SA Senate discusses ISA referendum, new antenna

By Matt Gronlund

Debate on the Illinois Student Association (ISA) referendum and the purchase of an antenna for student radio station WKDI dominated last night’s Student Association meeting.

The SA came out against keeping NIU students in the ISA, a Springfield-based student lobbying group. The Senate passed a resolution against continuing membership in the ISA.

“I don’t feel the students’ money should be used to reorganize an organization that’s not helping us,” said SA Senator Julie Gentis. NIU students pay a $1 refundable student fee to the ISA, which has been under internal regrouping almost since its creation.

Students will have the opportunity Dec. 3 to vote whether or not NIU should remain a member of the ISA.

WKDI is asking the SA for $70,000 in student fee money to build an antenna for the station. In his report, SA President Paul Middleton said the SA could not vote to raise student fees directly and asked that the SA vote to put the question on the Dec. 3 referendum. The increase would be a one-time fee hike of approximately $3 per student. Giving WKDI the money to build its own tower will save the SA $7,600 a year, Middleton said.

In other business, a plan for an SA scholarship for the leaders of campus organizations is in the works. Public Relations Adviser Anna Bicanic said the funds will be taken out of student fee money left over at the end of the year. “Instead of spending it on things we may not need, we could use it for something useful,” she said. The proposal still has go through the SA Finance Committee.

A lengthy discussion was held about whether or not other NIU organizations should be allowed to use “student association” in their name. The discussion began when the South Asian Society asked to change its name to the India Student Association.

SA Vice President Anastasia Criscione said the SA cannot require an organization to not use “student association” in their name unless the Senate makes a bylaw.

The SA voted against letting the group change its name to India Student Association, but did allow them to change their name to an alternate name the group had given, the India Student Organization.

At the end of the meeting SA Sen. Birzona Craft, said the SA cannot decide what an organization should be called. Craft looked across the room and said that he didn’t give “two f—s” about what the senators across the table from him were saying.

Bicanic said Craft had a personal problem with another senator and should settle it in private.