Reception for minority students moved to NIU

By Matt Michalek

Despite a change in location due to a budget squeeze, a reception for minority students will be held this weekend at NIU.

Potential minority students will get a chance to check out the NIU campus this Saturday when the provost’s office hosts the third-annual Minority Student Reception.

For the last two years the reception has been held in a downtown Chicago hotel. However, this year’s reception will be held on campus in the Blackhawk Cafeteria in the Holmes Student Center.

Tendaji Ganges, director of Educational Services and Programs, said the reception was originally held in Chicago because “we tried to meet the students where they were, to make it easier for them to attend.”

“We are still trying to make it as easy as possible for the students to attend by providing buses to bring them to NIU,” Ganges said.

NIU President John La Tourette said there was a twofold reason for the change of location.

“First, it is expensive to cater something anywhere in downtown Chicago, and second, it is more effective to get the students on campus,” he said. “Overall, we felt we could do a better job to have the students on campus.”

“We were not able to hold the reception in Chicago this year because of the budget crisis, but we also felt the reception would be more successful if it was held on campus,” said NIU

Provost Kendall Baker.

The reception is for minority students who have been accepted to NIU through the regular admissions process, but have not committed themselves to attend yet.

Ganges said, “It is essentially a reception put on jointly and sponsored by the provost’s office to invite minority applicants who have been accepted through traditional means onto campus to introduce them to NIU.”

Robert Burk, associate director of Admissions, said, “This is an opportunity for parents as well as students to come and see the campus.

“The reception will primarily zero in on black and hispanic students. Recruitment and retention of minority students, faculty and staff is of high priority at NIU,” Ganges said.

“There will be representatives and advisers from all six colleges, and representatives from the financial aid office on hand to talk to individual families,” Burk said.

“If families bring their financial information, the financial aid office representatives will be able to put together a tentative financial aid package for individual students,” he said.