100 head to Teach Out in Springfield

Kalyn Hayslett, Editor-in-Chief

 

About 100 people from Eastern went to Springfield Thursday to protest the state’s lack of higher education funding.

During the Teach Out, as the event was called, there were teaching sessions on topics such as the impact of Monetary Award Program grant cuts to students, the importance of higher education and what people can do to help.

“I want to see Governor Rauner pass a budget and fund MAP grants,” William Harrison, a sophomore sociology major who participated in the Teach Out and rally, said in the press release.

According to the press release, participants included students, faculty and staff members from public universities and community colleges across the state. Joining them were community members and civic organization allies.

The 750 total people who participated were split up into groups of 10.

Jon Blitz, president of the EIU-UPI, said the environment was energized, chaotic and somewhat angry.

“There were so many discussions happening at the same time,” he said.

Jo Stauder, a senior sociology major, volunteered to be one of the teachers at the Teach Out held at the Capitol Rotunda, according to the press release.

“I came today to share my experience of how Rauner’s actions are diminishing my experience as a student,” Stauder said.

Associate professor of sociology Gene Deerman said in the press release that funding higher education is critical.

“Education can create equality in society,” she said.

Blitz said he hopes the Teach Out garners attention for the universities in Illinois.

“It’s a step for us to get involved,” he said. “This and other things will get the needle moving sooner rather than later to provide funding for schools who really need it.”

“Keeping quiet is not something we can afford to do,” Blitz said.

Following the Teach Out in the Rotunda, participants gathered outside to hear speakers talk about the urgent need for a budget and to prioritize investing in the state’s future.

“We are appreciative of the number of students that came, and I believe they felt it was worthwhile,” Blitz said. “We are happy they came.”

 

Kalyn Hayslett can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]