TVs, VCRs unnecessary

Perhaps Robin Leach should bring his cameras to NIU—it certainly seems to be adopting the rich-and-famous lifestyle.

The NIU transportation department is going to install televisions and video cassette recorders in two of its buses to the tune of at least $5,000.

In a time of budget cuts and shrinking money for higher education, one would certainly think the money could be used more wisely.

What’s even scarier is that offices who use the buses, such as ROTC, CHANCE, admissions and nursing did not know about the purchase.

Not surprisingly, the equipment would seem to most directly benefit the athletic department, which as it turns out, started the push for the equipment. Sports teams would get to watch films on the way to a game or the airport. While this may be convenient, it certainly isn’t a dire necessity.

The athletics travel chief, Hank Clark, said he doesn’t remember if he or transportation initiated conversation about the purchase. Of course, this could be a case of bureaucratic buck passing.

Clark also claims other higher-ups in his department knew about the purchase, but Athletic Director Gerald O’Dell denies knowing about the equipment.

Before anyone at NIU gets their champagne wishes and caviar dreams fulfilled, maybe they should take a look at the real financial picture.