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November 18, 2011 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 2011-11-18

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-- _- - ,

4 - Friday, November 18, 2011

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

4 - FidayNovemer18,2011 he MihiganDaily- micigandilyco

l e firichiluan l 4:3at*ly

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


Monday, I'm going to be in Portland in the morning...
I'm in California in the afternoon, that's two.
I can't remember what the third is.
- House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said in response to GOP presidential
candidate Rick Perry's invitation to a public debate, as reported by The New York Times.

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.
Kick it into gear
University should implement bicycle program
Biking around campus could be much easier in the future.
TruMich - a student organization that supports the devel-
opment of alternatives to mass transit - is leading a campus-
wide petition to implement a bike share program at the University.
Many other cities and universities have started programs similar
to TruMich and have seen enormous success. The growing petition
has 652 signatures as of last night. The University should support
this project and fund a bike share program on campus.


The biology of race

The bike share program would include a
set of 100 bikes and multiple rental kiosks
around campus. Students could check out a
bike in one location and check it back in at
another. The program would eliminate the
need for students to bring their own bikes to
Bike share programs have become popular
throughout the United States. In July 2008,
Minneapolis created Nice Ride, a non-prof-
it organization that grants access to bikes
between April and November for residents
of Minneapolis. The program charges only
$5 for 24-hour access to bikes and $60 for a
one-year subscription. In Michigan, Oakland
University and Michigan State University
also have bike share programs and have had
only a few small problems with the program.
Having bikes readily available would help
students who are unable to bring cars, bikes
or mopeds from home. Bringing a bike to
campus is a hassle and a risk, since there is
the danger of damage and theft. It's extreme-
ly difficult for out-of-state students to bring
a bike to campus, and therefore, their only
other option is to buy a new bike when they
'arrive on campus. The implementation of a
bike share program would decrease the risks
and challenges for students wishing to ride

one around campus.
Putting a bike share program into action at
the University would be relatively inexpen-
sive and cost effective. A similar program at
Xavier University in Ohio spent $250,000 for
65 bikes and keycards to rent the bikes. The
University already provides keycards to stu-
dents, in the form of Mcards, and the cost of
just purchasing bikes would be minimal com-
pared to other expenses.
The University prides itself on being envi-
ronmentally friendly and sustainable. By
making bike travel easy and inexpensive for
students, staff and faculty, car and bus travel
would likely decrease, and even just taking
one bus off the road would help reduce the
University's carbon footprint. The Univer-
sity should be doing everything possible to be
environmentally friendly, and the bike share
program is another way to have a positive
impact on the environment.
A bike share program would highlight
the University's environmentally conscious
image, while simultaneously making life
easier for students. The petition is a great
way for students to voice their support for the
program. The University should respond to
students' wishes and implement a bike share
program on campus.

uring my freshman year,
I conducted a 10-question
survey to learn about the
transition to
college for the
average Univer-
sity freshman.f
o learned about
the varied aca-
demic experi-
ences of new
college studentsL
- those who LIBBY
felt well pre- ASHTON
pared by their
high schools and
those who didn't. I learned about the
social, sexual and intellectual inse-
curities and overconfidence of new
college students. But until I posed
my final question - which asked
students to summarize their transi-
tionto college in one phrase - to the
last student I surveyed, I had been
entirely ignorant to one of the most
crucial transitional experiences
occurring among my peer group.
My hallmate answered, "I became
aware of my blackness."
I don't think she meant that com-
ing to college made her suddenly
aware of some inherent quality of
"blackness" she possesses. Because
race, in a biological sense, doesn't
exist. But to suggest - like many of
those arguing against the Michigan
affirmative action policies up for
judicial debate next March - that
the non-existence of biological race
delegitimizes a response to race-
based inequality is to ignore the
very real impact of imagined social
My hallmate matriculated to the
University from a Detroit public
high school in which she was among
the vast racial majority. At the Uni-
versity, she suddenly found herself
- her cultural background and her
woridview - on the margins of the
dominantly white University com-
munity. She didn't go on to make
statements about how this marginal

