Court asked to waive fee

By Maureen Morrissey

The Student Association Supreme Court was petitioned Wednesday to stop the SA Executive Board from spending $4,000 to help finance black Muslim leader Louis Farrakhan’s visit to NIU.

SA senators Bradley Strauss and Jordan Kagan petitioned the court in hopes of an injunction to stop the SA funding until the issue can be brought before the senate. The petition will be heard at 9:30 tonight.

“The executive board showed poor judgment” when it chose to allocate the funds without Senate approval, Strauss said.

The executive board members, SA President Huda Scheidelman, Vice President Steve Coloia and Treasurer Bruce Williams, approved the money for Farrakhan.

Scheidelman said she would “have preferred the senate look at this issue, but it was impossible.” The Black Student Union, who is bringing Farrakhan to campus Jan. 30, needed a decision on the funding Tuesday, not allowing enough time for an emergency senate meeting to be called, Scheidelman said.

Strauss said although calling a meeting would have been difficult, no effort was made to do so.

Heavy dispute lingers over Farrakhan’s visit and Strauss said this is “one of the biggest controversies the senate has had to face.”

Joyce Schribner, Hillel Jewish Student Association president, said “student fees should not be spent to bring a racist to this campus.”

Scheidelman said she has “respect for different positions,” but she has talked to several students and most have been in support of Farrakhan’s appearance.

“This is a situation where either way we went we were going to get flack,” said Coloia. “I based my decision solely on the fact that because of his following (at NIU) we can justify spending $4,000.”

BSU Vice-President Demetricus Carlvin said “people will be surprised at what Farrakhan has to say, he has a message of human survival,” adding, “Most people are not aware of his positions and the good he does.”

Kagan said, “We are not opposed to his right to speak, but we do not think student fees should be spent to bring him here.”

Some students feel Farrakhan’s appearance will increase racial tensions and provoke violence. Carlvin said, “We will always have bipolarity” at NIU, and Farrakhan will not increase tensions.

The same worries were present when Farrakhan came to NIU five years ago, but nothing happened, Carlvin said.

Antoin Howard said, “We are lucky to have him because his popularity has grown.”