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January 18, 2006 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 2006-01-18

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4 - The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, January 18, 2006


Gtbe 3lirbi. rnfli&

Editor in Chief

Editorial Page Editors

Managing Editor



It is like asking
John Gotti
to do what he
can to clean up
organized crime."
- Senate minority leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), on
Republicans modifying lobbying rules to address
recent abuses in the U.S. House of Representa-
tives, as reported today by The New York Times.




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Unsigned editorials reflect the official position of the Daily's editorial board. All
other signed articles and illustrations represent solely the views of their author.

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Real men don't need washable seat covers



want to see
me at the 2006
North American Inter-
national Auto Show.
You see, I am a mem-
ber of that increasingly
coveted demographic
- the female car buyer.
I will soon graduate
from college and head
out into the world with my shiny new degree to
make lots of money. I'll want to make sure that
I'm getting the most of my hard-earned 77 cents
to the man's dollar. I'll want a sporty yet femi-
nine car to celebrate the few remaining years
before I start popping out children, when I'll
want a sporty yet feminine minivan that makes
me nostalgic for the days when I was in college,
free from screaming infants and pretending to
be free from gender roles.
I shouldn't complain yet - I am still living in
my glory days, after all. If I set aside my bicycle
for a car sometime soon, I've still got a few years
to cherish my ability to buy cars that don't make
concessions for the kids I must inevitably bear and
raise. If I hold out long enough, the 2004 Volvo
YCC concept car, designed by women to be "your
concept car," will become a reality. I can enjoy all
its features built with the female driver in mind.
It has no hood - so only mechanics have to deal
with that goopy, icky engine. Even better, it comes
with computerized parallel parking assistance, a
gas-cap-free "fuel point" and a ponytail notch in
the headrest. Ouch.
Oh yes, the automakers are right with us,
rubbing it in. The 1989 Mazda Miata Roadster
was advertised to remind women that they're

free to enjoy life - for a few years. "Before the
spouse, the house, the kids, you get one chance
... You should know how it feels to have the sun
on your head and a growl at your back as you
flick through five gears with no more baggage
than a friend."
That was nearly 20 years ago, however, when
automakers were just beginning to take women
seriously as buyers. Surely things have changed.
These days, General Motors boasts that it is
reaching out to women with new ads featuring
"five GM women executives who spend their
days engineering, building and marketing GM
cars and trucks, and their nights taking care of
their children and grandchildren."
Never mind.
It's not entirely the marketers' fault. They
could show one of those executives splitting
chores and kid time with her husband, but who
would to relate to that?
As the Detroit Free Press sagely pointed out,
women have all sorts of needs when it comes
to cars. We want safe cars, comfortable cars
- ones with washable seat covers so that they
don't, as the Freep wrote, "stink after little
Johnnie spills his milk."
Odd - that doesn't sound much different than
arguing that the dishwasher liberates women
because it leaves more time to give the kids a bath
at night. Women, not men, are still the ones trying
to get "little Johnnie" to stop crying and drooling
all over the seats so they can start cramming the
groceries in the back. We have the right to work
40 hours a week right alongside men (for only
slightly less) - just so long as we're home by six
to make dinner every night.
Certainly not all two-income families share
the gross imbalance of housework which the

women's liberation movement never quite
resolved. In terms of time spent making din-
ner and changing diapers, the gap between men
and women has narrowed. And we've all read
about the growth of valiant stay-at-home dads
daring to challenge the status quo - all 98,000
of them, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
Stay-at-home moms outnumber these valiant
fathers by more than 55 to one. I suppose the
"man's minivan" is a long way off.
Besides taking the much-appreciated steps to
make cars that can adjust for smaller bodies, auto-
makers have realized the importance of reaching
out to women, to make their lives easier by adding
extra storage space and washable car seats. Indeed,
they may have more success if they highlight these
"female-friendly" features. But there's a difference
between designing foot pedals that extend to meet
the feet of women who don't quite top five feet and
designing cars without hoods.
Women's ascension from a niche market to hav-
ing their own significant market share should be a
victory, right? But each celebrated female-friendly
feature, whether directed toward the twenty-some-
thing or the middle-aged soccer mom, seems to
me little more than a constant reminder that I am
expected to have lots of children and assume much
more than my fair share of their rearing.
I won't be going to the auto show this year.
I'll stay in Ann Arbor - but not just because I
don't have the time or the car necessary to spend
a day in Detroit. It's just too depressing to wander
through the exhibits wondering if somewhere, hid-
den behind the concept cars and hybrid imports,
there's a minivan with my name on it.


Beam can be reached
at ebeam@umich.edu.

