4 - Friday, April 13, 2007
The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com
Edited and managed by students at
the University of Michigan since 1890.
413 E. Huron St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48104
KARL STAMPFL IMRAN SYED JEFFREY BLOOMER
EDITOR IN CHIEF EDITORIAL PAGE EDITOR MANAGING EDITOR
Unsigned editorials reflect the official position oftthe Daily's editorial board. All other signed articles
and illustrations represent solely the views of their authors.
FROM THE DAIY
Students are prepared, deserve expanded opportunity
With mockery for the "iPod for every student" propos-
al still prevalent and the ongoing bickering about the
appropriate level of education funding for education,
good news right about now would be great. That news came Mon-
day when Michigan's schools were named among the nation's best in
preparing students for college. While this is a welcome respite from
the negativity, these findings highlight the fact that our state has
a wealth of qualified students who should go to college, but they'll
need more help from Lansing than they have had in the past.
Take yourself outside the emotions
of the chain saw."
- Defense lawyer Traci Smith on client Daphne Wright's murder conviction being based largely on her
using a chain saw to dismember her victim, as reported yesterday on CNN.com.
Write for Daily Opinion
(You don't even have
tobe in Ann Arbor.)
edu for more information
Debunking the weird mt
Research conducted by the National Cur-
riculum Survey cited Michigan behind
only Kentucky and Indiana in curriculums
that foster success in college. The findings
credit Michigan's new stricter standards for
schools and a classroom focus on analytical
thinking instead of memorization as the two
driving forces behind Michigan's success.
While Michigan is struggling to remain
relevant in a changing economy, these find-
ings are a hopeful sign that the state is making
progress in a critical area. But state legislators
are on the verge of letting the one thing that
Michigan has going for it slip away by cutting
off support to both higher education and K-12
education. This is nonsensical policy.
Unfortunately, only two days after the
state was proclaimed amongst the best in
preparing students for college came news
that Michigan's teachers' salaries had
slipped from being fifth highest in the coun-
try to eighth. This is a dangerous trend for
the state. Teachers are at the root of Michi-
gan's success. Allowing their salaries to fall
behind those of other states will discourage
talented teachers from staying in the state.
With cuts on the agenda in our cash-
strapped state, it should be a priority for state
lawmakers to protect the endangered annual
K-12 per-pupil allotment. When you've got a
good thing going, common sense says that
you don't stop doing it. It is a matter of neces-
sity that schools receive the funding neces-
sary to make progress in meeting curriculum
standards and preparing students for further
education. Anything short of that is the type
of unfunded and counterproductive mandate
we would expect of the Bush Administration.
The same logic extends to higher educa-
tion. Having students in the state who are
well prepared for college means absolutely
nothing if those students don't move on to
college. But in order to increase access to
higher education, the state will have to sac-
rifice elsewhere. By continuing its commit-
ment to state universities - both research
universities and the others - lawmakers
can help keep tuition down and increase the
availability of scholarships, thereby making
college more accessible to students.
With everything the state has been
through lately it is reassuring to see that
something is going right, but there are no
guarantees that success will continue for-
ever. In places like Detroit, schools continue
to lag behind the average and only seem to
be descending further into ruin. The budget
cuts being debated in the state legislature
are an discouraging sign for the future.
With its high ranking in preparing stu-
dents for college, Michigan has gained a sell-
ing point it can use to bring jobs and growth
to the state. It would be a shame if it were to
lose it because of short-sighted budget cuts.
KEVIN BUNKLEY I VIEWPOiNT
Learn from the E.U.'s mistake
Talk about environmental policy reform is
all the rage in Washington these days. Con-
gress has successfully narrowed its proposed
solutions to two main areas of progress: cut-
ting carbon emissions from industries and
enacting steeper regulations for automobile
fuel standards. As they prepare to tackle these
issues, however, it would be wise for lawmak-
ers to first take a look at the European Union's
current woes with these very same environ-
mental policies. They will discover that there
are significant market-related problems with
both the carbon emissions scheme and fuel
Automobile mileage standards strike a chord
with Democrats and Republicans alike. It's
something Congress can fix in the next few
years in an effort to save the Big Three. And
both sides already have a starting place right
under their noses, In 1975, then-President Ger-
ald Ford penned the first compulsory mileage
standard in America with the Energy Policy
Conservation Act. Auto companies have repeat-
edly dodged enforcement of these standards and
higher standards were once again left out when
the bill was renewed just a few days ago.
Across the pond, the European Union
recently announced new CO2 limits for all cars
produced in its member countries. The new
regulations establish a maximum emission of
130g/km of CO2 for every car, which translates
to a 39.2 mpg here in America. The problem?
The regulations are too strict.
Porsche Motor Company will be forced to
move production of its popular models out ofthe
E.U. because complying with the regulations is
just too expensive. The situation for America
and its Big Three is not all that different.
In addition to these higher mileage stan-
dards, the government's plan for carbon
credit cap-and-trade system is ambitious, yet
ultimately flawed. The cap-and-trade system
only works if there is a cap. Carbon emissions
will never decrease without one, which the
E.U. is slowly finding out. America did effec-
tively use a cap system to eliminate sulfur
dioxide emissions entirely from industries to
stop acid rain. It was only successfully, how-
ever, because it was a clear-cut cap.
