Students voice concerns over college life

By Rick Moreci

Compliments, complaints, comments and concerns, a.k.a. the 4 “c”s, were voiced by a scant group of 16 students on Tuesday night in the C-cafeteria of Grant Towers North.

Cheryl Vetter, a resident of GTN inquired about an electrical problem which she said was occurring both in GTN and Grant South. She said the problem is a power surge in the building which throws the time of clocks off in students’ rooms.

“What I will do tomorrow (Wednesday) is get our electricians and our elevator people together to see if we can figure out some solution to alleviate this problem,” said Physical Plant Director Bob Albanese.

Vetter said another problem in GTN is everyone in the tower can use their key to get on her floor. She said people knock on her door at 2 a.m. for no reason.

“I like the idea of having the key up, but I don’t like the fact that strangers can get on the floor,” Vetter said.

“The way the notches are on the keys, periodically, they wear down,” Willard Draper, assistant director of housing said. He said that to re-core the entire building, including elevators, doors and mailboxes would cost a lot of money. However, he said the university’s budget does provide for this every once in a while and it might be time to do it again.

Jeff Salus, administrative vice-president of the Residence Hall Association addressed the security issue and asked how many callboxes are on campus. University Police Captain James Webster said there were 18.

Salus said some of the callboxes are too close to buildings, not where someone would actually need one.

He said he wanted to have more callboxes added to campus. Patricia Hewitt, associate vice president for business and operations said in order to add more, a budget would have to be passed by the students.

Another security issue was brought up by Ken Lopez, president of Neptune Hall. He said he knew of no deadbolt locks on the doors in Gilbert and Neptune. Lopez said over the weekend, a room was broken into in Neptune North by a person slipping the lock with an ID.

“We can go and put deadbolts in if that is what the students want,” Hewitt said.

Lopez also inquired about the tunnel leading from Neptune Central to Neptune North. He said there is no tunnel security mirrors down there so no one can see if someone is hiding around the corner. Hewitt said mirrors would be installed.

Tammy Branch student manager of the main desk and hall council president of GTN asked who selects the menus for Food Services. Hewitt said there are people working for food services who select the menus to run two weeks at a time. She said it is nearly impossible for these people to select 3 meals a day for two weeks without some repetition.

Food Services Director Ralph Chaplin said there are surveys, which will be delivered to each hall next week, students will be asked to fill out the services to let Food Services know what they think.

Chaplin also talked about the test kitchens in which student recipes will be tried. Chaplin said if the recipe works out and can feed mass crowds, it will be used.

The last main concern brought up to the panel was in regards to tuition and room and board rates. Jim Angel, a resident of Grant North, asked, “Is there a planned increase this year in tuition or room and board?”

Hewitt said tuition is decided by NIU’s governing board, the Board of Regents. She said room and board has a mandated increase each year. Albanese said the Regents asked NIU to limit room and board increases to no more than 4.5 percent.

She said if students want to make changes or improvements, they need to bring it to their hall council and this could affect the rates for room and board.

Salus said, “Students who have complaints about these rates or want to make changes, must bring them to the individual hall councils so that RHA can handle it.

“Problems may not always be resolved, but I guarantee nothing can be done if issues are not addressed,” he said. Room and board evaluations are coming up soon so students have to get moving, he added.

Other Administrators on the panel included Student Association President Abe Andrzejewski; Don Buckner associate vice president for Student Affairs and Holmes Student Center Director Judd Baker.