4 - Friday, February 19, 2010
The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com 6
E-MAIL DANIEL AT DWGOLD@UMICH.EDU
iJbe 1*idigani f &i4.
Edited and managed by students at
the University of Michigan since 1890.
420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
EDITOR IN CHIEF
RACHEL VAN GILDER
EDITORIAL PAGE EDITOR
The HILL OLYMPICS
If Tray-Boarding was a
real sport, Id so be
in Vancouver right now!
o 1 c
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.
Solutions for Solo cups
City should increase recycling for ease and environment
oing green could soon be easier in Ann Arbor. Under the
current City recycling program, items need to be sorted
into separate bins and many would-be-recyclables aren't
accepted. But a partnership between the city of Ann Arbor and
the non-profit organization Recycle Ann Arbor promises to spur a
much-needed revamp of the city's recycling system. Recycling is a
relatively easy way to save the planet - but it could be even easier
if steps were taken to streamline the system and make more items
recyclable. Ann Arbor authorities should continue to expand the
range of recyclable materials and reform the recycling process.
Mao To ;Markley:
-' ; -
From dreams to doing
The city of Ann Arbor is now partner-
ing with Recycle Ann Arbor to streamline
the city's recycling system and increase
awareness about recycling. Ann Arbor
currently uses a two-stream method for its
recycling. Paper and cardboard products
must be separated from metal, glass and
plastic. Under the new initiative, the city
will switch to a single-stream system this
summer in which all recyclables will be
Officials say the reforms will make recy-
cling more efficient and allow for a greater
array of items to be recycled, including
types of plastic that previously weren't
recyclable in the city. Currently, only num-
bers one and two plastics are accepted in
the city. In addition, the new partnership
aims to increase education and awareness
The city is right to make recycling a pri-
ority. Aside from environmental benefits
like reduction of pollution and conserva-
tion of resources, recycling also combats
global warming. Materials often generate
greenhouse gases both when they are made
and when they decompose in landfills.
Because recycling is important for keep-
ing the-planet's environment healthy, the
city should do everything it can to encour-
age residents and students to fill their recy-
cling bins. One of the best ways of doing
that is to make the process easier. About 94
percent of Ann Arbor residents currently
.recycle at the curb, according to Recycle
Ann Arbor. Making the process easier
could increase that percentage. There
should be no sorting, no hassle and no rea-
son not to recycle.
But ease of recycling isn't as important as
range. Though the city currently recycles
52 percent of its residential waste stream,
according to Recycle Ann Arbor, it should
expand its recycling capabilities to include
all types of plastic. The mountains of red
cups that litter students' lawns and houses
- which are marked No. 6 plastics - have
been non-recyclable in the city. The new
recycling program should accept these
kinds of plastics, which would increase the
volume of recycled material in the city and
reduce waste. Michigan State University
accepts plastics numbered up to seven. As
painful as it is for University of Michigan
students to hear, Ann Arbor should follow
MSU's example and recycle all types of
Ann Arbor has a reputation as a green
city - so it's unacceptable that recycling
is difficult and limited. If the city stays
true to its promise to increase the public's
knowledge about recycling, residents will
have no excuse for throwing out recyclable
've always conceded "coolness"
(specifically the Zack Morris
kind, not to be confused with the
embodied by the
in Wolverine ,
apparel) to Ohio
mater of everyone
in my hometown,
while maintaining LIBBY
the University of ASHTON
riority in almost
every other cat-
But not anymore. We, with our
wintry complexions and oversized
backpacks, just became the envy of
the Ivies and Playboy Party Schools
alike. We got Barack.
Maybe it doesn't help our cool-
ness cause that instead of a football,
we're throwing our commencement
speaker in Michigan State Univer-
sity's face, but I expect the electricity
in the air the first Saturday in May to
rival that of any football Saturday.
President Barack Obama serves as
an intersection between an apathetic
youth and an out-of-touch politico. Our
demographic was the only age group
to show a significant increase in voter
turnout for the 2008 election, increas-
ing from 47 to 49 percent according
to the US Census Bureau News, with
two-thirds of 18-29-year-olds votipg
for Obama, according to the Center
for Information and Research on Civil
Learning and Engagement. When he
won, young people around the country
flooded the streets, celebrating what
felt like our victory.
A year and a half after this victo-
ry - almost to the day - we'll have
the privilege of hosting the man who
made the fist bump sexy(er) in our
very own Big House. Leading up to
this day, it's important forus to think
about why he makes our hearts flut-
ter so that we stand before him not
as the awestruck children we were
before we could vote, but as critically.
minded young adults, conscious of
the reasons behind our Obamania.
During the spring of 2008, my fam-
ily Seder turned sour when I found
myself pitted against my uncle and
my grandma's boyfriend, both of
whom supported Hillary Clinton in
the primary elections. They accused
my generation of blindly supporting
a man we thought was emblematic of
our liberal ideals when, despite his
rhetoric commenting to the contrary,
he had created little change during
his political career.
