ONE HUNDRED AND TWENTY-SEVEN YEARS OF EDITORIAL FREEDOM
Wednesday, March 7, 2018
Ann Arbor, Michigan
My Grandfather’s Escape from the East
This week, a Statement Magazine contributor reflects on his family’s escape from Communism
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T H E M I CH I GA N DAI LY | M A RCH 7, 201 8
University and student response
to DACA uncertainty
NOV 21, 2016
JAN 17, 2017
University releases statement urging government to continue DACA
Border Patrol pulls up to University career fair
JAN 28, 2017
OCT 5, 2017
University releases statement urging government to continue DACA
Undocumented students rally to ask for University support
CSG passes resolution to call on Obama to protect DACA and undocumented students
Over 2,500 students and faculty sign a petition for a sanctuary campus
Students and community members march in opposition of proposition to end DACA
JAN 10, 2017
JAN 19, 2017
SEPT 8, 2017
University reiterates support of DACA and undocumented students
MAR 2, 2018
Building on decades of activism, Latinx students work for support Facing new uncertainty under President Trump, community returns to an old mission ELIZABETH LAWRENCE Daily Staff Reporter
Latinx students have become the fastest-growing population at the University of Michigan, swelling from 4.75 percent of the student body in 2012 to 6 percent
in 2016. For decades preceding this recent growth, however, they have been organizing for greater institutional support for their community. This long history can easily go unacknowledged, as it has in recent negotiations between the University and student organizations, said Public Policy junior Yvonne Navarrete,
former director of the Latinx Alliance for Community Action, Support and Advocacy. Part of La Casa’s approach in working with the administration involved providing evidence of the decades of struggle the Latinx community has had at the University. They created a folder detailing data on the lack
of Latinx representation and past documents of members of the Latinx community asking for University support. Navarrete said La Casa created this folder to show the University their history. “A main issue we have with administrators is they try to tell us our issues are new, our situation is See LATINX, Page 3A
Former prof. will return to lead social solution hub
Interdisciplinary Center for Social Solutions will launch at end of March under Earl Lewis ALICE TRACEY
Daily Staff Reporter
Later this month, the University of Michigan will launch the Center for Social Solutions, an interdisciplinary organization dedicated to tackling contemporary social issues. Earl Lewis, a former University faculty member and administrator, who currently serves as president of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, put forth the idea for the Center and will be moving to Ann Arbor in June to direct the initiative. Lewis has a long history in academia. He taught at Berkeley from 1984 to 1989, then accepted a position at the University of Michigan, where he taught for 15
years. Lewis relocated to Emory University in 2004 to serve as provost and teach as a faculty member. Lewis was named President of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation in 2013 and has since been working in New York City. As president of the Mellon Foundation, Lewis has spearheaded a number of projects, such as a book series called “Our Compelling Interests: The Value of Diversity for Democracy and a Prosperous Society,” which explores the political and societal importance of diversity. After his presidency ends in March, Lewis will officially become the head of the U-M Center for Social Solutions. Lewis See SOLUTION, Page 3A
CSG talks voting initiative, impending ‘U’ NAACP Lab studies group talks release of internal demographic report female sex
roots, goals for future
Guest speakers talk new revisions to Statement of Student Rights and Responsibilities
Organization’s leaders discuss need for increased outreach to freshman
The University of Michigan’s Central Student Government met Tuesday evening to address topics including revisions to the Campus Affordability Guide, additional installations of water refill stations on campus, as well as the upcoming election for CSG representatives for the 2018-2019 academic year. The assembly also discussed the continued inclusion of free menstrual products in various locations across campus. The meeting opened with various guest speakers, including Erik Wessel, director of the Office of Student Conflict Resolution, and Gina Cervetti, an associate professor in the School of Education. Wessel and Cervetti spoke to the assembly about the process of amending the Statement of Student Rights and Responsibilities, which will occur next school year. Every three years, the Statement is open to revisions and amendments by the University community, including all students. Cervetti stressed to the assembly the importance of raising awareness of this student right, which may be unknown to many. “I know that this has been a challenging time on campus for many members of our community and that some of
Daily Staff Reporter
As part of The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People Week, the University of Michigan chapter of NAACP hosted an event on Tuesday evening discussing the historical roots of the movement and how it applies to campus today. Student members of the NAACP on campus met in the AfroAmerican Lounge of South Quad for this event. NAACP week began Monday night with a discussion event held in conjuction with the Ann Arbor Police Department. William V. Hampton, president of the Ann Arbor branch of the NAACP, was originally invited to the event as a guest speaker. However, due to a medical issue in his family, he was unable to attend. LSA senior Isaiah Land, president of the University NAACP chapter, began the discussion by outlining major events the NAACP has been a part of since it was founded. Some of the ideas discussed were historical court cases including Guinn v. United States and Brown See GOALS, Page 3A
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these challenges have related to issues of campus climate,” Cervetti said. “This is an opportunity to have an active role in shaping that.” Additionally, Law School student Tom Allen presented to the assembly on a ballot proposal for the November 2018 election. Entitled “Promote the Vote,” the initiative will amend
the Michigan Constitution in order to make it easier for Michigan residents to vote. The proposed initiative will guard the right to vote a secret ballot, as well as affording all registered voters an absentee ballot for any reason, among other changes. “Voter participation for people our age (is) low,” Allen
said. “This will make it easier for all of us to vote.” According to Allen, the support from leading university student governments in the state will increase the likelihood of the proposal being approved. Due to CSG’s past endorsement of student voting initiatives such See REPORT, Page 3A
Gina Cervetti, an associate professor in the School of Education, presents about the amending process for the Statement of Student Rights and Responsibilites in the Central Student Government chambers at the Union Tuesday.
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Vol. CXXVII, No. 86 ©2018 The Michigan Daily
stimulant, new drug
‘U’ professor uses rats to study effects of possible sex drive therapy for women SOPHIA KATZ
Daily Staff Reporter
Tim Bruns, assistant professor of biomedical engineering at the University of Michigan, along with Rackham student Lauren Zimmerman, published a paper this month on their research for a therapy to help women who struggle with sexual arousal. This is the first therapy of its kind to address a solution for the physiological problems of women suffering from female sexual dysfunction. According to the National Institutes of Health, female sexual dysfunction is a condition found worldwide. “Female sexual dysfunction (FSD) is a prevalent problem, afflicting approximately 40% of women and there are few treatment options,” the NIH reported in 2010. These women might have either physiological problems or lack of overall desire. Physiological problems include lack of orgasm, pain or inability to lubricate. Low desire means having a low libido, which can be the result of multiple factors. Professor Bruns calls these distinctions “neck-up” versus See DRUG, Page 3A
NEWS.........................2 OPINION.....................4 ARTS......................6
SUDOKU.....................2 CLASSIFIEDS...............6 SPORTS....................7
2A —Wednesday, March 7, 2018
MONDAY: Looking at the Numbers
TUESDAY: By Design
WEDNESDAY: This Week in History
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FRIDAY: Behind the Story
THURSDAY: Twitter Talk
THIS WEEK IN HISTORY: STUDENTS DISRUPT LAW LIBRARY WITH DEATH PENALTY PROTEST A $2,500,000 women’s athletic building, complete with the long awaited swimming pool, will be constructed in the near future, according to University officials. Preliminary plans call for a one million dollar swimming pool unit to be built first, Prof. H. O Crisler, athletic director, revealed. The exact date for starting the construction has not been set. The building will be constructed on the southeast corner of S. Forest Ave. anti N. University Ave. The houses now located on the University property will be moved. Lester F. Etter, public relations manager for the athletic department, was less certain than Crisler about plans for the new building. “I’m not positive of the exact location of the proposed building,” Etter said. “Its construction will be sometime in the future and it’s hard to say exactly about some details.” Prof. Crisler said the structure had been authorized by the Board of Regents and the Board in Control of Intercollegiate Athletics. Three architects, Lee and Kenneth C. Black of Lansing and Alden Dow
of Midland, are now working on plans for the building. “We have funds now for the pool unit only,” Prof. Crisler said. “We’ll leave the rest of the project to be constructed when we get the money. “The $1,000,000 available for the construction of the pool resulted in part from the profits, of the University’s intercollegiate athletics program, principally football receipts,” he explained. Several student drives through the years also have added to the million dollar fund. Outstanding among these is Michigras which turned $3,050 into the fund coffers last spring. However, Crisler said that they are going to proceed and draw plans for the full building. “We have to look forward to the eventual loss through age of Waterman and Barbour Gymnasiums.” Tentative plans for the swimming pool unit call for a three-story building, housing a six lane pool, 75 by 44 feet and adequate locker and shower facilities. “We have considered estimates
that include spectator space for 300 to 1,500 persons,” Prof.. Margaret Bell, chairman of the department of physical education for women, declared. The remainder of the building which will be constructed at a later date will contain two gymnasiums with enough floor space to interchange indoor and outdoor physical education activities. Other facilities for the building would include therapeutic gymnastic equipment, small games rooms, classrooms, special facilities for a teacher education program’, offices, staff rooms, locker facilities and a possible laboratory. The lack of swimming pool facilities for women has been for a long time a problem with the women’s athletic department. Women have been forced to practice their aquatic abilities in the Union pool, I-M. Bldg. pool. or a small tank in Barbour Gymnasium.
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ON THE DAILY: MAJOR IN SOCIAL MEDIA SHANNON ORS
Daily Staff Reporter
Amid an immigration crisis, gun control debate and delicate foreign relations landscape, it would seem as though President Donald Trump would not have a lot of time to tweet. However, early Tuesday morning Trump defied odds again, firing up his Twitter account before dawn. The tweet was 122 characters mocking an issue one wouldn’t expect to be at the top of any presidential agenda: The TV ratings of the Oscars. To respond to the growing
SOLUTION From Page 1A plans to stay at the University for 10 years before moving on to other work. According to Lewis, the Center will pull students and faculty “across school and disciplinary lines” to research current problems and brainstorm concrete solutions. The Center for Social Solutions will channel the University’s brainpower and resources into direct action. “I came to realize that in the academy, in certain parts of the academy, we spend a lot of time both theorizing and studying problems,” Lewis said. “In other parts of the academy, we try to think about applications and clinical solutions.” Lewis said he is interested in “framing the right question, but also coming up with the best solution.” The Center for Social Solutions will address three key areas of concern. The first pillar of the center’s mission is diversity and
ALEXA ST. JOHN
presence of social media, even among national leaders, the University of Michigan is creating a new Center for Social Media Responsibility, which will be housed within the School of Information, aiming to explore the meaning and threats behind social media, a channel Trump has utilized as the centerpiece of his communication strategy. Information School Dean Thomas Finholt was inspired by this growing dialogue surrounding social media and made the establishment of the center a priority when he assumed the position in 2016. According to Finholt, the technological revolution has
been trailed by the question of the global impact of mass public communication. “From the earliest days of the internet, technologists envisioned the benefits of broader access to the means of public communication: social mobility, resistance to despotism, universal authorship and open source software,” Finholt said in a University press release. The center will be headed by one of former President Barack Obama’s social media managers, Garlin Gilchrist II. Gilchrist is a Detroit native who graduated from the University of Michigan with degrees in computer science and computer engineering. His
career both in the White House and most recently working for the City of Detroit highlights his passion for working at the intersection of technology and politics. “Our job is to create tools, and to use and make our research usable to media makers, media consumers to platform companies, to make sure we deal with this ongoing threat of more difficult-to-understand and potential misinformation,” Gilchrist said. The center will be funded with the internal resources of the Information School in addition to financial support from the Office of the Provost.
race. One project related to race issues will be the “Our Compelling Interests” book series, which Lewis will continue working on at the University. “I’m bringing it with me to Michigan and to the Center,” he said. “We have published two books so far to date in partnership with Princeton University Press. We have subsequent volumes already either in development or poised to come out in the next year.” The Center for Social Solutions will develop other initiatives, beyond the book series, to address what Lewis says is “the nation’s need to think about diversity as an asset.” In addition, Lewis hopes to work through the center to increase dialogue about the history and legacy of U.S. slavery. “What we want to do with the center is to work with universities, museums, arts orgs, theatres, social justice institutions, public parks, national parks, etc. to begin to look at that history in a more integrated fashion,” Lewis said. “So much about the American present, even when it’s not stated,
is about that part of the American past. Slavery looms there in the shadows, and what we want to do is actually see if we can’t bring it out into the spotlight and deal with it directly.” The center will also address issues of water access. Lewis wants to develop a model for moving water “from flood-prone areas to drought-stricken areas.” “It’s not an engineering problem, we can actually move water,” Lewis said. “It’s a fiscal problem. It’s a regulatory problem. It’s an environmental problem. It’s a social problem.” One reason that water distribution is a social issue, says Lewis, is that proximity to water often correlates with socioeconomic status. The final focus area of the Center for Social Solutions is the future of work in the face of increasing automation. Lewis sees new technology as important and beneficial, but considers job displacement as a result of mechanization a serious social concern. “My question about the future of work is this: How do we think about the dignity of labor in an automated world?” Lewis said. The center will conceptualize ways to make new technology considerate of human needs. “I want the center to really work with the technologists who are developing these new tools and these new systems and these new ways of working to think about the dignity of labor and how we craft that into all our design features,” Lewis said. The three core interests of the Center for Social Solutions are, in Lewis’s opinion, urgent and challenging problems. Still, he thinks the center will be adequately equipped to address race, water and the future of work. “These are three projects that I can imagine, in partnership with others, that we can solve some parts of, if not the whole thing,” Lewis said. “If we’re successful by any measure it will improve the common good.” The idea for the Center for Social Solutions has been in the works for quite some time. In developing his plan, Lewis
reached out to colleagues across the country, discussing the feasibility of a Center for Social Solutions. Lewis decided to establish the center in Ann Arbor because of the University’s many resources and because of his connection to the University. Faculty members and administrators at the University were receptive to Lewis’s proposal. President Schlissel, LSA Dean Andrew Martin and Provost Martin Philbert have worked alongside Lewis to pave the way for the Center for Social Solutions. “Earl Lewis is an outstanding historian and educator, and we are fortunate that he is returning to the University of Michigan,” Dean Martin said in a press release. “Not only will he be a strong leader for the Center for Social Solutions, but he will provide wisdom and experience as a faculty member in LSA’s departments of History and Afroamerican and African Studies.” Over the summer, Lewis will continue to sort out logistical and administrative details, such as hiring staff and acquiring space on campus. Lewis has a specific vision for how the project will unfold. The Center for Social Solutions will be organized into “collaboratories,” or interdisciplinary groups of people focused on the same problem. Lewis hopes to get students involved in the center’s work as research assistants and team members. In fact, the center will eventually offer a curriculum tied to various social projects. Lewis believes the Center for Social Solutions will be an impactful way for students to put the skills they learn in the classroom to use. “Imagine yourself being able to, 10 years from now, say, ‘I worked on something where we not only crafted a question, but we came up with a solution,’” Lewis said.
