HARRISBURG – The Southeastern Illinois College Education Association (SICEA) will be hosting a rally this afternoon at 5:15 p.m. to raise awareness about program and staffing cuts. Rallygoers plan to attend the Southeastern Illinois College (SIC) Board of Trustees meeting immediately after the rally.
“We are losing students. Enrollment is declining. If we don’t do something soon, there will be no programs left at SIC,” former SICEA President Sara DeNeal said. “We cannot afford to lose SIC. It provides an affordable option for higher education to students in Saline, Gallatin, White, Pope, Hardin and Williamson Counties.”
The SIC board is currently proposing to eliminate three positions and make cuts to the arts, business program and the library. These are on top of the cuts the board has been making for years. So far, those cuts have impacted students studying building trades, criminal justice, biofuels, early education, engineering and criminal justice, among others. The cuts have also led to four staffing positions being cut.
“Sadly, enrollment at SIC is already declining. Tonight’s rally is about telling the administration and the board that cutting more programs for students is only going to lead to even lower enrollment,” DeNeal said. “We strongly believe SIC needs to make it possible, so students can make it happen.”
SICEA represents 33 faculty members at SIC. The college serves approximately 5,000 students, mainly from neighboring communities.
Tonight’s rally begins at 5:15 p.m. in the student center cafeteria on the SIC campus. All rallygoers are being asked to wear masks and socially distance.
The 135,000 member Illinois Education Association (IEA-NEA) is the state’s largest education employee’s organization. IEA represents preK-12 teachers outside of the city of Chicago and education support staff, higher education faculty, retired education employees and students preparing to become teachers, statewide.