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November 21, 2014 - Image 3

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The Michigan Daily, 2014-11-21

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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Friday, November 21, 2014-- 3A

From Page 1A
ers .discussed the situation,
speaking in English and Spanish.
Jorge Najera Godinez, a math
student from Guerrero - the
state where the students disap-
peared - came to Ann Arbor in
the fall to complete his master's
degree at the School of Educa-
tion. He said he was shocked and
saddened to hear that his friends
and fellow students from the
region were abducted and likely
"It was just really hard to con-
centrate on my studies so that's
why I went to ask for help and
they helped organize it," Godi-
nez said in an interview before
the vigil: "It's important that
everybody knows what's hap-
pening in the city - especially
my town - because this is not
the first time that something like
this has happened. Right now
there are 43 students but before
that there were many."
Godinez said the abducted
students traveled to Iguala, an
hour and a half away from their
hometown, to raise money for
the schools. He said every few
years a few students go missing,
and it is often blamed on the car-
Without support from the gov-
ernment, receiving an education
is a challenge for many people in
the region where these students
were from, Godinez said. He
explained how many students
live on mountains, sometimes
hours away from the closest
school, and have to walk there in
extremely hot conditions.
University alum Marta Vala-
dez met Godinez a few weeks
earlier and connected him with
other Mexican students and
community members outraged
by the disappearance of the stu-
From Page 1A
expected to come out at midnight
Engineering students to vote
on changes to constitution and
The Central Student Judiciary
found the Engineering Council's
December elections invalid due
to violations of its own consti-
tution and bylaws in March. In
response, UMEC General Coun-
cil passed a resolution in April to
create a constitutional conven-
tion to write a new constitution
and set of bylaws.
After the new constitution
was created, the convention
unanimously approved it and
voted to place the new constitu-
tion on the Special Elections bal-
lot in November. Copies of the
proposed constitution were sent
to all registered UMEC organi-
zations before polls opened.
"It's (the constitution and
bylaws) been around for a couple
of decades and still has the same
structure, but at the same time,
the College of Engineering itself
has changed dramatically both
in size and in structure," said
UMEC President Max Olender,

an Engineering senior. "We
decided it'd be best to start from
scratch, evaluate the needs of
the College and our students to
come up with a completely new
From Page 2A
University resources to help
improve public high schools in
low-income neighborhoods, as
well as strengthen college prepa-
ratory programs in these schools.
"What's needed is not a10 per-
cent plan, but a 100 percent plan
of commitment to students who
must attend public schools that
no state official would send his or
her child to," he wrote.
E. Royster Harper, vice presi-
dent of student life, said that
even if Michigan were to enact
a percent-based policy, it would
not help increase the numbers of
minority students who choose to
enroll at the Ann Arbor campus.
Harper noted that the fac-
tors that usually deter qualified
admitted students from choosing
Michigan include campus cli-
mate, class size and affordability.
Efforts to increase enrollment
numbers are to help convince
admitted students to choose the
University over other schools.
"Our state legislature could
put in place a plan that says the
top 10 percent will be admitted

"To be able to support a stu-I
dent who comes from so far
away, who's very isolated, to be
experiencing this where he'sj
here and he feels like he can't do,
anything," Valadez said. "This isi
an opportunity that feels like we
can do this together. So for us to
do it here, that's very powerful
for us .People are not going to
be quiet. People are not going
to be silenced in Mexico, and in
the United States and around the
Valadez said the attack, which
targeted a large group of stu-
dents, resonated with many]
across the world.]
"They were being brought up1
to be critical thinkers and I think
that alot of the fighting of what's
happening there is because
these students were speaking
out against injustice and harm
that was happening through the
government's responsibility," she
Eduardo Garcia, one of the
protesters involved in creating
Thursday's event, said the pur-
pose of the demonstration is to
show the University community
that there is a massacre happen-
ing in a neighboring country.
"I think that the U.S. govern-
ment has been really connected
to the Mexican government and
in this case the U.S. government
should pressure the Mexican
government. In the past few
years, many Americans have also
disappeared," Garcia said. "We
want to conjoin all the anger,
direct it at something good, that
will bring change."
During the vigil, Garcia said
there were nearly 30,000 forced
disappearances in Mexico over
the past seven years. At its core,
Garcia said Mexico is really hav-
ing a crisis of student rights.
"It's a war against the people,
a war against the poor, a war
structure for the student govern-
The new constitution dif-
fers from the old constitution
in aspects relating to legislative
body and executive positions.
Engineering senior Kelsey Hock
stad and Engineering graduate
student Kyle Lady, who sued
UMEC, claimed that UMEC
elections violated their equal
protection and democratic rep-
resentation rights.
Under the current consti-
tution, the legislative body is
composed of delegates from
Engineering student organiza-
tions. To maintain eligibility for
funding, these delegates were
required to attend the General
Council meetings.
"You have a situation where
individuals are almost forced
to participate in this governing
body andtheymaynot want to be
there, theymaynotbe interested.
It's a rather ineffective method,"
Olender said. "It also can make it
fairly difficult for students who
aren't in or heavily involved in
student organizations to have
equal representation."
The new constitution calls for
student-elected representatives
for the legislative body and does
not require representatives to be

