Groups’ joint work brings Ferrakhan to talk on campus

By Dana Netzel

Muslim leader Louis Farrakhan, the controversial minister considered by some as being a spiritual leader and others as being racist, will receive about $12,000 when he speaks at NIU next semester.

The Student Association Finance Committee is loaning one- fourth of its supplemental funding account to the Black Student Union for the Chicago-based Farrakhan’s appearance, yet to be scheduled.

The current SA supplemental funding account is $30,000 and the Finance Committee approved about $7,300 with the stipulation $7,500 must be repaid.

In an effort to convince the SA Finance Committee to approve the $7,000 speaker request, BSU Vice President Otis Moore said Farrakhan “has made a lot of people angry,” but he makes people take a look at themselves.

“Sometimes it takes anger and frustration to motivate change,” SA Mass Transit Adviser Dave Pack said.

Farrakhan spoke at NIU in 1985. Before the appearance, there was a lot of controversy, heated arguements and propoganda, but once he spoke all of that ceased, SA Treasurer Bruce Williams said.

Former SA speaker Jon Erikson said in 1985, “Certain minorities feel that he is offensive to several minority groups and that their activity fees should not be spent for a speaker who is clearly a racist.

“Other students feel that Farrakhan’s appearance will create a black/white split and create further tension between the two groups,” he said.

A lot of students have expressed intrest in hearing Farrakhan speak and all races should have the opportunity to see him in person, BSU Speakers Committee Adviser Demetricus Carlvin said. People will understand him after the lecture, he said.

The only way to judge Farrakhan is to have him here, Carlvin said. The lecture topic has not been announced and people will have an opportunity to ask questions after the lecture, he said.

“In no way can he hurt the campus, if anything he can only help,” Williams said.

In November, the BSU approached the Campus Activities Board seeking half of the speaker’s $12,000 honorarium fee. The mid-level amount CAB allots for speakers is $2,000, CAB Vice President Barry Moscowitz said.

However, CAB is taking $6,000 from a speaker mid-level account and a regular CAB sponsored activities account to sponsor Farrakhan.

Other schools have paid $25,000 to $30,000 to hear Farrakhan speak, Carlvin said. “It is a big cooperation between the SA, CAB and BSU,” Moscowitz said.