ONE-HUNDRED-TWENTY-FOUR YEARS OF EDITORIAL FREEDOM Wednesday, March 26, 2014
Ann Arbor, Michigan
Polls open for student government elections With revised election codes, candidates to face strict guidelines for two-day event
A student prays before the Central Student Government meeting begins in the Rogel Ballroom at the Michigan Union Tuesday.
Divest resolution rejected CSG proposal voted down after extended public comment period By WILL GREENBERG and KRISTEN FEDOR Daily News Editor and Daily Staff Reporter
After hours of discussion and debate, the Central Student Government reversed the indefinite postponement of the controversial divestment resolution and subsequently voted to not pass it in a 25-9 vote with
five abstentions early Wednesday morning. Hundreds of students lined the second floor of the Michigan Union and entered the Rogel Ballroom on a first-come, firstserved basis Tuesday evening, and more than 2,000 viewers watched CSG’s live-stream of the six-hour-long event. University Police regulated the large crowd that formed both inside and outside the Union and organized the crowds to line up on State Street. Students allowed into the meeting were given tickets and encouraged not to leave the room once they entered. When the meeting began, the number of people in
the room exceeded its 375-person capacity. An additional 200 students were seated in the nearby Pendleton Room as an overflow space. On March 18, many members of SAFE and its supporters attended the CSG Student Assembly meeting to advocate for a proposal to encourage the University to divest from certain companies allegedly involved in human rights violations against Palestinians. After the CSG assembly chose to postpone the vote indefinitely, SAFE and its partners staged an indefinite sit-in in the CSG chambers and formed “calls for accountability,” asking CSG to make
By KRISTEN FEDOR Daily Staff Reporter
With recent rule changes to an already strict election code, Central Student Government presidential candidates will need to remain cautious during the next two days after the CSG election polls opened at midnight Wednesday. Changes to Article VI of the CSG compiled code have increased the severity of consequences for all levels of infractions. Demerits are assigned at the authority of the University Election Commission to individual candidates or parties based on violations of the code. In the past, demerits did not affect a candidate until five demerits were accumulated, at which point that candidate would be removed from the election. If a party received 10 demerits, the entire party would be disqualified.
amends for what SAFE viewed as its poor handling of the situation and to bring the proposal to a full vote. The sit-in garnered attention across campus leading up to Tuesday night’s meeting. This week, individuals both supporting and opposing the divestment resolution attended in significant numbers. SAFE representatives and members of the 36 student organizations that have pledged support for the resolution spoke to the assembly about the proposal. Students who spoke against the resolution did not identify with specific organizations, but were See DIVEST, Page 3A
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Racing team launches new motor vehicle MRacing celebrates latest innovations at Crisler Center By MICHAEL SUGERMAN Daily Staff Reporter
An army of students wearing khakis, brown shoes and blue button-downs embroidered in maize with “MRacing” on the front, stood smiling around their preliminarily finished product Tuesday evening: a Formula SAE race car. The unveiling of the team’s MR-14 car came in the College of Engineering-sponsored program’s 28th year and after nearly 10 months of work designing and manufacturing this year’s vehicle. The event, held in the Junge Family Champions Center at Crisler Center, celebrated the completion of this process. In the presentation, College of Engineering Dean David Munson spoke about the location’s
significance. “Right here, adjacent to Michigan Stadium … it is a perfect setting to recall the oft-repeated phrase from our legendary football coach, Bo Schembechler: ‘The team, the team, the team,’” he said. “MRacing is successful year after year because talented and generous individuals dedicate themselves to the team.” Munson spoke of the stateof-the-art engineering facilities that allowed students to create a Formula SAE car. He complimented the “creative community” of “bright minds and innovative problemsolvers” spanning from all disciplines of campus that contributed to the project. Engineering senior Joe Martin, MRacing team captain, said the main issue this year’s team faced in building its car was to improve its aerodynamics package. This package, he said, has three main physical compoSee RACING, Page 3A
Under the new code, each demerit results in a 3-percent deduction of total weighted votes in the election. The UEC now also has the power to issue an official warning instead of a demerit. The warning does not carry any penalty like a demerit does. One of the minor infractions that a warning has been used for was the absence of several candidates at the mandatory candidates’ meeting that took place Feb. 27. A violation at this level usually calls for one to two demerits to be issued to the individual candidate. Prior to the hearing, Law student Bryson Nitta, election director, said the precedent of issuing a warning for this offense was a likely possibility. “The way that we’re approaching this is with an awareness that there can be big consequences down the road that might not be commensurate with the problem that arises when a candidate doesn’t come to the meeting,” he said. The results of the March 12 UEC hearing regarding these infracSee ELECTIONS, Page 2A
Ice cream shop to open on W. Liberty this summer Blank Slate Creamery influenced by natural flavors, ingredients By CHRISTY SONG
Detroit Emergency Financial Manager Kevyn Orr speaks about the future of urban governance in Detroit during the Policy Talks sponsored by the Ford School of Public Policy in the Michigan Union Tuesday.
Detroit EM Orr discusses bankruptcy, public service Restructuring, urban governance take center stage in remarks By AMRUTHA SIVAKUMAR Daily Staff Reporter
Exactly one year after becoming the role of Detroit’s emergency financial manager, University alum Kevyn Orr discussed the city’s restructuring
during a visit to the University Tuesday. During the address hosted by the Ford School of Public Policy and titled “The Future of Detroit Urban Governance,” Orr spoke of his intentions to propose financial measures that would address blighted neighborhoods and insufficient public services. Orr, who graduated from the University with a bachelor’s degree in political science in 1979 and a law degree in 1983, said unlike his prior experi-
ence representing Chrysler and other large corporations in bankruptcy filings, developing a plan to restructure Detroit also required improving the city’s level of services. In chronological fashion, Orr explained how he first became involved with the city of Detroit. He said while he initially felt he should turn down the job after being offered the position, a commitment to service motivated him to take the job. “Are you willing to step outSee ORR, Page 3A
Daily Staff Reporter
As Ann Arbor continues to freeze over, a new ice cream shop is getting ready to add a little more chill — this summer, at least. Blank Slate Creamery, an ice cream store offering 24 flavors, is expected to open in June at the corner of First Street and West Liberty. Among the offerings, Blank Slate Creamery will accommodate vegan customers with four flavors of sorbet. Other options include blueberry and prickly pear, as well as creamier flavors, such as Tahitian vanilla, blueberry pancake, white chocolate raspberry swirl chip, pistachio and mocha almond fudge. Blank Slate founder Janice Segler, a University alum, said she wants to keep all ingredients natural and locally sourced. For example, Guernsey Farm in Lansing will supply the See ICE CREAM, Page 3A
pieces of the conflict A look at student activism and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict
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MONDAY: This Week in History
TUESDAY: Professor Profiles
WEDNESDAY: In Other Ivory Towers
THURSDAY: Alumni Profiles
Yale develops Shanghai school are a priority at SJTU, such as lung cancer and diabetes,” Paul Cleary, the dean of Yale’s School of Public Health, said Monday. So far, more than six professors have planned to relocate to conduct research at the facility and collaborate with SJTU faculty and students. Cleary and Zhi-Jie Zheng, the SJTU dean of public health, began discussing plans for the collaborative research institution in 2012. James Franco films scene on Princeton Campus Actor James Franco appeared on Princeton University’s campus
BY HILLARY CRAWFORD
BY ANASTASSIOS ADAMOPOULOS
The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of extending the stay on U.S. District Judge Bernard Friedman’s Friday decision to strike down Michigan’s ban on same-sex marriage. The court listed a parallel Supreme Court ruling that occurred in Utah last January.
The Zell Lurie Commercialization Fund, which was founded in 2005, funded a multitude of startups in the past year. Companies in the early stages of launching their business typically seek amounts between $100,000 and $600,000.
BY JAKE LOURIM
BY SAM GRINGLAS
The Michigan softball team’s game on Tuesday was canceled. However, the Wolverines are still slated to play another conference series this weekend. Much like during last weekend against Indiana, Michigan will look to its bench for an offensive punch in the next game.
The Washtenaw County Trial Court sentenced Nicole Davis, who hit and killed a University student while driving in August, to up to 15 years in prison. The incident sparked new debate regarding the wording in city ordinances regarding crosswalks, which some said confused motorists.
as filming commenced for “The Sound and the Fury,” The Daily Princetonian reported Monday. Washington Road, a thoroughfare close to campus, was shut down for filming. Franco will act in and direct the movie — a period drama set in the early 20th century and based on William Faulkner’s novel of the same name. Kurt Enger, the film’s production supervisor, said the campus location was ideal because it so closely resembled the setting of the film — Cambridge, Massachusetts.
— HILLARY CRAWFORD
Ann Arbor resident Anne Remley hands out Palestinian flags while students wait in line before the CSG meeting in the Michigan Union Tuesday.
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The four people who jumped from the top of One World Trade Center in September have been charged with burglary, reckless endangerment and jumping from a structure, CNN reported. They did have parachutes, however.
This week, The Statement staff explores the recent campus tensions and debates surrounding the IsraeliPalestinian conflict on campus. >> FOR MORE, SEE THE STATEMENT
The JAMA Internal Medicine medical journal released a report that suggests e-cigarettes are not likely to influence users to quit smoking, Reuters reported. The study involved 88 participants located at the University of California, San Francisco.
Student-driven book series to inspire entrepreneurship Children’s literature aims to present achievable goals By HILLARY CRAWFORD Daily Staff Reporter
While the University has launched a host of initiatives designed to encourage student innovators, a new children’s book series titled “Visionary Kids” is aiming to spread the entrepreneurial bug beyond campus and to a younger cohort. Four months ago, two University students interested in entrepreneurship and education began writing their first book in a series designed to present the stories of famous
entrepreneurs in a kid-friendly format. After its completion, the two are now looking to publish more in their series. Both of the authors pulled from their studies to conceive the idea for the book project. LSA senior Sara Abraham is planning to pursue a degree in education and Reda Jaber is pursuing an M.D., MBA and MSCR combined degree, with a focus in entrepreneurship at the Ross School of Business. The two teamed up with illustrator Joaquin Arias to complete the visual aspects of the story. “The Ross B-school heavily influenced Reda in terms of entrepreneurship, and with regards to myself, I am pursuing education and was really drawn to the educational aspect of the
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book,” Abraham said. “With that combined, I would say the University of Michigan really catalyzed this whole project in regards to support and ideas.” Though small children are often inventive and curious, Abraham and Jaber said children are rarely exposed to the real-life success stories that could instill the drive to pursue creative ideas from a young age. Jaber mentioned that after strolling through the children’s book section in several book stores, he and Abraham were disappointed in the way modern-day children’s stories are framed. “A lot of them are fantasy, fairytales; none of them were real-life success stories,” Jaber said. “Especially with the growing emphasis on entrepreneurship around not just the University of Michigan, but throughout the country, we wanted to get kids more interested in entrepreneurship from the get-go when they’re younger.” Jaber said with the current pressure on young people to pursue degrees in STEM fields such as medicine and engineering, parents and educational materials don’t place enough emphasis on entrepreneurship. “Before this program, I really wasn’t exposed to entrepreneurship very much,” Jaber added. “But entrepreneurship was this really fun topic — it brings out the kid in you.” The first book in the series tells the story of Apple
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Yale University announced an official collaboration with Shanghai Jiao Tong University, a leading research institution, The Yale Daily News reported Monday. Yale President Peter Salovey and SJTU President Zhang Jie signed the agreement last week in Shanghai. The new research center, which will be located in Shanghai, will specialize in biostatistics. “An ultimate goal is to identify and facilitate research collaborations not just with biostatisticians at Yale, but colleagues at Yale School of Medicine interested in clinical issues that
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co-founder Steve Jobs. The book tackles the struggles he faced, such as growing up as an adopted child and later dropping out of school. Though the stories address delicate topics, the authors portrayed each as a struggle eventually overcome with perseverance. “The main theme stretching through all of them is that they’re working really hard,” Abraham said. Funded through an online Kickstarter campaign running through March 27, the pair’s $2,500 fundraising goal has already been surpassed by more than $300. The authors included their backers in the creative process by asking for suggestions as to who the next “visionary kid” should be. For the next book, Jaber and Abraham said they would like to focus on local entrepreneurs, such as Dan Gilbert, the founder of Rock Ventures and Quicken Loans, who has most recently spearheaded efforts to redevelop Detroit’s downtown. The authors said they expect the first book to be published by June through CreateSpace, a self-publishing company affiliated with Amazon. In its early stages, the book will be sold exclusively online, but the team hopes to spread their work to local Ann Arbor bookstores and eventually larger national chains. E-books will be sold on Amazon.com for $10 and paperbacks for $12. Additionally, Visionary Kids’ official website will accept preorders in the coming weeks.
