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July 25, 2013 - Image 4

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Michigan Daily Summer Weekly, 2013-07-25
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Thursday, July 25, 2013
The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com
4C uc tdiian Bily
Edited and managed by students at
the University of Michigan since 1890.
420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

Thursday, July 25, 2013
The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com




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.
Representation required
"U" presidential search committee needs student members
Last Thursday the University Board of Regents announced the
members of the presidential search advisory committee - a body
responsible for choosing the next University president. However,
this committee currently contains no student members. This is a notable
and unwelcome change from the 2002 presidential search, where two
students were on the advisory committee. The University's president rep-
resents this campus - and one of the most important parts of this campus
is the student body. It's therefore imperative that they are properly rep-
resented in the search. The regents should appoint students to sit on the

Democratic deficit
Last Thursday, the University know - "democracy" perhaps? A
Board of Regents selected the process falling short of this prin-
members of the Presidential ciple is to that extent undemo-
Search Advisory Committee. cratic. Of course, even autocracies
Their task is to producea shortlist can be benign. And I don't doubt
of candidates from which the the regents wish to do right by all.
board will select the University's But the only way to even approach
next president. Disappointingly, ensuring that all relevant people's
they didn't select any students concerns are justly weighted is
- a bizarre omission given that to represent those concerns as
the committee set up for 2002's well as feasibility allows. Regents
search included two students. should take this democratic prin-
I have to agree with Michael ciple very seriously. For the con-
Proppe and Bobby Dishell's sen- sequences of excluding students
timent expressed in a recent let- - and interested parties more
ter to the Regents that "students generally - go beyond inconve-
are very important stakeholders nient seating policies.
in the process" of selecting a new To see how, consider the current
University president. Indeed, state of financing for higher edu-
one would have to hold a pretty cation. Millions of U.S. students
warped view of a university's must now opt for a life of debilitat-
function to contest that modest ing debt to educate themselves in
claim. One wonders then, why an economic structure that pun-
the Regents deem it expedient to ishes those who don't. Student
exclude students from the com- debt has just topped the $1 trillion
mittee. Were the students in 2002 mark nationally, exceeding even
disruptive in meetings? Did they consumer debt. This only stands to
smell bad? Both facetious ques- worsen as states- includingMich-
tions, but facetiousness comes igan - further reduce their higher
naturally in the face of absurdity. education budgets and increase
I applaud Regent Larry Deitch's real tuition, while the federal gov-
intention to "reach out to the cam- ernment allows interest rates to
pus community to solicit feedback rise on federal student loans. The
on issues facing the University situation would be laughable if it
and qualities to seek in a new wasn't so acutely tragic.
president." But that this merits Returning to our central
applause alreadysuggests a degree thread, it's hard to believe that
of democratic deficit - conditions this sorry situation would have
in which students operate at the arisen had legislators really heard
mercy of distant administrative student concerns. This is why
decisions, grateful when these are including students on the search
made conscientiously. committee is important. The
This deficit became manifest office of the president provides
recently when the University's a significant, if modest, platform
athletics department decided - to address issues such as higher
with apparently no student input education funding - an issue
- to overhaul football game seat- likely to be more important
ing policy. Associate Athletics to students laboring under
Director Dave Ablauf justified the debt than to relatively wealthy
decision like so: "We ... decided faculty and administrators. I
to change our policy to create a acknowledge that some regents
culture of arriving early to pro- - e.g. Mark Bernstein and
vide our football student-athletes Denise Ilitch - have expressed
with a home field advantage prior concern about this issue. Still,
to kickoff." Wonderful, Dave. students shouldn't have to rely
Unfortunately, decisions handed on the benign possibility that
down as edicts run the risk of some administrator shares
alienating those for whom the their concerns - they should be
decision is made. Student upset guaranteed a meaningful voice.
following this decision suggests To deny students their legitimate
the risk was realized in this case. role in the selection process is not
It seems uncontroversial that, only unfair, but politically
ceteris paribus, those a decision irresponsible.
most impacts should be included
in making that decision as much Nils-Hennes Stear
as possible. We can even give that is a PhD student in the
principle a name - oh, I don't ' ' ' Departrtient of Philoophy.

