Information from the GSC

Don’t forget, it’s RecSoberfest this month for UIC Campus Recreation! Make sure to check out their “Dig N’ Dive, Don’t Drink N’ Drive” volleyball tournament on Wednesday, October 21st from 3-6pm, filled with lots of fun and free food #UICRecSoberRecsoberfest_8.5x11


UIC Graduate Students!

You are invited to attend the Safe Zone Dinner Dialogue for Graduate and Professional Students next Wednesday, October 14 from 5-7pm in SSB 2790. There will be free dinner for all attendees!

Space is limited, so make sure to register today at the link below! And again, dinner is only for those who register!

During this two-hour dinner dialogue, we will discuss issues and identities of gender and sexuality, particularly focused on the context of higher education. Graduate and professional students will have the opportunity to engage in meaningful conversations of LGBTQ identities and issues to increase their understanding and awareness. Students will also connect the knowledge to their roles as graduate and professional students in their field. Through this free dinner dialogue, graduate and professional students will learn about themselves and others, while at the same time learning about resources UIC offers.

Safe Zone provides a consultative and collaborative model of ally development through interactive workshops that provide specific expertise relevant to a particular unit, department, or organization. Each workshop increases awareness of holistic and inclusive policies and practices.

Please contact Theresa Christenson-Caballero at with any questions or if you require specific accommodations.

This program is co-sponsored by the Graduate College, Gender and Sexuality Center, and the Graduate Student Council.file-page1 (3)

  • Town Hall meeting some time in fall to talk about diversity
    • Will be put on through the Office of Diversity and the DAC
  • “Where human differences are embraced.” Is in UIC diversity statement
    • Trying to figure out what diversity means
    • Access, equity, and inclusion seem to be a part of that definition at UIC
    • Needs to take into consideration experience
  • Fall 2014 Undergraduate Enrollment
    • Still collecting data on LGBTQ staff, students, and faculty (working group collecting data)
    • 51-52% of undergrad at UIC are Pell eligible
    • Family income correlates with ACT/SAT scores
      • High School GPA and AP credits earned help correlate to college success
    • Need to use better data on students (not just ACT/SAT scores to help predict student success)
    • Already looking into planning for Fall ‘16
    • Only a few colleges are accepting late to enroll admissions (these are not necessarily late admission applicants)
    • Enrollment growth actually helps deal with budget issues
    • Largest class ever past few years, relatively diverse
    • There is a large transfer population (last year, we were actually named a transfer-dependent institution)
  • Fall 2014 Permanent Staff
    • 68% of faculty are white
    • Overrepresentation of blacks and Latinos in Academic Professional and Civil Service positions (staff, not faculty)
    • Difficult to hire underrepresented faculty…but why?
  • Campus Culture
    • Monoculturalist (assimilationist)
    • Compliant (numbers-based)
    • Multicultural (still ignores some differences)
    • Inclusive (actually embraces and accommodates differences
      • UIC needs to be difference-accommodating rather than difference-disregarding
      • Difference-accommodating can mean giving others more resources or changing the whole situation/structure
      • But can say…”From now on, things will be more accommodating…”
    • Campus Diversity Priorities
      • Strengthen diversity infrastructure (having the same people on different committee poses a problem in terms of having different perspectives)
      • Promote equity and inclusion
      • Expand frontiers of knowledge
      • Enhance community engagement (mutually beneficial)
        • Need for diversity training and systems of accountability
        • Diversity Dashboard – has been developed
        • 2012 Climate Survey information will be shared at fall town hall
          • May want to do another survey?
        • The questions become: What do we do with all of this? How do we proceed?
      • Updates on Leadership Search and Budget
        • U of I will be starting a strategic plan through the Board of Trustees
        • Only update on budget is there may be a salary plan
        • 10-15% is the possible cut, but still no news
        • Vice Chancellor of Health Affairs – Airport interviews complete (12 completed)
        • Provost – Airport interviews in August

June 30th – Present: Andrea, Shay, Joanna, Liz T., Amy (GEO staff), and Liz S. (GEO staff)

1) Report back from bargaining

  • Terrible response from university. Came in saying “let’s provide some education.”
  • Discussed the difference between sex, gender, gender identity, and gender expression and provided cases of people’s experiences. Administration said we don’t need the different identities to be listed.
  • Misgendered Caitlyn Jenner multiple times, which was unnecessary.
  • Marilyn, the main administrator, has done Gender and Sexuality Center Safe Zone training, but does not seem like it. She claims that people need ‘education’ not coverage/protection in contract.
  • Discussion about protection from discrimination: sexual harassment, disabilities (both physical and mental). Marilyn pulled out a horrible example of “what if I have a mental disability where I have sexual fantasies and act on them? Will that protect me?”
  • There is some hope around gender neutral language.
  • Also, the Gender and Sexuality Center is looking at university-wide non-discrimination language and updating it.
  • Timeline for this? 3-6 months? Then it’s possible we could set aside the non discrimination language for the time being.
  • Who handles this change?

