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February 13, 2009 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2009-02-13

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4 - Friday, February 13, 2009

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Edited and managed by students at
the University of Michigan since 1890.
420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109


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.
Michigan's promise
New promise zones are good for students and the economy
f the CTools video featuring University Provost Teresa Sulli-
van, the barrage of e-mails from the office of Financial Aid and
the exorbitant bills students pay each semester have yet to sink
in, here's a clue: tuition is absurdly expensive. And across the state,
students who can't afford to pay up have no choice but to forgo a col-
lege education. But the new Michigan Promise Zone Act that was
recently signed into law could ease the burden of higher education
costs to these students. For the act to be effective, though, private
donors must invest in the state's future by helping to pay for these
students to go to college.

On Jan. 13, Gov. Jennifer Granholm
signed the Michigan Promise Zone Act,
which will create zones in which scholar-
ships are provided for students in low-in-
come areas. The promise zones are based
upon the highly successful Kalamazoo
Promise program, which fully covers
tuition to graduates of Kalamazoo Public
Schools who go on to attend in-state public
universities. Since the Kalamazoo Prom-
ise began two years ago, the city has seen
higher graduation rates and an increase in
enrollment. Enrollment and retention rates
for Michigan State University and the Uni-
versity of Michigan have also improved.
The success of the Kalamazoo effort
is encouraging and is more than enough
evidence to justify the state's expansion
of the program. Right now, there are 125
communities in Michigan with poverty
levels that qualify them to become promise
zones. Promise zone status will be granted
on a first-come, first-serve basis for com-
munities that prove they have enough pri-
vate funds to provide scholarships for two
years. After that, the state will match the
funding. Both Muskegon and Pontiac are
already working to raise the money.
The winners here, of course, are the stu-
dents who get the chance to go to college.
The communities eligible to become promise
zones are full of students whose only obsta-

cle to a college education is the bill. Promise
zones will make this sad reality a thing of the
past for many Michigan residents. _
And while students will get free college
out of the deal, the state will see its fair
share of benefits, too. The Michigan Prom-
ise Zone Act will boost the enrollment at in-
state public universities, which will affect
college rankings and likely keep more col-
lege graduates working in Michigan. High-
er enrollment and graduation rates will
lead to economic stability. Churning out
more college-educated workers is the only
way to shift the state's economy away from
But if Michigan residents want to help
the state, they must do their part to help
make the promise zones a reality. Private
investors should be motivated to donate to
these scholarships until the state matches
the funding, since the fates of private busi-
nesses are tied to the fate of Michigan's
economy. When private businesses and
donors invest in programs that help Michi-
gan diversify its economy, they are helping
themselves in the long run. A better-edu-
cated workforce means more successful
And though the zones come too late to help
students already enrolled at universities,
this law might even make it so that Sullivan
doesn't have to appear on CTools anymore.

