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October 27, 2014 - Image 3

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The Michigan Daily, 2014-10-27

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The Michigan Daily -- michigandaily.com

Monday, October 27, 2014 - 3A

The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom Monday, October 27, 2014- 3A

From Page 1A
This is the first University group
to host a Diwali celebration of this
scale, Garg said, offering a chance
for some students to continue tra-
ditions from home and providing
a new cultural experience for oth-
"This event is a great way to
bring people together, people who
have (celebrated) at home but who
don'tnecessarilyhave aplatformto
do thathere," Gargsaid.
Behind its wide cultural signifi-
cancethe celebrationofand mean-
ing behind Diwali can differ based
on personal ties or family tradi-
Engineering freshman Ved-
ant Shah, who is from India, said
this was his first time celebrating
Diwali away from his family. He
said it was a rare opportunity to
enjoy cuisine familiar to home.
"Back home, people burst fire-

crackers," Shah said. "The signifi-
cance of this festival is basically
good versus evil. It's a good time
for all Indian friends to wear tra-
ditional clothes, get together and
have a good time."
Engineering graduate student
Deepak Singh also enjoyed attend-
ing the event. He added that his
celebration of Diwali focuses on
Rama, an avatar of the Hindu god
Vishnu who is the source of all
energy and light. Singh said he cel-
ebrates Rama's return home from a
14-year-long period in exile.
"People celebrated by lighting
deepaks, lights, and they lit the
whole hometown with lamps,"
Singh said of his Diwali celebra-
tions at home.
Desi Mania likewise lit the
whole Rogel Ballroom with lamps,
providing a similar feeling for
many students.
"We can feel home here, we can
meet and greet more people," Singh
said. "Once in awhile you need that
kind of thing; these things bond
people together."

From Page 1A
said. The exact age of the tree
can be tested, but that proce-
dure involves cutting into the
tree and could compromise its
The tree is estimated to
weigh about 675,000 pounds
and is about 65 feet tall. Cox
said the bur oak was the big-
gest he had ever seen.
With the relocation's price
tag set at $400,000, some
members of the University
have called the move into ques-
tion. The move was included in
the overall cost of the business
school renovation.
"It's kind of a tough swal-
low that it's costing $400,000,"
said Engineering alum Jim
Sterken. "But it's preserving
history. The tree was probably
here before campus was, so I
hope it goes well."
"I'm pissed," said Engineer-
ing junior Max Boykin. "It
costs so much money for mov-
ing a tree that could die in a
year or two."
He added that the money
could be better spent on other
resources, research or finan-
cial aid for students who need
However, University
Spokesman Rick Fitzgerald
said he believes the cost is

"The expansion of the Ross
School of Business is really
important for us to be able to
serve the future needs of our
students," Fitzgerald said.
"But at the same time, I think
we wanted to recognize the
historic significance of the
For the next three to five
years, the tree will be remain
on a strict maintenance pro-
gram which will include
close monitoring of pH and
moisture levels. In addition,
Environmental Design and
a University horticultural-
ist will monitor leaf size and
color, as leaf health is indica-
tive of overall tree health.
While the tree was offi-
cially moved this weekend,
preparations have been ongo-
ing for months, Cox said. The
process began with a site visit
by Environmental Design
officials to evaluate the
health of tree and the condi-
tions of the new site.
The crew first arrived this
summer to begin the move.
The first step of the moving
process was determining the
size of the root ball; the Ross
tree root ball measured about
40 feet in diameter. Next,
the crew dug trenches about
three and a half feet deep at
the diameter of the root ball.
This allows the crew to "clean
cut" the roots that sprout

from the root ball.
"This allows for new roots
to grow right off those fresh
cuts, so when we come back
and move it, you've got a
tree that's already regenerat-
ing roots before you've done
anything to it in terms of the
actual move," Cox said.
This step of the process is
completed by refilling the
The crew returned in July
to begin the second phase
of the move, which includes
building a platform under-
neath the tree using pipes.
The pipes are pushed beneath
the tree, creating a solid grid
that later allowed for lifting.
The final phase of the proj-
ect is the actual relocation of
the tree. The more time that
passes after inserting the
pipes and before starting the
final phase, the more likely
the tree move will be success-
ful, Cox said.
This phase began 10 days
ago, when the crew arrived
and dug underneath the pipe
The move was scheduled
for noon, yet delays resulted
in the move occurring at 3
p.m. A root mass slowed down
the raising of the tree, a com-
plication that Cox character-
ized as routine and expected.
"Whenever we move big
trees, there's always some-
thing that slows you down.

