Wait-and-see attitude adopted

By Joe Bush

The NIU Student Association Sunday night voted unanimously with one abstention to adopt a wait-and-see attitude to the modifications to the Board of Regents’ proposed policy changes.

The action was the SA’s first regarding the controversial changes that have stirred much discussion since being introduced in March.

After the board postponed action in September on the original changes due to high-volume campus opposition, the changes have been modified to be voted on this Thursday at the board meeting at NIU.

The Regents govern NIU, Illinois State University at Normal and Sangamon State University at Springfield.

NIU Student Regent Bob Tisch said the SA would have acted sooner, in conjunction with the NIU Faculty Assembly’s opposition resolution, if the board had not postponed the scheduled vote. The SA wanted to wait and see what the board would finally act upon, Tisch said.

“It’s not a ringing endorsement, it’s not a condemnation. It basically states our understanding of the situation,” Tisch said of the SA’s action.

Tisch said the SA could have approved or not approved, opposed or not opposed the modifications. He said it was not a “ringing endorsement” because “it’s a situation that still bears attention.”

Tisch said throughout the controversy the SA opposed the deletion of the words “shall have direct access to members of the Board, individually and collectively” in the section on Regency presidents’ responsibilities.

“The reason this was the main concern is that the president is responsible for communicating the campus business concerns to the board,” Tisch said. “(The deletion) signified that the campus would have no voice except through the chancellor.”

In addition, it appeared this would give the chancellor “control of information” passed on to the board, Tisch said.

The board could have done one of three things when confronted with campus requests to delay the vote on the original changes, Tisch said. It could have: passed over the requests, in effect ignoring the campuses; “scrapped” the proposals altogether; or come up with a “new and improved version”, which is what the board did.

“It shows they can exercise great power, but also take care to listen to concerns of campus,” Tisch said.

SA President Huda Scheidelman said the “real test” will be the actions of the board. “Hopefully, the attitude of the board has changed as well as the words,” Scheidelman said.