Money approved for black leader to appear at NIU

By Maureen Morrissey

The Student Association Executive Board allocated $4,000 yesterday to help the Black Student Union finance the appearance of black Muslim leader Louis Farrakhan.

SA President Huda Scheidelman said the SA did not have enough time to call an emergency senate meeting before Farrakhan’s lecture at NIU tentatively scheduled for Jan. 30.

Farrakhan, who has been accused of racism by some and admired by others, will receive $12,000 for his lecture on the socio-economic problems of minorities.

Although budget appropriations are usually subject to approval by the senate, the BSU needed a decision today and SA officials made an executive allocation, Scheidelman said.

An executive allocation can be made when otler alternatives, such as calling a senate meeting in one day, are not feasible, Scheidelman said.

Last semester, the SA Finance Committee approved over $7,000 to help the BSU finance the Farrakhan appearance, but the total amount did not meet executive approval and $3,000 was cut.

The Campus Activities Board has contributed $6,000 to help finance the lecture. Tickets will be sold to raise the additional $2,000 that is needed, BSU President Chris O’Banner said.

O’Banner said he feels that although the decision was “wonderful,” “it should not have taken as long as it did.” With only two weeks left to advertise the appearance, O’Banner hopes attendance is not affected.

Although there is conflict around Farrakhan’s appearance, the SA&”does not want to become involved in the controversy. We are simply respecting a person’s right to speak,” SA Vice President Steve Coloia said.

Scheidelman said she “does not believe a speaker should be discriminated against,” adding, “the topic (of the lecture) will be beneficial for all.” Scheidelman said she does:not believe Farrakhan’s appearance will cause violence.

BSU Coordinator Van Anthony Amos said the SA made an “excellent decision to finance the speaker.”