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March 29, 2001 - Image 16

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 2001-03-29

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

nfr Mnwinn .. Th~rori ,. AAornh']Q nn

6 - e Michigan Da~ily - VreeInu, eic. m gznerU1 nudLayeitm - I 11 fy, IVedI l ANIL___________
.urges - to tak e environmental respn ilt

w w

UHL
Continued from Page 108

By Abby Rosenbaum
Daily Arts Writer
In recent years, "sustainability" has
become a popular buzzword in the envi-
ronmental movement. Put simply, sus-
tainability refers to a lifestyle that
enables present generations to fulfill
their needs without compromising the
ability of future generations to do so.
Sustainability means living, working and

behaving in ways that restore the integri-
ty and biodiversity of the social and eco-,
logical systems upon which all life
depends. Sustainability encompasses a
broad spectrum of social and environ-
mental issues, from food consumption to
purchasing decisions to waste disposal.
Here at the University, the issue of
sustainability is becoming increasingly
relevant. For the past two years, Sustain
U-M, a student and faculty-led group,

has been campaigning to move the
University towards greater sustainability.
Theirs is a far-reaching initiative that,
according to Mike Shriberg, an RC
Graduate Student Instructors and Sustain
U-M founding member, seeks both "big,
systemic changes within the University"
as well as shorter-term initiatives.
Sustain U-M came into being after a
series of business school lectures in 1999
that included speakers such as David

Orr, an Oberlin College professor and
leading environmentalist, and Paul
Hawken, author of "Natural Capitalism."
"We were challenged as a university
by a lot of the lecturers to begin meeting
some of these sustainability goals," said
Jason Smerdon, a physics graduate stu-
dent and Sustain U-M member. "Out of
that sprang the student and faculty initia-
tive.:
Rackham Student Government
recently approved Sustain U-M's Top
[en Priorities, a set of recommendations
to administrators on how to incorporate
environmental principals into University
policy. These recommendations include
the establishment of a full-time sustain-
ability coordinator. Essentially, this
would be an administrator with extensive
environmental knowledge who would
act as a liaison between the University
and some of the outside interest groups,
Smerdon said.
"You need to have somebody who

really has sustainability as a vision, and
is good at putting all of the different
efforts on campus together," Shriberg
said.
The sustainability coordinator would
be consulted on a myriad of issues,
including c6nstruction, grounds mainte-
nance and dining hall purchasing.
Michigan State, Tulane, Brown and
University of Texas at Houston, among
many other colleges and universities.
have all adopted a sustainability coordi-
nator.
Another of Sustain U-M's top priori-
ties is for the University to draft a sus-
tainability vision statement. Currently,
the University's vision statement
includes nothing about environmental or
social responsibility to the local and
global community, an oversight
Smerdon views as "unfortunate, but a
sign of the times."
"It's time to change that; we need to
Ste SUSTAIN, Page 7B

I

Elusive as pinpointing the precise
moment of decision, that instant in
which one ceases to be not-procrasti-
nating/masturbating and begins to
procrastinate/masturbate ... as
abstruse as that moment may be, it is
nonetheless instigated by some sort
of motivational desire.
Something must arouse this new
occupation, and it's always worth-
while to ponder the inspiration of
one's compulsions: Why do I contin-
ue to procrastinate even though I've
been told it's bad for me to do so
often?
Well, just as no one would deny
that certain adventures in self-love
are more gratifying than others, the
same conclusion can be drawn con-
cerning procrastination: One method
can be (quite a bit) more satisfying
than another.
If I continue this masturbation
comparison until it's longer than any-
one would like, let me suggest that
both activities ultimately aim to

achieve , catharsis; one from not hav-
-ing thought ab~out aiiythinrg other than
the shape and strength of your
polemic for the last two hours,' and
the other from having to write so
damn much.
Thus, if some types of procrastina-
tion are better than others qat relieving
the tension that comes from an
approaching due date, it's implicit
that one type would be the least effec-
tive and, hence, The Worst Kind of
Procrastination Ever.
The reason why writing this col-
umn is The Worst Kind of
Procrastination Ever is twofold:
1) My thesis consists of construct-
ing and relating some personal
thoughts of mine on paper; my col-
umn consists of constructing and
relating some personal thoughts of
mine on newspaper. The difference
here is aesthetic, which is to say
nonexistent, and so any attempt to
relax or avoid thinking about the
structure of my thesis by instead for-
mulating an argument for my column,
even if that argument is essentially
about nothing (which just makes this
whole rotten mess seem even more

pathetic),-is futile. I'd do much better
to simply- begin cournti-ng and contin-
ue to do so until I felt refreshed enough
to concentrate on writing again.
2) The likelihood of more than a
handful of people reading these words at
all is pretty slim, which just makes what
was only a moment ago "pathetic noth-
ing" also seem irrelevant. As in, I put a
lot of thought into a complete waste
of cheap ink.
Still, there's some solace in think-
ing that the handful of people who've
read this far probably did so in the
name of procrastination; as a means
of avoiding the lecture they're listen-
ing to or the classes they're on their
way to or having to get up off the toi-
lets they're sitting on. Which is an
ironic circularity that allows me to
end this column here without any sort
of definitive conclusion.
-If you want to give John a good,
vacuous reason to procrastinate, e-
mail him at juhl@umich.edu, so that
he has an excuse to send out a buncha
messages that make even less sense
than what you just read.

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