Letter to the Students

By Gus Bode

Fellow Students,

I hope summer has been good to everyone. It is my job as Undergraduate Student Government President to make sure students are informed about issues that affect them on campus.

Last Thursday, I attended an SIU Board of Trustees meeting. One of the agenda items for this meeting was a request for approval of an increase of $14,828,910 for the library renovation project. The university administration hopes to have the project funded by the state. However, the state has not funded any new capital projects like this for the past three years, according to information I received as a member of the Illinois Board of Higher Education – Student Advisory Committee. If indeed, the state does not grant the request of the university, who will be stuck with the $14,828,910 check?


Together myself and the President of the Graduate and Professional Student Council Steven Middleton presented a statement to the board. In this statement we spoke about the positive affects that the newly renovated library could have on campus. We further discussed the financial burdens students at this institution have faced over the past few years. It was our belief that, in the end, tuition would be increased to pay for this project. We could not sit by and support a measure that would drive the cost of education at this University up any further. As it now stands, students are already paying $1,200,000 a year for the new library. We informed the board that students do not wish to spend any more. President Middleton and I both talked to many students about this issue and I can say that every student we spoke to said no. However, last Thursday the Board of Trustees passed this measure despite a “no” vote coming from both student trustees. At the meeting President Poshard assured me that this increase would in no way affect tuition and fees. It is now our job to make sure that promise is kept.

I want students to know that I am in your corner, and I am working very hard to do what I have been elected to do, including keeping the cost of education here at this institution down. It is apparent to me that we have our work cut out for us. In order to make a significant change, students will need to be involved. I will do my part to inform you of the issues and what you as students need to do. However, it is essential that students follow through.

Demetrous White, Jr.

USG President

[email protected]