02192019CW2123 rSPRINGFIELD — Assistant Majority Leader Iris Y. Martinez (D-Chicago) is continuing her work to expand opportunities for students at the University of Illinois to run for the position of student trustee by amending the university’s residency status requirements.

“Our institutions of higher education should be about promoting leadership opportunities,” Martinez said. “Being a student trustee is one good way students can serve and enhance their skills. And students who serve in these positions will graduate with an appreciation for the importance of civic engagement.”

Martinez first introduced similar legislation in 2016 after being contacted by an undocumented student who was unable to run for student trustee, despite the fact that he was enrolled in the university and an Illinois resident. The University of Illinois is a proponent of the initiative.

The University of Illinois Trustee Act requires students to be residents of Illinois in order to be selected as a student trustee.

Residency is currently demonstrated by three factors:

  • Evidence of the student’s residence in Illinois for at least the previous six months
  • A valid Illinois driver’s license or Illinois identification card
  • Being registered to vote in Illinois

But under Martinez’s proposal, a student would have to live in Illinois for six months and either have a driver’s license or ID card, or register to vote in Illinois.

Gov. Bruce Rauner vetoed the plan in 2016, and the House failed to call it for a vote after it was reintroduced and passed the Senate in 2017.

Senate Bill 172 passed the Senate Higher Education Committee on Tuesday and now moves to the full Senate for consideration.

Category: News Releases

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