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April 18, 2013 - Image 4

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4A - Thursday, April 18, 2013

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

4A - Thursday, April 18, 2013 The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom

J it gIanat a4
Edited and managed by students at
the University of Michigan since 1890.

420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
tothedaily@michigandaily.com
MELANIE KRUVELIS
and ADRIENNE ROBERTS MATT SLOVIN
EDITORIAL PAGE EDITORS MANAGING EDITOR

ANDREW WEINER
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.
D\ bT
Time to build a better Michigan
Regents should support recreational facilities renovation
At the May 16 meeting of the University's Board of Regents, the
Building a Better Michigan campaign will push the University
to embark upon a multi-year renovation of University unions
and recreational facilities. Though the project's expected cost isn't
cheap - an estimated $135 million on improvements - it's a necessary
undertaking. Recent reports from the architecture firm Integrated
Design Solutions confirm the poor conditions of the unions and gyms
and the inadequate resources they offer the student body. From crum-
bling tiles in the showers of the Central Campus Recreation Building to
the insufficient meeting spaces in the Michigan Union, the BBM has a
proposal to address serious flaws of common facilities on campus. The
regents should support the proposal and student facilities upgrades,
reaffirming the board's commitment to quality buildings supporting a
quality campus.

ERIC FERGUSON|
Spa
"Got any spare change today?"
This is a familiar question to stu-
dents who live in houses or apart-
ments in greater Ann Arbor, away
from the cozy confines of the Uni-
versity's campus. It tends to come
from the lips of older men or women
wearing shabby-looking clothes,
often sounding like an admission of
defeat or a pushy sales pitch instead
of a question. Its responses are
many, including the snap-decision
yes, the harried no, and silence, as
the questioned person walks past
the questioner looking anywhere
but into their eyes.
Though it might as well mean
no, what silence means in this
context isn't entirely clear. Does
it signal that a passerby considers
himself to be above speaking to
someone so obviously at the bot-
tom of the socioeconomic heap or
that the passerby fears speaking to
such a person? That the passerby
doesn't have any change, or at least
any that she's willing to give to a
homeless person? Or does it sim-
ply indicate a lack of words - the
passerby's uncertainty about how
to answer the question given all
that it implies? For better or worse,
each person who stays silent prob-
ably has at least one of these things
in mind. Regardless, no is the right
answer to this question.
All charity isn't automatically

re no change

good or even effective. Look at it
this way: Giving a dollar to some-
one who is panhandling is kind
of like voting for a candidate dur-
ing an election. It makes the giver
feel good about him or herself and
indicates his or her sympathy for
that person or candidate, but the
chances of that contribution being
the difference between life and
death - in a political or actual
sense - is infinitesimally small. In
Ann Arbor, this wellspring of flam-
ing liberalism, a student could also
be excused for thinking that some-
one else will make a contribution,
making any change given person-
ally seem futile.
There's an important difference
between a vote and a dollar bill
given out on the street - account-
ability. A vote for a political candi-
date creates an obligation for him or
her to pay attention to your desires
as a constituent or risk defeat in the
next election. No such mechanism
exists for ensuring that a person
spends donated money in a respon-
sible manner.
Intuitively, or perhaps stereotyp-
ically, there's a more-than-decent
chance that giving a dollar to a pan-
handler isn't going toward acquir-
ing a place of residence, paying for
cancer treatments for his or her
sick child or putting a down pay-
ment on a car. This intuition plays

out depressingly well in practice:
According to the Department of
Housing and Urban Development,
60 percent of homeless people have
problems with drugs or alcohol. To
me, that's more than enough reason
not to give money to anyone on the
street who asks for it.
Now before you label me a heart-
less bastard for assuming that
every panhandler and homeless
person is a druggie or an alcoholic,
I encourage you to reread that sta-
tistic and consider its implications.
I'm entirely in favor of extending a
helping hand to the extremely poor
and homeless people, regardless
of why they're in such a situation.
However, it's apparent that hand-
outs of change on the street are
more likely to harm than help.
Between that and having no way
to see how spare change is spent,
giving money to panhandlers isn't
something to be recommended.
There are better ways to help out
and make an impact, includingpeti-
tioning government officials to pri-
oritize programs designed to help
extremely poor people get back on
their feet, volunteering at a com-
munity kitchen or giving money to
a charitable organization. Any of
these things can create real change
- spare change cannot.
Eric Ferguson is an LSA sophomore.

