Set realistic deadlines

If the University Council seriously wants student input on policy decisions, more realistic deadlines should be established for student representatives on the council.

The UC requested names for student UC representatives by April 15.

Considering how unsure students are of their schedules, and the trials and tribulations of moving back to NIU, the deadline is too early and unfair to students who want to participate on the council.

There are 15 student seats on the board; eight are appointed by the Student Association and seven are appointed by the university’s respective colleges.

UC Executive Secretary Curtiss Behrens said in the past there has been some problems in filling all the student seats. The early deadline, in the past, certainly has not encouraged students to become members of the UC.

This semester all 15 seats have been filled, but the deadline still should be changed to ensure full student representation in the future.

Several proposed changes in the bylaws would address this problem. One change would allow for a committee consisting of SA and college representatives to fill the empty college seats. This is a good idea, there should be a process to fill the empty seats. However, it is important all of the colleges have one student representative, even if their seat was originally left vacant.

Once a formal process has been established, it is then up to the students to fulfill their end of the deal. If a committee was established, it could take the necessary time needed to select students that will serve as reliable representatives of the student body.

The formation of a committee also would make the student representatives more accountable. The committee could set aside times to conduct formal interviews and find the best candidates for the seats.

Student apathy has always been a problem at NIU. Although the ultimate fault falls on the shoulders of the students, the system can always be improved to involve students as much as possible. In the past, students have not knocked down doors to serve on the UC and have not fulfilled their duties. Obviously, the system could stand some improvements. Moving a deadline doesn’t seem like too much to ask.