250 College Students heading to Springfield over Budget Crisis

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URBANA – The Illinois Student Senate announces student leaders have mobilized over 250 college students to travel to Springfield to advocate for legislators to pass a budget.

Students leader from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have mobilized students from across 20 public universities and community colleges. These students will travel to Springfield on Tuesday, October 20 to join President Tim Killeen and other university presidents for a “crisis advocacy day.”

The following education institutions will be represented: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, University of Illinois at Springfield, University of Illinois at Chicago, Illinois State University, Western Illinois University, Northern Illinois University, Eastern Illinois University, Northeastern Illinois University, Southern Illinois University – Edwardsville, Southern Illinois University – Carbondale, Chicago State University, DePaul University, Governor’s State University, Morton College, Richland Community College, Rock Valley College, Illinois Central College, Parkland College, Lincoln Land Community College and Harold Washington College.

University presidents will be meeting with Governor Bruce Rauner and other legislative officials that day.

Students will also be attempting to meet with legislators from their home districts. This spans over 102 representatives and 49 senators.

Illinois student leaders say the budget impasse puts certain financial resources as risk, specifically the MAP (Monetary Assistance Program) grants.

Student body president Mitch Dickey recently began leading a campaign titled “Cuts Mean Us” after Governor Rauner announced a 31.5% cut in higher education funding. Dickey’s campaign aims to highlight the impacts these cuts have on students.

The U of I Office of Student Financial Aid reported 6,034 students at the university receiving MAP grant funding in the fall 2015 semester. This totals up to $13 million according to the office and student leaders.

“These budget cuts hurt students, but no budget will have an even more detrimental impact on us. I don’t know what’s going to happen to students and their families if Springfield doesn’t fix this,” Dickey says.

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