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December 12, 2006 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 2006-12-12

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4 - Tuesday, December 12, 2006

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

EL74 Midligan 3atilV
Edited and managed by students at
the University of Michigan since 1890.
~~413 E. Huron St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48104
tothedaily@umich.edu

4

We canceled them when we realized
Senator Obama would sell more tickets."
- Gov. JOHN LYNCH (D-N.H.) on the state Democratic Party's decision to cancel the Rolling
Stones as headliners for a state party fundraiser, as reported yesterday by CNN.com.

DONN M. FRESARD
EDITOR IN CHIEF

EMILY BEAM
CHRISTOPHER ZBROZEK
EDITORIAL PAGE EDITORS

JEFFREY BLOOMER
MANAGING EDITOR

Unsigned editorials reflect the official position of the Daily's editorial board. All other signed articles
and illustrations represent solely the views of their authors.
Shedding light on safety
Making Ann Arbor streets brighter will benefit all
There are always downsides to streetlights. They aren't free,
and it's up to Ann Arbor taxpayers to pay for their construc-
tion. Even worse, the lights could exacerbate light pollution,
which impedes the view of astronomy club students who stargaze
atop Angell Hall on Friday nights. But these downsides don't hold a
candle to the improvements in public safety that a few more lights

ERIN RUSSELL
HELP A NE 0Y CHILO!
SUPPOr T THC CAUDS-
WHAT 1S T H-
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X NGee MONEY 'CAU$e
I WANNA 60 TO CANCUN
FOP WlNT' 9B2eAK.
50 APB YOU $OIN$ TO
OONAT 5 O1 WH AT?
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HOW MUCH CAN
r 6 VE YOU T O TAKC
YOUP CAUSE INTO
A 9USY, -WAY
WN rc-0ECT IOA?
Donate
money

I

Leveling the playing field

along Ann Arbor's streets could bi
Back in January, the Michigan Student
Assembly scoured the streets near the
Oxford and Hill areas as well as South
University Avenue in an attempt to iden-
tify areas with poor lighting and call them
to the attention of the Department of
Public Safety. At the time, one MSA rep-
resentative remarked, "It's not going to be
solved by a few of us walking around the
campus."
Indeed, it wasn't.
The problem was recently addressed
again by a group students working on a
class project. Their organization, Make
Ann Arbor Bright, studied lighting near
campus. It gathered more than 300 sig-
natures in support of more off-campus
lighting, ultimately presenting its find-
ings to the Ann Arbor City Council. The
group reported that most mugging victims
it interviewed said better lighting could

have prevented the crimes.
Certainly, increasing lighting in off-cam-
pus neighborhoods will not be sufficient to
deter all crime. Nevertheless, these lights
may do more than just make streets bright-
er. At the very least, they will make students
feel safer and more likely to walk around
their neighborhoods. Urban planners like
Jane Jacobs have noted that increased
street traffic can also deter crime.
Students involved in Make Ann Arbor
Bright recognized this public predica-
ment and addressed the issue in a timely
and constructive fashion - something
that can't be said of MSA. A few more
dollars out of the city's budget is a small
price to pay for increasing the safety of
its residents. The City Council now has
the opportunity to act upon these stu-
dents' initiative, and it should install more
streetlights in off-campus areas.

t should tell you all you need
to know about Detroit Public
Schools that my father, who
teaches in the district, wouldn't let
me attend school there.
The summer before my sophomore
year of high school, my family had just
moved from Ink-
ster to Detroit,j
and I needed
a new high n
school. We tried"
Detroit's holy
trinity - Cass
Technical, King_
and Renais-
sance - but
were rebuffed JAMES
because my fam-
ily had moved DICKSON
too late to take -- ---
the placement exam. Although my
dad had been with Detroit schools for
nearly 15 years at that point, his child
was denied the chance to attend three
of the city's best schools on a tech-
nicality that had no bearing on said
child's qualifications or capacity for
success.
Detroit's teachers were locked in a
labor dispute with the administration
that summer, as if my family needed
yet more evidence that Detroit Public
Schools were thoroughly unprepared
and disinterested in providing me
with a quality education. Any school
district willing to penny pinch its
teachers while leaving classrooms
overcrowded and teachers without
resources certainly wasn't going to
prepare me to attend college.
Fortunately, my father happened
to know the then-principal of West
Bloomfield High School, Dr. George
Fornero. He spoke on my behalf to the
superintendent, an old-school liberal
who wasn't about to deny a motivated
kid from Detroit with equally sup-
portive parents the opportunity to

