ASNMU gains new ideas on programs at conference

Jenean Zahran

This past weekend, six members of ASNMU along with 13 other universities attended the Student Association of Michigan (SAM) conference at Oakland University in Auburn Hills, Mich.

The purpose of the conference was to work with and hear other universities’ ideas on how they run their legislation and programs and to also evaluate each other’s objectives concerning student legislation.

“SAM is assembled by 12 of the 15 public universities that work together ensuring all students throughout the state have fair representation regarding all bodies of legislation in which affect their academic career,” said Neil Martel, off-campus rep.

Among the topics discussed at the conference, ASNMU sponsored the Mackinac Bridge Resolution, which is a proposal working to reduce or eliminate the bridge toll fee for students statewide.

“This is a prime example that demonstrates the importance of SAM and its ability to reach out to a higher authority to make changes,” Martel said. “The connections to different groups within governments (state and local) make SAM the place to communicate concerns NMU students face that are too big for a ASNMU’s budget.”

Another area of concentration sponsored by ASNMU at the conference was the Safe Rides Home program to possibly run all year around. Currently, the service only runs on Halloween and St. Patrick’s Day weekend at no charge.

“With the possibility of providing Safe Rides Home for students year around it was necessary to communicate with schools already possessing similar successful programs,” Martel said.

On Wednesday, Feb. 27 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., ASNMU and NMU Dining Services will hold a “Let’s Chat” session in the Wildcat Den. This is an opportunity for students to bring up concerns and ask questions to Dining Services.

“Although the session is held at the Wildcat Den, it does not limit the discussion to that venue,” said Amber Lopota, vice president of ASNMU. “Any of the retail locations, such as Melted, Fieras or the Market Place can be discussed.”

To allow Dining Services to prepare responses and potential resolutions to the proposed issues, ASNMU and Dining Services are asking students interested in participating to get in touch with their ASNMU or hall representative to the Food Advisory Board to put their comments in writing, according to Lopota.

“This information will be given to Dining Services one week before the ‘Lets Chat’ session,” Lopota said. “By using this method we hope to avoid lengthy wait times between sessions for students to get answers. Providing your input could help shape the future of NMU Dining Services.”

Another proposal discussed in Monday’s meeting was ASNMU’s plan to form a collaboration with Career Services to provide the student body with internship opportunities that are more relevant to their degree.

“Building a relationship with the departments which deal with student internships will help NMU students gain more connections for future endeavors,” said Amer Mansoor, College of Arts & Science rep. “As of right now, we are simply looking to gain the advice and input from several NMU departments before setting any intern projects in place.”

These departments may include the Alumni Association, Several Academic Departments, Career Services and the work studies program.