As an organization founded on giving the student body a voice, it is disheartening to see our fellow students resort to racist and misogynistic remarks towards Chancellor Wise regarding the decision to have class in cold weather.
While we champion the use of social media as a platform to express our opinions and viewpoints, it’s important to think before posting. If done tastefully (such as the initial petition), these social media tools are a beneficial way for the student body to express their frustrations to the university. Unfortunately, the conversation became personal and insulting on Twitter. The subsequent trending hashtag and similar Tweets were a disappointing display of ignorance from a vocal minority.
These blatant racist and misogynistic comments are proof of uncivil campus climate. They may not be representative of our own opinions, but each and every one of us represents our student body. As a few recent articles have shown, a few students can paint an ugly picture of our university.
This statement is not a denial of racism or ignorance on our campus. As with any community, there are racial issues that we, as students, constantly struggle with. It’s important to not ignore that there are issues, but rather our willingness to learn from our mistakes and take steps to improve ourselves. Let’s strive to set a good example in educating the campus, instead of dwelling on whether these statements were accurate portrayals of the university.
We challenge all of you to demonstrate what this university really represents. Let’s take this moment to educate our colleagues on why these cases of injustice is unacceptable at UIUC. We implore you to be active in this moment; respond to racist tweets, comment on disrespectful posts, and make your voice be heard. APAC (Asian Pacific American Coalition) will continue to do our part. We are currently collaborating with university partners, student organizations, and other faculty members to make sure this incident doesn’t go unnoticed and the needs of the student body are satisfied.
Established in 1993, the Asian Pacific American Coalition was founded on the principles of giving Asian American students a voice in the face of adversary. Since then, we have accomplished much and expanded our vision to include Asian international organizations.