Privacy precautions could result in exclusion

By Chris Nelson

Students who request their names be left off school lists and directories might be doing themselves more harm than good.

NIU students are asked when they register whether they consent to have personal information included in school publications. For a variety of reasons, many students elect to have their personal data deleted from the materials.

But NIU Director of Alumni Relations Sue Lund warns that students excusing themselves from the publications are invoking a chain reaction they might not want to happen.

“Those who check the box requesting omission of their personal information feel that the action is protecting them from receiving junk mail,” Lund said. “In fact, invoking this right to privacy has greater implications than some people realize.”

Lund said there are legitimate reasons to leave one’s information unpublished. She cited examples in such instances where individuals trying to remove themselves from abusive relationships requested not to have information printed.

While excluding the information might be beneficial in several situations, Lund cautions students to consider fully what the act entails.

“We get calls every year from students wondering why their names did not appear with those of other NIU graduates in the local newspaper announcements,” Lund said. “The explanation is simple. If the person requests privacy of information, the Office of Public Information will remove his or her name from press releases.

“Also, these same people will not have their names included in the Commemorative Bulletin produced by the university,” Lund added.

For those who still aren’t convinced, Lund also warns of the effect on the post-graduation job hunt of NIU alums.

“If a prospective employer calls the university to inquire whether the person is a graduate of the university, we cannot even confirm that the person attended NIU,” Lund said. “We cannot supply even the most basic information.”

A staffer at the Office of Records and Registration said persons wishing to change their status concerning the privacy of information have two options.

A student can either make a written request for the change or come in personally to the office, which is located on the second floor of Altgeld Hall.