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April 02, 2010 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 2010-04-02

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4 - Friday, April 2, 2010

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

74NI t igan Bat,6lV
Edited and managed by students at
the University of Michigan since 1890.
420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
~ ,tothedaily@umich.edu







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.
Elemental energy
Michigan should invest in wind turbine production
There's change in the air. The winds over Lake Mich-
igan are just right for generating clean electricity.
Last month, Scandia Wind Offshore, a Norway-based
wind energy company, proposed a $4 billion wind turbine
development project in Michigan that would prevent an esti-
mated 2 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions and create
about 3,000 jobs. If these appealing proposals are accepted,
they could lead to more clean energy efforts in the state. To
make Michigan a state powered by green energy, the leg-
islature must commit to policies that support the develop-
ment of alternative energy sources like wind turbines.

joodi yriday

c rrooo O(iewmw


Selling yourself

Scandia's proposal calls for offshore tur-
bines in Lake Michigan that would generate
a combined 1,000 megawatts of electricity.
That's in addition to the 150 megawatts of
turbine-turning potential the company
proposes to utilize on land in West Michi-
gan. Their proposal came only shortly
before the first public meeting last week
of the Michigan Great Lakes Wind Coun-
cil, a body created by Gov. Jennifer Gran-
holm to suggest legislation for encouraging
wind power development. On Tuesday,
Ventower Industries, a supplier of materi-
als to build wind turbines, broke ground on
a 115,000-square-foot wind turbine tower
construction facility in Monroe, which is
expected to employ 150 people.
Encouraging renewable energy and clean
technology has serious implications for the
creation of jobs and the recovery of Michi-
gan's economy. Wind turbine construction
companies should be able to build in close
proximity to the lakes where the turbines
will be assembled and used. To attract wind
power companies to build in Michigan and
create jobs and revenue, the state should
provide smart, detailed laws that encour-
age these green energy companies. Those
types of laws are what Michigan lacks.
It's up to the Michigan legislature to
enact policies encouraging wind power. But
a bill currently under consideration would
place a moratorium on offshore wind devel-

opment like the kind that Scandia has pro-
posed. That bill is almost comically at odds
with logical public policy that would ben-
efit the state's environment and economy.
And while Michigan legislators contem-
plate shutting down this promising indus-
try, Ontario is considering an $85 billion
project that is predicted to create 66,000
jobs. Michigan's comparatively lethargic
response to promoting wind power makes
it easy to guess where developers will build
the next new turbine factory.
Economic benefits aside, the lasting leg-
acy of inaction would be environmental.
Supporting renewable energy is a matter
of social responsibility. Though burning
coal, which is currently Michigan's prima-
ry energy source, seems cheap and easy, it
comes with a heavy price. Coal emits signif-
icant amounts of carbon dioxide as it burns,
contributing to global warming. To combat
the negative effects of climate change, peo-
ple must change their behavior and switch
to more environmentally-friendly energy
options. Unlike coal, wind energy is a clean,
efficient and renewable resource.
Encouraging green energy isn't just tilting
at windmills. Fighting this battle for clean
energy could have lasting consequences for
the state. The state government has a duty to
act in the best interest of its constituents and
pass legislation to encourage the growth of
green energy sources like wind power.

ut of the many, many e-mails
I receive about my columns,
an overwhelming number
go something like
this: "Hey pleas
[sic] tell me how to
get hired to right
[sic] for the Daily?!
LOL." And out of
the many, many
conversations I
hear around cam-
pus, an increasing-
number go some-
thing like this: WILL
"And now Stepha- GRUNDLER
nie has an intern-
ship, I'm going
c-r-a-z-y. Yeah,
she's the fat one. Hey, do you think
that guy is following us?"
Jobs: everyone wants them, and
summer is right around the corner.
Today's topic is how to go out and
GET them, as a student in today's
economy, without getting on your
knees and begging. Instead, try get-
ting on all fours and begging.
No, I'm kidding, it's still possible
to get a job. You just have to think
a little old-fashionably, by which I
mean you have to think like your par-
ents. Whenever I'm having a tough
time getting an employer to hire me,
I just remember my father's advice:
"Look, just go and talk to the guy,
dammit." Or something like that, I
don't remember exactly. I think this
was how most jobs were acquired by
our parents' generation, which might
explain the current economic crisis.
Nowadays, what most students fail to
realize is that employers aren't just
looking for a snappy resum, flawless
GPA and attractive physical features
- they're also looking for interper-
sonal skills and initiative. Some-

