4A - Wednesday, April 15, 2009
The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com
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GARY GRACA ROBERT SOAVE COURTNEY RATKOWIAK
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 ofttheir authors.
Show us the money
MSA must make funding decisions more transparent
Jn the most recent Michigan Student Assembly elections,
the student body narrowly elected the Michigan Vision
Party presidential candidates to run the assembly. Or at
least that's what roughly 13 percent of students who actually
voted did. But despite low turnout, MSA still has a responsibil-
ity to the entire student body and the Michigan Vision party
needs to act quickly to implement some long-overdue changes.
With a new party in charge, it's finally time for MSA to fix its
transparency issues. The assembly should start by making sure
that the rationale behind how funding is allocated to student
groups is better understood - and such information should be
readily available to students on MSA's website.
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Life, death and lists
MSA managed to give out more money
to student groups this year than in pre-
vious years. In difficult economic times
- when financial backers may be willing
to spend less on student groups - MSA's
role in allocating funds to these groups is
more important than ever. And the pro-
cess to apply for funding from MSA was
made easier in response to complaints that
the previous system was too complicated.
Initiated at the beginning of last semester,
the new procedure for requesting funding
from MSA's Budget Priorities and Commu-
nity Service Committees requires students
to fill out only one form.
Though the process for receiving fund-
ing is simpler, the reasons for why some
funding decisions are made can still be
mysterious. This can be an issue for newer
groups who may not have the institutional
knowledge that comes with applying for
funding several times. To assure that stu-
dent groups aren't surprised and confused
by funding decisions, MSA needs to make
sure an explanation of the decision-making
process is readily available to all students.
With a better understanding of this, stu-
dents won't have to wonder how funding
decisions are made.
Being clearer about funding decisions
is one way that MSA can start solving its
transparency issues. But the assembly
has struggled for years to keep students
informed about what it's doing, and there
are plenty of other things the assembly
needs to fix. While the new administration
has displayed a willingness to combat this
problem, more can be done.
A glaring example is the recent disclo-
sure of MSA's attendance record. On aver-
age, 30 percent of MSA representatives
were absent at each meeting last semes-
ter. This number of absences certainly
impacted the assembly's ability to govern
effectively and students should have been
aware before heading to the polls. For the
sake of accountability, students need to
know which of their representatives are
showing up to meetings.
A good place to list such information
would be MSA's website. The website
should ideally be MSA's best method of
informing students about its decisions
Sadly, it has been neglected by the assem-
bly for years. The Michigan Vision Party
must make good on its campaign promise
to present students with a better one so
that students can effectively check up on
While progress is being made on issues
like simplifying the funding process, MSA
still has a long road ahead of it.
T here comes a time in people's
lives when they reflect on
lost opportunities, forgotten
childhood dreams and what truly
makes them happy.
Most die before
As the school
are on the rise.
Life choices are
being called intoW
question. Intended WILL
majors are fall- GRUNDLER
ing under intense
scrutiny. All over
are asking themselves if they actu-
ally want to graduate with a degree in
Choral Music Education.
Youmightfeel alittle overwhelmed.
Maybe you don't even have a major
in mind. Maybe that "Undecided"
T-shirt you bought as a joke to make
your parents laugh is still in your
closet, only now they're not laughing
anymore. But your friends are. Only
they're not your friends - they're
weird voices inside your head.
I might be of help. The answer -
like most answers - lies in list mak-
ing. List making is a process that
condenses incredibly complex issues
into simple, manageable steps. The
entire American way of life - the
Declaration of Independence, weight
loss, etc. - relies on making lists with
specific resolutions in mind.
If you're worried about choos-
ing the wrong career and leading an
existence of utter- boredom, it might
be beneficial to make a "life list" of
all the amazing goals you would like
to accomplish before you die and are
forgotten about forever. A good plan
is to start with modest goals and then
increase in complexity, assuming
future technology improves.
