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January 27, 2005 - Image 13

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2005-01-27

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the capricious lifelwith Adam Burns

The Michigan
...maximize mallSpaci

By Katie Marie Gates
Daily Arts Writer

This past fall, students across
campus found themselves
embroiled in passionate
debate. Names were called, fights
were picked, demonstrations were
demonstrated and mud was slung
as it had never been slung before. I
unwittingly found myself at the epi-
center of this debate with an uncom-
fortable amount of muck on my face
when I woke up one unseasonably
warm fall morning and made a bold
declaration: Today, I am riding my
bike to school.
With a smile on my face, I ped-
aled to class and arrived 10 minutes
early, thanks to my two-wheeler. I
assumed that the glares thrown my
way were because I had declared
far too loudly and far too early that
I was riding my bike to school and
had woken weary students through-
out the neighborhood. It did not
dawn on me until I had rode to class
a few times that by choosing to ride
my bicycle, I was crossing far past
both conservatives and New York-
ers in the amount of baseless hate
directed towards me.
Since my decision, I have been a
victim of verbal abuse, ranging from
"You're one of those people?" to
"You really ride your bike?" While
the words certainly stung, I must
emphasize that I did arrive at class
sooner. My Schwinn Impact has
borne the brunt of the physical abuse.
The handlebar grips have been torn
off and the spokes are dented. Even
my electronic rear safety blinker was
stolen - a not so subtle message to
bike riders that our safety is of no
concern and we should all die.
While the ruling bodies of Michi-
gan debate crucial campus issues
like the Iraq War and which billion-
aire alum to name the Residential
College after, they are ignoring the

true issue at stake: there are no bil-
lionaire Residential College alums.
They are also failing to realize
that the bikers are in terrible need
of support and defense from unjust
violence. Other wronged and down-
trodden sects have special groups set
up to make everyone aware that they
are wronged and downtrodden, such
as the Squirrel Club, the University
of Michigan football team and the
Coalition of the Wronged and Down-
trodden. Bikers, on the other hand,
are left with no support, save for a
shared look of sorrow as we chain up
our rides to the same parking meter.
A common misconception about
bike riders is that we ride our bicy-
cles to school so we can run pedes-
trians off the sidewalk, intimidate
children and make walking as hard
as possible. This is simply not true.
We only try to run pedestrians off
the sidewalk if we are having a real-
ly rotten day or can force them into a
giant puddle. The reasons for riding
vary. Some bikers ride because they
want to save the environment from
car pollution. Some ride because
they want the exercise. I feel that
most, like myself, ride because you
can pretend you're Lance Armstrong
in the mountain stages of the Tour
de France, especially when traveling
east on Hill Street.
It's not as hard as it may seem
to pretend you are in France, what,
with all the angry and condescend-
ing people roaming around. One
day, I observed a girl, cell phone in
one hand, mocha and cigarette in the
other, jaywalk across South Univer-
sity Avenue in the middle of traffic.
Her conversation kept her oblivious
from the screeching brakes of the
car that nearly hit her as well as'the
crowd of gawkers that was building.
What she was not oblivious of, how-

ever, was the biker who was cruis-
ing down the sidewalk and had to
veer into a parking meter to avoid
her. She made it very clear, using a
number of the French words that you
have to excuse yourself for, that she
was not happy with his bicycle com-
ing so close to her. I'm not sure if he
heard her since I am not sure if he
was conscious. I did hear the gawk-
ers stroll away grumbling at the
biker, who they agreed was an idiot.
I cannot defend everything my
fellow bikers do. I have seen them
steer into crowds of people at a high
speed, assuming they would part like
the Red Sea. I have seen them dis-
obey traffic signals and nearly cause
pile ups at intersections. I have seen
them tear down mass meeting signs
for rival groups. Bikers are not per-
fect, but neither are pedestrians.
We must find a common ground or
at least a common sidewalk that we
can all use to stretch our legs after
exiting the cramped Natural Sci-
ence Auditorium or for rapid travel
after oversleeping for a one o'clock
class. We need to realize that when
it comes down to it, we're all Michi-
gan students. At the end of the day,
pedestrian or biker, we're just trying
to get to and from class. It's impor-
tant that we realize this.
If not, the terrorists will win.
Adam is contemplating getting a
big shiny bell to put on the front ofhis
Schwinn Impact to warn you that he will
indeed run you off the road. Tell him
what you think about this idea. He can
be reached at burnsaj @umich.edu.
The Vietnam Protestors
Truong Nhu Tang, a founder of
the National Liberation Front
(Viet Cong), writes in A Viet ong
Memoir, "The Western anti-war
movements had contributed
much to our victory." Did the
protestors save or cost lives?
Gary Lillie & Assoc., Realtors

