Policy library provides direct feedback opportunity

By Kierra Frazier

The NIU Policy Library allows students and faculty to get more involved with the university policymaking system through its comment and submission features on its website.

The Policy Library, which launched April 9, is used to make university policies more accessible for students and staff while also including the most up to date approved policies, according to the NIU Policy Library website.

University policy is a statement of principles and associated conduct which require a commitment by students and staff, according to the NIU Policy Library website.

University Policy Librarian Rebecca Hunt tracks policies, determines whether policy proposals are complete, reviews, changes policies and publishes the policies online.

“Students can use the policy library to look up any policies that may affect them,” Hunt said. “Students can search for categories like the alcoholic beverage policy, disability resource center policy and procedure and Title IX policies.”

A sidebar on the website includes a list of proposed policies that students and faculty can comment on. The policies are available for comment for 30 days to anyone who has a Z-ID and will then be submitted for possible revision and updating.

A few of the proposed policies available for comment are Title IX/Sexual Misconduct Policy and Complaint Procedures for Students, Faculty and Staff, Policies for Online and Hybrid Courses and Disclosure of Economic Interest, as of Saturday.

Also on the website is a sidebar of recently added or revised policies and some of those include Immigration Sponsorship Policy, International Travel Policy and Procedures and Web Communications Policy.

Sarah Garner, Ethics and Compliance Officer, said since the library’s launch, the Policy Library Committee’s job is to participate in the review of all proposed University-wide policies and revisions. She said the library is a great change to the way the university does the policy process on campus.

“Whether [a policy] affects a student’s work environment or their academic life, it’s really a great way for students to get involved,” Garner said.

Garner said she encourages students to use the comment portion because it allows the university to know their thoughts and feelings.

Hunt said the idea of creating a policy library for the university started through the Faculty Senate three years ago. She said there was an initiative to have a place where all university policies could reside so faculty and students have access to them.