Here is a brief example of one of my
lists to get your ideas going:
1. Buy more toothpaste (with fluo-
2. Box out weird guy with beard
during next pick-up game. He is short
3. Grow beard.
4. Start to read the news and hold
S. Join the Squirrel Club.
It's always a good idea to have your
first few goals be relatively frivolous
and/or unambitious. Thus, if you
don't accomplish them you'll know
you're not really cut out for this sort
of thing. Subsequent goals should
start to become more difficult.
6. Pass Calculus II at a community
7. Run for president of the Squirrel
8. Print lots of little colored pieces
of paper with nothing on them and
pass them out on the Diag. See if any-
one notices the difference.
9. Abolish something.
10. Teach my friend from Ohio how
to operate indoor plumbing.*
*I recommend placing a star by any
goal that you feel is especially chal-
lenging. After ten or so goals, you
have to start predicting what your
life will be like in the future so you
can continue to be spontaneous. Odds
are after ten goals and about ten years
you'll be stuck in a boring job, so mix
it up a little. To continue...
11. Sell the house, car and kids and
get a boat! Sail the world.
12. Do not sail the world near
13. Better just get a personalized
license plate instead.
14. Start drinking wine. Learn how
to swish it around and smell it with-
out looking silly.
15. Run for the president of my
kids' school board, then dismantle
it because school boards are plain
There's always the
Squirrel Club. You
could be president.
At this point in your life list, any-
where from fifteento thirtyyears may
have passed. Amazing, I know! Under
no circumstances are you required to
continue - you may find that fifteen to
twenty goals is enough. However, by
the period 2025 to 2040, impressive
technology may emerge. Feel free to
get creative. Here are my ideas:
16. Own some sort of futuristic
device that includes a phone, camera,
e-mail, calculator and girlfriend.
17. Clone it.
18. Contact extraterrestrial civili-
zations to see if they have any extra
oil to spare.
My list goes on, but the general
idea should be apparent by now. It's
important to remind yourself of what
matters - to think critically about
your goals before it's too late, even
if you are majoring in Ceramics. So
make your list. And good luck.
- Will Grundler can be reached
The Daily is looking for a diverse group of strong, informed writers
with an interest in campus issues to become editorial board members
in the spring and summer semesters.
E-MAIL RACHEL VAN GILDER AT RACHELVG@UMICH.EDU
FOR MORE INFORMATION.
SEND LETTERS TO: TOTHEDAILY@UMICH.EDU
Journalists should not spin
stories forpolitical agendas
report, which clai
killed a 12-year-ol
hamud al-Dura. I
TO THE DAILY: light that the jour
There is a dangerous myth concerning the had no proof that
American media that is circulating not only on published his deat
our campus here in Ann Arbor but in various While this exat
locations around the country. It is our collective importantto cons
civic responsibility to be aware of this myth and it means to publ
to work to dispel it in The Michigan Daily and context and whatl
elsewhere. It has become an increasingly popu- to be a journalist i
lar activity for irresponsible journalists to accuse
the American media of lies and bias. While I am Yoni Labow
an ardent supporter of the freedom of speech LSA junior
and an unregulated press, I also understand
that it is unfair for the Ann Arbor community to
be exposed to such accusations while they are Kakwan's
lacking any coherent and logical supportive evi-
It is the journalist's obligation to support his ora
her accusations and claims with evidence and a
proper context. For example, Ibrahim Kakwan's TO THE DAILY:
recent column in the Daily claims that it was a Ibrahim Kakw
human rights violation for the United States to labor betrays a lac
send weapons to Israel prior to its incursion into protect children
Gaza and that it is inconceivable to him that this trade' tragedy, 03/
occurrence didn't receive much attention from ognizes that it's t
the American media (Middle East misinforma- is the answer.
tion, 04/09/2009). He and we oug]
The reason why this accusation is a far cry children out of ha
from responsible journalism is because the writ- ents in vulnerable
er purposefully avoids the situation's context in he assumes are u
order to achieve his agenda. For example, had problem with any
the writer mentioned that Israel was a victim column, he should
of daily rocket fire prior to the incursion during us who don't like i
an agreed cease-fire with Hamas it is likely his But if he finds'
readers would understand why such a shipment tionable, let him
of arms is neither an act of human rights abuse spending future c
nor something that is newsworthy. practice wherevet
Perhaps Kakwan thinks American journal- idea or two in the
ists should learn from their comrades at the
French 2 news organization, which epitomizes Michael Madill
irresponsible reporting. In November 2004, this Alum
exposed for publishing a false
med the Israeli Defense Forces
d Palestinian boy named Muh-
In actuality, evidence came to
rnalists in charge of the story
the boy was harmed, but still
mple is a very extreme one, it is
ider when we think about what
ish accusations without their
kind of responsibility it entails
n the U.S.
