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February 24, 2011 - Image 5

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The Michigan Daily, 2011-02-24

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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Thursday, February 24, 2011- 5A

From Page 1A
Michigan and you're really not
sure (what you want to do), that
being in LS&A is probably a real-
ly good idea because there's such
a breadth of possibility there that
you can sample almost anything
you can think of," Coleman said.
"A lot of students learn through
their freshman year of things
that they like, as well as things
that they don't like. I've had a
lot of students tell me that they
come thinking they're going to
do one thing, and they actually
end up in a very different arena."
Additionally, Coleman said
students should be patient and
not worry too much about their
future careers.
"It will come to you," Coleman
said. "I think you should feel con-
fident. You all are smart people ...
You'll get this, you'll figure it out.
I don't think you need to worry
about it. Just be self-confident;
you should be very self-confident
because you've shown that you
can achieve, and plus you've
shown that you can survive in
(the University) environment
and this is a hard environment."
From Page 1A
than as a medical marijuana
home occupation," the current
ordinance states.
Keene said he filed the lawsuit
in the Washtenaw County Trial
Court to shed light on what the
city is trying to authorize. He
said he doesn't know how to dif-
ferentiate between dispensaries
and cultivation facilities by read-
ing the current language of the
in addition to having certain
ambiguous definitions, Keene
said "patients and caregivers
have been overlooked" in the
Keene added that he consid-
ers himself to be a caregiver and
From Page 1A
literature review to stress man-
agement. The offices also provide
counseling for students.
"We feel between those two
offices that a student surely gets
* the support that they need to suc-
cessfully graduate," Ray-Johnson
said in an interview after the
The offices see about 80 or 90
students in the span of a calendar
year, according to Ray-Johnson.
These students file grievances
about various campus issues,
though less than 10 of these are
typically formal grievances.
Multiple members of RSG said
at the meeting that they were
unaware of the range of services
available to them through the
offices. But Ray-Johnson said she
thinks the lack of centralization
in the Rackham student body
accounts partly for why a rela-

Harper echoed Coleman's
comments, saying each student
will eventually figure out what
passion they want to pursue in
"My own thinking is that at
some point you'll know," Harper
said. "And I know that is a weird
answer ... but there is a sort of
theme and, pattern, coursing
through your life, and I think it's
just sort of hard sometimes to
track the theme, what you natu-
rally gravitate to."
For many students, Harper
said their passions will be some-
thing they love and can lose track
of time doing. But for now, she
told students, "I also think you
have to sort of let yourself be."
As several other students
in the room shared their con-
cerns about the future - like the
amounts of debt they will gradu-
ate with - Coleman shared her
own story about how her career
turned out to be vastly different
than what she expected and how
happy she is with it today.
"When I was in college, and
I was a chemistry major, I knew
I didn't want to practice medi-
cine. That's not what I wanted to
do. I wanted to do research, but
I didn't want to do the clinical

part," Coleman said. "I think you
find these things about yourself
as you're maturing, and recog-
nizing what you don't want to do
is just as important as sort of fig-
uring out, 'Oh boy, I love this."'
Some students also expressed
concern about whether they'll
even be successful in their time
at the University. Coleman and
Harper told students these con-
cerns are normal, especially
at competitive schools like the
University. Coleman added that
she had similar fears during her
undergraduate years.
"I think sometimes stu-
dents who even come to us with
extremely good academic prepa-
ration in high school are sur-
get here to Michigan because
everybody is as smart as you
are or smarter," Coleman said.
"And that's kind of a shock when
you've been in a place where
you're the smartest people."
But not everyone at the event
doubted their potential careers
or academic success at the Uni-
A graduate student in the
Ross School of Business said he
was uncertain of his future, but
he agreed it wasn't necessary to

choose just one path to pursue.
Instead, he said students who
narrow their interests to a few
areas can help to set their initial
career direction, but even that
doesn't need to commit them to
a certain job.
Coleman agreed with the stu-
dent, saying she never imagined
she would end up as the presi-
dent of a major research univer-
sity. She believed she would only
be a scientist.
"I was a scientist, a biochemist
and thought I would be in the lab
for the rest of my life," Coleman
said. "I wasn't - things happen."
Finding a job and paying off
loans are common concerns for
students and the uncertainty
of the future can be daunting -
something the students at yes-
terday's fireside chat know very
well - but with the benefit of
hindsight, Harper offered these
words to worried students.
"It would be a serious decision
to not do what you're passionate
(about) and called to do for sake
of paying off a loan ... Looking
back, I certainly didn't know this
at the time in my life that you are
in yours - but it's a pretty big
decision to say I'm going to do
something I don't love."

