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July 15, 2002 - Image 4

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Publication:
Michigan Daily Summer Weekly, 2002-07-15

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4+ - ne iniganu"aii ay -- ImVaIy, July ±1, zuV4
420 MAYNARD STREET
ANN ARBOR, MI 48109 LISA HOFFMAN ZAC PESKOWITZ
letters@michigandaily.com Editor in Chief Editorial Page Editor
EDITED AND MANAGED BY
STUDENTS AT THE Unless otherwise noted, unsigned editorials reflect the opinion of
UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN the majority of the Daily's editorial board. All other pieces do not
SINCE 1890 necessarily reflect the opinion of The Michigan Daily.
W ithin 12 hours of the most troubling event which should represent the breadth of the
historical event of many University A tim e Lto eVe. University community isin danger of represent-
students' lives, an impromptu vigil in ing the views of its small group of organizea.
honor of the Sept. 11 victims was held on the Get involved: Contact planners at 9-11-02@umich.edu Although it is difficult to involve many
Diag. The campus-wide unity symbolized and people in planning large, University-wide
attained by the vigil was one of the few positive events, it is imperative that this process is
moments in an otherwise harrowing day. and ill-executed vigil could be the end result last year's vigil which better represented the opened to as many community members as
Undoubtedly, this year's anniversary of the of their efforts. variety of faiths on campus in an attempt to possible. In addition to student groups, faculty,
Sept. 11 attacks will evoke a variety of respons- Last year's vigil was successful for a number make all University students welcome. staff and administrators have been equally
es among members of the University communi- of reasons that the organizers of the approach- Although the committee is amenable to affected by the tragedy and should be involved
ty whose lives were affected by the attacks and ing vigil should keep in mind. The event was change, this outline is disturbing. The Daily in the organization of the anniversary vigil.
their repercussions in different ways. Seventeen tasteful, decorous and inclusive. First, the orga- fears the plans will prevent campus unity, per- Last year's vigil was successful because stu-
University alums died that day, and many others nizers of this year's vigil have not made every sonal reflection and the opportunity to grieve, dents, administrators and religious leaders acted
lost friends and relatives. Last year's vigil was a possible effort to be inclusive. By holdinga pre- the proper goals of the vigil. The MTV-like quickly to create an inclusive event where the
tasteful event commemorating the lives lost. liminary meeting of select individuals and con- spectacle will undoubtedly preclude a solemn organizers remained tastefully inconspicuous.
Although organized rapidly, the emotional cer- ducting much of the early brainstorming in pri- tone appropriate for the evening. The organizers did not participate for self-
emony included a live audio feed of President vate, they have predetermined the broad outline Last week, the planners held a meeting in the aggrandizement, but for the good of the
Bush's address to the nation, speakers repre- of the vigil. The tentative program includes Union attended by representatives of a number University. The Daily hopes that this year's vigil
senting a broad variety of religious affiliations dance and a cappella performances, an ROTC of student groups. The leaders of the 9-11-02 matches that impressive accomplishment.
and concluded with a candlelight vigil. color guard, the playing of "Taps," the Pledge of Planning Committee are Interfraternity Council However, this will require a fundamental
A group of organizers have already Allegiance and a video montage set to the song President Joel Winston, IFC Vice President for shift in the planners' approach. Interested par-
begun taking on the complex task of plan- "Hero" by Chad Kroeger of Nickleback. More Major Events Matt Van Wasshnova and the IFC ties throughout the community should contact
ning this year's anniversary vigil. Although importantly, the tentative schedule includes liaison to the Michigan Student Assembly the organizers at 9-11-02@umich.edu to offer
the Daily applauds the organizers' foresight only three religious speakers - representing Jordan Levine. The Daily is concerned with the their suggestions to help create a proper
and dedication, we fear that an inappropriate the Catholic, Muslim and Jewish faiths, unlike lack of diversity among the main planners; an remembrance.

