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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.

Students protest against Israel-Hamas war with campus encampment
Students protest against Israel-Hamas war with campus encampment
Dallas WiertellaApril 30, 2024

Diversity in Disability hosts inclusive ice cream social

CLOSER BONDS — Students gather to eat ice cream at one of the club’s first socials of the semester. Photo courtesy of Dana Hinckley

Diversity in Disability is a student organization that strives to create a safe and welcoming environment for students with disabilities on campus. They host weekly educational meetings that advocate for inclusivity, and give students the opportunity to tell their stories while being surrounded by a support system.

Having a safety net is important for those who need to be heard, so weekly meetings and social events are significant for this reason. According to the organization’s mission statement, they strive to offer support as well as “open the public’s mind about disability.” The statement also mentions that they want to destigmatize “disability,” which is a word that is typically used with a negative connotation. 

On Wednesday, Sept. 13, the group hosted an ice cream social that members and newcomers could attend while enjoying Jilbert’s ice cream. Students met in Hedgcock to socialize and introduce themselves during one of the first of the organization’s meetings this semester. After the ice cream social, Diversity in Disability plans to host their first official meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 19, with additional meetings on Sept. 26 and 28 the following week. These gatherings are meant to educate and provide support for interested students. 

Becoming involved in events that are of interest to students is a great way to promote their self-discovery and improvement. For Dana Hinckley, third year and president of Diversity in Disability, joining the organization helped her grow as a student and a person. She feels more confident in herself and her disability, and she aims to help others do so as well.

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I have always been ashamed of my disability and never considered myself disabled. Because of this, I was not able to advocate for myself and often struggled to do ‘basic’ things,” Hinckley said. “I joined this group because I was looking for support. I had never opened up about my disability and I saw this group as a safe space where I can relate to others. Now, I am the president of the organization and I talk about my disability all the time.” 

At the beginning of a new school year, it’s important that student organizations advocate for themselves, whether it be with posters, at Fall Fest, or on social media. Social events are great ways for groups to meet each other and find common ground before weekly meetings start at full force. Hinckley views her group’s ice cream social as a fresh start for the 2023 school year. It is one of many new and exciting plans that she has, and it started off strong.

We really focused on planning and rebuilding our organization last year, and we weren’t able to engage with many people or get very involved because of that,” Hinckley said.  “All of our hard work last year was definitely worth it though. The ice cream social event was our way of announcing a new beginning for our group. We have a lot planned for this year and we are focused on bringing students together to make a difference on campus.”

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About the Contributor
Amelia Kashian
Amelia Kashian, Features Editor
Being passionate is one of the best parts of being human, and I am glad that writing has helped me recognize that. I have been writing stories since I was a little girl, and over time I have grown to become more and more fond of journalism. Now, I am excited to grow as a writer and build connections as a staff member of the North Wind. In my free time I enjoy running, finding new music, and exploring nature.