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Wednesday, March 7, 2018 — 3A
MUSIC MADNESS REPORT From Page 1A
CHRIS FCASNI/Daily Oren Levin performs at the first round of the Music Matters and Dance Marathon’s battle of the bands, “Music Madness” at Rick’s Tuesday.
GOALS From Page 1A v. Board of Education, as well as other events throughout the civil rights movement. The students also discussed the film, “The Birth of a Nation” in detail since the NAACP worked to stop the distribution of this film featuring the Ku Klux Klan. “The NAACP has been around since 1909,” Land said. “We want to look at where we’ve been and figure out where we can go, maximizing our political power.” The students then discussed the beginning of the NAACP chapter at the University specifically. Ravi Perry founded the NAACP at the University in 2002 after spending a summer as an intern in Washington D.C., recalling the lack of a Black experience on campus with respect to sociopolitical activism. “In 2002, there was a lot going on,” Land said. “They wanted to get people out to vote.” LSA junior Timberlee Whiteus highlighted the differences between the Black Student Union and the NAACP, which include the political nature of the NAACP. “NAACP is seen as a national organization,” Whiteus said. “And this is a place where we can have
DRUGS From Page 1A “neck-down” problems. “Women’s sexual response is a lot more complicated than men’s,” Bruns said. The female sexual stimulant drug, often referred to as Addyi, was made available in 2015 to help address women with a low libido. However, to this point, no such therapy exists for improving the sexual response of women relating to their “neck-down” problems, or problems in their genitalia. In this published study, Bruns’s lab used the same therapy that exists to treat bladder issues on 16 rats in order to see if this would cause arousal. The process includes injecting a needle into a part of the rat’s leg, anesthetizing them and watching their blood flow. After 30 minutes, arousal was determined by an increase in their vaginal blood flow. Bruns indicated he does not know why the study results showed this treatment causes increased stimulation for the rats. The lab intends to do the same study on awake conscious rats and get similar results. At the same time as this work is being published, the lab is also working on a clinical study giving women subjects the same therapy the rats received. The purpose of this is to see how the therapy affects women with FSD. Only women who scored a certain number indicating their levels of FSD on a survey were included. Participants take the survey before the trial, in the middle and at the end in order to see if their scores increase over time. The results of this study will be published later this year. Bruns noted he received much
conversations about change and protests and who we need to write to.” Land explained the seven committees of the University’s chapter, which include Health and Awareness, Membership, Education, Finance, Program and Research, Press and Publicity and Political Action/Juvenile Justice. Land also stressed the importance of the organization in providing support and reaching out to freshmen on campus. “We really want to get traction going into next year especially,” Land said. “A lot of freshmen come in and there’s culture shock because they don’t understand that Michigan isn’t the place that they show you on the pamphlet.” LSA freshman Darlena York added from her personal experience, getting in touch with first-year students was important for NAACP. “It is difficult for freshmen,” York said. “It was weird walking in to see four Black people amidst a bunch of people who don’t look like me.” The event concluded with Land urging students to sign up for various committees and get involved. “We don’t have to change the world in one day, but exercising our power politically is something we need to focus on,” Land said.
feedback throughout the study. “One person who had low sexual desire wrote this long story about how her husband thinks she is cheating on him and she is so glad this work is being done,” he said. “There is potential for a large impact for this which I think is really cool.” Looking toward the future, Bruns noted he could see the therapy eventually being transformed into a type of shoe that women can wear. If anything, he would like this research to open up opportunities for people to discuss their sexual habits and functions. “Part of my work is for people realizing that they are not alone,” Bruns said. The prospect of this research excites campus activists. LSA junior Antonia Vrana, publicity chair for Women’s Organization on Rights to Health, a student organization committed to advocating for women’s health, commented on how this type of research can help bring women’s health issues into the conversation with in the University community. “I think that the development of drugs like this for women’s health rights as a whole could normalize taking a more active role to embrace sexuality,” Vrana said. “As students and people from a young generation, it is really promising to hear that for the future, especially because female sexual dysfunction is not so discussed.” Zimmerman first got involved when Bruns explained the ongoing work to her. Zimmerman was intrigued by the project because “it struck a chord within the feminist in me to work on a project that is for women.”
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LATINX From Page 1A new, that the reason they don’t serve us that well is because they haven’t yet adapted to our new, growing population,” Navarrete said. “Part of us addressing that was creating this folder we shared with all of our members, you have access to and it’s open. It adds historical context to our issues.” Over the years, however, the issues facing Latino and undocumented students at the University have, in some ways, evolved. The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policygranting undocumented students certain protections, enacted via executive order by President Obama in 2012, filled Navarrete with optimism. She acquired DACA status in 2013, and from then on, focused on the jobs, programs and opportunities made available to her. Yet, with the start of President Donald Trump’s administration and his promise to revoke DACA, she no longer has this luxury — now, the idea of being deported remains at the forefront of her thoughts. “We have to regress and go back to thinking about the very real danger of being deported and more intense ICE enforcement and border control,” Navarrete said. “That’s been the hardest part. We were granted something and then they took it away. That’s the part that’s the scariest: the uncertainty part.” Postdoctoral fellow William Lopez said this feeling is one affecting many DACA-status students, and can be crippling. “What is it like to not know if tomorrow when you wake if you are going to be deportable or not?” Lopez said. “Tomorrow when you wake up you won’t be able to go to your job and you won’t be able to drive. You know, this is having a real impact on folks who have for the past three to four years lived in some relative safety from deportation and now have no idea what the future is going to hold from them.” The most basic benefit of DACA is the two-year protection against deportation of people brought into the United States illegally as children. The other major advantage is DACA recipients’ ability to acquire work permits, which can further allow them to receive health care and pay for higher education. Trump’s inauguration into the White House in 2017 brought Engineering senior Javier Contreras-Uribe back to reality, just like Navarrete. He said during the Obama administration, he had allowed himself to let down his guard and now, he is facing the consequences. “As far as the other undocumented students that I know, we all sort of have the same feeling that things are getting real, that we got too comfortable and that now it is coming back to bite us,” Contreras said. “A lot of people stopped organizing, like I said, we got too comfortable.” And according to Navarrete, being a part of the University
creates this false sense of security. She said it can be easy to feel safe on campus and forget the danger surrounding her. “When I’m in class or walking through campus, I kind of live in a bubble where I can almost forget about things,” Navarrete said. “This bubble, it’s false because at any point you can get deported. When you create a distance between your at-home community and this community, at least for me, you almost feel this false sense of safety.” Undocumented students said they felt the threat of deportation last January when U.S. Customs and Border Protection showed up on campus. They parked their vehicle behind the Michigan Union, causing a panic among students and faculty. It ended up being that CBP was on campus to recruit at a career fair held in the Union. But the sign of CBP’s presence was enough to remind Navarrete of her insecure status, even under the protection of the University. “Last year at the career center they invited CBP and the CBP patrol car parked crookedly on the street, and the people in the career center were all geared up,” Navarrete said. “Those are little things that can remind you of the very real fears and dangers that can happen anywhere you are even when you’re safe on campus.” There are little differences undocumented students experience going about their daily lives, such as friends discussing study abroad plans. But LSA senior Hwi Sun Yoo said the largest difference between the daily lives of undocumented students and those of others is the amount of stress involved. On top of schoolwork, clubs and part-time jobs, these students have to worry about their residence in the U.S. Yoo also noted his concern for his family’s safety is especially high. “I think just about anyone you talk to will say that it’s their family they’re most worried about,” Yoo said. “Right now we are protected under DACA even if it’s temporary, but something as minor as a traffic ticket could really hurt our parents.” Despite these fears, Yoo emphasized the importance of being vocal about his undocumented identity. He said Trump’s election triggered his decision to disclose his status. He wanted to raise the awareness of undocumented student issues. “The fact that we’re such an invisible community has always been a double-edged sword because, on one hand, it’s really hard to target undocumented people because there’s no distinguishing physical feature,” Yoo said. “On the other hand, it does make us an invisible community and without people speaking up, and calling out, and talking about the issues that we’re facing other people have no idea of knowing them.” Navarrete acknowledged the difficulty of disclosing — when she first told her high school counselor she was a DACAstatus student, her counselor seemed startled. This reaction, she said, made her wary of telling anyone else. But she ultimately
as the Big Ten Voting Challenge and Turn Up Turnout, Promote the Vote aims to garner backing from the University and to show students are seeking greater access to voting. Following the guest speakers, CSG President Anushka Sarkar, an LSA senior, announced the upcoming release of the CSG demographic report, which will provide various data about the majority of the current assembly. In addition, Sarkar discussed the possibility of presenting a resolution to invest in revamping the University Health Services as well as other health resources on campus, due to an alleged lack of funding over the past few years. Efforts are continually being made to fight food insecurity on campus, according to Sarkar. In addition to referencing the beginning of the revision
became vocal in college for the same reason as Yoo: To raise awareness, and to better her situation as an undocumented student. She noted how the recent discussions of DACA in the government have increased awareness significantly. “It started this huge wave of awareness and now everyone knows what DACA is, which I feel like is the silver lining of what’s currently happening,” Navarrete said. “It was way different a year ago. I had to constantly explain it no matter where I went.” Navarrete and Yoo are part of a student group for undocumented students called Student Community of Progressive Empowerment. SCOPE aims to build community and to advocate for undocumented student issues. Last semester, they held a rally on the last day of DACA renewal submissions to push for more University support and resources. They also met with administrators and presented them with four demands: Granting them a primary contact person for undocumented students, fulfilling financial need, improving outreach to prospective undocumented students and altering a policy requiring students to enroll 28 months after high school graduation — as 28 months, they argued, is often not enough time for students to gather enough money for college. The first demand was met successfully with the appointment of Hector Galvan as undocumented students program coordinator. Yoo said she feels the appointment of Galvan has been helpful in working with the administration. “When I initially got more involved within the undocumented community, there were not many resources to work with in the school, but with the appointment of Hector, I feel like a lot has changed, quite rapidly to be honest,” Yoo said. “We’ve gotten a lot of work done this semester.” Galvan’s role is to serve the undocumented students and DACA recipients on campus by being the bridge between the students and the administration. In an email interview, he said he is currently working on gaining the support of more allies on campus. “As we know, this initiative is fairly new to the university, I am also working on building a referral network of allies throughout campus to provide additional support,” Galvan wrote. Earlier this semester, La Casa presented the administration with their own list of demands. These demands centered around working to have more Latinx representation within the administration, more support for Latinx students and an appreciative environment surrounding the Latinx community. La Casa made sure the document containing the demands was comprehensive and accessible to everyone. The reason SCOPE’s demands were less publicized, Navarrete said, was because
process of the Campus Affordability Guide, which was criticized as out of touch and insensitive to the issues faced by low-income students, CSG Vice President Nadine Jawad, a Public Policy senior, proposed a resolution to urge University administration to include Middle Eastern/North African students into demographic research. Especially with the increased immigration of ME/NA individuals to areas such as Dearborn, Jawad said, there is a heightened need for representation of these groups beyond a racial or ethnic category marked “Other.” “Not having this demographic report information … means that students are disadvantaged in (the allocation of ) resources,” Jawad said. CSG concluded their meeting by passing resolutions to promote and fund new Battle of the Orgs program and to support and fund an event empowering women and promoting the role of women in government.
that community is smaller and also more invisible. She also said SCOPE had to have a different approach with their demands because it is hard for the University to provide more undocumented representation, as that community has less access to those jobs. SCOPE hasn’t yet compiled documents describing the history of undocumented student struggles, but there certainly has been a history in recent years. In 2013, the Coalition for Tuition Equality fought for the right of resident undocumented students to receive in-state tuition — a fight Contreras was a part of. Contreras said since then, the University has created a program to help DACA students financially each year, though the existence of the program seems precarious. “The issue with DACA is you can’t receive FAFSA, just because it is federal aid, or loans as well, so the University did set up a pilot program, the keyword is pilot,” Contreras said. “Every year the Regents vote on it to decide how much funding there will be and if there will be any funding at all. So far, we have gotten lucky, ever since 2013 they have been continuously voting to fund it.” The University has stated its support for the undocumented student community multiple times. Last January, President Schlissel released a statement pledging his support of students regardless of their immigration status and his refusal to disclose their statuses. This Friday, after the Supreme Court refused to hear the appeal of DACA ruling, he released another statement reiterating his support. Galvan believes the University should carry on with their current work in supportingW the undocumented community and should aim to provide more resources. “The university should support the student population by continuing the efforts they are doing now in addition to expanding resources thoughtfully,” Galvan wrote. Navarrete wishes, though, for the Office of Enrollment Management specifically to be more vocal. She thinks if they voice their support, they could have a large impact in encouraging prospective undocumented students to apply to the University. “I think the Office of Enrollment Management is the one I feel like has not been responsive,” Navarrete said. “And it can be the most powerful one in serving undocumented students because it encompasses financial aid, admissions and the registrar’s office, and those are the three offices that obstruct the people from coming to U-M.” Yoo said even though resources for undocumented students may be improving right now with the appointment of Galvan and the continued discussions with the administration, the struggle will always be constant. “Just because we’re doing well right now, I don’t want people thinking the issues are over,” Yoo said. “It’s always going to be an uphill battle.”
4A— Wednesday, March 7, 2018
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RISHABH KEWALRAMANI | COLUMN
A beginner’s guide to effective gun control
n the wake of the latest horrific tragedy of the mass shooting variety, our nation’s leaders seemed to engage in the same song and dance they do every time something like this happens. Take Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., for example. After the unspeakable shooting at Sandy Hook, where 20 children between the ages of six and seven were murdered, the Majority Leader said the following: “I invite everyone to lift their hearts in prayer for the victims and their families and to unite around the hope that there will soon come a day when parents no longer fear this kind of violence in our nation again.” At the same time, Sen. McConnell blocked all bills on gun reform from making it to the floor. Similarly, after the Pulse nightclub massacre, Sen. McConnell held a moment of silence, and then proceeded to silence all debate on gun reform. Finally, after last month’s shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School where 17 high school students were murdered in one of the deadliest school shootings in the world, you can probably guess the extent of Sen. McConnell’s action. If you had guessed thoughts, prayers and a moment of silence, then you were unfortunately dead on. One of the reasons these politicians, mostly representing the Republican Party, have gotten away with this kind of reaction is because of a dedicated “smoke and mirror” campaign. These so-called leaders almost seem to follow a shared playbook when a mass shooting occurs. In the 24 hours after the event, they offer their thoughts and prayers, hold moments of silence and seem to genuinely grieve for the families. After that period of time passes, they condemn anyone who spoke out in favor of more gun control for politicizing the tragedy, effectively politicizing the event themselves. For example, almost exactly 24 hours after the atrocity at Stoneman Douglas High School, Ted Cruz levied the following charge at Democrats on national television: “The reaction of Democrats to any tragedy is to try to politicize it.” Then, as sadness turns to anger throughout the country, these politicians start a mass information campaign, pointing their fingers
at any and all actors who are not part of the gun industry, including themselves. Republican leaders blamed the police, the FBI, the school’s administration and even the students in Parkland, Fla. To a certain extent, they weren’t wrong. The FBI had received tips about the shooter even though it is legally murky what they could have done. Furthermore, police did not swiftly enter the building, which could have potentially limited the number of casualties. However, blaming teachers and students for not reporting the shooter was ludicrous. It’s a tactic I know well as a former high school debater — throw out as many arguments as possible and hope that one sticks. Except, in this case, the goal isn’t to win tournaments as much as save people’s lives.
