4 - Tuesday, January 29, 2013
The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com
4- Tuesday, January 29, 2013 The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom
aloe wichiflan l +
A hero worth celebrating
Edited and managed by students at
the University of Michigan since 1890.
420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
MELANIE KRUVELIS ,
and ADRIENNE ROBERTS MATT SLOVIN
EDITORIAL PAGE EDITORS MANAGING EDITOR
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.
FRO M TIJAILY
Saved the Belle
State management of Detroit park may boost economy
Belle Isle, a Detroit-owned island park on the Detroit River and
site of the Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix, is currently
being considered for temporary lease to the State of Michigan.
According to the agreement made on Jan. 17, Detroit retains owner-
ship of the park but will temporarily transfer park management to the
state, putting it in charge of the park's operations and repairs for the
next 10 years. Once a major attraction to the city, funding difficulties
left the island's landscape and buildings deteriorated, and according
to park manager Keith Flournoy, by 2010, no budget was dedicated to
the park. The park and the Detroit community may financially benefit
from the temporary switch in management, and the city should sup-
The University of Michigan
is the University's biggest
fan. You can see or hear
you go - for
me, it can get a
little tiring. Our
of the world's
greatest think- ANDREW
ers, leaders and ECKHOUS
ourselves "the leaders and best"
1,000 times at every football game
devalue the title just a little bit?
This Wednesday, however, the
University is kicking off a two-year
celebration for a man who exem-
plifies everything our University
should stand for. Raoul Wallenberg,
a 1935 graduate with a degree in
architecture, is, quite simply, one
of the most benevolent humanitar-
ians of all time. If you aren't aware
of who he is, you owe it to yourself
to get educated.
Wallenberg was born in Swe-
den in 1912 to a wealthy family. His
grandfather was a Swedish diplo-
mat, and shortly after Wallenberg
graduated from the University, his
grandfather helped him get a job
working at an import and export
company in Stockholm owned
by a Hungarian Jewish man. As
World War II escalated, Hungary
implemented laws that essentially
barred Jews from any rights. This
forced Wallenberg to become the
main business intermediary for his
company in Hungary, giving him
a direct view of the Nazi's indis-
criminate hatred and violence. It
was this knowledge that catalyzed
Wallenberg to become a hero, sav-
ing tens of thousands of Jews from
deportation to the Nazi death
With the assistance of several
international and philanthropic
organizations, Wallenberg was
appointed as a Swedish diplomat
to Hungary with the clandestine
objective of rescuing as many
Jews as possible. Wallenberg was
given enough money to rent out 32
buildings, which he immediately
declared Swedish extraterritorial
space. With the help of about 350
people, he began issuing protec-
tive passports to Jews. These pass-
ports, though not technically legal,
seemed legitimate and convinced
the Nazi officials thatthe Jewswere
Swedes awaiting repatriation. The
rescued people were given rooms in
one of the 32 buildings, where they
rode out the remainder of the Nazi
occupation. By the time of his dis-
appearance in early 1945, which has
never been solved, Wallenberg and
his team had saved almost 100,000
Jews from certain death.
Wallenberg was not a typi-
cal human being. Though he was
born with a silver spoon, he chose
to work during his time in Ann
Arbor. A classmate of his remem-
bered Wallenberg decided not to
join a fraternity because "it would
isolate him from a certain strata
of students." When he traveled
around North America, he liked to
hitchhike. He told his grandfather,
"you're in close contact with new
people every day. Hitchhiking gives
you training in diplomacy and tact."
With such care for his fellow man
and an exemplary sense of humil-
ity, it's no wonder that Wallenberg
is celebrated worldwide.
Since 1990, the University has w
given out the Wallenberg Medal
annually to people who have "acted
selflessly without expectation of
reward" to honor the memory of
Wallenberg. And what person bet-
ter personifies "moral excellence .
in ordinary people?" Every time
that he issued a protective pass-
port, he was disobeying Nazi law.
Every time that he housed a Jewish
man, woman or child, he was mak-
ing himself a target. All for 100,000
people that he didn't know. All for
100,000 people who weren't even
similar to him. Wallenberg didn't
share a religion, a nationality or
even a native tongue with any of the
people he saved, yet he was willing
to die for them.
Simply put, Raoul
Wallenberg was a
And he never stopped being
courageous, even being so bold as
to hand out protective passports
in plain view of armed Hungarian
troops. When he caught wind of a
Nazi plan to plant explosives in the
Budapest ghetto, he thwarted it by
threatening to indict the men on
war crimes charges. Simply put, he
was a mensch.
We're lucky that none of us will
ever be put in a situation that dire,
but there's still much we can learn
from Wallenberg. He could've
stayed in Sweden and lived com-
fortably but he felt compelled to
fight for what was right. He under-
stood that all people are created
equal and deserve the same rights.
