Student groups react to investigation reclassification

By David Matz and Matt Liparota

The news of Antinette “Toni” Keller’s missing persons case being reclassified as a death investigation has hit the hearts and minds of NIU’s student groups on campus.

“There seems to be a really dark cloud hanging over DeKalb,” said Latasha Bennett, the Campus Activities Board (CAB) vice president of administration and president of Helping Hands.

Many organizations are starting to plan different events in response to the investigation.

The CAB is planning to host a self defense class with Delta Sigma Theta sorority next week, Bennett said.

CAB co-sponsored a similar event with Delta Sigma Theta sorority earlier in the semester, she said.

The people who participated in the first event felt stronger and more confident in protecting themselves, Bennett added.

“It’s nice to think that if you do get attacked, you at least know you can put up a fight,” she said. “People still have class and still need to go out and be safe.”

CAB is looking for other ways to help the community during the investigation and plans on holding a candlelight vigil soon.

“We still need to check with the university about vigils,” Bennet said. “But we are definitely going to do something.”

Other student groups on campus are planning on organizing more events in the coming weeks.

Huskies United, which organized ribbon and button making events last week to raise awareness about Keller’s disappearance, posted safety tips on the home page of its website.

Arielle Kalvelage, public relations chair of the group, said she worked with people familiar with security and law enforcement to generate the list.

“Right now it seems appropriate to post these for students who are feeling [unsafe],” Kalvelage said. “A lot of students feel unsafe in this environment.”

Jill Thomas, president of Huskies United, said that the group is currently taking “a step back” on events until an announcement is made about the identity of the remains.

Another ribbon-making event will probably be planned, Thomas said.

The National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC) has not been able to plan anything yet, said NPHC president Carolyn Eastlin.

She said the NPHC will make a decision on what events and how to respond to the news on Tuesday, during the organization’s executive board meeting.

The Interfraternity Council (IFC) has also not been able to make a decision on what kind of event to hold and will make that decision in their weekly meeting on Monday, said IFC president Sean McGovern.

The IFC is planning on working with Huskies United to host “some kind of vigil or gathering for her,” McGovern said.