Conservative leaders cannot claim to have tried everything without giving firearm reform a chance. Curiously, one argument these politicians never seemed to land on is more effective gun control. They claim if everything else went perfectly, a crazy person would never be able to have a gun and use it at a school. They claim it’s not a problem with the laws themselves, but the execution of the laws that exist. They claim we’ve done everything we can. But, we empirically have not. Just a cursory glance at gun laws in our country and across the world shows gun reform can and has saved lives. To make it easier for them, because I understand a certain leader of ours prefers bullet points, I will list just a few of these policies with a brief description of each: 1. Assault rifle ban: The United States banned assault rifles between 1994 and 2004. There was a marked decrease in gun massacre incidents as a result and an increase after it was allowed to lapse. In Australia, an assault rifle ban and gun buyback program has saved an estimated 200
SARAH NEFF | CONTACT AT SANE@UMICH.EDU.
lives per year. 2. Background checks: Boston University found that universal background checks and ammunition background checks significantly decreased gun mortality by comparing states that have those laws to states that don’t. 3. Gun violence restraining order: In recent mass shootings, there have often been red flags associated with the shooter. For example, various people close to the Stoneman Douglas High School shooter were aware that he posed a threat but had no legal resource. In cases such as these, individuals should be able to petition the court to confiscate a weapon from someone the court deems as a danger to oneself or others. 4. Bump stock ban: Bump stocks are gun modifications that allow semi-automatic weapons to operate similarly to fully automatic weapons. Bump stocks often come with 60 to 100-round magazines. A ban on these devices could limit the carnage a gun can bring. 5. Gun licenses: Federal law does not mandate that people acquire a gun license before purchasing a gun, and there is no process of gun registration. One study found that if such a law were to be enacted, projected mortality could be reduced by 84 percent. 6. Thoughts/prayers: To date, no scientific research has shown this particular method to be effective in preventing the death of innocent individuals. I am not sure any of these reforms will work. While there seems to be real evidence that they can save lives, no one can be sure what effect they will have on the gun violence that plagues our country. But that’s exactly my argument; conservative leaders cannot claim to have tried everything without giving firearm reform a chance. We owe it to the people of Parkland, Fla., Orlando, Las Vegas, Newtown, Conn. and too many others to halt the shedding of innocent blood. Moreover, we owe it to the next town that has to face the inestimable pain of burying loved ones if we don’t do everything in our power to never have to utter the words “thoughts and prayers” under these circumstances again. Rishabh Kewalramani can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Want to be invisible? Try a census
rom 1963—1973 the “Northeast state” of Nigeria experienced one of the largest population growths in recorded history. In that decade, the population grew by 49 percent (in comparison the U.S. grew around 12 percent and China by 26 percent during the same period). Or at least that’s what the 1973 Nigerian census said. This data was later announced to be grossly inaccurate and the Nigerian government was forced to declare the 1973 census null and void amid a scandal of “deliberate falsification of data to gain economic, political, and/or ethnic advantage.” Contrary to popular belief, censuses are far from neutral. Though they are supposed to be an accurate representation of the population and societal metrics (unemployment, birth rate, marriage rate), they are often subject to “data politicization,” a process by which government data is manipulated to pursue a political goal. While it is true that there are many f laws with censuses (see gerrymandering and episode six of the first season of “The West Wing”), data politicization is a deliberate action that is used to underrepresent, misrepresent or altogether make a particular population invisible. A prime example is the American census. According to Becky Pettit, professor of sociolog y from the University of Texas at Austin, “there have been different periods of American history where different subgroups of the population have been uncounted, undercounted, under enumerated, missing, invisible.” Pettit points to the fact that since 1942, the U.S. census has been based on a survey of household information. “We’ve been conducting the survey effectively the same way to gauge the health and well-
being, economic skills and capacities of the American population since 1942 … (Which) categorically exclude people who aren’t living in households.” Pettit identifies the massive incarcerated population of the U.S. as a group that is particularly affected. She details, “By 2015 almost ¾ of one percent of Americans were incarcerated in prisons or jails … Approximately 2.2 million Americans.” In other words, almost all national surveys render the incarcerated population invisible.
Contrary to popular belief, censuses are far from neutral. However, the effects of census politicization are not confined to America. Take the issue of Rohing ya identification in the 2014 Myanmar census for example. The Myanmar government claims that the Rohing ya are illegal Bengali immigrants. Contrastingly, the Rohing ya see themselves as an indigenous population. According to reports, “In a last-minute decision, the Myanmar government announced that it would not allow members of the Muslim minority in Rakhine State to self-report their ethnicity to enumerators as ‘Rohing ya.’” Though certainly not a direct causation, this erasure of Rohing ya identity on the census was fundamental in the events that led to the 2017 massacre of the Rohing ya population. By making the Rohing ya population “invisible” on paper and not providing any sort of official
estimate of population size, it was much easier for Myanmar’s government to carry out a series of massacres that led to the deaths of more than 1,000 and the displacement of 300,000 Rohing ya as of September 1, 2017. Finally, take a look at the case of the data collected in 1997 by the Palestinian Authority’s Bureau of Statistics. According to numerous scholars, including Yoram Ettinger and Caroline Glick, the population of Arabs living in the Palestinian territories has been greatly inf lated. In particular, Ettinger identifies almost 400,000 Palestinians living abroad, 300,000 Jerusalem Arabs with dual ID cards who have been double counted by Israelis and Palestinians, and an overexaggerated Arab birth rate. This, among other disparities, contributes to a total of almost 1.15 million “invisible” Arabs who aren’t counted in the census. The importance of this apparent miscalculation cannot be overstated. This existence or absence of 1.15 million Arabs can very well determine which group (Jews or Arabs) will be the majority demographic in the land. On a final note, censuses are not inherently a bad thing. They are still an important tool to create an accurate measure of a population for governmental policies. So next time you get a government survey in the mail there’s no need to burn it or put on your tinfoil hat. Instead, do your research and identif y how the census is taken and which groups are likely to be misrepresented. Who knows, you may find that you too are a victim of the census’s vanishing act.
Alex Harris is an LSA Junior.
REBECCA SCHAENZEL | OP-ED
More than just a wall
Borders are an obstacle to unity, to humanity really,” Chico MacMurtrie exclaimed during his presentation of his Border Crosser robots. Do borders just continue to reinforce a tendency toward isolationism and separate us from one another? Borders might isolate us from a true immersion into multiculturalism, but what poses a real obstacle to humanity is a wall, a fortification of a nation. A strong push for a border separating Mexico and the United States once more moves into the spotlight with President Trump’s proposal on the DACA debate that he would grant citizenship to the 1.8 million immigrants in exchange for $25 billion in funding for his border. The “security” of a wall was one of his campaign promises, but the thing with walls is they merely function as a filter. It deters those who seek a better life for themselves and their family, but not those adversaries who pose a threat to the nation, as they will find a way to circumvent a wall. As Jack Anderson said, “Security cannot depend on the hope that a fortification will not fail. Eventually, and always, walls fail us.” Walls are a failed concept as they only offer a temporary relief to a problem that lies much deeper and needs to be addressed with policy reforms
instead of physical separation. Walls are not permanent solutions, as evidenced by those that have been erected in the past. As Cicero decried, seeking justification in past practices is f lawed in the most basic sense that not everything found in law is just, even if measured against history. The logic to keep “others” out once before led the U.S. to protect its nationhood and sovereignty on the basis of prejudicial exclusion with the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882. What is most damaging about this type of approach to immigration control is the delay it causes to sustainable immigration reform.
Walls are a failed concept as they only offer a temporary relief to a problem that lies much deeper. It is time to rethink the way we view borders. A wall will not instill unity, but rather perpetuate a divide, especially if it is brought about by coercion or somehow forcing Mexico to pay for it. International treaties or agreements signed under threats or coercion are not only
invalid, as stated by Article 52 of the Vienna Convention, but can also reproduce neoimperial relations that will only strain alliances among the global community. While borders should certainly exist as jurisdictional measures, a wall will form a barrier to human movement and all under the excuse of protecting one’s sovereignty. There are additional consequences to be considered when building a wall such as the caging effect, a positive correlation between increased border enforcement and unauthorized migrants settling permanently instead of traveling back and forth in fear of apprehension. By dividing geographical space, we inherently separate what makes us human: a sense of community and togetherness. Regulation is warranted, but by falling back on the idea of imposing a barrier between you and the enemy we continue to feed into a f lawed way of thinking. Some might look at “them,” the Mexicans, as the threat, but maybe one day, future generations will look back at this moment in time and look at the ones erecting walls as a threat to unity and what it means to be part of a community, a global community. Rebecca Schaenzel is an LSA Junior.
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5A — Wednesday, March 7, 2018
the irritating quality he identified earlier. It’s surely responsible for the sense of “a guy trying to catch his breath while he says everything on his mind,” evidenced not only by the pace of his lyrical delivery, but by the content. For people who
The Michigan Daily — michigandaily.com like tracking along with an album’s lyrics as they listen, Thomas’s catalog is a goldmine. He deftly weaves personal anecdotes with newly discovered universal truths in a way that feels not effortless, but ineffably natural. Despite his poetic
prowess, though, Thomas will be the first to tell you that he’s only human, and he’ll tell you whether you ask or not. Thomas won’t ask for your attention, but you should give it to him anyway — not for his sake, but for yours.
Fred Thomas talks titles, changes & what’s to come SEAN LANG
Daily Arts Writer
Ypsilanti-born Fred Thomas has been making music since 1992. In addition to nine solo albums — his most recent, Changer, was released in Jan. 2017 — he has contributed to countless projects and played in a myriad of bands, including Tyvek, Hydropark, Saturday Looks Good To Me and so many others. Though a longtime fixture of the local scene, Thomas as a solo performer didn’t receive widespread attention until 2015’s All Are Saved, a thematically dense work that spans an impressive variety of sounds and textures. Thomas’s vocals range from absent to sing-song to spoken word. “It’s supposed to be a little bit irritating,” Thomas said when I asked him about his lyrical style on the record. “I had a lot of songs that were more like straightforward pop songs, but … I had more going on personally that I wasn’t getting to the core of, and once I started tapping into the style of that record, I was like ‘This is great! This feels so good! I don’t know if I would enjoy listening to this,’” he told me, before doing an impression of his wife doing an impression of his music, a hysterical sputtering lacking a discernible melody. “A guy trying to catch his breath while he says everything on his mind,” he finished, “and she’s right.” I disagree with Thomas’s evaluation of All Are Saved as annoying, but his wife’s assessment of his sound and the urgency is spot on. What I’m curious about, though, is what changed for Thomas ahead of the album’s release. How and why did it receive so much more attention than his previous work? “I’ve tried to answer this question concisely before, and I’ve failed, so I’m going to try again today,” he responded. Thomas’s answer reflects both his lifelong dedication to music and his humility. First, he talked about how he’s “always playing music. One hundred percent of the time, I’ve been in at least two bands since I was a child.” By his mid-20s, Thomas had seen the greater part of the civilized world, spending up to 10 months touring each year, but largely just went with the flow, musically. “Everything that happened before All Are Saved was just what I was thinking about at the time,” he said. By his mid-30s, he reported feeling out of place — “Everyone at the show or in bands was at least 10 years younger than me” — but not necessarily in a bad way. “As soon as I started feeling that weightlessness of not really having to think about everything that surrounded (the music) … I just had no choice but to tap into what was happening to me, and part of what was happening to me was that I was no longer really concerned with getting attention for my record. Ironically, that’s when more people started paying attention,” he said. He also mentioned at least a couple of unique sources of inspiration at the time. He had worked as a caretaker for a dog — Kuma, which is also the name of his 2012 record — who passed away, an experience he told me “heightened (his) spiritual sense.” While he was writing All Are Saved, he also “met and fell in love with the woman (he’s) now married to.” Both certainly contributed to the themes of both love, at its most
awkward and purest, and loss, at its most numbingly devastating. On the same day of our conversation, before I walked to Roos Roast Coffee, where Thomas agreed to meet up, I was going through some old things and stumbled on the first issue of a zine called “Balcony” that Thomas started just over a year ago. Seeing his post on Instagram in 2017, I had messaged mw address and shortly thereafter PayPal-ed him for a copy. Thomas opens the zine with a piece called “Season Three” in which he, among other things, belabors the virtues and shortcomings of “Jersey Shore” and recounts the arduous, self-doubt-ridden process of choosing a title for the zine. The first sentence of the essay reads, “Names are difficult.” Naturally, then, my last question about All Are Saved is regarding its title. “Wow, speaking of Instagram,” he started, “some beautiful times were happening and some really dark times were happening, and it was all kind of happening at once, as it often does, and I was going through the car wash, having a total existential freak-out … I took a picture of the car wash bristles for Instagram and I titled it, I was like, ‘All Are Fucked,’” his voice caricatured to accentuate the pseudo-edginess of the statement. “And it was like ‘no, that’s stupid’… I erased it and put ‘All Are Saved’ to try to save that moment and to try to save myself from the negativity that was creeping into so much of my life, and it just kind of stuck. I was like, ‘Oh, this is a beautiful idea.’ Sometimes the most beautiful ideas, you feel like you didn’t actually have anything to do with them, they were just kind of broadcast into you, or through you.” If you read an interview or piece about Changer, 2017’s followup to All Are Saved, you probably also read about its title, about how Thomas had gotten married, quit his desk job and moved to Montreal. What you may not have read is that “Changer” is also a reference to a song of the same name that Thomas wrote for a band he used to play in. “It was one of the songs we wrote early on, and we only played it a couple times, but I was like, ‘I love that song! … I’m gonna keep it in the back of my mind for another time.’” For a man who claims to have a difficulty with names, he’s chosen some awfully good ones. They lack presumptuousness while ringing with personal truth, two qualities that seem to lie at the core of Thomas’s entire pursuit as a musician. “I feel great for anyone who can navigate the music industry and still retain their sense of self,” he told me, earlier during the interview, before pausing for a moment. Then he continued, “That’s my goal. I don’t know if I’ve done it.” Later in our conversation, he touched on a similar note when I asked him about the responsibility of artists to acknowledge the world politically and socially. “I do think that there’s a responsibility for people to, if not speak from their political heart, to just actually speak from who they are, and tell the world who they are in as honest and straightforward terms as possible,” he said. “I do firmly believe that the personal is the political, and just the bravery in even making any song at all about how you’re doing and what you’re going through is a political act, and in that way, I’m trying to do my part.”
