News Briefs



Board of Trustees approves budgets

The NMU Board of Trustees has approved the 2008-2009 operating budget, submitted their 2009-2010 operating budget and requested $172 million worth of capital outlay projects. The operating budget for the current year is set at $102 million with the estimated cost for the 2009-2010 school year being set at $106 million. The capital outlay requests submitted to the state government are $65 million for a new bio-mass-fueled combined heat and power plant, $18 million for renovations to Cohodas Hall, $14 million for renovations to the Forest Roberts Theatre, McClintock Hall, Jamrich and the PEIF and $66 million for renovations and an addition to the LRC. Communications and Marketing Director Cindy Paavola said the capital outlay requests are funding proposals that are given to the state legislature to consider for funding. “We submitted a lot of plans so that if the state is only allotting for small capital outlay projects we have a request for that, and if they are giving money for bigger projects we would have a big project that could get approval.” In addition to approving the three budgets, the board also revised the NMU mission statement, accepted $1.2 million in external grants and $9,200 in gifts and approved the purchase of a residential property at 300 Waldo St. for $149,000. According to Paavola, the property was bought to obtain land for facilities proposed in the master plan.

– Carson LeMahieu

NMU to test emergency alert systems

Northern Michigan University will test all of its emergency notification systems at 9:50 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 8. “We want to alert NMU students, faculty, staff and community members that this will be taking place,” said Cindy Paavola, NMU director of communications. “Every message will clearly be marked as a test, and we are making a significant effort to get the word out about this so that nobody is alarmed by the test process.” During the test, messages will be sent via the university’s emergency mass e-mail system, its new cell phone text message alert system, a program that freezes operating NMU computers with a red screen and an emergency message, the NMU home page and home page of NMU Public Safety and Police Services, and informational messages on the LCD screens located in high-traffic areas of various NMU campus facilities. The computer program freezes all NMU computers connected to NMU’s internet connections. It then displays emergency alert information to the user. “If we had an active shooter in the academic mall, God forbid, and you were in Starbucks, you would immediately find out the details needed,” Paavola said. NMU Public Safety will send out requests for input on how the various systems worked – such as how fast the text messages and e-mails arrived and how the program to freeze computer screens functioned – immediately following the test period.

– Carson LeMahieu

Bone marrow drive to occur Wednesday

Students will have the opportunity to sign up for the National Bone Marrow Transplant list Wednesday, Oct. 8. The registration drive will be held in the lower level of the LRC from 11 a.m.-6 p.m. “It’s a way you can get involved with helping people,” senior community health education and Spanish major Nicole Weber. According to Weber all students will have to do to sign up for the registry is fill out the proper forms and give a small blood sample. She added that signing up for the bone marrow registry doesn’t commit anyone to definitively give bone marrow.

– Carson LeMahieu