Disability accomodation discussed

By James Green

University Council touched upon next week’s inauguration of President Doug Baker, the Student Association and revisited course syllabi revisions at its meeting Wednesday.

Accommodation for people with disabilities

After speaking about students with disabilities at last week’s Faculty Senate meeting, Greg Long, Presidential Commission on Persons with Disabilities chair, gave a presentation regarding students with disabilities. He focused on matters of accommodating students, privacy and disclosure, and confidentiality and boundary issues.

During his presentation, Long said several students had been denied proper accommodation by professors or were asked to disclose the nature of their disabilities, which is against policy; however, Long also said these incidents can be solved through education.

“Uncivil behavior is more often the result of limited background knowledge rather than malice,” Long said.

Later in the meeting, the University Council unanimously voted to support the Faculty Senate’s decision to amend course syllabi. All future course syllabi will require some sort of reference detailing students’ right to accommodation and the resources available to them.

Alan Rosenbaum, University Council executive secretary, said that prior to this provision, there were no specific requirements for syllabi at NIU.


Wednesday will be the inauguration of Baker. Rosenbaum and Baker said the inauguration is planned to be a celebration of NIU and its community, rather than focus on the new president.

Alongside Baker’s address, the event will feature student speakers, as well as remarks from faculty, staff and John Butler, the Board of Trustees chair. There will also be several student performances showcased.

“This is an opportunity to get the word out about what a great community we have at NIU,” Baker said.

Student involvement

The SA talked about its preparation for NIU’s upcoming home games. The SA hopes to increase student attendance at the games as a part of its plans to encourage student engagement.

To help this, Rebecca Clark, SA director of Governmental Affairs, said that, on top of honor veterans, the football game on Nov. 13 is also senior night, and free hot chocolate and chili will be provided. There are also plans for an afterparty to be held in a heated tent. SA President Jack Barry also mentioned a drawing for a trip to Hawaii. The winner will be announced at the game.