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April 14, 2014 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 2014-04-14

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4A - Monday, April 14, 2014

The Michigan Daily - michiganclaily.com

4A - Monday, April 14, 2014 The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom

Th1icdiigan &U
Edited and managed by students at
the University of Michigan since 1890.
420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
tothedaily@michigandaily.com
MEGAN MCDONALD
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.
Renovating Detroit
Duggan's proposal will strengthen and help the Detroit community
April 9, Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan announced that owners of 79
vacant homes in the Marygrove neighborhood will have three days
to make arrangements to fix up their homes before the Detroit
Land Bank Authority auctions them off to new homeowners. This marks
the beginning of the mayor's ambitious plan to target blight across the city.
The plan was realized with the help of Talmer Bank, which will offer each
bid-winning homeowner $25,000 of forgivable loans at the rate of $5,000
to be forgiven each year the owner lives in the home, for a maximum of
five years. This proposal is worthy of praise. It's an efficient form of blight
removal and control because it maintains salvageable homes and also works
with community members to guide the process.

Blessings in disguise

was set on Notre Dame. No
question about it. I had toured
the school and had fallen in
love with the
campus, the
students and the
tradition. Notre
Dame was the
school for me.
Unfortunately,
the kind folks at
the University
of Notre Dame PATRICK
Admissions MAILLET
Office didn't
agree.
When I received my rejection
letter, I was heartbroken. How
could this have happened? I worked
so hard throughout high school,
took SAT prep classes, wrote great
essays - Notre Dame was the
perfect fit for me.
After getting rejected from
the school of my dreams, I had to
decide which school would be the
right fit for me. I began touring the
schools that I had been accepted to.
Actually, to be fair, I only went on
one of these post-acceptance tours.
when I arrived in Ann Arbor for
the first time, I liked the general
feel, but wasn't entirely sold right
away. My tour guide was atrocious
and my parents and I were
famished. Instead of finishing the
tour, we dipped out midway through
as we passed through the Diag.
We decided to have lunch at this
quaint little restaurant called Good
Time Charley's. We had nachos
and talked about how terrible the
tour guide was. Little did I know
that three years later, I would be
celebrating my 21st birthday a few
feet from the very table we ate at -
a night I will remember forever ...
well most of it, at least.
After eating, we decided to
embark on a self-guided tour of
campus. During college visits,
my mom would always pick out
students and ask them about
the school. Though this method
was quirky and downright
embarrassing, it actually helped me
gauge schools and the type of kids
at the institution.
At Michigan, every kid my
mom stopped was ecstatic to tell
someone new about how much they
loved the school. I noticed that
everyone wore maize and blue and
everyone was involved in one of the
1,000-plus student organizations.

By the third kid my mom stopped, I
was sold; I knew that Michigan was
the place for me.
When move-in day came, my
parents and I noticed that my dorm
was not part of the original tour
we had gone on. In fact, the entire
campus my dorm was part of was
not seen during our tour. I had been
assigned to Bursley Hall on North
Campus and it didn't take me long
to realize my dorm was separated
from everything else. Needless to
say, I was upset.
While helping me move in, my
mom couldn't help but notice that
the kid across the hall from me was
playing some classic music. A die-
hard Bruce Springsteen fan, my
mom has a special place in her heart
for classic rock and approached the
kid to tell him that he was play-
ing some great hits. His name was
Chris and before I knew it, my mom
was introducing him to me. When
I met him, I had no idea that four
years later I would've lived with
Chris and that he and his friends
from high school would become
some of my most cherished friends.
The people that lived in my hall
with me in Bursley helped define

to, The Michigan Daily, I saw an
advertisement that said, "Write for
The Daily! Come to one of our mass
meetings!" Considering that I had
nothing else to do with my recently
freed-up schedule, I decided to
stop by. When I walked into the
newsroom of the Daily for the first
time, I had no idea that over the
next four years, I would sit on the
editboard, be an Assistant Editor of
the Opinion Section and eventually
a columnist. Though the Daily is
famous for its openness, it has but
one restriction on who can be on
staff: no members of CSG.
Throughout my life, my par-
ents have raised me to look at life's
mishaps as blessings in disguise.
Though this mindset is hard to
appreciate when life throws an
unfortunate obstacle your way,
accepting the fact that things hap-
pen for a reason is truly the key to
happiness. The fact that I am a stu-
dent at Michigan, writing this very
column. Even acknowledging some
of the people who are reading it are
all results of blessings in disguise.
I have written more than 50
pieces for The Michigan Daily.
This column will be my last. I will

