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November 13, 2012 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 2012-11-13

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4 - Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Th Mchga aiy mchgndil~cm i

Jbeffi t ign aiI
Edited and managed by atudents at
the University of Michigan since 1890.
420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
tothedaily@michigandaily.com
TIMOTHY RABB
JOSEPH LICHTERMAN and ADRIENNE ROBERTS ANDREW WEINER
EDITOR IN CHIEF EDITORIAL PAGE EDITORS MANAGING EDITOR
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.
FROVTHE DAILY
Time to follow suit
Same-sex marriage should be legalized nationally
n Election Day, Maryland, Maine and Washington state legal-
ized same-sex marriage, joining six states and the District of
Columbia that had already legalized same-sex marriage. It's a
step in the right direction toward giving every citizen the undeniable
right to marry whomever they choose - a right that should be extend-
ed to everybody regardless of race, gender, religion or sexual orienta-
tion. While the approval of same-sex marriage in these three states is
an excellent step forward, it's disappointing that other states haven't
taken similar steps. While marriage should be a completely undeniable
right, states do have the power to decide if same-sex marriage is legal.
And at the very least, states should not be able to deny recognition to

Are you sure it was rape? Maybe it was
just a bad hookup ... you should forgive
and forget.
- Former Amherst student Angie Epifano paraphrased the Amherst administration in her October
op-ed piece in The Amherst Student. She accused the school of failing to adequately respond when she
was sexually assaulted, a criticism which several other students have also voiced.
Don't occupy Wall Street

4

same-sex couples.
According to a May 14 Gallup poll, 54 per-
cent of Americans believe that same-sex mar-
riage is morally acceptable, increasing from
38 percent in 2002. In addition, 63 percent of
people now believe that relations between gays
and lesbians should be legalup from 52 percent
in 2002. In fact, according to a Nov. 9 article in
The New York Times, Washington's same-sex
marriage opponents have officially conceded
and acknowledged the tremendous strides that
the gay rights movement has made. These are
significant milestones in the past 10 years. Gay
rights are becoming increasingly normalized
in the United States, as the prevalence of shows
such as "Modern Family" and "The New Nor-
mal" in current popular culture suggests.
While it seems that a majority of Americans
believe same-sex marriage should be legal,
the 10th Amendment gives states the power
to decide whether they'll allow same-sex mar-
riage. Unfortunately, the Defense of Marriage
Act of 1996 signed by President Bill Clinton
does not require that states recognize same-
sex marriages performed in other states; under
the contentious section 3 of DOMA, states do
not have to confer federal benefits, like Social
Security, upon gay and lesbian couples. Yet,
The Full Faith and Credit Clause of the Con-
stitution mandates that each state respect the
"public acts, records, and judicial proceedings
of every other state."

The country should respect the Constitution
in this matter. Just because a state can refuse
to perform same-sex marriages doesn't mean
it should be able to deny the recognition of a
same-sex marriage. Marriage should be recog-
nized across the country regardless of which
state it was performed in. The repeal of DOMA
would prevent states from denying rights that
marriage gives same-sex couples. States recog-
nize driver's licenses from other states - rec-
ognizing a marriage between two people of the
same sex from another state is no different.
It's only a matter of time before same-sex
marriage will become legal in all states. For
this to happen sooner rather than later, states
should give their citizens the opportunity to
vote for it to become legal. Or at the very least,
states should recognize these marriages. Many
countries, such as South Africa, Belgium and
the Netherlands, already have legalized same-
sex marriage. Even countries with predomi-
nantly Catholic' populations, including Spain,
Portugal, Argentina and Brazil, have approved
same-sex civil unions and marriage. If coun-
tries that are largely religious allow equal
rights, there's no reason that the United States
shouldn't do the same. Marriage is an unde-
niable right that should not be denied to any
adult, and as the general population increas-
es its approval of same-sex marriage, states
should follow suit.

it's easy to lament the sore state
of the Ann Arbor parking situ-
ation, but determining a course
of action to rec-
tify it is a more
difficult affair.
This month
marks the start of
the University's
cofistruction of
a new parking
structure on Wall
Street. The pro- MICHAEL
posed structure SMALLEGAN
seems like a per-
fectly adequate
way to meet the increased parking
needs that came with the opening
of the new C. S. Mott Children's and
von voightlander Women's Hospital;
however, its placement and execution
create more problems than they fix.
Progress on the structure has
been steady since its approval by
the University's Board of Regents in
April, despite equally steady resis-
tance from residents in the Lower
Town area. Calls from area residents
to halt the project, though heard,
remain unheeded. With room for
725 cars, the 70-foot tall structure
will be an outlier in the mostly resi-
dential neighborhood speckled with
historic buildings and delineated by
a slow peaceful bend of the Huron
River. The move toward more Uni-
versity activity in this area is far from
unprecedented - it has been occur-
ring for the past 30 years.
The University is an institution
thathas driven to be the "Leaders and
Best." In its marching to the cease-
less tempo of "improve, expand" it

