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March 09, 2011 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 2011-03-09

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4A - Wednesday, March 9, 2011

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

4C iidtigan 4:at'6,
Edited and managed by students at
the University of Michigan since 1890.
420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
tothedaily@michigandaily.com

Finals week exists for a reason

QJ

STEPHANIE STEINBERG
EDITOR IN CHIEF

MICHELLE DEWITT
and EMILY ORLEY
EDITORIAL PAGE EDITORS

KYLE SWANSON
MANAGING 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.
FROM T HE DAILY
Prioritize emergencies
Detroit needs to speed up ambulance responses
Detroit man died of a heart attack while waiting for an ambu-
lance to arrive. Relatives called 9-1-1 multiple times, but an
ambulance never came last August. Slow response times for
ambulances in Detroit are placing citizens in life-threatening situ-
ations. In January, a plan was put into place to decrease response
times, but thus far, the results have been minimal. The city of Detroit
needs to re-examine its plan for dispatching emergency responders
in order to ensure that everyone can receive medical help.

know spring break just ended,
and I know we still have Dance
Marathon, Detroit Partnership
Day and Relay
for Life between
now and the
end of the year,
but it's already
time to start
thinking about
final exams.F
Yes, although
six weeks full of JEFF
better weather WOJCIK
and exciting
post-season
basketball exists between us and
the end of classes, final exams are
going to be here sooner than we
would like. A lucky few of us will
have better exam schedules than
the rest, but uniting us in those last
days before summer is the knowl-
edge that each of us has suffered
through a particularly difficult
two or three days of final exams,
papers and projects at some point
(or several points) in our time at
the University. This can be frus-
trating because while we should
expect our courses to be academi-
cally challenging, we should also
enjoy an academic timeline that
allows us all to finish our courses
successfully. The University needs
to better enforce a policy that
demands faculty and staff to hold
final exams during the regularly
scheduled examination window
and amend how non-final exams
are administered in the last week
of classes.
Toward the end of each semes-
ter, the University encourages fac-
ulty and staff to hold their final
exams during each course's regu-
larly scheduled examination peri-
od. While I applaud the provost's
attempts to hold faculty to the exam
schedule, the problem hasn't been
resolved - instructors aren't mov-
ing their exams to when they are
supposed to be held. As I have said

in previous columns, we have great
faculty and staff teaching excellent
courses, but their course's sched-
ule can be altered to suit their own
needs, with the cost of stressing out
some students. This is problematic
for a number of reasons.
Most notably, holding exams
in the last week of classes doesn't
afford students as much time to
prepare for their exams. The exam-
ination period following the last
day of class is designed to provide
students with adequate time to do
so. With classes, student organi-
zation work, course registration,
major events and other things
occurring the last days of class, it
can be difficult to find time to study
for each exam outside the allotted
exam period. Second, students who
have in-class exams on the last day
of their class may have multiple
exams on that same day, further
preventing them from. performing
their best to conclude each semes-
ter. This issue would be resolved
if all exams were held during the
scheduled period because exams
are better spread out, and students
can petition the University to move
exams in the exceptional case a stu-
dent has several on the same day.
Some undergraduates will dis-
agree with this. International stu-
dents and others with expensive
travel costs probably enjoy complet-
ing their exams early to allow for
longer breaks. Plane trips are pric-
ey and exhausting, and the more
time students can spend with their
family and friends back home, the
more their breaks are cost effective
and enjoyable. Moreover, in-state
and out-of-state students actually
e-mail professors, requesting final
exams be moved to lengthen their
breaks or begin their summers
early. Though I love having a few
more days for Christmas shopping
and time with family during winter
break, I think all of us would pre-
fer performing better on our finals,

eN
he
w
fr
de
to
th

ven if it means less time relaxing at
ome or vacationing elsewhere. So
hile I appreciate the logic behind
'out-loading exams, I implore stu-
ents who enjoy taking finals early
recognize the benefits of taking
sem during the exam period.
Front-loading
exams isn't fair
to students.

Some instructors offer non-
cumulative exams in the final week
of class and contend that their
exam need not be held in the final
exam period. For those faculty and
staff who are committed to holding
these non-final exams in the last
week of classes, students should
be given the option to take the last
exam either the day the instructor
wishes to hold the exam or during
the course's scheduled final exam
period. Giving students choices is
always helpful, and providing two
dates allows them to have better
control of their academic calendars.
Ultimately, we need a policy that
allows all students to achieve suc-
cess in their courses. This means
accommodating students who wish
to be done a week early when pos-
sible, but more importantly, afford-
ing students crucially needed study
time after an assuredly challeng-
ing semester. While some students
may benefit from moving exams to
the last day of class, all of us benefit
from having enough time to fully
prepare for each exam, revise each
paper and complete each project.
The University should ensure we
have this time.
-Jeff Wojcik is the LSA-SG
Academic Relations Officer. He can
be reached at jawojcik@umich.edu.