Even if it's something as small as
withholding judgment on a person
you've just met, your small actions
honor Wallenberg's legacy of faith
in the human spirit.
He may not be sponsored by
Ugg like Tom Brady, or lend his
voice to Star Wars like James
Earl Jones, but if we're seri-
ous about this "leaders and best"
business, Wallenberg should
become the face of this university.
- Andrew Eckhous can be
reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
port the plan.
Though the state will continue to collect
the revenue during the lease, these funds will
be entirely devoted to Belle Isle and will be
transferred to the city at the end of the lease.
The state has also pledged to invest millions
into beautifying and upgrading the park to
once again make it an attraction. The agree-
ment would save Detroit $6 million in mainte-
nance fees. While some Detroit residents have
questioned the state's intentions with Belle
Isle, arguments claiming the state will exploit
Detroit through its.ownership of the park are
unconvincing. Just as other state parks have
brought thousands into other cities across
Michigan, the increased attention given to
Belle Isle can provide the same boost in tour-
ism and recreation - a boost Detroit desper-
Currently, Detroit carries the unfair bur-
den of being the primary funder of the larg-
est island park in the nation. Detroiters have
been the only group taxed to maintain Belle
Isle, which is accessible to everyone in the
state. Managed by the Department of Natural
Resources, the lease and operation of the park
would not only distribute this burden, but also,
as Gary Brown, the Detroit City Council presi-
dent pro tem, points out, "attract revenue from
around the state." It will be an opportunity to
foster collaboration and good will between the
state and Detroit, which remain counterpro-
Given that Belle Isle has deteriorated
while Detroit's economy struggled, the pos-
sibility of leasing Belle Isle is a cost-effective
decision. The lease agreement should be seri-
ously considered because it not only main-
tains Belle Isle's longstanding ownership by
Detroit, but also distributes the unfair bur-
den of financing the park and fosters mean-
ingful collaboration between the state and
the city. It's a way to reinvigorate a park that
the people of Michigan - especially the citi-
zens of Detroit - deserve.
EDITORIAL BOARD MEMBERS
Kaan Avdan, Sharik Bashir, Barry Belmont, James Brennan, Eli Cahan,
Jesse Klein, Melanie Kruvelis, Patrick Maillet, Aarica Marsh, Jasmine McNenny,
Harsha Nahata, Adrienne Roberts, Vanessa Rychlinski,
Paul Sherman, Sarah Skaluba, Michael Spaeth, Derek Wolfe
DANIEL HOFFMAN 1
"Politicians shouldn't be listening to groups that profit from
higher gun sales when deciding how to regulate firearms."
podium Bleeding Blue: Joe Paone discusses why the NRA isn't fighting for
gun owners but instead for the manufacturers that fund them.
Go to michigandaily.com/blogs/The Podium to read more.
Local, but not perfect
Since 2008, the Center for Entrepreneur-
ship has served as a home base for impact-
driven students on campus. By providing
academic programs at undergraduate and
graduate levels, hosting events like annual
trips to the Bay Area and fostering a vibrant
community, CFE has jumpstarted a spirit of
entrepreneurship on campus.
Initially based on North Campus, the Cen-
ter for Entrepreneurship has now opened
a new office on Central Campus on the first
floor of the Shapiro Undergraduate Library.
As a CFE peer adviser and start-up co-
founder, this is a particularly exciting develop-
ment, one that signals that a growing number
of students are looking to put their ideas into
practice. It also demonstrates that libraries
on campus are becoming more collaborative.
They're evolving from a place designed for
individual learning to a place where people
gather to generate new ideas. In my opinion,
this paradigm shift away from the traditional
concept of a silent library is positive. Who
knows, maybe you'll even meet the next co-
founder of your company at your table.
While we all know the story of Mark Zuck-
erberg building Facebook in his dormitory
room, entrepreneurs benefit from working
in a dynamic environment where passionate,
creative and diverse individuals can interact
and engage. A presence on both North and
Central Campus means that no matter what
or where students are studying, they're now
just a few minutes away from a community of
students and faculty who can provide invalu-
able start-up resources and advice.
Until recently, entrepreneurial activity was
concentrated primarily in the engineering and
business schools. In the last few years, incred-
ible projects have emerged everywhere from
LSA to the School of Information to the School
of Natural Resources. I hope that a new cam-
pus-wide approach to entrepreneurship will
encourage students to think about innovative
solutions to problemsin new disciplines aswell.
The new space on Central Campus offers
open space for student entrepreneurs and
start-up teams to meet as well as academic
and venture advising for students.
So, if you have an idea that you can't stop
thinking about or just want to learn about
the academic programs offered through CFE,
I encourage you to stop by. Whether you're
studying engineering, political science or
anything in between, you can find a home
base just a few minutes away. To celebrate the
new CFE space at Shapiro, we're hosting an
open house on Wednesday, Jan.30 at1:30 p.m.
