Souljah event cancelled due to agency problems

By Jami Peterson

The Campus Activities Board and S.I.S.T.E.R.S. want the NIU community to know they are not the reason the controversial female rapper Sista Souljah will not be performing tonight at NIU.

Although a contract had been signed between the two organizations sponsoring the event and the agency representing Souljah, internal problems within the agency made it necessary for the sponsors to call off the event.

“We want to make sure people understand we didn’t run off on some tangent and start doing something out of the clear blue sky,” said CAB Speakers Coordinator Miriam Sutton. “The speaker backed out due to problems with the agency. There was no problem with the way we handled everything.”

Sutton said she was notified four days before today’s scheduled event of problems within the agency. “We don’t really know what exactly happened with the speaker and the agency. We do know it wasn’t our fault,” she said.

She also apologized to the NIU community and all involved organizations, including the Black Interhall Council, the Black Student Union and the Residence Hall Association.

CAB Speakers and S.I.S.T.E.R.S. are in the process of rescheduling the event for some time in mid-April through a different agency. Sutton, however, would not release the rescheduled date. “We want to wait until our lawyers have seen all the contracts signed by both parties,” she said.

Sutton would not comment on what further actions CAB lawyers might take against the agency. She did say, “Lawyers are still looking into the matter.”

The organization is very optimistic Souljah will make it to NIU. “As far as CAB goes, we’re still very willing to work at this program,” Sutton said. “The funding is still there.”

S.I.S.T.E.R.S. President Nicole Poole also said she is hopeful the event will be rescheduled and stressed the importance of the program. Souljah’s speech entitled “Soldiers Striving to Uplift a People and Create a Nation,” will involve four main points, including the importance of education, brotherhood, responsibility to families and black community and relationships between black men and women.

The beginning of the program will include an important tribute to African-American students and organizations at NIU. “We want to single them out and applaud their efforts,” said S.I.S.T.E.R.S representative Nicole Sanders. “If you miss the beginning of the program, you’ll miss what the program is all about.”