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ELECTIONS From Page 1A tions were a mix of warnings and demerits. According to the depositions, candidates who were able to present evidence of “extenuating circumstances” were issued a warning, while those whom the UEC ruled did not sufficiently justify their absence were issued one demerit each. In total, 24 candidates were issued demerits and 10 were issued warnings. Another example of a minor infraction is the posting of campaign materials in prohibited areas. The only places where campaign materials may be posted in University buildings are in designated spaces within those University buildings and residence halls. One of the prohibited areas includes the CSG chambers themselves. No infractions on prohibited posting have been issued thus far. Major infractions earn three to four demerits and include offenses such as influencing students while voting and violating rules governing campaign finances. Egregious infractions call for a minimum of four demerits with at least 12 percent of votes deducted These violations include voting fraud, bribing voters and preventing students from voting. Campaign spending is also limited, according to the code. Individual legislative candidates may only contribute up to $50 toward his or her campaign. Presidential tickets may only spend up to $1,000. Additionally, parties are only allowed to spend up to $1,000 per presidential ticket and $50 per individual legislative candidate. Individual voters are permitted to donate up to $25 per legislative candidate and $100 per presidential ticket, with no more than a combined total donation of $150. Any donations accepted from sources other than individ-
ual candidates, parties or eligible voters are prohibited. The revised code also increases the authority of the UEC with regard to the official campaign period. Under the previous code, there was no restriction to campaigning before the official start of the campaign period at the conclusion of the mandatory candidates’ meeting. Now any possible violations during unofficial campaigning can be ruled on by UEC in a hearing to take place during the official period. Nitta said the change was made as a precaution for a theoretical violation and no such problems regarding unofficial campaigning have occurred. He added that he is working to increase communication with executive candidates and party chairs in order to prevent possible infractions. “I think opening wider communication and informal conversation will be a way to stave off, hopefully, from litigation that might be controversial,” Nitta said. Nitta said he has received multiple e-mails from candidates regarding specific rules of campaigning outlined in the code. “It’s really positive,” he said. “It shows that people are trying to stay within the confines of the rules, and I think that’s great.” However, other student government bodies have recently faced election controversies. The Central Student Judiciary recently invalidated the December 2013 elections for the University of Michigan Engineering Council, ordering that those elected executive officers be removed from their positions. Candidates from two of the parties running in the March 26-27 CSG elections, Make Michigan and FORUM, said they are avoiding such controversies. Both campaigns emphasize a shift away from political agendas.
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ORR From Page 1A side your comfort zone and do something for service?” Orr recalled asking himself. He credited the former University President James Angell’s description of the University’s goal of offering “uncommon education for the common man” for teaching him the philosophy of service during his time as a student. Detroit’s bankruptcy placed pension payouts to thousands of retired city workers in jeopardy. Because the bankruptcy process has included negotiations between the city’s creditors and labor leaders, Orr said the two entities need to reach an agreement regarding the extent to which pension obligations must be repaid. “I don’t want to (cut pensions), but I’m making the hard call, that’s my job,” Orr said. “Reaching a consensual resolution (with creditors) and getting (a retired city worker) to understand they have to give up expectations, particularly those in the twilight of life, is a difficult call.” Though Orr’s presentation
DIVEST From Page 1A encouraged by several members of Hillel to attend. CSG President Michael Proppe, a Business senior, motioned to allow a reconsideration of the indefinite postponement of the divestment bill once the assembly reached the Motions and Other Business portion of the meeting. This motion passed with five dissenting votes, followed by a revote on the motion to indefinitely postpone the bill again, which failed with only seven in support. Proppe’s motion to reconsider Resolution 3-050 then passed with only three dissenting votes. Despite an amendment to line 105 of the resolution, adding the phrase “pending the results of the ad hoc committee,” the proposal did not pass. It was voted on in a secret ballot, an amendment to the rules decided by the assembly to ensure the safety of individual representatives. LSA senior Suha Najjar, one of the original authors of the resolution, said while it wasn’t the complete outcome that members of SAFE wanted, she was happy their voices were not silenced this time. “I am upset. I am disappointed. But more so, I am very proud of what we’ve accomplished,” she said. “Last week there was a decision to indefinitely postpone and resolutions like that don’t get called back in here, but because of our persistence and because of our determination we came back and we fought and we got to say what we wanted to say.” She added that the sit-in is now over and SAFE members will not no longer occupy the CSG chambers. After the vote, supporters of the resolution left the chambers in silence to rally at the Cube in front of the Fleming Administration Building. Speakers at the Cube shared their plans to take a divestment proposal to the University’s Board of Regents, thanked the resolution’s supporters at large — particularly the large number of non-Palestinian supporters — and advised all members to remain cautious on their way home given the perceived hostility on campus after last week’s vote. During the Community Concerns portion of the meeting, selected members of the audience are given a three-minute time allotment during which they are
was punctuated by statistics that confirmed the difficulties Detroit would face in restructuring, his speech focused on how he helped assess the challenges facing the city by releasing a transparent report on its finances. He also outlined some of the initiatives Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan’s administration would implement over the next few months to balance the city’s finances. A portion of Orr’s speech was dedicated to lauding several Detroit area foundations, such as the Kresge Foundation and Kellogg Foundation, which had jointly donated $330 million to protect the Detroit Institute of Arts. Those funds, combined with contributions from DIA donors, will assist the city in fulfilling most of its commitments to pensioners, thus preventing the sell-off of DIA art to pay its bills. Orr credited the foundations as the reason that art from the DIA has not been sold to private investors. The deal is pending approval by a federal bankruptcy judge later this year. “Foundation leaders said this is a particular time in the foundation of America and we need to stand up because oth-
erwise there will be a yard sale in the DIA yard,” Orr noted. “If you don’t think that can happen, there are many sovereign, wealthy, Russian oligarchs, Brazilian millionaires who are calling and inquiring.” Marieke Van Damme, LSA museum project manager, who attended the talk, criticized Orr for neglecting to mention arts as an asset to Detroit’s future. “It was hard to hear him not mention arts and culture to revitalize the arts at all, and instead hear him say that he was going to have a yard sale,” Damme said “He had an incredible opportunity in this presentation to sell Detroit on its history of art and culture, I think creating more sports stadiums is not the way to empower a city.” Rackham student Kumar Raj, an event volunteer, said he appreciated the opportunity to hear firsthand what was happening in Detroit, especially as a student who hoped to live in the city after graduation. “I think you learn a lot of the academic side, and it’s nice to have a practitioner come and speak to all of us on a topic as important as Detroit,” he said.
allowed to make statements to the assembly. During the bill’s second reading, authors of the resolution continued the discussion. Guest speakers opened the meeting, followed by 90 minutes of Community Concerns. Usually, only 30 minutes are allocated for Community Concerns, but the CSG assembly voted twice to extend this time limit. Max Blumenthal, a JewishAmerican author and journalist, served as guest speaker on behalf of SAFE. He was the first speaker of the meeting and opened by praising students of SAFE who have been protesting for the past week. SAFE members responded with sign language applause, since audible cheers were banned by assembly rules. Guests on behalf of Hillel discussed alleged flaws in the divestment resolution. Four speakers on behalf of Hillel were present, including Yael Aronoff, associate professor of international relations at Michigan State University, and four University of Michigan law students. Law student Scott Bloomberg said the resolution indicates there will eventually be a broad and consistent consensus on divestment. He said due to the diversity of views regarding this issue, no such consensus will ever be reached. History Prof. Victor Lieberman, who recently received the Golden Apple Award for teaching and currently teaches the course “The History of the Arab-Israeli Conflict,” delivered a presentation on the history of the conflict. LSA senior Bayan Founas, a SAFE member, said the group was not consulted by CSG about which professor would be presenting to the assembly. She added that several students visited with Lieberman and asked him not to speak because they disagree with his interpretation of the history of the West Bank conflict. Founas said SAFE members requested that Proppe find a different speaker a few hours before the meeting, but were informed it was too late. In response to a question from LSA sophomore Jacob Ruby, an LSA representative, Lieberman said he believes the passage of the divestment resolution would further the broader Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign against Israel. Speakers heard in random order during Community Concerns included students both for and against the resolution at hand. Several students in support
of divestment shared personal stories of life in the Middle East and Palestine specifically. Students against the resolution reiterated sentiments that passage of this resolution would further divide the student body. While CSG executive officers are not permitted to vote on matters of the assembly, they did address the room before members of the assembly began their debates. Proppe advised representatives to consider the strong division of student opinion regarding the resolution when considering its passage. He added that he does not think those representatives who voted to indefinitely postpone the resolution did so with the intent to silence students. CSG Vice President Bobby Dishell, a Public Policy junior, said as a student leader, he lessened his involvement with proIsrael groups once he became a representative. He reiterated that he remains pro-Israel, but does not want his own political beliefs to influence his role as vice president. Dishell and LSA sophomore Meagan Shokar, speaker of the assembly, said the hostile campus climate in the wake of the March 18 meeting threatens the democratic process and would not be tolerated. SAFE representatives told The Michigan Daily that members have been receiving racist comments, have been yelled at on the street by people driving by and have been classified as extremists. CSG members claimed to receive similar threats and members of both groups have reported some individuals do not feel safe enough to attend their classes. Administrators have met repeatedly with SAFE and the members of the sit-in, as well as other groups, hearing the various accounts of threats received by CSG representatives as well as members of the sit-in. In anticipation of the meeting, E. Royster Harper, vice president for student life, sent a campus-wide e-mail early Tuesday evening reminding students of the University’s policy regarding freedom of speech and artistic expression outlined in its Standard Practice Guide. She urged students to remain respectful and tolerant of diverse viewpoints. Harper referred to a previous Daily article, an official response from Proppe and a statement from Palestinian students and allies to provide students with context of the issue.
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ICE CREAM From Page 1A shop’s milk and cream. The ice cream base will consist entirely of eggs, cane sugar and milk, free of any added preservatives, stabilizers or emulsifiers. All of the add-ins, such as peanut butter cups, will also be organic or natural. “We’re trying to make an allnatural product, that even though you’re indulging, you can feel good about eating — something that’s a whole food,” Segler said. The store will feature a glass wall to allow customers to look in on the process of making ice cream. The store will also include games, chalkboards and slates for children to draw on — providing inspiration for the creamery’s name. Segler said she is also in the process of developing partnerships with Mighty Good Coffee
RACING From Page 1A nents: the car’s bottom wing, under-tray and top wing. These components create a pressure differential that ultimately pushes downward to give the car better traction. “It kind of sucks the car down to the ground,” he said. “It’s the same concept that keeps airplanes in the air, just reversed to keeping the car on the ground.” Engineering Prof. Jason Martz, MRacing’s faculty adviser, said the program’s value comes from students’ ability to learn by doing. “Formula SAE provides us with a beneficial, real-world aspect to our students’ education,” he said. “The strong fundamentals acquired here in the classroom at the University of Michigan are applied to real-world problems through participation on this team.” Martz added that concepts such as internal combustion theory and thermodynamics find practical application in the building of a motor vehicle, which makes them more pertinent to study.
Wednesday, March 26, 2014 — 3A and a local chocolate store to add to her bank of flavors. Though Segler wants to keep the focus on ice cream, sundaes and shakes, she also mentioned the possibility of introducing soup to the menu during winter months. Segler’s idea to open a new ice cream store did not materialize overnight. She first first conceived the idea when she was in her twenties. To start, she visited an independent shop in Massachusetts to learn how all-natural ice cream is made and to see whether opening a store was something she really wanted to do. After learning the basics, she returned to Michigan to perfect her flavors and proportions. Segler said she hopes to bring something new to Ann Arbor while keeping a local feel. “We think our product is a good match with what people in the downtown area are looking for,” Segler said. “We didn’t want to be a
shop in a typical strip mall.” Rather than thinking of the new store as competition, the owners of other ice cream shops in Ann Arbor said the Blank Slate Creamery will be a good addition to the community. LSA senior Nick Lemmer, owner of Iorio’s Gelateria on East William Street, said ice cream and gelato are very different products. “Gelato is made with different ingredients, so while it is a little bit of competition, it’s not direct competition,” Lemmer said. “We’re excited that another frozen dessert place will be coming to Ann Arbor because I think it’s important for the market itself.” Chera Tramontin, owner of Kilwin’s on East Liberty, said she did not have any concerns with competition posed by a new ice cream establishment. “I think that’s great for Ann Arbor, and I wish them the best of luck,” Tramontin said.