status prevented her from achieving
her academic or social pursuits -
though, perhaps, she could have. She
simply articulated what it felt like to
be - all of a sudden - different.
In order to engage in a poten-
tially productive discourse on race-
conscious affirmative action, the
social significance of race must be
commonly understood. Racialized
groups - that is, groups who have
been privileged or disadvantaged
on the basis of imagined intrinsic
character traits - are still in mea-
surably different social positions.
According to a National Center for
Education Statistics 2007 study,
the average black college gradu-
ate makes $15,000 less than the
average white college graduate.
And, according to the 2010 Cen-
sus, the poverty rate among black
Americans is double that of white
Americans. Without going into the
statistical details, this inequality is
pervasive in school performance,
job hiring and even life expectancy.
The civil rights movement of the
1960s did not effectively end racial
discrimination and inequality.
In discussing the constitution-
ality of affirmative action policies
for my law and philosophy course,
several students argued that such
policies should be color-blind but
give weight to the socioeconomic
status of an applicant. They consid-
ered income to be the only relevant
factor that seriously privileges or
disadvantages people. Our profes-
sor reinforced that the U.S. Supreme
Court upheld the legitimacy of
race-conscious affirmative action
policies because it saw a compelling
state interest in promoting diver-
sity and equality in every facet of
society - not because justices felt
compelled to help out a historically
disadvantaged group. To illustrate
the Supreme Court's point, my pro-
fessor told us that our discussion
section was her first - in 20-plus
years leading discussions - with-

out a single black student. She asked
us what we thought our discus-
sion lacked that all past discussions

action is trying to
end racial divides.
Our nation's policy makers are
interested in pursuing a just society.
They recognize that, in order to live
in a society in which varied inter-
ests are honored, we must promote
diversity inthe most powerful social
and political echelons. Many claim
that affirmative action admissions
policies only perpetuate racial ste-
reotypes and divisions - some even
claim "reverse racism." They paral-
lel the rejection of white students
from universities because of their
skin color to the rejection of quali-
fied black students from universities
during the time of segregation. But
that argument overlooks intention
behind each case of rejection: One
sought to prevent equality on the
basis of prejudice while the other
seeks to promote equality in the
interest of the public good.
Policies that seek to promote
diversity and equality at the univer-
sity level may disappoint the self-
interested expectations of white
citizens who believe their qualifi-
cations will guarantee them a spot
at a university. But disappointment
doesn't constitute injustice. We
ought to fight for the responsibility
of the government to equally pro-
tect all of its citizens. And those who
believe that the system - as it stands
without affirmative action - is just
and equal are simply wrong.
-Libby Ashton can be reached
at eashton@umich.edu.


Requiring co-pays to cover
birth control is essential
House Republicans are attacking a recent
decision by the United States Department of
Health and Human Services to require new
insurance plans to cover birth control with
no co-pays.
They are pushing to undermine this
preventive care provision by allowing
Catholic hospitals and schools to be
exempted, even though these organizations
employ and serve individuals of different
faiths and backgrounds. It would mean
millions of workers and their families would
lose access to affordable birth control, and
so would students at many faith-based
For college students like me who worry
about the cost of living and tuition, the HHS
decision is huge. For students and young
adults, every dollar counts. I am a male and
though I don't take birth control, most of
my friends - including my girlfriend - do. I
'U' should generate power
from exercise equipment

want to plan a family, but only after I have
graduated and have a good job.
I believe that using birth control is an
individual choice and an individual right.
The school a student attends or the employer
someone works for should not dictate wheth-
er or not someone has access to birth control.
The reality is that women of all faiths -
including Muslims, Christians, Jews and
yes, even Catholics - use birth control and
would benefit from access to birth control
with no co-pays. Ninety-nine percent of
sexually active women in the U.S. use birth
control at some point in their lives, including
98 percent of sexually active Catholic women
over age 18. Birth control is an essential part
of women's preventive health care.
It comes down to this: The HHS decision
will have a real and positive impact on
millions of people struggling to make ends
meet. All students should be able to benefit
from health care reform - even students at
religious institutions.
Chaddrick Gallaway
LSA junior

Aida Ali, Michelle DeWitt, Ashley Griesshammer, Nirbhay Jain, Jesse Klein,
Patrick Maillet, Erika Mayer, Harsha Nahata, Emily Orley, Teddy Papes,
Timothy Rabb, Vanessa Rychlinski, Caroline Syms, Seth Soderborg, Andrew Weiner
Open immigration quotas

convertor to the
would convert th
into electricity at
only generates eli
clean, but also pry

