By : Jasmine J Bundy
Imagine having the harsh reality of choosing whether to pay for book, food or gas daily. There are students in the state of Illinois which you, Governor Rauner, govern who face these issues daily. Although you have not blatantly stated that this issue does not concern you, your actions speak this truth. Governor Rauner, it is a safe assumption that you have never had to budget in respect to the basic needs of survival.
You have never had to budget to stay warm, budget to remain fed, budget for shelter, or budget to stay alive. It has never been a necessity for you in these connotations. Therefore, perhaps there is not a full understanding in your camp of what is occurring and what is at stake. In over 100 years, a governor in Illinois has not withheld a budget as you continue to do. The actions of your administration displayed since July 1, 2015, in which by law a budget should have been passed, are un-befitting, unbecoming and ill-mannered actions for a person who holds the title of “Governor of Illinois.” It is unashamedly discourteous to students, like myself at Chicago State University (CSU) and others, to punish us for mishaps that occurred before or for which we had little to no control over. CSU’s students are not incompetent, idle, or possess a sense of entitlement in the least bit; however, we do believe we are entitled to a chance to succeed, flourish, and prosper. From the beginning, we are told to go to school, make good grades, obey the law, do what is morally right; and if we do this , we will succeed.
We believed this, I believed this, but the Governor’s failing to uphold his end of the agreement was never discussed, simply because we trusted. For example, at every angle I pursued my degree no matter the circumstances. I was denied financial aid my sophomore year, and I worked two jobs to compensate. Once I turned 24, I was fully eligible, but it was still not enough to cover the full cost of college. I, then, took 6 classes because the 6th one at CSU is free; I kept a 3.5 GPA to keep my scholarship I received from the Honors College. All this I did while working full time as a pharmacy technician; I did all of this because I trusted in the promise of education as my fellow college students have done. Not one single person has ever said to us that the actions of one Governor could negatively impact Illinois students.
I am fortunate enough to be graduating this semester, but what about my peers of various colors and backgrounds. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said “an injustice anywhere is a threat to justice ever where.” It is a bit pretentious to say that this is an injustice, but affirming that this is a disservice is undeniably applicable. Some students cannot protest regularly, some cannot organize rallies regularly, or attend meetings, but neither can we stand and watch, idly, at the dismantling of a great institution because of the failure to disseminate tax payers contributions. However, what I can do and what everyone can do is write, protest by the pen “for the pen is mightier than the sword.”
As the Governor of Illinois, these are things that should matter to your administration; however, your actions say you do not, and it is deplorable. As governor, there should be a sense of urgency to rectify and ratify these happenings in Illinois.