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February 07, 2012 - Image 4

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4 -Tuesday, February 7, 2012 .

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

4 - Tuesday, February 7, 2012 The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom

C l e Iiclvigan+ aily

Edited and managed by students at
the University of Michigan since 1890.
420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
tothedaily@michigandaily.com
ASHLEY GRIESSHAMMER
and ANDREW WEINER JOSH HEALY
EDITORIAL PAGE EDITORS MANAGING EDITOR

NOTABLE QUOTABLE
We're not going to fight this fight with
one hand tied behind our back...
- President Barack Obama's campaign manager Jim Messina said to the New York Times about
the campaign's decision to solicit donations to a pro-Obama super PAC.
U' should lead with LEED

0

JOSEPH LICHTERMAN
EDITOR IN CHIEF

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.
Keep carp at bay
Midwest states must stop invasive species
T he ongoing threat to the Great Lakes' ecosystem posed by
Asian carp was revisited this past week in several ways. Last
Tuesday, a panel of engineering and environmental experts
convened in Huron, Ohio for a public forum to discuss possible solu-
tions to the threat. The same day, news outlets reported the findings
of a recent study co-sponsored by the Great Lakes Commission (GLC)
and the Great Lakes St. Lawrence Cities Initiative (GLSLCI). The fed-
eral government and affected state governments should use the find-
ings to determine the most cost-effective solution to the Asian carp
problem before it grows beyond their control.

The report was released in the -wake of
increasing public concern over carp sight-
ings near the juncture of the Great Lakes and
Mississippi River basins. The Commission's
report calls for the immediate separation of
the basins with a barrier designed to keep out
the pesky carp. It also offers three alterna-
tives to the plan in hopes that a compromise
can be reached. Since the plan would force
the city of Chicago to overhaul its waterway
system, a number of Chicago business owners
and representatives are opposed to the sepa-
ration and its potential effects on the falter-
ing Illinois economy.
Asian carp are well-known for their'habit
of consuming massive amounts of plankton,
an organism that's essential to the survival of
native fish species and the Great Lakes' fishing
industry, which generates $7 billion in annual
activity for the local economy. The carp are
also known to jump out of the water violently
when startled by nearby fishing boats, which
puts recreational fishermen at risk for serious
injuries. Once the carp are able to establish a
young breeding population in an ecosystem,
it's virtually impossible to eradicate them.
This means the welfare of nearly all the native
fish of the Great Lakes - and the wildlife that

feed on them - is at stake.
The Great Lakes region may be forced to
make a considerable investment in the barrier,
but the project would pay for itself over time.
Efforts to control invasive species already
cost local economies more than $150 million a
year. Though the cheapest solution the study
proposes would cost between $3.26 and $4.27
billion to implement, it is also projected to gen-
erate up to $9.5 billion in long-term savings.
The overhaul of Chicago's shipping facilities
could also generate $400 million in economic
benefits for the city's ports, and the entire sep-
aration effort could create thousands of much-
needed jobs.
There's not much time for local represen-
tatives to act on these measures. Asian carp
have crept steadily closer toward the Great
Lakes via the Mississippi River ince the
1990s. According to the U.S. Army Corps of
Engineers, there are currently as many as 10
invasive species on the verge of overtaking
the Great Lakes. The spread of Asian carp
would permanently damage Michigan's fish-
ing and tourism industries. The state govern-
ment needs to act on recent findings and take
appropriate steps to prevent the invasion of
Asian carp before it's too late.

ast week, The Michigan
Daily highlighted the Uni-
versity's strides toward a
greener campus.
In June 2010,
the University
implemented
a LEED Silver
standard for all
new fconstruc-
tion projects
on campus.
LEED stands JOE
for Leadership SUGIYAMA
in Energy and - -- --
Environmental
Design, and is a special certifica-
tion given only to environmentally
sound buildings. The results have
been tremendous, considering that
large-scale projects, such as the C.S.
Mott Children's and von Voigtland-
er Women's Hospital and the Ross
School of Business, have achieved
this acclaimed, environmentally
friendly standing. That being said,
the University would do itself a dis-
service if it chose to look only at
future buildings' carbon footprints,
while ignoring those already in exis-
tence.
Credit must be given when due,
and the University's LEED initiative
should be viewed asa great first step.
The new hospital's LEED Silver cer-
tification is inspiring - a green roof,
no-wax floors and a plethora of recy-
cled materials used during the con-
struction process. These measures
have led to energy savings, efficient
water usage and a reduction in car-
bon dioxide emissions.
While nothing can be taken away
from what the University has accom-
plished, simply requiring LEED
status for new buildings is too restric-
tive. The University should now turn
its attention to existing buildings on
campus in order to truly be a leader

