Confused writer picks Michigan and OSU

To the Daily:

I’d like to congratulate Kevin Wright for being one incredibly confused football writer and Michigan fan. I can’t think of another soul who would have the stupidity (forgetfulness, lack of respect, shortage of common sense) to write a column boasting how Michigan is going to triumph over Ohio State in last week’s Football Saturday section (Dueling columns: This is the year for ‘M’, 11/16/2007) and still pick Ohio State to win the game five pages later (Staff picks, 11/16/2007). Bravo.

Michael O’Brien

Engineering junior

Understaffed drive costs ‘U’ the battle

To the Daily:

Though most of campus will undoubtedly feel the sting of the football team’s loss to Ohio State on Saturday, the loss of the Blood Battle by a mere four pints is also disappointing. Because this friendly contest between Michigan and Ohio State is the largest blood drive in the nation, I was excited to take part. I’ve given blood in the past and although the process itself is as uncomfortable as it is enjoyable, I have always looked upon it as a positive experience overall and try to donate whenever I can.

However, this time the experience was more frustrating than uplifting. I scheduled an appointment online and arrived on time Friday afternoon, but I waited almost three hours for my number to be called. After answering the preliminary questions and getting a blood test for iron, I lay on a bed for almost another 30 minutes waiting for the process to begin. All in all, I was at the Michigan Union for almost four hours. In that time, I saw many people leave after waiting patiently for a few hours; others left immediately upon hearing how long they would have to wait.

It’s really disheartening to see that the student interest was there, but the necessary number of staff members were not. I greatly appreciate the help of the nurses and volunteers who gave so much of their time to help the cause, because without them, the blood drive would not be possible. However, I have to wonder why the drive was so understaffed.

With the appropriate number of nurses, how many more students would have stuck around and had the opportunity to actually donate. Enough to win the battle? And how many students will be more hesitant to donate in the future after a bad experience? Let’s just say 14-3 isn’t the only loss that saddened me this weekend.

Kelsie Thelen

LSA junior

Live trees create many reasons to celebrate

To the Daily:

It’s almost Christmas again, and almost everyone will buy a Christmas tree. This season, before buying an artificial tree, consider buying a live one. Live Christmas trees have many benefits over artificial trees. The trees you buy at a local farm are grown on Michigan soil and cared for by Michigan farmers. That fake tree you pick up at a store was most likely made in a factory in China. Tree farms have many environmental benefits, while factories only consume resources. A live tree is 100 percent biodegradable, while trees made of plastic and metal will collect and sit in landfills for a long time.

Picking out a tree is a favorite holiday activity for millions each year. Once the tree is home, the entire family can enjoy decorating it together. A beautiful live tree makes the household complete during the holidays. And a plastic tree can never replace that fresh pine smell. Cutting down live trees each year may seem wasteful, but it is quite environmentally friendly. Trees are 100 percent renewable – new ones can be planted to replace the ones cut down – whereas artificial trees require nonrenewable resources like petroleum. If you’re still not convinced, some local farms in Michigan also offer potted trees. These trees come in their own pots, so there is no need to mess with a tree stand. They will not drop as many needles on the floor, and they can be replanted.

So this year do something different for Christmas. Support the environment and your local economy by buying a local, live tree.

Larissa Stassek

LSA junior

Firearm bans make campus less safe

To the Daily:

As president of the University chapter of the College Libertarians, I would like to respond to Thursday’s editorial (Misfire, 11/15/2007) claiming that our group should not have given a gun voucher away and that gun laws should be tightened to protect students. It asked “Wouldn’t more guns just increase the likelihood of tragedies like the one at Virginia Tech?”

I spoke to a police officer from Ypsilanti who informed me that when guns are banned in certain places, such as college campuses, they become “soft targets.” What this means is that if I want to mug somebody at gunpoint, I will do it at such a place, because I know my victim won’t have a gun. Thus campuses are less safe without guns.

As for future massacres like Virginia Tech, no would-be murderer is going to think about the legality of gun ownership. Gun control simply makes it impossible for students to defend themselves from these crazy people. Virginia Tech was a gun-free zone during the time of the massacre, and the shooter knew that. Gun bans on campus simply leave students to be slaughtered when murderers go on shooting rampages.

I’m not crazy. In fact, I’ve never even shot a gun, but when some idiot shoots at my fellow students, I want them to be able to shoot back.

Eric Plourde

LSA sophomore

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