We talked about Frank Ocean’s Blonde — Thomas likened it to Pet Sounds in terms of cultural importance and called it his “hangover record” — in the same vein. “Blonde is such a raw, beautiful record … and it doesn’t feel like anything besides, ‘OK, this is my mind, this is where I’m at, this is my perspective, which is different from anybody else’s perspective in the world,’ and I SHIMA SADAGHIYANI think that’s political in itself,” he Daily Music Editor said. Moving forward, to 2017, Thomas immediately mentioned In 2011, four individuals living Mount Eerie’s A Crow Looked At in Montreal formed the postMe as one of his favorites “of the punk band Ought, releasing their last many, many years.” debut EP, New Calm, a year later. “I listened to it two times on tour In the time that followed, Ought and I can’t even actually talk about released their first full-length it without feeling like I want to cry and began touring. The relatively … talk about a unique perspective, small band that popped into and a heart-ripping one. I can’t attention following the Quebec even imagine,” he trailed off, and student protests in 2012 became I interjected with my memory of internationally known. Mount Eerie’s performance at a Last Wed., The Daily was able festival called Waking Windows to speak with lead vocalist Tim in Detroit this past summer. Darcy about Ought’s new record, The venue’s manager had flown Room Inside the World and their Elverum in from Oregon to play highly anticipated show with his songs for one accompanying night only. The artists Snail crowd wound up Mail and Fred just about kneeThomas at the Ought with Snail deep in their Museum of Mail & Fred Thomas own tears. Contemporary “I don’t know Art in Detroit. Museum of how he could do The Michigan Contemporary Art in it. I sometimes Daily: How do Detroit cry when I play you feel (Room because my Inside the World) Thursday @ 8 p.m. songs are very is different from $12.50 - $15.00 personal and any of your past important to records, and, me. I can’t even just in general, get through that how do you feel record without you’ve grown wanting to call everyone I’ve ever as a band since that first EP you loved and apologize … The gift that released, Once More With Feeling? is our very, very short time on this Darcy: Well, I think parts of planet is completely — the point this record … we were much more is driven home with that record,” intentional with it than we have Thomas said. ever been as a band. Even writing On to 2018 and Thomas told More Than Any Other Day, our me his forthcoming record will first full-length, we were just kids be here in October. “It’s so very in Montreal. We would play when very different,” he told me. “I have we had time, once maybe twice a nothing but happiness and joy to week, and play shows and would report, but my record is super sad.” write one new song and play that Where much of the triumph and at the show. So the process was sorrow alike on All Are Saved was really drawn-out and there was no sourced from Thomas’s personal real time constraint on it because life, it sounds like this new album we didn’t immediately have any will offer a reaction to the 2016 U.S. end goals besides recording and election and the proceedings since that sort of thing. Then we slowly then, though he was an observer started building up organically, abroad while it all unfolded. like first set recording an EP in He summed up his feelings on our house and then doing it in a the matter with a pithy anecdote: friend’s studio and then just kind “At a certain point into the Trump of the natural way that that goes. era, I was like, ‘Oh yeah, I haven’t Even with those, we had all been in listened to Belle and Sebastian in other bands before so we brought a minute.’ Because it feels almost a lot of those into the process of irresponsible to have happiness or making that EP, but there was a be care-free.” lot of experimenting and figuring And if it feels irresponsible out what would suit the song and to listen to music that doesn’t then there was a second record. in some way reflect the current We toured the first record so hard state of affairs, then Thomas that when we got back … it wasn’t must have something to say about like an imperative but we had a making music that doesn’t seem to three month window where we all acknowledge reality. had to learn French if we wanted “I need to know what we can do to stay in Canada. And at the same to swing the pendulum back to at time, we also were writing a new least where we feel less suicidal … record so we were like taking I feel like all my time, from when I night classes, writing during wake up to when I sleep, I have to the day and we just finished the be doing something to fight against album and then the next day, went the legalization of oppression of on tour again basically for another anybody who doesn’t fall into a year. So, for this record we really strict red-state blueprint. So that’s wanted to move more slowly and kinda the vibe of my record,” he also communication was a big part said. of it. In the months leading up to Throughout our conversation, writing when we were back from Thomas demonstrated an tour, we just sent around a lot of impressive awareness of himself music and little ideas. We made and the world around him. Maybe this kind of digital mood board it’s this hyper-awareness that and uploaded photos and visual comes through in his music as art that we liked as well as songs,
Ought’s Tim Darcy on new album and upcoming tour or we’d upload a whole record that sounds nothing like us but is fun. We’d say, “Oh I’ve been listening to this a lot, everybody check it out.” That part was really fruitful for us to wade into each other’s subconscious. So, in that way, this record, I think, builds some songs, builds upon things that we were doing on the other records and I think do them in the most full and fleshed out way that we’ve done yet. And then there are other things that are completely new and that’s exciting for us to get to bring that in on our third record. TMD: So what sort of music were you all passing around during the weeks leading up to the writing of this album? Darcy: It’s really broad. We all really like ambient music, instrumental music — we talked a lot about synths, particular synth sounds because that was something Matt (May) wanted to experiment more with. We wanted to think about textures that could kind of add extra layers of paint without it necessarily being a distortion. But we also didn’t want to make an ’80s sounding record. We were very particular with those sounds and ended up looking at particular people like Brian Eno, obviously, and also this artist, Amanaz who has a record called Africa. It has some really nice, kind of kinky synth sounds on it. It was very much in keeping with us in that we have such a broad array of taste and we always have and to bring those things together, it’s always a mysterious cocktail. TMD: You talked a lot about experimenting during the band’s formation and even now, writing this album, there’s a lot of experimenting with different kinds of music and different kinds of sounds. How do you feel like growing up in Montreal, which so many people have described as a Mecca for art and up-and-coming artists, has impacted your band and your sound? Darcy: Just the city in of itself has such an aura to it. There are very material things like rent is pretty cheap and, compared to other big North American cities, it’s fairly easy to find a practice space that you can afford and there’s a pretty good network of venues. It’s not overwhelming. I think coming in doesn’t take that long to acclimate, which is also another bonus. It’s just kind of a perfect size in that it’s really fertile and there’s new stuff coming in but it’s also not so sprawling that you kind of don’t even know where to start. So in that way it’s really like the physical, tangible elements were really good for us, starting out. Interacting with such a wide array of music, and I remember there’s a Merrill Garbus, from Tune-Yards, quote, and I don’t know if it’s written down, but I saw her do a symposium in Montreal a couple years ago and she was talking about how in Montreal she felt like no one would be surprised or judgmental and she could just be weird on stage. It is hard to shock a Montreal audience, which is
great and I think in some ways we … I mean we definitely rank low on the shocking spectrum as far as things I’ve seen in Montreal, but it’s a good environment to not get caught up in being selfconscious or being so caught up in what is specifically on-trend at this particular moment. I think that generates a lot of liberating expressions. And obviously, you know, there’s no perfect place. The winters are obviously horrible. A lot of people are really broke. But Montreal is definitely in the fabric of all three records that we’ve made. TMD: I find that your music, when I listen to it, it’s very easy for me to connect to it. The lyricism, especially, just seems to embrace the mundane details of life, even though your sound itself is very broad, as you’ve described. This sense of connectability, is this something that you try to purposefully convey or is it something that appears more naturally and organically as you all are creating these different albums? Darcy: A big part of the “Ought-style,” which we all kind of witnessed forming over several records as we looked back, especially working on this record, because we were more intentionally trying out new things, we would get to the end of a song and be like, ‘Oh there that is, that thing that we do.’ One of those things is that we definitely combine hooks and more accessible rock tropes with things that kind of break those open and ideally rejuvenate that thing and make you think twice about it. That’s just been part of how the four of us think about songs like that. As far as lyricism goes, I think about the lyrics very distinctly from the music sometimes. It really varies by song. There are some songs where it’s much more about the melody… but then there are definitely other songs where I’m really focused on the lyrics. The writers that I like have the kind of clarity that you’re talking about. “Clarity” is the word I like to use because it’s not about simplicity. I really love writing that is adventurous. If I don’t feel like something is coming across, it loses me even if they’re turning a nice phrase. I need to feel like I’m getting something from it, which maybe sounds obvious, but focusing on little things, that comes very naturally to me because it’s very much in the things that I like to read. TMD: What are some of those writers that have inspired you? Darcy: So many. I read a ton. I think Joan Didion’s a great example. The way that she visits very iconic and major archetypes in the American psyche, John Wayne and I’m reading the essay on Haight-Ashbury in San Francisco now. She witnesses these things and doesn’t draw any conclusions. I found that a lot of the great thinkers are people who are willing to kind of live with the questions and sort of see things and kind of chew on them a bit but not be like, “This is what this is.”
6A — Wednesday, March 7, 2018
DAILY FILM COLUMN
The Academy voters are morons in a deeper sense
Bateman and McAdams can’t save ‘Game Night’ SAMANTHA NELSON Daily Arts Writer
The art of humor in film is certainly difficult to master. It is difficult to find a balance between comic relief and overusing the same punchlines and quips. Even the funniest moments of a film can be ruined through repetition. The exhaustion of a joke can turn what was once found hilarious by audiences into something lackluster and irritating, resulting in boredom. In securing a few audience laughs at the beginning of the film, “Game Night” falsely presumes that it has viewers hooked, and thus proceeds to squeeze every last drop of humor from the jokes from the first quarter of the film until there is absolutely no comedy left. Though the film initially manages to grasp audience attention, its hold quickly loosens through its unchecked overeagerness to push humor at viewers, resulting in the unraveling of plot direction and an unclear tone. At the start of the film, viewers are greeted by a cutesy montage, documenting the game-themed relationship of quirky, competitive couple Max (Jason Bateman, “Zootopia”) and Annie (Rachel McAdams, “The Notebook”), who are known and beloved by their friends for their frequent hosting of game nights. Trouble arises, however, when Max’s charismatic yet sketchy brother Brooks (Kyle Chandler,
The Michigan Daily — michigandaily.com
“Super 8”) comes to town and hosts his own game night, one that he brags will surpass all others by involving a faux kidnapping of one of the players and an evening of detective work to find them. However, the night rapidly spirals out of control, launching the group of suburban, millennial players into a night of real danger, hazard and chaos. Despite a plotline that sounds somewhat promising, this film is a mess. Essential to the movie’s
“Game Night” Warner Bros. Ann Arbor Quality 16 foundering is that it becomes way too complicated way too fast. Characters and viewers alike are jerked back and forth, taunted by directors John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein (“Vacation”) into believing that something is just part of the game one minute and that it is real the next. The lack of clarity over what is going on does not create the desired effect of mystery and suspense, but instead prompts frustration and annoyance among viewers over the faulty direction of the plot. The only praiseworthy element of the film is the chemistry between Bateman and McAdams’s characters. Throughout the film, Max and Annie function as more of a unit than individuals, working
in tandem as a harmonious dynamic duo. To the film’s credit, the scenes with the two are quite charming and audiences are able to find a relatively stable source of humor from their married couple banter. Yet, not even the charming compatibility between Max and Annie can save this film. Overall, Daley and Goldstein’s aim to create a film that is fastpaced and engaging falters, instead leaving audiences too confused and whiplashed to laugh. The sense of discombobulation felt when the theater lights came up speaks to the severe lack of clarity as to what exactly the film wanted to accomplish in the first place. Mostly to blame is the imbalanced combination of sinister and silly moments that end up generating an all-encompassing sense of awkwardness, especially evident through the presence of Gary, Annie and Max’s overly creepy next-door neighbor whose weird, almost psychopathic manner is used to elicit comedic effect in one moment and fear in the next. Gary’s character is reflective of the film as a whole: intended to create intrigue through a bizarre and ill-made blend of eerie and comical, but instead provoking audience members into a state of confusion and uninterest. Although “Game Night” unfolds within the short span of one, fateful evening, inconsistencies in the direction and mood of the storyline ultimately make the film feel like an unpleasant eternity.
I wish the Oscars were better. I wish there was a platform to properly acknowledge the look Laurie Metcalf gives in “Lady Bird” when Danny says, “There are actual train tracks.” And I wish had a microphone loud enough so everyone in the world could hear me yell, “Timmy was robbed!” I wish, even more, that they didn’t matter to me. I wish I didn’t feel crushed watching “The Shape of Water” win Best Picture when I know the movies my children will still be watching (granting TVs and the Earth still exist) are “Lady Bird” and “Get Out.” I’m mad that a TV event where off-screen white men give awards to their peers doesn’t adhere to my idea of justice. I can see the absurdity there. But the Academy proved itself — even when it wasn’t giving out statues — to be completely out of touch with the industry it is supposed to represent. There were a hundred or so times during my Oscar watch party when the eyes in the room shifted to me. Any reference to “Lady Bird,” when someone thought they saw Adam Driver and when George Romero appeared in the In Memoriam segment. We sighed for Romero and Jonathan Demme and Harry Dean Stanton. And then it was over. Now, I have a few issues with this part of the night. First of all: Eddie Vedder? Was literally no one else available? And secondly, the list of omissions that just about outnumbered the inclusions. The most jarring of which, at least for me, was Tobe Hooper. I had to go back and check that Hooper actually died last year — he did — because I could not believe the Academy would do something that stupid. (That was supposed to be a joke! The Academy voters are morons in a deeper sense). Hooper belongs in the pantheon with Romero and Craven. Hooper wrote the visual terms for American horror, defined it as something indefinable.
The real irony is that “Texas Chainsaw Massacre”’s iconic shot was included in the “magic of the movies” tribute supercut. Leatherface swinging his chainsaw through the air against that brilliant Texas sunrise — in isolation, it could be mistaken for a still from “Days of Heaven.” It is emblematic of the humor and beauty the permeate a Hooper low-budget gore-fest. The Academy can, at least,
MADELEINE GAUDIN recognize it as one of the most important images in the American film canon. But they can’t be bothered to recognize the person responsible for creating it. They made the same kinds of moves the entire night. The Academy can nominate outside their comfort zone, but they’re still giving out awards like it’s 2016. With a few exceptions — Jordan Peele’s screenwriting win and “Phantom Thread”’s costumes were the few signs of the “justice” I mentioned earlier — the show played out the way I dreaded it would. Maybe I’m fixating on the Hooper omission, but I really do think it points to the core of the Academy’s issue. Beyond their whiteness and their maleness and their oldness (all factors which illuminate the point I’m about to make next), it’s their genreaversion. People on Twitter will be quick to tell you (and me) that
“The Shape of Water” is a horror film. It’s not. We’ve seen del Toro make horror. This is dark fantasy at best. This is the kind of movie that people who have never seen a horror movie call prestige horror. Genre films got nominated. “Get Out” is horror. “Lady Bird” and “Call Me By Your Name” are coming of age movies. “Phantom Thread” is on the more bizarre end, but it’s still on the spectrum of serious period pieces (“Dunkirk,” “The Post,” “Darkest Hour”) that the Academy goes crazy for. I don’t even want to mention “Three Billboards,” but I will say dark comedy about the soul of America is well within the Academy’s comfort zone. Our three true genre films illuminate the ways in which the stories of marginalized groups — people of color, women, the LGBT community — are not served by the methods of storytelling traditionally recognized by institutions like the Academy. To have a genre problem is to have a diversity problem, and the comparison between the winners and the nominees only underscores this point. So the problem is bigger than leaving Tobe Hooper off a slideshow. But it’s moments like that, when we’re not watching with the same critical eye we watch the Best Picture announcement, that the Academy shows its cards. Two years ago, they would’ve picked “Darkest Hour” — I feel very comfortable betting a large amount of money on that. With “Moonlight,” we moved in the right direction, and with “The Shape of Water,” I don’t know where exactly we moved, but we did. So there’s hope. The Academy is out of touch and the whole model of award shows probably is as well. But until I have the clout to mail Laurie Metcalf an award and have it mean something, I know what to expect from the Academy Awards. Justice (my picture of justice, at least) will not be served.