- 420 Maynard to be exact -
Request an application by emailing


Wire Artist Jackie Crissman takes eat a handmade necklaces In show Kathe Helhig at the Ann Arher Art Fair.
Reflecting onthe
A2 Street Art Fair

search advisory committee.
Currently,thecommitteeismade Business senior Michael Proppe,
up of the eight University regents Central Student Government
and eight faculty members. Along president, has already expressed
with the regents and the executive dissatisfaction at the decision to
consulting firm Russell Reynolds exclude students from the commit-
Associates, this committee tee - in a letter to the Regents, he
will play a central role in the pointed out that students have the
presidential selection process. This greatest stake in the presidential
setup gives more than adequate appointment. Since CSG is made
representation to University up of representatives elected by
faculty and administration, but it the studentbody, it's in a good posi-
entirely fails to represent students. tion to provide student input to the
The committees and initiatives advisory committee. One way for
the University president has the CSG to do this would be to form a
power to create directly affect committee tasked with gathering
the student body. Students - who student input on the presidential
pay to attend the University and search. This committee would
whose lives and livelihoods will then provide representatives to the
be fundamentally shaped by their advisory committee.
time there - deserve more than the Under the regents' current plan,
chance to attend public meetings public meetings will be held in
and participate in an online "open September and October in order
nominating process." There is for the University community to
no proper substitution for direct provide input relevant to the selec-
representation on the committee. tion process. Should the regents

persist in not allowing student
representation on the committee
itself, students and student organi-
zations - including CSG - should
take it upon themselves to voice
their opinions regarding the selec-
tion process at those meetings.
Besides students, there are
still many parts of the University
community with a stake in the
next president and the vision he
or she will bring to the Univer-
sity that have been left out of the
selection process. Students, facil-
ity staff, part time instructors
and the entire Flint and Dearborn
satellite campuses are all groups
left out this time around. Those
groups had at least some repre-
sentation in the 2002 presidential
search that resulted in President
Coleman's appointment. Hope-
fully, the regents will realize their
mistake and appoint students to
the advisory committee.

Roads shut down in
annual celebration
of creativity
There are four days in Ann
Arbor, four average July days
sweltering or storming with the
usual July weather, where the
cozy college town becomes ... well,
something else entirely. The signs
are there if you look hard enough
- the streets you walk every day
suddenly up and close; the pace of
foot traffic through the heart of
town transforms into a slog, the
sidewalks clogged thick with out-
of-towners. The residents who've
been here for past summers
know that something's coming,
something that will stop at noth-
ing to swallow the better part of
Ann Arbor for its four-day lifes-
pan. Those residents likely also
know that there are two choices:
stay home for a few days, or give
yourself up to the "original" Ann
Arbor Street Fair.
For what it's worth, the experi-
ence can be a blast; especially for
prospective artists or connois-

seurs alike. For local business-
es, the fair is an absolute boon,
packing the streets with throngs
of potential buyers despite the
insufferable heat this year that
topped off in the mid-90s. Even
for the casual observer, the expe-
rience of strolling down the cen-
ter line of State Street at noon on
a Saturday can be fun.
But it's undeniable, especially
for the multitudes who converge
on this college town from else-
where, that the Fair is something
to behold. On East University, a
small crowd gathered as silver-
smiths hammered out fresh wares
over a pit of glowing embers,
while others sifted through cus-
tom sets of silverware and jewel-
ry. Further up State, generations
of hippies trawled over a cabinet
of hand-blown glass pipes, oppo-
site clothes stands filled with
upper-class, older women.
As a student, attending the
Fair with any kind of hope for a
bounty of inexpensive treasures
is, if not impossible, at least far-
fetched. It's clear that the focus
here is, deservedly, the patrons
of art who have the cash to pump
into the local economy. Did you
enjoy that medium-sized oil
painting of intertwining trees?

That'll be $6,000 please, cash
or check. I think we have some
postcards on the other side that
are closer to your ... "style." It is
true that there are more man-
ageable prices if you look hard
enough, but going tent-to-tent for
something to hang on the wall is
a bit of a fantasy.
No, that's the draw for out-of-
towners with money to spend.
But that's not to say that the
Street Art Fair is worthless to
students - far from it. Where the
people flock to find art, students
should flock to find people, and
to experience what worthy art
is firsthand. It's otherwise rare
to find a family of sophisticated
aficionados rubbing elbows with
beatniks looking for some inspi-
ration, all in front of a metal
sculpture of a dog. That is to say,
next time, definitely come to the
Art Fair to peruse, to sample the
state of artistic expression in
Ann Arbor. But just don't bet on
finding that perfect landscape
to cover the dent in the wall.
Instead, after you've had your
fill, just relax and watch all of the
people who've travelled, not just
to enjoy the town you get to live
in, but to watch what makes that
town so special in the first place.


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