Executive board gocuses on plans

By Stephanie Bradley

NIU’s student government, the Student Association, serves several purposes on campus, such as allocating funds and giving recognition to student organizations. It is run by students with the help of a few advisers.

The SA’s newly elected executive board has stated its plans for the coming school year. President Paula Radtke, Vice President Gregg Bliss and Treasurer Diana Turowski all are bringing new ideas to the SA.

Radtke said her main projects are the Tenant Union, pushing for a tuition surcharge, creating a student Regent vote and voter registration.

The Tenant Union is an organization designed to make sure students are fairly treated by their landlords. Radtke wants to initiate a room condition report that would be filled out by the student, signed by the student and the landlord and would be legally binding. A “party policy” sheet and a tenant/student fair is also in the works, she said.

One of Radtke’s bigger concerns is the tuition hike for the spring semester which seems likely to be passed. She wants to help implement a surcharge which could be recalled at the end of the semester. The surcharge would replace an ordinary tuition hike, which could not be recalled at the end of the semester

Establishing the right for student Regents to vote on Board of Regents issues is another of Radtke’s priorities. Each university in the Board of Regents system (NIU, Illinois State University and Sangamon State University) appoint one student to the board as a student Regent.

However, the student Regents are not allowed to vote on issues, she said. Since students pay a large percentage of the costs of these schools, it is only fair the student Regents should be able to vote, she said. The student Regents would get one vote among them with the plan she supports.

In order to get more students to register to vote, Radtke plans to have voter registration booths set up during Add/Drop sessions.

The main goal of SA Vice President Gregg Bliss is to revise the operating procedures of the SA Senate, on which 48 students serve as senators.

Bliss said senators come and go during discussions, then try to comment on issues about which they are not informed. He said he would like to see these people prevented from making comments on discussions they have missed. The senators would get their speaking privileges back only after the matter was finished.

To enforce this, Bliss wants a sergeant-at-arms to monitor activities during Senate meetings.

Bliss also is trying to implement a program which would familiarize new senators with parliamentary procedure, the system used to govern the meetings, before they attend their first SA meeting. “This would go hand in hand with their training. I also will have a manual for them,” he said.

Bliss is creating a booklet for all SA-recognized organizations which will explain the services available to students.

Treasurer Diana Turowski said she is attempting to figure out credit hour amounts so the budget can be made. She estimates this year’s budget to be nearly $20,000 less than last year’s. Turowski also wants to complete the budget earlier than last year as well as revise the treasury bylaws.