Letter to the Editor: University diversity sacrificed for comic

By Amanda Brode

To Whom It May Concern:

My name is Amanda Brode, and I have been always been a proud alumni of the University of Illinois. While I was there, I was a very vocal member of the Illinois Student government, a member of the Alpha Chi Omega sorority, and was a History Major, Education teaching minor. All of these organizations and programs were ones that embraced the idea of diversity. 

I now teach in the Chicago Public School system at Curie Metro High School, on the southwest side of Chicago. Our school is approximately 85 percent Latino, and also home to many Dreamers (students who have an undocumented status). All students who take my class know that “U of I is the best university,” and I rave about it whenever I get the chance.

Over the past two days, all that I have seen coming into my Facebook feed is postings regarding a blatantly racist comic that was posted in the Daily Illini. One of my former students was even on the news in Champaign speaking about this spectacle. 

I thought the University of Illinois was a school that was a proponent of diversity, and thought that any successful student, no matter what their ethnicity or citizenship, was a welcome member of one of the best schools in the state of Illinois. What am I to say now to my juniors and seniors who sit in front of me and ask me if the University of Illinois is the school for them? 

You have offended many current students at your university, and many potential students. One of UI’s guiding values is “Be inclusive, treat each other with dignity and respect.” Was this temporarily thrown out the window for a mere Halloween comic?

Amanda Brode is a 2003 University graduate.