BSU addresses questions

By Maureen Morrissey

Black Student Union members attempted to clear the air by answering questions in an open forum Tuesday about Black Muslim leader Louis Farrakhan’s controversial NIU visit.

Farrakhan’s $13,000 lecture on the socio-economic problems of minorities in the 1990s will take place Jan. 30.

BSU member Demetricus Carlvin said he thought BSU had administrative support for Farrakhan’s visit. However, earlier this week he said he “saw a faculty member taking down a flier.”

Ticket sales for the event are lagging because of “negative publicity,” BSU President Chris O’Banner said. BSU Adviser Admasu Zike Sunday said he expects 4,000 tickets to be sold, but only 1,000 have been purchased, Carlvin said.

O’Banner said the Jan. 19 meeting about the lecture between BSU, Hillel Jewish Student Organization and SA members was “an ugly political move” on the part of SA senators Brad Strauss and Jordan Kagan.

“At first we thought the meeting was a success, but now we think there was an ulterior motive,” O’Banner said.

Strauss and Kagan petitioned the SA supreme court Jan. 18 to stop the SA executive allocation for the lecture funding.

Carlvin said because of the nature of the event, audience members will be frisked at the door.

In November, Campus Activities Board agreed to help finance Farrakhan with $6,000 and the SA executive board approved a $4,000 loan Jan. 16 to assist with the funding.

The remaining $3,000 will be raised by the ticket sales. Any money collected above that amount will be returned to the SA’s Student Activity fee account.