Students should have school pride

Delaney Lovett

NMU, where the N stands for … well, you probably know the rest. When I came to Northern two years ago, I was like most new students: so excited to start the next chapter of my life and see what opportunities would present themselves.

I was soon brought down by the heap of negative connotations about the school I had chosen, not from Northern’s rivals but our own students. It’s taken me a couple years to rebuild that excitement, but it’s burning now more than ever.

Whether they chose NMU or NMU chose them, students should take advantage of the college experience instead of belittling it. The college that students choose to attend is a big representation of the person they will become, and, unfortunately, so many students don’t appreciate or take advantage of Northern offers.

In President Les Wong’s Convocation Address Wednesday, Aug. 24, he mentioned the lack of Northern pride.
“I don’t want to hear even a single time some reference to why we ought not to expect more or reach higher because we’re ‘just Northern,’” Wong said. “We have great ideas, and we make things happen that nobody believes we can do.”

Just last April, NMU helped Dartmouth establish their WiMAX network. Northern also began sharing the signal with Marquette Area Public Schools in July. NMU has also been working on extending the WiMAX signal from Marquette to Harvey by transporting light poles from campus.

Our location does not determine what we can do; it’s up to the ambition of our students, staff, faculty and members of the Marquette community that can really make a difference.

Northern has a high acceptance rate, freshman probation and the college transitions program. Despite the all too popular belief that this lowers the quality of our university, it undoubtedly raises it. These qualities and programs give students the opportunity to start over, and the program success rates speak for themselves.

I came to Marquette from a relatively large suburb in Minnesota, so it’s sometimes difficult to avoid the “there’s nothing to do” attitude. But, two years into school, my Marquette bucket list continues to grow. I still haven’t explored the Maritime Museum, gone snowshoeing, eaten at Donckers or jumped into Dead River. I have, however, fallen in love with Lagniappes, the Holly S. Greer Shoreline Bike Path, NMU hockey games, the farmer’s market at Marquette Commons and, of course, Frosty Treats.

Working on Northern’s orientation staff this past summer, I told the students in my groups that it’s nearly impossible to have a rewarding college experience if they go to class, the Marketplace, back to the dorms and repeat. Sure, they might graduate college with a high GPA, but with few lasting friendships and minimal personal growth.

Forget your fear, and join the student organizations you’re interested in, learn valuable skills and build new networks of friends; the beginning of the year is the perfect time to do so. It’s what makes each student’s experience unique, and NMU makes the creation of student organizations and hands-on learning so accessible to students.

Make this year the one where upperclassmen put the bashing aside, and demonstrate school spirit instead. Freshmen, keep the fire burning; you’ve got a lot to look forward to.