4 - Friday, November 12, 2010
The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.co
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
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.
Trash the tickets
AAPD and students must cooperate on game day
ame day at the Big House is an experience unlike any
other. But for many students, football Saturdays start
down the street at friends' pre-game parties. This tra-
dition is especially strong in the University's Greek community
and the 900 block of State Street. But recently, students have
claimed that the Ann Arbor Police Department is unfairly tar-
geting them with noise and trash citations. A meeting last week
between AADP and students aimed to curb the number of tickets
issued. AAPD and the student community must work together to
ensure proper compliance with city ordinances.
_TTe percentage by which
Conan O'Brien's viewership
decreased from his first to
second show this week.
- According to figures from TBS, as reported by Reuters on Wednesday.
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A the end of Octobr, an article But it's not the only truth. town. And everyone knows that th
in The Detroit News reported A friend of mine, Brittany Bar- best packi on Mardi Gras rcome
that a small town in Oregon lse, recently started an organization from Hamtramck.
named after Mich- called Save Detroit. Just last month it All this classic culture hastur
igan's largest city acquired 50 (c) 3 status, meaning it vived, but there's fresh circulato
had called for a is a federally recognized non-profit as well. There are new restaurants
ballot vote on a and donations are tax deductible, such as Slows. There are the car
name chmange AS- The beauty of its current infancy actor-filled music venues - the Fill-
eral denizens t stage lies in its simplicity - Save- more, the Magic Stick and the Lage
the tiny, less-tha- Y N Detroitnet sells eco-friendly wrist- House - that have concerts rang
a-square-mile bands inscribed with the group's ing from classic rock to indie start
Detroit Oregis name. All revenue from each pur- ups to electronic dance. Detroit ha
were concerned chase funds publicity and education places like the Cadeux Caf, wit
that thedir nominal VANESSA to further fundraising, while dona- the best palm-frihes in town, and the
connection to our tions go toward the final goal - buy- Russell industrial, a mixed business
city would reflect RYCI yINs. y -og an abandoned warehouse for the community that fosters artists and
badly on their purpose of turning it into am urban architects. Like Ann Arbor, there are
lakeside tourism farming center. There are actually several characters around that you
business, no chain grocery stores within city could get to know a little. There's
It's true that people are often limits. The idea is that people will Mikey, who used to panhandle for
ignorant, but it seems like all ansyone not only have a source of fresh and years onthe 7 Mileexit off the Lodge,
wants to d wsen theyeatr"Detrocit" affcrdable produce ut that this proj- and Little Foot, the homeless rapper
is jump on the bandwagon full of ccw ill eventually be sustainable who hangs out on Woodward, free-
moaners about how bad the city is. year-round, styling for anyone that will listen.
It's a shame that this behavior per- Brittany started the organiza-
sists even in people who actally live t ion after she had been doing some
in Michigan. Recently, I was talking Detroit-based phocgraphy that
with so theone from the west side of focused on the decaying, graphiized Detroit is a blank
Michigan who was repeatedly knock- and unfortunately often historic
log Detroit until I finally asked him buildings. She soon learned that her canvas for creating
if he'd ever actually been there. He grandfather actually used teskown
had not. A let of peeple form their one. She decided to take actio on something great.
opinions on shcrcuts, thinking that the grounds chat she has a "personal
because they watch the news occa- responsibility" not only to her grand-
sionally that they know the score. father, but also to the entrepreneurs
As a Metro Detroiter whct has spent of Old Detroit to restore what they The history, the culture, the quirks
a gocd deal of time in the city frcm spent years building. Our genera- - this is the rest of the truth that you
childhood field trips to jam-packed tnnis actually lucky to have Detroit don't see on the eleven o'clock news.
