NIU will no longer print telephone directory

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Northern Star Photo Illustration

Hailey Kurth

Every day, students look past the telephone directories stacked in various campus buildings without a thought of what they contain.

The directory includes personal information for students: their home or school address and occasionally a phone number; and for some, all of the above. It also contains information for ITS, NIU departments and faculty.

Teri Reid, NIUTEL telecommunications services manager, said the phone book includes the addresses students have on their MyNIU. Faculty and staff have their title and office address included, Reid said, and have the choice to include their home address or not.

Cindy Phillips, NIUTEL telecommunications director, said this is the last year NIU will be printing a telephone directory. Phillips said the decision wasn’t made to save money, but paper, as the book was funded by the selling of yellow-pages.

“The sustainability committee from NIU was concerned that they’ve seen a lot of these directories just dumped in dumpsters and not being used,” Phillips said. “We won’t be saving any money. We’ll just be saving the environment – and trees.”

The information can still be found online, Phillips said, by clicking on the directory link on the top right of the NIU Homepage.

Lisa Hembrador, sophomore fashion textiles major, said she didn’t know her personal information was available in the directory, but thinks it’s “creepy”.

“I don’t want people stalking me or anything,” Hembrador said.

Sophomore sociology major Lixvette Ruiz said she was aware her address was in the directory, but she feels “horrible” about it. Ruiz is a CA in Douglas and said she feels uncomfortable knowing her residents can obtain her address.

“I know my residents — they won’t harm me,” Ruiz said. “It’s just like my privacy is threatened.”

Margaret Gray, sophomore elementary education major, said her family is included in her local phone book, but she thinks there is a difference in including family addresses in a local phone book and including student addresses in the NIU phone book.

“With a family book, my parents can monitor who comes and goes,” Gray, said. “For a student book, I’m by myself.”

Both Hembrador and Gray agreed they wouldn’t use the directory to find contact information for any classmates or professors, but they would use it to find information for NIU departments.

“Facebook is where I contact everybody,” Hembrador said. “If I need to find out their address, I ask them for it.”

Phillips said students can search their name in the online directory. Once students click on the correct search result, Phillips said they’ll be prompted to login with their network login. Once logged in, they are able to edit some information.

To get all the information removed, students can visit Registration & Records.

“They are the owners of the data,” Phillips said. “They are the ones responsible for protecting that data and for working with the students on what they want displayed – as far as publicly.”