ONE HUNDRED AND THIRTY YEARS OF EDITORIAL FREEDOM
Wednesday, October 14, 2020
Ann Arbor, Michigan
Photos from The Daily archives feature Rollie Hudson center, Sandra Steingraber, then a reporter for The Michigan Daily, top right.
Graduate students’ anti-policing demands echo demonstrations over armed officers decades ago The Daily outlines history of law enforcement at the University of Michigan , activism in response to deputization of officers CALDER LEWIS
Daily Staff Reporter
Sandra Steingraber, an alum of the University of Michigan and former opinion writer for The Michigan Daily, said she doesn’t remember the University’s first arrest following the deputization of campus police officers. Steingraber, who was a Rackham student at the time and now
teaches environmental studies at Ithaca College, was unconscious. She was carried away on a stretcher by the Ann Arbor Fire Department after being thrown to the ground by an Ann Arbor police officer on Oct. 6, 1988. “I have a really strong memory of the back of my head hitting the pavement because it just sounded like a metal bat hitting a ball,” Steingraber said. When Leo Heatley, director of
the University’s Department of Public Safety, draped his coat over Steingraber, Cale Southworth, then a colleague of Steingraber’s at The Daily, demanded Heatley get off her. Heatley then threw Southworth to the ground. After Southworth tried to run away, DPS Assistant Director Robert Pifer arrested him. Heatley and Pifer were the first two public safety officers deputized at the University.
Prior to former University President James Duderstadt’s inauguration, dozens of protesters demonstrated on North University Ave. Students criticized what they called a clandestine process to install Duderstadt as president, alleging violations of the Open Meetings Act, which requires local governing bodies to conduct their business transparently. The students also took issue with
Duderstadt’s ties to military research. Steingraber attempted to enter Hill Auditorium with Rollie Hudson, an opinion writer at The Daily, to cover the ceremony. Steingraber said when Hudson reached into his pocket to display his press pass to the law enforcement officers blocking the entrance, police tackled him to the ground. “He started bleeding and they
were grinding his head to the pavement, and it became suddenly very dreamlike,” Steingraber said. “It was as if no sound was coming out of my mouth.” She and other students followed Hudson as police allegedly tossed him in the unmarked car. “He started to smear his blood on the inside of the windows to show us that he was bleeding,” Steingraber said. See POLICE, Page 3
New COVID-19 cases traced to Brown Jug, Chapala restaurants located in Ann Arbor Washtenaw County advises visitors from last week to monitor symptoms, quarantine BEN ROSENFELD Daily News Editor
The Washtenaw County Health Department alerted the public Monday afternoon to a possibility of exposure at two Ann Arbor restaurants, Brown Jug on S. University Ave. and Chapala Mexican Restaurant on N. Main St. Anyone who was at Brown Jug from Oct. 1-3 and Oct. 6 and Chapala on Oct. 1 should quarantine and monitor for symptoms. Currently, 13 cases are linked to the two restaurants, not including six positive cases at popular student bar and restaurant Brown Jug dating back to August. Jimena Loveluck, health officer for Washtenaw County, noted that contact tracing is difficult with cases coming from public interactions in a restaurant setting. “In most situations, we can contact individuals exposed to COVID-19 directly,” Loveluck said. “Unfortunately, with the number of positive cases that report visiting
each of these establishments at crowded times, there is a possibility of widespread, public exposure.” After the first cases were linked to the Brown Jug, the restaurant closed from Aug. 30 to Sept. 8. Owner Perry Porikos, who also owns the Blue Leprechaun and Study Hall Lounge in Ann Arbor, told all employees who tested positive to quarantine in accordance with health department protocol. In an interview with The Michigan Daily, Porikos said he implemented several new safety protocols, including having employees come in through the same entrance, increasing the frequency of testing and installing plexiglass barriers between booths. However, one concern has been the number of patrons waiting in line outside the bar, and the difficulty of making sure they are social distancing and wearing masks.
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Landlords move forward with fall leasing period, rent increases Landlords in Ann Arbor say they are pushing ahead with fall leasing for the 2021-2022 school year.
Uncertainties surrounding pandemic lead students to question signing leases JULIANNA MORANO Daily Staff Reporter
Landlords in Ann Arbor are pushing ahead with fall leasing for the 2021-2022 school year, despite the ongoing COVID19 pandemic, while students question if they should sign
leases as early as they have in prior years. The fall leasing period many Ann Arbor landlords observe — in which tenants whose leases start shortly before the academic year begins are asked to decide whether to renew less than three months into their lease — has
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pushed students to make quick decisions about their off-campus living situations for years. Under the circumstances of the pandemic, however, long-term planning and dealing with these early deadlines have become a bigger challenge for students. This is the case for LSA
Vol. CXXX, No. 3 ©2020 The Michigan Daily
sophomore Mia Waelchli, who in late August moved into an apartment unit managed by Varsity Management, a company that manages more than two dozen off-campus properties in Ann Arbor. A little more
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The Holly and John Madigan Newsroom in 2018. Holly Madigan passed away September 20.
From The Editor: Holly Madigan’s memory lives in the newsroom The Daily sends sympathy to her family, expresses gratitude for generous gifts ELIZABETH LAWRENCE Editor in Chief
Holly Madigan, for whom The Michigan Daily’s newsroom is named along with her husband John, passed away on Sept. 20. We want to send our sympathies to John Madigan, as the gifts Holly and John gave the newsroom have created so many opportunities for our staff. John and Holly Madigan have been tremendous supporters of The Daily,
donating funds to renovate our newsroom and create a needbased scholarship in 2015. The Madigans also gifted The Daily $300,000 in 2019 to sustain professional development and help us work toward financial stability. Holly and John named the fund after Michigan Daily alum Ann Marie Lipinski, former editor of The Chicago Tribune. The Madigans’ generous gifts allowed The Daily to bring in veteran journalists for short-term fellowships in
2019, and to finance student research this past summer into making The Daily’s revenue and content model more sustainable. Holly and John’s names and photos, along with the phrase “May all who enter value the importance of journalism, media and business,” sit atop a central wall in our newsroom. Our staff misses everything about our newsroom right now, and our newsroom misses us, too. We’re looking forward to the day freshmen can book it
to the newsroom after class to share their story with an intimidating editor and when the whole newsroom works together during the frenzied energ y of an election night. For now, our newsroom is symbolic and spreads between all our computer screens. Despite our current lack of physical newsroom, Holly and John’s great contributions support us as we work on our journalism. — Elizabeth Lawrence, Editor in Chief of The Michigan Daily
Latinx heritage month organizers reflect on new virtual opportunities Events celebrate diversity, unity of community, feature several perspectives CELENE PHILIP Daily Staff Reporter
This year’s Latinx Heritage Month emphasized unity and diversity within the Latinx community through music, which was celebrated virtually at the University from midSeptember until Tuesday. Javier Solorzano Parada, program manager of MultiEthnic Student Affairs, was one of the heads of Latinx Heritage Month. Solorzano said the ability to invite multiple speakers from outside of Michigan to the remote event made LHM particularly engaging. “It was powerful hearing people say ‘hello’ from a different state, something that we weren’t able to see during programming before,” Solorzano said. “I’ve seen momentum and engagement continue throughout the whole month because we were able to have different speakers at different points in the month, whereas in other years, we focused on our large events, the opening and closing ceremonies.” Solorzano said events that took place highlighted a range of topics, including imposter syndrome, generational trauma, anti-Blackness and more. Faculty, staff and students participated in planning LHM. Public Policy graduate student Baltazar Hernández, member of the programming committee, said the committee focused including diverse voices within
COVID-19 From Page 1 “Legally, I cannot really enforce that,” Porikos said. “Legally the only thing I can do is (say) ‘Listen, if you don’t listen to me, nobody comes in ... Last week and the weekend before I came to the point where I tell my managers — because I have
the Latinx community. “One challenge was figuring out what Latinx Heritage Month looks like in a virtual environment and we were grappling with how to celebrate the diverse cultures within the Latinx umbrella so we wanted to incorporate as many different voices as we could,” Hernández said. The Afro Latinx community was highlighted during this year’s LHM through the logo and music. Sizzle Fantastic, a DJ and curator of Cumbiatón, a nationwide party that pays homage to the Afro Latinx culture, played at the opening ceremony. “We really wanted to emphasize Afro Latinx identity and specifically through music,” Hernández said. “We’re trying to build a mosaic of different stories that these instruments (in the logo) tell and how diverse our narratives are as people from a larger region.” Business junior Alex Jimenez was on the marketing committee for LHM and strategized the promotion of events. “We’ve had to be very flexible and instead of promoting different groups’ events before the programming for LHM even starts, we promote as much as we can during LHM for the days preceding each event,” Jimenez said. LSA junior Ximena Mancilla, who was the undergraduate coordinator for LHM, said cybersecurity issues prompted
more than one place — ‘Hey, if they don’t listen, we’re going to be here for the long run, just lock it up.’ Instead of 2 o’clock we’ll close like 12:15 to 12:20. So by doing that hopefully, we’ll get to the point where they’ll comply a little bit more.” Porikos said it is difficult to determine where the cases came from or where the virus may have spread within his restaurant,
the LHM team to utilize the webinar feature on Zoom rather than the traditional format where participants can see each other. One in-person aspect of the programming was the safe distribution of “movie bags” to students on campus for the virtual Netflix parties put on every Saturday during LHM. Mancilla said the committee gave students popcorn, candy and jarritos, a popular fruitflavored soda, for people to snack on during watch parties of movies like Spiderman: Into the Spider-verse and the TV show Gente-fied. “Celebrating our culture does not stop after this month, we still have so much more to do and every day we should be proud of who we are because we deserve to be here at the University of Michigan no matter what anyone says,” Mancilla said. “I want everyone to keep being proud of where they come from: their family, roots and traditions.” Events like LHM are especially important at predominantly white institutions because they can shed light on the difficulties of being a person of color in these spaces, according to Jimenez, who also noted the exclusion of opinions of people of color in the implementation of the Michigan Ambassadors program. Jimenez said voting in the upcoming presidential election can amplify Latinx voices. “Latinx voter turnout could determine this election and
particularly due to the number of students moving from bar to bar around town. “Especially on South U, there’s no way that I’m going to go to Rick’s and stay there for hours and not go to another bar,” Porikos said. “There’s no way I’m going to go to Blue Leprechaun and not going to go to Brown Jug. There are students walking around. It would be sad for me
I really hope things turn out for the best,” Jimenez said. “There have been a few speakers who have talked about the importance of voter turnout. Even at our opening ceremony, we had a Kahoot where one of the questions asked how many Latinx people would be eligible to vote this year … I think it’s just small stuff like that that puts it into peoples’ heads.” Solorzano said he hopes LHM will continue to be a way to learn about other peoples’ experiences and to share the Latinx identity with the campus community. “We are all navigating through very difficult times and with this pandemic, we are all viewing things through very different lenses,” Solorzano said. “For me it’s so great to hear committee members and community members excited about events happening on campus … that excitement and that celebration is something that I think creates many strong memories for students who are joining us, especially first-year students.” Mancilla highlighted the need to focus on embracing the Latinx identity. “We belong here and have worked so hard to be here,” Mancilla said. “We continue to fight for this equality, but also we don’t want to sweat it too much because we know our worth and don’t want our parents’ and families’ sacrifice to go in vain.” Daily Staff Reporter Celene Phillip can be reached at celenep@ umich.edu.
to say, ‘This is the place.’ I don’t blame the victim, but it seems to me that I’m doing pretty good with one third of the capacity, my employees are happy, I believe customers are happy, that’s why they keep coming. So I really cannot tell you.”
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POLICING From Page 1 Steingraber said she was jarred by how the police treated her colleague Hudson, a Black man. “We were just reporters who were going inside to cover something that we had every right to go into, and it wasn’t me who was grabbed and smashed into the ground,” Steingraber said. “It was the Black man standing next to me.” Steingraber remembers standing in front of the car as other students surrounded it, but from that point, she said her memory fades. Laura Shue, who was an LSA junior, told The Daily at the time the AAPD officer threw Steingraber on the ground “with a vengeance” for blocking the car. “There was no need to use that much force,” Shue said. “I’d never seen anything like it. They don’t need guns if they’re that brutal.” Hudson did not respond to request for comment prior to publication. In the aftermath of the incident, University student activists mobilized against the Duderstadt administration as it increased the presence of law enforcement on campus, first instituted as part of a policy that students said limited protests against controversial guest speakers. After police officers killed George Floyd — and ensuing protests have heightened awareness and scrutiny of police misconduct — members of the Graduate Employees’ Organization went on strike and included demands to divert funding from policing in their platform. A review of the controversial history of law enforcement on campus shows this is not the first time student activists have gone toe to toe with the University’s administration over policing. Students are now bringing forward similar anti-policing measures more than 30 years after the University deputized officers. “It’s considered normal now for there to be basically a police force on campus,” Steingraber said. “It didn’t used to be that way.” Creating the police force In 1986, public safety officers carried flashlights, clipboards and radios, patrolling campus in shifts as small as three for a University with more than 30,000 students. Their only power was to make a “citizen’s arrest” if they saw someone committing a felony. In dangerous situations, the officers were to call the Ann Arbor Police Department. Public Safety Officer Vickie Juopperi told The Daily in August 1986 that people would generally comply more with deputized public safety officers who had the power to make real arrests. “I think that if they knew we have authority, that would tend to put a lid on things easier,” Juopperi said. Jack Weidenbach, former University director of business
LEASE From Page 1 than three weeks after her lease began, she and her roommates received an email from Varsity inquiring about their plans to renew their lease for the following year. Varsity gave them a Nov. 6 deadline for renewal. Waelchli said while she understands why landlords would want to get an early start to leasing, the uncertainties regarding the pandemic and whether future semesters at the University of Michigan will have in-person components make it more difficult to decide on a tight timeframe. Waelchli said when she first signed the lease in November 2019, she was excited about the apartment’s location because it meant she would be close to her classes. “Then, suddenly, there were no (in-person) classes, and it’s not something that I would have ever thought would happen,” Waelchli said. “So now I’m just wary to sign something early again.” Waelchli isn’t alone. Various property management companies are asking tenants to commit to long-term plans in uncertain times as landlords move ahead with November deadlines for renewal.
Wednesday, October 14, 2020 — 3
operations whose office oversaw campus security, opposed deputization in 1986, as did Regent Deane Baker, a Republican who was first elected to the body in 1972 and served for 24 years. “I don’t think the University should be in the business of operating a police force,” Baker said in an article published in The Daily in 1986. During this period, University administrators became increasingly agitated by student activists interrupting appearances from high-profile speakers such as Vice President George H.W. Bush, United Nations Ambassador Jeane Kirkpatrick and Attorney General Edwin Meese in protest of the Reagan administration. The Michigan Student Assembly — a precursor to Central Student Government — and Rackham Student Government passed resolutions against the University inviting Bush to campus. In response, then University President Harold Shapiro pushed back against a restriction on the types of ideas considered on campus “because of prejudice or political and intellectual authoritarianism.” At the May 1988 Regents meeting, Baker recommended the University’s Civil Liberties Board study the issue of free speech and offer a recommendation. “The time has come to regain control of this campus so that the University might once again function as a place of autonomy, civility and scholarly pursuit,” Baker said. After a recommendation from the CLB, the Board of Regents passed a five-part policy on the “disruption of student activities” in July 1988 to “advance freedom of speech and artistic expression.” The policy’s fourth part authorized Heatley and Pifer, the University’s top public safety officers, to make arrests but did not mean the public safety officers would be armed. “Guns in the hands of University personnel have no place in campus disputes, as experience shows,” the policy reads. “We do not want our people using guns.” Heatley and Pifer saw their first action as deputized officers at Duderstadt’s inauguration, where four students were arrested, along with Daily staffers Steingraber, Rollins, Southworth and Michael Fischer. The day of the ceremony, Ann Arbor Police Sergeant Norm Melby told The Daily only the most active protesters were arrested that day. “One officer can only make one arrest in some instances,” Melby said. “And sometimes that means the person who was most frequently warned to discontinue their activities.” Meanwhile, the Michigan House of Representatives debated a bill allowing state universities to appoint their own deputized campus security officers who report to their Regents and the state. At the time, Heatley and Pifer were only authorized by the Washtenaw County Sheriff. David
Cahill, an aide to Ann Arbor Rep. Perry Bullard, told The Daily in September 1988 that Bullard opposed the bill. “He doesn’t want Harold Shapiro or (interim University President Robben) Fleming or whoever to have their own political police force to use against protesters,” Cahill said. Supporters of the bill, including Democratic Regent Thomas Roach, said the Ann Arbor Police Department was too understaffed to adequately help the University manage crime on campus. “There’s nothing like a police presence to deter criminal activity,” Roach said in the Daily article. No cops, no guns, no code In June 1990, the Board of Regents proposed a full campus police force of 24 deputized officers. Some of the discussion focused on whether the force would improve campus safety, but the most contentious issue was the University’s relationship with the city of Ann Arbor. University officials concluded that the nearly half a million dollars spent on seven AAPD patrol officers and two detectives was unreasonably high given slow response times. City officials disputed that the response time was slow and said the University “receives more from the AAPD than it pays for.” The vote to expand the University police force passed 6-1, leading to a new wave of activism when students returned to campus in the fall. A September 1990 column in The Daily called the June vote “another traditional summer move,” undertaken while most students were at home and unable to attend Regents meetings. In another September 1990 Daily op-ed, Jennifer Van Valey, president of Michigan Student Assembly, urged students to protest the deputization. She wrote that the University was uninterested in stopping protests about issues unrelated to the institution, like foreign policy and reproductive rights, but that it needed control when protests focused on the “deficiencies” of the University. “Through an analysis of the University’s history of pushing for a campus police force, it becomes clear that the very real problem of safety on campus is being used opportunistically to dupe students into supporting their own repression,” Van Valey said. “It is also clear that, ironically, the only way to stop the administration is through student mobilization and protest — the very thing the administration instituted the force to prevent.” Dozens of students soon took up Van Valey’s call to action, marching to Duderstadt’s office to negotiate deputization on Nov. 14, 1990. Duderstadt was not there that day, so the group, Students for a Safer Campus, occupied the office overnight. Walt Harrison, executive director of university relations, told students the administration had no plans to negotiate on
deputization and called the sit-in “political theater.” On Regents’ Plaza outside the administration building, students held a candlelight vigil at 10 p.m. to support those inside the president’s office. “To the beat of a drum and the flash of office lights which were flicked on and off by students inside, approximately 100 students held candles and chanted, ‘No guns, no cops, no code,’” The Daily account reads. After more than 24 hours in Duderstadt’s office, Henry Johnson, vice president for community relations, met with the students. They demanded the University halt the deputization and arming the police force and take students’ voices into account. “The University must immediately institute a policymaking body that ensures students will play a representative and powerful role in the decisions that affect their lives,” one demand read. Johnson offered a small number of students from the group a chance to meet with administrators after Thanksgiving. The group denied the offer and Johnson went to a back office to meet with Heatley, the chief of the Ann Arbor Police Department and other administrators. Heatley announced everyone remaining in the building after five minutes would be arrested. Jeff Hinte was among the 16 students who stayed and awaited arrest. “We have the rights of sea slugs with social security numbers,” Hinte said at the time. Police released the students once outside the building and issued warrants for criminal trespassing. During a break at the Regent’s meeting in November 1990, Duderstadt said the sitin was “political opportunism” with Michigan Student Assembly elections on the same day. “The students protesting are not representative of the community,” Duderstadt said. “You can’t let their political agenda dictate.” In January 1992, the Department of Public Safety purchased 29 new 9-millimeter pistols, along with 20 cases of ammunition and 20 magazines. Harrison said the increase in the officers’ budget meant the University was no longer dependent on the AAPD. Despite student protests, by September 1993, the University had guns, cops and a code — the Student Statement of Rights and Responsibilities governing student behavior. In a column printed in The Daily that month, Amitava Mazumdar wrote he wasn’t proud of his onetime opposition to deputization, saying he’d bought into the “faddish fascists-in-Fleming mentality.” “But any sort of intellectual honesty requires that facts be examined objectively, not twisted or reconstructed to match (generally leftist) ideological preconceptions,” Mazumdar wrote. “... The predictions of
ineffectiveness, costliness and repressiveness have so far proven false.” “Activism has to go on for a long time” Last month, striking GEO graduate students listed several anti-policing demands, including disarmament, a 50 percent reduction in the DPSS budget and cutting ties with AAPD and Immigrations and Customs Enforcement. Rackham student Alejo Stark, who has been involved in GEO since 2013, said security and safety often get conflated. “We cannot have a safe campus with police on campus,” Stark said. “It’s also important to be clear on how campus police emerged. We have really just naturalized the fact that the University of Michigan spends $12 million on police every year.” The University’s budget for the Department of Public Safety and Security for fiscal year 202021 totaled nearly $12.4 million dollars, a decrease of $124,728 from the year prior. The University now has 450 officers in DPSS across the three campuses, according to DPSS Executive Director Eddie Washington. The vast majority of DPSS branches do not carry weapons, Washington said, adding that only about 18 percent of DPSS officers are armed police officers. The other DPSS staff include security officers, dispatchers, parking enforcement officers and support staff, all of whom are unarmed. He told The Daily that DPSS wants to be sure the response to high-level incidents such as interpersonal and domestic violence is “commensurate with the risk.” “If a weapon has been reported and someone has been assaulted, we tend to send officers there that have the ability to use the least amount of force necessary, but also be in a position to defend themselves and whoever’s been harmed,” Washington said. According to records obtained by The Daily, DPSS fired a weapon just once from Aug. 2018 to Aug. 2020, which was aimed at a deer that was wounded after crashing into a car. Washington and Robert Neumann, chief of the University of Michigan Police Department, said the University was the last in the state and the Big Ten to deploy in-house police officers. Washington said he has resisted arming officers who are not sworn in. “The police component is essential to bring certain comfort for certain communities, but it also brings a chilling effect to others and we just feel like we can accomplish much of what we need to (by) having a blended model,” Washington said. University President Mark Schlissel did not directly answer whether the University is looking into disarming DPSS and reallocating its funding in an interview with The Daily on
Thursday. He recently announced a task force to look into the issue of campus policing. Heather Young, communications director for DPSS, told The Daily in an email that DPSS has worked with Ann Arbor police to close roads for demonstrators to march safety at more than 30 protests in the last two months. “DPSS is committed to ensuring that all members of our community can safely exercise their first amendment rights to free speech and assembly,” Young wrote. Schlissel said he knows for many people, seeing a police officer they think has a weapon is “terrifying.” “And not because of anything that police officer did, but because of that person’s life experiences, and the experiences that people they know and identify with that have engaged with police,” Schlissel said. “I’ve not had those experiences personally, but I’m privileged in many ways.” Police officers monitoring students is still a contentious point among students. After the University announced its plan to have law enforcement officers work with student ambassadors to enforce adherence to social distancing guidelines around campus, organizations representing students of color criticized the Michigan Ambassadors program, saying it neglected potential harm to vulnerable communities. In an op-ed, members of the Black Student Union, the United Asian American Organizations Executive Board, La Casa and the Arab Student Association E-Board called for an end to the policy. “Michigan Ambassadors program canvassing teams rely on AAPD and DPSS, which build upon a historical and current legacy of police harming communities of color, despite President Schlissel’s claims that the Michigan Ambassadors program utilizes peer-to-peer accountability ‘to reduce the need for law enforcement,’” they wrote in the op-ed. The University later discontinued the Michigan Ambassadors program entirely. Steingraber said students need to carry on the tradition of activism long after they graduate. “Student activism is almost always really smart and really provides a framework for how to think about local issues, but the leaders of campus activist movements then graduate and move on,” Steingraber said. “Activism has to go on for a long time.” Correction: A previous version of this article incorrectly named the Department of Public Safety as the Division of Public Safety. This article has also been updated to clarify the position of Robert Neumann, who is chief of the University of Michigan Police Department. Daily Staff Reporter Calder Lewis can be reached at calderll@ umich.edu.
Eric Jensen, who owns several rental properties in Ann Arbor, is among those who are continuing with a November deadline. Jensen emphasized that student demand helps maintain the unusually early leasing period in Ann Arbor from year to year, even amid the pandemic. “It’s kind of this never-ending cycle that students want to get the best places possible,” Jensen said. “And so to find the best place as possible they start as early as they can to start looking. And if landlords want to get in on that cycle of when students are really looking, landlords have to be able to make their units — at least information about the units — available sooner rather than later.” In 2018-2019, the occupancy rate for off-campus student housing was 98 percent, according to a report from Triad Real Estate Partners. Jon Keller, alum of the University and owner of his namesake company, which manages over 100 off-campus rentals in Ann Arbor, wrote in an email to The Michigan Daily that the November deadlines aren’t as early as they once were, thanks to a city ordinance requiring landlords to wait 70 days after the current lease period has passed before showing or leasing a property for the following year. “When I was at U-M (20022006) we would pick up our keys
on September 1st and be forced to sign for the following year, or lose the house,” Keller wrote. “It was incredibly stressful for students — oftentimes with the best houses rented years in advance. The 70-day leasing ordinance allows tenants to get acclimated to the new house, the location, even their group, and then determine if they want to stay for another year.” Before the 70-day ordinance was passed, landlords were technically required to wait 90 days. Some city government officials have made unsuccessful attempts to push the leasing period back even further to the winter semester. In addition to maintaining the fall leasing period deadlines, several landlords are also moving forward with raising rent for next year. Others are staying the course. “In terms of what I’m doing with rents for next year, I’ll just say that I’m being consistent with what I’ve done in the past,” Jensen said. Oxford Companies, another major property management company in Ann Arbor, will be raising rent next year. Katie Vohwinkle, the company’s associate director of residential property, said that in order to be mindful of the unexpected economic strain imposed by the pandemic, the rent increases are lower than in years prior.