"
"

According to several articles from The
Detroit News, the average response time for
a city ambulance is 12 minutes - four min-
utes longer than the eight-minute national
average. Many citizens estimate that ambu-
lances can take up to 20 minutes to arrive. In
certain situations, this additional time may
be the difference between life and death.
The city has restructured the system to
address citizens' concerns. The main fea-
ture of the overhaul introduces a tiered
response system, which immediately dis-
patches a basic ambulance and then sends
a more advanced one if that is deemed nec-
essary. Additionally, Detroit replaced eight
of its older, advanced ambulance units with
new, less-equipped basic life units. Accord-
ing to a March 4 Detroit News article, Dep-
uty Mayor Saul Green said "the changes will
allow the city's EMS system to improve its
average response time by 15 percent with the
ultimate goal of meeting the national aver-
age." Other changes include two proposed
ordinances. The first alters the policy requir-
ing dispatchers to respond to each call. This
change means dispatchers can prioritize
responses based on need and urgency, ensur-
ing that the people in the direst need get care
first. The second ordinance imposes a fine
on business owners who exceed an allotted
number of false alarms.

While these changes seem promising, the
city has yet to see positive results. The tiered
response system went into effect more than
a month ago, yet people in Detroit still have
to endure long wait times. According to a
March 4 MLive.com article, an older man
suffering from a stroke had to wait 45 min-
utes for an ambulance last week. This isn't an
improvement.
The reasons for the slow response times
are inefficiency and a lack of resources.
While the tiered system is a start, it isn't
being correctly executed. The new tiered
system employed in Detroit isn't akin to that
in other states where a basic ambulance is
sent first and then, if necessary, an advanced
unit is sent. In Detroit, cases are prioritized,
and only one ambulance is sent due to lack of
resources.
With outdated software, distinguish-
ing between priority cases and non-priority
cases is increasingly difficult. Thus, many
individuals who call for help are simply not
receiving it. Add to this mess broken equip-
ment, cuts inafunding and inefficient policy,
and there's bound to be confusion. Emergen-
cy responders should be acting with a sense
of urgency, and the current system doesn't
properly address emergencies. Detroit needs
to re-examine the new plan, and make
changes that actually improve services.

0i

--t he Seeing Red: Kylie Kagen wonders if Donald Trump is a
legitimate candidate for the 2012 presidential election.
pUGo to michigandaily.com/blogs/The Podium

SETH SODERBORG I

0'

EDITORIAL BOARD MEMBERS:
Aida Ali, Will Butler, Ellie Chessen, Michelle DeWitt, Ashley Griesshainmer,
Melanie KruvelisePatrick Maillet, Erika Mayer, Harsha Nahata, Emily Orley,
Harsha Panduranga, Teddy Papes, Asa Smith, Seth Soderborg, Andrew Weiner

All guns were not created equal

SEND LETTERS TO: TOTHEDAILY@MICHIGANDAILY.COM

America needs to withdraw
troops from Afghanistan

rapid pullout of,
thing currently p
and Pentagon. TI
cent of Democrats
and, for the first

TO THE DAILY: cans - 61 percent.
Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.) wrote in The Sen. Levin sho
Washington Post on March 4 that the major- demand ofAmeri
ity of American people support his plan to war and invest o
keep spending taxes on the Karzai regime and ture and service
army in Kabul. He refuses to seta deadline for tion at home. Dip
American troop withdrawals. The total pro- Afghanistan, not
jected direct and indirect costs for Afghani- 378,000 by the en
stan are $1 trillion, funds that could be used ly to fall just as I
to address job creation and budget crises at unless there is a3
home. that includes pow
Many Americans may support the notion guarantees. But S
of building up the army of a client state like Senate legislation
Afghanistan, as we did long ago in South strategy from the
Vietnam. But Sen. Levin's op-ed piece, co- an explicit deadli:
authored with Sen. Jack Reed (D-Rn) fails to
acknowledge that a recent Gallup Poll shows Tom Hayden
that 72 percent of all Americans favor a more Univserity Alum

American troops than any-
roposed by the White House
hat number includes 86 per-
s, 72 percent of Independents
time, a majority of Republi-
ould heed the overwhelming
cans to leave this decade-long
ur tax dollars in infrastruc-
s like policing and educa-
lomacy is the urgent need in
funding an Afghan army of
d of 2012. That army is like-
happened in South Vietnam
negotiated peace settlement
'er-sharing and international
en. Levin refused to vote for
nlast year calling for an exit
Obama administration with
ne for withdrawal.

