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  Why is it we segregate ourselves by race? - Sandra Weissinger  
  What exactly is the hip-hop community all about? - Kristin Catral  
  What do you think Soul Ingredient means to Black students? - Mark Reynolds  
  What are the demographics of the current Latino population? - Nora Garcia  
  What are the two different views on the history of Chief Illiniwek? - Lolade Akintunde, Chioma Onyenso, Damon Coleman, Melanie Sillas  
  Do the current issues of the GRIOT reflect issues in the present black community? - Annice Fisher  
  How Can an Anti-Chief Fan Exist in a Pro-Chief World? - Eric Dangoy  
  We assumed this crowd to be into gothic dress, body piercings and tattoos, to be vegan eaters, to listen to alternative rock and folk music, to be anti-war activists, and to sometimes be involved in marijuana incidents. Finally, we assumed that parents of these students came from highly educated backgrounds, meaning that there are few first-generation students. - Angela Graham, Suzanne Rinehart, Barbie Torbeck  
  Are students going (to cultural houses) for academic reasons or for comfort and support? - Herb Jones  
  It should be noted that with the exception of a few, many transfer students retain the friendships they had prior to entering UIUC and have made few substantial friendships while enrolled. Why is this? - Sandra Weissinger  
  What is the culture like at Allen Hall/Unit One? - Angela Graham, Suzanne Rinehart, Barbie Torbeck  
  If it is not the University’s task to educate United States citizens to become global citizens whose is it? - Rene Bangert  
  Has the university’s space been racialized? - Sharrell Hibbler  
  How do underrepresented students articulate the university mythology? - Sandra Weissinger  
  The University of Illinois has the 6th largest population of international students in the country. However, how are the international students treated once they are here? - Rene Bangert  
  Herman cites that there has been a "...overall decrease in the number of minority students enrolled in universities and college in the United States." WHY? Is this because of cuts to federal educational grants? Where are these "would-be" college students at? - Sandra Weissinger  
  Have you ever heard of any reasons for Blacks to specifically sit at this spot on the quad? - Daniel Williams  
  Through the survey I would try to record, for instance, to what degree an anti-Chief fan is tolerant of pro-Chief propaganda and to what degree is a pro-Chief fan tolerant of anti-Chief promotion. - Eric Dangoy  
  What are the social aspects of rapping? - Kristin Catral  
  How do minorities view themselves on the UIUC campus, and do the Cultural Houses here meet their expectations, and if not, why not? - Herb Jones, Ziemowit Mazur, Abel Montoya, Shilana Rairden, Teresa Ramos, Jewell White  
  How does the Japan House interact with the surrounding community? - Ariann Sahagun  
  Why are the Black students the studies of these types of inquiries and not white students? - Daniel Williams  
  Yet, what is done for the international students once they arrive? Do they feel welcome? In fact, do they have many close interactions with Americans that break their stereotypes?
What happens after the recruitment effort that gives off an impression of the welcoming of foreign students? - Rene Bangert
  Do the students that use the cultural houses see themselves as self-segregating? - Herb Jones, Ziemowit Mazur, Abel Montoya, Shilana Rairden, Teresa Ramos, Jewell White  
  Are there parallels between African-American and Latino student activism on campuses? - Nora Garcia  
  What is the purpose of a Living Learning Center on a college campus and what kind of cultures exist within? - Angela Graham, Suzanne Rinehart, Barbie Torbeck  
  I think I am going to focus on the reasons WHY students transfer to the University of Illinois, what their EXPERIENCES are as a transfer student, and lastly, what the University's narrative is about WHO transfer students are. - Anne Maloney  
  My main summary, after reading both the DI and NG articles is this: Diversity is part of the university mission statement, so is the idea of quality. At what point does quality out weigh the need for diversity? How is quality measured and should it be measured using different instruments? - Sandra Weissinger  
  Self-segregation can be witnessed in almost any university space. So, where would a person who wishes to meet people of a different racial/ethnic group go to find such a diverse mix? - Sharrell Hibbler  
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  Fall 2004 freshman included only 410 African Americans, a decrease of 8% and also noted as the lowest in almost ten years. - Sandra Weissinger  
  The Chief appears to have a set routine, which includes a series of toe touches and other movements.  As he does this dance, everyone circled around the gymnasium floor folds his or her arms as a sign of respect. - Lolade Akintunde, Chioma Onyenso, Damon Coleman, Melanie Sillas  
  Lucas admitted that he would be less likely to interact across racial/ethnic lines in settings excluding work and volunteer sites. Lucas refered to interacting with racially diverse people as a tool for academic and career advancement. He did not express other benefits related to racial diversity. - Sharrell Hibbler  
  If any unsuspecting person stumbled upon the quad area of the University of Illinois (Urbana-Champaign), one may discover that certain physical spaces have been “hijacked” by certain racial/ethnic groups. - Sharrell Hibbler  