“We understand that this year is a bit unique for basically all of us, including the students at the University,” Vohwinkle said. “Our annual rent increases are significantly lower this year than they have been in years prior, despite higher increases that the buildings and the owners are still receiving for taxes, maintenance costs, utilities, that kind of thing.” Affordable housing advocates say a rent increase, no matter how small, is still a disadvantage to people from low-income backgrounds. Julia Goode, a member of the Ann Arbor Tenants Union, said the early leasing period also poses challenges for students who cannot depend on their parents’ income when deciding where to live. “It’s really impossible for working people to be able to sign a lease eight months in advance,” Goode said. “The only reason why students can really do it is if they have parental help, which many students don’t have. So it does really create a great economic unfairness that doesn’t have to be there.” Keller also noted that certain costs prohibit freezing or lowering rent, adding that he believes tenants have room to negotiate with their landlords next year. “While we would love to keep rents flat on renewals or
even lower them at times, the carrying costs like property taxes, utilities, lawn and snow care, maintenance and insurance rates go up every year,” Keller wrote. “It would be difficult to lock in a rate for too long a period and continue to make money … All that being said, there is probably more room than in previous years to negotiate a more attractive renewal rate.” Advocates for affordable housing have voiced opposition to the early leasing practice in the name of tenant rights as well as issues of access for lowincome students. LSA senior Lindsay Calka said the early leasing period puts students in a compromising situation, many of whom are unaware of their rights as tenants. “I think a lot of landlords take advantage of that (early leasing period) and put their tenants in a position where they have to make decisions,” Calka said. “They’re able to hike up rent or change things about … the lease that maybe tenants wouldn’t be wanting to do or (would) want time to bargain on, or at least have discussion on.” Jennifer Hall, executive director of the Ann Arbor Housing Commission, echoed these concerns. She said certain decisions in the University’s power affect the housing market and can limit accessibility for
low-income students. “The U-M has a significant impact on the local housing market through the number of students they admit and enroll, the number of housing units they provide, the number of staff that they hire and the properties they purchase and develop,” Hall wrote in an email to The Daily. “As a U-M alumna and local resident, I think the U-M needs to be more proactive about providing housing at a reduced cost to low-income students.” Both Goode and Calka said they see opportunities for students to organize and assert their rights in the present moment. Goode pointed to the Graduate Employees’ Organization’s advocacy around housing as providing a model for other students to follow. GEO also recently went on strike to demand the University provide increased protections for graduate students with partial success. Goode also said she hopes students registered to vote in Ann Arbor will vote in favor of the affordable housing millage on the ballot in November because the funds will help address the demand for more housing.
Read more at MichiganDaily.com
4 — Wednesday, October 14, 2020
The Michigan Daily — michigandaily.com
Washtenaw County will donate 10,000 free masks
Supplies to be prioritized for at-risk communities, elderly PAGE HODDER For The Daily
DESIGN BY SHANNON STOCKING
As cold weather arrives, students consider options
Health experts weigh in on ways to socialize this coming winter KAITLYN LUCKOFF For The Daily
When students returned to campus in August amid the COVID-19 pandemic, many socialized outdoors at a safe distance. As the weather becomes colder, students are faced with an important question: how can they socialize now? Rackham student John Gearig said he’s worried about colder weather, as he doesn’t think it’ll be as safe to spend time with friends indoors. “If weather permits, I prefer to be with people outdoors, but it’s not very possible,” Gearig said. In a normal year, students get exercise when walking short distances to class and to meet with friends. As temperatures drop, this becomes less common, especially since most students have many of their classes online. Preeti Malani, University of Michigan chief health officer, said she encourages students to continue
spending time outside even when the temperature drops. “Even when it’s colder, it is still important for your overall health to try and get outside,” Malani said. “There’s a saying that there’s no bad weather, there’s just inadequate clothing. Not to say that you can spend hours and hours outside in the winter months, but definitely find ways to be outside when it’s possible.” Because common areas in the residence halls are closed, students tend to rely on the few buildings open on campus to connect with each other and get out of the cold. LSA freshman Lauren Wittek said students are told to follow social distancing requirements in these indoor spaces. “Most of the time that my friends and I are inside, it’s in the Union, so we have to have our masks on,” Wittek said. When spending time together indoors, Malani said wearing a mask and maintaining distance will prevent the spread of the virus.
“Indoors you can still get together, it’s just a matter of maintaining some distance and wearing a mask,” Malani said. “One of the concerns is that students won’t follow the guidance (of density limits), but I have no doubt that the students will follow the guidance. If you can have a mask on and can be in closer proximity, you want to try to maintain that six feet if you can, and you want to have a well-ventilated room.” University contact tracers have identified six COVID-19 clusters in the residence halls. Though some attribute this to the shared common areas and restrooms in communal living spaces, Malani said most of this spread is through social contact. “I would say that people in congregate housing are at risk just because they can be in settings with large numbers of people, but living there itself is not a higher risk,” Malani said.
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Ten thousand free, reusable masks will be given to lowincome communities and the elderly, the Washtenaw County Office of Community and Economic Development announced in a press release Tuesday. The masks will be distributed throughout the county, including at 12 locations in Ann Arbor. The program stems from an executive order Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed in August to provide 4 million free masks throughout the state of Michigan. OCED Administrative Assistant David Beck, who works closely with the distribution sites for the program, said masks will be vital as residents brace for colder weather and more indoor activities. “Our hope is to be able to get the masks out, to be able to distribute them and have people prepared for winter, and not be scrambling during the winter to provide masks” Beck said. Beck said the county has been informally distributing free masks to residents for months. “Originally there were masks that people were selling and were making that they were donating to us,” Beck said. “If anyone needed a mask we tried to deliver it to them, or they were able to come to our office to pick it up.” Beck said the state government’s donation of 10,000 masks has formalized the distribution project, and the program aims to reach as many people conveniently as possible. “Even acquiring masks, and particularly reusable masks, may not be as easy for some people in our community than others,” Beck said. “For senior citizens who might not have transportation to go to certain places to buy masks, for those who maybe don’t have the disposable incomes to be able to find masks.”
The pandemic has shown that COVID-19 has disproportionately impacted specific communities, such as low-income families, African Americans and senior citizens, more than others. Beck said OCED has been doing important work for these communities, including using donations and funding to help with utilities and rent during the economic shutdown and the current recovery. Beck said the free mask program is an extension of this work. Though the free mask program is in response to COVID-19, Beck said the community connections forged through its implementation could be useful towards other initiatives going forward. “Finding new organizations and new places and new groups to be able to work with, I think will be the broader impact,” Beck said. “Hopefully, God forbid, if anything like this happens again … the network that’s already in place will be strengthened. We’’ll be able to start networking out to other organizations and partnering with other organizations to be able to help provide services and other resources as we can.” Jennifer Howard is the director of the Turner Senior Wellness Program, one of the mask distribution sites in Ann Arbor. She works closely with the elderly in the area. “When COVID hit, we had to shut everything down, all of our programming was in person and we couldn’t safely bring anybody into the center,” Howard said. “The thing that is really tough on our community is the socialization, and some of the isolation that has come from this.” Carolina Barillas is a Manchester resident who works as a nanny for a doctor’s family. Barillas said she has been living on a stretched budget due to the pandemic. Since she was laid off for the majority of the summer, Barillas said she has been closely budgeting and watching her money. Barillas said she thought the free mask program was
an important offering to the county. “I’m an essential worker and I’m in the high risk category, and I have to go out and work,” Barillas said. “I think they should be free ... It’s a lot less stressful, with my very limited funds.” Barillas said it was vital for the entire community to practice wearing masks. “It’s your civic duty to wear a mask,” Barillas said. “To show that you care about other people.” In the past few months, the center has been able to reopen a few days a week and begin providing some of these community services, such as exercise programs, cooking classes and other social events, in conjunction with their online efforts. Howard said the free mask program will help the center be able to stay open and keep operations running. “We do have a lot of our folks who do not have the resources to purchase the masks that they need, the PPE, that kind of thing,” Howard said. “So this is a really great way for us to have those masks on hand available for them, not only to use within our center but to use for anywhere else that they might go.” Public Health senior Emily Guo is the co-president of CURIS Public Health Advocacy, a student organization on campus that works to enact public health efforts in the local community. She said affordable, reusable masks are important for low-income communities. “(Wearing a mask) is one of the most cost-effective primary prevention strategies for the communities so you don’t have to rely on coming in later, which is more expensive,” Guo said. “(Some people benefitting from the program) have to have in-person contact, which is the case for a lot of low-income communities.” Daily News Contributor Paige Hodder can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Students in asynchronous Candidates for Regents classes discuss scheduling talk ‘U’ COVID-19 response
New format of learning brings challenges in time management LILY GOODING
Daily Staff Reporter
Students in asynchronous classes said the transition back to school has been especially difficult. Without a structured schedule and classes meeting regularly, students said they face a new challenge in managing their time. LSA sophomore Melanie Esterine, whose only synchronous classes are small discussions, said she struggled with procrastination at first while adjusting to the unconventional semester. “In the beginning, it was really difficult because I feel like when you don’t have a set schedule to stick with, you just do things whenever, and then you keep putting it off and then it becomes a mess,” Esterine said. Now that she has settled into the semester, Esterine has discovered a few tricks to help her stay organized and on track with her school work. “I’ve started to try and develop my own schedule that works best for me that consists of doing a lot of stuff on Monday and Tuesday and then maybe taking it easier on the other days,” Esterine said. “That’s been helping me a lot. I would say that I’ve gotten used to it now.” LSA senior Dawson Wells said he has conflicting opinions about asynchronous lectures. Even though his asynchronous lectures have given him more
independence, they also have some drawbacks. “Without having that structure built-in, it’s a lot harder to stay motivated and to stay caught up and not have a night where I have four lectures to watch before my exam,” Wells said. However, Engineering junior Carolyn Melvin said she is actually a fan of asynchronous classes. Having pre-recorded lectures allows her to watch them at both a convenient time and a suitable pace. “To be honest, the transition to asynchronous lectures has been better than expected,” Melvin said. “A lot of my classes in the past had recorded lectures which I have always liked because I can speed up or slow down the lectures.” Since she is unable to see the other students and communicate with them, Melvin said she feels isolated while watching her asynchronous lectures. “When it comes to interacting with other students in class, this has been much tougher,” Melvin said. “It is easy to feel alone in classes and not know how to get help.” LSA senior Tikvah Finn said she feels as though the workload is heavier with asynchronous classes, which are more difficult for her with the additional responsibility of watching over her child. “Virtual learning, as necessary as it is during this pandemic, has led to a significantly increased
workload as a student,” Finn said. “Compared to a previous 17-credit, in-person semester, I have to spend more time watching virtual lectures and studying outside of class time during this 13-credit online semester.” Music, Theater & Dance sophomore Andrew Kevic voiced the same criticisms as Finn. Kevic said he has also had more work this semester due to asynchronous lectures and virtual learning. Coupled with his other responsibilities outside the classroom, Kevic said he finds it challenging to manage his time. “I think it kind of changes the balance of my whole schedule, especially because I have work study and I have another job on top of that, so I have to really think about how I spend my time,” Kevic said. Kevic said even though asynchronous classes have made it more difficult for him to have a regular schedule, he has also found that there are some benefits. In learning how to better manage his time, Kevic said he has acquired a new skill. “It’s been a lot more of a challenge, but in ways it’s been more rewarding than last semester, especially since quarantine,” Kevic said. “I’ve noticed that I’ve had a lot more control of my time and I’ve been able to kind of shape my day, every day.” Daily Staff Reporter Lily Gooding can be reached at email@example.com.
Topics discussed include systemic racism, sexual misconduct ANGELINA LITTLE Daily Staff Reporter
The candidates discussed the University’s COVID-19 response, tuition increases, sexual misconduct investigations and systemic racism, among other issues. The election will fill two open seats on the board. Incumbent Regent Shauna Ryder Diggs (D) was joined by three-time candidate Carl Meyers (R) and first-time candidate Michael Mawilai (Green) at the forum. Each candidate gave a brief overview of their platform before responding to a series of questions from Colleen Conway, moderator of the event and chair of the Senate Advisory Committee on University Affairs. Much of the conversation at the forum focused on the board’s role in holding the University’s administration accountable for both transparency and communication with the greater community. When asked about responding to sexual misconduct allegations against former University Provost Martin Philbert and the late University Health Service Director Robert Anderson, Ryder Diggs advocated for bringing in external experts and spoke to the board’s responsibility to the public and to the University. “I believe the board’s role is critical with issues such as Philbert and Dr. Anderson because these types of issues affect the
entire institution, affect trust, transparency and obviously affect risk — the risk profile of the University,” Ryder Diggs said. “I believe the board’s role is to assist with bringing in independent outside experts to work with our internal teams to take a broad look.” Mawilai advocated for conducting investigations internally when possible. Meyers seconded Ryder Digg’s proposal, suggesting that the University should bring in outside experts in these types of investigations. The three candidates expressed their disapproval of University President Mark Schlissel’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Mawilai referenced the Graduate Employees’ Organization protests last month, criticizing the University’s reopening process. “I think we really should’ve erred more on the side of caution, make sure that everybody’s onboard and not try to steamroll a reopening before we had all the plans in place where everybody knew what they had to do,” Mawilai said. Meyers said the University’s reopening plan was unclear, emphasizing the board’s responsibility in holding the administration accountable. Ryder Diggs said it is important to create a clear plan early on, modifying it as we learn more about the virus and gathering input from a variety of voices on campus. The candidates also discussed the University’s 1.9% increase in
tuition for the 2020-2021 school year. Ryder Diggs said she voted twice against the tuition increase and suggested that the University could afford not to increase tuition in the upcoming school year. Mawilai spoke to the importance of providing the best value for students’ education and also advocated to minimize tuition increases. Meyers, whose platform is largely based in higher education affordability, promised one of his first proposals would be to roll back the increase and freeze tuition. “The cost of higher education has stifled diversity and stifled inclusion where folks look elsewhere,” Meyers said. “I think the budget needs to be controlled, especially during this COVID period. The University is in the most serious financial challenge in its modern history right now and they chose to raise tuition where students get a diminished experience … it was wrong.” Other topics included systemic racism and proposals to cut police funding. All three candidates acknowledged the existence of systemic racism and the necessity of taking steps to eradicate it. None said they would defund campus police. Ryder Diggs and Meyers argued the University should allocate more resources to the Division of Public Safety and Security.
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Wednesday, October 14, 2020 — 5
MDining partners with Michigan Apple Crunch Partnership works to provide sustainable, locally-sourced food options, encourage students to change nutrition habits NINA MOLINA For The Daily
Keith Soster, director of student engagement of MDining, said he has always been a sustainability geek. However, working in this role heightened his interest in MDining’s efforts to merge food and sustainability. MDining’s latest sustainability collaboration is with Michigan Apple Crunch, a regional program focused on promoting the consumption of the Midwest’s local produce. The program began about six years ago. “It’s an opportunity for us to celebrate all the different foods that we can grow in the Midwest,” Soster said. Michigan is the second most crop diverse state in the country, just behind California. Soster said students of all ages can open up their minds to what is possible as far as local and seasonal food. He wants to change people’s tendency to gravitate toward the “most perfect apple” when walking into stores like Kroger.
Soster referenced a student group blind taste test several years ago where students sampled two apples — one from Kroger, the “perfect” apple, and the local one with blemishes. Blindfolded, everybody chose the local and sustainable apple. “When we buy local and eat local and sustainable food, it’s gonna taste a whole lot better,” Soster said. The Michigan Apple Crunch initiative is just one example of ways that people can engage with the local harvest. Getting students involved with food sustainability on campus is really about increasing awareness, Soster said. “Being able to show in their dining halls where the food that is grown at the campus is utilized in our menu, I think is important, too,” Soster said. Public Policy senior Grace Hermann, who studies food systems and agricultural policy, said programs like this could help college students learn more about sustainable food practices. “I grew up in a house where we ate meat nearly every day and
never really considered what the implications of that were until I got to college,” Hermann said. “I also think that a lot of students may lack knowledge surrounding diets that are not focused around meat, may not have been exposed to certain foods or may have just never considered how their diet and consumption habits play a role in environmental issues.” LSA junior Brian Devorkin works with Soster to bring this knowledge of food sustainability and wellness to the student body, partnering with local farmers to build relationships. He said Soster’s passion helps fuel students’ interest in sustainability. “They build the (relationships) because of the personalities they bring to the table, and just the connections and the professionalism,” Devorkin said. “The chefs are just awesome. He (Soster) has so many connections and so many people that would love to help out, and just love his mission.” Though Michigan Apple Crunch is MDining’s
latest project, the team’s sustainability and food security initiatives have been in motion for years. Others include the Campus Farm, founded in 2012, and Sustainable Mondays. Hermann lived in East Quad Residence Hall her first two years at the University of Michigan and praised Sustainable Mondays for introducing more environmentally friendly options to the dining halls. “Efforts like that by MDining to decrease meat consumption and provide students with alternative options are important as well,” Hermann said. “Based on my conversations with folks from MDining from my class, I believe they also try to source from local farmers when possible, which is good for our local economy as well. Though UMich is far from perfect, all of these efforts do help the University be a better community member.” Another challenge is making sustainable food options more widely available for students regardless of socioeconomic
background. This included adding paid positions to Campus Farm, therefore allowing low-income students to become involved in campus food sustainability. In the past year, Soster helped spearhead the North Campus Food Distribution program, an effort to make food access more equitable across the University and decrease food insecurity. Another initiative is the Food Recovery Network, a nonprofit dedicated to recovering leftover food from university dining halls and donating it to local food banks. “Any leftover food is basically used,” Devorkin said. “It’s not thrown away. They kind of limit that waste.” One of MDining’s latest iniiatives is carbon tracking and identifying the carbon value of MDining’s menu items. In 2019, Ann Arbor City Council passed a resolution to reach carbon neutrality by 2030. “There’s lots of work to be done across the campus community,” Soster said. “But I think dining can lead the way and model the behavior that we
hope others will jump on to.” Hermann worries about how sustainable food practices are often overlooked in favor of mass production, echoing Soster’s hope for a shift towards seasonal and local produce. “I think it is really important that when we talk about food sustainability we approach it not just from an environmental standpoint, but also from an economic and social standpoint,” Hermann said. “Food that is truly sustainable should also positively support our local economies, as well as the health, safety and economic well-being of workers and consumers.” Soster and Devorkin said MDining’s efforts to create more sustainable food practices are worth the years of slow progress. “I want to leave my contributions to the world and my children in a better way than I found them,” Soster said. “I know that sounds kind of corny, but it’s true.” Contributor Nina Molina can be reached at nimolina@umich. edu
Board of Commissioners candidates present platforms
Three nominees participate in event hosted by League of Women Voters, discuss plans to address inequality and COVID-19 EMMA RUBERG Daily Staff Reporter
Candidates for the Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners detailed their platforms in videos uploaded Tuesday. They discussed priorities for the county amid the COVID-19 pandemic and pressing issues facing local governments. The University of Michigan Central Campus and the surrounding area are represented by Commissioner Jason Morgan, D-District 8, who is running for reelection and currently serves as the chair of the Board of Commissioners. The videos were posted by the League of Women Voters of the Ann Arbor Area, a nonpartisan organization aiming to increase participation in local government and educate people on the democratic process. Morgan is running against
epublican Joan Knoertzer, who was invited but did not attend the event. The candidates challenging Commissioner Katie Scott, D-District 9, who is up for reelection in District 9, and Democrat Caroline Sanders, who is running in District 4, did not attend the event either. Because Morgan, Scott and Sanders did not have opponents present to debate, they participated together in one event. Douglas Allen moderated the conversation. “The world has changed a great deal since most of you decided to run for office,” Allen said. “The global pandemic, ensuing economic collapse and more recently the Black Lives Matter Movement have focused attention on how these matters highlight the disproportionate burdens shouldered by the poor, the elderly and communities of color. These present challenges to government at all levels.” Morgan said the board is
trying to accelerate its work to address inequality. He said he has a series of priorities he hopes to address in the future, among them addressing climate change and confronting social and racial injustice. “I think the budget is where we do that work,” Morgan said. “... It sometimes makes things uncomfortable when we say we need to really truly address racial inequity and reallocate some funds from some areas of the county, but I think that’s what we’re talking about here and how we achieve real, structural change in our community going forward.” Scott, who also represents parts of Ann Arbor, is the current Ways and Means Chair. She said many of the most pressing issues the board will face following the COVID19 pandemic are related to the budget. Scott said feedback from county residents will be essential in putting the budget together.
“I’m not the first person to say this, but I believe the budget is a moral document and we will have to be thinking about what our morals are, what our priorities are, to do that budget,” Scott said. Sanders said resource allocation will be a pivotal issue. “We will have to put greater emphasis on the priority of putting people first and in making sure that we not only in word but in deed prove by our actions and our allocations that we are interested in protecting those that are the most vulnerable first and others as needed,” Sanders said. Morgan discussed Michigan’s ongoing challenges with clean water, particularly with toxic perand polyf luoroalkyl substances, also known as PFAS. PFAS, which has been found in the Washtenaw County water supply, is a group of manmade chemicals used
in manufacturing. These chemicals can cause a variety of negative health effects, including cancer and changes in the immune system. “I think the protection of our water is the biggest environmental concern in our community at this time,” Morgan said. The participants also discussed homelessness in Washtenaw County. In March, when COVID-19 began to spread, the county paid for hotel rooms for people experiencing housing insecurity. Morgan said he would work to continue this support. “The biggest thing is ensuring that we have a way to keep those who are in our shelters safe and fed … We’re still working on it but I’ve heard the message from residents loud and clear that we need to keep our homeless community safe,” Morgan said. In her closing statement, Scott said she is passionate
about her work in the county and advocating for people. “One of the things this pandemic has really shown us is the underpinnings of inequality in not only our country, but in our county as well,” Scott said. Morgan said his personal experiences informed his approach to governing. “The one thing we don’t really get to do as public officials as often as you would think is share who we are as people,” Morgan said. “... As a young LGBTQ individual growing up in this community … paired with growing up with a disability has shaped a lot of my experiences and how I approach government. And it’s really the reason I am here doing this job today. I am here because I care about making people’s lives better.” Daily Staff Reporter Emma Ruberg can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Seven men charged under state terrorism law plot
Accused men planned to kidnap Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer, six additional men face federal charges BARBARA COLLINS & EMMA RUBERG
Daily News Editor & Staff Reporter
Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel charged seven men under the state’s antiterrorism law for their involvement in a plot to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and violently overthrow the government. The charges, which Nessel announced Thursday, come after months of high-profile disputes over the governor’s use of executive power to fight the coronavirus pandemic and a series of protests in opposition to her orders, some of which brought armed demonstrators to the Michigan State Capitol. Six additional men also face federal charges, which were unsealed Thursday. The suspects have been taken into custody and the investigation is ongoing. The group planned to kidnap Whitmer and move her to a “secure location” in Wisconsin to face “trial.” They also wanted more than 200 men to storm the Michigan Capitol and made threats to instigate a civil war. They planned on creating a “selfsufficient” society. The state charges included felony counts of threat of terrorism, gang membership, providing material support for terrorist acts and carrying or
possessing a firearm during a felony. At a press conference, Nessel said there has been an increase in anti-government rhetoric and groups embracing extremist ideologies. “Our efforts uncovered elaborate plans to endanger the lives of law enforcement officers, government officials and the broader public,” Nessel said. “The multi-front operation to apprehend the suspects in question was carefully coordinated and skillfully executed.” According to the FBI’s criminal complaint, the men had been plotting with a Michigan militia group at least since July to kidnap the Democratic governor, and had performed combat drills, obtained firearms and attempted to make explosives. The group had also attempted to obtain addresses of law enforcement officers to target them. The FBI intercepted encrypted messages earlier this year and relied on undercover agents and informants working within the group. According to the federal complaint, Michigan residents Adam Fox, Ty Garbin, Kaleb Franks, Daniel Harris and Brandon Caserta along with Delaware resident Barry Croft have been charged with conspiring to kidnap the governor.
Nessel charged seven additional men, all of whom are residents of Michigan. Paul Bellar, age 21 of Milford, faces three felony counts: providing material support for terrorist acts, gang membership, carrying or possessing a firearm during the commission of a felony. Shaun Fix, age 38 of Belleville; Eric Molitor, age 36 of Cadillac; Michael Null, age 36 of Plainwell; and William Null, age 38 of Shelbyville, face two felony counts: providing material support for terrorist acts, carrying or possessing a firearm during the commission of a felony. Pete Musico and Joseph Morrison, both age 42 and who live together in Munith, face four felony counts: one count each of threat of terrorism, one count each of gang membership, one count each of providing support of terrorist acts and one count each of possessing a firearm during the commission of a felony. Whitmer faced criticism from conservative lawmakers and right-wing groups after enacting emergency executive orders related to COVID19. In April, hundreds of demonstrators gathered in Lansing, Mich. to protest the governor’s stay-athome orders. Many of these protesters were openly carrying firearms, which is legal in the Michigan Capitol.
The Michigan Supreme Court recently ruled that Whitmer overstepped her authority in issuing executive orders related to COVID19 precautions beyond April 30, saying the law she used to justify her actions was unconstitutional. The status of state regulations remains in limbo, with some local governments working to fill in the gaps. Whitmer maintains her executive orders were justified, as they aimed to save lives and protect people from the coronavirus pandemic. One study found that the governor’s stay-at-home orders may have saved tens of thousands of lives in the state. At a press conference Thursday, Whitmer said she had anticipated facing challenges as governor of Michigan, but said she “never could have imagined anything like this.” She thanked federal and state law enforcement for their work, adding that she hoped the charges will lead to convictions that bring “these sick and depraved men to justice.” Whitmer also condemned President Donald Trump for failing to rebuke white supremacists and said Trump’s inability to address the pandemic was the result of ignoring public health guidance. In April, Trump tweeted “LIBERATE
MICHIGAN!” in response to Whitmer’s efforts to limit the spread of COVID-19. “Our head of state has spent the last seven months denying science, ignoring his own health experts, stoking distrust, fomenting anger and giving comfort to those who spread fear and hatred and division,” Whitmer said. “Just last week, the president of the United States stood before the American people and refused to condemn white supremacists and hate groups like these two Michigan militia groups.” At a presidential debate on Sept. 29, Trump declined to denounce white supremacists and directed a far-right extremist group to “stand back and stand by.” “Hate groups heard the president’s words not as a rebuke but as a rallying cry, as a call to action,” Whitmer said. Andrew Birge, U.S. attorney for the Western District of Michigan, said the group used code words and phrases to avoid detection by law enforcement and conducted surveillance on the governor’s vacation home. Two of the men discussed planting and detonating explosives to deter law enforcement. He also said the men could face up to life in prison if convicted. Joseph Gasper, colonel of the Michigan State Police, said the MSP will take swift action
against anyone planning or seeking to commit violence in the state. “This case is one of the largest cases in recent history that the MSP has been involved in,” Gasper said. “I think that the nature of this case is rather unprecedented, but it does send a very vivid reminder that while we may be in a time period of discourse, possibly even divisiveness and fighting across the nation, law enforcement stands united.” Whitmer said the restrictions initiated during the COVID-19 pandemic were necessary to stop more people from getting sick. Michigan has had more than 6,800 deaths from coronavirus since March. “As painful as these losses are, our hard work and sacrifices have saved thousands of lives. We have one of the strongest economic recoveries in the nation,” Whitmer said. “Make no mistake, there will be more hard days ahead, but I want the people of Michigan to know this — as your governor, I will never stop doing everything in my power to keep you and your family safe.” Carter Howe and Leah Graham contributed reporting. Daily News Editor Barbara Collins can be reached at email@example.com. Daily Staff Reporter Emma Ruberg can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Michigan In Color
6 — Wednesday, October 14, 2020
The Michigan Daily — michigandaily.com
Dismantling the caste system is long overdue Content warning: This article discusses violence and rape.
