Student input necessary during campus planning

Chloe+Anderson

Chloe Anderson

North Wind Staff

With campus master planning taking place, it’s essential to be proactive in offering input on what our university is to become. We are privileged to witness a historical point in NMU’s history, as old buildings are torn down and the entire university reshaped. The decisions made today on the future direction of Northern will have an impact on the entire community for decades to come.

The most obvious topic that comes to mind is parking. If we were to use the analogy of beating a dead horse, the horse is basically mushed into the ground at this point. Need for parking is nothing new–old editions of The North Wind show candidates for ASNMU ran campaigns focused on increasing parking all the way back in the ‘70s. As student population continues to climb, it’s imperative we address the problem. With the moving of the hospital, one possibility is to purchase the parking garage located near the University Center. Although this is far from the dorms and most academic buildings, it’s a start.

Another hope is that the university will centralize, bringing programs often housed in fringe buildings like the
Jacobetti to the heart of campus. Although a separate building makes sense for some programs, such as Aviation Maintenance Technology, it often leaves students feeling isolated from the rest of the campus community. For those with just one or two classes in these buildings, it also proves a challenge to get to class every day, especially during winter. Centralizing academics would also provide opportunities for groups with common interest to work together. For example, Engineering and the Earth, Environmental and Geographical Sciences Department (EEGS) have a lot in common and could benefit from being near each other.

Lastly, campus needs a central hall of some sort where large events could be held, especially live music. Currently, such events are restricted to the cramped University Center Great Lake rooms. Not only is it far from central campus, but an uncomfortably small and closed-off area. The introduction of a pavilion located closer to campus residents to accomodate such events would be a phenomenal addition.
The decisions made during the master planning are critical. Student voices may weigh in heavily on the process.