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FOR RENT RELEASE DATE– Wednesday, March 7, 2018
Los Angeles Times Daily Crossword Puzzle
‘Virgin’ is vibrant, potent debut collection of poetry SOPHIA KAUFMAN Daily Arts Writer
Analicia Sotelo’s debut collection of poems, “Virgin,” the winner of the inaugural Jake Adam York Prize, offers a prismatic glimpse into the author’s personal experiences as a Mexican-American woman. The poems are iridescent — at times showing a detached critique of femininity, heterosexual relationships or both; at others, viscerally personal memories. Lines that should be reminiscent of things like curtains and frothy champagne — “The moon points out my neckline like a chaperone,” she writes, in the first poem titled “Do You Speak Virgin?” — take on a keener edge in this collection, as she takes on the minutiae of societal poisoning of love and sex. “South Texas Persephone” ends with the speaker declaring “Now I have three heads: one / for speech, one for sex, / and one for second-guessing,” a triangulation which neatly encapsulates much of the rest of the volume. Much of the first half
of “Virgin” reveals an exasperation of watching people perform their relationships, hastening to use the first person plural as if it means something, clutching on to banalities like they’re lifelines. “We’re all performing our bruises,” she says in “Private Property,”
“Virgin” Analicia Sotelo Milkweed Editions Feb. 20, 2018 and this sentiment is carried throughout. The intensity of the collection is perhaps most vibrant when she captures the simultaneity of numbness and pain that comes from holding your tongue, mostly visible in the poems about her parents and in those about being close to our creations, like “I’m Trying to Write a Poem about a Virgin and It’s Awful.” Yet humor doesn’t take a backseat to potency; sincere words are often brushed over with irony — or at least an ambiguity addressed with an eye roll: “many people are tender from
the right angle. / I’m hungry & confused. I love / a good barbecue. Save me.” While some of the poems feel like puzzles that include more than a couple extra pieces, most are taut; The words slice to the core of her message. She writes of loving men — significantly older men, white men — as a traumatic experience. And she writes about her parents’ relationship. But she also warns against making the tired assumption, in a sly, if cutting, aside to the reader: “You may wish to make some connection / between father and lover here, as if your joke / could really be my life’s solution, or as if / I haven’t already done that, in a cuter way.” In the latter half of the collection, Sotelo breathes new life into old Greek myths, giving perspectives that readers might not ever have considered otherwise. The most haunting of the set is “Ariadne Discusses Theseus in Relation to the Minotaur,” which leaves readers with the image of both Sotelo and Ariadne standing alone, man and monster gone, nothing but a lack of thread and answers in their outstretched hands.
Edited by Rich Norris and Joyce Nichols Lewis
ACROSS 1 Drone sound 5 Spicy dip 10 French flag couleur 14 Parade celebrity 15 Cotton swabs 16 Pair on a Disneyland hat 17 Verdi highlight 18 It’s prohibited on many highways 19 Vast landmass 20 Musical Christmas staple 22 Culinary student’s assent 24 Native American symbol 26 Bit of cheer? 27 22% of the U.S. Senate 30 WWII female 32 Program breaks 36 Enthusiastic 37 “Good Lord!” 39 Miscellany 40 [Uh-oh!] 41 Big name in threshers 42 In __ of: replacing 43 City ENE of Reno 44 One of pop music’s Papas 45 Permits 46 Takes a load off 48 Mil. officers 49 High-IQ group 50 Perilous hisser 52 In check 54 Succeeding like nobody’s business 58 Like most kosher frankfurters 62 Water sport 63 Only inanimate zodiac sign 65 Iams alternative 66 “Quite so” 67 Historical period 68 Slimming procedure, briefly 69 Shopping club 70 Swearing-in rituals 71 For fear that DOWN 1 “Careless Whisper” pop group 2 “__ comes trouble!”
3 Eye part 4 Sunday dinner side dish 5 Weightlifting maneuver 6 Driving 7 “Elementary” co-star Lucy 8 Nimble 9 Ed with seven Emmys 10 Summer Olympics event since 1996 11 Word with back or whip 12 Historic canal 13 “Aim High ... Fly-Fight-Win” military org. 21 Non-neutral atom 23 Took a load off 25 Purplish hue 27 Ante, e.g. 28 Small egg 29 Takes full advantage of 31 Gravy thickener 33 From far away (perhaps very far) 34 See 51-Down 35 “The March King” 37 Unexpected
38 Susan of “L.A. Law” 47 Ottawa-to-NYC dir. 49 Prefix with ware 51 With 34-Down, really retro eating programs 53 Vague discomfort, with “the” 54 Makes a choice 55 Romance writer Roberts
56 Grad 57 Longtime “Live!” host 59 Author Wiesel 60 Omar of “Shooter” 61 Body part whose parts are aptly found at the bottom of this puzzle’s four longest answers 64 Plant sci.
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The Michigan Daily — michigandaily.com
Wednesday, March 7, 2018 — 7A
Boka working to control his emotions when the Wolverines need it most BENJAMIN KATZ Daily Sports Writer
On Jan. 7 against then-No. 1 Notre Dame in South Bend, the Michigan hockey team skated off the ice with heads hanging low after 40 minutes of play. The Wolverines allowed two unanswered goals in the second period and found themselves down, 2-0, heading into the third. As Michigan made its way down the tunnel, defenseman Nicholas Boka slammed his stick into the ground and let out an expletive so loud it echoed throughout Compton Family Ice Arena. Known for wearing his emotions on his sleeves, the junior let everyone know the dejected state of the Wolverines. Michigan would go on to lose, 2-1, sending it to a dismal 8-10-2 record — a continuation of last year’s disappointment — with little hope for NCAA Tournament contention. Almost two months later, Boka — always the last player to exit the pregame skate — left the Yost Ice Arena rink all smiles. As fans piled in for a Big Ten Tournament quarterfinal matchup against Wisconsin last Saturday, the blueliner would again be the telltale sign of an upbeat dressing room. Riding a nation’s-best sevengame unbeaten streak, the Wolverines were only one win away from sweeping the Badgers and advancing to the Big Ten Tournament semifinals for a rivalry showdown against Ohio State. They’d proceed to a 7-4 victory and are all but guaranteed an NCAA Tournament berth in upcoming weeks. Following Saturday’s win, Michigan coach Mel Pearson was quick to applaud Boka, who assisted on sophomore defenseman Griffin Luce’s goal to put the Wolverines up, 6-3, early in the third period. The helper added to Boka’s plus-15 rating, best among the Wolverine defensemen.
“Nick’s been really good the second half, and good for him,” Pearson said. “He had a lot of ice time tonight and gives us another strong defenseman. I like our defense. Even though we gave up a lot of goals this weekend, I like a lot of things about them.” What evolution in Boka’s game has led to this major improvement down the stretch? “Emotional control,” Pearson said, without skipping a beat, after practice Tuesday. “I think he’s not getting wrapped up in a lot of things that’s gone on in the games. He’s now worried about what he needs to do to be a good player and help the team. “The thing with Nick is he’s very competitive. … We’ve just had to have him dial in emotionally and manage the game emotionally. He’s always had good skills when it comes to skating and puck handling, he
just gets a little out of sorts. We said to him, ‘Just play the game.’ ” Through many one-on-one conversations, Pearson has reigned in Boka’s temperament, encouraging tough and physical play without committing avoidable penalties. And it’s translated to his on-ice success. After 10 games without a point, Boka registered two assists in his last three games. He’s blocked 42 shots this season and continues to limit turnovers in the defensive zone. His game has strengthened in proportion to his disposition, resulting in increased trust from Pearson. In Saturday’s contest, Boka
played more minutes than most blueliners, despite practicing only once the prior week and missing Friday’s game due to an upperbody injury sustained during the regular season finale against Arizona State. Even with a lineup that has regularly changed throughout the season based on game and practice performance, Boka, if healthy, was virtually guaranteed to lace up his skates against Wisconsin and receive substantial ice time. “He’s put money in the bank,” Pearson said. “He’s made some good deposits over the course of the year, so when he came in to withdraw, he had some money
“He’s a good skater, so he doesn’t get too far behind.”
in there. That’s how you look at it. He’s played well. This time of year, sometimes when you miss practice it’s no big deal. He’s a good skater, so he doesn’t get too far behind.” But Boka didn’t take that for granted, quickly getting back to full strength for Saturday’s game. “It was tough watching the game Friday from the stands,” Boka said. “Throughout the week, it was just doing rehab to get back in the lineup. I hate watching, and I want to do my best to help the team.” The Plymouth, Mich. native credits his teammates and newfound emotional restraint as reasons for his recent advances. “I think when the team plays well, it makes it easier to do your job,” Boka said. “… It makes it easier on me to focus on my role and shut down other teams, and it’s been working for me.
Junior defenseman Nicholas Boka has increased his productivity while improving his attitude, leading to more trust from Michigan coach Mel Pearson.
“I also think it’s just being aware of my emotions. Hockey is a pretty emotional game, and there’s going to be ups and downs, but you just have to kind of prepare for that aspect. … Once I start talking, it gets my emotions going. I try to stay away from it and talk to my teammates instead of other teams. And it’s definitely helped in keeping my emotions in check.” Added Luce, Boka’s defensive partner for most of the season: “He’s an emotional guy and … I know he likes to stir things up. But the chemistry between us is great, so if I’m getting too emotional, he’ll give me a pat on the back, say ‘Hey, relax,’ and I think the same goes for him. I think we’re on that level with each other where we can take each other down or bring each other up if we need to.” But have no fear, Boka is still the same passionate — and vocal — leader he’s always been. He still jaws with opponents and partakes in extracurricular activity after the whistle. In the first game of the Sun Devils’ series, Boka faced a standoff against defenseman Jakob Stridsberg. As always, after pregame skate, Boka waited for Arizona State to get off the ice and go to its locker room before he did. Stridsberg decided to wait, too. It took some referee intervention, but Boka got the best of Stridsberg. He was the last one to leave his home ice. Boka still holds the same approach in deciding which players he goes after — go for those who are easily unnerved and stay away from those who would go unfazed. And he’s still the player Pearson believes is one of the best trash talkers in all of college hockey. As the postseason rolls on and the Wolverines look to more good fortune, No. 74 in the maize sweater will be a key force on the backline. Not just as his bruiser reputation proceeds him, but as a vital cog in the Michigan engine on both sides of the ice.
After tournament championship, ‘M’ approaches uncommon off week MAX MARCOVITCH Daily Sports Editor
So now what? After claiming the Big Ten Tournament Championship for a second year in a row, the Michigan men’s basketball team is riding high. It vaulted to No. 7 in the AP poll released on Monday, and continues to climb up bracket projections, now seemingly locked into a topfour seed — bracketmatrix.com, a website that compiles a host of predictions, has the Wolverines as the final No. 3 seed. Michigan has won nine games in a row, and after beating Nebraska in the quarterfinal and Purdue in the final, has beaten all of the other 13 Big Ten teams, the only team in the conference to accomplish that feat this season. Suddenly, a pesky, middling Big Ten team has become one of the hottest in the country, and a bonafide contender. But after winning four games in four days, the red-hot Wolverines will go at least 10 days before playing next. Thanks to a condensed schedule created to accommodate Madison Square Garden as the venue for last week’s tournament, Michigan
won’t find out who it’s playing or where it’s going for another five days, raising the interminable question of rest versus rust. After a dizzying week, Michigan coach John Beilein made his case for rest. “I’ve been here before with both Canisius and Richmond,” Beilein said. “You’ve got to pace yourself, and you’ve got to embrace it, say, ‘You know what, we’ve got time to get better now.’ We’re going to get better. “I think it’ll be a nice week where I’m not — we just prepared for five teams in four days. I’m looking forward (to the fact) we can’t prepare for the next opponent, we can just focus on ourselves the next week.” Not only does Beilein have experience with the prolonged time off, he actually has success. In 1998, Beilein’s 14th-seeded Richmond team upset the No. 3 seeded South Carolina coming off a similar 11-day layoff. Beilein noted that he won’t practice each day, but would
likely practice a couple times with an intra-squad scrimmage slated for Sunday afternoon prior to the announcement of the NCAA Tournament field. When asked what his team can improve upon before the start of the Tournament, Beilein eagerly responded, “Oh, man,” before naming off a laundry list of areas for improvment. Free-throw shooting, boxing out and on-ball defense all made the cut before he forced himself to slow down and acknowledge the need to take things easy. But the perils of rust loom large for a team now gelling as one of the nation’s best. There was no feeling of disappointment in the Michigan locker room about getting the extra week — or at least no outward admission of such. If anything, the attitude was a workmanlike ambivalence. “I think we are just going to focus on — first of all, we’re going to enjoy this a couple days and to get some rest,” said junior center Moritz
“I’ve been here before with Canisius and Richmond.”
Michigan coach John Beilein has experienced this uncommon week off when he was at Canisius and Richmond.
Wagner, the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player. “Then we’re going to focus on what’s next. Whether that’s an advantage or disadvantage, doesn’t really matter.” Added Robinson: “We’re just looking at it as, it is what it is. It’ll be nice to get some rest — don’t have the young legs like I once did, being a fifth-year senior. It’ll be nice to get off my feet for it.” Senior guard Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman said he likes
to play Xbox during his down time, specifically Fortnite and Call of Duty. Robinson remarked that each player would maximize the extra week to watch more film, get an extra weight lift in or simply catch up on rest. But it’s only human nature to think the streaking Wolverines would just want to keep playing basketball. On Sunday, the rest of the conference tournaments will come to a close and the bracket
“We’re going to enjoy this a couple days and get some rest.”
will be released. Beilein will begin his game preparation, and the most chaotic sporting event in the country will officially begin. And no matter what happens in the next month, no matter what seed Michigan will end with, no matter what — if anything — comes of this uncommon week off, the Wolverines will still hang a banner in Crisler Center come next season. Careful not to fret too much about the extra time, Beilein made one thing clear about the schedule after he celebrated his second straight Big Ten Tournament title. “It was worth it.”