MARIA PATTON MiC Columnist
SUBARNA BHATTACHARYA MiC Columnist
Before beginning this piece, I want to recognize that I am speaking from a position of privilege; my family has benefitted from the caste system for generations, and many of the opportunities we have been afforded are not as easily accessible for some. In writing this piece, I do not intend to speak for or over a community that I do not belong to. My main purpose is to raise awareness about the detriments of the caste system in today’s day and age. -On Sept. 14, a Dalit woman in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh was gang raped by four men. Two weeks later, she died from the severity of her injuries. The men were identified as being from upper castes, with a history of violence targeted towards minority groups in the Indian community. As of this past Thursday, the investigators claimed that “she was not raped” and the woman’s body was reported to be cremated without her family’s consent. The caste system has been integrated into Hindu society for centuries, forcing the community into an abstract hierarchy that determines how a person is treated in the world, both in their personal lives as well as professionally. While some families do not consider their caste any longer, many still refuse to marry outside of their caste and hold this classification as a point of pride. Incidents of violence against Dalit women are not few and far between. About a month earlier, a 13 year old girl died in the same region, and in 2018, a girl was beheaded in southern India by an upper-caste male. In a country
that prides itself on being a booming modern society, why are these acts of inhumane violence so prevalent against Dalit women? Why are they so normalized? Many people, including those living in the Western hemisphere, like to brush away caste as something outdated; legally, the caste system was outlawed in 1950, but this was never effectively enforced. Those with privilege in the Hindu community act like it doesn’t exist because they benefit from it constantly; for families whose entire identity and sense of pride revolve around some arbitrary, ancient label, it’s easy for them to forget that not everyone has that privilege. While higher castes love to tout their status and look down at those who are “other,” they rarely pause and consider that the same system that gives them this privilege destroys the lives of those who don’t have that status. The United Nations Human Rights Council, Human Rights Watch, and Amnesty International, among various other human rights organizations, all identify Dalit women as a vulner-
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puzzle by sudokusnydictation.com
ACROSS 1 Tranquilize 5 Req. for some IKEA purchases 9 Icy coating 13 Convenience 14 Construction __ 15 Planning to, informally 16 “Is there a problem here?” 18 Peyton Manning’s alma mater, for short 19 Outerwear in the bush 21 Tiffs 24 Feminist author Wolf 25 Rhyming hairloss metaphor 28 __ vu 32 Metal in Montana’s motto 33 What snobs put on 34 Descartes et al. 35 Film critic Kael 37 Brother of Ophelia 39 City on the Ruhr 40 Draws a bead on, with “at” 41 “We ___ the World” 42 Grasps 43 Large urban areas just outside of a central business district 46 Goggle 48 Decorates superficially 49 Reply to a salesperson ... or a hint to the start of 19-, 25- and 43-Across 54 Top dog 55 At risk of running aground, perhaps 59 Get fuzzy 60 Glamour rival 61 Breakfast-in-bed aid 62 Cut with a tool 63 Place to see runners 64 Kind of terrier
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ANSWER ANSWER TO TO PREVIOUS PREVIOUS PUZZLE: PUZZLE:
By Jeff Stillman ©2020 Tribune Content Agency, LLC
WHISPER “Ryan, bet you can’t shoot this >:D”
A few years ago when the term “Black Girl Magic” became popularized by social media, as a way to celebrate the successes of black women, I immediately caught on and started referring to myself as having “Black Girl Magic.” I finally felt appreciated by the society that had rejected me for so long. In a world where Black women are stereotyped as unprofessional, unattractive, loud and angry, why shouldn’t we want to be considered magical? Growing up, I scarcely found people who looked like me casted in movies as a princess, or even a fairy alongside Tinkerbell. The idea of me being perceived as magical felt out of reach, but I wanted to embrace the title so badly. When I heard actress Taraji P. Henson denounce the saying, I got defensive and felt a little discouraged. Taraji P. Henson, a phenomenal Black actress that I look up to and consider to be magical, said the term is “dehumanizing” to Black women? There is no way! How can something that gives me so much hope cause so much harm? The more I started to investigate, the more I started to agree with her. In a world where Black women are disproportionately neglected in doctor’s offices, coined as angry when expressing the tiniest bit of passion, and deemed “ratchet” and “ugly,” the phrase “Black Girl Magic” only hurts us by saying we are able to undertake unnecessary amounts of pain and rejection, because we are built to withstand the toughest of challenges. But in reality, that is not just. According to the Endometriosis Foundation of America, Black women are three times more likely to die and suffer from lifethreatening disabilities due to pregnancy complications and childbirth than white women. A study conducted by the Proceedings of the National Academies of Science found that 40 percent of medical students believe
that Black people have “thicker skin,” and are less susceptible to pain than white people. In an interview with Vogue Magazine, Serena Williams described her near-death experience after the birth of her first daughter. Williams felt a shortness of breath that she was afraid was linked to past medical issues. When she tried to communicate the problem to her doctors, they dismissed her pleas for help. The problem ended up being serious, and she had to have emergency surgery in order to save her life. Her doctor’s negligence almost resulted in her death. If a woman of her status and power is being overlooked in this type of situation, just imagine what is happening to the Black women all around you. Black women feel pain. A brave face is worn as a disguise to mask fragile vulnerability. Our feelings get hurt, we get sick, heartbroken — we are not inhuman. In a society that tries so hard to dismiss every human thing about us, the term “Black Girl Magic” is dehumanizing, and it serves as a rejection of all the suffering that others have implemented in our lives. We must stop referring to ourselves as having Black girl magic so when we get in those hospital rooms and say we are in pain, they believe us and feel a responsibility to keep us Black women alive. We must become vulnerable so that our feelings will stop being dismissed, and we are given the respect we deserve as human beings. While Black women have survived a lot, we are not above the pain everyone else feels. Our hearts are fragile and must be handled with care. Black women deserve a life where we are not expected to take our own punches as well as everyone else’s — we deserve to be loved and nurtured as we love and nurture. We are capable of so much more than what society tries to say we are. Black women are remarkable. Black women are emotional. Black women are breathtaking. Black women are vulnerable. Black women are human.
The myth of the Latino vote
Edited by Rich Norris and Joyce Nichols Lewis
should not even exist in the first place. Even now in the 21st century, the caste system continues to perpetuate harm and pain to those who have done nothing to deserve it. A person’s right to education, employment, even to life itself should not be determined by an outdated system that predetermines a person’s level of success at birth. In this day and age, the Hindu community must move away from this assumptive, ancient system of classification that essentially degrades a person to less of a human. I don’t think anyone has a clear answer to how to effectively get rid of the implications of the caste system. As the world has observed throughout the past few months, changing something at the cultural, systemic level takes time, energy and frustration. It takes stepping out of our bubbles of ignorance and opening up outlets of expression for those who have been barred from them in the past. It takes having the humility to understand that your own privilege means nothing if others do not have the same privileges as you.
Los Angeles Times Daily Crossword Puzzle
able population for violence and mistreatment. Why, then, does the majority of the Hindu community continue to perpetuate and uphold the caste system? Perhaps it is because they are afraid of losing the power that they have held for centuries. Perhaps, like so many of the systemic issues we are seeing in the world, it’s difficult to come to terms with the fact that your privilege should not be normalized. The Hindu community needs to stop using the excuse that the caste system is illegal, because this gives people a way to brush aside these murders as isolated incidents. Putting something into law does nothing to uproot centuries of discrimination, violence and hatred that still persists today. Our families walk around saying the caste system is illegal while still refusing to marry our children outside of our castes, while looking down upon those who aren’t the same caste as us, while turning a blind eye at the countless men, women and children who lose their lives every year for something they don’t control, something that
Release Date: Wednesday, October 14, 2020
The harm of Black Girl Magic
“EHS is hiding the fact that we have multiple cases in brusley, One who’s an RA. (It’s been a week)”
KATHERINA ANDRADE OZAETTA MiC Columnist
A growing trend has caught the attention of U.S. politicians and no, it’s not Qanon. It’s the rise in the number of Latinx voters, which political pundits refer to as the Latino Vote. The Latino Vote is an elusive creature that many politicians have tried and failed to catch, insisting on trapping it, but failing to realize that it’s less like a fish and more like the Loch Ness Monster: It isn’t real. The Latino Vote is a gross generalization of Central and South Americans that ignores the diversity of thoughts and values within such a varied body of people; there is no one “Latino Vote.” The narrative perpetuated by the media that all Latinx voters vote straight ticket blue is incorrect for several reasons and harmful to any campaign that believes in it. My mother and my uncle immigrated from Ecuador as children. When they moved, they both did not know English and went through the ESL program in their public school. They both attended the University of Michigan. Though they had the same upbringing and same immigrant experience, they could not be further apart in ideology. My mother is a moderate, Elizabeth Warren type of Democrat. My uncle is a raging Independent that responds positively towards Trump-like politicians. After the comments Trump made about Mexico sending rapists and criminals, I assumed my uncle would be offended by the situation. He was not. This experience displays several issues with the myth of the Latino Vote. Though there are common experiences, such as immigration, ESL and cuisine, Latinx voters do not always view themselves as a uniform group. Rather than identifying as Latinx, some will refer to themselves specifically as Chilean or Puerto Rican. Within these identifications, there are values held that
are not held by the rest of the community. For instance, fiftyeight percent of Cubans identify as Republican in comparison to thirty-eight percent of nonCuban Hispanics. This disparity can be attributed to the issues each group prioritizes; according to the Pew Research Center, Cuban voters consider foreign policy, health care and violent crimes more than non-Cuban Hispanics. Foriegn policy is a major issue for Cubans, because a hardline foreign policy against Cuba means that Cubans have a harder time visiting family still on the island. This is not as much of a problem with nonCuban Latinx as U.S. foreign policy with Cuba changes more frequently in comparison to other Central and South American countries. Latinx voters also hold varying positions on social issues. Religion is an important factor that affects voting patterns for the Latino Vote. More Latinx Americans are actively religious (i.e. going to service regularly) as compared to their non-Latinx counterparts. Typically identifying as Christian, many consider criminalization of abortion to be a crucial aspect of the party they are voting for; older Latinxs hold anti-abortion views to a much larger degree as compared to younger Latinxs. This creates a separation over this single issue alone. Across the board, Latinxs identify as liberal significantly more than other non-Latin Americans and are considered equally as accepting of the LGBTQ+ community as non-Latin Americans. Considering the variation in views of these different social issues, it is hard to determine what factors sway the Latino Vote right or left. As we move forward into the election cycle, it’s important that politicians consider all the oversights that come from categorizing the Latinx population into one vote. As diverse as the community is, the views within are even more diverse and have the power to greatly impact the outcome of the election.
Michigan In Color
The Michigan Daily — michigandaily.com
Wednesday, October 14, 2020 — 7
Statement of solidarity with Indigenous struggle SAMARA JULIA JACKSON TOBEY MiC Contributor
On Indigenous People’s Day, Michigan in Color would like to express our ongoing solidarity with Native Americans and the Indigenous struggle against the forces of settler-colonialism for their legitimate claim on this land. As a University situated on the land stewarded by the Niswi Ishkodewan Anishinaabeg (The Three Fires People of the Ojibwe, Odawa, and Potawatomi) and their neighbors the Seneca, Delaware, Shawnee and Wyandot nations, we have a personal responsibility to push against the colonial pedagogies of our curriculum.We urge readers to actively fight against the erasure of indigenous histories, not just today, but everyday. Michigan in Color is committed to uplifting the voices of marginalized communities, and as such would like to share a list of demands by the Decolonial Pedagogies Initiative. Below is a consolidated list of their demands.
Photo by Marcus Spiske via Unsplash
Desensitization through statistics SYEDA MAHA MiC Columnist
We live in a country where, with even a bare amount of effort exerted, access to information regarding a million different issues is readily obtainable. That doesn’t necessitate that any of such information is true, or that subject matters are covered with the attention they deserve. The information — authentic or fake, specific or vague — is readily accessible for the majority of us. We are used to continually having numbers, statistics, estimates poured into our ears. While it is crucial to be aware of current events and their impacts, it is purposeless if you are not able to understand and empathize with what the current events mean. And that is exactly the problem we are facing with each generation, each progressively less able to comprehend the severity of these issues. We are becoming an increasingly desensitized society. We are unable to put intense situations into perspective. Part of
it is simple, human nature. The disparity between 10,000 and 11,000 lives lost is not something we are able to process instantaneously, especially when we are flooded with the news of death every day; it floats over our heads. Many of us do not really feel an elevated sense of despair when we hear the number of malnourished children in Yemen could increase from 2.2 million to 2.4 million by the end of this year. What does two million mean? The majority of us have not been exposed to this immense of a number, making it unimaginable to visualize its scope in global and historical situations. Wislawa Szymborska, a Nobel Peace Prize recipient, elaborates on the concept of counting the dead: “history counts its skeletons in round numbers. A thousand and one remains a thousand, as though the one had never existed.” If we are unable to truly comprehend damage, it becomes impossible to understand the severity of the events we are experiencing globally. We get accustomed to listening to large, hollow numbers and our
ability to empathize with others diminishes. We derogate from the actual loss of human lives. This mindset is actively reflected in our society today. Whether or not you agree teenagers and children should have access to violent games is a separate conversation. But the fact of the matter is that many popular games give exposure to graphic events like decapitation, headshots, murder and rape. These exposures have a hand in desensitizing children to the weight of violence. If a 13-year-old spends an hour a day working on their headshot capabilities in Call of Duty, it is inevitably harder for them to be moved when a similar situation reaches the headlines. We need to start looking at the numbers — even the very small ones — and take a minute to stop and digest. Take a minute to think about if the person who got shot was someone you loved, if the rape victim was a member of your family, if the person who got run down by a car was your best friend, if the victim of suicide was someone
ARIES Financial ups and downs cause headaches this week, Aries, but it’s within your control to get your money better organized. Working on your time management may free up time to indulge in a lucrative side hustle, which will help.
Unexpected news from your partner puts your relationship in the spotlight, but there should be cause for joy mixed with the shock. A tumultuous week is in the cards, Taurus, but there are memories to made here too.
WHISPER “Dude in park to friend, Taco: Blaming Covid on Trump is like blaming me for the sun comin’ up”
LEO Tensions between your work and home life decrease, finally, thanks to a boost in your income which makes it easier to balance your competing priorities. Look ahead with confidence, Leo – it just might be possible to have it all, after all.
Chaos at work subsides into something more doable and normal, but there’s still a lot of hard work to be done. Fortunately, Aquarius, your loved ones are very understanding and will back your need to spend more time on your career. Don’t lose your focus.
“Give lifetakes blog a look on Wordpress, twitter, Instagram, and Facebook!”
CANCER Events in your social circle take a surprising turn and you may find yourself wondering if you really know someone at all, Cancer, given their odd behavior. Give everyone the benefit of the doubt. There’s method in their madness.
News travels fast, Pisces, but double check your facts before you spread gossip which may or may not be true. There’s an air of excitement as you wait for an announcement – and it should hopefully be good news. Changing circumstances benefit you hugely.
GEMINI Expect strange coincidences or fleeting corner-of-the-eye glimpses of otherworldly beings. Your spiritual growth is moving quickly, Gemini, and help on this topic from a sympathetic and encouraging family member is very welcome.
you personally knew. They are incredibly uncomfortable situations to willingly put yourself in, but nothing is worth sacrificing what makes you human and what gives you the ability to empathize. If we make contextualizing these tragedies a habit, it can become easier to understand the devastation behind global events. I don’t think I can ever understand what 10,000 deaths means. I honestly have tried; I sit idle and reflect on what that number looks like. But I can’t seem to wrap my mind around its magnitude. But making an honest attempt counts for something, paving the way to becoming more aware of the impact statistics have beyond their place in a news article. We need to focus on what makes us human: a sense of shared mortality, loss, a unity that goes beyond the limits of race, religion or nationality. Being bombarded by numbers that continue to desensitize us is what makes calamity seem trivialized, a mentality that goes against our humanity: a calamity in and of itself.
Fun is very much a team effort this week, so say yes to invitations and don’t be afraid to join in. If a travel opportunity presents itself, Capricorn, you’ll be busy weighing up the pros and cons – but don’t take so long that you miss out on an incredible chance.
“I grew my self worth so much this summer I feel like I’ve outgrown friends I once thought I needed.”
VIRGO You’re changing your mind so often this week that you’re struggling to keep up with yourself. This intellectual instability is a good thing though, Virgo, in as much as it shows that you are keeping an open mind. Don’t be afraid to revisit old opinions.
LIBRA Someone forgives you out of the blue – but do you forgive yourself? The energies this week encourage you to look ahead and to stop fretting about the past, Libra. You may have made a mistake, but so do we all. Be kinder to yourself.
A happy accident or fortunate coincidence works in your favor, Sagittarius, but you’re reminded that you could create more of your own luck if you were better organized. Work on clearing your clutter so that you can spend more time manifesting your dreams.
SCORPIO Romantic surprises and passionate encounters – what’s not to love about this energy? It’s set to be a very loving week, Scorpio, whether you’re in an existing relationship or looking for new love. If you’re single, a friendship may turn into something much more.
Read your weekly horoscopes from astrology.tv
United Statement: Uplifting Diverse Indigenous Ontologies We students find it imperative The University of Michigan accommodates institutional space for Diverse Indigenous Ontologies to take part in weaving our shared sustainable future through Decolonizing Pedagogies. Only through creating an ethics of reciprocity between the University of Michigan and the World will we be able to truly create an inclusive UofM. The United Statement and all demands of the Decolonizing Pedagogies Initiative (DPI) are made relevant by The University of Michigan’s existing mission statement: “The mission of the University of Michigan is to serve the people of Michigan and the world through preeminence in creating, communicating, preserving and applying knowledge, art, and academic values, and in developing leaders and citizens who will challenge the present and enrich the future.” Go to https://www.seedsforchange.ca/decolonizingpedagogiesinitiative for more on the initiative and access to the full United Statement. 1. Considering the University of Michigan was founded following the establishment of The Fort Meigs Treaty, we assert that the Treaty be recognized beyond Land Acknowledgement and used as a reputable reference of Anishinaabek land and cultural rights, operating as a central focus for all University affairs. An Institutional Territorial Land Acknowledgement must exist to function as a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for the Anishinaabek, Decolonial Faculty/Staff, Global Indigenous Faculty/Staff/Students and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Unit Plan Contacts. 2. A DPI Taskforce be created in evaluating and meeting the continuous needs of Anishinaabek and Global Indigenous students to serve a living document to the Board of Regents that reinforce the most recent Native American Student Task Force Committee Demands. 3. In an effort to combat The University of Michigan’s systemic erasure, we assert that Indigenous peoples of Turtle Island be represented by the name of their respective Nation, Tribe, Band or language family and not by terms imposed on them (e.g., “[American] Indian”), unless Indigenous stakeholders (e.g. Tribal Elders, Indigenous Community Leaders) explicitly request that the The University of Michigan reference them as Native American/American Indian, etc. 4. Indigenous people of East Pacific, North Pacific and South Pacific descent be represented by their respective islands of Polynesian, Melanesian, Micronesian and Australasian heritage. Terms such as ‘Pacific Islander’ must be respective of their diverse Indigenous ontologies without omitting Indigenous people of New Zealand and Australia. Like the term Oceania, it must reflect all of Australia, Melanesia, Micronesia, Polynesia and some identifying populations of The Philippines. Indigenous communities depend on Michigan’s academic leadership to sustain lands, cultures and people far beyond Michigan’s state lines. For diverse students of Oceania to truly belong at The University of Michigan, Michigan’s structures and definitions must reflect their ontologies. 5. First Nations of Canada, Indigenous South Americans, Mesoamericans, Afro Caribbeans, Black Natives be regarded with rising respect and visibility as Indigenous peoples of Turtle Island. 6. The University’s implementation of the Michigan Indian Tuition Waiver (MITW) be expanded beyond state law to support all First Nations Canadian and American Indigenous bands/tribes —- regardless of phenotype, enrollment status, federal recognition or blood quantum under the requirement that the Anishinaabek community members of Canada, North Dakota, Wyoming, Kansa, Montana, Wisconsin, Michigan and Minnesota gain priority in the MITW. The University of Michigan must heed their responsibility to the Treaty of Fort Meigs by further encouraging institutional action that serves and works towards Indigenous and traditional knowledge systems that are overshadowed, ignored or suppressed by present programming developed within their settlercolonial model. 7. Make Higher Education accessible to Indigenous individuals impacted by generational traumas/erasure from Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA), Foster care, Adoption, Removal and Boarding Schools (genocide pedagogy). This includes Black Natives (unenrolled and enrolled), Displaced Natives, Urban Natives, Indigenous Bands/Tribes predating American borders, Federally non-recognized tribes and unenrolled Native Americans (all of which are not currently (2020) represented at The University of Michigan). 8. Restore Indigenous ecological management into University of Michigan’s Carbon Neutrality initiative. We believe ‘establishing an effective path toward carbon neutrality for the University’s community and beyond’ must include Global Indigenous traditions, sustainable science, resource management, land management, food production, traditional environmental management, practices and processes included within the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs 2030 agenda. Solidarity Statement: This document was written and developed by Decolonial Academics throughout Turtle Island and The University of Michigan. On behalf of Anishinaabek Latinx, Taíno, Kanaka Maoli, Maori, Cook Island, Native American, Black Natives, Displaced Natives, Enrolled Natives, Unenrolled Natives, Native Americans impacted by erasure, Native Americans impacted by climate change, Native Americans impacted by ICWA, Native Americans of Foster Care Systems, Native Americans ‘disconnected’ by adoption, Native Americans impacted by generational trauma, Native Americans impacted by boarding school pedagogy, Native American and global Indigenous students and alumni impacted by genocide and climate change ask The University of Michigan to heed our statement and begin restoring their Treaty obligation by decolonizing The University of Michigan’s Pedagogies. All proposals entailed are intended to have elastic quality and benefit all Michigan students across all three campuses from the liberation of Indigenous epistemologies and pedagogies. All proposals made by students are to be verified and developed by Anishinaabek community Elders/leaders and Decolonial Scholars throughout the Great Lakes Region and beyond with an official Task Force to develop DPI into sustainable action. The United Statement respectfully acknowledges the abolishment of Prop 2/Affirmative Action within The University of Michigan’s three respective campuses. However, we ask The University of Michigan continue to enhance support for all marginalized students beyond race, gender, ethnicity or national origin in student success programming to recruit, retain and sustain students impacted by climate change, natural disaster, lack of clean water, economic deprivation, settler-colonialism, genocide, malnourishment, generational trauma, urbanization, erasure and Tribal Sovereignty. Roxana Tanginya contributed to the formation of this piece.
The Michigan Daily — michigandaily.com
Wednesday, October 14, 2020 — 8
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ELIZABETH LAWRENCE Editor in Chief
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From The Daily: On our govenor’s powers
n Friday, Oct. 2, the Michigan Supreme Court ruled against Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, stating that she does not have the authority to extend executive orders regarding the COVID-19 pandemic and safety protocols she unilaterally put in place. The Michigan Supreme Court based their ruling on the Emergency Management Act of 1976 and the Emergency Powers of the Governor Act of 1945, declaring that Whitmer had the authority to declare a state of emergency once, but did not have the authority to extend nor re-declare a state of disaster past April 30 without legislative approval.
he ruling also declared EPGA of 1945 to be unconstitutional. This ruling directly impacts Whitmer’s plan to extend the state of emergency in Michigan from Sept. 29 until Oct. 27. Narrowing the scope from state legislation to the local university community, while this removal of authoritative guidance occurred despite a significant increase in case numbers, the onus is now on the University of Michigan to provide clear public health guidance and support to all individuals, both on and off-campus. Our state has been relying on Whitmer’s extension of the state of emergency to handle the COVID19 outbreak and to enforce the guidelines we need to follow to control the spread. It is unclear how the state government will be handling legislation relating to the pandemic moving forward. The effect of repealing EPGA and EMA, alongside the lack of national precedent for the management of a global pandemic, will be the unanswered concern of how to handle potential spread from outlying communities. The severity of the pandemic will likely not decrease after Oct. 27, and with flu season approaching, there is still a greater concern for how the infection will worsen on our campus — especially because the University’s lack of proper testing and overall response has resulted in an increase in case numbers and outbreaks across many different residence halls. This Michigan Supreme Court ruling ultimately emphasizes the importance of taking
personal responsibility during the coronavirus pandemic. Thus, The Michigan Daily Editorial Board calls on the University to help outline precautions necessary to compensate for the lack of state legislation that could follow the end of the state of emergency on Oct. 27. We encourage students to continue wearing masks, washing their hands and social distancing on campus. We also call on the University community to sign up to participate in random, voluntary testing through the University, so as to enable our public health experts and contact tracers to develop a comprehensive picture of where COVID-19 infections exist and how to contain them. Additionally, we encourage those on campus to use the University’s ResponsiBLUE app, which allows students to track their symptoms and receive guidance for how and when to reduce their interactions in certain public areas. While students are already required to use this app to enter many buildings on campus, we believe they should use this app even if not mandated to, as it can be useful for identifying cases before they potentially infect more students. There have also been consistent cleaning measures taken in public spaces and residence halls. These actions have helped to not only keep our campus distanced and safe but have worked to give the community faith in our university’s response. We should continue to have confidence in this response after the end of the state of emergency.
