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The North Wind

The North Wind

The North Wind

Meet the Staff
Molly Birch
Molly Birch

My name is Molly, and I am in my second year at NMU. I come from Midland, MI, probably one of the most boring places on earth. However, we do have the only Tridge in the world, so that’s pretty nifty...

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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 Wiertella April 30, 2024

College campus space for social change

Scanning the academic mall, I see a bunch of quiet, gentle deer passively grazing. The tan mass flows together from class to class, each blending into the other, careful to not be noticed. NMU students are an easily skittish, non confrontational, apathetic deer herd. Yet, it is the fearsome Wildcat that is supposed to represent Northern.


NMU students are incredibly calm. College is often portrayed culturally as an idealistic time to stand up, speak out, to be the voice for change, so where are the demonstrations? Where is the action?You, like me, at first glance may want to deny this assertion. I have passions and care very deeply about an array of issues (my major is environmental studies and sustainability for a reason). But what, honestly, aside from complaining to one friend over coffee, and to the next friend between classes, have we done to let our passions be known?Sure, the whole brand change ordeal this fall could be cited as the singular “uprising” Northern has had in recent years.

Really? Changing a few words to attract prospective students is the one thing that gets us upset enough to respond (which for most of us meant sitting back in our desk chairs and typing our name on an online petition).Or the week before spring break a survey circled NMU social networks asking about ice conditions. This was an attempt to bring an issue to light, but what happened with it? Where was the follow through? I recognize there are some students that see an issue and quietly try to address it. I’ve been a part of these groups.

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Marquette Ending Hunger is a new student organization with the title-evident goal of ending hunger in Marquette County. These are the kinds of students and organizations we need. Organized students with an important, clear purpose, willing to stand out and try to take a position and take action. But students need to go beyond bake sales and documentary screenings. We need to band together to take radical steps, the steps that need to be taken to truly change an injustice like hunger.

As individuals some students do try to stand out and be leaders for certain issues. But if more voices and hands do not join the few strong voices trying to be heard through the drone of apathy, their throats will become hoarse and their initiative and passion will wither to a whisper.

We need people across campus, from the basement of Hunt Hall to the top level of Cohodas, to know the issues we see need to be fixed and need to be fixed now. We need to be willing, as students, to start petitions, to start fuss, to come together.

We need to start voicing our complaints beyond the ears of our best friends and we need to move beyond simple, fruitless complaining.I know sometimes it is scary to have an opinion, especially publicly where people will hear you and people will oppose you.

I feel the same way. Whatever you have to say is worth the risk, you care about it for a reason, own it.Anyone could come up with a hundred other reasons why students are so apathetic. We have to worry about classes, we have to work to pay off the piling loans, we are busy people. We don’t want to be the one stirring anything. But we need to take action, especially as busy college students. If you actually care about something, prove it.

We all have taken the first step, we recognize issues in our community and in our world. Now, as young people, it is our duty to take the second step: to be bold and unafraid as we make our thoughts heard and our solutions realities. We need to bring a visible radical life to our campus.

Goodbye quietly complaining; hello taking action and getting others to take action with us. Our student body is altogether too willing to shoo the responsibility of voice and action, like a bothersome fly, with a flick of our silent deer tail. We need to be the ferocious Wildcats to address important issues publicly.

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