NIU saves the day

Just when we thought no one cared about the students, people in the business and operations department rode up on their charging steeds and saved the day for some of us.

With some smart thinking and cooperation from the Financial Aid office and the Bursar’s office, the class schedules of students who receive grants from the Illinois Student Assistance Commission’s Monetary Award Program (ISAC-MAP) were saved from cancellation this fall.

It seems that a large mess was created when a Congressional action regarding state funding greatly delayed the announcements of final award amounts for MAP winners. Due to this delay many students’ schedules were in danger of becoming null and void had nothing been done.

Actions such as these come as rays of hope to undergraduate students who believe that most of the time the university only thinks about them when their checks are due in the mail.

These awards are counted on heavily by the students who receive them. Students apply for financial aid for a reason—they need it and when it doesn’t come, they can’t pay the bills. If their classes would have been canceled they would have been punished for qualifying for extra funds they never received when the whole point of the funds was to help them.

If someone at the university had not realized this fact, life would have become quite sour for many students. Class schedules are hard enough to complete without outside factors causing cancellations.

This simple gesture and sharp thought lets students know that the business and operations department does have something on its mind other than bill collecting. It lets students know that maybe somewhere in this large department that students only see as the culprit sending the bills, employees are sitting around thinking about students.

Students tend to blame the university when awards and grants are cut, but in this case, the university was not at fault – only Congress. The business and operations department could have done nothing and used this legislative delay as a scapegoat, moving ahead with business as usual.

The department has set an example the rest of the university should take a look at.