Point/Counterpoint: Student Association candidates

By Perspective Staff

A long-standing debate exists about whether it is best that students who serve on the Student Association be a part of Greek Life. Past candidates have argued that it creates an unfair bias against non-Greeks.


Greek Life does not prevent diversity

Faith Mellenthin | Columnist

Dislike toward the Student Association ballots being predominantly Greek Life does not come from an objective viewpoint, and the trend may not be based on popularity. To run for SA, students must be qualified and know how to be a part of a large group. Both are factors that can also be found in Greek Life.

The mission for fraternity and sorority life at NIU aims to “promote an understanding of organization and individual member responsibilities,” according to the Greek Life NIU webpage. Those involved in Greek Life regularly commit to community service, academic success and professionalism. Similarly, the Student Association’s mission states that along with being the voice for students, they cultivate “an environment of learning and experiences that go beyond the classroom,” according to the SA webpage.

Maybe there is overlap with students in Greek Life and Student Association because their missions and membership are so similar. Alex Forgue, presidential candidate in the A Better NIU ticket, said in a March 20 Northern Star article that he is running to break the Greek Life candidacy trend so all students’ voices can be heard. However, this implies that Greek candidates don’t take all students into consideration.

Those in the Greek community still come from various backgrounds with diverse majors, minors, involvements and employments. Being a part of Greek Life is not a bad thing in the Student Association. They are all still just students of NIU who are more so involved on campus and in the community.

Student Association needs a big change

Ian Tancun | Columnist

To properly represent all students on campus — not just the Greek Life ones — I think it’s time we had a non-Greek Life candidate elected Student Association president.

The SA president serves as the voice of the student body, according to NIU’s website. While I have nothing against candidates who are a part of Greek Life running for SA president, I do think we’ve reached a point where diversity is sorely lacking.

The current SA President, Giuseppe LaGioia, is a member of NIU’s Greek Life, as were his two immediate predecessors, Nathan Lupstein and Joe Frascello. The non-Greek Life students should have equal representation, yet that has not been the case.

Having one Greek Life SA president after another is equivalent to having one political party monopolize election after election. While this can happen, it raises the question of whether it should. My answer is no.

I’m not sure how having a steady stream of Greek-affiliated SA presidents is an adequate way to represent the voices of all students on campus.

In keeping with the spirit of diversity, I also think it’s high time for a female SA president. I was shocked to read that it has been over 20 years since a female has served as SA president, as reported in the Mar. 23 issue of the Northern Star.

It’s time to buck the status quo. I encourage students to vote for change this year and elect a non-Greek Life candidate as our new SA president.