Carbon credits are the main form of curren-
cy in the energy market. They are particularly
big right now among carbon-spewing facto-
ries, CEOs and celebrities who want to reduce
CHRIS KOSLOWSKI I OUT TO PASTU
carbon emissions without conservation. For
example, Al Gore's mansion consumes 20
times the amount of energy as the average
home, and carbon credits are his way to offset
his electric bill and placate the public.
The carbon credit market, at least right now,
is also very friendly to big polluters. The mas-
sive companies and owners of mansions buy
carbon credits to offset their own emissions,
but these big spenders are by no means altru-
istic. The purchase diverts the cutsto factories
in the Third World while the original pollut-
ers make a profit off of the credits they bought.
When the government puts the cap-and-trade
in place, lawmakers have make sure that it is
enforced, via the Clean Air Act, at the source
(the power companies), in order to produce a
trickle-down effect to individual consumers.
The big European power companies with
outdated facilities buy the credits to compensate
for their inefficient plants. The E.U., however, is
struggling to strike a compromise between all
of its member nations, which all use different
types of energy, to fix the problem. The inconsis-
tencies in price as well as caps for carbon emis-
sion allowances have produced huge increases
in electricity rates across the continent, too
- something America is already fighting.
American power companies are in the same
situation as European companies, with parts
of the country using nuclear power, coal or
natural gas. Congress can avoid the E.U.'s
mistakes by carefully choosing a cap that all
power companies have to meet. A cap of a 20
percent reduction in emissions can encompass
most of the big polluters, who will be forced to
either buy expensive allowances off the car-
bon market or meet the cap. Instead of allow-
ing the credits to go to waste, America should
put them back on the market, where smaller
companies can buy them.
Congress can get the nation's environmen-
tal reforms started off on the right foot while
avoiding the problems of the E.U. by sim-
ply committing to enforcing regulations. A
competitive carbon market coupled with the
passage of federal mileage standards and a
national cap on credit trading and monitoring
emissions can begin the long road to turning
the nation's emissions green.
Kevin Bunkley is an LSA junior and a
member of the Daily's editorial board.
"People are tricky
You can't afford to show
Anything they don't know"
-Aimee Mann, "It's Not"
here's nothing sadder than
watching people graduate from
the University no more cul-
tured or worldly than they were when
they arrived. If college is the time to
meet new people and try new things,
then so many of us
haven't gotten our
We all came to the
University to learn.
But the relatively
narrow outlooks we
bring to campus can
hinder that mission
and even derail it if JAMES
we're not careful. DICKSON
They say you should
watch your thoughts, for they become
your words. Watch your words, for
they become your actions. Watch your
actions, for they form your character.
I'm a word man myself, and if there
was one word I could eliminate from
the English language, it would be
weird. It's a negative word and an igno-
rantword. It's a word that reveals more
about the prejudices of the speaker
than the character of the subject. And
- typically someone who has simply
behaved in a manner inconsistent with
your experience, however limited and
however dependent on media imagery.
If no two people are exactly the
same, what makes someone "random"
or "weird"? There are 6 billion people
walking the Earth. All of us are differ-
ent, but we share so much of the same
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
Inus has a right to
freedom of speech
TO THE DAILY:
Many people disapprove of Don
Imus's hateful insults. Fair enough.
But I respectfully disagree with his
termination by MSNBC and CBS.
According to the First Amendment,
there are many times when the gov-
ernment cannot restrict free speech.
Yet there is something here that is
commonly overlooked: Free speech
does not exist in a vacuum. Not only
must the law protect free speech, but
it must also be protected by society.
We have the freedom to not listen to
people whose opinions we find repug-
nant. But we shouldn't shut them out.
If we take down Rush Limbaugh's
hateful show, we hinder more than
just his ideas. We hinder all ideas.
Over the past week or so, several
pieces have been written in the Daily
about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict
from both sides of the issue. It's a
touchy issue and regrettable things
have been written, but it's an impor-
tant conversation to have. I prefer to
have a few bigots going over the line
rather than absolute silence out of
fear of offense. Let's hear all of it, and
lets make our own judgments.
gil Goode (R-Va.) probably shouldn't
make anti-Muslim comments as a
public servant. If he was a radio talk
show host, he would still be consid-
ered a bigot, but at least he wouldn't
have power to turn internal discrimi-
nation into reality. So maybe that's the
place to draw the line. It's not with
Don Imus. The networks shouldn't
force him off the air, because it does
nobody any good to have onlythe most
politically correctvoice onthe air.
LSA kids atDaily
jealous of engineers
TO THE DAILY:
This letter is in response to the
Daily's editorial on cheating in the
This tells me two things.
First, individuality is biological. No
matter how hard society tries to sup-
press the individual for the supposed
safety of numbers, we're all cursed
with being ourselves. No matter how
influenced we are by family, friends or
the media, at the end of the day we're
left to rely on our own judgments on
how to live life. You may major in busi-
ness administration rather than art
and design to please your father, but
that won't make you love business the
same way you love art.
