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Terms of Service


The Northern Star is a limited public forum whose content – both in print and online – is determined exclusively by its student editors at Northern Illinois University. Information presented in this newspaper and its website is in no way controlled by NIU administration, faculty or staff.

The Northern Star requires that all users of our website adhere to a few rules.

You may not use the site for any unlawful purpose, or to encourage others to engage in unlawful activities. You may not interfere with any other person’s use of the website.

You are encouraged to post comments, submit letters to the editor and other feedback. In doing so, you acknowledge that third parties may hold you responsible for libel, invasion of privacy, misappropriation of likeness and disclosure of confidential information, and that you will hold harmless the Northern Star for the same.

The Northern Star has the right to disclose any information in compliance with any law, regulation or governmental request that could prevent or assist in the resolution of any criminal, illegal, or any activity in violation of state, federal or local law and/or university policy.

 Why do you moderate readers’ comments?

Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we have created a space where readers can exchange intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can.

 What kind of comments are you looking for?

We value thoughtful, original comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely.

A few things we won’t tolerate: personal attacks (on readers or writers), obscenity, vulgarity, profanity, racism, commercial promotion/solicitation, impersonations, incoherence and information we know to be false and/or libelous. Copyright-restricted material may not be posted.

Comments on stories involving crime and/or tragedy will be especially scrutinized, for sensitivity and for the legal protection of both you and the Northern Star.

 Do you edit comments?

No. Comments are either approved or they’re not.

 When and where will my comment be displayed?

Comments are typically posted faster during peak weekday viewing times and usually are moderated within six hours of their submission. Moderation can be less frequent in the evening and on weekends.

We reserve the right to display comments in a variety of ways, including within the text of articles or in advertisements

 Should I use my real name when making a comment?

Yes, definitely. We have found that people who use their names carry on more engaging, respectful conversations. However, to avoid identity theft, we recommend against using your full e-mail address or other personal identifying information.

A reminder: Once your comment is published, it can be found by search engines such as Google and Yahoo.

 What about criticism of the Northern Star?

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don’t want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies, and we will moderate accordingly.

 About Letters to the Editor

All letters are considered for publication both in print and online. Some may not be published due to space limitations (print), legal concerns such as libel or invasion of privacy, or lack of relevance/reader interest. Letters should not exceed 250 words and may be edited for clarity and brevity. The deadline for a letter is 4 p.m. one day before publication, but submissions may be held for a period of time due to space considerations. Letters written by NIU students should include the author’s full name, year in school, major and phone number where the author can be reached for verification. Phone numbers will not be published.