an's rationalization for child
:k of imagination about how to
and ameliorate poverty ('Fair
'26/2009). Surely Kakwan ret-
he money and not the job that
ht to be fighting harder to keep
rm's way by ensuring that par-
societies don't face the choices
navoidable. If he sees no real
of the abuses he catalogs in his
d get out of the way so those of
t won't step on him.
exploitation of children objec-
contribute to the solution by
olumn inches condemning the
r it is found and offering up an
way of progress.
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EMMA LIST I 1EP1 iNT
Preparing middle schoolers for college
$22,729.00. This should be a number familiar to stu-
dents across campus as we roll steadily through the sec-
ond semester. This particular number is the 2008-2009
estimated cost of tuition for in-state first and second year
students at the University. It's a dauntingly high number
for those struggling to pay for both credit hours and a
roof over their heads. Unfortunately, it's not an uncom-
mon circumstance as colleges and universities across
the country continue to raise the numbers on their price
As anyone who needs to keep textbook costs and
electricity bills on their mental list would know, a col-
lege degree in today's world is becoming an increasingly
difficult undertaking for the average middle-class stu-
dent. Many students need to worry about issues other
than classes. I know that I am among the lucky students
attending the University with a relatively stable financial
situation at home, but regrettably, this isn't true for far
too many other prospective and current college students.
The prospect of earning a University degree is even more
disheartening if feels out of reach at an early age.
Rewind to your middle school days. If you were any-
thing like me (and probably plenty of others who won't
admit it), you were thinking about prospective colleges
five or six years ahead of time. In retrospect, what felt
like an extra load of stress to place on my 13-year-old
shoulders now seems more like a luxury. I had assumed
that college was in my future. It was an unquestioned
undercurrent that affected every aspect of my academic
life. Now, years later, I realize that this is far from the
experience that many kids had growing up.
Without the assurance of further education waiting
in the future, it's easy for young minds to lose focus on
school even if there may have been initial enthusiasm. At
the University, a branch of the organization InnoWorks,
of which I am a member, is one group on campus dedicat-
ed to sparking an interest for the sciences in financially
disadvantaged middle school students.
According to Anudeep Mukkamala, Executive Direc-
tor of the University's InnoWorks chapter, InnoWorks
strives to increase middle school students' interest in
attending college by making the opportunities provided
by the University more accessible. InnoWorks tries to
connect middle school students with University experi-
ences by organizing visits to facilities like the Medical
School and meetings with University faculty. The goal is
to prompt middle school students to consider careers in
math, science and engineering.
InnoWorks's immediate goal is to start current middle
school students down the path of scientific discovery,
connecting them with opportunities available only at a
major research university like the University of Michigan.
In the long run, InnoWorks will become more involved
in the process of making higher education a reality,
especially for socioeconomically disadvantaged stu-
We've all jumped through the hoops and hurdles to
get here, with or without help. As obtaining an education
from a college or university increasingly becomes a lux-
ury of the upper class, keep an eye out for InnoWorks as
this summer approaches, and with it, the organization's
second annual science camp.
Emma List is anS LSA sophomore.
EDITORIAL BOARD MEMBERS:
Nina Amilineni, Emad Ansari, Emily Barton, Elise Baun, Harun Buljina, Ben Caleca,
Satyajeet Deshmukh, Brian Flaherty, Emmarie Huetteman, Emma Jeszke,
Sutha K Kanagasingam, Shannon Kellman, Jeremy Levy, Erika Mayer, Edward McPhee,
Matthew Shutler, Neil Tambe, Radhika Upadhyaya, Rachel Van Gilder, Laura Veith