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November 11, 2011 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 2011-11-11

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4 - Friday, Novenmber 11, 2011

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily~o

4-.Friay,.Noenmber11,.211.TheMichign.Daiy ...mih.gandilyco

Edited and managed by students at
the University of Michigan since 1890.
420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
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.
Imran Syed is the public editor. He can be reached at publiceditor@michigandaily.com.
A refuge in Detroit
Wildlife clean-up will have positive impact
t's difficult to envision the transformation of a land plot used for
manufacturing into an environmental protection arena, but it is
happening in Detroit. A 44-acre property on the Detroit River
that was previously used for manufacturing will soon be renovated
and added to the Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge - an
initiative to protect and restore the habitats of hundreds of species.
This federally funded project will improve Detroit's natural environ-
ment and potentially produce revenue from tourism. Environmental
projects like the Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge will help
rebuild Detroit.

Right now, I'm not the football coach, and that's
something I have to get used to."
- Pennsylvania State University coach Joe Paterno said to students outside his home
about the Board of Trustees' decision to fire him, as reported by the AP on Wednesday.


Don't 'rave' about drugs

The 44-acre property will be the newest
addition to the refuge that is celebrating its
10th anniversary next month. Starting with
only 300 acres, the Detroit Refuge now holds
more than 5,700 acres of protected land. The
territory lies directly in what once was the
industrial core of the Motor City.
The new addition to the refuge will include
a visitor's center along with a dock and fish-
ing pier. The makeover is already underway
and is funded by $1.2 million in federal funds
with another $1.4 million from independent
agencies. The current project is paid for by fed-
eral funds, giving Detroit the benefit of all the
profits. It's good to see the federal government
take an interest in Detroit and support the city
The property was once a part of the Chrys-
ler Corporation and was utilized by the com-
pany for 44 years. As Michigan moved away
from a manufacturing economy, the site was
abandoned and sat behind barbed wire for 12
years. During its active operation, the site con-
taminated the surrounding area with waste
and industrial byproducts. Today, the Detroit
Refuge is attempting to change an abandoned

wasteland into a source of pride for the city.
The initiative is replanting grasses, restoring
wetlands and capping off contaminated areas.
As Detroit recovers from its economic hard-
ships, becoming more eco-friendly should be at
the top of its priority list.
The waterfront will become safer and
cleaner because the project will help reduce
the contamination. Aside from the site's natu-
ral beauty, the refuge will house endangered
species, like bald eagles, and include attractive
recreational opportunities, like kayaking and
canoeing, that could generate revenue.
Detroit was once an industrial environ-
ment, but rather than mourn the now aban-
doned buildings, city officials are making
positive changes by converting vacant areas
into natural environments. The new addi-
tion to the Detroit River International Wild-
life Refuge will do exactly that. City officials
should seek out similar sites in the Detroit
area and investigate their potential to join the
refuge. Instead of reflecting on the city's eco-
nomic and physical downfall, residents and
officials should focus on developing Detroit's
green future.

Neon lights flash in the dark,
reflecting off the sea of
white shirts. Glow sticks
swim through
the crowd. Plas-
tic sunglasses
and pacifiers in
the form of Ring
Pops bob up and
down in sync
with the music.
Pills are popped.
The music pul- LEAH
sates, putting POTKIN
listeners in a sed-
ative trance. The
beat grows stronger and faster - rave
culture at its finest.
Until recently, rave culture -
including both the music and the
drugs - was most frequently associ-
ated with past generations. We were
still in diapers during the late '80s
and early'90swhen raves were at the
height of their popularity. However,
the recent reemergence of electronic
music has brought with it a reemer-
gence of notonly raves, butalso drugs
like as ecstasy. Often referred to as
"rave drugs," stimulants like ecstasy
are reportedly taking center stage at
concerts worldwide, and there is no
exception here on campus. Rolling
on ecstasy is becoming increasingly
trendy and, notsurprisingly, the drug
is also becoming increasingly acces-
sible. However, despite the drug's
availability, it is by no means safe and
there are still serious dangers associ-
ated with its use that students should
not disregard.
MDMA, the drug that ecstasy is
primarilymade ofhasbeen shown to

have negative effects on the brain and
body. While the allure of the drug lies
inthe euphoric sensationitproduces,
the sensation does not come without
risk. Not only does long-term use of
MDMA damage the brain, but short-
term, and even single-use, can be
harmful and in some cases deadly.
However, it appears that more and
more often people use popularity as a
way to measure safety and figure that
the more people are doingit,the safer
it must be.
With some of the biggest DJs in
house music - such as Avicii and
Deadmau5 - making appearances
either on or near campus, students
immersed in the electronic music
scene - or possibly eager to experi-
ment - have likely had little trouble
finding excuses to "roll face." How-
ever, it is not only those students
who identify with the house music
scene who pop pills for concerts.
As DJs make sets that cater to their
drugged-out audiences, concertgo-
ers feel it is necessary to take drugs
like ecstasy in order to be on par with
other concertgoers and fully appreci-
ate the music.
Bootstrapping the growing accep-
tance of ecstasy is its sister-drug,
Molly - a drug that boasts deliver-
ance of pure MDMA to its users.
While ecstasy can often be laced
with other drugs unbeknownst to the
user, Molly has a reputation for being
a purer form of the drug that delivers
the same desired effects. Though log-
ical to users, this idea is actually quite
skewed, seeing as it often gives users
a false sense of safety and security -
the I'm "only" doing Molly attitude.

