Inside: The First Annual “Worst of Ann Arbor” List (Page 8)
The Journal of Campus Affairs at the University of Michigan www.michiganreview.com
April 1, 2008
Republicans Struggle With Zatkoff Head of College Republicans alienates many in crucial election year
May have put Michigan Federation of College Republicans in campaign finance trouble By Michael O’Brien, Editor-in-Chief
n an election year, Michigan’s umbrella organization of College Republicans—The Michigan Federation of College Republicans (MFCR)—has effectively crumbled, reflecting the controversial tenure of U-M student Justin Zatkoff as the organization’s chairman. After transferring from Oakland University to the University of Michigan in early 2007, an ambitious Zatkoff embarked on a path to power that has been marked by strong-arm tactics, rancorous presidential politics, and, critics say, potential violations of Michigan campaign finance law. Since his early 2007 election as MFCR chairman, internal MFCR disputes have resulted in the withdrawal of several major chapters of College Republicans (CR), including—temporarily—the University of Michigan’s own College Republicans (the oldest such chapter in the country), and most recently, Michigan State University’s College Republicans, the largest CR chapter in the state. Hail to the Victor? Zatkoff arrived as a student in Ann Arbor on the heels of a national controversy, in which he claimed injuries sustained in a September 2006 assault were
the result of attacks by “liberal thugs” from the pro-affirmative action group BAMN. Ann Arbor Police later said the injuries were a result of a fight with Zatkoff’s friends. A longtime conservative activist, Zatkoff had made himself known for almost single-handedly turning Oakland University’s College Republicans into a powerhouse in the state. Nonetheless, he transferred to UM, where he would stage his bid for MFCRs chair. During his time at U-M, Zatkoff spent virtually no time involved with University of Michigan College Republicans (UMCR). According to several sources with knowledge of the matter, Zatkoff attended only one meeting the semester he ran for state chairman. Nonetheless, when then-UMCR Chair Robert Scott emailed UMCR members, asking who would like to travel as delegates to the convention electing the next MFCR chairman, Zatkoff exploited an opening in the UMCR constitution to his advantage. The University of Michigan’s College Republicans are typically granted 70-75 delegates to such conventions—an allotment which is rarely filled—said Chris Irvine, the 2007 Chair of UMCRs. The delegation to the MFCR convention was determined on a first-come, first-served basis, which, according to multiple sources, Zatkoff used to his advantage by filling the delegation with his loyalists, offering
U-M Faces Lawsuit Over Profs’ Home Addresses By Jane Coaston, ‘09
he University is currently fighting a lawsuit from the Michigan Federation of Teachers, the American Federation of Teachers and the AFLCIO on the University’s policy on employee privacy. The case, in the court system since 2004, reached the Michigan Supreme Court earlier this month. Universities across the state of Michigan have filed a joint amicus curae brief in defense of the University. The Michigan Press Association has joined on the side of the plaintiff. According to documents made available by the Michigan Supreme Court, the crux of the case is the matter of personal information. An earlier case, Bradley v. Saranac Board of Education, ruled that telephone numbers and addresses did not constitute private information because they were not “information of a personal nature.” The Michigan Federation of Teachers first sued the University by complaining that the University had unlawfully extended the privacy clause of the
Freedom of Information Act to include the home addresses and home telephone numbers in January of 2004. According to the brief written by the University’s Office of the General Counsel, forty-four percent of employees had elected to keep their home address and telephone number private. According to the brief written for the plaintiffs, “No one disputes the right of the public to see this information because, for example, it is inherent in the right of the parent to know who is teaching their child.” The brief also states, “Disclosure of a home address and telephone number is necessary to permit parents to be certain that their student is not exposed to a sexual predator.” In the opinion of the plaintiff, the disclosure of the addresses and telephone numbers of University employees should be done because of their status as public employees. “Public employees also endure certain detriments…their personnel files may be copied by anyone wishing to look at them.” But the University
Photo courtesy Justin Zatkoff
Chairman of the Michigan Federation of College Republicans Justin Zatkoff (pictured above) has been a divisive figure within the state’s umbrella organization for College Republicans.
to personally pay CR membership dues for those who would attend and vote for
Flint YAF Bakes up Controversy By Adam Paul ‘08
ake sales are rarely controversial events. The recent bake sale undertaken by the Young Americans for Freedom (YAF) chapter on the University of Michigan’s Flint campus was an exception. Flint’s YAF group began posting flyers, simply stating “Affirmative Action Bake Sale” with a time and location early last week. Affirmative action bake sales, which have taken place at campuses around the country, usually seek to highlight what their organizers see as unfair affirmative action programs based on race or gender. White males are typically charged high prices, while women or members of other racial groups receive “discounts” that are meant to compensative them for social injustice. The Flint bake sale did not charge different prices.
Senioritis: A Special Section
GEO Wins Concessions from U-M After Walkout
By Cherri Buijk, ‘10
nside: farewell columns from graduating editors Adam Paul, Brian Biglin, Rebecca Christy, and Michael O’Brien. Also included is a timeline of the past for years of college, with everything from Welcome Weekend 2004 to big football wins. On pages 8-9, the Review also reveals its first annual “Worst of Ann Arbor” list.
n March 25th, the U-M Administration reached a tentative contract agreement with bargaining team members of the Graduate Employees Organization. GEO made major strides since negotiations began in December. By March 25th, the University had agreed to allow six months of paid parental leave.
THE MICHIGAN REVIEW www.michiganreview.com
Michael O’Brien Editor-in-Chief Adam Paul Executive Editor Brian Biglin Managing Editor Rebecca Christy Senior Editor Jane Coaston Lindsey Dodge Jonathan Slemrod Assistant Editors Business Staff: Karen Boore Publisher Anna Malecke Associate Publishers Nick Cheolas Editor Emeritus Staff Writers: Steven Bengal, Cherri Buijk, Samm Etters, Austyn Foster, Erika Gonzalez, Josh Handell, Kris Hermanson, Alyse Hudson, Christine Hwang, Erika Lee, Eun Lee, Megan Lytle, Evgeny Magidenko, Julianne Nowicki, Adam Pascarella, Shanda Shooter, Andrea Sofian, Nathan Stano, Christina Zajicek,
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911 N. University, Suite One Ann Arbor, MI 48109 The Michigan Review is the independent, student-run journal of conservative and libertarian opinion at the University of Michigan. We neither solicit nor accept monetary donations from the University. Contributions to The Michigan Review are tax-deductible under section 501 (c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Service Code. The Michigan Review is not affiliated with any political party or any university political group. Unsigned editorials represent the opinion of the editorial board. Ergo, they are unequivocally correct and just. Signed articles, letters, and cartoons represent the opinions of the author, and not necessarily those of The Review. The Serpent’s Tooth shall represent the opinion of individual, anonymous contributors to The Review, and should not necessarily be taken as representative of The Review’s editorial stance. The opinions expressed in this publication do not necessarily reflect those of the advertisers or the University of Michigan. Copyright © 2007, The Michigan Review, Inc. All rights reserved. The Michigan Review is a member of the Collegiate Network.
page two. the michigan review
■ An Ode Ah, Brian Biglin.
ike a mighty looming fortress (emphasis on looming), He stands on the precipice of unrighteousness. Taunting the forces of liberalism in his tastefully paired polos and khaki, he ensures that goodness will live to fight another day. Ah, what shall we do now without our prince of justice, With his sword of might and glasses of knowledge? Shall we walk into the mist of diversity without Ouzo in hand? Ah, nay, for Brian Biglin will be there. Wherever someone is uncomfortably tall, Biglin is present. No question regarding page length shall go unanswered. No, for Brian Biglin, the mightiest managing editor of them all, shall remain forever present, in our hearts and on the computer in the back of the office. Now, Rebecca Christy
thena of the office, slayer of sexism and of opponents in flip cup. Her roots may be in the snowdrifts of Minnesota, but it is here, in Ann Arbor, where she first made her presence felt. Perhaps it was the moment where she bravely ran into the street to scream the name of a lost soul and guide said soul towards safe harbor (that lost soul was not intoxicated, I assure you). Ah, Rebecca of Ann Arbor,
where shall we go without your bright light and perpetual confusion to guide us? Who shall take upon the mantle of stories related to the vagina? Who shall ask the uncomfortable questions? One shudders to imagine a future without a natural blonde. Ah, for the days of old, when Rebecca was there to show us the way. Ah, Adam Paul.
irst with three first names, first in the hearts of his constituents. When our fair author first noted his inability to spell and tendency towards, shall we say, “touchyfeeliness” in instances of quiet gatherings, coupled with his agreeable nature and general ownership of fine liquors, she was immediately humbled before the man that is Adam Paul. Ah, where shall we go without our most Executive of Editors? Who shall fight the powers that cloud our fair horizon? Who shall walk the gauntlet for justice and editorial
freedom? Who shall hold staff parties? Who indeed? Ah, Adam Paul, we hardly knew ye and your brilliance. Finally, Michael O’Brien.
hat title can be given our Editor-in-Chief? Leader? Champion? Nay, those are far too small of terms to crown his fair head. No, a name is needed to represent Michael O’Brien in all of his eminent genius. That title is “douchebag.” Yes, when his sweaters match, when he mentions his collection of single-malt whiskey, when he derides the music collections of those far and wide, the fair populace utters in one voice: “douchebag.” When he says such lyrical phrases as “get him on the horn” or “that’s what she said,” when he makes himself “swordmaster” in every game of Kings, every knee bends and every heart confesses that Michael O’Brien is a douchebag. Ah, fair reader, you have not yet met a douchebag until you have seen the sun shine upon the pale visage of Michael O’Brien, until he has condemned perceived unrighteousness, until he has glared knowingly at your fair author for her unique ability to somewhat distract fellow staff members. Nay, reader, you have not yet met a douchebag. That alone has been our privilege. Or something.
■ Letter from the Editor
his is my last issue as Editor-in-Chief of The Michigan Review. I’ve been on staff since Welcome Weekend of my freshmen year, but now, as graduation approaches, I think the lyrics of the Smashing Pumpkins sum things up well: “All things must surely have to end.” But while this issue may be an end for me, I think it’s just the beginning for years of great triumph and achievement for The Michigan Review. Taking over after me will be rising junior Lindsey Dodge. Karen Boore will remain Publisher, and also serve as President of The Michigan Review, Inc. But before I get out of here, I couldn’t resist putting together one last great issue. A large feature I wrote about the Chairman of the Michigan Federation of College Republicans, Justin Zatkoff, takes up a good deal of this issue. As a public figure and a representative of the Republican Party in the state of Michigan, I believe Zatkoff should be held to the same standards of accountability we hold politicians, U-M administrators, and anyone else who holds power. The story I wrote, I hope, does a good job of that. How and whether Zatkoff should be held accountable, however, is up to the reader. But we also seek truth and accountability in stories beyond our front cover. On page 16, Adam Paul examines the shrill overreaction of the U-M-Flint administration to that campus’s chapter of YAF, which held an “affirmative action bake sale.” The story is a troubling exhibition of the skewed sense of justice U-M administrators really have.