While we acknowledge the necessity of checks and balances, we are asking the University administration to also shift the conversation and acknowledge the barriers students face when trying to get tested on campus. For example, students have said that the University Health Service rejected their requests to receive testing, despite reporting symptoms or close contact with community members who had tested positive. Some students have also reported that their calls to UHS didn’t go through when they sought testing and that the reported data is inaccurate. Rather than leaving students wondering what options that leaves them with, the University could enlist additional individuals to staff phone lines for UHS. Another potential way for the University to eliminate barriers for students would be by continuing to work with the Washtenaw County Health Department to incorporate testing data from University students at off-campus locations into the University’s COVID-19 dashboard to increase accuracy and timeliness of such data. This lack of authority on a federal and state level has left students without much cohesive direction. We need to demand support from the University to implement safety protocols and procedures that responsibly parallel local measures and take more precautions than the contentious state governments.
Read more at MichiganDaily.com
MADELYN VERVAECKE | CONTACT CARTOONIST AT MIVERVAE@UMICH.EDU
SIERRA ÉLISE HANSEN | COLUMN
Design courtesy of Madison Grosvenor
What disaster experts know
have found myself asking the following question, set to repeat like a lagging, skipping record: How much time will our leaders spend quantifying the obvious before they act? I’m exhausted from waiting to see it manifest in appropriate action. Our leaders seem preoccupied with data, as if numbers are gods and they are beholden to them. National frustration on all sides is at an inflection point and radiating outward with the abrupt shattering of hallucinatory American life. But the question remains, rephrased here to abandon the hopelessly rhetorical: How will we decide to enact good citizenship at all levels to meet the moment? We’re seeing the dissolution of American childhood ideals of equal opportunity and romance and the stab of expectations unfulfilled; A president who has fallen ill with no one sure whether to believe him. Many of us have been watching for our suspicions to manifest while desperately hoping they won’t. None of the problems that have been exposed are being fixed while we wait and therefore the days feel doomed to repeat themselves. When the University of Michigan’s data on COVID-19 signaled the crossing of another threshold, I felt the baffling commingling of dread and lack of surprise. One way to move forward could be looking to experts who study disasters. Scott Gabriel Knowles, a disaster historian and professor at Drexel University, has been studying and historicizing disasters for decades. I have been tuning in to his podcast COVID-calls, streaming live every day at 5 p.m. EST. In the past, Knowles has suggested we build memorials for the victims of natural disasters and his habit of commemorating what many of us have grown worryingly numb to is a small, measured surprise, as well as a tiny piece of validation amid my daily doom scrolls. On his recent COVID-call with Michael Yudell, a professor at Drexel University who focuses on public health, Yudell noted how W.E.B. DuBois embarked on a project to document public health disparities in Black men 124 years ago. Yudell added, “Here we are, 124 years later, still trying to quantify health disparities that we know exist. Yes, the Band-
Aid has been ripped off … but how do we pivot to push society to really take up these issues in a way that leads to change? Because we can measure this stuff to death, which in some ways is what we’ve been doing.” Data represents a complex matrix of stories documenting either a steady accumulation of numbered lives or sudden tragedy. Knowles has made it his life’s work to not only gather data in his academic research but to, as he so aptly puts it,“put knowledge (and data) to work.” Diametrically opposed to this idea is the bureaucracy of today’s mortality counts, which seem to have been borrowed directly from the British empire. I cannot help being reminded here of how so much American legal doctrine is similarly, and sometimes quite bizarrely, descended from archaic British common law. Another guest on Knowles’ COVID-calls, Dartmouth University Professor Jacqueline Wernimont, talked about how the mortality count was commercialized in England during the bubonic plague years. She spoke at length about women called “searchers,” enlisted to perform the dirty work of counting the contaminated corpses filling the streets. Wernimont added that not only weren’t most people officially counted, but church parishioners sold the resulting periodicals for profit along with listings for the price of bread: The mundane mingled inappropriately and deceptively with flattened, two-dimensional tragedy. Wernimont has recently identified a blurry historical line between COVID-19 dashboards today and “mortality bills” in bubonic plague times, adding how their numbers can “blunt the pain of deaths.” During the COVID-call she described how the gruesome labors of these “searching” women, usually poor, recently-widowed London women, were erased. The similarities there — between the invisible labors of medieval “searchers” and today’s workers on the front lines — are striking. To further complicate assumptions about the efficacy of data science, the belief that electronic health records and their standards for “meaningful use” somehow mitigate inconsistencies in the data is wrong. In an article recently published
in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Sloan Management Review, the authors write that “data standards for the pandemic are not codified in EHRs, and data on the equipment needed to fight it isn’t in them at all.” What this means is our official sources of data are inadequate and inconsistent at best. News companies, university groups and even nonprofit organizations have strained to compensate by attempting to fill knowledge gaps. In the Sloan article, the authors write that this “leads to multiple versions of pandemic truth, adding cost and uncertainty,” and that it also “builds a false sense of confidence … The New York Times reports very specific death counts, camouflaging the uncertainty and severity of the issues, and distracting people from addressing the root issues.” When the national death toll of our modern plague reached 200,001 Americans on Sept. 12, 2020, there were no bells announcing the establishment of the fact. During bubonic plague times in England, every burial event was marked by reverberating acoustics from ringing parish bells. But I knew multitudes of people somewhere were mourning deaths and medical professionals had clearly determined COVID-19 as the cause of each. When I heard the numbered news it felt as if an abstracted national reality was converging with my personal sense of isolation. But the defining shock of the alleged collapse of American democracy reached me later in a delayed reaction — like the long peal of a bell’s toll — when I read an essay on Medium that had gone viral. The essay is by Indi Samarajiva, who survived the Sri Lankan Civil War as a member of its majority and declares America has been in the process of collapsing for some time. He points to how in thirty years of bloody civil war in Sri Lanka around 18,000 people died — fewer than the number of people who died in the United States from COVID-19 in the past three months alone.
Read more at MichiganDaily.com Sierra Élise Hansen can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
JACOB WALDEN | OP-ED
Your vote is the history you write — honor the patriots that suffered for it
ears, decades, centuries from now, students will take a constitutional law class like the one I teach with professor Pamela Brandwein. They may learn, as they do now, about slavery, eugenics, Japanese internment camps and the Guantanamo Bay detention camp. They may also learn about how American political history is a story of thoughtful, determined people repeatedly redeeming its promise of liberty, human dignity and equality. And they will read about the history you choose to make in the coming days. You must vote. There are few demands your country makes of you as a citizen, like jury duty and voting. Without those demands, citizenship is meaningless. The development of modern democratic states has transformed the world. Billions have been lifted even in the last 25 years. Violence within and between states has declined. The problems we face, like the pandemic, climate change, economic uncertainty, violations of civil rights, debt, unstable global alliances and eroding democratic norms, are ones we can solve. The primary way we solve problems at a societal level is through voting. Research, by our own professor
Arthur Lupia and others, shows the ability of individual voters acting in good faith to make rational choices in the aggregate — one of the miracles of democracy. The moral failure of not voting is graver than selfishness. It’s disrespectful to your fellow citizens if you don’t voice your shared right to think for yourself and contribute to our country — and particularly disrespects those who have this right denied to them. It dishonors the millions of righteous men and women, many of your ancestors and mine, who have been beaten, raped and tortured, who have been given farcical literacy tests and chased after with dogs and fire houses, who suffered through pogroms, book burnings, lynchings and wars; heroes who died in the mud in Belgium and on the beaches of Normandy, who marched hundreds of miles to reservations and re-education programs, who huddled in ships and survived inquisitions, who dared to sit in the wrong place at the lunch counter and on the bus, who were figuratively crucified for loving the wrong person, who were murdered because of the color of their skin or the god they prayed to, who were shot in the sanctity of their own
bedroom, who voiced their undying belief in the United States even while their government shipped them away on trains and locked them away in desert camps. The rights many enjoy today — to work in just conditions, to a fair trial, to speak and assemble, to privacy, to our own belongings, to freedom from torture, to freedom from arbitrary arrest, to think and read what we want — are underwritten by the bloodshed of braver forebears. Some are still denied them. These rights are not our assured American destiny. Every morning, many of your fellow citizens wake up willing to die for a belief in these liberties. The least you can do if you are able is to walk down a few flights of stairs or a couple blocks to drop off a ballot, or to wait in line and mark a piece of paper. Do it knowing that many could not, and some still cannot. Because all of those people who came before you and fought believed, as you should, that those pieces of paper change the course of history. Vote. Jacob Walden is a Ph.D. Candidate in Political Science at the University of Michigan and can be reached at email@example.com.
9 — Wednesday, October 14, 2020
The Michigan Daily — michigandaily.com
RILEY DEHR | COLUMN
Time to revitalize the environmental movement
shifted my car into neutral and drifted off I-80 in western Nebraska and into my hometown for a weekend visit. As he has done to thousands of travelers to enter North Platte, Neb., since 1963, a stern-faced Buffalo Bill glared down at me with a rifle in his hands from a 50-foot billboard. Behind him stands the famous Fort Cody, an imposing wooden building with plaster grizzly bears and mannequins guarding its doors. Inside is the story of the Wild West and its most famous celebrity, William F. Cody. Earning the nickname “Buffalo Bill” after killing approximately 4,000 bison in eight months, the hunter became an instrumental tool in the U.S. government’s mission to starve the area’s Native American tribes, who depended on the vast herds that once roamed the Great Plains. In his later years, he began the famous “Wild West Show” at his ranch on the outskirts of town, garnering worldwide, A-list celebrity status. European royalty and famous Westerners like Annie Oakley came here to dine with the world’s most famous man and hunt the now critically-endangered North American Bison. I went to his ranch, now a state park, later that night and admired the small herd of bison kept fenced up for events and tourist appeal. I looked out at the open fields behind them, scattered with grazing cattle, and couldn’t help but feel pity for the magnificent animals, lying in the mud in front of me in their small enclosure. Every North American Bison can trace its lineage back to the final 300 that escaped extinction — the last of 60 million that once roamed the Great Plains. Their tragic story is often recited as another regrettable American mistake of our past, but its lessons about extinction, and narrow escape from it, are more relevant today than ever. Fifteen thousand University of Michigan students and faculty marched through the streets on April 22, 1970, in the first celebration of a new holiday called Earth Day. Following in the footsteps of pioneers like Rachel Carson and Jane Goodall, the new environmental movement immediately had to confront a neverending and exponentially growing
list of long-existing issues. While the success of these battles is difficult to measure, it’s safe to say that the movement has been a general failure. Major issues like ocean acidification, deforestation, the collapse of biodiversity and over-use of resources have not yet been solved while newer threats like climate change, overfishing and politicization of environmental issues have been met with less than sufficient resistance. The result is the apocalyptic United States we now live in, where national disasters have forced Americans in California or Iowa or the Gulf Coast from their homes as climate refugees. Since the pandemic began, my newsfeed has been filled with an increasing number of terrifying studies and headlines that show just how bad things have truly become. Back in June, The New York Times released a report stating that over 500 species will likely go extinct in the next 20 years, a number of extinctions that would naturally occur over 16,000 years if not for the environmental issues impacting Earth. Since the 1970s alone, over 70% of the world’s animal populations have been wiped out, leaving more than a million species confronting extinction. These levels of biodiversity loss haven’t been seen since a meteor wiped out the dinosaurs 65 million years ago and are a sign that humanity’s efforts to grow sustainably have failed disastrously. The COVID-19 pandemic, which is itself the hypothesized result of poaching and wildlife trafficking, is perhaps the greatest example of what complications will continue to arise as we delete nature from existence. Since March, this disaster has killed over 200,000 Americans and made the world an increasingly dangerous and stressful place to live. One, often over-exaggerated, silverlining throughout all of this has been the worldwide drop in emissions and pollution due to national lockdowns. It was the first time in nearly a century, and the only time since the environmental movement began, that the world experienced a decrease in human activity and greenhouse gas emissions. Humanity received a rare opportunity to watch nature have a brief moment to breathe. Now, as the world has been set
back into motion, these benefits can seem like a distant memory, but they shouldn’t be treated as flukes of the pandemic. The changes needed to stop and reverse our current mass extinction will require a lot more than those COVID-19 forced upon us. Banning the sale of gasoline-powered cars, drastically altering our diets and subsistence farming are some of the few things that must be encouraged if we want to spare a million species from extinction and save millions of people who would otherwise be killed by the effects of a crumbling environment. The evidence is clear that we have built a flawed society that must be massively overhauled to deal with the realities of our world. With the largest nations in the world simultaneously deciding and legislating on how to recover, grow and develop to stimulate their economies, the pandemic could be the catalyst for this restructuring. Pioneering environmentalists must regroup, re-strategize and re-learn how to achieve environmental stability in a post-pandemic world. If we learn how to sufficiently influence policy, economics and psychology to encourage sustainable practices, then we might be able to avoid the various crises that currently await us. With many scientists warning that major changes must occur within the next 20 years, this may be our last chance. With more motivated, educated and talented people fighting for our environment than ever before, I am hopeful and terrified in equal measure. While Buffalo Bill went to great heights to inflict great environmental damage, almost every moment of our modern-day lives comes at the expense of another living thing. This lifestyle is one that has copied practices like his and emulated them on a mass scale, with an environmental footprint higher than any imaginable a century ago. Environmental ruin is not inescapable, but only if society uses this current moment of reckoning and inflection to confront it. Now, with the world at a crossroads, the environmental movement has the potential to solve these problems once and for all. Riley Dehr can be reached at rdehr@ umich.edu.
Design courtesy of Shannon Stocking
NOAH ENTE | COLUMN
n the Middle East, the month of September was marked by the signing of deals for peace and diplomatic relations between two countries, a very rare occurrence. In a part of the world marked by an extensive history of bloodshed, two agreements brokered by the U.S. and President Donald Trump were reached, with both the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain establishing official ties with Israel. The deals have made quite a splash on the world stage, and have even led Trump to receive nominations for the Nobel Peace Prize. These accords, signed by leaders of the three countries at a much-anticipated White House event, are sure to shift the regional dynamics and strategic reality in the Middle East for the benefit of all the signatory nations as well as the U.S. Unlike other notable agreements over the last 50 years, it appears that the accords signed in September could lead to full and harmonious relationships between Israel, the U.A.E. and Bahrain. Past deals between Israel and Middle Eastern nations, namely Egypt and Jordan, established what has mainly been “cold peace,” where the states
Design courtesy of Samuel Turner
LAURA MILLER | COLUMN
In the decision to revive fall football, Big Ten fails to acknowledge Title IX
ithin the Big Ten conference, including at the University of Michigan, women do not have an equal opportunity to participate in and benefit from college sports this fall when compared to men. Because of this, there is a compelling case to be made that the Big Ten is operating in violation of Title IX, which prohibits gender discrimination. Women and gender non-binary students who play fall women’s sports could potentially have strong Title IX claims against universities within the Big Ten. In making the unanimous decision to reopen football this fall, and football alone, the Big Ten doesn’t seem to be following the general wording of the Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972, 20 U.S.C.§§1681 which states: “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.” Right now, some male athletes can practice and play, but no female athletes have been given a comparable opportunity this fall. Players for the University of Iowa Hawkeyes football team rejoice in knowing that they will return to play Oct. 24, while teams like the Minnesota Golden Gophers women’s volleyball team fervently hope for the chance to do the same. There is uncertainty regarding the reinstatement and timeline of women’s fall sports following the NCAA announcement of spring championship dates. This has created an assumption that these sports will be played in spring — but with no clear plan from the Big Ten. Why wasn’t Title IX or equal opportunity considered by the Big Ten Return to Competition Task Force? The very same 14 university presidents in the Big Ten who voted unanimously to open conference football signed the National College Athletic Association Presidential Pledge: The Pledge and Commitment to Promoting Diversity and Gender Equity in Intercollegiate Athletics. This is remarkable because only 81.2% of Division I university presidents signed on to a pledge which largely promises to uphold existing civil rights laws. Setting law aside, the Big Ten presidents should be held accountable for failing to uphold this agreement.
An argument could be made that women aren’t being excluded from equal participation because they might get a chance to compete in the spring semester. This logic does not hold up well to Title IX statute text or case precedent. The “scheduling of games and practice time” is listed in the 34 C.F.R. § 106.41(c) as a way of measuring equal opportunity. The NCAA’s own handbook on Title IX compliance cites an example eerily similar to the current situation, which states that “institutions need to look at all sports.” The handbook continues with, “... if football is the only program brought back early, the fact that there is no like program will not excuse the school’s decision to bring back members of one sex and not the other.” Several past cases such as Parker v. Franklin County and McCormick v. School Dist. of Mamaroneck have established that scheduling disparities between male and female athletic competitions do in fact qualify as a denial of equal opportunity. One of the ways Title IX compliance is measured is by whether a disparity exists between men and women in varsity sports participation and making sure that this ratio is approximately proportional to the gender ratio of the student body at large; this was clarified in the case Cohen v. Brown. For example, the University of Michigan has a precise ratio of 50% male to 50% female undergraduate students, so athletic opportunities should match. Adding to the disparity, the men participating in football this fall receive more benefits than in a regular season. The same Title IX statute, as listed above, specifically lists the provision of medical services as a way by which to measure equal opportunity in intercollegiate athletics. Football players this fall not only will be able to receive daily antigen tests to help detect infection of COVID-19, but extensive cardiac support care in case of a positive test — including giving positive players easy access to cardiac MRI machines, even when none is available in the local area. The Big Ten press release regarding medical protocols amid football’s return did state that “eventually all Big Ten sports will require testing protocols before they can resume competition,” but it is unclear when those practices will be instituted across the board for athletes.
To fully comply with Title IX, one would expect an equivalent opportunity for female athletes. This has not happened. With statistics like these, every single woman or gendernon-binary varsity athlete could have a potential Title IX claim. A counter argument might be that football is a special case and thus should be looked at differently under Title IX. Football is a large source of revenue for universities, and so perhaps it is justified to treat this sport differently when considering COVID-19 reopenings given budget woes. However, this argument has implications beyond Title IX. The NCAA and member universities have vigorously defended lawsuits from male football and basketball players requesting adequate compensation for the use of their labor and likenesses by citing participation in an amateur sport. If the Big Ten defends Title IX claims with a “football is special” defense, this could undermine the avoidance of paying football players in other ways. The litigation regarding Title IX violations and COVID-19 has already begun, foreshadowing more to come. The seminal case Cohen v. Brown was recently reopened due to new allegations of Brown’s violation of the decades-old settlement due to COVID-19 budget cuts. On Sept. 25, 2020, a class action complaint was filed against the University of Iowa for providing inequitable access to athletic opportunities for women, a shortcoming further aggravated by eliminating the women’s swimming and diving program. We as students, alumni, community members and sports fans deserve answers. In responding to a crisis, which values are lost in rushed decision-making and why? Why did university presidents not act in accordance with their pledge to provide equal opportunities for women when they voted to reopen football? At the University of Michigan, will women and gender non-binary varsity athletes in fall sports file a class-action suit like their colleagues at the University of Iowa? Is the benefit of one partial season of football with a high risk of injury to players, including possible death, worth the consequences?
Arabia and Israel are established, the prospects for a two-state solution could be even greater. Palestinian officials may be more inclined to seriously come to the negotiating table once they realize that their cause is no longer a barrier towards growing Arab reconciliation with Israel. Additionally, Israel’s leaders may feel more secure in reaching an arrangement if they feel that their Arab allies will assure that the Palestinians honor their commitments and fully abide by the terms of a future peace accord. The strife between Israel and the Palestinians has its roots in a conflict that has spanned over a century. With no immediate end in sight, Riyadh should not wait for a resolution to strengthen its position in an everturbulent region. With these potential outcomes in mind, Salman should become the next in what will hopefully be a long list of leaders to take advantage of the opportunity to establish diplomatic relations with Israel. With full normalization, Saudi Arabia will be able to secure the economic and strategic benefits that come with having Israel in one’s corner, while taking a step
to promote the Israeli-Palestinian peace for which he has advocated for years. In international affairs, that certainly qualifies as a win-win situation, and Salman should not be afraid to make the move. Though normalization with Israel might not appear to be popular domestically, Saudi citizens will surely benefit from a strong, often like-minded partner, as well as the influx of foreign investment and financial opportunities. If such a deal also brings Israelis and Palestinians closer to a solution, few Saudis will be able to argue against it. In a region where violence often begets more violence, perhaps some peace will lead to even more peace. As states in and out of the Mideast continue to discover the advantages of making Israel into a friend, the House of Saud should waste no time in doing so itself. With threats mounting and a crisis developing around the globe, ties with the Jewish state will only increase Riyadh’s well-being and stability at home and abroad.
Laura Miller is a first-year student at the University of Michigan Law School and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The next step for peace primarily communicate about security issues and resource sharing but do not fully normalize relations. The nature of these ties has almost certainly been influenced by the history of war between Israel and its neighbors to the east and southwest. Yet though Bahrain and the U.A.E have been hostile to Israel for much of its statehood, neither state has ever actually gone to war against Israel. The warm peace officialized through the U.S.-brokered accords will allow the nations to develop public and private economic ties, defense cooperation and coordinated research and development in efforts to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. Considering these factors, it is clear that each of the three nations will benefit tremendously from full normalization. Reports have indicated that other countries in the region may be looking to follow in the footsteps of Abu Dhabi and Manama and establish diplomatic relations with the Jewish state. One such state which has increasingly been involved in rumors of Arab-Israeli cooperation is Saudi Arabia. At one point, it appeared that the Saudis would be the first Gulf state to foster ties with Israel, with its neighboring allies
following suit. Instead, the Saudi government curiously stands pat, with rumors of an impending SaudiIsraeli peace agreement continuing to surface. Among the reasons why officials in Riyadh may be holding out on establishing relations with Israel, perhaps the primary factor thus far has been the opinion of Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdulaziz. Over the years, the king has avidly promoted the creation of a Palestinian state alongside Israel, and has reiterated that a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict would be a precondition for full relations with Israel, as outlined in the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative. Salman has remained consistent in this position even recently, and all statements from him have indicated that Riyadh will hold out for the creation of a Palestinian state for official relations with Israel to get started. Salman’s vision has appeared at times to be quite different from that of hisson,CrownPrinceMohammedbin Salman. Last month, The Wall Street Journal reported friction within the House of Saud about whether to follow the U.A.E. and Bahrain’s lead and strike an agreement with Israel.
In his considerations, the crown prince appears to place high value in a possible relationship and sees Jerusalem as a key future ally in Saudi Arabia’s longstanding conflict with Iran. The Iranian regime considers both countries — as well as other Sunni Muslim states in the region — as bitter enemies and threats to its goal of a new Middle East, with Tehran as the center of power. Both Israel and Saudi Arabia have long dealt with Iranian proxies on their doorsteps that have overturned or destabilized local governments and significantly hurt populations in the area. Further, both nations are recipients of significant military aid from the U.S. With their common challenges and regional perspectives, a collaborative diplomatic relationship could be significantly beneficial for both states. To his credit, Mohammed has realized that if Saudi Arabia wishes to maintain and improve its standing in the region, it must look to any possible friends for support against the Islamic Republic of Iran, especially one with such substantial economic, technological and military prowess. It is also possible that after diplomatic relations between Saudi
Noah Ente can be reached at email@example.com.
