The Student News Site of Northern Michigan University

The North Wind

The North Wind

The North Wind

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Amelia Kashian
Amelia Kashian
Features Editor

Being passionate is one of the best parts of being human, and I am glad that writing has helped me recognize that. I have been writing stories since I was a little girl, and over...

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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 WiertellaApril 30, 2024

Staff Editorial: Stimulus help needed

Expecting university funding cuts through 2011, NMU President Les Wong shared his call for a budget reduction plan with the entire university community on Monday, Feb. 2.

Wong stated in an e-mail to students that the “worst-case scenario” budget reduction target for the university is $10 million and said that he has requested each division at NMU to come up with preliminary budget reduction plans.

According to Wong, the message comes after 10 months of preparation for a tighter university budget. The state of Michigan will face similar troubles, as they will be facing a budget deficit in excess of 14 percent in 2010. These state budgetary woes could well translate into significantly less money for higher education and necessitate.

Wong noted that shortfalls created by the budget troubles would not be covered solely by tuition. While this statement is slightly reassuring, it won’t give a lot of hope to a group of college students that are already fighting to foot tuition bills.

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Enter Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm, who, in her State of the State address this week requested that all Michigan universities freeze tuition for the next academic year. The hope, she said, is that prospective students won’t be financially unable to attend college in this time of economic trouble.

This sentiment, of course, provides much more hope to the cash-strapped college crowd looking to get an education. Granholm has not yet laid out the specifics of the plan and NMU administrators have not seriously discussed the option. But would NMU be able to make up the difference in the budget if tuition rates were to remain stagnant?

The stimulus package currently being debated in the U.S. Senate may hold the answers. While no one is exactly sure how the money will be dispersed if the plan passes both houses of Congress, it will likely include somewhere in the neighborhood of $140 billion for education according to The New York Times. One version of the bill includes about $14 billion to increase Pell Grants for college students. This money would be a welcome relief to the legions of college-aged students now trying to pay for schooling in a time when tuition spikes regularly outpace inflation.

Although the stimulus hasn’t been approved yet, young people have already shown that one, unified voice can make a difference in politics. Let’s make sure that voice stays relevant and informed. Call Senators Debbie Stabenow (202-224-4822) and Carl Levin (202-224-6221). Tell them to make sure that higher education remains a viable option for anyone wishing to attend.

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