Joe Fadool, the president of BorgWarner Morse TEC, spoke at the event as well. BorgWarner — an international company that develops technologies to improve motor vehicle emissions, fuel economy and performance — is MRacing’s title sponsor. “We believe in the work that all the administrators and professors are doing right here in Ann Arbor,” he said. “It is this type of work that develops the next generation of scientists, engineers and leaders that we need for our industry.” Fadool also encouraged the students involved with MRacing to consider the automotive industry as a viable future career option — contrary to what some might argue. “The automotive industry is back,” he said. In the coming weeks, MRacing students will test-drive the Formula SAE car. Four of the organization’s members, all of whom have some form of previous racing experience, will operate the vehicle in upcoming competitions. The vehicle will compete in three races: one at the Michigan International Speedway, another
in Lincoln, Nebraska and one at the Hockenheimring, a race track in Germany. Martin said the unveiling is an important “first milestone” for the team prior to competing in the string of racing events. “It’s the first time that everybody gets to see all the components together,” he said. “You get to see all of your work culminate into something that looks like a car instead of just a bunch of parts lying around.” Regardless of the vehicle’s performance in upcoming races, Munson added, the MRacing program’s value exceeds its competitive results. That said, an MRacing vehicle has placed in the top 10 in nine out of its last 10 competitions. Martin added that their organization ranks 36th out of 500 teams in the world. “We look forward to this year’s Formula SAE competition series,” Munson said. “Yes, we want to win, but regardless of the outcome, because of the experiences and the skills created by this opportunity, every team member is a winner, and those of you who support them are victors.”
4A — Wednesday, March 26, 2014
The Michigan Daily — michigandaily.com
Weight of thaw Edited and managed by students at the University of Michigan since 1890. 420 Maynard St. Ann Arbor, MI 48109 email@example.com PETER SHAHIN EDITOR IN CHIEF
MEGAN MCDONALD and DANIEL WANG EDITORIAL PAGE EDITORS
KATIE BURKE MANAGING EDITOR
Unsigned editorials reflect the official position of the Daily’s editorial board. All other signed articles and illustrations represent solely the views of their authors.
FROM THE DAILY
Vote FORUM The Michigan Daily editorial board endorses Manes and Abraham
entral Student Government’s main purpose is to represent the student body, to gauge the needs of University students and work to implement beneficial changes. While current CSG leadership has been effective in bringing about change — such as working to implement a new football seating policy — its efforts have not encompassed the entirety of campus. The next leaders of CSG should strive to fairly incorporate traditionally unheard voices in student government in order to better represent all students at the University. Except for one party, most of the CSG presidential and vice presidential candidates are running on a platform that is either too vague or overly narrow to the point of being exclusionary. The Michigan Daily’s editorial board is endorsing FORUM candidates Carly Manes and Pavitra Abraham for CSG president and vice president because of their inclusive vision and their plan to empower students. While Make Michigan candidates have solid experience in student government, their plans for the future do not fully address current campus concerns. Presidential candidate Bobby Dishell, a Public Policy junior, is currently serving as CSG vice president and vice presidential candidate Meagan Shokar, an LSA sophomore, is the CSG speaker of the assembly. Their proposed initiatives for next year focus primarily on improving the student experience through campus technology — namely the Michigan smartphone app — and mental health. While mental health is an issue that should be addressed by student government — and something FORUM should emphasize — there are other areas of campus life that deserve attention as well. Specifically, campus diversity, as proven by the #BBUM movement, is an issue the future student government should be concerned with. Bringing together the large campus community and ensuring every voice is heard should also be a major focus. Make Michigan’s past experience in student government may prove valuable, but its lack of a comprehensive vision is problematic. Independent candidate Aristide Coumarbatch, an LSA senior, is running under the premise of setting a good example for other students, showing the importance of creating equality and implementing diversity. Coumarbatch decided to forgo the support of a party to demonstrate to students that running for CSG president is achievable by everyone. Having no affiliation with a previous party or experience as a representative, Coumarbatch is completely new to CSG. Though he stresses a “fight for change” and a need to “increase diversity,” Coumarbatch doesn’t offer any specific direction toward execution of these goals. With a lack of objective and no previous experience with the inner workings of the CSG, we’re uncertain as to what Coumarbatch would be able to successfully accomplish. From the Defend Affirmative Action Party, LSA sophomore Mical Holt and LSA freshman Taylor Jones are running for CSG president and vice president. The party offers a strong vision for improving the climate around social justice on campus and should be commended for its initiative in tackling one of the University’s most pressing issues. Whichever party is elected should strive to increase underrepresented
minority enrollment and serve as advocates for affirmative action should the opportunity arise. Especially in light of recent campus events, the goals of DAAP deserve recognition from CSG. However, as a single-issue party, DAAP’s focus is too narrow to fully serve the needs of the entire student body. Capitalizing on the noticeable lack of student engagement with CSG, the Party Party has established itself as a new alternative. Unfortunately, the Party Party has no tangible initiatives to support its unique approach. The party has said that expressing specific goals contradicts the notion that the student body should direct CSG action. While this philosophy is admirable, the Party Party’s lack of concrete goals is concerning and begs the question of what exactly LSA junior Ryan Hayes and Business junior Brennan Woods — the party’s presidential and vice presidential candidates — would do if elected. Their call for increased attention to student engagement is certainly warranted, but CSG needs a leader with a concrete vision to improve the school. FORUM presidential candidate Carly Manes is a Public Policy junior who has held leadership positions in multiple student organizations on campus and has served on LSA Student Government as a freshman and sophomore. Vice presidential candidate Pavitra Abraham is also in her junior year in LSA and is experienced in working as a community organizer on campus. FORUM’s goal of creating a student position on the University’s Board of Regents is indicative of the party’s main focus of improving student representation. FORUM has prioritized students’ voices by pushing an outreach agenda to bring campus perspectives together. In addition to an idealistic vision, Manes and Abraham have specific proposals aimed at improving student life. A bus route to local grocery stores and a SafeRide app to ensure student safety will benefit all of campus. While such an ambitious agenda may seem overwhelming, FORUM’s plan to empower passionate students in specific fields is a smart and inclusive strategy. This year, The Michigan Daily’s editorial board endorses FORUM candidates CARLY MANES and PAVITRA ABRAHAM for CSG president and vice president.
LAUREN GROSSMANN | VIEWPOINT
Stop hating and try a little empathy Everyone carries their own problems on their back and tries to find some blame for things beyond their control. This past week, we saw tensions rise at the University over an issue about disinvesting from the State of Israel, and there has been much controversy over the result. I will be the first to admit I am biased in this issue. I am Jewish and pro-Israel. However, I do not think resolutions like this belong in the hands of our student government. Its job is to enhance the life of students on campus and it should not be forced to play a role in a highly polarizing issue that divides members of the campus. People have been arguing that members of Central Student Government have been “cowards” because they ended the debate on the issue by tabling the motion to end the bill indefinitely. However, not all members of CSG are personally invested in the issue and may not know enough about either side to make a justified stance on the issue. Tabling the motion might not have been the right decision, but it was the best given the options. This resolution would’ve separated people on campus. Yesterday, I was talking to someone about the issue and she feared there might have been a race issue that the campus is ignoring. She asked me, “How does a white privileged girl like yourself know about the shame that the minority students feel on campus?” My answer: I don’t. I personally cannot know what it was like to grow up as
a racial minority in white America. But, I am Jewish and I’ve been a victim of antiSemitism. I’ve witnessed people putting swastikas at a high school in my hometown, I’ve been called Christ-killer, I’ve been told I am going to hell for just being Jewish, and that hurt. My grandparents were Holocaust survivors; my grandfather survived Mauthausen Concentration Camp. Anyone that is a minority faces some kind of stigma that some members of society won’t accept. I am not asking for sympathy, everyone has their own problems. We should look past our own problems and try to find common ground among our social groups. We are all students at this University who come from all backgrounds. We come together to make this campus a diverse and enriching atmosphere. We should embrace those differences and find things that make us the same. People reading this might call me a racist just because of my stance on the issue. I am willing to sit and talk in an open forum. I am willing to talk and listen — you might find out we have more in common than we realize. People need to stop blaming others for actions that are beyond their control. It hinders cooperation and growth. It divides us. Blaming CSG is not going to solve the issue, it’s just going to raise tensions further. Lauren Grossmann is an LSA junior.
VIRGINIA EASTHOPE/ Daily
his winter’s beginning was familiar. Snow fell — first in coveted flurries, and then as inescapable heaps. My aloe plant turned leathery on my windowsill. My housemates and I muddied our kitchen floor with sloppy boot tracks. Canada geese, EMILY who always seem PITTINOS to stick around long after they logically should, probed the frozen ground for morsels each day before tucking their faces under their wings at night. As my senior year plodded along, the consistently negative temperatures made my every outdoor movement robotic and hasty. My friends and I would help each other across glinting layers of sidewalk ice, laughing in disbelief as we slipped and gripped each other’s arms. We became both quick-footed and cautious, learning to exploit areas with the most traction — the blotches of new-fallen snow, the places where slush had formed around footprints and then refrozen. Our bodies ached from struggling with gravity — spines twisted after retracting missteps, hips wrenched from halting mid-fall — and we bitched over beers about kinks in our necks like the arthritic members of a Red Hat Society. We cobbled together poetry portfolios, and wrote lengthy theses about security checkpoints and feminist anarchy, but even our most vibrant conversations always turned back to the snow. Time compounded, as it tends to do — days diffusing into weeks and then into months. Months of lungs lined with stubborn phlegm;
months of fingers fumbling with keys in the cold; months of smug couples strolling around campus with their hands tucked sweetly in each other’s parka pockets. Meanwhile, loneliness slowed my blood flow; warmth barely worked through me, like a weak current trickling over a frozen river, turning my skin gray and chilly to the touch. Any time I left the house, I kept my head down to protect my raw cheeks from the wind; I didn’t look at the sky all winter. Some moments inspired the exaggerations I’ll feed my children when they complain about having to don their coats on Halloween. I’ll mention the most frigid night of the year, when my housemates and I stayed up singing and sucking down pulls of whiskey, afraid the heat would silently fail and give us over to hypothermia as we slept. I’ll tell them about how my parents feared their roof would collapse under the weight of its ice blanket, and in the mornings, in that moment between dream and waking, I imagined my childhood home as a mound of white rubble, the family dog barking and digging desperately through the snow. But, despite all doubts, this morning I looked out my window to find March waiting for me — as she always does at this time of year — with the gift of thaw in her hands. The sidewalk ice is receding to reveal lost treasures — car keys, lipstick tubes, pushpins, dropped tampons, hubcaps, that lone and forsaken mitten. The geese survived. My parents’ roof is still intact. But as its shingles reemerge, and the mountains of plowed snow on the Diag shrink to nothing, all of that weight remains. Though I’m no longer skidding down these streets, bent and
braced for the cold, my shoulders don’t seem any looser or lighter. While I should be rejoicing — cartwheeling across the prickly grass and inhaling a little sunshine — I actually feel heavier than I did in the midst of the Polar Vortex. The weight of ice has been replaced by the reality of spring, the reality that this is my last month of living my current life. The monotony that was encouraged by this urban tundra — circuits between class, work, bar, sleep, class, work, bar, sleep — seduced me into this city’s collective hibernation, and tricked me into thinking time had slowed. But now that my internal calendar is thawing out with the rest of our campus, it feels like I’ve overslept for months and missed every class, every deadline, every party, every interview, every Sunday brunch. Of course, this isn’t a new discovery; all students fear the end of school, and a little panic nourishes both ambition and the soul. However, wisdom and reason don’t seem to take the edge off of this trepidation, or make me any more sure-footed as I polish off the year. Like every senior class before us, we face a future full of winters. Like every class before us, we will slip before catching ourselves on a good friend’s shoulder. Eventually, we will land firmly on the ground, though whether we make contact with our feet or asses first depends entirely on the way we fall. Either way, it will hurt — our bodies will ache along with our hearts. But our lives are changing as quickly as ice can melt out of existence, and we have to brace ourselves for the sudden heat of it all. — Emily Pittinos can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
EDITORIAL BOARD MEMBERS Barry Belmont, Edvinas Berzanskis, Nivedita Karki, Jacob Karafa, Jordyn Kay, Aarica Marsh, Megan McDonald, Victoria Noble, Michael Schramm, Matthew Seligman, Paul Sherman, Allison Raeck, Linh Vu, Daniel Wang, Derek Wolfe YAZAN KHERALLAH | MICHIGAN IN COLOR
We will not be silent
The following narrative is the speech I was planning to give at the Central Student Government meeting on Tuesday had the legislators not decided to shut down discussion. We will not be silent. I was blessed with the opportunity to spend my last summer in the West Bank helping organize a summer camp for children of the Dheisheh refugee camp in Bethlehem. Living under occupation, Palestinian children are forced to survive in extremely severe circumstances. The motivation for the summer camp was to provide a semblance of normalcy, a safe space in which they can learn, play and grow — away from their harsh environment, if that’s even possible. During my time in the West Bank, I witnessed the occupation’s brutal policies. I saw the checkpoints, the segregated bus systems, the settlements, and Israeli soldiers’ terrorization of Palestinian towns and villages. I heard horrible stories of innocent family members killed and of family members that were imprisoned, tortured and taken away. The entire time, I thought of how this impacted the kids I worked and played with daily. I thought of how those children were born into a world that has rejected them and ignored their suffering — a world that has treated them with hate and racism
and stripped their childhood away from them. I asked myself: What could children ever do to deserve growing up under the circumstances of a violent military occupation? I want all of you to ask yourselves the same question. Because when I think of the occupation’s system of racial segregation and how Palestinians must go through checkpoints to get from place to place, I think of Tasneem. Just 10-years-old, she had a rheumatism that required a medical operation that could only be performed in East Jerusalem — land that is internationally recognized to be part of the Palestinian territories. Because of checkpoints, she wasn’t allowed to cross into East Jerusalem and get the medical care she needs. If she doesn’t, she’ll never be able to walk properly again. When I think of administrative detention, and the way Palestinians are funneled into prisons en masse without charge, without visitation rights, and without due process, I think of Israa’. When I asked the class to draw a picture of something that made them happy, she drew her family eating dinner together. She said it was the first dinner her family will have after her brother is released from prison. Because of administrative detention, Israa’ hasn’t seen her older brother in over
a year and doesn’t know when she will see him again. And when I think of violence committed by the Israeli military, I think of Mustafa Tamimi, who died after having half his face blown off by a tear gas canister shot into his face by IDF soldiers. I went to his village, Nabi Saleh, and participated in one of the weekly peaceful demonstrations they hold in protest of a nearby settlement taking their water source. I met his friends. How traumatizing the sight of his severed jaw must have been for the children who grew up with him. The fact of the matter is, unlike what Newt Gingrich would have you believe, Palestinians are not an invented people and neither are the realities we are telling you of. The occupation has real consequences, on real people, with real lives. And our University’s investments have real consequences. So when we talk to you about military blockades, checkpoints and separation walls, I want you to think of Palestinian children. I want you to think of Israa’ and how she may never see her brother again. And of Tasneem, who may never walk properly again. And I want you to ask yourselves: What did they do to deserve the way the world has treated them? Yazan Kherallah is an LSA senior.