appointed by members of Engi-
neering student organizations,
unlike the design of the con-
tested constitution. It has also
reduced the number of members
to any university in the state of
Michigan, but that doesn't mean
that more students would show
up at U of M," she said. "There's
nothing we're going to be able to
put in place that fundamentally
changes students' choices about
where they want go to school."
She further noted how the
University accepts more under-
represented minority students
than those that choose to enroll.
The University admitted
16,047 students this fall, roughly
40.5 percent of whom decided to
Harper and Schlissel both
noted steps to increase the num-
ber of minority admits who ulti-
mately enroll.
The University recently hired
Kedra Ishop, who previously
worked at the University of
Texas at Austin, as the Univer-
sity's associate vice president for
enrollment management. The
position was created this sum-
The role of the enrollment
manager is to increase coordina-
tion between the Office of Under-
graduate Admissions, the Office
of Financial Aid, the Registrar
and the Office of New Student

against the youth, a war against
the students," Garcia said.
Some of the speakers called
for the United Nations to seek
justice while others reminded
each other that as long as the stu-
dents were missingtheir families
would have no peace.
As the speakers recited the
names of each missing stu-
dent, many University students
stopped to listen, take pictures
and sign up for a mailing list to
receive more information.
LSA freshman John Mathew
stopped to check out the protest
and sign up for the e-mail list on
his way to class. He said he had
heard about the news, but didn't
know much about the ongoing
situation in Mexico.
"I think it's an appealing
cause to college studentsabecause
they see the government tak-
ing advantage of the students,"
Mathew said. "Almost like they
are (being) put down, and not
included as amember of the pop-
LSA senior Tatiana Bravo met
Godinez earlier while working
on a class project and decided
to attend the vigil to support
him. While she was raised in the
United States, many of her family
members live in Mexico and she
visits there often. She said the
event has affected her greatly, as
she is around the same age as the
disappeared students and also
fears the corruption in Mexico.
"A lot of it is people are really
fed up, people are disappearing
in Mexico and it just gets thrown
under the rug or people look
the other way, that's the norm
and it shouldn't be the norm,"
Bravo said. "If 43 of my friends
went missing on a school day on
campus, the entire nation would
know and it would be a huge
deal, but there it happened and
it's OK."
on the executive board.
DPS Oversight Committee
student representative to be cho-
LSA junior Michael Fakhoury
and Law School student Alan
Nagel are ronning to become the
DPS Oversight Committee's stu-
dent representatives.
The purpose of the committee
is to respond to complaints and
grievances against the depart-
ment or campus police officers.
The group can make recommen-
dations to the executive director
of DPSS on how to address griev-
ances. Recommendations may
include disciplinary action.
The committee comprises of
six members: two student rep-
resentatives, two faculty mem-
bers and two staff members.
All members are elected by
their peers. Student represen-
tatives are elected for one-year
terms, while other members
are elected for two-year terms.
Last year's representatives were
Fakhoury and LSA senior Alexis
"When Michigan's legislature
made students one-third of the
DPS Oversight Committee, they
effectively made us one-third of
the conscience for the primary
law enforcement body on cam-

pus," Nagel wrote in an e-mail
to The Michigan Daily. "That's
a significant role for us and rep-
resents a significant amount of
trust in our capabilities."
Programs in an effort to provide
support and resources for newly
admitted students.
Harper said the role of the
enrollment manager is to "court"
students who are admitted to the
University and deciding whether
to attend. She said Ishop thinks
about the process of choosing
schools from the beginning to
the end and is guides students
considering the University with
information such as scholarship
Ishop could not be reached for
an interview.
Harper said many other uni-
versities ask prospective stu-
dents to show them what other
schools are giving them and
attempt to match it - another
initiative Ishop is looking into
Harper said the University
needs to better persuade under-
represented minority students to
enroll at the University.
"From the moment we see
someone that's really good,
we're not done until they say that
they're coming and they arrive
on campus," Harper said. "We're
not taking anybody for granted

