Resolution passed by UC concerns AD fundraising

By Vickie Snow

The University Council voted Wednesday to pass a resolution against the NIU Athletic Department’s fundraising method of leaving the stadium lights on, despite strong words from one council member.

UC student member Paula Radtke proposed the resolution because of concern about wasting electricity, “an expensive commodity,” she said.

“As a university, we have to teach people to be responsible about the environment and the budget,” Radtke said.

“It’s very wasteful to illuminate all the lights while coaches are calling (former athletic students) from the press box…using only a small portion of the stadium,” she said.

The UC voted to approve the resolution which states the UC “expresses concern over the Athletic Department’s fundraising tactics of illuminaing the stadium lights at night.”

However, Student Association Recreational Adviser David Burke voted against the resolution because it contains factual errors, he said.

“The resolution is pointless, and at its worse, irresponsible,” Burke said.

Radtke said sport events were held only during the afternoon.

Burke said some Campus Activities Board events were held at night.

Burke said the lights were turned on beginning April 18 and only kept on until April 26.

He said keeping the lights on “cost $258 which was absorbed by (Athletic Director) Gerald O‘Dell personally.”

Additionally, the fundraiser brought in about $5,000, he said.

Radtke said the issue is not cost-related and remains an issue of wasting resources.

NIU President John La Tourette defended the fundraiser because he “put pressure on the Athletic Department to raise additional funds.”

When the resolution passed, the four chandeliers in the Holmes Student Center Sky Room, each with 32 light bulbs, were anonymously turned off.