4 - Tuesday, April 8, 2014
The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com
4 - Tuesday, April 8, 2014 The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom
Edited and managed by students at
the University of Michigan since 1890.
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Ann Arbor, MI 48109
PETER SHAHIN and DANIEL WANG KATIE BURKE
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.
Recognizing gifted students
Developing academic talent is imperative to Michigan's future
Michigan is currently one of nine states that doesn't provide
any funding or support for accelerated education in local and
intermediate school districts. The 2015 budget proposed by Gov.
Rick Snyder allocates $1.8 million to support dual enrollment programs for
high school students. Though this would allow high school students to earn
college credits, money also needs to be allocated to programs and after
school activities that encourage gifted students to challenge themselves
academically and develop targeted interests from an early age.
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Turning the page
Though accelerated education programs
funded by independent districts and high
schools exist, the range of gifted education
services available to students in the state is
extremely limited. The Michigan Department
of Education does provide information
concerning the "Talent Development"
programs offered by the state, however the
information hasn't been updated in the past
four years. It's worrisome that the state has
taken such a passive approach to developing the
academic talent of its young citizens.
Snyder's current budget proposal is a
constructive step toward recognizingthe needs
of gifted students. Additionally, providing
college credit to high school students is a
constructive way to reduce the cost of attending
college. Though Advanced Placement programs
offer college credit to students, high schools are
inconsistent in the range of AP courses they
offer. For example, the Three River's school
districtin Kalamazoo lacks sufficient resources
to offer AP programs to its students. By funding
dual enrollment programs, the state can ensure
that students get credit, while receive an
education on par with that of a college course.
Dual enrollment also enables students to pick
classes and take ownership of their education,
easing their transition into college life.
Though programs for high school
students require immediate attention,
Snyder's administration should also look
toward providing funding to programs that
encourage gifted students to actively pursue
their interests, especially at the elementary
NICOLE ROJAS I
level. Support for after-school activities
should be expanded at the elementary level
so that all students have equal opportunity
to pursue an accelerated education in the
future. This is especially necessary to avoid
creating a dichotomy between high- and low-
achieving kids. Challenging young learners
and inspiring interest early on can prevent
students from underestimating their abilities
and falling behind.
Expensive after-school programs that
currently exist don't receive state funding,
and therefore most students miss out on such
opportunities. The state should have mandates
in place that allow all students easy access to
such programs in their early development.
Since these programs would supplement their
education, students should also be allowed to
join or drop the program after a year.
As students move to middle school and
high school, gifted students can be identified
through already existing statewide exams
such as the MEAP and Michigan Merit
Examination. Using the results of these
tests, along with other academic indicators,
can help administrators of gifted programs
identify these students, and take a step toward
providing resources to foster development.
Though some private programs already
provide parents with information to help
their educationally advanced children, a
state mandate needs to be created in order to
implement programs in all schools. Snyder and
the state legislation must provide state funding
to make these programs a reality.
In May 2012, graduating Yale
senior Marina Keegan wrote
a remarkable piece titled
that ran in the
edition of the
There are a few
pieces of writing
that I have
and revisit on
occasion - this is one of them.
Keegan wrote about the defining
moments that fill our college years
- years that feel fleeting and time-
less all at once. Keegan reminded
us of the decisions we made, and
those we didn't, that changed us
equally as much. She reminded us
of the nights we felt unapologeti-
cally alive. She reminded us that
we'll never get these years back, but
makes us think maybe we wouldn't
even if we could. Because, for us,
this fabric of time has been woven
by the people we've met and by
our experiences at Michigan; and
despite the inevitable knots in the
thread, it's ours and it's unique and
it's perfect in its imperfection. It's
what we will take with us moving
forward from this place.
"we're so young. we're so
young. We're twenty-two years
old," Keegan wrote. "We have so
much time. There's this sentiment
I sometimes sense, creeping in our
collective conscious as we lay alone
after a party, or pack up our books
when we give in and go out - that
it is somehow too late ... I plan on
having parties when I'm 30. I plan
on having fun when I'm old."
Keegan was killed in acar accident
days after her graduation from Yale.
