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MichiganReview THE

The Journal of Campus Affairs at the University of Michigan


September 30, 2008


Tuition Coming In, Income Going Down BY JANE COASTON ‘08


As Wall Street institutions face unprecedented troubles and Congress debates a $700 billion economic recovery package, can Michigan graduates still expect financial success? The estimated cost of attending the University of Michigan for out-of-state students has reached an unbelievable total of $47,083 for juniors and seniors, based on a credit hour total of 12 to 18 credits. The tuition increase is based on the University’s attempts to bypass the shrinking state budget and fund the myriad of projects that are involved in the everyday maintenance of a major university. For students, one of the few luxuries of enduring the high costs of tuition is the knowledge that Michigan graduates can expect higher salaries and an overall increase in the number of new career opportunities. Since 1999, out-of state tuition has increased for LSA students from $19,761 to $33,069. That’s an increase of 59% over ten years. Dave Gershman of the Ann Arbor

News published a story about the tuition increase on August 28th in which he noted that not only had tuition increased yearly but also the percentage of the increase per year had only been under 5% for one year, 2004. His research was based on documents released by the University and provided by Gershman that show an increase in fees for students as well, from $772 in 1999 to $880 in 2008. The biggest increase in fees was in the health service fee, which increased to nearly $350. Nationally, college tuitions are continuing to rise precipitously even as endowments reach record heights. The increase in college tuition led senators and House representatives to convene a round-table discussion early this month. Representative Peter Welch of Vermont, one of those who organized the session, told the New York Times, “If the cost of milk had risen as fast as the cost of college since 1980, a gallon would be $15”. So what’s the payoff? In years past, Michigan

Michael Moore’s “Slacker Uprising” World Premiere Held at Michigan Theater BY MEGAN LYTLE ‘10

mail to

graduates could expect top jobs and high salaries in the most competitive sectors, easing some of the pain of the increase in tuition. For example, the Financial Times of London reported that 90% of graduates of the Ross School of Business could expect to be employed within three months of graduation earning an average salary of over $125,000. But financial problems are engulfing Wall Street and investment firms are no longer able to hire the best graduates. Don Grimes, an economist with the Ross School of Business who specializes in research on jobs and income, said, “When businesses react to an economic downturn, the first things that go are hiring.” Business recruiting is extremely expensive, as firms fly applicants across the country for interviews and host or sponsor career events at large universities. As firms begin to tighten their budgets, these practices become more and more rare. College graduates, according to TUITION Continued on PAGE 5

Campaigns and Finance on Campus BY NATHAN STANO ‘11

ON THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 18, filmmaker and controversial pundit Michael Moore gave a lecture and a free world premiere of his new movie, “Slacker Uprising,” at the Michigan Theater. The event generated great excitement, attracting not only U-M students but also many Moore fans from

WITH A SUPERCHARGED presidential election, students are getting involved with both parties to raise money and campaign for Senators Obama and McCain, as well as Democrats and Republicans at the Congressional and state level. Both the College Republicans (CRs) and College Democrats (CDs) have become more visible, and visibility comes at an expense. College Democrat’s Trea-

SLACKER Continued on PAGE 5

CAMPAIGNS Continued on PAGE 5

09.30.2008 4.1.08



Editorial Board Lindsey Dodge Editor-in-Chief Jane Coaston Executive Editor

Serpent’s Tooth ...A Bite of News

Adam Pascarella Managing Editor

Hurricane Kyle has forced the state of Maine to issue its first hurricane warning in 17 years. Says the CEO of L.L.Bean: “We knew this day would come.”

Eun Lee Graphic Design Editor

The House of Representatives has just decided against the possible $700 billion dollar bailout, ending a huge debate intended to rescue Wall Street firms and stimulate the economy. But, uh, if you give us $700 billion, we’ll stimulate anything you want.

Jonathan Slemrod Editor-at-Large Nathan Stano Cherri Buijk Assistant Editors Business Staff Karen Boore Publisher Jonathan Slemrod Anna Malecke Associate Publishers Michael O’Brien Editor Emeritus Staff Writers & Photographers

(in alphabetical order)

Zack Divizzo, Christine Hwang, Megan Lytle, Cody Neil, Molly Ryan, Eden Stiffman, Sreya Vempatti