According to BBM's report, the campus's
recreational sports facilities and unions are
some of the most heavily trafficked buildings
at the University. A survey of 10,000 students
estimated 96 percent of students use the unions
on campus, while 76 percent use recreational
facilities like the CCRB. With high use comes
high wear and tear, and BBM looks to improve
the existing damage and poor designs. The
plan calls for major renovations to the CCRB,
including a 26,000 square-foot addition,
increased workout equipment and air condi-
tioning for the summer months. Under the
proposal, student organization spaces would
expand, with more common space added near
the Union's designated area for student group
offices. As organizations across campus con-
tinue to increase collaborative efforts, the
improvements to the Union's meeting spaces
would allow for more frequent interaction.
Furthermore, the renovations to recreational
facilities can attract prospective students to
campus while enhancing the experience of
current students. No one likes a crowded gym.
The proposal seeks funding through a
combination of student fees and University
support. In BBM's plan, a fee of $65 per term
would be added to tuition for the next 30 years.
Compared to other Big 10 schools, this fee is
relatively low: Fees for union and recreation
center improvements at Ohio State University

and the University of Minnesota were more
than twice that. Given the frequent use of the
buildings, along with their deficient states -
the IDS reported that all three unions were in
"poor conditions" in 2008 - the comparatively
moderate tuition increase is worth the price.
However, there are several concerns about
the project that must be addressed. If the Uni-
versity decides to spend millions of dollars
on the renovations, then long-term durability
should be a top priority for all facilities. Addi-
tionally, many ofthe buildings being renovated
- notablythe Union and the Intramural Sports
Building - are historical landmarks. Those
buildings' architecture must be preserved to
the greatest extent possible during the reno-
vation. Moreover, the project comes at a time
when it seems construction is occurring on
nearly every block at the University. In order
to ensure that all buildings are usable in the
fall and winter terms, the project must stick to
its commitment to having construction occur
only during summer months.
If the regents approve the project, BBM
must also keep the University community up
to date on its progress. Given the importance of
the University unions and recreational sports
facilities to students, faculty and the greater
Ann Arbor community, this renovation would
be a worthy investment in the future of the
University and student experience.

EDITORIAL BOARD MEMBERS
Kaan Avdan, Sharik Bashir, Barry Belmont, Eli Cahan, Eric Ferguson, Jesse Klein, Melanie Kruvelis,
Maura Levine, Patrick Maillet, Sam Mancina, Aarica Marsh, Megan McDonald, Jasmine McNenny,
Harsha Nahata, Adrienne Roberts, Paul Sherman, Sarah Skaluba, Michael Spaeth,
Daniel Wang, Luchen Wang, Derek Wolfe
JOSHUA SCHOSTAK I
Win or lose, always a Wolverine

MAX HELLER |
Reconciling Turkey and Israel

Twenty-one years ago, as a Uni-
versity alum, my dad was in Min-
neapolis, Minn. at the NCAA Final
Four. Twenty-one years later, both
my dad and I were in Atlanta, Ga.,
watching our Wolverines in the
Final Four.
I grew up in Huntington Woods,
Mich. and was raised by my Wol-
verine father and Spartan mother,
so you could say my loyalties
should have been divided; however,
they weren't. I'm a third-genera-
tion Wolverine - my grandfather
attended the University as well.
I grew up on Michigan football.
I bled, and still bleed, maize and
blue. Yet, the absence of a domi-
nant Michigan basketball program
reared its headlights right in my
face. But I had faith.
Former head football coach Lloyd
Carr was my leader. I idolized Heis-
man trophy winner Charles Wood-
son. I watched former wide receiver
Steve Breaston flash down the field
for touchdowns and former running
back Mike Hart relentlessly run
over little brother's football team. I
attended Rose Bowls but never saw
a victory. Only when I was five-years
old Brian Griese led Wolverines won
the national championship in 1997.
All this time, Michigan basketball
was in the rear-view mirror - a
place it'll never be again.
When you're a Wolverine, nothing
is worse than hearing those Spartans
from that school in East Lansing
gloat about their successful basket-
ball program and coach Tom Izzo.
While I went to the Crisler Center
over the years, my childhood was
the Big House. I always dreamed of
attending the University to spend
the best four years of my life as a stu-
dent. In 2010, that dream came true

