Your school and future

Participation is one of the necessary elements of democracy. In the early days of our country, Town Hall Meetings were a primary form of communication between legislators and their constituents. The absence of modern media and technology at that time forced people to come together and meet face to face. These meetings were forums where people could be educated on issues in government, and they could express ideas and concerns to their representatives. People have gotten out of touch and think that government doesn’t work for them. They don’t want to participate because they don’t think it matters. Recently, Town Hall Meetings have come back into fashion and legislators are holding them all over the country.

Do you know who your representatives are? On November 11, 1993 at 6 p.m., State Representative Dave Wirsing and State Senator Brad Burzynski are coming to our campus to meet with some of the people they represent—the students of NIU. Have you ever complained about tuition? Financial aid? Availability of classes, or deletion of academic departments? What effect would the elimination of the Board of Regents have on NIU? Would having our own governing board be better or worse? Both Sen. Burzynski and Rep. Wirsing sit on the education committee that is holding hearings on how the universities feel about the IBHE PQP cuts. Rep. Wirsing was very involved in the legislation concerning elimination of the current governing boards.

These legislators make decisions that directly affect you as students of this university. Issues such as funding of higher education, financial aid availability, IBHE PQP cuts—they play a role in determining the outcome of these things. Bring your concerns and ideas and come talk to these people. They work for you. Their job is to represent you in Springfield. How can you expect someone to represent you if you don’t use your voice? If any of these issues concern you—and they should—I expect to see you in the Capitol Room at 6 p.m. on Thursday, November 11. I’m sure there are some who would rather sit in their residence hall room or apartment and sleep or watch “Wheel of Fortune,” but I hope there are some students out there who want to make the effort to break out of this “apathetic student” stereotype. Just because you are a student, doesn’t mean you don’t matter. Take some action and be educated. It’s your school, and your future.