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Chief Illiniwek Rally Planned

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A University of Illinois student group plans to hold a Chief Illiniwek rally at the Assembly Hall on campus next month.

Students for Chief Illiniwek has rented the arena and says the event is planned for November 15th. It is scheduled to include a performance by Logan Ponce, a student chosen to be a sort of chief-in-waiting in case the university ever reinstates the mascot.

Illinois stopped using the chief mascot last year after years of pressure by American Indians and others who saw the mascot as a demeaning caricature. The NCAA also levied sanctions against the school.

University spokeswoman Robin Kaler says the school has nothing to do with the performance. But she says it can't stop the students from exercising their right to free speech.