Happy Homecoming and Halloween!

 On October 25th, students with indigenous backgrounds, Native American House staff, and alumni came to Illinois Student Government detailing the harm caused by the continued use of the Chief in University-sponsored events, particularly in the Homecoming Parade. After listening to our peers, we issued a resolution taking a stand against cultural appropriation by boycotting the parade. As student leaders, we understand that progress requires continuous effort. We will continue to fight for a truly inclusive campus by elevating the voices of our indigenous students and allies, coordinating with our campus partners, and lobbying the administration to take appropriate action.

October is not just for Homecoming though. It also brings Halloween, and with it more inappropriate representations of cultures and minorities. These representations range from students in blackface to "tacos and tequila" themed parties. This year, we would like to give you some tips to make sure you're respecting everyone at Illinois:

  1. Avoid costumes that play into cultural stereotypes, especially when it’s not your own culture.
  2. Avoid accessories that could be described as "tribal" or "ethnic”, such as Native American headdresses or sombreros.
  3. Be cautious of making light of struggles faced by other minority groups, such as deportation, genocide, and sexual assault.
  4. Remember that struggles such as homelessness or mental illness are harsh realities for many, not costumes to be taken on and off at will.

 If you are questioning whether your costume is offensive, it may be best not to wear it. We also encourage those hosting themed parties throughout the year to consider these tips. Remember, although you may think it's just a costume or that you're exercising your right to freedom of expression, to many people it's a trivialization of their culture.

Have a safe, respectful, and responsible weekend!

In Orange and Blue, 

Student Body President Raneem Shamseldin & the Committee on Diversity and Inclusion

Illinois Student Government

This mailing approved by:
Office of the Chancellor

sent to:
Graduate Students & Undergraduate Students
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