From Page 1A
parties have not yet announced
their presidential and vice presi-
dential candidates.
Watson said primary issues
on. his campaign platform are
to fight student apathy toward
MSA and to use the assembly to
advocate for student interests
as effectively as possible. To do
this, Watson said he plans to
work on increasing collaboration
with the state government.
"We want to just really get stu-
dents engaged in student govern-
ment and to use that engagement
to lobby the state Legislature and
whoever else we need to make
sure we represent all students,"
Watson said.
Watson was elected to the
assembly in November 2009 and
served as the founding chair of
the Diversity Affairs Commis-
sion. This semester, as speaker
of the assembly, Watson has been
involved with drafting MSA's
new constitution.
Watson said if elected presi-
dent, he wants to be personally
accessible to students. He said he
doesn't feel the current assembly
made it a priority as much as it
should have to consider the stu-
dent perspective.
"One of the things that I want
to do differently as president is
to make myself more available,"
Watson said. "I think going into
the community and talking to
students will increase transpar-
ency. I don't think MSA has done
enough to advocate for students
this term."
Though Campbell has had no
official affiliation with student
government at the University, he
has worked with MSA leaders on
a variety of issues like the Open
Housing Initiative.
Campbell said Watson's expe-
rience working within the assem-
bly and his own lobbying and
advocacy work with the College
Democrats will make them effec-
tive student leaders.
"There's no one who knows
more about how MSA works and
has been a more effective advo-
cate for MSA (than Watson),"
Campbell said. "I'm someone
who doesn't know as much about
how MSA works, but has a differ-
ent.perspective, and is hopefully
able to bring some outside knowl-
edge of how other things work."
Many students and even some
MSA representatives have, in the
past, underestimated the lever-
age MSA has with the Univer-

sity administration, Campbell
said. He said he hopes to use the
assembly as a catalyst to deal
with major University issues.
"One ,of the things I've really
seen working with MSA over the
past couple of years is the access
it has (and) the influence that
MSA can have," Campbell said.
"I think that a lot of members of
MSA don't necessarily under-
stand how powerful MSA can
Watson and Campbell said
they want to work specifically
on making the University more
accessible for current and poten-
tial minority students. Watson
said he hopes to work with a vari-
ety of communities on campus to
ensure students from a multitude
of backgrounds are receiving the
help they need to be accepted to
the University and succeed once
they arrive on campus.
"If MSA, as the central gov-
ernment, can gather all those stu-
dent organizations together and
create a unified campus commit-
ment to increase that diversity,
that's something amazing," Wat-
son said.
To make the University a more
welcoming and diverse place,
Watson said he will continue
fighting hate crimes on campus.
Additionally, he said, if elected,
he plans to encourage dialogue
with student groups and indi-
viduals about what can be done
to help the transition from high
school to college.
The candidates also want to
make MSA more useful to stu-
dent organizations by creating a
process in which campus groups
can directly propose MSA reso-
lutions without the sponsorship
of an assembly representative.
Campbell said he would like MSA
to distribute funds to student
organizations on a rolling basis,
so that the groups can make
programming decisions without
waiting for the assembly's next
funding cycle and won't have to
float money MSA might not reim-
If elected, Watson and Camp-
bell said they also have ideas
for improving MSA's efficiency
and transparency like posting
the MSA budget with line-item
breakdowns online.
"Students should know exactly
'wherethe money is goingand
how it's being spent," Watson
said. "If students don't like how
their money is being spent it will
be a motivation to come to stu-
dent government and talk about
some things, maybe discuss some