years of high school theatre - Id like because we have the opportunity There are people who take pride and
to correct the tally a bit I could use oy to take it back and make it our own. have hope - people like Brittany, stu-
column space to fume about educartien As Brittany said to me, why try to fix dents who go to Wayne State Univer-
in Detroit, because it's an outrage that sonehing like the Mona Lisa when sity and Detroit's College for Creative
so manychools are failing. I could talk we have a blank canvas? Studies and our peers here who vol-
about the crime, because it's insane This canvas has potential - and unteer or spend a semester in the city.
how the rates have earned Detroit the some fine brushstrokes already. As for Detroit, Oregon, let's get
lab el "the murder capital of the world." Detrcit is home to the Detroit Insti- serious: A small piece tf our city's
I could express anger abou the corrupt tte of Art and the Detroit Symphony best is better than whatever they
public officials or the levels of poverty, orchestra; the Fox, Masonic, and have over there, and every bit of our
ecause both situations feed into each Fischer theatres; the wonderful Si- worst has a story.
ther viciously. I could talk ahout ence Center and Comerica Park and
what's wrong with Detroit all day mung, Joe Louis Arena. We have Greek- - Vaessa Rychlinsk can be
because it would be the truth. town, Mexicantown and Hockey- reached at email@example.com.
On Nov. 5, AAPD Deputy Chief John
Seto met with members of the Michigan
Student Assembly and the Interfraternity
Council - the governing body of campus
fraternities - to discuss what constitutes
legitimate cause for police presence at
game day parties. Students sought to find
ways to stem what they allege is a recent
increase in ticketing and to determine how
their parties are being assessed for noise
and trash violations. A common complaint
among students is that they are not given
sufficient time to clean up before being
ticketed. Peri Silverman, the vice chair
of the Greek Relations Select Committee,
said in a Nov. 7 Daily article that "people
aren't able to gauge the situation."
It's in the best interest of city residents
for students to follow ordinances, rather
than giving them tickets to create easy
cash flow. A crucial step to solving the
problem of tickets is for students to under-
stand Ann Arbor city ordinances. Students
have an obligation as Ann Arbor residents
to follow city laws. But student turnover is
constant on campus, making it difficult to
be knowledgeable on all laws. The police
should also work with students to educate
them on city rules.
Students and AAPD should strive to cre-
ate a spirit of cooperation and compliance.
Police should permit students a reason-
able amount of time to clean up their yards
rather than immediately issuing tickets.
AAPD could warn students that their party
is getting too chaotic and give them an
opportunity to correct this problem before
writing them up. A loud and busy environ-
ment on campus is the reality of a college
town. AAPD needs to be understanding of
that and work with students rather than
hastily penalizing them.
Of course, there will always be students
who, even when granted sufficient time,
fail to clean their yards. Since the major-
ity of students rent their homes, they don't
feel as much responsibility for their prop-
erty. But this mentality is unacceptable.
Students have an obligation to respect and
follow Ann Arbor laws. Cooperation is a
two-way street. Students can't expect leni-
ency or understanding from AAPD or Ann
Arbor residents if they won't obey laws and
work with the city.
While AAPD must enforce the rules,
maintaining a cooperative relationship
with the student body is in everyone's best
interest. AAPD should work with the IFC
and MSA to clearly establish guidelines for
reasonable enforcement of city ordinances.
EDITORIAL BOARD MEMBERS:
Aida Ali, Jordan Birnholtz, Will Butler, Eaghan Davis,
Michelle DeWitt, Ashley Griesshammer, Will Grundler, Jeremy Levy, Erika Mayer,
Harsha Nahata, Emily Orley, Harsha Panduranga, Tommaso Pavone, Leah Potkin,
Roger Sauerhaft, Asa Smith, Laura Veith, Andrew Weiner
ANDREW WEINER I
A reason to buy American
Take a look at the big picture
"Hey c'mon! We're all going to buy Buicks in
the alley behind the school!"
"Well, gee, my mom told me that's kind
of dangerous, and it usually makes my nose
"Whoa. Everyone's doing it. You don't want
to bea loser, do you?"
And we don't want to be losers, do we?
