The William Monroe Trotter House, the
University’s multicultural building, is home to a number of
events throughout the year, hosting everything from organizational
meetings to comedy shows. Unfortunately, the actual building, while
a center of activity for many students and groups, is in poor
shape. Currently, the University administration has no plans to
renovate, nor repair, the facility.

In response to the University’s inability or lack of
desire to make the necessary improvements to the Trotter House, the
Michigan Student Assembly has decided to step in. MSA has proposed
a $1 increase in student fees, to raise at least $30,000 for
repairs to the building. The money raised by this hike in fees will
only manage to pay for very minimal updates to a building that is
in need of much more serious repair.

This proposal is simply a stop-gap measure, slowing the decay of
the Trotter House before a final solution can be implemented. While
funneling money to the house is a worthwhile endeavor, it decreases
the incentive to find a true remedy. As long as it appears that
something is being done, people will not find the problem very
pressing.

As students, we should not waste time and effort trying to mask
the problems that this facility faces. Instead, we should demand a
new facility to replace the Trotter House. Students cannot set the
precedent of stepping in to rescue a building for which the
administration is responsible.

During the past few years, the University has devoted a
tremendous amount of time and energy to proclaiming its commitment
to diversity and multiculturalism. The attack by various groups on
the University’s admissions policies has necessitated this
extensive defense of diversity. While there is no question that
there are many people in the University community who believe in
the educational benefits of diversity, there is some question as to
what significant moves have been made to back up that
sentiment.

The University must find a way to construct a new multicultural
center to make good on its claims of being a place where diversity
is valued and to solidify Ann Arbor as a place with an accepting
cultural atmosphere. The University should invest in the future of
diversity rather than relegate students to performing patchwork on
a crumbling building. Students of all races and ethnicities deserve
a modern and accessible multicultural center .

We oppose the Trotter House proposal, and urge students to VOTE
NO for this MSA initiative. This proposal, merely a temporary
measure, is not sufficient to solve the problems the Trotter House
is faced with. If this stop-gap measure is passed, it would delay
the advent of true progress: a complete overhaul of the
University’s multicultural center.

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