DOA called success

By Stephanie Bradley

Organizers of Day of Action III said the rally was successful in accomplishing its goals, but some said the event could have been shorter.

“We got over 40 letters (to Illinois legislators requesting more state funding for NIU), over 1,000 people to sign the Senate Bill 0001 petition (for a separate governing board for NIU) and heightened awareness of the tuition-increase problem,” Student Association Speaker Phill Buoscio said.

“I spoke with some of the Regents (NIU’s governing body) and addressed some of the issues. I let them know what our problems are,” Buoscio said.

Buoscio said he and several other participants got together to discuss ideas on how to get more participation in future Days of Action.

John Lennon Society member Jim Fabris said he believes the day went well. “It was a protest that was sustained for six hours. At the high point, there appeared to be about 200 people participating. It’s good that we could have a demonstration where that many people stayed for six hours.”

But Fabris said the rally was too long. “The speeches were too long and repetitive, but that’s not surprising because a lot of people have thought about these issues for a long time.”

Fabris said some people might have been disappointed with DOA III because there was not a lot of excitement, as opposed to the previous Days of Action. He said a lot of people participated in DOA II because they knew the participants were planning a sit-in on Lincoln Highway.

Last April’s DOA II, resulted in the arrests of 79 NIU students when they refused to leave the highway.

If the issue of racism had been discussed at DOA III, a lot more people might have participated in it, Fabris said. “People said if you keep it limited to tuition, it would draw a bigger crowd because everyone has to pay tuition. That’s not true,” he said.

Susan Vincent, Student Political Education and Action Committee member, said, “We got students and the Board of Regents more aware of funding issues. There also wasn’t a stigma attached to this year’s Day of Action because there was no trouble.”

She said a goal is to have events throughout the semester which will sustain a high level of awareness on funding issues.

The brief sit-in at Lowden Hall was seen as helpful because the students were able to speak to Jon Dalton, NIU vice president for student affairs, about the students’ point of view, Vincent said. Students are hoping NIU President John LaTourette heard their complaints through Dalton and will make an effort to be more accessible to students, she said.