Sure, Molly mightbe the lesser of two
evils, but just because the drug is sup-
posedlypure in form,itstill posesthe
same risks associated with MDMA.
It's all 'rolls'
and games until
somone gets hurt.
While it is easy to ignore the risks
of "rave drugs" when many of your
peers are taking them, students must
remember that it is all fun (or rather,
rolls) and games until someone gets
hurt. To counter the potential dan-
gers related to the resurgence of this
rave culture, it is vital that students
stay educated about drug use and
effects beyond the confines of what
they learn from their friends' experi-
ences with drugs.
Students should also familiarize
themselves with the many resources
available on campus, such as the Uni-
versity Alcohol and Other Drug Pre-
vention Program and others listed on
the University Health Services web-
site, which aim to help educate stu-
dents about drug use and help users
in need. As DJs and house music con-
tinue to grow in popularity, students
must take caution and learn the facts
about drugs before glibly assuming
they are safe merely because "every-
body is doing them."
-Leah Potkin can be reached
at lpotkin@umich.edu.



Bins should better reflect
single-stream recycling
When I moved into Bursley Residence Hall
my freshman year, I distinctly remember
reading a sign in the trash room at the end of
my hall stating, "Here in University Hous-
ing, we recycle!" Sure, there were separate
bins marked for paper, cardboard, plastic and
waste,but didthis implythat the recyclingsys-
tem set in place was efficient? All the bins in
the trash room were tan and indistinguishable
until I looked closely to determine what mate-
rial belonged in each bin. Although I made a
conscious effort to sort mytrash, I often found
trash inthe recycling bins and vice versa.
Luckily, the University has since made the
switch to single-stream recycling, so the days
of sorting waste into different recycling bins
are history. However, the recycling bins on
campus have not been updated to reflect this
switch. From the Modern Language Building
to Angell Hall, I still see the visually displeas-
ing tan bins indicating paper, plastic or waste.
A lack of uniformly labeled recycling bins has
led to general confusion in the student body.
Although some of the bins have lids that help
New fund gives students the
chance to boost sustainability

students better understand what waste goes
where, this form of identification needs to be
For example, some of the recycling bins
in the UGLi have rectangular lids, implying
that paper can be placed in the bin. This con-
flicts with the idea of single-stream recycling
because it sends a message to students that
trash must still be sorted. The beauty of sin-
gle-stream recycling is its simplicity, so there
should be a University-wide effort to make
recycling bins more distinguishable from
I am not suggesting that the University
needs to replace the current recycling con-
tainers. The University could instead update
the existing recycling bins by painting them
blue and attaching clear, single-stream recy-
cling signs. Single-stream recycling has
already become more apparent in the Diag
due to the prominent blue bins with infor-
mative signs indicating what can be placed
in the bins. Updating the bins in University
buildings would help to increase the volume
of materials recycled at the University while
also promoting a general understanding of
Beatrice Holdstein
LSA junior

Aida Ali, Michelle DeWitt, Ashley Griesshammer, Nirbhay Jain, Patrick Maillet,
Erika Mayer, Harsha Nahata, Emily Orley, Teddy Papes, Timothy Rabb,
Vanessa Rychlinski, Caroline Syms, Seth Soderborg, Andrew Weiner
The valueof a degree

ollege is expensive. We can
all attest to that. And for
those goingto out-of-state or

private colleges,
it is often twice
the price. With
constantly ris-
ing tuition costs,
there has been
speculation as to
whether or not a
college degree is
really worth the
financial burden.
While the new
student loan pol-


term sustainabilit
Since Coleman's
been many article
Michigan Daily ur
boost sustainabilit

TO THE DAILY: way or another. Nc
On Sept. 27, University President Mary Sue than simply talk a!
Coleman announced the University's new sus- - it's our chance,
tainability goals, as well as the creation of the PBSIF offers an opI
Planet Blue Student Innovation Fund (PBSIF) pus sustainabilityi
- an exciting new program offering $5,000 only cultivate the s
to $50,000 grants for student-initiated, large- to see, but to show
scale campus sustainability projects. With are willing to get ou
guaranteed funding of $50,000 per year for the work to move the U
next three years, PBSIF provides an unbeliev- able direction.
able opportunity for students to build a sus- PBSIF is for bigi
tainable campus based on our ideas and visions. ing the boundaries
These funds are intended to encourage done at the Univers
a wide range of collaborative and interdis- University you wan
ciplinary sustainability projects that will projects are needed
reduce the University's ecological footprint vision for Planet B
and enhance the culture of sustainability on answer in a prelimi
campus. In addition, as an initiative rooted November or in a
in engaging students more deeply in sustain- January.
ability, all proposed projects are required to Visit sustainabi
be led by students or have students on their student-innovation
team. Partnerships between students, staff, about PBSIF.
faculty and even community members are
encouraged as a way to maximize project Abby Krumbein
success and ensure completion and long- LSA senior

