Column: EIU rally attracts support from all around

Jack Cruikshank, Staff Reporter

Friday’s rally was a success in every way.

Not only did people come out in droves (the News-Gazette estimated it at 2,000 people), but the day’s events also spurred reactions from politicians around the state.

Gov. Bruce Rauner, Senate President John Cullerton and other politicians offered replies when asked about the rally.

Rauner and Cullerton’s replies, however, epitomize the need for bi-partisan cooperation in a way that will prevent large-scale layoffs and reductions in services around the state.

Spokespeople for the two men simply blamed the other party because, of course, it is never the (insert political party)’s fault!

Sirs, I implore you to flee from your ivory towers and comprehend what the Eastern community has shown you:

We need our promised funding.

This is not a preposterous request needed because of massive overspending.

On the contrary, this demand is necessary because of the absurdity of forcing state institutions to exist without any appropriation from said state.

This might sound morose; however, I have reason for hope!

When the idea for this rally was nothing more than an idea, our hope was to get a few hundred people who might simply have been curious what the rally-ers had to say.

The rally’s organizers had hoped to make Charleston news, and did not have plans for anything beyond that.

However, as some of you who attended the rally know, the spirit of the event was teeming with excitement and hope for what the Eastern community really can accomplish.

Since last week, alumni have been posting videos on the Fund EIU Facebook page about how Eastern helped them pursue and ultimately achieve their personal and professional goals.

In one week, more than 3,000 people have liked that Facebook page as a show of solidarity to the movement.

The media coverage of the event included multiple stations from around the state, and by the end of the day Friday, the rally was trending on Facebook.

I have heard reports of people from as far away as Wyoming and Texas having seen the rally as trending.

To me, that is wonderful.

This entire process shows that determined individuals can achieve great things if they just put their minds to it.

I might not agree with everyone at Eastern about political matters, but I know that when we share a common goal, there is a time to drop our ideological blinders to foster achievement that will outlive and outshine every one of us.

Now if we could only get our state legislators to realize that.

Jack Cruikshank is a senior political science major. He can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected].