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The North Wind

The North Wind

The North Wind

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Megan Voorhees
Megan Voorhees
Assistant News Editor

Hi! I’m Megan Voorhees and I’m the Assistant News Editor at The Northwind! I was first introduced to journalism my sophomore year of high school and I’ve been in love with the profession and writing...

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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.

Students protest against Israel-Hamas war with campus encampment
Students protest against Israel-Hamas war with campus encampment
Dallas Wiertella April 30, 2024

Truth Rally brings students together

While Ann Coulter prepared to go on stage, a group of concerned students, faculty and community members gathered outside the Vandament Arena to protest her presence.

The Truth Rally, sponsored by the Progressive Student Roundtable, consisted of several speakers voicing their opinions about Coulter and her speaking engagement at Northern. Also present were various student organizations with tables set up to provide information to those who attended.

Brandon Schlacht, who created the Facebook group “NMU Students AGAINST Ann Coulter,” introduced the event with his own personal story. Formerly apathetic, Schlacht decided to become involved.

“What if we did something?” he said. “What if we stood up and said ‘no’ to Ann Coulter? When we aren’t paying attention, we lose our campus, we lose our voice.”

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Schlact then talked about the first Tolerance Week at NMU, which sprung up as a reaction to Coulter’s visit, but said there was a difference because of the actions of students, not simply because of Coulter.

James Schiffer, professor and head of the English department, next voiced his opinions about Coulter and her message. Coulter is a shock jock, Schiffer said, adding that she wants to provoke people. He also thanked the crowd for gathering in a unified effort, something he said he hadn’t seen since the 1960s. He also emphasized the importance of civil discourse and speaking out.

In conclusion, Schiffer told the attendees: “Peace be with all of you tonight and please, let’s continue to walk the high road.”

The next speaker, Mohey Mowafy, professor in the health, physical education and recreation department, talked about bigotry and Islamophobia, both something he has been on the receiving end of. Mowafy defined what both were and then offered suggestions on how to combat both, one of which was education.

Other speakers included Alex Carrol, professor of anthropology, Paul Lehmberg, English professor, John Smolens, English professor and Robert Goodrich, associated professor of history.

During Coulter’s speech, a planned walkout occurred, involving an estimated 75 attendees. Kyle Bonini, president of the College Republicans, the group that brought Coulter to campus, said that walkouts happen at every one of Coulter speaking engagements at universities.

“Ann knew they were going to happen, so it wasn’t a surprise.they always think they’re going to make her see something new, but she’s seen it all,” he said.

Bonini also said that although he did not have a problem with the protest going on outside, he felt that one student organization trying to disrupt another student organizations event was disrespectful.

“Personally, I think it’s not respectful for one student organization to try to disrupt the event of another student organization. When they try to disrupt the event, they didn’t do anything technically wrong. But to me I would have liked to see a little bit more respect for our event and what we were trying to do there,” he said.

Jason Morgan, chairman of the Progressive Student Roundtable, said he couldn’t be happier with how the event turned out.

“Everyone who was there was very respectful and got their message across in a very positive way,” he said. “I’m a little bit surprised that so many people showed up and that so many people actually cared.”

Morgan also applauded the participation of faculty speakers and the students who helped pull the event off.

“The speakers were amazing and all the students who were involved in the planning and set up were great,” Morgan said.

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