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September 27, 2011 - Image 5

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The Michigan Daily, 2011-09-27

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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Robert Salo is one of the vendors for Groundcover newspaper, which sells for $1 each.

From Page 1
our content is about that. There's
a lot that's local community news,
in-depth features about interest-
ing businessmen, people around
town, things going on."
When she asked vendors
around the city to distribute cop-
ies of Groundcover, Beckett said
she was surprised at the initial
reaction. Many of the sellers
expressed a desire to write for the
"It was an interesting response,
especially the writing - I had not
anticipated that," Beckett said.
Tony, who requested to keep
his last name anonymous, grew
up in Grosse Pointe, Mich. and
has been selling newspapers on
the corner of East Liberty and
Main Streets since last summer.
* He became unemployed follow-
ing the collapse of his once-pros-
perous business.
"I went everywhere looking for
a job. I couldn't find one," he said.
"Everywhere I went, I got turned
down. But I said, 'I could sell a
paper for a dollar."'
Tony said he hopes to write an
article for Groundcover one day.
But until then, he is grateful for
the opportunity to work as a ven-
dor because the job has improved
his life.=
Despite having to endure days
when the temperature in Ann
From Page 1
a focal point for the company.
"The whole business model
was based on how much we love
South U," said Narayan, who
added that he lived in the sur-
rounding area and thought it
was the perfect location for an
emerging business.
Custom-made shirts are
still the greatest percentage of
Underground Printing's mer-
chandise, but the business is
constantly evolving by focusing
on students as vital costumers
and trendsetters, Narayan said.
"Students tell us what's popu-
lar, (and) we take a lot of that
information and translate it
into collegiate apparel," he
said. "What students want
becomes what everybody else
Narayan said his experi-
ences at the University as an
undergraduate student were
essential to his success as a
business owner. His work in
organizations including Dance
Marathon at the University of
. Michigan, Michigan Student
Assembly and Pi Kappa Alpha
fraternity helped him under-
stand the needs of student
customers, like the desire for
in-person costumer service.
"It's convenience, quality,
price and customer service"
that set Underground Printing
apart from competitors, Nara-
yan said.
Along with Underground
Printing's two Ann Arbor loca-
tions on South University and
Main Street, the company just
launched a new website and
extended the store's business

hours to cater to students'
needs, Narayan said.
Though the company is
4 always on the lookout for new
styles and ideas, Narayan said
he also understands the impor-
tance of the basic T-shirts his
company makes for student
"When it comes to a shirt,
it's a badge of what you're able
to do with an organization," he

Arbor drops 20 degrees below
zero or reaches a heat index of
115, Tony said he enjoys work-
ing as a vendor for Groundcover
because it allows him to interact
with community members.
Groundcover was created
after Beckett visited her daugh-
ter about a year and a half ago in
Seattle, where she came across
the city's street newspaper, Real
Initially, her idea was not well-
received, but Beckett eventually
contacted the North American
Street Newspaper Association
and received a $1,000 start-up
donation by 1Matters, which also
provided funding to launch street
newspapers in Toledo, Ohio and
Beckett said the majority of
people who buy Groundcover are
Ann Arbor residents, rather than
University students or faculty.
"Sales in the University area
generally have been way, way
lower than anywhere else,"
Beckett said. "I think part of it is
because of the lack of publicity to
that particular community."
However, in an effort to rem-
edy this, Education junior Mar-
quise Williams plans to start a
Groundcover Club by the end of
the semester to increase awar-
ness of the newspaper among
the University community. He
hopes to recruit students to help
the Groundcover staff, organize
workshops for the vendors and
Tenyears after Narayan
opened the first Underground
Printing store with business
partner Ryan Gregg, he still
loves what he does.
"I like dealing with people,"
Narayan said. "I have a lot of cus-
tomers I handle myself."
While future plans for the
company include constructing
new stores, Narayan said he is
carefully calculating the busi-
ness's next move.
"Our plans are to grow, but
grow in a manner that is best for
the company and our custom-
ers ..." he said. "We've had years
when we've tried to add a lot of
stores. We're now at the point to
where we've matured as a com-

increase awareness about poverty
and homelessness.
"Hopefully, in time, people
will begin to be more receptive
to the paper and begin buying the
paper,"Williams said.
Groundcover currently has
more than 15 regular advertise-
ments from local businesses,
many of which have provided
resources to help the newspaper
and its vendors. Beckett said
Elmo's Main Street T-Shirts
has donated waist aprons and
T-shirts for the vendors to wear
while they distribute their publi-
"Every new vendor goes to
Elmo, and he lets them pick out
the color that they want and he
gives them two free T-shirts on
the spot," Beckett said. "He's just
so generous."
John Roos, owner of Roos
Roast Coffee - which is located
on Rosewood Street and is sold in
a number of Ann Arbor cafes and
restaurants - said he is proud
his business is the newspaper's
first advertiser because he sup-
ports the opportunities the paper
brings to those without a job or
"Some people were like, 'Why
should you advertise there? It's
not your demographic,"' Roos
said. "That didn't even come into
my mind."
- Sydney Berger and Steve
Zoski contributed to this report.
pany, (and) we only want the best
spots. We don't want to compro-
mise for growth."
Narayan offered advice for
aspiring entrepreneurs and
stressed the importance of hav-
ing strong problem-solving skills
and being open to new opportu-
"I like to tell people ... (to)
learn everything. Be proficient in
everything," he said. "Don't feel
like you have to choose your path
right from the get-go."
Narayan added that he likes to
tell students that they can choose
whatever path is right for them.
"Your degree from the Uni-
versity is a ticket. It opens up
doors," he said.

