As 2010 draws to a close, the Daily is feeling retrospective. The year has been a roller coaster. President Barack Obama spoke at the Big House, the first openly gay Michigan Student Assembly president was elected and then attacked by a bigoted government official, the football season was (once again) lackluster and the Michigan hockey team made an impressive showing at the Big Chill at the Big House, among other things. But looking back, we’re reminded to look forward. There’s a lot to be done in 2011 — at the federal level, in Michigan and here in Ann Arbor.
Our first wish is unlikely — or perhaps impossible. Congress should stop being completely worthless. Specifically, it should pass the DREAM (which stands for Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors) Act. And ditch the incredibly outdated ban on LGBT individuals in the military. In the next year, please be productive, Congress.
It’s always dangerous to ask the federal government to do things, but we would also like it to stop Asian carp from taking over the Great Lakes. Since the U.S. House of Representatives unanimously passed the Asian Carp Prevention and Control Act without bickering, the federal government can now shut Illinois locks to slow the carp’s progress, assuming Obama signs the act into law. The federal government should get moving to stop the progress of the scariest fish since Jaws.
Another wish we have may sound a bit trivial, but we care, anyway. The Michigan football team should win the Gator bowl, please. A bowl game win would be a sort-of-nice ending to a sort-of-awful season.
Our next suggested resolution is for the University administration and Board of Regents. It’s pretty simple: Don’t raise tuition again. Just don’t.
On the opposite end of the triviality spectrum is our wish for increased diversity in the faculty. According to the Senate Advisory Committee on University Affairs, the percentages of black and Hispanic faculty are the same now as they were in 1994 (though there was admittedly a spike of black faculty in 2002). That doesn’t seem like it aligns with the University’s supposed love of diversity.
Google Fiber would be a nice gift for the city. Internet that is 100 times faster? Virtually instantaneous information exchange, which would benefit the entire University population, especially the University Health System? Yes, please. We’re counting on you, Larry Page.
And the city government should give us back our porch couches. The outdoor couch ban is simply a bad ordinance. The city should instead work with landlords and student groups to improve fire safety awareness and make sure all houses are up to code.
The next resolution is one that’s going to take two to make happen: The Open Housing Initiative and the University administration should decide that by fall 2011, there will be an open housing option available to students.
2011 won’t be easier than 2010 — the United States is still embroiled in two costly wars, the fate of the Bush tax cuts is uncertain, governor-elect Rick Snyder has a lot on his plate and Ann Arbor’s street lighting is still subpar. But the list above is a nice place to start.