4 - Tuesday, January 10, 2012
The Michigan Daily - michiganclaily.com
4 - Tuesday, January10, 2012 The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com
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Edited and managed by students at
the University of Michigan since 1890.
420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
and ANDREW WEINER JOSH HEALY
EDITORIAL PAGE EDITORS MANAGING EDITOR
Look, kid, you can't just
keep taking free tastes
Sigh...I guess I'll
go with vanilla.
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 email@example.com.
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Sustainable reso lutions
A home for all
he new yea
Ann Arbor needs affordable off campus housin g - a timet
Pout that las
Affordable student housing is becoming an increasingly seri-
ous problem on campus as a surprising number of high-
rise luxury apartments now dominate Ann Arbor's skyline.
With expensive amenities like hot tubs and large televisions offered
by such apartment buildings, students are asked to pay considerably
high rent prices, some of which exceed $1,000 a month per person.
These prices are a result of new complexes built close to Central
Campus, and force students who don't wish to reside in University
Housing farther from campus. The University and the city of Ann
Arbor must work together to attract and create affordable housing
options for all students.
The University announced in November
that the Baits I Residence Hall on North Cam-
pus will permanently close after the winter
semester due to serious structural damage.
East Quad Residence Hall will close for reno-
vations for the next school year. Freshmen
and sophomores will also now take precedent
over upperclassmen in choosing rooms in the
residence halls. These decisions, coupled with
the city of Ann Arbor's approval of a num-
ber of lavish apartment complexes, such as
Zaragon West on Thompson, Landmark on S.
University and most recently, The Varsity on
Church St., are limiting the number of afford-
able housing options available to students.
It's becoming nearly impossible for the
majority of underclassmen to find housing that
is affordable, comfortable and close to campus.
The campus-housing deficit is spiraling out of
control. Students are stressed due to the lim-
ited optionstheyhave to find reasonably priced
lodging. Increasing prices and a system that
encourages predatory landlords are not ben-
eficial to students. In order to secure reason-
ably priced housing for the following school
year, students are forced to engage in an insane
housing rush that begins as early as October
and gets earlier each year as students hope to
get a head start on the search.
New apartment complexes are popping up
close to Central Campus. These new build-
ings, however, come with expensive amenities
and high price tags. Since many students pay
or contribute to their own rent, it's not prac-
tical to design new housing that comes with
unneeded features, which drive up rent con-
siderably. Instead of building Landmark, more
affordable housing - more along the lines of
University Towers - should be built. Apart-
ments need to be designed more practically,
keeping in mind that many of their occupants
will be college students on a budget.
The area surrounding Central Campus is
small, but the University needs to actively
seek developers who are willing to build
affordable housing complexes on or near
campus. Ann Arbor City Council is respon-
sible for approving all high-rise buildings
proposed by developers. Students are in des-
perate need of affordable housing, but noth-
ing's been done to mitigate the problem thus
far. As the largest employer in Ann Arbor,
the University has influence with the city. It
should use that influence to work for all of its
students and be sympathetic to all students'
Students deserve to live comfortably and
affordably. They shouldn't be forced to live
in the residence halls, apartments or homes
far from campus because expensive high-
rises are the only other options. The Univer-
sity must have its students' interests in mind
when working with the city of Ann Arbor to
provide more housing options.
ments or swear
off Big Macs for
one has a plan
for change, but
even some of the
can fall by the
should be a sim-
pler approach to
change, try contin
done well in the pa
Since killing O
again is out of the r
ity, let's examine w
the field of renewa
the benefit of the
package. A continu
breaks for clean en'
The tax break f
wasn't just a ruse,
actually created jol
clean energy out
to a Dec. 13 article
zine, the tax break
panies pursuing re
endeavors has cont
a 37-percent annua
power in the past
duction tax credit
2.2 cents for eac
of clean energy p
always increased t
of renewable ener
The increase inr
output serves not o
ment but also pro
r is a fresh start of jobs for American workers. Even
to finally throw with successful implementation of
t pack of Parlia- a government-spending program,
the funding provided to renewable
energy projects could come to a halt
at the end of 2012.
