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February 25, 2014 - Image 4

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4 - Tuesday, February 25, 2014

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

4 - Tuesday, February 25, 2014 The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom

Edited and managed by students at
the University of Michigan since 1890.
420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
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.
Pedaling to a better future
The ArborBike program will benefit students and reduce pollution
his May, the University and the city of Ann Arbor will implement
ArborBike, abike-sharingprogramthat allows members to pickup and
use bikes from kiosks around the city for a low fee. This collaboration
between the city and the University's Parking @ Transportation Services will
establishbikekiosksthroughoutcampusinseveral areas, including: MainStreet,
State Street, South University, North Campus and Central Campus. ArborBike
will make transportation more convenient for students and Ann Arbor residents
and help preserve the environment byreducingthe need to drive. The University
shouldimplementtheprogram, andifsuccessful,helpexpand ittotheentirecity.

ArborBike will make transportation
available at more locations and more times,
giving students easier access to areas that
are not served by Blue Buses. Students
will also not be bound by inconvenient bus
schedules. Easy and inexpensive access to
bikes will allow students to easily travel to
and from important locations around Ann
Arbor. In addition, being part of a bike-
sharing program could be more convenient
and affordable than bike ownership for
students. The program may save students
money, as they wouldn't have to buy a bike,
pay for upkeep or worry about theft. In 2012,
more than 90 bikes were reported stolen, but
this program will relieve participants of the
worry of being the next victim. To maximize
benefits for students and make sure the
program is accessible for all, the University
should further ensure that B-Cycle,
the program provider, keeps membership
rates low.
Additionally, there are several
environmental benefits of the program.
According to B-Cycle's interactive website, it
is projected that if only two bike kiosks were
set up at the University, the program would
reduce six tons of carbon emissions and
save 616 gallons of gas. It is also estimated
that it would help reduce traffic by 415 cars,
improving the downtown environment
by alleviating congestion. The University

plans to install 14 kiosks so these effects are
projected to be even greater. If the entire
city of Ann Arbor eventually incorporates
bike stations, the effects can be amplified to
reduce 219 tons of carbon output and traffic
by 15,193 cars. In 2011, Coleman detailed
her environmental sustainability initiative,
of which this is an important component.
According to Coleman, all of the University's
planned environmental programs combined
will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 25
percent and decrease vehicle carbon output
30 percent by the year 2025.
However, as the University prepares
to implement a program to increases bike
ridership, it must call upon B-Cycle to
provide helmets to users. Helmets tend to be
expensive, so casual bike riders, especially
students, may not purchase them on their
own to wear when riding ArborBike bikes.
However, helmets are necessary to protect
students. Providing helmets as part of the
bike-sharing program can help incentivize
students to wear them. It is also important
for ArborBike to create a way to ensure the
cleanliness of the helmets.
The implementation of ArborBike will
help students get around our increasingly,
spread-out campus. The University should
implement the program in earnest - and
barring any major difficulties - expand it to
include more areas of the city.

