Student government addresses budget crisis


Patrick Li

Campaign season begins for Illinois Student Government The Illinois Student Government meets in the Pine Room in the Illini Union on Jan. 29. Election day is approaching soon for the organization. Patrick Li The Illinois Student Government meets in the Pine Room in the Illini Union on Jan. 29. Election day is approaching soon for the organization.

By Gillian Dunlop, Staff Writer

Student government leaders are trying to give students a voice about the current state budget crisis.

In light of recent efforts by student leaders from universities across the state, Evan Williamson, from the University Alumni Association, gave a brief speech at the Illinois Student Government meeting Wednesday on an initiative to bring buses of students to Springfield, Illinois, to demand answers regarding the state budget crisis.

“What we are trying to do is give students the opportunity to meet with legislators one-on-one,” Williamson said. “The political process is fundamentally driven by people.”

Williamson went on to discuss how this budget crisis affects every single student at the University and that it will not be solved if students do nothing.

“Higher education, health and human services is about 10 percent of our state’s budget that’s totally defunded,” Williamson said.

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Moving along in the meeting, Vice President External Alex Villanueva addressed concerns some senators had previously expressed about seeing Customs and Border Patrol officials at a basketball game.

Villanueva checked on the incident and reported to the senate that Customs and Border Patrol had a contract with the University to recruit on campus and pass out information.

In addition to this information, the senate also came to an agreement about the hydration stations that will be placed around campus during Unofficial. The committee was able to decrease the cost of the stations by $750 by buying coolers instead of renting them.

Most of the items on the agenda Wednesday were referred back to their committees, but one caused a 45 minute debate.

The debate concerned whether the senate should or should not support placing a referendum on the ballot during the March election about campus transportation fees.

Villanueva wanted the senate to attach this referendum onto the ballot citing that it would be a good idea for the University to keep the same student fee for transportation as it is now. Other senators called this into question and wanted to know why the transportation services should not have to go out and petition to be on the ballot themselves.

Eventually, this item was passed and the referendum will appear on the ballot.

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