On September 9, 2016, a “Rally for a Transformed University” was held at the alma mater on UIUC campus. It corresponded with the release of a list of demands. Led by Black Students For Revolution, the coalition of student organizations listed below signed on to the demands, which we are reprinting here.
In light of the current state of higher education within the state of Illinois and across this country, we, the undersigned student organizations of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, have decided to issue a call to action. We recognize this university as an extension of a colonial system that profits from the exploitation of historically-looted communities. We also recognize that, as students, we have a unique responsibility to confront this system. Our demands are neither comprehensive, nor do they address entirely new issues. They represent a collective student voice, speaking out against violence, oppression, and institutional inaction. These demands are but one effort within a larger, international student movement that will radically transform this University and higher education throughout the United States and the world.
1. WE DEMAND that UIUC immediately and permanently halt tuition hikes.
2. WE DEMAND that the racial and economic demographics of UIUC students, faculty and staff reflect the racial and economic demographics of Illinois by 2032.
3. WE DEMAND that all on-campus sexual predators, especially those affiliated with the Greek Life system, face severe penalties for all forms of sexual violence that occur within their houses.
4. WE DEMAND that UIUC make a permanent commitment not to consolidate or combine the LGBT Resource Center and Women’s Resource Center, in addition to the continued autonomy of all cultural centers and ethnic studies programs.
5. WE DEMAND that UIUC collect and track gender- and sexuality-based demographics as an official population.
6. WE DEMAND that queer and trans students be given priority for all university sponsored all-gendered housing options and that genderqueer and trans students be offered these spaces at a discounted rate corresponding with the less expensive standard housing option.
7. WE DEMAND that UIUC hire a truly independent consultant to review the salaries of all University employees in order to detect and correct gender- and race-based pay inequality
8. WE DEMAND a living wage for all University employees and subcontracted workers and that this rate be indexed for inflation.
9. WE DEMAND all employees of UIUC have access to at least six months of paid parental leave following the birth or adoption of a child.
10. WE DEMAND that UIUC cease and desist job outsourcing and hire directly from underrepresented populations in Urbana-Champaign and the surrounding communities.
11. WE DEMAND that UIUC work towards bridging the gap between this campus and the surrounding Black community of Urbana-Champaign.
12. WE DEMAND that UIUC implement fair-chance admissions and employment policies for those with past conviction records (Ban the Box).
13. WE DEMAND that UIUC release an annual, easily accessible, and comprehensive report of all its investments and move to divest from socially and politically negligent corporations.
1. Black Students for Revolution
2. SJP – Students for Justice in Palestine
3. Planner’s Network
4. MEChA – Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlan
5. AASSCC – African American Studies Scholars Cultural Committee
6. CUTES – Campus Union for Trans Equality and Support
7. UMMA – United Muslim & Minority Advocates
8. GEO – Graduate Employees Organization
9. MSU – Mixed Student Union
10. Women of Pride
11. BLM-CU (community) – Black Lives Matter – Champaign Urbana
12. BPNJ (community) – Build Programs, Not Jails
13. SACC – Students for an Arab Cultural Center at Illinois
14. The Gharbzadegi Art Collective
15. Allies and Accomplices for Racial Justice
16. Men of Impact*
17. Students Against Sexual Assault
18. My Sister’s Keeper*
19. STEM Boycotts the War Machine
20. NAISO – Native American and Indigenous Student Organization
21. SECS – Students for Environmental ConcernS
22. WORD – Writers Organizing Realistic Dialect
23. ASA – Arab Student Association
24. First Followers
25. UIUC Beyond Coal
26. Black Rose/Rosa Negra – Central Illinois (community)