Something to be proud of NIU

Northern Illinois University, like many other universities, has its problems. Currently, NIU students are experiencing a 36% tuition increase, a parking crisis, class registration problem, and construction all across campus. In the past, students have had the tendency to complain about NIU’s problems, but do not take a proactive stance to rectify the situations.

NIU has one of the most active and powerful student governments in the nation, something that we all should be proud of. The NIU Student Association (SA) provides all fee-paying students with many benefits ranging from a computerized scholarship search to the Huskie Bus Line, but the SA’s most important objective is to advocate student points of view to the university community, local, state, and federal governments. However, this objective can only be achieved with the input of students. One way students can make a difference is by running for SA Senate. Elections will take place on September 14 and 15.

Eight senators are elected from five different districts. Senators in the past have advocated for their district’s concerns. For example, last year’s senators representing District Three, which encompasses Greek Row, expressed their concerns regarding parking and lighting in Greek Row. However, as senators, not only do you represent the students within the district, but all the students at NIU. When a proposed athletic fee increase was brought up before Senate that would double the monetary dependence on students, the student senators quickly rejected the proposal almost unanimously. The proposal was then taken off the table.

The Senate also plays a crucial role in legislating on all matters of student interest and allocates over $1.2 million of student activity fees to numerous campus organizations. Senators are also asked to sit in at least one standing SA committee, whether it be the Mass Transit Board, the Internal Affairs Committee, or the Student Committee on Financial Aid.

Student input is important in determining the SA’s approach to issues affecting daily life at NIU and how much students will pay in fees. This year’s agenda for the SA includes recommendation to implement a multiculturalism class, the publication of teacher evaluations, and the expansion of the recreation center. Issues regarding campus life will include the allocation of parking spaces in the parking deck and spaces in the new Campus Life Building, and the effects of the myriad construction projects.

So if you want to improve student life and have a say in the decision-making process at Northern, pick up your candidate petitions in the SA main office and turn them in before 4:30 p.m. on September 10.