Northern Pact hopes to better NIU community with an impact for years


With the new semester, NIU has begun the Northern Pact initiative to help better the NIU community.

Northern Pact has been an effort by NIU to instill within students certain ideals to strive to make the campus a better place. The Pact has also been a method to welcome and educate students about the expectations NIU has for them.

Brian Hemphill, vice president of Student Affairs, helped organize the initiative and said he sees it making an impact for years to come.

“This is not just a campaign, this is a way we will live, this is a way that we will function as a community and you won’t just see it this year, you’re going to see it every year,” Hemphill said.

Even with the events of Feb. 14 that occurred last semester, Northern Pact is not a direct result of the tragedy as much as a culmination of events last year that brought it on such as the floods, threats, racial tensions and shootings. On Feb. 14, a gunman entered Room 101 of Cole Hall and opened fire, killing five students and injuring 18 before killing himself.

“We’ve had multiple opportunities for our community to come together and sometimes after a tragedy that’s when people remember who they are in terms of being a cohesive unit and that’s when we see people coming together but it’s not just about one moment it’s about the whole package,” said Ileia Luke, senior psychology major, and student representative of Northern Pact.

Promotional material for the initiative described the qualities of an ideal NIU campus as being just, caring, open, disciplined and celebrative.

NIU has been promoting Northern Pact by setting up tables at the Holmes Student Center and residential dining halls to hand out T-shirts and discount cards to passing students who sign a pledge to the principles of the Pact.

While being promoted at this year’s Friday Fest on Aug. 22, President John Peters came to sign the pledge and remained there to support the cause.

“I just thought it was so awesome to see him as the big man on campus and what an impact he makes in such a positive way and how he genuinely cares about the students,” Luke said.

Over 3,000 pledges have been signed and it is expected that a minimum of 5,000 will be reached.

Kelly Wesener, assistant vice president of Student Services, has helped promote Northern Pact and is excited about the results.

“What I am just thrilled about is as students come up and learn about what the Pact Pledge is and to see them being excited about not just a T-shirt or a discount card but about being a responsible community member,” Wesener said.

Students who signed the pledge have spoken favorably of the initiative.

“I just think that it’s good that the division of Student Affairs is doing this after what happened on Feb. 14,” said Lila Del Leola, a senior double major in journalism and political science.

“It’s a very good cause,” said Raymond Maximo, a geology graduate student. “They are trying to promote a harmonious relationship among the students and I think this is a very noble cause for them.”