ISS forms budget task force against Rauner proposed cuts

By Charlotte Collins

A budget task force to address Gov. Bruce Rauner’s budget cuts was approved 21-1, with 5 abstentions at Wednesday’s Illinois Student Senate meeting.

Additionally, Student Body President Mitch Dickey signed a letter last week along with 75 other student body presidents across the nation to support keeping students on Title IX conduct hearing boards. The letter was sent to U.S. Department of Education Secretary Arne Duncan.

Dickey received an invitation Tuesday inviting him along with the other student body presidents to meet with White House officials and Office of Civil Rights officials this April.

Budget Task Force

Dickey put together a budget task force last week, which has been meeting unofficially to discuss Rauner’s recent 31.5 percent budget cut. The executive order aims to work with state legislators and lobbying efforts against budget cuts to higher education.

Vice President-External Matt Hill hopes to publicize and lobby to change the budget cuts.

“These are really unprecedented budget cuts, and it’s important that we represent the entire student body and all of Illinois in keeping college affordable,” Hill said.

Respecting Religious Identity on Campus

Student senators passed a bill to work with Interfaith in Action, a Registered Student Organization on campus that focuses on respect and tolerance of all religions. The bill proposed working with the RSO as well as other University students to create a PSA for Better Together Day, which aims to create an inclusive attitude with respect to religious diversity.

Senator Derek O’Connell, graduate student, explained he sponsored the bill to give students and RSOs the opportunity to speak on their experiences regarding religion in the campus community. The original resolution stated the PSA will likely be uploaded to the Illinois1867 website as well as being aired at an event for Better Together Day April 14 hosted by Interfaith in Action.

“There are some instances on this campus where you have moments of intolerance, bigotry,” said O’Connell. “We’re hoping to step forward for tolerance, multiculturalism — understanding.”

Support for Concerts on the Quad

Dickey proposed a resolution regarding the use of the Main Quad for on-campus concerts. He said the current standing of the usage of the quad for concerts is up in the air.

“It was an oversight. It was being overlooked, and now they’re going to make a ruling on it,” he said. “The provost’s committee on facility usage will be deciding whether or not the guard can be used to host major events such as a concert.”

The proposal was referred to the Committee on Campus Affairs, who will consider it.