in sustainability.
There are countless ways to
improve existing buildings on cam-
pus. In fact, the U.S. Green Building
Council has an 84-page document
on this very topic. As it turns out,
many of the buildings on campus are
currently in an advantageous posi-
tion when it comes to getting certi-
fied. Going the extra mile is not only
an obtainable goal, but also a neces-
sary one.
Items such as the smoking ban,
automatic light sensors and recycling
options have given many Univer-
sity buildings a head start to achieve
LEED accreditation. Each one of
these green-minded innovations is
on the USGBC's project checklist for
LEED certification of existing build-
ings. With a little tweaking here and
there, the University has the capabil-
ity of becoming one of the greenest
campuses in the nation.
The University should focus its
funding on LEED points that are
either cheaply achieved - such as
using environmentally friendly
cleaning products and fertilizers -
or have a direct impact on energy
costs, including low-flow water fix-
tures, heating reduction and electric-
ity reduction measures.
Many of these steps will require
a large amount of capital, but the
USGBC claims that the pay-back
period for LEED certification ranges
from three to 10 years. For an insti-
tution as large as the University, this
is a more than acceptable range -
keeping in mind that once pay-back
is achieved, the annual savings in
energy reduction can be viewed as an
income of sorts.
If a mere 34 of the possible 85
LEED points are met, the University
would have another innovative brag-
ging point for prospective applicants
and donors.

Though LEED certification is a
great goal to have in mind, it is not
the end-all, be-all of green living.
Some of the buildings on campus are
over 100 years old, and it may not be
possible to implement such a rigor-
ous system. But that does not mean
nothing can be done. The University
should view the USGBC's guidelines
as a blueprint for a possible best-case
scenario and attempt to apply its con-
cepts pragmatically.
Existing campus
buildings should
go green, too.
There are many simple fixes.that
could do the trick. Turning off the
lights in the upper levels of Angell
Hall at a reasonable hour or ensuring
that classrooms are of an appropri-
ate size for the number of students
in a course could significantly lower
electricity costs and carbon emis-
sions. Low-flow fixtures are a proven
method of saving money on water
costs and reducing the amount of
wastewater produced.
The University has an obligation
as an institution to implement this
sort of progressive thinking. The
steps are already in place to proceed
into a sustainable, greener world. A
little improvement paired with criti-
cal cost-analysis could go a long way
in saving some scratch and helping
the environment.
- Joe Sugiyama can be reached at
jmsugi@umich.edu. Follow him on
Twitter at @JoeSugiyama.

EDITORIAL BOARD MEMBERS:
Aida Ali, Laura Argintar, Kaan Avdan, Ashley Griesshammer, Nirbhay Jain, Jesse Klein,
Patrick Maillet, Erika Mayer, Harsha Nahata, Harsha Panduranga, Timothy Rabb, Adrienne
Roberts, Vanessa Rychlinski, Sarah Skaluba, Seth Soderborg, Caroline Syms, Andrew Weiner
@PeteHoekstra Thank u for remind-
ing us why we should vote 4
Debbie Spend-it-now Stabenow.
4000"Now U 1#RacistAds
#YouMokeEconomyGood
-@michdailyoped
AMANDA CANVASSER I
Teaching for a cause

ANDREI S. MARKOVITS I
Sports coexist with education

Caitlin Huston, author of "Teach for
America: A two-year crash course" and "TFA
Detroit: A $3,000 gamble" was correct when
she said that Teach for America corps mem-
bers have a chance to make an impact in one
of the country's most disadvantaged school
districts. She was right when she mentioned
that the district is in financial despair. And,
she was right to mention that Detroit schools
lack resources.
One fact that she neglected to mention
though was the positive effect that Teach
for America teachers have on the Detroit
schools. In many TFA classrooms across
the city, teachers are improving reading and
math scores by several grade levels in one
year. Teach for America teachers are getting
their students involved in activities and com-
munity groups across the city to stand up for
better opportunities. Moreover, teachers are
working incredibly hard with their students
to help prepare them to advance on to college
and expand their life opportunities.
Huston is right when she mentions that
being a teacher is hard work. Yet, as a 2010
graduate from the University's Ford School
of Public Policy, I can assure you I was pre-
pared to work in this high stakes environ-
ment. I gained skills at the University that
would allow me to teach my students at a
rigorous level, and I gained knowledge that
would allow me to hook my students into
every lesson. I currently attend the Univer-

sity's Masters in Education program where
I continue to learn valuable skills that allow
me to take my students to the next level.
I teach high school civics and economics
at Crockett Technical High School in Detroit.
My students gain knowledge in economics and
government and leave my class understanding
what rights theyhave, how to stand up for what
they believe in and how to be productive mem-
bers of society. This past year, 82 percent of my
students left my class proficient in economics.
They spoke at Detroit City Council meetings,
met with the districts's Emergency Financial
Manager to discuss improvements in their
school and wrote letters to our Congressmen
advocating for a better education. Yes, we lack
resources, but our students come determined
to learn every day.
Through my TFA experience, I have been
challenged, I have grown and I have learned
an immense amount about the city of Detroit
and its vibrant residents. Detroit is poised to
enter a new renaissance, but we must ensure
that more of our students are receiving the
educational opportunities theydeserve. Teach
For America is offering one additional source
of effective educators, and we are working,
relentlessly alongside our talented veteran
colleagues to make a difference for our kids.
Amanda Canvasser is a Master's student
in the School of Education. She is a 2010
Teach For America corps member.

