Extra Writing Assignment

Traffic signals and its improve the topic of discussion in the courtroom. Are there ways that traffic signals can decrease pollution? There were answers given during this meeting. “The expected outcomes would be increased efficiency on the road networks resulting from decreased travel times and a reduction in pollution that would result from the decreased time motorists spend stopped at traffic signals. The design of the project will begin over this winter and would be constructed in the fall of 2016.” according to the City Manager Amy Marie Gaura

stop lights 2

The first step of this process was approved by Council on February 9, 2015. This was the distribution of Request for Qualifications (RFQ) for 17 projects to qualified consulting engineering services. The Coordinated Traffic Signal Upgrade project was one of these projects. The Engineering Division received 10 responses from consulting engineering firms interested in providing the City these services.

The next step in the Qualifications Based Selection (QBS) process is to distribute Requests for Proposals (RFP) to the most qualified firms. Staff reviewed the 10 responses and identified the three most qualified firms and sent them the RFP.  As part of this proposal, the engineering firms are required to visit the City of DeKalb and take a guided tour of the City’s existing traffic signal infrastructure to develop an informed proposal. Staff will then evaluate these proposals to determine the most qualified candidate. The final step of the QBS process is to negotiate cost and the scope of services provided. The agreement is tentatively scheduled to be brought before Council for consideration at the December 14, 2015 meeting.

The Coordinated Traffic Signal Upgrade project was presented and approved by the DeKalb Sycamore Area Transportation Study’s (DSATS) Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) and Policy Committee (PC) at which time it was placed on the Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) where it was advertised for public comment.

The engineering services for this project were budgeted under fund 10 Motor Fuel Tax (MFT) account number 10-00-00-300-8331 with a $120,000.00 budget for design engineering. The construction of this project is funded through DSATS with the federal government providing the 80% of the cost of construction and the City providing the 20% match. Therefore, the City is leveraging $960,000.00 of Federal Surface Transportation Urban (STU) funding with its $240,000.00. The $240,000.00 local match is not part of this request.


Living On Campus vs Off Campus

housing & dining.pngHow to live in the NIU community. Northern Illinois University has a large student body population. There are currently 20,130 students enrolled in the university. On campus there are an approximately 5,000 beds for on campus living and only 4,000 students live on campus the other 16,130 students live off campus. My question is what are the pros and cons of living on campus or off campus?


“Living off campus provides so many different opportunities that’s living on campus can not provide such as getting bills in your name” said, Bria Parker Psychology  Major. “Being able to build your credit can help out in the long run when you need good credit to get a car or rent with other apartment complexes. You can show them that you pay rent on time. It also shows that you can take on huge responsibilities. The only thing I don’t like is paying rent and bills I would say that’s the advantage of living on campus instead of living off campus. It allows you to save money by living on campus. The advantage of living off campus is you can get a refund check from the school” said Parker.


As you can see in the graph you can see how many students stay on campus and how many stays off campus. The 20% of students staying on campus is quite a big differential between the 80% of students staying off campus. That is a huge difference when you think of the student enrollment total which is 20,130 students.

The benefits of living on campus are being close to the buildings on campus such as classes and recreational centers. The other benefits are you get to meet more people on campus who also stays on. The sense of protection is also included in living on campus. While living on campus you also get a meal plan included in your tuition. You make connections with fellow students who are also living on campus. From there you can branch out around campus through those connections.

Living on campus cost of living is very expensive the prices of living goes from the lowest of Neptune $4845-$6685 being the highest for New Hall. These are the reasons why people move campus because its cheaper to move off campus. The prices of paying rent off campus are cheaper and can be from $3,800-$4,900 for a longer stay for 11 months than paying to live on campus for 9 months you are saving a lot of money by moving off.

“There are too many restrictions living on campus” stated Raven Porter Sociology Major. “I don’t like living on campus it makes us seem like a child” said, Porter. There is a time when you have to sign people in just so they can visit after 11 o clock. I don’t think that’s reasonable we are grown adults. On top of that we need either our one card or floor key just to get on the floor we want to get on. To me that’s very childish its like living back at home in high school with your parents.” stated Porter. “The only benefit I get from staying on campus is that its close to classes and it’s a cafeteria in most of the dorms so whenever I’m hungry I can get some food as soon as possible.” according to Porter.

“The reason why I like staying off campus is because there aren’t any rules or any community advisor like there were inside the dorms on campus. There aren’t rules off campus everybody is grown enough to know what to do and what not to do while living on you own.” stated Bria Parker.

“The reason why some people choose living in the dorms is because there are so many different opportunities that come with living on campus. You can become an community advisor and get your room and board paid for and also gain money by being one also. There are also events that goes on on campus and most of the time the people who live on campus be the first to know.” according to Cady Wakitsch Housing and Dining receptionist

“I really enjoyed my experiences living on campus because when it became cold outside during the winter the buses came quickly to pick students up from class or to take students to class. Living on campus for me was some of the best years I had while being a student here at Northern Illinois University. Living in the dorms there was a hall council meeting every two weeks and I would attend to know the upcoming events being thrown by the resident halls and was able to give ideas.” said Cady Wakitsch.


“I’ve met so many people while living on campus a lot of my sororities sister live on campus and we found out when we was going through our process. While living on campus with them made it easier and we got closer to each other. That helped a lot especially during the hard time.” said Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Inc. member Meaira Cartman

There are 20,130 students enrolled here at Northern Illinois University. Currently there are 15,027 undergraduate students, 4,850 graduate students and 253 College of Law according to NIU Fast Facts.

