Administration revises project

By Caryn Rosenberg

After languishing in limbo for a few months, the NIU administration has come up with a new version of the controversial Student Life Center.

Eddie Williams, vice president of Finance and Planning, said he will run the idea of a Campus Life Building by the Board of Regents at the April meeting.

No mention of the proposed building was made at the January or March Regents meetings after administrators shelved the proposed Student Life Center in December. The project has encountered student opposition in the past.

“Basically the primary difference (between the Student Life Center and the Campus Life Building) is that we’re trying to broaden the scope of the project,” Williams said.

Williams said in addition to the space allotted for the Student Association, commuters, Campus Activities Board, Career Planning and Placement and University Programming and Activities, the proposed building also will offer space for organizations that generate their own revenues.

“There will be areas that can lease space in the new facility,” Williams said.

Vice President for Student Affairs Barbara Henley said the new proposal is for the benefit of NIU students.

“Obviously, it’s an expanded concept so it can meet the needs of many of the students,” Henley said. “Every building on this campus is built to benefit the students. Even the Physical Plant benefits the students because it gives them heat.”

Henley said the proposal will provide much-needed space on the campus.

“If offices and opportunities can expand, it will better serve the students,” she said.

For example, Henley said students will benefit from the larger space allotted for Career Planning and Placement.

“If you have more space, you can get more recruiters,” she said. “If there are more recruiters, there is a better opportunity for students to get more jobs after graduation.”

However, administrators have yet to determine what they will do with the vacant space in the Holmes Student Center once the organizations currently located there move to their new locations.

“It strikes me as rather odd that the administration has no plans on how we would utilize the vacated space in the student center,” said student Regent James Mertes.

Mertes also said it is apparent the university has legally changed its stance.

“At 9 o’clock the morning of the December BOR meeting, (Eddie) Williams pulled the Student Life Center proposal from the president’s report,” Mertes said.