8A - Monday, February 7, 2011
The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com
From Page 1A
lighting in the Oxford Road area
in response to the recent crimi-
"My goal is to use the petition
as a student voice to show the
people that matter that students
are really upset about this and
that they're willing to do some-
thing about it," Rosenberg said.
She added that members of the
Greek community have been vic-
tims of the recent crimes.
"So far in the last two months,
the robberies have been on Greek
students, so I think there has
been an initial outcry from the
Greek community ..." Rosenberg
said. "Everyone is a little con-
cerned, especially with the den-
sity of Greek houses that are in
While many Greek commu-
nity members have signed the
petition, Rosenberg said it has
also received interest from other
students and Ann Arbor resi-
dents, particularly those living
in the Oxford area. Though there
is no specific goal for a signature
count, she said the petition is a
way for the Greek community to
unite and raise awareness about
"(The petition) really got the
word out to a lotof people that the
Greek community is interested in
doing something about this as a
group," Rosenberg said. "I've had
a lot of people contact me to get
involved with working with the
city and brainstorming ideas."
As a result, Rosenberg said
she plans to start a Greek hous-
ing safety committee composed
of Greek life house managers
and other members in the near
At the meetings, members
would brainstorm ways to pro-
tect themselves and gener-
ate ideas for improving safety,
Public Policy junior Steve
Zuckerman, a Public Policy rep-
resentative for the Michigan Stu-
dent Assembly and a member of
Alpha Delta Phi fraternity locat-
ed on South Forest, said when
he heard about the Lighting Ini-
tiative, he brought the issue to
"My big thing with MSA is to
address things that are a concern
to the students, and clearly, this
is a really strong concern," Zuck-
However, not all residents in
the area see lighting as the main
Billy Joe Evans, professor
emeritus of chemistry at the Uni-
versity, has lived in the Oxford
Road area near campus for the
last 40 years. He said he and his
wife aren't concerned about the
burglaries occurring in the area,
and the lighting is not problem-
atic for them.
"I think the lighting is fine,"
He added that increase in
crime may be attributed to near-
by fraternity parties that "bring
in bad elements" since the frater-
nities don't monitor who comes
into their houses.
Tom Bence, president of Delta
Chi fraternity located at 1705
Hill St., said the house has been
broken into twice during this
academic year and since then,
the residents have increased
"We have taken preventa-
tive actions like having better
exterior doors, but the robber-
ies have come through windows
and during parties where people
break into individuals' rooms, so
we find it hard to defend against
that," Bence said.
Bence said though the burglar-
ies may have occurred because
the residents were "distracted"
while parties were going on, the
crimes didn't happen because
there were unknown people in
the house for a party.
"It's as a result of us having a
party, but it's not the people that
we invite into our house that are
robbing us," Bence said.
Flocken said students should
travel in pairs when walking
home, especially between the
hours of 11 p.m. and 2 a.m., since
this is the time when most of the
crimes have occurred. However,
many students say they have
instead opted not to walk in the
area at all when it's dark outside.
LSA sophomore Alexander
Capobianco, a member of Zeta
Beta Tau fraternity located on
Oxford Road, said most people
he knows now takes cabs or find
rides from others, adding that
he doesn't let friends walk home
alone at night. The Zeta Beta
Tau house has also added new
locks to the doors and increased
lighting around the outside of
LSA sophomore Kathleen
Metz, president of the Delta
Gamma sorority, also located on
Oxford Road, said sorority mem-
bers who live in the house have
also been avoiding walking in the
area at night.
"Pretty much every single girl
in my house right now, after it
gets dark outside, is afraid to
walk home alone ... and I'm pret-
ty sure it's the same for a lot of
other sororities," Metz said.
From Page 1A
House, said this is because Eng-
lish is a second language for
many of the children, and their
language skills are still develop-
"Some (toddlers and pre-
schoolers) speak two languages,
some three," Blanchard said.
"It's always astonishing how
quicklythey learn English."
Because members of the
University community receive
priority for their children's
enrollment, Blanchard said the
diversity of infants, toddlers and
preschoolers is representative
of University faculty, staff and
As Blanchard was talking, the
pigtailed girl approached again,
smiling and pantomiming an
exaggerated shiver, her knees
wiggling just below an orange-
and-white flaring skirt.
"It's just so cold. It's like
polar bear winter," she said once
again, running off as Blanchard
responded with a smile.
Blanchard pointed out the
window to the spot where Vil-
lage Corner, the longtime cam-
pus convenience store, was
"Children are loving watch-
ing the construction," she said,
adding that they take occasional
field trips across the street to see
The pigtailed girl reappeared
"It's just so cold. It's just like
polar bear winter," she said.
"Good thing you have your hat
on to keep you warm," Blanchard
But Towsley offers more than
an early education for children.
