Yahale Yadede, a student at Northeastern Illinois University, is getting a first-rate education in political science. The only problem is that his education is coming from a little real-world experience in Illinois politics.
Mr. Yadede was elected as the student representative to the University’s Board of Trustees. He worked to represent the interests of students as well as taxpayers, who foot the bills at the public institution. The school’s Board of Trustees is made up of one student and nine trustees appointed by the governor.
From the beginning the Board expected the student representative to be seen and not heard. But that just wasn’t Yadede’s style. One thing he did: oppose a plan to build a palatial estate for the University President. He thought the million-dollar price tag was excessive and wasteful of taxpayers’ money. He found several residences close to the University available for half the cost. So now the Illinois Legislature is involved, passing a bill forbidding graduate students from serving as the student trustee. You guessed it: Yadede is a graduate student.
The House of Representatives also passed a one-year term limit on the student trustee, but no limit on those appointed by the governor. The Senate realized how silly they would look slapping a term-limit on a lone student trustee while merrily cashing in on their own unlimited political careers, so they nixed that provision. Yes, you can get a first-rate education at our universities just watching the political double standards. Ah, higher learning.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.