The article points out that some
would contend that spending money
on a field too weak to sustain itself
without financial backing is irre-
sponsible and the government
should instead be focusing fund-
JOE ing on uncovering new locations
SUGIYAMA of fossil fuels - energy sources
understood to be both reliable and
lucrative. But this is exactly the
of resolving for a mindset that the U.S. needs to avoid
ruing something if it wishes to create a country that
st year. can sustain itself in the future.
sama bin Laden Opponents of the renewable
ealm of possibil- energy subsidies may cite the
vhat was done in recent expiration of the ethanol tax
able energy with credit as a reason to let the current
2009 stimulus green energy subsides run out as
cation of the tax well. Even without a government
ergy could be the tax credit, the ethanol industry
resolution for the isn't expected to see a downturn
in production. In fact, Matt A.
for clean energy Hartwig, Director of Communica-
to appease envi- tions of the Renewable Fuels Asso-
ss the country; it ciation, has gone as far as saying
bs and increased "the tax incentive is less necessary
puts. According now than it was just two years ago"
e in Time maga- and they expect to "produce the
offered to com- same amount of ethanol in 2012 as
enewable energy in 2011, or more."
ributed to nearly The same can't be said for solar
i growth in wind panels and wind farms. If the same
four years. Pro- train of thought is used in the case
ts - which pay of these renewable energy sources,
h kilowatt-hour the U.S. is likely to see a downturn
roduced - have in production of both solar and wind
he total amount power. According to Time, the wind
gy output to 43 industry alone would suffer nearly
a $10.1 billion drop in investment -
enewable energy costing nearly 37,000 American jobs
nly the environ- - after the 2009 stimulus runs out
vides thousands at the end of the year. This will dev-
astate the industry, and without a
renewal of the production tax cred-
its for wind farms, it could spell the
end of the trade altogether.
This is why - even with the
upcoming election - the public
can't forget that there's still work
to be done. It's an issue that must
be addressed, not in a presiden-
tial debate, but by Congress - and
soon. Renewable energy shouldn't
be viewed as a superfluous expense,
but rather as an investment in
At the moment it seems like
renewable energy might be a poor
investment. But daily research to
increase the efficiency of wind
turbines and solar panels has the
potential to make these alternative
energy resources viable options
in the future. Though that future
may seem a long way off, it would
be foolish not to believe that it can
be achieved. Denying the U.S. the
opportunity of realizing the full
potential of solar and wind power
would be a mistake.
Sticking to a new year resolu-
tion can be tough, but this isn't a
cold turkey request. All I ask is that
we continue down a path that has
proven to be environmentally and
-Joe Sugiyama can be
reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
or on Twitter @JoeSugiyama.
EDITORIAL BOARD MEMBERS:
Aida Ali, Kaan Avdan, Michelle DeWitt, Ashley Griesshammer, Nirbhay Jain, Jesse Klein,
Patrick Maillet, Erika Mayer, Harsha Nahata, Emily Orley, Timothy Rabb, Adrienne Roberts,
Vanessa Rychlinski, Sarah Skaluba, Seth Soderborg, Caroline Syms, Andrew Weiner
CAROLINE SYMS .
Have a backup plan
CONTRIBUTE TO THE COVERSATION
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than 300 words while viewpoints should be 550-850 words. Both must include the writer's full
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RIDHISHA RUGHANI I
Spark your start-up
Backup plans are a college student's best
friend. We use them when the classes we
want to schedule are already full, when we
don't get accepted to our preferred academic
major and even when planning social events
and activities on weekends. Backup plans
become lifesavers in a variety of situations,
and all they require is a little creative fore-
thought in order to find alternative answers
to the question, "What if?"
When there is an absence of a logically
thought-out backup plan, the door inevitably
opens for disaster. College students across
the globe can learn a valuable lesson about
the importance of thinking big and preparing
for the unexpected by understanding how a
local government failed to generate a plan B
for running its city.
The city of Detroit has recently been on
the verge of succumbing to complete state
control as its financial standing crumbles. In
better times, Detroit was an industrial pow-
erhouse, greatly prospering because of the
pivotal position it held in the American and
worldwide automotive industries. As soon
as foreign competitors - with their higher
quality standards - broke into the automo-
tive market, Detroit couldn't keep up and the
industry collapsed under the economic pres-
sures exerted by foreign competition.
Detroit is not the only city in Michigan to
experience a financial crisis requiring state
government intervention. Detroit, however,
is guilty of putting all of its eggs into one
basket. Investing every dollar in the auto-
motive industry eliminated the possibility
of diversifying Detroit and allowing the city
to prosper in other sectors. Detroit's budget
was poorly managed and the future of the
city was not a top priority for its city council.
These fatal errors, committed decades ago,
are now responsible for putting the entire
state of Michigan at risk for a further eco-
So, what does Detroit's economy mean for
college students across the world?
As a young group of individuals charac-
terized by a sense of adventure, eagerness to
gain independence and a desire to adapt to
unfamiliar environments, college students
have the opportunity to avoid a similar fate.
As we continue to receive our college educa-
tions, we obtain skills that allow us to control
our decisions, ponder our options and create
backup plans to secure success in the future.
