ASNMU joins with national student union

Amanda Cook

On Oct. 24, 2010, the Student Association of Michigan (SAM) voted to join the United States Student Association (USSA). Associated Students of NMU (ASNMU) is a part of SAM, which was founded in 2007. SAM is a student-led nonpartisan group that advocates for students in the state of Michigan.

Like ASNMU, SAM essentially provides an organized voice for students. The group addresses issues like higher education funding, accessibility, and quality, as well as other student concerns.

By joining USSA, SAM and ASNMU will receive the support of the country’s oldest, most inclusive student-led organization. USSA represents students at over 400 campuses across the nation. The group’s past work includes increasing youth voter turnout, helping to increase the Federal Pell grant, and lowering student loan interest rates.

According to their vision statement, “the student members of the United States Student Association work together with a vision for a just society in which generations of representative leaders understand their power and engage and empower diverse communities to create social change.”

Dani Thoune, an off-campus representative for ASNMU, is excited that the groups will be working together.

“Having ASNMU, SAM and USSA is crucial to making sure that our priorities are kept straight,” Thoune said. “We are here for the sole duty to help students and to me that is the most important reason to have these identities around our university.”

Thoune, who has been a part of ASNMU for two and a half years, emphasizes the importance of students sharing their opinions.

“It is up to the students to voice their concerns on issues and make a statement about anything that is bothering them on a university level, as well as from the aspect of being a student,” Thoune said.

“If there is an issue students of NMU face and ASNMU is doing something to help them, we can go to USSA for support … Each and every one of these organizations is designed to help students, nothing more, nothing less,” Thoune said.