Blocking highway designed to address the state as a whole

Today is the Day of Action. As part of the Day of Action, there is currently a plan to block Lincoln Hwy.

You may have read about it. Last Friday, a Northern Star editorial called this plan “futile.” On Monday, Mike Solley referred to such action as “rash.”

These statements implied that such a plan was both illogical and immature. However, the decision to block Lincoln Hwy. was carefully thought through and well-researched.

The General Assembly has told us that it is willing to “discuss” cuts made to higher education. However, after speaking with a number of representatives and senators, we have found that they do not sense any desire within their constituencies to change the situation. They are well aware of student feelings on this matter but wish to hear from others.

This means we have to carry our message to the rest of the state. We must determine the best method to make people aware of this problem.

The Star recommends letter-writing and lobbying. These methods help the cause but do not address the state as a whole. What is needed is a well-coordinated media event. The cameras want to see student action, not student letter-writing.

During the past few weeks students preparing for the Day of Action have researched past issues of the Star as well as various publications in the University Archives. As a result of this research, we have concluded that the single most effective tool used by students on this campus to cause political change has been student action and civil disobedience.

Because of this, we refuse to accept the labels “futile” and “rash.”

In addition, when we, as students, examine the Star’s claims that this action is irrational, we must examine the Star itself. A Star columnist told us to “shut up and pay” the $150 tuition increase, yet screamed about a proposed fee increase of less than $10. Is this rational?

The Star has also been known to engage in such “irrational” protests itself. Some of us remember an issue of the Star which was completely blank except for the advertising and the headline “STAR RAPE!” Does the editorial board of the Star view this action as “futile” or “rash”?

I put the question to the NIU community: Is the blocking of Lincoln Hwy. “rash” and “futile” or is it an effective tool to be used to change a destructive situation?

I believe that we can make a difference, and I hope you will join us in our fight to prevent the decline of higher education. See you at the rally.

Todd Kuzma

Day of Action Campus Activities