The 22 year-young daughter, sis-
ter, friend, exceptional wordsmith Street on a brisk Saturday after-
and soon-to-be editorial assistant at noon. The nights we chose a good
The New Yorker, was in the passen- time over a slightly better grade.
ger seat of her boyfriend's car when it The professor who taught us a lot
hit a guardrail and flipped on a Cape more than grammar.
Cod highway. She was on the way to In reflecting on it, though, I can't
her father's birthday dinner. help but wonder what it is about
Keegan's legacy will live on in the human condition that allows
the pieces she wrote with authori- us only to fully appreciate the pass-
ty, about the life she witnessed. The ing of a time or chapter of our lives
one in which she did, she went, she as it comes to an end. Maybe it's
saw, she laughed, she felt. only when the time is short that we
Many of us have touched lives that come to fully embrace what we've
ended too soon. Perhaps, some of us had. Maybe this mindset can't be
have barely escaped death ourselves. adopted when we think we have so
If I had left the house moments much time.
earlier ... If I hadn't changed plans... But maybe we don't. Keegan won't
whether they're ours or some- host parties when she's 30. She won't
one else's, we all have stories to have fun when she's old. She won't
remind us that time is precious. live out these and other dreams men-
For me, Keegan's is one. tioned in her final piece.
As I write this, sunshine and Class of 2014 - we won't be
fresh air are pouring through the second-semester seniors for much
open windows longer. Soon,
of my house, and the whirlwind
I'm listening of celebrating
to my friends Our best years lie what we've
laughing on our ahead but every accomplished
front porch. It's these four years
the same mix once in a while we'll will be over.
of laughter that We'll collect
fills our family look back at what our diplomas,
room on Sunday we've left behin" subsequently
mornings, when turn the page
we lethargically and begin the
Learning from experiences
During the first week of May, nine Society this community, Maximo Nivel will continue to
of Hispanic Professional Engineers students have groups volunteer in this area of San Jose.
departed from various locations in the United Soon after our arrival, even local teenagers
States. We arrived in San Jose, Costa Rica May began to enter the elderly shelter and help with
4th, 2013 to spenda week volunteering through our work. We were even more encouraged
the international non-profit organization, after learning that this involvement positively
Maximo Nivel. The main objective of the influenced these teens away from crime.
trip was to make various construction Jobs are becoming more and more
improvements at an hogar de ancianos, a globalized, so it is essential that we are able to
shelter for the elderly in Tejarcillos, an outlying understand and collaborate with people from
town of San Jose. By the end of the week we all walks of life. As Michigan helps shape the
created shelves and cabinets, rebuilt windows minds of future leaders, students must spend
and doors to prevent snakes and spiders from time volunteering during their undergraduate
entering the homes, added metal railings in years in order to enter the real world with a
showers to prevent falling and repaired locks broader, more aware mindset.
on doors to improve security. Above all, we Many of the SHPE members that attended
grew closer as a group as we explored and this volunteer experience are now just
learned about the culture and people of Costa beginning their specific engineering major,
Rica. Volunteering has always been known as taking very technical classes that introduce us
an activity that helps others, but what we don't to the type of information an engineer should be
initially realize is that it helps us as well. We able to understand after graduation. Even if we
developed essential teamwork skills and gained received straight As in these classes, this would
stronger empathy for people with different life mean nothing if we had no idea how to apply
experiences than us. We better understood these skills. Students must be able to adjust to
our own identities, and we gained immense situations that don't work out perfectly like in
perspective. Volunteering was so much more textbooks. Therefore, we are encouraged to join
than learning how to apply our engineering design teams to have a hands-on experience in
skills, it was developingthe skills to understand engineering. The same goes for volunteering.