10 — Wednesday, October 14, 2020
JESSIE MITCHELL | COLUMN
Trolling is not a good use of federal funds
s institutions of higher learning begin to do the long-overdue work of examining structural racism within their communities, President Donald Trump’s administration is fighting hard to ensure it goes unacknowledged. On Sept. 2, Princeton University President Christopher Eisgruber wrote a statement to the Princeton community addressing systemic racism and acknowledging that “racist assumptions from the past also remain embedded in structures of the University itself.” The statement goes on to detail a number of new initiatives at Princeton that aim to create a more welcoming and diverse campus. In response, the Trump administration launched an investigation into Princeton’s compliance with the Civil Rights Act, which “prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color or national origin in any program or activity that receives Federal funds or other Federal financial assistance.” In a letter to Eisgruber, the Department of Education argued that by admitting racism inherent to the institution, Princeton was also admitting that they discriminated based on race and were therefore in violation of the Civil Rights Act and ineligible for federal funding. Princeton stood by the original
statement, as they should have. Grappling with a fraught history, and attempting some remedy, is something that all institutions should strive to do. One of the examples that President Eisgruber cites, the nine departments centered around European language and culture departments at Princeton versus one centered around African studies, is a discrepancy that can be found at other universities across America. The reaction by the Department of Education to Princeton was unique. Plenty of other universities have admitted to systemic racism at their schools, including flagship institutions like the University of Michigan and the University of Virginia, without the threat of legal action by the Trump administration. So then, why Princeton? Likely, the timing of the statement by Princeton fits in with Trump’s ill-advised strategy of pretending that racism no longer exists. It’s an odd position to take, given that more than three-quarters of Americans agree that racism and discrimination are “a big problem,” as stated in a Monmouth University poll released in early June. By equating an admission of systemic racism to a violation of the Civil Rights Act, the Trump administration’s official position seems to be that the Civil Rights Act solved racism, and if it didn’t,
that’s a personal problem. Most Americans don’t seem to agree with that anymore. There were plenty of conservative commenters who reacted with glee at the administration’s announcement that they were going to investigate Princeton. Right-wing pundit Ben Shapiro tweeted an article about the news, saying “This is absolutely spectacular,” but reactions seemed less focused on whether this was a smart policy move on the part of the Department of Education and more on mocking people with the gall to admit that racism exists. Two recent Princeton graduates wrote, in support of the Department of Education’s investigation, that “the DoE had no choice but to act on the investigative trolling opportunity of a lifetime.” To insist that the administration’s best use of time and resources is to investigate Princeton for civil rights violations that authors do not believe exist solely to “troll” shows flagrant disregard for actual civil rights violations. The Civil Rights Act is not a joke and the Trump administration should not use it to attack universities attempting to pursue racial equity. To applaud the degradation of the Civil Rights Act in service of a “gotcha” moment is disgusting. It is also hard to see the end
game with this move. If Princeton is found to be in violation of the Civil Rights Act due to systemic racism, it would follow that the Princeton education — that of a handful of legislators and Supreme Court Justices — is also racist. This would strengthen the claim that racism is institutionalized in America, not weaken it. Of course, the Trump administration is banking on Princeton bending over backward to avoid losing their federal funding, which, according to The Atlantic writer Conor Friedersdorf, would “expos(e) racism claims … as hyperbole.” In other words, the Trump administration is planning on wasting resources to prank Princeton. A statement by Princeton’s president does not make systemic racism any more or less real. It does not solve the problem outlined by more than 300 of Princeton’s faculty members. But, it’s an imperfect step in the right direction. To expect the president’s administration to avoid treating these messy moments of reckoning as a chance to “troll” at the expense of American taxpayers feels like something we should be able to take for granted, but in Trump’s America, racism was solved in 1964. Jessie Mitchell can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
CHRISTINA KIM | CONTACT CARTOONIST AT CKIMC@UMICH.EDU
The Michigan Daily — michigandaily.com
EVAN DEMPSEY | COLUMN
Healthy Streets need more feet
tudents returning to campus this fall may have noticed a new profusion of orange traffic barrels around Ann Arbor. Though they have nothing to do with road maintenance, the barrels can be seen along the sides of several of the city’s busiest thoroughfares, blocking vehicles from entering the outermost lanes. Judging by the general lack of cyclists and pedestrians using these lanes, however, it seems that many people have not investigated exactly what they are for. The new car-free lanes are part of a City of Ann Arbor initiative called the Healthy Streets Program, which was launched on May 4, 2020, in an attempt to promote social distancing among people who would otherwise have been confined to city sidewalks. The program has reconfigured traffic on over 30 streets in Ann Arbor. Of particular note are the eight high-traffic streets (including Main, State and Packard streets) that have had entire lanes sectioned off for pedestrian traffic. These reconfigured lanes have been converted into twoway “streets” for cyclists and pedestrians, essentially as an extension of existing sidewalks. As a frequent runner and biker, I have found this new abundance of walkable, bikeable roadway to be very useful, and although it seems to be underutilized now, I believe there are plenty of ways in which the Ann Arbor community could benefit from making better use of the Healthy Streets Program. Not only is it easier to maintain proper social distancing while walking or running along busy streets (which, in Ann Arbor, is very difficult to avoid doing), the new lanes allow me to run through normally crowded areas like downtown without being a nuisance to other pedestrians — something that was hard to do even prepandemic. I’ve also found Healthy Streets to be a vast improvement in terms of “bikeability.” Standard bicycle lanes are often very narrow and leave cyclists with no barrier against automobile traffic. The lanes reconfigured by Healthy Streets, however, are essentially mini-streets. With two lanes, there is much more space for cyclists to maneuver, and the barrels act as a deterrent to cars that might stray too close. In my experience, this
has made for much safer and more enjoyable biking trips. As much as I have made use of the Healthy Streets Program so far, I have been routinely surprised at how few other people I encounter using the converted lanes. Despite having run or biked on a reconfigured street several times a week since the start of the semester, I can still count with my fingers the number of other people I’ve passed. My estimate of how many people are using Healthy Streets is based on purely anecdotal evidence, and understandably, people are traveling fewer places right now. Nonetheless, I feel that an exhortation to the people of Ann Arbor to take advantage of this program is in order: According to the City of nn Arbor website, the program is only in effect until Nov. 10, and whether or not these changes are permanent depends on you. Staff members from the city and the Ann Arbor Downtown Development Authority have been monitoring the Healthy Streets since their launch in order to determine their effectiveness. One of the criteria used to determine whether any reconfigurations will become permanent is the volume of people using the converted lanes. Even if you don’t have anywhere to go right now, I strongly suggest that you go for a walk (or bike or run) on a Healthy Street. You might find that the new road configuration improves your experience of downtown and other areas, as it did mine. If nothing else, you’ll be helping to make our city healthier and safer by driving a transition to car-free, people-focused roadways. In fact, Healthy Streets operates alongside the People Friendly Streets program, a more long-term Ann Arbor initiative launched in order to redesign roadways to promote carbon neutrality, economic development and personal safety. The Healthy Streets Program was created to address an immediate problem: the COVID19 pandemic. But if we provide the program with enough support, it will provide benefits much farther into the future than the pandemic will last and make our community improvements much more permanent than just a few orange barrels. Evan Dempsey can be reached at email@example.com.
EVAN STERN | COLUMN
Whitmer’s powers should be checked, even in the middle of a pandemic
early seven months after Gov. Gretchen Whitmer issued her first executive order aimed at battling the COVID19 pandemic in March, the Michigan Supreme Court ruled on Oct. 2 that Whitmer “had no authority to issue or renew executive orders relating to Covid-19 beyond April 30,” according to CNN. The 4-3 ruling, which Whitmer said in a statement she “vehemently disagrees” with, effectively strips away all of the governor’s powers to unilaterally issue executive orders aimed at containing COVID-19. The court, however, notes that the decision “leaves open many avenues for the Governor and Legislature to work together to address this challenge.” Since the first cases of COVID19 were confirmed in Michigan on March 10 — one in Oakland County and another in Wayne County — Whitmer has worked under a state of emergency and issued a wide variety of executive orders to curb the impacts of the pandemic. However, some argued that she had no authority to continue issuing orders without the consent of the Michigan State Legislature after April 30, the date her initial emergency declaration expired. Until the court struck down Whitmer’s emergency powers, the governor relied on two laws, one from 1945 and the other from 1976, to issue executive orders unilaterally. Now, under the Michigan Supreme Court’s recent decision, Whitmer can invoke neither law to extend a state of emergency or issue further orders without working with the legislature. The Michigan Supreme Court’s ruling delivers a major blow to the emergency powers Whitmer has wielded in order to control the spread of COVID-19 across the state. The governor stated that, “Right now, every state and the federal government have some form of declared emergency. With this decision, Michigan will become the sole outlier at a time when the Upper Peninsula is experiencing rates of COVID-19 infection not seen
in our state since April.” While some fear that the decision will lead to an uptick in cases across the state as the governor loses her authority, others — including State Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey, R-Clarklake — celebrated the ruling. On the whole, Whitmer has expertlynavigatedtheunprecedented crisis, and her decisive actions deserve praise. Although the governor’s orders have been met with criticism, a poll released in May found that nearly 64% of Michiganders approve of Whitmer’s handling of the crisis. But at the same time, many people have expressed great concern about the governor’s far-reaching powers to single-handedly issue executive orders that impact the entire state population of 10 million people. While Whitmer has acted with the best interests of Michiganders in mind, it is not prudent by any stretch of the imagination to allow one person, regardless of the circumstances, to hold so much power. Ultimately, while the people of Michigan elected Whitmer as governor in 2018, she heads one of three branches that govern our state. Even though we continue to find ourselves in the middle of a dangerous public health crisis, Michiganders didn’t just elect Whitmer; they also elected representatives to the State House of Representatives and State Senate, who have been largely excluded from exercising their power and collaborating with Whitmer on executive orders. Regardless of the circumstances — no matter how dire the emergency is — we cannot allow one leader to unilaterally make sweeping executive orders. It is the responsibility of the governor to work with the representatives of the state legislature to protect the health of our state. Meanwhile, it is the responsibility of Michigan’s elected representatives to put checks and limits on Whitmer’s powers as they deem necessary. It doesn’t matter what kind of crisis our state is confronting, and it doesn’t matter whether the people of
Michigan have elected a Republican, Democrat or Independent; ultimately, it is dangerous to disproportionately allocate any amount of power to a single branch of government. Throughout the course of Whitmer’s free rein, the people of Michigan learned firsthand the perils of vesting so much political power in the office of the governor. Although most of Whitmer’s actions were justifiable and protected Michiganders from contracting COVID-19, there were undoubtedly a handful that needed improvement. However, with Michigan’s legislators being shut out of the process, our governor had total discretion to issue arbitrary executive actions, even if they had significant costs; nobody had the political means to influence her executive orders and strike down certain aspects that were problematic. For instance, Whitmer got flak nationwide for her order barring the sale of certain products in retail stores like seeds, home gardening supplies and paint. As the Detroit Free Press noted, this order strangely permitted purchases of lottery tickets in stores at the same time, which the state uses to fund certain programs. Beyond ordering stores to block off certain sections that sold goods deemed “non-essential,” Whitmer kept Michiganders under one of the longest-running stay-at-home orders in the nation, even amid the obvious economic carnage of such moves that our state is still reeling from today. In Oakland County alone, the state’s second-largest county, the University of Michigan Research Seminar in Quantitative Economics found that a quarter of small businesses were lost, along with nearly 160,000 jobs. Finally, even throughout the summer months, as Michigan experienced low numbers of new cases as well as a small test-positivity rate, Whitmer prohibited businesses like gyms and movie theaters from reopening. As a result,
many business owners who have invested their whole lives in these industries have teetered on the edge of collapse for reasons with little support from a public health standpoint. Right here in the heart of Ann Arbor, according to the Daily, the Michigan Theater and State Theater recorded financial losses of $1.5 million, forced to keep their doors closed well into the fall as other businesses across the state like hair salons opened in June. Another theater owner in the state, according to the Holland Sentinel, said “revenue has been down about 95 percent since the coronavirus pandemic shutdown began in midMarch.” These losses are staggering and could have been averted if Whitmer couldn’t unilaterally keep the economy closed. If the Michigan State House and Senate had a say, we could have combated the pandemic just as successfully while also supporting the hardworking people of Michigan. In the Design courtesy of Katherine Lee
midst of this deadly pandemic, it is inconceivable why we suddenly abandoned our American principles of checks and balances and opted to allow one leader to navigate this viral storm. In Michigan — along with our federal government in Washington, D.C. — we all know our government is based on checks and balances and the separation of powers. These checks on emergency powers don’t become irrelevant in the middle of a public health crisis like the COVID-19 pandemic, as some have argued; on the contrary, they are more important in order to prevent abuses of power. On the international stage, experts have argued that the exponential spread COVID-19 opens the door for world leaders to “tighten their grip on power.” There is no evidence Whitmer has abused her powers. She has handled the crisis with one goal: to protect the state of Michigan. However, it is exceedingly evident
that her steady refusal (until now) to work with our legislators has cost our state. In the wise words of Montesquieu, as the Michigan Supreme Court noted in its decision, “When the legislative and executive powers are united in the same person...there can be no liberty.” As the pandemic continues to rage on, accelerating as the weather cools down and we approach the end of the calendar year, we need to rethink our approach to mitigating this crisis here in Michigan, and ensure that all branches of government have a say in the next steps forward. I applaud Michigan’s high court for taking this action, and I look forward to Gov. Whitmer, our elected state representatives and other government bodies working collectively to protect our state. Evan Stern can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Michigan Daily — michigandaily.com
Wednesday, October 14, 2020 — 11
COMMUNITY CULTURE REVIEW
GENDER AND MEDIA COLUMN
Mural lights up downtown alleyway ‘PEN15’ and an all-female puberty PETER HUMMER For The Daily
A smiling student stands with a backpack slung over her shoulder, books and notebooks held in hand, no mask in sight. A reminder of simpler times. Elsewhere, recent graduates throw their hats in the air and a father teaches his son how to skateboard. A student pulls his friend into a party. The State Theatre and Bell Tower both stand tall, proud monuments of Ann Arbor and the University. These are some, but not all, of the frames in the new mural that has come to downtown Ann Arbor. Located right behind Potbelly Sandwich Shop off of East Liberty and State, this 15-foot high work of art showcases the University of Michigan and Ann Arbor at their best. The new mural, according to a press release published by Oxford Companies, contains, “scenes depicting student life at the University of Michigan, notable landmarks throughout Ann Arbor, family activities, and collegiate athletics.” Matthew Sharum, 46, was the artist contracted by Oxford to design and paint this mural. Sharum is a lifelong resident of southeast Michigan. He attended Eastern Michigan University before moving to southern California and apprenticing for an artist in California. After five years, he moved back to Michigan.
Creating a mural in Ann Arbor, a city so close to his hometown, Madison Heights, was special. “Being a Michigan resident for much of my life, it’s a real honor to contribute to a locally focused installation to Ann Arbor’s world class public art scene,” Sharum said in Oxford’s press release. In an interview with The Michigan Daily, Sharum expanded more on his connection to Michigan and what the goal of the mural was. “I did go to Eastern. So I spent a fair amount of time on the weekends in Ann Arbor… it is, I think, more southeast Michigan that I’m connected to,” said Sharum. “Their [Oxford’s] theme was called ‘Town and Gown.’ They wanted it to be the convergence of school life and city life since they’re in a big college town.” After hearing all of this, I was intrigued and I decided to check out the mural with my own eyes. I dragged myself out of my apartment for the first time in what seemed like days, rubbing the screen-induced fuzziness from my vision. I found it located in the alleyway between Potbelly’s and the building that once held the now-closed SNAP Pizza (rest in peace). The first thing I noticed was the vibrancy of it all. Shades of blue, red, yellow and green burst out of the mural. On a gloomy fall day, these colors were particularly welcoming. I spent plenty of time trying to figure out the perfect
Daily Arts Columnist
ARTIST MATTHEW SHARUM BESIDE THE MURAL
angle that I needed to stand at to make the 3D portion of the mural stand out. Matthew had told me on the phone that he had painted some feet somewhere in the alley where, if you stood, you got the mural in its full 3D effect, but I couldn’t find them. The experience was also a reminder of all that Ann Arbor and the University of Michigan have to offer. This semester, it’s been hard to realize that life exists outside of my Canvas page. The mural was a nice reminder of the color, life, and excitement that I’ve come to love here at the University. Melissa Gumenick, Associate Director, Business Development at Oxford Companies expressed Oxford’s pleasure with the mural, and stated why they commissioned Sharum to create it. “The Oxford family is so honored to have the opportunity
to enhance the downtown experience in Ann Arbor with Matthew’s work. Part of our mission is to provide not just our customers, but our community with the best experiences in and around our buildings and neighborhoods,” Gumenick said. “We hope everyone takes the time to experience this new work when they visit the State Street District of our hometown.” For Sharum, murals and public art are important to cities and what they stand for. “When you have a lot of public art you can just walk around and appreciate peoples’ artwork. It’s like an outdoor museum in a way,” said Sharum. “Public art becomes a symbol of a community. It reflects the goals and aspirations of people who live in that area.” Daily Arts Writer Peter Hummer can be reached at email@example.com.
‘Surge’ is profoundly empowering SABRIYA IMAMI Daily Arts Writer
Following the 2016 presidential election, a record number of women ran for Congressional seats in 2018. They were dissatisfied with how they were being represented in government and came to the conclusion that no man could ever represent them better than they themselves could. They looked in the mirror and said, “Somebody has to do something. Why not me?” “SURGE” tells the story of three women running for Congress: Jana Lynne Sanchez, Liz Watson and Lauren Underwood. All three saw their government was failing them and realized they wouldn’t stand for it anymore. Firsttime co-director Wendy Sachs followed these women through Texas, Indiana and Illinois and documented their successes and their failures. She and her all-women team documented their journeys “through the female lens” for the world to see and be inspired even further. To use Sachs’s own words, “there was a movement underway.” Women were standing up and taking charge, marching and running. They refused to settle for a maledominated government. America should not and cannot be a male-dominated force when there are so many strong and empowered women who can make a difference and do good. *** In an interview with The Michigan Daily, Sachs said she and the creators of “SURGE” picked Sanchez, Watson and Underwood because they were “women that represented different experiences.” Each woman came with a different story, a different background, just as all women in America do. No two people have the same life story, and she wanted to make sure that that message got across to the women watching. “Diversity is where we thrive. When we have a diversity of opinion and we bring more people’s experiences to the table, we’re going to create a better government for everyone,” Sachs said. The other aspect of the film that Sachs wanted to make sure that all viewers, not only women, understood was just how hard it is for women to run for governmental positions. “I
am in such awe of the women who run for office,” she said. “Watching Jana and Lauren and Liz fight the fight … was tremendously inspiring and empowering to me, as a filmmaker.” And it’s also inspiring for the viewers to see the grit and perseverance required for these women to run for a position of power in government. The beauty of the film is its juxtaposition of realism and optimism. The audience gets the privilege of an inside look into a real-time, real-life campaign, seeing the struggles that the women go through, seeing how hard they work. But they also see just how much the women care about what they’re doing. They’re not just running to win — they’re running because it’s right. They’re running because they can do what needs to be done. *** Congresswoman Lauren Underwood (D-I.L.), Illinois native, U-M Nursing School graduate and the only woman in “SURGE” to win her tough election, had a hard road ahead of her when she decided to run for Congress. Her job of campaigning and working to represent the people of Naperville was a feat in itself, but she also decided to have her vulnerable and important political journey documented for the entire world to see. “I was excited to work [on “SURGE”] with Wendy and Hannah [Rosenzweig] because I felt that they really understood what we were trying to accomplish in this community,” Congresswoman Underwood said in an interview with The Daily. “What I was embarking on was hard, and I felt that they would tell the story with integrity and not project some agenda on what we were
seeking to accomplish.” In “SURGE”, viewers saw every moment, good and bad, that the candidates had to deal with. Congresswoman Underwood even thought that she lost on election day. “I had gotten this feeling in my body that said ‘something’s not right’ … I can’t be in this room full of people and get this bad news,” she said. She did win, of course, but seeing that moment when she realized that she had won, being in that moment with her, is indescribable. Congresswoman Underwood told me there were many women that she looked up to, ranging from her elementary school days of seeing Oprah Winfrey as “the most powerful [woman] in the world” to her early days in Congress, looking up to Shirley Chisholm. Another woman who inspired her from a young age was “Senator Carol Moseley Braun, the first, and at that time the only, Black woman to serve the United States Senate.” “She looked like me, and I knew she was powerful and I knew that she represented me. I was so inspired and proud to have someone like her represent me … I knew that she carried my voice … I was a young girl with these incredible role models that I perceived as powerful because they actually had power and respect and validation from others. And they struck me as very normal, regular women, and I could be like them,” Underwood said. She is just like them. Since making history as the youngest Black woman to ever serve in Congress, Underwood has already begun to make sweeping changes for the better. Just by witnessing her everlasting effort in “SURGE” to make a difference, I knew she would make just as big of an impact on the world as the women that
she looked up to. Hearing what she has accomplished since “SURGE,” such as working with Senator Kamala Harris on Black maternal health issues, only solidified my belief that she will continue to do amazing things. Both Sachs and Congresswoman Underwood want “SURGE” to make an impact on people as citizens and voters. The timing of the movie couldn’t be more relevant with the upcoming election, and they acknowledge and embrace that. “We all have to do our part,” Congresswoman Underwood said. “That means voting in this election, that means showing up and engaging in our neighbors and communities to make sure that no one feels forgotten, left behind or silenced and that means when we see something that’s not right, that we step up and do something about it.” Sachs had the same message: “Do something, anything. See yourself as that agent of change … get involved, show up, use your voice, do something and make sure you’re voting.” If “SURGE” reveals anything to audiences, it’s that women aren’t just relevant in politics; they are integral to the foundation of America’s government. “Women belong in all places where decisions are being made,” Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg once said, and truer words have never been spoken. “The question that we asked throughout the film was ‘Is this a moment or is it a movement?’” Sachs told me, as she outlined the timeline of women marching, running and now winning. And I think we both have the same answer. It’s a movement. Daily Arts Writer Sabriya Imani can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Puberty is, at its most base definition, a living hell. Between the ages of ten and 14, most people enter a stage of extreme growing pains and unexpected sweatiness that haunts our memories for the rest of our lives. Remembering those years is almost like having war f lashbacks, with every mundane moment holding the emotional intensity of a life-or-death situation despite their true reality. Embarrassment felt like death, and happiness felt like a million fireworks going off at once. As I’ve grown into my early ’20s and gotten a taste of adulthood, the contrast between who I was at 13 and who I am now deepens with every day. Even thinking about that period of my life makes me cringe a little, but at the same time, I feel for the girl that I used to be. We’ve all gone through the ups and downs of growing up, the hormones and friendships that turbulently led us into our teenage years and beyond. It’s become a popular subject for comedy series, as shows like “Big Mouth” take on the hurdles of tweendom with wit and a perspective that only time can imbue. This is a tried and true topic to make fun of, notable in films such “The Sandlot” and “Goonies,” too. It’s everywhere, but traditionally focuses on the cis male perspective. In the last year or so, new Hulu series “PEN15” has taken on the cis female experience with f lying (and hilarious) colors, and I would argue that it rings truer than many of the other depictions of puberty that have graced our screens before. Writers and stars of the series Maya Erskine (‘Plus One’) and Anna Konkle (‘Rosewood’) developed the show based on their own pubertal memories of the early aughts, and as someone who also grew up during that time, though a little later, it reads as incredibly accurate. The thing that makes the two-season series so funny, however, is that Erskine and Konkle play themselves 15 years younger while surrounded by a cast of real 13-year-olds. It may sound creepy at first, but “PEN15” never takes advantage of that age difference. If anything, the contrast of seeing actual teenagers next to actresses in their late ’20s offers both a visual element of comedy and a nod to the reality that we are all watching it as if we are going through puberty again, thrust into our own histories while really living out adulthood. “PEN15” captures the awkwardness of a pool party while every part of your body seems to be the wrong size and shape, the feeling of a first kiss and a terrible haircut and the taste of cheap cherry lip gloss. Puberty is also the process of becoming a woman for cisgender girls, and the series dives deeper into periods and boobs and pubescent sexuality more than I was expecting at first.
Sure, the initial shock and memory of my own tween years was something to get over while watching, but eventually, I came to appreciate the show’s transparency. We often get a view of what it’s like to be a boy, getting in fights and wondering if you’re ever going to hit six feet tall. But the girls have it rough too, waging emotional war on each other instead of throwing a punch or stealing someone’s lunch money. As someone who went to an all-girls, Catholic middle school, I feel both lucky and retrospectively appalled by what a gendered puberty experience offered me. It was nice to feel a sense of community and relatable discomfort with the girls I became friends with, as we offered each other tampons in the hallway and debated whose skirt was shorter when we got pink slips for our hems. The rocky road toward womanhood was easier knowing that everyone around me must have been going through the same thing, in between the slams of lockers and whispered gossip. But at the same time, though it may be invisible to most, girls can bully even more invasively than traditionally gendered boys of the same age. The binary that I was forced into by single-sex education was positive in a lot of ways, but the comradery of middle school with only girls faded fast once someone turned on you. Just as the protagonists of “PEN15” deal with being called “desperate sluts” and finding inf lammatory notes slipped into their lockers, I was also bullied by my classmates throughout puberty. It never ended with a throwdown after school, however: Instead, my own friends turned on me about three times, their muttered statements of annoyance and cooler-than-thou superiority sticking in my head for years. At 21, I still think about some of the things that girls told me in middle school, the result of the self-conscious powder keg that putting 150 wealthy princesses in the same hallway creates. I don’t blame the girls who bullied me for what happened, nor do I really think that any of us know what we’re doing in the long run when we say something catty at 13. The insecurities of that age are deafening, and sometimes it seems like no one will feel the same way unless you make them feel it. But I am glad that as adults, the women whose girlhoods felt the same way are sharing how equally ridiculous and powerful the early teen years are with laughter and grace. It makes remembering middle school a lot less painful, and a lot more entertaining. Thanks to “PEN15,” the taste of cheap chapstick doesn’t throw me into a traumatic memory the way that it used to: On the contrary, I feel for the younger version of myself, because she had no idea what the future would bring. Daily Arts Columnist Clara Scott can be reached at email@example.com.
12 — Wednesday, October 14, 2020
The Michigan Daily — michigandaily.com
Live music in the age of COVID-19: an evolution KAITLYN FOX Daily Arts Writer
2020 was supposed to be the most revenue-generating year the live music industry had ever seen. In fact, live music revenue is predicted to double by 2030, and this long-term growth is expected to stay consistent despite the 75% drop in revenue this year due to COVID-19. Looking at the numbers, investors and analysts have an optimistic view of live music and firmly believe that the industry will rebound as soon as people can safely gather once again. While it’s easy to say that live music is simply hitting a slight bump in the road from a bird’s eye view, this temporary hold on live shows is slowly changing the live music scene and testing what consumers are willing to pay for when it comes to watching their favorite artists perform. At the start of the pandemic, artists were quick to get creative and utilize the limited tools they had to engage with their fans. As artists canceled shows, many took their talents to social media where they’d host livestream performances from their living rooms. We
saw big acts like The National host weekly livestream shows, Miley Cyrus’s Instagram talkshow “Bright Minded” and we even saw smaller artists like Jordy Searcy take a similar approach through his weekly livestream shows as well as his surprise “house shows” where he would perform for fans in the Nashville area at their doorsteps. As the pandemic dragged on, however, the artist community realized that live streaming free performances was not going to pay the bills, and suddenly ads for paid livestream “concerts” emerged on many artists’ platforms. In fact, we can look to some of the strategies implemented by artists and see how this new situation is changing the way we think of live music and how artists run their brands. At the start of the pandemic, Erykah Badu took her music to her own platform, Badu World Market, where she set up her own virtual concert experience independent of any venue or concert series. What’s fascinating about Badu World Market is that it was set up by Badu and her team exclusively and also incorporates merchandise and music sales. Badu’s website, which enables her to keep every aspect of her
brand centralized and under her control, offers a model for other artists to follow in which they can own more of what they make instead of dividing their brand among various streaming platforms, merchandise vendors and concert venues. Strict limits on social gatherings also raise the question of when big artists will be able to return to large stadiums and concert halls. Prior to COVID-19, big names in music —Taylor Swift, Drake and Harry Styles, to name a few — were selling out massive stadiums and arenas, but whether fans will be able to return to those venues in the foreseeable future remains uncertain. While these artists have had to take a break from performing, there may be a new opportunity for smaller artists to take advantage of this lull. Quinn XCII jumped on this opportunity to expand his following by performing “drive-in” concerts in Cleveland. Videos on his Instagram show dozens of cars spread out across a parking lot with fans singing along from the trunks of their cars. While watching a show from your car is nothing like a true in-person
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concert experience, it’s clear that fans will jump at any chance to go to an in-person show in whatever form that might look like. Quinn XCII’s drive-in shows sold out quickly, and other artists have jumped on the bandwagon and scheduled outdoor, sociallydistanced concerts like Lauren Daigle’s “Autumn Nights,” a drive-in concert experience in Nashville. While artists seem to be finding their way amid the chaos, concert venues themselves have not been faring well. In fact, The National Independent Venues Association predicts that 90 percent of their 3,000 members will go out of business by
the end of the month. We’ve already seen the harsh effects of the virus on the live music industry as major music venues have closed their doors permanently, including the Majestic Theater in Detroit. Though artists have some flexibility and creative liberty to find new ways to generate revenue, the closing of live music venues could be devastating to the music industry in the future. Already, artists are competing for spots at venues booking all the way into 2022, making it difficult for up-and-coming artists to catch a break and have the opportunity to perform live. Like everything else we’ve seen through this pandemic,
the music industry is becoming increasingly competitive, and as artists fight for their time on stage, the smaller, less-welloff acts could get left behind or have to work harder to build a following and make those in-person connections with fans. Yet at the same time, artists have already surprised us with their resilience and creativity when it comes to engaging with audiences, and perhaps the challenges that lie ahead will be opportunities for them to get creative and evolve the music industry as we know it even further. Daily Arts Writer Kaitlyn Fox can be reached at kjfox@umich. edu.