From Page 1
at the meeting. He does not want
the group names to be visible to
people in his home country since
his membership could be pun-
ishable by death in Iran, Barald
Barald said she feels members
of the University community
should have a say in what appears
on their profiles.
"If the groups were to be listed,
the person whose groups were
listed should have some control
over what appears," Barald said.
In an interview after the meet-
ing, Bernard said there is no way
for group members to change
whether the groups they belong
to are public or private because
MCommunity uses the same soft-
From Page 1
the Diag is something the Uni-
versity doesn't usually interfere
with because it falls under the
U.S. Constitutional right to free-
dom of speech, according to Joe
Piersante, deputy chief of the
University's Department of Pub-
lic Safety.
Piersante added that expres-
sions of opinion have always been
welcome at the University since
he started working on campus in
1991. Rarely, he said, have protest-
ers on the Diagcaused problems.
"The University has a commit-
ment to freedom of speech and
artistic expression, even diverse
opinions that people might not
agree with," Piersante said. "The
University encourages open dia-
logue and debate over diverse
However, DPS would stop
activities on the Diag or other
areas of campus if someone were
threatened or assaulted or if
people prevented normal busi-
ness from occurring. DPS spokes-
woman Diane Brown said the
department would also remove
protestors if they interfered with
,rom Pag l
loween party with live music,
trick-or-treating and marsh-
mallow roasting on Oct. 28.
Engelbert added that she is not
sure how profitable the business
will be in the winter compared
to the summer.
"It's really hardto say because
this is our first year doing this
sort of thing," she said. "If there
is a lot of business, especially
around the holiday season, then
it could be similar, but it could
be even more. But there's just no
way to predict that kind of thing
right now."

ware as the old directory. That
control setting is reserved for the
group owners.
"I would encourage students
to see what groups they're mem-
bers of, see if they still want to
be members of those groups, see
if those groups are public or pri-
vate," Bernard said. "If the owner
is unwilling to change the status
of the group, you should be asking
yourself whether or not you still
want to be a member.... If not, just
ask to be removed."
During the SACUA meet-
ing yesterday, faculty members
expressed their approval of the
new University copyright policy.
Bernard, who wrote the new
policy, said it is much shorter and
a scheduled activity in a reserved
"If (the people interfering with
the space) don't voluntarily com-
ply and allow the event - either
the speaker to go on or the display
to be put up or whatever - then
police can be called to remove
those people," Brown said. "It's
more problematic for us to have
to remove people out on the Diag,
but we have had to do that in the
When a complaint about pro-
testors is filed with DPS, an offi-
cer is sent to assess the situation.
But if there isn't cause for DPS to
intervene, then the department
works to educate the person who
filed the complaint about First
Amendment rights.
Though some students said
they encounter protestors and
preachers frequently, Piersante
said that during the duration of
his time at the University, the
number of demonstrators has
"The Diag is generally a very
safe area where we take few
criminal complaints," Piersante
said. "Students going through
that area where somebody is
expressing their opinion have
the choice whether they want to
Hodesh said the carts were
mainly designed for the sum-
mer months, and most carts will
provide services like private
catering during the off-season.
Next summer, Mark's Carts
will make alterations to the
operation of the kitchen, add
musical and themed enter-
tainment and work to enhance
customer satisfaction, Hodesh
"We like the entertainment
aspect, (and) we will be work-
ing on more consistent hours,"
Hodesh said. "This year every-
one kept their own hours, but
next year we will have court-
yard hours, where everyone or
most of everyone will be out

Tuesday, September 27, 2011- 5
clearer than it was previously. He
added that the policy outlines the
rights students have to the papers
they write.
"It clearly states that students
hold the rights to the works that
they author when they author
them as individuals," Bernard
said. "When they author them as
employees at the University, then
the University is going to hold the
Bernard said rights for Uni-
versity faculty and students have
expanded with the new policy.
"I think it's a good change,"
he said. "We've had an over-
whelmingly positive reception to
it. Students in particular should
be really happy with it because
it really bluntly puts faculty and
departments on notice that stu-
dents have rights and we should
be mindful of those rights."
engage that person or not."
Incidents involving demon-
strators and students are rare,
Piersante said. Except for one
incident, Reed said he has never
felt hostility from students.
"A couple years ago one guy
threatened me, basically to beat
me up," Reed said.
While people have the right
to voice their opinions on cam-
pus, some students like LSA
sophomore Michelle Rubin
are annoyed by their methods.
However, she said she recogniz-
es the protestors' right to free
"I do think it shouldbe allowed,
because of freedom of speech, but
I still don't like it," Rubin said.
"It's not a nice atmosphere to
walk through everyday."
LSA junior Weixiang Zhang
said he views the protestors with
a jocular attitude and as a way to
develop collegial cohesion.
"(The protestors) seem to
be enjoying the show," Zhang
said. "The really funny thing
about this is that it brings people
together. They have a common
anger against this person."
- Andrew Curran
contributed to this report.
there at one time."
Because one of the main mis-
sions of Mark'sCartsis to pro-
mote small businesses, some
carts are in the process of tran-
sitioning to bigger restaurants,
Hodesh said.
"As the carts get more popu-
lar, some people want to move
on to a brick and mortar pres-
ence - and that's part of the
program," he said.
Mark's Carts did well this
year, said Hodesh, adding that
he is looking forward to a more
enhanced experience next year.
"It was a good season,"
Hodesh said. "A lot of (the cart
owners) are talking about next
year already."




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