I am upset. I am disappointed. But more so, I am very proud of what we’ve accomplished.” —LSA senior Suha Najjar said in response to CSG’s decision to vote down the proposed UM Divest resolution by SAFE. Najjar was one of the original authors.
The Michigan Daily — michigandaily.com
HEALTH AND FITNESS COLUMN
List the things you’re grateful for I
could quote some brilliant scientists and well-cited academic research that proves why cultivating an attitude of gratitude creates benefits for your physical, CARLY emotional, and mental KEYES health, but I think it’s fairly obvious that counting my blessings is a far healthier pastime than complaining about my life circumstances. So, instead of the “Why?” I’ll focus on the “How?” and reference the wisdom of Joni Mitchell and her song “Big Yellow Taxi” regarding my experience with gratitude: “Don’t it always seem to go / That you don’t know what you got / Till it’s gone.” Unfortunately, I couldn’t learn the definition of gratitude by looking it up in the dictionary. For me, gratitude wasn’t learned; gratitude was earned, but not in the usual way that your earn something. Not in the usual way that you earn money by excelling at a chosen trade or a medal for finishing first place in a competition. In order to earn the attitude of gratitude I now sport, I had to lose … almost everything. And while Mitchell’s catchy track zeroes in on valuing the environment, the practice of losing something in order to recognize its importance is a universally understood conundrum. Whom I don’t understand are you gifted individuals who can, almost inherently, be grateful for what you have, and fully acknowledge the gravity of what it means to be healthy, loved and happy. I salute you, and I am eager to adapt: I’ve got my list. At the end of each day, I write down twelve things for which I am utterly grateful based on my experiences of the previous twenty-four hours. It could include something as simple as “Had a great text convo with my sister” or as exciting as “I got to work with some incredible people today on the set of my music video,” or as monumental as “My friend just celebrated five years sober.” And, though I do my best to make these twelve items unique to each day, there are three things that always, in some way shape or form, find a way onto my paper: In no particular order… #1. My car I remember feeling so uncool because the Chev y Trailblazer with leather interior that I got when I was sixteen was used. “It’s actually ‘Certified Pre-Owned,’ ” I’d tell people … like maybe that made it sound fancier. Fast forward five years, and after a second DUI, the State
of Michigan no longer deemed me suitable to operate a motor vehicle … for at least a year. When that happens, any car is your dream car. Then after a year without a license, in which I walked, bussed and hitched rides to wherever I needed to go, the State granted me a set of restricted driving privileges, which included the installation of a breathalyzer in my car. Before I could turn the key in my ignition, I had to blow into a machine to ensure I had no alcohol in my system, and then I had to blow periodically as I drove. And I was g rateful. After a year without driving, living in suburban Michigan, I was ready to blow into the tail pipe if that’s what was asked of me. Eventually, in Nov. 2013, after three years of sobriety, I was granted my full license back, the breathalyzer was removed from my car, and I am free and clear of any legal consequences. Back to normal, but so much different … and g rateful. So, on Sunday, when I went to go pick up equipment from the basement of North Quad to shoot my latest project for a class, I knew it would be a tad strenuous. I had to drive around a bit to scope out a spot, I had to lug a lot of heav y stuff a relatively long distance and load it in my trunk, and I knew that eventually, I’d have to unload it from my trunk and lug it back. But what was on my mind? “I’m so glad I have a car to do this and that I’m allowed to drive it.” I had the privilege of driving around to scope out a spot, I had the privilege of lugging a lot of heav y stuff a relatively long distance and loading it in my trunk, and I had the privilege of unloading it from my trunk and lugging it back. Number one on Sunday’s list: Driving is a privilege, and for that, I am g rateful. #2. My freedom Incarceration. Unfortunately, it was another consequence of my past behavior; fortunately, a necessary dose, or heaping helping, of gratitude. Never did I ever think that I’d ever know what’s it’s like to feel metal handcuffs wrap around on my wrist … twice. And the second time around, jail came as a package deal. Ten days. I spent ten days in Oakland County jail during Jan. 2011. It doesn’t sound like a long time, and it really isn’t in the grand scheme of things, but it is when you’re inside. I got there around 5:30 p.m. on a Sunday evening, they took all of my possessions, my shoelaces, pretty much everything but the clothes on my back, and I still remember how it felt to walk behind those bars and how the door sounded as it shut. Closed. Cold. Closed. Colder. I went through a series of
Wednesday, March 26, 2014 — 5A
roommates within ten days — people were always coming in and out, making room for more — including a pregnant seventeen year old with multiple felonies for drug dealing and an elderly woman who would be there for six months for shoplifting. I wrote on pieces of loose-leaf paper with a sawed-off little pencil that a kind soul there gave me, and I read through those memories from time to time, just to keep in touch. And then I’m always presented with reminders. Monday, I attended a screening for my TV theory class, and it was an episode of “Orange is the New Black.” I’d watched it before because even though it’s fiction, make-believe, merely actors in orange jumpsuits, and even though I was at a County jail and ten days doesn’t compare to the usual amount of time people remain in prison … I see women behind bars, and I see my past. Number one on Monday’s list: Freedom is a gift, and for that, I am grateful. #3. My sobriety Considering numbers one and two above, this seems like a given, right? And it is. Every day I wake up, it’s the first thought that comes to my mind: “Damn, I’m so glad I don’t have to drink today,” and that my first action isn’t to hop in my car, speed to the liquor store and replenish my personal stock. But there are times, now few and far between thankfully, when it’s not so clear. Times when, being young and a college student, sobriety can feel isolating as I walk about the campus and overhear this conversation about that party or that conversation about this party. I’m fortunate, though, that I have some incredible people in my life who are also committed to staying sober … friends of all ages, genders and races, who just get me, and when I explain how I’m grateful for my car and for my freedom, they just nod their heads, because they’ve been there, too. My relationships, my human connections run deeper than they ever did when I was partying and relying on alcohol to lubricate my social life. Number one on Tuesday’s list: I have an authentic relationship with myself and others, and for that, I am grateful. When I first started making a gratitude list, I didn’t start with twelve items. I started with three. But, what you appreciate, appreciates. So, find three things to be grateful for as you go about each day, jot them down before you go to sleep each night, and I promise, you’ll find more without having to look too hard. And, I promise, you will be grateful you did. Keyes wants you to start listing. To tell her about your progress, e-mail email@example.com.
WE LIKE TWEETS AND WE DON’T CARE WHO KNOWS. @MICHIGANDAILY
Actors starting to embrace the little screen By GRACE HAMILTON Daily Arts Writer
There’s a certain excitement that comes from seeing a face you’d typically view from the comfort of your bed, via Netflix, on a big screen. TV has been the starting point for many successful film acting careers: Sally Field, Meg Ryan and George Clooney are a few names that should ring a bell. In recent years, however, as TV has grown to the level of film in popular culture and households, many actors are making the transition in the other direction. Matthew McConaughey surprisingly became HBO’s newest star in the past few months with his performance in the first season of “True Detective,” surpassing much of his previous work in film. The platform for excellence in the cinematic and media world has broadened. Actors like McConaughey are jumping on this moving TV train for a ride that’s proving to be both exhilarating and entertaining. TV has typically been viewed as a lesser form of entertainment — a place where real cheese and crap can find a nesting ground. Even as the quality of television programs has improved, it seems that film never fails to steal the spotlight, raising its chin well above the height of your flat screen. As far as I know, no one throws viewing parties for the Emmys. That being said, in the last decade, TV has undergone a transformation in that it now strives for more than entertainment value and ratings; it is a space for artistry and style, in the same way that film has been from its onset. The shows that are products of these recent years have offered us profound social commentary, masterful acting and significantly more exciting weeknights. Series such as “The Sopranos,” “Breaking Bad” and “Mad Men” demonstrate TV’s true capacity.
TV is sexier than film. With this in mind, it’s no wonder that film stars, such as Halle Berry and Kevin Bacon, are making the crossover. Suddenly, opportunities for stimulating and rewarding work have snowballed. In the search for dynamic characters and meaningful stories, actors are no longer limited to film scripts. Being in a TV show expands the horizons in other ways as well. A film script offers the rising action, climax and resolution of a story in a single read. Of course, this means faster gratification for both
viewers and creators. It also feeds the perception of film as a piece of art, since its vision is preconceived in its entirety and materializes, with many strokes, no doubt, into a single picture. TV, on the other hand, provides more of a mystery and freedom to shape a role to the liking of imagination. In a way, there might be something more personal about this, since the fate of the character is more dependent on the choices of the actor. It’s also arguable that a TV show can mimic reality more effectively, in that the future is often unde-
termined. There is serious appeal in this for actors who are hungry for greater personal freedom and direction. TV is sexy in a way that movies can’t be; its indefinite resolutions, longevity and the continual necessity for surprises make it unique. It’s not as if people didn’t catch onto this earlier, but the results are most evident today. If the trend continues, and actors like McConaughey or Kevin Spacey continue to recognize and appreciate the merits of TV roles, then we can expect TV’s golden age to continue. absurd in the process.
6A — Wednesday, March 26, 2014
Reveling in the ‘McConaissance’
The Michigan Daily — michigandaily.com
By KAREN YUAN Daily Arts Writer
It’s 2005. “Sahara,” a movie starring Matthew McConaughey and Penelope Cruz, screens for free at Columbia College Chicago. After the screening, the producers — one of whom is McConaughey — hold a Q&A session with their audience. The theater is half-empty. Matthew McConaughey enters the stage, and it’s immediately clear. The man is higher than Everest. He starts fielding question after question about the movie — for each one, McConaughey replies with a crooked grin and outrageous answer. Then: “Matt, who’s your favorite actor?” McConaughey pauses for a bit, considering, and says, “Me, in ten years. Cool ... yeah ... ” Fast-forward to today, and we really are about ten years later. McConaughey has “Dallas Buyers Club” from 2013 under his belt, complete with an Oscar for his role as Ron Woodruff. The story, which has been circulating around the Internet, has been debated on its veracity, but there’s no doubt that Matthew McConaughey has made huge splashes recently as an actor. Some are calling it the “McConaissance.” Some are calling it “McConaughey-day.”
