The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com
Thursday, April 3, 2014 - 3A
The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom Thursday, April 3, 2014 - 3A
From Page 1A
"My point is we got to make
sure that everybody can afford
to do things that may not pay
huge sums of money but are
really valuable to society,"
While many students filled the
audience, University administra-
tors and governmentofficials also
made a strong showing. Included
among the attendees were Uni-
versity executive officers, mem-
bers of the University's Board
of Regents, Rep. Gary Peters
(D-Mich.), State Reps Jeff Irwin
(D-Ann Arbor) and Adam Zemke
(D-Ann Arbor) and Congressio-
nal candidate Debbie Dingell.
LSA senior Mira Friedlander,
a restaurant server who finances
her college education with her
minimum wage job, introduced
the president before he gave his
remarks. Inan interview after the
speech, Friedlander said she was
honored to introduce the presi-
dent, especially before a speech
that would hit close to home.
"It was completely surreal,"
Obama's address comes only
a day after the White House
announced that 7.1 million Amer-
icans signed up for the Afford-
able Care Act. The president cited
the success of the legislation as
another mechanism he has used
to ensure that every American
has an opportunity to succeed.
Raising the minimum wage, he
said, is another shot at granting
Americans the success the coun-
try promised in its founding.
In an interview after the
speech, Regent Mark Bernstein
(D-Ann Arbor) said Obama's
multiple visits to campus signify
the University's role in national
issues of concern.
"It speaks to the stature of
this great public university,"
Bernstein said. "Each time his
message has been targeted at a
student body that i think appre-
ciates his message. It's a great
honor to participate in that kind
Bernstein added that he and
several other University offi-
cials met with Obama before his
During the address, more than
100 students lined the bleachers
behind him with an American
flag draped above them on the
IM Building's brick wall. Some of
these students included Business
senior Michael Proppe, CSG pres-
ident; LSA senior Phil Schermer,
MUSIC Matters president; and
LSA senior Tyrell Collier, Black
Student Union president, among
other campus leaders.
In an interview after the event,
E. Royster Harper, vice president
for student life, said the office of
Student Life chose which stu-
dents to invite to sit in the select-
ed seats. While many of them
were leaders of prominent cam-
pus organizations, Harper said
some represented sectors of cam-
pus that are less well known -
including first-generation college
students, international students,
students who work in campus
dining halls and some who grew
up in foster care.
"We tried to be really thought-
ful," Harper said. "Some were
students in leadership roles, but
others were students who lead in
a very different way."
Students showed up in droves
Monday afternoon to wait for
their chance to secure their spot
at the event. The University dis-
tributed tickets on a first-come,
first-served basis Tuesday morn-
ing at 9 a.m., motivating students
to wait in line overnight for the
opportunity to see the president.
Harper said this commit-
ment to engaging in campus life
showed how willing the students
are to interact with the world
"Our students are always
engaged and thinking about
what's going on in the world and
they're just smart in that way,"
Harper said. "They're politically
smart. I think students on boths
sides of the issues kind of want to
be in the conversation."
Bernstein echoed Harper's
sentiments after Obama's speech,
adding that students are engaged
in nationally pertinent topics.
"We have a uniquely engaged
student body," Bernstein said. "It
shows that we have students that
are intensely interested in. mat-
ters of consequence that face this
Schermer, who interned with
the National Economic Council
in the White House last sum-
mer, said in an interview after the
event that Obama's speech gave
resounding statistical economic
and public policy evidence for
raising the minimum wage.
Proppe said Obama's emphasis
cation was particularly important
for the University community. To
ease costs on higher education,
the University has initiated a host
of cost-containment initiatives
- including the lowest increase
in tuition in recent years and an
uptick in financial aid funding.
As for Obama's strong presence
at the University, Proppe said his
willingness to come back again
and again is due to the thriving
"A lot of really motivated peo-
ple live here and things start in
Ann Arbor and spread nation-
ally," Proppe said. "I think the
president understands that."