8A — Wednesday, March 7, 2018
The Michigan Daily — michigandaily.com
A look inside Michigan’s lifting program with strength coach Jamie Priess HUNTER SHARF Daily Sports Writer
We see Michigan women’s basketball players knocking down shots, grabbing boards and drawing up plays. But the fans rarely get to witness the preparation that goes into the final spectacle. They don’t know about the daily lives consumed with practice, game planning and watching film. People rarely think about the countless hours in the gym, and they certainly don’t consider how much time athletes spend in the weight room. To establish a firmer grasp on the Wolverines’ strength and conditioning program, The Michigan Daily sat down with Jamie Preiss. This past summer, Preiss was named Michigan’s strength and conditioning coach after spending time with the wrestling, men’s gymnastics, men’s tennis, men’s lacrosse and volleyball teams. He also currently works with the men’s basketball program as well as men’s and women’s golf. Take an inside look at how the self-proclaimed “hardest working team in America” prepares. How strength and conditioning changes throughout the year: The Michigan Daily: Throughout the year I’m sure the types of workouts you run the team through differ. So how do the workouts change from the offseason to in-season? Jamie Preiss: Really it all kind of starts in the summer. So they go home and come back in June. We’ll do our testing and evals for a week, and then we spend all of July up until August training, and then we’ll test them again. So July through August we’re doing as much work as we can. We’re trying to get as strong as we can, and we’re trying to get in the best possible shape as we can. TMD: So when you say “training,” specifically what kind of training do they go through? JP: We do a lot of our main lifts like our power cleans, squat, bench and a lot of circuit training. We’ll do things like sled pushes, we’ll get the battle ropes out. I’ll also mix in some cardio – like some Airdyne workouts, (and) conditioning on the court, we’ll do basketball specific drills for agility and start and stop sort of things. We also do straight endurance, getting up and down the court as many times as we can. TMD: To clarify, this is during the summer? JP: Yeah, during the summer. We’ll go three times a week in the weight room – Monday, Wednesday (and) Friday. They aren’t on the court a lot, so I get a lot of time with them. The workouts are an hour to an hour and a half. We usually reserve one day a week – usually on Fridays – where it’s full-on intensity. We work as hard as we can. We do team-oriented circuits where whatever team finishes first wins – it’s competitive. We want to try and keep things competitive in here and get them working as hard as they can. TMD: That fits with the motto of the team. JP: Yeah, their motto is the “hardest working team in America.” So we try and come in every single day in that offseason and work as hard as we can (in the weight room) because they don’t really need to work on basketball. TMD: How does that change when the summer ends? JP: Once you get into the fall, once they start playing more basketball, we kind of slow it down a little bit. TMD: How often are they getting into the weight room once basketball picks up? JP: We might get in (the weight room) three times a week in the fall, but it’s our general lifts — our squat, our bench, our power cleans. We
Senior forward Jillian Dunston has made an impression in her time at Michigan as being one of the hardest workers in the weight room for the Wolverines.
might do a couple supersets. I’m not really crushing them. We want to try and keep them fresh for practice. TMD: How does that change once the season starts? JP: It depends on what kind of minutes they’re playing. A high-minute player, they’re going to lift once a week. We’re going to get our squat, bench and power clean out of the way early on in the week, and the next day is a recovery day. They’re stretching and foam rolling. We’ll do rehab kind of stuff with stretching and mobility. TMD: And what about players that don’t see as much playing time? JP: If they’re not playing a ton of minutes, we’ll do a little bit more lifting. Two days a week (of lifting) in season. And (how much you do) depends on what kind of player you are and where you’re at in your development. TMD: In basketball, what lifts translate to the most success on the court? JP: Definitely being able to squat, being able to put force into the ground. That allows you to jump higher. Having good leg strength (is important), so squatting, deadlifting, power cleans. Anything that will improve your lower body strength. TMD: And what does an “active rest day” consist of? JP: It’s like coming in and doing some mobility drills. I might do some dumbbell work with them, some foam rolling, balance drills and things like that. They do stuff in the training room. Making sure they’re doing something to get some blood flow. Catering to different style
players and different body types: TMD: So how do workouts change between players? A player like Hallie Thome (6’5”) surely has a different workout plan than Katelynn Flaherty (5’7”). JP: In season, the highminute players pretty much do the same thing. They do their day one lifts at the beginning of the week — squat, bench, power clean — and then it’s basically like, let’s keep them healthy. Out of season, it depends on what each player needs to work on. Like Hallie Thome really needs to do a good job getting her legs stronger. Her squat numbers were equivalent to girls that were guards or much smaller than her. So we focused on getting her lower body strong and she bought in. She went up 40 pounds in her back squat in six weeks of training over the summer. Her power clean went up 15 pounds too. With Katelynn, it was more about just keeping her healthy, and she needed to build up her core strength because she was having some issues with her lower back in the summer. For conditioning, each position group’s workout is a little different. But in the weight room, it’s really based on their individual needs. And I evaluate them in the summer to determine what they need. On who excels: TMD: Is there anyone that stands out in the weight room? JP: Jillian (Dunston). There’s a record board (in the weight room) and she pretty much owns every record. She holds program records for back squat (350 lbs), bench press (175) and power clean (170). She has great energy and thinks it’s super important. When she comes in here she works as hard as she can. Just
“It’s like coming in and doing some mobility drills.”
“Yeah, during the summer. We’ll go three times a week.”
a great athlete. She’s strong, she’s the fastest, she can jump the highest, she has the best conditioning on the team – which is rare. A lot of times you don’t see the strongest kid being the best conditioned. She’s a specimen. She’s an absolute freak. She’s an unsung hero. What she brings in the weight room is a dream for us. She’s a leader for us. TMD: Too bad she’s a senior. JP: Yeah, we’re going to need to find someone moving forward that fills that role. On freshmen coming in: TMD: How do the freshmen acclimate to the training? JP: We need to identify their strengths and weaknesses right off hand. What we do is we’ll go through a whole screening. There’s different tests we do to help us identify if they have weaknesses in certain areas. The first week (they get to campus) they’ll do this. Before they even lift or practice, they do this testing. Injuries are so prevalent, especially in the knee, so we want to make sure they can squat properly, they can hip pinch properly, they can jump and land properly before we even send them out there. TMD: Is the transition hard for a lot of athletes? JP: With high school girl’s basketball, the biggest thing is knee injuries. Every girl that comes in here, they’ve probably had some sort of knee issue in high school. A lot of them just don’t work on strength. So we have to identify any red flags and then I’ll work with Melissa (Poherence) — our athletic trainer — to work them out. TMD: I assume they all come in with different levels of lifting experience? JP: Yeah, it depends on where you are at when you come in here. As they move along and when they’re ready, we start
testing them. For example, (Deja) Church came in as a freshman, and I didn’t test her on everything right away because she just wasn’t there yet. It took a minute before we did something like a back squat and power clean test because she didn’t know how to do it. But freshman Priscilla (Smeenge) came in, and she had training she had a good (lifting) background, and I was able to test her on everything. TMD: What kind of testing do you do? JP: We do vertical jump, sprint test, lane and agility, power clean, squat and bench press. Some of the technology the team implements: JP: We use this Fit Life Trainer. What you do is you put these reaction lights on the wall and set up a timer. The lights go off randomly, and we’ll have them get in a defense slide position and slide back and forth. I usually have them go for 20 seconds. Another thing we use is the Catapult. They wear it in practice every day and in games. It’s a GPS unit that goes on their back and monitors player load. It’s a number that identifies how many times they’ve cut, how far they’ve run, contact and all these different variables that go into one final number — they call that score the player load. A lot of it right now is just data collection. Our next step is how can we actually apply it? How we can manipulate training with it? The idea behind it is to be able to see trends. Things like, “do we have weeks where our player loads are super high and we
have to take a day and come down a little bit?” TMD: Do you find the Catapult the most useful piece of technology you use? JP: Yeah, just because it gives us a number in practice. It tells us how much they’re doing, which is hard to kind of quantify without this. Working with the coaches: TMD: How often and how closely do you work with the coaching staff? JP: Quite a bit. I work with (assistant) coach Melanie Moore — especially when I first got here — weekly. We talk all the time about what the girls needed individually, what she thought the pulse of the team was and what she wanted the pulse to be. We would literally go player by player and (discuss) what they needed individually and how they are improving. TMD: What about head coach Kim Barnes Arico? JP: I pop in and I talk to coach Arico as much as I can. We talk before practice, and we always try to make sure we’re on the same page. They think strength and conditioning is super important, so coach Arico is in here all the time wanting to know what we’re doing. She asks me things like, “What do you think of this player? Can we get this player’s conditioning better?” It’s always a back-andforth, we always try and be on the same page. I take what they say to heart, and I do what I can in (the weight room) to help improve them on the court. I think it’s a really good relationship. They’re super bought into what we’re doing. TMD: How much are the basketball practices and the strength and condition sessions intertwined? JP: So coach Arico utilizes practice to get them in good shape. It’s actually been pretty easy for me in my end in the condition area because she runs such a high intense practice. They’re not just doing basketball, she’ll work in sprint drills and things like that. TMD: Since it is such a condition-based practice, does that allow you to focus more on developing strength? JP: Yeah, for sure. In season, for the most part, I can work on getting them stronger. In the offseason, when they’re not doing as much on the court, that’s when I have to focus more on the conditioning. On the stigma of women and lifting weights: TMD: Do you find even in an athletic setting, there’s a difficulty in the stigma that society has created with women and lifting? JP: Yeah, it is different with women. Usually, with guys, they want to lift, they like to put a bunch of weight on and try and lift as heavy as they can. You know, some girls (say), “I don’t want to get too big or too bulky.” (Part of it) is getting them to understand that just because you’re strong doesn’t necessarily mean you have to be super bulky. That’s why I think Jillian Dunston is such a big part. She came in here, she lifted heavy and got after it. And the rest of the team kind of falls in line with that. Having her helped a lot. With this team, I haven’t come across any issues with that. TMD: Do you think in women’s athletics the importance of weight training gets overlooked? JP: For sure. More times than not you’ll get a female athlete come in and not have any training. TMD: Do you see that in men’s sports? JP: In men’s sports, more guys work out. And you see that in the injuries in women’s basketball, they just don’t work out (when they’re younger). In women’s sports, you get more girls that come in here and have never even stepped foot in a weight room. So being able to get them to understand why they are doing it is a big part of what we do.
“Our next step is how can we actually apply it?”
“It depends on where you are at when you come in here.”
PHOTO COURTESY OF HUNTER SHARF
The Michigan women’s basketball team has to adjust to weight lifting in college because many have not done much of it in high school.
statement T H E M I CH I GA N DAI LY | M A RCH 7, 201 8
East to West
Wednesday, March 7, 2018// The Statement
statement T H E M I CH I GA N DAI LY | M A RCH 7, 201 8
Managing Statement Editor: Brian Kuang
Photo Editor: Amelia Cacchione
Deputy Editors: Colin Beresford Jennifer Meer Rebecca Tarnopol
Editor in Chief: Alexa St. John
Copy Editors: Elise Laarman Finntan Storer
Managing Editor: Dayton Hare
Found in Translation BY ANJALI ALANGADEN, 2016 MANAGING DESIGN EDITOR
n a fit of extreme agitation the night before our first class, I haphazardly threw together another three lesson plans. Anxiety meant that sleep was improbable and creating increasingly incoherent worksheets honestly seemed like the best option. The next day, I would meet my group of English as a Second language adult learners, the people I’d spend the next four months tutoring through a local non-profit called Washtenaw Literacy. I had first learned about this organization from a guest lecturer the previous semester, and immediately considered it as an opportunity to expand my worldview and actually use some of my linguistics major. Finally getting a class should have been an exciting prospect, except that I knew precisely nothing about my students. What languages would they speak? What level would I teach? Could they respect me, or even like me? It was that last question that haunted me most. Because, why should they respect me? Each had left behind familiarity in search of something better. They had come to an unfamiliar country with sparse English skills and no guarantee of success, buoyed a hope that somehow things would work out.
ILLUSTRATION BY ANJALI ALANGADEN
Meanwhile, I was a kind-of sheltered college kid who had never lived more than 25 miles from my childhood home in Dearborn. There was no question that I would be younger than every single one of my learners. Sure I had a few months of training and observation to fall back on, but realistically, what could I offer them? In the 30 minutes before the start of the session, my table filled with people from seven different countries. So many students at the table, but somehow the silence was absolutely deafening. Doing my best to feign confidence, I took a deep breath and introduced myself. I mean, how bad could it be? It took only about three minutes for me to realize that it could, in fact, be very bad. I had spent all night making plans, but somehow every single one was either too complex or patronizingly easy. Every attempt to spark conversation fell flat, and I had somehow lost the ability to speak in full sentences. After a painful 90 minutes, class ended and I retreated to my car to shed some frustrated tears. As defeated as that first lesson left me, I had committed to four months of tutoring and so I dragged myself back to class just a couple days later. This lesson wasn’t much better. It was difficult to create engaging
materials and facilitating conversations seemed nearly impossible. However, as I got to know these learners — their interests, their life stories, their families — our sessions improved. People actually spoke to each other and I got a better gauge of their proficiency. Every time I managed to clarify some grammatical quirk or found the perfect explanation for a ridiculous idiom, I felt a tiny thrill of triumph. I hoarded every single one of those little moments of success until they slowly became the norm. It’s impossible to pinpoint when exactly things changed, but somewhere in that first month, our ESL classes went from excruciatingly uncomfortable to the best part of my week. I found myself noting down reading topics of interest or getting excited over potential speaking activities. So when my initial four months were up, I quickly committed to more, knowing many of my original learners would return. Now, nearly two years later, my time as a tutor draws to a close and I find myself reflecting often on this remarkable group of people. While I am ostensibly the teacher, I’ve never truly felt the role. Rather, each ESL session teaches me something entirely original or encourages me to reevaluate my own viewpoints. Maybe I’m a little delusional, but I really think there’s something kind of magical about these sessions. Though the membership of this group is somewhat fluid — new students join, veteran ones move — the breakdown almost doesn’t matter. No matter who shows up each week, the groups somehow manage to transform our corner of a borrowed classroom into a full-on international summit — with each student contributing a unique viewpoint and background. In our sessions, things like age, nationality and education maybe don’t disappear, but they do become remarkably insignificant. A seasoned Japanese software developer and a young German homemaker chat about American civics, commiserating over the absurdities of the English language. Facilitating these interactions isn’t always simple, but I’ve gained some key lessons along the way.
