Group to send books to South Africa

By Joelle McGinnis

Plans to collect and send books to children in South Africa were discussed Wednesday by the Student Association Minority Relations Committee.

Thomas Gary, programming subcommittee chairman, proposed the idea and said it came from a suggestion made by committee member Julie Stege.

The committee is planning to take book donations Mar. 28 through April 1, two weeks after spring break, committee chairman Larry Robertson said.

Gary said the committee plans to use NIU’s resources to send the collected books to an established contact group which can get the books to children in South Africa. A contact group has not been chosen, he said.

The committee will accept text books, Bibles and any other kinds of books as long as they are in fairly good, readable condition, Gary said.

Donations can be made by students or other individuals, he said. The committee also will ask area libraries and bookstores for donations.

The committee is working on establishing a goal and formal plans for the event.

In other business, committee member Jim McDermott said a new student group is forming in response to the recent racist letters and incidents on campus.

The United Defense Coalition, which has held four meetings this semester, is a combination of minority groups on campus. McDermott said the group plans to become “formally” established.

The coalition meets Wednesday at 3:30 p.m. in the Center for Black Studies, but the location might change, he said.

McDermott said the coalition is planning to distribute anti-racism buttons on campus that read “Wipe Out Racism at NIU.”

The coalition would like to have the buttons distributed to students through local campus ministries, he said.

McDermott said the buttons can be worn by anyone with the intent “to difuse the current racial situation on campus and encourage minorities.”

Coalition members are planning to request support for the plan from the SA and NIU administrators.

In other business, the committee discussed the importance of having members attend Black History/Black Heritage Month activities. Robertson said committee members have attended all but one of the events so far.