How to tell a true story
guess it was around the end ankles and leaves you forgot were as wholly and resolutely as a body
of high school that I stopped green until the rains came and the rejecting a transplanted heart. In my
sleeping. I don't mean entirely, soldiers sang monsoon songs in the imagination,Iwasdark and beautiful
of course, but for streets. It was our windows without and loved completely, separated at
a month or two I glass in them, khamsin and jinn birth from a perfect, perpetually
existed in a state and night air that was always sweet happy family that believed in what
of deliberate and dusty with bougainvillea and I believed and wanted to be what
insomnia. reconciled kitchen fights. I wanted to be. Falling into these
When the America was where I spent my thoughts was a long way down, and
sounds of lunch breaks in the bathroom, hot I walked that edge precariously. It
telenovelas faded tears of shame running down my was a fault of innocence. I was too
from the walls JULIA face each time I was reminded by young to understand that some tears
around me and the ZARINA ignorance, innocence or plain fact, are not yours to cry. I was too naive
men downstairs _______that maybe I was born to be the odd to understand that love is a family
breathing smoke one out. That no matter where I who cares for you in their own way
withpracticedcool moved or the kind of person I tried - even when you are young and it
had drifted off into their own corners to become, we all carry reminders, is a painful reminder of a culture
of the evening, I would open my heavy at times, impossibly light at and past you are desperate to leave
window to let the moon in. From the others, of where we come from. That behind - because it is honest and
top floor of our apartment building, even though the sand is gone, I can't true and the best way they can. I
my own domain was infinite. I felt shake the desert out of my shoes. did not understand that real stories
solitaryinmyknowledgeofthe hours Growingup,Iwasinclinedtospeak aren't linear and neatly bound in
I would sit at the window, watching in absolutes because life is easier covers to sit on shelves gathering
the eyes of the city blink slowly from to learn and understand when the dust, though that doesn't make them
deep within a jungle of black steel universe is not implacable and events any less interesting or worthwhile.
and concrete. I felt the heartbeats can be neatly categorized like in the From my window on the city,
at the centers of a million different movies and books I loved. People I stopped trying to sleep and just
curtain-drawn pupils lined neatly were good or they were bad; they watched. The streetlightsbecame the
in brick rows along city streets. The were vulnerable stars in my own
silent rush of the wings of millions or they were galaxy. In the
of prayers whispered into dark calculated. R, hours between
rooms - millions of stories never Happy endings Rea stories aren't days, t began
retold in the daylight - scattered the found those who linear and neatly to remember
gray and drafty holding patterns of deserved them things that I did
my own thoughts. and no true love bound in covers to not know I had
I was wondering how to tell a was unrequited. forgotten. I had
life story that was completely true, I was resolutely sit on shelves sand between my
because sometimes the facts are American or gdust fingers, desert
incidental and all that really matters I resolutely gathering nights inmysoul,
is character development - how wasn't, lost words on my
you are different at the end of a depending on lips and past days
series of events than you were at the who asked. I was fiercely loving on mymind. I hadspent everysecond
beginning. Some people spend their or chillingly distant. I was eager up until then wondering how to tell
entire lives learning how to love; to prove that I wasn't just another the story of my life, and it was only in
others are born in love and spend passing face, eager to prove that I that moment thatI finally knew what
their entire lives learning how to fall was every bit the parts of my past I would say. If I had forever, I would
out of it. I didn't know quite where to I had handpicked and placed on write about my parents and my home
place myself. display, delicately tended. I was more and the Big Bang and everything that
Self-reflection is an exercise in eager to prove that I was resolutely defineswhoIam,whether I'vegrown
what it means to risk everything you not the parts of my past that I had to accept it or not. If I had a book and
know in the name of growing up. disassembled and left behind. wanted it to be critically acclaimed
Self-doubt is a risky venture and self- I spent a lot of time trying to make I would write it in tears, and if I
confidence is no less perilous. When my life imitate art, to fit neatly into wanted it to be factually accurate I
approached without balance, either the outline of a novel or the frames of would write a physics textbook, but
can prove to be both perpetuating a Bollywood movie. even then nothing is certain.
and debilitating. Without a measure Back then I had the tendency But if I wanted it to be entirely
of confidence, a person will never to arrange the events around me true, I would plan none of it and tell
attempt to succeed, but without a with a degree of intentional literary it entirely in the present, in single
measure ofinsecurity,theywill never significance. My life had character words. And if I had to choose just
question their potential to improve. web complexities and thematic arcs one, I would say "Urgent," because
My life up until that point could be like I thought only dead Russians whether it is "I love you" or "I accept
divided into two distinct segments: knew how to write. Even as I you" or "I'm sorry," everything you
the desert and everything that came collected the details of my friends' need to tell somebody is.
after.-I grew up barefoot in a city of lives obsessively - what they wore,
dirt roads, banyan trees and crowded how they spoke, what they believed - Julia Zarina can be reached
busses. Cairo to me was muddy - I rejected the details of my own at jumilton@umich.edu.
Merit: TheMichigan difference in action

