Martinez Proposal Will Encourage More U of I Students to Run for Student Trustee Position

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Education

An undocumented University of Illinois student was recently prevented from running for the position of student trustee because he was unable to show that he was a registered voter in Illinois. This occurred despite the fact that he was enrolled in the university and an Illinois resident. “We need to be sure students aren’t discouraged from running to be a student trustee,” said Majority Caucus Whip Iris Y. Martinez. “A student who can prove they live in Illinois and wants to serve their fellow students and university should not be held back by requirements that are too rigid.” The University of Illinois Trustee Act requires students to be residents of Illinois in order to be selected as a student trustee. Residency is demonstrated by three factors:

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Education

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

However, under Martinez’s proposal, Senate Bill 2204, which she passed out of the Higher Education Committee today, a student would only have to meet one of the three factors to demonstrate Illinois residency. “My proposal is a common sense solution that will help encourage more diverse representation on the University of Illinois’ Board of Trustees,” Martinez said. The University of Illinois is a supporter of the initiative and will be working with Martinez to get it passed this session.

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