Category Archives: Dems in the News
DISCLAIMER: The opinions expressed are not those of any organization ever devised in the history of ever.
+ Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN correspondent and Michigan alum, and even more importantly not Rick Snyder or another similar terrible person, will be speaking at commencement on April 28 at the Big House.
+ A rally held Friday evening sponsored by the University chapter of the NAACP and CSG Voice Your Vote commission was attended by state officials including Senator Carl Levin, Representative Hansen Clark, Debbie Dingell, and the always awesome Rep. Jeff Irwin. Lauren Coffman, our Communications Director, was there and emphasized the importance of youth to “speak up.” (Read the whole article at our News Clips page.)
+ Mark Bernstein, noted for bringing his adorable child to the Pancake Breakfast (who is now the unofficial mascot of GingerDems), as well as Shauna Ryder Diggs, were endorsed by state democrats for the University of Michigan Board of Regents at the party convention this past Saturday.
+ U of M scored a #4 seed at the NCAA basketball tournament. Also known as “the big one.” Sure we got creamed by Ohio by over 20 points, but still man, #4.
+ Despite the danger of Putin rearing his head that Sarah Palin talked about so much, a writer went to Russia, saw that it isn’t that bad, and wrote an opinion about it.
+ To the delight of probably no one but me, the word “cornucopia” was used in an article about the disappointing Hunger Games movie.
+ Crime Notes: A box of flash drives were stolen, but all we’re sure about so far is that it happened at some point between February 16 and March 1. Guess that box was well taken care of.
+ A guy got hit with a hockey puck at the hockey game at Yost Arena this past Saturday, but no one is sure if it happened during the hockey game! Now I don’t know tons about hockey but I’m pretty sure you could employ the age-old Sherlock Holmes detective maneuver of “Ask the Guy who Got Hit with the Hockey Puck.”
By Kellie Woodhouse
January 26, 2012
Roughly 3,000 people Thursday morning received tickets to President Barack Obama’s upcoming speech —many camping outside overnight to secure their place in line— and still hundreds of hopefuls were turned away.
It’s clear: Obama mania has seeped into the University of Michigan campus as the school prepares for his speech on college affordability Friday at 9:35 a.m. at the Al Glick Field House.
Many students standing in line and roaming around campus lived here in 2010 when Obama was the spring commencement speaker, and we asked them how this month’s impromptu visit compares with the last time the president and his entourage descended upon Ann Arbor.
“There’s been a lot of talk on campus. In all my classes students have been talking about if they’re going to go get tickets and professors are talking about it in class,” said senior political science and American culture major Amanda Caldwell, president of the U-M College Democrats. “But to have a sitting president come and give a commencement speech is very different than what he’s doing now.”
Official word about the president’s visit wasn’t widely issued by U-M until Tuesday morning and even then students said it took a while for word to spread.
“There were murmurs of it at first but then when people started really finding out that he’s coming excitement went up quick,” said freshman Brendan Harnos.
Junior Hannah Heebner, who attended Obama’s 2010 commencement speech, agreed.
“It was kind of like a slow burn at first,” she said.
“I remember thinking it was so awesome to see him,” Heebner said of the commencement speech. “Last time it was in the Big House there were a lot more people, but with only 3,000 tickets this time around, people are a lot more dedicated to getting in.”
With short notice, a limited audience and a time slot that’s in the middle of the semester -factors that didn’t exist during May 2010— some students say the buzz hasn’t quite reached the level it did before Obama’s commencement speech.
“Last time he came it was for graduation, so it was a little bit different,” said senior Tyler Leppek. “There was excitement for our friends who were graduating but also to experience Obama.”
“This visit, it kind of popped out of nowhere and I think a lot of students didn’t know … at first,” he continued.
Doctoral student Hope Thompson, who was a senior in college in 2008 when Obama was first elected, said she supports the president but couldn’t devote the time to standing in line for tickets.
“Between class and work for me I just didn’t really consider going because it was going to be such a commitment,” she said.
