Op-Ed: MAP Matters…So Why Don’t You Care?

March 1, 2016

The Dominican Star’s Editorial Board has written the following piece. Editorials contain the opinions of the members of the Editorial Board. Members include Co-Editors-in-Chief Cory Lesniak and Marty Carlino, Managing Editor Melissa Rohman, Sports Editor Christopher Sich, Chief Copy Editor Emily Lapinski, and Digital Editor Sarah Tinoco

Each issue of the Dominican Star will contain editorial on various trending topics. The opinions do not reflect those of Dominican University.

With the veto of Senate Bill 2043, Illinois state Gov. Bruce Rauner has left schools around the state searching for answers in terms of providing MAP grant funds to students in need. In response to the veto, schools throughout Illinois have started developing plans to deal with the missing MAP grant funds.

Before we go any further, we would like to dispel the misconception that Gov. Bruce Rauner is the only one to blame for the missing MAP funds.

Several weeks ago, the Illinois State Senate passed a bill that would provide funds for the MAP grant and left the decision in the hands of Gov. Rauner. The important thing to understand is that Gov. Rauner didn’t have much of a choice when this bill reached his desk. The state of Illinois has no budget and the state’s budget deficit is so large that it’s almost incompressible. By incompressible, we mean Illinois is currently in a $9 billion annual deficit that will grow to $14 billion by 2026. Democratic legislators knew exactly what they were doing when they passed this bill. They knew that by passing this bill, they could put the pressure on Gov. Rauner and make him appear as the true villain in this situation.

In reality, both parties are to blame for Illinois’ budget crisis. For over 20 years, Illinois democrats have burdened this state with terrible decisions and poor legislation. They have operated under the assumption that they can keep pushing this problem down the road and that they will never have to deal with it. Well, the problem has finally hit the brick wall they have managed to perpetuate the notion that Gov. Bruce Rauner is the only one to blame and that the Democrats are the ones that really care.

Let’s be perfectly clear here, everyone in Illinois State legislation for the past 30 years is at fault. Republicans and Democrats are both to blame, not a single person. No one person or party is responsible for this problem.

Dominican is now faced with the problem of developing plans to address this issue. Departments have been asked to cut their budgets by 3-10 percent to help with non-existent funds. Dominican’s student government association as well as the university implemented a series of rallies designed to protest and put pressure on the state of Illinois to respect the commitments they have made to students. However, the engagement of Dominican students at many of these events was a disappointment. On Thursday, Feb. 12, Concordia University held a MAP rally and Dominican students were invited to join. There was a total of eight students from Dominican at the rally. We understand that there was short notice and many students had class and other prior commitments. Nonetheless, the turnout at this rally was a disappointment.

Five days later, schools around the state gathered at the James R. Thompson Center in Chicago to rally for MAP funds. The turnout was better, but we still don’t understand the general sense of apathy towards the MAP situation on campus.

An important thing to realize is that, regardless of whether or not you receive the MAP grant, you could still be impacted by the veto. If students are forced to depart from Dominican, due to lack of funds, remaining students may see an increase in their tuition. The bottom line is that MAP matters and we as a student body need to acknowledge the issue or else we will suffer the consequences.