  The discussions that ensued about hip hop from the members were very interesting; they made many references to “underground” artists and often scoffed at the more mainstream “gangsta” rappers such as Ja Rule and Cam’ron. - Kristin Catral  
  A Venezuela student expressed his incredulity when students asked him if Venezuela is a part of Africa, “I mean, here at least at the University of Illinois, where people are supposedly educated, you would think that the American students would be less ignorant.” Another student mentioned that when he told a girl he was from Europe, she asked him if it was in London. - Rene Bangert  
  The girl fit my assumption: transfer students try harder (take more notes, are more organized) than "regular" students. - Sandra Weissinger  
  Eric, who has a Latina/o perspective, feels he is very aware of racism in predominantly White-controlled institutions and classifies the Chief as racist institutional construct. Joanne also of at least part Latina/o heritage, was taught “at a young age that racism is bad” and readily perceives the Chief as a racially perpetuating false image. - Eric Dangoy  
  Another idea that was prompted through this observation is that maybe it isn't just locations that encourage interaction across racial/ethnic groups. Maybe common interest is a better facilitator of interactions across racial lines. - Sharrell Hibbler  
  In this case, that never-ending dialogue is between two cultures: a college campus in central Illinois and a representation of Japanese culture in the form of a tea garden and gathering house. - Ariann Sahagun  
  Apparently, the student was followed around like he was about to steal something, and then the sales assistant told the black student’s friend he was with that he was being difficult and picky. The assistant also made the comment that “we don’t sell that ghetto ware here,’ assuming since he was black that was what he was looking for. - Angela Graham, Suzanne Rinehart, Barbie Torbeck  
  The reason I choose the University of Illinois was because we had an African American Cultural Program. It was the reason my mother allowed me to go away from her. Honestly, because she felt that the University cared enough about black students to feel comfortable. - Herb Jones, Ziemowit Mazur, Abel Montoya, Shilana Rairden, Teresa Ramos, Jewell White  
  To look out amongst the crowd means to behold a sea of orange and blue; only a small minority is not dressed this way, and the majority of these people are the ushers. - Lolade Akintunde, Chioma Onyenso, Damon Coleman, Melanie Sillas  
  Another student asked the group if there was a difference in how straight black and white students take to teasing or “messing around” from another gay/lesbian student. The other student’s shared experiences with their straight friends and how they could kid around with some and not others. It appeared to them that the straight black students get more uncomfortable with the teasing than do straight white students. - Angela Graham, Suzanne Rinehart, Barbie Torbeck  
  My interview with Brooke showed me that the experience of an African-American from a upper middle class family was much different from the experience of a black person from the lower class. - Sharrell Hibbler  
  I found that I enjoyed the community of community college because I felt I was a part of their social class. We were in this together. If we messed up that was it. There would be no other chances. I don’t believe all UIUC kids feel that way. In fact, I am sure that they don’t. I am diligent in my work because I am afraid of the other side. - Sandra Weissinger  
  I found it quite peculiar that a Caucasian male at a predominantly white university had developed a unique understanding of white privilege. - Sharrell Hibbler  
  When I stated I was from the U.S. I was greeted with surprised looks. The Venezuelan student exclaimed, “WHAT? I mean what are you doing here? I mean, no offense, but we come here to meet Americans, but there are NEVER any Americans here! I mean we thought they did not care about other countries." - Rene Bangert  
  Anna mentions that she felt that if she was a white student advocating for the earthquake relief that there would have been more donations and support from the student body. - Sharrell Hibbler  
  Another observation among current students who I interviewed was that they all mentioned there existed huge segregation and exclusion within the Latino community. - Nora Garcia  
  In her interview she talks of the small number of minorities yet alone African-Americans, "So when I see one of us, I try to get a converstaion going". Brooke seems to be very proud of being one of the very few minorities in the Cinema Studies program. - Sharrell Hibbler  
  Our team found it hard to conceptualize that the same students that pride themselves on being so open and accepting also pride themselves on being “anti” Greek, “anti” conservative, etc. - Angela Graham, Suzanne Rinehart, Barbie Torbeck  
  Batamaka sees the Cosmopolitan Club as a physical place in the U.S. where he feels as if he is at home. He said “Last year my classmates could not understand where I was coming from. They would talk about a movie or a sitcom, it means nothing to me. So I’m excluded from everything that’s not academic. I was excluded." - Teresa Ramos  
