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Statement on Stereotypes and Bias on Campus

Statement on Stereotypes and Bias on Campus

Recent events on campus have raised concerns about the presence and prevalence of the portrayal of cultures in stereotyped and derogatory ways. Although we recognize and acknowledge these expressions as constitutionally protected, we also recognize and acknowledge the need and role of vigorous and respectful debate about these and other expressions. In that vein, Student Affairs and the Office of Inclusion & Intercultural Relations believes that these displays are inconsistent with our commitment to creating a welcoming community. We encourage the individuals and groups involved to consider the impact their choice of expression and actions may have on fellow students and the campus as a whole. We share the belief that cultures are not costumes, and American Indian caricatures and stereotypes are not respectful to the peoples and lands on which the University of Illinois was founded. To that end, we believe that upholding these values for our community helps ensure that all members can feel safe and included.

As the Office of Inclusion & Intercultural Relations and Student Affairs, we will continue to address expression that we disagree with by raising questions and expressing our concerns. In addition to meeting with individuals and groups directly, we are also committed to opening larger campus dialogues about inclusion and community. Campus community members who witness bias incidents and/or hate crimes are encouraged to report them to the Bias Incident Investigation Team at go.illinois.edu/Intolerance or by calling the Dean of Students office at 217-333-0050.

October 29, 2014