New guidelines discussed at forum

By Alex Gary

NIU students aired their concerns Friday night about recent fighting at dances held in the Holmes Student Center.

About 100 students attended a Black Greek Council-sponsored forum in Cole Hall to discuss the issue of fighting at dances held in the student center.

The forum was held to give students a chance to express ways to curb fighting that occurred at a Sept. 12 dance, said Anita McNulty, BGC president and a member of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc.

The NIU administration also issued new rules concerning the dances. Michelle Emmett, director of University Programming and Activities, read the new guidelines that were to be used at two dances held at the student center during the weekend.

The guidelines require all people entering the party to show a student identification card. Non-NIU students would have to be signed in by a student, who then becomes “completely responsible” for the actions of that guest, Emmett said.

All people entering the party were to be frisked and all purses, hats and jackets were to be checked, Emmett said.

McNulty said the new guidelines were established to better control guests and to make sure no weapons get into the party.

Emmett said the problem of violence is not isolated to BGC events. “Fighting is occurring all over the campus, all over the state, and all over the nation,” she said.

“The major concern is safety,” McNulty said. “If (NIU) sees a gun then (the dances are) over for good.”

McNulty said if NIU bans dances at the student center it will be a major blow to blacks on campus.

“There’s no place for blacks to go on this campus,” she said. “We have too few social outlets for minorities already.”

A major point of contention at the forum was the issue of guests. “We as black greeks have to account for our visitors,” McNulty said.

Emmett said if anything done by a guest is improper, the student who signed that person in will be held responsible and processed by the judicial board.

BGC Vice President Andre Mixon said the guest stipulation is not unreasonable. “You know if your friends are troublemakers; if they are, don’t invite them,” he said.

Though guests are a concern, one student in the audience said no one knows for sure who is doing the fighting. The student said, “We should focus on the problem among ourselves.”

Mixon said it all comes back to a matter of respect. “Everybody was raised to have respect for each other, maybe we need to get back to that,” he said. “If you don’t like someone, just stay away from them.”