You can choose to live life for the
validation of others, but chances are
you won't be satisfied living on the
world's terms and expectations rather
than your own. "To thine own self be
true" is only clich6 today because it's
the inherited wisdom of history. It has
rang true for generations and always
will, so long as we're biologically com-
pelled tobe individuals.
Second, we're not all that different.
Everyone is different from one another,
yes, but no one isdifferent enough to be
an outlier from all humanity.
My beef isn't with the idea that cer-
tain behaviors are out-of-bounds. We
all have the right to set that line our-
selves, and we all should place it a bit
differently. My problem is when people
use words like sketchy or weird as a
catchall for anythingthey aren't accus-
tomed to. If only 1 percent of all the
people in the world can relate to you,
that's still millions of people. Soto call
something weird is to either ignore that
plenty of people behave similarly, or to
impose a one-size-fits-all mentality on
the diverse world out there.
We use words like strange orsketchy
to convey our shock at the unfamiliar.
It's not that the things we're com-
menting on are necessarily peculiar -
they're simply foreign, existing outside
of the purview of the speaker's limited
Different is a better, neutral word
that more accurately describes the
unknown and revealssthe blind spotsin
our own world views. Different makes
it clear you're talking about something
you know little about, without impos-
ing your judgments along the way. Dif-
ferent acknowledges thatthere's no one
way to do anything - there's simply
aren't so weird
what you've seen before and what you
haven't. Different does more justice to
the mysterious than simply calling it
weird and writing off the unusual as if
you're above it all.
Life is beautifully complex once you
admit how little you know about it.
Weird and its synonyms are words we
use to rob people of their individuality
and their unique voice and ourselves of
valuable opportunities for growth and
knowledge. Don't limit yourself with
the smugness of arrogance or the com-
fort of ignorance.
You'll get so much more out of col-
lege when you take in the world with
wonderment and without judgment.
It's weird how different life will be
when you do.
James Dickson can be reached
SEND LETTERS TO: TOTHEDAILY@UMICH.EDU
engineering school (A dishonored
code, 04/06/2007). While I respect
the results of the study the editorial
was based on, I feel compelled as
an engineering student to provide
some additional insight.
In the six engineering tests I
have taken at the University, I
know that no students in the room
were cheating. The professors who
monitor the tests by sitting outside
the classroom ensure that students
are properly spaced apart so papers
are not visible from desk to desk.
To be able to cheat on these tests
would require that students some-
how managed to see each other's
work, and this has never occurred
in any of my tests.
The editorial claims that nine out
of 10 students admitted to cheating
at some point. First, this is gross
abuse of a statistic that does not
pertain solely to cheating on exams.
Secondly, it does not tell the readers
exactly how "students admitted to,
I have read the honor code. Many
things such as collaboration and
teamwork are condoned and even
encouraged in certain classes but
are considered cheating under the
code. According to the honor code,
I have cheated on homework more
than once. You got me there.
. The solution is not as simple
as "proctoring engineering tests"
because the survey results are not
representative of the number of
students who cheat on tests. The
College of Engineering is founded
on the premise that our students
are smarter than the students in
LSA. My sentiment is shared with
more experienced engineers . as
well. I spoke with two fifth-year
engineers who said that if this sur-
vey only pertained to testing, the
figure would have been closer to 1
or 2 percent.
The claim that the College of
Engineering's reputation is tar-
nished by cheating is misplaced.
The honor code's definition of
cheating makes students think they
are cheating when they are simply
abiding by normal study habits.
Frieze Building evokes
nostalgia in graduate
TO THE DAILY:
I was walking home from classyes-
terday when I came across the daily
crowd gathered on the corner of State
and Washington Streets watching
the demolition of the Frieze Build-
ing, formerly Ann Arbor High School
from 1906 to 1956. Amid the col-
lege students, businessmen, parents
and children gathered to watch the
impressive spectacle was an elderly
woman named Wendy.
On most days you can hear "Ooos"
and "Ahs" as brick and stone fall, but I
was taken aback by Wendy's tears. She
was a 1948 graduate of the high school
that was the Frieze and expressed her
sorrow at the sight of her school crum-
bling before her eyes.
It's responses like Wendy's that
continue to irk me in regards to the
demolition of the old school building.
It's a shame Ann Arbor must destroy
this historical gem. The need for
student housing is great, and North
Quad will serve the University for
many years, but we should be wary of
the heritage sacrificed.
A majority of us Wolverines come
to campus for four years then burst
out of Ann Arbor, perhaps returning
for a football game or reunion years
later. But what about those who make
Ann Arbor their home?
I hail from Milwaukee, Wisc., the
home of Marquette University. Over
the years, Marquette has notoriously
shunned Milwaukee's architectural
history and torn down many land-
marks in the city in an attempt to
expand the campus. I would hate to
see that model repeated here.
For the most part, I see the Univer-
sity doing its part in maintaining the
heritage of Ann Arbor architectur-
ally. Yet the demolition of the Frieze
Building may be the beginning of a
new, less historically conscious trend.
Plan for the future, but don't neglect
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