Democrats have been making up for
lost time with a government spending spree
on the taxpayer credit card."
- Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell (R - KY), criticizing the Democrats for their
spending in the recent stimulus package, as reported yesterday by The New York Times.
~S ,\0to a
Is 1,000 too many?
The fact that there are over together. Because resources are limit- a community. Having a social network
1,000 student organizations ed and the features of the studentsrga- keeps people from falling through
on campus is continuously nization system don't encourage broad the cracks at school and provides an
reiterated to pocen- collaboration, there's little reason to invaluable opportunity for students to
tial Wolverines. It's work together aside from increasing undergo social, professional or spirito-
a part of campus funding or attendance. The need to be al development. In addition, some sto-
admissions lore, relevant drives groups away from each dents probably need or prefer smaller,
A, quick check of other in the organizational landscape. more intimate communities.
the Maize Pages If an organization isn't serving a par- ________
reveals the latest ticular need, it's easier to create a new
count of registered one rather than combine efforts.Th obe
groups. Any stu- This is fine, of course, because T eprobe
dent can join any many causes ranging from human wit ii.
of the hundreds of NEIL rights no professional development W~n1m less
groupstcheywannor TAMBE are represented. But when campus- std n
even start a brand- _ _ __ wide movements would be helpful or clubst c .
new one. But this necessary--like efforts to lowerrising _________
could be one of the tuition costs, increase access to sto-
reasons for some of the disappointing dent healthcare, for example - those Maybe I'm misguided. Maybe
features of student life, like competi- movements struggle. The more groups the churn of student organizations
tion for resources, fragmentation and there are, the harder it is to organize is such a minor concern that it's not
self-segregation. because there are, varying opinions even worth talking about because a
As the number of student orga- and everyone is too busy to participate large menu of choices is worthwhile in
nizations grows, one key resource in something larger. spite of the costs. Maybe the ability to
doesn't grow very much - people. Perhaps the fact that campus rum- organize across student organizanions
The amount of undergraduates at the munities often stay insulated from is irrelevant because existing mecha-
University has continued to hover other established communities is also nismsr for institutional change at the
near 26,000 as more student organi- due to the vast student organization University are sufficient.
zations have emerged. Consequently, landscape. After all, there's not much Perhaps, however, by acknowledg-
a growing number of groups compete reasontoljoin a group that stretches an log the problems that come with so
no recruit for a relatively fixed amount individual's boundaries if a more com- many groups, we can do better. We
of people. Because the resources at the fortable student group already exists mighteach ourselves to manage more
University are constant - and unless or can be created easily. complex projects that target broader
admissions skyrocket or additional Maybe it doesn't matter so much if issues, even though incentives to do
funds are allocated to student life ini- an Actuarial Mathematics Club and so are lacking. After some thought-
tiatives - there is a certain capacity of the March of Dimes chapter don't ful deliberation, it might make sense
student organizations that can be sup- interact. But when segregation occurs to consolidate organizations or ini-
ported at Michigan. I hope we haven't on lines of race, class, sexual orien- tiatives. In any case, if the need for a
exceeded it. tation or other social identities, our campus-wide or nationwide move-
Another result is that the pumped- campus only contributes to the mis- ment ever arises, I hope student orga-
up student organization landscape understanding between communities nizations will overcome the structural
contributes to a sense of fragments- and the conflict that brews at the soci- limitations posed by the student orga-
tionat our campus. In a system where etal level between interest groups on nizationsystemand transformts over-
students choose the type and amount opposing sides of those boundaries, come these challenges.
of activities in which they want to Of course, there is a legitimate rca-
involve themselves, there's not much son to have hundreds of student orga- - Neil Tambts can he reached
reason for organizations to work nizations: that way, everyone can find at ntambegsmichedu.







Readers are encouraged to submit letters to the editor. Letters should be less than 300
words and must include the writer's full name and University affiliation. Letters are edited
for style, length, clarity and accuracy. All submissions become property of the Daily.
We do not print anonymous letters.
Send letters to tothedoily@umich.edu.


Go on a diet: eat o-cal

LSA-SG President's actions
violate organization bylaws
In response to LSA Student Government
President Leslie Zaikis' decision that party
affiliations were no longer going to be part of
LSA Student Government elections (LSA Stu-
dent Government to drop party labelsfrom ballot,
2/11/2009), the actions of LSA-SG's president
and some of the executive officers are in viola-
tion of the LSA-SG's bylaws and of students'
rights, which those bylaws are intended to pro'-
tect. As a former president of LSA-SG, I would
like to set up some facts for those on campus
who are interested in running in the LSA-SG
election, an opportunity that I would encourage
any interested student to explore.
First, it is a violation of the LSA-SG bylaws to
notallowstudentstocometogether and formpar-
ties to run in elections and have their party name
appear on the election ballot. While a single-
party system is by no means an appropriate way
to handle government elections, banning parties
all together is rather rash and inappropriate. Stu-.
dents who do not have a widespread popularity
base simply cannot win without a party system,
regardless of how qualified they may be.
Furthermore, this solution to the one-par-
ty system problem will only make problems
worse in that only the students who are "well-
connected" or "popular" will continue to win
student government elections because they
will not have the additional finances, time,
and energy that comes with being a member
of a political party. Due to its other important
obligations, LSA-SG is not capable of reaching
out to everyone on campus. This is where par-
ties come into play. Parties have the time and
energy to seek out new and interested students
from a variety of backgrounds to bring more
diversity of perspective and thought to LSA's

student government.
I. strongly encourage all members of govern-
ment, and even all LSA students, to become edu-
cated on their rights to run in an election and
exercise them accordingly.
Keith Reisinger
The letter writer is an LSA Senior and the former
president ofLSA-SG.
Daily's concerns aboutPh.D.
policy change are unjustified
There are many questions that still need to be
resolved about the current proposal for continu-
ous enrollment thathas been passed by the Rack-
ham Executive Board, but the issue raised in your
editorial (Rackham's mistake, 02/12/2009) is not
one of them.
Class sizes will not increase by requiring con-
tinuous enrollment. The people who are affected
by this measure are overwhelmingly Ph.D. candi-
dates who are not taking classes. As a Rackham
professor, I meet with my Ph.D. students wheth-
er they are enrolled or not, so this will not really
mean any difference in my workload.
The proposal aims to ensure that departments
have a financial incentive to ensure that students
receivethe proper attention from faculty mentors
and that they have an active University affiliation
upon which to draw if they need to. However, the
questions the GEO raises in Thursday's news arti-
cle (Ph.D.s in uproar over new policy, 2/12/2009)
are pertinent, especially in areas where the
demands of cutting-edge research have tended to
mean that itntakes longer to graduate.
David Potter
The letter writer is chair of the Senate Advisory
Committeeon UniversityAffairs andaProfessorof
Greek and Latin.

