Two weeks after Ludacris took the stage at Hill Auditorium last fall, Michigan Student Assembly President Jesse Levine called the event an “unqualified success.” Despite losing much more money than MSA expected, Levine claimed the concert promoted diversity on campus. Many students, however, saw the event as a failure that exemplified MSA’s lack of responsibility. In light of the Ludacris fiasco, MSA formed the Event Financial Review Select Committee last week, a long overdue measure to repair both MSA’s image and its accountability
Levine now expresses concern over the Ludacris concert and underlying communication problems within MSA, recently telling a Daily reporter that the concert “wasn’t perfect” and that “more communication would have made the event better.” The new committee’s goal is to help ensure that MSA follows budget protocols for special events like the Ludacris concert and to increase transparency in its planning.
In addition to further harming MSA’s chances of being seen as a responsible and effective governing body, the concerns over the Ludacris concert might have hurt MSA’s chances of increasing funding in the future. Last summer, the University Board of Regents narrowly approved a $1 increase in student fees to fund MSA, $3 less than what it requested. The additional fees would have funded better Student Legal Services and allowed MSA to increase its student-group funding. The new committee must prevent further cases like the Ludacris concert from happening if the student government hopes the regents will even consider another student fee increase.
With any luck, the new committee will restore confidence that MSA can responsibly handle students’ money. If MSA members want the student body to see them as dedicated leaders rather than as ambitious students eager to fatten their r