For years, The North Wind has labeled the NMU student body as lazy, apathetic and disinterested in its university.
In recent months, however, students have cast this title aside and have made great strides toward establishing themselves as contributing members of their community and their nation.
It all started in mid-October, when nearly 1,000 students participated in the annual Make a Difference Day.
A few weeks later, a group of students banded together to help preserve the Native Plants Area, which had been slated for destruction by the proposed Campus Master Plan. The students have since reached a compromise with NMU administration and the area will remain.
More recently, students became more engaged in political matters. In the April 8 ASNMU General Election, 1,885 students voted-the most since 2004. The four presidential candidates were above the average number for an NMU election. Both of these facts illustrated the students’ growing concern with their influence in campus matters.
There was an outcry among the student body after the NMU College Republicans announced two months ago that controversial pundit Ann Coulter would be speaking at Northern. As a result, protests were quickly organized and carried out before and during her speech. Additionally, students established Northern’s first Tolerance Week, a week of events that promoted understanding and acceptance.
Shortly after the speech, a class orchestrated First Amendment Day, during which students and spectators debated key political issues while perched on soapboxes at the center of campus. This provided a valuable dialogue concerning a selection of important issues, which otherwise may have gone unnoticed by many.
And just over a month ago, Mitch Foster was selected as a delegate to the state Republican Convention. This week it was announced that Miles Baker and Jason Morgan would serve as Michigan delegates to the Democratic National Convention in late August. These three students have placed themselves at the forefront of the national political scene during a key election year.
In the coming months, students would be best served to remember the strides they took this semester and become involved in their hometowns. They should remain involved in the presidential election and volunteer in their communities as they have been in Marquette. And when they come back next year, they should stay involved with what’s happening on campus.