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December 01, 2005 - Image 14

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2005-12-01

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Frieze Right There

It's Over Your Head


Architecture Column

identify rare is that applicants like Chip and Vic-
toria, who used the essay to provide a rundown of
their extracurricular activities, wouldn't have their
race considered.
Of course, no matter how the University fac-
tors race into the admissions process, opponents
of affirmative action like Cohen will continue to
consider the policy morally wrong for treated peo-
ple differently based on their skin, and supporters
of affirmative action will continue to consider the
policy vital to leveling an unequal playing field
and maintaining a diverse campus community.
Reactions to the new policy


o which of the four applicants -
Chip, Victoria, Mason and Anne
- did the University accept? The
consensus among the high school
counselors was to admit Chip and
Victoria, reject Mason and defer
Anne or accept her with reserva-

The final results

By Austin Dingwall

f the dozen or so current and future build-
ing pejects presented as part of the Cen-
tral Campus Planning Update, the far most
intriguing is the highly anticipated North Quad,
which was dubbed the future centerpiece of the
Central Campus Plan. Although still in the sche-
matic design phase where any outcome is possi-
ble, the University is already boasting about North
Quad - which is scheduled to open in 2009 and
will replace the existing Frieze Building.
It will serve as a gateway to Central Campus
from the north and will consider the shopping
areas on State Street, the residential areas to the
north and the green landscape to the east. Along
with the 202 Thayer Street building, North Quad
will strengthen the vitality of the northwest por-
tion of campus both in terms of program and
architectural elegance.
In all, a complete makeover of the Washington
and State intersection will then be complete. What
was once an archipelago of random buildings and
an ancient high school will soon be a cluster of
sleek University buildings and a high-rise apart-
ment. But how would you feel if you went on
"Extreme Makeover" and they fixed your teeth,
straightened your nose and gave you the perfect
body in every respect - except your left ear? It's
not that your left ear is extremely important to
you, but it provides balance to your face and they
just left it. The newly conceived North Quad is
undergoing that very same treatment by keeping
the Carnegie Library standing.
Down goes the beat-up Ann Arbor high school
building posing as a distinguished university edi-
fice, and here comes a "state-of-the-art" academ-
ic facility combined with much needed housing.
By infusing cutting edge information technology
and communal student spaces, the University and
Einhorn, Yaffee, Prescott Architects of Albany,
N.Y. are hoping for dynamic enclosures that fea-
ture exciting activities with diverse participants.
This is no renovation or makeover; it is a com-
plete demolition and reconstruction to create the
ultimate academic space mixed with a brand
new North Quad, the missing and final link to
the University's four-quad combo. Everything is
exciting and fresh - except the adjacent, dingy

Carnegie Library.
Already, the Carnegie Library looks old and
dejected against the backdrop of the dilapidated
Frieze Building, yet the University plans to pre-
serve this historic relic by incorporating it into the
new complex and renovating the interior.
Architects love to contrast or adapt their
designs to surrounding buildings as justifica-
tions for their proposed ideas, but this tech-
nique also limits the possibilities of design.
Any element that suggests homage to the
aged library through mimicry is an unneces-
sary, stylistic element that could be avoided if
the library was demolished along with Frieze.
Even if, the new architecture ignores all pres-
ence of the library, the physical relationship of
the two buildings would create a comparison.
Imagine the modest stone Carnegie engulfed
by the proposed eight-story North Quad. No
concrete design shows the new building yet,
but the proposed mass and floor plans show
tall residential wings along the north and
south. How the Carnegie fits in to these plans is
already beyond me. In either case, the architec-
tural design's fresh impact will be diminished
because of this dinky, stone remnant.
The artistic style of North Quad is not the only
thing limited by the Carnegie Library, there are
also pragmatic considerations. Facing north, the
existing Carnegie looks onto Huron Street and.
away from the pedestrian traffic of central cam-
pus. Currently used primarily as a back entrance
to the Frieze, the Carnegie's facade is rarely seen
except for the graduate students living on North
Thayer. Nevermind having a makeover and for-
getting about a left ear, at least an ear can hear.
Why would anyone preserve all or even part of
a building's back entrance when the rest is being
annihilated without a second thought? Even
worse, the south facade of North Quad that faces
the rest of Central Campus is being considered
for the service entrances when most people will
approach the building from that direction.
Built at the turn of the century through Andrew
Carnegie fund, the library does have historical
significance - but so does every single Carnegie
Library in the Midwest built at that time. There is


niversity officials and the.
leaders of many minority stu-
dent groups now actually con-
sider the University to be better
off with the new admissions
policy. The policy "gives us a lot
more information about the stu-


