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February 01, 2008 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 2008-02-01

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4 -Friday, February 1, 2008

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

CJbE 1J*IC4digan aith
Edited and managed by students at
the University of Michigan since 1890.
420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
tothedaily@umich.edu
KARL STAMPFL IMRAN SYED JEFFREY BLOOMER
EDITOR IN CHIEF EDITORIAL PAGE EDITOR 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.
The Daily's public editor, Paul H. Johnson, acts as the readers' representative and takes a critical look at
coverage and content in every section of the paper. Readers are encouraged to contact the public editor
with questions and comments. He canbe reached at publiceditor@umich.edu.
Green for years to come
Being eco-friendly must be long-term strategy for 'U'
Ready your clothespins and turn off the lights because today
marks the beginning of the National Campus Energy Chal-
lenge. During the month of February, the University of
Michigan will be one of many campuses nationwide participating in
a competition to have the most energy-efficient student body in the
country. The Michigan Student Assembly's Environmental Issues
Commission and the University's residence hall advisors will be
motivating students across campus to change their wasteful ways.
Instead of this just being a month of students scrimping and saving,
however, the University needs to make the structural changes that
will be efficient in the long term.

0

There's absolutely no reason why a woman
shouldn't be in that office, but I am not sure
about this woman."
-Actress Susan Sarandon, on the possibility of Hillary Clinton becoming president,
as reported Wednesday by Time magazine.
A state of confusion

n Wednesday Gov. Jennifer
Granholm addressed Michi-
ganders in her annual State of
the State address.
In the speech she
announced the
four major areas on
which she plans to
focus her attention:r
the job market,
citizen protection,
health care and
education. No sur- KATE
prise, she wants
change. In discuss- TRUESDELL
ing plans for how
to improve the job
market, she honed in on alternative
technology, heralding it as having
"blockbuster potential" for the state.
The biggest banner she waved was
an energy package she encouraged leg-
islators to pass. Granholm said it would
result in DTE Energy and Consumers
Energy spending $6 billion on renew-
able energysources like wind turbines,
creatingup to 17,000 jobs.
All of this sounds great. In a state
that has long been kept in the oil age
by an automotive economy struggling
to keep its head above water, I wel-
come change of any sort, especially of
the eco-friendly variety. But I have a
confession: I'm confused.
Because of what the state is allow-
ing to happen, I'm also a bit skeptical.
An excellent example can be found
in Detroit, home to Marathon Oil's
fourth-largest refinery. The plant
processes close to 100,000 barrels
of oil per day, mostly heavy crude oil
from oil sands. This process hardly
has a reputation of being environ-
mentally friendly. Yet since its acqui-
sition of Western Oil Sands, Inc. in
July, the company has proposed plans
for expansion of its Detroit location,
plans that have met little resistance
from the state.

Granholm said on Wednesday night
that "we must commit asa state to use
alternative energy to meet our own
energyneeds." The growing Marathon
plant processes oil, hardly an "alter-
native energy." Regardless of how
much wood pulp Michigan recycles
to make bio-fuel (another pat on the
back Granholm gave the state), what
message does allowing the expansion
of pollution and reliance on obsolete
technology send? The answer, in the
context of the governor's claims, is a
contradictory one.
I'm also a bit confused about
some of the assumptions she seemed
to make. When she addressed the
potential influx of jobs as a result of
the development of alternative tech-
nologies she stated, "There's no ques-
tion that these jobs are coming to our
nation. The only question is, where?"
The answer, for her, is Michigan.
But why? What will draw alterna-
tive technologies to the great mitten-
shaped state? Granholm said that it
is because we have "manufacturing
infrastructure," "available factory
space" and "a skilled workforce," not
to mention wind and water.
Indulge my quick tangent. Before
she pats herself on the back too much,
it's worth pointing out that she likely
had little to do with the existence of
local wind and water, barring some
type of unholy alliance with Captain
Planet that didn't leak out during the
gubernatorial race.
Secondly, touting "available fac-
tory space" - or factories that remain
unfilled because we have failed to sig-
nificantly improve a failing economy
- is a bold move. And while there are
certainly skilled workers in Michi-
gan, what is her plan is for retraining
these workers to use the new tech-
nologies?
More importantly, will these
"advantages" be enough to over-

