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April 18, 2011 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 2011-04-18

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4A - Monday, April 18, 2011

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.cam

4A - Monday, April 18, 2011 The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom

C 1-
Edited and managed by students at
the University of Michigan since 1890.
420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

We look really You do realize
good this year. just a spring fi
Luck t beaut I prA-
gamed like it wa
the regular seas
Lucky to be atM




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.
Granting education
'U' should attract more low-income students
Diversity is one of the most prominent buzzwords that the Uni-
versity uses in its recruitment process. Efforts are constantly
made to more actively recruit underrepresented minorities
to the University and to improve retention and matriculation rates.
However, socioeconomic diversity is one type of diversity that tends
to be forgotten. Many students are unaware of the resources-available
that make higher education more financially viable and, with rising
tuition, they are priced out of education. The University is beginning
to advertise financial aid options, and this should continue in order to
effectively diversify the student body.

According to an April 14 Michigan Daily
article, the 50 universities with the largest
endowments - which includes the Univer-
sity of Michigan - fail to attract low-income
students and adequately meet their financial
needs. While the University has worked to
attract ethnic and racial minorities, the num-
ber of Pell Grant recipients who apply has
fallen in recent years. Pell Grants are feder-
ally subsidized grants for college tuition for
students whose family incomes are less than
$40,000 a year.
The 50 universities in the nation with the
biggest endowments each have a lower Pell
Grant-eligible student population than the
national average. The University's 12.8 per-
cent of Pell Grant recipients in the student
body, however, is even below the 50 univer-
sities' average of 15 percent. The University
cannot tout diversity as one of its main virtues
when this important demographic is under-
According to the same Daily article, the
Universityreceives relatively similar numbers
of ACT scores from low-income and high-
income applicants. However, among those
who send scores, more high-income applicants
later apply to the University. Many potential
applicants don't apply because they assume
they would pay full tuition, which wouldn't be
financially feasible. Obviously, the University
cannot force anyone to apply or enroll. How-

ever, it can make more of an effort to inform
low-income students of the financial aid thatis
available. Pell Grants, along with other schol-
arships and financial aid opportunities, must
be more clearly advertised.
Fortunately, University officials have
begun the process of improving efforts to
market the University better to low-income
students. The University has created a mar-
keting office within the Office of Under-
graduate Admissions to inform academically
qualified students that the University wants
to make it financially possible for them to
attend. This is an encouraging first step
toward increasing the number of low-income
students attending the University.
It's important that the admissions office
actually enacts these changes and increases
the number of low-income students at the
University. The new marketing office must
implement a concrete strategy if real change
is going to occur.
The University should continue its efforts
to advertise among low-income students start-
ing in middle school, so there is more incentive
to apply to the University. Higher education is
getting more and more expensive each year,
but it's crucial that qualified students can
always find a way to make a University educa-
tion financially viable. The University's efforts
to advertise these opportunities are a positive
step toward making that goal a reality.

get a little choked up every time
I walk through the atrium of the
Chemistry Building.
that's a strange
place to get
emotional, but
I promise that I
have a good rea-
son. My first real
experience at thee
University was in
that building. RACHEL
I was about 10 VAN GILDER
years old when
my Girl Scout
troop took a trip here to the Univer-
sity. My troop was from the small
Catholic elementary school that I
attended. Everyone's favorite Uni-
versity chemistry lecturer Kathleen
Nolta went to the church that our
Catholic school was attached to. She
generously offered to teach my Girl
Scout troop a little chemistry so we
could earn some badge or another.
So the eight or nine of us girls piled
into a few minivans with our troop
leaders and headed to Ann Arbor.
We spent the afternoon tie-dying
T-shirts in one of the labs in the
Chemistry Building. We also sat in
on a chemistry lecture.
That was the day I knew, without
a doubt, that I wanted to go to the
University of Michigan.
I remember being blown away
by the University. I thought it was
beautiful. The statues at the Michi-
gan League were wonderful. Bur-
ton Tower was impossibly high.
The Chemistry Building atrium was
huge and filled with students who
wanted to learn..
The University was where I
These days, I get a full, elated feel-

