Daily focuses only on negative side of Detroit

To the Daily:

 I cannot say how disappointed I am with Daniel Adams’s column (The myth of the Detroit renaissance, 01/31/2005) and in the Daily in general. I am preparing to graduate in April, and in all my time here, I do not think I have read one article about Detroit that did not include a negative perspective or underhanded remark. Even when you tried to celebrate Detroit in Weekend Magazine last year, you still managed to fit in enough of the downfalls to outweigh the good aspects. If I did not know better, I would say the Daily is deliberately perpetuating the stereotypes and myths about Detroit. We are a diverse campus with students from all over the country and the world, many of who have no personal experience with Detroit. What do these students think when they read the Daily describe Detroit as a “failing city,” rife with violence, political turmoil and economic setbacks? The Daily has failed to give a balanced viewpoint on Detroit and has consistently downplayed all the improvements that have been made.

I acknowledge that Detroit is struggling to overcome many obstacles, but why do we always have to focus on the problems? Drew Sharp’s column in last Saturday’s Detroit Free Press did a good job of illustrating how Detroit can recognize its problems, like any major city, but not dwell on them. Detroit is trying to fix itself, but we do not need to make the job harder by saying things like “stop talking about the renaissance.” Momentum is a precious thing, and it would be a shame to waste all of it that we have built up in recent years. I do not know how much time Adams has spent in Detroit, but I have lived there my entire life, and for the past five years, I have worked downtown during the summers. I hear about the renaissance as well, but I also see growth everywhere and people coming to have a good time, not in spite of being in Detroit, but because they are in Detroit. Detroit a failing city? I hear about it. I just don’t see it. So to Adams and the Daily still talking about it: Please stop.

Paul Indyk

LSA senior

 

Columnist ignorant, too pessimistic about Detroit

To the Daily:

 In The myth of the Detroit renaissance (01/31/2005), Daniel Adams referred to Jefferson Avenue as Jefferson Street. Any person who has spent any appreciable time in Detroit would have known better. His accusations against the city are poorly researched and based largely on media speculation surrounding Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick. Instead of offering new ideas or insight into the real problems of urban sprawl, urban redevelopment, policy change, etc., he has chosen to join the “Detroit sucks” bandwagon. Apparently he missed the $500 million investment by General Motors into the RenCen. These large projects, while unable to revitalize Detroit alone, make up a critical component of creating a vibrant and livable city.

Last Saturday we drove downtown for the auto show, parked cheaply in a structure away from Cobo, took the People Mover, which dropped us off inside of Cobo, then took the People Mover again to Greektown for dinner. Unlike Adams’s claim that people came downtown to see the auto show and then simply left, I can guarantee that thousands of others did the same thing as we did, pouring millions of dollars into the downtown economy.

When it comes to Detroit, we feel that you can either cop out and join with the “Detroit sucks” crowd or you can realize the problems and help work toward a solution. We read your column, and what we hear is simply another person refusing to give the city a chance, without offering any solution or suggestion to make it better. We hear people spouting that kind of uninformed self-righteousness, and just think: Please stop.

Michael Rohde

LSA senior

Brad Johnson

LSA junior

 

Preserve cheer without offensive vulgarity

To the Daily:

 As I’m sure many are well aware, Executive Associate Athletic Director Michael Stevenson recently made the decision to start ejecting any spectators who participate in the profane ending of the “C-Ya” cheer that has been a staple of the Michigan Hockey experience at Yost Ice Arena. Yost has a reputation of being arguably the most difficult CCHA venue for any away team to perform at, and our Wolverines thrive on the pressure that the crowd puts on the opposition. The proof that supports this is evident when you compare our team’s home record to its away record. Friday’s loss to Northern marked the end of a long home conference winning streak; conversely, at times the team has struggled to perform on the road. The “C-Ya” cheer is not only a catalyst that excites the crowd, it is a piece of Michigan tradition that must be preserved.

I must admit, the cheer has a vulgar ending, and I agree that it must be changed to better represent the character and integrity of University students. It is unfortunate that the current final vulgar word in the chant caught on at all, and it is our responsibility as students to end that recent trend. It should not be necessary for the athletic department to step in to ban words like “cocksucker” from a public arena.

However, the remainder of the cheer has not only added a huge amount of pressure on visiting teams, it sparks a ferocity among the crowd that leads to louder, more energetic and more frequent cheering. That ferocity is the epitome of what it is to be a hockey fan at Michigan. That soul that shines through is the reason that so many students and fans flock to Yost on the cold Friday and Saturday nights, and that spirit is not something that we can, or should, just let go.

My message to the student body that supports the hockey team is this: please be reasonable. Cheer as loud and as intensely as you possibly can, but please, leave the cocksuckers at home.

Matt Rodriguez

Engineering freshman

 

C-Ya chant a part of tradition-rich program

To the Daily:

 As a former hockey season ticket holder and cover boy for the Detroit Free Press “Puck” magazine about the Yost cheers in 2003, I am saddened to read that the athletic department is taking such drastic measures to end what has become such tradition. Yost Ice Arena has been compared to the storied basketball arena Cameron Indoor Stadium at Duke University. Those student fans, like ours at Yost, are known for creative, oftentimes off-color cheers. Students make up these teams and it’s the students that support the teams so ferociously. The athletic department has taken steps to stop the student section before, and this is another step in the wrong direction. First, it split the student section in two parts with the University’s players’ parents in between , then it moved the band to the other side of the ice, hoping that this would end the verbal taunting visiting parents had to endure from the students. Things did not change, thankfully.

Yes, these cheers contain words that parents might found offensive, but these words are much more tame than what you would expect to hear at any other sporting event these days. Red Berenson has told the student section numerous times that we help provide “a goal a game.” By removing these cheers, the tradition is being killed off. Without the students’ cheers, Yost would not be an imposing place to play. Having gone to a few away games while I was at the University, our players receive the same sort of treatment, if not worse when on the road. The University is hated in the CCHA for it great team, hostile stadium and rich tradition, so why fix what isn’t broken?

Ben Madden

Alum

 

Local man explains his actions, thanks students

To the Daily:

 My name is Kennie. I panhandle to obtain bus fare for job interviews, food and to pay for temporary shelter with friends. I grew up in Ann Arbor and am just between jobs. I mean no harm and asking for change just helps me survive another day until things get better. I would also like to thank all of the wonderful University students for their generosity and kindness. This is why the University is the best school — because of the big-hearted people I encounter each day. So thank you for helping me out and God bless.

Kennie (no last name provided)

The letter writer is an Ann Arbor resident.

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