16. Other Matters/Public Comment Period
Chairman Kaplan said, “At our last meeting, I asked Dr. Carroll to review what had happened at
the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with the ZBT fraternity party, and I would like for you to
give your report on that.”
Dr. Carroll said, “I had the opportunity to look at the incidents on the campus from a different
perspective, that is as representing the Illinois Board of Higher Education. It is quite a complex situation,
and I would like to share a few of the items that we were able to determine as the major issues appearing
on campus. I think it was an excellent suggestion that we start looking at this because the University of
Illinois is our flagship institution, and what happens there is happening across the world. It is not an
“I was asked to investigate the incidents and activities surrounding the parties that were held on
campus that were termed ‘racial.’ There was a party held in October called ‘tacos and tequilas,’ and these
parties that were implemented included stereotypes. There were several parties held during the fall
semester on the University of Illinois Urbana campus between October 5 and October 31. These parties
“My assignment from Chairman Kaplan was to fact-find what had occurred and the University’s
response to these incidents, along with any solutions, recommendations, etc. to improve the climate.
“Since these incidents, several meetings have occurred, and many groups have been involved.
This was not a first occurrence. Some type of racial theme parties have been held for years, presumably
by the Greek fraternities and sororities, most significantly, ZBT fraternity and Delta Delta Delta sorority.
The current parties are basically attributed to these two groups.
“In the spring of 2006, there was a black face incident at a campus bar at a ghetto party. From
October 5 to October 31, there were activities of ‘tacos and tequilas,’ ‘pilgrims and Indians’ followed by
photos aired on the Facebook website. There was a protest rally and march on the campus involving 400
students following these incidents. Chancellor Herman of Urbana-Champaign held two town hall
meetings with student leaders and began planning a forum. He met with the executive director of Zeta
Beta T first and sent out a mass mailing on October 31 denouncing such events. Delta Delta Delta
suspended participants internally, and the fraternity suspended their participants as well. The two
presidents apologized to the president of the United Greek Council.
“I visited the university December 17 and January 22 to meet with the heads of the various Greek
organizations, the fraternities and sororities, and the cultural houses and student leaders. I also met with
the faculty members who represented the ethnic groups on campus.
“A forum was planned for February 1 and the Trustees were invited, specifically myself -- and I
declined to accept the invitation to speak with 2,000 students because I did not see that as my role or
assignment here. I did ask to speak with the student heads on campus, and met with them in a very
“The individuals attending the meeting representing the faculty were 15 members of the various
cultural and ethnic groups on campus, and they agreed that the climate on the campus needed to be
improved and that there were some safety factors going on and students were beginning to feel unsafe;
and as most of you have read, I am sure you are familiar with the fact that there were several incidents
occurring on campus where students either insulted or attacked each other. Unfortunately, the finding of
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