others' needs and gaining a wider perspective we can take a variety of classes on various
that we will need in our future leadership roles. cultures and read about global issues, but
Planning an international volunteer trip was the most effective way to truly understand
not easy. Several times throughout the planning other people, cultures and problems is to go
process we were uncertain whether it was out into the field and experience them for
worth spending so much time and effort; we ourselves. Volunteering in Costa Rica this
were unsure that the trip would even occur. If past summer has not only helped develop
we had known the experience tobe gained from our problem-solving skills as engineers,
this trip, we would not have once questioned but above all, because of this experience,
the value in the volunteer opportunity. We we now know some of the causes of poverty
gained more perspective, not only on hands-on in Tejarcillos, why there is the disparity in
construction skills, but also problem-solving, classes, why they live the way they do and
team-building and communication skills. We what their true needs are. While we spent a
learned more about our identity as Hispanics, mere week in the town, we learned far more
as well as our identities and roles as engineers about the customs and people of Costa Rica
in aglobal environment. than any semester-long class would have
The positive response and enthusiastic taught us. This international volunteer trip
gratitude from the community members is what was the highlight of our summer, not solely
stuck out to us the most. While we believed we because of the incredible country, culture
were helping with small improvements, the and people, but because we had such an
community assured us that our contributions invaluable experience to gain perspective,
would have a lasting positive impact. We all develop leadership skills and grow closer as
have our own set of biases and predetermined a group. No matter what- your major is, what
outlooks on life, but volunteering in a new your interests are, what organizations you are
community helps us better empathize with involved with, any form of volunteering will
others and become more aware of the multi- shape your life and give you much-needed
faceted issues the world is now facing. We were awareness of the community around you.
the first group to volunteer with this elderly
community and because of our success with Nicole Rojas is an Engineering sophomore.
gather to piece
together the events of the night
before. For the moment; I'm tak-
ing in the distinct melange of their
laughs, because I know in a month
I'll be hearing it much less often.
This is the mindset so many of
us seniors have come to adopt in
recent weeks. We're appreciat-
ing this place and the people here
more than we ever have before. The
bonds we've nurtured since fresh-
man year. The way ivy always stood
out against old brick and tarnished
copper. The times we surprised
each other. The walk down Hoover
next chapter on
May 4 - scared and unprotected,
but preparedly. Let's do our best
to maintain this mindset, though.
To take in defining moments for
what they are - despite where
they occur in our stories. Because,
to quote Keegan, "...let's get one
thing straight: the best years of our
lives are not behind us." Though
perhaps, every once in a while, we'll
glance over our shoulders at what
we've left behind.
- Sara Morosi can be reached
EDITORIAL BOARD MEMBERS
Barry Belmont, Edvinas Berzanskis, David Harris, Rachel John,
Nivedita Karki, Jacob Karafa, Jordyn Kay, Aarica Marsh,
Megan McDonald, Victoria Noble, Melissa Scholke,
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TO THE DAILY:
Finally! Another round of
Central Student Government
elections finally over. And, another
columnist shaking his fists at the
elections and claiming that it all
ends with someone winning on
a technicality. Admittedly, there
might be something of substance
underneath all of Mr. James
Brennan's ranting and raving. But
before we get to that, let's take a
moment to set the record straight.
As this year's Election Director,
I'm a bit biased when I say this, but
I'll say it anyway: Winter 2014's
elections were the best I've seen in
my three years at the University of
Michigan. Yes, there were lawsuits.
Yes, some candidates and parties
were issued demerits for failing to
adhere to the rules.
But it's important that students
know the truth: no litigation resulted
in any altering of any election. Let
me repeat that: not one election
was won or lost this year due to
election-related litigation. Not one.
Nada. Zip. Zero. Every candidate
who swears an oath of office in the
coming weeks will do so because
he or she won the most weighted
Being something of an election-
insider, I agree that it can be
frustrating to see the Election Code
as it stands right now. I argued as
much in my dissent in Fernandez
v. ForUM, et al. (you can read the
UEC's opinions online). I agree
with Mr. Brennan that some of
the rules in the Election Code
are hypertechnical nonsense that
probably confuse more than they
elucidate. But consider this: even
if we designed the perfect Election
Code, the elections themselves still
wouldn't be perfect. Why? Because
the only way to ensure positive, fair
outcomes is to sit down with all the
candidates and talk things through
And that's exactly what we did this
year. We talked about how student
confidence in CSG declines when
people win because of lawsuits. We
discussed why it's not just whether
you win, but how you win, that mat-
ters. And we talked about respect-
ing other candidates, no matter how
fierce and heated the campaigngets.
I agree with Mr. Brennan that the
code must be reformed. But I hope
that he will also agree that while
no election is perfect, this year's
election is a step forward in creating
confidence in CSG elections.
Third year law student
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