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The North Wind

The North Wind

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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

Recovering from disaster: NMU offers solace to Southeastern students

Hurricane Matthew tore its way westward from the Caribbean, across the Atlantic Ocean and to the Southeastern part of the United States impacting thousands, including 75 students of the NMU community.

Students with known family near areas like Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and even Jamaica were sent an email by the NMU Dean of Student’s Office to express condolences and offer support to their families.

Only 2 of 75 students informed the dean that they were directly impacted by Hurricane Matthew. These two students had late fees waived because they couldn’t pay due to issues with banking on account of Matthew.

“We just reached out to the students from the areas affected, to the best of our knowledge, and we looked at permanent address, admission address, and next of kin address,” Chris Greer, dean of students said.

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Free counseling is being offered to any student who has been tragically affected by Hurricane Matthew. Although no student has reported a tragedy to the Dean of Student’s office in response to the email or prior to, students are encouraged to visit the NMU Counseling Center or the dean for free services or resources.

“We’re not going to penalize students because something happened and they can’t pay a bill on time,” Greer said.

Greer expressed how students should take advantage of the resources NMU has available if they are grieving as a result of losing a family member to Matthew.

“They need to let us know if they’re having a problem of any sort because we can help. If somebody’s dealing with this and can’t take an exam, I could verify to the professor, ‘Yes, this student’s mother is in Florida and he’s worried about her.’” 

The Category 5 hurricane formed from a tropical wave that pushed off the African coast in late September, according to an article by The last time the NMU community was directly affected by a natural disaster was during Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Similar efforts were made by the Dean of Students during that time to reach out to out-of-state students and faculty on campus.

The Academic Affairs division would be responsible for reaching out to any faculty members who may have been impacted.

“Katrina was a little different because we also had National Guard called up, we had religious organizations leave to help with the cleanup and we haven’t heard any of that from Matthew so it’s just not as big,” Greer said. “We were really fortunate, I think, that we didn’t have anybody tragically impacted.”

In a Campus Connect newsletter, NMU President Fritz Erickson addressed NMU students and faculty alike with a heartfelt message. The press release read: 

“When called upon, I ask faculty and staff to work closely with the Dean of Students Office to make sure that the needs of students impacted by Hurricane Matthew be addressed quickly and with care and sensitivity. There are also faculty and staff with families in these areas.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to you and your loved ones. Keep the communication lines open with your supervisors and department heads about your specific needs and we’ll do our best to help you do what you have to do to help your family.”

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