Near-empty ASNMU assembly doesn’t cut it

NW Staff

Any students who cared to attend the brief ASNMU meeting on Tuesday would notice a few major personnel changes to the general assembly compared to last year. With a dismal five seated representatives, out of 24 total positions, ASNMU is either laying off reps or in the middle of some serious recruitment struggles. The purpose of ASNMU is to represent NMU students to the administration, the community and the state of Michigan. but a handful of members cannot accurately represent the entire student body.

Those who have attended a weekly ASNMU meeting know that while the organization is made up of representatives from different parts of campus, its members are generally more focused on making changes at NMU as a whole as opposed to their respective areas. Talking about the needs of specific constituents is rare. Regardless, in order to function as an organization, ASNMU cannot cancel meetings because the representatives have nothing to contribute; they need more members immediately.

In order to represent the diverse student body at NMU, there needs to be representatives from every corner of the student body. The only way to make this happen is to actively recruit members from all different types of student groups.

Three weeks into this semester’s classes, ASNMU should swell with new freshmen recruits, but instead nearly all of the sitting members are returners from last year.

A poor recruitment effort isn’t entirely to blame for the low numbers. Many students don’t realize the impact they can have on their education and college life if they take an active role in student government. In order to grow and make change, ASNMU needs to attack student apathy and find new blood to fill the ranks. Maybe then, ASNMU wouldn’t be forced to waste time by canceling their weekly public meetings because of a lack of talking points. Students need to take the initiative to make sure they are accurately represented.

Without general assembly members to fuel the process, topics important to students like the 24-hour study lounge and the bike-share program may fizzle out of discussion. With money tight at Northern, ASNMU needs to have a larger presence on campus, or they may well be the next program on the chopping block.