While you might not have noticed thanks to this week’s beautiful weather, summer is wrapping up. It’s time to say goodbye to that internship with your local member of Congress, that low-paying job at an ice cream shop, that humanitarian mission to Africa or whatever you did to pass the time while school was out. For all students returning to Ann Arbor — or at least those who are somehow still able to afford the University’s ridiculous tuition — it’s another semester of staying up all night writing research papers, furiously joining student groups, rushing, cramming and looking for work.

But whether this is your first semester in Ann Arbor or your last, we thought you could use a catch-up on what happened while you were away.

While you probably didn’t miss the football team’s huge win on Saturday, you might not know that the win was Rich Rodriguez’s first piece of good news all month. The Detroit Free Press accused Rodriguez and his staff of violating NCAA regulations by requiring his players to practice too long and too often. In response, the University did what it’s best at: launched an investigation. And if that weren’t enough bad news, Nexity Bank is suing Rodriguez for defaulting on a $3.6 million loan. But for now, Rodriguez can rest a little easier having delivered Wolverine fans the win they were craving.

And on the subject of cravings, University smokers beware: You have approximately 10 months to quit. As of July 2010, campus will become a smoke-free environment, both indoors and outdoors. No, you won’t get a ticket or a trip to jail if you do it — you’ll just be guilted into feeling really, really bad about it. The University claims the ban will cut down health care costs by making students and employees healthier. By this logic, maybe shutting down the residence hall cafeterias would be more appropriate.

But one bad habit that the University can’t seem to quit is raising tuition year after year. This year was no different, with the Board of Regents passing yet another tuition hike of 5.6 percent for in-state students. What was a surprise, though, was the fact that two regents voted against the hike — the first such dissent in years. At this rate, we might see an end to the tuition hikes in only a few more (gulp) years.

But the Board of Regents wasn’t the only governing body experiencing some dissent. Across the country, “real” Americans are turning out en masse to public forums on health care to express their opposition to Congress and President Barack Obama’s health care plans. Common methods of expression have included shouting at legislators until they give up and hijacking the discussion to focus on the pressing issue of Obama’s citizenship. These birth certificate fanatics, despite having been shown irrefutable evidence to the contrary, hope to remove Obama from office by proving that he was never born in the United States (as if Joe Biden becoming president would actually end their complaining).

The economy still sucks. The war in Afghanistan is going worse than ever. Swine flu may or may not kill us all. But whatever happens, the Daily will be here to cover it. We would like you to be here with us. So write letters to the editor and submit viewpoints. Let us know what stories you care about and what you think of them. The Daily is your student newspaper, but we can only fulfill this role with your help and attention.

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