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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.

Pizza Cat Vol. 3
Deirdre Northrup-RiestererFebruary 26, 2024

BSU takes inner city recruitment efforts

Seeking to hopefully attract more urban students to NMU, 11 members from the Black Student Union (BSU) visited  high schools in Chicago as well as downtown Detroit over the course of last week.

re-bsu2With a mission statement of promoting diversity and cultural awareness through education and entertainment, BSU traveled to the inner city over the week of Oct. 24. The student ambassadors presented many opportunities and experiences that BSU, as well as NMU, has to offer students of different cultures and backgrounds. Providing a personal aspect, the NMU students held conversations about NMU’s programs and the importance of diversity itself.

The retention rate for African American students is fairly low, Khalil Rasheed, BSU president, said.

“An increase in diversity on Northern’s campus would make it more appealing for students of color to come to campus and stay,” he said.

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Rasheed added that diversity gives people from all walks of life a safe environment to get to know someone different than themselves, “and that’s what BSU hopes to help achieve.”

Traveling to more than seven school districts, the BSU trip reached out to over 170 students in Chicago and Detroit to get them excited about their future and possibly attending NMU.

“It’s through diversity and talking to others with different cultural backgrounds that allows people to grow as individuals and gain new life perspectives, especially while away at college,”
Rasheed said.

Rachel Harris, director of the Center for Student Enrichment and BSU advisor, shared her experience on the trip. “It was super cool to see how the high school students actively listen and react to college students. They were paying attention to every word [NMU students] were saying. They were envisioning themselves in their spot.”

Harris added that the big significance of the trip was to intentionally recruit more students towards Northern, but it also allows our students to be ambassadors, role models and spokespeople, giving many leadership opportunities.

In 2013, NMU’s institutional research department found that demographics of the entire student population was 90 percent Caucasian with only 10 percent being non-Caucasian students. With Northern’s headcount being just over 8,000 students, diversity has become a key factor in playing a part in the enrollment aspect of education.

Sarah Scholmeyer, who served as a student ambassador, stated, “It’s projects like these that shows NMU’s administration support for diversity and bridging the gap between our student population.”
Scholmeyer said the highlight of her trip was being able to positively influence students within the inner cities and educate the students about the possibilities of college.

Overall the trip was looked upon as a win-win for both the high school students as well as the BSU members. The members of BSU not only were able to educate, but also build relationships, form stronger bonds and gain overall leadership experience within the cities and school districts.

Harris said many of the schools that were visited have already reached out and want the BSU students to come back in the future. With a respectable reputation, BSU has won many awards throughout the last handful of years and has no plans of slowing down.

“We want people to know that we are an all-inclusive group that’s passionate about social change and anyone can join,”
Scholmeyer said.

To get involved with BSU contact Rachel Harris at [email protected] or attend a meeting at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday nights in room 235A of the LRC.

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