From my admittedly naive per-
spective, this lack of political con-
text for Obama further validated his
freshness. His inexperience with a
political process that has seemed
lifeless and disengaged was an asset
rather than a fault. To the voting
demographic who most recently left
the playground, Obama embodies the
most essential qualities we've been
taught to seek in a leader.
Obama is the ideal communicator -
one who values listening and speaking
equally. He's smarter than me, and also
more humble. He's not bossy or a know-
it-all (perhaps to a fault). He com-
mands my respect without demanding
it. He's in touch with a kind of human
component that connects him with the
idealistic characteristic of youth. It's
as though he is the first major political
figure who remembers all the histori-
cal wrongs he learned about in middle
school and lives with an awareness of
his duty to do better than what was
Most of all, he has inspired a kind
of social revolution wherein the
typically uninvolved members of
the electorate feel empowered and
heard. Obama's personal impact on
the national and international com-
munities is enough of a justification
for my support of his position, both in
the oval office and at the commence-
focus on action,
and so should you.
In his promise of the possibility of
something better, Obama evoked a
spirit in our generation. In electing
him, we made a commitment to work
with him to realize that possibility.
One necessary element of uphold-
ing that commitment is holding our-
selves, and Obama, accountable for
the transition from the passivity to
activity, from dreaming to doing.
Though the strongest motivations
for my support of Obama have more
to do with his person than his politi-
cal record, my expectations of him as
the head of an incredibly burdened
administration must be functional.
Similarly, our expectations of our-
selves as college graduates must be to
create a record of progress.
A year and a half after we watched,
with teary eyes, the ballots being
counted, we will stand as represen-
tatives of the demographic that most
uniformly supported Obama's candi-
dacy. And as we watch him watch us,
we can remain atop the wave of ideal-
ism that carried us to the polls - as
long as we do so with recognition of
the importance of action in creating
the change for which we all hope.
- Libby Ashton can be reached
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Send letters to email@example.com.
It's East Quad's turn for fixing
I am a second-year resident of East Quad,
home to the Residential College and the newly
formed Global Scholars program. Last fall, I
noticed that East Quad had finally gotten rid
of asbestos insulation, as well as all the closet
doors and dressers. I noticed that our beloved
eatery was taken away from us. I noticed the
new theater and the partially renovated base-
ment. I also noticed having to move out of my
room midway through the semester because my
room was leaking gutter water.
Almost all students on campus and many
incomingstudents know that East Quad is one of
the oldest and worse-off residence halls. If you're
ever in East Quad, stop by the Greene Lounge and
hit one of the lounge chairs, and you'll see what I
mean (a cloud of dust comes out). It is in desper-
ate need of renovation. Though the new theater
has brought about some renovation in the base-
ment, change remains far away.
East Quad continues to fall apart. This
semester, sinks unexpectedly overflowed,'
resulting in destroyed personal belongings in
three flooded rooms in my hallway. And when
personal sinks can't be fixed, they are taken
away. Forever. There are rooms with holes in
the walls where sinks once existed. The boys'
bathroom sinks have spewed out black, murky
water from the drain. The dishwasher in the
cafeteria has broken down - for over a week
at times. The sole elevator travels as fast as
The Flash, only past his prime and retired. The
furnishings of both the Madrigal and Greene
lounges are likely older than me. And I recent-
ly witnessed a sink overflowing, and the hall
director on duty prevented a poor student from
calling repairmen because it would cost the
hall more for after-hours repair.
Yet, what surprises me is that East Quad is
the residence hall traditionally used for orienta-
tion (the exception being last year, when it was
held at South Quad) and Campus Day. The Uni-
versity doesn't-appear to care thatcthis hall is the
very first impression given to most prospective
students. Should such a bad impression be given
to parents and future Wolverines? Couzens is
scheduled for renovations next year, and Mosh-
er-Jordan and Stockwell just got renovated.
Why not East Quad?
Sometimes, it's hard to reconcile University
spending with student needs. The Orion sculp-
ture -that big orange metal thing in front of the
University of Michigan Museum of Art - costs
a significant amount, while East Quad remains
without renovations. It's frustrating. Though
most of the money for the sculpture came from
donations and not from students' pockets, it's
hard to understand why the University hasn't put
more money into East Quad.
The painstaking renovations done on Mosh-
er-Jordan and Stockwell cost tens of millions of
dollars, and those dorms house around 425 and
400 residents, respectively. However, EQ alone
houses about 900 students, which adds up to.
more than both of the afore-mentioned dorms
combined, and it's not even close to being the
biggest hall. East Quad has so much to offer:
classrooms, a dark room, a dance studio and
even a ceramics studio. Despite these awesome
resources, they go unnoticed because all that
students seem to remember from orientation is
an old building without air conditioning. The
problem is simple: Renovating big dorms dis-
places too many students and the University
loses a sizeable chunk of housing.
