Ayers to speak at NU this quarter

Christina Chaey

An investigation of the Muslim-cultural Students Association’s conduct in planning to bring controversial former activist Bill Ayers to campus found the group guilty of violating Associated Student Government rules regarding publicity and contracting.

But the event is still planned to take place later this quarter, said Tedd Vanadilok, McSA adviser and director for Asian and Asian-American Student Affairs.

Ayers, a University of Illinois-Chicago professor and the founder of a 1960s radical group called the Weather Underground, was originally scheduled to speak in November, along with Dohrn and Muslim scholar Zaid Shakir. But the event, submitted for university approval just three days before it was intended to take place, was cancelled because of what NU administrators deemed a lack of preparation. Student Activities Finance Board guidelines recommend that all student groups submit contracts exceeding $2,000 three weeks in advance.

ASG officials petitioned to open two separate investigations on McSA and SAFB in the days following the cancellation of the event, citing McSA’s misconduct in handling contracts for guest speakers and SAFB’s failure to adhere to its own guidelines.

A formal hearing found McSA guilty of violating clauses about contracting and premature publicity for SAFB-sponsored events.

The ASG Senate also voted to change the procedural requirements for all future SAFB-funded events. All student groups planning to bring guest speakers to campus will be required to submit detailed publicity plans.

In addition, the Senate decided SAFB must approve publicity for McSA events for the rest of the year, including co-sponsorships.

“We thought that addressed the issues that they were found guilty of for group misconduct,” ASG Financial Vice President Seva Rodnyansky said at the Jan. 14 meeting. “It doesn’t cripple the group from doing its normal programming.”

Rodnyansky said he thought certain people focused too much on the fact that McSA was not abiding by guidelines that they submit speaker contracts at least three weeks in advance of the scheduled date.

“(The guidelines) are there to ensure that rules are upheld and that everything is done to the best of the group’s ability,” the Weinberg senior said. “However, there was a petition filed, so SAFB was aware of the fact when it was happening, but we still thought it was a good opportunity.”

McSA co-presidents Dana Shabeeb and Mustafa Rahman declined to comment on the hearing.

ASG Parliamentarian Will Upton also headed an investigation of SAFB for its own misconduct, citing that the committee should not have allowed McSA to submit speaker contracts for approval with only three days before the event.

ASG officials were not available for comment on the details of the investigation of SAFB.

[email protected]