State needs to own up to responsibilities


The classrooms that sit unoccupied in the middle of our campus are an obligation of the state.

While Cole Hall may be their “obligation,” it is a very real need for us. For more than a year now, students have been rerouted from the heart of campus. Plans have been made to remodel the lecture hall, yet we have seen little progress made because of financial hang-ups. The state seems to have moved onto different issues and passed us by.

We are tired of being overlooked.

Being a state university, we deserve governmental money for renovations, but more importantly, we deserve the right to move forward.

“Until we are able to deal with this project, we can’t heal,” said State Rep. Bob Pritchard (R-Hinckley) in a previous issue of the Northern Star.

Funding is expected to come from the Illinois Capital Bill. There hasn’t been a previous Capital Bill approved since 1999, though the state has been in dire need of one for some time. Both Cole Hall and the Stevens Building have been in need of renovations for years, and the events after the shootings only made those needs more prevalent.

Realistically, the Cole Hall and Stevens Building renovations do not reflect the needs of legislation, and the state cannot truly focus on the needs of our university. That doesn’t mean we should avoid the issue and stop seeking solutions. The universities’ main goal is to serve students and help provide us an education. We as students expect to have the tools, such as appropriate classrooms, to meet those needs.

Funding for Cole Hall needs to be addressed one way or another. Whether that means receiving private funding or governmental aid, the building cannot remain dormant, it has become a constant stagnant sore on the flesh of NIU.

While it is encouraging to know that NIU is seeking federal, state and local possibilities for funds, what we ask is that NIU not be content in waiting for funding to come along. Find a way to get it done. The university owes it to its students. Every student on this campus is affected by the state’s lack of initiative in aiding us, and we should not wait for them any longer.

Hold the state accountable for their actions and make Cole Hall a real obligation, a real responsibility. NIU students are desperately in need. The university is actively pursuing funding options, but ultimately this is our community. Let’s stop waiting for a handout and make something happen.