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September 22, 2021 - Image 3

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer pro-

posed allocating $75 million of fed-
eral COVID-19 funds to provide
Michigan law enforcement with bet-
ter training, find and remove illegal
guns from Michigan communities
and fund community programs that
provide more opportunities in educa-
tion, jobs and the justice system.


announced in Detroit last month,
comes in the wake of an increase
in violent crime in Michigan over
the past year, with the crime rate in
Detroit increasing by 9.41% and the
homicide rate in Detroit increasing
by 19%.

In her announcement of the pro-

posal, Whitmer cited the impor-
tance of ensuring safety for citizens
of Michigan as her motivation for
the funding decision.

“People are scared,” Whitmer

said. “They’re afraid to pump their
gas or merge onto the highway,
pull up to a red light, drive to work,
drop their kids off at school. That’s
not right, and we cannot and will
not accept this. No one should feel
unsafe as they go about their lives.”

Whitmer’s proposal for increased

funding comes after protests erupt-
ed across the country last summer
following ongoing police violence,
as calls to defund law enforcement
gained support.

LSA senior Noah Streng, presi-

dent of Young Democratic Social-
ists of America at the University of

Michigan, is discontent with Whit-
mer’s announcement. Streng said he
believes that increasing funding of
law enforcement will not decrease
violence or crime and that this fund-
ing expansion does not address
socioeconomic disparities facing
Michigan communities as a result of
the pandemic.

“I think that Governor Whitmer

is wrong when she says that police
keep us safe,” Streng said. “It’s true
that we have seen an uptick in vio-
lent crime over the past year, but
crime doesn’t just happen for no rea-
son. There are real material reasons
why people are turning to crime.”

David Helps, co-chair of the

Graduate Employees Organization’s
Abolition caucus, said he thinks
lawmakers must look at more than
crime rates when making policy pro-
posals and decisions. He highlighted
Detroit’s 45% unemployment rate
during the pandemic and the impact
that has had on communities and
crime rates across the city.

“People have been traumatized,

people have been sick, have lost
work, have known people that have
died, and all of those forms of suf-
fering have been concentrated in
certain cities and in certain commu-
nities,” Helps said. “Those are some
of the same places in which we’re
seeing an increase in certain forms
of violence.”

Proponents of this proposal have

argued that sufficient police training
is key to decreasing violence among
communities because it will help
law enforcement better equipped to
handle high-stress situations.

LSA sophomore Alex Manthous

supports Whitmer’s proposal and said
he thinks this increase in funding will
help promote safety across the state.

“I stand with her decision not to

defund the police,” Manthous said.
“I am a proponent of getting illegal
weapons off the street, especially
since crime is closely associated with
guns and illegal weapons.”

Streng said he believes the police

should be defunded with a focus
on allocating more money to com-
munity programs in communities
that have been divested from. This
money would be used to bolster
education, housing and mental and
physical health, Streng said, which
may subsequently decrease violence.

“We cannot arrest our way out

of this problem,” Streng said. “If we
took federal funding and coupled it
with shifting resources away from
police departments and towards
robust social services, jobs, educa-
tion and health care, we would see
a much different outcome, where
people would have the opportuni-
ties and abilities to get themselves
out of poverty and not have to turn
to crime.”

The governor’s proposal is await-

ing support from the Republican-
held legislature, which has touted
bipartisan support for increased
law enforcement and funding of the

Helps expressed his frustration at

the lack of action to address the root
causes of violence from both sides of
the aisle.

The Michigan Daily — michigandaily.com
Wednesday, September 22, 2021 — 3






SEPT. 29, 2021
4:00 P.M.


A public lecture and reception. For more info, call 734.615.6667
or visit events.umich.edu/event/86627. Livestreaming will be
available. Please visit lsa.umich.edu/classics for more information.


To our 31E scholars,
recipients of this year’s
Class of 1931 Engineering Scholarship

The class of ‘31E and its Scholarship Selection Committee welcomes
their five new scholarship winners for the 2021-2022 academic year:

Sidharth Anantha
Hanna Chen
Jose Diaz Peon Gonzalez Pacheco

Gina Kittleson
Kira Woodhouse

They will be joining the ‘31E Honor Society and our sixteen current scholars:

George Adamson
Tyler Bartlett
Alfonso Botta-Lopez
Robert Elliott
Michelle Gehner

Jessica Houghton
Jacob Mackey
Benjamin Manley
Aditya Middha
Taylor Scott

Morgan Serra
Joseph Taylor
Allison Wilcox
Laura Williams
Claudia Zimmerman

Chimmuanya Iheanyi-Igwe

All of these scholarship winners will be honored at the 39th Annual
Scholarship Dinner of the Class of ‘31E, which will be held virtually on Friday
evening, September 24th, 2021 at 5:30pm.

