Building proposal in drafting stages

By Holly Schubert

A proposal for a new building that would house some student service functions and alleviate many space problems for student organizations is being drafted by Jon Dalton, NIU vice president for student affairs.

“The first thing to stress is the idea is in the preliminary stage. There is no written proposal yet, but I’m hoping to have a short proposal within the next week,” Dalton said.

Some money for the project could come from funds generated through the refinancing of bonds. However, Dalton said this would not be the exclusive source. “State money is tight, especially for non-academic purposes. There just isn’t any free money available so some student fees would have to be involved. Because student fees would be involved, we’d want a lot of student discussion and input,” he said.

Dalton said there would be several advantages in building this facility.

First, the building would house some student service functions that are in need of space. “Career Planning and Placement and the Counseling and Student Development Center have had to take over the hallway in Swen Parson, making a crowding problem and a lack of confidentiality,” he said.

Joan Green, associate director of Career Planning and Placement, said, “We don’t have space for basically anything.” The area for job interviews is small, and noisy due to pedestrian traffic.

Kathy Hotelling, director of Counseling and Student Development, said her office is extremely low on space. “We aren’t able to expand our services in a way to meet the demand,” she said.

Hotelling said many students change majors several times and often need help in finding an area of study. The need for career counseling is increasing, as funds are cut back and departmental standards are increased, causing an increasing number of students to be closed out of their first choice of major. To meet this need, her office has developed a Career Resource Center within their already limited space.

Dalton said there are inadequate meeting facilities for all of NIU’s student organizations and a student life building could help fill this void. He said the building would provide access for space to groups that could justify their need.

There is no particular location in mind for the building, but Dalton said it would be located in an area where there is high student traffic. He emphasized that the project could not come into existence for three to five years.