3 mainstays seek student trustee spot

By Josh Albrecht and Hank Brockett

The student trustee position stands as one of the most influential student-held jobs at NIU, and this is the first year students get to elect who they want to

represent them.

Three students are vying for the position: junior marketing major Alex Alaniz; Brad Kuhn, a senior political science major; and Andrew Anderson, also a senior political science major.

The main responsibility of the unpaid student trustee is to represent the entire student body as a member of the NIU Board of Trustees. There, the student trustee is able to make sure students have a voice in major NIU decisions. Tuition is one of many issues on which the student trustee gives input.

Alaniz, the current Student Association vice president, said this year’s student-fee rise of 6 percent was too much.

“Student fees shouldn’t go up, and 3 percent is more than enough,” he said.

Alaniz also stresses the importance of campus safety and road repairs.

Kuhn, a current student senator, also sees fees and safety as major concerns, but understands that NIU’s arena and handicap accessibility are hot issues, as well.

“I want to reach out to the students,” said Kuhn, a key supporter in turning the student trustee position into an elected one. “I’m no yes man — I am held accountable to the students.”

Anderson, a former SA president, student trustee and senator, said he runs on a platform of serious issues and a good amount of fun. While he criticizes current student trustee James Barr for not relating to students, his ideas include allowing beer sales at NIU football games.

“I like beer,” Anderson said. “Beer is an excellent commonality to link us all.”

Anderson said he also would focus attention on athletes and Greeks, two groups he claims have been ignored in the past year.

In 1999, the Student Senate removed Anderson as SA president and student trustee for allegedly misusing funds and abusing power. He was expelled from the senate last year for excessive absences, and failed in attempts to get on the DeKalb mayoral ballot this semester.

Kuhn and Alaniz believe that close contact with students is one of the most important parts of being student trustee. If elected, Kuhn hopes to start a Web site where students could voice their opinions and pass along evaluations.

Alaniz thinks simply being a student keeps him in contact.

“Just by going to class and being on campus keeps you close to students,” he said.