SA revokes aldermanic endorsement

By Matt Gronlund

The Student Association revoked its endorsement of 6th Ward aldermanic candidate Brad Strauss at Sunday night’s meeting.

Strauss, the only candidate to speak to the SA before last night’s meeting, and Kevin “K.O.” Johnson both spoke to the SA and asked the SA to reconsider Strauss’ endorsement.

Controversy arose over the endorsement because Johnson said he had not received an invitation to speak to the SA and pointed out the fact that it was Strauss who gave the SA the other candidates’ addresses and that he may have purposefully given them incorrect addresses.

“I behaved in a completely ethical manner,” Strauss said. “If I made a clerical error, I apologize. I have nothing to hide.”

Johnson asked the SA who mailed his invitation and where it had been sent. This question, however, was never answered because the senate went into executive session at Senate Speaker Nelson Perez’s request.

During executive session no one outside of the SA is allowed.

“I think it’s one of the slimiest things I’ve ever seen,” Johnson said on the SA going into executive session. “All we got was a covering up of the facts and a smokescreen.”

After the meeting Perez and SA Public Relations Adviser Anna Bicanic said the executive session was called to discuss a staffing matter concerning Nelson Perez.

There was, however, some controversy over whether the SA could legally go into executive session. Outside speaker Dave Ivers said the SA violated the Illinois Open Meetings Act.

Ivers said the reason the SA went into executive session might not be an acceptable reason according to the act.

He added the SA violated the act by allowing individuals who are not senate members, namely the advisers on the executive board, to be present during the session.

Ivers said he might sue the SA members present at the meeting for violating the Illinois Open Meetings Act and to get the information that was said during that time.

“We needed to discuss a staffing matter so it was within our legal boundaries,” Bicanic said. Discussing staffing matters with an issue already on the floor, such as the endorsement, is not common SA practice.

In other news, the SA is sending Gov. Jim Edgar a giant card expressing NIU students’ concerns over next year’s 15 percent tuition increase that is related to Edgar’s underfunding of higher education.

Students who wish to sign the card and leave the governor a message can do so from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Monday and Tuesday at the Pow Wow in the Holmes Student Center.