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February 17, 2011 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 2011-02-17

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4A -- Thursday, February 17, 2011

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

4A - Thursday, February 17, 2011 The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom


Edited and managed by students at
the University of Michigan since 1890.
420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109






t setu te
a ShOcye 'x i RS
Competingagainst carbon

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.
Not a smart cut
Teach for America funding should be maintained
While President Barack Obama currently has a lot of
issues he's trying to resolve, the one he keeps empha-
sizing the importance of education. That is why it's so
puzzling that Teach for America - an organization that puts recent
college graduates in teaching positions in low-income communities
- is losing about $20 million in funding as a result of Obama's new
budget. Without proper funding, the reach of the number of gradu-
ates TFA can employ and the number of schools it can help will be


drastically limited.
cuts are inevitable. They're happening
everywhere and to everyone - including
the University - but like Washington Post
reporter Richard Cohen wrote in a Feb. 15
article, "The federal budget, now $3.8 tril-
lion, will never be balanced by trimming this
or that program." Not. only will cuts to TFA
do minimal damage to the deficit, but the pro-
gram is too valuable for Washington to allow
it to be sacrificed.
TFA is an extremely unique program that
equally benefits students and teachers. With
the unemployment rate still above 9 percent,
jobs for college graduates aren't exactly plen-
tiful. TFA provides college graduates with a
rare opportunity to receive real-world work
experience before being thrust into a com-
petitive job market.
There are also a variety of benefits for the
schools and students in the districts that
TFA works in. TFA teachers are well edu-
cated and positively contribute to the com-
munities that they enter. TFA sends college
graduates all over the country to schools that
are in desperate need of help and otherwise'
couldnt afford full-time educators. The pro-
posed cuts to the program would take away
more than 400 TFA teachers and put a huge
dent in what the program can accomplish.

Schools and students need the expertise and
knowledge that TFA teachers have to offer,
and taking that away would be a deterrent to
public education in the country. Education is
already below par by many standards, and by
decreasing resources for TFA, Washington is
only moving in the wrong direction in fixing
this problem.
The program is particularly popular in
Ann Arbor. Many University students rely on
TFA for a post-graduation job and are able to
take their experiences from college to schools
that need them. In 2008, the University had
the highest number of applicants to the TFA
program. And according to a May 9, 2010
Michigan Daily article, 7 percent of the Uni-
versity's 2009 graduating class applied for the
program. Additionally, last spring, the Uni-
versity partnered with the program to bring a
TFA chapter to Detroit. It's clear that Univer-
sity students are dedicated, and dependent,
on this program.
Obama needs to recognize how impor-
tant TFA is for college students and public
schools. It simultaneously employs recent
graduates and strengthens schools that are
in need. Cutting funding to TFA goes against
everything Obama has said about the impor-
tance of education for the nation's future.

lobal warming is a problem
that simply won't go away.
I don't mean to beat a dead
polar bear here,
but it's true - I
Googled it. Most
people already
know the skin-
ny - coal-fired'
power plants,
cars, trucks and
Al Gore's man-
bear-pig are all JOE
major contribu- SUGIYAMA
tors to global
warming. Most
also know about ways to decrease
our carbon footprint. But there are
a vast number of people in the know
who fail to take action. It's almost
painful how many times my room-
mates will vacate a room and leave
enough lamps on to light Angel
Hall. I'm certainly not without fault
here, but the idea of melting icecaps
is a thought that often looms in my
It would appear that flyers and
apocalyptic news flashes simply
don't grab the public's attention
like they used to. Maybe the spirit
of competition is the jump start that
University students need to actu-
ally do what they know they should
be doing. This competitive nature
is exactly what the student group
Kill-a-Watt is using to try to moti-
vate the campus.
Kill-a-Watt is an idea that was
sparked atbthe University of Central
Florida ,and has been generously
loaned to Engineering junior Matt
Friedrichs and LSA junior Katie
Kent, who are the co-founders of
the University of Michigan branch.
It's a campus-wide competition
that pits residence hall against resi-
dence hall to see who can reduce
their energy use by the largest per-