and with it came somethingI hadn't
witnessed during mytwenty-one
years of life: a Michigan basketball
title run.
I saw the Daniel Hortons, Bernard
Robinson Jrs., Brent Petways and
Tommy Amakers of the past, but as
I stepped foot on this campus, it was
the Zach Novaks and Stu Douglasses
that started what Team 96 finished
for me in Atlanta. Choosing not to
study abroad, one thing driving me
this semester was the potential of
this young, explosive, exciting and
talented Michigan basketball team.
I attended more than 10 games at
Crisler Center this year, watched the
team in one of the coolest college
basketball atmospheres - Assembly
Hall in Bloomington, Ind. - trav-
eled to the Palace of Auburn Hills to
watch the beat down on South Dako-
ta State University and the take-
down of the Shaka Smart-coached
Virginia Commonwealth University
Rams. So it was only perfect that I
stood front row in the student sec-
tion at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta.
While my Spartan mother took
care of me at home in 1992, the
Fab Five was in its Final Four.
Twenty-one years later, I stood in
the Georgia Dome, just a wave of
a hand away from my dad, who sat
with my younger brother. We were
on a business trip to accomplish
something Michigan couldn't before.
Regardless of the outcome, I was
truly livingthe dream - a student
witnessing the resurrection of maize
and blue basketball.
While we didn't win the cham-
pionship, I kept thinking to myself
how surreal it was to watch this spe-
cial season first-hand. My dad texted
me after beating Syracuse University
and said, "Cannot tell you how proud

I am of you and that you're there and
living the U of M college dream."
While our business trip to Atlanta
was somewhat unsuccessful, the
dream is alive and thriving.
As I stood in the Georgia Dome
as the clock hit zero, I was upset and
nearly in tears. I chose to walk back
to my hotel alone and refleet.
I began to think about what
Team 96, head coach John Beilein
and his coaching staff have done
for this University. I thought about
Senior guard Matt Vogrich nailing
a pull-up three in the garbage min-
utes against the University of Flor-
ida, laughed about the hilarious
open dunks Mitch McGary missed
throughout the season, and then
thought about seeing him grow
and help this team get to Atlanta.
Those are just of the few that made
me smile and made me proud to
call myself a Michigan Wolverine.
Every quiet moment I think
about now-former point guard Trey
Burke'sblock on Peyton Siva and
how it could have changed the game.
But then I think about the journey
that got us there and what's tocome
for this program.
Michigan basketball is back,
and I guarantee you it's not going
anywhere.
This past fall semester in English
225, I saw Burke walk into the class.
While he might not remember, I
looked at him and told him, "I'm
happy you stayed because we're
about to ball out this season." That's
exactly what we did.
Twenty-one years ago we were
there, but we left. Twenty-one years
later, we were there, but this time
we're here to stay.
Joshua Schostak is an LSA junior.

Israel and Turkey have made significant
strides in pursuing reconciliation over the
past month. Last week, the two countries
finally agreed to pursue a normalization of
their diplomatic relations, ending a three-
year freeze that had been in place since the
Gaza flotilla raid in 2010.
The normalization comes after the first
meeting between Israeli Prime Minister
Benjamin Netanyahu and Turkish Prime
Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. During the
meeting, Netanyahu expressed regret and
apologized for operational mistakes during
the flotilla raid that resulted in nine deaths,
including eight Turkish nationals and one
American. Netanyahu's humble words gave
Erdogan reason to communicate with him
further and opened the door for last week's
normalization announcement. Erdogan
demanded Netanyahu's apology as a precon-
dition to any further diplomatic negotiations
between the two nations, and Netanyahu
agreed to meet him in the middle for what
was a seemingly reasonable demand, though
he previously asserted he wouldn't apologize.
Netanyahu's about-face in this instance was
extremely beneficial.
Previously, Erdogan had announced that
Israel's apology for the flotilla raid was enough
on its own to normalize diplomatic rela-
tions. However, he has since added additional
demands as preconditions to further normal-
ization. One issue is restitution payments to the
families of the flotilla incident's victims. Israel
has offered to compensate each family with
payments of $100,000 each - $30,000 more
than Turkey pays its military families who lose
loved ones. Turkey, however, is demanding $1
million per family in restitution payments.
The countries must now negotiate to reach
a resolution on this issue, and it'd be ben-
eficial for Turkey to reevaluate their initial
demand. In the spirit of cooperation and rec-
onciliation that Netanyahu displayed with his
apology, Erdogan should willingly negotiate
a fair amount for the restitution payments,
rather than demanding $1 million per family
U / '

