The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

Shame on Suburban Express

This weekend, mass transit company Suburban Express made racist and discriminatory statements aimed at more than 20 percent of the University’s student population.

In an email advertising the “Suburban Express Experience,” they wrote, “You won’t feel like you’re in China when you’re on our buses.”

“You won’t feel like you’re in China when you’re on our buses.”

In their statement, which was intended to be an apology to international students, the transportation company claimed the “high percentage of nonnative English speakers places a variety of burdens on domestic students.”

The Daily Illini, whose staff have all been banned from using Suburban Express, would like to speak on behalf of all students because we already have nothing to lose from a company that has nothing better to do than sit around on a computer and terrorize students.

It’s already clear that after Suburban Express reads this editorial, they will create another segment on their so-called “Page of Shame trying to discount The Daily Illini by calling us “uneducated” and “fake news.”

Good one Suburban Express. You really got us there.

As it turns out, it’s really Suburban Express who has been making uneducated, idiotic and defamatory claims regarding many students at the University. And their recent claims about international students have gone too far.

The Daily Illini Editorial Board would like to widely discredit Suburban Express’ statement for its brutal discrimination and false claims against international students.

International students only benefit the University and its student experience. Students, both foreign and domestic, are lucky to learn and grow in such an ethnically diverse and global environment.

We would also like to point out this overwhelming fact and hope that Suburban Express can understand it clearly.

There is not one domestic student who has been denied from the University because an international student has taken their place.

Let us say this one more time so Suburban Express can digest this fact properly.

There is not one domestic student who has been denied from the University because an international student has taken their place.

We would like to encourage students to seek other forms of transportation rather than support a vile company such as Suburban Express. There are many other ways to travel back and forth to the Chicago suburbs this holiday season and we would like you to be more aware before you give your money to this company.

As for Suburban Express, you should really be more careful before you threaten almost a quarter of the student population (yes, we believe that racist statements do count as a threat); it might come back to bite you.


Whats your reaction to the Suburban Express email?

Let us know by submitting a Letter to the Editor or commenting below.

More coverage

News: Suburban Express sends controversial Christmas email

Letter to the Editor: Suburban Express doesn’t know how to apologize

Students on the Suburban Express ‘Page of Shame’ speak out

56 Comments
  • Candice Xiaotang Wang

    First of all, state budget or school funding or whatsoever is a separate issue from just taunting and degrading Chinese students. Their apology is just a condescending and pathetic statement which doubles down the racism. I honestly don’t know why they’re still in business after so many disgusting thing they did.

    • Julie Wong

      Problem is Chinese are SO rude, just like in hong kong they are so indecent. That why hong konger very tired, of the indecent chinese. and in america they are right when they notice how bad the chinese are, otherwise chinese will make life much more difficlt and disgusting. chinese need to learn british royalty values , more polite like hold the door and dont be so disgusting.

      • Candice Xiaotang Wang

        Omg how did you manage to bluntly normalize racism with so much self-righteous? Admirable.
        You’re making me laugh. Your comments only magnified your ignorance. I will recommend my diversity class professor to write you into textbooks. You’re a perfect epitome of racism and ethnocentrism. Keep up the good work royal Julie!

        • Julie Wong

          I recommend chinese to improve themself. im talking from my heart, that I think we can make world better place. time for chinese to learn manners and stop disgusting habits.

          • Korikorihi

            So you think you are NICE and DECENT talking like this? What is wrong with some of Hong Kong people trying so hard to feel a little bit better than Chinese? So pathetic. Well watch your manners before you give others recommendations. Who needs your “wisdom”anyways. Just Keep it to yourself

          • Steve Lee

            How about stop yours first by learning to write proper English and any other language? You have an Anglo first name, but write such poor English. You should be ashamed of yourself and learn to improve yourself first.

      • Drop Yain

        Now we can all see clearly that the rudest person in this comment area is you. But we won’t think that the community you belong to is rude just because you’re rude, which’s the difference between decent people and rude people like you.