It also allows University stu-
dents hands-on experience for
University students from Psy-
chology 307: Practicum in Child
Development and Child Care
assist Towsley teachers for first-
hand, research-based experience
in developmental psychology.
LSA senior Amy Schoenherr
is volunteering at Towsley this
semester after working there in
the fall as well.
"The goal is to see themgrow,"
Schoenherr said, referring to the
children she observes.
Each Psych 307 student is
assigned to a classroom to work
with infants, toddlers or pre-
schoolers ranging from ages one
month to 5.5 years old. Schoen-
herr assists professional teachers
in a classroom of toddlers aged 15
months to 2.5 years old. I
"Our class is very, very much
about the children. What they
want and what they need, we
really try to fulfill," Schoenherr
Nursing students and Uni-
versity students in Alpha Delta
Pi sorority located next door
to Towsley also help out at the
children's center. Kinesiol-
ogy students occasionally teach
physical education courses as
well, Blanchard said.
She added that because of the
Psych 307 course, University vol-
unteers are mostly psychology
Schoenherr said the practi-
cum course focuses on teaching
University students about con-
flicts in the classroom as well as
the benefits of play and why poli-
cies about child development and
preschool programs exist.
"What we see in the class-
room, we put into (a) paper,"
Schoenherr said one essay she
wrote for her psychology class
addressed separation anxiety
and the struggles young children
have when their parents drop
them off in the morning.
"They're learning to play
together, which is shocking
because kids are egocentric,"
Schoenherr said. "It's something
that is hard for them, but they've
definitely come a long way."
Play-based programs, Schoen-
herr said, are often miscon-
"People think all they do is
play, but they're really learn-
ing a lot," she said, adding that
play-based programs have been
shown to benefit child develop-
ment through the "very stimulat-
ing" nature of the programs.
"We teach gross-motor skills,
fine-motor skills, language, the
simple stuff like colors, numbers,
the alphabet. They love music.
They love to paint and color,"
Schoenherr said, adding that the
kids also enjoy being read to.
After taking the practicum
last semester, LSA senior Alexia
Simons, who works with the tod-
dler age group, also decided to
stick around this semester. She
now works at Towsley for her
paid work-study job.
"It helps me to know that I do
want to work with kids," Simons
Simons said caring for the
children is structured but sur-
"It's something new every
day," she said. "It's fun work
because you don't know what to
expect. There's a schedule, but
there's different activities every-
Projects from the Psych 307
students andthe youngsters cover
the walls and ceilings of Towsley.
Both Schoenherr and Simons
said the children's learning
motor and language skills are
a vital part of the Towsley cur-
riculum. Teaching the kids to
walk and talk can be challenging,
Schoenherr said, but it has really
taught her the value of patience.
"Language acquisition - how
much they are able to express
themselves and their wants -
that's really most shocking," she
Children entering the program
typically aren't at ease around
other children, Simons said.
"Some of them didn'ttalk alot,.
weren't that comfortable," she
said. "A lot of them, this is the
first time with students of their
But With time and help from
the practicum students, the chil-
dren start to open up.
"(It's) crazy in that we can
get a group of 10 to 12 toddlers
to actually sit and sing songs
(together)," Schoenherr said.
"It's just amazing what some of
these kids are capable of doing
and how young they really are."
One afternoon before recess,
three preschoolers march out
in a single file line and sit on a
bench in a hall of Towsley. A
teacher ties their shoes. Bundled
up in snow gear, they then march
A girl drags around a purple
sled. A boy watches two girls
swing. A bench shaped like a but-
terfly remains empty, surround-
ed by fresh snow. From the top of
a mushroom-shaped fountain, a
teacher reaches for an icicle for
a child. A boy sits alone on a pile
of snow, hands in his lap, watch-
ing a teacher chase around three
children, all three fighting to
keep balance, toddling through
From Page 1A
ports the idea behind the project.
"(I thought) that at Ann Arbor
Dems, we needed to be at the
forefront of a progressive idea,
and that was the reason why we
decided to support (Leaf) and
move this along," Hall-Thiam
While the Ann Arbor Demo-
crats have officially endorsed
the ordinance, Cleveland Chan-
dler, the chair of the Washtenaw
County Democratic Party, said a
conversation about the surveil-
lance ordinance is on the agenda
for his group's next meeting on
"We've discussed it, but we
haven't endorsed it yet," he said.
Leaf said the club also has to
wait for the city attorney to fin-
ish evaluating the ordinance and
for the Ann Arbor City Coun-
cil to vote on it before the ordi-
nance could become a law. The
city council process could take a
while to complete, he explained.
"We're going to have to talk
to every city council person first
to see where they're at and see
what they feel about it, and then
we have to get a sponsor on City
Council, and they present it in the
first hearing, and then two weeks
later they vote on it," Leaf said.