ing when I walk through the Ch
istry Building. It reminds me of
feeling I had when I was 10, a
knew that I was going to go to
University no matter what it took
Ok, it also helps that both of
parents are University alumni,
I grew up with Michigan foot
and singing "Hail to the vict
But the fact remains that this is
only place that I've ever wante
go to school.
Four years ago, I came bat
the University asa student. The
time I walked across the Diag, I
thrilled. I felt lucky. I was fin
here. Though I worked hard to
here, I was still aware that any n
ber of things could have gone wr
Yet, somehow, I still made it.
I still feel lucky. Once I got h
I found more opportunities wai
for me. I knew as a freshman tf
needed to find something to do'
my extra time. I chose The Mich
Daily. During my time here, I've
extraordinary people who care,
about issues from the environn
to taxes. I've met people from I
Kuwait and New York. I am luck
have known them.
Lately, the feeling of luck is f
bittersweet. In a matter of days
graduate and leave this place beh
It makes me feel nostalgic and so
times even a little weepy - and
not one for tears.
Too often, I think, students1
at the University forget how lu
we are. And we are very, very lu
No matter if we're the best and
brightest, we still have been g
a tremendous opportunity. We
complacent. We become ac
tomed to being here. We forget
there are thousands of stud
who weren't accepted andn

this is
ootball game?
iem- who, for one reason or another,
that won't make it through.
nd I The University population has
the a reputation for arrogance. (And,
. clearly, the University and its fac-
f my ulty, staff and students are pretty
and awesome.) But the thing about being
tball awesome is that it also makes you
ors". feel entitled. We feel entitled to be
the here, entitled to success, and eventu-
d to ally, entitled to whatever we want.
k to
was Don't take your
get experience here
ong. for granted.
hat I But here's the truth: We aren't .
with entitled to anything. We had to
igan work hard to get here, we'll have to
met work hard to find a job (especially
a lot in this economy) and we'll have to
nent work hard to keep a job. So don't
taly, take anything for granted. Feel for-
ky to tunate now. Feel blessed now. When
vni walk throuf h the DiAv or ui

, I'll
i the

yuuwl tlugl tit g U p
the steps of Angell Hall, feel lucky.
You've been given a gift that will
serve you for the rest of your life.
People say graduation is a time
to look forward. Everyone gives the
traditional "commencement means
moving on" speech at graduation
ceremonies. I disagree. Graduation
is a time to look back. Remember
what this place gave you and how
it has made you into who you are.
Don't forget. Feel lucky.
-Rachel Van Gilder was the Daily's
editorial page editor in 2010. She can
be reached at rachelvg@umich.edu.


Aida Ali, Will Butler, Michelle DeWitt, Ashley Griesshammer, Melanie Kruvelis,
Patrick Maillet, Erika Mayer, Harsha Nahata, Emily Orley, Harsha Panduranga,
Teddy Papes, Timothy Rabb, Asa Smith, Seth Soderborg, Andrew Weiner
Words can hurt
There's a lot going on in the world. There sible for anyone to spew out thoughts, but it's
are a lot of issues that are giving rise to heavy important to keep in mind the message these
emotions and strong beliefs. While it's admi- words convey.
rable to hold opinions and then fight for them, Similarly, Rebecca Black has become quite
in the process, let's not forget civility. Wheth- the media sensation and has received her fair
er the topic is the tsunami in Japan or Rebecca share of criticism. It's no secret that the song
Black's music venture, it's important to treat "Friday" wasn't the greatest display of art-
topics with the most basic care for other's istry. However, some of the comments and
feelings. With the Internet making it pos- tweets she's gotten are uncalled for. On Good
sible for anyone to put their opinion out into Morning America, when asked about the
the mainstream for everyone to see, it's all the meanest comment she's seen through all this,
more necessary to self-censor what you say. Black responded, "I hope you cut yourself, and
Words, if used as weapons, can be extremely I hope you get an eating disorder so you look
hurtful and can go a long way in influencing pretty and I hope you go cut and die." What a
someone else's views, beliefs and actions. Yes, great boost for an eigth grader's self-esteem.
there are people in this country who argue Even for those who hate her song with a pas-
that we have the freedom of speech. But with sion, there's no excuse for such a statement.
that freedom comes responsibility - the basic Wishing something like this upon anyone,
responsibility to determine right from wrong much less atotal stranger, and doingso in pub-
and discern what one should or shouldn't say lit at that isn't something our society should
in a public domain. stand for.
The tsunami that hit Japan elicited sym- Yet in either of these cases there was mini-
pathy and assistance from almost everyone mal outrage. These are cruel and insensitive
in the world. And yet, in a time when there statements, and while none of us may personal-
was so much suffering, there were some truly ly be making them, not standing against them
atrocious comments and status posts on Face- in some cases is just as bad, if not worse. People
book. Here are just some examples: "screw should be allowed to say what they want, but
japan they got what they deserve. Any(one) to an extent. Some things are just mean and
remember pearl harbor I do. They killed uncalled for, not to mention how hurtful they
thousands of Americans and would do it are to the individuals on the receiving end.
again. Kill em all let god sort emm out." "Who There isn't any official legal sanction against
bombed Pearl Harbor? Karmas a bitch." mean speech on the web, but each of us should
"Japan bombed pearl harbor, and god gave take special care to self-censor what we say
them a tsunami lol." ourselves and to speak out against offensive
Shocking to say the least, these were simply comments when we see them. The internet is
a few of many. Regardless of how one may feel a great medium for expressing opinions and
about Japan, there isn't much that can justify . thoughts, but don't forget how hurtful some of
such harsh sentiments. There's a time and a these can be.
place to say things, and there are some things
that just shouldn't be said out loud. Ever. Harsha Nahata is an assistant
These are such things. Facebook makes it pos- editorial page 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
Congress needs 'factual' debates