I like guns. They're loud, put me in touch with brash
masculinity and make me feel like I'm living on the
edge. Does this mean I should be able buy instruments
of mass murder? The debate over the role of guns in
our society is structured around two principle argu-
ments. One holds that public safety is best served by
limiting the number of people with access to lethal
force. The other connects gun ownership to a tradi-
tion of American individualism, arguing that the right
to own guns should be protected. These ideas are not
mutually exclusive - anyone who believes it's ok for
private citizens to own hunting rifles but not machine
guns has found a middle ground. Unfortunately, over
the past few years, highly-vocal extremists have man-
aged to confuse many Americans into thinking that
responsible gun laws are attacks on the freedom to
bear firearms.
There are many different kinds of guns. A sensible
debate about guns must begin with that. I first learned
to shoot with small rifles and shotguns that had to be
reloaded after each shot. Jared Loughner, the Arizona
man accused of killing six people and wounding Unit-
ed States Rep. Gabriel Giffords, used a totally different
weapon. His gun, the Glock 19, is small - seven inches
long and five inches tall - and can easily be concealed
under clothing. Loaded, it weighs two pounds - not
much more than a Nerf pistol. The Glock is a.semiau-
tomatic weapon, meaning that it shoots as fast as you
can pull the trigger. Recent changes to federal firearms
laws allow gun owners to purchase ammunition clips
with huge capacities - Loughner's Glock was loaded
with 33 rounds. The FBI estimates that a novice shoot-
er with such a weapon can fire three shots in less than
one second - or 20 shots in about six seconds.
Four years ago, Seung-Hui Cho used a Glock 19 to
kill 33 people and wound 25 others at Virgina Tech.
It's shocking that the same weapon was available for
Loughner to buy. It's a sign of a deeply flawed set of
gun laws that after two of the grisliest spectacles of
mass violence in the U.S., the weapon used to commit
them is still available in stores. Glock sales actually
increased in the days after the Giffords shooting.
Consider the implications of letting people purchase
- at Wal-Mart - weapons capable of spraying dozens

of bullets in a few seconds. Are we more or less safe
when, for $460, almost anyone can legally buya quick-
firing, concealable weapon loaded with dozens of bul-
lets?
The presence of semiautomatic pistols with extend-
ed animunition clips on the streets does not make you,
me or society as a whole any safer. In fact, it puts us
in danger. The New York Police Department, the U.S.
Border Patrol and thousands of other law enforcement
agencies arm their officers with Glocks. When almost
anyone can carry the same weapons as the police, the
police are in danger of being outgunned every time
they respond to a call.
Many believe that handguns are an important form
of personal protection. For this reason, we must dis-
tinguish between different kinds of guns. In the hands
of a responsible owner, a small revolver with six bul-
lets is enough to stop almost any crime. In the hands
of a criminal, this kind of weapon is far less dangerous
than a Glock. Common-sense restrictions on weapons
like the Glock won't keep law-abiding citizens from
defending themselves.
Some have suggested that an armed citizen can stop
a lone gunman before he does serious harm. There
was one such person at the Safeway where Loughner's
attack took place - this citizen nearly shot the man
who had wrestled away Loughner's gun.
Most incidents of mass murder in the U.S. involve
handguns. Right now, handgun laws make it possible
for almost anyone who hasn't been convicted of a
felony to buy easy-to-hide handguns that can quickly
take dozens of lives. The question of whether Ameri-
cans should be allowed to buy Glocks - or guns like
them - is very different from the question of whether
Americans should have guns. All guns are dangerous,
but only some pose a threat to society. The shootings
in Tuscan, Ariz. and at Virginia Tech prove that semi-
automatic pistols like the Glock are too dangerous to
be sold to private citizens. Responsible gun owners
should recognize that danger and join with others to
change weak laws that have cost hundreds of people
their lives.

0

SIMON BORST

E-MAIL. SIMON AT SIMKAL@ UMICH.E)U

. '-1W

Seth Soderborg is an LSA junior.

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR:
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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