To the Daily:
The Michigan Vision Party campaigned last year on the platform that it would transform the Michigan Student Assembly. I remember seeing its big green V out on the Diag and hoping its members could do something with MSA, or at least not screw things up. In fact, I even voted for a handful of its candidates.
Then, Tuesday, Engineering senior Abhishek Mahanti, MSA’s president, revealed that the recently updated MSA website had cost $9,000 (MSA website $6,000 over budget, 03/10/2010).
When I heard this I was absolutely astounded. Nine. Thousand. Dollars. That is enough money to send 10 Alternative Spring Break groups on trips or purchase 50 sets of University of Michigan football tickets. As Mahanti himself put it, “the site that was created over the latter part of 2009 did not function as well as it should have and it cost us $9,000 to make.”
This was an abuse of the money and the trust every student places in his or her assembly. It shows a complete failure on behalf of MSA, MVP and ultimately Mahanti himself. How could the president of MSA, or anybody else who had any part in the site, ever think the result could be acceptable?
Furthermore, I remember MVP campaigning on this very issue last spring, making the website among its foremost goals. Its initial vision seems to have been clouded by a severe lack of oversight and leadership and now, nearly a year later, students like me are left paying the price for its mistakes.