Letter to the Editor: Martha Cook article gets it wrong

Monday, March 12, 2018 - 10:28pm

Dear Michigan Daily Editors,

I am an April 2017 graduate of the University of Michigan and four-year resident of the Martha Cook Building.  I read with intense interest Ms. Andrea Perez’s article: “An Afternoon Tea: The stark traditionalism of Martha Cook dorm.” I found the lack of objectivism, bias, and complete misrepresentation of the Martha Cook dorm breathtaking.

While there exist two other all-female dorms, as well as countless sororities, on the University of Michigan campus, Ms. Perez chooses to emphasize Martha Cook’s “distinctive reputation.”  From the beginning of the article, Ms. Perez’s intent to criticize the Martha Cook Building’s deeply rooted history and traditions is extremely clear. The result is both defamatory and insulting.

As a four-year resident of the building, I can truly say that Martha Cook residents are some of the most intelligent, inclusive, and progressive women on the University of Michigan campus.  William Cook intended for the Martha Cook Building to be governed by women. An all-female Board of Governors continues to run the dorm to this day. I am also disappointed that Ms. Perez did not discuss the residents’ regular involvement in building-wide multicultural events, as well as the building’s largest event of the year: International Tea.

As a prior student journalist, I fully endorse Ms. Perez’s right to express her opinions about the history of female oppression on the University of Michigan campus.  However, it is extremely inappropriate to falsely depict the Martha Cook Building’s residents as ignorant and entitled to advance the purpose of her article. Additionally, I am disappointed that the Daily editors did not adequately fact-check or question Ms. Perez’s illusory statements and conclusions. For instance, Ms. Perez’s description of “baby days” is not a Martha Cook tradition, but is generally stated in Dr. Yanni’s work.

I wish Ms. Perez luck in her future journalistic endeavors.


Melanie Boskovich

Indiana University Maurer School of Law, 2020

University of Michigan, Class of 2017