For the past couple decades, peer pressure
to buy American cars, especially in suburban
Detroit, has been high. We went and shot up
Chevys instead of hanging out with the new
Asian kid who was kind of boring but always
did well on tests or the sexy European exchange
students who didn't play by anyone's rules.
But because we caved into the pressure,
American automakers have suffered. After the
bottom fell out several years ago, however, the
Big Three (Ford Motor Co., General Motors
Corp., and Chrysler) are finally giving consum-
ers real reasons to buy American again.
In the 1990s and early this decade, consum-
ers bought American. Because sales were good,
the Big Three evenly motored on without much
pressure to innovate or improve engineering,
manufacturing or design. They did, however,
make cars bigger. They also sold nearly iden-
tical .cars through different brands (referred
to as brand engineering). The GMT-360 plat-
form, for instance, has been sold as different
models through six GM brand - most notably
as the Chevrolet TrailBlazer, GMC Envoy and
Oldsmobile Bravada. These aren't efficient or
sustainable business practices.
The Big Three rode high on sport utility
sales (fuel-gulping SUVs like the Jeep Chero-
kee and Ford Explorer) and were too content
swimming in profits and buying up random
companies to look in their rear-view mirrors.
If they did, they would have seen Asian rivals
looking ahead and leading in the types of vehi-
cles that are selling in spades today - small,
fuel-efficient and green.
The story from the late 1990s to the early
21st century is a sad one. Oil prices shot up to
as much as $5 per gallon in some places and
that whole economy thing sort of collapsed or
something. Americans, realizing that cars that
cost less to purchase, fuel and maintain was
the way to go, fully embraced East-Asian and
European automakers and Ford and GM real-
ized they didn't have the resources or skills
to run niche automakers they had purchased.
-Sales drastically dwindled. Companies mar-
ried and then had ugly divorces. Everyone
began to doubt the future of the Big Three.
I Several years and a bailout later, I'm endors-
ing something I never thought I would: buying
American. Nope, this isn't out of some hyper-
nationalistic epiphany or even sympathy.
It's far simpler: Ford, GM and Chrysler now
have the strongest model lineups in the indus-
try. The automakers finally rethought the
entire way product development is handled
and their new approach is working well.
The new Chevrolet Volt is one such example.
Long after its concept was revealed in 2007,
the electric vehicle is just hitting the streets
in North America and Europe. There is much
to praise. On Oct. 11, GM finally released long-
awaited details about the Volt. This press
release included an acknowledgement that at
high speeds, the engine, rather than the elec-
tric motor, directly powers the wheels. This
means that in official terms, the Volt is not a
pure electric vehicle. Angry blog posts, Tweets
and a hailstorm of bad press immediately fol-
I'm not sure why so much emphasis was put
on the Volt's classification instead of its accom-
plishments. Just because the Volt doesn't fit
the exact definition of electric vehicle doesn't
change the fact that Motor Trend saw 126
MPG while testing it. or that Popular Mechan-
ics named it a Breakthrough Product.
A slew of other American products are
class-leaders and that trend continues to grow.
The Ford Fiesta and Chevrolet Cruze are cur-
rently leading the small car revolution. The
Dodge Ram is constantly lauded as the num-
ber one pickup on the market. Six out of Popu-
lar Mechanics's 10 Best are American. Motor
Trend's Car of the Year was a Ford.
Americans, along with Europeans, Canadi-
ans and Asians, are buying - and should con-
tinue to buy - American cars not because they
feel they need to, but because the Big Three are
finally giving us cars we want.
Andrew Weiner is an LSA freshman.
J 's Monday night and the Law
Library is in full swing. The
usual crowd is all there: the pre-
tentious law stu-
dent all too proud
of his Stanford
t-shirt and match-
the girl who N
types so loudly it
sounds like she's
using Morse codeT
to communicate TYLER
with her friend JONES
on North Cam-
pus, the guy who
thinks that just
because he has headphones on, I can't
hear him listening to Taio Cruz.
