Council to examine racial injustice

By Tom Omiatek

The formation of a University Council task force to investigate the injustice and violence against minority groups at NIU should be complete by the end of the week, said Jim Giles, executive secretary of the council.

The task force will include as many as 20 individuals from the council and will consist of faculty, staff and students. Each minority group that experiences injustice or unfair treatment on campus will be represented, Giles said.

“The only direction (of the task force) will be to investigate any discrimination of minorities on campus,” Giles said. “Hypothetically, if some office is discriminating against some group, the task force would report it to the council,” he said.

Giles said the task force also would investigate the judicial codes to determine what steps can be taken to prevent discrimination on campus. The council would then report to NIU President John LaTourette with its reccomendations for action.

Vice President of Student Affairs Jon Dalton said he has been “surveying” the judicial codes. “I will certainly be cooperating on the task force. It was directed for us to look at human relations problems,” Dalton said.

The task force was the result of a resolution passed by the University Council requesting condemnation and action by NIU President John LaTourette and the Board of Regents against racial and sexual discrimination on campus.

The resolution was designed to put the council on the record as not condoning discriminatory views as those contained in the student publication Stump, Giles said.

IT+>Stump was written, paid for, published, and distributed on campus by three NIU students. The students, Erik and Paul Engel and Phillip Craig, meant for the publication to be satirical, said Dalton.

LaTourette, in a letter to Black Student Union President Pamela Bozeman, said the publication was “repugnant to the value of respect for persons which is so central to the university community.”

Bozeman said, “I simply feel that neither a task force nor condemnation or whatever process is taken is necessary to protect the rights of the students. It’s unfortunate that racial discrimination has existed for so long and has now been brought out again.”