I didn't ask, but I think Chris Kennedy, a new member of the University of Illinois Board of Trustees, sent a clear message yesterday not only with his first question, but by the intended audience for that question. He had just listened to a quick but detailed orientation from an administrator about U of I attributes and challenges. Among many other things, he heard that thousands of students at all three campuses are in danger of losing some critical state financial aid in the spring semester. He didn't ask for clarification. He got it. When it came time for questions, he turned to the three student trustees and asked them if the students on the three campuses were aware of the problem. Yes, they told him. Then he asked if there's a genuine concern that students will have to drop out in the spring if they don't get this financial aid. Yes, they told him again. Not long afterward, Kennedy was elected the board chair. Then there was a great photographic moment -- I didn't have a camera -- with Kennedy and Governor Pat Quinn chatting in a very friendly way with the three student trustees. I hope someone took that picture.