finds dispensaries to be unnec-
essary and detrimental to the
reputation of the medical mari-
juana industry. He said he would
like the city to clearly define the
terms because citizens - espe-
cially those in the medical mari-
juana business - have the right
to know how the city defines dif-
ferent establishments.
He also said he would like
to have clear regulations, like
guidelines on how to license the
medical marijuana companies,
set before the City Council votes
on the ordinance.
"The definition makes all the
difference in the law," he said.
The city has had a moratorium
on new medical marijuana busi-
nesses since August. Once the
moratorium is lifted, officials
speculate only a few new busi-

nesses will become licensed.
The city has questioned whether
Keene's business existed before
the moratorium - he may not be
eligible to receive a license if it
However, Keene said since he
is following the Michigan Medi-
cal Marihuana Act - which has
allowed registered patients touse
medical marijuana in the state
since April 2009 - he doesn't
think his business will be at risk
of being shut down by the city.
City Council Member Sabra
Briere (D-Ward 1) said the law-
suit won't affect the legislation
unless a judge orders the changes
since the council is currently in
the process of editing the ordi-
nance and nothing has been
made permanent.
The next step regarding the

ordinance will be a final reading
at a City Council meeting fol-
lowed by a hearing, Briere said.
But at any point in the process
the ordinance can be amended,
she said.
City Attorney Steve Postema
wrote in an e-mail interview
that he thinks it's strange Keene
is challenging the medical mari-
juana ordinance before it has
been finalized and that he doesn't
think the lawsuit will go much
"Such a lawsuit has no legal
merit and will likely be dismissed
by the court," Postema said.
Like Briere, Postema said since
City Council is still considering
various aspects of the ordinance,
he doubts the lawsuit will have
any influence on the proposal and
its language.


tively low number of students use
the services.
"What we're trying to do is to
really do more outreach, to the
students so that they understand
that there are lots of resources
within their program, but there
are also lots within Rackham,"
Ray-Johnson said.
RSG also discussed the poten-
tial creation of a Graduate Stu-
dent Bill of Rights, which will be
discussed more during the next
meeting in March.
RSG President Michael Ben-
son said the process of drafting
the Bill of Rights is moving at an
accelerated pace and will likely
be in place by the end of the term.
The Bill of Rights would
include the "Rights and Respon-
sibilities" for all University
graduate students and would
encompass all facets of their
experience at the University,
Benson said. He added that other
professional schools at the Uni-
versity are interested in "getting

on board" with the Bill of Rights.
The Academic Affairs Com-
mittee ofRSG also held a meeting
following the assembly meeting
to discuss the ongoing efforts of
the Graduate Employees' Organi-
zation to unionize graduate stu-
dent research assistant.
GEO President Rob Gillezeau
was present during the meet-
ing of the RSG Academic Affairs
Committee to discuss the efforts
of the organization to give
GSRAs collective bargaining
rights. He reported that more
than 1,000 graduate students
have signed GEO membership
cards that show their interest in
joining GEO.
Currently, GSRAs aren't
allowed to have collective bar-
gaining rights in GEO as man-
dated by state law.
The Academic Affairs Com-

mittee addressed the confusion
that exists among graduate stu-
dents regarding the unioniza-
tion debate and discussed ways
in which they are working to
educate Rackham students about
the issue, including plans to hold
town hall meetings in the future.
At last night's RSG meeting
Benson said RSG "is currently
remaining neutral in the union-
ization process."
GEO members met on Tues-
day to discuss the situation, with
some GSRAs voicing apprehen-
sion about joining due to union
Jeff Frumkin, the University's
associate vice provost and senior
director of the Department of
Academic Human Resources,
said Friday that GSRAs joining
the union "is not really a good
"The University is not inter-
ested in voluntarily recognizing
GSRAs as having the ability to
organize," Frumkin said.


