Forum addresses "digital hate"

Published 02/07 2014 10:47AM

Updated 02/07 2014 10:55AM

UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS -- Cyber-bullying at UI made national headlines, but some students believe it's having a positive effect on campus. Last week, Chancellor Phyllis Wise announced campus would not be closed for cold weather. Students attacked her on Twitter.

Thursday, the campus got together to lay it all out on the table, sparking a much bigger discussion. Most of the tweets toward Chancellor Wise attacked her race. Students say this has given them a platform to discuss how racially segregated the campus is and that it's been that way for a very long time.

Hundreds discussed it at the forum. They called it #OneCampus; Moving Beyond Digital Hate. A panel of students and professors listened to the concerns of dozens of students. Some wondered if the chancellor would have been attacked had she been a white man.

Wise couldn't be there, but recorded a message which was played. If students couldn't make the event, the UI wants them to tweet their thoughts using #OneCampus.

A student read part of the university's student code and explained why several violated it by attacking the chancellor. A number of them are pushing for those students to be punished. It's something the professors said they would take into consideration.

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