To the Daily:

Where is the response to the Northern Illinois shooting?

On April 17, 2007, University President Mary Sue Coleman released a statement offering condolences to the Virginia Tech community in the wake of the tragedy, as well as support to any members of the University community who felt they needed it.

On Feb. 14, 2008, there was a shooting at Northern Illinois University. The University of Michigan has offered no response. This is the second high-profile college shooting in the past year. The University of Michigan claims to provide a safe environment for its students, but when it offers no support or information to its students in response to a tragedy at a university very similar to ours, I find this commitment hard to believe.

The University immediately responded to the widespread distress over the location of graduation, yet it couldn’t manage to issue any statement to the community regarding the shooting at Northern Illinois. Universities across the country have offered Northern Illinois their condolences, while we have not. Whether or not one has personal ties to Northern Illinois, this affects all of us, as members of a university community. I am extremely disappointed that my university has done nothing to address this most recent tragedy.

Amanda Zrust
LSA senior

Shovel your sidewalks, please

One of the great pleasures of Ann Arbor is being able to walk from my Burns Park home to my lab without the stress of traffic or parking. Since I am approaching that age where slipping and falling on pavement is becoming a worry, this winter has turned my morning ritual into test of balance and stability. One reason is that so many of the large fraternity and sorority houses along my route fail to clear the sidewalks.

I find it amazing that the 30 or more strong, healthy students living in some of these houses can’t manage to clear 40 feet of walkway. Boys and girls, if you want to act like grown-ups, get out and shovel. Do it not because it is a city ordinance, because it might save an old man’s hip (or you from liability) or because it is great exercise. Do it because it is the right thing to do.

Greg Dressler
The letter writer is an associate professor of pathology in the Medical School

A2 policy is unfair when undefined

I don’t have any problem with the city of Ann Arbor giving tickets to houses with excessive amounts of trash as a news story detailed Monday because the city obviously has a vested interest in maintaining a clean city (Near campus, a dirty war over garbage, 02/18/2008). If a family lives near a student house that constantly has trash scattered in its front yard, the property value of that family’s home will likely decrease.

That being said, I believe that the current enforcement of this policy is ridiculous. In the past, I lived near State Street and Hoover Street. My house received a ticket once for having a beer pong table with cups on it in the front yard, even though none of these cups were on the ground. The next day, we received another ticket because some trash had blown into our yard from nearby houses, even though the table had been removed. Because the people who previously lived in our house had also received two tickets, we received fines for third and fourth offenses. All in all, my house was fined around $750 for having a table in our front yard.

Ann Arbor needs to define this policy more clearly. Though students cause problems in the city, they are also the reason why the city is shielded from Michigan’s current economic situation. Residents need to realize this and be a bit more thankful that 35,000 rich kids descend on their city each year.

Chris Vessels
LSA senior

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