Before his speech, Obama
ordered a #2 Reuben from Ann
Arbor landmark, Zingerman's
Delicatessen - which Obama
said is an example of a business
that values its employees. Zing-
erman's co-owner Paul Saginaw
pays his employees more than
"Zingerman's is a business
that treats its workers well, and
rewards honest work with honest
wages," Obama said. "And that's
Over lunch, Obama spoke to
Friedlander about her experience
navigating college depending
financially on her minimum wage
job. While she said she was sur-
prised by Obama's calm demean-
or, Friedlander said she was upset
he chose a "new pickle" over an
"old pickle" to supplement his
sandwich - a Zingerman's tra-
dition that Ann Arbor residents
take pride in.
"It was the most unreal thing
of my entire life, but it made me
comfortable introducing him,"
Friedlander said. "But then
speaking was the biggest high in
the world. I thought, 'Who gets
to introduce the leader of the free
Among passionate state-
ments in support of raising the
minimum wage, Obama jokingly
recalled his decision to choose
the Michigan State University
basketball team as the champions
of his March Madness bracket.
At the beginning of his speech,
Obama mentioned University
basketball players Jordan Mor-
gan, Glenn Robinson III and Nik
Stauskas, congratulating them on
their season and run in the tour-
"My bracket's a mess," Obama
said. "I learned my lesson: Iwill
not pick against the Wolver-
From Page 1A
a society where progress is the
servant of our needs, or a society
where old values and new visions
are buried under unbridled
In front of a crowd of about
1,400 University students, faculty
and Michigan legislators, Obama
harkened back to Johnson's
"We want to make sure that no
matter where you're born, what
circumstances, how you started
out, what you look like, what your
last name is, who you love - it
doesn't matter, you can succeed,"
he said. "That's what we believe."
Obama's 35-minute speech
was filled with references to the
University and Ann Arbor, from
Nik Stauskas to Zingerman's
Delicatessen, but his most impor-
tant relation to the state was the
recent initiative of state legisla-
tors to raise the minimum wage.
"If you're working, if you're
responsible, you should be able to
pay the rent, pay the bills," Obama
said. "You've got more states and
counties and cities that are work-
ing to raise the minimum wage
as we speak. That includes your
state legislators from Ann Arbor."
State Reps. Jeff Irwin (D-Ann
Arbor) and Adam Zemke (D-Ann
Arbor), who both attended the
event, co-sponsored State House
Bill 4386 in March 2013, which
proposes the state minimum
wage be raised from $7.40 to $9
"(Raising the minimum wage)
puts more money into pockets,
which will be put back into the
economy," Zemke said.
He added that Obama's pub-
lic presence has put significant
weight behind gathering support.
"It's important that he contin-
ues to speak about this around
the country, to dispel false conno-
tations or associations with rais-
ing the minimum wage," Zemke
Obama has endorsed a pro-
posed bill to raise the federal
minimum wage from $7.25 to
$10.10 per hour .On Feb. 12, he
signed an executive order raising
the minimum wage for federal
government contractors to $10.10.
"It's easy to remember," he said
in his address. "10-10.10-10."
One week earlier, the Congres-
sional Budget Office released a
report on the effects of a poten-
tial raise. It estimated that a raise
to $10.10 per hour would increase
the nation's unemployment by
500,000 workers, or 0.3 percent,
and 16.5 million workers would
have higher earnings. However,
just 19 percent of those earnings
would go to families living below
the poverty threshold.
Though a minority of the
excess earnings would go to fami-
lies in poverty, the CBO reported
that such a raise would lift about
900,000 of the roughly 45 million
people who are currently below
the poverty threshold above it.
Many University students
work part-time jobs, which often
pay minimum wage, to supple-
ment living and tuition costs;
however, the average age of mini-
mum-wage earners is 35.
Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.)
introduced a budget Tuesday
outlining Congressional Repub-
licans' plan to grow the economy
by cutting spending by $5.1 tril-
lion. Raising the federal mini-
mum wage was not included in
believe that if we give more tax
breaks to a fortunate few and we
invest less in the middle class and
... do only what's best for their
bottom line without the responsi-
bility to the rest of us, then some-
how the economy will boom, and
jobs and prosperity will trickle
down to everybody," Obama said.