City Council member Sabra
Briere (D-Ward 1) said she
thinks it will be difficult for Leaf
to get a City Council member to
bringthe ordinance before coun-
cil. Though she agrees with the
idea behind the proposed ordi-
nance, Briere said she thinks
the wording of the proposal and
bringing it up before City Coun-
cil will make members choose to
implement cameras in areas they
"Personally, I don't want sur-
veillance cameras anywhere
in Ann Arbor, and I worry that
opening a door to an ordinance
of this nature would allow sur-
veillance cameras," Briere said.
The main challenge the group
has faced, Leaf said, has been
getting people interested in the
topic because it is not heavily
publicized or controversial.
"The idea that there's no pri-
vacy in public has just kind of been
accepted by people and not really
thought about," he said. "We're
just really trying to change peo-
ple's basic ideas about the subject
and get people interested."
He explained that American
deserve privacy in public and all
aspects of daily and recreational
"It's really important to say
that our public spaces aren't
just the Times Square," he said.
"Public spaces are also every
park, every beach and every
residential neighborhood. And
to just give up all privacy in all
these places would make our
Leaf, who grew up in Ann
Arbor, said his passion about pri-
vacy comes from his dedication
to protecting the environment.
"To me, there's no such thing
as wilderness when every area
in an entire city is under surveil-
lance all the time," he said.
Leaf attended Pioneer High
School, which began using sur-
veillance cameras while Leaf
was a senior there. He said that
was the first time he voiced his
opposition to the cameras, and it
has since been an ongoing battle.
"For me, the biggest thing is
just being able to walk around
the city I live in without being
under constant surveillance,"
he said. "And constant surveil-
lance isn't in some science fiction
realm, its already happening."
- Daily News Editor Caitlin
Huston contributed to this report.
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From Page 1A
because he didn't have a source of
"Growing up I didn't have any
lighting. I had to actually study
under kerosene lamps, using can-
dlelight or sometimes just going
to huddle around street lights to
study," Traore said. "I knew that
(education) was (the) only key
thing for me because ... I came
from a low class family and chanc-
es are most of us wouldn't make it
Amin, who was born in Bangla-
desh, said the solar panel project
was partially inspired by a family
friend who asked him to develop
a lighting system for a village in
West Africa. The friend, who vis-
ited the village, told Amin about
the need for a clean energy system
to alleviate certain difficulties for
Following his conversation
with the family friend, Amin said
he sought Traore's help, and they
began working on the project.
Traore and Aminsaid they worked
on an initial design, but itprovedto
be too expensive for the village.
Traore said the idea for a por-
table solar panel was motivated
by an incident in which he had
difficulty contacting his mother,
who lives in Mali. Traore said
his mother hadn't been able to
find electricity to charge her cell
phone when she went to a village
to visit someone and was forced
to travel to another village miles
"That was very inconvenient,
and I wasn't happy with that -
so everything started coming
together and I said, 'I would like
to design a portable solar energy
system for villages in developing
countries,"' Traore said.
When Amin entered the Uni-
versity as an Engineering gradu-
ate student, he and Traore began
submitting their design to sev-
eral clean energy competitions -
many of which they won.
"We were really excited and
we thought ... this could actually
work," Amin said.
With the grant money they
earned from the competitions,
Amin and Traore proceeded to
build a prototype of their design.
"We had the money to build
something, and so we built some-
thing off the shelf (that) we could
stick together using a wooden
box and whatever we could find,"
Amin said. "It went from a con-
cept to something that we could
actually carry around. It could
power your laptop, but it looked
like a shoebox."
Amin attributed some of his
and Traore's success to their
continuing involvement with the
TechArb. They became involved
with the TechArb - a partnership
between the College of Engineer-
ing's Center for Entrepreneurship
and the Ross School of Business's
Zell Lurie Institute - last sum-
mer. The TechArb gives entre-
preneurs 24-hour access to work
space and opportunities to net-
work with fellow entrepreneurs,
according to Doug Neal, man-
aging director of the Center for
What distinguished June Ener-
gy from other companies in the
TechArb was Amin and Traore's
personal connection to their
product, Neal said.
"The June Energy team had a
very compelling personal experi-
ence with the target market that
they're trying to solve the prob-
lem at," he said.
"The fact that they were devel-
oping a very effective solution for
customers ... through their own
efforts and education is a very
good story and very compelling
proposition on how they would
be successful during their time at
TechArb," Neal said.
Amin said though it was some-
times difficult to balance school
and the project, he still felt com-
pelled to work on it.
"I always put this company as
my capstone project," Amin said.
"It was the one project in school
that I had to succeed at."
June Energy plans to keep pro-
ducing technology in Ann Arbor U
because of connections with Uni-
versity alumni, Amin said.
"We're really focused on pro-
ducing it locally in Michigan
because there's such a strong net-
work and relationships with local
product manufacturers," he said.
"We don't know in the future,
but we definitely know one thing
- Michigan is very good at man-
ufacturing these things at high
quality and at (a) very competitive
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