A graduation e-mail surprise from ‘U’

To the Daily:

In December 2007 I graduated from the University’s Ross School of Business, and I have a piece of advice that I would like to pass along to all graduating students: Save your e-mails before you graduate.

When I signed up for my e-mail account through the University, I was told to choose my uniqname wisely because I would have it for the rest of my life. However, the University failed to mention that I would have to pay to continue my e-mail account after I graduated. I found this out when my e-mail was cut off the other day without any other warning. When I called Information Technology Central Services to ask about my account, I was told that it would cost $10 per month to continue with my e-mail address. After paying more than $70,000 for my master’s degree, I figured the least the University could do was keep its promise of providing me with an e-mail account that was supposed to be “permanent.”

Next time the Alumni Association calls me and asks for a donation, I’m going tell it that I already gave my allocation to ITCS.

Brian Cain
Alum

Streetcars are back in style and worth a shot

To the Daily:

When I read the editorial Friday advocating that the city of Ann Arbor buy streetcars, I realized that I have come full circle in my life (A desire named streetcar, 03/07/2008). Streetcars are back in vogue, and I love it.

I am old enough to remember riding streetcars in Detroit. For younger people streetcars are hip and modern; for me they open an encyclopedia of wonderful memories.

When my husband and I went on our first date to the Fox Theatre in downtown Detroit over 50 years ago, we took a streetcar. Growing up, I rode the streetcar with my family to visit friends, go to work, attend church and go shopping. I can still hear the click of the tracks and feel the sway of the ride as the streetcar picked up speed.

I say go ahead with bringing streetcars to Ann Arbor, including some form of shuttle transportation into the city from surrounding places. Streetcars are environmentally friendly and worth considering as an “original and exhilarating way to get around the city,” as the editorial contended. I love it.

Mary Badalamenti
University Health Service staff

Missing a chance to confront consumerism

To the Daily:

Shakira Smiler’s most recent column (The high cost of success, 03/07/2008) transformed a real issue into a superficial tantrum. From the article’s title, readers might have thought Smiler would talk about the challenge of affording a complete business wardrobe before even landing a job requiring expensive attire. Whether purposeful or not, appearances matter in interviews, putting a financial strain on those who already struggle to make their tuition payments. Instead of discussing this serious issue, Smiler gave us a glimpse into a life of over-consumption and fiscal irresponsibility.

None of the purchases that Smiler detailed have any professional use. Instead, she buys these things to “keep up with (her) rich friends.” The frivolity these items and inadequate reason for having them only trivializes the real problems confronting people who genuinely want to afford a quality education.

Smiler had an opportunity to shine light on a problem that receives little attention. Instead, she chose to flaunt her lifestyle of excess while simultaneously bemoaning her lack of funding.

Scott Rudolph
Rackham

Using microcredit to empower women

To the Daily:

Though many people might not have been aware of it, Saturday was International Women’s Day 2008. Women’s rights have been greatly enhanced by a constant urge to allow more female participation in society. With more women in the boardroom, genuine equality in legislative rights and more political involvement among women, you might think that women have gained true equality. However, serious problems exist in Africa and other parts of the world, where women are deprived of their basic right to life.

One of many effective methods to empower women has been microcredit loans. Microcredit loans provide women with credit to lessen their economic dependence on men and develop self-confidence. For instance, Joyce Wairimu was a beggar in the worst slum area of Nairobi. Because of microcredit loans, she has been able to run six businesses and employ 62 people.

Despite the international success of microcredit loans, America has not implemented them as main development tools. Write to your legislators and ask them to support increased investment in microfinance and microenterprise development programs, specifying that half the funding goes to the very poor. I cannot think of any better way to celebrate International Women’s Day 2008.

Jae Seung Lee
LSA freshman

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