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The North Wind

The North Wind

The North Wind

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Megan Voorhees
Megan Voorhees
Assistant News Editor

Hi! I’m Megan Voorhees and I’m the Assistant News Editor at The Northwind! I was first introduced to journalism my sophomore year of high school and I’ve been in love with the profession and writing...

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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.

Opinion — Its okay to outgrow your college friends
Opinion — It's okay to outgrow your college friends
Megan PoeApril 12, 2024

Diverse women’s group forms ‘Many Shades’

A new student organization is making headway on campus this fall semester.

re-manyshadesofsisterhood-et-2Many Shades of Sisterhood (MSOS), a women’s group aimed at helping minority women succeed on campus, was officially recognized as a student organization in January 2015, and is now beginning their efforts to recruit new members.

BreAnna Phillips, senior psychology major and leader of MSOS, created the group after seeing a need on campus.

“I thought about how when I was a freshman up here—I didn’t know anybody. I was a little hermit like most freshmen are. So, I wanted to be able to help other people and say, ‘Hey, you’re not alone,’” Phillips said.

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The purpose of MSOS is “to encourage involvement, visibility and leadership for minority women on campus,” according to the group’s mission statement published on NMU’s website.

The group, which currently has a handful of regular members, hopes to grow involvement and is reaching out to freshmen women.

Hoping to get word out about their own organization, the group will present their goals to similar campus groups.

They also hope to co-partner with the campus organizations Women for Women and the Black Student Union during Black History Month and Women’s Month, Phillips said.

The group functions as an outlet for women to work and volunteer, Phillips said.

“But it’s just cool to be able to go somewhere and feel I don’t have to worry about looking this way, I don’t have to talk a certain way. Everybody, we are all welcoming of each other. Generally, like a family, sisterhood thing,” Phillips said.

“Just from being a minority myself, I don’t want anyone to ever have to feel any type of negativity. Lets all be friends. Let’s all be positive.”

The group hosts social activities such as bowling and dinner. In addition, group members spend time helping each other with schoolwork. The biggest part of MSOS is volunteering, Phillips said.

Throughout the 2016 winter semester, MSOS helped with Cat Packs and held bake sales to raise money for the group’s cause. For their first bake sale, MSOS donated $55 to the Cat Packs efforts. In the future, they are planning to have two more bake sales in October and an additional two in November, Phillips said.

An additional effort of the group will be helping rake leaves alongside other student organizations on Make A Difference Day on Oct. 8.

Since coming to NMU in 2012, Phillips said she can see growth in the amount of diversity at Northern, and she hopes that MSOS can help in the efforts to grow unity on campus.

“I feel like I’m in high school, because I went to a very diverse high school—salt and pepper everything, like a giant melting pot,” Phillips said. “So Northern is getting a lot better.”

To get funding for their group, the women approached the Student Finance Committee and presented a budget. In doing so, people skills and communication were strengthened, said Angela Walton, a junior accounting major and active member of MSOS.

“I’ve gained so many new friends and skills I felt like I wouldn’t have had within other organizations. It has helped develop me more into what I am today,” Walton said.

Looking forward, Walton hopes to see MSOS become more well-known on campus.

“I want us to… become one of those big groups where young girls of diversity coming in as freshmen can know, ‘Hey we’re here if you just wanna see more women who look like you or just even to meet some, we are here.’ I want to be more upfront, more known,” Walton said.

MSOS has expanded their efforts online with a Facebook page. Hoping to expand their enrollment, they also advertise on campus posters.

“I want [the students] to know that anyone’s welcome. You don’t have to be black or Hispanic. It’s for all races. It is a group focusing more on diversity, but I want everyone to know that they are welcome, that you are more than welcome to join and become one of us,” Walton said.

MSOS meets weekly at 6:30 p.m. Thursdays in 1313 Jamrich Hall.

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