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The North Wind

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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.

Students protest against Israel-Hamas war with campus encampment
Students protest against Israel-Hamas war with campus encampment
Dallas WiertellaApril 30, 2024

ASNMU considers finances

With the majority ASNMU’s funding coming from the student activity fee and a current balance of $24,979.96, $1,094.33 has been used this year to fund projects benefiting students.

ASNMU receives all their funding from the student activity fee, which is a little over $8,000 a semester. However, because of a large rollover from the past year ASNMU’s available balance is substantially larger than normal.

“The rollover is continuous, but it varies and this past year it has been exceptionally more,” said John Comastro, ASNMU treasurer and Student Finance Committee (SFC) chairman. “It’s partially because last year there just wasn’t a lot of spending and mainly because this last semester there wasn’t a lot of spending either.”

ASNMU President Benjamin Stanley said the reason for such a large rollover is because they stopped funding a yearly program that cost $3,000.

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“I don’t think $3,000 will make that extreme of a difference, especially because before then we had a higher allocation amount than we do now, because the allocation amount we got decreased by a little bit,” Comastro said.

Comastro is concerned that ASNMU is not funding projects to benefit students. In the past year, ASNMU has not funded one new project. According to their revenue and expense transaction report two on-going projects including, the Wildcat Market Project and the 24-hour study lounge during finals, had a limited funding this year.

“This entire academic year, being that I can’t vote, I have been trying to promote projects that would benefit the students, at least push ideas that people have proposed,” Comastro said. “Because in my case I’m graduating and the money i put toward their allocations isn’t being used.”

According to Comastro many project ideas have been presented, but not gone through. When a board member has a project they would like ASNMU to fund, the idea is first presented and then the budget is sent to the treasurer. The treasurer decides if it is a good or bad idea financially and either approves or disapproves of the idea. If it is approved it goes up for discussion at an ASNMU meeting and the board votes on it.

“As treasurer I don’t have any voting power,” Comastro said. “I just decide based on my background on money whether its a good idea or bad idea financially.”

If the board passes the project it goes to the dean of students who finalizes how the money gets distributed.

“I don’t think there is a single person at fault for [the lack of projects],” Comastro said. “But i think the general leadership has just been outrageous and there has been no guidance for ideas. The money I am paying and the money graduates are paying is going to go for when they aren’t even here.”

According to Stanley there are several projects ASNMU would like to fund. This includes, 24-hour study lounge year round and completely funding the green books, which the NMU Bookstore is currently in charge of.

“There are a lot of ideas that are up and a lot of board members that have really great ideas,” Comastro said. “But the leadership isn’t there right now to help push those along.”

“But the drama and disrespect of the leadership I think is causing great problems, personally and with many board members,” Comastro said. “When there is so much drama in an organization your focus changes. You don’t want to have to keep stressing about the drama.”

ASNMU Vice President Amber Lapota said ASNMU needs to be more present on campus as well as creating projects for students. She thinks an ASNMU representative should attend ever hall government meeting.

“I think the students want to see ASNMU,” Lapota said. “They want to see the money in action and get that gratification. Things do need to change.”

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