attend his school. Fast forward three
years - during which my frames of
reference and work ethic were chal-
lenged in a way my college education
has failed to keep pace with - and I
was accepted at the University.
My own experience - as a stu-
dent who would have been failed
by his neighborhood school and as
one forced to look to the suburbs for
quality education - has made me a
believer in school choice. I've heard
a lot of well-meaning theory and
platitudes about how neighborhood
schools should be able to satisfy their
students' educational needs, and how
something should be done to make
that happen. The fact is, though, that
if the anti-school-choice crowd had it
th'eir way, I would've gone to one of the
worst high schools in Michigan rath-
er than one of the best in the nation.
My future would've been decided by
geography rather than ability.
I lucked out, but my concern turns
to those who aren't so lucky. Not
everyone in Detroit had a parent
enrolled in grad school courses taught
by the principal of one of Michigan's
best high schools. Not everyone has
parents willing or able to handle a
commute that takes more than an
hour a day or to absorb the transpor-
tation costs implicit in that commute.
Not everyone has the chance to attend
school in West Bloomfield.
In this post-Proposal 2, world-is-
flaterawe mustsubjectpublic schools
to the same cold scrutiny that their
graduates will receive upon entering
the workforce. In a world where our
high school graduates will be made
to compete for admission to college
- not only against other Michigan-
ders or other Americans, but against
the best the world has to offer - edu-
cation is one of our only opportunities
to give students a leg up. But to allow
failing schools a monopoly on those

living nearby is the height of unfair-
ness; no child should have his future
mortgaged on a geographic lottery
with the odds fixed against him.
I wrote shortly after the election
that Michigan's passage of Proposal
2 offered a great opportunity so long
as we're honest about what it meant.
Back then, the issue was University
President Mary Sue Coleman's delu-
sion that she could litigate affirmative
action preferences back into exis-
tence (although the University filed a
motion in court yesterday, it's Propos-
al 2's timetable, not its legality, that
is at issue). Today, though, we must
understand that the mandate of 58
percent of Michiganders to "level the

4
4

School choice
provides better
opportunities.

Following the new law
WSU Law School adapts admissions after Proposal 2
P ending an effort in federal court to postpone implemen-
tation of Proposal 2, Michigan's public universities will
be forced to comply by Dec. 23. Last week, Wayne State
University's law school became the first to adopt a plan to main-
tain a diverse student body despite the new constraints.

Its plan grants automatic admission to
any applicant with a certain grade point
average and LSAT score, but it also allows
applicants who don't meet those stan-
dards a variety of ways to make their case
for admission. The admissions committee
will consider geographic, experiential and
other extenuating factors that may have
hurt the scores of some qualified appli-
cants low. While it isn't perfect, the plan
shows that there remain ways by which
admissions officers can attempt to ensure
diversity in the classroom despite the dev-
astating ban on affirmative action.
Wayne State's new criteria rapge from
living in Detroit and some surrounding
areas that are characterized by under-
served school districts to living abroad or
on Native American reservations. To use
the plan's own language, it finds innova-
tive ways of considering the "substantial
obstacles such as family or personal adver-
sity, educational disability ... and prejudice
or discrimination" that can make an appli-
cation seem.less impressive.
Although it already faces criticism from
affirmative action opponents, the care-
fully crafted plan likely won't be deemed

a violation of Proposal 2 if challenged in
court. The plan outlines many reasons
that a student may cite in seeking admis-
sion despite not qualifying for automatic
admission. Taken together, these factors
construct a broad categorization of what
constitutes diversity and will ensure that
some benefits of affirmative action will
remain despite Proposal 2.
The highly selective nature of the Uni-
versity of Michigan Law School and our
university in general would make admis-
sion guarantees based solely on GPA or
test scores impractical and unwise. The
other considerations included in Wayne
State Law School's new admissions pol-
icy, however, offer a model of a realistic
approach to fostering diversity following
the ban. Aspects of the Wayne State pol-
icy may prove useful to the University as
it adapts its admissions rubric to comply
with the new state constitutional amend-
ment, which will go into effect Dec. 23
unless a stay is granted. More than ever,
the University must not shy away from
challenges in its quest for a well-rounded
student population - the education of far
too many students is at stake.

Downsizing ofDaily photo staff
would restrict opportunities

Send
slaves of ideology?
it destroys the bon
Does the Daily's,
blindly applying af
ticular circumstan

ALEXANDER HONKALA I
.~300 3
Ii D IEA}
lu
Editorial Board Members: Reggie Brown, Kevin Bunkley, Amanda Burns, Sam
Butler, Ben Caleca, Devika Daga, Milly Dick, James David Dickson, Jesse Forester,
Gary Graca, Jared Goldberg, Jessi Holler, Rafi Martina, Toby Mitchell, Rajiv Prab-
hakar, David Russell, Katherine SeidElizabeth Stanley, Jennifer Sussex, John Sti-
glich, Neil Tambe, Rachel Wagner.

