Michigamua Publishes Names, Commits to Reforms

The Michigan Daily published yesterday the names of the 2006 and 2007 Michigamua classes, and reported that the organization would be abandoning their name.

The list includes several members which will no doubt provoke some controversy: MSA President Nicole Stallings and LSA Student Government President Andrew Yahkind. Missing from the list was Michigan Daily Editor-In-Chief Donn Fresard, who had been widely rumored to be a member. From the Daily’s story, here’s the list:

List of members

Pride of 2006: Katie Banas, Nick Benson, Michael Caplan, Jenny Deiley, Chris DeJong, Andrew Ebbett, Tyler Ecker, Andrew Ellerton, Lori Hillman, Brian Hull, Jenny Knoester, Dennis Lee, Neal Pancholi, A.J. Scheidt, Gerry Signorelli, Kelene Soltesz, Davis Tarwater, Peter Vanderkaay, Greg Wagner, Sam Woll

Pride of 2007: Sirene Abou-Chakra, Lindsey Bruck, Josh Churella, Tim Cook, Matt Hunwick, Brian Ignaut, Jon Krasnov, Adam Kraus, Lauren Kraus, Jake Long, Christina Macholan, Leif Mahler, Matt McLaughlin, Gopal Pai, Eric Rose, Ashish Shah, Katelin Spencer, Nicole Stallings, Katie Tamarelli, Eric Tannenbaum, Andrew Yahkind, Dave Young

Their coverage of the news:

>> Michigan Daily: “Michigamua commits to reforms” (4/12)
>> Michigan Daily: “Reactions to Michigamua Reforms Mixed” (4/13)
>> Daily Viewpoint by Sam Woll: “Moving on from Michigamua

Also, the Daily printed this letter to the editor today:

To the Daily:
I find it absurd that the University would consider recognizing Michigamua as an official student group (Michigamua commits to reforms, 04/12/2006). Any group that has a history of mocking my people and culture, such as this group, does not have a place in the University. Racism is racism, no matter what the name. I also find it absurd that the members of Michigamua would willingly make their names public. I guess it is good for all of us to know the names of racists on campus.

Wyaudtnoong Adams
LSA junior

The Daily’s arts section also profiled the short documentary produced by M-Agination Films which will premier at 7 p.m. tonight that I have mentioned here before. I was interviewed for the film in December, and their story about the film opens with this hilarious passage:

His solemnity bordering on pomp, his curly brown hair rippling in the wind and with the Washington Monument looming just over his shoulder, blogger Rob Goodspeed of goodspeedupdate.com simply declares “Secrecy is sexy and exciting.” The fewer the words, the more daunting their power, and Goodspeed’s five in the new M-agination made documentary “Fight Like Hell” certainly make that point. Michigamua, the University’s traditionally secretive, selective and at times racist senior honor society, has remained so closed over the years because, without secrecy, its mystique is lost.

Finally, with this post, I’m announcing my semi-retirement from the Michigamua beat. I originally posted information about the organization’s members on this domain because I believed the University community had a right to know the membership of an elite organization that claimed to be “fighting for Michigan” from the shadows. I also thought the claims of the Student of Color Coalition deserved to be discussed in an open forum. With the publication of the members’ names this week — and a broader, public discussion about the organization’s history spearheaded by young activists taking place on campus — the role this website has played in the debate is no longer needed. I added the “semi” because although I’ll refrain from most posting, I cannot promise no additional Michigamua content (I’ve got to digitize my member directory going back to 1902 at some point).

I suppose that leaves me with one last item to take care of: the naming competition. Unfortunately, the pool of submissions wasn’t as broad as I had hoped. Although containing some clever entries, the jury really didn’t see anything that jumped out at us. I suppose that’s something for the campus community to decide.

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Every home business opportunity is worth one scavenging try because you never know when you may strike gold. A legit work at home can mean any kind of job. The key is to follow something you are passionate about. Then work at home would become really interesting. While working from home, one can also take care of a lot of other things. However, the capital required for the home business startup should not be a lot, practically speaking.

Author: Rob Goodspeed

Comments

  1. Congrats on moving on from Michigamua. Campus would do well to follow your lead.

    I saw that letter in today’s Daily. I think its sad commentary that so many people in our generation have such a casual relationship with the word “racist.” We’re going to wear it out if we’re not careful. That aside, I’d be pretty pissed off if I were one of the people that Adams just defamed.

