Time to get rid of preferences for children of alumni

To the Daily:

The University and its president, Mary Sue Coleman, are right to argue vigorously in public and legal arenas for diversity. But isn’t the University’s policy of considering legacy based on applicants’ relationship to University alumni in its admissions decisions a statement against diversity? Isn’t such a policy a small but meaningful nod to oligarchy, a wink to privilege and power that, when all is said and done, it is still business as usual at the University?

It would seem that ending legacy preferences has something in it for almost everybody. For those in favor of diversity in all its glorious colors and forms, ending such a practice is a no-brainer. For those opposed to any sort of affirmative action, who wouldn’t fight against affirmative action for the affluent?

It is time for the University to do away with a practice that is, indeed, a legacy – but of a time and type that we must move past.

Randall Rivet
School of Social Work

Street lights as likely to attract space aliens as deter crime

To the Daily:

I read with interest the Daily’s article regarding a student appeal to the Ann Arbor City Council to improve street lighting south of the main campus (A bright idea: Make streets safer with light, 12/12/2006).

When I bought a condo here in mid-2004, I was surprised to see what appeared to be streetlights designed to entice space aliens to visit Ann Arbor. I hope that type of fixture is not what “Make Ann Arbor Bright” wants the city to install.

Not all street lighting reduces crime. For example, see the website maintained by the International Dark Sky Association website, www.darksky.org.

Dietrich Bergmann
Engineering, Class of ’61

Policies to encourage double-sided printing would save innocent trees

To the Daily:

Robert Jones’s letter (Printing allocation is the product of careful management, 12/07/2006) explains some ways Campus Computing Sites is working to keep costs of printing low. However, I think the Campus Computing sites have really failed to encourage saving trees. As a former LSA Student Government and Michigan Student Assembly representative, I saw both student governments request that Information Technology Central Services adopt a policy that takes account of double-sided printing by charging less per page. ITCS and Campus Computing Sites have yet to respond. If Jones is serious about conserving resources, he could start with adopting a policy that encourages double-sided printing, which could to reduce significantly the amount of paper used.

Stuart Wagner
LSA senior
The letter writer is a former LSA Student Government and Michigan Student Assembly representative.

Big House will have plenty of wheelchair-accessible seats

To the Daily:

I would like to clarify some information about the number and allocation of accessible seating in Michigan Stadium’s new design that was referred to in the Daily (Disabled vets: Stadium plan violates law, 11/30/2006; Wheeling and dealing, 12/08/2006).

The University is fully committed to the accessibility of Michigan Stadium for all patrons. Currently, every ticket holder who needs a wheelchair-accessible seat is accommodated in Michigan Stadium. The additional accessible seating that is part of the new expansion project will ensure that the University can continue to meet the needs of fans. The current stadium and the expansion project fully comply with the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Increasing the number and location of wheelchair accessible seating has been a priority for the University from the inception of the project. The stadium’s new design nearly triples the number of wheelchair-accessible seats for fans with mobility impairments – from 90 seats to 282 seats. In addition to the 90 existing seats that are located at each end zone, the new stadium design adds 72 accessible seats plus companion seats on the west side of the stadium. These seats stretch from goal line to goal line and will be covered and accessible via a new elevator. The seats offer an excellent, unobstructed view of the entire field. On the east side of the stadium, the new design adds 24 new accessible outdoor club seats plus companion seats and 14 new accessible inside club seats plus companion seats. In addition, there will be a wheelchair-accessible seat in every suite. The total number of accessible seats will increase, and the choice of location will now include both end zones, sideline and club seating.

Kelly Cunningham
The letter writer is a senior public affairs specialist in the University’s Office of Media Relations and Public Affairs.

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