      • Steve Lee

        British royalty values are being the parasites of the society, squandering tax payer’s money, & inbreeding among themselves to produce ugly looking royal offspring. And British people themselves are sexpats, pedophiles, beggpackers across Asia, soccer hooligans, & lager louts.

    • Julie Wong

      I will stop comment because I am being THREATEN and HARASS by disgusting peoples. This communist party likers are attacking me and threaten my personal safety. Too many FAKE people on here writing the comment on behalf of the Communist party. This is just prove why disgusting chinese with no morality are so dangerous!!!

  • Vanessa Yin

    I really cannot believe they claimed like that in an email titled ‘Apology’. They dismissed any one including American who learn about cultures and diversity. As soon as one is not a racist, then this company ragard that person as an idiot. News related can be searched through google. Besides discrimination, the company put all the passenger personal information on that shame page, which shows no respect to its customers at all as a company and I believe it’s not legal.

    • Julie Wong

      only weak like black complain about racist, chinese must realize why they are so flawed in the character and improve itself. in hong kong we know this first hand, from rude chinese tourist and rude chinese people all the time. disgusting and no idea of custom and decency, like we had from the british royal customs.

      • rainie

        You’re a complete racist useless person huh? The way you categorized 1.3 billion people under your narrow minded bs is hilarious. Why don’t you go back to kindergarden to learn that Hong Kong belongs to China and you’re a fxxking cxxt. Stupidty makes your pighead grows bigger. LMAOOO

        • Julie Wong

          I will stop comment because I am being THREATEN and HARASS by disgusting peoples. This communist party likers are attacking me and threaten my personal safety. Too many FAKE people on here writing the comment on behalf of the Communist party. This is just prove why disgusting chinese with no morality are so dangerous!!!!

      • Savannah

        Oh my god just stfu I can’t even stand your comments. There’s no easy way to break this to you but you are historically part of China and has a Chinese heritage. Just because you were colonized by the British doesn’t change your DNA or make you royal??? Stop saying your British royal costume. They abandoned you. Lmao. Maybe a lot of you identify with their royality but in reality you are still Asian and nothing’s gonna change that. I beg you have some dignity for yourself. People like you disgust me to the moon and back.

        • Julie Wong

          As many chinese are less educated about the manners and civil society and respectful decency, chinese must learn to improve and learn from more civil place like hon g kong. this is just my opinions.

          • Louise Yeng

            Lol girl you just made my day for your ignorant and narrow-minded words. Are you real though? It really looks like you’re a faked persona here.

    • Artur K

      Julie Wong’s fake profile looks exactly like something Dennis (the Suburban Express owner) would do. It is laughable and pathetic, but no reason to pay attention to sick people like him.

  • Pengcheng Zhou

    Wow. Burdens on domestic students? International students pay higher tuition fees. Those 20% foreign students keep your precious school alive. Correct me if I was wrong.

    • Danny P.

      I guess by burdens he was referring to the unique opportunities to interact with a global community and networking for local students who may not get the chance to travel abroad that much.

  • Film Prof

    “Nearly 20% of U of I students are natives of China…”
    Try TWELVE PERCENT of the student body is from China. (hey, 12% is nearly 20%, right?)

    • Ben Venuti

      Hey Rosie…90% of the campus and alumni favor the Chief. How’s that percentage for you?

      • Film Prof

        1. What does that have to do with the percentage of Chinese students? Prove me wrong.
        2. 90%? Prove it. I’ll wait.
        3. I’m not Rosie, but I’ve been called worse.

        • Ben Venuti

          1. You’re right…12% of the student body is Chinese.
          2. Last poll of students overwhelmingly voted to retain the Chief.
          3. That ugly mug sure looks like Rosie. You could be called Kauffman.

  • Danny P.

    Good luck staying afloat with only Caucasian American students, the only two times I had no choice but to take one of their buses the majority of passengers were actually Chinese. So I actually did feel like I was with people like me: committed, responsible and hard-working international students that make this university great.