All right, all right, all right. In the past year, beyond “Dallas Buyers Club” and the Academy’s acknowledgment of his stellar performance, McConaughey has played a critically-acclaimed starring role in the first season of “True Detective” on HBO. “The Wolf
“Does that say Slopez?” FOCUS FEATURES
In the hood.
of Wall Street” (2013) featured him in a much smaller role, but he was just as praised and essential to the movie. As a matter of fact, the chest-beating anthem hum was all McConaughey’s idea. And as we go a little farther back in time to 2012, we have his award-winning titular role in “Mud.” It’s been a slow but steady climb to the microphone on the stage of the 86th Academy Awards this month. What’s strange is that prior to 2012, most of McConaughey’s films were romance, comedy or romantic comedy. Cast more for his set of abs than acting chops, he would have been an absurd choice in 2005 for the role of an AIDS patient in a biographical drama. McConaughey has been able to reinvent his career and become one of the most sought-after “serious” actors today. Next up is “Interstellar,” a Christopher Nolan film opening this year about the exploration of space. So how has McConaughey achieved his new image from rom-com hunk to dramatic A-lister? I think the transition
is less surprising than it initially seems, because McConaughey was never necessarily a bad actor. He was just constantly typecasted, featured in the same genre of movies as the same kind of character again and again. It’s entirely possible, however, to be simultaneously typecast and good at acting, as evidenced by John Wayne (macho gunslinger) and Morgan Freeman (wise old sage). “How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days” (2003), for example, includes perfectly timed comedic delivery from McConaughey, down to the careful pauses between words and subtle expressions. Though the movie’s story is nothing groundbreaking — it’s a runof-the-mill f luff piece on relationships — McConaughey works as much as he can to f lesh out his character. Even in his films from the 2000s, we see a watered-down but certainly visible glimpse of McConaughey’s true acting potential. The McConaughey of today is not a new person, but rather a more ambitious version of yesterday’s.
Classifieds RELEASE DATE– Wednesday, March 26, 2014
Los Angeles Times Daily Crossword Puzzle
Aging The Hold Steady loses edge on new LP By ADAM THEISEN Daily Arts Writer
Craig Finn, Why did you have to get older? For some reason, I always thought of you as my age, but Breally, you’re more than Teeth twice that. I remember way Dreams back when I The Hold bought SepaSteady ration Sunday, your second Washington album as singSquare er of The Hold Steady, basically on a whim because I used to read Rolling Stone back then and they always gushed about you. Separation Sunday fucking blew me away from the first verse — you yelling the most literary lyrics I had ever heard and the keyboards playing and the two loud guitars and the com-
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plete disregard for melody. Still, more than any other album, I love putting it on in my car with the volume on full blast and screaming along to every word. I was so happy when I found more of the same music with your old band, Lifter Puller, and I’m just as big of a fan of all the other Hold Steady records. But when I heard your last album, Heaven is Whenever, a record that had some perfectly crafted songs but also a softened edge, I started to brace myself for this. Teeth Dreams, your latest effort, is the inevitable aging of a band that I’ve always wanted to stay young. Instead of the unhinged ranting about “the scene” and the kids who inhabit it, you’re slipping soft rock into your setlists now. Truthfully, it’s not all bad, but I still can’t help being disappointed. You actually sing now, Craig. You’re less primal and, frankly, less exciting. The Hold Steady is playing more straight-forward rock, and you’ve lost the thrilling danger of not conforming to old notions about vocals and melodies. You’re classic rock now, not anything resembling punk. It’s quaint, and it’s also much more normal and play-bythe-numbers. Lyrics that were once so specific they made you feel like you were there with the song’s characters are now just vague “anthems.” Even the first two singles, “I Hope This Whole Thing Didn’t Frighten You” and “Spinners,” are less memorable than the weakest stuff on Separation Sunday. I really hate to be the guy who never wants the bands he loves to change their sound, but Teeth Dreams is a frustrating album. It’s just not charismatic or emotional enough for the bar you’ve set. However, that’s not to say this is all terrible. Right in the middle, with songs like “On With the Business” and “Big Cig,” you still prove you have that attitude, that snarl. Sure, you’re getting older, Craig, but I still love your voice when it’s at its best, spitting out portraits of life around you like a Beat poet.
It’s a little more restrained, but that’s understandable, and I can’t fault that. It’s hard to know if I should judge the album on normalband standards, or compared to your old stuff. Oddly, the singles might be the weakest songs, the ones with the fewest risks. It’s all fine rock music, but you guys just have so much more to offer. Even “Oaks,” the closing track — a spot on your albums that has been home to some true classics — can’t match the power of the old closers. Maybe this album is a grower. Maybe I’m rushing to judge because this isn’t what I was expecting. I don’t want another album, though, where I can listen and say “Oh, this song sounds like Pearl Jam. This one sounds like Wilco. This one sounds like Tom Petty,” because when The Hold Steady is at its best, you can’t compare it to any other band. What gives me hope, more than anything, is the second-to-
Growing up isn’t an artstic death sentence. last song, “Almost Everything.” It’s an optimistic acoustic love song — something I don’t think you’ve ever done before. I love it. You still so enjoyably describe the smallest details with pinpoint accuracy. I just feel good listening to it, and I’m extremely confident that you have so much great music left in you, Craig. Growing up isn’t an artistic death sentence, but it does force you to adapt. Teeth Dreams is the often-awkward sound of The Hold Steady trying to navigate this adaptation. As much as I’ll miss the tales of Suburban Minneapolis, I’m very excited for the next chapter of your career. Sincerely, Forever a Member of The Unified Scene
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Wenesday, March 26, 2014 — 7A
Grogan makes an impact on and off the course Junior mentors younger golfers, new coach By NATE CLARK Daily Sports Writer
Junior Lauren Grogan could have struggled at any point this year, and no one would have blamed her. This year featured the arrival of current Michigan coach Jan Dowling and the ensuing transition. While a new coaching staff brings with it many changes, Grogan took it all in stride. As an upperclassman, she was instrumental in helping her coach transition into the program. Grogan then demonstrated her leadership skills when Dowling assigned her to be the “big sister,” to a promising freshman named Grace Choi. Grogan showed Choi the ropes and has helped her through the struggles of freshman year at Michigan. Much like Grogan, Choi has appeared near the top of the leaderboard multiple times in her first season. “The first semester really teaches you the need to be organized and manage your time effectively,” Grogan said. “I’m really grateful that my teammates helped me get on the right path and that now I’ve been able to help Grace do the same.” But her path to get here didn’t suggest so. Grogan was born and raised in Columbus, where she graduated from Bishop Watterson High School in 2011. Many of her golf tournaments and camps growing up took place on the Ohio State campus. Her golfing career also began later than most. Grogan has been playing golf since she was young, but said she didn’t start competitive golf until her freshman year of high school. However, she made an impact right away. Grogan won numerous awards, including All-State honors in Ohio, led her school to top-10 finishes in state tournaments every year, and was
team captain her last three years, all while being in the National Honor Society. She also had dreams of being a basketball player. She grew up idolizing LeBron James, played on her high school team and attended camps all four years of high school. But junior year, she left the team to focus on golf, a tough decision for her. That same year, Grogan attended golf combines in Las Vegas. There, she was noticed by colleges, kicking off the recruiting process. While her process started later than most eventual collegiate golfers, many schools wanted her and her golf prospects appeared golden. Yet she still had dreams of playing basketball. She attended summer basketball camp, thinking about rejoining her high school team. But one of Grogan’s teammates blew out her knee while running down the court, and that got Grogan thinking about her future. “I didn’t want that to happen to me and waste my promising golf potential because of an injury.” So Grogan chose golf and it came time to pick a school. Despite her roots in Columbus, she was never going to be a Buckeye. “It was too close to home,” Grogan said. “My parents and I both agreed that I needed to go far enough away where I could learn some responsibility.” The choices came down to Penn State and Michigan. While a former high school teammate of hers played at Penn State, Grogan wanted to be somewhat close to home. Choosing Michigan quickly proved to be right. In just her third-ever collegiate golf tournament, the Challenge at Onion Creek, Grogan placed 10th out of 75 golfers with her
career-best total score of 221, which included a career-low 71 in the second round. In the spring, she finished 14th out of 72 at the Big Ten Championships, which helped lead the Wolverines to a fourth-place finish and earned her the program’s Women’s Golf Progress Award. “The Onion Creek tournament really gave me the confidence to say, ‘Hey, I can do this!’ ” Grogan said. “It taught me that sometimes you just have to be an athlete and not get too technical.” Grogan’s sophomore year yielded even better results. Her academic success earned her Academic-All Big Ten and U-M Athletic Academic Achievement honors. On the golf course, she was one of just two Michigan golfers to start in all 10 tournaments during the fall and spring seasons. Despite her youth, she was the Wolverines’ lowest scorer four times, which included a fifth-place overall finish at the Wolverine Invitational. She dropped her single-round average to 76.87 strokes per round from 78.73 strokes a year earlier, which included a score of 71 at the Edwin Watts Palmetto Intercollegiate. But unlike many collegiate athletes, Lauren is not all business. She and her father, whom she describes as her best friend, developed a secret handshake ritual that they used to perform before each tournament. They can be serious when they need to be, but they know how to have fun and make jokes. Grogan even likes to turn the jokes on herself sometimes. She will often play on the fact that many in Columbus see her as a traitor for attending “That School Up North.” But just like with the coaching changes this year, Grogan takes it all in stride.
“I’m really grateful that my teammates helped me get on the right path.”
‘M’ looks to buck Broncos By BRAD WHIPPLE Daily Sports Writer
The Michigan baseball team has played its last 24 games on the road, traveling more than 10,000 miles to locations Western such as Texas, Florida and Michigan at most recently, Michigan Indiana. Matchup: But WMU 10-10; Wednesday, Michigan the Wolverines 9-14-1 will finally When: open the gates Wednesday of Ray Fisher 4 P.M. Stadium for Where: Ray their home Fisher Stadium opener when they host TV/Radio: MGoBlue.com Western Michigan. “The fact that we played 24 straight games on the road is in itself its own challenge,” said Michigan coach Erik Bakich. “It’s going to be good to start playing some home games.” Michigan hasn’t won a home opener since 2010, and 17 of its 24 games this season have ended in a one- or two-run differential. If the Wolverines can’t produce at the plate, Wednesday may be no different than home openers in years past. Last weekend, the Broncos (1-2 Mid-American Conference, 10-10 overall) competed in their first conference games against Miami, but Tuesday’s nonconference game against Northwestern was canceled due
to poor field conditions. Western Michigan’s biggest offensive weapon is third baseman Kurt Hoekstra, who is hitting .480. From the mound, the Broncos have a 3.93 ERA, good for third in the MAC, and will start Derek Schneider. The left-hander earned a win against the Wolverines last year, allowing only one run and two hits through two innings. Opposite Schneider is senior right-hander Alex Lakatos, who has pitched seven innings with a 1.73 ERA, including the last out of a fifth-inning jam in Sunday’s 4-3 win over Indiana. The Wolverines (1-2 Big Ten, 9-14-1) may have a tough time stacking up against Western Michigan’s pitching. In two losses to the Hoosiers, Michigan’s offense mustered just four runs and stranded 11 runners on base. Just three players are batting above .300, with junior second baseman Eric Jacobson leading the lineup at .500. Jacobson picked up his first two starts of the season against Indiana, starting a double play for the Wolverines that prevented a run from scoring and going 4-for-6 at the plate with one run. While Michigan is ranked
second in the Big Ten in at-bats, it places 10th in batting average, an indication of the team’s offensive inefficiency. “Our biggest struggle of the season has come from an offensive standpoint,” Bakich said. Though the team improved offensively in Sunday’s win, going a combined 11-for-32 compared to Saturday’s 5-for29, the spotlight was on defense. The Wolverines made no errors and executed multiple clutch defensive plays late in the game, most notably freshman right fielder Jackson Lamb’s two-out diving catch with runners in scoring position that sealed the victory. “(Sunday’s win) just kind of reinforced what we need to do to win a championship,” Bakich said. “Defensively, we just need to play clean defense and make all the routine plays and know that we’ve got athletes out there that can make those plays when necessary.” If the Wolverines hope to send their fans home happy, they will certainly have to keep their defense error-free and compensate for an inconsistent offense that saw some improvement over the weekend.
“That we played 24 straight games on the road is in itself its own challenge.”
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Sophomore Kyle Bosch and the rest of the offensive line have found spring practice both easier and more intense.
