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The North Wind

The North Wind

The North Wind

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Megan Poe
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My name is Megan Poe and I’m an English (writing concentration) and Philosophy double major at Northern. My concurrent experience with being published in and interning for literary magazines has landed...

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The North Wind is an independent student publication serving the Northern Michigan University community. It is partially funded by the Student Activity Fee. The North Wind digital paper is published daily during the fall and winter semesters except on university holidays and during exam weeks. The North Wind Board of Directors is composed of representatives of the student body, faculty, administration and area media.

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NMU student groups prepare for primaries

With 2007 nearing a close, political groups on Northern’s campus are preparing for the 2008 presidential election.

NMU students have a lot to consider when choosing the next president, with issues such as global warming, abortion and the Iraq War on the table. As the Iowa Caucus and state primaries are set to take place, political groups on campus are making preparations to inform students about the policies and candidates they support.

The College Republicans at NMU are focusing on raising awareness about their candidates, said Kyle Bonini, the president of College Republicans.

“As a student group we like to be as involved as possible,” Bonini said. “As we head into the primary and then the general election race, we will be passing out information and trying to raise awareness of our candidates. There are a lot of information outlets out there for people to look at today, so hopefully students are already getting a fair dosage of the campaign.”

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Currently, the College Republicans are concentrating on key party issues and do not support a specific candidate for the primary elections, Bonini said.

One of the major concerns the College Republicans have in regard to the election is a lack of voting among eligible voters age 18-24.

“In the last [presidential] election (2004) less than half of the eligible voters 18-24 actually voted. As for our group, we always encourage students to register to vote. I encourage students to check out our Web site, Nmurepublicans.com, where you can register to vote in any state, and we hope to have a function soon to get absentee ballots. Students can really use technology now to do so many things and it is only going to make voting and political activism easier in the future,” Bonini said.

Bonini also urged students to get involved in politics and to become more informed citizens.

“We are fortunate enough to live in the greatest and most free country in the world and the nation with an amazing political process and history. Students need to recognize that they can make a difference, that their vote counts and that taking part in politics can be an exciting and fun experience,” he said.

The NMU College Democrats are also not supporting a specific candidate yet, said Marcella Krupski, the president of College Democrats.

Their current focus is reminding students to vote in the upcoming primary elections. Students are much less likely to vote in a primary or a caucus over the actual election, Krupski said.

“We want people to know how to vote in a primary or a caucus,” she said. “We’re working on getting some literature out to students at the beginning of next semester that explains exactly how to do that in the state of Michigan.”

Krupski also noted that the closeness of the presidential race could encourage more students to vote.

“Because the primary race is so close right now, on both the Democratic and Republican sides, I think that people are going to be more invested in this election and a little more willing to make the drive to the polls or fill out an absentee ballot,” she said.

The College Democrats is also planning a debate with the College Republicans. The debate, which will be hosted by the Political Review, is being used as a vessel to inform students on campus about politics and voting, said Krupski.

The group also maintains close ties to Democrats within the community.

“We’re really trying to work with members of the community and with NMU students to create political awareness,” said Krupski.

Along with voting, Krupski also advocates involvement in politics in general.

“It’s up to the individual to influence the system,” Krupski said. “We should be in control of our own government. If we are apathetic, we can’t expect anything to change,” she said.

Overall, groups on NMU’s campus, regardless of party or candidate affiliation, agree that getting students informed and to the polls are issues of the up-most importance. “We want politics to be something that students to see as fun and something they can use as a tool to make a difference,” said Krupski.

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