Not My University

The African-American struggle for both inclusiveness and representation at the University of Illinois has a long-running background, dating back prior to the start of Project 500—a public demand to admit more Africimg_5771an-American and Latino students into the university.

An inspirational video Project 500 Then and Now, created by other UIUC students, explicitly shows in what ways this is true.

But the dance of balancing African-American inclusiveness as well as the autonomy of having strength in numbers is a delicate one that requires a combination of administrative savvy and a grassroots-styled persuasion of people of color. As one of the  Black bodies in a predominantly White institution, one cannot help but wonder what exactly the University of Illinois means when it heralds, “Inclusion” as if students are impersonalized assorted flavors of some politically correct cocktail.

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Mental Health Matters


This photo represents the translucent haze that anti-depressant drugs can leave.
This photo represents the translucent haze that anti-depressant drugs can leave.

As a group, we chose to use an alternate host for our website to create a final project more unified with our topic and theme of Mental Health Awareness. The site we used, which can be found here, allowed more room for creativity, which we used to design a stress-free space to present our information. The animated GIF on the homepage has been scientifically proven to help calm anxiety, which allows the reader to access our information in a calm state of mind. This was important to us because, as our title states, #MentalHealthMatters.

Voices from the Field

On an off the field, student athletes serve as role models. Athletes, as public figures, have a platform that can be used to publicly voice opinions.  Historically, athletes have been using this platform to stand up for social issues. One of the most historic athlete protests took place at the 1968 Mexico City Olympics when two runners held up a “black power” fist. Since then, athletes have been taking a stand.

Recently, football player Colin Kaepernick took a kneel during the national anthem at a game. He kneeled in solidarity of the country’s racial injustice. His protest has lead many more teams and athletes to do the same.

When student athletes are brought into the public light, the question is posted, are athletes role models? We focused on the voices of student athletes and coaches to determine their views on this matter. You can view our website here.