SCOPA looks at activism discussion idea

By Nancy Broten

Members of the Student Committee On Political Action talked over the idea of a “round table discussion” between NIU student leaders which would focus on student activism at NIU and campuses nationwide.

SCOPA Chairman Tom Rainey said representatives from the NIU Nuclear FREEZE, the NIU Student Caucus, Chicano Student Movement of Aztlan (MEChA), the Lambda Christian Fellowship and the Black Student Union have expressed interest in the discussion.

The format would allow each representative to speak five to 10 minutes on the subject of student activism, and then the audience would be able to ask questions. “Hopefully, at that point, it would evolve into a group discussion,” Rainey said.

ainey said the “round table discussion” would be a one-time program, possibly to be held in January, but “if it works out well, maybe we could make it into a more ongoing thing.”

ainey and graduate student Todd Kuzma discussed the possibility of the “round table” members forming a coalition similar to the Anti-Racism Coalition. The Anti-Racism Coalition was formed last year in order to plan the Anti-Racism Rally which occured last spring.

Kuzma said, “I think we could continue on the same lines as the Anti-Racism Coalition. Not only was its purpose to get rid of institutional racism on campus but to bring black and white students together to get them more comfortable with each other.

“We don’t have to decide what we’re going to do on a certain issue. It might be a unique thing to get together to just discuss issues—find a common thread,” Kuzma said.

SCOPA member Julie Gleason said a coalition of student leaders would provide a learning process.

ainey said the Anti-Racism Coalition had a flaw because “it fell apart so easily.” He said while many of the members shared anti-racism beliefs, their opinions differed in other issues.

Gleason said another point to consider is whether individuals would be willing to spend time discussing issues without the goal of planning for certain events.

SCOPA member John Potwora said SCOPA should begin discussing newsworthy issues as a part of their meetings. “Maybe something could come of it (the discussion),” he said.