As the economic crisis contin-
ues, our nation is struggling
to turn around its money,
fate and fortune.
Proceeding hand- K
in-hand with our
economic restruc-
turing has been the
call to "Buy Ameri-
can" and even to
mandate it as a part
of the economic
stimulus plan.
The call to buy MEG
American makes YOUNG
some people anx-
ious, both the
free-trade crowd
here and our foreign suppliers. This
week's cover of The Economist maga-
zine melodramatically expressed
those fears. Trade protectionism is
personified as a reanimated corpse
with a horror flick title across the top
that reads, "The Return of Economic
Despite the stir, buying American
holds a lot of power right now. And
not just on the national level: Gover-
nor Jennifer Granholm's latest State
of the State address featured Michi-
*gan labor as an essential part of the
state's plan. According to Granholm,
"instead of spending nearly $2 billion
a year importing coal or natural gas
from other states, we'll be spending
our energy dollars on Michigan wind
turbines, Michigan solar panels,
Michigan energy-efficiency devic-
es, all designed, manufactured and
installed by... Michigan workers."
We need to make a similar effort
to buy American on a local level.
Regardless of our differences when
it comes to international trade policy,
we can agree on what we want our
city's economy to look like.
All ofus benefit from the smallbusi-
nesses that stitch together Ann Arbor's
economy. Because of the little restau-
rants and bookstores that make this

place so unique, the University is able
to attract some of the most progressive
minds in the world. This is a symbiotic,
even chicken-and-egg relationship; it's
tough to say which boomed first. Ann
Arbor and the University wouldn't be
one withoutthe other.
When I read in the Ann Arbor
News that Shaman Drum bookstore
was looking for help from an inves-
tor, it hit me like a call to arms. More
students are buying their textbooks
online to save money - and in these
hard times, that is completely under-
standable. Shaman Drum owner Karl
Pohrt took pre-emptive measures to
prepare for the blow. He applied Sha-
man Drum for nonprofit status in an
attempt to embrace our community
and Shaman Drum's role in it. The
Internal Revenue Service returned
his request with a letter in November
sayiiigthat they're too swamped with
requests to review it for some time. In
the meantime, Shaman Drum needs
our support.
Students cannot become investors
in our local icons, but our actions en
masse are just as influential. We truly
are voting with our dollars when we
spend them. In this vein, I want to write
a campaign ad for our community.
Shaman Drum has books you'll
never find in a chain store because
Pohrt and his staff cater to our com-
munity. To really look at the shelves
is to take the city's pulse. They'll even
have the esoteric book your profes-
sor suggested you read. But one thing
matters most of all. The place has the
soul of a poet and a scholar. Besides,
it brings literary figures in to speak,
many of whom are recently gradu-
ated authors in need of a launching
point to "the real world."
When I heard that Shaman Drum
might be having tough times, the first
thing I did was pick up some books
there. It's an empty gesture, unless
you do it too. Times are hard for
everyone right now and we have to

stick together.
But we're not just talking about
bookstores here. When you go out to
eat, forget the sandwich chains that
have elbowed their way onto State
Street (aren't as affected franchises if
the rent is too high). Go say hi to Sava
or Silvioinstead.
Want to help
the economy?



Buy American.
Forget seeing "My Bloody Valen-
tine" in 3D. Check out the Michigan
or State Theater instead - your date
might even mistake you for "cool." In
all seriousness: when you choose to
buy local, your lifestyle will change
for the better.
You and the shopkeepers begin to
know each other. Those little conver-
sations you have, or even their nod of
recognition, can pick up your day and
Sure, we need our food to be cheap
if we're going to eat out at all. I'd just
like to let the .$5 sandwich crowd
know that they can get a pound of
Indian food at the same price. You
just have to know where to look. For
those in a hurry, snag a chicken sha-
warma pita.
Everything local has an unfair repu-
tation for being expensive. I work at
Caf6Ambrosia, and wehave the cheap-
est cup ofcoffeeinAnnArbor.Working
there only convinces me that people
like that local familiarity. Most of our
customers come in every day.
Give a little place a try that you
haven't been before. My next stop? The
Jamaican JerkPit on Thayer Street.
- Meg Young can be reached
at megyoung@umich.edu.

As the Michigan Student Assembly examines its future on campus,
the Daily would like students to voice their opinions on what should
be a part of its agenda.

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