  “Not many of my American friends really want to go to Cosmopolitan Club. I've asked my friends before and they think it's stupid for some reason, or they're like 'why are you going there, foreign exchange students, what's the point of that.'” - Herb Jones, Ziemowit Mazur, Abel Montoya, Shilana Rairden, Teresa Ramos, Jewell White  
  As a blatant contradiction he referred to the Project 500 artwork that is proudly displayed throughout the Student Union, he comments that the murals do not accurately depict the racial situation and climate here at the University of Illinois. - Sharrell Hibbler  
  "The first, first first thing that I noticed when I came here was racism. People that are not from here can see the division very easily. Look at the sororities; there are sororities of black girls and of blonde girls. The division is amazing. Blacks hang out with blacks. Whites hang out with whites. It is like a completely different country." - Rene Bangert  
  "You were already separated at the orientation. Then they would say ‘OK group B go this way and group A go this way’ and you would look at all the students in Group B and they would be all minority students, and all the whites were left behind." - Herb Jones, Ziemowit Mazur, Abel Montoya, Shilana Rairden, Teresa Ramos, Jewell White  
  Nearest to the left entrance of the building a huge group of African Americans are gathered around and passing time. Less than twenty feet away from the African American group of students sits a large group of Latina/o students... To the far right of both groups there was a congregation of the highest represented minorities on campus, Asian Americans. - Daniel Williams  
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  In contrast to most African American students, Caucasian Chief fans love the Chief. - Lolade Akintunde, Chioma Onyenso, Damon Coleman, Melanie Sillas  
  The actions of the students lead me to believe the space represented something more than I had initially given it credit for, it was the place of comfort, where the students did not have to feel they had to represent their race or be on the defensive about inappropriate comments. - Daniel Williams  
  What I found was those who I interviewed all stated that they "knew" they "should" be more involved on campus in terms of rallies, etc., but they were not especially motivated, or in general did not feel personally connected to the issues. - Nora Garcia  
  For these Americans that I interviewed, having friends from other countries was acceptable as long as they were white and spoke English well. Nationality affects how exchange students interact with American students. - Rene Bangert  
  At the University of Illinois, a place where diversity is a mere component of the university’s rhetoric, it would be completely natural and understandable for minorities to self-segregate themselves into small support networks. In these small support groups racial and ethnic minorities discover racial solidarity and identity at this predominantly white institution. - Sharrell Hibbler  
  Social interaction plays a crucial role, as the interactions between the MCs push the other to prove him/herself, rap better, or prompt someone in their rap, and the interactions between the MCs and the audience allow for reciprocal energy, support, and determination of a victor. - Kristin Catral  
  Throughout the interviews and observations, individuals that utilized the cultural center believed that 1) non-attendees held misconceptions about the purpose of the houses; 2) non-attendees believed involvement in the houses was mostly limited to culture affiliation; 3) all participants felt that non-attendees could benefit from involvement... - Herb Jones, Ziemowit Mazur, Abel Montoya, Shilana Rairden, Teresa Ramos, Jewell White  
  Most students felt that the space represented the constant struggle for African American students on campus. - Daniel Williams  
  We found from our information that a good portion of these Asian students tended to be involved in Christian religious groups and churches on the campus. While we found that these students were very active in the hall, by planning Bible Studies, prayer meetings, and reserving rooms for other activities, they never participated in the popular cultural activities in Allen. - Angela Graham, Suzanne Rinehart, Barbie Torbeck  
  From the abundance of material presented, it is clear that the GRIOT serves as an accurate representation of the African American community on campus. - Annice Fisher  
  It is my firm belief that due to the threat of doing away with the Chief, the vast majority of pro-Chief supporters have affirmed the symbol as part of the school’s identity as well as their own and have strengthened their support to the point where Illini sports and the symbol of the Chief seem to necessitate their legitimacy upon each other. - Eric Dangoy  
  The house creates a sort of comfort zone for international students. The Cosmopolitan Club fosters friendships that are otherwise hard to build. Even though this is anything but a homogenous group, there are certain similarities that international student experience in the U.S.. - Teresa Ramos  
  Through interviews, we discovered that although Allen is accepting of new and alternative ideas and interests, that because the Allen culture tries to be so counter-cultural, that it has developed its own mainstream society. This mainstream counter-culture tends to have an overwhelmingly “white” dominance. - Angela Graham, Suzanne Rinehart, Barbie Torbeck  
