Students Rally for Restoration of State Funding
Johnny Itticheria ’11 of Bloomingdale, Illinois, is one of four Trinity students who joined thousands of others in Springfield on Thursday, October 15, to lobby for a reverse in the Illinois State legislature’s decision to cut Monetary Award Program (MAP) funding for the upcoming spring semester, affecting 137,000 students who rely on it for help with paying tuition.
Students were pleased to hear a few days later that Governor Pat Quinn signed a law giving him the authority to restore MAP funding for the remainder of the 2009-2010 academic year. Because of the state’s financial crisis, the decision had been made earlier to cut MAP funding for the spring semester; Quinn plans to borrow from some of the state’s special funds to pay the $205 million needed.
“My only ‘plan B’ if funding didn’t come through for the spring was to work and try to save up the money, which I’m doing now with a part-time job, but classes, homework and rising costs of living makes things very difficult,” said Itticheria. “Before they think about cutting funding for the MAP grant again, lawmakers should consider why it was made available in the first place and analyze the cost benefit not only for the individual student but his or her economic and social impact on the neighborhood, community, and state.”
Along with Itticheria, Trinity students Elvis Madison ’10 of Joliet, Illinois; Samantha Mang ’10 of Bristow, Virginia; and Sylvia Turner ’10 of Chicago, Illinois, carried a large banner signed by hundreds of their fellow students in anticipation of the rally.
“To see many different students come together under one common goal was amazing,” said Turner. “It was powerful and in the end our goal was reached!”
Ryan Zantingh ’07, assistant director of financial aid, accompanied the students to the state capital.
Governor Quinn welcomed the crowd and took some time to shake hands and take pictures with the students.