Q&A with ASNMU’s President and Vice President

Rachel Jenks

After only one year at Northern under their belts, sophomores Tristan Ruiz and Xavier Pete-Dye have been elected as ASNMU president and vice president, respectively. They enter into office with bright ideas and high hopes for the forthcoming year. North Wind News Editor Rachel Jenks sat down with the pair to gain a better insight into the inner workings of ASNMU, and how it affects the average NMU student.


Why did you want to be ASNMU President and Vice President?

P: I wanted to be ASNMU vice president because I really wanted to get the student voice to the NMU Administration. There’s a lot of work to be done to get that connection between administration and students so that’s the main reason I wanted to run, to make sure we had a voice when it came to decisions and the administration respected the voice of the students.

R: Initially it never occurred to me to run for president when I joined the general assembly. But when I was appointed to the position of vice president, and I started working there, I realized I was in a good position to be a leader and connect all the branches of ASNMU and get them to start working towards goals and get stuff done.

What will be your main goals while in office?

R: One of the goals to help make sure students actually have voice when it comes decisions being made. Recently it’s seemed like some of the decisions have just been made and are then passed down to the student government to kind of crowd control everyone. We want students to have more chances for input.

P: My main goal is to just get ASNMU and the students the respect we deserve. Our concerns aren’t always taken into consideration, it’s just what’s best for the budget or what’s best for them, and not what’s best for the students. Since we pay the tuition to keep the school running, we should have more of a voice and influence. I know at some schools, the student government has a vote, so I want to look into that.

How do students get involved?

R: ASNMU has open positions for general assembly, so new students who are interested can apply on the website. Or just come into the office and talk to us, or come and sit in at meetings.

P: My job is to get the students into assembly position and onto university committees. I’m waiting to come up with a plan for that until we get our PR director and certain other people in place before we come up with a strategy. Once they’re in place next semester, we’ll get a strategy in place to do that.

What does ASNMU do for the students?

R: It’s self-governance and representation. The members of ASNMU are students, so your job is to represent all the students you’re in charge of, and all the students to administration and help be that one concentrated connection. We also represent our student body at the Student Association of Michigan, so statewide where it concerns legislation on the state level.

What are benefits to being a part of ASNMU?

R: I’ve really learned a lot of how the university is governed and how programs are introduced. On a personal aspect, I’ve learned a lot about leadership and my ability to connect with people. I used to be more introverted, but now I’ve learned to communicate well and be more social. Xavier really helps me with that.

P: The biggest advantage is representing the 9,000 students that go to Northern. We are their voice. I’ve always liked helping people, so that’s why I’ve taken an interest in student representation, and handling complaints and concerns. If a person likes helping people and being there for people, ASNMU would be a good fit for them. Making decisions and helping in a bigger way is an advantage that ASNMU brings.

What advice do you have for new students?

R: Get involved right away. Look at the all the different clubs, NMU has so many. Just pick one and, even if you’re nervous, take the few minutes to walk to the meeting and try it out. Try and get involved with at least one thing, it really can help your college experience as a whole.

P: Time management is a big thing. Make sure you get all your class work, and make sure you leave time for yourself and to connect with your family back home. Make sure you have enough time to do it all, so you don’t get tired or behind in your class work.