  2. Well Rob, I must say, the documentary was pretty good. Thank you for keeping the cause alive. “Secrecy is sexy”- Im going to have to use that in my book. I must say I found Sam Woll’s opinion letter a little disturbing… I will likely be blogging about it in the next day or two.. Thanks again for your dedication to the truth.

  3. Rob, regardless of what anyone says about your intentions for posting information about Michigamua, I think it is pretty obvious that you were a heavy outside catylist for the headline on the 12th. After working on my doc for the entire year, I have realized how hard it is to maintain balance in reporting on this very dense issue. While I certainly can see your bias, I really think you are fairminded and a few people need to get over themselves.
    It is amazing to me that people criticize some of your blog postings as being too skewed. To me, I would take that as a huge compliment, seeing that they’re treating an internet blog like a news report, while you’re simply creating a discourse to agree or disagree…and they certainly post comments.

    Thank you for the help this year as well as keeping the story alive for so long.

  4. well, rob, your retirement has sure pleased those who believe that the elite should never be challenged, that communities should not stand up, should stay put, and keep their mouths shut about injustice…

    sorry for the rightous indignation….

    anyway, its a good time to kick back on the issue, rob…your (with the help of many activists) tireless efforts have done a lot to undermine the power of an elitist institution with a long, long history of racism…

    good night and good luck,
    ari p.

  5. Ari:

    Your indignation is not righteous it is misplaced.

    As of yet, nobody has put forth a compelling argument as to why this is a fight that needs to be carried on. Michigamua has a history of racially offensive practices – a distinction it has in common with hundreds of organizations at every level of our society. The Democratic Party. Just about every fraternity, sorority University or club founded prior to 1960. Hell, Michigan segregated its residence halls and allowed the segregation of campus clubs well into the 1960s.

    Insofar as elitism is concerned, I love it when a UM student or alum lectures me on the evils of elitism. As of yet, the word has been thrown around quite a bit on this and other similar threads without a whole lot of discussion about why Michigamua is an elitist group and/or why that is a bad thing. Honor societies are a common thing. Why is this one elitist. Why are merit-based distinctions so dreadful?

    Until someone explains to me why a volunteer organization with a racist past should not be left alone, this talk of “injustice” appears to me as nothing more than a politically correct cover for blind intolerance. And until someone can show me why Michigamua is unacceptably elitist (in the context of an elite public university), I’ll continue to view such assertions as unadulterated hypocrisy.

  6. hehe…see what’s funny, is that i actually don’t hold the same views as the other civil rights leaders you have so much contempt for…

    i’m not interested in destorying michiguama, keeping it from meeting, or anything like that…

    my problem with it though, is that it has been systematiclly racist and has broken its promises (legal mandated promises) to change (not in the 1960s, but in the 1990s)…thus, i have a problem with that organization have a) special privilages on campus, b) providing influence for its exlusive clique…

    so, i’m not out there to take that down…that is why i support people like rob making their members public and making their history of racism public, which would undermine that influence…so they can go and have their fun and pretend to be indians and mock the people that this country trampled on and think that’s great…as long as there are not being granted rights or privilages for that, i’m not getting hot and bothered…

    intolerant of intolerance,
    ari p.

  7. Sorry for any misunderstanding. My comments may not apply to you so much, but they do apply broadly and to several individuals on this and other Gamua threads.

    I haven’t time to look at the contract, but at this point I’m unwilling to say what, if anything, Gamua hasn’t done that it was legally mandated to do. We’ll find out soon enough. That aside, I’m unclear on how its relevant that Gamua was racist more recently than the groups I mentioned. If such distinctions matter, I’d counter that the other groups had a far more racially insidious effect than did a bunch of college kids running around in headdresses.

    While you don’t come out and say it, it seems clear that your concerned about Michigamua’s influence on campus. But I’m not aware of any special privileges that they get from the University. Nor am I of the mindset that Gamua is an organization that the campus should continue to worry about. Whether or not you think they have the potential to resume their offensive conduct in the future, it seems clear that they are not engaging in such activities now. Under these circumstances, worrying about Gamua’s influence to the extent that we need to “out” their members as racially insensitive people seems highly unnecessary and somewhat unfair.

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