Emily Beam, a doctoral student at the public policy school, said there’s been an overall waning of excitement about Obama among youths since he was elected in 2008.
“The sentiment here on campus in 2008 was very different because there wasn’t any reality to check it against. Obama represented an end to the eight years of Bush,” she said. “Whether it’s because of his performance or his trouble in Congress or unrealistic expectations, people aren’t as excited.”
People sleep on the floor outside of the Michigan Union Ticket Office, inside of the Michigan Union while waiting to get tickets to see President Barack Obama speak on Friday.
Angela J. Cesere | AnnArbor.com
Caroline Meehan, a masters student in the social work and public policy schools, said the excitement surrounding Obama’s 2008 bid “is going to be hard to match.”
She said the hype regarding the president’s Friday speech hasn’t quite reached the level she expected.
“It’s been more subdued excitement,” Meehan explained.
Meehan and Beam’s thoughts are echoed by a December Harvard University poll that reported that most young voters —or 36 percent of respondents— think Obama will lose next year. Thirty percent of respondents guessed he’d win in November.
University of Michigan graduate student Kate Ditzler went door-to-door campaigning for Barack Obama in 2008.
The Canton native and masters student at the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy remembers that period as one of unfading excitement, limitless possibilities and unceasing work.
Ditzler says she’s still as committed to supporting the Obama’s 2012 bid for re-election as she was in 2008, but she’s unsure if that’s the sentiment felt by the majority of the student population, which is widely credited for bringing Obama success in his original election bid.
“Unfortunately I think a lot of people don’t understand the way politics work,” Ditzler said. “He wants to do everything, but there are regulations to write and a Congress to corral and I think that a lot of the enthusiasm for something new and different is gone from Obama’s campaign.”
“I’m hoping people will use their college brains instead of their emotional political ones,” she continued.
Caldwell, the U-M senior, says Obama hasn’t lost his relevance among young people.
“Republicans… haven’t done anything to get young people’s support. “I think Obama will have just as much support from young people as before.”
By Adam Rubenfire
January 23, 2012
Following yesterday’s announcement that President Barack Obama will be speaking at the University this Friday, campus leaders and students on both sides of the aisle expressed excitement for the upcoming visit from the nation’s leader.
Though Obama is expected to discuss college affordability in his speech, students said they hope he also discusses ongoing issues pertaining to job growth and rebuilding the economy in Michigan — topics particularly important to students getting ready to enter the workforce.
Anton Dirnberger, chair of the University’s chapter of College Republicans, said though he disagrees with Obama’s views on several issues, he respects the “office of the presidency.”
“I think as a Wolverine, that’s great to have the President — no matter what party he is a part of — come to campus,” Dirnberger said.
However, Dirnberger expressed frustration that Obama is attempting to garner electoral support amid economic difficulties that continue to afflict the nation, adding that he anticipates that the president will be more focused on campaigning in his speech than discussing impactful policy.
“It’s pretty much a campaign speech — we all know that,” Dirnberger said. “I wish, and I think a lot of people do, that he would spend more time trying to work out some ideal situations to get some Americans back to work.”
Dirnberger said though he would be somewhat interested in hearing Obama’s views on higher education, he would rather hear him speak about his decision to reject plans for the Keystone XL oil pipeline — a transnational project that would install an oil pipeline stretching from Canada to Texas.
“I know he definitely won’t be talking about that, but that’s what I would like to hear,” Dirnberger said.
Dirnberger said he hopes that Obama won’t suggest raising taxes to make college more affordable.
Though about 50 students protested at House Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s (R-Va) speech at the Michigan League in October, Dirnberger said the group does not plan to protest against Obama’s speech, adding that he was particularly upset with the protests staged during Cantor’s speech.
“As a Wolverine, I think we should hold ourselves to higher standards,” Dirnberger said.
Amanda Caldwell, chair of the University’s chapter of College Democrats, said she has received various e-mails from members requesting information about the upcoming speech, including students not involved with the organization inquiring about obtaining tickets.
