UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS (WCIA) — A rule has students and faculty proposing a resolution to stop the unofficial chief from being at UI sporting events.
It started when there was a movement to Paint the Hall Chief, at State Farm Arena, at the last home Illini basketball game.
When they got there, they were told protesting isn’t allowed within 20-feet of the building. It’s where some students and staff believe the unofficial chief should stand, instead of being allowed inside the building.
UI games haven’t been the same since 2007. But, the unofficial chief still makes appearances. Is it a sign of endearment or a protest? It’s something undergraduate student Rahul Raju is trying to prove.
“We told them we wanted to protest the chief at the last game, Thursday.”
But, they were denied.
The State Farm Center’s policy states: “Protests may not take place inside the building. In the event of an indoor protest, protestors will be directed to move outside to designated areas.”
“We were shown the State Farm Center’s protest policy. We’re like, alright, if this protest policy exists, why haven’t we enforced it against the chief portrayer, because, that is, at its heart, a protest as well.”
Breelyn Fae has been fighting to keep the unofficial chief at the UI even though she never went to the university. She says she supports it because of her family’s heritage.
“What if I wear it? Then what is it? It’s not a protest. It’s a native wearing native attire and you can’t do anything. It’s my First Amendment right.”
Raju says, in the past, the UI Campus Center has been very open to ideas of moving on from the chief. He suspects, this time will be the same.
“I think we’re optimistic.”
Staff and students who wrote the resolution plan to bring this to the university on Monday for the campus senate meeting.
The Native American House encourages people to get rid of their chief gear by swapping it for non-chief clothing. You can take your chief apparel there and they’ll give you a different shirt. You can also do it at the Women’s Resource Center.