SCOPA seeks OK for class involvement

By Nancy Broten

Members of the Student Committee On Political Action confirmed at Wednesday’s meeting to meet with NIU college deans and department heads today, seeking permission for class involvement in NIU’s Oct. 21 Day of Action.

SCOPA members will suggest that faculty and students who have class at the time of the rally be allowed to participate in one of the three following ways.

SCOPA and John Lennon Society member Todd Kuzma said the committee will meet again on Oct. 20 to finalize plans for what type of student actions the rally would include. The committee suggested the possible blocking of Lincoln Hwy. Oct. 21 to disrupt traffic in order to send a message to the state legislature. The group targeted Lincoln Hwy. because it is a state thoroughfare, Kuzma said.

“If you tell someone you have an intent to disobey, they will prevent you from doing it before you do it. We want an element of surprise, which will make (the actions) more effective,” SA Public Relations Adviser Paula Radtke said.

Student Association Senator Anne Rapp said members will suggest departments to either bring classes to the King Memorial Commons for “teach-ins”, have a professor speak at the rally on how the budget cuts affect their department or assign students to write letters to state representatives during class.

app said departments should be asked to submit a list of cuts in the department if unable to provide a faculty member to speak at the rally.

Kuzma said, “This week is critical (to the Oct. 21 rally). That’s going to be our big one—we have to get the word out about it.”

app said about 1,400 letters issuing concern to legislators about the budget cuts have been collected from NIU students in the letter writing part of the SCOPA campaign.

A pre-rally sponsored by SCOPA will take place at noon today in the King Memorial Commons. The rally features the band “Green” and student representatives from several organizations will speak.

The Sandburg Auditorium at the Holmes Student Center has been reserved for the rally in case of rain.

Both today’s rally and the statewide Day of Action are part of the Illinois Student Association’s ongoing attempt to educate students about the decline in higher education funding as a result of Gov. James Thompson’s budget cuts and subsequent statewide tuition increases.