Radtke puts year into perspective

By Holly Schubert

One situation frustrating Student Association President Paula Radtke is that she cannot guarantee NIU students that they will not face a tuition increase next fall.

Students do not have a vote on the Board of Regents—NIU’s governing board—and are not seen as a viable threat to state legislators at the polls, Radtke said.

However, sitting in the SA office she soon will vacate, Radtke said there is a positive note.

The SA, with the help of the Illinois Student Association, had “very good voter registration” this year. The SA voter registration project helped NIU exceed Southern Illinois University, Eastern Illinois University and Illinois State University in fall 1988 voter turnout.

Another guarantee Radtke said she cannot make to students concerns a possible addition to the Holmes Student Center. Students, who already pay $67 per semester to support the student center, cannot afford to fund another building or addition, she said.

Radtke said the SA has “come to an agreement” with NIU administration that students should have input in the management of the student center.

“Despite incredibly lousy internal politics, we’ve (the SA) managed to get a lot accomplished,” she said.

Radtke listed a campus-wide security phone system, increased transportation facilities for the handicapped, the passage of the ISA fee at the BOR level and restructuring the student tenant union as positive results of SA efforts.

The SA has also “stopped infringement on students’ rights” concerning the “REG” stamp issue, published a student action newsletter, formed a committee to change senate voting districts and has worked on establishing a cultural pluralism class at NIU, she said.

adtke said internal problems have made executive staff jobs more difficult because some senate members “don’t understand what the SA is about or its overall purpose.”

Radtke said she supports Senate Speaker Phill Buoscio’s candidacy for SA president. Buoscio has proven he is “a good communicator who gets his point across in a clear and concise manner,” she said.

“Phill has a sense of vision about the SA,” she said. “He knows his issues are subordinate to the positions of the staff as a whole.”

Many SA staff members and SA senators have endorsed Buoscio’s opponent, Huda Scheidelman. Radtke said she believes staff endorsements are due to loyalty to a fellow staff member and some senatorial endorsements stem from revenge for the impeachment of former Senate Speaker Joe Annunzio.

Annunzio was impeached as senate speaker this semester and replaced by Buoscio.

adtke’s advice to the next SA president is to “stand your ground” with administrators. “Compromise always sounds nice, but if you walk in with that attitude, you may get nothing. If you give in too soon, you can come out empty-handed,” she said.

Regarding problems within the SA, Radtke said the next SA president should ignore threats from disgruntled senators. “It’s not that you should be unresponsive,” she said. “Meet it head on.”

Radtke, who will graduate in May 1990 with a marketing degree, has not made definite plans to continue in politics. She said she will stay away from political positions because she could not enter a position “fresh and with enough enthusiasm.”

After graduation, Radtke said she would like to “try the business world out” before jumping back into politics. “I can’t seem to avoid politics. Politics seem to pursue me. But how can you be from Chicago and not be involved in politics?”