Student senate discusses stereotype party fallout

By Michael Logli

The Illinois Student Senate spent the majority of Wednesday night’s meeting discussing a resolution written in response to a stereotype party that took place several weeks ago. This resolution calls this event detrimental to the mission of the University and declares that the senate will aid the vice chancellor of student affairs, cultural houses and various multicultural organizations in facilitating discussion about it.

The senate discussed the measure during last week’s meeting as well. By the time the senate moved to vote on the resolution this week, not enough members were present to reach the required quorum for an official vote.

Three freshmen senate staffers called for the senate to support the resolution and were offended in some way by the party.

“This is not about racism, this is about morals and values and where (ISS) stands,” said Carlos Rosa, freshman in LAS and one of the staffers who spoke.

Some senators objected to the resolution because it would infringe on student rights, based on the language. Because the party was off campus and private, the resolution would force the senate and University to step outside their boundaries, said Dan Nugent, graduate student and senator.

“We shouldn’t be rushing to put ourselves in people’s apartments,” he said.

Senators also argued that the resolution infringed on general First Amendment rights to free speech.

“This is just another attempt to break down freedom of speech on this campus and we cannot do that,” said Ben Jarrett, junior in LAS and senator.

Student senator and graduate student Gerald Charleston, an author of the resolution, said the language did not infringe on students and simply encouraged respect for other cultures. He also argued that the event would not have been publicized on Facebook if it was a private party.