as a deal-breaker for further normalization.
Also at issue is Israel's legal naval block-
ade of Gaza. Israel's navy currently block-
ades Gaza's main port as a security measure.
The Israeli navy inspects incoming ships
to ensure that no weapons or missiles are
brought into Gaza. Hamas often attempts to
smuggle rocket-building materials into Gaza,
and the blockade serves to stifle that effort.
They allow ships bringing food and other
supplies to continue en route to Gaza. Erdo-
gan has announced that he expects Israel to
lift this naval blockade before further nor-
malization between Israel and Turkey.
But not only is the naval blockade com-
pletely unrelated to Turkish sovereignty, it's
a matter of Israeli national security and exists
only to limit violence stemming from Hamas
in Gaza. No country should ever have to com-
promise on a matter of internal national secu-
rity in order to engage in diplomatic relations
with another nation. It's akin to demanding
that one's neighbors remove their picket fence
before agreeing to be friendly with them.
Erdogan should be focused on issues that
involve Israel and Turkey, rather than using
the pursuit of normalization as a bargaining
chip for unrelated issues. Such deviations
from regular negotiations make it difficult for
Israel and Turkey to work together.
Normalization between Israel and Turkey
can have numerous benefits. Together, they
can help resolve Syria's civil war and end
the bloodshed there. Additionally, Turkey
is a natural recipient of Israel's natural gas
exports, given its geographic proximity. Tur-
key needs the energy such imports provide,
and Israel is in need of a trading partner for
its gas. These benefits will stand out among
others should Israel and Turkey find a way
to repair their relationship. The logical next
step in the process is for Turkey to follow the
example Israel has already set during this
reconciliation process by making concessions
and negotiating in good faith.
Max Heller is a Business senior.

4

SEND LETTERS TO: TOTHEDAILY@MICHIGANDAILY.COM

Regents'report on
tuition equality should
be made public
TO THE DAILY:
In April 2012, University Pro-
vost Phil Hanlon commissioned a
task force of students and senior
administrators to examine the
issue of tuition equality for undoc-
umented students. This measure,
of course, was a reaction to the
overwhelming mobilization of
students, faculty and community
members - both documented and
undocumented - against the uni-
versity's discriminatory tuition
policies. The task force kicked
off what amounted to an official
review of the University's treat-
ment of undocumented Michigan
students with the intent of exam-

ining different policy options and
issuing a recommendation to the
University's Board of Regents.
In March, after almost a year
of research and preparation, the
Task Force on Undocumented Stu-
dents finally published its find-
ings. However, that report wasn't
made public. Rather, the provost's
office sent the report to the execu-
tive officers - including Univer-
sity President Mary Sue Coleman
- who will make the final recom-
mendations to the regents without
student input.
Regardless of one's views on
tuition equality, the administra-
tive process undertaken by the
executive officers is alarming.
Coleman has precluded students'
voices from determining the rec-
ommended course of action under
a disturbing lack of transpar-
ency. It's perhaps reasonable to
assume this is the University's

way of shirking its responsibility
to Michigan students; as the Daily
has reported, Coleman prefers not
to address directly immigration-
related issues at the University
Meanwhile, the state's estimat-
ed 29,000 undocumented students
bear the costs of bureaucratic cow-
ardice. Like past actions organized
by the Coalition for Tuition Equal-
ity, the demonstration on April 18
at the regents' meeting serves to
remind University leaders of the
groundswell of support for immi-
grants' rights in Ann Arbor and
across the state and nation. As
elected officials learned after the
2012 elections, the time for tuition
equality is now.
Jacob Huston, Sanjay Jolly and
Micah Nelson
LSA senior, School of Public Policy
alum and LSA freshman

I

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