ISS passes resolutions on Three-in-One, University memes page

At Wednesday night’s meeting, the Illinois Student Senate passed a resolution that supports retaining the “Three-In-One.”

Three non-senators appeared at the meeting to express their support for the song, which is often performed by University bands at athletic events. The Three-In-One sets the University apart from other colleges, said Alyssa Arkin, junior in music education.

“The Three-In-One is a medley of compositions,” she said. “Not many schools can say they have songs written for them by major composers.”

Eliminating the Three-In-One would impact students in band, students in general and alumni, said senator emeritus Devin Bergman. He likened eliminating the Three-In-One to “spitting in every alumni’s face that has ever come here.”

Sam Barghi, sponsor of the resolution and ISS vice president-external, acknowledges that the Three-In-One and the chief are linked in some students’ minds.

“If it (weren’t) for the chief, we wouldn’t be having this discussion right now,” Barghi said. “But the NCAA never once referred to the Three-In-One at all.”

The senate voted to pass the resolution supporting keeping the Three-In-One.

Wednesday’s meeting had the highest number of members of the public comment on a resolution of any ISS meeting, said Damani Bolden, senator and sophomore in ACES. The high turnout is largely a result of a resolution denouncing the University of Illinois’ memes page.

Bolden wrote the resolution because the memes page contained some racially insensitive pictures and comments. The resolution did not call for taking down the page; it instead advocated for distancing the page from the University.

“This resolution only reiterates our University’s stance on diversity,” he said. “It’s trying to push away our name as far as possible from this Facebook page.”

Many minority students find some of the memes from the page offensive. Alisia Goines, sophomore in LAS, said that some of the memes were targeted at particular minority groups.

“Some of them were blatantly racist, particularly the ones that were … geared toward the African American community,” she said.

Jose Ortiz, sophomore in LAS, said he generally enjoys memes, but some of them from this page went too far.

“On this campus, racism is rampant,” he said. “The page should be renamed and should be taken off. I don’t want to be associated with a University who is associated with these offensive memes. It provides a space for discrimination.”

Some senators were hesitant to vote in favor of this resolution because they feared it may hinder free speech.

“The page clearly has a disclaimer that they’re not associated with the University,” said Ramy Cohen, Engineering senator. “And I actually think that this page is good for diversity … this page represents what students feel. I think it would be better for you to know what people are thinking and for you to address those issues.”

Despite concerns of violations of freedom of speech, the sponsors of the resolution assured the senate that this resolution is about distancing the University from the page, not censoring content.

The senate passed the resolution.