Recently word came out that Southern Illinois University had plans to bring in Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner as a keynote speaker for graduation. In most cases this would be seen as a positive move by SIU but in this particular case, Gov. Rauner has purposed massive cuts that would cripple the university that he’s scheduled to speak at.
SIU, in it’s infinite wisdom, simply replied that they had invited Gov. Rauner to speak before his new budget was purposed. Even a blind man could see what was going to happen if the Rauner was elected, and rumors were swirling around about the massive cuts that would be purposed, yet SIU in a kiss up move of sorts decided to invite him to speak anyway.
After news of this speaking engagement reached SIU students, a petition was created on change.org to replace Gov. Rauner as a keynote speaker at graduation. At the time this blog was created, the petition had 2,392 signatures on it. More than enough to catch the attention of the university and certain higher ups.
However, SIU, again in it’s infinite wisdom, decided to ignore this petition and continue on with business as usual, essentially telling students that your opinion doesn’t matter. Last I checked, SIU wouldn’t even be standing if it weren’t for the students and tax payers that contribute regularly to the school’s well being.
Whether you agree with the decision to keep Gov. Rauner or not, you have to respect the measures students have taken in protesting his scheduled appearance at the university. If I were part of the graduating class I would be furious at SIU not only for ignoring the opinions of the students but also replying in such a condensing manner.
Only time will tell how students will react to this decision, and whether or not it will affect SIU’s already low enrollment numbers.
If you would like to sign the petition asking SIU to replace Gov. Rauner as a keynote speaker for graduation, you may do so here.