Candidates discuss ways to improve SA

By Tammy Sholer

During a two hour debate Monday, Student Association executive candidates expressed their opinions on improving the SA to a crowd of about 40 people.

Candidate for SA president, Phill Buoscio, said a serious problem the SA faces next year is unity in the SA and the current ineffectiveness of the senate.

He said strong leadership would help cease internal bickering in the SA, which, he said, has been a problem this semester. He said a presdential/senate speaker forum would help solve fighting in SA Senate meetings.

Huda Scheidelman, also a candidate for president, said tuition and fee increases should be the SA’s main concerns for next year because all students are affected by having to pay more money.

She agreed with Buoscio that strong leadership is required to stop fighting among senators, staff and executives, but communication between SA members is the key to a unified SA.

Scheidelman said the lines of communication that exist in the SA are not used to their full potential and she said she plans to better utilize those communication resources.

Buoscio said the emergence of racism needs to be addressed by negotiating with the groups involved. He said people need to “spearhead (racial) problems pro-actively.”

Scheidelman said a Black Student Union liaison should be integrated into the SA to aid in combating racial unrest on campus. She said she would carry out Vice President for Student Affairs Jon Dalton’s idea to form a committee in which students, rather than the administration, would initiate solutions to racism.

An important job for the vice president is dealing with student organizations and making sure each are equally represented in the senate, vice president candidate Kara Bradford said.

Forming a committee containing one member from each organization can bring organizational concerns to the senate, she said.

Steve Coloia, also running for vice president, said the senate has a CHANNELS program in which a senator has about three organizations to contact so the organization’s concerns can be presented to the senate. He said although the progam needs to be improved, it is a “good program.”

Both Bradford and Coloia said they are conversant in the SA Constitution and bylaws and in Robert’s Rule of Order, which is a book outlining the parliamentary process.

Vice president candidate Sean Zenner was unable to attend the debate because he was attending class. However, Casey Caul read a statement from Zenner and answered several questions for Zenner.

Zenner’s statement includes that he has never served as a SA senator at NIU, which exempts him from any “inefficiency” in this year’s senate. Zenner has an “open-mind open-door” stance for most of his policies, Caul said.

Unopposed treasurer candidate Bruce Williams said an important duty of the SA is allocating money to SA recognized organizations that reflect the needs of students. He said the majority of students’ needs are being satisfied through the current budgeting process. The SA’s bylaws and policies are “fairly good,” Williams said.