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Statements

Social Media Postings Do Not Reflect Our Values

June 3, 2020

We have received a number of messages regarding posts under the title “Illini White Student Union.” We have reported this page multiple times in the past and it continues to periodically resurface in slightly different forms. We've reported it again to Facebook. We don’t know who has created the account, and only Facebook has the ability to take the page down.

This page in any form is in opposition to our university values of respect and inclusivity. Our statement from the first appearance of this page in 2015 continues to fully represent the university’s position in every instance it resurfaces. The full original statement is below and can be viewed at https://studentaffairs.illinois.edu/response-social-media.

Nov. 18, 2015

Today’s social media postings under the title “Illini White Student Union” clearly were offensive to our university community. We have notified Facebook of the page and asked for its removal, as it violates the company’s own standards. We also are reaching out directly to those responsible for the postings notifying them that the usage of our name is in violation of our trademark rights and ordering them to cease and desist.

Posts and pages such as these stand in complete opposition to the values of mutual respect and community that define the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. While they may be protected exercises of free speech, they are offensive, divisive and stunningly narrow-minded expressions.

Just because someone has the power to make a statement does not mean that we should give those words weight or value.

Renee Romano

Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs


OIIR Statement Regarding Zoombombing

April 3, 2020

We write to report a series of disturbing incidents of racism, antisemitism, and hate that have occurred in virtual Zoom sessions across campus. In many of these situations, a number of individuals allegedly unaffiliated with the university have engaged in racist, antisemitic, homophobic, sexist, and other derogatory slurs, showed images of swastikas, and made threats of violence. Especially concerning, these attacks have targeted events focused on promoting tolerance and understanding and have directed personal attacks at individuals. This behavior matches patterns nationwide of so-called “Zoombombing,” and the campus is working with authorities to identify the individuals responsible.

We want to share our response in addressing this behavior and provide resources you might find helpful. First, these incidents have been reported to the University of Illinois Police Department, the Office of Student Conflict Resolution, the Bias Assessment and Response Team, campus IT Security, the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, and the Office of the Chancellor. In addition, OIIR and the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs is working with IT Security to enhance security practices to stop attacks in our meetings, courses, and events. In addition, we have hosted virtual space for individuals directly impacted to process this experience.

Whether witnessed in person or later via social media, this behavior is disturbing, jarring, and upsetting. The Office of Inclusion and Intercultural Relations has reached out to individuals directly impacted by these attacks and provided them with resources for additional support. If you have been impacted directly or indirectly by the Zoom attacks, the following list includes available support and reporting resources for students.

These attacks necessitate continued action and conversation. We extend our appreciation to the students, staff, and faculty who have spoken up and out against the bigotry and hatred experienced in these incidents, and we continue to seek justice for all forms of bias, hate, and discrimination. As a campus community, we stand together stronger through our collective voice and actions to speak out against injustice; collectively, we are more powerful than those who might seek to harass, threaten, or dismiss us.

Sincerely,

Shawna Patterson-Stephens, Ph.D.
Associate Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs
Director, Office of Inclusion and Intercultural Relations


Statement Regarding ISG res.03.61: Violations of Human Rights in University Investment

February 12, 2020

Illinois Student Government (ISG) is an independent organization that can pass non-binding resolutions on any topic it chooses. It provides students the opportunity to engage in discourse on issues such as this one that have been debated around the world for centuries, but does not represent the university administration.

ISG resolutions are non-binding, and the university has no plans to act on this one. We are committed to dialogue and to supporting students as they navigate challenging conversations about diversity and inclusion, and we will continue to plan programming designed to build understanding of different perspectives on complex and divisive issues.


Statement on DACA Students at Illinois

September 6, 2017

Today, the White House has formally announced the decision to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, affecting nearly 800,000 people who were brought to the US as children. While we are just beginning to understand the full impact of this announcement, and the uncertainty created by it, this threat to our undocumented and DACA students is a call for us to support, listen to, and advocate for them. Below are resources and statements provided by the University of Illinois:

Resources from the Office of Inclusion & Intercultural Relations (OIIR)

Statement from Chancellor Jones, Interim Provost Wilkin, and Vice Chancellor Young - September 5, 2017

Open Illinois

Open Illinois (open.illinois.edu) provides information, resources and guidance for undocumented, DACA, and those impacted by immigration reform.