News Local/State

U Of I Issues Statement Condemning ‘Offensive, Bigoted, and Insulting’ Email From Bus Company

Danita Brown Young

University of Illinois Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs Danita Brown Young was one of three administrators who signed a statement condemning an email from the private bus company Suburban Express. University of Illinois

University of Illinois administrators have released a statement condemning a private bus service for what they say are “offensive, bigoted and insulting” remarks in a recent attempt to solicit business.

Suburban Express recently sent an email to its customers that read in part, “You won’t feel like you’re in China when you’re on our buses.”

About 6,000 Chinese students are currently enrolled at the University of Illinois Urbana campus.

The statement from the U of I, posted to its Student Affairs website, also said that the messages from Suburban Express were “in direct opposition to the values of this university.”

The statement was signed by Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Danita Brown Young, Director of International Student and Scholar Services Martin McFarlane, and Vice Provost for International Affairs Reitumetse Obakeng Mabokela.

Suburban Express is a private bus company that provides service from Champaign-Urbana to the Chicago suburbs and O’Hare Airport.

The company sent a follow-up email Sunday, which stated in part, "We made a remark based on the fact that our competitor handles mostly Chinese international students. The remark is being interpreted as a slap in the face of all non-caucasians for some reason, and that's not how it was intended."

Screen shots of both emails from Suburban Express are below.