Student Senate takes lead role in informing students about social injustice

On Tuesday, the Illinois Student Senate passed a resolution resolving that the Senate would take an active role in educating students about the injustices facing North Champaign and the Shadowwood communities.

“The reason this is up is because we want the Senate to take a role in the community,” said senator Zenobia Ravji, graduate student. “It’s not just supporting it, we’re doing it.”

North Champaign is a predominantly African American community where one-fifth of all households make less than $3,000 a year.

The resolution, which passed by a vote of 12-3, also makes note of oppressions faced by the community, including police brutality, substandard housing, neglect from Champaign County, and a generational erosion of standard of living.

Before the resolution came under consideration, several local community members who said they were concerned with the northern Champaign communities came forward to voice their concerns.

Kerry Pimblott, graduate student, said education on this manner, especially in the form of a documentary, would help enlighten students and draw attention to social and economic injustices taking place in Champaign.

“It sets a moral precedent that we want to follow,” said senator Robert Gregg, graduate student. “I think it’s important that we support student initiative activities.”

Dan Weber, sophomore in LAS and senator, said the idea of the resolution was very valuable, and that it would have a direct impact on students.

“It has a lasting and direct impact as long as we can show this video and increase awareness,” Weber said about the possible creation of a documentary highlighting the community’s concerns.

The Illinois Student Senate meets every Wednesday night at 7 p.m. in the Pine Lounge of the Illini Union.