Why we do this

n a recent night in Che-
sebrough Auditorium,
ens of engi-
students gath-
ered to hear
Prof. Emerita
Lynn Conway
speak on a
topic that was
decidedly and
unashamedly JULIA
atypical for an ZARINA
lecture: gen-
der dynamics.
Conway, an electrical engineer
credited with developing some of
the design principles responsible
for revolutionizing microelec-
tronics and advanced comput-
ing, was speaking as part of the
Own It keynote lecture, Lead-
ing Inclusion: Gender in Engi-
neering. Own It is a student led
initiative to promote awareness
of social topics in the College of
Throughout her career as an
engineer and prominent trans-
gender activist, Conway has
inspired radical changes in both
the technological standards
and social climates of her field.
In addressing some of her own
experiences as an acclaimed
innovator at both IBM and the
Defense Advanced Research
Projects Agency, and as associate
dean of engineering here at the
University, Conway's message to
the audience gathered before her
was clear: in your personal and
professional lives, strive to be
daring and adventurous in both
what you do and who you are.
It's a point that speaks to one
of the most elusive and rarely
addressed issues faced by the
engineering community: as peo-
ple who are largely expected to
define ourselves by our compe-
tencies, we often struggle with
identity in the variety of forms
in which it presents itself. On a
societal level, we grapple with
some of the issues Own It works
to discuss. How do we reconcile
our identities as diverse indi-
viduals with a culture that places
the utmost emphasis on uniform
technical capability? On an intel-
lectual level, how do we balance
our curiosity for the abstract
with the concrete demands of
real life? And on a technical
level: how much do we value the
less quantifiable, less practical,
but more human aspects of the
people we are designing for?
When it comes to research in
STEM fields, one of the biggest
hurdles engineers and innova-
tors face is relatability. Beyond
the cultural stereotypes that
all scientists are socially awk-
ward recluses, translating what
we consider to be beautiful and
timely ideas into marketable,
applicable products or systems
comes with its own set of chal-
lenges. In a world motivated
largely by financial and material
gain, the usefulness and neces-
sity of a venture is often framed
and quantified in terms of its
profitability, whether that be
economic or otherwise.
There is no more striking
example of this external justi-
fication than the progression of

our national space program. In
the United States, space explora-
tion has never been more widely
or ardently supported than it
was when it aligned with our
natioqal security interests dur-
ing the Space Race. Even today,
the upcoming Orion mission
to Mars is often justified in the
media as worthwhile because of
the arguably feasible potential
for interstellar mineral mining
or as an alternate habitat in a
not-so-distant future where our
environmentally unsustainable
habits have led to the destruc-
tion of Earth.

As political and s
mates prove to be inc
unreceptive to funding
programs, the success o
ing for public supporti
contingent on whether
we seek to explore ca
profit. Congress, Wall S
our future employers al
answers to seemingly i
questions. Will that pr
the next iPhone? Are A
ating enough engineerir
to keep up with India as
What, exactly, is the poi
Although these may 1
tant - considerations
grounded in, when tak
they are misguided m
that detract from the s
true potential of scien
covery. Limiting the
what we are willing to
to areas we foresee to
nently and materially1
drastically limits the
range of discoveries.,
cated by Conway, the
engineering lies in ch
ourselves to ask then
damental and curious q
even - and especially
the answers are uncerts
Even from a strictlyo
perspective, the fos
of many of the most s
innovations in the last
were discovered mainl3
dent. Spin-offs of s
obscure and abstract
have resulted in produc
could have foreseen. W
use of GPS systems, ce
and the Internet are all
of extremely profitable
derivatives of space res
field of study that politi
policymakers have sla
the years following the

