SEC addresses discrimination issues for students, faculty


Jun Suh Park | The Daily Illini

Chancellor Barbara J. Wilson talking about her career on October 7, 2015.

By Christin Watkins

The University encouraged all students who are receiving this aid to register for classes in Spring 2016, as they will cover the lack of state funding, Wilson said.

In light of the recent “White Student Union” Facebook page controversy, Wilson also acknowledged the decision to remove these pages was to protect student safety rather than hinder several individuals’ rights to freedom of speech.

The creator of these pages was not a student of the University, Wilson said.

Issues of diversity continue to be a priority for the administration, and administrators are prioritizing the development of several programs that work to reduce discrimination, Wilson said.

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    “We still have a lot of education to do on our campus,” she said.

    All faculty and members of search committees must complete mandatory training on biases that contribute to discrimination and a lack of diversity, she said.

    “I think we’re doing a lot,” Wilson said. “We could do more. We know we have to do better.”

    Continuing with the meeting agenda, the University’s current background check policy was debated.

    The implementation of the current University background policy should be clearly stated for members of the Senate and University in order to properly debate the issue, said Interim Provost Edward Feser.

    Regarding the current University background check policy, senate members discussed the balance between addressing potential safety issues and preventing discrimination based on criminal background.

    Safety issues potentially concerning students and staff, specifically regarding sexual assault and rape convictions, should be under consideration when determining employment, SEC vice chair Kim Graber said.

    This policy should continue to be in effect “if it can stop a rape, if it can stop a sexual assault,” she said.

    Anita Mixon, graduate student in LAS, agrees that while employment discrimination is an issue, safety should also be a topic of discussion.

    “I think there is a safety issue that has the power dynamic come into play,” she said.

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