SA asks schools to join in on rally


Dillon Domke, Student Association Senate Speaker, talks during an SA Senate meeting Sunday. The SA has invited students from Northeastern University, College of DuPage and Kishwaukee College, amongst others, to participate in a rally during Gov. Bruce Rauner’s visit to NIU on Thursday.

By Rachel Scaman

The Student Association has reached out to students at other Illinois colleges and universities to participate in Thursday’s rally during Gov. Bruce Rauner’s visit to NIU.

The SA has contacted Northeastern Illinois University, DePaul University, College of DuPage and Kishwaukee College, among others, to participate in Thursday’s rally, said SA Senate Speaker Dillon Domke at a Sunday meeting.

Students from those colleges have been invited to participate in the rally at 4:30 p.m. Thursday in the Martin Luther King Jr. Commons. Domke said the goal of the rally is to educate students about the state of Monetary Assistance Program funding.

Rauner will be in DeKalb to attend the DeKalb County Economic Development Corporation’s Annual Dinner and State of the County event.

“We walk by every day talking to students about the issues with the state funding and the MAP grants, and students don’t know what’s going on,” Domke said. “They don’t know they could lose their MAP funding next semester from the state. Heck, they lost it already this semester but luckily the university is covering the bill for that.”

Rauner and the General Assembly have been locked in a stalemate regarding the approval of a state budget, resulting in unpaid MAP grant funding for NIU and schools across the state. More than 5,000 NIU students who receive MAP grants have been tentatively credited what they would have been awarded had there been a budget at the beginning of the academic year; however, they may not receive credits from NIU if a state budget is not determined by the spring semester.

Another goal for the rally is to empower students to give students the opportunity to be “agents of change,” Domke said.

“We are going to focus on the facts about what will happen, what could happen if there is no MAP funding or if the impasse continues to grow longer,” Domke said. “… We are going to have a voter registration drive. We are going to have petitions. We are going to have state representatives there. So, it’s an opportunity for the students to have their voice heard.”

Mass Transit

Robert Jusino, SA director of Mass Transit, said the new HuskieLine bus tracking system should be implemented during winter break.

The system will allow students to sync their class schedules to a tracking app, which will send warnings when the bus is approaching, Jusino said. The system will cost $41,090 initially, and $19,440 annually.

“These servers are dinosaurs compared to what [ETA Transit Systems] can offer us.”

Jusino said Mass Transit is also working on getting transportation service Uber active in DeKalb.