Five-year-old TikToker’s album is a post-ironic win LEO KRINSKY For The Daily
Emily Montes is 5 years old, TikTok famous and may have just dropped one of the most important albums of the year. Not much is known about Emily. I heard about her through my friend Brad, and I have no idea where he heard about her. According to Emily on her song “Untitled,” she “blew up on TikTok.” However, take a short look at Emily’s TikTok and you will see that her videos are more along the lines of a kid who took her mom’s iPad on a road trip and is now filming out the window, rather than content that would cause her to go viral. Her most viewed videos have around 26,000 views, which is still modest for someone claiming to have “blown up,” and it is impossible to tell whether these views came before or after her debut album. As you’ll come to understand throughout this article, though, if you want to ask questions, you’re completely missing the point. The self-titled album Emily Montes is 14 songs and spans five total minutes. Five of those songs are also titled “Emily Montes.” Throughout the album, Emily’s high-pitched voice is heavily auto-tuned to the point where it is sometimes difficult to listen to, and the beats push the typical musical boundaries, mixing electronic sounds with hard-hitting 808 drums. What is so strange is that, musically, this album is right in line with the trap-
hyperpop sound that has been festering in the depths of the internet and is now coming to the surface of popular culture through artists like Charli XCX and 100 gecs. For a fiveyear-old girl to be able to hone in on that unique sound seems unlikely and, truthfully, impossible. However, as I said before, the more questions you ask, the more you’re missing. Who cares if she purposefully crafted an album whose tone matches this growing electropop scene? I hope it was an accident. That would be way funnier. Created during the COVID19 pandemic, each song is a small vignette that explores themes of loneliness, existential dread, complete and total arrogance and everything else that comes with being five years old in quarantine. In one of her songs titled “Emily Montes (Breakup),” she sings over a piano, “Laying in my bed / Voices in my head / A broken heart / I’m missing you.” The next song, titled “Emily Montes (Corona is Crazy)” transports us to a trap beat where Emily raps “This virus is crazy / It’s the end of the world! / Boom, Boom, Boom.” As quickly as it starts, the song ends and “Frozen” begins, in which Emily asks, “I’m outside, it’s frozen / But where is all the snow?” In just three songs that amass to 45 seconds, Emily investigates mental health, her broken heart and climate change (I think?). It is these disjunct and sometimes contradictory messages that make the album so impactful. So often during this strange time period, I
have felt as though I couldn’t control anything around me, and this album feels just like that. You never know what version of Emily you’ll get next. She may be depressed, spirited, hopeful or angry. She may be completely neutral. She may drop a diss at Travis Scott and Chance the Rapper for no particular reason. She may just rap about how much she loves Roblox. You have no say. Emily runs the show. While the sound is distinctive and the message powerful, my true obsession with “Emily Montes” is that it really feels like the product of all internet culture ever. Complete vulnerability layered behind nonsensical tangents and the absurd fact that this was all created by a five-yearold girl perfectly encapsulates the diluted sense of irony currently defining internet culture, which now feels impossible to decipher between authenticity and complete sarcasm. The response to the album only serves to highlight this point. Her fans on Twitter vehemently argue that Emily Montes is the album of the year and that she has reinvented the rap scene. The tweets themselves seem genuine, but the fact that they are tweeting about a five-year-old girl’s fiveminute album in the first place creates a clear level of irony within them. These people, like me, may actually love the album. And these people, like me, might be totally joking. And likely, both are true.
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Podcast-turned-TV show is an ode to artists’ lunacy
BEN SERVETAH For The Daily
What do an R&B singersongwriter, a genius playwright, a rock ‘n’ roll legend and a California hitmaker all have in common? To any practical person, they are all insane. But they’ve also come together as subjects for the fourpart docuseries “Song Exploder,” hosted by Hrishikesh Hirway, which emerged from the popular podcast of the same name. Each episode focuses on one of these iconic musical artists and takes fans on a televised journey, revealing how their most beloved songs were created. The guests chosen for the series are Alicia Keys, Lin-Manuel Miranda, R.E.M. and Ty Dolla $ign. At first glance, these artists and their creations have little in common. Yet, there is one underlying commonality in their operations: feel first, build later. The core of being an artist is absolute lunacy. It’s to stumble upon something — a feeling — that just works, and to try to deliver it to an audience in a fathomable way. There’s nothing about it that makes any rational sense, and that is precisely what makes it so profound. Whether you’re a creative yourself or just a music fan, it’s difficult not to be moved by how much genuine passion this series is built with. Besides hosting the podcast and show, Hirway is a musician and composer, and his love for the craft is always evident. He asks questions that are strictly about the music, gives himself as little screen time as possible and ends each episode by playing the song being examined in its entirety. The people who make this show aren’t concerned with cheap
gimmicks. They’re just as big of fans as we are, and they’re dying to get inside the minds that have created such monumental works of art. Nobody encapsulates that honest love for music more than Alicia Keys. So it makes sense that she was the chosen guest to kick off the show. In her episode, she breaks
“Song Exploder” celebrates the tremendous amount of time, effort and human emotion that goes into everything an artist does, and how insane you have to be to do it.
down her 2020 song “3 Hour Drive” which features younger R&B artist Sampha. For Alicia, songwriting is a joyful process. She explains how adding fewer instruments can actually make a song “feel bigger,” a remark that captures the stripped down beauty of her music. She and Sampha begin by singing out words to a composition, until they finally land on the phrase “three-hour drive.” The small line strikes a chord with both of them for very different reasons. It’s a complete instinct, and they chase it down until they emerge victorious with a full piece.
If Alicia’s songwriting process can be described as tender and honest, then Lin-Manuel Miranda’s is completely manic. The brilliant rapper-playwright is a lovable dork, absolutely obsessed with finding just the right feeling. In one of the more memorable moments of the show, he recounts how he thought of the idea for the Hamilton standout song “Wait For It” while riding the train to a friend’s party. While fast-walking through the streets of New York, he quietly and shakily sings the chorus into his phone, hastily trying to get it down. When he arrives at the party, he leaves after half a drink. Breaking down the intro track to his debut album, Ty Dolla $ign talks about how important the “car test” is to him. He is driven by the need for everything to sound just right, and to do so, he’ll go through five bass players until he finds one he likes. To make a bigger sound on his song “LA,” he spent $75,000 of money he did not have just to hire an orchestra for one part of a single song. Artists are crazy. To make something great, you have to be willing to chase down a shapeless idea that may not make sense to anyone else. And you have to be willing to commit to it. There’s no right way to do it. There aren’t any steps to follow that will guarantee you arrive at your destination. To many people, operating in that gray area is terrifying. But to an artist, that pursuit is the only thing worth doing. “Song Exploder” celebrates the tremendous amount of time, effort and human emotion that goes into everything an artist does, and how insane you have to be to do it well. Contributor Ben Servetah can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Wednesday, October 14, 2020 — 13
Why you should revisit ‘The Birds’ this Halloween JACOB LUSK
Daily Arts Writer
Halloween is a month-long celebration that spans decades of movie history, from Southern Gothic to psychothriller. The film beat embraces this history, dedicating each week of October to a different time period of horror. This series celebrates every nightmare you had when you were ten, every creak in the f loorboards of an old house, every piece of candy stuck to the inside of your pillowcase and everything that keeps you up at night. For this week, we’re sticking to the beginnings of modern horror: Hitchcock’s reign of the ’60s. —Mary Elizabeth Johnson, For The Daily When I was seven or eight, I went trick-or-treating dressed as a bird. A golden eagle, to be exact. My costume had broad wings, a tawny, beak-bearing hood, a feathered tunic — the whole shebang. Many a caw and shrill shriek were uttered that night as I glided from house to house sinking my papier-mâché talons into wads of Swedish Fish and gummy worms. I hadn’t asked to be a bird that Halloween. I believe I wanted to be a chimera — a three-headed beast from Greek myths that combines the likenesses of a lion, goat and serpent. The year before I had been a griffin — another chimeric creature smooshing together the features of a lion
and an eagle. My sweet mother, not really knowing what a griffin or a chimera was but armed with Google Images and a sewing machine, obliged my desires by hand-crafting my costumes. I guess chimera was a head too far, because that year she scissored the leonine bits off my griffin costume of yesteryear to produce an eagle and that was that. Thankfully, in addition to being a mythology kid, I was a bit of a bird nerd, so this alternative went off without a hitch. A baker’s dozen years later and I think my sweet mother may have been onto something, as has been made clear to me by Hitchcock’s 1963 “Psycho” follow-up “The Birds.” Yes, another Hitchcock in our Halloween series, but this time it’s a technicolor terror — one of the OG “daylight horrors,” a genre that reached horrific heights with “Texas Chainsaw Massacre” and “The Wickerman” in the ’70s, went dormant for a few decades of drafty, dark houses and woebegone woods, only to be reinjected into the popular consciousness again with last year’s “Midsommar.” “The Birds” takes place in the isolated seaside town of Bodega Bay, California. In Tippi Hedren’s (“The Ghost in the Whale”) debut, Melanie Daniels, a devil-may-care socialite with way too much time on her hands, arrives in Bodega Bay to deliver lovebird parrots to her own prospective
lovebird Mitch Brenner (Rod Taylor, “Inglourious Basterds”) as an elaborate practical joke. In fact, for the first half of this movie that’s really all it is — a ’60s romcom with an inordinate fondness for birds. “The Birds” doesn’t feature any murderous dolls or bodyhopping aliens or undead shades that just really love to hang around Victorian homes and imitate the sounds of doors closing for some reason. Rather, when shit hits the fan — and it does — it’s a bunch of birds. Not birds from hell or birds made giant or birds under the sway of some mysterious birdman — just a bunch of seagulls and sparrows. “Jaws” would do something similar almost two decades later, as after all, the shark in “Jaws” is nothing more than a shark with a particular palette, but at least that shark was a shark. The birds are just birds. I need not waste time explaining Hitchcock’s expertise in crafting a tense, thrilling scene. He’s got a whole adjective named after him that gets thrown around at any modern thriller some filmbro with a blog thinks is neat. But damn it if “The Birds” isn’t Hitchcockian. As alluded to earlier, the film largely takes place in broad daylight. The film is not scary — it’s hard for old movies to be scary; even “The Exorcist,” which reportedly induced a rash of vomiting when seen in theaters back in the ’70s, while still excellent, is hardly puke-
DESIGN BY SHUCHEN WEI
worthy by today’s standards. So, while “The Birds” isn’t the movie to get your scream out during on Halloween night, the careful use of sound (the pitter patter of wings takes on a whole new color), score and blocking make its tension palpable even 60 years later. The film demonstrates that even the oh so mundane can be oh so horrific. In a special teaser trailer, Alfred Hitchcock himself cheekily expounds on the “conspicuous part” humanity has played in our feathered friends’ “noble history”: “Thousands of years ago, man was satisfied merely to steal an egg from a nest and use it for food. Now he has perfected this process by imprisoning each hen in a cage, and by scientifically manipulating the lights so that she doesn’t fall into the rut of the old 24-hour day. Thus, he can induce the bird to reach fantastic heights of egg production.” After the first bird
attacks, a skeptical armchair ornithologist explains that there are over five billion birds in the United States, and over 100 billion across the five continents of the world (not sure what happened to the other two). We can all do the math at this point. Birds are scary. Where does this leave “The Birds”? A horror-thriller ecofable? Maybe so. The opening credits are accompanied by a cacophony of bird noises that begin to uncannily resemble the sound of gunfire and general warfare. Does this suggest the film is actually an allegory for wartime uneasiness? Likewise, maybe so. This was only a few years after the second Red Scare, and the ubiquity and utter banality of birds marries well with the notion of a ubiquitous and undercover cadre of communists. The gender roles also get a bit wonky — it has a robust female cast that loses some of its glamor
as you realize each woman has an unhealthy obsession with our strapping Mitch. Does this make “The Birds” an antifeminist screed against the independent, counter-cultural woman? Disappointingly, maybe so. An argument can be made that the film is selfreflective, but Hitchcock doesn’t exactly have a sterling reputation in this respect. All that being said, Halloween 2020 is going to be a whole other kind of scary. Trick-or-treating and costume parties, with either handmade bird costumes or more traditional fare, is ill-advised. Snuggling at home with a heap of candy is the move, and with spooky season taking over all four seasons this year, the tense but toothless old-timey scary “The Birds” might be just the right way to keep the spirit alive on a Halloween that has already got the scary in spades. Daily Arts Writer Jacob Lusk can be reached at email@example.com.
Live music’s last stand: the carillon bells at UM ROSA SOFIA KAMINSKI Daily Arts Writer
When we think of live music, we often think of dancing bodies with all eyes focused on the musicians. The experience is an immersive one, an event that demands attention and proximity. While COVID renders many incarnations of live music dangerous, there’s an unlikely source of live music that remains standing at the University of Michigan and that’s the carillon bells. Carillon bells are a set of bronze bells that one can play through a keyboard and pedalboard. There are two sets at the University: the Charles Baird Carillon in Burton Memorial Tower, and the Robert and Ann Lurie Carillon on North Campus. At first glance, carillons don’t seem to be the most accessible form of music. Few know how to play them; they are rare and expensive, sit high above your head and are hardly something you can dance to. And yet, they’re revealing themselves to be one of the most accessible forms of music. No tickets, no special knowledge required — if you happen to be walking in their vicinity, you are in automatic attendance of the show. “It’s a really powerful instrument ... in terms of shaping the whole landscape
of a place,” first-year Civil and Environmental Engineering PhD student Eva Abalgalhiti recently told The Daily. “You play something, and everybody has to listen to that.” The audience is everywhere. The carillon world, Abalgalhiti explained, is really small. Everyone knows everyone — she’s met the composers of pieces she plays that can correct her mistakes and help her further interpret the music. From the outside looking in, one might assume it to be an elitist community. Carillons obviously aren’t available everywhere. They most often make an appearance at prestigious and expensive institutions. But, Abalgalhiti explained, “that’s not necessarily the case. It’s more a matter of we need more people who play carillon to be excited about sharing that.” Of course, carillons are not easy to gain access to, but once you are part of an institution that has a set, it is surprisingly easy to get involved. Abalgalhiti did so with very little musical training beforehand. Performing for an audience so far away, often including people busy in transit, seems like an odd experience. One doesn’t get to feed off the energy of the crowd, like many musicians do in concert. Instead the artist sits alone in their tower. The isolation — something not often found in music — may seem extreme, but
Abalgalhiti offered a touching story to combat this impression. During the recent GEO strike, she watched the picket lines from above and played a few well-known union songs for her concert, to hearten the crowd. “Everybody on the ground, apparently, was like, ‘Look what’s happening!,’” Abalgalhiti said. “I think people take more notice now, of what’s going on with the carillon ... It can be an opportunity to inject your personal beliefs, or whatever, into the campus scene.” Demonstrations like this can provide a strange sort of heavenly support for campus actions like the strike. Having just arrived at the university, Abalgalhiti is still getting to know the carillon program, but has enjoyed it thus far. The community is filled with passionate individuals. They are innovative in finding ways to drive the craft forward. She advises anyone interested in carillon or any collaborations to come forward and seek out a way to get involved. There are lots of ways to participate. “What I think about a lot is how can you use carillon to kind of project something about what you believe, or send out a message of sympathy or welcoming or care?” Abalgalhiti said. Daily Arts Writer Fia Kaminski can be reached at fiakamin@ umich.edu.
‘South Park’ done pulling punches on Donald Trump
JOSHUA THOMAS Daily Arts Writer
In the world of “South Park,” the only cardinal sin is selfrighteousness — the attitude that personal beliefs and convictions are completely unassailable. Whether it’s religion or race, politics or personality, Trey Parker and Matt Stone (“The Book of Mormon”) always manage to blur the lines between sacred and immoral, showing that both sides of any debate are odious. As Donald Trump skyrocketed to national attention and eventually the presidency in 2016, the creators of “South Park” were wary of being too critical of one figurehead. For “South Park,” the self-righteousness of Trump fanatics is just as bad as the selfrighteousness of liberals. But as a cartoon version of Trump literally blows torches at a scientist with a potential cure for the coronavirus, the new “South Park” sends a clear message: They are done straddling the fence, they are done poking fun at “both sides,” they are calling it for what it is and they are not pulling any more punches. Satire in the Trump era is a difficult endeavor. It’s hard to poke fun at both sides when the stupidity is so one-sided. Despite this, the Season 24
premiere of “South Park” still manages to shed criticism on both Trump and his opponents with limited success. The premiere especially focuses on the “abusive relationship” between Trump supporters, Democrat politicians and
Satire in the Trump era is a difficult endeavor. It’s hard to poke fun at both sides when the stupidity is so one-sided.
Trump himself. Before 2020, this seemed like a successful formula. However, in 2020, be it police brutality, the pandemic or economic implosion, doomscrolling is a fact of life and Donald Trump is the cause of roughly 90% of it. Responding to the changing times, South Park has done something it has never done before: It has picked a side.
In the first few moments of the pandemic special, it is clear that things are going pretty poorly for the residents of “South Park.” The entire town is at each other’s throats as businesses close and social isolation slowly drains the town of its sanity. In this special, Donald Trump is (tellingly) absent, save for two scenes. In the first scene, Stan Marsh (voiced by Parker) tries to call the President for help in dealing with the crises in “South Park.” He responds that the chaos is his plan. Creating a villain so purely silly and evil is definitely unorthodox for “South Park,” but in this political environment, it’s extremely fitting. Considering the importance of our current events, “South Park” chooses to be extremely explicit. The “South Park” pandemic special is the first episode in what might be a new era for the long-running animated series. Instead of endlessly critiquing “both sides,” the show is actually standing on a set of principles and giving the audience a clear and specific message. 2020 is a year that has already changed many aspects of our society. In light of the horrific consequences of Trump’s action and inaction, the time for criticizing both sides equally is over. The new “South Park” makes that clear, and does not hold back at all. Daily Arts Writer Joshua Thomas can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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14 — Wednesday, October 14s, 2020
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Sharing more than a space
ILLUSTRATIONS BY EILEEN KELLY
BY MAGDALENA MIHAYLOVA, STATEMENT MANAGING EDITOR
he nerves reminded me of the feeling you get before a job interview. With a light flutter in my stomach, I swung my backpack over my shoulder and walked into the East Quad dining hall. I spotted the girls almost immediately, the five of them giggling over half-eaten pizza and shredded brussels sprouts, their close friendship apparent. Approaching them, I jokingly thought to myself, Should I have brought a resumé? It was fall of my freshman year and these five girls, all already friends and one of whom lived in my hall, had invited me to dinner to “get to know them better,” ssbefore we all decided to sign onto a lease for a house on East University Avenue the following year. At the time, this process seemed only natural — of course, before deciding to live together, one should make sure anyone joining in who isn’t your friend is at least somewhat compatible with the group. But it’s difficult to escape the uncomfortable social dynamics that occur among college freshmen trying to find their people while living out the prophecy listed in so many movies and TV shows about young people: The need for a big group of friends with whom to get drunk, share deep heart-to-hearts, cook dinner and have board game nights. Like many freshmen, I wanted this kind of relationship, and I figured the easiest way to achieve it was through shared space — I figured, if we were living together, the prophecy would simply fulfill itself. Yet, it was only November, and I had barely been on campus long enough to foster the kind of connections necessary for the “Best Girl Group Ever” experience. Enter the pseudo-vetting process that made me doubt if I was cool enough to warrant living with. Ultimately, I lived with those girls during my sophomore year, and while we shared some of those movie-magic moments of tail-
gating on our front porch together or watching The Bachelor on Monday nights, we also shared moments of arguments over politics, tension over chore responsibilities and the genuine irritation that comes with constantly sharing a space, especially in a high-stress environment like college. And whatever friendship we had somewhat forced upon ourselves wasn’t enough to make those negative moments worth working through. It’s not uncommon for people to jump into leases with people they don’t know very well; it’s part of the nature of the Ann Arbor housing market, whose compressed timeline basically demands you sign a lease very early in the fall semester. What follows is a type of forced commitment to people who you may drift away from by the time the lease actually begins. While this may not seem like a huge deal in the face of so many other housing issues, having a home on campus where you feel comfortable, supported and safe is crucial to happiness as a student and person. The year after my seven-person East University house, I lived in another big house with six girls, only two of whom I was originally friends with. While my relationship to these girls ended up stronger than the others, I still faced the same uncertainties as the year prior. I was still invited into their space; it was still on me to be worth befriending. Both years I felt I had to juggle the pressure of getting close with my roommates and wanting ownership of the spaces that we shared. This created an odd contortion: I couldn’t be fully autonomous in the space, because it wasn’t mine to begin with. Maybe it was just a poster in our living room that irritated me, or maybe it was the constant pile-up of dirty dishes and browning sink water. Maybe it was the feeling of being a stranger in my own living room, since none of the furniture was mine or the guests were never familiar. These were things I felt I couldn’t change, or
even ask to change, because as an “add-on” to the house I didn’t want to jeopardize our roommate-friendships. There was an unspoken hierarchy and, as a naive college student, I blindly followed it. A home is supposed to be a place of peace and comfort; it’s supposed to allow reprieve from the stressful, drama-filled world of college. It’s meant to be the place you return to after a long day of trudging from classroom to library to club meetings. It’s meant to comfort you after a tense conversation with an ex, or a first date gone wrong. It’s meant to be a private place to cry, think, sleep and recharge. In pre-coronavirus life, there were seldom places on campus where you could be alone — I once had a breakdown about a bad economics exam grade in a supply closet in the Ugli and tried to take a quick nap on the colorful couches in the Fishbowl. These moments, while funny in hindsight, are not normal — I should have been able to process those emotions freely and in my own home. I should have had the time and space to work through my feelings in a healthy, private way. The need to decompress from the stress of life is only one aspect of a positive home experience, and the opposite is just as important — that the home does not cause more stress. It’s not just a challenge to live with people you might not be close with — at this age, cramming a big group of people in a small space is almost asking for conflict and drama (we’ve all seen enough variations of reality TV shows like Big Brother to know this). Of course, conflict is a natural aspect of adulthood and learning how to deal with it in the context of roommates is important for self-growth. But chronic or reemerging unresolved tension within your own home means you have no place to unwind. Anytime issues arose between my roommates and me, I would either escape to my parents’ house
for the night (they live in Ann Arbor) or to my boyfriend’s apartment. This form of escapism never solved the reason for the conflict and redefined my house as a place to be avoided, a place of stress. It made me reliant on other people’s spaces for comfort — again, I lacked autonomy. Now in my senior year, I finally found this autonomy. It took two years of both trying to fulfill the friendship prophecy and scrambling to secure leases to finally settle on a two-bedroom apartment with a close friend, my own room and ownership even over our shared spaces. It took two trial runs to learn that the idea of the close girl group that does everything together while never having issues is exactly that: just an idea. Friendships come naturally; they can’t be doctored just through sharing a home. And like many other aspects of college, from dating to partying to professional development, there is no single prophecy that one should aim to fulfill because rarely will we achieve it. In actuality, the beauty of college is tucked between the mistakes we make and those who help guide us through them, including ourselves. And yet, I don’t blame myself or any other student who feels naive for entering a living situation with acquaintances based on social or timing reasons. The systems, both that of the housing market and that of the American college experience, which puts immense pressure on students to have 100 close friends and constant fun, are responsible for the awkward maneuvering we must do to both have a place to live and one that we enjoy. College is stressful and wonderful and full of so many changes, and a safe home is the one constant we so desperately need. And while it would be nice to raise a glass with five other familiar, loyal faces, it’s even better to break the prophecy in half, paving way for your own messy, unpredictable, breathless and beautiful path.
