Organizers plan to reintroduce song proposal next week

By Tanaz Ahmed, Daily Staff Reporter
Published February 12, 2015

The organizers behind a proposed Michigan spirit song have pulled a funding resolution proposed during Tuesday’s Central Student Government meeting.

First introduced during the meeting Tuesday, “Hail and Unite” sparked debate over the future of the University’s fight song, “The Victors.”

However, LSA senior Mike Weinberg, one of the project’s main founders, said the song would be a pump-up song and is not intended to replace the longstanding fight song.

“During third down, instead of having that generic pop song that every other school has, we’re going to have our own song that we created, that we were a part of,” he said in an interview with The Michigan Daily on Wednesday evening.

Project organizers officially launched the initiative’s website Thursday morning.

Tuesday’s initial announcement generated criticism from alums and students, who saw the project as an attempt to replace “The Victors.” Weinberg said the project was not explained thoroughly at the CSG meeting. Because the project was misunderstood, Weinberg said the resolution has been pulled and he plans to personally present on the project at CSG’s meeting on Feb. 17. He also said the resolution will also likely be reintroduced.

The organization initially asked CSG to appropriate $2,750 from its Legislative Discretionary Fund. The funds would support a promotional video campaign to raise additional donations for the project as well as provide accommodations to visiting contributors to the project.

Several CSG representatives asked for a more detailed project budget and the proposal was later sent to the finance committee for review.

Weinberg stressed the importance of student, alumni and fan involvement in creating the song.

The group working on “Hail and Unite” is composed of 22 students from several University schools and colleges, including LSA, Art and Design, Business and Music, Theatre and Dance.

Weinberg expressed interest in partnering with MUSIC Matters, the University group that organizes an annual benefit concert, as well as the marching band and local organizations based in Ann Arbor.

“Everyone is coming together to create this amazing project that is going to revolutionize what it means to have music, sports and entertainment,” Weinberg said.

MUSIC Matters President Darren Appel, a Business senior, said the "Hail and Unite" organizers pitched the initiative to his organization, but no official collaboration has been proposed. He also noted that more information is needed before determining whether or not MUSIC Matters would play a role.

“Hail and Unite” also has a philanthropic component.

“One of the things that we want to do is when we’re raising this money is that we want to give a significant philanthropic contribution,” he said.

Though musicians such as Eminem and David Banner, a rapper and music producer, respectively, were mentioned at the CSG meeting, Weinberg said those are two names out of a list of 15 to 20 potential celebrities participants. Organizers also hope to create a music video and a documentary showcasing the process of creating the song.

“We’re trying to combine students with outside talent to create something that’s bigger than a song,” Weinberg said. “It’s creating a movement and something that’s from the ground organically, something that’s never been done in music, college or sports ever.”

Cooper Charlton, president of the University’s Student Athlete Advisory Committee, said that though he can’t speak for student athletes as a whole, he sees the University as a place where new ideas should be welcomed and discussed.

“I personally support innovation and creativity but I would need to hear more about this initiative before I gave a firm answer,” he said.

This is a developing story.

Managing News Editor Sam Gringlas contributed reporting.