“We are all very excited for him to visit,” Caldwell said.
Caldwell said she expects that the president will discuss financial strains on students and highlight research being done at the University, adding that his speech will likely be related to his State of the Union address tonight.
In addition to college affordability, Rackham student Hakeem Jefferson said he anticipates Obama to speak about job growth or educational initiatives — topics he said he thinks are important to improve the state’s economy.
“I’m excited that the president’s coming to town,” Jefferson said. “I think it’s important for him to come to town not only because he’s looking to get elected in November, but because Michigan probably needs to hear more about his jobs plan and … know more about what he’s going to do to help the economy improve.”
Nursing freshman Monica Sehgal said she’s happy that the president is returning to campus following his 2010 Spring Commencement address. But, because this is Obama’s second trip to the University in the past two years, Sehgal said the president should also make an effort to visit other colleges in Michigan.
“I feel like he’s coming to the University of Michigan because it’s a liberal school,” Sehgal said.
LSA junior Ifeoma Dike argued that Obama represents a stark contrast to former President George W. Bush, who didn’t visit the University during his eight years in office.
“For me, it’s very monumental because I know this is his second time coming,” Dike said. “It’s really good for our generation and for the school.”
Like Sehgal, Dike said other cities, like Detroit, would benefit from a visit from the president.
“If he came to Detroit, I think that would show that he is benevolent, and that he is very interested in rebuilding the community,” Dike said.
LSA junior Gabriela Recinos said Ann Arbor’s central location makes it an ideal place for Obama’s speech.
“Ann Arbor is a pretty good place because a lot of people can come,” Recinos said. “People from (Ypsilanti) can come, people from Detroit can come and hopefully people from outside of Ann Arbor will come.”
Rackham student Brad Kent said he is looking forward to hearing Obama elaborate on issues discussed in his State of the Union address.
“I’m glad that he’s coming, and I’m excited that he’s going to come after he gives the State of the Union address so we can hear him expound on his plans,” Kent said.
LSA freshman Ken Leaton said he is looking forward to hearing Obama discuss his plans leading into November’s 2012 election.
“I’m definitely excited to see him because I’m interested to hear what he’ll say for the upcoming election, “Leaton said. “I will definitely try to go.”
By Andrew Schulman
September 21, 2011
LGBTQ rights advocates on campus celebrated in the wake of the official repeal of the U.S. military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy on Tuesday. But the repeal also raised questions about how it will affect military programs both nationally and at the University.
Following the repeal of DADT, University professors and campus organizations discussed the merits of the overturn of the legislation in advancing LGBTQ policy, while acknowledging there is much work to be done. The policy had banned openly gay soldiers from serving in the military since 1993.
In an event held Tuesday night in the Welker Room of the Michigan Union, about 20 members of the University’s chapter of Stonewall Democrats and LGBTQ rights supporters gathered to celebrate the upending of the DADT policy and to discuss how the repeal will affect the nation.
The Stonewall Democrats, many of whom were clad in buttons that read “Ask, Tell,” celebrated and proclaimed that the day was “long overdue” and a “big step for equality.” Others, while still heralding the day as a milestone for LGBTQ rights, said it was just one victory for a cause that still has ground to gain until complete equality is achieved.
Blake Mackie, co-chair of the Stonewall Democrats, said in an interview after the event that despite other laws in place that currently hinder LGBTQ rights, the DADT repeal is a milestone in advancing LGBTQ civil liberties.
“‘Don’t ask, don’t tell’ was an ineffective policy that resulted in the discharge of many able and qualified service members and the silencing of LGBTQ Americans,” Mackie said. “(The end of) ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ was really important … to show the progress that can be made on LGBTQ issues.”
However, he added that progress still needs to be made on issues such as the prohibition of gay men from donating blood and the denial of military benefits for partners of those serving in the military. Additionally, though gay and lesbian soldiers are now able to serve openly, the repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell” did not grant that right to transgender soldiers, Mackie noted.