power play
of the Space
Race for liter-
ally being too As
"out there" or
irrelevant to
life on Earth
to be worth th
our time and
In "Par-
ticle Fever," a
about the experiments 1
to the identification of,
boson in 2012, David K
cusses his research as
physicist at the Large
Collider and addresses
the most biting critic
public has thrown at
that has been 30 year
lions of dollars in the m
"Why are we doin
muses in one segment o
"One answer is what w
ple, and one answer is t
He goes on to identify,
lines ofreasoningwith
more grounded in tE
tial tangible outcomes
other is simply that e:
is for the sake of un
ing. "There's nothing
about the first answer, 1
the thing that drives (
... Basic science for b
throughs needs to occu
where you are not ask
is the economic gain?'Y
ing, 'What do we not 1
how can we make prog
The experiments at
are at the heart of this
understanding. The
observation of the Hid
was, at its essence, an:
answer some of thesei
fundamental questioi
the biggest system we,
of: the known univers
seemingly inflexible
nature that we are fam
just a random statistica
has allowed life as we1
exist in one of infinitei
es? Are there unseen
that provide an even b
ture of the observable
we think we see fully?

ocial cli- Research motivated purely
reasingly by economic gain is, quite liter-
research ally, unfathomably limiting. Even
if appeal- taken at a smaller scale, to explore
is largely the unknown simply for the sake
the ideas of understanding is an eloquent
n turn a and uniquely human undertak-
treet and ing. While we may be compelled
I demand to study finance and government
mportant to be masters of our own systems
oduct be and rise above our peers, we are
ve gradu- also compelled to compose new
ng majors music and build new structures
nd China? and explore the unknown so that
int? we rise together both collectively
be impor- and individually.
to stay Some of the greatest achieve-
en alone ments in human existence have
aotivators resulted from ventures where the
pirit and risk of failure, or attheveryleast,
stific dis- the risk of no certain financial
scope of or material gain, has been high.
research est. Putting a man on the moon,
be immi- the search for clean and renew-
profitable able energy and the experiments
potential taking place at the LHC have all
As advo- been truly diverse, collabora-
future of tive efforts in which people were
allenging willing to put aside their arbi-
sost fun- trary differences, instead using
luestions, them productively to redefine
- when and expand history and our own
ain. knowledge.
economic As an engineer, I am inter-
undations ested in examining these vast,
ignificant seemingly unsolvable questions
t century in part because it puts our own
y by acci- systems and related problems
eemingly in perspective. In an interview
research with The Michigan Daily last
.ts no one year, former Space Shuttle pilot
idespread Col. Jack Lousma likened our
ll phones lives on Earth to the lives of crew
examples members on a giant spaceship
e indirect orbiting one of an infinite num-
earch - a ber of stars.
cians and Imagine sending a crew of
immed in different and diverse astronauts
e political into orbit on a spaceship perfect-
ly equipped
with the con-
ditions they
engineers, we are need to thrive
and the tal-
conditioned to ents they
need to be
ink practically, able to under-
stand new
)ften to a ult. andinterest-
tion about our
eadingup Now imagine that instead of
the Higgs using these resources to work
aplan dis- toward a successful mission, they
a particle instead start killing each other
e Hadron over who gets which corner
s some of of the spaceship, polluting the
cisms the water and air supplies onboard,
a project and suddenly some of the crew
s and bil- arbitrarily decide that their fel-
aking. low, equally talented crewmates
g it?" he are inherently inferior and devel-
:f the film, op a set of rules that prevents
v tell peo- them from effectively contribut-
he truth ... ing to the mission.
these two Obviously, such an outcome
one being would ensure that no self-
he poten- respecting space agency would
s and the fund something similar again.
xploration It's an interesting conclusion
derstand- when you consider the implica-
incorrect tions of the metaphor in our own,
but it's not actual lives on Earth where the
scientists) very things that lead to war, pol-
ig break- lution and political pwer in the
r at a level first place are often motivated
ing 'What largely by whether they will pro-
ou're ask- duce material and personal gain.
know, and As engineers, we are condi-
ress?"' tioned to think practically, often
the LHC to a fault. However, there is

quest for inherent value both to engineer-
landmark ing as a profession and to wider
ggs boson society in focusing on the more
attempt to abstract questions that seem-
incredibly ingly have no answer. We need
ns about to be advocates and agents for
are a part continued support of explora-
e. Are the tion. Perhaps in doing so, we will
laws of be the ones to develop the next
siliar with iPhone. Perhaps we won't. But
al blip that either way, in the process we will
know it to learn to understand ourselves -
multivers- and the very systems we've cre-
particles ated - better.

jigger pic-
e universe

- Julia Zarina can be reached at

If you meet the criteria, you
can come out of the shadows
and get right with the law"
- President Barack Obama said during remarks announcing his
executive action on immigration Thursday night.

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