To the Daily:

Students must stick by basketball team

While it is bad enough that some of the pompous, spoiled alumni who call themselves “Michigan Men” continue to stay away from Crisler Arena, why are students absent?

As Michigan boys and girls who will soon be Michigan men and women, students should cherish the opportunity they have to sit courtside with hundreds of their classmates and cheer on the student athletes who are working their tails off in the name of Michigan athletics. How can 25,000 students pack the Big House on a 95 degree September day in a meaningless game against some non-conference team, yet only a couple hundred students make it out to Crisler Arena for any game against a top-25 team?

It is embarrassing. Stop waiting for the team to get good and support them when they need it most.

Robert Kaye

Farmington, Mich.

Home sweet home?

In response to the Daily’s article last week about the Michigan Student Assembly petition to extend winter break (Petition could stretch break, 01/03/2008) I have one thing to say: WTF?

Why would anyone want to spend more time with family? All break long you have to listen to your parents complaining about you being a failure and asking when you are going to get your act together. Then they wonder why you are making plans to come back early.

For those who feel break is too short, I have a solution: Go to Bryan, Ohio for two weeks. It feels like an eternity.

Kolby Roberts

LSA senior

Obama’s Iowa victory is sign of change

Thursday’s Iowa caucuses were a victory for hope, as Barack Obama, son of a Kenyan father and Kansan mother, won the critical first step towards the Democratic nomination for president. Not only is this a historical moment of a biracial man winning in a state that is overwhelmingly rural and more than 90 percent white; it was made possible by the incredible turnout among young people.

We’ve all heard that our generation is too passive, that the 1960s were the golden years of political involvement, that we are just too self-centered, lazy and cynical to make a serious mark on the political landscape. On Thursday night our generation made a stand, shocking pollsters and pundits with renewed turnout and a passion for Obama.

Obama in many ways seems to be connecting to the young voters and disillusioned Americans in a way that has not been seen since the death of Bobby Kennedy. His message of unity, hope, strength and sensibility was a huge factor in triggering participation in the caucuses by roughly 236,000 Iowa primary voters, shattering all previous records. Obama is shaking up the system and doing so by avoiding lobbyist money and appealing to the middle class on substantive issues rather than using fear tactics and political mudslinging. He represents hope. Previously, many have felt apprehension that a candidate so unique and visionary as Obama has not been seen in a generation and that our political system seems dominated by so many figures distinct from him.

What chance does hope have against political machines, cynical politics and the influence of lobbyists? Apparently, a candidate for hope has more than enough for a 9-point advantage.

Avi Bhuiyan

LSA sophomore

Students helped Obama in Iowa, too

In Friday’s coverage of the Iowa caucuses (Most campus campaign groups don’t make trip to Iowa, 01/04/2008), the Daily reported that the University’s chapter of Students for Hillary was the only group to canvass in Iowa. This is not an entirely accurate statement.

The University’s chapter of Students for Obama has been to Iowa twice in the past several months to campaign for the Illinois senator. In October, 12 of these students drove to Iowa, where we spent our fall break going door-to-door to canvass for Obama. At the homes of Iowa residents in two small communities, our members talked to individuals about their issue positions, garnering support for the candidate as part of a three-day campaign effort. During winter break, three members of the organization also spent their time in Iowa working on Obama’s campaign, culminating in his victory there on Jan. 3.

Political student groups at the University have been hard at work for months to raise awareness and garner support for their respective candidates. This is an effort that is especially important because young people in America are an inconsistent voting subgroup.

The Daily should have worked harder to give credit where credit was due. It should have recognized the accomplishments and efforts of all of the groups devoting their time and energy to candidate victories in Iowa even if it did not occur immediately at the Iowa caucuses.

Kym Lovell

LSA junior

West Virginia: Stop crying about coaches

I am tired of whiny people writing letters to the Daily about how Michigan “stole” West Virginia’s coaches. These coaches came to the University because there are more opportunities here. The University’s Athletic Department and campus are bigger and better. Accept that.

I also doubt people at West Virginia complained when their school hired away Rodriguez from Glenville State. Let’s not be hypocrites.

Matt Phillips

Alum

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