Students on the Illinois Board of Higher Education Student Advocacy Council (IBHE-SAC) shared two resolutions with their college senates recently. At Knox, Student Senate passed both resolutions. Senior Hannah Tochtrop, Knox’s representative on the council, explained what the two bills entailed prior to the voting.
The first resolution addresses consumer rights as student debtors, according to Tochtrop.
“It’s calling for institutions to give a complete waiver listing out every right a student is signing away when they sign their loans. We are doing this to make awareness and [for the resolution to] act as a catalyst for discourse so that in the future the problem of consumer protection can be addressed,” she said.
The second bill, also known as the Affordable College Textbook Act, was introduced and referred to a congressional committee mid-November of last year and is supported by Illinois Senator Dick Durbin. The Senate Bill will expand the use of open textbook, aiming for more student savings.
“It’s proposing incentives, like federal money, to institutions. These incentives would be given to institutions that are buying textbooks for all of their students to use so students who can’t afford books for class can go to the library, or wherever it may be,” Tochtrop said. “The incentives will be given on a competitive basis. This proposal is that schools will be evaluated based on the accessibility of these programs, how many students benefit from them, things like that.”
Once the senates around Illinois have voted on the resolutions, the SAC committee can vote on the resolutions backed by support from their college senates. Following, SAC will present their resolutions to the Illinois Board of High Education who, they pass it, would present it to the Senate. As the second bill has already reached a Senate committee, the resolutions of the SAC committee will serve as student support of the bill.