TO THE DAILY: Everyone thinks
I was disappointed to read about the planned chang- isn't. The issue at1
es to the photo section at The Michigan Daily (Daily and 6-year-olds wl
names new editors, 12/11/2006). A university news- instead of with the
paper is unique in that it has a large pool of potential
staff members, many of whom are eager to experiment Matthew Buszek
with journalism. Rather than relying on a small staff LSA senior
of almost full-time photographers, shouldn't the photo
section offer opportunities for involvement with vari-
ous levels of time commitment? Zingerma .
I'd much rather see the work of a staff of three dozen
photographers working freelance, showcasing many wretched fo(
styles with much broader event coverage, than see the
tired work of the same half-dozen shooters every day. TO THE DAILY:
Those who can't offer 15 to 20 hours a week to the paper Amer's Mediterr
don't necessarily have less to offer. Unfortunately, we ed with apathy. Ea
just have more class than we do free time. job of providing se
ing food that taste:
Christopher Peplin Oddly enough, t
LSA sophomore Streetjust a fewyet
ery so Amer's cand
and charge you $8
-Integration debate threatens anchreyu$
eat. A friend of m
families, misses the point good if you take t
away everything b
and put on your ow
TO THE DAILY: Something abou
I have a question about the Daily's editorial concern- about $8 for a sand
ing school choice and racial integration (Integration meat haphazardly
on trial, 12/08/2006): Do the members of the Daily's of three-day-old bi
editorial staff have any compassion? Did they actu- where between tE
ally look at the people involved in the Louisville suit? morning and close
I quote: "This is not a case of some worthy applicant Amer's to eat its fo
being denied admission to a prestigious university." their money becau
That's right - this is a case of forcing a 6-year-old kin- Everyone loves
dergartner to make a three-hour round trip to school native on campus i
just to create a "racially diverse learning environment" but too far away for
despite the fact that there is a closer school. A 90-min- as a knock-off of:
ute bus ride to and from school may be tolerable for Zingerman's sued
someone in junior high or high school, but it is not for ping off their atmc
a kindergartner. its beef with Amer'
The Daily accuses the parents of being "disgruntled People want deli fo
moms." If three hours a day, five days a week of each stuck with flat bag;
school year were taken away from the time I spend crusty-looking sid;
with my child, I would be disgruntled too. Try to imag- Nevertheless, th
ine how long a 90-minute bus ride actually is. Now it comes to "servic
consider the attention span of a kindergartner. On an (especially on Chu
average day, starting out from Ann Arbor, you could get be paying them. T
through customs and into Windsor before the child got smile and take 25
to school. pita. Eat at Amer's
Show some common sense. When did we as a soci- of thing.
ety forget that blindly following laws - regardless of
the people they hurt - will only lead to harm? When Eric Horowitz
did we stop caring about other people and become LSAajunior

playing field" in college admissions
must be matched by the commitment
to ensure equality of opportunity at
the K-12 level. It's an absurdity even
to speak of level playing fields until
every student in Michigan has the
opportunity to receive a quality edu-
cation.
I wonder if, in our idealistic urge
to provide equal opportunity, we're
ready to move beyond the outdated
paradigm that neighborhood schools
should receive the sole opportunity
to educate those living nearby. I won-
der how committed we really are, as a
state, to leaving no child behind.
James Dickson can be reached
at davidjam@umich.edu.
* letters to tothedaily@umich.edu
What good is diversity in schools if
nd between a child and his parents?
editorial board really believe that
firmative action policies in this par-
ce is appropriate?
s the issue is affirmative action - it
hand is recalcitrant administrators,
ho are spending time riding the bus
ir families.
's rip-off combines
xl, miserly service
ranean Deli harbors a culture infest-
ch year, the deli seems to do a worse
rvice to their customers and of mak-
s good.
hey opened another deli on Church
ars ago. They also now provide deliv-
deliver crap directly to your doorstep
for a sandwich it should pay you to
ine had this to say: "Amer's is only
heir sandwich, bring it home, strip
but the meat, toast your own bread
in condiments."
ut this seems amiss. We are talking
wich that has a miniscule amount of
squashed between two stale pieces
read. The real miracle occurs some-
he time they open the door in the
it at night - people continue to pay
ood. I believe people let Amer's steal
se there is simply no alternative.
a good deli sandwich (The best alter-
s Maize and Blue Deli - a good spot,
r Imany). In fact, Amer'swas firstborn
the iber-popular Zingerman's Deli.
Amer's in 1993 for essentially rip-
osphere and food (Zingerman's takes
s to federal district court, 1/26/1993).
ood near Central Campus, so they are
els, watery soup, purple coleslaw and
e dishes.
is establishment outdoes itself when
ce." The people who work at Amer's
rch Street) act as if you really should
'hey are reluctant to help, refuse to
minutes to put chicken salad in a
only if you're intrigued by this kind

A

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