Last Wednesday, the Daily printed a misleading article titled “MSA joins boycott against Daily.” First of all, we would like to make it very clear that the Michigan Student Assembly did not vote to boycott the Daily, nor did it vote to encourage other students on this campus to do so. Rather, the resolution that was passed by a 2/3 majority on Tuesday, Oct. 22, stated that MSA supports the students who are, in fact, boycotting. MSA feels that the minority students on this campus who have qualms with certain aspects of the Daily’s administration have presented a good case for change. We support them in their persistence and encourage the Daily to take their concerns seriously.
Agreeing to support a group on campus that does not encompass the views of the majority of students does not make MSA “irrelevant.” Although the past MSA administration may have ignored the concerns of minority students, that is no longer the case. At the same time, however, MSA has continued to dynamically serve the student body as a whole. At our last meeting alone we passed five resolutions along with the resolution to support the boycott. Yet only those present at that meeting would be aware of this given that the Daily’s coverage of it was centered completely around the boycott.
We passed a resolution for a ballot initiative that will allow students campus-wide to advocate to the administration for a later spring break. Two weeks ago we allocated money for a trial program that will allow students to evaluate their Graduate Student Instructors early in the semester – before it is too late for them to change. Last Tuesday we passed a resolution for a ballot initiative that will allow students to make it permanent. We passed resolutions to sponsor the upcoming Regent debate on campus, to support the Blue Out for the Michigan State game, and to continue to support the University’s admissions lawsuit cases. That was all in one meeting!
Over the summer we worked with the Regents and the administration to secure a $73,000 increase of student group funding. We worked with students across campus to plan and implement the Sept. 11 vigil. We’ve been in contact with numerous student organizations regarding the implementation of our Student Group Outreach Program, which will serve to make MSA more responsive. We’ve set up a student bus to the airport for Thanksgiving, registered voters, advocated to bring wireless web to campus and started an on-line book exchange. We are in the process of implementing a student Newspaper Readership Program and brining an “After College Financial Planning Seminar” to campus. These are only some of the projects that have been working on … and we’re only two months into the school year!
Once more, we would like to reiterate that MSA is not boycotting the Daily. While coverage from the Daily is rarely free from error, we appreciate their attendance at our meetings and their MSA articles that keep the student body informed as to how student money is being spent.
The Daily is a good newspaper, but there is room for improvement even at the highest levels of excellence. The Daily must be willing to accept criticism and listen to the legitimate concerns of students if it truly aspires to be the best newspaper it can be.
Boot is an LSA senior and president of the Michigan Student Assembly, Glassel is an LSA senior and vice president of MSA.