Room, board rates set to rise

Von Lanier

The cost of room and board will be more for students next year after the Board of Trustees (BOT) approved increased rates.

Additionally, the name, “The Woods,” for NMU’s new Quad 1 dorms was finalized at the most recent board meeting.

On Friday, Feb. 17, the BOT met and approved the housing rates for both existing and new dorms, to open in the fall.

Students will begin signing up for next year’s dorm assignments in March. The cost to live in an existing double-occupancy room increased by $237 to $5,039 per semester, a 4.94 percent increase that also includes the “gold constant meal pass” dining option.

The cost to live in one of the new double-occupancy residential suites is $5,432 per semester, $393 more than the pre-existing dorms. The housing rates for the new dorms, proposed by EdR Collegiate Housing in May, was approved unanimously by the board.

Gavin Leach, vice president of finance and administration, stated rising utility costs, an increase in minimum wage and rising maintenance costs as factors in the decision to raise room and board rates. The name of each individual dorm in the new Quad 1 will be decided at a later date.

The decision to name the new housing structure “The Woods”  came after a campus-wide survey where students gave input on a name they thought was best. Erickson said “The Woods” came out as most preferred.

The new name of the residence halls was also unanimously approved by the board.

“We think ‘The Woods’ is an appropriate name because it signifies pretty much where we are in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan,” Erickson said. “It has an environmental theme which we all thought was very important.”

Another item discussed includes NMU transferring land to the city of Marquette in order to build roundabouts at three nearby intersections including the intersections of Presque Isle and Fair avenues, Wright Street and Tracy Avenue, and along the north side of Wright Street between Sugar Loaf Avenue and Industrial Parkway.

BOT member Tami Seavoy decided to abstain her vote on the formal recommendation in order to avoid any appearance of a conflict of interest because her law firm represents the city of Marquette. The motion was approved by the rest of the board. Roundabout locations with set property transfers from NMU to the city are contingent on the city granting the university sign easement in those rights-of-way.

“We don’t anticipate this to be a problem,” Erickson said.

The death of former NMU student Anthony Herbert was recognized by the board members, after a moment of silence led by Vice President and Provost for Academic Affairs Kerri Schuiling. Herbert died on Jan. 17 in his dorm room. The board formally recognized and thanked Herbert’s roommate, suitemates, resident advisor and one student who lived across the hall for their efforts in attempting to save Herbert on the morning of his death.

The Planning for Distinction project was the final recommendation approved by the Board, outlining the future of the university.

“I think this is a very important process for us to go through because it really links with our Strategic Planning Investing and Innovation and it’s going to help guide us in how we really make investments into our wide range of programs—both academic and non-academic,” Erickson said.