Source: The Chicago Sun-Times
On March 25, 2004 The Chicago Sun-Times reported,"More than 9,100 students at the University of Illinois voted in favor of keeping Chief Illiniwek at the school, while about 4,000 voted against the school's controversial mascot, student government officials announced Thursday. The unofficial results stem from a student advisory referendum held Tuesday and Wednesday. There are more than 38,000 students at the university, so about a third of the student body cast ballots in the election, which was conducted over the Internet. The chief has divided the university's flagship Urbana-Champaign campus for years. Supporters of the mascot say it is a 78-year-old university tradition that pays homage to Illinois' American Indian history. Opponents argue the Chief perpetuates a racist stereotype."