A big mistake

By Sarah Quinlan

As a proud alumnus of the University of Illinois (or at least I used to be), I just wanted to inform you of the mistake that the University has made by not fighting harder for Chief Illiniwek and the grand tradition he represents. As a Sioux descendant and as an American, seeing Chief Illiniwek representing the proud beginnings of this great nation by performing a ceremonial dance in full regalia brings me to tears. The fact that you would take that away sickens and embarrasses me. I don’t even want to associate with the University anymore because I am ashamed of your behavior. There is nothing hostile and abusive about celebrating the origins of our country, our state name, and our university. Chief Illiniwek is a part of every Americans’ heritage, whether they have Native American blood in them or not. By getting rid of the Chief, you’re telling the world that what the NCAA is trying to do is okay. You’re making it okay for Americans to push the very idea of Native Americans to the back of their minds, and eventually forget about them. What a disgrace to our country and our heritage to do something like that. Shame on you all.

Sarah Quinlan

University alumnae ’03