Chicago State University, a predominantly Black public college located on Chicago’s South Side, is facing a shutdown amid the state’s unresolved budget impasse. The state of Illinois has been operating without a budget since June of 2015 due to Governor Bruce Rauner and the majority Democratic legislature being at odds over the allotment of funds. Chicago State is expected to run out of funds on March 1st, unless a deal is put in place. Monday, a Democratic Senator introduced $25 million legislation that would keep the doors open.

As the reality of the university closing gets closer, students and faculty of the 150-year-old institution have been organizing to put pressure on lawmakers to end the deadlock. After speaking with students, faculty and community leaders, it’s clear that Chicago State University’s closing will contribute to the ongoing issues that already plague Chicago’s South Side.

CSU Senior & African American studies major Charles Preston, leading on campus activist efforts, recently spoke about the school’s issues at Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr.’sRainbow Push Coalition headquarters.

We spoke with Preston about his thoughts on CSU and measures students are taking to save their school. “The state tends to look at us as a number. Closing CSU would be taking away multiple resources from the south side of Chicago.” Preston added, “Chicago State University is like a second-chance school.”

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