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The North Wind

The North Wind

The North Wind

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Annamarie Parker
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I am an English, Writing major with a double minor in German and journalism. I'm also pursuing my TESOL certificate while working for Housing and Residence Life. I love to travel and meet new people.

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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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Student leaders testify for higher education funding

The Associated Students of NMU (ASNMU) sent representatives to meet with Michigan legislators and speak on Wednesday, March 3 about how Lansing’s decisions have affected students.

Jason Morgan, a junior political science major and the president of ASNMU, and two other members of ASNMU traveled to the state’s capital. While in Lansing, the representatives joined student leaders from Michigan State University, Wayne State University and Eastern Michigan University testifying before the Michigan House Appropriations Subcommittee on Higher Education.

Morgan said student leaders across the state were contacted by the chair of the committee and asked to speak about how changes to higher education funding have affected their universities.

“They were looking for the practical impact of their decisions on the students,” Morgan said.
The five-minute presentations that each student leader delivered represented the first time that the committee communicated directly with students instead of university officials.

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“It’s a huge precedent that they are asking students about it instead of administrators,” said Morgan.
During his presentation, Morgan said that he pointed out the relationship between cuts to higher education funding and schools’ increasing tuition prices to maintain revenue.

“I stressed the point that any further cuts to higher education were an additional ‘student tax’ on students and their families,” he said.

While speaking before the committee was an educational experience, Morgan said that he is not confident that the lawmakers will make the changes necessary to ensure funding for higher education.

“As students, we have seen very little regard from the legislators. We have very little faith that [they] will follow through with funding higher education … I think they are still going to tell us that they have no money and they have to cut [it] again,” he said.
Another student leader who presented to the committee was Regina Royan, the student body president of EMU. Royan said that she thought that the committee was surprised by the amount of research and knowledge that the student representatives had accumulated.

“I think that the legislators were both impressed and moved by the statements from student leaders. All of us echoed the same message to push for a long term funding solution for higher education and financial aid,” she said.
Royan said that students should participate in the Thursday, March 25 rally for higher education funding sponsored by the Student Association of Michigan.

“Students can help by being vocal in Lansing and attending the rally for higher education … and urging their legislators to make higher education a priority for the state,” she said.

Drew Janego, a freshman political science major and ASNMU director of external affairs, said that he was frustrated by what he saw in Lansing.

“There doesn’t seem to be a good ‘Let’s meet halfway’ scenario, and I think that is why you see Michigan’s higher education funding going down the drain,” he said.

Janego said that it is important for students, especially underclassmen, to take an active role in their future by attending events like the rally and lobbying their legislators.

“I’m not that optimistic they are going to come up with anything right now,” he said. “We have to bug the legislators to make sure they come up with new solutions.”

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