CAB meeting to address minority concerns

By Brenden Walz

NIU’s Campus Activities Board will hold a forum Wednesday to increase communication with minority students on campus.

CAB Minority Affairs Vice President Trevor Rice said the forum will address the concerns of minority students on campus, as well as the perception that CAB does not care about their desires for student programming.

The event is one part of a series of “call-outs” CAB will hold to recruit new CAB members.

CAB Speaker Committee Coordinator Mike Roberts said he became “painfully aware” of the perception when he heard a joke about the meaning of CAB’s acronym.

Roberts said the joke changed the meaning of CAB’s title to “Caucasian Activities Board” instead of “Campus Activities Board.”

Roberts said student apathy and the perception of CAB existing only for white suburbanites are the main reasons the perception exists.

He said CAB is not just for white students. Several students of minority background had joined CAB.

Roberts also said a lack of effort to “put the best face on CAB” might have added to the problem.

He said most of the minority volunteers who have worked for CAB were uncomfortable being labeled “token minorities.”

Roberts said most minority and non-minorty students who have joined CAB in the past did so because they had a friend who was in CAB.

“If you think you’re not welcome somewhere, then you’re not going to go there,” Roberts said. “The perception discourages good people from applying.”

Rice and Roberts said having minority students in CAB has helped diversify CAB’s speaker offerings this year.

Among the examples they pointed out were bringing in a wider variety of speakers, including former 2 Live Crew member Professor Griff, author Dinesh D’Souza, Duke University President Stanley Fisk and rapper KRS-1, who is scheduled to come to NIU in February.

The minority open house will be held at 7 p.m. Wednesday in the Holmes Student Center’s Capitol Room.