SA treasurer aims to clarify details of Farrakhan’s visit

By Maureen Morrissey

To clear up confusion surrounding black Muslim leader Louis Farrakhan’s NIU visit, Student Association Treasurer Bruce Williams outlined important dates leading up to Farrakhan’s Jan. 30 lecture.

Williams spoke in defense of the SA executive board at the Jan. 19 SA Supreme Court hearing and related the following dates.

Talk of Farrakhan coming to NIU began last September. However, the Black Student Union asked the Campus Activities Board in October for $13,000, Farrakhan’s total cost.

CAB President Brett White said his organization agreed to contribute $6,000 on Nov. 27. BSU representatives asked the SA Finance Committee for the remaining money.

The Finance Committee approved a $7,000 loan Dec. 6, pending senate approval. In order to repay the loan, a suggestion to charge admission was made and any profits made would be returned to the Student Fee Account.

However, the senate must approve all supplemental funding requests and admission charges, according to SA bylaws.

On Dec. 9, the SA executive board, composed of Williams, President Huda Scheidelman and Vice President Steve Coloia, allowed the BSU to charge admission—a decision some senators feel should have been made by the senate. The board justified their action by explaining the SA did not have a scheduled meeting before the spring semester.

The first contract BSU submitted to Farrakhan called for $5,000 upfront, with the additional money paid after he spoke. Farrakhan rejected the contract and sent a second asking for $10,000 upfront.

The second contract had to be signed by the first day of classes on Jan. 16. Williams said he and Scheidelman were not officially notified by the BSU about the second contract until the day of the deadline.

The executive board met and allocated $4,000 for the lecture that day. Scheidelman said although she would have rather had senate input, calling a senate meeting would have been impossible.