Silences can be awkward but almost never as bad as you think. Sure there are a few moments of panic when I ask a question and get only blank stares in response. But I’ve learned that blank stares rarely signal blank minds. There’s great value to moments of consideration, in navigating a restricted vocabulary when your thoughts are so much more complex. It’s also given me an even greater appreciation for the resilience of each learner. Uprooting your life to move to another country is terrifying, to say the least. Doing it with limited language skills and without a guarantee of happiness seems almost unthinkable. Although hearing their stories of daily frustration and prejudice sometimes leaves me furious, I know each of these incidents just fuels to the determination to learn. As important as English fluency is, some things transcend language altogether. In many ways, I only know my learners in the most superficial manner. Per policy, we have no contact outside of our sessions — no phone numbers or email addresses have been exchanged. Our relationship is built on just three hours of interaction each week. Despite the language barrier, I sometimes feel that they know me as well as my closest friends. They wish me luck before every exam (and often give me advice on improving my study skills!), ask after my family and even bring remedies when I routinely turn up sick. In the same vein, two years has taught me countless things about each student. I know the foods they miss most from back home, which subjects their children struggle with and their goals for the future. If this reads a little bit like a love letter to my ESL group, that’s because it is. Teaching ESL is simultaneously one of my most meaningful experiences and the one I find hardest to define. As graduation and my inevitable move out of Ann Arbor get ever closer, I can only thank this group for not immediately ditching me during that disastrous first month, for sending me off with new knowledge and perspectives, and for so many moments of appreciation and joy.
Wednesday, March 7, 2018 // The Statement
Brews Through: Panther Coffee, Dr. Smood, by Chloe BY YOSHIKO IWAI, COLUMNIST
t’s not so surprising that the pale Michigander seeks sunshine and warmth from the dead cold. When winter lasts nine months of the year, we forget what it feels like to wear shorts and have sunscreen slathered in splotches on your face. I went to get some blood work done recently and it turns out I am suffering from a dangerous Vitamin D deficiency. My best friend and I decided to make the trip down south to Miami. Almost everyone I’ve met in college evidently had the same idea. It’s my last break as an undergrad and I wanted to get some Vitamin D without eating triple-dose gummies twice a day. We spent our mornings by the pool getting tan, feeling those pyrimidine dimers in our DNA, hoping we managed just enough sunscreen to avoid melanoma, but not too much to look un-ill for once. We spent our afternoons attempting to do homework, eating good food and drinking good coffee. I accidentally bought a water bottle for 17 dollars at the resort. My face seeing the receipt was akin to “The Scream.” We decided to get our coffee and snacks elsewhere for both quality and sanity. Panther Coffee is a Miami-based coffee roaster, and a must-go if you’re in the neighborhood. They have five stores, but also sell their coffee beans elsewhere. We spent time at the Sunset Harbour location on Purdy Avenue, a hip getaway from the resort-tourist scene. It’s a cozy set-up. The floor-to-ceiling windows let enough light into the cafe, though the hanging lights give off a
nice, tinted ambiance. The whole place has an industrial feeling to it: the metal tables, large nuts and bolts screwed into the counters, exposed light bulbs, creamy gray concrete lining the walls. The customers match the mood, like an interior designer placed them there. Young businessmen in trendy suits, a fitness couple cooling off after a run, the plush golden retriever sitting by his owner, who’s wearing dark sunglasses, a woman grabbing a cold brew in her fulldenim outfit — it’s what I think of when I imagine “trendy.” I was pleasantly surprised with the price, even after spending near 20 dollars on a small Fiji water. It was still early when I sat down at Panther, so I got my morning regular: black Americano with their signature ham and cheese croissant. I spent less, enjoyed more — not that it’s that hard to find a more reasonably priced cafe in Miami. Panther didn’t get itself to where it is just for reasonable prices. The coffee menu is dangerous for any caffeine lover, but they carry a generous selection of teas as well. The croissants are twice the size of my palm and had I stayed in Miami for longer, I would’ve made my way through the entire menu. After spending five days in Miami, my friend and I flew back to Detroit. Correction: we tried. We had a layover in LaGuardia before landing in Detroit on Thursday night. We planned a solid four days in Ann Arbor to enjoy some peace and quiet before the last sprint of the semester begins. The snowstorm in Detroit and then the storm in New York City threw a wrench in our plans. I didn’t know what a “Nor’easter” was until the day my flight was canceled. Turns out it’s a specific type of storm where masses of cyclonic air are pushed counterclockwise and become pretty deadly. At this point, the Nor’easter that hit this weekend killed eight people on the East Coast. Our flight was canceled twice, pushing us back one day. We decided to make a day out of our 24 hours in New York City, walking through a hailing Nor’easter with large suitcases and nothing but bikinis and sandals. We landed in another coffee shop where we met up with some old friends. Dr. Smood is a healthy cafe. It was around the corner from the hotel we booked for the night (PSA: airlines don’t
cover any hotels for weather-related cancellations). We got lucky, honestly. Dr. Smood is maybe trendier than Panther in certain ways, though they call themselves a “boutique” and are more of a hangout than a coffee place. They serve good coffee, but more emphasis on cold-pressed juices and organic shots — green algae, ginger, turmeric, you name it. The boutique eatery is a getaway. The stone walls and black interior are sexy. They have wooden countertops for laptop usage and fancy couches to grab coffee with a colleague. Despite the mildly intimidating atmosphere, the baristas are kind. It’s the place where I hang out in my hypothetical NYC life, along with my hypothetical job, my hypothetical wardrobe and my hypothetical high-rise overlooking Central Park. At this point, the Nor’easter is building. Our flights are canceled for a third, then fourth, then fifth time. Our initial Thursday flight from New York to Detroit gets pushed to Sunday, so we are stuck in our layover destination for four days — four days. Sure, New York is the best city to get stuck in, but mind you, I have five bikinis, Birkenstocks and one pair of ripped jeans. My sunburn is starting to peel on my back and my body
Photos courtesy of Yoshiko Iwai
is confused with the 50-degree drop in temperature. It’s our third day in New York City now. I am writing my column from another trendy, plush, slick coffee shop. Part of me wonders if the universe just wanted me to coffee shop hop my last spring break. The world somehow knew how I wanted to spend my break, it sensed my guilt by the pool not writing my thesis, not studying for exams, not preparing for the future. So, I’m here in New York City debating if I should actually be productive touring grad schools, apartment-seeking, bracing for my life after graduation. For now though, my coffee gives me comfort. The sustainable, plant-based, delicious cafe, by Chloe, has a few locations in Europe, in NYC, in LA, and some other fancy locales. I splurge at maybe the best location adjacent to the Rockefeller Center. I don’t know what I expected from my last spring break, but it definitely wasn’t this. I’m not complaining, I feel nourished from skin to stomach to soul. It’s been a fulfilling time away from school. And if I’ve learned anything, it’s to keep taking strolls and opening doors to more coffee. Chasing the scent of coffee, no matter what city, seems to be the best way of traveling.
Wednesday, March 7, 2018 // The Statement
Wednesday, March 7, 2018 // The Statement
East to West My grandfather’s escape from East Germany
he year was 1960, and tearing through the farmland on his motorcycle was my grandfather Helmut Krenz, age 20. A few hours later, he would be jailed in a cold East German prison cell, imprisoned because he tried to escape his authoritarian government. Without the risks he would undertake in the coming months, my mother would have been born in East instead of West Germany, and likely would not have immigrated to the United States. I too would likely not enjoy the opportunities afforded to me today. ollowing World War II, Germany was split up “temporarily” by the four victorious Allied powers for the purposes of rebuilding. However, the Soviet Union sought to permanently divide the country between East Germany and West Germany. Western soldiers looked eastward fearing another world war, while Communist forces along the border also looked eastward to prevent the state’s own citizens from f leeing to freedom. While the West reaped the benefits of the Marshall Plan — United States aid to rebuild Europe after World War II — and
by Caleb Chadwell, Contributor a free market economy (what Germans still refer to as the “economic miracle”), the East regressed into a planned economy, the negative effects of which are still evident decades later. Those who lived in the East and had just been freed from the horrors of the Nazis and the Gestapo were again subjected to exploitation and inhumane treatment at the hands of the East German secret police, the Stasi. Freedom of the press, religion, speech and travel were all severely curtailed, and citizen’s felt as though they were constantly being watched. Helmut’s formative years were spent in this geopolitical hotbed, less than 50 miles from the Iron Curtain. elmut was born in Germany during World War II, but the Krenz family was forced by the Nazis to relocate to what is now Poland. In early 1945, caught between the enclosing Soviets in the East and the Nazis in the West, they became refugees and f led through the brutally cold winter. After months of running and living as refugees, the family returned and settled on farmland in Warlitz, East Germany, desperately hoping the worst was
over. Helmut grew up working the farm, feeding the animals and enjoying relatively peaceful childhood years. However, he slowly became aware of the reality of the so-called German “Democratic” Republic. Indoctrination came first in the education system and he was forced to submit to MarxistLeninist ideolog y in his classes. He felt he couldn’t be open with his peers in school or question anything he learned, out of fear it would negatively affect his prospects for employment. The absence of economic freedom and career mobility also contributed to the desire to escape. The government mandated that he stay and contribute as a farmer, but he knew he wanted to continue studying, obtain an education and be free to choose his own profession. In addition to limits on his educational and career prospects, the East German state also actively persecuted those practicing religion, particularly Christians such as Helmut. The official position of the ruling Socialist Unity of Party of Germany was that Christian churches were foreign bodies and had no place in a socialist state, whose stated aim was an entirely atheist soci-
ety. Local church leaders were routinely arrested and imprisoned and felt like the Stasi was watching their every move. Faced with these circumstances in his teenage years was the first time he had the yearning to leave the East. If circumstances allowed him to escape to the West, he would take the risk for freedom. elmut’s first opportunity to escape arose shortly after he turned 20 in the fall of 1960. He would travel to Berlin on his motorcycle, then take the city tram in to meet up with family friends and initially scout out the path to the West. However, once on the Berlin train system, the East German police examined his passport and detained him. He was taken to headquarters, locked in a prison cell and interrogated for hours. After this, the police confiscated his passport and told him he was no longer allowed to travel outside of his hometown. For weeks the Stasi watched and periodically questioned him. After seven weeks of this surveillance, he was called to the local police station in his hometown of Warlitz. The police chief brought him up to his office and initially appeared to be empathetic and compassionate — promising Helmut a good life if he subscribed to communist ideology and did as he was told. The chief even returned his passport, allowing him to once again freely travel throughout East Germany. As the meeting was ending, however, the chief coldly looked Helmut in the eyes and said, “I give you one warning, if we catch you on the way to Berlin another time, then 10 years imprisonment is sure for you.” Helmut was stunned and frustrated — he was no criminal, he simply wanted freedom and a better life. e would defy the government’s stern warning when he left home with another would-be defector the day after Christmas in 1960. He made the difficult choice to leave his family behind, not knowing if he would ever see them again. He left with nothing but the clothes on his back and a toothbrush; knowing if he carried anything more, he would likely be stopped and questioned. In order to not arouse suspicion, he Courtesy of Caleb Chadwell first traveled to Leipzig, East Germa-
The Krenz Family in East Germany in 1948. Helmut is pictured front row, far right.
ny instead of going directly to Berlin, spending Christmas at a conference in the city to throw off anyone watching him as to his true intentions. On Dec. 26, 1960, he planned to connect to the central train station in East Berlin. Before the Berlin Wall was constructed in 1961, the trains in the city still ran between the East and West under heavy passport control once onboard the train. This was the way he would theoretically get to the West. When setting out from Leipzig, the friend he was traveling with decided seconds before boarding the train he would not attempt to escape given the imminent danger. Helmut pleaded with him to come aboard the train, but the doors suddenly slammed shut — leaving him alone on his four-hour journey to Berlin. Some people, especially Germans, are familiar with the story of a young Martin Luther, who, facing death during a lightning storm, pledged to become a monk if he was spared. Knowing his next stop could be prison, Helmut made a similar pledge: To serve God if granted his freedom against these insurmountable odds. On the train, he found an open seat across from a high-ranking East German officer. When it came time to show passports, the border guards gave his only a quick once-over look, figuring any young man sitting near an officer surely did not need to be checked. An overwhelming sense of relief came over him at that moment, but he wasn’t safe yet. Often times to their detriment, Germans are known for having a rigidly hierarchical view of authority (the V W emissions scandal is a perfect modernday example). Thankfully, the East German hierarchy was alive and well on this day. Once in Berlin, he quickly followed the dense crowds to the Berlin tram system. He had memorized the map and knew he had to get off at Gesundbrunnen, the station in the West. He was scared to look at or speak with anyone on the train, fearing there were Stasi spies in the mix of commuters. It was highly unusual there was no passport control on the train that day, and when he reached Gesundbrunnen, he jumped out of the train to freedom. “No one can describe what that feeling was like,” he said. ince God held up his end of the bargain, Helmut stuck to his promise, eventually leading churches in West Germany, Switzerland and Sterling Heights, Michigan as a pastor. Many have come to Detroit seeking employment with one of the “Big Three” — Chrysler, Ford and General Motors — but he would joke with people and tell them he was in town to work for the “Big One” — God. For Helmut, the so-called “American Dream” was never about wealth accumulation or status, but simply the opportu-
Courtesy of Caleb Chadwell Gesundbrunnen Station in Berlin in 2016.
nity this country presented. His family could live here in peace, free from government oversight, with access to great schools. The Krenz family enjoyed similar freedom and a good life in Switzerland, but Helmut and his wife Isolde felt it was time to move to Michigan for their children’s educational benefit. Helmut’s family did not have much money and my mother, born in Erkelenz, West Germany, didn’t know any English after arriving in Michigan. When she began fifth grade during her first school year here, she could only read at a first grade level. But my grandfather would challenge them: “If other kids can do it, you can too.” By the end of that first year, she was ahead of the rest of the class and reading at an eighth grade level. No one in their family before them had a formal college education. Through hard work, my mother ended up receiving a full scholarship to attend Wayne State University. In part because Helmut chose to leave everything he knew behind on that fateful day in 1960, two of his children went on to receive doctorates, one became a concert pianist, and another helps run a business. I too have the opportunity to now attend the University of Michigan as a result. n 2016, I had the opportunity to travel to Berlin and retrace my grandfather’s footsteps while studying abroad. The train still runs from the former East German central station to Gesundbrunnen, the former station of liberation. As I sat there riding through the city on that sunny day, I thought about how blessed I am that Helmut took the risk of escaping. When he was 20 in Berlin, he faced the prospect of at least a decade in
prison to obtain freedom, while my trip was spent leisurely enjoying the city. He had to watch his back to ensure the Stasi didn’t tail him on the train; I simply had to use Google Maps to find the correct routes. He was forced to make life-defining decisions, I was faced with the choice of whether I should sample a local currywurst or grab McDonald’s for lunch. This stark generational contrast is thanks to the establishment of a free society in Germany. So often we take our liberty for granted, but we must remember it is a result of years of sacrifice and striving toward equality, individualism, representative government, peace and freedom for all. I will likely never have to risk my own life in order to secure these ideals for future generations, but we should be thankful many of our parents, grandparents and families did before us. Some escaped dictators, many fought in the armed forces to keep us safe, while countless others made daily sacrifices in order to send their children to college or move to a better neighborhood. Sitting there in Berlin, I realized my grandfather’s story of oppression and journey to freedom inf luences the way I see the world today. My belief that America should welcome immigrants f leeing persecution, that individuals deserve to take home more of their own paychecks or that the size of government should be limited, are rooted in the abuses Helmut and countless others faced and still face at the hands of authoritarian regimes in North Korea, China, Venezuela, Russia and elsewhere around the world. his year marks 28 years since the wall was torn down — the same number of years it was standing. Thankfully my grandfather was able
to move through Berlin just months before the East German government shocked the world by constructing it overnight in 1961. He knows it wouldn’t have been possible for him to get out once the structure was in place. In a recent conversation with him, I asked what his reaction was when the Berlin Wall fell and his home countr y was reunif ied in 1990. He reiterated his belief that whenever a government attempts to stif le people, that institution will ultimately fail. The deep irony of East Germany’s attempted repression of relig ion is that the peaceful protest movement that eventually led to the toppling of the Berlin Wall began in churches. Tota lita ria nism event ua lly fa ils a nd g ives way to ma nkind’s inherent desire for self-government, but conscious strides must be made in order for t his to happen. While leaders like U.S. President Rona ld Reaga n a nd Genera l Secreta r y Mikha il Gorbachev of t he Sov iet Union set t he pendulum of f reedom into motion, t he will a nd belief of t he millions of people were event ua lly what pulled back t he Iron Cur ta in. A s one of t he millions of people who a re for t unate enough to now reap t he benef its of liv ing in t his f ree societ y, I feel a n over whelming sense of responsibilit y to continue to improve A merica as a beacon of hope a nd a la nd of oppor t unit y for a ll people. Only t hrough open dia log ue a nd mut ua l respect for one a not her ca n we prevent t he re-emergence of t he fa iled philosophies of t he prior cent ur y perpetrated in t he Eastern bloc, experienced by my g ra ndfat her a nd countless ot hers like him.