Overall living on campus and living off campus has its pro and cons and students are neutral about staying on campus or off campus. Its an experience that college students get to have while being at school.


Writing Assignment 6

The DeKalb County State Attorney has the responsibility for prosecuting violations of criminal laws of the State of Illinois. The attorney gives legal advice to all County Officials and Represent the County in all actions where the County’s officials or employees are a party.

The State Attorney’s Office professional staff includes twelve Assistant State’s Attorneys and nine support staff. The State’s Attorney’s staff is present in four courtrooms on a daily basis and routinely appears in branch court in DeKalb and Sandwich.

The cases handled by the State’s Attorney’s office include felony and misdemeanor criminal matters, traffic, juvenile detention and prosecution, juvenile abuse and neglect, interstate reciprocal child support and public aid cases, mental health, advice to government officials and tax collection.


Richard Schmack has been a practicing attorney for 31 years, the last 27 here in Sycamore.

Question 1: What would you change in the County of DeKalb?

Question 2: What made you want to run for this position?

Public Meeting Assignment

The courtroom like I’ve never seen it before. It was intense from the moment I walked into the Municipal Building to the court room until the moment I left. The meeting took place September 28, 2015. The crowd was very attentive and was interested about one of the topic that was being talked about. Some of them agreed to what was being discussed.

John Rey the mayor of DeKalb accepted a gift from Northern Illinois University to attend a football game in Moscow, Idaho on Saturday, September 14, 2013. The cost of the trip was over $1000 for airline tickets, room, transportation and meals. This trip was free of charge besides the hotel room for the mayor.

The state ethic law limits gifts to $75 per day for meals. The code 8.03 gift ban states that the solicitation or acceptance of gifts prohibited to be solicited or accepted under that Act, by any officer or any employee of the city of DeKalb. Some believe that Mayor Rey doesn’t know what is ethical

This is second discussion for this issue and the person who bought to his attention was called a liar. The person didn’t like the fact that she was called a liar so she bought valuable information to prove that the mayor was wrong for calling her a liar.

There are emails exchanged between the mayor and the President of NIU and other important figures from NIU to John Rey. They have evidence to where you can see that the mayor only had to pay for the room. “The only charges on the bill I gave you were for the room cost”. From Bill Nicklas to John Rey 8/29/2013 5:40 PM  “I’m forwarding your flight information for the Idaho trip. The university has comped the cost”.

This is against ethics that is setup not to happen and its happening and it is happening.dekalb

Writing Assignment #5

At the Study Abroad Fair there was multiple students there in attendance. Johari Dodd a Corporate Communication major talked about studying abroad. She has never studied abroad before but wants to. She would like to go to Barcelona or the Dominican Republic. The interest that Johari has is in study abroad is because you’re surrounded by different people, food, culture and different life. According to Johari, “you get to know people around the world and gain different connections and different views”.


A few things people should know about studying abroad is “it is possible to study abroad a lot assume that its not without knowing there many majors and many countries you can go to” according to Ann Seitzinger Study Abroad Office. The department has been around since 1969. She has stated the advantages are the global economy, global, world, find jobs and be able to put on resume.

Writing Assignment #4

Construction started last year 2014. The demolishing of buildings started July, 2014 according to The Daily Chronicle. The $27.4 million Stevens Building project has come to a grinding halt on the Northern Illinois University campus on June 30, 2015, this is another casualty of the state budget impasse.There was disagreements on the budget in the middle of the project here at NIU and also other university in the state of Illinois

The university had been expecting to start using the new Stevenson Building in fall 2016. The upgrades was supposed to add 400 seats to the new auditorium. The auditorium is to include state of the art technology.

The Stevens Building is expected to have upgrades to its heating, cooling and ventilation system along with new up to date plumbing and electrical system. The Department of Anthropology and the School of Theatre and Dance was stationed in that building for students under those majors.

People around campus are very upset that the construction isn’t in motion and that its not completed yet. According to Matthew Sims French Professor, “Lack of state funding is a disappointment. It shouldn’t happen this way if money is approved then it should be completed”.


Assignment 3 10-day Headcount- “Man on the Street Interview”

NIU- According to NIU Today One year retention rate for freshmen is at 72% currently one percent higher than last year. Also the retention rate grew five percent for the fall 2013 freshmen class in the two years since then. Niu has been trying to improve the international rate. There are 321 international which represents a 48% increase. Enrollment in total for NIU is 20,130 students.

U-of-I Champaign- According to College Factual One year retention rate is 94%. Also according to Start Class the quality of students that are accepted is mostly in the top 50 in their graduating class. There enrollment is 44,942 students

EIU- According to Start Class the total enrollment is 9,775 students and the quality of students accepted in this university is that you needed between a 2.5-2.9 grade point average and a twenty-one on your ACT score. EIU retention rate 79% according to College Factual


Brianna Powers- Psychology Major reason for coming to NIU was because of her family. She had plans on attending school out of the state but her family wanted her to stay close. “This makes me feel good as a student to know that students are coming with higher GPA and ACT Stores”, Powers said. “I think that administration needs to change their tactics on how they recruit students”. She believes that they need better recruitment because 600 students came during the summer and only 200 students stayed.