SA leaders admit poor judgement

By Eric Krol

Student Association leaders admitted they used poor judgement in making false assertions about Thursday’s protest against the Board of Regents.

Earlier this week, SA Speaker Michael Starzec told The Northern Star that the protesters planned to “have a hallway full of people with signs, yelling at (the Regents), screaming at them.”

Starzec also said the protesters planned to block the entrance of the Holmes Student Center’s Pheasant Room so the Regents could not eat lunch.

However, when contacted by Judicial Director Larry Bolles, SA President Preston Came told Bolles there was no need for extra security precautions at the meeting. The SA apparently was not going to disturb the meeting in any way.

“Starzec was a little over-exuberant in what he said,” Came said. “I’ve chastised him for doing that.”

Came said the plan never was to disturb the meeting in a physical way. “I think (Starzec) said too much.”

Starzec admitted that he used poor judgement. “In its context, it was a poor thing to say,” he said.

Some of the comments were tongue-in-cheek, Starzec said. “The reporter should have realized that some of the things Mike said were tongue-in-cheek,” Came said.

Starzec said his statements did bring attention to the protest and it made NIU administrators more aware of student concerns. However, when asked whether the raised level of awareness justified the falsehoods, Starzec said, “No, I think I should’ve chosen my words more carefully.”

Despite Came’s denials of any physical action, four members of the University Police force were on hand at the meeting.

Bolles said the plain clothes investigators were not his idea, but were assigned by UP Chief Jim Elliot. “My understanding was that there wasn’t much of a rumble after talking to Preston,” he said.

UP Capt. Jim Webster said there was no extra cost because the investigators already were on duty.