Our inaugural issue’s theme was access. We chose to focus on two issues: access to education funding and access to student bargaining rights. We sought to explore the underlying legal issues that determine Illinois residents’ ability to obtain the necessary resources to provide for themselves and their families.
As public school students in a state whose government had failed to pass a budget from 2016 through 2018, education funding is an issue that has directly affected all of our lives. Our first writing bloc chose to focus on the legality of Illinois’ property tax-funded education system. The article assessed the ways the system exacerbates inequality between school districts and debated whether those funding inequities could reach an unconstitutional level as determined by Brown v. Board of Education.
Nearly all of us on the Review also saw student labor organizing in action when the Graduate Employees’ Organization (GEO) went on strike in the spring of 2018. We heard firsthand about the obstacles facing student-employees seeking bargaining power when negotiating with their university employers. Our second writing bloc sought to dive deeper into the legal implications of unprotected student labor, looking at case studies within Illinois and without. They examined the GEO negotiations for a stronger contract at UIUC; the University of Illinois at Chicago’s graduate student union strike; and Northwestern’s student-athlete union’s negotiations with the NCAA.