Non-NIU students allowed to participate in student organizations


DeKALB | There are outlanders among the ranks of NIU clubs and organizations.

Some student organizations are non-NIU students who are included and take part in the organizations’ activities.

Angela Dreessen, the director of Student Involvement and Leadership Development, said most organizations that are not funded by the Student Association have this characteristic because they have a more closed membership that caters to a certain population.

“At this school, I doubt that there’s a lot of interplay between organizations that are funded and those that have portions of their membership that are non-NIU students,” Dreessen said.

According to SA bylaws, student organizations are allowed to have non-NIU students as it is stated, “all student organizations must have an active membership that consists of at least two-thirds currently registered NIU students.”

There is concern, however, that these non-NIU members are taking advantage of organization activities funded by the SA and that their membership should be regulated.

SA Vice President Lauren Mock does not see a trend of non-NIU students taking part in organizations’ activities. She said in the cases where they do take part, it is mostly NIU alumni revisiting their organizations they were a part of as students.

“I think it gives our community members the option to participate in organizations on campus and our alumni the ability to come out and help organizations that they were previously involved in,” Mock said.

One such organization is the NIU Fencing Club which is funded by the SA. The organization has three non-student members who are NIU alumni.

Club President Evelina Zielinski believes the club’s members take advantage of the organization in a good way.

“We are a unique club to the university and the surrounding areas and tend to have people from the community interested too,” Zielinski said. “We are, after all, an open-to-all organization, funded by the SA.”

The SA has no plans to regulate student organization membership but Mock said if the problem is brought up to the SA, it will be addressed.