Chicago Indymedia :
Chicago Indymedia

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UIC uses tax dollars to discriminate and support violence in the workplace

Press release regarding atrocities at the University which are being funded by citizen's tax dollars and one woman's perpetual battle to disarm the university's patriarchs.
On February 4th, University of Illinois employee Lynn Hull and her team of attorneys (Jeff Brown, Jim Noonan, and Sherrie Voyles) will begin a Federal court case against her employer for sexual harassment, discrimination, and retaliation. Ms. Hull has worked at the university as a machinist and the only woman in her trade since 1993. At UIC, Hull has experienced a myriad of abuses including, but not limited to, being struck, threatened, demeaned, accosted sexually, and set up to be electrically shocked. When she reported one of her attacks to a Chicago Police Officer, the officer told Ms. Hull that it sounded like a hate crime.
Ms. Hull is not the only employee who has experienced discriminatory or violent behavior at UIC. In fact, in a sworn deposition last January, another UIC employee Kathryn Livingstone testified to being sexually threatened by a UIC staff plumber (who, in addition, punched Hull): “…(since it was a) campus break…the building was virtually empty…all of a sudden, I felt someone’s hands on my shoulders and breath on my neck…I was scared.”
Other incidents at UIC include: a tradeswoman, whose drill was tampered with; another tradeswoman who was forced to work in an improper high voltage situation, which delivered a dangerous electric shock to the woman. A recently retired carpenter, Charles Gueno, who worked at the University for 30 years, and who was one of the first African American carpenters at UIC, stated, “(the situation on the job) is worse now than when I started.” And at least one African American man has been collecting all of the racist graffiti which is frequently posted to his locker.
While the majority of people who are cafeteria workers and cleaning crew at the UIC/Champaign campus are Caucasian, the majority of people in these positions at the Chicago campus are people of color. And even factoring in the cost of living disparities, the pay scale for these jobs are lower in Chicago.
Ms. Hull has chosen the venue of Federal Court to expose the University of Illinois’ criminality in perpetuating a hostile and discriminatory environment—and at a publicly-funded institution. “A university should be a model which fosters growth in individuals,” said Hull, “and in the realm of bettering society as a whole. Instead, by refusing to enforce its own non-discrimination policy, UIC is cultivating bigotry and hatred!”
Hull and her attorneys hope to find some justice with their appearance in court on the 4th. Citizens are urged to voice their concerns about this pattern of abuse with President James Stukel, Chancellor Sylvia Manning, and the Board of Directors (fax 312-413-8688). Hull commented: “Someone needs to finally speak up about these abuses at UIC--and hold the university accountable.”



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