There is a lot of buzz about Detroit these days, from the much-anticipated outcome of the city’s bankruptcy to discussions about economic recovery and future prosperity. Here in Ann Arbor, it is easy to feel that residents and University students are removed from Detroit. The cities are roughly 45 minutes apart by car, and many University students admit they don’t visit Detroit very often. However, The Michigan Daily looks to close that gap through well-rounded news coverage.

University students and alumni alike are becoming an increasingly integral part of the changing scene in Detroit. Programs such as Semester in Detroit are giving some students a deeper look into the Motor City, but those not directly involved are left with an incomplete view. The Michigan Daily wants to bring these stories to the student body.

LSA freshman Meredith Grupe, who has visited Detroit for sporting events and cultural attractions such as Tigers games and the Detroit Institute of Arts, said there is a lot more that she would like to know about the city.

“I want to learn more about the history of Detroit,” Grupe said. “I know the general story of it but there’s a lot I don’t know. You definitely hear a lot of negative things on the news, but I also know there are a lot of programs that are turning it around.”

Although students have also visited Detroit for volunteer projects, restaurants and sightseeing, there is still curiosity about the city’s culture, history, current financial situation and how it can be rehabilitated.

LSA junior Alan Halim said he wants to know how much of Detroit’s negative reputation is true.

“I think Detroit has a lot worse reputation than it actually deserves,” Halim said. “A lot of it is really lively and it’s just a huge city. But then there are areas that give Detroit its reputation, which is a shame because it used to be our capital and because it is still a really important city in Michigan. I think we should make an effort to bring it back to the way it was.”

LSA junior Sarah Rice, who participated in Semester in Detroit in the spring, said it is important for students to have some kind of knowledge of what is going on in Detroit due to its proximity to Ann Arbor.

“The most important thing for students to do is to educate themselves about the city,” Rice said. “It’s easy to just accept everything you hear, or ignore everything, so if students actually learn about the city, then there is better potential for good conversations about Detroit.”

With the addition of the Detroit Beat to the news section, the Daily wants to interact with University students and Ann Arbor residents to hear what readers are curious about. If you have questions, have heard myths that need investigating or have suggestions for stories or simply want to know more about Detroit, tweet them @michigandaily using the hashtag #DetroitBeat. If you want to know more about someone else’s question, favorite it. We’ll take the most popular tweets and report on them.

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