  The university itself seems to remain idol and accepting of the status quo as traditions that segregate students and tools, such as chief Illiniwek, divide the campus more and more, many believe the students will eventually live separately in every aspect of education. - Daniel Williams  
  There are many steps that the University should take to increase interaction since the interaction between International Students and Americans can bring many positive results, such as breaking stereotypes and broadening each others view...Therefore, I believe that researching ways that the gulf between international and national students can be bridged is vital. - Rene Bangert  
  I have always believed that you can not have a conversation about race without talking about class...they are both so very interconnected. - Sandra Weissinger  
  The group found that underrepresented students are drawn to cultural centers because they do not feel at home on campus. They do not have a sense of ownership and privilege at this university. They seek out the cultural centers as safe houses, as protection from the oftentimes, unfriendly environment if not racist structures of the university. - Herb Jones, Ziemowit Mazur, Abel Montoya, Shilana Rairden, Teresa Ramos, Jewell White  
  I had these preconceived notions that rappers would sit and write their own lyrics, individually and privately. I soon discovered that members within the hip-hop community all influence each other, and literate practices involve a lot of collaboration. - Kristin Catral  
  Most of the African American students interviewed believe Chief fans know the Chief is an inappropriate mascot, but love him because he is a part of the University’s tradition. Therefore many African American students believed that the Chief should not represent the university anymore and would like to see the university take on a new mascot. - Lolade Akintunde, Chioma Onyenso, Damon Coleman, Melanie Sillas  
  At Parkland 68% of the student body is employed, which means that these are individuals who do not necessarily have time during the evenings to participate in campus events. UIUC lives under the mythology that students do not work and do not have commitments outside of the few hours they spend in class. - Sandra Weissinger  
  In conclusion, for African Americans, Soul Ingredient is a place where students come together to eat foods that they usually do not receive during the week of school and what they usually eat at home and it is a place where they hang out with friends to socialize and connect with their friends and other black students. - Mark Reynolds  
  Through this site observation I reaffirmed my belief that the residence halls are in fact a place through which meaningful interaction occurs across racial/ethnic lines. Within the dining hall I witnessed diverse racial interaction amongst the students who were dining as well as with student workers. - Sharrell Hibbler  
  This should be the long term goal of the Japan House...Encourage people to learn more about the Japanese heritage that is only partially presented by the tea garden and ceremonies. Widen this view to include not only students at the university but also members of the communities of Champaign and Urbana. - Ariann Sahagun  
  University's around the nation should attempt to capitalize upon this idea of uniting people together through shared interest and physical spaces. With this knowledge of how space, race, and common interest are intertwined a multi-cultural and multi-ethnic community can emerge amongst the campus community. - Sharrell Hibbler  
  The belief that Americans do not know, nor care, about the rest of the world was an echoing theme in my interviews. One Nigerian student lamented that people believe that Africa is a country. A Venezuela student expressed his incredulity when students asked him if Venezuela is a part of Africa... - Rene Bangert  
  Although the university has a commitment to creating an inviting atmosphere for every student, the reality is that the campus community has not been welcoming to diverse students. - Herb Jones, Ziemowit Mazur, Abel Montoya, Shilana Rairden, Teresa Ramos, Jewell White  
  Transfer students from Parkland can be divided into two categories: those from Champaign or the surrounding counties and those from other areas. Those from outside of the CU area tend to “blend in” with the rest of the general student body. These are the individuals who are in fraternities, volunteer on campus and have found their sense of place within the university itself. Those from the CU area however tend to rely on support systems and friendships built within the community. - Sandra Weissinger  
  Many people assume that other groups do not want to interact, when actually many international students would like to become friends with Americans but are not sure how. - Rene Bangert  
  I have discovered that the general attitude toward transfer students is not as dismissive as I had originally thought. Every University staff member I have spoken with refers to these students as a "special population" and each department they work in has different plans for how to better serve this diverse population. Conversely, the students I have spoken with have had very few positive things to say about their transition into the University. - Anne Maloney  
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Photos by Kalev Leetaru Charles Mercer with Phantasm Photos
Other photos by Teresa Ramos, Rene Bangert, Nicole Ortegon, and Anna Callahan

  Site by Anna Callahan