Setting record striaght

John Butler, one of our most active student leaders, has recently received some of the strongest criticism from the Star editorial board and it is time to set the record straight. The editorial of Friday April 16, was well beyond truth and I think it’s time the campus was introduced to the real John Butler and his first-rate record of supporting student interests.

How soon the Star forgets the record John can so easily claim. It was John who carried a homeless Center for Black Studies through months of negotiation only to, within the time of his term, watch the carpenters erect the walls of the new center. Is there another student Regent who could claim such victory? It was John who traveled to the IBHE hearings and defended the rights of the university to proritize at their own level; who fought for better advising for students on academic probation so that they are given the respect and time that they deserve; who consistently questioned the NIU administration to spell out their commitment to persons with disabilities while engaging in campus construction; who worked throughout the summer to carry through years of effort designed to place the Student’s Legal Assistance Office under a dual governancce agreement; who established the student Regent Advisory Committee so that more than only one NIU student has access to Board indormation; who wrote several articles on the PQP initiative published in the Star so that sudents understood the significance of Art Quern’s (chair: IBHE) assault on higher education; who testified before the UPI-PQP hearings urging the campus to stay united while under the IBHE axe; and who authored a 19 page document on the structure of higher education so that the Senate could make an informed vote on whether to abolish the Board of campus construction. Where does one go to find what John has done? Believe it or not, all of this can be found in issues of The Northern Star. We haven’t forgotten them; so why has the Star?

The editorial board wrote a careless, irresponsible and unwarranted piece of criticism which would more appropriately describe them. It is they who need to keep their ego in chech, and they who have proven that “personal grudges should not be brought to a professional level because when (their) bruised ego becomes (their) top priority, the needs of the students (are) forgotten.” John must, as the voice of the student body, defend the positions of student representatives on the President’s Fee Study Committee—a position which was re-affirmed by a majority vote of the student Senate. When the president of the university has The Northern Star $50,000 of student fees so that students can pick up the Star’s rent for the Campus Life Building, the student Regent for NIU must do all that can be done to stop it. If the same proposal was suggested for any other unit going into the Campus Life Building, the Star would label it as a major scandal, but in this case, the scandal involves the Star. John is clearly a student leader who has not “lost sight of his responsibilities.” He has met them professionally and honestly.


A Public Relations Advisor