times, just showing up, being polite
and casually mentioning, "Oh hey,
I'm the new intern" does the trick.
Of course, this can backfire. I
vividly remember walking into The
Michigan Daily office a few semes-
ters ago - the spackle on the wall
was light brown - and asking with
a smile if they needed any writers. I
was hired on the spot and to this day
I earn a measly $5.82 per column. So
always make sure that you want to
work at a place that might hire you
immediately, because it's awkward to
decline an offer in person.
But there will be some job oppor-
tunities in which you can't use your
personal charm. There will be some
jobs in which the only communica-
tion between you and the employer
will be by e-mail, or, God forbid, car-
rier pigeon. And by far the most com-
mon mistake made by students when
writing to employers is not being able
to write.
.This is to be expected at a large
research university that's trapped
in a culture of ignorance and whose
society is misinformed by an anthro-
pocentric view of the universe. On
the other hand, you don't want to
write too wordily. Like most things in
life, there is a fine balance in writing
to prospective employers. For exam-
ple, a common approach that is all too
bare goes something like this:
"Yo, I saw the position for (such
and such) on your website. I go to the
University of Michigan. When can we
Just because you go to the Univer-
sity of Michigan doesn't mean you
will be automatically hired, especial-
ly now that we have a losing football
team. You've got to sell yourself in an
e-mail, not your school. But don't sell
yourself too much, as in this approach:

"Why do I want to work at Sum-
mer Fun Summer Camps? Ever since
I spent my childhood beside the spar-
kling waters of Big Bone Lake I've
realized that I like to spend my time
outdoors, in the sumner, preferably
around lakes. It is nice and warm in
the summer and there are fish to catch.
One time, when I was fishing with my
dad, he said, "Pass the beer, son," and I
accidentally dropped the beer into the
lake and we had a good laugh. Then he
stopped laughing and said, "Go get it"
and that's when I learned to swim. I
have so many good memories like that!
I want to help the children at Summer
Fun Summer Camps and give them a
summer to remember."


Employers don't
want to hear your
whole life story.
It's nicely written, right? But it's
just a bit too personal, and you don't
want to make your employer uncom-
fortable. The balance between writ-
ing too little and writing too much is
a delicate one, and can only be real-
ized with practice.
So to all of those students who are
looking for a job, I wish you the best
of luck. The search may be strenu-
ous. The search may be difficult.
But just remember: there are always
spring/summer classes. Unless you
really need a job and money. Then my
advice is: Don't write columns.
- Will Grundler can be
reached at wgru@umich.edu.

'U' smoking, ban, federal
health care bill limit choice
Alex Biles should be commended for his
most recent column (Dear President Coleman...,
03/23/2010). The extreme (at least for now) mea-
sures he predicts represent a logical progression
from the precedent set by the president of our
These measures also bring into question the
health care reform bill passed earlier this week.
For just as University President Mary Sue Cole-
man is watching out for our health, so is Presi-
dent Barack Obama. By mandating that every
individual purchase health insurance, Obama is
promoting a culture of health through a guaran-
tee of medical access. However, to fund this goal,
the burden of payment for one individual will be
thrust upon others. Considering economics and
the state of obesity in America, one might pos-
tulate future government mandates that mirror
those proposed by Biles.
This may all sound extreme and Orwellian.
But these are rational extensions of the actions
taken by our leaders. No matter what side you
take in the health care or smoking ban debate,
there can be no argument on whether the previ-
ously mentioned scenarios fall in line with cur-
rent policy changes.
Frankly, I find each leader's position fright-
ening - and hypocritical. On one hand, Obama
calls America the greatest nation in the world
and Coleman frequently extols our student
body as 'the Leaders and Best'. But it is also
clear that neither believes we are intelligent
enough as individuals to make choices that
affect our own future.
Nicholas Kransz
LSA junior
Living Arts offers students
a community to learn, grow

resented Living Arts, the new living/learning
community to be housed in Bursley Hall on
North Campus starting in Fall 2010 (Corralling
creativity will only stigmatize, 03/18/2010).
Approximately 40 percent of all first-year
students are housed in Bursley Hall or the Vera
Baits Houses. Despite the large number of first-
year students living on North Campus, all of
the living/learning communities for first-year
students are currently located on Central Cam-
pus. Living Arts, which will house 80 students
in two hallways in Bursley for its pilot year, will
fill this void.
Living Arts is a living/learning community
primarily for first- and second-year students
that seeks to enhance North Campus's already
vibrant resources and to make students excit-
ed about living and studying on North Cam-
pus. Students who participate in Living Arts
will take a one-credit class each semester that
explores the creative process and collaboration
across engineering, the arts, and other fields.
Like all living/learning communities, Living
Arts is open to all University undergraduates.
Living Arts will enhance Bursley and the
North Campus community by providing a gal-
lery for students to display their artwork. New
in-house studios designed to foster students'
creative and collaborative work in art and
design, architecture, and engineering. A new
performance space with a sprung floor, as well
as group and individual practice rooms, will
be available for musicians, dancers and actors.
The renovated spaces will be open to all Bursley
residents and much of the programming initi-
ated by Living Arts faculty, staff and residents
will be open to all interested students, wherever
they live and whatever their academic program.
In addition to establishing Living Arts, Arts
on Earth is working with colleagues across cam-
pus to infuse creativity and the arts throughout
the University. We encourage Block and other
students to visit our website to learn more about
our own programming (artsonearth.umich.
edu) and to visit Montage (montage.umich.edu),
the University's new online arts portal, to learn
about colleagues' work in engaging students in
the arts and creativity across campus.