In his speech, the president
called on businesses to act as well,
referencing Henry Ford's famous
wage-doubling initiative in his
Michigan factory 100 years ago.
"Not only did it boost pro-
ductivity, not only did it reduce
turnover, not only did it make
employees more loyal to the com-
pany, but it meant that the work-
ers could afford to buy the cars
that they were building," Obama
Wallace Hopp, senior associate
dean for faculty and research at
the Ross School of Business, said
this type of strategy is necessary
for businesses to be successful.
"By paying high wages he not
only attracted the best people,
but held onto them ... as a result he
had very high levels of productiv-
ity," Hopp said. "Ford was right
when he said raising wages was
the greatest cost-saving device he
had come up with."
He added that Costco, also
referenced in the president's
remarks, is a modern example of
this practice. The Center for Posi-
tive Organizations at Ross stud-
ies Costco and other models, and
has repeatedly seen productive
results coming from their higher
Though the majority of Ameri-
cans support raising the mini-
mum wage, Hopp said there is
opposition both from smaller
businesses that depend on min-
imum-wage workers and from
"One word: politics," Hopp
said. "If you believe that the free
market is the right thing and can
never fail, and any effort to regu-
late it is evil, then you oppose
minimum wage laws because
they are anti-free trade."
Mike Traugott, professor
of communication studies and
political science, said Obama's
speech focused more on the
equity issue of raising minimum
wage rather than the economic
"The president doesn't talk
about this in terms of jobs,"
Traugott said. "He talks about it
in terms of getting by."
He noted that in front of a
sympathetic audience, Obama
referenced his vision for an
Opportunity Society more fre-
quently than his plans for the
federal minimum wage.
Traugott said the president,
now in his second term, is able
to talk about social issues such as
equity and gay marriage without
fear of negative attack ads. He
added that Obama may look to
the Democratic nominee in 2016
election to carry on the fight.
One of Johnson's first men-
tions of the "Great Society" came
in front of a crowd of 85,000 in
Ann Arbor. Half a century later,
Obama stood in a smaller build-
ing down the street, in front of
a smaller audience, but with the
same call to action.
"We believe in opportunity
for everybody," Obama said.
"More good jobs for everybody.
More workers to fill those jobs. A
world-class education for every-
body. Hard work that pays off
with wages you can live on and
savings you can retire on and
health care you can count on.
That's what 'opportunity for all'
From Page 1A
"It's very satisfying to realize
that my efforts are appreciated by
some people," Lieberman said. "It's
an incentive to continue working
and putting energy and enthusi-
asm into course preparation. It's a
recognition of the past and incen-
tives for the future."
The ceremony provides profes-
sors with an opportunity to give
their "last lecture." In his last lec-
ture, titled "What I Think I Know
About History," Lieberman dis-
cussed the history of the world and
his predictions for the future.
"It was an opportunity to play
with some big ideas that I hadn't
yet formulated," Lieberman said.
"I thought I'd vent these large
thoughts that I'd had for some
University President Mary Sue
Coleman, who was presented with
the first Golden Apple Award for
university leadership, spoke before
Lieberman delivered his lecture.
"I am deeply humbled by this
award," Coleman said. "There's
nothing quite as important as being
with students, lecturing them and
seeing them grow as they progress
through their academic careers
and their time at the University."
Prior to coming to the Univer-
sity, Lieberman obtained his Bach-
elor of Arts and graduated first in
his class from Yale University and
received his Ph.D. from the Uni-
versity of London's School of Ori-
ental and African Studies.
Lieberman has written four
books, which have been acclaimed
by the Association for Asian Stud-
ies and the World History Asso-
ciation. He has also published
numerous articles and is working
on his fifth book, to be published
by Harvard University Press.
Lieberman first came to the
University in 1984 as an assistant
professor and became a full profes-
sor in 1991. He previously taught a
course on Southeast Asian history
and a course on the Vietnam War.
