UIC campus takes part in student rally

By Matt James

CHICAGO—As part of the statewide Day of Action, representatives from Illinois and Wisconsin schools marched and rallied against Illinois tuition increases here Wednesday.

After a pre-rally at the University of Illinois-Chicago campus, protesters marched through the downtown Chicago area, ending with a rally in front of the State of Illinois Building.

Both rallies featured speakers and protesters representing UIC, Triton College, Loop College and the United Council of University of Wisconsin Student Governments.

UIC Political Science Professor Dick Simpson spoke at the pre-rally, “mainly to show people that education in Illinois needs some public support,” Simpson said.

Simpson, speaking before a crowd of about 100, said Wednesday’s Day of Action “is not a single day of action. It’s the beginning of a year-long process of changing the mindset of the Illinois legislature.

“Education is only part of the loss. We have to be a part of the solution.

“We have to change their (legislators’) priorities, so that education means as much in Springfield as it does here at UIC,” Simpson said.

John Hayes, UIC student government vice president, spoke at both rallies Wednesday in “an attempt to make students and the state aware that we don’t appreciate what’s happening in Springfield.

“We don’t appreciate having money stolen from us,” Hayes said. “We won’t be steamrollered without showing legislators we have an opinion about this issue.”

UIC student body president Laurie Paul said she was “tired of seeing the university come to the students when they need more money.”

“The university (UIC) bureaucrats don’t care what happens to us,” she said. “They’re just out to look good.”

Paul said UIC is the fourth most expensive public school in the nation.

“We can pray, but the president (of UIC) and the university trustees just don’t care (about the students),” she said.

Adrian Serrano, member of the United Council of University of Wisconsin Governments, said students “have to send a message to Washington that the best national defense rests in their good education.”

Serrano said there is a “national trend of legislators being afraid to raise taxes.

“You (Illinois students) have to send a clear message to Springfield, just like we sent a message to Madison last year,” Serrano said, referring to last year’s tuition increases in Wisconsin.

About 50 protesters left the UIC campus and marched to the State of Illinois Building.

Once there, the protesters waved signs at passers-by, handed out stickers and chanted. The pre-rally speakers, except for Simpson, spoke again at this rally along with students and a student’s parent.