Students vote 4-to-1 in favor of Chief Illiniwek - The Daily Illini : Campus

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Students vote 4-to-1 in favor of Chief Illiniwek

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Posted: Thursday, March 14, 2013 12:00 am | Updated: 5:30 pm, Sun May 5, 2013.

The previously withheld Chief Illiniwek referendum results show that a majority of students that voted reaffirmed their support of the mascot. 

The referendum question, which asked if students “support Chief Illiniwek as the official symbol” of the University, was met with 9,003 votes in favor and 2,517 against.

The results had been sequestered by the Moot Court Board Judiciary, a board of College of Law students that accepts student complaints. The judiciary lifted the hold prior to hearing an appeal on the constitutionality of Illinois Student Senate enabling a campus symbol selection survey in mid-January. The results of the survey are still being withheld until a decision is made.

Justice Tyler Anthony, graduate student, said student senator Matthew Paarlberg had submitted a motion this week to remove the injunction, but it was denied. 

However, Anthony said this motion brought to light a defect in the original injunction; the Campus Student Election Commission was not a part of the appeal, meaning the court did not have the authority to stop it from publishing election results.

Commission chair Adam Joines released the referendum results following the appeal.

The appeal was made by graduate student Josh Good against David Pileski on behalf of the Illinois Student Senate. Each is represented by two College of Law students. Good alleges that the ISS was not within its constitution in supporting student group Campus Spirit Revival’s mascot search, citing previous referenda questions from 2004 and 2008 in which students reaffirmed their support of Chief Illiniwek.

According to article IX of the ISS constitution, the senate is bound by all referenda questions passed by the student body. Pileski contends that these referenda questions are not binding to the senate because they are vague and not self-executing — they were simply a measure of student opinion.

Good said though it’s hard to judge how the judiciary will rule, he feels his counsel has a solid case. Now that the referendum’s results have been released, he said his next step will be to follow this case to its conclusion.

“Now that the students have shown their voice that they do not want a new mascot, and they still hold on to the Chief as their unofficial mascot, the logical next course is to make sure no new mascot is created by either the Illinois Student Senate, Campus Spirit Revival (or) the University,” Good said. “It’s not in the interest of the students, and from what I’ve heard, it’s not in the interest of the alumni.”

Pileski is also confident in his counsel and feels that the senate was within its constitutional right.

“I ultimately feel that the court will go through the process they have to, but I’m very confident we will have a favorable outcome,” Pileski said.

The judiciary is still deliberating on the outcome of the appeal. When asked when a decision can be expected, Anthony said he could not comment.

Tyler can be reached at 

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  • Oskee Wow Wow posted at 8:33 am on Sat, Mar 23, 2013.

    Oskee Wow Wow Posts: 1

    First of all Chief Illiniwek is NOT a mascot, but a revered and dignified symbol of our university. A mascot is some clown dressed up like a bird (Hawkeye--what ever the heck that is.) CHIEF! YES!

  • Danno posted at 4:51 am on Wed, Mar 20, 2013.

    Danno Posts: 90

    jazz, during ww2, while the white, black and Native Indian men were fighting, women did the 'fancy dance.'
    Okay, lets just replicate the drunken Purdue Boilermaker 'Purdue Pete' for a blinking red light, named 'HAL'. Dave...Dav...Da...D...Daisy Daisy....

  • Dean Wormer posted at 7:32 pm on Tue, Mar 19, 2013.

    Dean Wormer Posts: 143

    Tyranny of a minority - be accurate, especially in light of the recent student vote FAVORING the Chief by 4 to 1. How do get around that? And since when do losing cultures dictate terms to the winners?

  • Dean Wormer posted at 7:30 pm on Tue, Mar 19, 2013.

    Dean Wormer Posts: 143

    Wrong - because the issue is enforced political correctness that refuses to acknowledge the will of the MAJORITY. The issue is much bigger than the symbol alone.

  • Dean Wormer posted at 7:28 pm on Tue, Mar 19, 2013.

    Dean Wormer Posts: 143

    Do your research and get a copy of Judge Garippo's report from several years ago. All the testimony is there. 90% of the anti-chief types weren't even Illinois residents, let alone faculty or students. It was a pure economic shakedown - they wanted Native American studies , a dedicated house, and salaries for the "faculty" to man all this - just like other politically favored minority groups. Bruised ethnic pride had nothing to do with it. Take your PC sense of superiority and stuff it.

  • Danno posted at 10:36 am on Tue, Mar 19, 2013.