He currently teaches a History244
course on the Arab-Israeli conflict.
LSA sophomore Greg Klein
took the class last year and said
Lieberman was one of his favorite
instructors at the University.
"I thought he was one of the
most intelligent professors I'd
ever had," Klein said. "I think
he's a genius, I think he is a great
historian, I think he gives great
lectures and I think that's why he
From Page 2A
goes all the way to a finding,"
Wilgus said. "Oftentimes the Uni-
versity becomes aware of an inci-
dent of sexual harassment and a
student specifically requests that
the Universitynot take any action."
The Dean of Students Office
reaches 95 to 97 percent of the
incoming student body through
an online course called Commu-
nity Matters, Blake Jones said.
Three studentsinthe audience
asked about what challenges the
University faces when reaching
out to the Greek Life community.
"The challenge is one of num-
bers," Blake Jones said.
The Dean of Students Office
partners closely with the national
organizations that work individ-
ually with each chapter to elevate
the standards their foundations
were created upon, Blake said.
Rider-Milkovich ended the
panel by stressing the impor-
tance of collaboration, likening
sexual assault awareness and
prevention to the act of pushing
a rock uphill- a task achievable
with community support and
From Page 1A
that were used in those battles.
The trip aims to give cadets a
better understanding of battle
tactics, how to lead and howto
deal with stressful situations.
The trip also gives cadets
hands-on experience in deci-
sion-making and leadership
that they normally would not
experience in a more tradition-
"Classroom learning doesn't
really cut it when you're out
in the physical world," said
Engineering senior Matthew
Blanchard, an Army ROTC
cadet who served as cadet bat-
talion commander last semes-
This was the first time the
Army ROTC program trav-
eled to Gettysburg for the
staff ride. Blanchard said the
ROTC program chose Gettys-
burg for its complex battle-
field, intricate planning and
the tactical decisions com-
manders had to make.
"It is one thing to read
about the Battlefield of Get-
tysburg, or to watch a spe-
cial on -the History Channel,
but there is an element that
you just can't pick up unless
you are there witnessing it
yourself," wrote Engineering
senior Michael Konieczny,
an Army ROTC cadet, in an
Once at Gettysburg, each
cadet was assigned to a spe-
cific battlefield and asked to
analyze its terrain as well as
present various facts and sto-
ries about it to the rest of the
The battlefields the cadets
visited were Devil's Den, Tri-
angle Field, Little Round
Top, Cemetery Ridge, Peach
Orchard and Culp's Hill.
Cadets also participated in
group discussions and prac-
ticed devising their own battle
tactics after analyzing their
Konieczny wrote that he
was assigned to analyze Dev-
il's Den, where Union and
Confederate soldiers fought
during the second day of the
battle. His battle tactics con-
sisted of providing the other
cadets with information about
both their own forces and the
hostile forces, leading them to
the starting point of the battle,
commanding them to formu-
late a plan and to adjust the
plan whenever needed.
"The whole purpose of the
exercise was to demonstrate
how rapidly and unpredictably
a battle can change from the
commander's initial assess-
ment," Konieczny wrote.
Cadets also visited the
monument of Colonel Charles
Frederick Taylor, a former Uni-
versity student who was com-
mander of the Union Army's
First Rifle "Bucktails." LSA
senior Hari Vutukuru, another
Army ROTC cadet, presented
facts and stories about Taylor
to the cadets.
"While our generation
spends their twenties working
or attending college, just start-
ing to figure things out and to
put our lives together, this man
was responsible for the lives
and welfare of hundreds of
men in one of the most pivotal
moments in American history,"
Blanchard wrote that the
staff ride was valuable to
the ROTC program because
cadets sometimes miss cer-
tain concepts when reading
about a battlefield in a class-
room setting. He added that
visiting the battlefield is
invaluable to their learning
"Actually standing on the
battlefield was a very emotion-
al experience. To stand in the
same place that so many thou-
sands of men fought and died,
the same place that the course
of our nation's history was for-
ever changed, was indescrib-
able," Konieczny wrote.