BY IAN MARGOLIS
Published March 15, 2010
To the Daily:
Last year, the Michigan Vision Party campaigned on restoring transparency, accountability and a focus on students to the Michigan Student Assembly. Our image took a hit this week when we learned that MSA President Abhishek Mahanti spent $9,000 developing a new website that was never used (MSA website $6,000 over budget, 03/10/2010). This reckless lack of oversight is irresponsible and unacceptable. We appreciate Mahanti for being transparent and accountable and for taking full responsibility for this egregious error, but we are outraged by his actions. While Mahanti ran with MVP last spring, he chose to disaffiliate himself from us at the beginning of his term. We have not claimed credit for any of his projects.
While we have taken strides to increase the accountability and transparency of MSA, this debacle sheds light on structural shortcomings that still exist. MVP is committed to ensuring that mistakes like this never happen again. This is one of the reasons we wholeheartedly endorse the new constitution, which includes increased checks and balances between MSA and its executives, as well as an impeachment option. MVP has always stood for transparency and accountability and we will never back down from these values.
Don’t be fooled by accusations that attempt to discredit our entire party’s work to date on the basis of an isolated incident committed by an unaffiliated person. MVP members are responsible for spearheading numerous initiatives, from the Block M in the Big House stands and the upcoming concert to Go Blue, Beat OSU week and MSA Mondays on the Diag. To see what we plan on doing in the future and share your own vision, check out our website at www.MichiganVisionParty.com.
The letter-writer is a Public Policy junior and MVP presidential candidate