Faculty Senate debates issue of crime on campus

Lauren Dielman

Oct. 8 correction: In an Oct. 4 article titled “Safety discussed,” the Northern Star incorrectly reported that the undergraduate plus/minus grading system was approved at a Faculty Senate meeting. The plus/minus grading system was not voted on at the Faculty Senate meeting. The Northern Star has left the online version of this article unedited despite this correction to show our mistakes as they appeared in print.

Campus safety was a highly debated topic at Wednesday’s the Faculty Senate meeting.

Student Association (SA) Senator Mike Theodore said the issue of safety is affecting NIU’s press, enrollment and how students act on- and off-campus.

“We want to ask the university to take into account crime off campus,” Theodore said. “I talk to students who are hearing gunshots from their off-campus apartments. Crime in DeKalb directly affects NIU.”

Faculty Senate President Alan Rosenbaum asked if students think NIU is doing enough to combat the problem.

Theodore said students and faculty need to differentiate between the perception and the reality of NIU’s safety.

“This isn’t a perception, this is a reality,” Theodore said. “Starting to take it seriously is the first step. I think we all need to get on the same page.”

Rosenbaum said Theodore was implying the administration sees the issue as a perception when many of the administration are working with the NIU police department to keep the issue under control.

Gary Chen, assistant professor in industrial and systems engineering, said a student told him NIU Chance students might be part of the reason to blame for the violence at NIU. Chen did not say he agreed with this opinion.

Sonya Armstrong, assistant professor in literacy education, was one of several faculty members to voice her opposition to this. Armstrong said crime at NIU could not be blamed on any particular group.

Theodore said when he read the Clery Act, it “looked as though things were getting better,” but still noted there has been a lot of crime in the area where he lives.

“The big issue we’re seeing off-campus is student-to-student relations,” Theodore said. “If it’s a non-student committing a crime, it still needs to be addressed.”

Theodore said students have also been coming to the SA about the issue of the printing cap and the grievance policy.

The undergraduate plus/minus grading system was approved at the meeting. Rosenbaum said the A+ and C- grades will be included in the system starting Fall 2013. The University Council will have the power to veto the grading system at its Oct. 10 meeting.

Rosenbaum said NIU President John Peters will present the State of the University address Oct. 11.