Students protest governor's planned commencement speech - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Students protest governor's planned commencement speech

CARBONDALE, IL (KFVS) - Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner is set to be the keynote speaker at SIUC's Commencement May 16, 2015, but not everyone want him there.

About 1,500 people have signed a petition against his appearance.

The university invited Governor Rauner shortly after he took the oath of office in January, which was one month before he proposed a one-third funding slash to higher education.

At SIUC, that would mean certain research programs would be cut.

Despite the petition, university officials and some students say the appearance could be a good thing.

"Governor Rauner got put into a tough spot coming in, so it's a double edged sword meaning that I think he does have good intentions coming down and actually wanting to see what's going on in the university," Matt Schmidlin, a member of the SIUC Student Government. "So I really hope when he comes down, he makes the most of his time if he still decides to be the commencement speaker for us, and actually take a look at what might be cut here." 

The university plans to honor their invitation to the governor.

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