Organizations want life center

By Jean Dobrzynski

Several campus organizations said the extra space a new student life center would generate is long overdue.

At the Counseling and Student Development Center, lack of space is interfering with the purpose of the facility, said Anna Payne, associate director for the counseling and student development center.

“Lack of space is our number one problem. Our staff members are scattered around in three different places,” she said. “We are not talking about luxury offices, we just want them adequate enough. Some can only fit two people in them.”

Payne said some graduate students come to the center because they want to train there for practical experience, but are turned away because there is no room to accomodate them.

“The students are getting short-changed and something needs to be done about the situation now,” she said.

Yolanda Trevino, student programming coordinator for the University Resources for Latinos, said the 800-member group had to cancel meetings because there was no location to hold them.

“We have to reserve rooms in the Holmes Student Center, which is fine, but every week it’s in a different room, if there’s a room available,” she said. “Sometime there’s no room at all and we have had to cancel.”

Trevino said the group has an office on Lucinda Avenue, which was formerly a house converted into an office.

Trevino said she realizes the student life center would most likely be implemented through a hike in student fees, but said it is up to the students to decide if they really want it.

“If the student population thinks it will benefit them as a whole, then I think it’s worth it,” she said. “I know other universities are building the same thing and NIU has to decide what it wants as well.”

Payne said she is in favor of something that would benefit the students, but how NIU pays for it is ultimately up to them.

“It’s tough for the students when the student fees go up,” she said. “But, there is also a great concern for a quality education and that cannot be done without activities that are not being short-shifted.”

Joan Greening, associate director for career planning and placement, said there definitely are too many students for the space she has to work with.

The Board of Regents will make a decision on the project at their December meeting.

“I hope the BOR allows us to make a valid assessment of what is to be done so we can get our questions answered,” Greening said.