Beyond that, we continue the great stories inside. On page 12, Christine Hwang takes a look at our theme semester on China, and the implications of that theme. Eddie Perry also looks at the role of the private sector in education on the same page. On page 11, Christina Zajicek looks at the sober alternative, “UMix,” the University provides to its students on weekends. And maybe I’m biased, but I really enjoy our special section for those of us who are graduating, “Senioritis.” There are farewell columns from Brian Biglin, Rebecca Christy, Adam Paul, and myself. Let us not forget the timeline we wrote, too. And, on pages 8 and 9, is one of my favorite features: our first annual “Worst of Ann Arbor” list. I think you’ll find a lot with which you agree and disagree. And I guess all of this sums up what I’ve learned about what a newspaper should be. It should be serious and informative, helpful and articulate, but also fun and not too self-important. That’s why The Michigan Review is the best publication on campus—we capture that ethos best. That’s also while I’ll miss it. See you in the future, Michael P. O’Brien Editor-in-Chief
the michigan review
GEO Wins Concessions from U-M in Strike Settlement By Cherri Buijk, ‘10
will be presented on March 31st before GEO membership and ratified thereafate on March 25th, the Uni- ter. versity of Michigan Administration If the months at the bargaining reached a tentative contract agreement table have yielded results on many of with bargaining team members of the the GEO’s key concerns, the bargaining Graduate Employees Organization. GEO process and the eventual strike brought made major strides since negotiations together University students and unions began December 6th of 2007. In a press from across the state of Michigan in suprelease dated December 10th, GEO an- port. nounced its proposal for a parental leave “The union of Detroit Public Schools policy, a provision that did not currently is with you one hundred percent,” Daexist in the contract. By Tuesday, March vid Hecker, president of Michigan’s 25th, the University had agreed to allow American Federation of Teachers, said six months of paid parental leave. to a group of about 100 GEO supportGEO first brought its salary concerns ers at a rally on March 20th, which was, to the table on January 17th, proposing according to one GEO member in ata nine percent increase each year, which tendance, conducted in the hopes of would give a boost to the $781 GEO sal- displaying GEO strength and solidarity ary gap between the average GSI salary before a scheduled bargaining session at and the estimated cost of living under the Michigan Union. the University’s estimated eight-month Next to those assembled, several cost of attendance. The University and undergraduates chalked the walls of the GEO have now settled on a 13.6 percent Fleming Administration Building with lump sum increase. phrases like “Our instructors should not The lead negotiator, Colleen Woods, need food stamps” and “Living wage or and GEO president Helen Ho stressed in no grade” flanking the entrance doors. their most recent press release the histoAfter negotiations between GEO ricity of the contract settlement, which and the Administration had come to no satisfactory results by Tuesday, GEO members voted to strike. The walkout precipitated a work stoppage on both Michigan Stadium and Ross School of Business construction sites, as attested to by the address of one construction worker who voiced his support at the 12:30 GEO rally on the Diag. “The whole labor union’s behind you on this, and we could cause a lot of little problems with the University,” he said, donning an International Brotherhood of Electrical Worker’s cap. The rally included Cherri Buijk/Michigan Review supportive statements Graduate students protest outside Graduate Library
“Lawsuit” From Page 1 maintains that its standards of privacy are legal and necessary for the safety and privacy of its employees. One employee, for example, alleges that her children’s biological father molested them, and now refuses to allow her personal information to be made public by the University in an effort to protect them. The brief written and presented by representatives of other Michigan universities defends that right. The decision of the Court of Appeals, which ruled on the side of the plaintiff, “ignores the plain language of the privacy exemption… and disregards recent legislative and societal trends that evidence the increasing need to protect personal information.” The American Federation of Teachers was unavailable for comment. The lawsuit will be ruled on later this spring by the Michigan Supreme Court, which will have the difficult task of deciding what makes up “intimate or embarrassing” information as determined by the law. If the University were to lose this suit, the information of thousands of employees would have to be made available regardless of their importance. If the University is victorious in its defense, it and other universities can maintain its current standards of privacy. MR
Cherri Buijk/The Michigan Review
One Graduate Student Instructor pickets outside Mason Hall during GEO’s one-day strike.
from Lecturers’ Employee Organization (LEO) president Bonnie Halloran, as well as an undergraduate member of Students Organizing for Labor and Economic Equality, during whose comments a large banner reading “Undergrads for GEO” was unfurled from atop Mason Hall to cheers from the assembly of at least three hundred. On the lines, some University students held protest signs with personal empathy. General Studies major Randy Kratt and School of Social Work graduate student Tony Brooks saw the Ford plant at Wixom, where they had been employed, close in the summer of 2007. Both have been active in UAW protests.
“We understand what it is to struggle for a living wage,” said Brooks. Even from the warm insides of local Cafe Ambrosia, the business expressed its support of the GEO through donations of food and supplies for those on the picket lines, as well as space inside the coffee shop. “This is kind of like their headquarters,” said barista Lea Bult in reference to the cafe’s basement, where, according to Bult, GEO members have been regularly meeting to plan for upcoming events. MR
Prof Recalls Family’s Holocaust Stories By Megan Lytle, ‘10
n March 27th, Victor Rosenberg, a professor in the School of Information, gave a presentation about his family members who lived during the Holocaust in Germany during World War II. The presentation was centered around the letters that Rosenberg’s uncles, grandparents, and cousins had written from a Nazi labor camp to Rosenberg’s father, who had immigrated to the United States before the war began. These letters offer a glimpse of what the camps were like for the individuals involved. The letter collection provides a personal perspective on the atrocities of the Holocaust that Rosenberg feels is too easily lost in the sheer magnitude of the massacre. His said that his presentation is unusual among Holocaust exhibitions because it gives a name and face to the victims, making them and their suffering more real and comprehensible. The first letters are from the late 1930s, at which point Rosenberg’s family knew that the situation for Jews in Germany was bad, and were trying to immigrate to the US. They still had no idea how bad it would eventually get. He read a letter written
by his uncle Julius in February 1939, who implored Rosenberg’s father to help him obtain sponsorship for immigration and said that he feared that the horrors of Kristallnacht were a predictor of worse things to come. In October 1940, he wrote to inform Rosenberg’s father that they had been given one hour to evacuate their homes and board a train to Gurs, a Nazi labor camp in the south of France. Another letter from about two months later detailed the conditions and the high death rate. “You cannot imagine these horrors,” said the letter from Rosenberg’s grandmother. The letters stopped coming in 1942, for the most part. Rosenberg’s uncle Julius and his wife, a woman he met and married in the camps, were transported to Auschwitz and killed there, and it appears that letters were no longer allowed out. Rosenberg’s father received one more letter in 1946 from his cousin Rita, which told of his parents’ fate. His mother had died in the labor camp, and his father, after miraculous-
See “Holocaust” Page 14
features. the michigan review
“Zatkoff” From Page 1 him. Zatkoff became Chair of the Michigan Federation of College Republicans, winning by a vote of 118-64. He told The Michigan Daily that the election was “very exciting.” Andrew Boyd, the Secretary of the MFCRs, said that Zatkoff has worked “tirelessly” since taking office. “You’re talking about a kid [Zatkoff], right now,” Boyd said, “where if I were in the position as chairman, that there’s no way I’d be putting in as much time as he is.” Criticism of Zatkoff, Boyd said, is driven by a small cadre, who he said have a “tabloid mentality.” McCainiac Since his first election, Zatkoff has become increasingly involved with presidential politics in the state of Michigan. Zatkoff cast his lot with the eventual Republican nominee, Sen. John McCain, even though McCain’s campaign had appeared to flounder. This contrasted with many conservative activists, including those in Michigan, who flocked to other candidates, notably Gov. Mitt Romney and Sen. Fred Thompson. Zatkoff’s support of McCain allied him with Chuck Yob, the powerful former Republican National Committeeman from Michigan whose son, John, is the director of the McCain campaign in Michigan. Zatkoff showed strong support for Yob in his ultimately unsuccessful bid to be reelected as Committeeman. On his website, “Turn Michigan Red,” Zatkoff wrote glowingly of Yob. In a blog post on Monday, September 10, 2007, Zatkoff wrote, “I, Justin Zatkoff, support Chuck Yob in all that he has done and all that he will do.” A day later, Zatkoff’s site announced an official endorsement of Yob for reelection, writing that Yob had “promised to help raise money for us.” Asked more recently about his relationship with Yob, Zatkoff wrote last week in an email, “Chuck is our Republican National Commiteeman, and is very supportive of efforts to get youth involved in the political process. I work
with a broad range of elected officials, both in government and within the GOP, to support the mission of MFCR.” But Zatkoff’s involvement with the McCain campaign extended well be-
yond an endorsement. Matt Hall, the Youth Vice Chairman of the Michigan Republican Party and a friend of Justin Zatkoff, established a Political Action Committee (PAC) in Michigan on September 18, 2007, called the “GOP Youth Scholarship Fund.” The Fund was established to finance trips to the Mackinac Republican Leadership Conference, which took place September 21-23, 2007. “Matt Hall, the Youth Chair of the MIGOP, and I work with together on a regular basis to organize youth efforts,” Zatkoff wrote last week in an email message, adding that both him and Hall supported Sen. John McCain in the Republican primary. The conference had a $100 attendance fee for participants over the age of 16 and featured an influential straw poll. McCain eventually placed second behind Mitt Romney in the poll. The current chair of U-M’s chapter of Young Americans for Freedom (YAF), Sarah Ledford, was a recipient of one Justin Zatkoff, the Chairman of the Michigan Federation of College Republicans, is pictured above such scholarship. “The first day we went [to the con- in an excerpt from a YouTube video, in which he promised to pay College Republicans for their volunteer efforts. After inquiries by The Michigan Review, the video was removed from Youtube. ference], there was a line out the door of the McCain cabin, with people waiting to receive the ‘youth scholarships,’” Led- Scholarship PAC amended its filing with The website featured a number of ford said in an interview at the Michigan Michigan’s Secretary of State, requesting statements on behalf of the MFCRs, Union. She said people who asked for a waiver of the reporting requirement, along with political news and attacks on the scholarship received $100 for the reg- saying it had not exceeded the $1,000 Zatkoff enemies. Among other things, istration fee. threshold. the site promised arrangements to the “They urged you to vote a certain The group has not filed any addition- Mackinac Conference to support candiway,” said Ledford, adding that recipi- al documents with the IRS. Though the dates, endorsed various candidates for ents would get another $50 if they said PAC would not have to file additional or president and Congress, and became they voted for McCain in the straw poll. modified documentation if it had, in fact, heavily invested in last fall’s debate over (While Ledford told the group she voted not received more than $1,000, numerous tax hikes in the Michigan Legislature. for McCain, in reality, she voted for Rep. sources have indicated that the utilizaBut in this, Zatkoff and the MFCRs Ron Paul.) tion of the scholarship at the Conference may have wouldhave j e o p a r In an email to likely ex- d i z e d YAF on “They urged you to vote a certain way,” ceeded that M F C R s ’ September amount. s t a t u s said YAF Chair Sarah Ledford, 18, 2007, Matt Hall u n d e r adding that recipients of the then-YAF has not Michigan Chair Boyd r e t u r n e d campaign “scholarship” received an extra $50 if wrote the numerous f i n a n c e they said they voted for McCain in the calls for law. group’s members, comment. Michstraw poll. saying, i g a n “there is a A Rough C o m $150 youth Fall piled Law scholarship available to anyone going. S e c t i o n Michigan Republican Party This is basically like getting paid for goThe most important activities of the 169 stipu- Youth Vice Chair Matt Hall ing. If you are interested, please contact MFCRs, though, occurred before the lates that Justin Zatkoff.” conference, in late August and early Sep- if two or Hall has been a longtime ally of Zat- tember of last year. more people spend or receive $500 more koff and Yob. Hall, like the other two, According to Federal Election Com- “for the purpose of influencing or atwas a McCain supporter. “The only mission documents, Zatkoff won a ma- tempting to influence the action of the thing Justin Zatkoff is good for is to fol- jor donation—$500—from the American voters for or against the nomination or low Matt Hall to the end of the earth,” Leadership Council PAC on August 22, election of a candidate, or the qualificaZatkoff wrote on his website on Septem- 2007. Zatkoff acknowledged in an email tion, passage, or defeat of a ballot quesber 10. that the MFCRs received more than $500 tion” they must register as a Political AcIn its initial filing with the Michigan last year, but maintains that the organi- tion Committee in Michigan within ten Secretary of State for the GOP Youth zation is in compliance with all state and days. Scholarship Fund, Hall indicated his federal election law. A group is subject to late fees for group intended to spend or receive When reached for comment, Zatkoff thirty days after that. If that time period more than $20,000. He also registered refused to say whether or not the MFCRs passes, the law states, an individual who the Scholarship Fund as a 527 organiza- are a PAC, though he acknowledged that fails to file is guilty of a misdemeanor, tion with the IRS. Groups must register they are incorporated as a nonprofit. punishable by up to a $1,000 fine. as a 527 organization if they expect to “Due to the fact that everything the It has been over 206 days since the spend or receive over $25,000 to influ- MFCRs have done in the past and will Michigan Federation of College Repubence a federal election. They must also do in the future fully complies with state licans was incorporated as a nonprofit in not coordinate activities with candidates and federal campaign finance laws,” he the state of Michigan, according to docuor political parties. declined further comment on MFCR fi- ments filed with the Michigan Bueau Hall’s PAC paid the way for a num- nances, Zatkoff wrote in an email last of Labor and Economic Statistic. The ber of students; by paying for seven or Tuesday after a request for comment. Michigan Secretary of State, with which more students, the PAC would have met On September 7, two and a half all PACs in Michigan must register, has the $1000 threshold at which it would weeks later, Zatkoff incorporated the no record of the Michigan Federation have to have to file statements with Michigan Federation of College Repub- of College Republicans on their online Michigan’s Secretary of State. YAF’s Sar- licans as a nonprofit in the state of Michi- database, an absence verified by a Secreah Ledford says she saw roughly thirty gan. tary of State official. And just one day later, Zatkoff startpeople waiting for the scholarship when she arrived at the Mackinac Conference. ed “Turn Michigan Red,” a blog cover- See “Zatkoff” A month after the conference, like- ing “anything from Michigan Politics to Page 5 ly a costly enterprise, the GOP Youth College Republican News.”
