SA execs concerned with ISA fees

By Maureen Morrissey

Student Association executives worry student fees spent for membership dues to the Illinois Student Association are a waste of money.

SA Vice President Tanya Smith expressed her concerns at a informal senate meeting Saturday.

Smith said the ISA “is not serving our needs” and “NIU will decide by September” if it will continue the $22,000 membership.

Smith said she wants to set up a committee this summer to see if “there is something else we (NIU) can do” with the money, about $1 per student.

ISA’s main function is lobbying in the state and federal senate university students’ interests. ISA also informs its members of current legislation pending in the state and national legislatures.

Smith said NIU might benefit from the organization’s efforts without belonging. “Even if three major universitites are members of ISA and we (NIU) are not, they (ISA) will still work for our best interests,” Smith said.

SA President Rob McCormack said he is concerned with ISA and he wants NIU to make its feelings aware. “If the ISA is a professional organization and its’ effectiveness has always been a concern with the SA,” he said.

However, Senate Speaker John Fallon said he has not sensed a problem with ISA. “The ISA is a valuable asset to all public universities,” he said, adding “NIU needs ISA’s lobbying efforts.

Smith said the University of Illinois has its own lobbyist who is paid $25,000 annually and NIU might want to investigate doing the same.

Former SA President Huda Scheidelman said just having one lobbyist would not be enough. “Besides getting the services of two lobbyists, we (NIU) get legislative information that would otherwise be unavailable to us,” Scheidelman said.

Saturday’s meeting was the only one scheduled for the summer, but McCormack said he would call for more if necessary.

McCormack said interviewing for executive staff positions is ongoing and he hopes to have all the spots filled in the next few weeks. Five of the ten positions have been filled.

Jodi English was chosen for the chair of the recreation committee and Todd Allen for the Mass Transit Board. The Public Relations Committee will be headed by Lara Cipolla and the Campus Welfare committee by Curt Stein. The Recycling center director will remain Dave Broustis.

Committee heads yet to be decided include Academic Affairs, Elections Commission, Minority Relations, Research and Community Affairs.

At the meeting, CAB Visual arts coordinator Erik Eide presented the executives with a photo album containing pictures of the SA art collection.

Eide said there are 274 pieces in the collection. However, the location of 32 pieces is “questionable,” Eide said. Most of the pieces in question have been missing since 1985, he said.

McCormack said “it seems the collection is in good condition.”

Other SA summer projects include completion of a campus safety manual and the formation of a search committee to find an associate vice president for student affairs, McCormack said.

Also, a SA-Campus Activities Board relations committee will meet to try to upgrade relations between the two organizations. McCormack will meet today with CAB president Wendy Reid.