Monday, August 31, 2020

What A Country

Everything works just as it should.
All of this provides plenty of reason to worry, but we now come to perhaps the most troubling development of all. President Schlissel said he is guided by U-M’s values as a public institution. But when the decision was made to reopen, U-M’s Board of Regents was chaired by one of Ann Arbor’s largest landlords, Ron Weiser — a billionaire Trump megadonor who has given more than $100M to U-M in the last six years. He closed a new $30M gift within days of U-M’s decision to reopen. In one of the biggest conflicts of interest imaginable between public health and private wealth, Weiser’s company McKinley, which he founded and of which he is majority owner, stands to take a financial hit if students didn’t come back and pay rent.

To sum things up, President Schlissel said this would be a “public health informed in-residence semester,” but the public health experts are upset and afraid. Thousands of community members are upset and afraid. And our megadonor landlord regent is satisfied that he’ll profit from the students told to return to campus by President Schlissel.

People will soon begin dying avoidable deaths from COVID-19 and the University will be culpable. Why did it come to this? Thousands of us were shouting warnings and demanding answers all summer, but we were ignored, silenced, made to feel powerless in our isolation.