Students converge on Springfield to ‘save MAP’

Students from Illinois community colleges and universities convened in Springfield this week to urge members of the General Assembly to invest in their futures through support for Monetary Award Program (MAP) grants.

On Thursday, April 19, Gov. Pat Quinn told several hundred students gathered at the Lincoln statue on the Capitol grounds that “ … job-power follows brainpower … so encourage your legislators to support my budget request for $50 million additional funding for MAP.”

The Illinois Community College Board-Student Advisory Committee and Illinois Board of Higher Education-Student Advisory Committee helped stage the student rally at the Capitol.

College students rallied Wednesday in Springfield to urge continued funding of MAP grants.
(File) College students rally in Springfield to urge continued funding of MAP grants.

Also speaking was Sen. Ed Maloney (D-18), who chairs the Senate Higher Education Committee and is a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee that recommends MAP funding levels.

President Eric Radkte from Prairie State College joined several students who shared their testimonies of how MAP funding has made it possible for them to attend college.

Closing remarks were offered by Illinois Student Assistance Commission executive director, Eric Zarnikow. The student speakers were Dama Calderon from Joliet Junior College, Josh Beneze from Kankakee Community College, Matt Hiser from the University of Illinois at Champaign/Urbana, and Lisa Wallace from Governors State University.

Wallace expressed her gratitude for MAP funding which help make her college completion possible.

“My concern today is that my children, you, your children and fellow and prospective students may not have the opportunity to achieve their goals and dreams of obtaining a college degree and a great career due to a decrease in MAP funding,” she said.

Harper College student and IBHE nontraditional student board member, Justin McDermott served as emcee for the event. Kayla Randolph-Clark, Joliet Junior College Student Trustee, had lead responsibilities for organizing the day as Advocacy Chair of both ICCB-SAC and IBHE-SAC.

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