Since the establishment of the ‘31E Scholarship Program in 1982, more than
200 aspiring engineering students have been helped to experience a University
of Michigan education, and have gone on to productive and rewarding

A public lecture and reception; you may attend in person
or virtually. For more information, including the Zoom link,
visit events.umich.edu/event/84262 or call 734.615.6667.

Tuesday, October 5, 2021 | 4:00 p.m. | Weiser Hall, 10th Floor


Ewart A.C. Thomas Collegiate

Professor of Psychology


Latinx Heritage Month 2021

celebrations at the University of
Michigan commenced Wednesday
evening with the opening ceremony
in the Rogel Ballroom at the Michigan
Union. With Latin pop music blasting
from speakers, the smell of Latinx
food lingering in the air and students
pairing up to learn salsa dancing, the
ceremony marked the first event in a
month of cultural gatherings.

Across the nation, LHM is

celebrated annually between Sep. 15
and Oct. 15, a period during which five
Latin American countries as well as
Mexico and Chile commemorate the
anniversary of their independence.
The holiday originated in 1968
as a week-long celebration called
Hispanic Heritage Week, but was
later renamed and expanded to a full
month in 1988.

Every year LHM has been

celebrated at the University, the
program has been given a different

“florecemos de nuestras raíces,”
or “we bloom from our roots.” The
hybrid ceremony was attended by
students in-person, with several
viewing the festivities from the
virtual livestream.


graduate student and the LHM

the ceremony by explaining the
significance of the 2021 theme. Lopez
said the theme acknowledges how the
historical experiences — the “roots”
— of Latinx communities shape their
tenacity and resilience in the present
day and allow them to “bloom.”

“The (LHM) planning committee

decided that we wanted to celebrate
Latinx heritage by honoring the
beautiful culture, vivid life and all
the hard work that our ancestors and
those who have come before us have
put in,” Lopez said.

The ceremony officially opened

with a land acknowledgment and
a welcome address from Martino
Harmon, vice provost for student

called upon attendees to reflect
on the contributions of the Latinx
community with those around them

during the rest of the night as well as
every day throughout LHM.

“I encourage you to practice

inclusive leadership and celebrate
your community wherever you go,
whatever you do,” Harmon said. “The
roots of this history, this community,
reach deep.”


undergraduate students identified
as Hispanic, with Hispanic faculty
members constituting just 4% of total
faculty at the Ann Arbor campus.

Lopez told The Michigan Daily

the University has been expanding
campus LHM celebrations over the
past several years, though last year’s
activities were completely virtual.
Lopez said it is important to highlight
the contributions Latinx culture has
made within the U.S. to empower
what is often an underrepresented
and marginalized community at the
University and nationwide.

“(LHM) acknowledges all of the

movements and the history and the
people who are of Latinx descent who
have (also) made an impact within the
United States,” Lopez said. “In reality,
this should always be happening, but
the truth is that it’s not.”



Opportunity Program, gave the
keynote address. In her speech, Ferrez
spoke on her personal experience
with encountering and fighting racial
injustice during her time in college.

She also described the “cultural

capital” model, referring to the
inherent value of non-quantifiable
assets associated with a particular
culture — including social justice,
storytelling and aspirations — that
promote social mobility.

Ferrez gave examples of ways

the cultural capital model could
positively transform and equalize
higher education, and challenged
attendees to use their own cultural
capital to improve their communities.

“We need leaders like all of you

with your Latinx (perspectives)
and that capital each and every one
of you have, to (address) racism,
environmental justice, climate issues,
needs of communities with water
systems, access to food … not just in
our communities in the United States,
but in our home countries throughout
Latin America, throughout Central
America, throughout the islands,

the Caribbean throughout Mexico,”
Ferrez said.

Jesús Galván, program manager

of the University’s Office of Multi-
Ethnic Student Affairs, told The Daily
Ferrez was selected by a committee
of MESA members on account of the
relevant research she has completed
about educational equality for those
identifying as a part of marginalized

“For one, (Ferrez) is familiar

with the experience we’re trying
to represent and speak about, but
also, they’re part of us here at U-M,”
Galván said. “So we shine light on
the folks that are doing the good
work and are critical components to
student success on this campus.”

Lopez said MESA began planning

this year’s LHM over the summer, with
an important part of the preparations
involving MESA’s collaboration with
Michigan Dining chefs who identify
as Latinx. Throughout the opening
ceremony, attendees were encouraged
to try different food items from the
buffet which included tostones, arepas,
arroz con gandules and empanadas.

