Students hold sit-in to protest college’s staff cuts

Dozens of students participated in a sit-in at John A Logan College in Carterville, Illinois, Monday, protesting the school’s move to lay off 55 faculty members.

But students didn’t spend much time sitting. Instead, many rallied others on campus to fight for their teachers.

Instead of studying between classes Monday, some students at John A Logan College filled out petitions and painted signs, fighting back against last week’s layoffs. Students like Makennen Crain say they’re losing good teachers.

"Several teachers in the math department, as well as the science department, which is where engineering is concerned, have been laid off," said Crain, an engineering student at John A Logan College.

David Cochran, a history professor, is one of the 27 tenured educators being laid off. He says while it’s difficult for those being cut, he says it will end up hurting students the most.

"We need an educated citizenry, and so this goes to the heart of what our republic is founded on," said Cochran.

Students protesting around the college fill the halls, ready to spread their message wherever they can. They say the fight isn’t over.

Brandi Husch, student representative to the board of trustees and sole vote against the cuts, says they’re not expecting to reverse the college’s decision, but they’re not stopping there.

"The decisions here at John A Logan College are made. We need to be going to Springfield with these passions. We need to be getting a budget and getting the funding back to higher education, so we can get our teachers back in the classroom educating our students," said Husch.

"We’re hoping to get our message to Springfield, to Governor Rauner, to our state representatives to inspire them to work together and create a budget that will fund higher education," Crain said.

They say they won’t give up the fight until the budget impasse is over.

Students will hold an organized protest against the layoffs every day this week.

  • 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. Tuesday: petition signing at Skylight Lounge
  • 10 a.m. until 12 p.m. and 1 p.m. until 4 p.m. Wednesday: petition signing at Skylight Lounge.
  • 8 a.m. until 12 p.m. Thursday at Skylight and 1 p.m. until 4 p.m. that day at the Coffee Shop Lounge: petition signing
  • Protest rally from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. Friday: picketing the administration building

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