Northern Star




Northern Star

Northern Illinois University’s student news organization since 1899


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The Student News Site of Northern Illinois University

Northern Star

The Student News Site of Northern Illinois University

Northern Star

A screenshot from this week’s street interviews shows Opinion Columnist Santiago Montañez interviewing students Kennedy Smith (left) and Kailyn Williams. Senior Opinion Columnist Emily Beebe and Opinion Columnist Santiago Montañez asked students about the El Niño winter. (Anna Scanlan | Northern Star)

Street interviews: El Niño

By Emily Beebe and Santiago Montañez Bertoletti | January 18, 2024

The first week of the new semester brought frigid temperatures. Before the bitter cold, students were interviewed about their feelings toward the El Niño winter.  Although we haven’t witnessed many warm temperatures so far, El Niño holds the...

A figure curls up on a purple bed immersed in their phone. The lies we tell ourselves prevail. (Christa Kim | Northern Star)

Cartoon: Self-inflicted

By Christa Kim, Cartoonist | January 18, 2024

A ticking watch hangs in front of a computer screen opened to the Blackboard home page. Accelerated courses move at a quicker rate than some students expect. (Northern Star | Photo Illustration)

Accelerated courses are overrated

By Alberto Briones, Opinion Columnist | January 17, 2024

In today’s fast-paced world, students seek to finish their college degree as quickly as possible, often looking to take accelerated courses. Education should not be treated like a race, and with accelerated courses, students miss a richer and more fulfilling...

Three people listen to rock music as the person in the middle holds up hand-horns, the rock ‘n’ roll gesture. Rock music has a politically powerful history. (Daniela Barajas | Northern Star)

Rock is a powerful genre

By Jescenia Calderon, Opinion Columnist | January 17, 2024

Editor’s Note: It’s clear what Calderon voted for in this week’s poll, but this column is no attempt to sway your own vote, reader.  Rock music is everywhere, and with sub-genres such as spoken word, deathcore, punk and classic rock, it might...

The black and white keys of a Kimball acoustic piano wait to be tickled in a practice room in the NIU Music Building. Piano accompaniment included or otherwise, what’s the best genre of music? (Lucy Atkinson | Northern Star)

Poll: What’s the best genre of music?

By Emily Beebe, Senior Opinion Columnist | January 16, 2024

Music is often considered therapy and brings joy to many people. Incorporating themes such as nostalgia, going through a breakup or falling in love can make music inspirational and relatable. The most popular genres of music tend to be rock, country...

An artist’s depiction of a baseball bat and mallet crash into the glass screens of a microwave and television. An on-campus rage room would provide students with a satisfying outlet to express their fury. (Eleanor Gentry | Northern Star)

NIU needs a rage room

By Emily Beebe, Senior Opinion Columnist | January 16, 2024

Editor’s Note: The Northern Star does not encourage readers to replace therapy with rage room visits. Students seeking counseling can contact Counseling and Consultation Services.  It’s time for a new therapeutic activity in town. By implementing...

A human hand and an AI robot hand extend from computer screens to shake. AI offers unique learning opportunities for students and professors willing to incorporate AI in the classroom. (Courtesy of Getty Images)

Implement AI in classrooms

By Alberto Briones, Opinion Columnist | January 15, 2024

Artificial intelligence is a new powerful technology disrupting education, but it has the ability to enhance learning and be inclusive to all users. Educators should embrace the use of AI systems such as ChatGPT, Microsoft Bing Chat and Google Bard...

A student sits irritably in class as an instructor points at a chalkboard with a cold face. It’s important to maintain a friendly environment in the classroom as faculty and students return for the spring semester. (Daniela Barajas | Northern Star)

Professional doesn’t mean cold

By Lucy Atkinson, Opinion Editor | January 15, 2024

Syllabus week is here: the first impression professors and students will get of each other before work begins. This semester, professors, please keep classrooms friendly. Students, let’s make that possible for them. Reviewing the many rules of the...

Written Managing Editor Bridgette Fox smiles in a Northern Star t-shirt. Fox will graduate Dec. 17 with a bachelor’s degree in English. (Nyla Owens | Northern Star)

First-ever written managing editor graduates

By Bridgette Fox, Written Managing Editor | December 10, 2023

You better cry while reading this. I started working at the Northern Star as its only copy editor in Fall 2022. I asked then-Editor-in-Chief Madelaine Vikse if I could hire more copy editors. After she said yes, I became chief copy editor. Before...

An illustrated police scanner radio sends off blue, red and white radio signals. The Northern Star Editorial Board encourages readers to listen to police department radio scanner streams. (Eleanor Gentry | Northern Star)

Editorial: Listen to police scanners

By Northern Star Editorial Board | December 10, 2023

While it is impossible for citizens to follow along with police officers every day, there are ways to follow what is going on in the community.  Police scanners are the one of ways police officers, dispatchers and other employees stay in contact when...

A monk meditates in a school hallway with blue lockers. Opinion Columnist Olivia Zapf believes mental health education should be expanded in high schools. (Gabriel Fiorini | Northern Star)

Expand high school mental health education

By Olivia Zapf, Assistant Opinion Editor | December 10, 2023

Conversations surrounding mental health are becoming destigmatized, which is an important step in educating individuals about mental health. However, the grade-school education system has failed to address mental health concerns on a multitude of occasions,...

A person in green winter clothing is frozen in ice. A common enemy between students is the coming and going of winter. Remember to bundle up everyone! (Robin Gamboa | Northern Star)

CARTOON: Colder than cold

By Robin Gamboa, Cartoonist | December 7, 2023