Barry Belmont, Nivedita Karki, Jacob Karafa, Jordyn Kay,
Kellie Halushka, Aarica Marsh, Megan McDonald, Victoria Noble,
Michael Schramm, Matthew Seligman, Paul Sherman,
Allison Raeck, Daniel Wang, Derek Wolfe
The case for raising minimum wage
While the U.S. economyhas largelyemerged of the most vulnerable Americans is further
from the Great Recession, income inequality weakened. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.)
persists as a true economic crisis. Wages are brought attention to the significant impact of
stagnant, the cost of living continues to rise inflation on the Senate floor earlier this year by
and opportunities for economic improvement noting that if the minimum wage of 1960 were
are limited. One concrete way that we can adjusted for inflation, it would be $22 today.
address this worsening inequality is to raise the A higher minimum wage would not only
minimum wage. Last year, thousands of fast benefit low-income workers, but also the
food workers went on strike across the country economy as a whole. While somehave suggested
calling for a living wage. At $7.25 per hour, the that a higher minimum wage would create a
federal minimum wage has not been raised surplus of workers and increase unemployment,
since 2009. This means a full-time minimum studies have generally concluded that wage
wage employee with a family still lives below requirements do little to disrupt the job market.
the poverty line. With workers pushing fair In fact, a study by David Card, an economist at
pay proposals, the time has come to raise the the University of California, Berkeley, indicates
minimumwage. that a higher minimum wage may actually
Last week, President Barack Obama signed increase employment. Additionally, because
an executive order that mandated federal low-wage workers tend to spend a higher
contractors pay their workers at least $10.10 percentage oftheirincome, raisingtheirincome
per hour. While more must be done to increase would give the economy a much-needed boost.
the minimum wage nationally, this is a good Democratic politicians have offered several
step toward raising the federal minimum proposals to increase the minimum wage.
wage, which would boost the earnings of 16.5 Michigan gubernatorial candidate Mark
million workers. Schauer, a former U.S. Representative, wants
Minimum wage impacts nearly all to tackle the issue of income inequality head
Americans. About 80 percent of all college on and, if elected, he will fight to increase the
students work part-time jobs, many at or near minimum wage to $9.25 in Michigan.However,
the minimum wage. Last year, 284,000 college Republican Gov. Rick Snyder is opposed to
graduates worked minimum wage jobs, making raising the minimum wage and does not
it nearly impossible for them to independently believe addressing it and raising the standard
support themselves or pay off their school of living for thousands of Michiganders is a
loans. A full-time minimum wage worker's "burning issue."
salary is just $15,080 per year. To put this in Inhis State ofthe Unionaddress,Obamaonce
perspective, it would take nearly seven years again called on Congress to raise the minimum
to pay in-state tuition for four years at the wage, but he is not waiting for Republicans in
University of Michigan on this salary, without Congress to act. The president has vowed to
taking into account the cost of housing, food do whatever possible to address this crisis,
and other basic living expenses. which is why he is taking executive action to
However, the minimum wage does not just begin to address this issue. In Michigan and
affect young people. According to the Bureau Washington, Democrats are ready to get to
of Labor Statistics, and contrary to what many work and address our low minimum wage.
people believe, about half of all minimum wage Aside from the social and economic benefits,
workers are over the age of 25, and many have there is one irrefutable reason to increase
the added responsibility of supporting families the minimum wage: it's the right thing to do.
and children. This summer, mothers, fathers, Obama declared "that in the wealthiest nation
students and senior citizens went on strike on Earth, no one who works full time should
demanding a wage they and their families can have to live in poverty." With that in mind, one
survive on. thing has become clear: the time to raise the
Not only is the minimum wage too low - it minimum wage has come.
is also continuously decreasing in value. As
inflation increases, the actual value of $7.25 This article was written by members of College
decreases. Every day the purchasing power Democrats at the University of Michigan.

