NIU to host visit by Braun

By Jerry Lawrence

Efforts of several NIU student organizations have resulted in the Thursday visit of U.S. Senate candidate Carol Moseley Braun to NIU.

NIU students will have the opportunity to hear Braun speak tomorrow at 1 p.m. in the Carl Sandburg auditorium in the Holmes Student Center.

The Young Democrats, the NIU chapter of the NAACP and the Student Coalition for Braun have worked together since the beginning of the semester to bring Braun to campus.

Brad Strauss, president of the Young Democrats, said his organization had been working to get Braun on campus since May.

“The Young Democrats and the NAACP have been working together to start a petition drive to get her here and we’ve been sending signed petitions to the campaign,” Strauss said.

Around 500 signatures were collected on campus and Strauss said this was the main factor that is bringing Braun to campus.

Richard Baker, president of the NIU chapter of the NAACP, attributed the large number of signatures to the fact that “students want to show the candidates to stop taking the students for granted.” Baker said the students worked hard and Braun’s visit to NIU is a result of it.

Baker said the NAACP is a non-partisan organization that is very involved in informing students about political candidates. “That’s what the NAACP is about. Voting, and getting out the vote, and helping people to register to vote.”

Strauss and Baker both said students on campus working with the Braun campaign were a factor in attracting Braun to NIU.

The Student Coalition for Carol Moseley Braun formed last spring, said coalition member Margie Cook, and since then has been working on two goals.

Cook said the organization wanted to bring Braun to NIU to speak to students, and then see her elected. “We’ve realized the first and I’m sure that we’ll realize the second,” she said.

Cook said Braun has support from a very diverse group of people and her coalition functions to bring these groups together to work towards the same goals.

Don-Terry Veal, also a coalition member, said, “Last semester we knew that this was a historical event that would be taking place, the likelihood of Carol Moseley Braun becoming a U.S. Senator was going to be a historical event.” If Braun is elected, she will be the first black female senator in U.S. history.

Anna Bicanic, Student Association public relations adviser, said the SA has also been involved in the process. “We are facilitating the organizations who are involved with the process,” Bicanic said. The SA recognizes and funds all of the involved organizations, she added.

Strauss said the SA “was a recent joiner in the movement and they’ve been helping us get the rooms and helping with the advertising.”