Arbor Update

Ann Arbor Area Community News

MSA Opposes Couch Ban

19. July 2004 • Rob Goodspeed
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Michigan Student Assembly president Jason Mirinov has sent an open letter to the Ann Arbor City Council opposing the proposed ban on porch couches.

For immediate release.
7/19/04 – 2:15pm

MSA PRESIDENT OPPOSES COUCH BAN ON BEHALF OF MSA/STUDENT BODY & WILL ENCOURAGE CITY COUNCIL TO HOLD A PUBLIC MEETING ON THE ISSUE IN THE FALL ONCE STUDENTS ARRIVE ON CAMPUS IN THE FALL.

Based on student input from various sources, the Michigan Student Assembly President, Jason Mironov has chosen to oppose the ban on couches and will attempt to convince Ann Arbor City Council at it’s weekly meeting, Monday, 7/19/04 @ 7pm, to delay the vote until Fall by holding a public meeting to elicit student input.

Mironov sent city council an Open Letter both attached in Word format and transcribed below. STUDENTS ARE ENCOURAGED TO ATTEND CITY COUNCIL MEETINGS ON MONDAY, JULY 19TH AT 7PM @ CITY HALL AND AUGUST 2ND, IF THE COUNCIL IS UNWILLING TO RECONSIDER.

Mironov can be reached via cellular phone at (734)945-8609 or e-mail at jmironov at umich.edu.
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Open Letter to the
City Council of Ann Arbor
9/19/2004

To the Mayor of Ann Arbor & Members of the Ann Arbor City Council;

On behalf of the Michigan Student Assembly, and the student body of the University of Michigan, I formally request that you conduct a public hearing on the consideration of ordinance amendments that would prohibit ‘flammable couches’ on front porches within the City (C-1 on the 7/19/04 agenda.)

There is little doubt that this ordinance will pertain mainly to students who currently use their furniture outside. While there is a respect for the City Council’s need to create rules and regulations ensuring the safety of Ann Arbor’s residents, the timing that this resolution is to be voted on specifically neglects student voice. If no public hearing is scheduled then a large portion of the student body which leaves Ann Arbor for the summer WILL NOT have an opportunity to speak their mind.

Furthermore, the Michigan Student Assembly is compiling survey data and personal comments on the proposed ban that will be submitted to City Council pending its completion. Preliminary reports show that most students are against this proposal, however are unable to speak about it due to the geographic
constraints of their summer locations.

The City of Ann Arbor and the members of the student community have had a positive relationship in the past several years, and although no students have successfully been elected to City Council, there is a sentiment that accurate representation is present. However, by moving on this proposed ordinance without waiting for full student input and involvement in the fall will be
construed by many students as an offensive move.

Allow the Michigan Student Assembly to independently poll students, as well as research the health and safety concerns posed by the specific ordinance. Once this is completed, and students have the opportunity to arrive back on campus this fall and share their feelings with City Council, perhaps a compromise can be made. Please continue to keep up good relations with the students who bring so much to the community, and allow members of the University the opportunity to speak their mind and defend their rights by holding a Public Hearing this fall.

I will be present for the City Council meeting this evening to speak and receive questions on this matter.

Best,

JASON S. MIRONOV

Jason S. Mironov
President, Michigan Student Assembly



  1. As a counter-measure, I would like the City Council to introduce a ban on jacuzzis and lawn sprinklers. The safety concerns of these devices are obvious.
       —Michael Betzold    Jul. 19 '04 - 12:56PM    #
  2. Mr. Betzold, how about an article in the Observer on this?
       —Brandon    Jul. 19 '04 - 09:23PM    #
  3. Does he not have access to a proofreader? Jeez, no wonder the students are all worked up about porch couches—clearly they don’t spend much time reading or writing.
       —Elizabeth    Jul. 20 '04 - 06:29AM    #