The fashion police have infiltrated the offices of the Michigan Student Assembly. And they’ve got more than a few violations on hand.

Sarah Royce

Hoping to convey an image of increased professionalism and sincerity, members of MSA’s executive board suggested a “business-casual” dress code two weeks ago. In administering this policy, MSA leaders seek to curtail perceptions among the campus community that campus government is inefficient, wasteful and – most importantly – poorly dressed. While getting rid of old-man sweatpants and North Face vests may do little to cut down on the problems within MSA, this new policy may be just the kick in the khakis the organization needs to start getting its act together.

It certainly hasn’t been an easy semester for student government. A look back at MSA’s performance this fall reveals poor attendance records, petty divisiveness and, of course, the ultimate blunder – a failure to convince Ludacris to lead campus discussion groups on diversity. Students 4 Michigan’s current monopoly on campus politics is facing challenges from all sides, with newly formed student organizations and parties rightfully claiming that MSA has inadequately represented student interests.

This decline in MSA’s image should be a legitimate concern among its members. The decision to go business-casual is a sensible move. While it is clearly a minor and superficial change, it indicates an understanding of the need to act in a more professional manner. With a little bit of luck, the oils and essences of professionalism contained within starched white button-down shirts and freshly pressed blouses may seep underneath the tough exterior of MSA’s representatives. Perhaps at that moment, these young go-getters will truly start to tackle student issues here at the University. Oh, and don’t even ask

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