During the April 26 Student Finance Committee (SFC) meeting, which was called in order to evaluate the performance of NMU’s earmarked fund groups (EFG), the committee decided in a 5-1 vote to cut the funding of one student group due to poor participation in the group’s on-campus events during the Winter 2007 semester. According to ticket revenue, NAE’s event entitled “Best Week Ever” had an audience of 224 persons. Other events followed suit.
Northern Arts and Entertainment (NAE), a student group that brings concerts and large entertainment acts to NMU’s campus, lost the title of EFG during the meeting, and will now have to request funds from the SFC whenever the group wants to put on an event. Before the decision, NAE was given a budget to do with what it pleased. In the 2007 school year, NAE’s budget was over $40,000. With that budget, NAE failed to bring in a single act that met the high expectations of both the student body and the community.
In the meeting, NAE cited finding less expensive acts that students are interested in as a difficulty they consistently faced. The NAE representative at the meeting added that gauging student’s opinions was another speed bump in the process of putting on a successful event. Whatever the problem was, NAE was not putting our $30 Student Activity Fee to good use, and the SFC acted accordingly when it cut NAE’s funding.
The SFC meeting also introduced a new EFG group, First Aid Productions. According to SFC chair Katey Newton, First Aid will not be expected to replace NAE in any way, and will continue to put on the types of activities that First Aid has put on in the past. The only difference for First Aid in the coming semester will be that the group no longer has to request funding when an event it is interested in comes near the Marquette area.
Throughout the meeting, the SFC made decisions with NMU students’ best interest in mind, and the SFC deserves to be commended for that.
Too often at NMU, student groups put on events and take part in activities based upon their own interests and often forget their group exists for the benefit of the entire student body.
The North Wind has been critical of these types of student groups in the past, and now it has come time to commend one group on doing the opposite.
Student groups at NMU should view their position within the campus community as an opportunity to give back to their peers, and not as a way to promote their own individual wants and needs.