ISS passes Campus Monuments and Landmarks initiative, places cultural flags at ARC, CRCE and Ice Arena


By Joshua Winters

The Illinois Student Senate allocated around $6,800 to add world flags and commemorative plaques at the Activities and Recreation Center, Campus Recreation Center East and the Ice Arena to celebrate the University’s cultural diversity. 

The senate passed this resolution with a vote of 19-2 on Wednesday, April 2 and the plaques and flags are scheduled to be put on display in late April or early May.

All locations will be given a world flag, as well as a commemorative plaque recognizing the tenth assembly of the student senate, who passed the resolution. In addition to the flag and plaque, the ARC will also receive a cultural heritage mural, which will be placed on the second floor.

“Our hope is that students will enjoy the addition of this colorful display and be proud that they are part of a campus with such a rich opportunity to be involved with people from around the globe,” said Tracy Kleparski, assistant director of inclusive recreation at the ARC.

Student senate Vice President-External Carey Ash, a joint law and doctoral student in education policy, organization and leadership, proposed a campus beautification initiative in an effort to give back to the campus tangibly. Ash sees the campus monuments and landmarks initiative as the largest and most visible celebration of the University’s diversity to date. 

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    “The inspiration to hang the ARC’s cultural heritage mural and the other venues’ cultural heritage flags came from Chicago O’Hare’s Hall of Flags in terminal three,” Ash said. “The ARC’s architectural design is nearly identical to terminal three, so I thought it fitting to celebrate our campus’ cultural diversity in a way that is uniquely identifiable with our state and the University of Illinois.”

    To secure the $6,800 budget for the project, Ash had to make sure the initiative would be supported by several key members of the student senate, as well as representatives from Campus Recreation. Along with Student Body Treasurer Brian Siegel, Ash met with members of Campus Recreation where he received overwhelming support for the initiative. “Our goal from day one has been to create a warm, welcoming Illinois family,” said Siegel, senior in Media and former Illini Media employee. “With our campus growing from an international standpoint, it is important for the students’ representative government to show its unyielding support for a global community.”

    The resolution to establish campus monuments and landmarks was un`animously approved by the student senate’s Financial Affairs Committee, and received widespread support when it reached the senate floor. It was approved after an hour and a half of debate. 

    Ash is optimistic that University students will appreciate the new displays of the University’s pride in its diversity. 

    “I am confident the student body will appreciate the visible reaffirmation of our commitment to diversity,” Ash said. “The campus monuments and landmarks I’ve worked to establish will serve as reminders of our highest principles and values for generations to come.”

    While there are currently no plans to expand the Campus Monuments and Landmarks initiative past its initial three locations, the student senate could move to expand the project in future assemblies. 

    Joshua can be reached at [email protected]