Cross hosts discussion about allegations

By Noah Thornburgh

DeKALB — At 10 p.m. Wednesday, Student Association President Khiree Cross and Chief of Staff Citrick Davis held an event titled The State of the Student Association Address in the Campus Life Building, Room 100. Cross and Davis used the time to address censures discussed at Sunday’s SA meeting and field questions from the students in attendance.

Cross’ censure, which was denied at the Senate meeting, was brought up due to an alleged misappropriation of $3500.33, failure to fill the role of Director of IT and failure to submit weekly staff reports, according to Sunday’s meeting minutes. Davis’ censure, which passed at the Senate, was for a failure to submit weekly staff reports and a failure to be present to the Senate at least once a month since Dec. 2, according to Sunday’s meeting minutes.

Cross said the funds were not misappropriated. He said executive allocations are allowed to be and have been used to fund organizations executive members are a part of. He said there is no reason for these accusations to be made against him when the Senate has a history of doing such things.

“[There is] a precedent, 10 years plus, of the Student Association — not just executive allocations, but in our budget — funding restrictive organizations,” Cross said.

He said the allegations of misappropriation are ridiculous, given this type of funding is a tradition in SA. Cross said the matter comes down to the actions of the Senate versus the interpretation of the bylaws.

He said there are many ways to interpret the bylaws. He said the practices of the Senate are to fund restrictive organizations like honors societies and Greek Life chapters, while the words of the bylaws say otherwise.

“What about three years ago: there’s a member who gave their organization $6000,” Cross said. “Last year there was a member who gave their organization $2000.”

He said the bylaws are too strict in regard to funding restrictive organizations, and the SA should update the bylaws. 

Cross also said the bylaws discriminate against restrictive organizations, even though SA is a restrictive organization itself as it requires a 2.5 GPA for membership.

Students raised concerns that weekly reports play an important role in transparency.

Cross asked for a show of hands for anyone who knew what NIU President Lisa Freeman did during the week. No students raised their hands.

He said the weekly reports took away from his role as president, as he’d rather be working for the students than typing in his office.

“The president should submit reports,” he said. “Weekly though? I think that’s counterproductive.”

Another attendee asked why the censures aren’t a case of the SA holding their members accountable.

“There is a difference between holding your members accountable and stating your opinion,” Cross said.

In regard to his failure to fill the Director of IT role, Cross said he proposed a new director four weeks ago, and the proposal is just now getting onto the Senate floor. With six weeks left of school, he said the candidate doesn’t want to do it anymore because he thought he would be put on sooner.

Davis also addressed his censure and said he cannot make the Sunday meetings in person and submits written reports, which is allowed by the SA bylaws. He said his report was rejected twice, and he could not make the deadline for an edited report because of his ROTC internship.

Cross was critical of the news coverage of the issue.

“Did you know that article defamed my character?” Cross said. “My internship called me and interrogated me about if I’m misappropriating $3500; embezzlement is a felony.”

Northern Star Editor in Chief Sam Malone said she encourages anyone with concerns to reach out to the Star.

“We take accuracy very seriously,” Malone said.

Cross and Davis agreed there is a loss of focus in the Student Association. Cross said interpreting bylaws is not as important as the fact that there are no candidates for Student Association President. Davis said there are issues that should be discussed in a forum similar to the one held that night.

“We have transportation issues [and] health care issues here that we should have probably been sitting in a room like this for,” Davis said.

Cross said he encourages students to run for the empty Senate chairs and presidential position.

“Challenge yourself; step out of your comfort zone,” Cross said. “[The Senate] is making decisions that affect everybody in this room, but the people in this room are not represented on it.”