Several Latino organizations raise concerns over relocation

By Gloria Carr

The relocation of the Center of Latino and Latin American Studies has raised concerns among several Latino organizations at NIU.

The center, which will lose its offices in January for a multi-level parking garage, has not received a permanent location. It will be moved temporarily to Adams Hall.

“The space in Adams Hall is fine as a temporary location,” said Michael Gonzales, director of the center. “We would like to have a different type of space for a permanent location.”

Although the Adams Hall office has about the same square footage as the center’s current office, it is structured differently. The temporary office has seven different rooms compared to the center’s current four-room facility.

“There are certain comforts that are conducive to what we want. People are sort of closed-off (in Adams Hall). It’s not the same feeling,” Gonzales said.

Sigma Lambda Beta, a Latino fraternity, will be addressing these concerns in a letter to NIU President John La Tourette.

Fraternity members are asking for one of three things: a new facility, space in the new Center for Black Studies building or space in the new Campus Life Building.

“I’m hoping as an organization we can have some influence on the outcome of the facility relocation,” said fraternity member Jessie Medina.

“Personally, I’d like to see them (other Latino students) support a new facility for the center,” he said.

A separate concern involves whether the minor program in the center should be evaluated. El Puelbo Unido, a student organization at NIU, believes the program needs to be examined.

Nelson Perez, a member of El Puelbo Unido, said, “A concern El Puelbo Unido has is the actual program and whether its mission or set goals are being met.”

Perez said having a strong program is important. “The program needs to be evaluated to decide if it is fulfilling its function.”