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September 04, 2012 - Image 20

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2012-09-04

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2C - Tuesday, September 4, 2012

)v d

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily com

Make the 'U'
econ omy dliverse

Remember , those ques-
tionnaires we filled out
during freshman orien-
tation? Each
year, the
of Student
Affairs com-
piles the data
from those
publishes MATTHEW
the results GREEN
Perusing the
report is fascinating, to say the
least. In 'addition to offering a
standard demographic profile of
each graduating class, the report
includes findings on students'
political views, future plans and
even self-image. Apparently,
76.9 percent of University stu-
dents responded in 2009 that
it was essential or very impor-
tant to them to be "very well off
financially." This is a completely
understandable desire, of course,
particularly for incoming fresh-
men accustomed to the comforts
and luxuries their parents had
lavished on them up until that
But exactly how comfortable
and pampered are these stu-
dents? The questionnaire data
hints at an answer.
For the class of 2013 (the most
recent class for which data is
published), 84.4 percent of stu-
dents reported parental income
above $50,000 a year. More stu-
dents reported an annual family
income of over $250,000 (16.9
percent) than below $50,000
(15.6 percent). Keep in mind
that according to the 2010 U.S.
Census, more than half of all
Michigan residents make less
than $50,000 each year. Given
their relative affluence, it's no
wonder that such a high percent-
age of University students would

expect a modicum of economic
Intriguingly, about 50 percent
of students reported that their
fathers were doctors, lawyers,
engineers, executives or busi-
ness owners. And more than 75
percent of their parents went
to college, compared to the 27.5
percent of American adults who
did according to The Chronicle
of Higher Education in January
Reading this, you're probably
unsurprised. Affluent parents
have long sent their children
to the best schools their money
could buy. It's hardly newswor-
thy that an elite school would
cater to a moneyed clientele.
Mere mention of Harvard and
Yale conjures images of wealth
and status as much as it does aca-
demic prestige.
But Harvard ad Yale, as
well as other prestigious insti-
tutions, have begun to address
their historic social exclusiv-
ity. According to Harvard's
office of financial aid, "families
with incomes currently below
$60,000 are not expected to con-
tribute to college costs." Period.
Yale and Princeton, in addition
to Harvard, recently re-exam-
ined their early-admission pro-
cesses to ensure that the process
didn't unfairly favor well-heeled
These actions may not have
solved the problem of wealth
inequality on college campuses,
but they've at least started an
administrative dialogue about
making higher education more
socially equitable. Against a
backdrop of continually ris-
ing income inequality, perhaps
it's time for the University to
seriously address the dispar-
ity between the rich and poor
as reflected by its student body.
More than any Ivy League insti-
See ECONOMY, Page 7


University President Mary Sue Coleman speaks about the Universitys upcoming environmental sustainability initiative in the Hatcher Graduate Library Gallery
Room yesterday. The $14 million initiative intends to reduce greenhouse gas emissions over the next 14 years.
Coleman outlines new
'U' sustainabil ity goals

$14 million the University's transportation,
emissions and academic offer-
initiative includes ings.
Coleman announced a $14 mil-
addition of seven lion investment the University is
making for several sustainability
hybrid buses projects including one that will
fund new hybrid cars and buses
By PAIGE PEARCY - making one in six University
Daily StaffReporter buses a hybrid. The seven new
hybrid buses are expected to
SEPT. 28, 2011 - University. arrive in December.
President Mary Sue Coleman The University will also part-
told University students yester- ner with DTE Energy to install
day that they are goitig to be liv- solar panel fields on North Cam-
ing, seeing and breathing a lot pus. Additionally, the new Weis-
more green in the next 14 years. feld Family Golf Center, which is
Speaking in the Hatcher Grad- scheduled to open this fall, will
uate Library's Gallery Room, be heated with geothermal tech-
Coleman introduced an ambi- nology, Coleman said. When the
tious new set of sustainabil- Weisfeld Center opens on South
ity goals that the University will Campus, it will be the first build-
start working toward this year ing at the University to use the
and are projected to be complet- technology.
ed by 2025, including changes to Coleman also announced that

the College of Literature Science,
and the Arts will offer a new
academic minor in sustainabil-
ity through its Program in the
Environment. The minor will be
available to all LSA undergradu-
"I want the message to be
clear: Sustainability defines the
University of Michigan," Cole-
man said. "Combine maize and
blue, and you get green."
By 2025, Coleman said, the
University will cut greenhouse
gas emissions by 25 percent and
decrease University vehicles'
carbon output by 30 percent for
every person in the vehicle.
Other goals include reducing
University waste sent to land-
fills by 40 percent and protecting
the Huron River. The University
aims to do so byusingless chemi-
cals on campus and diminishing
the amount of storm water that

directly flows into the river.
Coleman also announced yes-
terday that all new or renovated
dining halls on campus will not
use trays in order tobe more sus-
Starting in January 2010, the
University conducted the Cam-
pus Sustainability Integrated
Assessment, which examined
at sustainability in seven areas
on campus - buildings, energy,
land and water, food, purchasing
and recycling, culture and trans-
portation. The University's new
goals were created based on find-
ings from the CSIA.
Coleman spoke about ..the
ways sustainability has been
incorporated into all facets of
the University, from teaching to
research. She noted that of the
100 new employees the Univer-
sity hired for interdisciplinary
See COLEMAN, Page 7



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