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Northern Michigan University students march in support of faculty

NMU faculty have not been contracted since June 30.
Published: Oct. 26, 2021 at 8:06 PM EDT
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MARQUETTE, Mich. (WLUC) - Northern Michigan University students continue to demand their professors receive contracts.

Late Tuesday afternoon, college students gathered to protest. Northern Michigan University’s Students Supporting Professors group marched in solidarity with faculty.

“Let’s get them a contract, you know, I feel like they need this contract, so that’s what our goal is,” Edward Urbizu, NMU student, said.

Urbizu is one of over 200 students who showed up at the rally, which began at the Woods Lodge and ended at the Northern Center. Following the protest, attendees spoke in support of educators at a forum.

University educators have been working without contracts for nearly four months.

“It has just been horrible the way they’ve been treated and we as students are tired of seeing the way they’ve been treated,” Jax Andres, co-founder, and co-president of the Students Supporting Professors group at NMU, said.

Even without an agreement, Andres hasn’t noticed a big change in class.

“Because of the professors doing their best to keep business as usual for us, it’s not really affected us in any significant way,” Andres said.

Despite this, a lot of students are empathetic with their professors’ difficulties.

“Not only are these people our teachers, but they’re our friends and mentors, and we want to see them be treated as well as possible,” Andres said.

As a result of the stonewalled negotiations, many students have also noticed a lack of spirit across campus.

“I think it’s affecting the motivation of the professors, which in turn is affecting my motivation to go to school,” Urbizu said.

Many are also concerned that professors will leave NMU if things don’t change.

Because of this, Andres has one goal with this event.

“Put ourselves in front of the board of trustees, to make us known, to make it so they can’t ignore our presence,” he said.

While it is unclear when NMU faculty will receive contracts, students are hopeful that this march will help move things along.

In statements this month, NMU administration has said it continues to bargain in good faith to reach an agreement.

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