Henley talks from both mouths again

Barbara Henley’s logic stinks.

Henley, the vice president for student affairs, claims excluding the public from an advisory board’s deliberations will encourage members to say what is on their minds. Shutting the public out will stimulate the free flow of ideas.

Hence, Henley will be able to spend the Student Association’s money the way NIU wants to.

Henley’s move is not stupid. On the contrary, it is sly and cunning. Finding such an obscure law is brilliant. It must have taken longer to map-out a strategy to rationalize her decision than thumb-through the law journals.

But there are a couple of things Henley and the board are ignoring. Like the fact that by holding public office or becoming student leaders, they agreed to be questioned and held accountable.

It’s regrettable that people dedicated to teaching and helping others can so easily ignore ethics and morals. It also is unfortunate that board members were so wary of the public’s reaction they felt compelled to hold secret dialogues.

It’s true that closed-door meetings are necessary and happen all the time. But that doesn’t make them right, especially now.

This is the one meeting that unquestionably should be open. Not only does it directly affect students, but it also is a hotbed of controversy. It’s an issue that forever has been debated at this and other schools.

Any comparisons between Henley’s underhanded dealings and other closed-door meetings are ludicrous. These meetings aren’t discussing inter-office procedures. This will determine exactly how much control NIU will have in changing how a duly-elected SA spends their peers’ money.

If Henley didn’t want to be questioned, if she didn’t want to be confronted, if she didn’t want to be told her ideas stink, then she shouldn’t have taken the job.

Students have a right to know what is going on. By excluding the press, Henley is excluding the public and hiding the truth.

The public is paying Henley’s salary—all $68,000 of it. The public is giving her the opportunity to live the lifestyle she does. The public has entrusted her with helping NIU students.

And Henley comes back with a closed meeting, thus telling the public it is more important to make her committee comfortable than to level with the public.

It’s a wonder Henley can sleep at night. After so many little chats with students—telling them she is there when needed—she now arrogantly says to everyone she is running the show.

Soliciting student input once again becomes an administrative buzzword thrown out to pacify the pathetic.

It is actually a toss-up on which is more reprehensible: Henley proclaiming to be the students’ savior or students again lapping up her drivel as scripture.

Therefore, it is not out of line to want in on Henley’s private little gatherings. After all, this is our money. This is our administrator.

That’s why Henley’s logic stinks.