Currently, blighted properties drive down
the prices of the surrounding houses and
neighborhoods, don't generate tax revenue
for the city and jeopardize the safety of the
surrounding area. This new program aims
to combat many of these issues, while also
stimulating the rehabilitation of clearly
salvageable properties in an important
area of Detroit - Marygrove College,
University of Detroit Mercy and Sinai-
Grace Hospital are all in the neighborhood
- with a free incentive to new homeowners.
In the future, this new plan will serve to
increase neighborhood safety, generate tax
revenue and drive up the property values in
the neighborhood.
However, Detroit must be cautious of the
fact that not all homeowners of abandoned
houses have left them intentionally, and
that this program shouldn't have an agenda
to push new homeowners into the area
while pushing community members out. In
order to ensure that current homeowners
receive adequate help and information
in retaining their homes, the city should
reach out to residents at risk of losing their
homes and provide them with preventative

assistance and help in acquiring control
of their foreclosed homes. Furthermore,
though the Detroit homes are salvageable,
the Talmer Bank loans of $25,000 each
may not be sufficient for full reparation.
In the future, larger loans may be needed
to fully incentivize homeowners to make
the necessary repairs. Other land banks
within the area - many of which are already
involved in some sort of corporate giving in
Detroit - should also partner with the city
to help expand the scope and scale of the
loans.
Duggan's plan is a step in the right direction
- many other cities such as Minneapolis
and Baltimore have implemented similar
programs to combat blight. A similar measure
has been taken in New Haven, Conn., with the
formation of a task force called Real Options
Overcoming Foreclosure.
Blight removal is a major stepping-stone
in the revival of Detroit. Duggan's plan
for forgivable loans will drive up property
valie, incentivize migration into the city
and expand the tax base. Both Duggan and
Republican Gov. Rick Snyder must help
expand this program to a larger scale.

the trajectory never be able
of my Michi- to fully thank
gan career and the editors of
looking back, I Accepting the fact that this incredible
wouldn't have institution,
wanted to live things happen for a nor my readers
anywhere else. for their
Soon after reason is truly the key enthusiasm
getting com- t and dedication.
fortable with tohappiness. To my family
campus, classes and friends:
and developing thank you for
a good group your continued
of friends, I decided that I needed encouragement and unwavering
to get involved. Considering that support - even when my columns
I'd been a part of student council pertained to things that meant
throughout middle school and high absolutely nothing to you. And to
school, I decided to run for Central this University and the incredible
Student Government (back then people that make it up: I thank you
it was called Michigan Student from the bottom of my heart. You
Assembly.) have allowed me to join a family
I recruited all of my friends to that I am honored to be a part of.
help get the vote out and we even The friends that I have made, the
threw a few campaign parties. games that I have watched and
When the results finally came out, the lessons that I have learned
I was about 60 votes short of what during my time here will not soon
I needed to be elected. I felt disil- be forgotten. These last four years
lusioned and lost. The only way I have been the greatest of my life.
had ever known how to get involved Attending this school has been the
was through student government. best blessing in disguise of all.
As I was sitting in the Bursley
Dining Hall reading a publication - Patrick Maillet can be
that I was getting very accustomed reached at maillet@umich.edu.

Policy Matters: Maura Levine discusses the
d-the way First Amendment protections apply in
OP U Mprivate places that attract the public,
such as shopping malls.
Go to michigandaily.com/blogs/The Podium
ALEX ABDUN-NABI
Funding the Michigan Difference

Student organizations at the University of
Michigan are an incredible source of vibrancy
and community on our campus. More than
1,400 of our organizations are run by students
and for students to provide our campus with
opportunities for personalgrowth, professional
development, education and advocacy. Students
benefit massively from student organizations
and their activities, gaining not only skills, but
memories and friendships that they will retain
well beyond their days in Ann Arbor.
Theonlymissionofthe StudentOrganization
Funding Commission of the Central Student
Government is to support these students and
their organizations.We provide about $300,000
a year in funding for students to explore
our world, make it a better place, educate
themselves andbethe Michigan Difference.We
are committed to ensuring that as many events
as possible take place on our campus, and that
the events we fund have a broad campus impact
or bring benefit to students, faculty and staff
at the University. We are focused on providing
funding to a wide cross section of campus.
Last semester alone, we funded 222 groups,
providing more than $130,000 in funding.
We provide funds for conferences, speakers,
performances, social events, travel, service and
many, many other types of student activities.
It's almost impossible for a student to graduate
from the University without attending at least
one CSG-funded event.
We're very proud of this impact, and
humbled that you, the students of the
University of Michigan, have entrusted us
with such an important responsibility. But
we believe that our impact has been limited
by our own funding constraints, something
that inhibits us from supporting students.
Our mission is simple, to enable students to
do what they want to do. We are not failing
that mission, but we're not achieving it in
the manner we would like. Each year, we
receive an average of $1.16 million in funding

