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University protects applicants who participate in peaceful protests

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University protects applicants who participate in peaceful protests

Incoming Student gathering at the Campus Tour starting point on Tuesday.

Incoming Student gathering at the Campus Tour starting point on Tuesday.

Constance Sarantos

Incoming Student gathering at the Campus Tour starting point on Tuesday.

Constance Sarantos

Constance Sarantos

Incoming Student gathering at the Campus Tour starting point on Tuesday.

By Madelyn Foster, Staff Writer

Future Illini’s admission to the University will not be negatively impacted by prior disciplinary action resulting from the participation in peaceful protest, the University announced on Feb. 4.

The University joined over 180 universities across the nation, including Harvard, Yale and Stanford, to protect future applicants.

“Future Illini: We support students engaging in dialogue that further informs their worldview,” said Illinois Admissions in a tweet. “Non-academic disciplinary action as a result of participating in peaceful protest won’t affect a student’s admission decision.”

Those in the hiring process for University jobs will also be unaffected by participating in protests, said Daniel Mann, interim associate provost for enrollment management and director of student financial aid, in an email.

This statement comes in the wake of the Never Again Movement, a gun control movement ignited by the activism of students who survived the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.

Alex Garcia, computer engineering student at the University of California-San Diego, maintains the movement’s website, which tracks universities who have made statements similar to the one released by the University.

Some high school students who wish to participate in the #NeverAgain movement fear discipline from school administrators, the website says. Garcia said university admission offices especially have the power to reassure their applicants and encourage them to “respectfully and peacefully perform their civic duty.”

“For some of them, the fear of any sort of disciplinary actions from their current schools will affect any current or potential admission to a university of their choice,” Garcia said on the website.

The University of Illinois Police Department released a statement Feb. 14 regarding police action in peaceful protests.

John Brown, UIPD lieutenant, said in a University blog post that demonstrators have a constitutional right to express themselves, but do not have the right to harass, block paths or threaten the safety of others.

Making arrests or implementing crowd control measures is always a last resort, he said.

“It goes without saying that violence of any kind cannot be tolerated,” Brown said. “If those things happen, we’re obligated to take some sort of action.”

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