City Leaders, University President and Students Urge Funding Support for EIU


CHARLESTON - For many on the campus of Eastern Illinois University, in Charleston, the spring semester is winding down with graduation around the corner.

For others, uncertainty about the summer and fall semester is in the air.

However, students are not only receiving an education at EIU, they're major contributors to the area's economy according to local mayors.

Charleston mayor Brandon Combs said that, "Eastern is more than just an employer though, eastern brings economic vibrancy to this community.  It brings in thousands of students to become a significant part of our community."
"If people don't have a job or if they're fearful for losing their jobs they're not going to be able to buy that new automobile or that new refrigerator," added Mattoon mayor Tim Gover.

Additionally, Effingham mayor Jeff Bloemker said that, "to us and many other people from Effingham, Eastern Illinois isn't just a place to get a bachelor's degree, it is our closest portal to the rest of the world."

It's not just state lawmakers and local city officials who are concerned about the future of EIU.  The university's president and students also share that concern.

Senior Andrew Donsbach said that, "EIU members of this community when faced with adversity, we don't give up; we work harder.  And that's why this university is important."

"As an institution our greatest concern has been, and always will be, our students and their education.  However, the impacts of the standoff goes well beyond our students and have the potential to jeopardize the economic vitality of both, our region and the state as a whole, for generations to come," said EIU president David Glassman.

Despite the ongoing budget stalemate, lawmakers aren't scheduled to return to Springfield next week.

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