features. the michigan review
“Zatkoff” From Page 4 Zatkoff encountered added controversy this past fall. After several Republicans broke ranks to join a Democratic initiative to raise taxes, preventing a government shutdown, a handful of college-aged conservative activists, including Zatkoff allies, initiated recall efforts against the Republican legislators. The decision incensed some within the MFCRs, who believed the Federation should not spend time and resources attacking fellow Republicans. Combined with long-standing complaints about the refusal of other MFCR executives— many of whom were Zatkoff loyalists— to disclose information about internal finances, frustration grew to a point where serious challenges to Zatkoff’s leadership were mounted for the next MFCR chairmanship. “I think it has become quite clear, that while Justin has stated his goals to be focused on uniting CR chapters around the state, his campaign for and tenure as the Chairman of the MFCRs has created more of the same problems that have plagued College Republican leadership for years,” said one source familiar with Republican politics in Michigan. At this time, Zatkoff also drew the ire of the Michigan Republican Party and its chairman, Saul Anuzis. According to several sources familiar with the situation, Anuzis was displeased with the Zatkoff’s main oprecall efforts against ponent for reelection Republicans. was Grand Valley Joe Sylvester, student Amanda Zaluckyj. the author of the “Michigan Conservative Dossier” blog (and an undisputed anti-Zatkoff partisan), posted an email exchange with Zatkoff from October 2, 2007 in which Zatkoff acknowledges the rift between the MFCRs and the Michigan Republican Party. Writing about reports that Anuzis might have wanted him out as MFCR chair, Zatkoff wrote, “I dare him to. His life would be a living hell. Not to mention tied up in the courts since we are now a registered non-profit organization in Michigan.” Zatkoff concluded the email, “I can just picture it already: Michigan Federation of College Republicans v. Michigan Republican Party. The papers would love that.” Conventional Wisdom But despite the reported displeasure from higherups, Zatkoff continued as MFCR chair. Michigan Republican Party With eyes Chair Saul Anuzis toward a January convention to select the next chair, Grand Valley CR President Amanda Zaluckyj emerged as the premiere challenge to Zatkoff after a previous challenger withdrew in scandal. Zaluckyj declined to comment for this story.
The campaign grew bitter. An anonymous “Team Reform” blog sprung up, arguing for amendments in the MFCR constitution that, the blog argued, would increase transparency and fairness in MFCR governance. The College Republican infighting grew especially intense as photos of Zatkoff emerged on several websites, depicting what the sites said were photos of him shirtless and wearing only boxer shorts. Zatkoff enemies waged moralistic arguments against the MFCR chair, invoking social conservatism against the pictures, one of which showed Zatkoff playfully grabbing the breast of a clothed CR colleague. Another anonymous blog, “Michigan CR,” sprung up to defend Zatkoff. Some have speculated that Zatkoff himself is writing the third-person blog. The blog savaged Zaluckyj and other supporters of the reform movement, including Sylvester. The blog never refers to Sylvester without assigning the prefix, “the homosexual blogger.” As the election approached, Zatkoff instructed College Republican chapters to submit copies of their membership lists, charter, and constitution in order The logo of the Michigan Federation of College Republicans to assess delegate allocations for the convention. Zatkoff created a “credentials race, after arguing she was acting MFCR to post a YouTube video promising to committee” stacked with key allies to al- chair. Because U-M was no longer char- pay volunteers $100 to knock on doors locate delegates, if any, to chapters. tered with MFCRs, she argued, Zatkoff in the reelection effort of Congressman The University of Michigan chapter, was ineligible for his position, as he was Joe Knollenberg. After inquiries by The of which Zatkoff claimed to be a mem- not a member of an official chapter. Zat- Michigan Review, Zatkoff removed the ber, had meanwhile closed the loophole koff countered by saying he has been video from YouTube and said volunwhich Zattaking on- teers would be paying their own way. koff had exline coursBut the College Republican network ploited the es through in Michigan continues to crumble under By failing to register as a Political year before O a k l a n d Zatkoff’s leadership. In mid-March, the Action Committee in the State of to secure University, College Republican chapter at Michigan Michigan, Zatkoff may have put the election. and was State—the largest in the state—joined UMCRs r u n n i n g several other schools in withdrawing Michigan Federation of College required as a mem- from the Michigan Federation of College Republicans’ legal status in jeopardy. ber of the Republicans. members to pay dues Oakland “He has had a negative effect on sixty days C o l l e g e young conservatism and Republican before an MFCR convention or earlier in Republicans. No record of Zatkoff, how- activism in the state,” said one source order to be eligible as a delegate. ever, exists in Oakland’s directory. intimately familiar with conservative According to Chris Irvine, who was Asked last week whether or not he is activism in Michigan. “Our party’s next then-UMCR chair, Zatkoff was upset at currently taking courses at Oakland Uni- generation of leaders are more divided the change when Irvine sent him a copy versity, in addition to the University of and polarized—not from the opposition, of the UMCR constitution that fall. When Michigan, Zatkoff said he is not. “How- but from internal politics—than ever beIrvine sent a formal copy of the UMCR ever, I am a transfer student from OU,” fore. This is not good for Michigan.” constitution and charter to Zatkoff late, a Zatkoff wrote. Andrew Boyd said people who “put lapse Irvine admits, Zatkoff reacted in an At a convention marred by contro- themselves first” negatively impacted unexpected way: he revoked the charter versy and boycott, Zatkoff won reelec- the MFCRs this past fall. of the University of Michigan College tion without opposition. “Michigan CR” Now, Boyd said, things are on better Republicans. announced his victory as having had footing. During a conference call in early “unanimous” support. “I think things are going well this January, Emily Winters, a member of the year,” said Boyd. “Things are coming UMCR’s executive board, was told by The Zatkoff Regime together well to prepare for the election Zatkoff that the UMCRs would not be season. Everyone seems to be on the allotted any delegates to the convention. According to Irvine, Zatkoff then same page and ready to go.” When the UMCRs offered to resend the turned his focus to the U-M College ReIn an email message, Zatkoff characconstitution, Zatkoff publicans who had terized the relationship with the UMCRs responded by offeralmost cost him re- as “good.” “Dysfunctional” is a good ing the chapter two election. “Just recently we brought RNC Naway to describe the delegates at the conZatkoff threat- tional Committeeman Chuck Yob in as vention. ened UMCRs with a guest speaker,” he wrote, “and they relationship between UMAngered by the CRs and Zatkoff said Chris creating his own will be participating in the upcoming perceived slight, the rival chapter of College Republican volunteer effort for UMCR executive Irvine, UMCRs’ former chair. the College Re- Congressman Knollenberg on April 12.” board voted unanipublicans on camBut Irvine said the relationship bemously not to repus—despite the tween the MFCR Chair and the College charter with MFCRs and to boycott the 116-year continuity of the other group. Republicans on campus has been especonvention. They were joined by several According to several sources familiar cially bad. other colleges throughout the state, re- with the situation, Zatkoff threatened to “’Dysfunctional’ would be a good sulting in a heavily diminished turnout go to the College Republican National word,’” said Irvine, adding that Zatkoff at the convention. Committee and sue UMCRs to obtain a thinks of UMCRs as liberal. “For hav“That might work for Northern cease and desist order against using the ing the MFCR chairman be a part of Michigan [University],” said one source “College Republican” name. your group and on your campus, you involved in conservative politics who is The UMCRs balked. wouldn’t even know the MFCRs exist.” familiar with the situation, “but not your “We said, ‘Screw it, it’s not worth the “All he’s done is taken credibility own school [the University of Michi- effort,’ and decided to recharter,” Irvine away from MFCRs,” Irvine said. “A lot gan].” said. of members of the state party are fed up By that time, Grand Valley’s ZaluckSince January, Zatkoff has kept a with him. His regime has done nothing yj had effectively withdrawn from the lower profile, only emerging recently but backtrack the MFCRs.” MR
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MFCR Chair Zatkoff Must Resign
ustin Zatkoff is a tragic figure in the truest sense of the word. As we report in this issue, his reign as Chairman of the Michigan Federation of College Republicans (MFCRs) has been nothing short of tumultuous. Having come to power just over a year ago, he has effectively run this state’s umbrella organization of College Republicans into the ground, demonstrating more concern for his own consolidation of power than for the health of political discourse. The tragedy, though, has been in Zatkoff’s zeal— what we think to be the cause of his marginalization. Zatkoff has led an organization with a narrow, myopic view of politics. To them, liberals (who this publication often shares as an ideological adversary) are the enemy. Ideological purity even extends to supporting the recall—an extraordinary action in any circumstance—of their own Republican colleagues in office, instead of targeting the Democrats, whose fiscal irresponsibility led to the dire straits in our state budget. Expending energy in such a way does not advance the interest of the party Zatkoff claims to represent, and ignores the extenuating circumstances that the state legislatures were faced with last fall. It saddens us to see an organization with which we share so much torn asunder by Zatkoff’s work. His electioneering tactics have been exploitative and strong-armed. The two conventions at which he won his position, by all accounts, were characterized by manipulation of voters and rules. In this, he even made U-M’s own College Republicans (in which Zatkoff claims to be a member) a victim. His first election saw him stacking the deck with loyalists, who he appeared to have bought off. And his second election saw him entirely screwing his supposed colleagues, by using a nitpicky credentials process that shut U-M out entirely from the process. And when UM’s College Republicans rightly reacted by withdrawing from the MFCRs, Zatkoff threatened the nation’s oldest chapter of College Republicans chapter with a lawsuit, after promising to found his own rival organization. The Michigan Review endorses no candidate or political office. However, what we do strongly endorse is the strength of both major political parties on campuses throughout this state. A vibrant discourse is vital, and we wish to handicap against any party when trying to compete in the marketplace of ideas. It is especially important, though, for the College Republicans on this campus and others throughout the state to be visible, coherent, engaging, and ethical. It is no secret that college campuses (especially this one) lean well to the left. The College Republicans, among others, keep that atmosphere from becoming overwhelming. But it has become clear to us that, under the leadership of Justin Zatkoff, the College Republicans have become a less effective counterweight. His leadership has been visible, mostly for its negativity. His leadership has not been coherent—no figure who threatens to sue the leadership of his own party is. His leadership has not been coherent; the erratic attacks by and on behalf of Zatkoff on a number of websites exhibit the crackup. And with the MFCRs’ election problems and potential campaign finance violations in mind, Zatkoff’s leadership is the furthest thing from ethical. If Zatkoff truly cares for the election of Republican candidates as much as he says, we are confident that he will recognize that the albatross of controversy he has created for himself cannot allow him to carry on. Accordingly, The Michigan Review demands that Zatkoff resign as Chairman of The Michigan Federation of College Republicans. MR
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Graduate Union, University Strike Out
n the way to class Tuesday morning, picketing graduate student instructors could be seen bobbing their white signs outside of the business school and various other campus locales. All were chanting, and some were singing civil rights tunes with the words “The Union Speaks for Us” inserted where “Liberty and Freedom” used to be. Although it was humorous and a little daunting to play Red Rover in order to get to class, most students were pretty unfazed by the strike. Every three years since the late eighties, the Graduate Employees’ Organization has organized two-day walkouts over contract demands. This one was over mental-health coverage and a nine percent increase in salary. Last one was over childcare and anti-discrimination language in the contract. Next one in three years will undoubtedly be over mandatory warm coffee in the teacher lounges. It doesn’t help their case that Michigan’s graduate student instructors are the third most highly paid in the United States. What happened to supporting teachers by attending class? Students and non-striking GSIs around campus commonly felt the need to say that “Oh, they supported the strike.” However, they still broke picket lines and attended class. Many professors also carried on their classes as usual. This is not supporting the strike, but it is doing the right thing. Parents and students alike are paying a lot of money to attend this university. Now students will only pay more than the already exorbitant tuition, particularly for out-of-staters, because the strikers got their 6.2% increase in pay. And that’s just for this year. This is not “supporting your education.” After the university apparently walked away from the discussion table the day before the strike, the GEO felt the need to strike to ensure that everyone took them seriously. Their lead negotiator said, “This is a major, major victory for the union. It is a historic contract.” These graduate students appear to be under the impression that they are marching in the Deep South alongside Martin Luther King Jr. in the 60s. The fact of the matter is that nothing that occurs as frequently as their demands do can possibly be historic. On top of which, it looks like the University needs to take a negotiations course. We’d even let them take it pass-fail if it accomplished anything more impressive than their near-complete cave-in to the GEO demands. Not only are the union members getting practically everything they asked for, it didn’t take them very long to get it. Maybe the University is already so sympathetic to unions that they don’t want to come off as the “bad guy” in this situation. Or maybe they’re just totally and completely whipped. But it is unacceptable for a university which is consistently passed along smaller and smaller funding allotments from Lansing, and faces the need to makes cuts on a yearly basis, to give in to the demands of a union which represents some of the most well-off graduate students in the country (who will also be receiving a valuable PhD from a top university.) We really appreciate the Chemistry department’s reaction to the GEO strike. The department informed all of their GSIs that if they so wished to strike, then they would not be getting jobs again. Period. Although many students were depressed that they still had to attend their chemistry labs, an incisive strike, at least in our book, was made against the strikers. MR