In the wake of the recent supposed "government
shutdown," many of the frustrating disagreements
between Democrat and Republican Senators centered
around federal funding for Planned Parenthood. Not
to say that abortion isn't a controversial issue and
shouldn't be discussed by our nation's leaders, but
to risk government failure over a small issue such as
funding a non-profit organization is unacceptable.
What is perhaps the most controversial aspect of
this entire story isn't the debate itself or the outcome
of the budgetary issue, but one speech made during the
debate about Planned Parenthood that was made by
Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.). While on the floor of the Senate
he said, "If you want an abortion, you go to Planned
Parenthood..." Ok, fair enough. Many women may go to
Planned Parenthood to make one of the most difficult
decisions in their life and in fact have an abortion. But
then Kyl goes on to say abortions are "...well over 90
percent of what Planned Parenthood does."
When I saw this statement, my first reaction was
hysterical. Not hysterically funny, but absolutely out-
raged that a three-term United States Senator, who
prides himself (accordingto his website) on knowledge
of the nuances of policy, could say such a thing. I may
be less critical of Kyl if his factual error was merely out
of negligence or even stupidity.
However, his error wasn't motivated by ignorance,
but a complete unwillingness to be truthful. Ninety
percent is far from the actual number - 3 percent. Was
he rounding to the nearest 90 percent? What is he pay-
ing his staff for if he can't get even a ballpark number?
In light of his words, Kyl's office issued a statement,
"his remark was not intended to be a factual statement,
but rather to illustrate that Planned Parenthood, an
organization that receives millions of dollars in tax-
payer funding, does subsidize abortions."
Not intended to be factual! You got me! I should
have known statements made on the Senate floor, that
will be entered into the Congressional record, aren't
intended to be factual. So soldier deaths in Afghani-
stan - not factual. BP's oil spill - not factual. Govern-

ment debt, you guessed it - not factual. Whew! Thank
god, because I was getting worried about those.
Senator, I understand thatyou oppose federally sub-
sidized abortions, and I'm sure that Americans would
agree with you. But why lie about the facts? Or, more
specifically, why intend not to be factual? Can you not
construct a compelling argument to support your posi-
tion without making up facts? If your position is the
bestinyour opinion, then there oughtto be a legitimate
reason - not a made up one - to support it, right?
It is this type of rhetoric in contemporary American
politics that helps polarize and destruct our already
deranged party system. Why do Republicans and Dem-
ocrats hate each other so much? It's not because they
disagree on so many issues. In fact, they agree on most.
But political lies, such as exaggerated statistics and
name calling (Tea Party = Tea Baggers), only detract
from the intended purpose of the true democratic pro-
We need to create policy decisions based on the
actual and not the-made up world. I'm a firm believ-
er that most people (and politicians) can make good
decisions, but when facts are skewed and parties are
demonized, any chance that reasonable decisions will
be made is futile. Willingness to work with the other
party, or even compromise on issues, becomes impos-
sible and can (almost) lead to a government shutdown.
Maybe it's just my radically Muslim agenda, but I
think we can fix this problem. We need to elect rep-
resentatives who are willing to cope with reality and
have genuine discussions about policies. This is not to
be confused with politicians who pointlessly debate
and then whine filibuster when they don't get their
way. A senator can, and should, represent his state
genuinely and honestly while being able to admit that a
compromise is best for the country.
There is a long road ahead of us if we wish to correct
this problem, but at least Kyl is voluntarily taking the
first step and will retire from the Senate at the begin-
ning of next year.
Max Levenstein is an LSA junior.



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