Simplicity fosters success Offensive line adjusts to new offense, increased competition By ALEJANDRO ZÚÑIGA Daily Sports Editor
Minus-48. Kyle Bosch’s first career start at Michigan is one he’s not likely to forget. On Nov. 2, 2013, the guard was part of an offensive line that was systematically embarrassed by Michigan State to the tune of seven sacks and nearly half a football field of negative yardage. Months later, the sophomore still hasn’t forgotten the surprise of being at the top of the depth chart for that game, or the speed with which the Spartans played. But some of the Wolverines’ shortcomings weren’t just physical, and they should be fixed this fall, he said. According to Bosch, one of the offensive line’s biggest issues last year was schematic. The transition from former offensive coordinator Al Borges to Doug Nussmeier has been welcomed because of an increase in simplicity, leading to players actually knowing where to go. As a result, Michigan has managed more long-yardage running plays than last year so far in its spring practices. “Coach Nussmeier’s system is much easier to apprehend than Coach Borges’ because some of
the names of plays — they’re names of animals, it’s common terminology,” Bosch said. “It’s not a numbered system, so it’s easier to pick up. “We’ve definitely dumbed it down. One call is one call. In the last offensive system, one call could mean you’re going right, or it could mean you’re going left — you had to distinguish that call with another call. So three offensive linemen would be going right, two would be going left. That’s why we would get negative 15 yards. Now, we’re all on the same page when we’re running the play.” The new schemes have been especially useful for acclimating younger players, particularly early enrollee Mason Cole, who has impressed many with his high motor. Bosch is mentoring the Tarpon Springs, Fla. native, who is “learning way faster” than he did. The offensive line lost two NFL-bound tackles in Taylor Lewan and Michael Schofield from last year’s unit, but that hasn’t all been detrimental. In 2013, the group didn’t bond very well — both because of the playbook difficulties and incompatibilities off the field. So far this spring, that hasn’t
been an issue, and the line spends much of its free time together. “I think the five of us all being young is really allowing us to mesh and come together the way we didn’t last year,” said redshirt sophomore guard Kyle Kalis. “I think we’re going to be pretty good this year. “Having (Lewan and Schofield) was crucial for helping us grow and stuff, but it’s a totally different experience now.” The revamped offense will be scrutinized heavily this fall, especially during the Wolverines’ Oct. 25 meeting with what should be another ferocious Michigan State defense. But no matter who’s taking snaps, receiving handoffs or catching passes, Bosch knows he has one primary responsibility. “Don’t let anyone touch your damn quarterback,” he said. “Your biggest focus when you get in a three-point stance is that the guy in front of you can’t touch your quarterback.”
“We’ve definitely dumbed it down. One call is one call.”
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8A — Wednesday, March 26, 2014
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Know your foe: Getting to know Tennessee By DANIEL WASSERMAN Daily Sports Editor
Fans of the Michigan men’s basketball team aren’t that unfamiliar with Tennessee, the Wolverines’ Sweet 16 opponent. In a first-round NCAA Tournament game just three years ago, Michigan dismantled the Volunteers, 75-45. But this Tennessee team is a completely different squad, beginning at the top. Michigan’s blowout was a clear enough sign to the Volunteer athletic department that coach Bruce Pearl had lost his team, ushering in the Cuonzo Martin regime. Martin himself was on the hot seat just a few weeks ago, but three NCAA Tournament wins in the past week have prompted some analysts to label Tennessee the hottest team in America. The Daily breaks down the Volunteers so you’ll be prepared for Friday’s matchup in Indianapolis. How Tennessee got in: The Volunteers are one of the nation’s most puzzling teams. They
feature a lineup that’s filled with talent — especially in forward Jarnell Stokes, who averages a double-double, and guard Jordan McRae, who shot his way to seven games of 25 or more points — but the team’s effort has come into question at times. That dichotomy shows in the highs of Tennessee’s wins — including a 35-point December blowout over Virginia, currently a No. 1 seed in the Sweet 16 — and the lows of some of its losses, including a season sweep at the hands of a mediocre Texas A&M team and an early-season loss to UTEP. Playing in the top-heavy SEC, 11 of the Volunteers’ 12 conference wins were by double digits, six of those by 18 or more. Only one of their 12 losses this season, a 67-41 drubbing at No. 1 Florida, was by double digits. After inexplicably losing six conference games that landed Martin on the hot seat in Knoxville, Tennessee reeled off wins in six of its last seven. And all those lopsided wins and close losses were enough to land Tennessee at No. 6 in the KenPom
ratings — a rating metric designed to predict the strength of a team — a jaw-dropping figure considering the Volunteers squeaked into the Tournament. How the Volunteers got here: Despite being a No. 11 seed that had to win a play-in game just to make the field of 64, Tennessee is no Cinderella story, no matter what SportsCenter wanted you to believe when they featured the team alongside fellow Sweet 16 participant and mid-major Dayton. The fact of the matter is that the Volunteers are, again, a talented team that, since the end of February has finally begun to play up to its potential. Tennessee began its Tournament path against Iowa in what’s technically the first round, but is reserved for the last eight teams in. In that game, the Volunteers needed overtime to get past the reeling Hawkeyes. It took a late-game comeback for the Tennessee defense to come alive. When it did, it flexed its muscles in style, holding the dangerous Iowa offense to a
Michigan coach John Beilein will need to prepare to handle a Tennessee team that has surged as of late in the postseason.
single point in overtime. In the game’s final 10 minutes, including overtime, the Hawkeyes managed just two field goals. Two days later in Raleigh, N.C., Tennessee looked like a well-rested team with fresh legs that had a week and not a single day to ready for its opponent. The Volunteers easily took down No. 6 seed Massachusetts, 86-67, after nearly doubling up the Minutemen in the first half. Tennessee was handed a thirdround gift after Mercer upset Duke. The 14th-seeded Bears were no match for the Volunteers, who got out to a quick start and won easily, 83-63. Talent inside and out: Last weekend, fifth-year senior Jordan Morgan had to repeatedly answer questions about how he’d
stop monstrous Texas forward Cameron Ridley, the key to the Longhorns’ inside-out game. Morgan passed the test with flying colors, and Texas’ offense struggled as a result. But Friday’s foe should be even tougher. At 6-foot-8, 260 pounds, Stokes has an inch and 25 pounds on Ridley, but the Tennessee junior uses his girth more effectively, is more polished than Ridley and won’t tire easily like the Texas sophomore. Stokes’ Tournament run has been as strong as any player in the country. After averaging 15.2 points and 10.7 rebounds in the regular season — one of only three BCS-conference players to average a double-double — the junior has averaged 17.7 points and 11.7 rebounds in the Tournament.
While Texas’ talent was limited to its interior players, allowing Michigan to hone in on the paint, Tennessee’s perimeter game is as strong as its interior. McRae, a senior guard, is capable of putting a team on his back, going off for 30-plus point games twice this season. He scored 20 points against Iowa and 21 against UMass, before an off shooting night limited him to 14 against Mercer. But, as explosive as McRae can be, his high-volume shooting is sometimes enough to stifle the offense. Guard Josh Richardson, another upperclassman, averaged just 10.1 points in the regular season, but has saved his best for the postseason. He’s averaging 19.3 points in the three-game stretch, rounding out a solid threeheaded attack for Tennessee.
a polarized debate
statement THE MICHIGAN DAILY M ARCH 26 , 2014
2B Wednesday, March 26, 2014 // The Statement
list | B
UZZFEED, BUT BETTER
Traveling through time: A look at ancient civilizations
While it might be difficult to conceive that there existed a time before modern era, the majority of ancient civilizations are often unthought of. Each civilization had a distinct culture of its own, with traditions and values that helped construct an elaborate lifestyle for its own community.
The Assyrians, from 2500 to 605 B.C., were the first civilization to begin using Iron instead of Bronze for weaponry, which was their secret weapon against those who were stronger.
There’s only so much we know about The Celts, due to the lack of written documentation. But if we do know anything, it’s that around 1200 B.C., they decorated their houses with the heads of fallen victims and often, fought naked and fully painted.
Rama Empire of India
Modern Indian culture derives greatly from the Rama Empire. The Empire’s successes in architecture and urban planning still remain a subject of acclaim for archaeologists today.
ann arbor affairs: just words My fourth grade teacher, Ms. Savur, probably had no idea that her praise of my mystery picture book, painstakingly woven together with pale blue yarn and featuring a madcap plot of missing jewelry and secret bathroom passageways, would lead to arguments with my parents at age 18 and, eventually, culminate in the first English major in my family. Ever since I learned how to read, I loved doing it. I read everything I could get my hands on. I was an avid reader of cereal boxes, airplane safety guides, “The Babysitters Club” books ... You name it and I probably wanted to read it — that is, if I hadn’t gotten to it already. I was proud of this fact about myself. I beamed when, in third grade, I read the most books of any student in my class. I held my head high when, during the summer before fourth grade, my
Tuwana is a success story when it comes to ancient societies, since it is known for developing its own style of hieroglyphics. Additionally, it succeeded in barter and trade.
That’s right, the old kingdom of Egypt has enemies and Yam was one of them. While Yam has been documented as the civilization of leopard skins and elephant tusks, its geographic location remains as unknown as that of Atlantis.
birds flyin’ high, YOU KNOW HOW WE FEEL (ABOUT TWITTER).
@thestatementmag COVER BY AMY MACKENS
Magazine Editor: Carlina Duan Deputy Editors: Max Radwin
Photo Editor: Ruby Wallau Illustrator: Megan Mulholland
Amrutha Sivakumar Editor in Chief: Design Editor: Amy Mackens
Managing Editor: Katie Burke Copy Editors: Mark Ossolinski Meaghan Thompson
family made fun of me for reading (attempting, really) “The Fellowship of the Rings” and carrying around a dictionary. I barely understood what was going on and it scared the shit out of me, but I loved every minute of it. It wasn’t until Ms. Savur told me what a good writer I was that I got this notion in my head — I
by tanaz ahmed
could be someone whose works other nerdy kids (like me) could pick up and read one day. Starting that day, I was a writer. Thus, it began with me penning odes to food, writing stories about talking rabbits and progressed into me writing articles for newspapers as well as websites. To my parent’s disILLUSTRATIONS BY MEGAN MULHOLLAND may, this was not just a phase that I eventually grew out of or a engineers, doctors and lawyers, dream that I soon became disillu- it’s hard to have a daughter who sioned with. wants to be a writer. However, Everything came to a head dur- many still don’t understand why ing my senior year of high school. I do what I do. I could tell people All anybody — including my par- about becoming an effective coments — wanted to know about me municator or developing critiwas what I wanted to major in, and cal thinking and problem solving what my future career plans were. skills, but the truth is, I write I was honest. I wanted to spend the because it’s what makes me happy. rest of my life writing. I wasn’t sure Perhaps this is a cliché, but it’s at if it would be through journalism, the heart of my ambitions. Spendcreative fiction, technical writing ing hours trying to pin down my — but I was going to always write. floating thoughts, obsessing over This was mostly met with a range synonyms and comma placements of negative reactions. “What will fills me with a kind of frenzied you do with a major in English?” excitement that I can’t adequate“You won’t be able to support your- ly explain. Writing is painful, self!” “There’s a high chance you’re frustrating, time-consuming but going to be living with your par- ultimately the most rewarding ents for the rest of your life.” activity that I do. Nothing can I disregarded all the negativity. come close to the sense of fulMaybe I was — and am — delu- fillment that comes from looksional, but only time will tell and ing at one of my finished writing I’m willing to see it through. pieces. Words on a sheet of paper My parents and I have come to are not just words for me. Withan understanding of sorts by now. in the graceful curl and sharp They have accepted that I’m stub- edge of each and every word, my born and pigheaded. Conversely, emotions, thoughts, desires and I’ve accepted that in a family of dreams are embedded.
S WEEKLY SURVIVAL GUIDE
March Madness is in full swing. How much longer until your teacher notices you watching games on your computer in lecture?
Football tickets won’t be general admission next year. Sorry you got cheated, class of 2014.
With the recent wave of protests, let’s see if CSG can break the 25 percent mark for voter turnout in the upcoming election.
Wednesday, March 26, 2014 // The Statement 3B
the thought bubble
on the record
“While I would have preferred the decision to have been made by Michiganders themselves or their elected representatives, I’m happy that I and so many others now have the same right to marry as straight Wolverines in the state of Michigan.” – RUSSELL HAYES, LSA senior and chairman of the University’s chapter of the College Republicans
“I remind everyone of the lesson we learned from Athletics: administrators might not have all the answers.”
PHOTO BY RUBY WALLAU
– MICHAEL PROPPE, Business senior and CSG president
“Tell us about your favorite memory together.”
“The fact of the matter is, unlike what Newt Gingrich would have you believe, Palestinians are not an invented people and neither are the realities we are telling you of. The occupation has real consequences, on real people, with real lives. And our University’s investments have real consequences.”
ERIC: She drove me all the way up (to a national park) just so I could lay on the sand and look at stars. KATHY: Tell them the twist to the story. ERIC: That was during the U.S. government shutdown, so all the national parks were closed. We drove up and there was this big blockade, so we were like … we totally forgot about this. But we did it anyways. We went off-trail. – ERIC CHEN, Engineering sophomore, and KATHY HOANG, UC Berkeley sophomore
– YAZAN KHERALLAH, LSA senior and Michigan in Color
trending #BumpVideo #SuperSoulSunday #SweetSixteen
It’s bump photography 2.0, folks. YouTube celebrity Tom Fletcher created a snap-motion video by stringing together photographs of his wife’s baby bump every day over nine months.
