By Emily Lapinski
Dominican faculty and students gathered outside Lewis Hall this afternoon to hear Gov. Pat Quinn announce his $1,345,758 construction grant to the university.
The grant will be used to fund the university’s plan to build a student commons on the North side of Mazzuchelli Hall. In addition, the Dining Hall kitchen will be expanded and modernized and air conditioning will be installed in the Social Hall and Dining Hall.
Student Government Association president Cutberto Aguayo introduced Gov. Quinn, calling him a leader to those “without a voice or vote.”
Aguayo said: “Although I am acutely aware that this is an election year, I am glad the governor came to Dominican because it gives the governor a chance to strengthen his ties to the University. He has shown a deep commitment to undocumented students, college affordability and now by providing financial assistance to build our student commons.”
Gov. Quinn talked about the importance of Dominican values as well as his personal ties to the university. He said: “One of my best workers went to Dominican. Dominican does a great job of teaching its students the ethic of service and other fundamentals of what they need to know in life. Service to others is the rent we pay to God for our place on earth.”
At face value, this visit and grant are beneficial for the university; however, some students are skeptical. Junior Chance Emlund said: “I find this plan to be yet another instance of frivolous spending by our Democratic governor. Furthermore, with Dominican being a private institution, I do not understand why we are getting state money to put towards this expansion plan. We may be gaining a luxury but this does not benefit any of our futures nor does it help our debt-plagued state.”
President Donna Carroll was delighted with the visit, despite its proximity to the election next week. Carroll said: “It’s a strong statement for his support of higher education. The fact that he is familiar with Dominican and our students and what we’re doing is important. His visit is probably timely but I think it’s sincere. He’s announcing dollars that were committed before this election cycle.”