Wednesday, March 30th, 2005
**Please forward on to your student orgs**
There are three available positions: Treasurer, Student General Counsel, and Chief of Staff.
Please answer all questions, and clearly indicate which position you are applying for. The first seven questions are generic. The last question is specific to the three positions. If you are applying for multiple positions, please answer the last question differently for each position you are interested in.
1. What is your vision for the Michigan Student Assembly?
2. How do you plan on implementing your vision/goals over the next year?
3. Explain the value of working together in teams, and cite examples from your life.
4. What is your schedule like for next year, and how much time can you devote to MSA Exec?
5. Are you available Sunday nights at 6:00pm?
6. How many Tuesday night meetings do you plan on missing throughout the year?
7. Why did you initially join MSA, and why do you want to become an integral part of MSA in the future?
8. Explain the role of the position you are interested in, and why you think you are most qualified for the job.
Please place applications in the mailbox of Jesse Levine by Friday, April 1st, 2005 at 9:30am. Please also sign up for an interview time at the front desk of MSA (3909 Michigan Union)
Tuesday, March 15th, 2005
I just sent this letter to MSA.
I’ve been hearing a lot about the PIRGIM proposal before MSA lately. As a former MSA member, former CSJ member, former Michigan Daily staffer, and blogger who wrote about MSA for four years, I thought I would weigh in.
From what I have read and heard, the behavior of Elliot Wells-Reid and the other opponents of PIRGIM has been underhanded, unfair, and downright nasty.
Case in point: Mr. Wells-Reid has filed a CSJ case alleging PIRGIM will cause MSA to violate their tax-exempt status. In reality, BOTH 501©3 and 501©4 organizations can engage in some direct lobbying. I work for an organization that has both c3 and c4 branches and the c4 branch even has a full time lobbyist. Furthermore, members of PIRGIM have repeatedly told the Daily they plan to engage in NO DIRECT LOBBYING - so the point is moot, right?
I appreciate Mr. Wells-Reid’s concern about the future of MSA. However, why did he file a CSJ case when he could have quickly resolved what is a pretty clear-cut legal matter by consulting an attorney? It looks to me like he just wanted to block PIRGIM from passing, but didn’t have the courage to attack it directly.
I remember some similar arguments from when I was on MSA under president Matt Nolan. Mr. Nolan was pro-life and opposed affirmative action but didn’t have the courage to admit either publicly - so he and his allies would instead would use parliamentary maneuvers and false rhetoric to try to prevent student initiatives and resolutions they opposed from passing.
In fact, the maneuvers of Elliot Wells-Reid and his allies sound similar to tactics used by the Republican Party in Congress here in Washington. In the U.S. House Republican leaders have broken their rules to extend time limits to corral enough votes to force through unpopular legislation, and currently in the Senate some Republican leaders are considering eliminating the 200-year-old tradition of the filibuster using something called the “Nuclear Option” because they’re upset only 95% of Bush’s judicial nominees were approved last year.
You may hear many arguments about PIRGIM and the role of MSA and I encourage you to do your homework and think for yourself. Many opponents of PIRGIM will oppose it because they specifically oppose a pro-student political agenda: fighting for tenant rights, lowering the cost tuition, and making textbooks more affordable.
As a governing body, I believe your actions should always be guided by a desire to work for the interests of your constituents. Whether or not PIRGIM is the best way to address the interests of students, they deserve a fair consideration. In his long tenure in and around MSA, Elliot Wells-Reid has done little to serve student interests compared with the members of Students for PIRGIM.
Former MSA-LSA Member and Student Rights Commission Chair University of Michigan BA ‘04 Field Coordinator, People For the American Way
Tuesday, February 22nd, 2005
Yesterday, I turned over many of my papers I accumulated during my four and a half years living in Ann Arbor to the Bentley Historical Collection at the University of Michigan.
While I have been told it will take some time before the papers are publicly available as they receive a large amount of donations I thought I would post a description of its contents.
