SA debates drug policy group

By Jacqueline Evans

At Sunday’s Student Association Senate meeting, three organizations were up for recognition, but only two were officially recognized.

Students for Sensible Drug Policy (SSDP) was debated for a long period of time. Eventually, the vote on whether or not they were going to be recognized by the senate was postponed until the next meeting on Nov. 7.

“[The senate’s] concerns come from the organization’s activity,” said President Pro Tempore Ryan Smith. “They are not categorized as a political organization, but many senators felt they should be, and that is where the dispute came from.”

SSDP claims it is not a political organization, but not all senators agreed. Political organizations cannot receive funding from the SA, which is why the senators felt the need to debate this issue.

Senator Austin Quick said he felt that SSDP was a political organization, and therefore shouldn’t receive funding.

“This organization does a lot of good, and are supportive to the community, but there is a problem with their establishment, specifically with the allotment of funding,” Quick said.

As long as SSDP is not restricted by the SA bylaws to receive funding, they can petition for supplemental funding after a year, or apply to be funded through the budget by the finance committee after two years.

Omega Phi Psi Fraternity Inc., which has not been active at NIU since 2000, was given SA recognition.

“This [recognition] means a lot to us,” said Quinton Arthur, keeper of records and seals for the organization. “This will set the standard and tone for how we are perceived on campus.”

In addition to Omega Phi Psi, the NIU Juggling Club was also given SA recognition.

Brian Hemphill, vice president of Student Affairs and Enrollnment Management was also in attendance, and spoke to the senate about the Antinette “Toni” Keller case.

Hemphill spoke about the heightened security on campus and gave out flyers that detailed safety precautions for students.

“I want to make an appeal to the students, especially you, the senators, as student leaders, to come together as a community,” Hemphill said. “Be safe around campus and the DeKalb community; be one another’s keeper.”