Seniors Hope Michigan Will Change
his year, four senior editors are saying goodbye to The Michigan Review. Over the years, we have seen the best and worst of what the University of Michigan and Ann Arbor have to offer. In spite of our critiques of the University over time, deep down we will miss this place, as well as the ability to write about our qualms in the Review. Furthermore, The opportunities provided by our experience at the Review and our education at U-M have been valuable. All four of us graduating seniors are now pursuing work or graduate studies in different parts of the country, from Washington D.C. to New York and New Jersey to even an unfortunate captivity in northern Ohio. Two of us are originally from southeast Michigan, and the other two came from out-of-state, making us fairly representative of the U-M student body in our backgrounds, and in our decisions to leave. Michigan’s low rate of retention of U-M grads is hardly a new issue. Out-of-state students have long been attracted by U-M’s prestige, but most have parlayed their degrees into opportunities on the coasts; instate students seize upon the chance to leave, as well. The current single-state recession does not really change this landscape much, but trying to revive the state is an opportunity to make fundamental changes which, if well-executed, could permanently change the way U-M graduates look at Michigan. Since this group has been on the Review, many of these issues of fundamental change have been covered. One such example is the proposed Ann Arbor-Metro Airport-Detroit commuter rail line. This is an instructive example, since Michigan is the only heavily-developed state in the nation that does not have metro and inter-urban rail systems. The economic and social effects of this on our area are clear. The Detroit to Ann Arbor corridor lacks the synergy which would attract companies that want a desirable, easily-accessible location in or between the two cities, and would foster density. Transit would provide this. Without those companies, the area lacks the jobs that would employ U-M graduates. Furthermore, young graduates generally need to live as car-less renters; Michigan, however, offers a car-dependant environment lacking in housing options. This must change. Young people, like most people, are attracted to cities, and it makes even more sense as fuel inevitably becomes more expensive. Michigan’s only big city is much-maligned, and its many positive big-city attributes are unknown to most, or hard to access. Michigan lawmakers need to make Detroit, and all of Michigan’s old cities, a priority. The development and redevelopment of housing and functional urban neighborhoods has to be fostered through economic policy; the handful of recently successful areas in Detroit is informative of the effects of good policy which creates investment and interest. The University should also inform its students about the highlights of Michigan that exist beyond Ann Arbor. The Arb and Main Street are not the only “destinations” for students who want to get away from campus. The University has made a gesture of branchingout by opening a small facility in Detroit and offering a semester in Detroit, but it needs to work on doing the small things to make its students more informed about that and other cities. Themed semesters have sought to inform students about China, or about being citizens of the world, but what about being a citizen of Michigan? While U-M grads should be changing the world, but there are just as many issues in our own backyard that need attention. Perhaps shining the spotlight on these topics would objectively improve the state, and make U-M students care about Michigan enough to want to live here. MR
A Michigan Review Special Section for the Class of 2008
Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger
hose who know me will tell you that I have very particular tastes in music. I’m known for a dictatorial control of the stereo in the Review’s office, blaring out my preferred music, mostly a mixture of alternative rock. One guilty pleasure, though, is Kanye West’s “Stronger.” Sampling Daft Punk, the song is empowering, urging listeners to make things “Harder. Better. Faster. Stronger.” I’d like to think that this could be the motto of The Michigan Review this past year and Michael hopefully in O’Brien the years to come. In the past year, the Review has built on the work of our predecessors, and raised things to the next level. This past year, our achievements have been remarkable. Landmark feature stories tackling major topics like sex, drugs, politics, and religion have filled our pages. We have interviewed senators and candidates for president. We have improved the quality, relevancy, and accessibility of our work. In short, we’re harder. The Review has demanded the respect we deserve this year—and gotten it. I feel confidently that we are one of the best—if not the best— publications in the Collegiate Network, our association of similar newspapers nationwide. We are a primary news source on this campus, and have built our reputation into something rock-solid. Also, since launching our podcast project this year, we are one of the few elite newspapers in the country with new media
capabilities. We’re better. The Review has improved its capabilities this year, becoming more nimble in our news coverage. With our website redesign, we were able to post breaking news and stories between issue cycles. We were able to cover the primary election here in Michigan in real time. We broke the story when Touchdown’s lost its liquor license. And in one of the defining moments of my college journalism career, we broke the exclusive story on the University’s potentially unconstitutional policy to restrict student publications’ rights on campus. We printed a special edition overnight, and eventually forced the administration to withdraw their proposal. We’re faster. And lastly, the core of our paper is more rock-solid than ever. Our mechanisms are more efficient, and our infrastructure works seamlessly. I believe that the core of our paper was filled with people relentlessly dedicated to their work. We’re stronger. All this couldn’t have been accomplished without a number of extraordinary people. Adam Paul, our executive editor, was essential to our success. He’s the only one I know who would take my phone call at two in the morning on breaking news, and would be up by eight the next day to start working. Brian Biglin, our managing editor, did things I could never dream of—that is, actually keeping track of where the hell our stories are at any given moment. That was invaluable. Rebecca Christy, our senior editor, not only was a tremendous contributor in the story process, but also has a dedication to building a community amongst our staff that I might have just as easily overlooked. I couldn’t be happier to have her on board. Karen Boore, our publisher, should have a statue built in her honor, for single-handedly keeping me from bankrupting our small nonprofit.
Nick Cheolas, James Dickson, and Mike Phillips—my predecessors—set a trajectory that I was lucky to inherit. Their lessons for me were different, yet insightful. The other editors who preceded me were always supportive in key ways. From nights at Mr. Smith’s in DC to a simple email, it’s reassuring to know you have twenty-five years standing behind you. Justin Wilson takes an interest in our work that maybe no one that far-removed from college usually does. That’s dedication. John J. Miller, my boss this summer, gave me my first opportunity to publish something nationally. It changed my life. The Collegiate Network—Kellie Bowen, Steve Klugewicz, Joe Lindsley, Liz Persing, and Amanda Yasenchak— has provided so many opportunities I might not otherwise have been afforded. I’m forever in debt. To friends and family who have stood behind and supported me—you know the deal. Lastly, to next year’s leadership and staff: don’t ever forget what you do here. You’ll have ups and downs, but I’m convinced that a University of Michigan without The Michigan Review would truly be a lesser campus. I challenge next year’s staff to do things even harder, better, faster, and stronger. *** I’ve been with The Michigan Review since Welcome Weekend of my freshman year. I’ve made almost every meeting and layout. I’ve read every issue. And now, it’s finished. The Review, more so than any person, professor, or class, has defined my college career. It’s what I’m most proud of, and where I think I learned the most while in college. I move on to a career in journalism, at some professional outlet. But though I may leave the Review, the Review will never leave me. MR
‘Rome’-ward Bound I
wish the title of this column contained no sarcasm. Backpacking across Europe, testing out a foreign language, and seeing lots of monuments are all surefire ways to avoid entering the working world just a bit longer. On the other hand, I already have a job. Don’t pity me; I’m not asking you to do so. Adam In fact, I will still be living out an Paul approximation of some of those Euro-trip fantasies. I will be hopping on a plane, hoping that my somewhat functional knowledge of the language of professional economics is enough to get by, and taking on the city that may be the best American counterpart to Rome: Washington, D.C.
I compare the two not just because both cities obsess over monuments, but because both are—or in Rome’s case, were—seats of power. It may not be an original analogy: In his 2004 book “Colossus,” British author Niall Ferguson encouraged the U.S. to embrace a role as a “liberal empire,” and more recently, Cullen Murphy released a more straightforward comparison in “Are We Rome?” After three years of covering UM, Ann Arbor, and state issues, I feel simultaneously prepared and horrifically provincial in terms of being able to take on D.C. While at the University, I have watched a small contingent of students invade the President’s office, seen MSA propose resolutions on napkins, and waited for a multipleyear study to determine which letters should be added to LGBT to make it the most inclusive (In case you were wondering, the office decided on the Spectrum Center).
I doubt that any of these issues will consume a lot of my professional or personal life in D.C. People are just too busy attempting to spend a whole day protesting Israeli maztah in front of, all places, a people’s food co-op. Fortunately, listening to (and more importantly, questioning) the issues raised in our quaint People’s Republic has given me the ability to see through strawmen. Sure, it would have been more helpful if I had been looking at national policy proposals or having my beliefs vetted beyond the kind but dismissive refrain to “agree to disagree,” but getting the chance to see a small town run so wrong has been helpful in its own ways. When I moved to the University, I was convinced that Ann Arbor was a real city. I now realize that our little hamlet proves more a student’s paradise than a functioning municipality.
See “Rome” Page 8
Timeline September 3-6, 2004 And so it began...Welcome Weekend brought all sorts of adventures, least of which was that sweaty frat party with a can of the beast. October 30, 2004 The triple overtime win against Michigan State signaled the beginning of a four-year dominance over “little brother.” November 2, 2004 George W. Bush wins reelection, prompting Americans four years later to remark, “whoops.” March 15, 2005 In the first of a number of financially boneheaded moves by MSA, a proposal to hire a student body lobbyist narrowly fails. March 24, 2005 What if graduate students held a strike, and no one came? You found out. September 17, 2005 White students pee on Asian students. U-M goes apoplectic. Nevermind that it never happened. October 15, 2005 We own Penn State. The football team wins on a last-second pass from Chad Henne to Mario Manningham, marking (for better or for worse) the apogee of the seniors’ football experience. October 27, 2005 Al Sharpton leads a BAMN rally on the Diag, bringing a hundreds-deep army of six-year-olds. December 29, 2005 U-M temporarily cuts its contract with Coca-Cola, forcing Review editors to buy Jack-and-Coke mixers off campus. March 23, 2006 The one competitive election in recent MSA history results in...the incumbents holding onto power, yet again. September 12, 2006 Redneck transplantee Morgan Wilkins announces the College Republicans will play a “Catch an Illegal Immigrant” game on campus. YAF picks up the dumb idea and actually does it, a month later. November 7, 2006 MCRI passes; affirmative action banned in the state of Michigan November 8, 2006 U-M President Mary Sue Coleman publicly loses her mind, vowing to fight the MCRI, and manages to say the word “diversity” 18 times in a 21-minute speech. November 17, 2006 Legendary Michigan football coach Bo Schembechler passes away, the day before the much-anticipated matchup between top-ranked Ohio State and Michigan. November 18, 2006 Nothing to see here. Move along.