    Danno Posts: 90

    Hello, tumbao,
    That 'prance' is practiced amongst many North American Indian cultures, aka, 'pow-wow'. Origination is unclear, though thought from the Plains Indians; also, practiced as a dance in the Boy Scouts of America.
    And, illustrate for us just how the U of I not winning a BB National Title relates to a 'mascot/symbol.'
    In effect, are you 'blaming' the Boy Scouts of America? Didn't think so.

  • Danno posted at 6:15 am on Mon, Mar 18, 2013.

    Danno Posts: 90

    What does 'winning a national BB championship' have anything to do with a mascot/symbol (still legally uninterpreted)?

    In '26 the regalia was sold to UoI's marching band by Chief Frank Fools Crow. In '07 the regalia was ordered back; not the 'ceremony' per say. Original conception of topic was by Ray Dvorak, then associate director of bands at the UofI. The dance is of unknown origin, possibly adapted from early 20th century 'fancy dancing' via the Boy Scouts.

    Our campus' Native American House was authorized by the Ogala Sioux to distribute the resolution to the public. The dance seems to have originated from (any) of the Plains Indians. It provides a more secular display than purely sacred dancing. It's practiced today by many Native Americans at 'pow-wows.'

    So, in effect, you're blaming the lack of a UofI National Championship on the Boy Scouts? Not the Girl Scouts? Man up, Wus.

  • Get Real posted at 9:55 am on Sun, Mar 17, 2013.

    Get Real Posts: 1

    Seriously? All the problems in the world and the country and people have energy to fight for a pathetic racist symbol? I was at the U 25 years ago and it was embarrassing then. Really, must we be the very last in the country to wake up? Dean Wormer, this is not about a 'handful' of 'activists.' Tumbao said it right: get a brand and MOVE ON!

  • jazzerooni posted at 12:11 am on Sun, Mar 17, 2013.

    jazzerooni Posts: 3

    Cmon stop it. You can have your fun in Champaign without insulting Native Americans. So that you provincial people know: dressing up as a Native American and dancing around at the halftime of a pop-culture event like a basketball or football game is trivial, if not demeaning. Sorry that the rest of us got in the way of your racial vision!

  • jazzerooni posted at 12:05 am on Sun, Mar 17, 2013.

    jazzerooni Posts: 3

    Move on, Illinois, move on. People who have nothing better to do than hang out and root on a guy dancing as an Indian will LOSE in the global marketplace. Wake up!!

  • tumbao posted at 4:01 pm on Thu, Mar 14, 2013.

    tumbao Posts: 1

    Cmon kids are you serious? Stop-- its over, the discussion and arguments among yourselves is all for not! The NCAA made its decision in 2005, and essentially since then the school has suffered without a brand. I graduated over twenty years ago and unlike most of you I was an all-American (more than once) in my sport and wore the Chief Illiniwek symbol on my chest. However the NCAA gave the University of Illinois several chances to illustrate that the mascot and symbol of Chief Illiniwek was illustrated in deference and authenticity. But when they symbol prances around like a gymnastics routine, wears Lakota (Sioux) regalia and war paint associated with movies it was easy for the NCAA to deem the mascot a misappropriation of indigenous Illinois culture. Therefore this misappropriation perpetuated indigenous peoples stereotypes. St. Johns, Stanford and Marquette all had the same problem. Marquette won a national championship in basketball while they had a "Warrior" mascot. They changed, Illinois has not even won a national basketball championship. FOR GOD SAKE make a change get a brand and move on!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Dean Wormer posted at 1:18 pm on Thu, Mar 14, 2013.

    Dean Wormer Posts: 143

    In light of yesterday's DI editorial and Chancellor Wise's unsubtle scolding of anyone who is pro-Chief, this election result sends a definite message. That message is this: enforced political correctness and caving in to economic shakedowns by a handful of student/faculty political activists will no longer be tolerated. Are you people savvy enough to appreciate this? Come on Chancellor Wise - one of your predecessors initiated the nonsense that led to the Chief being given the bum's rush before she scuttled of to Syracuse U. - how about you doing an about face and SUPPORT reinstating the Chief. As for the NCAA - bring them on. When an Illinois teams qualifies by performance to hold a post-season tourney, hold it - and defy the NCAA PC police to stop it. The gauntlet has been flung down.

  • Jeff Price posted at 9:45 am on Thu, Mar 14, 2013.

    Jeff Price Posts: 50

    Okay, really, is anybody surprised by this outcome?

    And, just like the real world, the minority says "screw you" to the majority and demands to keep The Chief retired.

    What a crock of crap. I say it is time to storm the Bastille!


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