In Focus: Does NIU make the grade?

Jack Baker, columnist

NIU has done a great job of making plans to improve the campus. With the new residence hall, renovations to both Cole Hall and Grant, the new outdoor recreation complex and other projects, the campus will be looking much better in the near future. NIU completely failed at providing reliable on campus Internet this year. Every week it seemed it would be unavailable for awhile and when it was available, it was just slow. This is something that has to be fixed next year. Overall grade: B

Aaron Brooks, columnist

Overall, NIU is a good school. Although I cannot name one specific function in which NIU excels, I also cannot name anything it does poorly. Sure, there is room for improvement: dining hall hours, degree progress reports, air conditioning in Stevens Annex, etc; but those are all little things. The number one little thing I would like to see NIU fix over the summer is to increase the number of sections available for popular classes. It just sucks to stay up the night of registration to find the requisites you want to take filled, especially when it is your last year. Overall grade: B

Nathan Fulkerson, columnist

I’ve always felt that Northern does a good job at offering a variety of campus organizations, academic houses and subjects of study. Maybe that’s because my needs have always been addressed by what they do have available. And despite the occasional scarceness of available parking, being able to have my car on campus from freshman year onward was a luxury many schools don’t offer. What NIU could do better, as a collective, is maintaining accurate club information and advertise events better. Overall grade: A

Alyssa Pracz, columnist

NIU does a good job of responding to safety issues. A lot has happened on campus within the past couple of years and NIU always manages to respond promptly. Because of the incidents that have occurred, however, I think NIU should improve its recruitment methods so it doesn’t suffer from a lack of enrollment. Overall grade: B

Logan Short, columnist

Investments like those into new residence halls and Cole Hall help keep the university up to date, which I think is necessary to the aesthetic appeal of NIU’s campus. On top of the building investments, I feel like more could be done with the landscaping around central campus. I also wish NIU worked more with the city of DeKalb to create more of a community connection with various events to go to. Also, the quality of certain programs, the attention they’re given and resources provided seems uneven. Granted, every university has its strong spots, but if departments are treated like No Child Left Behind, where those successful get more funding and attention and those struggling are simply expected to step it up, then that gap between reputable programs and not-so reputable programs will just get larger. Overall grade: B

Taurean Small, columnist

NIU has done a great job at making steps towards a better campus. Not too long ago, we had a groundbreaking ceremony for a new dorm that aims to attract prospective students and we got a peek at NIU’s list of renovations that will take place on campus over the next 10 years. I’m very impressed, NIU; just don’t drop the ball by changing the current grading system. Overall grade: B+ (assuming it’s worth more on the proposed plus/minus grading system)