See “Timeline” Page 10
The first annual...
very year, our friends at The Michigan Daily publish a “Best of Ann Arbor” list. And, don’t get us wrong--there are a lot of great things about Ann Arbor-but as all too many seniors know, there are just as many daily hassles and annoyances we’re glad to be rid of by the time we graduate. The Michigan Review thought to catalogue those annoyances. So here, we present the first annual (in what we hope to be a yearly tradition) “Worst of Ann Arbor” list. It reflects a sentiment among seniors, we believe, of piss and vinegar about some things mixed in with our sense of nostalgia. If you don’t hate something about this school, you haven’t been a student long enough. The list is a mixture of staff opinion, general consensus, the funniest true stories we’ve heard, and the general snarky, smartassery you’ve come to expect from the Review. More than anything, though, we hope you agree, disagree, and discuss the list. Because, after all, a conversation needs to be had about just how much this place can suck sometimes. If you’d like to comment, though, please email the editorial board at email@example.com. Worst Food and Drink Sandwich: Jimmy John’s
Worst of to Touchdown’s? And if you have been, can you in good conscience say you had a good time? Absolutely not. What a waste of a liquor license.
Grocery Store: White’s Market (Runner-up: Village Corner) Chinese Food: Magic Wok Just bring down Panda Express from North Campus. It’ll make insane cash.
Coffee: Amer’s Drunk Food: Backroom Pizza Really, it’s worth your time to skip the line, and head over to In-N’-Out just a block away. The pizza may be a quarter more, but In-N’-Out knows how to make that quarter count. Pizza: Villa Pizza Burrito: Panchero’s It’s difficult to imagine how Panchero’s will survive with BTB Cantina perched above Charley’s now. Good riddance; Panchero’s is much worse, compared to BTB, Chipotle, Qdoba, Salsarita’s, Rio Wraps...do we really need to keep going, here?
Really, though: is there anything good about East Quad, besides the fact that it’s NOT on North Campus? Delivery Service: Domino’s Pizza
Main Street Destination: Monkey Bar
So much for the thirty minute guarantee... Worst Places Campus Neighborhood: State and Packard (Runner-up: East of CCRB/The Hill) Place to get U-M Gear: Moe’s Sport Shop Sure, you’ve thought about asking how much the three-foot Bo Schembechler bobblehead in the window costs. But how the hell are you going to fit in in your cubicle at work next year, anyway? Bathrooms: Mason Hall (Runnerup: Dennison Hall) Academic Building: Lorch Hall See worst classroom.
Bar: Touchdown’s (Runner-up: Rick’s) Seriously, the “worst bar” category was one of the easiest to pick. Outside of maybe a few Dance Marathon fundraisers here or there, how many readers can say they’ve actually been
No, not *those* monkey bars
Classroom: Lorch 140 Maybe the only thing more depressing than the study of economics is Lorch 140, where, conviently, most major economics classes are held. Fittingly, this dismal home to the dismal science meets all the criteria for worst classroom: completely closed off from the world around you, and crammed with hundreds of other brown-nosers looking for a high enough grade in Econ 101 or what have you, so they can make it into the B-school, Organizational Studies, or whatever other toolbag major they’re chasing. Study Spot: The UGLi
Happy Hour: Rush Street Because nothing makes us ‘happier’ than drunk MBA students throwing around cash on overpriced martinis.
Place to Take a Date: Fleetwood Diner (Runner-up: Necto) Mmmm, there’s nothing like a delicious candlelit meal of hippie hash at 4 a.m. with your special someone. To truly make it a night to remember, consider hitting Necto first, and then finishing the night at Fleetwood.
Cafeteria: East Quad
As for Rick’s: sure, you might have taken home a good hook-up a few times, but you probably also took home a nasty case of Syphilis, as well. There’s nothing that we hate more than a grimy, sweaty pit with shitty specials.
screwed. You probably don’t know, but they completely redid the Blue Apple and a number of other amenities up North to upgrade it from “wretched hellhole” to “survivable.”)
Dorm: Bursley You don’t get to complain about your dorm unless you’ve spent a year on North Campus, freezing your ass off waiting half an hour for a bus on weekends. We’re sure that walk back to Markley was tough, but the Hill dorms do not compare to the hinterlands that are North Campus CYA: VC will be razed to make way for and Bursley. (Which, to this year’s seniors who had to live there: you got Ann Arbor developments
Seriously, though: how could a loud, crowded public place with a sore lack of computers be the worst place to concentrate on your studies? Laughing at the dumb greeks struggling over Math 105 just isn’t conducive to getting work done. (To former EIC Nick Cheolas: we didn’t mean to make light of your people’s well-documented struggles with intelligent thought.)
Ann Arbor Construction Site: University of Michigan Museum of Art
We knew this had to be the winner when, after complaining about this construction site in the office, some freshmen were SHOCKED to learn that once, a long time ago during a magical era, you could walk directly from the Diag to the Union, without having to take a giant detour. Yes, we like art, too. But GOOD GOD, MAKE THIS STOP. WORST. CONSTRUCTION. EVER.
Use of Student Funds: Michigan Student Assembly (Runner-up: Sex Workers’ Art Show) Actually, these two might be the same event.
Oh hardy freaking har. Your lives are so busy and important. Quit your crying and get back to class, you lazy pieces of crap.
Businesses Rental Company/Landlord: Your Own
Clothing Store: Urban Outfitters Bookstore: Shaman Drum
You want some, big boy?
Fashion Trend: “Stretch pants are NOT pants!” Class: Econ 401 (Runner-up: Organic Chemistry) On the staff survey, several freshmen listed Econ 101 as the worst course they have taken. Little do they know the horrors of upper-level microeconomics.
You have to love monopolies on social sciences and humanities textbooks!
Liquor Store: Village Corner Place to Use a Fake Real I.D.: The Brown Jug A staff writer told us a story that we’ve heard echoed by several friends of the Review. So strict is the Jug’s enforcement of their fake I.D. policy this year that they have even called the police on people proferring their actual I.D.’s.. Which is just as well to us seniors; that never stopped Peter Sims Levitt. Campus Campus Publication: The Michigan Daily (From Editor-in-Chief Michael O’Brien: Sorry, guys, but the staff’s choice trumps mine: The Michigan Independent, and Chill magazine.)
Professor: Gregory Markus (Political Science 300) It’s difficult to take such a hardcore douchebag like Greg Markus seriously, especially from a conservative’s perspective. He claims his classes are unbiased and that, in fact, he is “conservative” on some issues. Nevermind his support for socialized medicine and all other kinds of big government. We’re seriously shocked this guy still has a job. U-M Administrator: Mary Sue Coleman As much as we love when Mary Sue goes batshit in the middle of campus, it’s probably not the most becoming for presidents of a major public university. We’re still not over our grudge with Harvard for hiring Drew Faust over our beloved President Coleman.
Excuse for Cutting Class: “Working at the Daily” So this feature pretty unabashedly mimics the Daily’s annual “Best of Ann Arbor” list. Last year, their best excuse for cutting class was “Working at the Daily.”
Sorry to Karl Sowislo, but Shady Phi took “worst fraternity” this year.
Try to name a landlord you’ve had that you like in the next 15 seconds. Ready. Set. Go!
they will miss the chance to make that witty “Salute Your Shorts” wall post when their friend joins that “Nickelodeon raised me” group.
Student Organization: Michigan Student Assembly (Runner-up: BAMN) Campus Event: The Homecoming Parade Sport: Basketball Party Theme: Any stereotype, particularly “ghetto” Major: Women’s Studies This is not what we thought it was. Campus Tradition: Convocation The Michigan Review secretly loves convocation. Last year when we were passing out our orientation issue on the steps of Crisler Arena before orientation, the University called the Department of Public Safety on us, threatening to arrest us for obstructing public walkways. Bring it, motherfuckers. Miscellaneous Place to Urinate in Public: Mary Sue Coleman’s front porch Note: it is NOT okay to urinate on Asian students. We repeat: NOT OKAY. Website to Read in Public: Facebook Everyone rallied against the newsfeed when it began. Now many cannot leave their computers for fear
Overheard Conversation: “Ohhhh my gawwwwwd, I was soooo drunk this weekend.” First, you weren’t. Second, you’ve already told us this every Sunday for the past three months. Thing to Post on Facebook: “My major/life/job/significant other/etc. is so much more difficult than yours.” We get it: you have a lot to do. Exams, school, and extracurriculars are all difficult and time consuming. But when the hell did you think that no one else at this school is going through the same thing? This is especially bad during exam season, when everyone starts whining on Facebook. Suck it up, and shut up. Time for Your Roommate to Walk in: While masturbating At least there’s *some* dignity in being caught in bed with another person. When it’s just you by yourself, well, there’s no way to save face. Run-in With the Police: Dorm Room MIPs Thing to Do During Class: Raising your hand in the last five minutes (Runner-up: Playing solitaire--you have the whole internet at your disposal!) There are few worse things than the kids who insist on making comments at the last minute, especially to make themselves look good? The Review proposes a new five-minute rule, where every student just understands that, except for emergencies, you must keep your hand down.
Ann Arbor a Good Place to Spend Four (or 3) Years
n paper, I am coming out of the University of Michigan much as I expected I would. I’m receiving an economics degree and going to law school—something I decided I would do at the end of high school. I’m still voting Republican this fall, and I still go to church every Sunday. So I’m sure certain relatives who were worried about the corrupting powers of Ann Arbor are now breathing a collective sigh of relief. While these facts are reassuring, it would be unsettling if nothing in my personal makeup actually changed during my time at U-M. I am happy to report—to myself, and anyone who cares Brian to listen—that I Biglin have changed, for the better. For the sake of keeping this column interesting to people who don’t know me, I’ll focus mostly on the features of a University of Michigan education and experience that led me to become more free-thinking and well-rounded. Perhaps the best way to sum up my conception of U-M is that it is a magnet—for intellectual activity, for political action, for media attention, and for people in general. Its students come from all corners of the country and globe (er, New York, with a few representatives from every other state). I only regret not becoming friends with
more people from far-off places. Likewise, U-M’s faculty comes from the best institutions around the world, and they constantly bring perspective along with knowledge. I have been able to identify and think about problems and issues, both large and small, better since I’ve been here. When I consider this state’s declining stature, and the Midwest’s general tendency of being slow to embrace change, I make a general conclusion that there is something awry in our society here. This society, for example, has produced the most warped, segregated, and polarized metropolitan area in the developed world. Coming from this place, and fully aware (unlike all too many) of the fact that our messed-up society has made it such, it is no surprise that I have relished living in a place that is not completely broken, where people from other places make a point to flock to. While Ann Arbor may be overrated, and would be a less than ideal place to stick around, it still serves an important role as an oasis of much needed intellectual activity in the Midwest. Perspective is important, and I think it is important to change your perspective often, and to hear other people’s perspectives constantly. This is the best way to formulate opinions (or refrain from doing so) about issues. This is exactly what you get from operating within a diverse student body (and, no, I’m not vindicating our university president by speaking about skin color here). And this is what you get by living on a campus where important people—intellectuals, politicians and athletes—constantly visit, and where major events are
constantly ongoing. U-M is famous, at a worldwide level, and there are certain rewards associated with this, especially when you write for a newspaper and can have added reason to be active on campus. The intellectual culture at U-M, in my experience, is one that encourages looking at the big picture and trying to solve big problems. Having discussed, at a high level, topics like social security, the approaching end of the fossil fuel era, money markets, and suburban sprawl (Can you tell I studied economics?), a graduate is allowed to proceed with a greater awareness of the real issues facing our society when you leave the ivory towers. Isn’t it great that we actually do have an ivory tower at U-M? For those of us that have been thinking about the big issues, we are already one step ahead of the game, and poised to be leaders who will affect important changes. This is all complemented by the methods of freethinking and effective expression that a liberal arts education provides; at least that’s what those of us who didn’t get a “practical” degree like engineering like to tell ourselves. As I move on to look for a new perspective, it appears now that I will relocating to the greatest magnet the world has to offer, New York City (or at least North Jersey, to start). My heart will be in this broken land called Michigan, though, and I hope to return before too long with some good answers to our biggest questions. MR
“Timeline” From Page 5 March 17, 2007 Happy St. Patrick’s Day! In addition to green beer as a gift, Michigan Basketball coach Tommy Amaker is fired. April 13, 2007 Michigamua changes its name to “Order of Angell.” September 1, 2007 Welcome weekend of senior year begins, including a big football game where the Michigan Wolverines triumph over a lowly Division I-AA foe. November 20, 2007 U-M football coach Lloyd Carr announces his retirement. December 16, 2007 Merry early Christmas! Rich Rodriguez hired as football coach. All West Virginia coach are belong to us. February 1, 2008 The Michigan Review breaks the story of U-M’s planned constriction of student publications on campus. A month and a half later, the University withdraws the policy. March 15 & 17, 2008 U-M students reap the fruits of two St. Patrick’s Days. Two cheers for the Catholic Church! April 26, 2008 GRADUATION! FREEDOM! SWEET, PRECIOUS FREEDOM!
