SA Senate appoints justice

By Keith Hernandez

Student Association Senate approved a Supreme Court Associate Justice due to an impending total vacancy in the court at the close of the spring semester.

Associate Justice

Third-year law student Brian Burkhardt was the only candidate the SA Senate approved out of three. The qualifications of candidates Patrick Hubert and Robert Woodruff did not meet the expectations of the majority of senators.

“I feel like if [the candidates] don’t have any knowledge about what they are going into then I’m not too sure as to why they haven’t been involved with SA at all, and now all of the sudden they’re so enthusiastic about taking on the role of the associate justice position,” said Senator Miki Grace. “I’m not too sure how affective they would be at those positions.”

Although the Supreme Court will only have one associate justice for the start of the fall semester, it will need three in order to reach a quorum. SA Senate will look to fill those positions at its first fall meeting, said Ben Donovan, SA director of Government Affairs and former SA deputy speaker.

General education policy reform

Senator Brandon Phillips presented a resolution to support general education policy reform. Phillips proposed three general education programs after which to model NIU’s program, which will be presented to the provost in the fall.

Among these was a cluster program allowing students to choose from eight specific learning areas for a group of two to three general education courses, a core program focusing on improving students’ writing ability and a pathways program encompassing courses that focus on students’ specific majors.

“General education courses have evolved drastically from courses that students have just needed to take in order to get to their major,” Phillips said. ”We’ve found out that one big piece of retention is to incorporate what students want to study into the general education courses to enrich their time at Northern, to enrich their time in classroom and to enrich their time amongst student discussion in class.”

Other business

A bill to amend the bylaws for senators and senators at large was approved. The bill requires prospective candidates for SA Senate to gather 50 signatures from constituents within their districts in order to run.

Lambda Theta Phi Latin Fraternity and NIU Long Distance Running Club were recognized.

Mike Wilder was appointed as SA deputy treasurer for the Office of the Treasurer.