STAFF EDITORIAL: CAA’s OMA vote was right decision

Staff Editorial

Eastern’s Council on Academic Affairs voted unanimously at its Thursday meeting last week to reject a bylaw change that would make it no longer subject to the Illinois Open Meetings Act. The proposed bylaw change was a controversial one, in which we at The Daily Eastern News expressed our disagreement with adamantly.

Now that the CAA has rejected the bylaw, we at The Daily Eastern News cannot express enough how much we think the CAA made the right decision in not passing the proposed bylaw change.

We recognize that it was never the intention of the CAA to close its meetings or to circumvent the Open Meetings Act in the name of secrecy, and we appreciated that the CAA was willing to act “in the spirit of” the Open Meetings Act as the proposed bylaw stated, but the impact of the CAA’s decision is huge, and it cannot be understated how enthused we are with the decision.

While the issue of the OMA and the proposed bylaw change may seem small in the scope of Eastern and the CAA, being that the CAA was likely to never close its meetings and little would change in anyone’s day-to-day life or in the function of the CAA or The Daily Eastern News, the impact of any kind of OMA decision runs much deeper than the CAA, Eastern or The Daily Eastern News.

The Open Meetings Act is a safeguard for the press and the people in the state of Illinois to have access and knowledge of all public business of the state. It is at the forefront of what keeps the state’s business in the eyes of the people. Without it, who knows what secrets may be kept by our state’s government.

Any decisions made about the OMA by any government body may seem small at a glance, but the potential ripple effect of any decision could be monumental.

It is because of that we are tremendously pleased with the CAA’s decision to stay subject to the Open Meetings Act. We applaud the CAA for its openness and willingness to listen during this process and thank them for their final decision on the matter.

The Editorial Staff can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected].