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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.

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Students encouraged to make sustainable products with EcoReps
Amelia KashianFebruary 22, 2024

Campus planners seek input from students and faculty on campus improvements

Doug Kozma and Mary Jukuri lead forum attendees through details of proposed changes to campus. Options such as relocating programs in the Jacobetti Center were proposed.

More than 40 attendees gathered to learn about proposed changes on campus and provided their input and ideas on ways to improve the university during the Campus Master Plan open forum at 3 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 9, in Jamrich 1322. The master plan will guide changes on campus for the next 10 to 15 years. The process is led by a SmithGroup campus planning team from Ann Arbor.

“The intent of the forum is to share ideas and have people respond,” Jim Thams, NMU director of facilities and campus planning said. “Nothing we discuss here will necessarily be on the final plan, we just want to know what people think about the different options.”
The forum began with Thams introducing the members of SmithGroup following with an, outline of their expectations for the forum as an interactive and open space.

“When we met with [President Erickson] and members of the board a few months ago, they were very clear with us that we needed to be transparent during this process,” Doug Kozma, SmithGroup campus practice director, said. “The voices of students, faculty and staff will mean a great deal to the future of this university.”

The enrollment increases were discussed as an influx of students coming to campus with a need for housing, parking spaces and academic facilities over the next decade.

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Attendees review images of the proposed changes on campus. SmithGroup officials asked them to play “the dot game” by placing green stickers on the ideas they liked and red ones on the ideas they weren’t fond of.

“I want to emphasize that the master plan and its direction is an opportunity based plan,” Kozma said. “That means that growth is an opportunity and the plan needs to provide spaces and opportunities for the teaching and learning spaces for student life, amenities and support for them.”

Beyond the big changes campus has already seen within the past few years, there are seven key planning topics within the master plan. These include changes to the Jacobetti, ways to improve academic alignment, housing and student life, athletics and recreation, performing arts and theater, office space and the Cohodas building, Mary Jukuri, vice-president and campus planner with SmithGroup, said. The group then outlined a few possibilities for each of those seven key topics.

osters with the different options for each of the seven key topics were hung and attendees were invited to share their opinions and provide more ideas and input by placing color-coordinated dots on the posters. A green dot meant they were in favor of the option, yellow meant it needed more work and red meaning it should be ruled out. Attendees then put additional input beyond the seven topics on easels of white paper.

After the forum concluded in Jamrich, SmithGroup took the posters to the lounge outside the Northern Lights Dining facility to gain even more input from students.

“This forum was excellent,” Jukuri said. “The new ideas and inputs are what make planning valuable.”

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