David Halperin, the University’s W.H. Auden distinguished university professor of the history and theory of sexuality, said the repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell” was “a step forward” and has the potential to advance other LGBTQ issues.
“As anti-gay discrimination becomes more and more rare, it looks more and more bizarre and archaic to more and more people, and you wonder why it still exists,” Halperin said. “So once various kinds of equality come into being, remaining forms of inequality look more and more strange and intolerable.”
Halperin also noted that the repeal of the legislation will allow for more universities around the nation to institute Reserved Officers’ Training Corps programs, since many have previously refused them on the basis that the program was not open to students of all sexual orientations.
Additionally, Halperin said many military leaders have supported the repeal for years. Because of this, Halperin said he does not foresee any problems as gay and lesbian soldiers begin to openly enlist in the military.
“It’s been clear for a long time that the only real defenders of the policy in the military and in Washington are the elderly generals and senators who were pretty much out of touch,” Halperin said.
Ariana Bostian-Kentes, the administrative and programming coordinator for the University’s Spectrum Center, said she expects gay and lesbian soldiers to join the military at a greater rate than during the era of “don’t ask, don’t tell.” She added that the repeal plays a crucial role in encouraging dialogue on LGBTQ issues and how to overturn policies that limits LGBTQ rights.
She added that the repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell” could help to root out other “glaring inequities” in LGBTQ rights including the Defense of Marriage Act and unfavorable marriage laws in most states.
“I think this is going to be a huge gateway in increasing equality for the entire community,” Bostian-Kentes said. “The military is such a well-respected, highly-regarded institution that when you see that service members are able to serve openly and we have a more effective military … it’s going to change people’s minds and open doors.”
Still, others were not convinced that the end of the policy would bring a deluge of military enlistment among gay and lesbian soldiers. Jonathan Marwil, a University lecturer of history, who teaches a course on 2oth-century wars as a social experience, said he anticipates a wait-and-see approach as potential LGBTQ soldiers determine how “welcoming” the program will be after the repeal.
“If a year goes by and this has worked fairly smoothly — there aren’t instances of people being picked on, humiliated, injured … then you will see more sign-up, absolutely,” Marwil said.
Like Marwil, leaders of the University’s ROTC programs said they could not predict increased enlistment. The ROTC officials also declined to comment on the implications of the repeal. Lt. Colonel Wayne Doyle, the assistant chair of the University’s Army ROTC, and Captain Richard Vanden Heuvel, commanding officer of the University’s Navy ROTC, said they would follow orders as received from command.
DEMTV Special YOOPER edition, broadcasting from Marquette, MI.
In this week’s news: It’s all about the Benjamins, How did the Moose cross the road?, and Say Yah to the UP, eh.
Plus: news from the campaign trail, political forecast with Dan Villamarin, a field report from Yooper Zach Bennett, special guest Justin from Northern Michigan Dems, Michigan Hockey defeats NMU, and who’s nalin’ Palin??
Download our podcast. Search “DEMTV” in the iTunes music store, or use this link: http://phobos.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewPodcast?id=272613366
Tags: university michigan college democrats politics news economy campaign election 08 barack obama john mccain sarah palin NMU UP marquette yooper northern michigan dems hockey
For those of you who want to be updated on news outside of Ann Arbor (in case you were aware that such a place existed), check out Justin’s National News Roundup (on a previous entry)
The opinions within this political commentary are those of the author alone and do not
reflect the views of the College Democrats at the University of Michigan, the Michigan
Federation of College Democrats, the University of Michigan, or the Democratic Party and
are probably not funny even though the author thinks that they are absolutely hilarious
and dream of writing for the Every Three Weekly or The Onion even though the author has
absolutely no real sense of humor.
Just putting that out there.