The Carnegie Library will still stand when North Quad opens in 2009.

nothing special about Ann Arbor's, and Carnegie
didn't care about Ann Arbor in particular. A pub-
lic library was built in his name to any city that
pledged to maintain it afterward. In fact, there
were a total of 2,811 Carnegie Libraries built,
and 1,946 of them are scattered throughout the
entire United States while the rest reside in the
United Kingdom or Canada. The special parts
of the Frieze Building are where the faculty and
students have left their emotions and feelings, like
the theater and basement arts facilities. Concern
has been brought up about maintaining those fea-
tures in the new North Quad, but sadly are not
being considered.
The University has enough beautiful, turn-
of-the-century, neo-historical buildings so that
the demolition of this mediocre and not entirely
extraordinary library is no big deal. Histori-

cally, the University also has many older and
more respectable buildings since it was founded
nearly one hundred years before Carnegie's phi-
lanthropy. Yet the preservation of this building
is deemed important although it may impede
the creation of a truly unique architecture
designed solely for the university and its needs.
If the University is dishing out $79 million for
a new multi-programmed facility, they should
not receive a "schmorgashbourgh" project but a
highly integrated design. The Carnegie Library
should be destroyed not as disrespect to the past,
but because it has lived a long, meaningful life
and should retire in order to provide the Univer-
sity room to grow.
Dingwall is the Daily's architecture columnist
and can be reached at adingwal@umich.edu.

dents who are applying," says Director of Admis-
sions Ted Spencer. "The essay tells you a lot about
the student."
Lindsley adds that "the richness of information
you have about a student is immeasurable com-
pared to what you had before."
Admissions officials credit the new applica-
tion - and in particular the increased number of
essays - for enabling them to more effectively
select students who are truly excited about attend-
ing the University, as opposed to those appli-
cants merely relying on the University as a safety
school. Enrollment figures back up this claim, as
the University has seen record enrollment the past
two years, because the percentage of accepted
applicants who actually attend is higher than ever
At the same time, after a one-year substantial
dip in minority enrollment, numbers are up close
to the levels under the points system. University
officials now believe many mainstream minorities
didn't want to apply to the University immediately
following the court ruling because the school had
become such a hot bed of controversy. While the
new policy may deserve some credit for this, the
University also significantly increased minority
recruiting efforts in response to the court ruling
- for example, University President Mary Sue
Coleman has begun visiting predominantly black
church services in western Michigan.
Minority students also said they prefer the indi-
vidualized review of the new policy to the strict
distinctions of the old points system. LSA senior
Riana Anderson, president of the University chap-
ter of the National Association for the Advance-
ment of Colored People, said many blacks were
not truly satisfied with the points system, adding
that the new policy is "more fair and equitable."
LSA junior Brittany Marino, member and former
co-chair of the Native American Student Associa-
tion, said the new policy "looks at a person as a
whole rather than at segments."
Students who oppose the use of race in admis-
sions, like LSA junior Katherine Miller, secre-
tary of College Republicans, also favor the new
policy to the points system. Miller said consid-
ering diversity more generally constitutes and
improvement, but that "it doesn't mean (Univer-
sity officials) aren't considering race. They're
just doing it in a more covert manner." Miller
added that she wouldn't be surprised if admis-
sions officials are weighing race heavily under
the new policy, even as they claim to consider it
as one of many factors.
Cohen, though, said in some aspects the new
policy is actually more "racially aggressive" than
the points system. He said he is particularly dis-
turbed by a phrase in the mission statement of the
new policy, which states that the University should,
not can, consider race in admissions. "That's mor-
ally wrong ... and damaging to all minorities," he

