It’s great to be a Michigan Wolverine.

Ever since my first football game freshman year, that phrase has stayed near my heart. I have loved this school since I can remember. The day I received my admissions letter (Dec. 11, 2008 — in case you were wondering), my life changed. I knew that my undergraduate years at the University would be full of wonderful opportunities that I could not wait to partake in. Right away, I knew that one of those activities would be joining a learning community. With that in mind, I decided to join the Michigan Community Scholars Program.

MCSP was a wonderful community for me to be a part of my freshman year. I lived on the Hill in the cozy residence hall of Couzens close to the Hill Dining Center, the Central Campus Recreational Building and Palmer Field. Through MCSP I was able to take classes in my residence hall, and most importantly, I was able to focus on participating in many community service and social justice events with people who were just as passionate as myself. The students and faculty I met through MCSP in those first few months made the transition to college a piece of cake. The opportunities I had were plentiful, and the community bonding I experienced with other first-years in MCSP led me to have a better freshman year than I ever thought was possible. I loved being a Wolverine.

I returned to MCSP this year, along with about 30 other students, to be a student leader in the program. As most of us know, Couzens has been shut down this year due to renovations. While we were quite heartbroken last year when we heard the news of being temporarily relocated to East Quad Residence Hall, we knew Couzens was going to be in excellent shape and designed to benefit our learning community. Having to cohabitate with the Residential College was not something I was particularly fond of, but since East Quad was much closer to Starbucks and the libraries on Central Campus, I didn’t complain too much. After all, MCSP’s home is Couzens, and will return there in the summer of 2011. Or, so we thought.

Last Tuesday, several e-mails were exchanged between faculty, student leaders and first-year students in MCSP about a new housing situation for next year. LSA Dean Terrence McDonald has made the decision to not only keep MCSP in East Quad for next year, but also to have us start collaborating with the RC and in the near future, open a Center for Civic Engagement (the name is still being decided upon). Did MCSP staff or students have any say in this decision? No. Did MCSP student leaders for the 2011-2012 academic year already sign their housing contracts to room in Couzens for next year? Yes. Was Couzens just renovated and students asked for input on how to make the residence hall better for all students of MCSP and its faculty? Yes. Have we had many staff members involved in meetings and planning time for our move back to Couzens in the upcoming summer? Yes. While I cannot speak for the RC, I can guarantee that several RC members have not enjoyed having to share their space with MCSP, and I don’t blame them. One year in East Quad was enough for MCSP. We should not be forced to stay somewhere where we don’t belong.

The dishonesty that has occurred between the dean of LSA, Housing offices and MCSP has made me reconsider what I think of such a prestigious university. Although I already planned on not living with MCSP next year, I feel for the program and its inability to return home, along with assumptions of expanding the program and maybe altering some of the core values, such as classes just for MCSP students or community service events being opened to other students.

Today, it’s not great to be a Michigan Wolverine.

Bethany Nagle is an LSA sophomore.

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