A petition drive is being circulated to prevent NIU's Convocation Center from holding a circus event there next month.
The drive is being led by a member of the faculty through Change.org. The effort has garnered roughly 2,000 signatures from across the globe. Those opposed to the event say it should be canceled because they have concerns about animals being abused.
Camille Piazza, who is enrolled in one of the Community School of the Arts programs at NIU, signed the petition.
“They’re [NIU] an education institution. They are to be on the forefront of teaching. And what are we teaching by bringing the circus with live animals to our town?” Piazza said.
NIU spokesman Paul Palian says they respect all the opinions being shared. But he says the 'Circus Spectacular' fits in with the building’s goals.
“One of the charges of the Convocation Center is to provide a wide variety of cultural activities for the diverse community in which we live,” Palian said.
Palian says center officials also made sure that the company is in compliance with the agency that regulates circus acts. Meanwhile, officials with Circus Spectacular say their animals are well-cared for.