It's not an exact science," Cox
The tree was moved using a
large transporter, which was
fed under the pipe platform
while a set of inflated air blad-
ders raised the tree momen-
tarily. The process Sunday,
the process that lowered the
tree into its new location was
complicated by the bursting
of one of the air bladders. No
one was hurt and the tree is
secure, and Environmental
Design is investigating the
incident further.
The transporters move
slower than one mile per
hour and were originally
designed to carry large indus-
trial materials, Cox said. The
transporters have 96 indepen-
dently moving wheels, allow-
ing them to turn 90 degrees
on the spot.
In addition, these types of
transporters are ideal for tree
relocation due to their low
center of gravity and large
weight. Each transporter
weighs about 90,000 pounds,
bringing the total weight of
the package to nearly 900,000
pounds as it rolls, Cox said.
However, the tree must
be extremely secure on the
transporters and cannot be
moved in wind conditions
higher than 25 mph. The crew
measured wind speeds on site
approximately every 15 min-
utes during the relocation.

The Michigan Daily celebrates its

"Actor talks 'Dear
White Peoule' role

Daily Film Editor
"My dad is from here (Detroit)
The last time I was here, I was
like 12, " said actor Marque
Richardson. "He grew up on
Chalmers and Warner? Which I
think is east side."
He might mean Chalmers and
Warren, but it's not a detail which
bogs him down. Richardson is a
man of high energy, and right now,
he could not be more enthusiastic
to discuss his latest project, the
satirical drama "Dear White
The film, which opened at
The Michigan Theater this past
weekend, discusses the plight of
minority students at an exclusive,
fictional Ivy League school.
"When I read the script, I was
attractedtothethree dimensional
aspects of these characters. The
flaws, the complexity, everything
- I loved it!" Richardson said at
a roundtable media interview.
"You don't get a chance too often
to dive into something like that."
Richardson's " filmography
ranges from one-off stints on TV
shows like "ER" and "7th Heaven,"
to more recent, recurring roles
in "True Blood" and "The
Newsroom." But "Dear White
People" might be his biggest, and
* certainly his most complex, role
to date, as the militant activist
Reggie - a "modern day Malcolm
X" as Richardson describes. It's
a role that demands a balance
between sharp comic timing and
dead-eyed seriousness, although
Richardson wasn't entirely sure
how to play it.
"I would listen to Malcolm X
speeches and all this early '80s
and '90s rap and hip hop, Public
Enemy and N.W.A," Richardson
said. "I took it so serious, and
when I saw it for the first time
at Sundance (Film Festival), the
audience is just dying laughing at
certain parts, and I'm like 'Wait, I
was tryingto be serious!'"
"Dear White People" is
certainly a funny film, but it comes
with a bite. Like all good satire, the
film critiques society through a
salvo of mockery, with shell after
shell hammering modern racism,
classism, intolerance and the
overall failure to communicate.
it's a bit tense. Richardson cites
one particular scene where a
group of activists declare "Fuck
Tyler Perry" when discussing the
films being screened at the local
movie theater.
"I read that and I said, 'Oh,
all right. Well here we go,"'
Richardson said. "But (director
Justin Simien) wasn't taking a jab
at Tyler Perry with that line; he
was taking a jab at Hollywood's
thinking people of color, that all

From Page 1A
solutions to those problems.
"The goal of those classes is to get
students to that spot where you're
more aware of more issues and
you've had a chance to really start to
engage with them," said Jeff Soren-
son, one of the optimize co-founders.
"Then you get the idea in your head
that 'Hey, maybe I can start doing
something about this."'
But while optiMize is workingto
raise awareness of important issues
through its mini course, the orga-
nization's focus has always been
moving those discussions out of the
classroom and into the real world -
a process achieved largely through
theirannual SocialInnovationChal-
lenge, held throughout the winter
The workshop on Sunday intend-
ed to kick off optiMize's build-up
to the 2015 Social Innovation Chal-
In the workshop, ZingTrain
Trainer Timo Anderson and retired
Managing Partner Stas' Kazmier-
ski asked students to write down,
using the presentor past tense, their
visionforthe completedformoftheir
social innovation projects. In Ander-
son's view, having a well-articulated
vision before developing a course of
action is essential for the success of
any project.
"A lot of us spend so much time
thinking about the ideal," Anderson
said. "But unless we know where it
is and have defined and documented
it and made it inspiring and avail-
able, you can't get there. If you don't
put directions in the GPS, the GPS
doesn't work."
The workshop also had a "Vision-
ing" process. Kazmierski said this
was essential for fostering collabo-
ration amongst team members on a
Many of the students at the