Goodbye, “Blue” I
t’s inevitable. No matter how much wisdom I think I’ve gained in the last four years, four years from now whatever I have written here will make me laugh at my naivety. Hopefully there’s something to be said for making that realization now rather than in hindsight, but I doubt it. I came to the University of Michigan in the fall of 2004 with few expectations. I applied on a last Rebecca minute whim and Christy accepted my admission without visiting campus, let alone the state of Michigan for that matter. While I would never recommend anyone choosing a college on the bare minimum level of research and experience that I had, it did provide me with the opportunity to come to campus
with an open and unbiased mind. Immediately there were two things I discovered at U-M that would constantly put me at odds—loving and sometimes loathing our University’s mentality. The first was that the individuals associated with the University of Michigan ranging from students to tenured faculty were intellectual, resolute, and passionate people. I’ve always felt that the difference between being smart and being an intellectual was in how intellectuals thoroughly enjoyed the pursuit of knowledge. That quality is one I have seen time and again in my classroom experience as well as on staff at The Michigan Review. The second thing I soon discovered is that it is easy to breed a sense of pretentiousness in this University’s environment. Let’s face it: Michigan is a combination of a well-respected academic institution with an esteemed athletic history. There seems to be a fine line between tradition and elitism that U-M students perpetually walk and, too often, cross. Every university is guilty
of bravado on big gamedays, so I’m not one to worry if someone makes a halfunintelligible remark about Ann Arbor on a football Saturday. What does concern me is students’ expectation that the “M” on the diploma automatically makes them more qualified than half the people in the room. I’ve been guilty once or twice of being overly concerned about what other people think, but I truly believe this is an issue each member of the outgoing class of 2008 should consider. We all know that, to some degree, one’s undergraduate institution does have an impact on opportunity. Nevertheless, the longer one is out of school the more experience trumps University logo. While the elitism doesn’t bode well for an undergraduate, that shade of Maize and Blue should (and I anticipate does) eat an alumnus alive. I hope that as we move out into the world, we still have the same passion and pride in our University that we had while we were undergraduates here, but gain perspective as well.
I thoroughly enjoyed the time I spent at the University of Michigan, and am looking forward to being a member of the University as an alumnus. It’s hard to believe that next year, the community around me won’t stop in its tracks because one and all have flocked to the Big House. My zeal for the Wolverines will certainly be tested next year when I relocate to Ohio. Finally, I want to thank a few people who have had a tremendous impact on my work at the Review. Thanks to the outgoing Editor-in-Chief Michael O’Brien, who had the faith that I had something to say and people would be interested; thanks to Brian Biglin who had the patience to correct my lack of journalistic aptitude. Thank you to my family who subscribed to the paper and were genuinely disappointed with the issues in which I did not contribute a piece. I especially want to thank my dad for being open-minded on more than one occasion about my topics of choice. Lastly, to everyone on staff, thanks for the memories. GO BLUE! MR
“Rome” From Page 5
they are personally attacked. Students rallied against the movement of graduation and acted as if the introduction of the Facebook newsfeed was a serious abuse of police power. Few, outside the luminaries who devised Expect Respect, took notice when two Asian students claimed they had been urinated upon, and even fewer responded when this publication could find no urine, magic or otherwise. D.C. will be different not because people are less self-interested, but be-
cause so many more people’s self-interest lies in politics. While I am leaving Ann Arbor, my life in D.C. cannot start over as a blank slate. The University did not create my interest in the politics, but it pushed it in unexpected directions. Coming into college I sympathized with liberals more than conservatives, but after watching just a year of the absurdist theatre acted out to the idols of ‘social justice’ and ‘living wages,’ my staunch libertarian attitudes were
revealed to be more at home among conservatives. Without the University’s success in enacting a swath of policies from points systems to “Ludacris” musical debacles, I don’t think I would have ended up at the Review, let alone headed toward D.C. I don’t expect anything approaching an emperor’s welcome in D.C., but thanks to Ann Arbor, I’m not headed for the Colosseum either. MR
Ann Arbor residents place mutually exclusive demands on their city all the time. Several years the city passed a greenbelt to preserve farmland but now residents are concerned that increased density will ravish their neighborhoods. I’m no longer shocked by these irreconcilable demands. Residents and students alike only enter the fold when
the michigan review
Ann Arbor Ranked as “City for Walking,” but is it Walkable? By Julianne Nowicki, ‘11
nn Arbor has been ranked third best city for walking by Prevention fitness magazine and the American Podiatric Association. The methodology the magazine used included judging aspects such as “safe streets, beautiful places to walk, mild weather, and good air quality,” in addition to the percentage of population that walks for exercise, use of mass transit, parks per square mile, “points of interest” per square mile, average winter/summer temperatures, and percentage of athletic shoe buyers. The website also ranked cities on a state-by-state basis; in Michigan, after Ann Arbor came Grand Rapids and then Detroit. Aspects like “good air quality” and “mild weather” sound like reasonable criterion, but it is possible that they could be too general. For instance, air quality often varies across a city. Walking along Washtenaw, Stadium, or other collector roads would subject a walker to greater quantities of pollutants than walking in a neighborhood. Students especially have also been affected by dust and fumes from construction and demolition sites that have been ongoing around campus. For large cities, it is difficult to get a big picture. For instance, parts of Detroit are ideal for walking for exercise, like the massive Belle Isle Park. Other neighborhoods in the large city might be considered unsafe for walking by many, but it would be hard for a nonlocal magazine to know the extent of these areas. Additionally, Prevention, according to its own methodology, inconsistently applies the major criteria to different cities, because it decides a “magnitude” for each of those factors in tabulating a city’s score. It is very important to note that this ranking is not meant to directly address the idea of walkability—an issue of practicality for students and other people who walk every day. In Ann Arbor, for students not “walking for exercise,” and just trying to get to class, poorly maintained sidewalks that are icy, snow-covered, or flooded can make walking a nightmare. And then there is the issue of having to walk to procure necessities like food and medicine. The number
Brian Biglin/The Michigan Review
Ann Arbor streets are very walkable, especially during winter.
It is very important to note that this ranking is not meant to directly address the idea of walkability-an issue of practicality for students and other people who walk every day. of grocery stores and pharmacies near campus can be counted on one hand, and all have large price markups. Competitive prices are usually relegated to big-box stores that generally do not locate in the downtowns of smalls cities, so to find cheap goods, a student will need to use The Ride or someone’s car. The Arb and the Law Quad offer spaces for a ro-
mantic walk every now and then, but they do not offer the opportunity to make important purchases, and they are not where undergraduate classes are held. A website that ranks walkability on a residence’s nearness to grocery stores, restaurants, libraries, schools, bars, and other important places is walkscore. com. This is a useful tool for people choosing a neighborhood where they can live without a car. Denser areas generally score better; central areas of Ann Arbor are ranked well above average, but not ahead of major cities. So, if you are looking to stroll for pleasure, then turn to Prevention’s rankings, but if you need to know where walking will make sense as a daily part of your life, you will need to do your own research. MR
UMix: For Those Who Are Sober on Friday Nights University offers students good, clean fun By Christina Zajicek, ‘10
here can you see screenings of recent movies, hear student performances, see dance groups, ride a mechanical bull, play laser tag, and enjoy an all-you-can-eat buffet? The student organization UMix offers these free activities to Michigan students, who only need to present their MCard to access these events. Funded by the Office of the Provost, and coordinated by the University Unions Arts and Programs, UMix addresses the conflict many students have when another Friday night rolls around and they want to go out and socialize, but not necessarily drink. About two Fridays a month, during the prime social hours of 10PM-2AM, UMix holds a series of late night programs in the Michigan Union or the League. Activities during each event center have a single theme. For example, the “I Heart UMix” event, held on Valentine’s Day weekend, offered teddy bear building, salsa dance lessons, a photo booth, a screening of the movie “Enchanted”, and a pasta buffet at midnight. Other recent events have included an ice skating night at Yost arena with shuttle buses to and from the Union, a Mardi Gras night with carnival games, and a “Dance
through the Decades” themed party. Karla Robinson, the program director for UMix, has several goals for the organization, including getting more involvement from other student organizations. “We have space and funding to help student organizations to host programs at the UMix events as long as the programs meet the mission of UMix. This partnership works out for everyone. The
night social gatherings than upperclassmen. “As the program has grown over the years, however, we have seen that the numbers have tended to even out between the classes,” said Robinson. An unexpected crowd also sometimes attends UMix events. “We do have students that come straight from the bar for the free food, but haven’t had any problems with them,” the program di-
“When I was there, it was really fun. There was a good crowd, and a good energy, too. I would definitely go again,” Rao said. student organizations are able to host a great program with help and advising from UMix, and UMix has a wonderful program to introduce to students who may not have gone to the program if it was a stand alone event.” So who attends these events? When asked about the demographics of attendees, Robinson reported that about four to six hundred students attend each event. The male to female ratio is split evenly, and in terms of class standing, a higher percentage of freshmen attend the late
rector said. “We have no problem with students doing this either; it is, in part, what the program was designed for as well.” The diverse group of students, along with the free activities is what seems to draw students to UMix. In addition to the free Frostys from Wendy’s, U-M Freshman Ravi Rao recalls how his UMix experience from earlier in the year when he attended a techno-themed dance party was a positive one. “When I was there, it was really fun.
