4 - Tuesday, February 12, 2013
The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com
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EDITOR IN CHIEF
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EPO)M TH LA '
Funding the future
Gov. Snyder needs to redirect budget emphasis on education
M ichigan Gov. Rick Snyder's newly unveiled budget for fis-
cal year 2014 calls for a slight raise in funding for higher
education - a 2-percent increase from the last year. While
the increase seems like a good move on the surface, modest growth in
education spending comes after large cuts that occurred over the past
two years, including a staggering 15-percent cut for 2012 and a 3-per-
cent reduction the year before. While Snyder's increase in education
funding recognizes the need to invest in this area after two years of
hard cuts, his desired increase isn't sufficient enough to be effective.
The longest odds offered by the bookie are
1,000 to 1 on the Irish singer Bono, who is
not Catholic, and the Irish television star
Father Dougal Maguire, who is not real."
- The New York Times published the odds of the next pope selection as listed on the bookmaking
website Paddy Power after Pope Benedict XVI announced his retirement Monday.
Be mine, me
Snyder's billincludes a 2-percent increase for
both higher education and community colleges.
State universities and community colleges are
both funded on performance-based measure-
ments. Universities' performances are based
on the number of federal Pell Grant recipients
they have, undergraduate degree completions
and adherence to tuition-cost restraint. Snyder
plans to have $100 million in bonds to allocate
to universities that try to increase graduation
rates and the number of students enrolled in
engineering. For community colleges, $8.5 mil-
lion will be distributed to those that increase
degrees in critical skills areas.
Because of Snyder's previous cuts, a 2-per-
cent increase - which may not keep pace with
inflation - is not enough. As Michigan con-
tinues to suffer from a brain-drain effect - or
the widespread emigration of highly skilled
individuals - a larger focus must be placed on
sustainable education. Michigan needs a larger
increase in higher education to stay nationally
and globally competitive, improve the econo-
my in the future and make up for the cuts of
the last two years.
Snyder's budget also calls for incentives in
the state's community colleges, offering $8.5
million for local colleges that produce gradu-
ates in science, technology, ingineering and
mathematics fields. However, these incentives
should be expanded to four-year institutions.
Larger universities also struggle with produc-
ing majors in these so-called "critical areas." By
expanding these incentive programs to bigger
state intuitions, Snyder can ensure the innova-
tion that he championed for in his campaign.
Increasing the number of graduates who
stay in the state must also become a goal for
Snyder. In 2009, only 24.6 percent of Michi-
gan's population held a bachelor's degree or
higher. The governor could look into other
ideas, like tax incentives for college gradu-
ates who stay in state - a policy Maine has
adopted. Other states, most notably Penn-
sylvania, have thought of forgiving student
loans for those graduates who decide to work
in state. Gov. Snyder needs to look at more
efficient ways of improving and utilizing edu-
cation in Michigan.
Snyder has started, slowly but surely, to
increase education funding. His proposedbud-
get does call for increases, but the increases are
insignificantcompared to the cutshe has made
in the past. He also lacks ideas about ways to
improve college education in Michigan and
should be working to keep recent graduates in
state. Snyder must be more ardent in his plans
to better Michigan's education.
'm throwing a "Jumanji"-
themed party on Valentine's
who've never '
seen it, "Juman-
ji" is a 1995
about a magic
board game that
puts partici- ANDREW
pants in jungle- ECKHOUS
after every roll
of the dice. Roll a two and you may
find your home infested with mur-
derous vines. Finish the game and
all of your troubles disappear.
I didn't choose this theme as a
method of flipping love the bird,
and I'm not trying to say that rela-
tionships are plagued with the
same arbitrary pitfalls as a turn in
"Jumanji." Rather, I want to redefine
what Valentine's Day can be.
Last week, my housemate Dave
and I had a disagreement about
Valentine's Day traditions. He con-
cluded that Valentine's Day should
be about loving yourself, not oth-
ers. He obviously put quite a bit of
thought into his argument, as he
methodically outlined his rationale.
It boiled down to three points: 1) Too
many people spend an inordinate
amount of time cultivating a public
image and neglectingthemselves; 2)
Even though we're constantly think-
ing about ourselves, it's often times
stressful (i.e. grades, job/internship
applications); and 3)1f we can't love
orselves,-then we can't love'others.
Why take a day to love others when
most people don't have time for
Though I rarely waste my time
pontificating on the meaning of
Valentine's Day, Dave's arguments
made me think. While there aren't
any indices that accurately quan-
tify any of his three points, there are
trends in our culture that seem to
bolster his assertions.
While casting social media as
Satan's tool to destroy our grammar
and our confidence is far too easy,
there are some legitimately nega-
tive side effects that support Dave's
first point. Facebook and the never-
ending quest for 'likes' expose the
lengths to which our obsession with
perception has gone. There's a suf-
focating need for ubiquitous expo-
sure. Posting PhotoBooth selfies and
pictures from a weekend in Chicago
may seem self-indulgent, but it's also
a strategic attempt to impress one's
Is thatany differentthan the past?