Wednesday, March 7, 2018 // The Statement
Do UC me
t first, I thought my illness was the flu or maybe the dreaded norovirus—nothing out of the ordinary for a college student. But I was in for a rude awakening. Little did I know my symptoms were actually the beginning of an entirely new life challenge I was totally unprepared for. I found out one year ago these developing symptoms were actually ulcerative colitis, a chronic inflammatory bowel disease that causes bleeding in the digestive tract. I was in the middle of a severe flare-up, meaning the inflammation had suddenly worsened, causing me serious pain. It took several time-consuming medical tests before my diagnosis. I discovered everyone who lives with UC has a different and unpredictable experience. It is called an “invisible” disease since many people who have it look healthy, but destructive things are occurring on the inside. It interrupted every aspect of my life during Lent; a solemn season of penance, prayer and fasting, in which Catholics devote their lives to sacrifice. As a result of my new condition, I was about to learn a new meaning of Lent: perseverance. I have gone to church on Sunday for my entire life, so going after my diagnosis was not an escape for me, but rather somewhere I might be understood and finally comforted. Without a cure or any ability to calm my symptoms, I was losing control over my daily routine. Not that the timing ever would have been ideal, but this also came during a packed semester when I was taking 17 credits. The first doctor I visited told me I would just “feel better” after taking what was prescribed to me as if it were so simple. I was given several medicines to try, but never found one to subdue my symptoms at any point during the semester. After grinding through school one day, I remember reaching back out and informing them my symptoms had worsened and I was struggling mentally. A few days later I got a message from a nurse saying, “It takes time.” I did not have time. Time, if anything, was running out. It was not just the physical debilitation —– losing over 20 pounds and not being able to eat nutritiously or exercise —– but also the psychological pain that weighed me down. Each day chipped away at my patience, my faith and my will. It was isolating, to say the least. I could not find any balance and became depressed. Because I was afraid
BY KEVIN BIGLIN, DAILY STAFF REPORTER to eat anything, I could not focus and also began struggling in my classes. Skipping breakfast and lunch became a habit as I could only tolerate some soup, juice or salad, if I was lucky. I would try eating something for dinner, but could never finish a full meal. I was losing touch with myself, often putting on a happy face in public to not worry others. It became a daily challenge to try to hide my symptoms as best as I could in front of my friends, teachers and classmates. If you are unaware of the symptoms of untreated UC, now would be the time to Google it.
Needless to say, I was embarrassed and terrified at the thought of being seen as an outcast. Doing routine things, like hanging out with friends, suddenly became risky. Without warning, I’d rush to find the closest restroom. Upon them asking what was wrong, I tried my best to describe it, but never could find the right words to do so. As a result, I shut people out and stayed in as much as possible. My mood was enigmatic so I became quiet, frustrated by uncertainty. My friends and family were supportive and sympathetic. My parents were the only ones I confided many of my thoughts in. This was never an issue.
I just never had the courage to tell anybody how bad things really were, not only physically, but also mentally. Nobody warned me beforehand how psychologically draining this could become. I asked myself, “Why now? Why Lent?” In my frustration, I swore both at myself and at God. I thought, “How could you do this to me now?” Though it was upsetting to do so, it also felt liberating, like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders. At first, I would try lying to myself, thinking everything was fine and then doing something destructive like going out at night with friends. I quickly learned instead I had to feel all of my emotions and express them. I was reminded no matter how you feel, you have to be honest with yourself in a life of faith. This would help me avoid doing things that put my health at risk and subsequently allowed me to move forward. I still kept my anxiety to myself, though. Moments of comfort, or freedom from isolation, came during mass at St. Thomas, where ILLUSTRATION BY I heard biblical BETSY STUBBS stories of hardship and determination and prayed alongside others. It gave me the courage to believe things would get better. Quite honestly, it gave me the little bit of the hope I needed to make it through the week. My symptoms were still damaging in the week leading up to Easter, and none of the medicine I was taking helped. Thankfully, though, it was the end of the semester; I didn’t have to drop any classes and I could go home. Once I moved back home, I was abruptly hospitalized, making me realize just how defeated my body and mind really were. I was allergic to one of my failing medications, causing painful acute pancreatitis and forcing me to spend three nights in the hospital. The
doctors told me this only happened to around 2 percent of people who took this medicine. Despite this setback, stability returned to my life after beginning treatment on a new medicine. It successfully suppresses my symptoms, and I receive it every two months through an hour-long infusion. I no longer had to rely on a clear liquid diet. Instead, I could enjoy real food and slowly ease myself back into working out. Though I have yet to regain most of my lost weight, I feel normal again. By May, Lent was over, and I was beginning to feel relieved. For the first time in what felt like forever, I was comfortable and could breathe easier. I could actually see the beauty in things again, rather than having to constantly worry where the closest bathroom was. Today marks a year since my symptoms began, and Lent has again returned. Despite the vast improvements in my health, it is still a challenge for me to find everyday balance. I struggle when symptoms unexpectedly resurface and remind me I still have limits and must eat only certain foods, take dietary supplements, probiotics and receive infusions to keep my body from returning to a damaging state. Though I am still unsure how or why this all happened, I am more honest with myself now. I cannot take anything in life for granted and must take my health very seriously; doing everything I can to avoid any future setbacks. I have come to terms with knowing I will live with this aff liction for the rest of my life. I recognize now the psychological toll this experience has taken on me. Looking back, I wish I had done more for my mental health rather than allowing my isolation and pride to prevent me from getting the help I really needed. I have been fortunate to join the Crohn’s and Colitis Student Initiative, which promotes awareness of inf lammatory bowel disease and its effects so students can feel more supported on campus. Staying faithful and being honest includes knowing your limits and recognizing when things are wrong. Especially when you yourself are wrong. It also means not being afraid of what people might say and, above all else, not lying to yourself. After all, this is what Lent is all about. I know now better than ever that making it by in life is not the difficult part. Overcoming not just physical, but also psychological hardship is the difficult part.
Wednesday, March 7, 2018// The Statement
Soundtracking: The Winter Olympics BY MATT HARMON, DAILY NEWS EDITOR
’m back, facade up and ready to soundtrack once again. The Winter Olympics — the only time America is actually invested in sports like ski slalom and shuff leboard on ice. In an effort to declare our country the global champions of snow, millions of Americans gather around the TV for the month of February in their homes, libraries or respective newsrooms to witness heartbreaks and triumphs. We laugh, we cry, we stare in awe but most importantly, we recognize our own athletic limitations, because I don’t know about you but I could never perform remotely close to the athletes who complete triple axel double-sided backf lips while juggling chainsaws in the Winter Olympics. My career with sports has not been the most decorated. In third grade, my baseball team won our leag ue championship. With my trophy in hand, I ran home and celebrated the victorious season. Eventually, I memorialized that season by making my first email address username, “baseballchamp7.” At our final team party, my coach posted our batting averages and I ran to see how much I had accomplished. Babe Ruth’s record, here I come. .000 I didn’t hit a single ball. I was walked a few times but my championship victory had clouded my actual stats, convincing me I was the true baseball champ. From there, everything went downhill for sports, as I favored the summer musical over joining a soccer team with my friends. What I don’t understand about the Winter Olympics is how I, a 20-yearold child, am missing my Kobe free throws into trash cans while THESE 14-YEAR-OLDS ARE WINNING GOLD??? Fountain of Youth — Local Natives At the age of some of these Olympic stars, I couldn’t hammer a nail into a set piece without taking a breather. I couldn’t run a mile if my life depended on it, yet these athletic icons can complete front f lips and side twists and whatever else they do while strapped to a literal piece of wood going a million miles an hour down a halfpipe. Some of these Olympians are just now going through puberty. Can you imagine being broadcast on global TV after winning a gold medal, only to voice crack during the interview? Sometimes I like to imagine what the Olympics would be like if — instead of this whole “training for
your entire life and qualifying for a spot on the national team” thing — we randomly selected representatives from each country to participate in the winter events like the “Hunger Games” lottery. Possibly no athletic experience, but you just have to try your best and hope the judges respect your valiant effort. I’m 99 percent sure if my name was called to represent the United States in some wild event like the ski jump, once everyone saw my build and lack of athletic potential practically written on my face, everyone in the country would throw in the towel and accept defeat. Represent — Nas Think about the ski jump for a minute — participants are strapped into long poles that make them look like scuba divers walking with f lippers, positioned at the top of a steep hill, pushed down, launched into the sky at 60 miles per hour and expected to land on the skis and be perfectly fine. How people survive this jump, I have no clue. I’ve tried standing up on a sled and have eaten the ground on every attempt after .5 seconds of motion. Just looking at me, everyone would know I was going to fail. I would be shaking in my boots just looking at the jump. If I can’t watch the event on TV without f lipping out and staring slack-jawed, what makes you think I would be a solid representative for the U.S. at the Winter Olympics? This is why I like the random lottery idea for the Olympics — everyone is an underdog. Comeback Kid (That’s My Dog) — Brett Dennen I love rooting for the underdog: Cool Runnings, The Karate Kid, Erin Brockovich. All of ‘em. In this imaginary Winter Olympics, I would be the ultimate underdog — Air Bud. No one expects Air Bud to be good at every sport known to man (or dog), yet he always comes out on top. Against all odds, a dog can beat a human in basketball, soccer, volleyball and all of the other franchise installments. I’m pretty sure the Olympics viewers would have more faith in a golden retriever on skis than they would have for me. Even I would trust Air Bud to come home with the gold. With my skis, helmet and lack of confidence, I’d somehow maneuver my way to the top of the ramp despite only having skied twice in my life. Skiing lessons at Pine Knob when I was 10 would not have prepared me
for this event. Despite there being no way to confuse the initial starting point, I know I would look like a cartoon and eventually find myself facing backward away from the ramp. Movin Backwards — A Tribe Called Quest My Olympic debut would look like a Charlie Chaplin routine but there would be absolutely nothing funny about it to me. I would be terrified. Cameras would f lash as announcers and spectators would question my decision to launch off backward. Some would say, “He’s gotta be insane,” but others would be more optimistic with thoughts like, “Let’s hope his tactic works out.” Just then, I’d hear the countdown but we all know I’d accidentally start heading down the hill too early, waving my arms frantically, calling for them to stop the ride so I can get off. However, this ride has no red button to stop. I’d gain speed despite constant shifts of balance. My knees would be absolutely locked out of straight fear. As I hit the final lip, with everyone expecting me to break my legs, I’d see the crowd shield their eyes. Never a good sign. Closing my eyes, I’d feel nothing below my skis anymore. My only savior — the ground — would be far gone. Off The Ground — Anderson Paak In the wise words of Vanessa Hudgens and Drew Seeley (this is the hill I want to die on): “We’re soarin, f lyin.” I think me and everyone else watching at home would just be surprised I made it this far. Maybe I was the true ski jump champion we all needed. I’d set records, innovate the sport and retire early to make more time for Sports Illustrated interviews and writing my memoirs. But this isn’t how this daydream is
ILLUSTRATION BY BETSY STUBBS
destined to end. I think too lowly of myself to have it end triumphantly even though it’s my own dream and I can do whatever I want. The moment one of my skis touched the ground, and I mean one and not both, the pressure would be too much. The weight of high-profile celebrity status coupled with my inadequate physical condition would cause my legs to buckle and my body to hit the tightly-packed landing, not making for a soft descent into a blanket of snow. Shake, Rattle and Roll — Sam Cooke Have you ever seen an actual person start rolling down a mountain so quickly they form into a large snowball, constantly picking up more and more mass as gravity does the rest? Well, I like to think I’d be the first to accomplish this during such a widely-broadcasted event. It says a lot about my upbringing that I dream in cartoon tropes but this is what I would suspect would happen. Any dreams of me being Air Bud would immediately be crushed and I would become a gigantic ball of disappointment barreling toward the finish line. A safety hazard, yes, but also a beautiful sight to see. I’d be the best bottom third of a snowman the world had ever seen. Forget ski jump, that’s my new Olympic event. Dazed and Confused — Led Zeppelin Hitting the bottom, birds would travel around my head like planets in orbit and I would probably forget my own name. The interview after would hopefully make it on the Daily Mail Snapchat story. I g uess I’m just going to stick with staring in awe at the next Olympics and heading to the Intramural Building when I can’t think of literally anything else to do with my time.
Wednesday, March 7, 2018 // The Statement
V I S UA L STAT E M E NT:
A crossroad of past, present and future Photos and text by Chun So
A week before Spring Break, one of the editors at Michigan in Color, Na’kia Channey, reached out to me spontaneously, “Hey. Would you like to come to D.C. with us to photograph?” “Uh … I guess.” I was told that the purpose of this trip to D.C. was to explore the forgotten history of marginalized communities centered in our capital. As part of my job description, I was supposed to photograph the trip. However, when I strapped on my camera in D.C., I realized I’m not simply a photographer. I, too, am a person of color. As an Asian immigrant, this matters to me personally. It is important for us to understand marginalized communities and our histories. Read more at MichiganDaily.com
Today's publication includes The Statement.