MSA ‘determined to become irrelevant’ with boycott vote, say former pres and v.p.

To the Daily:

The Michigan Student Assembly seems determined to become irrelevant (again), with its ludicrous vote to boycott the Michigan Daily.

MSA and the Daily are jointly the voice of campus – MSA representing and responding to the opinions of students, and the Daily bringing those and other opinions back to students. For MSA to boycott the one organization that can help it bring its work to campus is antithetical to everything student representation should be about.

This boycott is nonsense. As 95 percent of campus will agree, the Daily is one of the most extremist liberal newspapers out there. For a group of student organizations to start a boycott because they don’t like their coverage is ridiculous. Obviously, we’re now seeing other groups join in, in hopes that the Daily will expand to 50 pages per day, and they, too, will get to be covered. The demands of the boycotters are beyond coverage issues, as they lay out how the Daily must change the way it operates.

News flash: The Daily is not getting bigger, and students are still going to pick it up tomorrow morning.

Last year at this time MSA was fighting to get a fall break (yes, freshmen, the one you just had was the first at the U), get an extra $73,000 for student groups from Fleming, expand the CCRB hours, and put Entree Plus in the Big House … all things we did. On Tuesday, MSA spent hours debating whether or not to boycott the paper they will all pick up in the morning to see if they were quoted in!

Joe student couldn’t care less, won’t boycott the Daily, and will see MSA as less relevant because the majority of the “representatives” voted yes.

MSA: Think of all the things you could be doing for that student – if you’ve never met Joe student, you can find him/her reading the letters to the editor, and doing the crossword puzzle.

Matt Nolan

LSA Senior

Jessica Cash

LSA Senior

Nolan and Cash are , respectively, the former MSA president and vice-president (2001-2002).

Advertisements in Daily

incite hatred, exemplify cause of current boycott

To the Daily:

If yesterday’s disgusting half-page advertisement for campustruth.org is any indication of the Daily’s self-proclaimed efforts to respond constructively to student groups’ current boycott against it, you have a long way to go. This horrible advertisement was by far the most deplorable attempt I have ever seen by Zionists to present a skewed portrayal of reality and appeal to emotions in presenting their perspective. No respectable publication should agree to print such propaganda, even as a paid advertisement. Aside from its shameful attempt to oversimplify the issue with an emotional appeal and thereby completely obscure the history and reality of the current situation, the advertisement contained no indication of which group or organization was responsible for it, no contact info, and no references for further information. The only such indication was a web address pointing to a site called “campustruth.org” that, not surprisingly, doesn’t even work. A similar advertisement on page 2, though apallingly skewed in its presentation of relevant facts, at least contained an organization’s name and address.

One wonders whether the Daily would ever print a paid advertisement proclaiming that the Holocaust never happened without citing any supporting facts or figures and containing no information about the organization placing it. An anonymous advertisement that attempted to portray the Palestinian side of the story simply by presenting photos of Palestinian women and children being harassed by Israeli Defense Forces thugs would probably be censored by your esteemed editors (one of whom took a free trip to Israel – minus the West Bank and Gaza – on the Anti-Defamation League’s bill). Political activists are held to the high standard of grounding their arguments on fact and reason and should not be given a platform for their attempts to sway people using emotional appeals whilst cowardly hiding behind anonymity.

Though I have my own issues with the boycott, such flagrant hypocrisy is probably good cause for anyone to launch a protest against a so-called objective campus publication. By irresponsibly printing such advertisements, the Daily risks not only further alienating those who have boycotted it, but also those that do not stand on either side.

Sabir Ibrahim

Engineering

To the Daily:

I can’t believe the ads I have been seeing in the Daily as of late. Talk about inciting hatred and spreading lies! Organizations like “Committee for a Safe Israel” and “campustruth.org” are clearly out to blur the truth and to incite hatred and apathy for the Palestinians and their cause. I urge the Daily not to publish such hateful ads, especially like the one on page 2 of Thursday, Oct. 24’s edition. In this ad, the “Committee for a Safe Israel” has the audacity to claim that true Palestinians are the Jews! Furthermore, it completely undermines the rich legacy of Palestinan culture, of an entire People, in order to impose the propaganda of the Committee on readers. I found this ad very offensive, for what right does the Committee for a Safe Israel have to ignore an entire People? To discredit their history? To delegitimize their existence? I would expect more from a respectable publication like the Daily, but then again, perhaps that’s why you’re being boycotted?

Sameh Bashar Al-Madani

LSA senior

Energy conservation always important issue at the ‘U’

To the Daily:

While I was very glad to read an article concerning environmental issues and sustainable development in the Daily on Wednesday (Kolb pushes Green Policies in Election), I was also somewhat dismayed to note that it takes the opinion of an outsider to our campus to bring energy conservation into the spotlight. After all, the University is the single largest polluter in all of Washtenaw County and consumes over 4.4 billion cubic feet of natural gas and over 300 million kilowatt-hours of electricity every year! Such largesse calls for large-scale energy conservation, not just turning off a couple of lights. (But please continue to do so!) Instead, think about this: The Central Power Plant responsible for 53 percent of the University’s energy needs burns natural gas to generate power. Furthermore, we purchase the other 47 percent from external sources, mainly Detroit Edison, which uses 88 percent natural gas. That means almost all of our energy here on campus comes from natural gas, and nearly half of it is purchased from an outside company.

One of the simplest conservation moves we, as a community, can make is to switch where we purchase our energy – the state of Michigan already boasts a large renewable power grid; in fact, in Traverse City, at least 30 homes are currently being powered by a single windmill. Other possible sources of renewable power include solar and geothermal energy, as well fuel cell technology. Kolb also suggested using a net metering system, which would result in homes paying lower bills if they returned energy to their electrical company. Believe it or not, this is not the first time sustainable energy concerns have been raised at University. An ongoing graduate study researching the carbon emissions for the University over the past seven years was completed last spring, and several student groups are running a campaign to get the Kyoto Protocol ratified here on campus. Kyoto is an international agreement signed by 178 other nations (but sadly not the United States!) to lower greenhouse gas emissions, the primary cause of global warming, to seven percent below 1990 levels by the year 2012. That seems tough, but implementing Kyoto is in fact both environmentally and fiscally responsible – for every dollar invested in energy efficiency, three will be returned. By signing on to this petition, the University would be making a pledge to work towards a sustainable campus and join over 50 colleges and universities around the nation to do our part in minimizing pollution and global warming.

Elizabeth Graham

LSA junior

Graham is a member of Students for PIRGIM.

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