1. Carl Levin was on campus! The headline “Levin: Bailout was necessary” was a more
suitable replacement to the original “libertarian asks kickass senator douchey question”
2. In yet another instance of jobs leaving Michigan, some Obama staff members are going
to North Carolina, Indiana, and Pennsylvania.
3. Jack Hoogendyk still thinks he has a fighting chance in this election. That is funny
without any embellishment.
4. Some guy sat in a cage to prevent animal exploitation. I can only assume animals are
no longer being exploited.
5. The village corner can no longer sell alchohol because they did not pay taxes.
Thousands of students suddenly care deeply about economic issues, like taxes.
6. Emily Michels was 11 when the riots of “Battle in Seattle” took place, and she is
actually from Seattle, so everyone else’s opinion is wrong. Clearly. She does have a
point, though, that the media often shows only one side. However, this movie is a work of
fiction, so this point is irrelevant.
7. The Daily is angry at the University for not vocally supporting affirmative action in
Nebraska and Colorado. Honestly, what good would it have done? Probably all the students
here from those states are now “registered to vote” at their “current address” “in Ann
9. According to relationship and sex columninst Rose Afriyie, aka the reason I get out of
bed on Thursday mornings, only 30% of women “always” or “almost always” have an orgasm
during sexual activity. That’s not at all relevant to politics on campus, but it also
10. This weekend, defense secretary Robert Gates acknowledged the possibility of
neotiations with the Taliban in Afghanistan. I wonder how McCain will react to this,
seeing as how he won’t even negotiate with Spain.
In this week’s news: The economy falls, hard, An exclusive interview with actors ADAM BRODY and RACHEL LEIGH COOK, and updates from the campaign trail.
Plus: Sarah Palin and Carey Torrice: really, America? And some pretty hilarious bloopers.
Download our podcast! Search “DEMTV” in the iTunes music store, or use this link: http://phobos.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewPodcast?id=272613366
Tags: university michigan college democrats politics news economy adam brody oc rachel leigh cook campaign election 08 barack obama john mccain sarah palin carey torrice
This campaign just keeps getting dirtier.
An anti-Obama push poll apparently targeting college students is being conducted by the telephone interviewing company Opinion Access Corp.Â I first got wind of this last night at about 8 PM when Thomas, a friend of mine and a University of Michigan student (and member of Students for Obama) texted me, saying he had just been push-polled.Â He told me some of the questions he had been asked, and it appears that it was the exact same poll that had just been reported here on Marc Ambinder’s blog at The Atlantic.
Thomas contacted Ambinder, along with the Obama campaign and local Democratic officials, and today, Ambinder ran with it on his blog.
Push polling is a technique that pops up every so often in elections.Â According to Wikipedia:
Many push polls are negative attacks on other candidates. These attacks often contain information with little or no basis in fact.
Push polls are not truly “polls”, in that they generally don’t actually seek to gather data, just to provide advocacy under the guise of being a poll. (more…)
College Dems mass meeting draws record attendance
Speaker list included John Dingell, Jimmy KingBy Trevor Calero and Elaine LaFay
Daily Staff Reporters On September 7th, 2008
Nathanial Eli Coats Styer, president of the University’s chapter of College Democrats, has never had to turn people away from a meeting.
But last night, more than 100 people couldn’t squeeze into the Pendleton Room of the Michigan Union for the group’s first mass meeting of the year.
The room filled to capacity several minutes before the meeting was scheduled to begin, and though current members were urged to make room for newcomers, students had to wait outside, lining the stairs and blocking the hallway.
College Democrats members tried to speak to each person waiting outside one on one, giving them rushed introductions and encouraging them to return.
More than 200 people remained inside – still more than capacity – for a meeting that drew speakers including State Sen. Gary Peters (D-Bloomfield Twp.), Rep. John Dingell (D-Dearborn), his wife and Democratic National Committee member Debbie Dingell, State Senate Minority Leader Mark Schauer (D-Battle Creek) and former Michigan basketball playyer and Barack Obama supporter Jimmy King. (more…)