Not really. People have always been
presenting themselves strategically,
and they always will. But now it's
constant. Between Facebook, Twit-
ter and Instagram, I can manipu-
late my image all day, every day,
and that can be both stressful and
exhausting. There's a reason studies
have shown that social media can
increase anxiety and insecurity.
Dave's second point seems valid
as well. As a second-semester senior,
I can attest that every week, I devote
hours to stressing about jobs, school-
work and the added burden of check-
ing every box on my 'before I leave
Ann Arbor' checklist. It's hard to
find time for myself, and after three
years of hearing similar complaints
from nearly all of my friends, I know
I'm not the only one.
Many of us are overstressed, run-
ning on a diet of caffeine during the
week and alcohol during the week-
end. We're overexerting ourselves,
but we're constantly reminded that
we could be doing more. The Sha-
piro Undergraduate Library is now
open 24 hours a day, so why aren't
you studying all night? Want a bet-
ter GPA? Just spend about ten min-
utes searching for Adderall - it's
Instead let's celebrate
As for the last point, take that
with a grain of salt. "How can
you love someone if you don't love
yourself" is a common piece of
folk psychology, but what does it
mean? Why couldn't you love your-
self through loving others? Studies
have shown that committing acts
of kindness for others positively
affects one's own self-worth, illus-
tratingthat loving others can be the
key to loving one's self.
Dave's phrasing may be off for the
final point; but the sentiment sum-
marizes his argument. In order to
enjoy ourselves, we must understand
what makes us tick. Find your pas-
sion and immerse yourself in it. Your
sanity will thank you.
Valentine's Day doesn't need to be
another day of stress. For those who
enjoy the romantic side of Saint Val-
entine, go for it. But I think I'mgoing
to take a big step back and focus
on me (and no, that's not a double-
entendre). Valentine's Day should
celebrate love, but why should we
limit it to romantic love? Instead,
let's redefine the day to celebrate lov-
ing your surroundings and yourself.
I promise that my passion-doesn't
revolve around reenacting Jumanji
scenes. But right now, it's exactly
what I want to do. And if it makes me
happy, then why not celebrate it?
- Andrew Eckhous can be
reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
EDITORIAL BOARD MEMBERS
Kaan Avdan, Sharik Bashir, Barry Belmont, Eli Cahan, Jesse Klein,
Melanie Kruvelis, Maura Levine, Patrick Maillet, Aarica Marsh,
Megan McDonald, Jasmine McNenny, Harsha Nahata,
Adrienne Roberts, Paul Sherman, Sarah Skaluba,
Michael Spaeth, Luchen Wang, Derek Wolfe
EAGHAN DAVIS AND TAYLOR-RYAN NEDD I
A forUM for Michigan
Bleeding Blue: Are you not sure what to feel about Michigan
becoming the 24th right-to-work state? Joe Paone gives
the liberal take on this new law.
Go to michigandaily.com/blogs/The Podium
Is just anothe day
A university education means we belong to
a community. We learn with each other, but
also from each other. From our many perspec-
tives and experiences, we challenge ourselves
to be better students and better people. This is
why we're among the 'Leaders and Best.' This
process of education produces leadership in a
multitude of ways.
As tuition rises, students are paying more
and more to a student government that gives
back less and less. We aim to change that. We
are forUM, a new party and a new idea: From
our different pasts we come together as one
voice for the future so we can make profound,
long-lasting improvements to our campus
We're led by students who come from a
wide range of academic and extracurricular
interests, a diverse set of backgrounds and a
vast array of skills and beliefs. We hold these
qualities to be assets - tools tested by the fires
of our passions - forged in the belief that we
might allay what divides us into an alloy of
what unites us.
ForUM is running LSA junior Chris Osborn
for president and LSA junior Hayley Sakwa
for vice president of the University's Central
Student Government. We chose them because
they represent the best of the University and
the best of our ideals.
Osborn currently serves as CSG treasurer
and has a financial prowess incomparable to
any other student on campus. This is criti-
cally important in understanding the intrica-
cies of an organization like CSG, where he has
successfully managed a $700,000 budget and
overseen 22 commissions. He's a proven leader
who deeply cares about this institution and
will do right by students as he has done time
and time again.
Sakwa volunteers her time in a variety of
roles, including at University of Michigan
Hillel and in the service fraternity Alpha
Phi Omega. In 2011, she founded the Jewish
Detroit Initiative, engaging University stu-
dents with city residents throughsocial action,
education and.fun. She's committed to foster-
ing a culturally inclusive university.
Now, we don't pretend to have all the
answers. Butthe oneswe dohave, we think, are
the best. These are the planks of our platform:
Equity: We would liketo see a student rep-
resentative on the Board of Regents. Many
other university boards have student represen-
tation, and we believe it's time our university
did too. Our 40,000-plus student population
deserves one seat at the table.
