Rally supports Day of Action

By Nancy Broten

The sound of music once again will emanate from King Memorial Commons at noon Thursday in order to draw students to participate in a rally sponsored by the Student Committee On Political Action.

The rally is part of the Student Association committee’s ongoing attempt to educate students about the decline in higher education funding as a result of Gov. James Thompson’s budget cuts and the subsequent statewide tuition increases.

A north suburban Chicago band, “Green,” was recruited by SCOPA and Pi Kappa Alpha member John Devens to attract students to the commons.

“We want people to get out and get educated about the budget cuts. Hopefully, this will get (students) there and the speakers will take over,” Devens said.

Featured as speakers in the rally are representatives from the SA, several fraternities, the Black Student Union and the Chicano Student Movement of Aztlan, SCOPA Chairman Tom Rainey said.

ainey said Thursday’s rally serves to promote awareness and publicize the statewide Oct. 21 Day of Action, sponsored by the Illinois Student Association.

Students will rally that day on 15 college and university campuses as well as in Chicago and Springfield where legislators will be in session.

SA President Jim Fischer said student education and action will not end after the Day of Action. “It’s a much longer struggle. The 21st is a day of education and action. We have to take the momentum and carry it forward.”

Fischer said although the level of education among NIU students is good, there needs to be increased pressure on the legislature from both students and parents.

The ISA’s desired end is to persuade legislators to issue a tax increase and, therefore, award colleges and universities sufficient budgets without tuition increases.

SCOPA members are continuing to supply NIU students with information of the rallies in the form of letters to organizations, signs on chalkboards in classrooms and leaflets handed to students on campus.

NIU has been forced to steadily increase tuition as the result of a decreasing priority of higher education in the legislature, Rainey said.

This year, Illinois decreased its spending to higher education by 4.3 percent while Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota and Ohio all increased their spending to higher education by at least five percent, according to SA information.