tion. The reality was much different: Of all the
applicants, only Victoria was rejected and is not
currently attending the University.
It may come as a surprise that a University that
prides itself on only accepting students that can
successfully keep up with a challenging academic
curriculum would pass over an applicant with a 34
ACT score and a multitude of advanced classes in
favor of an applicant with a 20 ACT score and few
college preparatory courses. Yet the new policy
places significant emphasis on the context of each
applicant's educational background, and Sanders
points out that Mason was an above-average stu-
dent at his high school and could have scored bet-
ter on the ACT with access to AP courses or test
preparation materials.
Sanders also adds that students who the Uni-
versity believes have the potential to succeed, but
without the opportunities in high school, are often
sent through the University's Summer Bridge pro-
gram. The program allows them to take college
classes during the summer before their freshman
year in a more personal setting to ensure that
they are prepared for the University's academics.
According to Sanders, two of the three accepted
applicants enrolled in and completed the summer
bridge program and are now doing well at the Uni-
Unfortunately the workshop didn't shed much
light on the still-unanswered question of how
admissions officials treat applicant's race. Anne's
test scores were several points below the Univer-
sity average, and the rest of her application wasn't
outstanding, so her race probably helped her get in
- although the fact that she was a female applying
to engineering also likely played a substantial role.
But Mason, who appeared to be the least-qualified
applicant, is not an underrepresented minority and
his race probably wasn't a significant factor.
During the workshop, Sanders mentioned each
applicant's race but did not discuss it beyond that.
When one counselor asked Lindsley how race was
weighed, she gave the standard response: that it is
one of many factors, but no applicant who is not
prepared academically will be admitted based on
race. As Mason's admission reveals, the level of an
applicant's academic preparation is itself a subjec-
tive distinction.
So the bottom line is that after all the debate
and court rulings, how the University actually
applies race in admissions remains an unan-
swered question, like the more general ques-
tion of whether affirmative action is ethical.
And no matter how much University officials
stress the holistic, individualized nature of the
new admissions policy, the success of the new
policy, just like its predecessor, will ultimately
be determined by the numbers of minorities
admitted. University officials proudly report
how minority admission rates, after a one
year dip, are back up to the levels before the
court ruling. Some minority students say they
will support the new policy, as long as minor-
ity enrollment stays the same. "If I see diver-
sity going up, but African American numbers
going down, then that's a problem," said Kine-
siology senior Kreston Martin, president of the
National Pan-Hellenic Council.
And if the Michigan Civil Rights Initia-
tive to ban affirmative action in the state
government's programs and public education
makes its way onto next year's election ballot
as expected, even the future of the new under-
graduate policy will be determined by a num-
ber - the percentage of state voters who vote
in favor of using race in admissions.

Erica Sanders reviews undergraduate admissions applica
ough read by at least two different readers.

The Weekend List

The Rude Mechanicals will present this popu-
lar Shakespeare tragedy set in Scotland. The per-
formance will take place tomorrow and Saturday
at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. at the Lydia Men-
delssohi Theatre. Tickets are $3 for students and
$5 for all others and can be purchased at the door
or at the Michigan Union Ticket Office.
Skate Night
This open ice-skating session will benefit
Dance Marathon. The skate will begin at 8 p.m.
at Yost Ice Arena: Admission is $4.
The Sopranos
The all-female a cappella group will present

their annual fall concert with this year's theme,
"Bohemia." The concert will take place at 8:30
p.m. at the Forum Auditorium at Palmer Com-
mons. Admission is $5.
Presented by F.O.K.U.S., musicians, sing-
ers and writers will gather to spread AIDS/HIV
awareness and encourage communication in
fighting the epidemic. The event will take place at
9 p.m. in the Michigan League. Free.
Brendan Benson
The pop-rock artist will perform with special
guest SSM. The performance will take place at
9:30 p.m. at the Blind Pig.. $16 cover. 18 and over

Satz IRV



'The a cappella group will perform works from
Jason Mraz and Van Morrison, among others.
The performance will take place at 8 p.m. in
Auditorium 3 of the Modern Languages Build-
ing. Tickets are $7 at the door.
Handel's Messiah
The University Musical Society Choral Union
will combine with the Ann Arbor Symphony
Orchestra to present this old holiday favorite that
originated in Dublin. The performance will take
place Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. at
Hill Auditorium. Tickets are $10-30 and can be
purchased through www.ums.org.

Marching Band Concert
The Michigan Marching Band will present
their final performance of the year, featuring
songs from this year's halftime shows. The show
will take place at 12:30 p.m. at Crisler Arena.
Tickets are $9 for adults and $3 for children 11
and under and can be purchased at Revelli Hall.
Relay for Life
Relay for Life will be holding their annual
kickoff event which will have an information and
sign-up session. The event will take place at 7 p.m.
in the Pendleton Room at the Michigan Union.

LSA and RC senior Sharon Brett shows off a dorm room i
and their families. Under the new admissions procedures
must write an extra essay and face new criteria to gain a

4B - The Michigan Daily - Thursday, December 1, 2005

The Michigan Da'


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