Pres. declines comment on incident

By Joelle McGinnis

NIU President John LaTourette declined comment on the letters of apology from Holmes Student Center Bookstore Manager Stanley Shedaker at a press conference Thursday.

LaTourette said he chose not to give a full explanation on the Jan. 21 bookstore incident because “this situation tends to polarize people.”

“I’m not sure where the truth lies. I think that’s what we need to get to,” and “I think we have an appropriate” committee and chairman to look into that, he said.

The ad-hoc investigation committee selected by James Harder, vice president for business and operations, will review the policies and procedures and recommend action to be taken in a written report.

Harder said the committee will hold its first meeting today to begin looking into the issue.

LaTourette said there are several sides to the issue that the committee will have to consider.

He said one side of the issue came about because “there has been a high rate of theft of materials (in the store).”

“The director of the bookstore came into a difficult situation. There was a theft and there may have been good reason to suspect people,” he said.

University Legal Counsel George Shur said there are a number of incidents each year when shoplifters get caught, but shoplifting has recently become a major problem.

LaTourette said another side to the issue is whether or not the bookstore uses appropriate security tactics in the interim of instituting a new security system.

Student Center Director Marlin Tenboer said a new set of security procedures written by Shedaker and approved by Larry Bolles, Judical Office director, will be released Monday after Shedaker has presented them to his employees.

The procedures will be implemented until the installation of a new electronic security system and will be reviewed and updated if necessary, he said.

Bids for the new electronic security system will open to contractors some time next week, Tenboer said.

LaTourette said the system would be similar to those in “major department stores.”