Readers are encouraged to submit letters to the editor.
Letters should be fewer 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 tothedaily@umich.edu.

Money matters

Back in September, I wrote
a column about my inabil-
ity to choose a major and
proud acceptance
of my indecision
(Majorly undecid-
ed, 09/24/2010).
So as I sit here
six months later
and presumably
six months wiser,
I would like to
update you on
my progress - or LEAH
rather lack thereof.
Now, not only have POTI
I failed to declare
a major (though I
have a few in mind), but I also have no
direction in which to gear my sum-
mer job search. I am now not only
majorly undecided, but also majorly
screwed - so much for asserting my
uncertainty with pride.
Don't get me wrong: I am by no
means worried about declaring a
major (I promise, it will happen even-
tually). But what's an undecided girl
to do when in search of what should
be meaningful summer employment?
Long gone are the carefree summer
days filled with boardwalk fries,
waitressing shifts at the local diner
and pool-side lounging - here to stay
are the prestigious internships with.
40-hour-plus work weeks intended to
serve as stepping stones to full-time
employment after graduation. But I
wonder how often these internships
turn into real jobs and how often the
endless time put in is actually time
well spent. With this in mind, I urge
students to consider all the pros and
cons of summer jobs and internships
before committing to watching their
summer go by from the confinement
of an office cubicle for little or no pay.
I'll admit that for students with
a clear direction, attractive intern-
ships might be a good route, as they

could lead to potential employment in
a desired field - well, lucky for them.
But undecided students like me,
and any other wandering souls out
there, should consider other summer
employment options before search-
ing long and hard for an unpaid and
potentially boring internship in a
field we may never pursue.
I feel incredible pressure from
my peers to do something with my
summer that's a bit more mentally
stimulating than dog-walking or
babysitting, but I also feel incredible
pressure from my parents to do some-
thing compensable with my time.
Many internships might seem attrac-
tive for resume building, but do these
benefits really outweigh the lure of
cold hard cash? I think not.
When I think of how my parents
and grandparents spent their sum-
mers - taking a well-deserved break
from academics while earning spend-
ing money and still having time to
enjoy chocolate-dipped Carvel cones
on the boardwalk - I can't help but
long for a similar summer experience.
Sure, they worked, but they didn't
necessarily work the way many of us
overachieving Wolverines do. Many
students pursue a detailed four-year
plan, with perfect summer intern-
ships putting the cherry on top of their
already perfect resumes. Gag me. Yes,
admittedly I'm a bit jealous of these
students, but I think I resent them
more than I envy them. Why should
I feel guilty for wanting to spend my
last few chances to enjoy summer
doing something I actually do enjoy?
The answer my friends - I shouldn't.
But what I, and everyone else,
should do is get creative. IfI can't get
my act together enough to choose a
major or find an internship that could
help secure me a job in my chosen
field, I might as well do something
that admittedly may not drop jaws
nor raise eyebrows, will put money in

my pocket and maybe.even be enjoy-
able. It's certainly hard to compete in
the current economic environment
where even people with advanced
degrees are working entry-level jobs.
And the sad truth is that if you don't
have a connection somewhere, there
are likely dozens of other college stu-
dents who do.


You don't have to
have an internship'
this summer.
So what better things do young
minds have to offer than fresh; new
ideas? Some success stories I've
heard include family van turned ice-
cream truck and law student turned
doorman. Neither job seems espe-
cially desirable for the well-educated
young adult, but what have we got to
lose? Students should remember this
while spending hours on job search
websites seeking the perfect job to
embellish their resume.
Upperclassmen might look down
on my naivety, but even for those
of you about to enter the real work
world, I still believe there is a balance
to be found between kowtowing to an
unappreciative summer boss for no
money in hopes of future employment
and enjoyment of summer's diver-
sions with a couple of spare dollars
in your pocket. So come September,
I may still be majorly undecided, but
I most certainly will not be majorly
screwed. Looks like once again I'll be
asserting my uncertainty with pride
(in the form of dollar bills).
- LeahPotkin can be reached
at lpotkin@umich.edu.

Theresa Reid
TO THE DAILY: YExecutiveDirector ofArts on Earth
We would like to respond to Jamie Block's Jean Leverich
recent column, which fundamentally misrep- Program Director ofLiving Arts
Nina Amilineni, Jordan Birnholtz, William Butler, Nicholas Clift,
Michelle DeWitt, Brian Flaherty, Jeremy Levy, Erika Mayer, Edward McPhee,
Emily Orley, Harsha Panduranga, Alex Schiff, Asa Smith, Brittany Smith,
Robert Soave, Radhika Upadhyaya, Laura Veith

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