  • Bai Haotian

    I’m a husband, father, Army veteran, and proud citizen. I came to this country 8 years ago, I studied hard, worked hard, assimilated hard, fought hard to defend the constitution against all enemies, foreign or domestic; I paid more taxes than an average U.S. Citizen; when I passed through the airport in my uniform everyone came up to thank me for my services to my country. When I see this story, I was heart broken, is this really my country? They might be young and immature, and their English is probably not as fluent. But eight years ago I used to be one of them. So to any Suburban Express stakeholder, am I any less American than you? Do these kids really deserve this?

    Actions like this make our country more divided. Local politicians, y’all need to offer a good solution to prevent things like this from happening in the future. This story needs to be on the national headline.

    • Julie Wong

      My husband go to this school before so he can confirmed, TOO many chinese. why in america, you see CHINESE are taking over it? just like we sufferi n hong kong, the too many of the chinese who bring rude and disgusting habit. chinese must learn t o improve themself. not complain all time for their own problem.

      • rainie

        Can you even type? You seem retarded LoL

      • Gioia Risso

        What’s wrong Julie? Did somebody hit you in your face cuz this seems concussion talk. Come on girl you can do better than this. You’re British. The royal blood runs in your body. You can SPEAK ENGLISH try harder OK?

      • Guochang Zhang

        You know what. Funny thing is that, based on Suburban Express’s notorious history, If you were to take their bus, you would be thrown out of the bus or denied boarding by the driver, due to your pathetic “Royal British English”. Honestly, I’ve never seen a dimwit troll who worked so hard but to slap his/her own face clear and loud. LOL

        • Julie Wong

          No, you dont understand that if you are NICE and DECENT people will not throw you OUT. this is why Chinese will never learn to improve themself.

          • Gavin-Renhao Wu

            Nice last name btw. It really makes your racist comments even more entertained.

          • Steve Lee

            Why don’t learn how to spell THEMSELVES first and improve your English. Ms. Coming-from-an-Ex-British-Colony.

      • Cooper Luo

        As you are not Chinese, regardless opinions you hold, Hong Kong is none of your business, Chinese people is none of your business. Besides, I didn’t see any of Chinese student acts like you claimed. Instead, you act indecently and rude on Internet world. What a decent you are. Your mighty British is replaced by others. Your British Hong Kong colony is dead, I hope so did you. Don’t be a coward.

      • DWang

        That’s part of the reasons why Asian Americans suffer from racism most in America: self-hater like yourself. Did you ever look at a mirror recently? You think you or your family are treated like “honorary red-necks” as you called yourself “Julie” WONG? You are just a pieced of human scum and if you rid of yourself, the society will “improve”.

        • Julie Wong

          no, chinese should just got ridded off this world. that way the CIVIL society will improve.

          • Steve Lee

            Get rid of all the white people in this world I’d rather say. They decimate Native American, They enslaved African Black, They murdered 6 millions of Jews. Everywhere they lay waste every where they have been.

          • DWang

            You need to learn proper grammar and spelling, if you truly want to be a real racist.

          • Laurin

            Nah. In my opinion, she’s right on target. The worst racists I’ve encountered usually seem to have poor grammar and spelling skills. That said, the grammar and spelling is so “off” it does seem like someone TRYING to pretend they are from another Asian country.

          • DWang

            Thanks. Guess you are right! She does seem to purposefully provoke people here.

      • Steve Lee

        Julie Wong or should I call you a troll. As if you aren’t of Chinese ancestry yourself. Sucking up to white to gain favor…uhh?

    • gregoryabutler

      Thank you for your service

      Also, considering the fact that you chose this country, and unlike most US born Americans you put your life on the line to defend this country, you are as American as you can be – in many ways, far more American than the racist cretin who owns this Jim Crow bus company

    • Julie Wong

      I will stop comment because I am being THREATEN and HARASS by disgusting peoples. This communist party likers are attacking me and threaten my personal safety. Too many FAKE people on here writing the comment on behalf of the Communist party. This is just prove why disgusting chinese with no morality are so dangerous!!

