SA Senate addresses gun issues

By Jessie Kern

DeKALB — Concern regarding safety on and around campus continued to take prominence in student discussions during this week’s Student Association Senate meeting.

The SA Senate hosted Jason John, NIU deputy police chief, to provide an update about the preventative measures being taken to keep students, faculty and staff safe in the wake of increased gun violence during a Sunday meeting.

“We are putting people out on an overtime status at this point, but at this point, cost is not our concern; it’s the safety of our students, faculty and staff,” John said. “That cost is being absorbed by our department and will continue to be absorbed by our department.”

SA President Rachel Jacob also spoke during the meeting to inform senators of an opportunity to stand together in the face of gun-related crime Friday, when SA members are to gather and tie red ribbons throughout DeKalb and on campus.

The red ribbons will symbolize the student body’s response to the gun-related crime that has been ongoing this semester.

“[We want] to try to show that we stand in solidarity and that we’re going to take back the community,” Jacob said.

Following the safety discussions, the NIU Mechanical Engineering Honor Society received SA approval as a student organization.

The honor society aims to be beneficial to students majoring in mechanical engineering by offering services such as mentoring, professional development events and lecture series for students.

“We really do want to provide a peer mentorship program for our students because we want younger students to stay in engineering,” said Kayla Ruby, NIU Mechanical Engineering Honor Society president. “It’s really hard your first and second year to continue through your engineering program, and we want to make that feel comfortable and know that there is a shoulder to lean on, and we can help in ways that only juniors and seniors can help with.”

SA Senators also passed a resolution to encourage sustainable practices during tailgates. Following the Oct. 7 Homecoming game, 18,000 cans were left in the designated tailgate area, said Johna Pishko, SA director of Environmental Affairs.

“Every student has a duty to remain environmentally friendly no matter the circumstances,” according to the resolution.