2 shootings and Racial Slurs at SIU | By: Ryan Vickers

SIUCs campus has been all but pleasant amongst students in light of the recent events that have taken place in Carbondale, IL. In the last month, there has been 2 shootings and racial allegations from a predominantly white fraternity on SIUC's campus. Even the outskirts of the SIU Campus into the actual Carbondale community, where Carbondale natives reside, aren't quite as welcome as times before. To say the least, the relationship between SIU Administration and Students, as well as, the city of City of Carbondale is currently in a race to the bottom. But, how does that connect the Trump supporters to the allegations of racial slurs? And what does that have to do with Black Greeks and their lack, thereof, of access on campus?

Photo Credit: www.wsiltv.com; Center Right: Leilani Bartlett 

Photo Credit: www.wsiltv.com; Center Right: Leilani Bartlett 

Well that’s a good question, because the answer to that speaks to a bigger issue. In a private survey conducted by several students on campus a typical SIU student has to at least travel 4 – 6 times a semester just to attend fun social events because SIU does not offer any large scale events that they would likely attend. Moreover 2 in 5 SIU students (who would likely attend these large scale events) say that they have considered transferring at some point in time, because of stipulations that exist on social events that are often foreign to other campuses that are similar in size to SIU. So for some time now the administration has not be willing to create events that foster more students in socially nor have they made serious efforts on reforms to initiate such events. In fact SIU has done the complete opposite by creating policies that just so happen to oppose even RSOs in particular BGLOs from being able to do so even if it’s at their own expense. Namely “The 850 Rule” where you are not allowed to have more than 850 students at an on campus social party in the Student Center, for example, even with EXTRA officers from DPS. Or what about how the new policies that have emerged over the last few years that is designed to prohibit and limit the amount of non-SIU students that attend SIU events?  Interesting? 

Photo Credit: the southern.com; SIU campus and students 

Photo Credit: the southern.com; SIU campus and students 

Now why does this all matter as far as the allegations of racial slurs openly being promoted in the manner which they were, because lets be for real who cares if a group of ATOS want to support Donald Trump. Well I’ll be frank, getting called racial slurs by a group of white fraternity members and not having anything TRULY done about it. Chances the culture of that happening here at SIU, in the year 2016, doesn’t really help who students are jaded by the efforts to bridge the gap on actually putting a halt to occurrences like this on campus, once again this relationship between Students and Admin has been not so easy going for some time now. It sends the message that you won’t equip Black Greeks (which are the orgs that historically throw these events) with policies that allow a better college experience. But more importantly you will also not reattribute the horrible experience a student had when they encountered the ATOs in an on campus dormitory. To say the least, the gap on being out of touch with the students is very wide. 

Photo Credit: www.keyconversationsradio.com

Photo Credit: www.keyconversationsradio.com

One could suggest that the escalation of non-campus violence occurring (such as the recent shootings) stems directly from the limited social events that inadvertently push all of SIU students and all of Carbondale citizens who attend those events (as well and just as actively) into the limited bars, pubs, or just regular house socials that Carbondale and SIU Has to offer, and unfortunately in 2016 that’s where we are. A campus divided and displeased by the blatant “redlining” and “gerrymandering” like policies being levied against events SIU students want. And on the brink of demanding true policy reform on events that they manage, they promote and they fund as long as these events promote safety and meet the social needs of a modern college student.