Preparations begin for PACT Awareness Week

Northern PACT logoNIU’s Division of Student Affairs & Enrollment Management is preparing for PACT Awareness Week, scheduled from Monday, Feb. 25, through Sunday, March 3.

As part of the preparations, the PACT committee conducted interviews with a staff member and student about what this year’s theme, “Disciplined,” means to them as members of NIU’s campus.

Jill Zambito, director of Student Involvement & Leadership Development, said the Northern PACT is a “living and breathing” set of guidelines for the NIU campus community.

Part of the founding of the Northern PACT, Zambito considers the PACT to be a meaningful way to unite the campus under the same community standards. To Zambito, a “Disciplined” community is one that involves acting responsibly, communicating effectively and making responsible choices.

Being an effective bystander is also important in a “Disciplined” community, Zambito said.

“If I’m witnessing something that I think violates our community, then I’m going to say something about it,” she said. “I’m going to step in in some way, some safe way.”

For those students who want to display a “Disciplined” community, Zambito encourages them to follow their instincts: “Don’t be afraid to stand up if it’s not what the group is doing or if (you) are worried that (you) are going to get someone else in trouble.”

Moving forward, Zambito said she hopes that the campus community begins to reflect and think more concretely about the Northern PACT. Doing so “could lead us to a better, more connected community,” she said.

Ivonne Uquillas
Ivonne Uquillas

Ivonne Uquillas, co-coordinator of Dream Action NIU, thought of the word “unity.” A “Disciplined” campus community also means having passion to create change in the student body, she added.

“To me, the Northern PACT means unity on the campus. It means that every student is welcomed to be part of the university community, and students are encouraged to spread that notion to the student body,” Uquillas said.

Fighting for education, and ensuring that all students have access to resources on campus in order to maintain discipline in academics, are two concepts connected to the Northern PACT that Uquillas truly supports. “No one can take your education away,” she said, “and it is truly the key to success and the world.”

Help NIU celebrate the Northern PACT by attending any of the PACT Awareness week events. For more information, email studentservices@niu.edu.

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