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Posted on Thu, Sep 30, 2010 : 3:25 p.m.

University of Michigan students react to controversy over hate-filled website directed at MSA president

By Heather Lockwood

University of Michigan students are backing their student body president today as Chris Armstrong is thrust into the national spotlight for a hate-filled blog directed at him.

Students also are calling on the Michigan Attorney General's Office to fire Andrew Shirvell, an assistant state attorney general and the author of the blog critical of Armstrong. Shirvell is banned from campus for his alleged actions, and Armstrong is currently seeking a restraining order against him.

The case drew national attention this week when CNN's Anderson Cooper interviewed Shirvell.

“I think it deserves every bit of national attention it got,” said Jason Konek, a U-M philosophy graduate student. “I don’t think (Shirvell) has a right to that post as a public servant.”

Konek, who attended a class earlier today, said “all the people in the room were talking about it.”

“I don’t want my tax dollars employing a bigot,” Konek said. “I’m just outraged. ”


A Facebook page has been set up to support Chris Armstrong.

Armstrong is U-M's first openly gay student body president, and Shirvell has accused him of pushing "a radical homosexual agenda." On his blog, Shirvell calls Armstrong “Satan’s representative on the student assembly” and a “privileged pervert.”

“I think it’s really unprofessional to attack someone like that,” said Dibella Wdzenczny, a U-M alumnus and Eastern Michigan University linguistics graduate student. “I think it’s really unprofessional of the assistant attorney general.”

Wdzenczny added, “It just seems so out of the realm of what (Shirvell) should be doing.”

A Facebook page in support of Chris Armstrong has been established, and as of 3:25 p.m. today, it had nearly 3,900 members. The description of the group says, "The university community stands by Chris Armstrong and his work on behalf of all Michigan students. As the university's elected Board of Regents said publicly at the Sept. 16 meeting, 'When one member of our community is targeted, we are all attacked.'"

“I know a lot of people on campus who don’t feel safe,” said Josh LeVasseur, a U-M political science senior. “As someone who is friends with Chris on Facebook ... I could be subject to (Shirvell’s) unwarranted attacks.”

When asked whether he thought Armstrong would be granted a restraining order against Shirvell, LeVasseur said, “There’s no judge in the world who wouldn’t give him a restraining order.”

“It just shows how much we need anti-bullying legislation in the state, and hate crime legislation,” he said.

Yesenia Harrison, U-M political science sophomore, said Shirvell is “so uninformed” on Armstrong’s issues as student body president. Shirvell has attacked Armstrong for supporting gender neutral housing on campus.

“It’s so sad because we elected Chris, and we respect him so much,” Harrison said. “No one should have to go to school fearing that someone’s going to hurt them.”

“Gender neutral housing isn’t Christopher Armstrong’s thing, it was going on before he was elected ... He just supports it, it’s not his movement,” she said.

Heather Lockwood is a reporter for and can be reached at



Thu, Sep 30, 2010 : 11:03 p.m.

Let's put this in perspective and be real folks. IF a person lost a case that this douche prosecuted, and spent every waking hour picketing every trial he had, every time he was in his HOME, and every event he attended what would Mike Cox do? In fact, what if I did that to Mike Cox? I would be arrested within 10 minutes. This is CLASSIC stalking. Mike Cox failure to not only fire, but unwillingness to prosecute him should lead to a federal investigation. Cox is clearly incompetent on many levels, including murders at the former mayors home and now this.

David Briegel

Thu, Sep 30, 2010 : 7:01 p.m.

insidethehall, It isn't speech. It is unethical, stalking, harrassment, bigotry, bullying, intimidation and discrimination. OK with you if it's in the name of Jesus!?


Thu, Sep 30, 2010 : 6:26 p.m.

What one man considers hate another considers free speech.


Thu, Sep 30, 2010 : 6:24 p.m.

Shirvell's website shows that he is also an admirer of Michigan Supreme Court Associate Justice Robert Young, who is a far right wing extremist that has been such an activist in overturning decades of sound legal precedent to serve his pro-insurance agenda. Extremists flock together.


Thu, Sep 30, 2010 : 6:01 p.m.

