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The North Wind

The North Wind

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Rachel Pott
Rachel Pott
News Writer

I am a marketing major about to start my second year at Northern Michigan University, however, this will be my third year in college. I previously attended a small community college...

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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 Wiertella April 30, 2024

Student activity fee increase to be on 2024 ASNMU general election ballot

Proposed fee increase would allocate more funds for student groups, events.
Joleigh+Martinez%2FNW
Joleigh Martinez
Joleigh Martinez/NW

 Students will again have the chance to vote on a potential increase in the Student Activity Fee in April of 2024. 

The Student Activity Fee was last voted on in 2022 and did not pass in a tied vote. The Associated Students of NMU (ASNMU), NMU’s student government, approved to add the student activity fee raise referendum to the 2024 ballot last month.

The fee is currently $37.12 per semester and helps to fund student groups across campus, including Northern Arts and Entertainment (NAE), Campus Cinema, Northern Michigan Artist Discovery (NOMAD), Special Events Committee and more. 

The fund supports events such as the NAE organized Hippocampus concert in March. An increase in the fee would allocate more funding to these groups and, consequently, provide students with more events.

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“From talking to students, they seem to want more popular artists to play concerts. They seem to want more popular speakers that they know about,” said ASNMU President Gwen Feamster. “With the fee that we have now, we can not necessarily afford that. So, to get bigger names, we have to have the money for those big names, and that comes from the Student Activity Fee.” 

It has yet to be determined how much this increase would be, but as April and the voting date draws near, ASNMU will make that information available to students.

According to Feamster, Northern students currently pay a significualty smaller activity fee compared to similar fees at other universities.

“Michigan Tech has a fall and spring activity fee that is $60, in addition to an ‘Experience Tech’ fee, which is $99 per semester. They have two, and both add up to about three times as much as ours,” Feamster said.

Lake Superior State University also has a fee for student activities that is more than Northern’s. 

While a fee increase is not guaranteed, a passing vote from the student body would allow for the opportunity to raise the fee. If the fee has the potential to be increased, Feamster has some goals for the allocation of the additional funds.

“I think it would be really cool to get bigger names on campus. I think students want more of that, especially as Northern is on the rise,” Feamster said. “I am hoping it grows student life.”

If the fee does get raised, it would still be included in the Tuition and Fees calculations provided by Northern. 

“When Northern gives you the price tag of 25k, that is for room and board, tuition and fees. It is just like if you are paying your recreation fee, which is automatically added to your account,” Feamster said.

Feamster wanted to ensure that students are well aware of this and that ASNMU is completely transparent with this process and how much a potential fee increase could be if the ballot is passed. 

“All of our meetings are open and are typically always on the Hub. If anyone has any thoughts on it, they are more than welcome to come speak their mind. I am always open for questions,” Feamster said. 

Feamster also wanted to emphasize that this fully depends on students to vote. Students will receive a link in their emails in April and are highly encouraged to vote on this ballot. 

For more information, visit the ASNMU website.

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About the Contributors
Rachel Pott
Rachel Pott, News Writer
I am a marketing major about to start my second year at Northern Michigan University, however, this will be my third year in college. I previously attended a small community college near my hometown, Charlevoix, Mi. In high school, I was a part of my school’s journalism program and helped to produce bi-weekly student newspapers. In my free time, I enjoy outdoor activities like skiing, boating, fishing, and biking. I also love to work out, read, paint, and bake.
Joleigh Martinez
Joleigh Martinez, Graphic designer
Hello! My name is Joleigh Martinez, I have been happily working for the North Wind since Sophomore year of my NMU career. I am majoring in Native American Studies and double minoring in Construction systems and Art and Design. I am a graphic designer for the North Wind visuals. I appreciate the environment our staff creates and hope to see this team succeed further in life knowing how hard and beautifully they work! I love being a barn/chicken lady, I enjoy playing tennis, and am very excited to graduate and kickstart life outside of college.