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March 18, 2008

Letter to the President On Football Ticket Policy Change

Dear President Coleman,

I write this letter to you extremely hurt by the lack of consideration
the Athletic Department has decided to show the University’s graduate
students. It has recently come to my attention that graduate students
here at the University of Michigan are going to be afforded the lowest
level of seating preference in coming football / all other sporting
seasons.

As a lifelong Michigan resident, a die-hard UofM football fan, and a
law student at your university, I am disappointed, hurt, and confused
by this decision.

One of the many reasons I chose to attend law school at the University
of Michigan was in order to have a Big Ten experience that my
undergraduate career did not provide. The football games are an
integral part of the unique university and law school cultures, and
have been an important part of my law school career my first year at
Michigan. Many of my close friends I made at football games at the
beginning of the year. I felt very blessed to be sitting at the front
of section 33 this past season, and I approached the football games
with the same level of vigor and pride as any undergraduate.

To be moved from the front of Section 33 to lowest priority on the
totem pole sends a discouraging message to incoming law students as to
how the University values its law students, and how law students should
feel about the University.

I’ve attached a photograph to this email that ran in the local Ann
Arbor newspaper this past season. In it, you will see the frustration
and despair on the faces of UofM students as the football team
surrendered a costly touchdown. Those pictured in the photo are my law
school classmates -- I can identify each by name. We are a positive
representation of this University to the community and to the world,
and I cannot understand why our status has been shifted on such short
notice (we have one week to sign up for tickets, beginning tomorrow).
This is not to mention the hurt felt by the domestic partners, spouses,
and children of graduate students who were afforded the opportunity to
sit with their loved one at football games last year, but will be
denied that opportunity in the future.

I love this University. I am a Wolverine. But apparently that is not
good enough to ever garner a close seat at the football games. No
matter how many classes I take, how many credits I’ve accumulated, or
how much money I spend, I will always be a second class citizen at
Michigan sporting events. I don’t think this is a message the
University wants to be sending.

Yours,
Daniel S. Horwitz

Photo by Larry E. Wright of the Ann Arbor News