#RememberRekia Organizers Visit Governor Rauner to #SaveCSU
When: April 28, 2016 at 10:30AM
Contact: Hannah Baptiste firstname.lastname@example.org
Organizers from Assata’s Daughters, Black Lives Matter Chicago, BYP100 and the fierce femmes of Fearless Leading by the Youth (F.L.Y.) deliver burned degrees to Governor Bruce Rauner at the Thompson Center
Today, Chicago State University will host its 358th Commencement Ceremony–yet graduation is uncertain for most of the University’s student body. While some students will celebrate completing their academic journey, others will be reminded of the threat that the Illinois budget impasse has dealt to their hopes of one day doing the same.
In a symbolic action, non-graduating students participated in lighting flame to faux degrees on Monday (April 25th). Today, we deliver these degrees to Rauner because of his unwillingness to present a budget that fully funds higher education.
At Chicago State, 86% of its students receive financial aid, causing the university to depend on state funding for 1/3 of its operating budget. Thus, the political standoff between politicians in Springfield sent CSU and other universities throughout the state into an economic crisis. CSU, specifically, was pushed to implement an expedited semester–wrapping up classes weeks earlier than usual–and send letters of termination to its faculty and staff.
After months of student protests, Illinois lawmakers recently passed a bill to partially fund higher education until July 1st. Though students acknowledge the last minute relief, they also recognize that partial funding is a partial victory. So, burning degrees also represented a re-commitment of themselves to the fight to demand long-term, full funding for their beloved university.