To the Daily:
The University should not only recruit outside of the state
A Daily editorial last week pointed to a drastic drop in state funding for education as a harbinger that will force college admission administrators to look outside Michigan for the talent pool desired for incoming students (Un-leveling the field, 10/12/2007). To suggest that diminishing state funds will result in cuts to extracurricular and sport programs is a valid point. To draw a conclusion that involvement in extracurriculars and sports will provide colleges with the ideal renaissance student is a big stretch.
The single greatest factor influencing college admissions is ability to pay for education. While higher education may purport to require increasingly demanding criteria for admission, competition for money influences college admissions more than the need to include students from different economic, racial, religious, social and gender communities.
Is babysitting your siblings while your parents work an extracurricular activity? What about working at McDonald’s to help pay the bills for a family struggling to make ends meet? Given the unusually distressed Michigan economy, legislators must decide what form of funding will best serve its colleges and universities. A college student’s success is determined by the ability to meet degree requirements, not the ability to attend football games or join student clubs. Should state government subsidize buildings and programs unrelated to matriculation?
Michigan residents rise above the cookie-cutter applicants to higher education. We are unique, talented people with the ability to change the future, not just leave it in limbo. We are the biologist or the engineer whose talents will cure cancer, AIDS and Alzheimers, and whose compassion will fund health care for those who can’t afford it. Our state universities should be proud to admit Michigan residents.
Stem cell research would bring many economic benefits
It was interesting to find an article about the proposed repeal of the state’s ban on embryonic stem cell research (‘U’ scientists welcome stem cell ban repeal, 10/17/2007) in the same edition of the Daily that included a story about the importance in Michigan’s future of the technology industry (Tech industry is key for state’s future, leaders say, 10/17/2007). One of many substantial benefits of embryonic stem cell research is its ability to boost the economy in a state like Michigan, which is suffering from economic downfall.
Scientists around the country are working in a thriving biomedical industry that incorporates embryonic stem cell research – an industry that does not exist in states like Michigan, North Dakota, South Dakota, Louisiana, Indiana and Arkansas. When people read that list of six states, Michigan sticks out like a sore thumb. We think of Michigan as a center for growth and progress, not as one of the most restrictive states in the country.
Proponents of embryonic stem cell research know that education is the most powerful weapon; when people learn the truths about the research, their support follows. In the Daily article on stem cells, Pam Sherstad says Right to Life of Michigan would not support any research that would destroy an embryo. However, the current ban on embryonic stem cell research does not protect a single embryo from destruction; it only impedes the groundbreaking research.
The only embryos used for research will be donated embryos that have no chance of ever becoming a child and are going to be thrown away. It was once unfortunate that in-vitro fertilization clinics produce extra embryos and defective embryos that had to be discarded. But embryonic stem cell research has allowed for that unfortunate downside to instead be a source of hope and progress. The trash-bound embryos can be saved from destruction and used to help cure a myriad of diseases.
I urge everyone to educate themselves about this complicated issue. Discover the truths; they will prove how ethical and promising embryonic stem cell research really is.
The letter writer is president of the Student Society for Stem Cell Research.
There is no better solution than a tax increase. Accept it already.
Columnist Robert Soave argues that Michigan’s expansion of the sales tax to include some services will destroy the economy and eventually the state itself (Taxes are a dubious solution, 10/09/2007). If taxes are a dubious solution, then please provide a better one. Unfortunately, Soave relies on a basic downward-spiral argument without using any relevant facts. One could use his same argument to criticize any tax ever proposed in the history of the world. Baseless criticism without solution should not have a place in any newspaper.
Dean W. Baxtresser
First-year law student