This reduction in energy use
is reliant on the occupants of the
residence halls around campus.
Kill-a-Watt is asking students to do
the little things that save energy -
turn off lights, televisions, laptops,
unplug phone chargers not in use,
etc. The hope is that the sum of
these small efforts will be reflected
in the University's monthly energy
bill and, more importantly, our car-
bon footprint.
The United States is notoriously
bad when it comes to carbon emis-
sions. According to Carbon Foot-
print Ltd, the average American
emits about 20 metric tons of car-
bon per year. This is about 16 metric
tons more than people through-
out the rest of the world. Even the
world's average carbon footprint is
too large to combat climate change.
Ideally, average world carbon emis-
sions should be at about 2 metric
tons per person - 10 times less car-
bon than Americans are currently
emitting. Ideal goals and realistic
goals are drastically different, but
the room for improvement is defi-
nitely there.
One of the biggest challenges
Kill-a-Watt faces is getting a level
of participation needed to actually
make a difference. "At a school as
big Michigan," Friedrichs wrote in
an e-mail, "it is always hard to get a
lot of students engaged in an event
like this. To overcome this chal-
lenge we will combine competition,
publicity and incentives to engage
students." Friedrichs explained
that the publicity campaigns will
go "beyond a sticker on the wall"
by tapping into existing networks
of resident advisors, the housing
staffs and the program Planet Blue
to promote the event and remind
students of ways to reduce energy.
The hope is to take advantage of
the influence that residential advi-

sors carry with their halls. This can
be achieved by working the Kill-a-
Watt challenge into residence hall
meetings or with friendly remind-
ers to turn off lights. Though it
doesn't seem like much, the point
of the competition is to show how
doing these little things can make a
remarkable difference. What could
set Kill-a-Watt apart from similar
groups is the tangible results it will
provide. The percent reduction of
total monthly energy use for each
residence hall will be reported so
students will see the difference
they're making.
can provide
tangible results.
Perhaps the greatest asset the
group has to offer is the spirit of
competition and prospect of prizes.
University students live for com-
petition, whether it's in the class-
room or around campus. Sprinkle
in a little cash or gift cards and
Kill-a-Watt could have a winning
combination to become a reputable
Though Kill-a-Watt is still in the
production phase, the hope is to
begin the 2011 fall semester with
this month-long competition. The
ultimate goal of reducing our car-
bon footprint is something that
should be admired. With any luck
Kill-a-Watt will surpass the scope
of the competition and make energy
efficient practices a part of the way
of life for University students.
-Joe Sugiyama can be reached
at jmsugi@umich.edu.

Aida Ali, Will Butler, Michelle DeWitt, Ashley Griesshammer,
Melanie Kruvelis, Erika Mayer, Harsha Nahata, Emily Orley, Harsha Panduranga,
Teddy Papes, Asa Smith, Seth Soderborg, Andrew Weiner



Personal choice is limited
by government regulations
On the subject of Michelle Obama's efforts
to fight obesity, Michigan Daily columnist
Dar-Wei Chen makes the false claim that no
government official, not even Ms. Obama,
"is trying to tell anyone how to live," ('Let's
move' toward 'socialism', 2/13/11). Alas, if
only this were true.
Chen may not be aware, but last November,
the Food and Drug Administration proposed
forcing cigarette companies to print pictures
of dead and dying people on its products to
deter smokers. Government officials in New
York went a step further by requiring con-
venience store owners to post pictures of
charred lungs and yellow teeth in shop win-
dows. Opponents of the law sued on First
Amendment grounds, it was struck down and
the city appealed the decision.
Study abroad programs in
Israel are a safe option
I am responding to Hamdan Azhar's view-
point discussing the situation in Israel and
Palestine (A Palestinian-Israeli approach,
2/2/11) As a member of WolvPAC, I would
like to clarify some issues that arose in this
article. First and foremost, I want to stress
the fact that many universities around the
United States have a study abroad program to
Israel that has been both beneficial and, more
importantly, a safe trip.
A trip to Israel could provide University

