Northern Star




Northern Star

Northern Illinois University’s student media since 1899


Ensure student journalism survives. Donate today.

The Student News Site of Northern Illinois University

Northern Star

The Student News Site of Northern Illinois University

Northern Star

Editor-in-Chief Angelina Padilla-Tompkins looks over her shoulder beneath colorful trees in Santiago de Querétaro, Mexico. Padilla-Tompkins joined the Northern Star two years ago as an opinion columnist and will graduate from NIU on Saturday. (Courtesy of Thalia Padilla-Tompkins)

Editor-in-Chief Angelina Padilla-Tompkins says goodbye

By Angelina Padilla-Tompkins, Editor in Chief | May 5, 2024

Dear reader, Two years ago, I joined the Northern Star as an opinion columnist. My first piece was basically a look both ways on in-person vs. online classes. Today, I am signing off.  My time at the Northern Star became a defining feature in not...

Two images show President Joe Biden (left) speaking on May 2 and former president Donald Trump speaking on May 1. Generation Z shouldn’t be distracted by outrageous personalities, such as on social media and at rallies, in the upcoming general election. (Alex Brandon, Morry Gash | AP Photo)

Outrageous personalities don’t equate good presidents

By Sofia Didenko, Lifestyle Writer | May 5, 2024

Amidst the buzz of For You pages, X notifications, Instagram discovery pages and political headlines, political conversations and memes are rising around the presidential rematch taking place this fall. However, it's crucial to remember that the entertainment...

Nicole Zurita, a senior child development major, responds to a street interviews prompt. Do your goals align with what you wanted when you were younger? (Northern Star Graphic)

Street Interviews: Changing goals

By James Bennett, Opinion Columnist | May 2, 2024

Goals. Everyone has them. They are a crucial part of life: the object that pushes people forward as they strive to accomplish everything they desire.  Some people have lofty goals, like winning an Oscar award. Some people are a bit more modest...

Two students with pensive expressions study a professor with three stars above his head but only one star filled in. Students should consider Rate My Professor reviews when registering for new classes and contribute to the website to benefit future students. (Aidan Renteria | Northern Star)

Rate your professors

By Alberto Briones, Opinion Columnist | May 1, 2024

With the vast accessibility of information students have at their fingertips, it’s easy to look up courses or professors before selecting class schedules for the semester. Online platforms like Rate My Professors can be useful to students for sharing...

A figure sweats in front of a computer screen that reads “TW” for “trigger warning.” Trigger warnings are critical in media for protecting audiences who may be affected by the representation or discussion of certain subjects. (Mary Ngo | Northern Star)

Media must utilize trigger warnings

By James Bennett, Opinion Columnist | May 1, 2024

It is important that movies and other media cover intense issues. Topics such as sexual assault, domestic violence and abuse are all very cruel – but very real – parts of the world.  As such, it is paramount that artists represent these brutal...

Various pills are scattered on the table. May will begin National Mental Health Awareness Month, and its important to discuss the benefits of mental health medication as a form of treatment. (Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)

Normalize mental health medication

By James Bennett, Opinion Columnist | April 30, 2024

Medication is one of the greatest advancements in the history of humankind. It has changed people’s ability to live healthy lives and done exponential good for those who take it. Of the different types of medication, those that provide support for mental...

A little personified brain experiences different types of finals across four quadrants: final exams, final presentations, final projects and final papers. As you conquer these final hurdles before summer, which type of final do you prefer? (Lucy Atkinson | Northern Star)

Poll: Which type of final do students prefer?

By Alberto Briones, Opinion Columnist | April 30, 2024

Finals are around the corner, and students are preparing to take exams and finish projects, papers or presentations. Finals exist to evaluate a student’s understanding of the entire course material. They also serve to test if students are retaining...

Protesters march with Palestine flags during the first intifada in Dec. 1987 within the Gaza Strip. Hamas was formed as a Palestinian militant group in 1987 by Ahmed Yassin during the intifada, which was a Palestinian rebellion against Israeli occupation. (Efi Sharir / Dan Hadani collection / National Library of Israel / The Pritzker Family National Photography Collection)

Understand Hamas’ origins before condemning Israel

By Santiago Montañez Bertoletti, Opinion Columnist | April 29, 2024

The war between Hamas and Israel reached a horrible point in January with the seizure of the hospital Al-Shifa by Israeli forces and division of the Gaza Strip. Some defend Hamas but do not realize the terrible and crass mistake of not condemning Hamas:...

Jatavion Young, a sophomore middle level teaching major, responds to a street interviews prompt. What’s your plan if a goose attacks? (Northern Star Graphic)

Street Interviews: Goose attack

By Will Thiel, Opinion Columnist | April 25, 2024

As spring falls upon campus, the sun isn’t the only thing rising this season. Watch out, as the sidewalks are their runways, and every passerby could be the star of their next honking attack! I’m referring to the feathered celebrity of the...

A soldier stands facing a massive explosion. War has severe environmental consequences that must be considered by environmental activists. (Gabriel Fiorini | Northern Star)

Shift environmental focus to wars

By Sofia Didenko, Lifestyle Writer | April 24, 2024

Environmental awareness has increased within the last decade. Most people have noticed this, whether they are a media ace or just someone who flips on the evening news every few days. However, not enough awareness is brought to a devastating planet destroyer...

A laptop open to a movie script rests on a table near a NIU Theatre Arts Bachelors Degree. NIU’s Fine Arts program should be expanded for the benefit of arts students. (Daniela Barajas | Northern Star)

Fine Arts program must be flexible

By James Bennett, Opinion Columnist | April 24, 2024

Artists pursue higher education as a way to learn how to grow in their fields and develop their passions. This is great, but when it comes to NIU, the opportunities for artists to grow can be hit or miss.  Students may feel like their needs are not...

Four quadrants display symbols associated with four different types of NIU clubs: Student Government Association, Campus Activities Board, Department Clubs and clubs that are just for fun. Which club makes the most impact on campus? (Lucy Atkinson | Northern Star)

Poll: Which NIU club is most impactful?

By Olivia Zapf, Editor in Chief | April 23, 2024

NIU has a multitude of student organizations; from its chapter of the American Meteorological Society to Circle K International, everyone can find something they can relate to and a group to connect with. Club-based events are constantly occurring on...