  • Julie Wong

    I agree, that CHINESE are so rude and uncivil. As proud British Hong konger we tired of CHINEse flooding over of our land, just like you, CHINESE have indecent behavior. that why are proud of the hong kong superior british royalty values.

    • rainie

      People like you don’t deserve to be a CHINESE descendant. Brainwashed not? White asskisser is the word back at ya. Disrespectful disgusting and disgrace to your mother’s blood

    • Pengchao Wen

      Seems like a person who married a white guy forgot she is a descendant of Chinese. Read and learn if you don’t know Hong Kong is a city of China, so Hong Kong citizens are also Chinese. As I know, it’s people in Hong Kong who got mad because they found mainland had developed so fast and progressively and they gradually lost “superiority”. And you don’t need to worry, fewer people in mainland would be willing to go to Hong Kong now, because Hong Kong is no more than a normal city in mainland.

    • Bozman548452

      U can’t be a hk Chinese;. Their written English is usually fluent. Stop trolling.

  • Artur K

    Julie Wong’s fake profile in the comments looks exactly like something Dennis (the Suburban Express owner) would do. It is laughable and pathetic, but do not pay much attention to it. Dennis is not very stable.

  • Mark

    Looks like Suburban Express temporarily took down its “Page of Shame” with a 403 Permission denial.

    I’m here to let you guys know that you can see a snapshot of that page by searching its URL in Google. It cached a result from Nov. 29 17:36 GMT

  • Sun Kwok

    That apology was no apology, it was yet another insult! So wrong in so many ways, and their response just made it worse! I would suggest boycotting the company entirely and banning their services from campus, but there are often limited means for students to get home.

    I remember when I was a poor college student, I had to take a bus to Oak Brook mall to get home, it was much more convenient than Amtrack.

    As for Julie Wong, her comments are also way off track for someone from Hong Kong. My family is from Hong Kong. I still have family there, I see them regularly, and no one from there talks like this.

    Savannah, The British did not “abandon” Hong Kong, their 99 year lease on the Hong Kong territory (around the time of the Boxer Rebellion in 1898-1889) expired and they returned the territory to China.

    And fellow Illini, please be supportive of each other. You are better than this.

    Sun Kwok, Proud Illini, Class of 1988.

  • Arni Sondahl

    Check out the company’s shame list. It’s just a shit-show.

  • Paul Wilson
  • gregoryabutler

    Basically, these creeps want to go back to the Jim Crow era, when White owned bus companies didn’t have to provide service to passengers of color

    I wonder – when they tell White passengers that their passengers ‘look like you’ – does that mean they discriminate against Blacks, Latinos and South Asians as well as Chinese?

  • Julie Wong

    I will stop comment because I am being THREATEN and HARASS by disgusting peoples. This communist party likers are attacking me and threaten my personal safety. Too many FAKE people on here writing the comment on behalf of the Communist party. This is just prove why disgusting chinese with no morality are so dangerous.

    • Bernard____

      How pathetic is your life that your pretending to be chinese online? Get help son.

  • Dunkin Bleak

    I think it is important to encourage and admit to U of I, rich persons from outside of Illinois including Chinese. The antiquated monastic university system must be funded and preserved, along with the communities that feed off it. Sure I work in IT and understand that by now we should be seeing marked REDUCTIONS in education costs, due to current technologies and means of disseminating information unprecedented in history. But what will that do to professorships and the education industry at places like U of I? How could we ask those people to change – it is so unkind. Somewhere at U of I, there is an undergrad dreaming one day of a TA position, and eventual full professorship, never to leave the confines. How can we pull that dream from under that guy? He might never get published! As an Illinois resident, I would rather have my tax dollars and tens of thousands of dollars in my kid’s tuition go to maintaining the current livelihoods and lifestyles at U of I and community. Really I mean that. ;)

  • crotchpants

    Julie Wong is Dennis Teoppen.
    Stereotypical broken English is a dead giveaway. A sign of mental issues.
    I suggest someone trace the IP address.