The two main chefs — Luz Ruiz

from Panama and Miriam Palacio

from Colombia — were also given the
opportunity to explain their personal
backgrounds and identities to the
crowd as well as why they chose to
prepare each specific dish for the

Empanadas, Palacio told The Daily,

are usually made using corn flour-
based dough. But she had experience
in Colombia making the dough with
flour derived from the yuca root,
which makes the dish gluten-free so
more students can try it.

“I used yuca to make the dough

and it makes this food be gluten-free,”
Palacio said. “I hope you guys enjoy …
their Colombian flavor.”

Autumn Battin-Flores, the senior

associate director of retail and catering
for the University, told The Daily
MCatering has been collaborating

organizations on campus for three
years to serve authentic cuisine at
various heritage month events. Flores
said encouraging chefs to cook dishes
from their individual cultures is a
promising start to promoting culinary
diversity within campus dining.


Virus cases remain stable after sharp rise in late August


campus in late August, the number


Michigan students has increased
then decreased.

The number of COVID-19 cases

increased from 73 on the week of
Aug. 22 to 195 the week of Aug. 29,
the first day of classes.

Preliminary data from the two

weeks since then shows numbers
have remained high at 156 the week
of Sep. 5, then dropping to 82 for the
week of Sep. 12.

Since class began, positivity rates

have remained under 2%.

In an email to the University

community on Friday, President
Mark Schlissel wrote that per the
dashboard, “case numbers and our
quarantine housing usage have

In an email to The Michigan Daily

last Thursday, Dr. Robert Ernst,
associate vice president of student
life for health and wellness and
the director of COVID-19 Campus
Health Response, wrote he believes
the University’s mitigation strategies
such as masking and vaccination
reduce the risk of transmission
on campus, even with the more
contagious delta variant.


campus and many associated large
social gatherings where masking is
not universal, the finding of covid
transmission among students early

in the fall semester is not surprising,”
Ernst wrote. “Peer institutions
like ours have seen similar early
increases, and campuses like ours
that started earlier have seen these
early increases followed by a gradual

In the past few weeks, doctors

across the state have reported seeing
a gradual increase in the number
of COVID-19 cases in hospitals.
According to Jakob McSparron,
associate director of the critical care
medicine unit at Michigan Medicine,
the number of cases per week in the
past month has risen from 25, to 35,
to 45 as the delta variant has spread.

“The rise is a little bit slower

compared to the previous surges we
used to see,” McSparron said. “This
time it’s more of a steady increase in
our numbers.”

Hallie Prescott, a pulmonary care

physician at Michigan Medicine,
said in an email she believes these
rising trends should be of concern to

“It is certainly worth noting

that COVID is circulating in our
community, and therefore (it is)
important to take extra precautions
such as wearing a mask while in
public indoor spaces,” Prescott
said. “Even if one’s personal risk of
hospitalization/death from COVID
is low, these extra measures are
important to keep case counts low
and protect our community as a

According to McSparron, the

majority of patients in the intensive
care unit at Michigan Medicine
are unvaccinated. The few that

are vaccinated have underlying
conditions putting them at risk, he

McSparron said he believes things

could start to look more normal if
vaccination rates increased.


are seeing more young patients
this time around in terms of the
unvaccinated,” McSparron said. “It’s
very hard to see a 20-year-old on a
breathing machine knowing that so
much of this was preventable.”

LSA sophomore Lana King

said she first started to notice
the uptick when she received

notifications, which have since been

“I personally don’t feel too scared

because we’re all wearing masks and
especially in class, you’re not getting
that close to people,” King said.

When asked if the recent trends in

COVID-19 cases on campus should
be concerning to students, Ernst
said it’s too soon to predict further
developments this fall.

“There has not been evidence of

transmission within residence halls
and fortunately, as we would expect
in a highly vaccinated population,
most affected individuals experience
only mild symptoms,” Ernst said.


is in a very different position
compared to the last academic
year, when Washtenaw County
had to use stay-in-place orders and
recommendations to curb the spread
of the virus.


Gov. Whitmer proposes

allocating federal COVID-19

funds to Michigan police

Proposal responds to increase in violent crime in state

Daily Staff Reporter

Read more at MichiganDaily.com

Daily Staff Reporter

Three weeks into the

semester, here’s the COVID-19

outlook at UMich & in Ann

Read more at MichiganDaily.com

‘Florecemos de nuestras raíces:’ UMich kicks of Latinx

Heritage Month with opening ceremony

Daily Staff Reporters


Speakers talk cultural identity, history at event celebrating independence of numerous Latin American countries

Read more at MichiganDaily.com

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