Top 10 moments of the semester
May 8, 2017
As the semester draws to an end, take a look back at the memorable moments, in chronological order:
1. Inauguration of Donald Trump
Donald Trump was inaugurated as the 45th president on Jan. 20, sparking both protest and celebration on campus. During the inauguration, University organizations gathered to discuss the Trump administration. While some organizations such as Illini Progressives and Illini Democrats believed the outcome of the election inspired them to revamp their party and give back to the community, Illini Republicans remained optimistic about the inauguration by creating new ideas and conversation.
2. Women’s March
On Jan. 21, the Women’s March on Washington sparked protests across the country, including Chicago and downtown Champaign. With the intention of showing solidarity among all women, over 5,000 people in the Champaign area gathered and listened to a lineup of speakers encouraging women to fight for their rights and run for office. The purpose of the march was to show support for diverse groups of women who are demanding racial, gender and social equality.
3. Trump’s immigration ban
After Trump’s executive order to ban predominantly Muslim countries from entering the U.S., the College of Law held a panel about the limitation of immigrants in the Middle East on Feb. 4. Hundreds of people attended the event to investigate the impact that the order will have on the campus. Among the UI administration discussing the immigration ban, College of Law Dean Vikram David Amar said he wants to continue to plan more conversation regarding Trump’s presidency in the future.
4. Cotton Club weekend
Sponsored by the Central Black Student Union, this remains the biggest weekend in the African-American community. The weekend consisted of a fashion and variety show to display and celebrate black culture. As part of the variety show, students paid homage to African-American artists and musicians as part of “Cotton Club” at the end of Black History Month. This year’s theme was Showtime at the Apollo. Events took place Feb. 17 and Feb. 18, and students had the opportunity to imitate artists such as TLC and Ludacris.
Known as the “Unofficial St. Patrick’s Day” at the University, students celebrated in various ways on March 3. The weekend celebrations resulted in the death of a 23-year-old student, Jonathan Morales. Additionally, with the stricter regulations implemented at the local bars on campus, businesses had a low turnout.
6. March for Science
On April 22, over 5,000 people in the Champaign-Urbana community gathered for the March for Science, where protesters campaigned for the government to keep funding science programs. Similar to the 400 marches that were happening all over the world, the organizers wanted to make theirs different by discussing the issues in Champaign. As a result, participants marched into downtown Champaign and circled back to the Orpheum Children’s Science Museum.
7. Penguin at KAM’S
On April 28, The Wave Foundation, an organization that helps engage and educate people about aquatic life, partnered with KAM’S to raise money to support penguin conservation. Because these African penguins are endangered, KAM’S decided to charge a cover of $3 and donated all proceeds to the foundation.
8. Altgeld chimes discontinued indefinitely
The Altgeld Chimes bell tower’s players were told on March 19 that the tower would be closed indefinitely due to repairs that needed to be done to the building. While construction on the tower has begun, players are unaware when and if they will be returning.
9. Campus Student Election Commission controversy
This year’s student election faced a lot of controversy when candidate Trayshawn Mitchell was left off the ballot due to technical issues. After Mitchell filed a complaint about the Campus Student Election Commission, Renee Romano, vice chancellor for student affairs, decided that a re-election was necessary. On May 1, the Campus Student Election Commission released the unofficial results citing Trayshawn Mitchell as the winner.
10. Nick Offerman set to speak at commencement ceremony
University alumnus Nick Offerman announced that he will be speaking at this year’s commencement ceremony on May 13. The University hinted at Offerman becoming the commencement speaker through a series of tweets referencing Offerman’s character, Ron Swanson in “Parks and Recreation.” The announcement came after students led a campaign for former President Barack Obama to speak at the ceremony.