Mertes questions new Regent appointment

By Megan Knowles

The reactions continue over a controversial appointment by next year’s Student Association president.

Paul Middleton, SA president-elect, announced the new SA executive staff at the last senate meeting of the semester Sunday evening. The position of student Regent was given to SA Sen. John Butler over current student Regent James Mertes, who was seeking an unprecedented third term.

After the announcement was made, Mertes’ final report to the senate was distributed. In his report, Mertes stated, “It is difficult to determine the actual justification for Middleton’s appointment of John Butler as student Regent.”

Mertes expressed concern over the selection because he said Butler, who is also the Sigma Nu president, worked on Middleton’s campaign, which was devoted exclusively to Greek Row.

Mertes said he has not been informed of Middleton’s reasoning for the decision. “He (Middleton) has failed to cite any specific examples of how he based his conclusion,” he said.

Mertes said he was saddened that the choice was not based on merit. “I hope that doesn’t reflect how he (Middleton) will make decisions next year,” he added.

Middleton did not return phone calls and thus was unavailable for comment.

Butler, a political science major who will also attend graduate school next year at NIU, said Mertes’ letter “saddened” him.

“I don’t see how the letter served the interests of the students. I had a lot of respect for him,” Butler said.

Butler said he plans to carry out some of Mertes’ plans and will keep an open mind on the Campus Life Building.

“I plan to roll up my sleeves and get in there to figure out what I want to do,” Butler said.

“I will be judged on my merits,” Butler added.