There was a good crowd, and a good energy, too. I would definitely go again,” said Rao. For those who are looking for something different to do on a Friday night, or at least some free food, UMix is a fun, safe alternative for Michigan students to enjoy the weekend while meeting new students. More information, including future dates of events, can be found on UMix’s web site at http://www.umich. edu/~umix/index.htm. MR
features. the michigan review
No Great Wall: Free Discussion of China at U-M
Panel Calls for Private Sector Role in Education
By Christine Hwang ‘11
By Eddie Perry ‘09
banner on East University reads “Moving Forward Together” and “Hua Mei,” or “partner,” in Chinese characters, implying a partnership between the University and the People’s Republic of China as the tone for LSA’s “China Now” theme year. With events ranging from the visit of Chinese ambassador Zhou Wenzhong to the planned visit of the Dalai Lama in April, a meeting that is sure to anger the Chinese government, the tone of the University’s politics towards China can be described as mixed. The recent Tibet crackdown, the Taiwanese elections, the forthcoming Beijing Olympics, and even the Chinese-manufactured toy scare have made China relevant to students. “I think the theme semester provided a remarkable menu of events that highlighted various facets of the Chinese political and economic systems and of China’s culture. The variety and quality of the offerings really impressed me, and I hope that in their totality they significantly raised awareness of the issues surrounding China’s remarkable recent development,” said Professor Kenneth Lieberthal when asked whether he believed the schedule of events for the “China Now” semester presented a thorough explanation of China to the students. “I think they have shown both positive and negative aspects [of China],” said Professor Mary Gallagher. Gallagher went on to say that she did not believe the University approved or disapproved of the Chinese government, and any interpretation as such was a “naïve way to look at it.” When asked how the “China Now” theme was selected, Professor Terrence J. McDonald, Dean of the College of Literature, Arts, and the Sciences, told the Review, “The proposal for the China Theme Semester came from faculty affiliated with the Center for Chinese Studies. Mention was made in the proposal of the upcoming Olympic games in China but there was no reference to other political events that I recall.” The combination of recent events and the theme semester have made some students more aware of the political situation in China. LSA sophomore Dan Chen said that,
“I think the class [Asian 260] has increased my understanding and has changed some of the misconceptions about China. I feel like I have respect for modern day China, but in some aspects I have less respect for China.” LSA junior Sharon Traiberman had negative remarks about what “Moving Forward Together” implied in relation to the current events in China: “It’s logically impossible to move forward with someone constantly stagnating and regressing. A regime built on control, repression, and the deprivation of fundamental rights cannot move forward.” At a forum on Taiwan-China relations hosted by both the Taiwanese and Chinese student associations on March 20, Professor Mary Gallagher and Yuhua Wang, a second year graduate student from China studying political science, informed students about current issues between Taiwan and China. Among those were the March 22 Taiwanese elections that ended up concluding the eight year regime of the pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party to the more China-cooperative Kuomintang. From Wang’s description of media and physical isolation during the SARS crisis to discussion of what the status of Taiwan is and should be in the world, the forum opened students’ eyes to topics concerning China as a world-player. The vast majority of students, however, remain uninformed about China’s growth and problems. “I think generally speaking, most Americans are not wellinformed about China,” said Gallagher. Perhaps “Moving Forward Together” denotes how students should be aware of both sides of a rising economic power. Awareness of China and understanding of a different culture, through the University’s theme, brings attention to key issues of China’s future ranging from environmental sustainability to classes such as “Law and Society in Late Imperial and Modern China.” When combined with knowledge of current events in China covered by the media, the theme may fulfill what President Mary Sue Coleman said at the new student convocation: “…learning about our increasingly connected world is an essential feature of a Michigan education.” MR
n Wednesday, March 19, 2008, the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy sponsored a panel of education reform specialists to debate what role the private sector should have in K-12 public education. While the opinions of the panelists varied regarding implementation strategies, they all agreed on two fundamental issues: the American public education is failing and the private sector ought to play a larger role if it is to be righted. Panelist and Chairman Emeritus of Citigroup Inc. Sanford Weill has focused widely on education reform since winning Chief Executive magazine’s 2002 CEO of the Year Award. As Founder and Chairperson of the National Academy Foundation, he oversees more than 500 academies that operate across the nation and in England. After spending years in the private banking sector, he stressed the role internships should have in public high school education. He noted, “when public high schools started, they didn’t want all the kids attending to graduate because they knew a lot of these kids were going to go back to their families and work on farms.” Instead of sticking with this same crude public school ideology, Mr. Weill fosters schooling that teaches advancements and areas that are still growing. He summoned, “today public education must focus on the world instead of the community—so that kids don’t just conform to what their parents did and then drag themselves down when those jobs aren’t around anymore”. Resident Scholar and Director of Education Policy Studies at the American Enterprise Institute, Frederick M. Hess, has written several books on the topic of reforming public education. Most notably he discussed the underpinnings of his book Educational Entrepreneurship. Mr. Hess focused on the supply side of school reform, posing that the current “organization structure” is too “baked in” to be effective. “Public education’s self-pro-
claimed experts have this preconceived mindset that we only need to tweak what we are doing in the classroom alone. The fact that these people ignore the hundreds of other schooling models that exist is utterly ridiculous. I’m not saying we need to choose the right model, we just need to create a supply-side with more choices,” said Hess. He also asserted that while nit-picky curriculum adjustments are marginally beneficial, it is in the best interest of the public to think more about human capital, financial capital, research and development, barriers to entry, and quality control. Deborah Ball, the Dean of the School of Education, echoed similar sentiments to Mr. Weill and Mr. Hess. “Today public “We need education must to think about focus on education in the world terms of partnerships. This instead of is the only way the community” we can en gage a larger -Sanford degree of soci- Weill, ety,” said Ball. “Through winner of CEO this lens, it is of the Year 2002 important to take advantage of private sector partnerships because they offer the competency kids are going to need in the real world.” Other panelists were Michael P. Flanagan, Michigan Superintendent of Education and J.D. Hoye, President of the National Academy Foundation. In sum, the event included constructive discussion culminating around the fact that the current system not only is inefficient, but misallocates intellectual energy. MR
“Black” Improv Show Plays to Racial Stereotypes Performance Jokes about Kilpatrick’s Scandel By Christine Hwang ‘10
fter twenty minutes of mouthing to HipHop and R&B, the student on the stage at the Images of Identity Improv Comedy Show told the audience, “We done with the ignorant music, now to the ignorant performance.” A second later he added, “I’m sorry I just said that, I make it sound like anything associated with black people is ignorant.” At this performance, Images of Identity, a group of African-American students created in 1991 to educate the student body of discrimination on campus, presented situations both relevant and irrelevant to their cause of anti-discrimination. Skits ranging from a student-professor panel on discrimination to poking fun at the Kwame Kilpatrick text messaging scandal stayed relevant to what the typical University of Michi-
gan student encounters day to day. Images of Identity made it clear at the beginning of the performance that the things they say, “are just jokes. We’re not personally attacking you,” demonstrating what the audience was not supposed to think of the performance through a skit that featured an offended student named “Fernando.” A member of Images of Identity explained to Fernando, “It wasn’t a personal attack. It was an attack on the program and not you.” Playing on African-American stereotypes, a “Tommy Kilpatrick,” the president of the “Big Black Student Union” and a portrayal of Detroit mayor Kwame Kilpatrick announced to the “Big Black Student Union” that “We will have soul food on Thursday for the Big Black Students of the Big Black Student Union.” The speech was interrupted by Tommy Kilpatrick’s wife, asking to borrow his cell phone, which he tentatively
allowed. Discovering a text message saying, “I want you to rub on my body,” Mrs. Kilpatrick threw a fit of rage, and the scene ended with a bit of opinion on the Detroit mayor scandal with Tommy Kilpatrick turning to his adulterous lover saying, “So…uh…we’re still fucking after this, right?” Scene two of the “Tommy Kilpatrick” skit provided more mockery of the mayor of Detroit, mimicking a teary-eyed, sobbing Kwame Kilpatrick asking for the city’s forgiveness. Tommy Kilpatrick apologized to God, saying, “I’m a religious man…although I didn’t think about it when I was trying to get me some ass, but I do now.” MR
arts & culture. the michigan review
Spring: Of Magic and Miniskirts By Michael O’Brien, ‘08
’m writing about the unofficial holiday we’re all quietly waiting for this month. Not April Fool’s Day, 4/20, or Earth Day, but the first warm day on campus. For the women reading, the immediate reaction is probably along the lines of, “Effing duh. Everyone loves warm weather and the school year coming to the year.” But ladies: you think you know, but you have no idea. (Men of Michigan, I hate to do this, but I’m afraid I have to air one of our long-kept secrets. But trust me, it’ll be for the better.) Girls, on that first warm day, something magic happens. Despite the warmness only being relative—say, low 60s and sunny—you all decide to get rid of those huge puffy coats and thick sweaters, and, out of nowhere, we start failing to make eye contact, running into trees, and begin to strategically place our textbooks in front of our groins. Our normal awkwardness is taken to all new levels, unsure of how to handle this brave new world. Though the weather probably doesn’t even warrant it, we all dress on that first day like we’re headed for the beach. You break out the halter-tops and miniskirts, even though it’s only in the mid-50s, and when we bust out the shorts and short sleeve t-shirts. We love this day. Spring’s in the air, baseball’s finally in season, the end of the semester’s around the corner—and you ladies, for that one day, bring your A-game. It’s a small holiday unto itself. And the best part about the day is that we don’t even have to reciprocate! Unless you’re one of those gym rats or metrosexuals in the Greek system, most guys haven’t spent the school year tanning or working on our physique. We can show up to class in the same jeans and shirt we’ve been wearing the whole semester, and no one notices. Sure, you might enjoy seeing the track team jogging down State Street. But most guys aren’t on the track team. You may have a national day of fear upon viewing our hairy, pale legs, but that’s the price we’re willing to pay. After that first warm day, everything goes back to normal. You wear climate-appropriate clothing once again, and the excitement about spring is put in a drawer as we’re all smacked across the face by the cruel reality of exams. So, in advance, I apologize all the awkward stuttering that day. But try not to take this phenomenon seriously; after all, men don’t take it terribly seriously, either. With the possible exception of that one weird dude in cutoff shorts carrying the boombox straight out of the 80s, we’re not being creepsters. But, Women of Michigan, be aware. That first warm day is surely a-comin’, and we guys are looking forward to it. And yes, it’s all guys. MR
Banging on Eardrums: Talib Kweli Visits Ann Arbor By Samm Etters, ‘11
am not a rap person. My iTunes music collection includes the occasional popular hip-hop tune, but the closest I have to rap is Jay-Z’s short intro to the most recent Fallout Boy album. But with his astounding performance here in Ann Arbor last week, emcee Talib Kweli threatened to change my mind completely. The Brooklyn native came to campus with beat boxer Rahzel and DJ JS-1 for a concert at the Power Center. Preceding his performance, Kweli made an appearance signing autographs and greeting fans at the Motivation Boutique on South University. The line of people outside the store stretched halfway down the block, and the first two fans in front had been standing there almost two hours before Kweli arrived. Opening the night’s show was DJ JS-1, a hip-hop turntableist from New York, who showed off a few of his skills (including scratching with his foot) before his musical partner Rahzel took the stage. After an explanation of the difference between rap and hip-hop, Rahzel proved to be a true hip-hop musician as he made “somethin’ outta nuthin” by creating the beat, bass line, and extra scratching effects as well as singing the chorus, verse and background vocals all at once, all with his own voice. The result was remarkable, even after he demonstrated how he created the sound of word and beat simultaneously. He was even able to freestyle beatbox. Finally, Kweli took the stage. Although the Power Center is mainly used for performances such as plays and
dance acts, it took on the role of hip-hop concert venue for the night. Every seat had a good view of the stage, and the sound filled the room with resonating energy. Kweli mixed old with new, performing songs from his days in the groups Black Star with Mos Def and Reflection Eternal with Hi-Tek and his own songs from all four of his solo albums. Most of the songs came from his most recent album, Eardrum, released in August of 2007. Kweli’s background plays out in his music. His mother is an English professor and his father is a sociology professor, and Kweli himself studied at NYU. His songs include powerful statements centering on improving today’s music and American society in general, demonstrated in his advanced lyricism and intelligent musical arrangements. The goal of Kweli’s music is to make serious, socially conscious hip-hop that is not about drugs, sex or “thug life,” similar to some popular rap, but about ending violence and misogyny, and instituting social change. His latest release, Eardrum, has been noted as Kweli’s career-defining work, debuting at #2 on the Billboard 200. The enthusiasm of Kweli’s fans filled the Power Center with people on their feet and hands in the air. Kweli finished the show with an amazing, energetic performance of one of his most popular songs, Get By, produced by Kanye West and off his first solo album, Quality. But then, like any audience-conscious performer, he treated the fans with an encore performance. All in all, the night was enjoyable for everyone, whether they had been fans for years or days, and Kweli proved himself as one of hip-hop’s most talented and important voices. MR
Kweli’s music isn’t about sex, drugs, or “thug life,” but about ending violence and misogyny, and instituting social change.
