Top 5: Improve commuter parking, WiFi over break

By Jeremiah Caterina

NIU’s administration will be hard at work over summer improving our university. Here is what changes I want before the fall semester.

No. 5: Sell beer at Huskie Stadium

I don’t really understand why we don’t sell beer at the stadium.

The university recently allowed the sale of alcohol at the Convo for non-university events. There’s even a beer garden available for tailgaters outside the stadium, but no alcohol is allowed inside the stadium.

Let’s face reality: Some people sneak booze inside the stadium and drink regardless of the official policy.

NIU should sell beer at games and use the revenue to pay for Athletic Director Sean Frazier’s Facilities Master Plan, which calls for improvements to stadium amenities and concessions.

No. 4: Bolster opportunities for students to fix campus issues

The university’s decision in March to purchase the Goosinator ruffled a lot of feathers. Students weren’t given a chance to resolve the problem.

“Students should have more of a say in what happens on our campus,” said SA Senator Nicolette Gonzales. “President [Doug] Baker has been doing a great job with this, but it can still be improved.”

Over the summer, the administration should implement a policy that gives students the first opportunity to address university issues. I think the Office of Student Engagement and Experiential Learning should play a key role in this new policy.

No. 3: Increase commuter parking

Although this has been improving, it still needs work.

Parking may be the biggest issue I hear my fellow students gripe about.

“I have to leave early every morning and I still struggle to find parking,” said Marijke Bakker, senior special education major.

Parking will only get worse in the fall if the university doesn’t address it over break when it has time to do so. I recommend opening a section of the Convocation Center’s parking lot to commuters. With the planned extension of Lucinda Avenue, a new bus line could transport students from the lot to their classes.

No. 2: Improve campus WiFi

I am not a very computer-savvy person. Frankly, I have no idea what kind of wizardry allows me to log into campus wireless and surf the Internet between classes.

I know two things though: First, the wireless kicks me out very often and the quality is shoddy at best. Second, the university just hired a chief information officer and pays him a yearly salary of $290,000.

If the university pays one executive that much, the least I can ask for is a better Internet connection, right?

No. 1: Ban smoking on campus

A March 21, 2013, blog on NBC Chicago reported an Illinois Senate committee approved a measure which would ban smoking on public universities and community colleges.

The bill is awaiting full Senate approval. If the measure passes, all public college and universities in Illinois will be required to make their campuses non-smoking by July 1.

If the bill isn’t approved, the Board of Trustees or SA Senate should vote on a proposal to ban or further limit smoking on campus.