UF student faces charges for vandalized Jewish fraternity sign

The University of Florida Police Department filed a sworn complaint on Tuesday against a 24-year-old UF student in connection with the vandalization of a pro-Israel sign displayed by a Jewish fraternity on campus.

Simon Nicholas Lowry, a graduate student and teaching assistant, is facing two misdemeanor counts of criminal mischief.  In addition, he was issued a trespass warning, which bars him from campus for up to three years unless successfully appealed. Finally, all criminal incidents are referred to the Office of Student Conduct and Conflict Resolution.

On Oct. 23, UFPD responded to reports that an “ΑΕΠ STANDS WITH ISRAEL” banner displayed in the front lawn of Alpha Epsilon Pi had been vandalized. Having staged several cameras in the area, UFPD identified Lowry. In an interview with police, he admitted to vandalizing the sign.

“This student’s actions were deliberate and unacceptable and will not be tolerated at the University of Florida,” UFPD Chief Linda Stump-Kurnick said. “Free speech is protected. Vandalism is not. And we will do our very best to ensure that the University of Florida is a welcoming place for all.”

In consultation with the Office of the State Attorney, Eight Judicial District; and the Uniform Crime Reports team of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, this case is being treated criminally as an act of vandalism under Florida law.

Published: November 9th, 2023

Category: News