requests and we only have about $300,000
to disburse. That means we're leaving more
than $700,000 of student requests for funding
unmet, forcing the cancellation of some events
and the re-organization of others. We don't
believe that this is right, fair or appropriate
for a campus that values student activities and
boasts about the number and activity level of
its student organizations. Ideally, we would
like to be able to fund every student group
that walks in the door, allowing all students
to achieve what they wish to achieve. This is
impossible with our current level of funding,
and is, in reality, almost impossible to ever
achieve. But we believe we can and we must do
more. CSG exists to serve students, and if we
have to turn away hundreds of students who
need thousands of dollars, then we are not
doing our job the way it ought to be done.
This is why I and my fellow co-chairs of the
Student Organization Funding Commission
wholeheartedly and unequivocally support a $2
increase in the CSG student fee. This increase
will generate a minimum of $75,000 for SOFC,
all of which will be budgeted to support student
organizations in their important endeavors.
The cost increase is less than the cost of a cup
of coffee, but the impact will be immeasurable,
increasing the already impressive diversity
of events and programming on campus, and
allowing Michigan students to achieve their
best. The increase is covered under financial
aid,andwebelievethatitwillnotbedetrimental
to students to pay $2 more for the benefits they
will receive. We are conscious of the rising cost
of education, but we believe that education is
not just what you learn in the classroom, but
what you learn outside of its four walls, and
that we should all be willing to pitch in at least
a little bit to enrich our Michigan experience,
and make our time at Michigan more valuable.
Alex Abdun-Nabi is the Co-Chair ofnthe
Student Organization Commission.

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,
Michael Schramm, Matthew Seligman, Paul Sherman,
Allison Raeck, Linh Vu, Meher Walia, Daniel Wang, Derek Wolfe
JORDYN KAY I
It's OK to feel a little lost
I was always goal-oriented. I definitely am not). Having a goal- So now here I am, a junior in
actually can't recall a time when oriented attitude is no longer an college with a major and two
it was any different, even when I option or something I pride myself minors and a pre-law track. Can
was four years old. There had to be on, or one of my weird personality you tell I'm confused? If you can't
an end in sight, I would not just do quirks, it is something society has you've clearly missed the point so
something for the hell of it, there forced upon me. far. I am confused but I'm also only
had to be purpose. Now, being goal- But what if I really just don't 20, so shouldn't that be OK? Isn't
oriented when you're in elementary know yet? Or what if I still want to this the time in my life where I'm
school and being goal-oriented be everything from a dancer to a supposed to be unsure and make
when you're (almost) 21 and in veterinarian like I did when I was mistakes and just throw caution to
college are two very different 10? Why has the option to explore the wind?
things. When I was 11, being goal- my options been stripped away It was just about two years ago
oriented meant needing to finish from me just because I am older? that I moved out of my parents'
a book, or place first overall at my Picking a career is not something house and now I'm supposed to
dance competition. Today, as my anyone should do lightly. After all, know what I want to do with my
junior year in college begins to it could end up defining the rest of entire life? It seems absurd. What
come to a close, being goal-oriented your life (yes, that sentiment makes if I get to law school and I hate
means figuring out what I want to me want to cry also). However, it? What if I should've become a
do with my life, figuring out my there is somewhat of an expectation teacher? Or a writer? Or famous?
future. And it's because of that, that that you should know what you OK, that last one is a bit of a stretch,
for the first time in my life being want to do upon entering college. but still. Most college students have
goal-oriented actually scares me to Find a major, find a career, have a just become legally responsible
death instead of bringing order to goal. Just pick one. Obviously, give for themselves and then they turn
my life. Honestly, the word future it some thought and take some time around and are expected to make
makes my heart race a little. to figure it out, but not too much all these life-changing decisions.
I came to college believing time, I mean, how dare anyone be a I have no idea where I will end up
that I was going to be a doctor, junior who hasn't declared a major and that's OK. We need to realize
a neurosurgeon to be specific, yet, which I was. I was the junior that our major or career aspirations
because God forbid I make my who hadn't declared her major yet. do not have to define the rest of our
life easier in any way. I am now Everyone else had declared, but I lives. Our goals change since we as
planning on going to law school. wasn't ready, it's a big commitment people continually change, and if
Let's just say chemistry was not and if I was to say I didn't have it takes a little longer to figure out
my forte, but I digress. The point is commitment issues I would be what exactly our goals are, that's
that I'm expected to have this goal, lying. And yet, I've committed to OK too. And when all else fails,
as a junior, I am supposed to know psychology because I wouldn't you can always audition to be on
whether or not I want to go to grad dare go into my second semester "Survivor." At least that's what my
school or law school or if I plan on of my junior year without having plan is.
just making an attempt at entering declared my major. That simply was
the workforce right out of college (I not allowed. Jordyn Kay is an LSA junior.
CONTRIBUTE TO THE CONVERSATION
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Letters should be fewer than 300 words, while viewpoints should be
550-850 words. Send the writer's full name and University affiliation to
tothedaily@michigandaily.com.

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