Cox is an untouchable lame duck, but keep trying to get Shirvell fired. We don't need anyone like that who is not "for the people" and can prove it. Remember In November


Thu, Sep 30, 2010 : 5:51 p.m.

Just remember Cox is the same guy who couldn't find anything on Kwame. Cox is one of Michigan's biggest problems. He needs to go.


Thu, Sep 30, 2010 : 5:43 p.m.

Fire Shivel. Vote Cox out of office!


Thu, Sep 30, 2010 : 5:14 p.m.

Cox must be really stupid if he thinks his support of this creep on his staff will not hurt him politically. Maybe he doesn't care at this point. But defending someone who is bullying, stalking, and harassing someone else is unconsionable. Especially in the prosecutor's office of all places. That would be the last place you'd think this type of unethical behavior would be tolerated.

Carpenter Ant

Thu, Sep 30, 2010 : 5:07 p.m.

Shirvell is a 2006 graduate of the Ave Maria School of Law, which was founded right here in Ann Arbor but is now struggling to survive down near Naples, Florida. According to what I've read, Dominos Pizza founder Tom Monaghan established that law school because he wanted an institution that would take in conservative Christians who aspired to be lawyers and over the course of three years turn them into extremely conservative Christian lawyers eager to go out into our society and fight zealously on the side of the conservatives in our so-called culture wars. Far-right/Christian/lawyer/cocksure/zealot/culture warrior Shirvell seems to be exactly the kind of person the school was set up to produce. So thanks, Tom Monaghan, for creating this little monster. Please do us all a favor and hire Shervill away from the Michigan Department of Attorney General. You could hire him to teach at Ave Marie School of Law. He'd probably fit right in there teaching legal ethics.


Thu, Sep 30, 2010 : 4:52 p.m.

Cox is not a model attorney general. Look at his handling of the Manoogian Mansion killing a few years ago during the Kilpatrick Detroit mayoral administration. Mr Cox, what happens when Mr Shirvell has to prosecute someone who is gay? Would you trust him to be objective in this matter? Sorry, just like the pharmacists that won't dispense certain medications because of their religious beliefs, this biased lawyer needs to find some other place to work.


Thu, Sep 30, 2010 : 4:41 p.m.

@David, he could easily find that in Texas.

David Briegel

Thu, Sep 30, 2010 : 4:31 p.m.

Cox is a lame duck and will be hired by some conservative millionaire to continue to press their bigatted agenda!!


Thu, Sep 30, 2010 : 4:01 p.m.

How many people have committed suicide over this kind of bullying? Does it take a death for action to take place? This is a hate crime in the form of bullying. Start sending Cox letters letting him know that you will remember his position if he decides run to be AG next year. I personally do not have high opinion for Cox because he is supporting someone who have the same personal conservative views as himself. In majority of employee contracts when you are a professional, you have a responsibility of Ethics and Conflict of Interest in your employee handbook. Do to this state employee advertising that he promotes discrimination could be grounds of conflict of Michigans ethics. Unless Cox provides objective evidence proving that his assistant does not go to his blog to during work hours, I have a hard time believing someone this sick and obsessed could not peak regularly. It is time to get the extreme conservatives out of the attorney generals office.

michigan face

Thu, Sep 30, 2010 : 3:50 p.m.

Fire Shirvell and hold Cox accountable as well.


Thu, Sep 30, 2010 : 3:08 p.m.

Seriously!! Seriously??? Mike Cox says this guy should not be fired. "Describing Shirvell, a "sort of a frontline grunt assistant prosecutor in my office," as "clearly a bully," Cox said, "Here in America, we have this thing called the First Amendment, which allows people to express what they think and engage in political and social speech. "He does satisfactory work and off-hours, he's free to engage under both our civil service rules, Michigan Supreme Court rulings and the United States Supreme Court rule." Hopefully Cox will change his mind.....


Thu, Sep 30, 2010 : 2:52 p.m.

i have been to shirvell's blog. if i did such a thing i would be expecting a psych evaluation and a restraining order. this is intollerable. this kid is everything that shirvell is not, bright, personable and happy.