Wall to wall

Student organizations use Lydia M. Olson Library walls to promote activities

Leslie Warren, left, Northern Michigan University dean of library and instructional support, and Rowan Swor, student engagement assistant at NMU, stand by a wall at the Lydia M. Olson Library that features the NMU Animal Club. NMU student clubs now have the opportunity to promote themselves on walls at the library. (Journal photo by Christie Mastric)


Journal Staff Writer

MARQUETTE — Student clubs at Northern Michigan University now have a new place to promote themselves.

Walls at the Lydia M. Olson Library have been set aside for clubs to put up displays to educate other students about what they have to offer.

Rowan Swor, student engagement assistant at NMU, has been active in getting this project going for the 2021-22 academic year.

“We wanted the project to kind of showcase student orgs,” Swor said.

To start off the summer off, Swor met with student organizations, whose main concern, she said, was that their membership was down because of COVID-19.

“We thought that maybe a fun way of getting the student body to interact with them, and also kind of see what their group’s about, is by letting them do installations here at the atrium,” Swor said.

The NMU Animal Club is the current wall spotlight.

“Their focus is promoting plant-based eating,” she said. “A lot of their members are vegan/vegetarian, but it’s not a requirement to be in the group.”

Swor said it was exciting to work with the club.

“I think we developed a bit of a better relationship with them, and hopefully we get to collaborate with them more in this coming year,” she said.

Leslie Warren, dean of library and instructional support, said the Animal Club installation was the project’s pilot.

However, more clubs’ participation could be in the making as Warren said another student organization had expressed interest.

“We’re working to figure out what that rotation will be,” Warren said.

Right now, the NMU Animal Club installation fills one wall.

“What we anticipate is that we’ll able to use both sides on a rotating basis,” Warren said. “For September, Rowan has a plan where it will be less of one organization featured.”

According to Warren, Swor will work with several groups to develop smaller displays connected with Banned Books Week, which is at the end of September.

In October, a wall will return to focusing just on a single group, Warren said, unless a group can create a display for both walls.

“It’s quite a bit of investment on the part of one group,” she said of that possibility.

The Animal Club display, which was installed by club President and student Olivia Lubig, includes informational sheets and photographs about the group.

“She did a great job with this one, so we’re anticipating that we’ll just keeping rolling with it,” Warren said.

In an email, Lubig, who is entering her third year of college, said the club’s mission is to build a grassroots coalition of people who care about animals and the environment.

“We advocate for all animals, however, we especially focus on factory farming,” she said. “The reason is that the most egregious examples of animal cruelty occur on factory farms. The best way individuals can oppose factory farming is by adopting a plant-based diet. When someone adopts a plant-based diet or goes vegan, they decrease the demand for animal products, and therefore less animals are brought into existence to only live lives of agony.

“We reflected our purpose in the display by showing all the benefits of adopting a plant-based diet. Three of the grates focus on the health, environmental and ethical benefits respectively, and the fourth grate features Animal Club photos and volunteer opportunities.”

Lubig said any NMU student or community member interested in getting involved should email the club at thenmuanimalclub@gmail.com

Christie Mastric can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 250. Her email address is cbleck@miningjournal.net.


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