has acquired and demolished many
historically significant homes in the
area to make way for buildings and
parking lots. While the new struc-
ture will be partially constructed on
the location of an existing surface
parking lot, at least one home will be
demolished in the process.
The home in question, at 959 Wall
Street, has received the same prepar-
ative treatment as have other homes
lostto"progress" - acursoryarchae-
ological dig directed by Anthropol-
ogy Prof. Henry Wright. Though
he carries out these digs in earnest,
wright is given too little time for a
full treatment of the sites. Further-
more, this small gesture does little
to mitigate the loss of the historic
record that comes from demolishing
these homes and replacing the soil
underneath with culturally mean-
ingless, homogeneous loose stone
and concrete.
The loss of this part of Ann Arbor's
story is significant because of the role
this area played in our city's past. In
1830, with the construction of a flour-
mill on the Huron, the area gradually
became a booming business center.
Anson Brown, owner of the flourmill,
named the streets in the area after
those in New York, intending to cre-
ate a city center, a "downtown," that
would compete with the then-devel-
oping community that is our current
downtown. Many of the oldest hous-
es in Ann Arbor are in this area, and
with them, a fantastic record of some
of our community's past.
The establishment of the Univer-
sity and the location of the train sta-
tion gradually sucked the vibrancy

out of the area, and brought the
locus of attention south 'of the
Huron. It now seems the University
is finishing the job.
Parking in AA
may be tough, but
community must
be preserved.
Perhaps of even greater concern
than the disregard of the historical
record, the disturbance of the com-
munity's look and feel, the increased
traffic congestion, and concerns over
pedestrian safety is the environmen-
tal degradation that this new struc-
ture will bring. Lower Town is called
such because it is a low point topo-
logically in Ann Arbor, and with its
proximity to both Traver Creek and
the Huron River, the unavoidable
increase in runoff, that comes with
the addition of multiple thousands of
square feet of impermeable concrete
will undoubtedly have consequences
for the area's natural habitat.
The parking structure will be
built, University planners will be
happy and local residents will learn
to deal with it, but lessons can be
learned from this. There are other
solutions to the lack of parking near
campus. Let's have some smart peo-
ple find them next time.
-Michael Smallegan can be
reached at smallmic@umich.edu.

DEREK WOLFE VIEWPOINT
Coursera is no classroom

4

EDITORIAL BOARD MEMBERS
Kaan Avdan, Sharik Bashir, Barry Belmont, Eli Cahan, Nirbhay Jain,
Jesse Klein, Melanie Kruvelis, Patrick Maillet, Jasmine McNenny,
Harsha Nahata, Timothy Rabb, Adrienne Roberts, Vanessa Rychlinski,
Sarah Skaluba, Michael Spaeth, Gus Turner, Derek Wolfe

SEND LETTERS TO: TOTHEDAILY@MICHIGANDAILY.COM

Voter turnout rates in Ann
Arbor are difficult to measure
TO THE DAILY:
I am a Daily alum from about 40 years ago
and still live in Ann Arbor. I've been active in
local politics ever since. Your Friday lead story
about the campus vote really missed the mark.
Its conclusion is based on comparing two total-
ly different statistics. You compared the results
of an exit poll showing that 49 percent of people
under 30 voted this year with the percentage
of registered voters turning out in campus pre-
cincts. First, "under 30" and campus precincts
don't correlate, since the age range in campus
precincts is likely to skew significantly younger
than the total under-30 population.
More importantly, the percentage of regis-
tered voters turning out is an almost meaning-
less number, particularly in student precincts.
Because students move in and out of Ann Arbor
so frequently, there is a tremendous amount of
"deadwood" on the voter rolls in student pre-

cincts - people who are still listed there, but
have moved away. Many may have registered
elsewhere, but the old registrations are fre-
quently not cancelled. Also, a significant num-
ber of University students are registered at
their parents' homes, especially since Michigan
requires that your voting address and driver's
license address be the same.
From many years of experience in working
the student precincts, including this year, I can
tell you that an extremely small percentage of
students registered to vote here, who are actu-
ally still living here, fail to vote in a Presiden-
tial election. I would also be willing to bet that
more than 49 percent of University students
voted either in Ann Arbor or at "home" last
week, though that's ahard number to pin down.
There are very few Ann Arborites who are
eligible to vote who aren't registered here or
elsewhere, and their turnout rate for presiden-
tial elections probably exceeds 90 percent.
Tom Wieder
University alum