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Critical condition
Coleman must utilize connections to salvage LSI
he Life Sciences Institute has been While the University has wholeheart-
anointed the centerpiece of the edly committed itself to the LSI, the State
University's future. While this has of Michigan is also counting on a suc-
been clear for some time now, the cessful LSI to support the states' high-
University Board of Regents' selection tech industry and improve research capa-
of University of Iowa President Mary bilities. The LSI is part of the Life
Sue Coleman, an accomplished bio- Sciences Corridor, which spans from
chemist, as the 13th president of the Detroit to Grand Rapids. The Life
University illustrated the extent of this Sciences Corridor was first envisioned by
commitment. However, the regents' Bollinger as a means to spur on coopera-
vision of the University as an interna- tion and joint research enterprises across
tional center for the advancement of the the state.
life sciences will not be The highest ranking mem-
achieved easily. On Wednesday, The most ber of the LSI is now manag-
co-Director of the LSI Jack important task for ing Director Liz Barry, former
Dixon announced that he would Coleman is to find University General Counsel,
be leaving his position at the accomplished who has had little previous
University for the University of scholars with experience with the life sci-
California at San Diego. strong managerial ences. Incoming President
This news, accompanied with skills who can Coleman needs to utilize her
the January decision of would- create a dynamic extensive connections
be co-Director Scott Emr to research center. throughout the scientific com-
remain at UCSD due to former munity to encourage top-
University President Lee Bollinger's flight researchers to come to the
departure to Columbia University, has left University. The unparalleled facilities that
the future of the project in doubt. The loss the University is currently constructing
of Bollinger's stewardship has left the LSI will not be enough to lure accomplished
in a precarious situation. scientists to the LSI. This goal will
The LSI was created under the leader- require excellent leaders who can guaran-
ship of Bollinger to improve some of the tee that the LSI enjoys a smooth future.
weaker areas of the University's academic Coleman is certain to make finding the
and research interests. With the life sci- replacements for Dixon and Emr one of
ences posed to create significant scientif- the first priorities of her tenure. The
ic advances in the early 21st century, it is impulse to find successors quickly may be
critically important that the University strong, but this cannot lead to the selec-
can match other institutions in this devel- tion of unqualified leaders. The most
oping field. Although the University's late important task for Coleman is to find
start in the aggressive support of the life accomplished scholars with strong man-
sciences compared to peer institutions, agerial skills who can create a dynamic
the LSI should have been able to bridge research center. The future of research at
the divide. But with Dixon's defection, the University and in the State of
this outcome is now unclear. Michigan is counting on her.

Engler's environmental legacy
Slashing of DEQ funds will damage environment

I

n the coming months, Michigan's chief especially inconceivable considering the high
environmental law enforcement body, the stakes involved in protecting Michigan's
Department of Environmental Quality, environment.
will be undergoing a major reorganizing pro- The state is the site of numerous environ-
gram. Internal memos leaked to the Detroit mental treasures like the Sleeping Bear Dunes
Free Press revealed that Director, Russ and Pictured Rocks National Lakeshores. To
Harding, intends to consolidate the nine divi- endanger these and the state's thousands of
sions of the agency in response to state budget lakes, wetlands and forests not only has drastic
cuts. The re-organizing effort, however, is consequences for Michigan's environment, but
essentially a facade that effectively conceals also endangers the state's outdoor recreation
the results of Republican Gov. John Engler's and tourism industries.
anti-environment policies. Engler Moreover, Michigan is home to
recently announced a $32 million Already a large number of high-polluting
reduction of the general fund sup- constrained by a industries whose contaminants
port for the DEQ beginning in sparse budget and threaten the health of the state's cit-
September. The department will understaffed, izens and communities. AnnArbor
also lose nearly 160 employees the new cuts alone has 29 sites already deemed
under Michigan's early retirement have effectively unlivable because of contamina-
program this summer. disabled the tion. With the DEQ crippled,
Already constrained by a sparse DEQ. Michigan's residents can expect
budget and understaffed, the new their environmental problems to
cuts have effectively disabled the DEQ. The increase and their environmental laws to be
budget cuts comprise over 30 percent of the enforced even less frequently than in the past.
agency's general funds and employee losses The reorganization also raises public over-
total 10 percent of the previous staff. sight issues. The entire process has been
In addition to under-funding and de- undertaken with little consultation of the pub-
emphasis, the DEQ will also suffer from lic, whose health the department is ostensibly
Harding's irrational restructuring. Among responsible for protecting. Furthermore, with
other improbable combinations, Harding is divisions losing directors and employees
placing the Wetland Protection Program under transferring to new divisions, established ties
the control of the Geological Survey division, between the public and the agency have been
a major proponent of drilling beneath the erased. Similar abuses could be avoided in
Great Lakes and whose operations include the future with the creation of a citizens over-
granting permits for oil and gas production. sight committee to monitor the agency's
Likely to be a major issue in the guberna- internal actions.
torial race this fall, environmental and public The restructured DEQ will likely be in
health has repeatedly proven to be a high pri- place shortly before Engler leaves office next
ority of Michigan's citizens. Yet Engler con- year. The emasculation of the DEQ is a fitting
tinues to slash the budget of environmental legacy to Engler's tumultuous years in
agencies like the DEQ and Harding continues Lansing. The next governor must renounce
to passively accept these policies. Their disre- Engler's deleterious social and fiscal policies
gard of both public opinion and health is and restore Michigan's progressive spirit.

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