Editorial: NMU needs to stop bullying The North Wind

North Wind Staff

Board of Trustees Chair Rick Popp’s campus wide email sent Wednesday March 25 reflects one more attempt by the administration to discredit and bully The North Wind for its content. NMU’s administration, and now its Board of Trustees, have adopted an aggressive attitude toward the paper for pursuing legitimate news stories that may not show the university in a glowing light.

re-PopWeaselFor the record, Popp’s propaganda never cited an actual error in the article. What he didn’t like was the perception that certain facts may have given a reading public. The North Wind laid out the facts; it was up to the public to decide if the travel funds were used properly.

Popp’s mass email is the third mass email administrators have sent this semester regarding stories the administration  didn’t like.

For the record, only one word in one editorial was incorrect. The rest is all perception.

Last semester administrators intimidated student editors by threatening The North Wind’s funding. Then the administration blocked Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests and avoided the normal processes mandated under FOIA laws. When those FOIA requests for emails containing six names were eventually honored, they were heavily redacted.

Now, new lows are being reached. Mass emails in an attempt to shame The North Wind are being disseminated. In at least one case—when the Board of Trustees’ budget was released—the university tried to preempt an imminent story by The North Wind by sending out its own interpretation of the documents released through FOIA requests.

There are appropriate methods to counter content in the media world. They’re called letters to the editor.

Popp’s email constitutes bullying. The Board of Trustees is mostly composed of wealthy people appointed by our wealthy governor. The power they wake up with every morning and face in the mirror is a monied one. Our power resides only in what we write.

If they really wanted to show support for The North Wind, they could have taken out a paid advertisement to make their case, as is done in the “real world.”

Popp’s email was a power trip. And some of it was factually wrong. (See our editor in chief letter.)

The North Wind will continue to pursue news relevant to the student body with maturity and integrity whether or not the overlords at this instution act in a similar fashion.

We, nonetheless, encourage them to do so.