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The North Wind

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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.

LEAVE NO TRACE — Heather Vivian from Respect Marquette County educates on the impacts of outdoor recreation as part of the organizations mission of protecting natural resources.
Leave No Trace 101 workshop promotes protecting natural resources
Benjamin BuresDecember 1, 2023

Student acknowledged for Navy service

Photo by Noah Hausmann: Student veteran Connor Loftus delivers the speech for NMU’s Veteran’s Day event.

Before arriving to NMU and getting elected to serve as the vice president for the Associated Students of Northern Michigan University (ASNMU), senior fisheries and wildlife management major Connor Loftus served four years in the Navy.

Enlisting in July 2011, Loftus did aircraft maintenance and repair on the carrier U.S.S. Ronald Reagan and participated in a military exercise in the Pacific Rim. He received several awards for his skill, including the Blue Jacket of the Year award in 2013, the Enlisted Aviation Warfare Specialist pin and two Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals. Loftus attained the rank of Aviation Machinist Mate Second Class (E-5) and was honorably discharged from the Navy in July 2015.

Loftus, originally from Plain- well, Michigan, is now 24 “and a half,” he said with a smile, has a wife, Rachel, and their 3-year-old daughter, Chloe.

Boot camp taught him the values of “honor, courage and commitment,” which stuck with him, Loftus said. That NMU has core values outlined as well, was a draw for Loftus to attend the university.

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“Honor and courage are basically just doing the right thing,” Loftus explained. “Commitment means doing your best—going all in.”

During Loftus’ time at ASNMU, the student government has campaigned for initiatives like Indigenous People’s Day and the new NMU Food Pantry; such causes are the result of applying these virtues toward helping people, Loftus said.

“There’s people going to bed hungry at night, and that shouldn’t be,” he added. “It’s just the right thing to do.”

Loftus started as ASNMU vice president in winter 2017, and he estimates he has three more semesters of study at NMU.

“I’m glad to see that I’m having an impact on campus. When I came here, I wanted to leave it better than I found it,” he said. “I think that being in ASNMU is a great way to directly impact that.”

After obtaining a degree related to environmental science, after graduation, Loftus hopes to work for a state or federal agency to help manage the outdoors sustainably.

“So much of my life growing up I spent camping and using public lands to enjoy being a kid,” he said. “I want to work toward providing that same opportunity to people. I want to continue [my] public service.”

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