SCOPA holds rally to promote action

By Nancy Broten

After several weeks of planning by the Student Committee On Political Action, the pre-Day of Action rally came to life drawing the attention of nearly 100 students and passers-by with the message “education cuts never heal.”

The rally Thursday in the King Memorial Commons featured the band “Green” and speakers from the Student Association, the John Lennon Society, Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity and the Residence Hall Association.

The rally was part of SCOPA’s attempt to educate students about Gov. James Thompson’s budget cuts to higher education and the subsequent effects to higher education, and to promote action.

Speakers gave general information about the state of higher education funding, the effects of the $3.3 million cut to NIU’s budget and about the Oct. 21 Day of Action rally which will take place at NIU, Springfield, Chicago and campuses state-wide.

JLS member Jim Fabris, one of the speakers, encouraged students to strike from classes on the Day of Action. “Let’s all meet right here—thousands of us. Let’s send a message to everyone that there is a crisis—created by the legislature,” he said.

Student Association President Jim Fischer questioned the state’s priorities and it’s neglect of the constitution to provide for individuals who seek an education.

“What’s the purpose of a constitution if we don’t even make an effort to achieve those goals of the constitution?” Fischer asked spectators.

SCOPA members manning tables encouraged students to write letters to their legislators concerning the budget cuts, and to sign-up to represent NIU at the Day of Action rally in Springfield.

A President Willie Fowler announced at Wednesday’s SCOPA meeting the enactment of the sticker campaign. Fowler will be conducting a trial run of the stickers, distributing them to students to place on checks they write to local merchants.

Fowler said the stickers are not just for the Day of Action but rather a long term plan to inform students about the state of higher education funding.