Marching band’s fortitude and dignity worthy of commendation

To the Daily:
Like many students here at the University, I have taken great pride in our marching band. They continually represent our school with dignity and respect, and their hard work and commitment is inspiring. This past Tuesday they surpassed themselves yet again. Having woken up early Monday morning to march in the Rose Bowl Parade and subsequently the halftime show, the band members voluntarily chose to forgo their only free day in Los Angeles. Instead of finally taking a break from practicing and performing and staying in California to enjoy the weather-, the band flew back to Michigan to perform at the ceremony for President Ford. The band again represented our school better than any of us could have asked. So thank you, Michigan Marching Band – you are truly the leaders and the best.

Devin Sullivan
Ross School senior

New design for North Quad an architectural relief

To the Daily:
Baseball great Ted Williams offered a two-part formula for good hitting: Bat according to your style and wait for the right pitch. All too often the University Board of Regents ignores both pieces of advice when approving building designs. Examples include the Life Sciences Institute and the School of Social Work. However, with North Quad – the proposed dormitory for the northern gateway to Central Campus – they let a bad pitch sail wide of the plate and waited for something they could hit.

While the original designs for North Quad seemed to be drawn by architects who had never visited Ann Arbor, the new design feels like home. What a fantastic bookend to match the elegant Weill Hall, the new public policy building that stands at the southern entrance to campus. These two most impressive structures compliment the great Michigan campus buildings from the 1920’s and ’30s instead of trying to win prizes for their designers with steel and glass contraptions.

What a relief! North Quad could have been, and was nearly, a disaster. Now, I look forward to its making a great campus even greater.

Scott Kashkin
Class of ’84

Needless closures of Wolverine Access illogical at best

To the Daily:
The logic put forth in The Michigan Daily’s article on why Wolverine Access closes nightly (Why does Wolverine Access close?, 11/02/2006) is ridiculous. Claims that the website must be inaccessible for three hours every night (and more on weekends) so that server maintenance and data backups can be performed are simply silly. There is no legitimate technical reason that a website should regularly need that much time for any sort of maintenance or back-ups.

Wolverine Access does not have more data than sites like Google, whose search crawler uses more than 850,000 gigabytes of information. It also does not have more personal or financially sensitive information than e-commerce sites like Amazon.com, which store credit card information for each of its tens of thousands of customers. These sites are never closed to back up data or perform back-end maintenance – it is all done while the site is live.

The University should have the resources to design its “gateway to administrative systems” website so that back-ups and maintenance can be done while the site is up and running. The fact that the site is inaccessible so often contradicts the University’s claim that it gives it students the best. If the site is maintained in-house, I suggest a complete overhaul. If an outside company is being paid for this, changing companies is the best choice. In either case, the site needs to be available 24/7 (except for scheduled maintenance). It also requires major usability changes. Freshmen don’t need backpacking tutorials because the concept of pre-registering for classes is confusing. It’s the interface which renders the back button useless, uses confusing terms and links as well as requiring five clicks for a simple operation that frustrates freshmen and seniors alike.

Tom Haynes
LSA sophomore

Michigan man’s homage to No. 38

To the Daily:
As a Michigan man, I admired Gerald Ford’s work ethic and decency. And as a Michigan man, I applauded his self-sacrifice in making tough decisions to help bind our nation’s wounds. And most of all, as a Michigan man I have been immensely proud of him for his honesty, integrity and courage as he refused to acquiesce to mass media’s wishful rewriting of Michigan football history. He never let himself be baited into taking credit for his All-American teammates’ gridiron accomplishments. Fielding Yost, Willie Heston, Adolph ‘Germany’ Schulz, Harry Kipke, Bennie Oosterbaan, All-American teammates Chuck Bernard, “Whitey” Wistert and Herman Everhardus as well as all the other Michigan greats enshrined in Wolverine Valhalla have surely approved and reserved him a special place among them.

J. Charles Bernard, Jr.
Class of ’62

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