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The North Wind

The North Wind

The North Wind

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Mackayle Weedon
Mackayle Weedon
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My name is Makaylee! I am going to be a senior majoring in Social Media Design Management. I am apart of the Phi Sigma Sigma Sorority chapter on campus! I love thrifting, photography, skiing and going...

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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

Public safety deserves respect

The value of long-held traditions has an often unspoken importance in the college experience. The Brule Run, which takes place in the Gant and Spalding courtyard at midnight after the first full 24 hours with snow on the ground, is a tradition that has been unique to NMU students since the mid 1970s.

However, the event, which involves the residents of the all-male Brule House in Gant Hall running nude laps in the courtyard, has been under fire recently for its encouragement of the consumption of alcohol and general rowdiness by students living in the residence halls.

The event was partially called off this year (students were permitted only one lap), but students still took to the sidewalk to engage in the event on Monday, Nov. 11.

The desire to take part in the tradition despite not having total support from administrators was understandable (and probably more in line with the nature of streaking than actually having the university’s permission); however, what is of concern is the way spectators and bystanders behaved during Monday night’s event. With two arrests, one broken dorm window and a handful of cases of students spitting on Public Safety officers and throwing objects at them, the North Wind staff has to wonder: have some lost their ability to be respectful?

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Practices like the Brule Run are prevalent on college campuses nationwide, including at Dartmouth College, where the annual Ledyard Challenge prompts students to swim naked across the Connecticut River and run back to the start line still in the nude.

However, the fact that university-sanctioned events like the Ledyard Challenge continue year to year is partly because of student compliance with some basic (and for the most part, assumed) rules.

Where students can continue to be respectful while still having a good time (alcohol or not) is where we see these traditions continue. However, excessive drinking, disrespect and vandalism are pretty quick ways to have something like the Brule Run taken away.

The biggest source of anxiety over the continuation of the Brule Run, especially for members of the housing and residence life department, has been the presence of uncontrolled rowdiness and contempt for basic rules. For years, the run has existed with little to no need for Public Safety officers, and was allowed — however hesitantly — by administrators. This year, despite Public Safety officers exerting relatively little intervention during the event, they allegedly had to deal with having objects thrown at them and getting spat on by students.

If we hope to continue getting respect and leniency from Public Safety officers, it’s obvious that incidents like this aren’t the best way to go about it. Showing respect for these officers — and other members of the NMU community — will allow future traditions like the Brule Run to continue to exist.

President David Haynes has even said he sees the value in a tradition as old as the Brule Run; however, students should know that in order for events like the Brule Run to exist, the concerns of the university need to be recognized, and, most of all, respected.

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