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January 16, 2009 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 2009-01-16

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4 - Friday, January 16, 2009

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com 6

74L e fi

Edited and managed by students at
the University of Michigan since 1890.
420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
Unsigned editorials reflectthe official position of the Daily's editorial board. All other signed articles
and illustrations represent solely the views of their authors.
Crossing city boundaries
Pedestrian walkway is an unnecessary infringement
T he University seems to have grown concerned that its stu-
dents might be having trouble crossing the street. This is
demonstrated by a request that the University filed last
Sunday asking the city to vacate Monroe Street in order to allow
space for a pedestrian mall. The mall would connect the Law Quad
to its new extension across the street. While the University thinks
the added walking space is necessary, it has forgotten to take into
account the negative effects the proposed plan would have on the
University's increasingly strained relationship with the city. Caus-
ing further harm to this relationship is a bad idea, and at least for
the time being, the University should table this unnecessary plan.

Waterboarding is torture."
- Eric H. Holder Jr., Barack Obama's nominee for Attorney General, on the legal
status of waterboarding, as reported yesterday by the New York Times.

"ok it ,1hi

. Sprirsg.2


Rallying the B. S.E.'s

The proposed pedestrian mall would
complement the 100,000-square-foot
extension to the Law Quad. The addition,
which will replace the parking lot that now
faces Weill Hall across Monroe Street, will
be built along the same architectural style
as the Law Quad. In an effort to allow safer
access to the building 'and create "conti-
nuity" between the original complex and
the new building, the University hopes to
assume control of Monroe Street from the
city and convert it into a pedestrian walk-
way. But what the University doesn't seem
to realize is that the pedestrian mall will
also have other, more negative effects.
Relations between the University and
the city have sometimes been tense,
because the University, within its consti-
tutional autonomy, doesn't have to listen
much to the city. Most recently, the Uni-
versity failed to consult with the city as
closely as it should have as it prepares to
purchase the former Pfizer Inc. facility
near north campus. While this deal will fill
an empty property, the University won't
be paying property taxes, which will put
the city out a staggering $5.1 million in tax
revenue. In the wake of that financial blow,
it's especially important to show respect
for city property. The University's plans
for the pedestrian mall would require the
city to vacate Monroe Street, and while the
city has not yet reacted negatively, such
a demand could worsen a newly strained

Maintaining a strong relationship with
the city of Ann Arbor is essential for the
University. One of the reasons students
and faculty are attracted to this campus
is because it is integrated into a city that,
for the most part, maintains well-run ser-
vices, a respect for citizens' concerns and
an atmosphere unlike almost any other in
this state. That atmosphere can't be con-
tinued unless the University and the city
work together - even when the University
doesn't have to.
This is not an issue worth straining rela-
tions over. Turning Monroe Street into a
pedestrian mall isn't necessary for main-
taining walkability near the Law Quad.
It's hard to imagine that crossing Monroe
Street on foot is any more difficult than
crossing other roads on campus. A better
solution would be to put in a marked cross-
walk similar to the one that allows students
to cross State Street between Angell Hall
and the LSA Building. There is no need
to bar vehicles from Monroe Street when
a simple crosswalk would accomplish the
same task.
And aside from the fact that the Univer-
sity needs to stop bullying the city, it just
isn't that difficult to cross Monroe Street.
Law students may be caught up in briefs
and case studies, but they haven't forgot-
ten to look both ways before they barge
into oncoming traffic.

Engineers get a bad rap on cen-
tral campus. Some of us lib-
eral arts majors claim they're
overly arrogant,
while others might
mention a lack of
sociability or even
a disregard for con-
temporary style.
I'm just as guilty
of saying this as
of the accusations NEIL
may be deserved -T
an "L, S and Play" TAMBE
degree really isn't
that easy compared
to your engineering degree despite
what you may think - but I think
engineers are incredibly important
and catch more flak than they deserve.
I'm nearly convinced that if someone
saves the world during our lifetime, it
will be an engineer.
Global issues like climate change,
the spreading of disease, malnour-
ishment, healthcare and information
management are greatly impacted by
engineering and the sciences. Engi-
neers are making cars more efficient,
figuring out how to build bridges and
howto develop the next revolutionary
materials. Engineers make things like
space exploration, prosthetic limbs
and personal computing possible.
Engineering students - to say
nothing of the incredible research
that engineering faculty perform
- are doing ridiculously awesome
things on campus. They are build-
ing innovative solar and hybrid cars,
human-powered helicopters and con-
crete canoes.With the help of the Uni-
versity's Center for Entrepreneurship
and the student group MPowered
Entrepreneurship, engineering stu-
dents are forming teams with people

