Like other universities, Eastern Illinois University has been made aware of behaviors, statements, or online activities of current or incoming students linking them to alleged bigotry, prejudice, and intolerance. Though such instances have been nominal, it’s important to acknowledge our awareness of them, and the efforts EIU regularly makes as a university to address them.
Higher education exists, in part, to help abate feelings of discrimination by creating an atmosphere of shared space, collaborative learning, and mutual growth. For many students, their time at university is one of self-reflection, and influential to positive, personal change. EIU embraces its mission to foster opportunities for such learning, and in inspiring all of our students to become responsible citizens and leaders.
In today’s climate, we hope you’ll agree—one thing that absolutely cannot be canceled is opportunity. The opportunity to learn. To grow. To understand that we are irrefutably connected to our fellow global citizens. To realize that together, we are responsible for making the world we share a place where our diverse backgrounds amplify our understanding of one another in the most meaningful, productive ways possible.
To that end, Eastern Illinois University’s role is twofold: 1) to educate those who may be ignorant to the inequities experienced by various populations, and 2) to equip those we educate with the tools and resources they need to speak up for others and work toward diminishing and abolishing those same inequities.
The journey toward thoughtful, compassionate understanding is unique for every person. For some, that journey may begin at home, or within their own communities. For others, that journey may begin in an EIU classroom. When the latter occurs, EIU stands prepared to meet the challenge of making our world a more thoughtful and compassionate place for us all.
Thank you to those who have expressed your concerns, and for your support as we continue to work toward our distinct mission.