Senator resigns bookstore committee

By Stephanie Bradley

Student Association Sen. Jim Valentine resigned last week from the Holmes Student Center Bookstore Evaluation Committee and was replaced Sunday by Sen. John Martin.

Valentine approved of Martin’s appointment to the committee. “John is a good senator. He’ll do what the SA wants him to do,” he said.

Valentine said he resigned because he “couldn’t ethically stay on the committee and vote against the SA.” The SA passed a resolution at Sunday’s meeting which endorsed the retention of the bookstore by NIU, which Valentine is against. “If you take sides on an issue before you know what you’re getting into … you get locked in. People are happy with the status quo,” he said.

An evaluation is being conducted on the student center bookstore to decide if it should be retained by NIU or run by an outside vendor. The committee will make a recommendation to the NIU administration after it has conducted research and discussions on the subject.

The three companies which gave presentations on the advantages of having an outside vendor would not have any business if they did not serve the students at their respective schools well, Valentine said.

Martin said he asked SA President Paula Radtke to appoint him to the committee and she did so.

Martin said he does not approve of privatizing the student center bookstore because NIU could do as good a job as an outside vendor. He said a competent manager should be hired and the store’s layout should be changed to improve the bookstore. He also cited the fact that no large universities lease to private companies.

Gregg Bliss, SA vice president and committee member, said “no one has shown a clear-cut reason that a private operation could do a better job than NIU” at running the student center bookstore.