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Student Group Calls For Trustee Ouster

Thu, 10 Oct 2013 14:57:32 CDT
By: Charlie Schlenker

Student Group Calls For Trustee Ouster A student group at ISU is calling for the dismissal of a University Trustee. Megan Petraitis of the Student Environmental Action Coalition notes earlier this year Attorney General Lisa Madigan called ISU Trustee and oil company owner J.D. Bergman the worst polluter in the state. A spokesman for Bergman said at the time the violations alleged would be dealt with and that some problems occasionally happen as part of any oil extraction. But, Petraitis says there's a pattern of conduct with Bergman's company.

"The biggest issue, I think, is that it's an ongoing issue. It happened in 1999, 2005, 2006, and over the summer. So it's just, you know it's not getting better. And to be called like the worst oil polluter in Illinois, I think that's really saying something."

Petraitis says Bergman's poor environmental record cuts against Illinois State University values and mission statements. The coalition is collecting petition signatures to present to Governor Quinn who appoints Trustees. Bergman also sits on the Illinois Board of Higher Education. Petraitis says the hope is making Bergman a statewide issue will force Governor Quinn to do something in an election year. Even during the U of I admissions scandal in 2009, Quinn limited himself to asking for the resignation of trustees and did not test whether he could legally dismiss someone before their term ends.

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