14 — Wednesday, October 14, 2020
Ann Arbor: Not immune to the COVID-19 housing crisis O
n the last Friday of August, Craig Teschendorf passed the day wondering where he and his puppy Eleanor would go after his eviction from the Orion MainStreet apartment complex in Ann Arbor. In a touching act of unity and protest, about 20 members from the area showed up to successfully postpone the eviction of the elderly disabled retiree. Photos from the event show a diverse, masked community successfully coming together to protect a vulnerable citizen of their city amid a pandemic. The protest was able to keep Craig off the streets until the end of September, when staff from the apartment complex and Ann Arbor police showed up to carry out the eviction. In an email, the Ann Arbor Tenants Union wrote that he is still looking for housing for him and Eleanor. Though Craig is becoming the face of the anti-eviction movement in the Ann Arbor area, evictions are still taking place across the nation no matter the coronavirus case count or the perils of wildfires, hurricanes and other aggressive weather. While the United States housing crisis did not start with the pandemic — in fact, it has been a decades-long problem — the circumstances of the pandemic have certainly exacerbated this growing issue. The economic toll of the COVID-19 pandemic has left millions both temporarily and permanently unemployed across the U.S. The national unemployment rate skyrocketed to over 14% in the beginning of summer and is currently projected to dip below 8%. Adding to the problem, the number of permanent job losses is increasing, creating a negative outlook on the job market as the U.S. continues to stagger through the economic consequences of the pandemic, left uncontrolled by an administration incapable of acknowledging and addressing the worst public health crisis in over 100 years. Irrespective of the abysmal public health policy of the 45th president, the Trump administration’s culture of downplaying the severity of the virus to the American public and refusal to follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines are enough to impose blame for the state of the nation. All of this economic turmoil has resulted in an estimated 30 to 40 million Americans facing the threat of eviction, mounting debt, late fees and interest due to back rent and the legal consequences of unpaid rent, such as a wage garnishment if landlords sue to evict a tenant. In September, an unprecedented, nationwide eviction moratorium was declared by the CDC to protect renters and prevent the spread of COVID-19, but the effectiveness of this action is unknown as evictions continue to take place across the country, even in Ann Arbor, and landlords challenge the legality of the moratorium itself. Needless to say, the housing crisis is not exclusive to Ann Arbor, which is already one of the most economically segregated cities in
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BY LEAH LESZCZYNSKI, STATEMENT COLUMNIST the Ann Arbor City Council, wrote of the painful truth of the housing crisis during COVID-19. “The pandemic definitely helped make many more people aware of this crisis but it did not cause it,” Disch said. Citing a 2015 study of American metros, Disch continued. “Ann Arbor has never been an inexpensive place to live but it is no exaggeration to say that we are currently facing a housing crisis,” she wrote. “Not only is Ann Arbor the eighth most economically segregated city in the nation — not Michigan but the nation — but ILLUSTRATION BY MAGGIE WIEBE we are second in the nation for excluding ‘essensures, such as cutting rent or allowing renttial workers’ from living alongside the people ers to terminate their leases under once-in-awho depend on them.” century circumstances. Amid the crisis, there The University’s role in the Ann Arbor have been heartwarming stories of landlords housing market is worth noting: “Over the last showing great empathy to renters, but these 15 years, UM enrollment has grown by 8,557 few instances are the exception, not the rule. students, up 22%, while just under 6,000 beds According to an employee at Z West Aparthave been added between new apartments ments who spoke to me on the condition of and dorms in the downtown/campus area.” anonymity, students can break their leases Where does the University expect these adafter paying six monthly installments. Google ditional nearly 2,500 students to live? What Reviews from May 2020 claim that McKindoes the University expect to happen to the ley Properties offered a 5% percent rent cut, cost of housing when students must compete which after its annual rent increase, did not with a growing Ann Arbor population for a seem very meaningful to tenants. In addition, place to live, and they do not guarantee onI talked to a number of landlords who worked campus housing? to waive subleasing or late fees for a period of Disch commented on the recent growth time. of the student population. As described to me by many landlords over “I do think that the growth of enrollment the phone, their policies did not change due and employment at the U (the problem is to the pandemic because their tenants have not just adding more students but adding not had trouble paying rent, and did not exmore jobs generally) have contributed to press the need for rent concessions — so, there the housing crisis but it is important not to seems to be no reason to cut rent. If this is the lose sight of these long-term trends. We’ve case, the income of landlords, based in legallybinding leases, should be relatively stable. Yet been coasting along with an outdated vision several landlords have applied for financial of the city that has accelerated inequities support made possible by the Paycheck Pro- and reduced racial and economic diversity,” she wrote. tection Program. The impacts of redlining and racial disData from the U.S. Small Business Admincrimination are twisted into the economic istration shows many landlords in Ann Arbor, inequality seen throughout the country and in response to the pandemic, received low inbecome even more apparent during these terest, federally backed loans that may be forcrises. The disparities that make home owngiven under certain circumstances. According ership more difficult for Black and Hispanic to a data project from ProPublica, McKinley households compared to white people and Companies received between $5 and 10 mileviction rates that put minorities at a larger lion, Cabrio Capital and Cabrio TNM Holdrisk of ending up on the streets are insepaings received between $150,000 and $350,000 rable from health and wealth inequalities each, Wickfield Properties between $350,000 and $1 million, Wilson White Company be- that are exacerbated by the pandemic. Actween $150,000 and $350,000 and Landmark cording to the CDC, “long-standing sysProperties, the nation’s top developer of stu- temic health and social inequities have put dent housing that has stakes in Z West, Z many people from racial and ethnic minorPlace and Foundry Lofts, received between $5 ity groups at increased risk of getting sick and dying from COVID-19.” Understanding and 10 million. If tenants are not having trouble paying the reciprocal relationships between ownrent, as high-rise complexes and landlords ing or having a stable place to call home, with houses across Ann Arbor told me over maintaining health and building wealth is the phone, why do these enormous compa- key to understanding the disproportionate nies need coronavirus bailout money? Where impact of the pandemic and the housing criexactly is it going? And who exactly is benefit- sis on minority communities.
the nation. Though over half of University of Michigan students come from the top 20% of American households and have differing levels of concern and parental support when it comes to paying rent, many students struggle to cover the cost of housing even without a pandemic and its crippling effects on the economy. While the fact that 78% of undergraduate credits are now offered virtually makes the need for housing in Ann Arbor less pressing, the obligations of student renters have remained intact for the most part. From all over the country and around the world, students flocked back to Ann Arbor in August to fulfill already-signed leases. With the fall semester underway, the issue of housing for the academic year may have faded in the list of students’ most pressing concerns. I spoke to Gayle Rosen, a landlord and tenant attorney for Student Legal Services, to learn more about student housing concerns amid the pandemic. She said that “(SLS) received hundreds of calls in the spring when U-M decided to move to online learning. Students headed home and said they wanted to break their lease because they no longer needed to stay in Ann Arbor in order to complete their schoolwork, or because they lost their jobs and could not afford their apartment. We have also heard from students who needed to return home to help care for a family member as a result of the pandemic.” After the University declared its plans for a “public-health informed” semester, “SLS received a lot of calls from students who wanted to terminate their leases for 2020-2021 because they decided not to come back (to campus),” Rosen said. Rosen acknowledged that for students, the problem is that there is not a strong legal basis to terminate their leases, even during a pandemic. Because leases do not often contain provisions that allow for an early termination due to an emergency, rent is still due and leases are still binding for many students, no matter how dire the circumstances. Needless to say, the housing crisis is just another straw on the camel’s back for many students juggling the typical stressors of college life that have intensified during the pandemic. To all the Ann Arbor landlords I spoke ting? to over the phone, the public health and economic crises are not enough to convince them that desperate times call for desperate mea-
n an email, Lisa Disch, a professor in the Department of Political Science and Women’s Studies, and member of
Read more at MichiganDaily.com ILLUSTRATIONS BY EILEEN KELLY
15 — Wednesday, October 14, 2020
statement CONGRATULATIONS: YOU PAID YOUR RENT!
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THE R.A. STRIKE WAS A LONG TIME COMING ISABELLE HASSLUND, STATEMENT DEPUTY EDITOR
he seemingly everlasting build-up to the Fall 2020 semester made me anxious about where I would live. My mind raced with questions as I was stuck in a state of limbo, full of unknowns. The hope that I would get to spend my senior year of college on a pandemic-free campus quickly dwindled and instead morphed into worry. Should I give up my lease? Is it safe to move back? What seemed to be the safest option was not necessarily the most financially sound. Amid deciding, I, and many other students, waited eagerly to see what the University of Michigan’s plan would be. As a former University-employed resident advisor for the last one and a half years, my mind immediately wondered what the intended precautions would be to ensure safe on-campus housing. My previous experiences with University Housing made me feel like there would be a disaster waiting for Residential Staff when they arrived for their training. Sure enough, when I checked on my peers during the August ResStaff training, they were already starting to get concerned. It seemed as if Housing had not come up with an adequate plan to keep R.A.s and residents safe during these unpredictable times. Rumors buzzed about facilities being understaffed, and supervisors did not have answers to questions surrounding safety precautions. This storm leading up the R.A. strike in early September was an explosion of tension that existed even before the pandemic. Upper-level housing, which refers to any full-time staff working in the Housing department above the level of Hall Director, and R.A.s may have always had a hard time finding common ground, but this time, this tension could cost the health and possibly the lives of Housing students and staff. My personal animosity toward upperlevel housing staff began from the moment of signing our contract called the Letter of Appointment, referred to as the L.O.A. Every ResStaff member is tied to this contract during their time as R.A.s. Any deviation from the included provisions results in disciplinary actions consisting of anything from a conversation with the hall directors — who are the R.A.s’ direct supervisors — or termination, depending on the severity of the behavior. I remember when I first walked into the West Quad Residence Hall Multipurpose Room, seeing my future fellow staff members seated together in a circle. I was bright-eyed and eager to start making an impact on the incoming class. As we started reading through our contract, a feeling of uneasiness settled into my stomach. I felt on edge about signing an agreement that I had just gotten without much time to think. There is no room for negotiation of the contract — it is an all or nothing deal. And even though we were able to bring our concerns to our supervisors, we knew we had to agree to the L.O.A. or be replaced by someone who would. While a lot of the L.O.A. is mundane detailing of hours and responsibilities, one of the more gut-wrenching clauses reads: “I will not participate in discussions or activities that in any way disparage my colleagues or supervisors or undermine their authority with residents. I will show public support for all ResStaff decisions and University or Housing policies. If I disagree with a policy or decision, I will discuss it respectfully with my supervisors, but will continue to enforce the policy unless directed otherwise.” As a journalist, it felt against my ethical code to agree to this. As a student, I felt as if I should be able to take my grievances with Housing elsewhere if I feel like I am not being heard. No change comes without criticism and a little bit of pressure. I am someone who likes to use my voice when I see something is wrong. To me, this came across as an effort to silence staff, keeping all issues handled quietly within Housing.
Inevitably, the clause instilled in me an immediate fear and distrust of upper-level housing. Would I lose my room and board just because I disparaged the good name of Housing? Why did they want me to hide my criticisms? What was I getting myself into? This sentiment lingered throughout my time as a staff member, and I recently learned that I was not alone in feeling this way. During the pandemic and the strike, the aforementioned clause was a particular point of contention, and worsened the fear of retaliation. I spoke to a current R.A., who asked to remain anonymous with fear of retaliation from the University, over the phone about this ongoing battle. In this article, they will be referred to as Sam. “Here we are now, with a bunch of legitimate concerns that aren’t being adequately addressed by Housing, and yet our contract says we can’t talk to anyone about this but Housing,” they said. “We felt very trapped by that.” This conflict grows even more complex when we acknowledge that R.A.s exist in a gray area, where we are both students and staff members of the University. And while I felt more like a student than a University employee, as soon as I left the confines of my room, I had to be there for my residents. In everyday life, there weren’t distinct lines drawn between my two roles. This ambiguity has proven to be another point of contention worsened by the pandemic. As a part of the strike agreement, R.A.s were given priority for COVID-19 testing; however, there was some confusion as to the logistics of this because of R.A.s’ unique standing. Sam described this tension and the obstacles it created. “There’s a question on there that says: ‘What is your primary role in the University? Student, staff, faculty,’ and most of us put: ‘student,’” they explained. “How are (upper-level Housing) going to recognize that we are supposed to be getting priority as ResStaff when, primarily, we’re students here?” This hybrid position has also caused issues in the past, as we struggled to put our academics, mental health and well-being first, which sometimes interfered with my relationships with my supervisors. I got a taste of this conflict before I officially started my position as an R.A. Before starting the role, all R.A.s must take and pass a class called ALA 421 where we learn to have open discussions about identity and analyze how our biases influence our interactions with others. Prospective R.A.s sign up for a section of ALA 421 at the beginning of a winter semester, after they’ve registered for academic classes. Around the same time I was meant to choose my ALA section, I was cast in MUSKET’s production of “In the Heights.” I was struggling to find an ALA class that fit into both my class and rehearsal schedule. The Housing administrator suggested that I choose between my love of performing and the R.A. job. She explained that the job meant I needed to make substantial sacrifices, refusing to acknowledge my role as a student who needs to engage in extracurriculars and take time to do what I love. The administrator told me that she gave up dancing for her own career. But being an R.A. is not a career; it is, rather, a role with some benefits. In fact, many students need to have a job on top of ResStaff, as they are not getting a salary as an R.A.
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ALIX CURNOW, STATEMENT COLUMNIST
ich students don’t like to talk about money. It can be embarrassing to express the amount of money in your bank account, especially when it’s money your parents wire to you. And it’s easy to avoid conversation about something you don’t think of much. But as a lower-income student, I think about money during almost all of my daily actions. When I wake up in the morning, I eat one egg instead of two to save on groceries. I rummage through Goodwill, searching for knockoffs of the fashions I see on Instagram, a practice I have perfected since middle school. My friends ask me if I want to go out to eat and I triple check my funds, indulging in some quick budgeting to see if I can afford dinner at a restaurant. I’m tired of not talking about money to make my wealthier friends more comfortable. I would be lying if I said I didn’t feel resentment towards them, as they tiptoe around the topic due to a lack of urgency. I’ve had a job for the last nine years of my life — since I was 12 years old — and I can’t fathom how some of them still don’t have jobs now. I need to work to pay my rent and quite honestly, it makes me angry that they don’t have to as well. Why does no one else talk about this? I’m starting to realize that it’s because most of the people at this university come from financially affluent households. And for the most part, rich people don’t like to talk about how rich they are. Worrying about how to pay my rent has been an issue since I moved out of my parents’ house in 2017. My parents no longer subsidized my living costs, and housing in Ann Arbor is notoriously expensive. As a full-time yet financially independent college student, I often face difficulty in figuring out how to afford it. Without friends around me who deal with the same obstacles, I often feel like I’m alone in my struggles. I’ve been feeling it a lot recently after early-voting “yes” on Proposal C , which is on the November 2020 Ballot. This proposal is asking voters to approve a new $1 million tax to fund construction, maintenance and acquisition of affordable housing units for low-income individuals. When talking about this proposal with my rich friends, I can tell they don’t quite realize just how dire the approval of this proposal is for low-income individuals like myself. When I asked my friend and fellow low-income student Amaya Farrell, a junior in the School of Kinesiology, if she was familiar with the proposal she said, “My whole life is my familiarity with the proposal.” Farrell is registered to vote in Wyandotte County, which subsequently means she can’t vote ‘yes’ on this Washtenaw County approval. However, she said that if she could she “would vote yes because of the segregation that income creates in Washtenaw County, specifically in the Ann Arbor area. Having affordable and equitable housing to individuals that can otherwise not afford their rent is crucial to diversity, equity and inclusion efforts made by the city.” Talking about our shared low-income familial upbringings is what has bonded me with Amaya since I met her in the summer of 2020. As with most of my low-income friends, lamenting about our frustrations with money is what has brought us closer together. Farrell was raised by her grandparents because her mother was in the military and her father was out of the picture. “I try not to ask (my grandparents) for anything now because I feel like I took a huge burden off of them by moving out,” Farrell said. This is not the first time Farrell has felt a sense of economic instability — it’s a feeling she’s experienced since she was young. “We were living paycheck to paycheck,” she explained about her upbringing. “We were evicted once. There were just a lot of hardships.” I felt a sense of myself when listening to her words. I rarely meet people at the University of Michigan with a similar familial experience as my own, and it was comforting to know that I wasn’t entirely alone. Relying on my low-income friends for support ILLUSTRATIONS in the many challenges we face regarding the BY EILEEN KELLY economic disadvantage between us and our
high-income peers has been incredibly helpful. And though there are a significant number of studies regarding this topic, there is not a lot of action being taken to prevent this, despite our knowledge that this is a problem. The facets of this reality far surpass solely the economic implications. Hours other students may spend studying are the hours I spend working tirelessly to pay my rent, yet I still beat myself up when I don’t perform as well as my wealthier peers in school. This was an issue I knew I’d face going into my freshman year of college, yet there were few resources to help me prepare for what would become a major stressor in my college life. To afford the University of Michigan I applied for over 30 different scholarships. I was granted 20 of them, including the Michigan Competitive Grant. I reapply to some of these scholarships each year and some extend through all four years of schooling. It is through these scholarships that I was able to afford my spot in Bursley Residence Hall my freshman year. For sophomore year, I applied to live in the Inter-Cooperative Council (ICC) because it was the cheapest housing option I was aware of at the time. It certainly wasn’t my first housing choice. I had a few friends offer for me to live at their house, but most of the prices they were mentioning were $850 or more a month, not including utilities, in the Kerrytown area of Ann Arbor. It agitated me that they could mention rent so casually. It was almost as if they didn’t have to think twice about it — probably because they didn’t. There was absolutely no way I could afford the price of rent they were offering me, so I settled for the slightly-messy, overly populated cooperative house on South Campus. I loved living there, but I felt a sense of shame when I’d bring my upper-class friends over because my house wasn’t as nice as their high-rise apartments. I distinctly remember one of them commenting on how dirty my house was compared to theirs. We were walking to my bedroom when they passed my kitchen, rife with unwashed dishes and leftover food on the counters. “Wow, I can’t believe you live like this,” they had said. I couldn’t help but think: Well, if I could afford to live in a cleaner environment, I would. I hated this feeling of embarrassment, but it’s something I have grown all too accustomed to as a lower-income student. Farrell explained experiencing the same feeling here on campus. “It wasn’t until my second semester freshman year until I started to really see it (the income disparity on campus),” Farrell said. “I was surrounded by people who could afford so many things on the drop of a hat.” This year, with the thoughtful maneuvering of my friends, I am paying incredibly cheap rent in a house in Kerrytown. Yet, I still have to work at least 15 hours a week to pay my rent, which is minor compared to the three jobs I worked my sophomore year. Then, there were weeks when I was clocking in 40 hours between jobs in order to afford rent as well as groceries, phone bills and school supplies. Now, I babysit two kids for $20 an hour, but the frustration toward my peers who don’t work at all still persists. Every time I pay my rent for the month, I feel like I should get some type of award, or at least a congratulations. I don’t think I’ve ever not thought twice about any purchase I’ve made. Nor do I think I ever will. And as difficult as it is, I do take an immense amount of pride in the fact that I am entirely independent of my parents, much like Farrell and other low-income students. This is a huge feat, one that I will never let anyone or myself diminish. It’s a significant obstacle and it’s not something we get praised for enough. So, if you’re like me and the struggle to pay your rent is consistent, then I offer you this: Congratulations. You did it. Affordable housing is a fight that I and many other low-income people have been grappling with our entire lives. I feel a sense of hope with proposals like Proposal C surfacing on our ballots: hope for a future when paying my rent isn’t a tireless battle, a future when a call from my landlord isn’t something to fear and a future when all lowincome people do not feel the overwhelming burden of finding a safe, supported home.
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Wolverines making progress physically and mentally as practice start looms
The Wolverines celebrate after scoring a crucial basket against the Michigan State Spartans last season.
TEDDY GUTKIN Daily Sports Writer
While its season is not scheduled to begin until Nov. 25, the Michigan men’s basketball team has been hard at work for months. Official practices won’t begin until Oct. 14, but teams have been permitted to work out together. “It’s been great to get guys back into the gym,” Michigan coach Juwan Howard said. “They’re looking forward to the opportunity of getting better.” After having the rug pulled out from underneath them just moments before their first Big Ten Tournament game against Rutgers, the Wolverines have been anxious to have an opportunity to make some noise in the postseason. Assistant coach Phil Martelli admitted that the uncertainty over this season prevented the team from fully locking into summer workouts, but the NCAA’s midSeptember announcement confirming a season would be played has flipped a switch. “There’s a vibe, there’s an excitement (now), about having a chance to pursue a Big Ten championship,” Martelli said. According to Martelli, the improvements made by the team
in workouts have been evident. He remarked that senior guard Adrien Nuñez has become a more physical and confident presence on the court, and senior guard Eli Brooks has significantly improved his basketball IQ. Martelli also added that senior forward Isaiah Livers has been a stabilizing presence for the team as it prepares for the season, both due to his ability to mentor younger players and perform well himself on the floor during team scrimmages. While they may not be big names, Martelli made sure to mention that Howard has routinely taken a chance to break down plays and game film with his walk-ons, often going into the same amount of time and detail with them as he does with the team’s scholarship players. “I told him that’s why he’s gonna be great at this (job),” Martelli said. “His care and concern for each individual, person first, player second, is why I’m convinced he’s a star.” Howard’s attention to walk-ons is reflective of his commitment to caring for his players. During quarantine, he kept in touch with the team over Zoom to check in on the wellbeing of his players on a weekly basis. Howard and Martelli also coordinated with strength coach
Jon Sanderson to help curate workout plans for the players to do while in quarantine. Martelli stressed, though, that until they were cleared to workout in June, almost every conversation between coaches and their players focused on mental health, believing that it was their utmost priority during an unprecedented time. “Everything during the pandemic was centered on their mental and physical well-being,” Martelli said. “It just wasn’t the time to talk basketball.” With the season’s tipoff just over one month away, Martelli looks forward to having a chance to put the team’s hard work and mental preparation on display on the court. While he felt that the adjustment period during and after the pandemic was a difficult one, Martelli says that he couldn’t be more excited to work with Howard, both the coach and the person, for a second season. “It was different being home for four months,” Martelli said. “But the energy in recruiting and the energy of teaching on the floor is laser vision for me in that I wanna be by his side when he coaches on a Monday night in April. No one is destined to do that, but if someone has the ability to do it, I know for sure that I’m in the right place.”
Wednesday, October 14, 2020 — 17
John Beilein is back at home in Ann Arbor ABBY SNYDER
Daily Sports Writer
John Beilein’s press conferences last January in Cleveland were tense, a little gruff, almost defensive. The NBA had not been kind to him, and it showed. That is not the John Beilein who spoke with The Daily on Tuesday afternoon, back in Michigan, where he became a beloved figure from 2007-2019. The John Beilein of Tuesday afternoon is relaxed. Happy. His excitement is measurable as he talks about getting to play tennis for the first time in seventeen years, gleefully adding that his golf game has improved like you wouldn’t believe. He talks about getting to spend time with his grandkids, his smile practically audible through the phone. John Beilein has come home to Ann Arbor, and it has made a world of difference. *** If there’s one thing that retirement has taught the winningest men’s basketball coach in school history, it’s how to teach a dog some new tricks. I don’t say old dog, because Beilein and his wife Kathleen have recently adopted a puppy. In his spare time, Beilein’s been reading up on dog training strategies — by my estimate, the puppy will be barking at pick-and-rolls by Thanksgiving. But Beilein has picked up some new tricks, too. He’s teaching a class at Michigan this semester, and, as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, it’s all online. So Beilein has learned how to use Zoom, with some help from his graduate student instructor. But even with the technology challenges, Beilein, who hasn’t taught since he was a high school coach in 1978, is thrilled to get back in the classroom. “I’ve loved it,” he said. “I have a whole new respect for the faculty, and all the preparation that you have to do, and how hard it is to do a Zoom class of 66 students as well. But I’ve loved every minute of it. Teaching leadership, coaching, it’s really empowering.” It’s a natural next step for Beilein.
He gave a graduation address to the School of Education in 2019, and when Dean Elizabeth Moje asked him if he’d ever be interested in teaching, the answer was absolutely — as soon as he was done coaching. When things didn’t work out in Cleveland, Beilein called Moje, and in a few months’ time, he found himself the lead instructor of EDUC 240. His coaching days may be over, but Beilein is hoping to have as much impact on his students as he once did on his players. In his spare time, he’s reading everything he can find on how to be an effective leader (never mind the dozens of basketball players who’ll tell you in a heartbeat that he already is one). It’s clearly prescient — the course is titled “Coaching as Leading” —
*** It speaks volumes of Juwan Howard’s success in his first season as the Wolverines’ head coach that when Beilein left Cleveland, there was barely any talk — and none of it serious — of Beilein returning to his old role. It’s a good thing, too, because Beilein recognizes it as much as the rest of us: Michigan is done with the Beilein era. It’s Howard’s program now. “I just have a lot of respect for Juwan and the team,” Beilein said. “I don’t want to do anything that would be a distraction.” But that doesn’t mean Beilein doesn’t care about Michigan basketball anymore. COVID-19 restrictions have prevented him from attending any practices with
John Beilein has found an enjoyable new life in his return to Ann Arbor.
but it doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface of things Beilein wants to learn about with all his newfound time. When he’s asked what he’s most excited about, he pauses for several seconds trying to decide. “I’m a lifetime learner,” Beilein says. “That will never stop. There’s all kinds of things. Knowledge is powerful. And I’m always looking for new ways to learn more about the world and how it works.” But his excitement about learning doesn’t stop at the end of his lengthy reading list. Beilein is learning as much from the class as his students are, he says. “Well, the Zoom thing is new,” he laughs. “But we’re reading all types of resources that we’re getting more information from, and the speakers that we’ve had come in — you’re always learning from them.”
the team as of yet, but provided he’s not stepping on anybody’s toes, Beilein is more than ready to get back to work in Crisler Center. “If and when — I’m going to do it whenever I can possibly do it,” Beilein said. He’s smiling through the phone again. Beilein clearly still cares deeply about Michigan basketball. It’s what made Ann Arbor home. Even when he was the head coach in Cleveland, that was always the case. And eventually, no matter what the NBA brought, he was always going to come back someday. “We never sold our house in Ann Arbor — we didn’t even try to,” Beilein said. “We were going to sell it in the spring, but when things didn’t work out in Cleveland, it was easy… We call Ann Arbor home. We have for thirteen years.”
