SIUC students react following Rep. Bryant's "attack" statement

CARBONDALE, IL (KFVS) - One local lawmaker calls it an "attack" on SIU Carbondale and students from the university have a lot to say.

A package of bills in Springfield that includes splitting the campus from its sister school in Edwardsville. Those bills include House Bills 1292, 1293, and 1294.

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Toussaint Mitchell, SIU's newly elected Student Body President is not happy about the bills in Springfield involving his university splitting from SIUE. He said, "We shouldn't be competing with our sister school, it should not be like that."

He sees the potential division as unproductive,"If SIU system has one common goal, which should be for the students at the end of the day, then we can move forward as a unite together to make sure that the students and staff and faculty are being treated fairly."

State Representative Terri Bryant feels this bill and others are legislative "attacks" on SIUC. So, she started an online petition to stop them.

Bryant says the SIU system will be stronger if SIU remains a single system. She said,

"You cannot ignore the politics that is driving the actions taken by Metro-east lawmakers…If SIU-E had actually grown as rapidly as is being portrayed, then I would not be quite as cynical in characterizing this move as mostly political. The truth is that over the past 7 years, SIU-E's enrollment dipped and then recovered, resulting in only a slight uptick in enrollment."

All this the controversy has students picking sides.

Mitchell said, "It will affect everything at the university," however SIUC Freshman Marshall Brown says, "I don't think the Legislators attacking SIU by sponsoring this bill…I mean I'mm still optimistic about SIU nothing has happened to make me feel differently."

Rep Bryant says though the deadlines for the legislation has passed, lawmakers approved an extension which gives them until tomorrow.

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