from other disciplines like Informa-
tion or Business to start new ventures
that may ultimately impact the state
of Michigan, the United States and
the world.
Social, political and management
problems like racism and terrorism
matter, too. But there's something
fundamental about problems that
engineers tackle because without
adequate food, water, shelter and
energy, it's game over for humanity.
Without the physical world around
us functioning properly, it seems
unlikely that social problems would
be our most pressing need. It's not a
stretch to use the expression "lights
out" if engineers fail to solve these
gripping problems.
The ability to profit from innovation
is obvious. But it's too narrow-minded
to think that profitability is the only
reason to develop new technologies.
Engineers have a civic duty to advance
the public good because some societal
problems certainly cannot be solved
without their attention.
But while they have the potential
to encourage great social change,
engineers may not be aware of their
responsibility to do so. And, if they
are, can they be expected to live up
to such an obligation? I've spoken
to more than a few engineers in the
past few weeks about the possibility
that they might save the world, and I
always get one of two responses. The
first is a wave of humility. Engineers
always point out that engineering
doesn't matter on its own. They seem
to be quite aware of the symbiotic
relationship that engineers need with
the rest of the professional world to
solve problems.
They mention that it takes politi-
cal support from the political types
and the inspiration to do good from

the social justice and environmental
types. Engineering students, as much
as they publicly snub their noses at
the students of liberal arts disciplines,
appreciate the contribution that an
English literature, anthropology or
economics major can make when
solving problems.
Will engineers
beableto save
the world?
The second response is a feeling of
uncertainty. Do engineers believe they
can save the world? I'm not so sure.
Some that I've gotten to know might
evenbereluctantto acceptthisrespon-
sibility. Speaking to a few engineers at
a luncheon last week, an engineer sit-
ting near me mentioned that it's diffi-
cult to maintain a worldly perspective
as an engineer because the disciplines
in engineering are distinct and well-
defined. But engineers, you have to
believe. So do the rest of us.
Whether or not engineers save the
world, I think the work that they do
is vital to our advancement as a soci-
ety. We need everything from cleaner 4
power to rehabilitative medicines and
super-nifty computers, and engineers
create those technologies. So even
though a diversity of knowledge and
training really helps in problem-solv-
ing, engineers have a special place
in my heart. If you see an engineer
today, I dare you to give them a high-
five. Rally the B.S.E's.
Neil Tanbe can be reached
at ntambe@umich.edu.


Daily ignores Gupta's many

Arder cite th
of aggression
that they qu
since it was
the Holocau:

TO THE DAILY: The question
The Daily's article on Sanjay Gupta's nomina- bombings an
tion for Surgeon General (Alum Gupta nominated egg question
for surgeon general post, 01/14/2009) leaves out Israel in 194
his considerable negative features. For exam- decide wheti
ple, Gupta has very little background in public down to ask
health, preventive medicine or administration. into Palestin
He has also openly opposed progressive health tion by Pales
reform, going so far as to cite false information Obviously
to denigrate single payer health care (e.g. in answer. In an
his error-laden attack on Michael Moore's film resulted intl
Sicko) and repeating the health insurance lobby's citizens, whi
distortions of single payer health care. Despite Hamas' hidi
mounting evidence to the contrary at the time, use of huma
he publicly downplayed concerns about the dan- the Palestini
gers of Vioxx, which killed thousands of people in Ann Arbo
and was removed from the market a year later by of blaming e
its manufacturer, Merck. solution. I ce
As a media figure, he has been"disturbingly and AMI wi
cozy with the pharmaceutical industry. He co- to achieve la
hosts Turner Private Networks' monthly show one-sided ar
"Accent Health," which airs in doctors' offices cause at all.
around the country as a major conduit for tar-'
geted ads from the drug companies. In the Jeff Simon
2008 election campaign, his reporting on John LSA senior
McCain's health proposals was misleading and
implicitly positive, giving undeserved credence Harsh
to McCain's claims that buying private health
insurance on the open market is a financially activist
viable option for most Americans.
Jamie Jee TO THE DAI
School ofPublic Health graduate student Patrick Z-
side of prog
In Gaza conflict, both sides demonstrate
truly going o

is as an example of Israel's "history
n and occupation", which suggests
estion Israel's very right to exist,
this migration of Jews to escape
st that resulted in Israel's founding.
n of why the rocket attacks, suicide
d incursions occur is a chicken-or-
that dates back to the founding of
48 - and perhaps before. Thus to
her Israel or Hamas is justified boils
ing whether the migration of Jews
ne in 1948, or the subsequent reac-
tinians, is justified.
, the question of peace is difficult to
ny case, Israel's military actions have
he death and suffering of many Gaza
ch mustbe seen as unacceptable. Yet,
ng of weapons in civilian buildings,
n shields and failure to provide for
an people is also unacceptable. We
or and those overseas must, instead
ach other, try to work out a detailed
rtainly hope that groups like SAFE
ll spend more time discussing "how
sting peace" than presenting these
guments which do not further the

