Higher ed committee brings student perspective to the statehouse


Photographs courtesy of Michael Agbabiaka

Group of students meets with Jimenez.


A local group of students is making their voices heard at the Illinois State Capitol. The Higher Education Student Advisory Committee provides advice and the perspective of students to State Representative Sara Wojcicki Jimenez (R) from the 99th district. 

The committee is made up of students from both UIS and Lincoln Land Community College. 

According to Kaelan Smith, a member of the committee, the groups includes students from both campuses with the hopes of providing Jimenez with a representative sample of her student constituents. 

Staff from Jimenez’s office contacted Smith about forming the committee. 

“[Jimenez] really wanted to connect with students in her district” about issues affecting college and university students, Smith said. 

Currently, the committee is working on a proposal to offer student discounts to businesses in the downtown area. The committee hopes that this initiative will encourage more students to engage with the Springfield community at large, while also supporting downtown businesses. 

The committee is still working on the details surrounding the downtown discount. The final proposal, which will be presented to Jimenez, includes potential business partners, marketing ideas to promote the initiative, and ideas for how to implement the discount.   

The committee plans to continue work on the proposal into the summer, and hopes to begin the discount program in time for the start of the fall semester. 

Beyond the current work on the proposal, Smith said that the committee plans to continue to provide Jimenez with the perspective of students in the 99th district. 

He also hinted that the committee may provide feedback to Jimenez on legislation that affects higher education.