SA, officials search for new King statue

By Dana Netzel

A partially-completed $21,000 Martin Luther King Statue was scrapped by the Student Association and NIU officials, but officials are on a quest for another sculpture.

Two SA members and two university officials traveled to Pine Bluff, Arkansas in October to view the seven-foot sculpture. They decided to cancel the three-part contract and took a $7,000 contract loss.

“It (the statue) is not what the university or students hoped to have protrayed for Martin Luther King,” said SA President Huda Scheidelman.

The sculptor, Ernest Davidson, took the job as a favor to the university and received $7,000 because the contract was broken. The Black Student Union proposed the idea five years ago and received $10,000 funding from the SA.

The three-stage contract allowed university officials to view the artist’s progress. The contract consisted of three $7,000 payments for initial materials, a clay model completion and the bronzing of the statue.

The SA will ask students to support a one-dollar student fee per semester on the SA election’s ballot and referendum Wednesday and Thursday.

The outcome of the referendum will determine how much money will be spent on another statue. “Estimates for a statue range from $95,000 to $145,000,” said SA Treasurer Bruce Williams.

The students set aside $10,000 from the last statue and the administration will match any funds the students generate, he said.

A committee of university administrators, students and faculty will be formed this semester to search for an artist. Scheidelman said she hopes another statue to be completed by Jan. 16, 1991.

“It (the statue) is not what the university or students hoped to have portrayed for Martin Luther King.”

Huda Scheidelman, SA President