Bike Share Program gets Rolling

Cody Boyer

During ASNMU’s meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 4, the assembly discussed developments on several plans for the student government as well as for the NMU campus.

Over the summer, the NMU student-body government began various projects to prepare for the upcoming school year, including a new bike share program and committee for the referendum year. During Tuesday’s meeting, the assembly addressed further developments in the projects from the summer, as well as met with student representatives from Spooner Hall to discuss parking issues on campus.

ASNMU President Amber Lopota said having students come to the student government again for assistance is a nice change following last year.

The ASNMU bike share racks are located near the entrance of the Learning Resource Center that faces the residence halls and the Marketplace. (Photo: Kristen Koehler/NW)

“It was refreshing to see that the students had enough faith to come forward to ASNMU and ask for our help,” Lopota said. “This is the ultimate goal of student government. If students need something and come to their student government, we move into action. The fact that they knew to take their own initiatives and look for support means a lot to me.”

The meeting opened with public comment, during which the representatives from Spooner Hall said the parking lot near their building has been turned into a faculty-only space. Lopota said the limiting of the parking space to students at Spooner can cause issues for everyone living there.

“I worked a desk at Spooner Hall and I can attest that one car sat in the parking lot all day,” Lopota said. “I don’t feel that students should be being displaced, especially if students have purchased their parking passes and have received no notification or advanced posting.”

Lopota also said the next hurdle is visible for ASNMU as they approach this issue.

“Next step, we are going to conduct a survey to see if the parking is needed faculty parking,” Lopota said. “If it is, we are going to try and reach a compromise.”

According to the Spooner representatives, the residents have a working petition and have met with the Dean of Students and Public Safety concerning the parking issue. Lopota said the assembly will be all in favor of helping the students and addressing the problem.

Following public comment, treasurer Nathan Bradbury said the bike share program will be distributing posters across campus following its debut. Lopota said the program is off to a great start and expansions to it are always possible.

“We only had five bikes to begin with and we’re bumping it up to 10,” Lopota said. “People seem to be enjoying it. I think there is always room for growth. Obviously, with this being somewhat of a pilot, we are starting small. If we continue to see this kind of use, it is going to demand growth.”

The assembly also appointed junior Troy Morris, Hunt Hall president and former ASNMU member, as one of the referendum committee members. Senior community advisor Jenelle Pelletier and former ASNMU member Chelsea Parrish were also nominated by Lopota.

ASNMU Academic Affairs Chair Vito Giannola said the appointment of Morris for the referendum committee will be a large asset moving forward.

“I truly trust Amber and who she vouches for,” Giannola said. “What I think needs to be done is we need to get people in place on these committees and get things going, especially after a down year at ASNMU. Referenda is every two years and I just think we need to get a jump start. I know that he is a good person and you have to be willing to display yourself to show that you are good enough and that is what he did.”

Following the committee nominations and appointments, Analicia Honkanen, ASNMU Public Relations Director, proposed a promotions budget that included new stickers for the organization. According to Honkanen, the stickers offer a new look for the student government in terms of logo and will help the group have a fresh start.

Lopota said the idea of rebranding the logo for ASNMU signifies a new beginning for the student organization.

“I think Analicia did an awesome job,” Lopota said. “I like that it is very modern and very geometric. Our next step with that is going to be contact Communications and Marketing and see if this is a viable option for us. You can’t always just come up with a new logo for your organization. If we can’t do that, I don’t want it to go to waste.”

ASNMU meetings are open to students and are held at 7 p.m. on every Tuesday in the Charcoal Room at the University Center.