Donations to university are at an all-time high

To the Daily:

The article Giving to colleges up, but not at ‘U’ (02/23/2007) may have left the mistaken impression that charitable giving to our university is decreasing. In fact, giving to the University is at an all-time high.

The report from the Council for Aid to Education cited in the article only includes information on cash gifts, not pledges. So, for example, school of business alum Steven Ross’s record $100-million pledge would not be included. The report also compares only two years of donations. In each of the last five fiscal years, the University has set records for cash gifts, going from about $168 million in fiscal year 2002 to more than $275 million in fiscal year 2006.

The report also indicates that the University is the highest-ranking public university in gifts from individuals. Gifts and pledges to the $2.5-billion Michigan Difference Campaign demonstrate this increased giving even more clearly. As of January 2006, gifts, pledges and bequest intentions totaled $2.024 billion. By January 2007, they had grown to $2.410 billion.

The University is fortunate to have many generous donors willing to step forward and provide support for student financial aid, faculty teaching and research, academic programs and the world-class facilities we enjoy. Their support provides the margin of excellence that makes ours a truly great university.

Robert Groves

University associate vice president for development

Maybe it’s time to move the Big House to the Diag

To the Daily:

After reading Theresa Kennelly’s column arguing that city planners should blindly accept any proposal that increases density around campus (The fate of Melrose Place, 03/05/2007), I thought I would apply her logic to campus itself.

The Diag, for example, is a complete waste of space and would be much better utilized as a 10-story mass of offices, labs and classrooms. Then engineers, architects and music students wouldn’t have to ride the bus everyday. Or, since we’re spending half a billion dollars on a new football stadium, why not put it in a more central location?

I would certainly like to see housing density increase around campus, but there is no reason to tear down Melrose Place. Why replace student housing with slightly more student housing? Why demolish an architectural gem when there are vacant and blighted buildings a stones throw away?

Why not encourage these well-intentioned developers to snatch up the decaying building that houses Good Time Charley’s? That building currently has a grand total of zero occupants, and its peeling paint and broken fence are an eyesore. Not only would the demolition of Charley’s allow the current residents of Melrose Place to remain put, but, replacing it with a multiuse high-rise would make a good trade for the city and students.

Jon Koller

Engineering senior

Viewpoint writer has no handle on rape or feminism

To the Daily:

I am appalled at James Dickson’s viewpoint about feminism and the campus group called the F-Word (Don’t be afraid to challenge feminism, 03/06/2007). I thought the viewpoint was poorly researched and based on assumptions. Does Dickson know anything about rape and how it’s processed in court? Has he ever attended an F-Word meeting?

I am not an F-Word member but I do know members. The solutions Dickson proposes are quick fixes that do not address the issue of sexism or why women are victimized. Yes, more lighting around campus would be great, but why should women be scared to walk outside at night at all?

It is clear to me that Dickson has never seen sexism, even though it stares him in the face everyday. As someone who has experienced sexism and knows people who have been sexually assaulted, it hurts me to see such ignorance.

Allison Leung

Medical School student

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