announcement, there have
es and viewpoints in The
rging the administration to
y at the University in some
ow it's our turn to do more
bout what we can do better
to take some major action.
portunity for us to take cam-
into our own hands, to not
ustainable changes we want
the administration that we
ur hands dirty and putin the
University in a more sustain-
ideas, innovation and push-
of what has previously been
ity. Envision the sustainable
nt to see, and consider what
dto get us there. What's your
lue? We hope to hear your
unary concept submission in
final proposal submitted in
-fund for more information

icy announced by President Barack
Obama is a start towards lessening
this burden, in scope of how big the
student loan bubble is expected to
be, it is necessary to begin consider-
ing whether such a financial burden
- for students and for the economy
- is ultimately worth it.
In an Oct. 22 New York Times
opinion piece, Michael Ellsberg
argues that while higher education
is good at producing professionals,
writers, critics and historians, it isn't
necessarily the best at producing
entrepreneurs. He argues that the
late Apple CEO Steve Jobs dropped
out of college and then went on to
invent the iPod. Bill Gates dropped
out, only to found Microsoft. Mark
Zuckerberg dropped out, and we
got Facebook. The co-founders of
Twitter were also, you guessed cor-
rectly, college dropouts. Now this is
a pretty convincing list. These ideas
have grown into multi-billion dollar
companies and all without a college
degree to inspire them.
Ellsberg argues that a college
degree is overrated. In no way is a
college degree necessary to produce
the job creators of society - suc-
cessful entrepreneurs. According to
the National Bureau of Economic
Research, the number one job cre-
ators in this country are start-ups,
not small businesses, as most politi-
cians and lobbyists proclaim (how-
ever, start-ups tend to be small so
the two are often combined). When

it comes to start-ups or entrepre-
neurship, Ellsberg argues that for-
mal education does little to prepare
And, in a way, he has a point. We
grow up learning how to ace stan-
dardized tests or write a formulaic
five-paragraph essay. We don't learn
how to pitch ideas, set up networks
of people or build up and manage an
organization. And the same contin-
ues throughout college. Unless stu-
dents are specifically in a business
program, they don't get lessons on
how to market products, sell things
or formulate innovative ideas. For-
mal schoolingdoesn't focus on train-
ing students to become innovative
Instead of delving into creative
ideas and projects, students are
bogged down by rigid syllabi and
being tested on constricted, nar-
rowly defined subject material. The
way most academic classes are set up
leaves little room for students' cre-
ativity to flourish. Students fall into
the routine rut of papers, assign-
ments and exams. When entering an
increasingly competitive job market,
communication skills, networking
and originality of ideas are just as,
if not more, important than being
able to answer questions about last
week's reading.
But formal education isn't struc-
tured in a way that supports this -
the most practice students get with
these skills occurs due to what they
do outside the classroom. There is
room for improvement. Curriculums
and objectives need to be re-evalu-
ated. In addition to having students
memorize every carbon molecule
structure or all the events of the
Cold War, universities should also be
teaching them how to communicate
ideas, build relations and manage
people and situations. Instead of just
asking them about how well they
know a subject matter, universities
should be asking them about what
they'd like to create.
While it may be true that colleges
and schools in general should do a

better job of encouraging and allow-
ing room for creativity, it is naivete
to think that a college education
isn't useful. In a Nov. 4 Washington
Post article, David E. Drew, chair
for the School of Education Studies
at the Claremont Graduate Univer-
sity writes in response to Ellsberg's
column that Jobs and Gates are the
exceptions, not the rules. Few peo-
ple make it that big without a solid
educational foundation. Statistics
showing that college graduates con-
sistently earn more than non-col-
lege graduates reaffirms this point.
Moreover, even people like Gates
affirm that education is necessary "
to prepare the American workforce
to be competitive. The truth is not
all of us will be the next Bill Gates
or Steve Jobs. Many of us will be
the workers that the new start-ups
employ. And for those positions, a
college education isn't just desirable, *
but necessary.
Formal education
should encourage
More than writing off the value
of a college education as a whole, it
is time to re-evaluate what a college
education should provide - what
you want your education to pro-
vide. A college degree still goes a
long way, but at upwards of $50,000
per year, just getting the degree
isn't enough. It is about making
sure that in addition to the piece
of paper and the knowledge, stu-
dents have learned the creative and
communications skills necessary to
make them successful workers and
- Harsha Nahata is an assistant
editorial page editor. She can be
reached at hnahatalumich.edu.

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