Though many of us won't be concerned with
budgeting the finances of a major American
city in our lifetimes, we have an even bigger
responsibility riding on our shoulders - man-
aging our own personal finances. Learning
how to budget money is certainly a challenge
that every individual encounters as they grow
up. Some are taught the value of a dollar at an
early age while others don't grasp this reality
until it's too late. Don't put yourself at a dis-
advantage by being careless and naive. Oth-
erwise, you run the risk of digging yourself an
early grave, just like Detroit has done.
We're all young enough to take control of
our own lives while there's still time to cor-
rect previous mistakes. So take charge of
your future, diversify yourself and spread
your passions. Become a leader and advance
your communication skills so you do not
leave your future in someone else's hands.
When things don't go as expected, have a
When you don't land your dream job, have
a backup plan.
When you're in doubt, have a backup plan.
Caroline Syms is an LSA sophomore.
The local entrepreneurial scene continues to grow
as MPowered Entrepreneurship, a University student
organization, aims to spur start-up activity with Startup
Weekend Ann Arbor. With a mission to expose students
to entrepreneurship and support student entrepreneurs,
MPowered is one of the driving forces on campus that is
engaging students in entrepreneurship.
From January 20-22, East Hall's Psychology Atrium
will be buzzing with students and local Ann Arborites
alike as teams work around the clock to build start-ups
over the course of the weekend.
Startup Weekends take place across the world and
bring together tomorrow's entrepreneurs. At Startup
Weekend Ann Arbor, participants will grow a concept
into reality by both pitching ideas and joining forces with
other participants to work on their ideas. Participants
will test their skills as they rapidly develop a business
model and prototype. Throughout the weekend, teams
have the opportunity to engage with various prominent
entrepreneurs, technological experts and venture capi-
talists in the form of mentors, speakers and judges. The
weekend culminates with teams pitching their compa-
nies to a board of judges. The top team will be awarded
a trip to San Francisco, sponsored by the University's
Center for Entrepreneurship, where they will have the
opportunity to pitch their start-up. Additionally, teams
will have the opportunity to receive three months of free
virtual tenancy at Ann Arbor SPARK!
Back by popular demand, Startup Weekend will be at
the University for a second consecutive year, hosted by
MPowered Entrepreneurship. Last year, Startup Week-
end U of M was the largest Startup Weekend to be held at
a university, hosting over 100 participants from various
backgrounds around the greater Ann Arbor community.
Events like Startup Weekend are highly beneficial for
a budding entrepreneurial community such as the one at
the University. It provides an ideal environment to find
potential partners and learn new skills. But most impor-
tantly, it gives individuals a taste of the challenge, fervor
and pace of the real start-up world.
Through Startup Weekend we can see that it takes
a certain environment to build an entrepreneur. It
requires highly passionate individuals, access to finan-
cial and educational resources, networking opportu-
nities and supporting mentors. Such an environment
is forming on campus. At the University, students are
beginning to make entrepreneurship a part of their
education. Along with taking entrepreneurship cours-
es, students went above and beyond by submitting
more than 3,000 ideas to this year's 1,000 Pitches com-
petition. Students are taking advantage of resources
such as TechArb and enrolling in the Entrepreneur-
ship Practicum - both of which have seen their larg-
est classes yet. In Ann Arbor, start-up communities
like the Tech Brewery, are filled with companies. Tech
meetups occur weekly and monthly through organiza-
tions such as a2geeks, Mobile Mondays and A2New-
Tech Meetup. We are attracting the attention of new
investors who are looking toward Ann Arbor start-ups
to invest their money. By bridging the gap between
the University and the Ann Arbor community, Startup
Weekend aims to further accelerate the momentum
already building locally today.
We have to continue to act to keep this momentum
alive. At the University, we are the leaders and the best.
We have the talent and the resources - let's make the
most of them. Startup Weekend's tagline is, "No talk,
all action". We're not just talking about making change,
we are making change happen.
On Jan. 20, MPowered Entrepreneurship will show-
case Ann Arbor's next generation of entrepreneurs
with Startup Weekend Ann Arbor. Undergraduate and
graduate students from all majors are encouraged to
attend. Past Startup Weekends have seen participants
from backgrounds such as education, design, business,
law, computer science, engineering and medicine.
For more information on how to apply visit annar-
bor.startupweekend.org or contact Ridhisha Rughani
at firstname.lastname@example.org. The deadline is approaching
so apply now.
Ridhisha Rughani is a Business sophomore,
t h e My Ann Arbor: Eli Fenyes prepares to take you on
neaItrip around the Big AAsy.
Go to michigandaily.com/blogs/The Podium