Ballot to include initiative

By Tammy Sholer

An initiative will appear on the ballot of this week’s Student Association election asking NIU students if they are willing to pay a $2.40 annual fee for The Northern Star.

NIU Student Regent Nick Valadez said during Sunday’s SA meeting that the initiative is to “simply ask students how they feel.” He said the initiative is “the best way to go about it (obtaining student input).”

Valadez said he wants the initiative to appear on SA ballots both Wednesday and Thursday, but he said he is unsure if an initiative on both days’ ballots would be possible.

The Board of Regents—NIU’s governing board—discussed the Star fee at its March meeting and postponed further discussion until its April meeting. The Regents must approve the fee before it can be implemented.

In other business, SA President Paula Radtke said she is evaluating the lower level of the Holmes Student Center because she said it is inaccessible to handicapped students.

Handicapped students sometimes have to be carried down to the student center’s lower level, which “is kind of humiliating,” Radtke said.

Installing a ramp at the Normal Road entrance making the east side of the student center handicapped accessible is one of four possibilities Radtke said she is investigating.

Radtke said the installation of electric doors into the Pow Wow Room, located in the lower level of the student center, would access the south side of the building. She said a ramp also could be installed near the Carl Sandburg Auditorium entrance and a chairlift could be installed to help handicapped people get to the Huskies Den in the student center’s lower level.

From the Huskies Den, handicapped students can reach Students’ Legal Assistance and Campus Activities Board offices in the building’s lower level, Radtke said. A fourth possibility is refitting the student center’s freight elevator, Radtke said.

In other matters, Radtke said the SA Student Political Education and Action Committee might plan extra events for Day of Action III other than those of the John Lennon Society.

adtke said the JLS wants to make the message to Illinois legislators “too broad based.” She said SPEAC believes funding to higher education is the most important issue and wants that to be the main focus of Day of Action III.

SPEAC does not want to become involved in “socialism versus capitalism” with the JLS. Radtke said the JLS wants to dedicate the event to Martha Palmer, a former NIU CHANCE counselor whose firing last semester was deemed racist.