2) Work on Trans*/Queer Student Resource Guide

  • To do:
  • Workplace protections
  • Community resources
  • On-Campus Resources
  • A pronoun guide has been created and will be creating something about history and importance
  • Intersectionality
  • Call out to get info from people on personal LGBTQ experiences at UIC
  • Include a calendar of events?
  • Gender and Sexuality Center will be starting up poster campaign for bathrooms

July 12th – Present: Liz T., Shay, Amy (GEO staff), Liz S. (GEO staff)

  • Intersectionality and labor union history sections for resource guide are complete (might want to also look into book called “Steel Closets” about LGBTQ steel workers written by former visiting professor at UIC)
  • Research Forum: Departments and colleges may have their own research forums; will mention about encouraging queer research at UIC
  • Pronoun guide is complete along with a supplement (mostly for people who don’t know anything about preferred pronouns)
  • What should the rest of the 101 guide be like?
  • Provide guidelines for TA’s: Follow people’s pronouns/ask for preferred pronouns; provide link to the chart regarding sex, gender, gender identity, and gender expression terminology.
  • Also working on finalizing PDFs to use for for name changes and NetID name change
  • Trying to have the final guide ready by August 10th
  • NEXT MEETING: Week of August 3rd to finalize the guide

Panel Discussion

  • President Killeen’s Vision
    • Two Main Focuses
      • Student Success: Expand curricula to a global academic vision
      • Increased Public Good: More contributions to the public and economy
    • Important for the University of Illinois system to grow and develop
      • Need to have the internal image match the external image and be the best across the board
    • Emphasized working together, fostering collaboration and partnerships
      • U of I needs to model collegiate behavior and shared listening – “There is nothing stronger than a shared vision.”
    • A Budget Task Force has been working on a strategic plan
      • Central administration are the first to be looked at when thinking of budget cuts
    • Has met with faculty senates and have received all of them well
    • Belief: “U of I system is world leading; student and faculty centered. For the students, by the faculty.”
    • Appreciates the loyalty of everyone at UIC, sees it as “deep and abiding”
  • Updates from Chancellor Amiridis – Chicago
    • Need to put innovation into action in order to thrive
    • Must expand the presence and impact of UIC
    • Need to strengthen academic programs and overall quality of education
    • Emphasized UIC is “one team,” not East Campus and West Campus
  • Updates from Chancellor Koch – Springfield
    • There could be more collaboration among the campuses, which President Killeen will help with
    • This year marks the 20th Anniversary of the Springfield campus as a part of the U of I system
    • Three Main Focuses
      • Growth of U of I – Springfield in size and reputation (Currently 5,500 students, 44% graduate students)
        • Over 300 grad students in paid internships with the state, almost all eventually get hired
      • Stronger and more talented staff and faculty
      • Greater spaces and facilities on-campus at U of I – Springfield
    • Partnering with UIC College of Nursing, with students enrolled in new Nursing program starting in the fall – 120 applicants have already applied
    • Illinois Innocence Project is also housed in Springfield and has recently exonerated two more innocent people
  • Updates from Chancellor Wise – Urbana
    • Emphasized importance of recruitment and retention of staff and faculty
    • Must reinvent and redefine ourselves
      • Need to asses impact educationally, economically, and globally
    • The University of Illinois must be the first call made and have a seat at the table for all important conversations within the state

Themes in Question & Answer Portion

  • Collaboration
    • All campuses can work together on better healthcare, especially with the new College of Medicine in Urbana
    • Need to utilize the City of Chicago better as a source of collaboration
    • Need to develop more efficient services across all three campuses
      • Have students flow freely between all campuses, including their ability to take courses across all campuses
    • The U of I system needs a greater hand in affecting public policy
  • Budget Impact
    • Currently refining how U of I will respond
      • President Killeen does not think the worst will happen
  • Undocumented Students
    • UIC has already established support, the trouble comes from walking a fine line with the law and the support it will allow from a public state school
      • Need to expand the law
    • Urbana has been talking with legislators to create a more comprehensive law
    • Maybe create an undocumented students liaison position at UIC to help with these issues
      • Chancellor Amiridis will look to the Latino Cultural Center for help
  • Post-Docs
    • Need to include this in the vision of the U of I system to help faculty and graduate development
      • Can occur across all three campuses, but UIC needs more and better post-docs the most
  • Interdisciplinary Scholarship
  • The U of I system has a responsibility to be pragmatic about interdisciplinary work
    • At SUNY, President Killeen created the Networks of Excellence, provided connections, time, and opportunities for interdisciplinary work
      • Hopes to create something similar within the U of I system
  • Sustainability
    • Not just about greener practices, but the creation of resiliency in all aspects of life – interdisciplinary sustainability
    • President Killeen believes it is not just about sustaining, but thriving
      • Humanities and arts need to be a part of the sustainability conversation along with the sciences
  • Deferred Maintenance
    • Important students have up-to-date facilities
      • Need to look to philanthropy as a resource to help as well
    • Chancellor Amiridis stated UIC has a tired infrastructure and a heavy mortgage, but emphasized the need for a plan to change that
  • Reformation of Identity
  • Strategic plan must include this factor
    • The U of I system needs to resolve who we are and how we work together
    • UIC, especially, is working hard to reinvent their identity

GSC Salsa Party

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Dear Graduate Students,
This is a friendly reminder that we have our last GSC meeting for the year 2014-2015. Below are the details of the same:
When: Thursday, April 30th, 5-7pm
Where: 1200 W Harrison St, Student Services Building, Conference Rooms B-C
You are also invited to the GSC’s end of the semester, much awaited event on campus “GSC Salsa Party”.
We have a Salsa instructor coming in to teach us some salsa dance steps during the meeting to make this more fun and memorable.
During the meeting, GSC board will be recognizing graduate students and reps for their service towards GSC and its activities.

