Deans to host listening session, prepare for May 2

By Anna Spoerre, @AnnaSpoerre

Threats of violence next week have spurred administrators to organize meetings and services aimed at bolstering the safety of the campus community.

Students can join a listening session with interim Provost Susan Ford from 5 to 6:30 p.m. Thursday at the Student Center Auditorium, said Lorrie Lefler, assistant to Lori Stettler, vice chancellor for student affairs. All of the deans have been invited as well, she said. 

Stettler scheduled the open forum following a conversation between her and more than a dozen students Monday morning in response to a racist YouTube video published last week that called for lynchings of black students May 2.

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Students who plan to attend are encouraged to express any hate-related concerns, such as racism, sexism as well as worries about the state of Illinois’ higher education. 

Ford also reminded faculty at a meeting Tuesday that classes should occur as planned on May 2, according to an email obtained by the Daily Egyptian from Meera Komarraju, dean of the college of liberal arts.

The email advised instructors to hold classes as usual, noting that some students have contacted administrators expressing concerns about not being able to attend classes.

MORE: Students plan to work with administration on racism response video

Any instructors planning on canceling classes are being asked to submit an Absence Request form in advance.

A “Safe Zone” tent will also be set up behind the new Student Services Building on Monday, Komarraju wrote. Departments also have the option of designating their own offices as safe zones.

Anna Spoerre can be reached at [email protected] or 618-536-3325.

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