THIS MUST GO VIRAL: If anybody and I do mean anybody is wondering what type of students come out of Chicago State University....take a look at this video. Meet Charles Alexander Preston and hear what he has to say about #saveCSU and #BudgetOrElse Repost RepostPosted by MaToya Mae Marsh on Saturday, January 23, 2016
Chicago State University, a predominantly Black public college located on Chicago's South Side, is facing a shutdown amid the state's unresolved budget impasse. The state of Illinois has been operating without a budget since June of 2015 due to Governor Bruce Rauner and the majority Democratic legislature being at odds over the allotment of funds. Chicago State is expected to run out of funds on March 1st, unless a deal is put in place. Monday, a Democratic Senator introduced $25 million legislation that would keep the doors open. As the reality of the university closing gets closer, students and faculty of the 150-year-old institution have been organizing to put pressure on lawmakers to end the deadlock. After speaking with students, faculty and community leaders, it's clear that Chicago State University's closing will contribute to the ongoing issues that already plague Chicago's South Side. CSU Senior & African American studies major Charles Preston, leading on campus activist efforts, recently spoke about the school's issues at Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr.'s Rainbow Push Coalition headquarters.
We spoke with Preston about his thoughts on CSU and measures students are taking to save their school. "The state tends to look at us as a number. Closing CSU would be taking away multiple resources from the south side of Chicago." Preston added, "Chicago State University is like a second-chance school." Preston organized a student protest earlier this month over Governor Rauner's decision to withhold a state budget. "The protest on January 9th helped bring national attention to the situation at CSU." Since student-led protests have garnered national attention to CSU, faculty and community leaders have come out to support the #SaveCSU movement. Kwesi Harris, the Director of the African American Male Resource Center at CSU, says that the closing of CSU "will be a national and international embarrassment". Harris adds, "It's educational genocide, impacting and impeding young people's aspirations to live out their dreams. This is impacting all 9 public universities in Illinois. CSU students were just the first to act." Author, educator and community activist Dr. Obari Cartman shared his thoughts on CSU's importance to the community, "My experience in an independent African centered elementary school and after attending an HBCU for undergrad, I am clear that any success I have achieved with a PhD and beyond is due to having incubator spaces like CSU to go to for reprieve and recharge." Just like the Black Lives Matter movement, young Black millennial's have been at the forefront of CSU's protest. Preston says, "The more we try to save our school, the more vocal the governor is about why the budget is being withheld."
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