The University has nothing to
fear. As long as it exists, students will
come. And by come, I mean flock here
by the thousands. What prompts me
to say this is not the threat of rising
tuitionprices (eventhoughthat'strue
as well), but rather the expansion of
online education. The University has
openly embraced Coursera, an online
equcational medium that allows any-
one to take classes from prestigious
universities such as Stanford Uni-
versity, Princeton University, Brown
University and 31 other institutions,
including the University of Michi-
gan. According to Coursera's mission
statement, it wants to "empower peo-
ple with education that will improve
their lives, the lives of their families,
and the communities they live in."
So with all the hubbub surround-
ing online education, specifically
Coursera, I decided to give it a try.
Since Oct. 22, I've been enrolled in
"Principles of Obesity Economics,"
a class taught by Prof. Kevin Frick
from Johns Hopkins University.
While at first I only took the class
because it was four weeks long, I've
actually enjoyed the topic, as it tries
to answer the question of why the
United States suffers from an obesity
problem using an economic perspec-
tive. Every lecture has taught me
something that I didn't previously

know, which is really all I could have
expected.
Admittedly, I'm not as engaged
in the class as most of the other stu-
dents, and for good reason. I'm m col-
lege and many ofthem aren't.Ibarely
spend any time watching the posted
lectures and doing the quizzes, but
it looks like I'm going to get the 70
percent grade necessary to complete
the class. And there lies the problem
with Coursera and the online educa-
tion experience as a whole; it lacks
the demand for the critical thinking
that I crave.
There's no way online educa-
tion can fully replace the traditional
classroom setting. While my instruc-
tor has set up a discussion forum
where students can converse and
talk about the subject, it certainly
doesn't compare to the passionate
debates that go on in my English 125
class at the University. The neatly
produced PowerPoint presentations
my instructor posts aren't nearly as
intriguing as Prof. Brian Coppola in
organic chemistry.
There's no doubt in my mind that
online education serves a purpose
by giving more people an opportP-
nity to learn, and I think any chance
to improve your intelligence should
never be wasted. But I want to make
the point that there's something to

be said for the human element, espe-
cially in an academic setting. I'm not
denouncing the value of an online
education, but I'm skeptical of the
idea that an individual who earned a
bachelor's degree online could com-
pete with someone who did the same
on a physical campus.
I have no regrets over my Coursera
experience. It has been fascinatingto
learn information in a different way.
But it has made me rethink the pur-
pose of an education. Is it ultimately
for monetary gains? Or is it to help
improve society? I've concluded that
it really doesn't matter. Because no
matter which choice you pick, rely-
ing on online education as a complete
education could be providing false
hope that we've actually learned
something.
President Barack Obama has
emphasized the importance of an
education in his first term and it cer-
tainly will be a focus of his second
term. But like anything, it must be
done responsibly. I recognize that
I'mpotentiallybiased because of how 1
privileged I am to attend this uni-
versity. But I'm convinced that if we
want to become smarter as nation,
we need to find ways to get people
into the classroom and off the couch.
Derek Wolfe is an LSA freshman.

E.E R TO T ED EE t TSEND LETTERS TO: TOTHEDAILY@MICHIGANDAILY.COM

@Texas If you secede from
the nation, please leave us
TexMex.
#Borack'd
#welove food #queso
-@michdailyoped

The 'U' should take
advantage of local food
TO THE DAILY:
Most food served in University
dininghalls travels hundreds of miles,
uses thousands of gallons of water
and is picked well before its ripely
filled with the essential nutrients that
should be appearing on our plates.
Granted, the University cannot rely
solely on local farms to feed its staff
and students. However, I think that
the leaders and the best should try
harder to avoid the waste that our
current food system promotes.
The University has a goal to pur-

chase 20 percent sustainable food the customers of the dining halls
by 2025, which has almost been met. and, according to Whiteside, french
Kathy Whiteside, the Residential fries and chicken nuggets are the
Dining Services menu and nutrition most favorable dishes. Students
manager, the University has nearly understandably don't want to eat
maxed out the amount of food that squash and root vegetables all win-
it can purchase locally. After visit- ter. That is not what I'm suggesting.
ing Goetz Farm, the University's There is local food available and the
local vegetable source, I learned University is ignoring this. Students
that this isn't the case. The Univer- need to stand up for what is just and
sity only purchases 5 percent of the right. Should we continue ridding
total crop that is produced on the the earth of resources if it means
Goetz's land. Karlene Goetz said getting what we want? Or, should
that the farm has tried, and have we learn to love what nature already I
the capabilities, to provide the Uni- graciously provides? You are a stu-
versity with much more local food dent, you havethe power,you decide.
than it's currently ordering.
However, we can't place the blame Madeline Dunn
fully on the University; students are LSA junior

0

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