On Monday, February 8, A Save CSU Rally took place in front of The James R. Thompson Center where a plethora of state offices are located. CSU Student leader, Charles Preston gathered students around as he spoke vibrantly on the importance of Chicago State not being just an institution, but a second home to its predominantly black student body. The media also gathered to hear remarks from a variety of student leaders, including CSU student government president, Paris Griffin and David Flynn from TEMBO; they spoke on the necessity of CSU remaining open. According to the speakers, Chicago State students come from a variety of backgrounds. These students expressed how much this institution has opened doors to them when they did not have anywhere to go; such institutions give students a second chance at achieving success. Faculty, alumni, community activists, spectators, and students of different institutions came to speak on what is taking place in Illinois higher education. As a result, students are refusing to be silent on such critical issues like college closures. These students are fighting for their futures.
In the midst of the crowd, the students begin shouting, “Bruce Got Our Money! This Right Here Ain’t Funny!” Then, the crowd began their peaceful protest in the streets, continuing to shout a variety of phrases such as, “Save CSU, Black Education is good for our Health” and “Rauner Better Have My Money.” Charles Preston led the group as he made a stop in front of Bruce Rauner’s equity firm Golder, Thoma, Cressey, and Rauner , however, a police officer held him back. Mr. Preston commented that such a building is worth 11 billion dollars, which is where he felt the Governor was storing the institution’s money. Thus, the message is clear; the demonstrators want the Governor to do his job and pass the budget. Student leaders don’t feel as if they are asking for any extreme demands; they simply want to further their education. The rally ended with students gathering again at the Thompson Center and relating their success stories and the necessity of Chicago State staying viable.
P.S. Follow along with the movement to stay informed of upcoming events.