Strange things that happen at state universities (my friend across the hall says strange things that happen at predominantly white institutions)
We are writing about the up-coming Unofficial St. Patrick’s day, to encourage you to be safe, responsible and respectful in your choices related to this event. Students have often asked that they be informed of the consequences of inappropriate or illegal behavior, and that is the spirit behind this letter.
At Illinois, we expect our students to take responsibility for their behavior and its impact on others. Unfortunately, in past years, the event has led to serious injuries and at least two deaths.
We want to make it clear that the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign does not sponsor or sanction Unofficial St. Patrick’s Day nor any events or merchandise associated with it. On that day, as on other days, the University responds to all violations of the Student Code, regardless of where the behavior occurs. Such violations include consuming alcohol as a minor, providing alcohol to minors, damage and destruction of property, dangerous activities such as throwing items from balconies, and acts of physical violence and sexual aggression. The consequences for such violations will be assigned commensurate with the seriousness of the behavior. As a reminder, disciplinary records are subject to review in background checks by graduate schools and future employers. Students may be dismissed as a result of their dangerous behavior and irresponsible choices on Unofficial Saint Patrick’s Day.
At Illinois, students who host guests are accountable for negative consequences incurred by those guests, including property damage or threats to others’ safety. If a guest or visitor is cited or arrested for illegal activity, we will forward this information for disciplinary action to any college or university where that guest may be enrolled. Last year an amendment was enacted to the law which holds individuals (social hosts) criminally responsible for hosting an event or social gathering (party) where he or she knowingly authorizes or permits a residence which he or she occupies to be used for underage possession or consumption of alcohol. Violation of the law can lead to being charged with a Class A misdemeanor (which carries up to 364 days in jail and a $2,500 fine) or a Class 4 Felony (which carries up to 3 years in jail and a $25,000 fine). Hosts found serving or allowing minors to possess alcohol or charging admission will be arrested on state charges and transported to the Champaign County Jail.
Please remember that your behavior during this event will reflect on you and on your university for years to come. For example, is a social media posting of you wearing an offensive shirt drinking alcohol the image you want to project to future employers, to your family or to the world?
Given the serious consequences that could occur, we strongly urge you to choose responsible behavior and ask that you look out for the safety of yourselves and others, particularly in this cold winter weather we’re experiencing. Please be careful. Please be safe.
C. Renée Romano
Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs
Kenneth T. Ballom
Dean of Students