Perhaps if the University could afford multiple
minor renovations instead of shutting down one
full residence hall, there would be no need to per-
form such overhauls in the future. The ancient
furnishings on the ground floor lounges could
simply be refurnished. The showerheads could.
be elevated a foot higher so the majority of us
don't have to bend awkwardly to avoid making
out with a stream of hot water.
And the displacement of students could be
minimized after North Quad is opened. Half
of EQ could be shut down and renovated and
repeated for the second half. For now, future
generations of EQ Wolverines will have to
endure the confusing stairways, bending over
to shower and the lumpy couches in the lounges.
Yubo Wu is an LSA sophomore.
You know your weird Uncle
Marty who's going through
a mid-life crisis? He's com-
pletely out of touch
with reality and
tries to overcom-
pensate by getting
a flashy red sports
car? That's exactly -
what the Winter 4
Olympics are like.
They're like your
weird, old rela-
tive who comes up LINCOLN
to you at a familyB
gathering and asks BOEHM
if you've heard
of the band "The
These Olympics are so weird aren't
they? But at the same time I kind of
love them, just like my Uncle Marty.
Five days ago, I spent two hours in
front of the TV watching the biath-
lon. For those of you unfamiliar with
this incredibly outdated and wacko
event, it involves would-be serial kill-
ers cross-country skiing with rifles
strapped to their backs, which they
occasionally pull out to shoot at tar-
gets. The weirdest part about watch-
ing this event live on television was
the enthusiasm the NBC broadcasters
had for it. They were discussing the
event as if it was the Superbowl. "The
biathlon is one of only three events
that the United States has never
medaled in, which is shocking. Today
could be the day that all of that chang-
es. Ladies and gentlemen, you could
be witnessing history in the making!"
What I didn't understand at the
time was why is it so "shocking" that
the U.S. hasn't ever medaled in this
ridiculous - borderline psychotic
- sport? Unlike the Eastern Euro-
pean and former Soviet countries
that dominate the biathlon, we have
grocery stores and gun control laws.
This is how people in Uzbekistan feed
their families! They strap on their
skis and guns and go out hunting.
Can you imagine if I grabbed a rifle
and started skiing down State Street.
after a snowstorm? This would be the
Crazy evangelist standing on a
soap-box: "Oh my God, he's got a gun!
Someone call the police!"
Then 15 to 30 minutes later the
police would show up and find me
skiing by Zingerman's, rifle in hand.
Police Officer: "Drop the weapon!"
Me: (Laughing) "Oh no officer, you
see, I'm just training for the biathlon.
My dream is to be the first American
Police Officer: "I said drop the
Then I'd get tased or something.
So at this point in the Olympics,
we have incredibly outdated events
that look to have been prevalent in
third-world countries back in the
eighteenth century. Like that weird
relative, completely foreign and
impossible to relate to... but I love it!
Now, fast forward three days and
I'm lying in bed watching snow-
boarder Shaun White win a gold
medal in the Olympics while wearing
baggy pants and looking high off his
ass. White won the halfpipe compe-
tition Wednesday night with a move
called the Double-McTwist, which
ironically is what Ihad for lunch.
Over the course of three days, we
went from one weird event extreme
to another. Now the Olympics are
trying way too hard to be "cool" and
in touch with young America.
These aren't the X Games - these
are the storied and historic Olympics.
I don't want anyone to be able to win a
gold medal while wearing baggy pants.
That's just my rule. I think everyone
should have to wear those spandex
jump suits that show off their junk.
And despite Michael Phelps's incred-
ible success, there shouldn't be any
Olympic events that you can do just as
well in - if not better - while high.
So I was cross-
down State Street...
The Olympics adding the halfpipe
and all of these crazy snowboarding
events to the schedule is just like my
uncle coming up to me and asking
if I've heard of the band "The John
Mayers." He has good intentions, but
he should know where and when to
stop trying to relate to me.
Know exactly who or what you
are, Olympics/Uncle Marty. If you
are going to air crazy events like the
biathlon and ski-jump - which I love
- then you should rightfully market
yourself as the Summer Olympics
crazy younger brother who collects
dead insects. Don't try to pretend
that people take these events as seri-
ously as they do the 100-meter dash
or swimming events.
Like my Uncle Marty, the Winter
Olympics are weird as shit, but that's
why we love them. I'm sick of this
mid-life crisis they're going through.
I just want my weird, rifle-bearing
- Lincoln Boehm can be reached
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Jeremy Levy, Erika Mayer, Edward McPhee, Emily Orley, Harsha Panduranga, Alex Schiff,
Asa Smith, Brittany Smith, Robert Soave, Radhika Upadhyaya, Laura Veith
The Daily is looking for a diverse group of passionate, strong
student writers to join the Editorial Board. Editorial Board
members are responsible for discussing and writing the
editorials that appear on the left side of the opinion page.
E-MAIL RACHEL VAN GILDER AT RACHELVG@UMICH.EDU
FOR MORE INFORMATION.