Groups to discuss campus violence

By Michelle Landrum

Several campus organizations will meet at 9 p.m. tonight in the Holmes Student Center’s Regency Room to discuss racial tension and general violence at NIU.

Members of the Black Student Union, BROTHERS, Feminist Front and Freedom Now organized the meeting to inform students of steps they can take if targeted by discrimination.

The advice consists of “very realistic steps,” including calling the NIU Discrimination Hotline and the police, said Doralice Gardner, BSU liaison with the Student Association Senate. Victims of discrimination should not act on “personal vendettas,” she said.

A mass meeting originally was scheduled for Oct. 24, but was cancelled at the last minute due to lack of publicity.

Meeting organizers then decided to use the gathering as a planning meeting. About 40 people attended the two-hour meeting, which became a heated discussion centered on media coverage and community reactions to the Oct. 14 attack involving five white males and one black male.

One recommended step was “getting information down so it can be well-documented,” Gardner said. “A lot of students simply feel afraid” to report an incident, she said. Individuals also might simply dismiss the information because they are not sure if the incident is racially motivated, she said.

BSU Vice President Demetricus Carlvin said recent attention given to incidents at NIU is both good and bad. “It’s good we’re finally realizing the problem, but it’s bad the price it came to light,” he said.