News Local/State

U Of I Students Expected To Address Racial Tensions On Campus

A drawing of #UIUCstandsWithMizzou near the steps of Foellinger.

Yanis Mokraoui along with students drew a picture of #UIUCstandsWithMizzou showing their support from #BeingBlackAtIllinois Yanis Mokraoui

Students at the University of Illinois will be sharing some of their personal experiences of racial aggressions on campus Thursday evening.

Tau chapter of the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity will host a vigil at 5pm on the Quad outside the Illini Union, focusing on racism and discrimination on campus.

College of Media senior Frantz Jacques helped organize this year’s vigil. He says that in years past the vigil has been held in silence, but this year’s theme, “Outside Looking In” is about giving minority students a voice.

 The silent vigil held last year by Alpha Phi Alpha Tau chapter focusing on sexual assault on campus

Photo Credit: Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc. Tau Chapter 

“Issues such as this shouldn’t be restrained to silence with just posts and pieces of paper with statistics and facts on it," Jacques said. "I wanted to add a little bit of innovation to it by giving students a voice and allowing them to voice their experiences and their struggles.”

Following the protests this week at the University of Missouri over racial tensions there, University of Illinois students have been showing their support on social media, using the hashtag #UIUCstandsWithMizzou.

According to Jacques, the goal of the vigil is to raise awareness of issues such as microaggressions that underrepresented students face on campus. 

“There’s a lot of things that people do and say that they aren’t aware of and hopefully these stories kind of give people a better idea of the experience that we all go through," Jacques said. 

"I just want people to be more conscious of their surroundings and more conscious of their actions.”

Jacques said police officers and university administrators are invited and encouraged to attend the vigil to gain a perspective on minority students’ experience on campus.

The vigil will be held at the Illini Union Anniversary Plaza.