Michigan Daily Editor in Chief Donn Fresard has announced he plans join the controversial University of Michigan senior secret society formerly known as Michigamua. Fresard told the Daily for their own story he decided it was the “the right thing to do,” adding he found “nothing objectionable” about the group after their recent announced changes. In response, the newspaper’s Managing Editor Ashley Dinges has quit the newspaper, arguing Fresard’s decision would constitute a conflict of interest.
Founded in 1902, for nearly 80 years the all male group’s identiy was based in organizational language and practices inspired by Native American culture. In 1989 they agreed to abandon much of the offensive cultural trappings in a negotiated agreement with Native American Students after years of protest. In 1999, the organization admitted the first woman. In 2000, activists forced the organization from their office space in the tower of the Michigan Union they had occupied since the 1930s, revealing a “wigwam” space and artifacts in blatant violation of the 1989 agreement. In 2001 I began posting the names of members to this website.
In 2006, after a year-long series of embarrassing publicity including organization members ejected from student organizations, a critical art exhibit, and investigative documentary film (to which I contributed), the organization announced they would abandoned their 104-year name and released the names of current members.
> Michigan Daily: “Daily Editor in Chief to join senior society”
> Ashley Dinges: “Why I quit my job”
> Romenesko: “Michigan Daily ME quits over top editor’s club membership”
> See all my recent posts on Michigamua
Nice job, including finding Dinges and Romenesko material.
Given how controversial Michigamua has been over the past year, I definately think that it is a conflict of interest for him to be a member. Looks like he put his own personal advancement over the best interests of the students.
Thanks for the link to the “Why I quit my job” story, btw.
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