ASNMU to improve campus relations

Marcellino Signorelli

ASNMU has placed their main emphasis on communication, wanting to become more well-known on campus.

Both president and vice president of ASNMU believe that the involvement between themselves and students can use improvement.

ASNMU president Ben Stanley, junior majoring in human-centered design, believes that there is a lot of room for improvement, he said.

“I feel we could be more well-known but I know we can achieve that improvement,” Stanley said.

Communication was a main goal that ASNMU wanted to focus on, so that more students would know about them, according to Stanley.

“I did not know about ASNMU until I was a secretary for them,” said Kelsey Hayes, ASNMU vice president and senior sports science major. “I also realized a lot of the programs on campus were run by ASNMU.

“Knowing that it helped me find out more about them in the past, before I was vice president.”

Hayes said there has been a certain level of notoriety with ASNMU and she would like it to be viewed in a more positive light.

“The bike-share program will be here this year, allowing students to rent a bike for up to three days,” Hayes said. “We want to promote the bike-share, especially with the beautiful weather.

“It should be a big program that people will associate with ASNMU.”

Stanley said he has already taken some steps in order to get a non-voting member on the seat of the Board of Trustees for the ASNMU president.

“I think the ASNMU president should participate in all aspects [of the university], including sitting in on a closed session of the Board of Trustees,” Stanley said. “I would like the [ASNMU] president to have a non-voting seat on the Board to communicate with them.

“I already made a call to the governor’s office and have gone down to Lansing.”

Stanley has not presented the idea of a Board of Trustees seat to ASNMU.

“I had the idea last year but I only started attempts recently,” Stanley said. “I want to send a letter to Lansing with support from other Michigan universities’ student body presidents to allow the Board of Trustees to allow the ASNMU president to sit in.”

Hayes said she was unaware of Stanley’s plans, partly due to the Aug. 28 meeting being cancelled.

“Normally, the assembly brings ideas up,” Hayes said. “The president and I normally help point those ideas in the right direction and play those out.”

According to Cindy Paavola, director of communications and marketing, the only non-voting member of the Board of Trustees at NMU is the university president, which would currently be David Haynes.

“A person would fill out the required paperwork through the governor’s office,” Paavola said. “The applicant must agree to a criminal background check.

“If there are no issues, the application moves along in the process to the governor.”

Curently, ASNMU is allowed time at each Board of Trustees meeting to discuss any issues it wants the trustees to be aware, according to Paavola.

The agenda of the Board of Trustees meetings are made public ahead of the meeting.

“Most often ASNMU presidents have chosen to use their time to report on the activites of the group,” Paavola said. “And of course, like the public, ASNMU representatives are welcome to attend all of the open sessions of the board meeting.

“However, ASNMU representatives are not allowed to attend the closed portions of the meetings.”

According to Hayes, the general assembly of ASNMU has the power to make any plans and the ASNMU president would have to go through them before following through with any plans.

Those on campus last year will remember Stanley for being jailed due to contempt of court.

While he was being considered for impeachment while he served his sentence, he was ultimately sworn in after the affair and remains the current ASNMU president.

“[The incident] helped because many did not know what ASNMU was until this happened,” Stanley said. “The ordeal taught me a lot, such as everyone goes through tough times.”