The collection, which will be available under my name, will include the following things:
- My Course Outline and Coursepack: I have included both the initial and then supplementary coursepack for a 1-credit honors mini-course I taught Winter 2004 titled “Student Activism and Social Change at the University of Michigan“. Some of the readings are from reports and books I found in the U-M libraries, some from the Michigan Daily, and some from books in my personal collection.
- Research for Investigative Journalism Work: Including eye-opening FOIAs about the re-structuring of the Organizational Studies major, University-coordinated activities with local law enforcement officials to crack down on the Naked Mile when it was decided the tradition should be abolished, police reports from on-campus incidents involving varsity football players in the late 1990s, names of members of the secret juries that heared appeals under the University’s Code of Student Conduct, a study commissioned by University Housing regarding the future of the University-operated snack bars, and more.
- Information about Vulcan and Michigamua: Current membership information for both groups including a copy of a 2004 Vulcan publication with a member directory, and a copy of a Michigamua directory from 1997. Also included is a variety of materials accumulated about Michigamua including internal email correspondence I obtained as a reporter for the Michigan Daily, lists of members sent to me by anonymous sources, and miscellaneous other documents.
- My Thesis and Supplementary Documentation: I have included a copy of my thesis, titled Urban Renewal in Postwar Detroit: The Gratiot Area Redevelopment Project. I also include a binder of articles and other materials culled from old copies of the Michigan Chronicle and other sources in the U-M and Detroit Public Library on urban “renewal” in Detroit in the 1940s and 1950s.
- A Large Collection of BAM-N Propaganda: I have long been fascinated by the organization the Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action By Any Means Necessary and the cadre of Trotkite organizers who operate it. I have compiled an archive of information about them on the website NOBAMN.com, and my papers include many of that information as well as a large collection of the organization’s publications and flyers.
- ‘Inside the Daily’: I have included a printed version of my Inside the Daily series.
Why the Bentley? First, I wanted this information preserved in a public yet secure location. Most of its salient information is already replicated on this website, and although something of a conspiracy theorist I believed they would follow my wishes and make the information public. Second, as the University’s official archive their funding and future seems assured for the forseeable future. They recently expanded, and the University has a vested interest in the health and future of the archive.
Searching This WebsiteThere are three ways to find information on this website:
> First, you can conduct a simple google search by clicking here, or in google add the text “site:goodspeedupdate.com” to the end of your keywords. This method includes all the content I have posted and should be your first post.
> Second, to search in just the blog entries, use the small search box on the upper right. This does not include much of the older content like salaries or political giving.
> Third, browse by topic. On the bottom left there is a “categories” section. Most of the larger posts on the topics listed have been categorized - simply click on the subjects to browse the posts.
If you have any trouble finding anything, let me know: rob at goodspeedupdate.com
Friday, December 3rd, 2004
I sent this letter to the editor to the Michigan Daily a couple days ago. They haven’t printed it yet, so I thought I would publish it here:
To the editor:
I found the Daily’s story today, “Nearly two weeks after elections … ” (12/1) very interesting.
In it, Michigan Student Assembly Vice President Anita Leung tells the Daily it “never occurred” to MSA to post the election results on their website, and Rules and Elections Committee Chair Russ Garber said he didn’t think anyone would read the results if they did.
While I was an undergraduate at Michigan, I posted the results to seven consecutive student government elections to my blog, goodspeedupdate.com, in each case just hours after the unofficial results were released to candidates. I found there was considerable interest in the results, and I attracted thousands of visitors to my website before and after each election.
After this fall’s student government election, in addition to posting the results to my website, I posted them on arborupdate.com, an Ann Arbor news blog I helped found.
Should MSA post the election results on the voting website? Yes. However, more importantly, I agree with the MSA representative who said he felt it was the Daily’s job to publish the full results. As a media organization they should print the full results and post them on their website, or risk finding themselves futher eclipsed by newer media.
BA History ‘04
Campaign Assistant, People for the American Way