At last night’s MSA meeting, members balked at appointing former MSA Rep. Teri Russiello to the executive board position of Treasurer because it they thought her nomination was too “political.” There’s a number of ironies at work: first, the Daily seems very mystified by this development. (In addition to misspelling her name) Although they open their story with the phrase “Despite being mostly dominated by the Students First party …” they never actually say why anyone would think it was a political move, although noting she had never served on MSA’s Budget Committee. A quick search of their own newspaper would reveal her identified as “candidate manager” in a March 15 story. In reality, she has been heavily involved in Students First, serving in the most recent election as a “campaign manager.” However, not only was her appointment political, the other appointments of Jesse Levine and Elliot Wells-Reid as General Counsel and “Chief of Staff” (A new position) are extremely political as well – both are personal friends of Mironov and Nathan (for the record, I consider them friends as well) and both members of Students First.

Lastly, having run an MSA political party, the ultimate irony is that in that capacity Ms. Russiello likely did gain some excellent experience handling money and operating a budget.

“Assembly members rejected the appointment, which was made by MSA President Jason Mironov, because they saw it as a political move. Russiello has not served on MSA’s Budget Priorities Committee.

MSA Rep. Ashley Whitfield said she was concerned with the appointment, because other applicants who sat on the BPC felt that the selection was questionable, given Russiello’s relationship with Students First. … “

> Daily: “Students First focuses on budget cut effects”

See also the Daily story “SAPAC volunteers defend new changes,” although I’m struggling to see how fragmenting an office and moving the emergency hotline to an already overburdened community organization located beyond walking distance away is helping the survivors of rape and sexual assault. Also, I find it hard to believe the new system will work “seamlessly”:

“… The staffers said the proposed changes are a coordinated community response, in which survivors seek services at either SAFE House, SAPAC or CAPS and are immediately networked in a seamless system. …

But it is “misinformation” that counseling and advocacy were always combined, said LSA senior Kathryn Turnock, a Crisis line volunteer at SAPAC and member of Our Voices Count, an student group formed to oppose the SAPAC changes.

“Neither Sasha nor Stephanie have anything to do with survivor services and have no grounds on which to speak about this knowledgably. The counseling does not have to stop when advocacy starts,” said Mia White, LSA senior and SAPAC volunteer.

Opponents have said the system only seems coordinated but in reality will force survivors to recount their traumatic experience to numerous offices, split their counseling and advocacy needs and seek counseling in the often crowded Michigan Union, where CAPS is located.

Some of these concerns are legitimate, staffers said. Because every survivor’s experience differs, some may not feel comfortable seeking help at the Union. But they noted that SAPAC’s office is still open, “and it always will be, regardless of where counseling is done,” Achen said. … “

And this:

” … SAPAC now has a men’s activism program, coordinated by Atorino. “It’s specifically geared towards men, to let them know what their role is in preventing sexual assault.” The purpose is not to blame men as perpetrators, but to show them what they can do to curb sexual assault, he added. The program will assure men that “there is a male space” in sexual assault issues, he said.”

While I’m glad they’re communicating with men, when I was contacted by a women who alleges she was raped as the SAE fraternity days after another incident at the same fraternity was in the paper in March, it’s clear we can assign some moral culpability. I think the greek system should adopt a strict policy on sexual assault, and if multiple substantive allegations are made about sexual assault the fraternity should face severe punishments, including possibly ejection from the campus greek system.

> Daily: “SAPAC volunteers defend new changes”

Author: Rob