come the state's stellar selling points
like its crumbling roads, staggering
lack of public transportation and
overwhelming crime rates? I think
not. When Forbes released its list of
America's Most Miserable Cities this
week, Detroit took the top spot. Rich
white investors don't look kindly on
those types of statistics.
The bottom line is that I have my
doubts. Granholm's euphemistic
claims confuse me when compared
with reality, but I'm willing to give
optimism a try. At least alternative
energy has entered the conversation.
What we need to do now is set about
achieving these goals with open eyes.
Michigan must stop the development
Granholm needs to
keep promises on
green technology
of old, polluting technology if it really
wants to focus oncleanernewertech-
nology. It's time to acknowledge the
challenges it faces in attracting new
industry, addressing them instead of
glossing them over.
I'm not saying Granholm won't
make strides toward developing a
new energy economy; I'm saying I
want to know the answers to my ques-
tions first. I agree with her that it's
time for change. I agree that creating
this economy in Michigan would be a
great thing for the state. I just want to
be careful that, in her efforts to help
the state green and grow, she makes
promises she can keep.
Kate Truesdell can be reached
at ketrue@umich.edu.

40

Change could start at the University's
architectural gem - the Law Quad. The
University is in the development stages of
adding an academic building and student
commons to the Law School, as well as an
upgrade to Hutchins Hall and the Cook
Legal Research Building. The Environmen-
tal Law Society has been challenging the
University to improve its renovation plans
so that the building can be certified by the
Leadership in Energy and Environmental
Design Green Building Rating System.
Right now, the University is defending
its current construction plans as environ-
mentally friendly. However, if the plans are
truly environmentally friendly, the Univer-
sity should go further and ensure that the
plans qualify for a LEED certification.
Achieving LEED standards is a goal that
is within reach. Students rallied behind
the cause for the new Ross School of Busi-
ness building and C.S. Mott Children's
Hospital. As a result, both new build-
ings anticipate high LEED honors. These
buildings, as well as the Dana Building
(which already achieved the LEED Gold
Standard), stand as beacons of structural
environmentalism for other institutions
around the country.
Beyond the realm of construction is the
issue concerning the University's energy
resources: its current contract with ener-

gy-service provider DTE Energy. Current-
ly, the University receives about 45 percent
of its energy from its own Central Power
Plant and meets the rest of its demand
through DTE. The emissions from the
natural gas-powered Central Power Plant
are far less significant than the carbon
released from DTE - whose energy pro-
duction still relies on coal, and the mix of
fuel used in its production is only 1 percent
renewable.
Last year, the University spent $64 mil-
lion on energy from DTE. While this may
seem excessive, the University cannot sub-
stanially cut down that load. As a large
research-oriented institution, it needs
energy to power its many labs, classrooms
and other campus facilities. However, the
University could further pressure'DTE into
providing a larger percentage of its elec-
tricity from renewable resources. As one
of DTE's largest customers, it is in a unique
position to use its clout to move DTE toward
more renewable energy sources.
So far, the University has shown an admi-
rable commitmenttoissuesofenvironmen-
tal sustainability. It has the responsibility
and a unique capacity through its size and
resources to bring about changes in both
perceptions about renewable energy and
its practical level of consumption. The ini-
tiative needs to come from all sides.

