Candidates offer different plans

By Matt Gronlund

Student Association presidential candidates are laying out their plans for the position.

The upcoming election will be held Wednesday and Thursday.

Presidential candidates are Abe Andrzejewski, Eric Grice and incumbent SA President Paul Middleton.

Here is a look at the ideas and experiences each candidate is bringing to the election:

Andrzejewski, a junior English major, is an SA senator and has served on the minority relations committee, internal affairs committee and the academic affairs committee of the SA.

Andrzejewski said he is running for president because he is dissatisfied with the current productivity and efficiency of the office. His platform focuses on four major points.

“First, we’re going to get the job done,” he said. This would entail immediately filling key positions and bringing student representation on the committee level up-to-date, he said.

Secondly, Andrzejewski wants to turn the SA into an effective voice of student concerns at the local and state levels. He said he plans to achieve this through networking with other universities, large scale mailings to state representatives and through utilization of the mass media.

An expanded Student Political Education Action Committee (SPEAC) budget also would play a part of his plan, Andrzejewski said.

His third focus is communication, specifically between the SA and students on campus. This would be accomplished with monthly meetings between the SA and the presidents of student organizations, he said.

Andrzejewski also said he would like to build on the relationship between the SA and The Northern Star. “There will be no secrets between us,” Andrzejewski said. “I’ll have an open door policy.”

The fourth point of Andrzejewski’s platform is to take a proactive stance on a number of campus issues such as racial and cultural awareness, late night transportation and the publication of teacher evaluations.

On racial awareness, Andrzejewski said the SA needs to cater to everyone’s needs, not just a segment of the school population.

Grice, a sophomore finance major and an SA senator, has served on the student financial aid advisory committee and on the Student Committee on Financial Aid (SCOFA).

“I have a vision and new ideas,” Grice said. His campaign is also based on a four-point platform.

First, Grice wants to promote fair budget management and responsibility. “There have been times the budgets haven’t been budgeted fairly,” he said.

Grice said he would budget money into the areas where they would benefit the greatest number of students and work to reduce waste within the budgeting process.

Secondly, Grice wants to form a committee to research issues relevant to the students and campus. These issues, just a few of many, would include campus safety, adding class selections and parking congestion.

Grice’s third objective is to increase the respect the students and faculty have for the SA and to restore the students’ confidence in the SA.

He said this would be achieved by working directly with the students and the administration to get student’s needs addressed and through meetings with students.

“A place where students who have concerns can express themselves,” Grice said, regarding the student meeting.

The fourth point of Grice’s platform is to establish a more professional SA.

“In order for us to be an effective lobbyist we have to act professionally to gain the respect of students and the administration,” Grice said. “I would hopefully set the example.”

In an SA executive candidate profile, Grice said he feels the most strongly about the issues of higher tuition and the lowering of the quality of education.

Middleton, a junior political science major, is bringing his experience as the current SA president to the election.

“We need experience to get us through the next year,” Middleton said at an SA debate. He added that he has built up a strong network during his term as president.

“A president has to establish a network. By the time you figure it out, your term is almost over.” Middleton said. “I can carry what I know over.”

Middleton’s position consists of five major points.

First, he would like to continue positive negotiation with the NIU administration and to continue streamlining activities which affect student instruction and services.

Second, Middleton would expand the activity of the student government with the formation of a government relations adviser position. This position replaces the SPEAC adviser, which in the past primarily dealt with the Illinois Student Association.

Third, he wants to ensure full student representation on all university committees and university governing boards.

“I’m trying to create a student power,” Middleton said. “We (students) sit on all the major committees on the campus.”

Communication between students and the SA is the fourth point of Middleton’s campaign. “I want to bring the SA back to the students,” he said.

“If it will further an organization then we should try to help them,” Middleton said. He cited the SA’s work to get an antenna for WKDI, so the station could be heard by all students, not just those with cable.

Middleton’s fifth point is to ensure that student representation not be excluded from higher education governance. Middleton and the SA already have worked on this point this year, forming a resolution not to support the elimination of the Board of Regents.