Accessibility: We'll advocate for an
increase in healthful food options on cam-
pus - especially the year-round availability
of fresh produce. We think it'd be a great idea
to make the MFarmers Market a permanent
institution, and perhaps open a caf4 dedicated
to fresh, local ingredients.
Synergy: Wait times and paperwork at
University Health Service are a nightmare.
Let's simplify things by putting critical infor-
mation - lists of medications and allergies,
blood types and health insurance - onto our
Mcards, so we can swipe in instead. The Uni-
versity figured out how to use an Mcard at TCF
ATMs; surely this isn't beyond ourreach.
Efficiency; We propose a common applica-
tion for student organization funding, taking
the current 15 or so down to one. This will
reduce paperwork, increase transparency and
smooth students' frustrations greatly.
Diversity: Finally, we must not forget that
these are just our ideas. We'd like to hear
yours. The strength of our university has
always been measured as much in the diverse
perspective students bring as it has in the
results they come up with. Following this
model, we'd like to use CSG as a medium to
foster collaboration between diverse student
groups on campus.
If you think we'd be a good fit for you, and
you for us, come to our mass meeting next
Tuesday, Feb. 19 in 3330 Mason Hall at 6 p.m.
We're individuals whose record of leadership
is second only to our conviction that a just and
more equitable university requires new lead-
ers and new ideas. We believe that the change
we seek is greater than the sum of our own
differences - that this idea binds us all to this
new forUM for student government.
Fortune favors the bold. Join us.
Eaghan Davis is an LSA junior, and
Taylor-Ryan Nedd is an LSA sophomore.
"( ouldyou be free
to meet up some
time later this
I click to my
dar tab, scan
over the week
and quickly type
back, "How does
sound?" I have
no plans for that HEMA
evening, and I KARUNA-
figure it'll be a KARAM
great time to
schedule a casu-
Unfortunately, meetings usu-
ally involve more than one person,
and apparently I've made a terrific
For those of you who haven't yet
recognized my gaffe, this Thursday is
Valentine's Day. Andbytheunspoken
rules thatnguide-us throughthe social
labyrinth that is college, I should be
spending that day either canoodling
with a romantic interest, commiser-
ating with single friends or celebrat-
ing rebellion against all Hallmark
holidays. Canoodling, commiserat-
ing or celebrating. There is no fourth
option; there is no room for arbitrary
meetings that don't acknowledge the
significance of Feb. 14.
And what is it about the 14th day
of the second month each year that
floods shops, restaurants and our
newsfeeds with infinite references
to all things pink and romantic? Leg-
ends abound referencing Pagan tra-
ditions, Christian martyrology and
Shakespearean literature - but none
of these things should dictate when
we do or don't celebrate our feelings.
Whether we support or denounce it,
why do we bother giving in to the
holiday at all?
If you're in a relationship of any
to celebrate: birthdays, anniversaries
or perhaps the first time you locked
eyes across the Diag? Instead of giv-
ing in to the Valentine's hype, it'd be
far more meaningful to do special
things on some other, more personal-
ly significant day. And if you're of the
party who prefers to celebrate Sin-
gle's Awareness Day - your relation-
ship status probably won't change in
the vicinity of Feb. 14, so why choose
to acknowledge it on this day spe-
cifically? The need to do something
in honor of one's relationship status
seems far too arbitrary.
But perhaps all of this has been
said too often. Increasingly, the new
trend is to shun such traditions alto-
gether and rebel against the holiday.
But choosing to not wear red, to not
go out to a nice dinner, to not wish
your friends a nice holiday, is still
acknowledging that something's
happening on Feb. 14 and you just
don't wantto be a part of it.--
Whether you're canoodling, com-
miserating or celebrating, what
difference does the date make?
Whatever your choice may be, you
can do this on any other day of the
year too. And, likewise, things
like meetings shouldn't need to be
rescheduled just because it's Feb. 14.
Yes, some people callithis Valentine's
Day; some people call it Single's
Awareness Day; but some people,
like me, think it shouldn't make a
difference in the way we, lead our
lives, one way or another.
It doesn't matter
whether I'm single
or taken on Feb.14.
So where will I be this Thursday?
Maybe you'll spot me on a date at a
fancy restaurant. Or maybe you'll
find me getting late-night dessert
with my roommate. Maybe, like last
year, you'll discover that I'm watch-
ing a decidedly un-romantic movie
(read: American Pie) with a decid-
edly single friend. And maybe, I'll
be holed up in the stacks all alone,
This Thursday, it doesn't really
matter where I am or who I'm with.
It doesn't matter whether I'm single
or taken, whether I'm wearing red
or black, whether I'm enjoying gift-
ed chocolates or a cheap midnight
burrito - at least, not more than it
would any other day of the year.
If none of these things matter to
you, great. Feb. 14 is just another day
of the year. So let there be no Val-
entine's Day. And if they do matter,
that's fine too. Feb. 14 is just another
day of the year, so let every day be
- Hema Karunakaram can be
reached at email@example.com.