TO THE DAILY: of the issue durin
The University, being a large institution, The biggest dra
has an enormous energy demand. Accord- installing a conve
ing to the 2011 Integrated Assessment report, $1,000. Installing
the University intends to reduce emissions the recreation fac
by 25 percent compared to 2005 standards be feasible. One I
and is certainly taking steps to incorporate this might be to
energy from greener sources. For instance, required for the
the 33 kW PV solar array on the Dana Build- toward this purp
ing's roof and the University's collaboration a small additiona
with DTE Energy to acquire output from two these convertersi
2.5 MW wind turbines at Cadillac, Mich are There will prob
proof that greening efforts are underway. dents protesting t
However, a cultural shift in the student tional gains wills
body has still not occurred. Even though promote this init
efforts to promote sustainability are promi- in electricity gene
nent, a large number of people still do not not only offset api
seem aware of environmental initiatives. One also gain awarene:
way to increase awareness of energy usage is live in an energy-r
through the generation of electricity from
exercise equipment, which is a relatively Sreya Vempatti
new idea. This would involve connecting a LSA senior

exercise machine, which
e person's physical activity
nd put it into a grid. This not
ectricity in a manner that is
omotes a greater awareness
g the activity.
awback to this is the cost of
ertor, which could easily be
g one for every machine in
ilities on campus might not
possible way to get around
o allocate part of the fee
use of recreation facilities
ose or alternatively levying
1 fee on machines that have
bably be opposition from stu-
the fee hike, but the educa-
serve as an effective way to
iative. By actively engaging
ration, community members
ortion of their footprints, but
ss as to just how costly it is to
eliant society.

In the current immigration debate that is taking
place in the United States, many speak of "jobs that
Americans don't want to do." While this statement
can be argued back and forth over its accuracy that
is not my intention here. Rather, I would like to talk
about "places Americans don't want to live." How
many times have we turned on the news recently,
only to hear about how much of a wasteland Detroit
(or name any Rust Belt city) is and is likely to remain
for the foreseeable future? What if someone told you
they had a solution not only to the plight of the urban
Midwest, but also a partial solution to the immigration
problems facing this country? A partial solution, and
certainly a step in the right direction, would be to open
immigration quotas for select urban areas - allowing
immigrants to move there and establish communities
and businesses.
Consider the problem that many countries right now
are having of a "youth bulge," where large percentages
of the population are under age 40. This age group has
a very high unemployment rate and few job prospects
in their home country. Many would like to leave and
try their luck somewhere else, especially in a country,
like the United States. But, for better or worse, anyone
who wants to come to the U.S. at this point must be
highly educated and demonstrate an "economic ben-
efit" to the country or be considered a refugee. These
are basically the only two ways a person can legally
come to the U.S.
But this still leaves the issue of no American want-
ing to live in Detroit, and many foreigners wanting to
leave their home country. By allowing special immi-
gration quotas from certain countries to come to the
city of Detroit, both of these problems can be solved.
If immigrants moved strictly to Detroit, this would not
only serve to start repopulating the city and increase
the tax base, but would also create local businesses.
Now imagine if the city went further and allowed
these special quotas for about 20 countries. In an

abandoned neighborhood, suddenly you have a thriv-
ing community of Egyptians, who need businesses to
serve them. Also, by populating these neighborhoods,
you make them safer for those who already live there.
There are currently many abandoned houses inthe city
of Detroit, and instead of demolishing them, it would
be better to populate them. Instead of people from the
suburbs staying out of Detroit at all costs, suddenly
they will want to come in to experience the renewed
cultural vibrancy of the city.
There are certain difficulties with this. For one,
Detroit cannot set its own immigration policy, and the
city would have to get approval from the U.S. govern-
ment to do this. Another potential issue is either the
fear or reality that people would come to Detroit, and
then leave rapidly to go elsewhere. An obvious solu-
tion to this would be to make their visas valid for only
Detroit, and while people could leave to shop and work
elsewhere, they could only live in the city of Detroit.
There would be a sunset clause, say of 10 years, after
which people could apply for citizenship and move
elsewhere, but for the time, they could not move from
the city. Another fear many would also have is that the
city might have a high number of unemployed foreign-
ers who need social services. While this is a valid con-
cern, this can be solved by keeping the original number
of immigrants allowed to a fairly small number - giv-
ing the original arrivals time to develop a support
structure for those who come later.
As outlandish as this plan might sound, picture its
effects: 20 years from now, instead of a barren urban
wasteland, there are vibrant foreign communities in
the city of Detroit, and people from all over the world
are clamoring to live there. Instead of a lack of busi-
nesses and services, there is an abundance of commu-
nity spirit and cohesiveness, and community safety is
at an all-time high.
Alex Hartley is an LSA junior.


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