event - like LSA sophomore Mary
Kruk, who hopes to disseminate
knowledge of safe sexual practices
to children who receive only absti-
nence-based sex education - were
looking to find waysto puttheir ideas
into practice.
"I have an idea, butI don't neces-
sarily know how to start it or how to
plan it," Kruk said.
OptiMize co-Founder Tim
Pituch, a Rackham student, hoped
that the ZingTrain workshop would
help students begin that planning
"Essentially, what (Zingerman's
is) encouraging you to do is to imag-
ine a better alternative to the prob-
lem, but not necessarily thinking
about the how, not thinking about
what it takes to get there at this
point," Pituch said.
In terms of their on vision for
the future of optiMize, Sorenson
and Pituch plan on building the
organization's disparate programs
- the "Critical Social Issues"
course, the Social Innovation Chal-
lenge and their Summer Fellowship
Program - into a smooth process
aimed at helping its members find
success in their own initiatives.
"The classes feed into that, and
then the studennts that reallr do

well (in the challenge) feed into
the Summer Fellowship Program
that we launched this past sum-
mer where we provide students
with $3000 fellowships to pay for
their living expenses while they're
still working on their project in the
summer," Sorenson said.
But more generally, Sorenson
and Pituch hope to continue devel-
opingoptiMize into an integral and
influential part of the University
"Both of our visions include
actually having a center on cam-
pus - a physical place where social
innovation at the University of
Michigan convenes," Sorenson
said. "Mine had a coffee shop in it,
I don't know if Tim's had a coffee
shop in it."
"It's notabad idea," Pituch added.
"But essentially to have more stu-
dents involved, having gabiggermen-
tor community, alumni around the
world know about us and want to
"I think our vision, in many ways,
is this model of learning and creat-
ing impact while you're learning as
something that's just done around
the world," Sorenson said. "And we
hope to be thought leaders in that

Richardson plays a Malcolm X archetype in new film.

we want to see is Tyler Perry. But
what about the rest ofus who want
to seethese black art-house, smart
But the film extends beyond
race - it's about belonging,
discovering oneself at college, the
first opportunity one has to forge
his/her individuality. These are
hardships that are universal, and
reveal a heart in the firebrand.
"I'm not just interested in
black stories. What resonated
with me is, this is a story about
identity and identity crisis, and
really giving an eye into a new
level of consciousness, in terms
of (characters) you might identify
with," Richardson said.
Still, there's something
frustrating about the film,
for people of all races; there's
something incendiary about a
title "Dear White People." It's a
strong PR move, gaining the film
fargreater exposurethanatypical
film of this size, with no stars and
a small budget.
"The title's job was to spark
controversy, to get people in the
seats," Richardson said. "Justin
did his job: to start a conversation,
start a controversy andto do it ina
way that hadn't been done before."
The film wisely doesn't provide
any answers to that dialogue,
though, opting to illuminate a
difficult matter and to let the
audience decide where to go next.
"Where do you go with it? It's
whatever the people do, however
you feel about it and what those
conversations lead to in this,
which I don't believe in, 'post
racial America,"' Richardson said.
"We can't give the answers - we
don't have the answers. This film
is a Black experience, it's not the
Black experience."
The hope is all of this leads
to more films like "Dear White
People," ones that are willing

to push buttons to spur the
conversation further, the kind
of films that Spike Lee made in
the late 1980s and early 1990s;
Richardson knows there's talent
out there, and expects indie
black cinema to reappear in the
"This has been going on since
1915 with 'Birth of a Nation,"'
Richardson said. "And since
then there's been and will be a
resurgence, an upsurgence ... is
that even a word? Fuck it; let's
make it a word. We made up a
word today! Upsurgence!"

Campus Mind Works Groups
FREE mental health education
and support groups for U-M
Healthy Body, Healthy
Mind: Sleep, Exercise,
Nutrition & Mood
Tuesday, October 28
from 5:30-7:00 p.m.
Mason Hall, Rm MH 1359
Central Campus
Visit www.campusmindworks.org
for more information.
Presented by the U-M Depression Center
in collaboration with the College of
Engineering and the Newnan Academic
CENTER Advising Center.

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