To our Redbird Community,

The recent announcement from the U.S. Supreme court overturning Roe v. Wade represents a significant shift for our nation. The decision brings with it feelings of grief for some, relief for others, all set against a highly politically charged environment.

I am asking you to not invalidate how people are feeling or dismiss the impact this momentous decision has upon them personally. The level to which the lives of our students, faculty, and staff have interwoven with this debate cannot be expressed easily. This decision will not be the end of dialogue, legislation, and discord. In the days and months to come, we will continue to discuss and process its immediate and future implications.

As was shared at Academic Senate in May, the Governor signed SB25 into law as Public Act 101-0013 (The Reproductive Health Act) in 2019, which established the fundamental right to reproductive health, including the right to use/refuse contraception and the right to continue a pregnancy and give birth or have an abortion. Student Health Services offers Illinois State students reoutine gynecological health care, pregnancy testing and counseling, and educational information regarding sexual health concerns. Illinois State University has and always will value every member of our community and remains committed to equity. I ask you to be respectful of one another. I ask you to care for one another.

The University will hold a Listening Circle under the guidance of Student Counseling Services from noon-1:30 p.m. Thursday, July 7. With roots in Indigenous cultures around the world, Listening Circles provide a space for speaking with and listening to each other in an atmosphere of safety, with an opportunity to openly express feelings of anxiety, grief, or confusion without judgment. The Circle is open to Illinois State students, faculty, and staff.

Register for the Listening Circle here.

If you need additional support, I encourage you to reach out to the resources freely available to you as a member of Illinois State University. Student Counseling Services is available to provide support for students and can be reached at (309) 438-3655. Faculty and staff members can learn more about services offered through our Employee Assistance Program by calling (833) 955-3400.

Sincerely,

Terri Gross Kinzy
President