Letter to the Editor: Refocus SA

By Christine Wang & Rachel Jacob

Letters to the editor are the the author’s opinion alone

As alumnae, we would much prefer to allow our successors room to grow and lead. However, when unwarranted accusations of past misappropriations, bias and targeting surface past the ends of our terms, we feel the need to address them. While there were times that we, as heads of the Student Association branches, disagreed, we attempted to keep our conflicts far away from the public eye. When one of us made a mistake, the other quickly kept us accountable.

We would like to emphasize that accountability does not equate condemnation. It is also imperative that all of our leaders respect the sanctity of the code they have sworn to follow. In fact, all officers of the Student Association swear to uphold the bylaws and constitution of the NIU Student Association.

While there may be precedent for an uncodified procedure, the correct action is not to continue with this precedent if it becomes clear it conflicts with the code. Rather, this precedent should either be codified or discontinued in accordance with the SA code, as can be seen by the update to the finance policy that occurred under the current president’s tenure.

The purpose of executive allocation is to provide organizations necessary funding outside of the annual budget. In previous years, the SA bylaws had few restrictions and processes. Any recognized organization could receive executive allocation funding. Historically, SA presidents have allocated money to Greek organizations, including their own.

Per the current finance policy, in article III section 2.1, “Organizations with restrictive membership shall be ineligible for funding except for governing council organizations. Greek chapters recognized by the SA may request funding from their Greek umbrella council.”

Under these updates, precedent may no longer continue.

On the 50th year of the existence of the SA, we would like to remind our students that it is imperative that our leaders, students or not, are held accountable and that potential unethical actions are addressed with grace and thoroughness to avoid defamation. We urge the entire SA to focus on the facts, on the students and on the real issues facing students and our community.