Sister Cristina Scuccia brought down the house when she belted out a rendition of Alicia Keys’ “No One” on Italy’s version of the “The Voice.” Scuccia showed audiences how “blind auditions” can expose unexpected talent.
#HappybyPharrel #SingingNun #2048 #ShrineCircus #Ebola
Have you discovered this new addicting game yet? From a 4X4 grid, the game will have you flip over boxes until you reach a sequence of 2-0-4-8 in numbers. Let us know if you get there — it seems to hook all those who try.
As Guinea’s death toll continued to rise, the government identified the source of the virulent epidemic to be the highly contagious Ebola. The country is now taking action to isolate the disease. TELEGRAPH.CO.UK.COM
Wednesday, March 26, 2014 // The Statement
Wednesday, March 26, 2014 // The Statement
defining student activism:
the israeli-palestinian conflict at the university by shoham geva
’ve always been aware of the Palestinian struggle and the Palestinian cause before coming to college,” said LSA senior Bayan Founas. “But at the time, I never understood how important it was to connect it to my personal identity.” Founas is a member of Students Allied for Freedom and Equality — a campus organization that promotes activism regarding issues related to Palestinian social justice and human rights. She said her experiences with identity politics and Arab- and Muslim-American issues at the University pushed her to get involved in the Arab-Israeli debate on campus. For many students, the history and politics of the conflict between Palestine and Israel might have been issues that were made familiar to them by their upbringing. But for others, these topics may be completely new. “Before you’re aware of all these things, you don’t really engage with them,” said LSA senior Yazan Kherallah, referring to many of the same issues Founas brought up, such as identity politics and challenges faced by Arabs and Arab-Americans. Kherallah, SAFE’s Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions chair, became motivated to engage in issues related to the conflict as a freshman in response to the Arab Spring, a wave of government-toppling civil protests that started in Middle Eastern countries in 2010. As a Syrian, Kherallah said he wanted to learn more about the region and even his own identity. “The Arab Spring, what it really spurred me to do is just to engage with things and figure out what can you do on a concrete basis to improve situations, and stand up for my rights and other people’s rights,” Kherallah said. LSA sophomores Erica Mindel and Becca Levin, of I-Lead and the Israel Cohort, respectively, said they became more engaged in the issues surrounding the conflict early on. Both took a gap year in Israel before coming to the University. “I think that I’ve always been aware that there’s a conflict in the region,” Levin said. “I definitely see my awareness of it and my interest in it starting in high school and then growing in Israel because I was able to explore it firsthand as much as I could.” Other students did not become involved in the issues of the region until they came to the University. “I think when you’re in high school, you don’t necessarily see the link between yourself and BDS,” said LSA senior Farah Erzouki, SAFE co-chair. “But once you step onto a campus where the funds of the University are going to these companies, there’s a much more direct link.” However, for most University students, what’s going on in the Middle East or how it may factor into their lives as students isn’t something that they’re often exposed to. In the early hours of Dec. 10, SAFE members and supporters went to six residential dorms and slipped mock eviction notices under the doors of 1,500 residents as a part of the group’s boycott and divest initiative. The notices referred to Israel’s practice of settlement building in Israeli-occupied areas following the Six Day War in 1967. These areas, which include the West Bank, East Jerusalem
and the Golan Heights, are generally already populated by Palestinians. The mock eviction notice charged that Palestinian residents are forcibly evicted in order to make room for the Israeli civilians who inhabit the settlements, and asked students to imagine themselves going through the same experience. Overall, the goal of SAFE’s Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign is to call on the University to sever its financial ties with several companies that hold contracts with the Israeli military that are involved in abuses of Palestinian human rights and the occupation of the territories. These companies include General Electric, Caterpillar, Heidelberg Cement and United Technologies. The sparks of the debate As students woke up to the mock eviction notices throughout the day, questions and arguments were sparked across campus. LSA sophomore Micah Nelson, executive board member of JStreet Umich, a student organization that supports a two-state solution — a right to a homeland for both Israelis and Palestinians — said that for her, the reactions to the mock evictions were almost more upsetting than the evictions themselves. “It felt like an argument on campus to me, between Hillel and SAFE, and I didn’t feel really comfortable in either of those spaces,” Nelson said. Hillel is one of the largest Jewish organizations on campus, and provides programming for Jewish students on a variety of issues relating to politics, faith and culture. Many students and campus organizations tweeted in support of SAFE with the associated hashtag, #UMMockEvictions, but a large number of students also expressed feelings of being triggered and targeted by the eviction notices. This, in turn, led to further backlash. The discussion not only involved BDS movements, but also examined why the mock evictions made people uncomfortable, questioning what it meant to hold Jewish, Israeli or Palestinian identities on campus. Several months later, these questions are still ongoing, reinvigorated by the submission of a divestment resolution to Central Student Government. The resolution, which would call on the University to establish a committee to investigate the conduct of the four companies and divest from them, was indefinitely tabled by the CSG Student Assembly on March 18, leading to asit-in protest by SAFE members and supporters. The debate surrounding both actions has prompted the question: What is the appropriate way to address these issues of identity and climate on campus? In this case, most of the disconnect seems to come from drastically differing views on what student activism is and what it should achieve. Navigating identities Students with identities tied to the conflict, such as Israeli, Jewish and Palestinian students, often find the political biases, stereotypes and ramifications of the conflict hard to avoid even on days where there aren’t protests.
LSA sophomore Mohammed Hamdan, Palestinian Student Association executive board member, gave the example of walking into a campus dining hall with a Michigan PSA t-shirt. “Wearing that shirt, I could just personally feel like it was not just oh, Palestine, there’s dabke, music, the food — it was more like ‘oh, OK, the BDS movement, the Israeli-Palestine conflict, that protest that happened on the Diag last week,’ ” Hamdan said. Nelson, of JStreet UMich, said she often runs into politicized misperceptions of what a Jewish identity means on campus. “I think a lot of times, people just assume that if you’re Jewish, you have a connection to Israel which is not true for everyone,” Nelson said. “And I think a lot of times that’s overgeneralized like, ‘oh, Zionist.’ ” Even in spaces where individuals are specifically designated as students, such as University classrooms, identity still comes into play. Erzouki, from SAFE, said that because of her identity as a Palestinian solidarity activist, she’s not always comfortable in the classroom. “I’ll give University professors credit where it’s due; I have been in classes where I feel like it’s a safe space to express my views,” Erzouki said. “But there definitely are situations where I feel very intimidated to express myself.” LSA junior Eli Batchelor, advisor to the PSA, said Palestinian students often feel misrepresented in campus academic discussions on the issue, some of which are led by Jewish professors, even if those professors attempt to remain neutral. “Even if the Jewish voice is offering a Palestinian narrative, it’s still a Jewish voice,” Batchelor said. “There’s not the equal representation within academia. And a lot of Palestinian students feel withdrawn. They don’t want to take those classes for that very reason. They don’t want another Jewish person telling them their story.” Jeff Stanzler, a lecturer in the School of Education who teaches a class in which University students mentor high school
students as they go through a simulation of Middle Eastern affairs, said marginalized representation of both Jews and Palestinians is something that worries him in classroom settings. He said he’s not confident students from a variety of identities have their voices heard or values understood. “At some level, as an educator, if you accept as I do that that’s really important,” Stanzler said. “Then you have to try to be as proactive as possible in terms of helping to create a classroom climate where that can actually happen.”
corners,” she said. The groups’ ideal outcome is a non-polarized, non-binary campus — a place where the focus is on dialogue between the two groups. “We think no solution can be reached in any situation without bringing together and hearing the opinions and the needs of everyone involved, so that’s why we think dialogue is the perfect opportunity for people to come together and express their concerns,” Levin said. Mindel added that I-Lead understood why dialogue might not be viewed as the most direct route to change. For her group, the importance was its potential long-term impact. “Maybe nothing has been tried beyond dialogue right now because we feel like there isn’t a lot of dialogue, and we don’t know what else we can do,” Levin said, citing the need to hear and celebrate all narratives. “I don’t think we’re looking to just stop at dialogue, but the point is that we need to get back to dialogue.”
A lot of the time activism on this campus is really
sometimes have a very sanitized view of what activism is.
A polarized discussion
For some students, the focus of student activism is to alleviate tension in campus climate. I-Lead and J Street Umich, two Israelaffiliated campus groups, as well as a representative from the Israel Cohort, an umbrella organization under which most Israel-affiliated groups on campus operate, all expressed concerns about a campus that they felt was currently very polarized, something Mindel characterized as discouraging. Nelson said that though the mock eviction was effective in raising awareness, it also caused increased polarization on campus. “It simply just pushed people back to their
—LSA senior Yazan Kherallah
Overcoming dominant viewpoints
In contrast, both SAFE and PSA representatives, two Palestinian-focused groups on campus, viewed actions like the
mock evictions and the BDS campaign as necessary in challenging and overcoming what they see as a pro-Israel dominant viewpoint on campus and beyond. “We live in a society where there is a very one-sided discourse on Israel and Palestine, and the mock eviction challenged that,” Kherallah said. When it comes to an ideal outcome, both SAFE and PSA are striving to avoid perceived one-sidedness of the issue. For SAFE that means developing mock evictions and BDS campaigns, dialogues and teach-ins. For PSA that means creating opportunities for Palestinian students to share and celebrate their cultural identity, instead of a politicized one. Kherallah said SAFE chose to take a more controversial action like the mock evictions, which have occurred on other campuses as well, to have a more far-reaching impact. “A lot of the time activism on this campus is really institutionalized,” Kherallah said. “People sometimes have a very sanitized view of what activism is. With this, it was really groundbreaking in the sense that people who never heard about this issue — the conflict or the fact that their tuition money is invested in this — had their eyes opened.” Erzouki said that SAFE felt actions like the evictions were ultimately about expanding the discussion and information available on the issue. “The University is a place where all of your views are going to be challenged,” Erzouki said. “The mock evictions didn’t target anybody. They may have challenged political views, and I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that. I think we’re at this University to receive an education, and to be challenged on what we’ve been taught, and formulate on our opinions on those bases.” PSA’s Batchelor expressed a similar sentiment. He said that he viewed BDS and similar campaigns as an opportunity to expand the discussion to include more perspective from the Palestinian perspective, not halt it. SEE PAGE 8B FOR MORE
Wednesday, March 26, 2014 // The Statement
Discovering identity: Birthright trips as individual experience by Katie Burke Free trips are often advertised as a sweepstakes grand prize or a selling point for a family vacation. For Jewish youth, however, one free trip in particular provides a way to explore and experience an ancient and complicated identity. Taglit-Birthright is a 10-day, expensespaid trip to Israel for Jewish 18 to 26 year olds around the world. Charles Bronfman, former co-chairman of Seagrams, and Michael Steinhardt, an American hedge fund manager, founded the program in 1999, in cooperation with the Israeli government, the Jewish Agency of Israel, private philanthropists and international Jewish communities. Israel was established as a Jewish state in 1948, fueling territorial disputes that have at times escalated to armed confrontations, and continue today. The area in which Israel is located has ties to all three major monotheistic religions: Judaism, Christianity and Islam. The city of Jerusalem is home to major holy sites for each religion, from the Western Wall to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre to the Dome of the Rock, and attracts millions of tourists each year. The Taglit-Birthright program has sparked similar trips, such as Birthright Armenia, Reconnect Hungary and Birthright Greece. To be eligible for the trip, one must be able to trace Jewish heritage from at least one parent and have not been in Israel for three consecutive months since the age of 12. More than 350,000 people from 64 countries have participated in Birthright trips since 1999, with 65,000 of those being from Israel — Israeli citizens join trips for about half of the 10-day period. About 80 percent of participants are from the United States, with most Americans coming from New York. The word ‘Taglit’ means discovery in Hebrew, and with about 20 different Birthright trip providers, participants are able to discover what it means to be Jewish with an array of trip options. Noa Bauer, vice president of international marketing at Birthright Israel, said trips range from hightech-focused to LGBTQ-focused to culinaryfocused. “(The trip providers) have different visions,” Bauer said. “But at the end of the day they give a very similar trip.” Common aspects shared among these trips include visits to Jewish holy sites in the Old City of Jerusalem as well as interactions with Jewish Israeli citizens that are the same age as trip participants. For trips consisting of 18 to 22 year olds, this means their Israeli counterparts are members of the Israeli Defense Forces, as two years of military service for women and three years of military service for men are compulsory after gradu-
ating from high school. “(Trip participants) get to be in contact with people their own age that serve the country, which usually has a big impact,” Bauer said. “And they keep in touch, that’s their connection to Israel.”
