Trump is a Standards and Safety Issue at UIC Says Undocumented Student

2016-03-05 trump rally yelling
March 6th, 2016

The University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), Chancellor Michael D. Amiridis, Provost Poser, and Pavilion Director Scheibler must take a stand against Donald Trump’s anti-Latino, anti-Muslim, anti-Black, and anti-immigrant rhetoric.

His rants go against UIC’s core values of freedom, equality, and social justice and the violence he incites endangers its student body.

As an undocumented UIC graduate student, I feel unsafe knowing that Trump along with his followers will be at my university.

It’s become clear that his rallies are not just political events but mobilizing moments for active hate groups to amass.

I, and other students who are at the receiving end of his maniacal statements, are in direct danger.

We already face systemic violence but we’re increasingly becoming targets of attack by his followers on and off Trump’s campaign trail.

Within the last week, a young black woman was pushed and shoved by Trump supporters who yelled racial slurs at her at a rally in Kentucky. While in Michigan, Trump gave his supporters permission to be violent with protestors, saying that he would defend them in court.

For the people targeted by Trump and his followers, increasing policing at the event isn’t how we’ll be made safe. We’ll be made safe by it being canceled.

It is a student safety and a university standards, not a free speech, issue. When Trump similarly rented a venue on a Georgia campus, the university was put in the position of profiling and evicting its own students.

His campaign demanded a group of Black students in attendance be removed from the event and security obliged. Because he rented it, like he is with the UIC Pavilion, “he had the right to tell folks he didn’t want to be there, that they had to leave,” according to the police chief in that instance.

What will that mean for UIC which is currently designated as a Minority Serving Institution? The undergraduate population is 26.4% Hispanic, 23.1% Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander, 7.9% Black, 35.8% White, 9.3% International. In 2015, it applied specifically for recognition as a Hispanic Serving Institution.

Those designations don’t just bring with them extra federal funds. They bring higher expectations of the university environment its leaders maintain. And being a host for hate is below those expectations.

The UIC Pavilion is where I walked across the stage to receive my Bachelor’s degree as an undocumented first-generation college graduate. It is the same stage where I will receive my Masters this upcoming May. I do not want this to be the same stage where Trump threatens my family, my friends, and my community.

In any other instance if known white supremacists and hate groups with a pattern of violence were found out to be planning to rally on campus, the University would likely (or hopefully) be implementing support and safety plans for students. But in this instance, it’s signing rental agreements.

UIC, Chancellor Amiridis, will you stand by idly while students on campus feel unsafe?

Jorge Mena Robles is an undocumented & queer graduate student at UIC who will receive his masters in Latin American & Latino Studies this Spring

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8 thoughts on “Trump is a Standards and Safety Issue at UIC Says Undocumented Student”

  1. Joyce Nelson-Kuykendall says:

    Keep Donald Trump away from Chicago.We have enough problems as it is. Him, we don’t need. Don’t put your students, their families and friends in danger for the price of a hall rental. He is SO NOT WORTH IT.

  2. Basalat Khawaja says:

    University of Illinois in Chicago is a respected and a reputed school in the United States. The Administration, first of all , should not have invited a highly controversial political figure at the campus. A person who has a shady past and does not have regards for wide section of our society. As a result of his hate speeches the society is fragmented in to a wide variety of segments and is divided in to Blacks and Whites, Latinos and African origins, Muslim or Non Muslims etc. On top of that the emotions are running so high that could result in to a free for all kind of clashes thereby resulting in loss of life and a possible damage to public and private property. It will be highly dangerous on the part of the Administration to hold such an event.

  3. Rick Zambuto says:

    Why are we condoning hatred in our city?

  4. mary hestermann says:

    Because of the violence, chaos and hate that are a part of Trump’s agenda and following that he encourages, it is my opinion that he should never be allowed to hold any rally’s or gatherings of any sort at UIC or any collages or schools where young people are at risk! Our history of mass shootings has been growing all the time on campus’s across the nation and we need to protect our children not expose them to this! If Trump wants to make America great again he needs to step down and let the people who really care about our country and our future generations lead us in that direction! One more thought he talks about building a wall, in the movie 2012 the rich people were building Arks to save themselves from the end of the world…….you can bet your life that Trump is one of them!

  5. Velia says:

    I hope the money he’s paying to be there goes towards scholarships, services and resources for the the Hispanic and undocumented students he so hates in the event the really isn’t cancelled.

  6. Graham Peterson says:

    Without specific threats of violence at Friday’s rally, UIC should hold the Trump rally. Canceling it will prove to his supporters that political correctness is totalitarian and that universities are generating it.

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