If you don’t want to miss any of the campus intrigue in today’s Daily, you better set aside some extra time: the newspaper is jammed with goodies. Yes, if Matt Nolan’s name makes you retch, as it does many, you should be warned: MSA’s attempt to patch up an oversight of the assembly to prepare for this week’s election has turned personal, with Mr. Nolan weighing in to criticize the move. The Daily doesn’t think it’s important to note that the current MSA executives went to some effort to contact the existing justices. Why might Nolan have a better chance? That’s right – they’re his personal friends, some of whom lived in his hall freshman year. After all, Matt was serious about serving as MSA president, and he was sure to pack the court with his buddies to ensure his smooth election. But you’re not supposed to know that.
In his lengthy, self-involved letter to the editor today, Matt Nolan demands to know what MSA has “done” since he left it in 2002. Yes, this is the Matt Nolan who consistently voted against resolutions in support of affirmative action, helped ram through a resolution “in support of the U.S.A.” after we started bombing Afghanistan in 2001, did nothing to help students trying to encourage the University of use fair trade coffee, and certainly did little to help an energetic student named Neil Greenberg bring his dream of low-cost transportation to the airport for students into reality. Yes, that had to happen under the presidency of Sarah Boot. I also guess sending thousands of U-M students to D.C. was not really “doing” anything for students either.
But whether he was running up a tab of thousands of dollars of our student fees eating at the University Club or failing totally to understand part of his duty as MSA president was to represent a unique student point of view before both the Regents and the city, there can be one thing said about Matt Nolan: he took his job seriously. Yes, he helped push through fall break, improve the CCRB, and finally get the University to put up some bus signs, but under the Nolan administration tuition went up, the AATU was antagonized, and for many students MSA was made irrelevant by an executive who systematically denied the importance of their “political” interests, even though his administration would self-righteously advocate war. Yet despite it all, Matt Nolan did bring a seriousness to government that I couldn’t deny. For good or for ill, he made it his life, and that alone seems worth recognizing. Now he should be quiet, and save us all from egoistic accounts of his past glory in the form of long-winded letters.