Student senate to review Illinois Board of Higher Education- Student Action Team meeting

Student Senate will be looking over future lobbying plans, which were brought up at the Illinois Board of Higher Education- Student Advisory Committee meeting, during their next senate meeting.

The meeting will take place at 7 p.m. Wednesday in the Arcola- Tuscola Room in the Martin Luther King Jr. University Union.

At the Student Advisory Committee, the representatives from various state schools talked about different tactics to improve and fix issues regarding higher education such as higher education and Monetary Award Program grant funding.

Kaylia Eskew, the student body president, said the institutions, who are a part of the committee, thought it would be beneficial to get state legislators to pay attention by taking a social media approach to show the importance of the funding higher education.

“We are trying a new tactic, to help encourage legislatators to increase MAP grant (funding) or at least not cut it anymore,” Eskew said.

Eskew added with the help from of Eastern and other schools, there will be a twitter and Facebook up and running by Saturday. Currently, they are gathering data to figure out how to make the pages more successful. The twitter handle will be Reviveil.

“When all of the Illinois schools go to lobby or if they have any information on it, (legislators) can get that,” Eskew said. “We want to get this trending so that it gets noticed by legislators.”

Social media has shown to be an effective tool to promote awareness of issues, Eskew said.

“(Legislators) are getting a lot more responses that way and they are getting them faster,” Eskew said.

Yazmin Rodriguez, a sophomore sociology major, will be setting up the Revive IL Facebook page to try and reach all platforms. Tweeting and Posting to these sites is not exclusive to student government though. Eskew said she wanted those representing the state to understand the Eastern student’s interest in the matter.

The Illinois Board of Higher Education- Student Advisory Committee lobby day, on Apr. 30 will also be mentioned at the senate meeting. Executive Vice President Mitch Gurick said it is still “up in the air” whether Eastern participates in the lobby day. In the future, the Student Action Team, a group focused on Eastern lobbying efforts, will deliberate on whether to go with the committee or to go separately.

Gurick said he, as well as student government members from other schools like Northern Illinois University, believes the date is unreasonable for students.

“It’s too late in April to participate in the lobby day,” Gurick said. “The focus towards the end of the semester is really more on academics and worrying about your classes.”

The team might instead go on a joint group lobby day with a couple of schools earlier in April.

Senate will also be appointing the spring 2014 committee chairs. They have currently not been finalized though, Student Senate Speaker Brandon Goodman said. He said it would be finalized before the meeting though.

Jarad Jarmon can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]