The spate of recent criticisms
regarding college sports - mean-
ing the big-time revenue makers of
football and men's basketball, with
few worries allotted to swimming
or gymnastics - center on two
arguments: that their behemoth
existence is detrimental to the Uni-
versity's mission of education and
scholarship, and their prominence
in University life is new. Neither
claim is true.
As to the former, the growth of
these two sports in the course of the
post-World War II era also coincides
with the emergence of the American
university as the envy of the world.
According to two surveys conducted
on a yearly basis, "Top 400 - The
Times Higher Education World Uni-
versity Rankings" and "QS Top 500
Universities" American universities
have consistently been present in
both. There are 20 U.S. universities
among the top 50 in the QS ranking
and 30 U.S. universities among the
top 50 in the Times Higher Educa-
tion ranking.
A quick glance at these American
universities will reveal a substantial
number of institutions in which big-
time Division-I college football and
men's basketball play a key role, and
have done so for decades. Among
these are eminent institutions such
as Stanford University; the Univer-
sity of California, Berkeley; the Uni-
versity of California, Los Angeles; the
University of Michigan; the Univer-
sity of Wisconsin; the University of
Texas and Duke University.
Yes, the University of Chicago,
the California Institute of Technol-
ogy, the Massachusetts Institute of
Technology and Ivy League schools
- including Harvard University,
Yale University, Princeton Univer-
sity and Columbia University - do.
have both of these sports, among
many others, but arguably they
have come to play a less salient role
in these institutions' identities than
in the other schools'.
Moreover, a brief look at much-

discussed Penn State University will
reveal that parallel to this univer-
sity's growth in football prominence
under the aegis of the late Joe Pater-
no, a comparable, if not even more
impressive, growth in this institu-
tion's stature as a leading research
university on both national and
international levels occurred.
With the faculties of most Ameri-
can universities now more accom-
plished, more professionally active,
more published and more diverse
over the past four decades, and with
greater student competition for
admission, an argument can be made
that today's American university
is -intellectually and professionally
superior to its erstwhile predecessor.
Concerning the second point,
there exists ample evidence that
football and other sports, such as
rowing and baseball, became cen-
tral ingredients of American col-
lege existence by the early 1860s. As
sport historians John A. Lucas and
Ronald A. Smith (individually and
jointly) have amply shown, virtually
all the ills that we currently bemoan
sports to have corrupted the integ-
rity of our universities' educational
mission existed in college football
of the late 19th century: financial
favors to sub-freshmen recruits,
constant violations of eligibility
rules, bowing to alumni interests
and outside boosters, payment of
professional coaches well beyond
faculty salaries and sports budgets
far exceeding those of large depart-
ments and even entire schools.
For example, Yale's income from
footballin1903equaled the combined
budgets of the law, divinity and med-
ical schools. The reason for this was
clear then and remains clear now:
product differentiation. Ameri-
ca's nine colonial colleges emulated
oxford and Cambridge Universities,
including playing sports. But unlike
Oxford and Cambridge, wh ose prod-
uct needed no particular distinction
in the then still sparse world of Brit-
ish higher education, this was not the

case with their American imitators.
Here, the need for differentiation
among a greater number of univer-
sities became a necessity, especially
with the considerable growth in
institutions of higher education fol-
lowing the passing of the Morrill
Land-Grant Act signed into law by
President AbrahamLincoln in 1862.
Sports came to play a crucial role
increation of these institutions' iden-
tities. When Columbia won a regatta
on Lake Saratoga in 1874, President
Frederick Barnard congratulated
the team by saying that this victory
would carry the name of Columbia
to far-away placeslike Paris, London,
Hong Kong and Kolkata. And one
year later, Cornell President Andrew
White welcomed his victorious row-
ers with flying flags and the Univer-
sity chimes a-ringing.
Moreover, sports proved a great
social equalizer. Young men from
rural backgrounds and modest
means attending the newly-formed
land grant colleges could - and
often did - defeat rivals hailing
from privilege and money, precisely
because even then, sports were bet-
ter understood and more avidly fol-
lowed by the vast majority of the
public than physics or philosophy.
Harvard's construction of its horse-
shoe shaped, concrete-based stadi-
um in 1903 was much better known
and more'prominently covered than
its 40 endowed professorships.
This has not changed. Nor has the
desire to utilize a sport's popularity
to enhance a school's name recogni-
tion and identity-building. Sports
became unique fixtures of American
higher education and do not exist
in this form anywhere else in the
world, including in the education
systems of America's English-speak-
ing cousins. Sports have long coex-
isted with the American university's
scholarly mission and will continue
to do so in the future.
Andrei S. Markovits is a professor
of political science and German.

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