ASG considers mix of old, new initiatives

Alice Truong

Event postings might reach dining halls. Students living off-campus could review their Evanston apartment experience. Student groups might be able to endorse Sen. Barack Obama using university resources. These possibilities depend on ASG’s efforts and work this quarter.

During the first Associated Student Government meeting of Winter Quarter Wednesday night, senators broke off into small groups to discuss possibilities for future legislation.

While they revisited some old issues, senators also brought new ones they plan to work on in the upcoming weeks.

Reviving a plan first put forward three years ago, off-campus senators and ASG’s external relations committee proposed creating an apartment review Web site, temporarily dubbed ATEC to parallel the Course and Teacher Evaluation Council class reviews.

Off-campus senators pushed for the initiative.

“There are a lot of technicalities to work (out),” said Weinberg sophomore Steve Eilers, an off-campus senator.

He suggested entering those who submit reviews into a raffle or offering gift cards so students with both positive and negative experiences – not just the latter – would take part.

Senators also discussed the system student groups use to popularly publicize their events. A possibility is to install more flat-screen televisions in all the dining halls. Students would advertise their events on these televisions, which would resemble the ones in the Norris University Center.

ASG Clerk James D’Angelo pushed for his plan to let students assemble politically. He has been working on the initiative since November.

Currently, students and student groups are not allowed to endorse political candidates or parties with university resources.

“If students wanted to support Obama, they can’t use a room inside,” said D’Angelo, a Communication junior.

The university General Counsel Web site says NU’s tax-exempt status under Section 501(c)(3) does not allow the university to participate or intervene in any political campaigning for or against any candidates.

However, D’Angelo contacted the Internal Revenue System to make sure that NU, with its tax-exempt status, is not legally bound to bar students from assembling within university facilities.

“While Northwestern claims it is tax-exempt, the IRS says we can do what we want to do,” he said. “It’s a ridiculous policy and hopefully it’ll change.”

Reach Alice Truong at [email protected]