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The North Wind

The North Wind

The North Wind

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Dallas Wiertella
Dallas Wiertella
Multimedia Editor

Through my experience here at the North Wind I have been able to have the privilege of highlighting students through all forms of multimedia journalism. Whether I'm in front or behind the camera, I aim...

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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 helps students soak up some sun

Sun lamps, which are normally found in the counseling and consultation office on campus, are scheduled to be placed in the library and will be available for students by Friday, Nov. 7.

Sun lamps help treat and prevent symptoms of a mood depression known as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). ASNMU President Katerina Klawes defined SAD and its symptoms.

“[SAD] is caused by fewer hours of daylight, which affect the levels of serotonin and melatonin in the brain, which function to lift your mood and regulate your sleep and mood patterns,” Klawes said. “Symptoms of SAD include low mood fatigue, increased sleep and appetite, weight gain, irritability, crying, heaviness in arms and in extreme cases, suicidal thoughts.”

According to Klawes, it also decreases vitamin D intake, which affects the ability to absorb information and has a negative outcome on academic life.

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With that in mind, Klawes has been working to place sun lamps around campus to help with SAD since February 2014. Her research brought two sun lamps to the library.

ASNMU sent out a summer survey about the sun lamps and received a 95 percent approval rate from the 300 students that answered.

Sun lamps, which currently reside in the counseling and consultation center on campus, act as artificial sunlight that treat and prevent symptoms of SAD. Klawes said the counseling and consultation center sometimes makes students who use the lamps feel slightly embarrassed so she brought them to the library.

Freshman biology major Jenna Happach tried the lamps last week.

“I think the library is a way better place to do it,” Happach said. “I think the counseling center has a slight negative stigma to it and the library is a more centralized place to just pop in when you can.”

Happach said she hopes the new location will make the sun lamps more inviting for students. A few hours after waking up, Happach said she used the lamps in the counseling center for 10 minutes. She said she felt wide awake and better about herself after using them.

It is recommended that the lamps be used within two hours of waking up and for only about 10 minutes, according to Klawes. Students will have the opportunity to talk to the counseling center to discuss the right amount of time to sit under the lamps, since each student is different.

Klawes stressed the lamps are not tanning lamps and are much safer with no cancer risk.

Leslie Warren, dean of academic information services, serves as the director of the library. Warren said she is happy to partner with ASNMU to provide another service that promotes wellness.

“[Sun lamps] would be available to all students and others in the Northern community,” Warren said. “It’s another support measure that helps student wellness and will available 92-93 hours a week that we’re open.”

ASNMU provided funds to purchase industrial sun lamps since they expect to see more than normal wear and tear. Each lamp cost around $250 and came with a five-year warranty.

The lamps will be installed in early November. One of the two lamps with be on the first floor of the library in plain sight in the center by the columns. This one will be handicap accessible and will come with directions on moving the lamps to shine over their chairs. The second lamp will be on the second floor on the Jamrich side.

In order to assure these are the best locations, ASNMU will conduct surveys in December to see how much they are being used and if people would prefer to have them elsewhere.

Anne Marie Wellman, ASNMU director of public relations and off-campus representative, said the project won’t get in anyone’s way if they choose not to use the service.

“It is very minimally invasive and won’t affect students if they don’t want to use it, so it’s not something that will pose an inconvenience to students who do not suffer from SAD,” Wellman said.

ASNMU will be unveiling the sun lamps at noon on Friday, Nov. 7 in the library with pamphlets and directions available for students to use.

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