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Student trustees at the Southern Illinois University campuses in Edwardsville and Carbondale are a step closer to having an equal opportunity to vote on institutional matters presented before the SIU board of trustees, said state Rep. Katie Stuart, D-Edwardsville, who has introduced a bill.

stuart katie square“Granting the students from both campuses the power to vote will ensure that each campus will get equal representation on important votes and will be more equitable,” said Stuart. “This legislation also will eliminate the possibility that the governor could give voting privileges to one student over the other, which will avoid situations we have had with past governors in an attempt to control funding to one university or the other”

Each year, one student from each SIU campus is elected through a campus-wide election to serve on the SIU Board of Trustees. However, only one student is given the status of a voting member on the board. Typically, the vote alternates between the two universities, but under the current law, the governor does have the power to assign the vote to either student. House Bill 2239 will remove the power from the governor to assign the vote by giving each student the opportunity to become voting members of the board. House Bill 2239 passed out of both the House and the Senate and will advance to the governor’s desk.

“This legislation is important for establishing equity between the SIU institutions,” continued Stuart, “Both the Edwardsville campus and the Carbondale campus deserve the opportunity for their student interests to be equally represented each year.”