Dear Mr. President,

As Michigan students are desperately searching for ways to handle the Athletic Department Armageddon of Michigan Football 2014, you are one voice who has remained remarkably inactive. When did using your position as your private networking gig become more important than representing the student body? Stay with me now. Everything wrong with the way you have gone about your job culminated with your comments on Michigan Football this morning.

Statements like, “Saturday’s loss revealed, instead, a major fault within the athletic administration: a lack of respect for both its students and student-athletes” and “moving forward, we ask that the student body remain united in their call for action” are insulting to your constituents. This is, in the purest form, political fluff. After reading through the transcript, I still have yet to pinpoint a single shred of tangible information. I mean, I’m glad you feel bold enough to demand “managerial culpability,” but what are you really getting at?

The problems with the football team and its effect on this university started well before this weekend. They started well before the Coke promotion debacle. They started when the administration stopped remembering that this is our school and all you’ve done so far is sit by idly as the student spirit disintegrates.

What is your end goal? Are you trying to save face with the Regents? Perhaps you want to continue to talk to Athletic Director Dave Brandon over coffee? Or maybe you don’t want any negative press as you begin your post-grad job search? Regardless of the reason, you are failing at the job you were elected to do — you have shut the student body out.

Instead of being proactive, you are simply being reactive. In your statement, you asked for us to remain united but did not provide one concrete solution, policy or idea. Mr. President, you are one of the only people on this campus with enough clout to actually make something happen. Your administration was able to change general admission so why are you shying away from this? Being president of the student body means going to bat for us — it means making waves. If the will of the students is for you to butt heads with the University Board of Regents or the Athletic Department then so be it. I’m not talking about drafting resolutions in session. I’m talking about using your position of power to make real changes.

Currently, there is a petition on the CSG website advocating for the firing of Dave Brandon which has amassed over 7,300 signatures in under 24 hours (for reference, you received 3,937 votes when you were elected to your post). You have the chance to spearhead something great — Michigan has the opportunity to show the power of students on a national stage. Whether this entails organizing a boycott of a home game (my preference) or publicly condemning the administration for their conduct, your actions will have to be strong and proactive if you are going to make any significant change

By all means, go ahead and stay lackadaisical on the sidelines. I hope you get a great job after you graduate and the Regents and the administration shower you with honors and awards and distinctions. Really, I’m sure it’s going to be a breathtaking ride for you. Meanwhile, the rest of us will continue to parlay our descent from livid outrage into the sad reality of knowing there is no way to manifest these feelings into actual change.

Garrett Kessler is a Public Policy senior.

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