‘Why not me?’: For Juwan Howard, lack of Black coaches is personal BRANDON TRACHTENBERG Daily Sports Writer
On May 30, 2019, the former Fab Five team member, NBA AllStar, two-time NBA champion and veteran NBA assistant teared up in front of reporters, family and friends as he was announced as the 17th head coach of the Michigan men’s basketball team. His raw emotion revealed the magnitude of the situation. Juwan Howard joined a small group of Black coaches in college basketball, becoming one of 14 Black head coaches in basketball’s six major conferences, as of 2019, and the only Black head coach in the Big Ten. The lack of Black representation in leadership roles in college basketball is especially striking in a sport where the majority of players are Black — 53.6% of all men’s DI players. “I am the only Black head coach in the Big Ten, which I’m very proud of,” Howard told The Daily. “I don’t understand why there isn’t more but … I’m just gonna try and do the best job I possibly can for the University of Michigan to help spear our student-athletes to become successful within basketball, but more importantly successful in life.” It was his desire to do more than just win but also to make an impact on his players and the community that appealed to athletic director Warde Manuel — one of 12 Black athletic directors in the Power 5 Conferences. “I just thought he was a genuine person,” Manuel said on the ‘In the Trenches’ podcast in 2019. “Just a down-to-earth, very smart (person). (He) had really educated himself about the college game. He knew about me. … What struck me was how genuine and how humble he was as a person. He didn’t walk in wearing either one of his championship rings.” Critics hinged on Howard’s lack of experience as a head coach, but that did not matter to Manuel. He just wanted the most capable candidate and the person who
Michigan men’s basketball coach Juwan Howard is one of just 14 Black head coaches in college basketball’s six major conferences.
wanted the job the most. “If I’m going to take a risk with somebody,” Warde said during Howard’s introductory press conference last year, “I’m going to take that risk with Juwan Howard.” Manuel’s confidence in Howard gave him the comfort to go ahead and do his job to the greatest ability he could. Looking back after the first year under Howard’s reign, the “gamble” paid off as the Wolverines finished with a 19-12 winning record and a top-15 recruiting class. However, there was another explanation for the controversy over Howard’s hire bubbling beneath the surface. “(There’s) this perception out here when you are a Black coach (that) you’re not as qualified as some of the other coaches who are from a different race,” Howard said. “I think that’s so sad that folks have that narrow-minded and (are) so ignorant, in a way.” The lack of Black leaders in sports — like basketball, where a majority of the actual athletes are Black — proves that discrimination still plays a huge part in hiring decisions. In an idealized world, that
representation among players would translate to coaching staffs. Players, logic should dictate, have the requisite eye and experience to truly understand the game. However, as is well-documented, that is not the case. In the NFL, for example, a majority of players are Black, but in the past three years, only two of 19 open head coaching positions have been filled by Black coaches. Many of the new hires were first time head coaches, jumping straight from coordinator roles or other assistant roles or even making their first NFL appearances coming straight from the college-level. Candidates hired with a lack of experience is odd considering the wealth of potential Black candidates with plenty of experience. Consider Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy — who has over 20 years of experience in the NFL as a player and a coach — coming off one of the greatest offensive seasons in NFL history and a Super Bowl win. Bieniemy, like many others, was overlooked. It’s hard to say if race is a main reason in these decisions, but it’s hard to deny that it plays a role.
Returning to the hiring of Juwan Howard, it becomes more complex considering he was pitched as a candidate with a lack of experience and received a lot more criticism than some of those white NFL head coaches. “Why not me?” Howard said. “Why, how (am) I not considered to be qualified for a position like this? Especially someone who (has) loads of experience as a player, played the game of basketball since he was six years old, played on the professional level for 19 years, and also coached on the NBA level for six years. … I have also played here at the University of Michigan and played three years and been very successful all three years, been to the championship game two years in a row, been to the Final Four two years in a row. I am very qualified.” Someone with the resume of Howard’s should be on the top of the list when it comes to a head coaching role. He is someone who has played with and been around some basketball’s greatest minds and players: LeBron James, Pat Riley, Dwyane Wade, Steve Nash, Dirk Nowitzki, Jeff Van Gundy, Tracy McGrady and Doc Rivers.
Despite all Howard has accomplished, doubt still circled around his hire and still does, even in the face of the success he accomplished last year. “As a Black skin, some folks think that you’re not qualified enough,” Howard said. “I think that’s the ignorance that we have to ignore and continue to keep driving and doing whatever to be the best person of ourselves no matter what people may say or think.” These opinion-driven stigmas about Black leaders serve as a brutal reminder of how much more work needs to be done for the fight against racial injustice. And as protests and marches over the past few months have shown, that change is being fought for right now. Howard understands the gravity of this moment and will continue to support his players and the messaging that he believes in. “Listening in has been great,” Howard said. “To know that where we are as a country, we have a lot of work to do, but knowing the fact that our future is in great hands with student-athletes that are fighting to help promote change. There are great ideas that
are being said out there that I truly support.” That ability to relate to the struggles some of his players face in this country is what makes it so vital to have more diversity in leadership roles. Howard described a situation where a player of his heard some deeply upsetting comments. While he wouldn’t share specifics out of respect for his player’s “respect and privacy,” it was a situation where many head coaches could have felt overwhelmed. Not Howard. Howard and other Black head coaches are able to fathom some of that adversity because they have personally experienced it. Not to mention more diverse leaders also bring fresh perspectives and different viewpoints. “It’s important for me,” Howard said, “that knowing that I am a public, national figure, that when people hear me speak, especially the young ones who can identify and look just like me, to be inspired by someone like myself, ... (to show) if I did it, they could do it too.” For becoming a leader to be a tangible goal, people need to see others in those roles that look like themselves. In this way, Howard serves as a role model for hundreds of thousands of young Black individuals. He knows that he has to set a good example and encourage them to chase their dream no matter what people tell them, especially in a job where he represents a small minority. The lack of Black representation in leadership roles, specifically coaching, is one that will not be solved overnight. But, Howard says, the magnitude of this problem can’t serve as a deterrent. Change needs to happen, whether it’s by implementing affirmative action rules like the Rooney Rule in the NFL or simply giving others a chance. As Howard has shown, there are many capable individuals out there. And sometimes, that chance is all they need.
18 — Wednesday, October 14, 2020
With experience in athletics and medicine, Alex Sobczak understands both sides
The Michigan Daily — michigandaily.com
How Paul Juda continued to perfect his craft during COVID-19
Sophomore gymnast Paul Juda stayed locked in, finding creative ways to work out from home while he was unable to train at the gym.
ABBAS KAGAL For The Daily
Former softball player Alex Sobczak has studied COVID-19 through her research.
NICHOLAS STOLL Daily Sports Writer
Former Michigan softball player Alex Sobczak used to devote hours upon hours every week to practice, games, conditioning and team activities. The rest of her waking hours were spent working on her Biopsychology, Cognition and Neuroscience degree to prepare her for medical school. Since graduating in 2019, Sobczak has spent the past year researching topics in medicine at the University of Michigan’s hospital system and applying to medical schools. While she hasn’t finalized her decision, Sobczak’s research has already been valuable. She studies opioids and transplants, but more recently has conducted research on COVID-19. In doing so, Sobczak has garnered a wealth of knowledge about the virus. Despite what she now knows, for Sobczak, what she still doesn’t know is her primary reason for concern. Especially as it surrounds athletics. “I think there’s just a lot of misconceptions about COVID19 right now,” Sobczak said. “As a healthy 23-year old, I get that somebody my age isn’t going to be super concerned about getting a severe case of COVID-19, but in all honesty, nobody really knows the longterm effects of it.” The mystery of the possible long-term effects, put simply, is quite worrying. And for anyone on the outside of a sport looking in, that’s why universities and conferences are so apprehensive to begin play — they don’t know what could happen to these players in the future after contracting the virus. Not only are they young, as Sobczak mentioned, but college athletes are in fantastic shape. The likelihood of an athlete having a severe case that lands them hospitalized is minimal, but the possible underlying after-effects, such as myocarditis and other unknowns, are concerning. In order to play, these risks must be minimized as much as possible. The decision to be made is how strict these restrictions and precautions need to be. “I think you’re going to have to sacrifice on both ends,” Sobczak said. “ … You
don’t want to put players’ health at risk. Especially not knowing the long term effects of COVID-19 and how it affects the organs. I would be concerned playing right now personally. I think it’s so hard to keep a bubble right now, especially on a college campus, and I guess it’s really up to weighing the sacrifices on both ends and what that looks like.” With the near-impossible implementation of a bubble on a college campus, the preventative measures fall squarely on three things: masks, testing and staying within the team’s rudimentary bubble. And with cases on the rise as football, fall and winter sports start dates approach, those two elements become even more important. Still, Sobczak understands the desire for athletes to play. She herself was a player, and she knows plenty of athletes on the softball team and elsewhere. Athletics is their escape. It is their way to cope with the stress, fear and anxiety surrounding the pandemic. For many, it is a huge part of their life and of who they are. For some, it might even be their profession, such as Sobczak’s fiancé, Nick Plummer, an outfielder in the St. Louis Cardinals’ minor league system. “Being engaged to somebody who’s in baseball right now, I think it’s really hard to see that he can’t play his sport,” Sobczak said. “It’s devastating when you work your whole life for something and you don’t know when you’re going to get back to it and it’s an outlet for you. I think that’s been hard. It’s weighed on a lot of us. It weighed on me.” Despite the difficulty, Sobczak is glad her fiancé is not playing. The health risks, to her, justify personal decisions not to play when protocol isn’t air tight, such as in the MLB and affiliate leagues as well as college campuses where a bubble is unlikely and the virus can spread rapidly. In her eyes, to proceed, not only do you need multiple levels of precaution, but you need to be aware of the consequences. “As much as you love sports,” Sobczak said, “you have to watch out for people’s health and be concerned about the aftermath for something like this.”
As much as you love sports, you have to watch out for people’s health and be concerned about the aftermath for something like this.
With gyms closed and no end to quarantine in sight, Paul Juda initially found it challenging to motivate himself. Juda, a sophomore standout and reigning Big Ten Freshman of The Year on the Michigan men’s gymnastics team, decided to use the unexpected shut-down to take time off from his intense training regimen. “Athletes are humans too, at least I am,” Juda said. “I let my body take a little bit of a break. You never know how stressed out you are until you take a break.” But the time off, his first in a long while, gave Juda a new perspective on the sport he loves and trains for every single day. “Staying at home for the first time without gymnastics for an extended period of time, and getting back in the gym that first day,” Juda said, “that makes you really remember why you fell in love with the sport to begin with.” Juda conditioned throughout the quarantine
through home workouts hosted over Zoom, but his first time back in the gym and being able to perform even basic gymnastics sets inspired him to take advantage of the break. “I did a lot of cardio on my stationary bike at home,” Juda said. “Every hour that I spent on there sweating it out, I thought about how much closer I would be than the next guy who’s doing nothing during this break. “That kind of pushed me the most, the thought that these hours that you don’t get back, I’m using them to get over the edge.” That mentality is what propelled Juda even before coming to Michigan when he was competing against international gymnasts and placing in the top three against Olympians at the United States Senior Championship in 2019. Still, the transition to Michigan and a Division I program wasn’t as easy as it would seem, even for someone as talented as Juda. “It wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows,” Juda said. “Adjusting to the academics and the amount of work it takes to compete at this level
was tougher than I expected. I got homesick for sure, even though my parents were close by.” But by his second semester, Juda set a goal to become a leader for the team in all aspects, even on a team primarily composed of upperclassmen. He pushed for an environment that only accepts excellence, which carries into the team’s dynamic this year and going forward. “All that really changed for me this year is my class rank,” Juda said. “I’m still trying to achieve the same goals I set since I got here. It’s demanding excellence and being your best.” The team has also changed with a lot of fresh faces, giving Juda a new perspective on the upcoming season. “Having a younger team is really good for me because I like the idea of showing people the steps they should follow and guiding them towards using intelligent moves in the gym,” Juda said. “I can sense the hunger from the guys without having to motivate them too much.” He and the team continue
to have high expectations for their future and aim to bring Michigan the NCAA Championship that the team worked tirelessly for during last year before their season was canceled. Amid adjusting to U-M academics, with his mentality pushing him, Juda was also selected for the United States Men’s Senior National Team in February, becoming its youngest member at just 19 years old. The day after, Juda was selected for the Pan American Games, one of the now-postponed Tokyo Olympics qualifier events for the U.S. But yet again, Juda looks at this temporary pause as a building block to his eventual goal. “If anything, this postponement of the Olympics is only advantageous to someone in my particular situation,” he said. “It’s a whole year of development for me, and I focus on training through efficiency and not wasting the time I have. What’s most important for me going forward is my body, mind, and nutrition while being happy and staying close with my teammates.”
Charlie Green changed Michigan golf, and his memory remains FILE PHOTO/Daily
CHRISTIAN JULIANO For The Daily
This past August, the Michigan golf teams and Ann Arbor community lost a key member in Charlie Green, who passed away at age 84. For the typical Michigan fan, Charlie’s would not exactly be considered a household name. But, to many entrenched in the golf lore here at Michigan, Charlie Green was synonymous with the program. Charlie served as clubhouse manager for the U-M Golf Course for 52 years. His role in this position was not only crucial to the course’s operation, but also to the golf teams as a whole. “Being there so much, he obviously knew all of the golf coaches and the teams in particular,” Charlie’s son, Sean Green said. “As they were going off on golf trips, he would be there, pretty often to send them off on the bus. He always took an active interest in all the players and the team.” Seeing as his career lasted five decades, Charlie took pride in the seemingly more mundane parts of his work as clubhouse manager; he helped organize club outings, oversaw day to day operations, managed staff and worked hands on to set up for important course events. But beyond this, Charlie was as close as one could get to an honorary member of the Wolverines’ golf programs. “Charlie’s office was the first
thing that any guest or staff member saw when they came into the clubhouse,” former Michigan coach Chris Whitten said. “Charlie was really my introduction to the athletic department, to golf at Michigan in general, and really the history of the athletic department and the people who had been a part of it.” In addition to serving the golf course in any way possible, Charlie continued to be a beacon of warm nature and created a welcoming atmosphere for golfers. Many have said that Charlie made everyone on the team feel more at home, and made the university a little bit smaller. “(Charlie) represented a connection to (the players), and he is one of the people that created a new home away from home for these young kids coming to a big University for the first time,” Whitten said. “He was kind of like the father, or grandfather figure for a lot of those kids.” Charlie was not your typical clubhouse manager. Often, he made it a part of his job to take interest in the lives of players. Unlike many coaches they may have encountered, Charlie more than anything else was particularly interested in what Whitten referred to as “non-golf things.” These often included how players’ families were doing, how school was going and what they were interested in off the course. Having a person like Charlie ask about these
things every day helped make the clubhouse feel like a second home. “The coaches see the kids every day … we skip some of the personal stuff, just ‘How are you doing?’ ” Whitten said. “The fact that they had to walk past Charlie’s door before they got to the coaches, he got to ask them how they were as people.” Today, a lasting memory of Charlie persists in the form of a plaque at the tee of the sixth hole, commemorating his career. The hole serendipitously named for Charlie was his favorite. It was endowed in his name by university donor John Buck in 2001, and it is often described as one of the most memorable and masterful holes at the course. “(Buck) wanted to make a gift to the university,” Sean Green said. “But, the first thing he thought of was my dad. He wanted my dad recognized for all of the hours and effort he put in at the course, and with athletics in general.” Sean recounted that the hole’s endowment “brought tears” to Charlie’s eyes. It was a profound commemoration of a truly profound career and man. The hole itself could certainly be described as the most memorable on the course. Whitten described it in detail: “The hole is really unique. The design of the green, the length of the hole, the strategy options, it definitely is the hole that people remember when they think of the course.” Although arguably the most
significant hole at the course was named after him, Charlie never let it affect his work. “While he was deeply thankful for it, he treated everyone the same still and was always willing to help and be hands on,” Sean Green said. Charlie also was a major proponent of women’s sports at Michigan. He was incredibly passionate about the promotion of the women’s golf team in its inception. “He really thought it was extremely important for women to have the opportunity to play. … It was really about equality,” women’s golf coach Jan Dowling said. Charlie was always incredibly interested in making the course more playable and providing opportunities for all people to play and participate. Dowling said Charlie wanted to “grow the game” and make the course more accessible. Dowling recounted a story about the “women’s” tees at the course. “They’re not the ‘women’s tees,’ he calls them the maize tees,” Dowling said. “Guys can play it, girls can play it, it was really all about equality.” To commemorate his passion for women’s sports, the women’s golf league at the course has a tournament named in his honor. Charlie’s presence in the clubhouse was an important one. He played a vital role for so many members of the golf teams, and his story and contributions will be commemorated by coursegoers for years to come.
The Michigan Daily — michigandaily.com
Wednesday, October 14, 2020 — 19
‘It makes sure that none of us take it for granted’: Season-ticket holders prepare for season without fans
here’s a small, white house a few blocks from Michigan Stadium. Most months, it sits empty, even as the surrounding neighborhood is packed with student renters. But seven Saturdays a year, Paul Furlo and his friends descend on the house, which they purchased THEO a few years MACKIE ago to enhance their gameday experience. “Little house at the Big House,” Furlo calls it. Their routine, by now, is set in stone. They cater the same order from Zingerman’s, coupled with a few kegs set up in the backyard. In early September, before the weather gets too cold, they bring along their small children, hoping to indoctrinate them into the tradition. This year, that opportunity is already past — Michigan’s home slate won’t start until Halloween. But when it does, Furlo and his friends will still be there, looking longingly at Michigan Stadium from the outside. “We’re gonna enjoy those home games still,” Furlo said. “But we’re gonna enjoy them on the many big screens at our house in Ann Arbor and we’ll
Michigan Football season ticket holders are coming up with creative ways to keep the gameday tradition alive despite not being at the games in-person.
socially distance and still enjoy the games and still be able to be in our favorite college town to watch games on TV.” Furlo isn’t the only one who’s planning to continue his tailgating tradition even as fans are barred from attending games. A few blocks away, Eric Metzendorf and his wife, Lauren, are planning to do the same. The Metzendorfs moved to Ann Arbor in 1999 for Eric’s job and immediately bought season tickets. Occasionally, they’ll miss a game or two for weekend trips, but this season would have been their 22nd
in a row attending at least a handful of games. “We buy them because we enjoy going,” Metzendorf said of his season tickets. This year, the Metzendorfs — along with more than 70,000 other season-ticket holders — won’t have that opportunity. Instead, they’ll have a few friends over and tailgate at home like they usually do for away games. If the weather cooperates, Eric says, they might venture downtown to watch games at restaurants with outdoor seating. “What’s interesting too is I’m paying attention to the col-
As his senior season nears, Kwity Paye’s Michigan career comes into focus
lege football season, but really not as much,” Metzendorf said. “I’m not as intent to watch games until Michigan starts playing.” Like for Furlo and every other season-ticket holder, it won’t be the same. But Michigan fans are taking the small victories as they come. Metzendorf was thrilled to learn that the Ohio State game is back in its traditional spot as the season finale, moved back from an earlier schedule iteration that placed it in October. “I said, ‘OK all is right with the schedule again,’ ” Metzendorf said.
For Steve Raymond, a longtime season-ticket holder, the relief came earlier, when the Big Ten announced games would be closed to fans. While Furlo said he would consider attending games with minimized capacity, Raymond opted out of his job as an event staffer back when Michigan was considering allowing fans. “I am perfectly happy to sit this season out,” Raymond said. “Because I’m of an age where I feel like the risk is not worth it to me for my own personal health.” Unlike Furlo and Metzendorf, he doesn’t plan to host
Managing Sports Editor
Daily Sports Editor
As the Big Ten’s 2020 football season hung in the balance leading up to this fall, senior defensive end Kwity Paye had “a million people” in his ear. Some told him he should hold out hope for a season and remain in Ann Arbor. Others thought opting out and declaring for the NFL Draft would be a better long-term choice. But in Paye’s eyes, it was never much of a dilemma. “I came back for a reason,” Paye said on a Zoom call with reporters Thursday. “I didn’t come back just to say, ‘Oh, I was coming back.’ I came back to play a season, so that was the only thing going that was through my head. That’s why I stayed so long, just because I got my hopes up playing this season. “… I wanted to graduate, I wanted to play a season, and that’s what I did. I’m not really the type of person to take advice from other people. As my mom would say, I’m real stubborn and once I have my heart set on something, I like to see it through. I came here for four years and I’m happy with that.” With the Big Ten football season set to begin in a little more than two weeks, Paye’s career has come into focus. Three years ago, he arrived in Ann Arbor as the third-lowest-ranked prospect in the Wolverines’ heralded
2017 recruiting class — a group that ranked No. 5 nationally, according to 247Sports. Last October, Paye recalled a moment during his recruitment when a Michigan fan called him a “three-star bum” on social media. The comment stuck with him. By flipping his commitment from Boston College to Michigan, Paye got his first taste of what it’s like to drown out the noise. “I still remember when I decommitted from Boston College,” Paye said. “When I committed to (Michigan), people were like, ‘Oh no, you’re not going to play. You’re making a big mistake. Don’t do it.’ All these years later, all it took was hard work and consistency and I am where I am.” Now a senior, Paye has emerged as a crucial piece of the Wolverines’ defense. He recorded a team-high 12.5 tackles for loss last season — including 6.5 sacks — and added three quarterback hurries. When the team’s back was against the wall against Army, Paye recovered the game-winning fumble in double-overtime. After a junior season of wreaking havoc in the run game, Paye used the offseason to zero in on improving elsewhere. “I didn’t show enough of (my pass-rush moves) last year,” Paye said. “That’s because I didn’t feel like I focused on it a lot last year, but this offseason I really focused on my go-to move and then my counter and then just
really working on my pass rush. Last year, I would say I was really more of a run defender but now this year I’ve kind of worked the pass rush into there as well.” With Michigan’s top passrusher from last season, Josh Uche, now in the NFL, Paye and junior defensive end Aidan Hutchinson will be asked to pressure the quarterback even more. If Paye answers the call, it’ll further cement his projection as a top pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. CBS Sports’ latest mock draft featured Paye at No. 10 overall on Wednesday, while other outlets have floated his name as a potential firstround selection. So far, Paye checks all the boxes — he’s put plenty of highlights on tape and his reputation and physical abilities precede him. He topped The Athletic’s list of “freaks” across college football in July, and his 6.37 three-cone drill time, sub-4.6 40-yard dash time and 34-inch vertical make it easy to see why. That leaves only one thing left to accomplish. “I have no rings,” Paye said. “I came to the University to be a champion, and I’m yet to be a champion. I’m trying to accomplish that one thing because I feel like I’ve done everything I’m supposed to do. … This is my last year. I’m giving it all I got. This team is giving it all we’ve got. “Just trying to get that ring.”
Mackie can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @theo_mackie.
Versatility and explosive plays set to determine ceiling of Michigan’s run game THEO MACKIE
Senior defensive end Kwity Paye celebrates a stop against the Northwestern Wildcats in 2018.
tailgates or watch parties. Still, he’s excited for the normalcy that college football will bring, even if it’s just on TV. What won’t be the same is the lack of non-revenue sports. Since moving to Ann Arbor in 1970, Raymond’s been to watch every Michigan sport except tennis. Soccer, track and field and softball are among his favorites. None of those will be open to fans this year. So instead, Raymond will be stuck at home watching not just football, but every other sport as they gradually return to play. It won’t be an entirely foreign experience — Raymond has watched home games on TV before — but it brings a different air to fall in Ann Arbor. Season-ticket holders, like everyone else, will miss the little things about game days. They’ll miss the walk down Main Street to the stadium and the kettle corn once they get there. They’ll miss that first sight of the field each September and the camaraderie of singing the fight song together after touchdowns. And even when they get together for their tailgates and watch parties, it won’t quite be the same. “When you lose something great like Michigan football,” Furlo said, “it makes sure that none of us take it for granted.”
A year ago, Zach Charbonnet and Hassan Haskins combined for 1,348 yards and 15 touchdowns on 270 carries. For Michigan, it was a promising revelation. Two players who had never played a college snap proved they could be trusted to take over the backfield from Karan Higdon. And yet, as a whole, the Wolverines produced their least effective rushing offense of the Jim Harbaugh era. In his first four years, Michigan averaged 188.3 rushing yards per game on 4.5 yards per carry. Last year, those numbers dropped to 151.2 and 4.0. The problem, as running backs coach Jay Harbaugh alludes to now, may have been a lack of versatility. Jay Harbaugh won’t come out and say as much. Charbonnet and Haskins were both objectively good last year. Criticizing them for having similar skill sets would be both unfair and unhelpful. But in Jay Harbaugh’s praise of Chris Evans, who is returning from a year-long academic suspension, his recognition of the pair’s flaws is evident. “Being able to have a guy who excels outside the tackles,” Jay Harbaugh said, “helps balance out Zach and Hassan who are good out there, but they’re special inside the box.” This year, Evans and freshman Blake Corum will provide just that. But while Corum — the 12th-ranked 2020 running back, per 247Sports — will have to adapt to the college game as Charbonnet did a year ago, Evans will need no such adjustment. In three seasons at Michigan, he’s rushed for 1,722 yards on 304 carries, good for 5.7 yards per attempt. “As far as where I see myself at, I’m wherever they need me at,” Evans said on Sept. 11. “Whatever’s gonna put the team in the best situation.” Evans’ stats through three seasons are a testament to his explosiveness — something Jay Harbaugh referenced repeatedly last week. But the 101 carries per season are also a testament to what Evans isn’t. Two inches
shorter than Charbonnet and Haskins, Evans was reared as a high school wide receiver. His frame, even now, isn’t designed to take 224 carries, as Higdon did in 2018. In other words, his skill set should comport perfectly with those of Charbonnet and Haskins. That extends beyond the running game, too. A year ago, Michigan’s top four backs combined for 20 receptions. In 2018, Evans notched 18 on his own. “Chris, he’s just different than
over 100 yards a year ago. To bridge that gap, Jay Harbaugh says, Michigan needs to transform more pedestrian five-yard gains into 20-yard chunk plays. That’s where months of Zoom meetings came into play, back before the Wolverines were even able to resume small group workouts in June. Admittedly, speed, balance and change of direction all play a role in the ability to break off explosive plays. More important, though, is
Chris Evans’ explosiveness will open up the Wolverines’ running attack in his return to the roster.
a standard back,” Jay Harbaugh said. “… Last year, you would say a lot of times, the guys we had on the field, they’d get out on check downs where they weren’t really a factor in the quarterback’s thought process, in his progression. “A guy like Chris, who can beat the majority of linebackers or safeties he runs a route on and then he can make the play and catch the ball, that adds an element where you can include the running back in the progression.” For the Wolverines to bolster their running game, though, Evans alone can’t be responsible. In 2018, when Michigan gained 203.8 yards per game on the ground, Higdon paced the team with 5.3 yards per carry. Last season, Charbonnet and Haskins managed just 4.9 and 5.1, respectively. The gap between those numbers and Higdon’s might not seem substantial on balance, but over the course of 270 carries, it cost the Wolverines
the mental aspect. Michigan’s running backs need to be able to identify opposing defensive schemes so that they can see where the defense is trying to funnel them and do the opposite. But simply identifying the defense’s direction isn’t sufficient. In concert with the offensive line, running backs have to know which defenders are supposed to be in which gaps, allowing them to spot holes before they open and avoid the opponent’s free hitter — the unblocked cornerback or safety designated to make the tackle. Explaining this in a Zoom call with local media, though, won’t transform the Wolverines’ running game. Jay Harbaugh’s message, so sound in theory, now lies in the hands of his players. “I would love to hear you ask those guys that,” he said when asked how to manufacture explosive plays. “Just to see how much they’ve been focusing on it and if they’ve internalized stuff.” In two weeks, he’ll find out.
20 â&#x20AC;&#x201D; Wednesday, October 14, 2020
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