To the Daily:
MSA representative unfairly targeted
As of late, the Daily has been unfairly using its power of the press to single out an individual and put him on trial on its pages. After reading Thursday’s editorial (A mess in MSA, 11/08/2007), my tolerance reached its limit. I am appalled that such reporting and writing has continued for so long. The Daily’s editorial board should focus on the first part of the editorial’s headine: “Innocent until proven guilty.”
The editorial criticizes the Michigan Action Party for allowing Anton Vuljaj to run on its ticket despite the fact that an investigation was still open at the time concerning his involvement in 2006’s MSA election scandal. In hindsight, it’s easy to criticize Michigan Student Assembly President Zack Yost and the rest of MAP for their decision.
However, Vuljaj has not been convicted of any crime. Also, he has not committed any questionable actions since the March 2006 election. The problem with the editorial is that it tries to blame someone before all the facts have been compiled and a trial has taken place.
The American prison system is based on rehabilitation, not punishment. Whoever committed the crime Vuljaj is being tried for has surely seen the error of his or her ways already and does not need a jail sentence to correct such behavior. The Daily’s editorial board should be ashamed of itself for contributing to the persecution of innocent individuals, especially when far more dangerous and costly crime is taking place every day.
Students should push for MSA reforms
As a Michigan Student Assembly representative, I would like to respond to the concerns raised recently regarding MSA (A mess in MSA, 11/08/2007). I must say that I am quite unhappy with the status quo in the assembly, and some things definitely need to be changed. The issues at hand need to be addressed.
First of all, there should be more accountability on the part of MSA regarding the denial of service attack situation. The constant refusal to comment has shown that many within MSA feel that covering ass is more important than accountability. If MSA wants to retain what little credibility it has left, it needs to be more forthcoming on this and other issues relating to its elections.
As for the status of the accused MSA representative, Anton Vuljaj, that would be best determined by the voters that elected him: MSA has provisions for recall elections in its constitution, and if students want to start a recall petition, they are free to do so. With that said, if anyone on MSA is guilty of a malicious denial of service attack against an opposing party, that person should resign.
I am also quite distressed about MSA’s recent pre-election disputes regarding a seat for the newly-formed undergraduate program in the School of Public Policy. That giving students representation on MSA is controversial is beyond belief. I am relieved that sanity prevailed in that case, but I still can’t believe that several MSA representatives spent hours fighting to effectively disenfranchise students.
Furthermore, the fact that MSA rejected an idea as simple as randomizing candidate names without respect to party affiliation on the ballot because of a desire to make it easier to vote straight-ticket shows a desire to place parties above fairness. Clearly, one can see that the idea of fairness hasn’t exactly been MSA’s top priority regarding elections.
I encourage all concerned students to voice their concerns to MSA, get involved and vote. The next election is Nov. 29-30. Make your voice heard, because MSA will only change with your help. Apathy ensures the continuation of the status quo.
‘Green’may have lost its significance
Companies are going green. Cities are starting green initiatives. Venture capital is flowing into green technologies. Green this, green that. Given I’m an environmental studies major, you would think I would be excited about all the buzz. The media has finally caught on to the whole green phenomenon.
Last week, media giant NBC Universal launched an initiative to bring an “environmental perspective” to everything we do. They are calling it “Green is Universal” and kicked it off with a week’s worth of “environmentally focused programming.”
NBC sent reporters to the equator and Antarctica to talk about on climate change for “The Today Show.” There were special news briefs on renewable energy and plenty of advice on how to reduce one’s carbon footprint and create a green stock portfolio. The network is doing its part to inform the general public on some important issues.
So what is my criticism? While trying to incorporate the environmental perspective into all of its programming, the media is effectively diluting the true meaning of green, which is environmental sustainability.
I turned on CNBC Friday morning and saw this year’s Christmas tree arriving at Rockefeller Center in New York City. It was beautiful – an 84-foot, 60-year old Norwegian Spruce from Shelton, Conn. I nearly choked on my cereal while watching a poor reporter explain how this year’s tree is environmentally friendly. It will be lit with 30,000 energy-saving LED lights. By golly, they even cut the tree down using good old-fashioned handsaws instead of electric saws. And don’t worry, after its use, the tree will be “recycled” into mulch.
In an effort to “green” its news, the report conveniently glazed over the obvious: If the event organizers really wanted to be environmentally friendly, they wouldn’t have cut down this huge tree. But surrounded by the whirlwind of high-tech green solutions, that would make too much sense. It’s nice to promote real actions toward a more sustainable world, but please use some discretion with the G-word.
Reconsider littering campus with flyers
Last Thursday, the North Campus Diag was full of flyers for diversity and affirmative action. I pat the responsible individuals on the back for taking action for a cause, but I’d like to slap them in the face for allowing more than 100 flyers to be littered across North Campus. Please stop confusing littering with publicity.