0

A trifling media

EDITORIAL BOARD MEMBERS:
Emad Ansari, Anindya Bhadra, Kevin Bunkley, Ben Caleca, Satyajeet Deshmukh,
Milly Dick, Mike Eber, Gary Graca, Emmarie Huetteman, Theresa Kennelly,
Emily Michels, Arikia Millikan, Kate Peabody, Robert Soave, Neil Tambe, Matt Trecha,
Kate Truesdell, Radhika Upadhyaya, Rachel Van Gilder, Rachel Wagner, Patrick Zabawa.
SEND LETTERS TO: TOTHEDAILY@UMICH.EDU

Peace Corps still improves
lives ofpeople worldwide
TO THE DAILY:
I read with concern the Daily's article
Tuesday, in which some students expressed
doubt about the impact of the Peace Corps
(University ranks fifth in grads joining Peace
Corps, 01/29/2008). My wife and I were Peace
Corps Volunteers in India in the 1960s. Since
becoming Peace Corps director, I have seen
volunteers in action in more than 30 coun-
tries-and extensively in sub-Saharan Africa.
I disagree with the negative themes in the
article and the notion that the Peace Corps is
"patronizing the people of developing coun-
tries," as LSA senior Claudia Williams said.
Through strong relationships with countries
specifically requesting our programs, Peace
Corps volunteers continue to make a differ-
ence around the world and improve the lives
of others.
The Peace Corps' success is more than
anecdotal. Ninety-one percent of volunteers
feel integrated into their communities. We
also have created evaluation plans to better
quantify the volunteers' impact.
The quality of the volunteer experience
has not changed and neither has the quality
of the volunteers who serve. The Peace Corps
recruits the best and brightest. Only one out
of every three applicants becomes a volunteer.
These volunteers provide trained skills at the
grassroots level and promote a better cultural
understanding of America. Government offi-
cials throughout the world praise the work
of volunteers and consistently request more
volunteers.
I am so proud to have been a Peace Corps
volunteer, and we can all be proud of the ded-
ication and quality of the volunteers serving

today. I encourage Americans of all ages and
backgrounds to consider Peace Corps service.
As John F. Kennedy said: "there can be no
source of pride more real than to be a member
of the Peace Corps."
Ronald Tschetter
The letter writer is the director of the Peace Corps
The unemphasized benefits
of intercultural dating
TO THE DAILY:
As a woman in a happy interracial and
interreligious marriage, I was excited to see
Wednesday's Statement cover story about
dating between people of different religious,
racial and ethnic backgrounds (Like my
parents before me, 01/30/2008). I expected
the article (foolishly, perhaps) to touch on
inter-cultural relationships. I can't begin to
express how disappointed I was to see that
the majority of the article was about reasons
why people don't want to date outside their
own racial, ethnic and religious groups and
the prejudice experienced by people in inter-
racial relationships.
Why so little coverage of people in happy
interracial relationships? What about how
much being with someone from a different
cultural background can enrich your life and
widen your horizons? What about how much
you learn from each other? What about the
plain and simple fact that if the person who
makes you happiest in the world comes from
a different racial, ethnic or religious back-
ground, then none of the other barriers will
matter?
Elizabeth Rausch-Phung
School of Public Health

