Students address board members about wellness policies

MARQUETTE — Northern Michigan University’s policies dealing with students and mental health issues were at the forefront of this morning’s Board of Trustees meeting.

Both current and former students spoke directly to the board about why they believe NMU needs to change their policies when it comes to suicide prevention and self-harm. The students presented a petition to the board, which had more than 1200 signatures within the first 24 hours it appeared online.

NMU’s top administration did address the issue at hand.

“If we have policies that don’t work we should get rid of those policies,” said NMU President Fritz Erickson. “If we’re not communicating very well, we should make those changes and will make those changes. We have passionate students. When they have ideas and concerns, they bring them forward and they do it in the right kind of way.”

“We really want to review all of our policies, practices and procedures related to the mental health of students,” said NMU spokesperson Derek Hall. “It’s very broad. We provide a lot of services and we want to bring everyone to the table, review those policies and improve those policies. That’s really important to us.”

“We hear you loud and clear,” said NMU Vice Chairman H. Sook Wilkinson. “We are concerned and we want to make sure that everyone is taken care of.”

The task force is set to meet for the first time next semester.