A high-performance, 'green' Mott Hospital

"First, do no harm." This is a central tenet of
the Hippocratic Oath, which is sworn by physi-
cians and which provides the ethical foundation
of our health care system. That's one reason why
students, faculty and staff at the Medical School
and across the University are urging the planners
of the new C.S. Mott Children's and Women's
Hospital facility to design this new building to
the highest standards of environmental steward-
ship. So-called "green building" is not radical,
- nor is it in any way opposed to the fundamental
mission of a children's hospital. On the contrary,
green building means building in a technologi-
cally superior way. It means an efficient, cost-sav-
ing, safe and aesthetically pleasing building - in
other words, a high-performance hospital and a
truly healing environment.
Environmental stewardship is especially com-
pelling for a children's hospital. Human health
is intimately linked with the environment, and
kids are particularly vulnerable to environmen-
tal health risks. Air and water pollution directly
affect children's health, and often the most vulner-
able communities - the socioeconomically dis-
advantaged, the medically underserved and ethnic
minorities - are disproportionately affected by
environmental pollutants. In addition, we rob our
children of their inheritance when we cause cli-
mate change, expend our natural resources and
pollute. Construction materials and waste contrib-
ute significantly to greenhouse gas emissions, raw
material consumption and landfill volume. Final-
ly, toxic building and cleaning products contribute
to poor indoor air quality, which is detrimental to
patient and employee health.
What can the Mott Hospital planners do to
build the highest-performance facility pos-

sible? Leadership in Energy and Environmental
Design certification, administered by the Unit-
ed States Green Building Council, is a nation-
ally recognized standard for green building (see
www.usgbc.org). Much as a Fortune 500 com-
pany hires an accounting firm to validate the
accuracy of its books, LEED certification pro-
vides a useful guideline for building planners to
follow and makes a public statement about our
hospital's true commitment to operating respon-
sibly. In addition, LEED certification is further
broken down into "tiers" - basic LEED, Sil-
ver, Gold and Platinum - that offer guidance
for achieving higher levels of technologically
advanced, environmentally responsible build-
ing. A comprehensive, high-performance design
strategy must also include features such as using
minimally toxic materials for construction and
cleaning products and allocating space in the
building for waste segregation and recycling.
Other hospitals around the country have real-
ized substantial benefits from building green.
One of Mott's regional peer institutions, the
Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh, plans to build a
new LEED-certified hospital building and a new
LEED-Platinum-certified research facility. On
our own campus, the Stephen M. Ross School of
Business is planning a new LEED Silver-certified
building. In April of last year, Gov. Jennifer Gra-
nholm issued an executive order declaring that all
state-supported building projects must be LEED
certified. LEED is a tried and true standard that
represents a vital component of constructing a
high-performance new children's hospital.
Now is the time to put a comprehensive strategy,
in place for a green Mott Hospital. When a high-
performance vision is implemented early, opportu-
nities for improvement can be found at every stage
of the design process. Best of all, starting early
and implementing a systematic process for envi-

ronmental oversight allows cost-effective design
changes. In other words, a high-performance
building actually saves money - we get more for
bang for our buck up front, and cost savings con-
tinue over the life of the building in reduced ener-
gy use, increased employee productivity, reduced
duration of patient stays and more effective waste
management. Demonstrating stewardship of the
environment and the public health can also make
the hospital project more attractive to potential
donors and to potential employees, making green
building both an effective fundraising and recruit-
ing strategy.
The new Mott Hospital is planned to be a
$498 million, 1-million square-foot facility, to
open in 2011 with projected operation for 50
years. What a remarkable and unprecedented
opportunity for our health system, and our
great University, to demonstrate our position as
a "leader and the best:" The Mott design team
needs to establish a vision right now for a high-
performance, environmentally responsible new
facility and communicate this vision to the
architects and engineers working on the build-
ing plans. We can achieve a cutting-edge, beau-
tiful and cost-saving new facility for our region's
children and families. It may be easier for our
new children's hospital to be built according to
established, outdated standards, but if that hap-
pens, we'll be making a 50-year mistake.
Please send a message to the hospital and Uni-
versity leadership: University President Mary
Sue Coleman, marysuec@umich.edu; Executive
Vice President for Medical Affairs Robert Kelch,
rkelch@umich.edu; and the University Board of
Regents, whose e-mail addresses are available at
Beyer-O'Connell and Bole are medical.students,
Gearen and Nothwang are Rackham students.


Editorial Board Members: Amy Anspach, Andrew Bielak, Reggie Brown, Gabrielle
D'Angelo, John Davis, Whitney Dibo, Milly Dick, Sara Eber, Jesse Forester, Mara Gay, Jared
Goldberg, Ashwin Jagannathan, Theresa Kennelly, Mark Kuehn, Will Kerridge, Frank Man-
ley, Kirsty McNamara, Rajiv Prabhakar, Matt Rose, David Russell, Katherine Seid, Brian
Slade, John Stiglich, Imran Syed, Ben Taylor, Jessica Teng.

Coke coalition easily carries
the day in face of attacks
Frank Manley's viewpoint (I'd like to buy the
world a Coke, 01/17/2006) starts out portray-

readers to the viewpoint directly above Man-
ley's (An open letter from the Coke coalition,
01/17/2006). In this viewpoint, members of
the Coke coalition easily handle Manley's
assault, as a ninja would quickly dispatch a
drunken antagonist. They demonstrate a clear
understanding of the issue, as well as the per-

watched too many (or perhaps too few) Sprite
commercials. After cutting the contract, the
University is no longer directing public dollars
in support of a company that will not comply
with information requests for fear of revealing
horrible labor and environmental practices. If
these political outcomes aren't enough of a silver


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