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October 27, 2014 - Image 1

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2014-10-27

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Ann Arbor, Michigan

Monday, October 27, 2014

michigandaily com

Detroit in
final day of

Dr. Rob Steele, a Republican candidate for the University's Board of Regents, speaks at the Regents debate at Weill Hall Friday.
Regent candi dates
at Ford joint forum

Nation's largest
insolvency case
comes to an end
Daily Staff Reporter
In July 2013, Detroit offi-
cially became the largest city in
U.S. history to file for Chapter
9 bankruptcy. With the closing
aruments being presented today,
the Daily has summarized some
of its major topics and where they
currently stand.
Pensions of City Workers
Last year, the General Retire-
ment System and the Detroit
Police and Fire Retirement Sys-
tem argued that Detroit was not
eligible for bankruptcy because
any bankruptcy case would
result ina cut to pensions, which
are protected by the Michigan
Constitution. U.S. Bankruptcy
Judge Steven Rhodes, who is
overseeing Detroit's bankruptcy,
ruled that pensions were no dif-
ferent than other contracts and

that, not withstanding of the
Michigan Constitution, the city
was eligible to file for chapter
nine bankruptcy. The Federal
Bankruptcy Code allows a city to
file for Chapter 9 bankruptcy if it
followed correct procedures.
After Detroit filed for bank-
ruptcy, the city negotiated the
cuts to pensions. With the grand
bargain, a public-private agree-
ment made between the state,
Detroit Institute of Art donors
and others, funneling more
money toward pensioners and
reducing cuts, the city's retir-
ees voted to approve the plan.
The Detroit Free Press reported
the cost-of-living adjustment
would be eliminated for civilian
pensioners, who also accepted
4.5-percent cuts to their monthly
checks. Police and fire pension-
ers did not accept any cuts to
their monthly checks, but the
COLA was reduced from 2.25
percent to 1 percent.
Detroit Institute of Arts
One of Detroit'sbiggest assets
is' the DIA, which has been
See DETROIT, Page 2A

Four hopefuls field
questions, vie for
two available seats
Daily StaffReporter
The topics ranged from diver-
sity, divestment from fossil fuels
and the city of Detroit as the four
major-party candidates run-
ning for the University's Board
of Regents addressed audience

members ina public forum.
The Gerald R. Ford School of
Public Policy hosted the event
with The League of Women Vot-
ers of Michigan, as well as the
several student organizations.
Dean of Public Policy Susan Col-
lins introduced the forum and
Susan Smith, president of the
League of Women Voters, mod-
erated the discussion.
"Voting is important and
information is important and a
forum that is truly non-parti-
san, that gives each candidate

an opportunity to share their
perspectives and their views, is
really a service to the communi-
ty," Collins said after the forum.
Candidates began with short
introductions and then had two
minutes to answer numerous
audience-submitted questions,
many of which were somewhat
This year's candidates for
the board are Ron Weiser (R),
Dr. Rob Steele (R), a former U.S.
ambassador to Slovakia, Attor-
ney Mike Behm (D) and Regent

Kathy White (D). The board
is currently made up of eight
members - six Democrats and
two Republicans - that serve for
eight-year, unpaid terms.
The two contested seats are
those of White and Julia Dono-
van Darlow (D), who is not run-
ning for reelection.
No independent candidates
appeared at the forum.
Though the candidates noted
their work experiences and
expertise, the introductions of
See REGENTS, Page 2A

,. :,.

New club hosts
first large-scale
Diwali event

Desi Mania gives
students a chance
to celebrate holiday
away from home
For the Daily
The festival of lights reached
all the way to the University
campus this year, uniting stu-
dents for naan, cake and danc-
ing to celebrate Diwali.
Friday, the South Asian cul-
ture group Desi Mania lit up
the Michigan Union's Rogel
Ballroom to throw the first
annual Diwali Bash, an open-to-
everyone celebration of Diwali,
the festival that occurs each
autumn and is considered one of
the most important holidays in
Dressed in bright colors, stu-
dents ate, danced and celebrated
under the thousands of lights
that lined the ballroom ceiling.

"Diwali is the festival of
lights," said LSA junior Aanchal
Rai, co-president of Desi Mania.
"It's one of the most auspicious
and important holidays in the
Hindu religion."
Business junior Smita Garg,
the other co-president of Desi
Mania, was outfitted in a stud-
ded-pink sari. She agreed with
Rai's description of Diwali.
"It celebrates the light com-
ing into one's life, so prosperity
and well-being for yourself and
your family," Garg said.
Rai and Garg founded Desi
Mania in January after realizing
a new South Asian organization
could serve to bring together
students from across campus
through cultural events. They
wanted to make these events
more accessible to the general
public, not just students associ-
ated with South Asian clubs.
"Only South Asians would
come (to South Asian events),
so we wanted to expose others,"
Rai said.
See DIWALI, Page 3A

As a part of the construction at the Ross School of Business, a 250-year-old tree was moved
Historic Ross tree moved
after months of planning

gives training
for business
optiMize program,
class helps turn
ideas into start-ups
Daily StaffReporter
More than 120 students partici-
pated in a workshop offered by opti-
Mize and ZingTrain, the training
and business development wing of
the Zingerman's family of business-
es, Sunday at Palmer Commons.
Since its foundation in December
of 2013, optiMize - a student orga-
nization which provides guidance
and funding for social innovation
initiatives - has helped to launch a
number of successful student-rui
startups at the University, including
the MichiganUrban FarmingInitia-
tive and the ReSource Fund. In the
past year, the organization grew in
membership and established itself as
part of the LSA course guide, offer-
ingamini course thathelps students
to engage with pressing issues and
work towards designing practical

Tree relocated to
make way for new
business campus
Daily StaffReporter
This past weekend, a large
bur oak tree was relocated
as part of the Ross School. of
Business expansion project, a
move that cost $400,000. The
tree was moved to make way

for the new Jeff T. Blau Hall,
which is scheduled for com-
pletion in Summer 2016.
The tree was originally
located in the courtyard
on the north side of the
Ross building, was moved
approximately 500 feet. The
new location is in front of
Ross on a lawn facing Tap-
pan Street. This location was
chosen because it is the only
space near the school that, at
approximately 47 square feet,
is large enough to fit the tree

and its root ball.
Environmental Design,
Inc., a Texas-based company,
conducted the move. Paul
Cox, regional vice president
of Environmental Design,
said chances for the tree's
survival are good.
"It's going to outlive all of
us," Cox said.
Estimates for the age of
the tree vary. However, his-
torical photos indicate that it
is at least 250 years old, Cox
See TREE, Page 3A


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