedly doing.
Fox originally thought she was drawing hearts on his neck, as she allegedly told him. After allegedly acknowledging she had “messed up” the drawing four times, other party attendees allegedly laughed and told Fox that Seidel had drawn a swastika on him.
Fox immediately left the room and went outside, where he asked for a ride home.
Fox said there were about 20 people at the party, most of whom were members of Alpha Gamma Rho fraternity and the expelled Acacia fraternity. Acacia was suspended on campus in March 2015 for hazing.
According to AGR president Mason Tusa, only four members from the fraternity were present at the event, which was a birthday party.
Fox said the party was hosted by business administration student Kimberly “Kimmie” Ezell, who knew several members of the fraternity.
The Daily Reveille contacted Seidel and Ezell for comment, but neither had responded by the time of publication.
Fox said he went to the party with longtime friend Daniel Colosino, a member of AGR. Fox said Colosino watched Seidel draw the swastika on him, and he told Fox she had drawn a heart. Colosino has not responded to requests for comment.
Fox said prior to the incident he did not have negative views of AGR. After, Fox said he feels the fraternity's members are untrustworthy and don’t care about anyone but themselves.
“I felt like complete shit after that. I thought they were my friends,” Fox said. “If they wanted me out of there, they should have just asked me to leave, instead of drawing a swastika on me.”
When he returned home to where he and his brother, environmental engineering senior Jona Fox, live, his brother was in disbelief.
Jona said his brother was “extremely depressed” when he came home after the incident.
Jona and Jawan returned to the party with two other friends, both of whom were white. The group went back “not to start a fight, but to prove a point,” Jona said. Jona wore a Black Lives Matter T-shirt.
When the brothers returned to the party, no fraternity members were still there, Tusa said.
“AGRs had 100 percent no responsibility in this issue,” Tusa said.
Jona wrote a Facebook post about the incident this morning, and said he received a message from Colosino asking him to remove the post. Colosino allegedly then told Jawan AGR had nothing to do with the matter, and that former members of the expelled Acacia fraternity were to blame.
Jawan said Colosino was just trying to save his fraternity brothers by naming Acacia.
The incident comes a little more than two weeks after a diversity seminar given by Lawrence Ross on the topic of systematic racism on campus. The workshop was in the Pete Maravich Assembly Center, and was held primarily for Greek Life members, although it was open to the public.
The swastika-drawing also occurred on the heels of the University’s presidential symposium, “Moment or Movement: A National Dialogue on Identity, Empowerment, and Justice for All,” which concluded Tuesday.
Jona said that when they returned to the party to confront the group, one woman said, “My friends are funny people.” He then asked the people there who thought the swastika was funny.
Someone asked the brothers why they were offended if they aren’t Jewish. The partygoer then asked the difference between someone drawing a penis versus a swastika on Jawan, saying that it was basically the same thing.
The brothers and their group were allegedly kicked out and locked out of the party after the exchange.
“Sorry absolutely doesn’t mean anything … to a swastika,” Jona said. “It’s an international symbol of hate.”
William Taylor Potter contributed to this report.