The Student News Site of Northern Michigan University

The North Wind

The North Wind

The North Wind

Meet the Staff
Ryley Wilcox
Ryley Wilcox
News Editor

I found my passion for journalism during my sophomore year of college, writing articles here and there for the North Wind. Since joining the staff this past semester as the news writer, I have been able...

The North Wind Editorial Sessions
About us

The North Wind is an independent student publication serving the Northern Michigan University community. It is partially funded by the Student Activity Fee. The North Wind digital paper is published daily during the fall and winter semesters except on university holidays and during exam weeks. The North Wind Board of Directors is composed of representatives of the student body, faculty, administration and area media.

Photo courtesy of Grace Lipostad
Students encouraged to make sustainable products with EcoReps
Amelia KashianFebruary 22, 2024

Elect capable ASNMU leaders

As students, we all make a big trade off to be at Northern. For many of us, four-or-more years of our life is spent receiving an education.

In our time at NMU, students spend tens of thousands of dollars on tuition, room and board and then on a wide variety of other fees. It’s a significant trade-off to make, but a trade-off students evidently think is worthwhile.

Students go to Northern because they think it is a good value — what you receive is greater than what you pay. Only so long as NMU continues being a good value will students continue to attend. I love Northern. I want to continue to see it grow and succeed. But I feel students need an advocate who can successfully make Northern better, while also making our costs lower.

Our advocate organization is the Associated Students of Northern Michigan University (ASNMU). Their job is to collectively represent students’ interests to the NMU president and the Board of Trustees and also to provide oversight as to how our Student Activity Fee is spent.

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By keeping administrators on their feet, student representation is intended to give us all a fairer deal.

You didn’t have to be very involved this year to realize ASNMU failed to realize their purpose. Instead of working to keep the Student Finance Committee and the Board of Trustees accountable, ASNMU spent its time in a war of petty personal disputes.

It started with a redo of a botched election, then there was an impeachment, a censure and then gridlock as these proceedings polarized every student representative into opposite extremes.

Sadly, the Fall 2012 ASNMU Assembly made the United States Congress look friendly and cooperative in comparison.

Because of the unprofessionalism, the administration didn’t care to listen to ASNMU.

Any proposals or statements ASNMU representatives made to the Board of Trustees probably fell on deaf ears.

It’s too bad because Northern students lost a whole year of effective representation and negotiation with the administration.

It was a bad year to miss, too. This year, Governor Snyder increased higher education funding by two percent — students could have used effective representation to get back as much money as possible in a frozen or reduced tuition. Unfortunately, it remains to be seen if our bill will be lower next year — but my guess is that it will continue to rise as it always has.

The worst part about this all was that there were some really good ideas tossed around out there, only to be droned out by the bickering.

For example, the most exciting proposal was to invest in ramping up the WinterFest celebration. By giving NMU its own “Winter Carnival,” students get newfound campus pride, our own unique culture and a new recruiting tool.

This is what student unions are for — to add value to our time in college!

Luckily this semester seems to be starting on the right foot, albeit slowly. Only four ASNMU members are returning from last semester; on Monday, Feb. 18, the articles of impeachment — what brought ASNMU to a standstill last semester — were removed.

ASNMU can now start to fill the All Student Judiciary and then start work that should have been started last fall.

I was lucky to join ASNMU this February, because now I get to have the chance to work for off-campus students without having to engage in the petty politics of last semester.

As students begin a new year, we must resolve not make the same mistakes. Students cannot afford to pick more of the same ineffective representation.

Instead, we need responsible, energetic and mature students in order to lead the movement towards positive change. We need people who understand that ASNMU is not a social club but rather a professional lobby that, if done right, can influence the administration’s decisions for the better and provide a more equitable deal for students.

Elections are coming up. In the first week of April, students get the opportunity to select their negotiators. As a brand new member of ASNMU, I feel it my responsibility to recommend what I have seen as superb leadership.

Under the banner of Revolutionize Northern, pre-med major Brandon Zanon and college of business student Jon Brady, are running for president and vice president of ASNMU.

These guys, also new representatives, were the key players who got ASNMU past its year-long political crisis and showed maturity and leadership in doing so.

Zanon and Brady have the brains and guts to achieve ASNMU’s objectives.

When you are out and about on campus in the next few weeks, look out for the Revolutionize Northern advertisements and T-shirts.

Revolutionize Northern is the best shot students have for a better educational value at NMU.

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