avid Merritt and Kuhu Saha
sit on tallstools surrounding
the sales counter at Merit,
Ann Arbor's
new clothing
store with a
conscience. Both
are University
alums that
graduated in
2008. Now they SOPHIA
own their own USOW
business and their
own nonprofit
organization, like the kind you get
tax refunds for donating to. And
they're pretty damn good looking.
Intimidated? You should be.
But six years ago David and Kuhu
didn't know what the future would
hold."When I was a senior, Igotreally'
into the idea of being a consultant,"
David, a former Michigan basketball
player, tells me. "But I also had a
passion for young people and for the
city of Detroit." Luckily, consulting
didn't pan out and now David feels
like he is right where he wants to be
- creating a product that he is proud
of and giving back to a community he
believes in. David is Merit's founder
and seems to be the ideas-man of
the two young entrepreneurs. He
gesticulates enthusiastically at the
merchandise that lines the walls of
the meticulously organized South
University store as he explains
Merit's aesthetic to me. In his words
it is simple, fresh, modern, vintage
style with a militant edge. Militant
because Merit is fierce about the
cause it champions. Militant because
it looks good.
Kuhu, the duo's implementer and
executive director of the company's
nonprofit arm, FATE, explains to me
what Merit's cause entails. For every
hat, sweatshirt or notebook patrons
purchase, 20 percent of the item's
cost is invested in a savings account.
Two years from now, the money
accrued within that account will
serve asa scholarship fund for the 22
students (now sophomores) that have
completed the FATE program.
InDetroit, fate is aloadedword. The
fate of Detroit's student population
is often seen as predetermined by
location and circumstance. The

Motor City has been swept
a dangerous national trend
every 26 seconds a high
student drops out. In Detroit
of every four students will n
it to graduation. Withouta
education or a high school(
boys and girls who drop1
a higher probability of b
impoverished, unemploy
incarcerated adults thai
peers who stay in schoo
more basic level, those ki
educational opportunitiesI
critical for them to realize t
potential as individuals.
FATE challenges that
trend by retaking the te
making it about bright
not preordained failure
program facilitates theE
growth through monthly1
workshops with Ann Ar
companies such as Google, I
Inthe workshops
the students M
are exposed
to different OPPO
business models
and ideas. They be m
also develop
personal by d
leadership I
skills, creative
ability and self-
confidence. They
become - in a clich, yet it
sense - more than just a sta
That's a big deal to Merit's,
"We don'twantpeopletosee
as some sort of Sarah McL
'Save the Children' type of:
says David. Kuhu nods ad
"We want people to connect
students. When you wear
with the Merit badge, yo
just helping some faceless si
You're supporting Amari, or
or Jiyah in achieving their
of becoming a doctor or
director or whatever inspire
continue their education. Th
we wanted to make a websi
customers can go and learna
kids in the FATE program
what they are funding."
Merit's new
meritgoodness.com, launcl
past weekend. At the top of

up into page, to the right of the badge, are
in which three numbers: college tuition dollars
school raised, products sold and minutes
, one out of class provided. It is a reminder of
iot make the merger of commerce and charity,
a college that buyers can be both benefactors
diploma, and consumers.
out face As the beneficiary of a first-
ecoming rate education being a University
ed or of Michigan student, I often find
n their myself falling into the collegiate
1. On a mindset that allows me to shrug my
ids miss shoulders and say "I'm a just a wittle
that are undergrad! I can't help anybody!" It
heir full is incredibly easy to be lulled into the
happy irresponsibility of college life,
negative sure those slices of South University
rm and pizza and Urban Outfitters sales rack
futures, items are the best I can do right now.
s. The I give change to the homeless woman
student's outside of the 7-Eleven on State
Saturday Street and pat myself on the back. I
bor-area wake up in the morning and find a
Domino's receipt from last night's bar hop and
wince ... then
console myself
with a coffee
[erit offers the and a cookie at
Irtunity for me to Espresso Royale.
There's nothing
ilitant for a cause wrong with
s that. I'm 22 and
loing somethig all those things
d do anyways. are normal -
even expected.
But I want
to make a
mportant difference, as I think we all do. Like
tistic. the 22 kids who attend FATE, I have
creators. ambitions that necessitate higher
ourcause education and a community who
Laughlin, will guide me towards reaching my
crusade," full potential. That way, maybe I'll
amantly. grow up and create something as
with our meaningful as David and Kuhu.
clothing For now, however, Merit offers
:u're not the opportunity for me to be, in some
treet kid. small way, militant for a cause just
Shamon by doing something I'd do anyways:
dreams shop for fresh clothes. And then lose
a movie them. And then buy more, because
s them to I need another super-soft tee or a
sat's why warm beanie or a sweatshirt my
te where friends will want to "borrow." The
about the numbers on the website will rise and
and see rise, but they won't be just another
statistic. They'll be part of a cause.
hed this - Sophia Usow can be reached
f its start at sophiaus@umich.edu.


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