Daniel Hoffman is an LSA junior.
used tobe one of those foodies
who waxed poetically about
heirloom tomatoes, kale and
rooms. I have
tary "Food, Inc."
to blame for my .
to these foodie
Kenner's look at ZOE
system left me
ened," holier-than-thou and unable
to eat most of the conventionally
farmed food in my fridge.
After watching Kenner's film, I
became outraged by the inhumane
treatment of animals on what's
known as "the killing floors," areas
expressly designated. for the slaugh-
teringof animals; monocultures, you
know, those rows and rows farm-
ers grow of the same exact crop like
soybeans or corn that deplete soils
of their nutrients; and the fact that
being poor in America often meant
eating cheap and processed foods.
I then became, no joke, a militant
supporter of the local alternatives
demonstrated by farmers like Joel
Salatin, owner of Polyface Farms -
though practices were called into
question after learning that his
cult-like organization only employs
interns with an "all-American look"
- brunettes like me need not apply.
So, empowered bythe film's message
of "voting with my fork," I became
one of those local-food zealots.
However, a couple of summers
ago, my religious faith in the local-
food movement began to waver. I
worked at Rosenhill, an organic
farm an hour outside of Stockholm,
Sweden. The farm was picturesque
- a quilt of flowers and vegetables
bordered by apple orchards. But
the synonymy of local farming and
ecological harmony quickly began
to diverge. I realized that organic
farming didn't guarantee healthy
soil or efficient farming practices (I
can count on two hands the times I
ate food fresh from the farm).
My food studies class that fall
only confirmed my doubts and
knocked me farther off my high
horse. Reading James McWilliams's
"Just Food," I realized that local
food is not necessarily environmen-
tally sustainable. "Food miles" are
not always an accurate measure of
environmental impact, considering
thatproduction, processingand food
preparation account for the majority
of food's energy use. I also learned
of organic agriculture's shortcom-
ings - lower yields and detrimental
effects of certain natural chemicals.
I came to understand that geneti-
cally modified foods can sometimes
reduce the. negative environmental
impact often associated with tradi-
tional agricultural activities.
In its place, McWilliams provided
a revised definition of sustainable
eating, one that focuses on seasonal-
ity and vegetarianism. McWilliams
argues that, regardless of how far
the food must travel, seasonal pro-
duce usually requires less energy in
production and processing (think
tomato grown in the hot fields of
California vs. Michigan tomatoes
grown in a greenhouse). McWil-
liams also didn't let us forget that
whether conventional, grass-fed or
free-range, animal production is
always detrimental to the earth's
land, water and air supply.
With this vision of sustainabil-
ity, I look at the University's Ann
Arbor Sustainable Food Purchasing
Guidelines with equal parts pride
and concern. I'm glad that the Uni-
versity recognized food purchasing
as a crucial component in achieving
long-term sustainability, and I'm
even happier that the'University said
by 2025, 20 percent of the food they
purchase will be sustainable.
But just crafting food sourcing
guidelines isn't enough. According
to the University's guidelines, food
can be considered sustainable if it's
local, which the University defines as
"within the state of Michigan or 250
miles of campus; third-party certi-
fied," (You know, certified organic,
fair-trade certified, rainforest-alli-
ance certified, etc.), "and artificial
hormone-free and antibiotic-free."
Just because you
grow it in your
mean it's better.
The list goes on to include free-
range poultry and eggs, grass-fed or
pasture-raised meats and sustain-
able fisheries. This interpretation
gets us only halfway there. Free-
range poultry and antibiotic-free.
meat lead to slightly more humane
animal treatment and greater
human health. Fair-trade certifica-
tion will help to guarantee better
labor conditions and higher pay for
the often-maltreated farntworkers.
However, I fear that if the Univer-
sity relies on the current guidelines
to meet this goal, the sustainability
ball might not make it up the hill.
Instead of crafting a comprehensive
definition of sustainability, the Uni-
versity has focused on not what's
truly sustainable, but what's en
vogue. While eating organically and
locally is the philosophy du jour, the
University ought to create a more
And out of our academically rig-
orous and research-centric Univer-
sity, I expect nothing less. I know
that it's a difficult task and that the
definition of "food sustainability" is
ever-changing, but I hope nextyear
the University flouts what's ideo-
logically fashionable to create more
holistic food purchasing guide-
lines, that perhaps includes more
seasonal and vegetarian options.
- Zoe Stahl can be reached
We have a long way to go, but this
bipartisan blueprint is a major
- Sen. Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) said Monday in response to a sweeping immigration
bill proposed by a bipartisan group of eight senators. The bill will aim for comphrensive
immigration reform - from high-tech workers to undocumented immigrants.