Greek Week Inspires Herodotean Study of Greek History By Lindsey Dodge, ‘10
recent article in “Michigan Today,” a monthly online magazine for alumni and friends of U-M, describes the origins of Greek Life at U-M. In the beginning of the Greek system, fraternities were viewed as anti-establishment, and fought constantly with the University. Although not to the same degree, fraternities and sororities appear to have retained a certain sense of individuality outside of the rest of campus. According to “Michigan Today,” fraternities, at the time known as “secret societies,” began to sprout up in the mid-late 1800s. Appearing at Michigan in imitation of more eastern campuses, Greek-letter societies were seen as “a monster power…of disorder and rowdyism that brought a plague of debauchery, drunkenness, pugilism and dueling.” They were also seen as “elitist and exclusionary” as well as secular, an offense to the majority of Jacksonian Christians serving as faculty. After numerous, futile attempts by more activist faculty members to get the students participating expelled, the frontier college kids deftly argued for their right to free assembly. The “showdown” came in 1849 on the last day of fall term. The faculty declared that any fraternity man who had not renounced his fraternity after Christmas would be expelled. As a result, fires were set in outhouses and woodsheds all over campus. The faculty made good on their threat, but the media had turned in the fraternities’ favor. With an already contentious and divided faculty, certain teachers and leaders went to the legislature in favor of the fraternities, and by the end of 1850, all the societies were reinstated for the duration. Many of the teachers who had led the crusade against the Greek system, on the other hand, were kicked out. From its inception, the Greek system proved that it would do things its own way, come hell or high water. This tradition has survived, as well as the negative perceptions of Greeks on campus. When asked about his opinion of the Greek members on campus, junior Christopher Orr remarked, “They annoy me sometimes, well, a lot of the time, but I have a few really good friends who are Greeks too.” When asked about the number of charities the Greek societies participate in on campus, Orr said, “ I think nowadays they suck up to the
Photo from Sigma Phi Epsion National Website
school so if they have a kid go to the hospital because he hurt himself doing some stupid initiation they have some leeway so they don’t get kicked off campus.” The Greek’s biggest campus-wide event, Greek Week, is taking place this year from March 25 through until April 3. A yearlong project, the Greek community’s purpose in running it is “to raise monetary support for national and local charitable organizations through cultivating leadership, service, and community within the University of Michigan.” Although meant primarily for the 4,500 students in the Greek system at U-M, the events taking place throughout the ten-day period often invite or involve the 70,000 students, faculty, and staff at U-M. A sorority member, wishing to remain anonymous, commented on the common perception that Greek organizations do not always live up to their high ideals. “Well, yeah, Greeks like to go out and party, and have fun. But the reason that you see people getting kicked off campus is that they weren’t living up to standards. That’s a good thing for us.” MR Editor’s note: Lindsey Dodge is a member of Pi Beta Phi sorority, in which she serves as its publications chair.
arts & culture. the michigan review
Author Discards ‘Race Card’ in Frank Discussion of Race Relations By Nathan Stano, ‘11
urn on the news, and you’ll soon see that race is at the forefront of American politics with the candidacy of Senator Barack Obama. Now is the time that America needs to look at the history and future of the way the law deals with race. “The Race Card: How Bluffing about Bias Makes Race Relations Worse,” by Richard Thompson Ford, is the kind of frank discussion of where we have been and where we are going that we need to bring this issue into focus. The author attempts to use the colloquial “race card” as a basis for discussion, explaining what it is, how it is used and what it means for race relations. He contends that we have become hyper-sensitive to perceived instances of racism, and, at the same time, people have learned to cloak their biases in order to avoid such altercations. He also takes a critical look at other groups that have called for their own version of the civil rights movement: the overweight,
women, older workers, animal rights activists, and others. He contends that these groups have
“Holocaust” From Page 3 ly surviving the labor camps, died shortly after being freed. Rita’s letter also tells of the conditions in Germany after the war, and the attempts to bring Nazi officials to justice. Rosenberg then described the process that went into creating this presentation. The letters had to be transcribed first—the original handwriting was extremely difficult to decipher—and then translated from German into English. He made several contacts with German scholars in Breisach, the town that his family was from, who are dedicated to studying
tried to capitalize on the success of the civil rights movement, and in the end serve only to make us more critical of the charge of unfair discrimination. The diminishment of obvious bias and the prevalence of pretender claims of bias need to be reconciled, and the law seems to be the best way to do this impartially, according to the author. A salient point Ford brings up is that, in many high profile instances, the claim of racism was not so much about race per se, but about class status. This seems to be the core issue when it comes to affirmative action. It seemed bitterly ironic that many Americans demand equality in order to achieve a slice of inequality. If college educations were not linked to economic success, I doubt affirmative action would be as big an issue as it is. This is demonstrative of what Ford calls “post-racism.” He by no means implies that racism is dead, a fact nobody can deny, but rather that race issues have become entangled in other issues: socioeconomic status, education, class distinction, and others. Though we would like to apply whole scale the solutions of the Civil Rights Movement to these “post-racial” issues, Ford argues that these situations are fundamentally different than those dealt with in 1964, and thus require new solutions in order to be solved. Perhaps the book’s greatest trait is its objectiveness. Ford takes the time to present both sides of the oft-complex legal tale. Moreover, he has the ability to discuss some of the finer legal points of some cases without becoming inaccessible to the reader. I was also impressed by the apolitical nature of the discussion. Ford may have a political opinion, but the only one preserved in ink is his desire to have a frank, rational discussion of how we as a society look at race, take both sides in mind, and try to preserve our rights while helping as many people as possible. MR
and commemorating the Holocaust. It was through this research that he has been able to contact some of his first cousins, whom he had never met before. Rosenberg mentioned a conversation he had with his father’s cousin Rita, who asked him, “Why bother? The story’s been written.” In response, he said, “I know it has, but not in this personal way.” MR
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Prominent Libertarian Anchor Speaks Out Against Socialized By Alyse Hudson, ‘11
BC’s “20/20” anchor John Stossel came to campus recently to tell students why “Socialized Medicine Stinks.” The event was sponsored by the College Libertarians, Young Americans for Freedom, and Students for a Free Economy. Stossel began his career as a consumer reporter for a local television news program in Portland, Oregon, and then in New York City. From there, he was hired by “Good Morning America” as a consumer editor and was promoted to co-anchor of “20/20.” He began reporting on scams but soon discovered that “the good companies would grow, while for the cheaters, the word gets out, and they die.” Business could regulate itself, and he no longer saw the need for consumer reporting. Instead, Stossel focused on big government’s monopoly, maintaining the mantra: “Competition will protect us better than government.” He pondered why “people didn’t hate the Kings and Queens of England, who were rich, but they hated the bourgeois,” and made the analogy: “Bill Gates having 50 billion dollars doesn’t mean you have 50 billion less.” John Stossel views the government as a set of rules that “hurt more people than they help, kill more people than they save.”
He declared that the criminalization lawsuits that plague the American courtof drugs does not make them sparse by rooms today, Stossel contends. “Trial asking, “If we can’t keep [drugs] out lawyers are like regulations: for every of prisons, how are we going to keep person they help, they hurt 100 people.” [drugs] out of America?” Stossel is appalled by idea of governStossel claimed that drug crime is ment controlling and rationing medical caused by the black market. Then he com- care. He directed the audience’s attenpared the addictive qualities of heroine tion to the success of cosmetic surgery to that of nicotine, pronouncing that “the and its nicer accommodations. “Cosmetlaw causes the drug problem.” To further ic surgery is one of the few areas that we his point, he claimed “Al Capone was have a free market in the medical field. created by Prohibition,” and proceeded The lobbies are nice, and the prices are to take the argument ad absurdum, sug- going down.” He does not want the govgesting that ernment “maybe ration Stossel believes everyone has the right to ice cream health into live their lives without government surance but should be outlawed does suginterference, including marrying because of gest health someone of the same sex. the high savings acsaturated counts. fat con“If peotent.” ple paid with cash up front, they may reNext, Stossel took on the FDA. By alize that they don’t need that test.” He making people wait the fifteen years affirms that it would work out better in it takes for a drug to undergo the FDA the long run. “I would much rather pay approved necessary testing, the phar- 3,000 dollars for the pill than 10,000 dolmacy company kills as many people as lars for the operation.” it saves. He suggests, “If the FDA is a He believes that everything could voluntary agency, if you were free to try work better if the private sector, rather [any drug], what we would learn could than the government, controlled it. Acsave millions.” He believes that people cording to Stossel, “because [education] should have the right to take a risk. is a government monopoly, [public However, he does admit, “not having a schools] fail.” Vouchers are necessary to FDA is terrifying.” create free market competition. Pharmaceutical companies refuse to Although John Stossel believes the take any risks for fear of the number of government should have the smallest
Photo by Johnathan Slemrod/Michigan Review
role possible, he is not a conservative, but rather self-identifies as a libertarian. He believes everyone has the right to live their lives without government intervention, including marrying someone of the same sex. Throughout the presentation, Stossel argued that a free market can accomplish anything better than government regulations. He is not an anarchist, however, and does admit that government is necessary to a degree. He left the audience with the following inspirational words: “I hope that you fight for that liberty that makes all things possible.” MR
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Flint YAF Bakes up Controversy By Adam Paul ‘08
ake sales are rarely controversial events. The recent bake sale undertaken by the Young Americans for Freedom (YAF) chapter on the University of Michigan’s Flint campus was an exception. Flint’s YAF group began posting flyers, simply stating “Affirmative Action Bake Sale” with a time and location early last week. Affirmative action bake sales, which have taken place at campuses around the country, usually seek to highlight what their organizers see as unfair affirmative action programs based on race or gender. Vendors at such sales have set different prices for the same good for people of different races or genders. White males are typically charged high prices, while women or members of other racial groups receive “discounts” that are meant to compensative them for social injustice. The Flint bake sale did not charge different prices. “At no time did we sell things at varying prices to varying people and at no time did we intend to,” said Jonathan Ettinger, the UM-Flint YAF chapter treasurer. Ettinger said the group had hoped to show that affirmative action can have meanings beyond the one typically used by the University. Unlike past bake sales, YAF charged fifty cents for all items. The group also produced a “jump to conclusions” mat showing things the group had been called in the lead-up to the event. “We knew what kind of reaction we would get. We wanted to see how respectful people could be,” said Ettinger. He said that the disappearance of the group’s flyers and rumors about the event were signs of disrespect against the group. UM-Flint YAF chair Kevin Rinwasser agreed. “We think the Expect Respect campaign is empty rhetoric to the administration,” Rinwasser said. The event drew such strong reactions before taking place that Jack Kay, UM-Flint’s Interim Chancellor, sent an e-mail message to the student body about the event. The event was cosigned Flint’s Interim Provost as well as the University’s Vice Chancellors. The e-mail called for “a special day of advocacy for diversity,” including a forum hosted by the University that evening. Students also reacted to the event. “It started out as a countermeasure and it became a day to celebrate our diversity. It became so much more than the YAF bake sale,” said Janelle King, the chair of Voices for Women on Campus, who helped organize a coalition of students and professors on the same day. The group got donated baked goods and gave them out for free on campus. “It was great. “Inflammatory events such as this bake sale have taken place at other college campuses and have been thoroughly repudiated,” said Kay. Kay went on to quote from an editorial from the student newspaper of Grand Valley State University that attacked affirmative action bake sales. Kay continued that the University remains committed to student free speech rights. Although, Kay explained that the administration does not support the event, stating that “the intention is to mock affirmative action.” U-M Flint spokeswoman, Jennifer
Hogan, said that U-M Flint is a more “tight-knit” campus than the larger Ann Arbor campus and that e-mails to the student body are sent out for a variety of reasons. “It is our administration’s opinion that instead of having a student bake sale with a provocative name to stir up controversy, it’s better to have an open discussion on these issues,” said Hogan. While the administration disagreed with YAF’s advertising, Hogan noted that no disruptions occurred during any of the day’s events. “Everything was conducted very professionally by all groups that day,” Hogan said. After the bake sale, YAF planned its own forum discussion for March 27th and invited Chancellor Kay to attend. Hogan said that short notice did not allow Kay to attend the planned forum but that he would extend an invitation for members of YAF to meet with him at a later time. King, who attended both the University-sponsored and the YAF forum, noted a marked difference in the atmospheres. While the University forum got students talking, King said the YAF forum was “negative” in part because the flyers that YAF posted were mock-ups of the University’s Expect Respect campaign. “When we opened the discussion, everyone simply yelled. Everyone was too angry to have a civil discussion during the forum,” said new Flint YAF member Albert Broughton. Both Broughton and King said that conversations held after the forums were more productive. MR
Photo courtesy of Jon Ettinger
YAF’s “Affirmative Action Bake Sale” featured a “Jump to Conclusions” mat, which they say indicates how their political opponents ‘jump to conclusions’ about the group.