Students walk at Quad in solidarity with UI student

Students walk at Quad in solidarity with UI student

URBANA — A Native American student, Xochitl Sandoval, who recently wrote about the anguish bought on by still seeing images of the retired, but not gone, Chief Illiniwek, told a group of community members about her concerns about the Chief.

“It means a lot to me personally that you took your time to be here,” she said. “This issue isn’t about me. This issue is about the Chief.”

She was among 77 people who took part in “Walk with Xochitl” on Tuesday evening on the University of Illinois Quad. Participants walked around the Quad for about an hour.

Sandoval gathered the walkers in a circle and sang a song during the event.
The event was organized by the Native American Indigenous Student Organization to show support for Sandoval.

University of Illinois Professor Emeritus Stephen Kaufman called on the campus administration to eliminate the playing of music associated with Chief Illiniwek at athletic events.

“The job is not done,” Kaufman said. “Chief Illiniwek is your swastika.”

Chris Castle, the president of the Native American Indigenous Student Organization, said he organized the event in response to Sandoval’s open letter to Chancellor Phyllis Wise in an effort to bring about what he called a “better campus climate.”

“We feel it is important to show solidarity for everyone who does not feel included in the community at the University of Illinois, or has been underrepresented or has experienced prejudice here on the campus,” Castle said.

Members of the UI’s transgender community also took part in the walk.

“I don’t think the university should be using the Chief any more. It’s a prejudiced mascot. It’s a racist mascot,” said Stephanie Skora of Palatine.
“It’s high time the university take that extra step and get rid of all the other uses of it. The indigenous community and the Native American community supported the transgender community when we were protesting for health care. So we are here to honor the bonds that were built and to participate in the coalition of minority groups to make sure that everybody has a voice.”

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khbdab wrote on April 08, 2014 at 10:04 pm

Ridiculous. In her letter to the University president according to WCIA 3 news, she considered suicide because of her anguish over the mere image of Chief Illiniwek. If something as simple as a picture could cause her that drastic of a reaction, her issues are far deeper than The Chief.

justFYI wrote on April 08, 2014 at 11:04 pm
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"music associated with Chief Illiniwek at athletic events." YOU MEAN THE 3-in-1?! Why don't we just remove music all together at events? We can just sit in silence. Maybe to mix it up we can all hold hands and sing Kumbaya! It'll get people sooooooooooo pumped up!

I know what will solve this.

Step 1. Put hands on neck.

Step 2. Forcefully pull down, to remove head from where the sun does not shine.

Step 3. Slap yourself about 99 times in order to re-acclimate yourself to the real world.

Step 4. Stop being a wuss, become a productive member of society, and suck it up.


alabaster jones 71 wrote on April 09, 2014 at 1:04 am
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One of the saddest aspects of this whole situation is that, assuming her future prospective employers Google candidates before hiring, she will probably have a hell of a time finding a job.

Fairly or not, most employers will see that she thought about killing herself over a mascot, close the book on her as an unstable head case, and move on to the next candidate.

BruckJr wrote on April 09, 2014 at 9:04 pm

The University of Illinois hired James Kilgore.

alabaster jones 71 wrote on April 12, 2014 at 10:04 pm
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Well, maybe she can be a diversity representative for a university or something like that.  That might be the only job she will be able to get now.

Dawnzer wrote on April 09, 2014 at 9:04 am

Absurd! Seven years ago, it was a sad day when we succumbed to weakness and removed the chief from our sporting events due to a minority of protesters. We held the chief in high regard as we do today. There is no way I will consider not wearing my Illini shirt bearing the chief symbol for a small group of nuts. If you find the chief repulsive, attend another University. Wait, maybe a red bird, a boiler maker, a spartan might be offensive as well. Deal with it, get your education, shut your mouth.

UIUCHoopFan wrote on April 09, 2014 at 9:04 am

Another squeaky wheel wanting grease!  Let the lines form.  Hey overweight people!  Rally for more seating space at Memorial Stadium and The Assembly Hall.  Hey vertically challenged individuals!  Gather and protest the high ceilings and low floors found in overabundance everywhere!  Those with arachnaphobia.....lobby to have a personal security guard, armed with a can of Raid, at your side at all times in order to defend you from the itsy bitsy spider!

Miss Sandoval has her 15 minutes of fame that will plague her for the rest of her life.  Good luck getting a job after the suicide comments broadcast on the news.  Anyone who considers such an act may hurt someone else in the process. 

The additional comments on the news from UIUC faculty regarding students wearing shirts / sweatshirts with Chief Illiniwek on them and not knowing what it even means.....I assure you they know exactly what it means and how they feel about it. Why?  Many of them have parents who are alumni of The University of Illinois.  They were raised with the symbol and taught to respect not just The Chief but the high ideals associated with the image.  Alumni = Donations. 

The Chief will never die!


Vincent wrote on April 09, 2014 at 11:04 am

You know, it's funny.  I don't remember anyone threatening to kill himself over the Chief back when he was the actual mascot.  The school got rid of him before this woman even entered college.


So now, people are threatening to kill themselves because of seeing students wear shirts with the word "CHIEF" written on them.


Why, it's almost as though, the more we give in to these people's demands, the more demands they make, and the more ridiculous their demands become.


I can think of a very simple solution to this problem, and it doesn't require us to do anything at all.  Anyone want to guess what it is?

yates wrote on April 11, 2014 at 9:04 am

So a whole 77 students turned out to support the Chief hater. That's out of 30,000 plus students, right? Was this even worth another headline?

Illiniwek222 wrote on April 11, 2014 at 5:04 pm

Does she get upset when she sees a Jeep Cherokee?

Is it worse when she sees a Grand Cherokee??