What about Four Loko, the alcoholic ener-
gy drink that was regulated out of existence
last year by the FDA? Government officials
decided that no one should be allowed to
consume the equivalent of a cup of coffee
and a couple shots of Vodka. There's also
medical marijuana and its many users, who
are still subject to federal SWAT team raids,
even in states where the substance has been
But even if we remain within the bounds of
Chen's topic - obesity - we find prohibition-
ist government action. He might remember,
for instance, the city of San Francisco ban-
ning McDonalds Happy Meals last year.
So not only are government officials telling
us "how to live," they are actively forcing us
- at gunpoint if you're the victim of a federal
raid - not to drink, or eat, or smoke certain
Robby Soave
Alum and former Daily editorial page editor
students with a culturally enriching and
historical experience that many other coun-
tries simply could not offer. Azhar noted that
there have been safety concerns with stu-
dents traveling to Israel, but I believe there
are always safety threats when an individual
travels outside the U.S. Multiple organiza-
tions - for example, Birthright - take stu-
dents to Israel and have never experienced
any major problems. On another note, I agree
that a joint Palestinian-Israeli study abroad
program could be successful, but the focus
for WolvPAC is just to create a study abroad
program to Israel.
Matthew Steinway
LSA freshman

- he Science Savy: Nick Clift talks about Jeopardy's newest
contestant-- IBM computer, Watson.
UUGo to michigandaily.com/blogs/The Podium
Bring bullying into thelight


When I reflect back on this past semester, I acknowl-
edge the trials that I faced with a grain of salt. The
attacks I confronted from former Michigan assistant
attorney general Andrew Shirvell were harsh and
inexcusable by anyone's standards. The University,
however, responded with a unified voice in support of
the LGBT community, to tell Shirvell and those who
hold similar views that such conduct is not permissible
in our community and an otherwise horrible incident
was turned into something positive for Michigan.
I was lucky. I was a member of a community that
taught me how to handle a situation like this, how
to hold strong and how to remain poised in the face
of adversity. I belong to a community that would not
stand for unwarranted attacks on any targeted person
or group, no matter what kind of bully.
But not every student has this resource today in
America. It saddens me to know that while some of us
are privileged to live in communities that protect our
students from bullies, other students across the nation
aren't as lucky, and may not have access to a supportive
We live in a nation that sits idly by as those around
us are taunted, mocked, ridiculed and even attacked
because they are different. We live in a nation where
bullying is looked on as a rite of passage for students.
Bullying is treated as a problem without a solution
- an issue schools must simply cope with. Sixty to 80
percent of all students are bullied during their primary
and secondary education, and bullying victims are up
to nine times more likely to consider suicide during
this time. Despite the epidemic in schools, many school
administrators still view bullying as a non-issue. Worst
of all, students who are bullied don't saying anything
to administrators for fear of what their bullies may
do to them. This is why students at the University are
standing up and fighting back. On Saturday, Feb. 19

students at the University will be traveling to the Ypsi-
lanti District Library to support the kick-off of a state-
wide Anti-Bullying campaign. All students deserve
their chance to feel safe and protected when they go to
school, and University students will be taking the first
step to ensure that happens.
We must advocate for nothing less than zero-tol-
erance bullying policies in our communities if we
want attitudes toward bullying to change. There is no
excuse for anyone who witnesses bullying and does not
step in. We all have to be brave enough to take a stand
whenever necessary and challenge those around us to
do the same. We need our towns, cities and states to
create support networks for those who have been tar-
geted, no matter what they have been targeted for. We
need policies that reward those who say something
when they combat bullying in schools.
Students in our country deserve communities that
won't supportstanding idly by. We must prove to those
students who are terrified to go to school everyday
because of what others might think, say or do to them
that they have a support network now - not that they
will have one in the future.
Bullying should not be seen as a precursor to vio-
lence, but should be treated as an act of violence. If
we continue to ignore the impact of bullying on our
schools, we all will be committing an act of violence
against our country's youth.
I hope every community feels the need to take action
to protect their youth and stop bullying. The Michigan
Student Assembly will be providing free transporta-
tion to the anti-bullying conference this Saturday, Feb.
19. If you would like to reserve a spot, please visit www.
msa.umich.edu. All students are welcome.
Chris Armstrong is the president of the Michigan Student
Assembly. He can be reached at charmstr@umich.edu.

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. We do
not print anonymous letters. Send letters to tothedaily@michigandaily.com

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