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WNIJ's summary of news items around our state.

NIU Students Take A Stand After Proposed Budget Cuts

Some students at Northern Illinois University took a stand in light of Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner's proposed budget cuts to higher education. 

Rauner proposed a $400 million spending cut to state universities in February. NIU would have to take about a 31 percent cut as a result, which would amount to about $29 million. 

Mike Backer, a music education major at NIU, says a possible repercussion of the budget cuts may not only be a loss of quality faculty, but some classes students need for their degrees may not be available in the next year. He says he's currently facing that reality, and that's why students need to take a stand for their higher education in Illinois. 

"I always remember the words of my high school band director who always said, 'Don't ask, don't get,'" Backer said. "I feel this is very true for a lot of things that we're doing as adults who are pursuing higher education at this university." 

Backer is one of the few students who took to Twitter when his education foundations class heard their professor, Amy Stich, may not get her contract renewed to teach at NIU. He says that's how "#KEEPSTICH" was born. 

"It was something that we were very interested in -- making sure that in some way that she would return as a professor," Backer said. "And we were able to do so."

NIU listened; the school's live account operator tweeted back to the four participating students that Stich's contract was renewed for the next year and said they plan to "#KEEPSTICH."