Bauer said there have been no major safety concerns since the program’s founding, other than a few minor incidents of which she could not provide details. She added that the program has received some negative attention internationally through social media, though such criticism has not been taken further. University students have the chance to travel on Birthright through Hillel, a foundation on campus that provides programming for Jewish students. Hillel provides its Birthright trips through IsraelExperts, with a focus on University students forming their own experience and connection to their Jewish identity. According to Rosen, the University has sent between 100 and 200 students on Birthright trips for the past three years. Trips are led by one Hillel staff member, one student staff member and one tour guide provided by IsraelExperts. Assistant Director of Hillel, Davey Rosen, said students who participate in trips through Hillel are not steered toward one specific definition of what it is to be Jewish. “Michigan Hillel is a pluralist organization,” Rosen said. “We want students to experience different ways of being Jewish and to make your own decision of what it means to be Jewish, because we believe there are many ways to be Jewish and Birthright also offers that opportunity.”
LSA junior Natasha Dabrowski, a Birthright representative on campus, is a selfproclaimed Hebrew school dropout, but said her experience on Birthright allowed her to connect with the Jewish faith on a more personalized level.
throughout my childhood and to then see it in real life and see things come alive is really special.” Hillel trips attempt to focus on the diversity of the country of Israel during the 10-day span. Rosen said topics such as environmentalism and what it means to be a part of a national Jewish majority are discussed throughout the trips. “We don’t shy away from politics,” Rosen said. While trips stay within the borders of Israel and do not travel to the disputed regions of the West Bank or Gaza Strip, students do have the opportunity to interact with people outside of the Jewish Israeli community. Business sophomore Sam Klein said he gained greater insight into the variety of political divisions existing within the country during his trip. “I was able to hear from an alternate perspective, one morning we had a talk with a Palestinian living in Israel and it was interesting to hear what it was like for her,” Klein said. Rosen said students also have the opportunity to travel to the city of Sderot in the Western region of the country. The city is within a mile of Gaza and is subject to Courtesy of Austen Hufford daily rocket attacks, which have caused 13 deaths since 2001, according to BBC “While I don’t consider myself the most reports. However, there have been no secureligious person, I do think that the lessons rity issues on Hillel-provided trips in its hislearned through religion can shape how you tory. live your life and how you perceive others,” He added that Hillel occasionally receives Dabrowski said. “I take it through an educa- questions and comments from University tional perspective and as a basis for commu- students of Palestinian descent when advernity relations.” tising Birthright trips on campus. While HilStudents must go through an application lel advocates for open discussion on campus, process in order to travel on a Birthright Rosen maintained that Birthright trips are trip. The first step is a general online appli- specifically designed for students of Jewish cation through Taglit-Birthright, followed heritage. by another application through the trip proDabrowski said the experiences on Birthvider, then in-person interviews with Hillel right trips can help facilitate a more informed staff. discussion of the problems surrounding the Rosen said the multi-step process is to area when students return to the United ensure students fit the Birthright eligibility States. requirements and that students are genuinely “These issues are so complicated, you do interested and open-minded toward connect- need a starting point so you have more of a ing with their Jewish identity. general background, whether that’s through During the trip, students have the chance a history class at Michigan or something to to reflect on their personal connection with understand the nature of the conflict, then their faith through spending time in the des- you can more understand the modern interert and hikes up Masada, a plateau in South- actions of people,” she said. “I do think that’s ern Israel that was the site of some of King something we can bring back to campus.” Herod’s palaces and fortifications. Rosen said Birthright trips aim to highLSA junior Rachel Rickles said visiting light these complexities and continue to these sites was especially significant during spark curiosity and conversation about the her trip. region. “To be there where all this history had “Israel is complicated, and beautiful, and taken place, it was a relatively unique experi- sad all at the same time,” he said. “It would ence for me,” Rickles said. “Visiting the city be sad if a student thought Israel is perfect. It of Old Jerusalem, that was something I had wouldn’t lead to a lasting, realistic relationbeen learning about in Hebrew school and ship.”
Wednesday, March 26, 2014 // The Statement
Personal Statement: Coming up caffeinated by Yardain Amron
ILLUSTRATION BY MEGAN MULHOLLAND
Mom travels with her French press and a bag of Oren’s Daily Roast. She flies economy, but scoffs when she passes the Admirals Club: Armani suits unbuttoned within, guzzling airport Joe as their shoes are shined. She stops at the Starbucks in Terminal C. “What would you like, Ma’am?” Outside, a New York blizzard wreaks havoc. “Grande, extra-hot-no-foam latte, please.” Her winter drink. It flows off her tongue like a prayer. No foam, I’ve learned, leaves more room for milk. She swipes her Gold Card. “Ma’am, that’s your 12th star. This drink’s on us.” She spreads a satisfied smile. Starbucks has subtly re-implemented the star system one might see in a Kindergarten classroom for kids on good behavior. You need just 30 stars to remain at gold status. Mom amassed 250 last year — class valedictorian by a long shot. “What would you like, sir?” says the barista. “Water, please,” I say. It’s vacation, and coffee — for me — is off the menu. I must have been about seven years old when I first encountered the drink. I was always an early riser and so was Mom, and she had her routine — a breakfast of one mug, French-pressed, no sugar. Nothing else. I would sit across the table, more focused on landing the perfect ratio of syrup to challah French toast. Coffee was for grown-ups, I had assumed. And then she asked,“Wanna try a sip, Dain?” I had looked into the brown blackness and wondered how old grown-ups were. I sipped, and yucked. “Bitter,” I said. Mom smiled. She knew I wouldn’t like it. But then Mocha Frappuccinos happened. ***
It’s visiting day, and my first summer as a “two-monther,” at camp. I’m twelve maybe. We’re walking around the quaint town of Portsmouth, New Hampshire, leash in my hand. I couldn’t believe she schlepped him on that long drive, but he looked happy — a soft coat of brown black and gold, blended like a cup of coffee right when you add the milk before it vanishes. His name was Starbucks. Mom chose the name. No, I’m not kidding. “I need a coffee,” Mom says. I groan and we walk into Starbucks, Starbucks the dog unaware of the irony. “What would you like Ma’am?” “Grande iced dopio, please.” Her summer drink. “It’s identical to an ice latte, but at half the price,” she says. She tells me: “Just add the milk yourself.” “I’ll have a small Mocha Frappuccino,” my older sister says. “Whipped cream?” “Yes, please.” The barista looks at me. I usually settle for a hot chocolate, but I like the sound of ‘whipped cream.’ “Um ... I’ll have the same please, with whipped cream.” Mom looks at me, surprised. “Dain, you know that has caffeine in it?” “I know it has whipped cream in it.” “Please make it decaf, miss.” I couldn’t have cared less. The frappawhatever tasted like ice cream and there was even caramel drizzle on top. Was this coffee too? Was I a grown-up now? No, not yet — just a pubescent high schooler. When my parents got divorced (only Dad cried), we moved from the sheltered suburbs of New York to the big city. I grew six inches in two months, and Starbucks, our dog, died from prostate cancer. But Starbucks was also everywhere now — Manhattan, I discovered, had one on every
other corner. I wondered why Mom hadn’t moved there sooner. Lucky for me, my allowance didn’t cover four-dollar Fraps. I say luckily because I was only beginning to understand the danger of caffeine. It was a month before Yom Kippur — when Jews don’t eat or drink for 25 hours straight — and Mom was reading the paper without her typical morning coffee. When I asked why, she said she was weaning herself from caffeine so she wouldn’t get a crippling withdrawal headache during the fast. It scared me to think she couldn’t last a day cold turkey, that caffeine had become a staple of her existence, an obligation like water, an addiction if you must. I didn’t want to be dependent on anything, so I stayed warily away. But then college happened and I grew up just a little. Suddenly, coffee was pervasive and free: It was in the dining halls, during any number of three daily meals and access to bottomless coffee dispensers; in my room, with the electric tea kettle Auntie Nancy bought me as a dorm-warming gift; and on a campus with cafés up the ass — there are over 21 on Central Campus alone. I tried to stay away but its utility overpowered my discipline. I was studying more, sleeping less and filling up with more brown sludge to keep the engine chugging. It lost its allure of sophistication, its “grown-ups only” label. It granted me the bitter power to stay oiled when my gears started to slow. I never got addicted, though. I’ve stayed wary of her power and I’ve harnessed it with awareness. I drink it black no sugar, because I don’t want to enjoy the taste. I drink it sporadically and with purpose, because it’s medicine. I drink it not as requisite and not abusively, but in awe of its potion-like magic. I drink it with all those who abuse it in mind. Like that guy from Afternoon Delight:
I was there some time ago for breakfast with friends and observed a friend-of-afriend drink five cups of coffee without blinking an eye. Like that girl in the Diag some time ago I overheard say flippantly, “Whenever I pop an Addie it feels like three shots of espresso.” Like Mom who no longer depends on coffee, but is dependent to coffee. The benign connotation coffee carries in many-a-mind is evident in our countries overindulgent consumption habits. So I drink it with respect. Writing now into the early morning, a mug with a green damp Bigelow bag stands emptied next to me. I’m wired and focused when I would otherwise be sleeping. That’s amazing! And I want it to stay amazing so I’m aware that cup is my second and last dose of caffeine for the week. Because a drink a day in my mind is overuse. And with overuse, the stimulant loses its power to tolerance, and tolerance to dependence. It’s not easy though. I might have caffeine in control but I’m just as guilty of abuse with many other relationships. Maybe I smoke too much weed, spend too much time on Facebook, drink too much alcohol, party too much, work too hard, have too much sex; maybe I don’t relax enough, spend enough time with loved ones, slow down ever, care for my body enough, laugh enough, cry ever. Each is a relationship and it’s in my best interest to respect them all and find their respective efficacious thresholds. Sometimes there’s no blatant harm and I can easily rationalize a desire that may not be best. It takes a healthy dose of reflection and selfhonesty to recognize an overused tool no longer benefiting my life and an even larger dose of discipline to regain control. I don’t have the answers or the fix, but I know how easy it is to ignore it all. So I’m working, experimenting and feel myself improving. One day soon I’m sure, I’ll grow up.
Wednesday, March 26, 2014 // The Statement
CONTINUED FROM 5B “We’re not promoting conflict, we’re promoting discussion,” he said. “And we’re promoting justice, through BDS or whatever campaign it is to bring awareness of this.” Both Erzouki and Kherallah stressed that SAFE does hold dialogues and teachins —the group held a dialogue after the mock eviction, for example — but as an activist organization, they also find it important to take on projects such as the mock evictions. Not a silenced campus: Moving forward
It’s unclear what will happen next: if this is just a temporary rise in activity around the issue, or if the increased focus is here to stay. This isn’t the first time BDS, or the conflict in general, has made waves on campus. In 2005 and 2011, CSG voted down resolutions to divest, though the subject of the 2011 vote was broader than just companies tied to Israel and Palestine. In 2012, campus erupted in response to an e-mail sent out by a member of a pro-Israel student group accusing Omar Hashwi, then a candidate for CSG vice president, whose platform included advocating for “socially responsible investments” of being antiIsrael and homophobic. For at least the past decade, there has been a succession of wellattended, high-energy protests on campus. In the end, none of these high notes were enough to change the persistent issues of identity and campus climate still reported by students today. However, this academic year isn’t over quite yet. Two weeks ago, SAFE introduced a resolution before CSG that would use the body’s influence to call on the University to
divest from the four companies it views as assisting the Israeli military in committing alleged human rights violations against Palestinians. On the night of the March 18, CSG representatives voted to postpone the resolution indefinitely, sparking protests both that night and the following days in the form of a SAFE sit-in at the CSG chambers, which lasted seven days as of Tuesday. At Tuesday’s meeting, CSG president Michael Proppe, a Business senior, motioned to reconsider the tabling of the divestment resolution. After a series of votes by CSG members, which were preceded by a speaker and a 90-minute community concerns section during which proponents of both sides expressed their opinions, the vote on the resolution was opened early Wednesday morning. After five hours of debate and discussion, at 1:30 a.m. Wednesday morning, the divestment resolution failed to pass. Following the announcement of the vote, a speaker for supporters of the resolution told attendees to walk out silently, and that the next step was the University’s Board of Regents. In the end, the visibility that the BDS campaign has garnered over the past two semesters — from the mock evictions to the resolution and protests — might be what’s most important, regardless of its success in getting the University to divest, Hamdan said. “That’s the reality check, why do a lot of students want a divestment?” Hamdan said. “I think the BDS movement is a way to understand a little bit what other students on campus are feeling. And even if it makes them uncomfortable and raises conflict, it’s better than us living on a silenced campus.