Gas drillers make waves with NFL tickets

Gas industry pours
political campaign
contributions into
When John Hanger, then the
state's top environmental regula-
tor, was offered a coveted trip to
the Super Bowl to see the Pitts-
burgh Steelers in 2009, he turned
it down.
The offer came from Consol
Energy, one of the energy compa-
nies thirsting after the riches of
the nation's largest-known natu-
ral gas reservoir, the Marcellus
"I didn't regularly get invita-
tions like that," said Hanger, who
at the time was working to tough-
en regulations on drillers swarm-
ing into Pennsylvania.
The industry, which is pour-
ing billions of dollars into drill-
ing across Pennsylvania, also is
spending millions more in lobby-
ing and political campaign con-
tributions. Unlike most states,
Pennsylvania has no limits on
individual campaign contribu-
tions or gifts to public officials.
Consol, traditionally a coal
company based in Canonsburg,
found at least two takers for the

Steelers' appearance earlier this
month in the Super Bowl: two
state senators, including their
chamber's highest-ranking mem-
ber, who flew at Consol's expense
to Dallas.
Republican Senate President
Pro Tem Joe Scarnati and Demo-
crat Tim Solobay, whose districts
are home to brisk drilling activity,
say they will reimburse Consol for
some or all of the cost.
Republican Gov. Tom Cor-
bett, who took office less than six
weeks ago, received nearly $1 mil-
lion in campaign contributions
from the gas industry. Insisting
that that will not influence policy
decisions, Corbett pledged dur-
ing his campaign to oppose any
tax on Marcellus Shale produc-
tion and has said he supports the
expansion of drilling on state for-
est lands.
Barry Kauffman, the execu-
tive director of the government
watchdog and advocacy group
Common Cause Pennsylvania,
said campaign contributions
and gifts typically get the givers
access to public officials.
"Corbett had already said he
would be a gas industry ally,"
Kauffman said. "One of the key
roles that money played is ensur-
ing that the gas industry's guy
In recent days, Corbett's

administration moved to reverse
a 4-month-old policy viewed by
environmental advocates as an
extra layer of protection against
drilling damage in state parks and
forests where the state doesn't
own the below-ground gas rights.
A critic of the policy, Sen. Mary
Jo White, a Republican, called it
irresponsible and ill-conceived.
Then on Tuesday, a Corbett
spokesman reiterated what the
governor has said, that he intends
to lift a ban on leasing as much
as 1.5 million acres of state forest
land for gas drilling. That ban,
imposed late last year by former
Gov. Ed Rendell, was supported
by TroutUnlimited and the Penn-
sylvania Federation of Sports-
men's Clubs.
"He's looking at that," said
spokesman Kevin Harley. "That
will probably be coming in the
Like Corbett, Scarnati and
Solobay have maintained they
would not be influenced by cam-
paign contributions or gifts.
"Whether you get a hot dog at
the cafeteria or you're having a
state dinner at the Tavern, people
need to give us more credit than
what they do sometimes," said
Solobay, referring to a pricey res-
taurant near Harrisburg.
Kauffman said it is only human
nature to be influenced.

"I know people who treat me
well, and I tend to treat them bet-
ter," he said. "Access to lawmak-
ers is sort of the currency of the
realm, and certainly what cam-
paign contributions and gifts and
hospitality getyou, at a minimum,
is preferential access. And if you
get in to make your case, that's
often all you need. People who
give you campaign contributions
or a trip to the Super Bowl,ithey're
going to get in to see you."
The Marcellus Shale formation
lies primarily beneath Pennsyl-
vania, New York, West Virginia
and Ohio. But Pennsylvania is the
center of activity, with more than
2,000 wells drilled in the past
three years and many thousands
more planned. Meanwhile, pro-
duction from the shale, still in its
early stages, is already as brisk as
production from the tens of thou-
sands of wells in Pennsylvania's
longstanding shallow gas indus-
State forest leases under Ren-
dell resulted in more than 25
wells, with many more possible.
For two years, Rendell, a Demo-
crat, pressed for a gas extraction
tax and for much of it, the Repub-
lican-controlled Senate, with
Scarnati in charge, turned away
his proposals before countering
with a proposed tax that Rendell
viewed as far too low.


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