And then there's me - somewhere
underneath the Arabic notes and psy-
chology pages, I'm diligently chipping
away at my workload. It's been an
unusually awful week for me, as it has
been for most of my friends.
So you can imagine my displea-
sure when 1 checked the calendar and
discovered I had a column due this
week. I don't have time to feed myself,
yet I'm expected to put together a
thought-provoking social commen-
tary? Quickly, my mind looks for an
easy answer. Maybe I'll just write
about Andrew Shirvell - there's plen-
ty of good material there. With time
ticking away, I needed a topic. But in
my quest to write a column, I was able
to put my current situation into some
much needed perspective.
When I need to pull a quick col-
umn idea out of my hat, I look to CNN.
com. Surely among the world's latest
buzz there is an idea just waiting to
be developed. First, there's the story
of the Carnival Cruise ship stranded
in the middle of the ocean. After a fire
broke out in one of the engine rooms
early Monday morning, the Carnival
Splendor lost power and operated
on auxiliary generators until it was
towed into port yesterday.
But while still stranded 130 miles
west of Ensenada, Mexico, with no
air conditioning and with plumbing
only recently being restored to the
boat, numerous cruisers checked into
the infirmary after suffering panic
attacks. The only thing I can imagine
more unbearable than an obnoxious
cruise-goer complaining about the
runniness of his Eggs Benedict is a
cruise-goer with no buffet or running
water. Truly, things could be worse
But then there was the story of the
Somali pirates who attacked a Spanish
warship with their stolen Japanese
freighter. Intent on attacking a ship
carrying peacekeeping supplies to
Somalia, the pirates instead engaged
in a skirmish with the Spanish Navy.
According to the European Union
Naval Force public affairs office, the
warship only used "minimal force."
This makes sense, as I imagine the
Somali pirates were heavily armed
with sharp stones and dirty insults.
Needless to say, the pirates scurried
away as quickly as their freighter
could take them (which is still proba-
bly fasterthan the Carnival Splendor).
Truly, things could be worse for me.
So no, I didn't discover a well-
packaged column idea that I could
crank outin 15minutes. And I walked
out of the Arabic midterm Tues-
day morning feeling degraded and
embarrassed. I have no doubt my pro-
fessor will get a few laughs out of my
attempt at an essay.
But somewhere between read-
ing about those stranded vacationers
and those desperate Somali pirates,
I gained a little perspective on life.
Sure, the test wasn't a total success.
But things in my life could certainly
be worse. Having a little perspec-
tive, especially around this time of
year, is important. We're all busy
now. With midterms slowing down
and finals gearing up, it's hard to
believe things could be worse than 2
a.m. Law Library sessions followed
by 10 a.m. Arabic midterms. But see-
ing life clearly, especially in a time of
year when it's difficult to see anything
clearly, is necessary.
Being able to study at the Univer-
sity - renowned for making smart
people feel stupid - is an honor.
Studying under some of the most
brilliant minds in our nation is a
gift, even if their lectures sometimes
make no sense. Sitting next to some of
the future thinkers and doers of our
generation is inspiring, even if these
thinkers and doers make long-winded
comments during discussion sections.
Arabic exams are
trivial in the grand
scheme of things.
I'm not trying to say that doing
well in your classes isn't important,
or that pulling consecutive all-night-
ers isn't a drag. But I've found that
we tend to lose perspective when we
cease to see the big picture. No single
test will define your college career.
These four years are about the accu-
mulated experiences and lessons that
will shape the next steps of our lives.
Turning one test or one paper into the
be-all end-all is the surest way to lose
sight of the big picture.
As exam season gears up and it
starts to seem like every professor is
judging your worth based on a Scan-
tron exam, keep in mind why you are
here and the value of every experi-
ence. Don't lose sight of that big pic-
ture and remember that life could
certainly be worse for you, a student
at an elite university.
-Tyler Jones can be reached