Student group brings global flair to NMU

megan.murphy and megan.murphy

International students who are looking to get more involved on campus, or any student who is interested in tasting the many varieties of international foods from Korea to Africa, can join Northern Michigan University’s All Nations Club.

The All Nations Club started around 1957, when a group of Asian students attended Northern Michigan University, said Yannick Grossmann, a senior entertainment and sports promotion major. Grossmann is from Germany and serves as the vice-president of the All Nations Club.

The Asian students were among the first international students at NMU, Grossmann said. The organization began as the International Student Club, but the name was quickly changed because people thought that only international students could join, Grossmann added.

“You don’t have to be from a different culture to join,” Grossmann said. “We are trying to promote diversity, because in the last few years, that hasn’t really happened.”

On campus, the All Nations Club works to host the International Food Fest during the winter semester, where students are encouraged to try out international foods from different countries, said Grossmann.

“Students don’t get to experience those kinds of food every day,” Grossmann said.

Off campus, the club partakes in Houghton’s Parade of Nations each year. About 65 students from the All Nations Club march in their corresponding nations, Grossmann added.

The club is also attempting to bring Muhammad Yunus to campus, a man from Bangladesh who has won many awards for his creation of microcredit.

Microcredit gives small loans to people who are living in poverty and not able to retrieve traditional bank loans, Grossmann said.

The All Nations Club wants to create an International Movie Week at Northern, he added.

The club is an outlet for international students to get together and discuss their experiences, said Frank Raljevic, a junior hospitality management major. Raljevic is an Australian student and a member of the All Nations Club

“When we do get together, we almost feel like relatives,” Raljevic said. “We know what it’s like to get here, and it’s very comforting to know there are people here who understand the hardship.”

Raljevic also said that international students feel like they have less of a presence on campus than the minorities because there are so few international students, and that networking is a big part of the All Nations Club.

Raljevic said he likes to share his experiences with people who haven’t been through what he has. “I wake up every morning and I’m driving on the wrong side of the road.”

The All Nations Club will soon meet on Sundays at 6 p.m. in the LRC. Students who are interested in joining the club can visit the International Affairs Office at 145 Whitman.

Northern Michigan University has more than 250 registered student organizations.

The groups cover a broad range of interests including political views and hobbies. In a new feature, The North Wind will highlight student organizations regularly.