y favorite U.S. president, Bill
Clinton, cheated on his wife
and lied. My hometown's
mayor, Kwame Kil-
patrick, cheated on
his wife and lied.All
mybestfriendshave,
or have had, a boy-
friend who cheated
on them and lied.
My gay male friends
had boyfriends who
have cheated on SHAKIRA
them andlied. Callit
bitter black woman SMILER
syndrome, but I am -
convinced that all
men are trifling regardless of race, age,
religion, income, education, political
affiliation or sexual orientation.
What is the source of this phenome-
non? Maybe I missed the memo about
the annual International Association
of Lying-Ass Men Convention. Or
maybe there's a secret serum injected
into baby boys called Triflingosterone.
Regardless, there seems to be a pat-
tern of two-timing behavior in men
that baffles women around the world.
OK, enough of my man-bashing
- for now. Besides, they can't help it
anyway. Everyday, men are bombard-
ed with dozens of articles and adver-
tisements in men's magazines that not
only tell them it's commendable to be
a player, but also give them a playbook
for how to do it.
Both my brother and I are maga-
zine junkies. He has subscriptions to
men's magazines like Maxim, Sports
Illustrated and Men's Health. I'm a
fan of Essence, Ebony and Cosmo-
politan. Each month, there are new
tips in my magazines on how to spice
up your sex life, deal with your man's
annoying habits or meet "good, single
brothas." Flip the page, and there is
a countdown of the top-ten sexiest
pieces of lingerie to drive your man
wild. Even more annoying are the
gift suggestions: $75 engraved pock-
etknives and diamond-encrusted
Movado watches.
If I didn't know any better, by the
time I got to the last page in Cosmo
I would want to sprint into Victoria's
Secret, run over to Studio 4 Night-
club, grab the next guy I saw, buy him
diamond cufflinks and cater to his
every need. Fortunately, I wasn't born
yesterday.
The concept of dating and rela-
tionships takes a full 180-degree
turn in men's magazines. After flip-
ping through 76 pages of car adver-
tisements and protruding booties in
my brother's March 2007 edition of
Maxim magazine, I finally found an
article called "Seduce and Destroy."
This repugnant man's guide to casual
office sex gave men techniques on
what game works best on what kind of
female employee. It evenwent as far as
labeling the different types of women
in the work office as "the agingexecu-
tive" "the prudish H.R. dame," "the

puppyish intern," "the girl next cubi-
cle" and "the siren secretary."
Why is the middle-aged, career-
oriented, independent woman who
has worked her way to the top con-
sidered an aging executive? Do men
get together at urinals and laugh at
the enthusiastic undergraduates who
are "puppyish interns" and "cute
and eager to please"? Is "seduce and
destroy" really the main objective of
corporations? No wonder most women
are still staring at the glass ceiling.
There was another article in the
issue that "decoded the science of
casual sex" so that "the only strings
attached in your next one-nighter will
run from your wrists to the bedposts."
In Essence, erotic novelist Zane also
suggests trying out kinky new sex
techniques that might involve strings
and bedposts. But even then, women
are always restricted to trying it with
"their man" and their man only, not
Joe the pizza delivery guy.
What pissed me off the most is
how Maxim magazine's gift of the
month was a damn pair of knee socks.
I'm supposed to buy a guy a Movado
watch, and he has the audacity to give
me knee socks? I don't think so.
Maybe this is some kind of sublimi-
nal warning to urge men to be cau-
tious of money-hungry, gold-digging
women waiting to suck the life from
their bank accounts like leeches. If
this were the case, I'd probably want
to put an electric fence and guard dog
around my wallet too. But come on,
after dealing with angry e-mails from

mysterious girlfriends, bricks thrown
through by neglected baby's mamas
car windows and frequent-buyer cou-
pons for Valtrex, women deserve a
little more than a $5 pair of socks.
Granted, both parties are guilty
of being manipulative, but the dou-
ble standard is that men are publicly
encouraged to act that way. Women
are criticized for it. Media sources
constantly force women to believe that
they have to be attractive, sexually
fulfilling, supportive, understanding,
motivating and, above all things, loyal
in relationships. Meanwhile, accord-
ing to Maxim, the only concerns men
How men learn
their lying and
cheating ways
should have are how to get women in
bed and how to prevent the relation-
ship from going any further.
I guess this information was dis-
persed during one of the workshops at
the top-secret International Associa-
tion of Lying-Ass Men Convention. I
wonder if I can convince Kwame Kil-
patrick to text message me a copy of
his notes?
Shakira Smiler can be reached
at stsmiler@umich.edu.

0

0

JASON MAHAKIAN
illsI tAt C 14 Q A1\
- -
iv\
a. '

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Vj be less than 300 words and must include the writer's ful name and
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We do not print anonymous letters. Send letters to tothedoily@umich.

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