As mentioned in the flyer for the GSC Salsa party we have free dinner and below is the menu:
  • Chef’s Garden salad with ranch and balsamic vinaigrette
  • Chicken fajita and Vegetable fajita with beans
  • Mexican Rice
  • Sour and Cream
  • Cookies
  • Starbucks Coffee
Looking forward to seeing you all!


  • Task Force on Faculty Gender Equity
  • Reconvened this past December, an evaluative body
    • Stemmed from an NSF – Women in Science grant
  • Goal when first started was to analyze data from climate surveys
  • Various contracts have been implemented to help faculty and their duties, balancing work with other priorities (family, children, etc.)
  • There was no task force between 2011-2014 due to contract negotiations, wanted to wait until those were completed
  • Have been trying to assess workplace conditions, improve gender equity of faculty, and make recommendations for data and needs of faculty
    • Report due July 1st
    • Another climate survey and two other surveys are currently being analyzed
      • Time and rank for associate professors is a data point that has stood out
      • Extreme differences based on gender
    • Have only met once so far this semester, but group has agreed a better analysis and gathering of data is needed
      • Will try and add in race/ethnicity variables as well


  • Leadership Searches and Budget Updates
  • Chancellor continuing to meet with everyone on campus
  • Vice Chancellor of Health Affairs Search: Search completely underway
  • A new committee was created to ease dealing with new medical school in Urbana
    • Around 2017-1028, the entire footprint of UIC will be gone from the Urbana medical school and in 10 years, there will be a clear distinction between the medical school in Urbana and the one here, in Rockford, and Peoria
  • Provost Search: Going through last version of job description to be sent out
  • Hopefully these searches will finish by August, October at the latest
  • State budget still unknown and won’t know any time before July; could be done by September (worst case scenario)
    • Chancellor is supporting that faculty and student experience (admissions, student services, etc.) not get as large cuts, compared to administrators
    • Planning exercises have been done across the campus to help departments prepare
      • These are done with a 20% cut, which is about 9.1% cut per department
      • Deans are in charge of cuts per department after state budget goes through – can use reserves to make up for any lost funding and then create benchmarks for the future
      • There could be a hiring freeze in the future, but that has yet to be determined
    • There was a Diversity Symposium at the Forum about a week ago, which Rauner attended
      • Rauner believes there is a concern with the status of administration and that there needs to be more focus on faculty research and student engagement


  • Committee Activities
  • Best Strategies for DREAM Act Students
  • HB 3528 has passed the Higher Education Committee (10-5, bipartisan vote) and is trying to get on the floor
    • Had two lobby days already and will continue to lobby for it
    • Volunteers are preparing for House and Senator sponsorship


  • Health Equity and Community Engagement
  • Trying to create a Bench Science to Community Model
  • Mile Square – 3rd FQHC in United States, other two are in Massachusetts and Mississippi
    • UIC Has full ownership of Mile Square
    • Bench/Bedside Model + Community Health Care = Bench/CHC à A New Model
  • Importance of accessibility of healthcare
    • Make sure healthcare revolves around the people, not the other way around
  • There needs to be an interdisciplinary conversation regarding making a community health
  • Cancer incident and mortality rates in Chicago are 3-5 greater than national and state rates, and are even more biased when factoring in race and ethnicity
  • This new model emphasizes working with other community hospitals and truly collaborating together
  • It is important to understand the community better so that even with an increase in accessibility, it actually makes people seek out healthcare


  • Enrollment Updates (Undergraduate)
  • All numbers are up
    • Enrollment has increased from last year and has been the largest enrollment ever
    • The only enrollment numbers that are down are those of White students and applicants to CADA (College of Architecture and Design), which is not unusual due to serious competition with Columbia and the Art Institute when it comes to Architecture and Design
    • U of I – Urbana has admitted 400-500 students, minorities and LAS majors, whom they would normally not have to help amp up their enrollment, which could impact UIC enrollment, but no by a lot
    • UIC is the only state school not affected by low enrollment; SIU is even giving out of state students in-state tuition to help deal with low enrollment numbers
  • IGNITE event at Pavilion on March 28th
    • Reception afterward for African-American and Latino students
    • Chancellor attended IGNITE and the reception and everyone loved his friendliness and energy
  • Despite high enrollment, work still needs to be done to help yield these new applicants and have them actually attend in the fall
    • UIC’s biggest competition is Missouri, especially when it comes to recruiting Black students