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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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ASNMU reps head new state-wide committees

The student government at Northern is working closely with the Student Association of Michigan (SAM) this year to bring students together on education issues.

“We have such a wide cooperation this year in SAM, from Michigan Tech to Wayne State,” said Jason Morgan, ASNMU president and chair of SAM’s Legislative Research committee. “We can work together and be a much more powerful voice for students.”

SAM is a collective organization comprised of university student governments across the state. This year is the first time that two Northern students have been chosen to chair SAM committees. Morgan was chosen to be chair on the Legislative Research Committee and junior general university studies major TJ Weber was elected chair of the Same Standards Committee.

“It’s a really proud moment for NMU that the other universities have such confidence in our leadership,” Morgan said. “The other schools just seem to think we’re the most qualified to lead these efforts.”

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The Legislative Research Committee is focusing on several different issues this year. The biggest ones are lobbying for the Promise Scholarship and creating a proposal to ensure funding for higher education.

SAM is in the early stages of planning a protest against attempts to limit funding for higher education sometime in March. State appropriations for public universities have gone from almost 66 percent in the 1970s to about 33 percent today.

“I personally have been so frustrated with our state legislature, and the incompetence of them. Just over the past few years, they treat higher education as a numbers game, rather than as the economic engine of the state of Michigan and the livelihood of hundreds of thousands of students,” Morgan said.

The Legislative Research Committee has been working on a proposal to ensure funding for higher education. The options they are considering asking for include the state to never go below a certain amount of funding for education, or asking for a certain percentage of university funding to be taken care of by state appropriation.

“We don’t know what’s reasonable, we don’t know what’s realistic, so that’s what we’re working with,” Morgan said. “We want to fight like hell to stand up for students. That might not sound professional, but our idea this semester is to create this proposal and next semester submit it.”

The Same Standards Committee is in charge of creating cohesive standards for students and universities across the state.

The committee offers recommendations to universities and makes sure that they are up to SAM standards. They focus on five areas: academic, campus safety, health and wellness, parking and transportation and sustainability.

“It’s to make sure that student governments are working for students and working towards progress,” Weber said.

Weber said that with Northern students chairing the two SAM committees, NMU is in a strong position of leadership.

“Northern really has quite a grip on what is going on and is leading instead of following in student governments,” Weber said.

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