From A2 to NYC

n (

miss the point ofpeace

Yes, progress
guration tick
is a lot moret

TO THE DAILY: trying to go to W
In the recent viewpoints regarding the conflict The College D
in Gaza, the Daily asked pro-Israel writers Rachel activists. We are
Goldstein and Daniel Neumann (Israel's defensive health care, the
mission, 01/15/2009) and pro-Palestinian writ- and prison refor
ers Andrew Dalack and Bre Arder (An appealfor tice Committee
human rights, 01/15/2009) to answer three ques, paign to push G
tions: "What is the nature of the conflict, what reforms in our p
can be done to stop the fighting in Gaza and how ommended by t
can both sides achieve lasting peace?" Instead of Issue-specific ca
answering the most important question - that of necessary to wor
achieving peace - both sides did the usual finger- always out in th
pointing. do not always in'
Dalack and Arder attempted to answer the street. This does
question of achieving a lasting peace, but to no It just means our
avail. Instead, they suggested that the root of adapting to thatc
the problem is Israel's "disproportionate and...
savage forms of punishment" which "compel" Justin Schon
Hamas to fire rockets into Israel. Dalack and LSA Sophomore

riticism of liberal
s unfounded
wa's criticism of apathy on the
ive activists is unfounded and
ack of understanding of what is
Hope not in Obama, 01/14/2008).
activists are trying to get inau-
Who wouldn't? However, there
progressives are doing than just
emocrats includes many of these
actively working on issues from
environment, women's issues
m. For example, the Social Jus-
is working on a postcard cam-
overnor Granholm to fight for
orison system that have been rec-
the Department of Corrections.
mpaigns like these are what are
k on right now, and they are not
e open. Unlike a campaign, they
volve people waving signs in the
not mean we are any less active.
r work has changed, and we are

Some people come-into college
with a vision. They follow it all
the way to Paris or Hong Kong.
The rest of us grap-
ple for a little while.
Over break, I real-
ized that it wasn't'
so hard to figure =
out where I wanted
to be in five years.
The hard part was
giving myself per-
mission to chase
all of the hopes I've MEG
had for so long. YOUNG
I want to live in
New York. It's cli-
che, but in a way
that seems like a euphemism for "that
city will eat you alive."
No, I didn't invent the genre: pin-
ing-for-the-city stories have been
told before. Hell, with 95 percent of
the world's population on 10 percent
of its land, nearly all of us have a story
like that. But at their core, those sto-
ries are all about beating the odds.
They're about getting the 'big break'
or surviving on a shoestring. It led me
to wonder if people from small cities
like Ann Arbor have what it takes.
Growing up here, I thought I'd
turned out a little green. Ann Arbor
is a poor boot camp for big city living.
It's the kind of place where you can
get your wallet returned to you. You
can treat bookstores and coffee shops
like your own living room. No one
will wake you if you fall asleep on a
couch. Strangers almost always wel-
come spontaneous conversation. It's
a friendly old college town we live in.
But in other ways, this Michigan
town doesgive you an accurate

taste of th'e big-city. To start with, the
rent here is ridiculously expensive.
We have good food - you can find
great Thai, Indian, Korean, Jamaican
and Middle Eastern food on the cheap.
There's a bit of nightlife and too much
shopping. The art, films and music on
the weekends are just enough. But I
wanted to get to the big leagues.
I realized that there was a differ-
ence between laying plans and lying
to myself. I needed to know howI felt
in the thick of it. After New Years, I
flew to New York - mostly to see how
it fit and how adequately Ann Arbor
had prepared me.
It happened in the East Village.
Walking out of a dizzying bookshop
and into the street, I passed the
crowded cafes. Forty-second Street
looked to me like a moonscape, like I
didn'tbelong there. I opened the door
to a 24-hour Ukrainian restaurant,
and I had to hurry to grab a bar stool.
And maybe it was this brief reminder
of Ann Arbor, but suddenly, my confi-
dence was re-lit.
Too many people will tell you that
New York is dangerous. Okay, sure.
Don't take it from me: I am Midwest-
ern and as street-smart as the bulldog
in Homeward Bound. But there were
people on the streets and subways
late into the night, so you're always in
good company. The place has changed
since the 1970s and 80s (and no, it's
.not all thanks to Giuliani). I had cause
to feel like a sitting duck, schlepping
my rolling suitcase all over Queens,
Harlem and Manhattan. But most
everyone is too busy with their own
lives to notice.
Every neighborhood had its own
character to explore. After one day,

After East Village, I treated it a bit
more like home and relaxed there.
We enjoyed the little things, the sub-
ways and people there, as much as
our strolls. In Brooklyn Beach, Little
Italy and Chinatown we had no idea
where we were going, and got the
most out of figuring it out. The best
things I've seen here weren't even in
my guidebook. It seems to me that
the pleasure of living in New York is
always stumbling on some gem that
shakes up your daily routine.
Six months ago, I was so anxious
about my future and my plans. But
what I know now is that Ann Arbor
prepared me for New York in ways
I'd never even realized. It may not be
where I want to stay, but thanks to
this little town, I know where I want
my big-city dreams to carry me.
Meg Young can be reached
at megyoung@umich.edu.

I learned to stop
worrying about
living in a big city.

my friend and I began to grasp how
many people come to New York only
once in their lives and have to care-
fully schedule themselves into the
major museums, shows, and iconic
sights. People wait in the cold for
hours to try to see what New York has
to offer. They shell out for taxis and 4
tickets, while the city itself becomes
a blur.


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