Protest ignored

The recent attempt by the Student Association to awaken the students of NIU from what seems to be a hundred-year sleep caused me to ponder a few important issues concerning these “sleeping beauties.”

To begin with, the Student Association protest on Thursday, March 19 did not deserve the dismal attention that it received from the Board of Regents, the administration, the Northern Star, and from the students as well. To my frustration, I was forced to witness the incessantly condescending faces of the Board of Regents. It is difficult to contain emotions of anger when those whose sole purpose is to address the concerns of the students are dismissing students’ voices; therefore, I applaud the efforts made by those such as Speaker Michael Starzec, Vice President John Quilico, and President Preston Came for their comments on the Board of Regents.

To make the situation more intolerable, the Northern Star has done a great injustice by dismissing the protest. That the Star and its editors have continually asked for real issues and situations is particularly ironic. Instead of rallying behind the students in protest to the administration and the BOR, the Star stabbed the Student Association in the back while it dismissed its attempts. Moreover, the Star demonstrated the purpose for such a protest.

Though the majority of students did not take the opportunity to stop and voice their opinions at Thursday’s protest, this was not entirely shocking. Since I have begun my education here at NIU, I have come to the realization that the words NIU and apathy are synonymous. That the protest against the BOR is exclusively a Student Association issue is a falsehood. It is the students’ money that is being stolen, it is the students’ education that is being disregarded, and it is the students’ integrity that is faltering. Why is it that the students do not realize that this issue demands attention? The problems of the priorities of education will not simply disappear if we, the students, ignore them. The problems that the Student Association protested will always remain here at NIU until the students wake up and take control over the administration and their education.

Not only did the students of this campus dismiss the protest, but they dismissed themselves as well. The general lack of self-esteem, motivation, and worth across the campus is extremely disconsolate. If only the students of NIU realized their full potential, the priorities of our education would be better maintained. The reason why attending NIU seems to be so repulsive to many students is not because the classes are too boring or too big, but it is because the students do not care enough to change the situation.

What we need on this campus is a constant flow of voices from the students; however, all we have here at NIU is a flock of silent, simpleminded stooges who are willing to let their intelligence and integrity be dismissed by bureaucrats like the Board of Regents.

Laura Niesman


Political Science