Living in the residence halls on campus
is certainly a memorable college experi-
ence, for better or for worse. There's the
cafeteria food, the community bathrooms
and of course, the closet-sized rooms
to share with an old friend or a com-
plete stranger. While there is nothing to
be done about the dimensions of these
spaces we call "home" during our college
years, there are several steps one can take
to liven up the room and make the most of
the space that's there ...
Keep clean
"You don't have a family room or kitchen
or anything, so when you're in your room,
you should really make the best of it,"
said LSA Sophomore Ingrid Macon. In
her single room in Bursley Hall, Macon
says she always makes her bed to keep
the place clean. A small room will seem
even smaller if clothes are scattered
everywhere and trash is piled up in the

"For garbage, it's simple. We use the
Simpson's topple rule-whoever knocks
the garbage can over it gets to take the
trash out," commented Engineering
Senior Chris Baldwin. "We haven't had
a problem with that yet," Baldwin added
that he and his roommate make an effort
to vacuum once every two weeks and
keep their laundry organized.
Developing a plan is the best place to
start, make a chore list that is realistic.
"It's not hard to keep it clean, it's just a
matter of doing it when it needs to be
done," Baldwin commented.
Maximize the area
Since residence hall rooms offer little
floor space in the first place, this precious
commodity must be conserved at all
costs. Many students decide to loft their
beds at the beginning of the year to make
their rooms appear bigger.
For those students without lofts, space
can be conserved in a variety of ways.
Slim storage bins can easily be slid
underneath beds that are not lofted, while
shelving units allow items to be stored up

to the ceiling. Both can be purchased at
major retail stores, such as Target or Bed
Bath & Beyond, and their low cost is easy
on the wallet.
No room is complete without some
personal flair to make the depressing
stonewalls and tile floors feel a little more
like home. While University Housing
prohibits painting the walls, residents can
use wall coverings like those available at
Urban Outfitters to add a little color and
The unique offerings of Urban can
spruce up any room with little effort. "We
have a lot of furniture that can be broken
and moved easily," said housewares man-
ager Jon Szczepan. The store offers rugs,
bedding, lamps, picture frames and living
space novelties such as wall clocks.
Though the year is winding down, it
is not too late to make your small space
more comfortable. During the cold and
dreary winter months rearranging furni-
ture or putting up a new lamp might liven
up an otherwise dismal environment.

Theater student Rachel Arnsdorf
cleans her room in Alpha Phi.




This lecture commemorates
the life and work of Josh
Rosenthal, a U-M graduate
who died at the World Trade
Center on 9/11. Supported
by the Josh Rosenthal
Education Fund at the Ford
School, the lecture seeks to
encourage public discussion
of the changes in the world
since September 2001.

January 27, 2005
3:30 pm-5:00 pm

Featuring original work performed by
Molly Raynor, Paco, Adam Falkner, Coert Ambrosino, Johnny Floyd,
Lauren Whitehead, Evelyn Hollenshead, Deborah Wiggins, Jeff Kass,
Gabriel Peoples, Matt Dagher-Margosian, Mariama Lockington,
Sulaiman Abdur-Rahman, Jon Liberzon & Malika Middlebrooks
$5 for students of any kind ($4/advance) , $10 for general population ($8/advance)
To reserve tickets at the advanced price or for more information:
Jeff Kass: 734-223-7443 or eyelev21 @aol.com

Vandenberg Room
at the Michigan League
911 N. University, Ann Arbor
For more information,
contact the Ford School
at 734-764-3490 or

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