Chalk up one for the students—well, sort of.
The $7 million Student Life Center project was put on hold, which can only be good news for students. After all, they were the ones who would be coughing up the fee money to build the SLC until well into the next century.
However, the reason the center is now on hold is not good news for students. Vice President for Student Affairs Barbara Henley said the recession and the cloudy state fiscal picture has caused the delay.
The sad fact is it took a major financial crisis for NIU administration to stall the project. It wasn’t the protests by student leaders or the rising cost of tuition, which is sure to increase next year. The suits (and dress-suits) at Lowden Hall knew any plan for expansion such as the SLC would be shot down quicker than a tax increase in Springfield.
Vice President of Finance and Planning Eddie Williams didn’t even cite the recession as a cause for the delay, claiming NIU did not want to confuse the issues of refinancing and the SLC.Well, it seems that’s the same excuse he gave in December when the students were marching around the commons, mourning the death of education. But why split hairs?
So, the battle will likely continue to rage on as soon as the financial sky is sunny. Student leaders should keep a close eye on the situation. Future students should continue protest efforts to stop this example of bloat in higher education.