The Engineering School’s Atmospheric, Oceanic, and Space Science program is dropping the Oceanic part of the program. The ASS major has become a popular favorite among fraternity members and Michael Phelps. During Thursday’s Presidential debate, John McCain rather movingly revealed the significance of a bracelet he was wearing as a gift from the mother of a dead soldier. In a rather amusing gaffe, Obama nearly interrupted McCain to point out that he, too, had a bracelet Just for the record, we too have bracelets, but ours are from Lance Armstrong. Clay Aiken came out of the closet this past week, explaining that his reason for staying silent had been fear of disappointing his fans. If you’re a Clay Aiken fan, we bet you figured out he was gay a few years ago. Like the rest of us. Michigan Coach Rich Rodriguez has finally revealed the secret of his new spread offense strategy, in the now famous “Lowered Expectations” ploy. MR

Letters & Viewpoints The Michigan Review accepts and encourages letters to the editor and viewpoints. Letters to the editor should be under 300 words. Viewpoints can be arranged by contacting the editorial board. We reserve the right to edit for clarity and length. Send all correspondence to

About Us The Michigan Review provides a broad range of in-depth coverage of campus affairs and serves as the literary voice of conservatism and libertarianism at the University of Michigan. The Review is published bi-weekly September thru April.

Donate/Subscribe The Michigan Review accepts no financial support from the University. Therefore, your support is critical and greatly appreciated. Donations above $40 are eligible for a 1-year (12 issues) subscription. Donations can be made on our website at, or mailed to:

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.

Letter from the Editor I never used to understand people who said, “Oh I never want to leave college and enter the real world, I just want to stay here for awhile.” Recently, after the market bailout and various revelations about how cushioned a college student’s life is, I’m becoming far more empathetic. Anyone who has been watching the news can see that the American financial market is in trouble. We explore the effect this has on college graduates in our cover story, “Tuition Coming In, Income Going Down” by Jane Coaston ’09. Tackling the subject even further, our back page Face-Off features two of our business staff members writing opposing views on the recent “Bail-out” proposal. Jonathan Slemrod ’10 takes the position of free-market solutions, whereas our publisher Karen Boore ‘09 articulates why increased market regulation is more effective. It’s startling how so large a university can still sometimes feel like a bubble. There’s so much of the ridiculous in our small city, and yet this does not diminish upon graduation. There will always be red tape and bureaucratic nonsense, as well as excessive rabidity on either side of politics. These extremist politics are perfectly characterized by the highly at-

tended showing of Michael Moore’s Slacker Uprising, covered by Megan Lytle ‘10 a man granted more legitimacy in Michigan than probably anywhere else on earth. On the other end of the political spectrum, the college libertarians garnered some attention in their “Gun giveaway,” covered by Nathan Stano ’11. In this sense, U-M perfectly prepares us for the “real world.” It’s not fair to get completely critical of Ann Arbor or U-M. I mean, come on, we just had the best football comeback ever. Entwined with our sometimes-irrational pride in our sports teams, there is a unity to being a Michigan student that’s greater than the reality. We have some fun with Michigan myths in a story by Eden Stiffman ‘12, exploring the fact and fiction of common urban legends. Another interesting development is the “Good Samaritan” law (Good Samaritan Policy Hits Roadblocks at U-M by Cody Neil ’12), reflecting this combination of good feeling and absurdity that characterizes U-M. In short, it’s not cotton candy and Ferris wheels post-graduation, and many students are going to feel real pressure to grow up quickly. Yet this is not to catastrophize the future, nor to ruin the fun of college life while we’re still enjoying it. Rather, we hope to grant some perspective, and prepare students properly for life after college with the information they need. Sometimes college students need more than college to do that. Best, Lindsey Dodge ‘10 Editor-in-Chief

09.30.2008 4.1.08

Editor’s Notes


An Editorial Page for Those Interested in How the Other Side Thinks twenty should not be the goal of the average student, but its important to think and act towards the future. It’s not just the frat boys and the beer pong champs who lack maturity. Many college students throw themselves into political and social ideologies that have no staying power and find themselves adrift after college. But college professors encourage them to “follow their dreams,” often at the detriment of their futures. From Matthew Lassiter, associate professor of history: “I think that the bad job market can be an opportunity in disguise, and in political terms could even be the best thing that is happening to youth today. Who wants to be in their early 20s and have their whole life planned out? If you think that your future is secured, and that everything will work out just fine, that security and contentment is what ought to scare you to death”. Murray writes to encourage parents to wait a few years before sending their children to college, hoping that by working, joining the military, or volunteering for a cause, students will gain the maturity and personal character not often included in a university curriculum. But for a majority of students at the University, that’s no longer an option. College students do have the power to retake their college experiences. They can focus on career options while exploring their interests, and even have some fun on the side. Choose majors that are interesting and could also lead to future employment, and be realistic about your political and ideological choices. The memories that students form at college will last a lifetime, but the collegiate experience itself will not. College students need to remember that there is life outside of campus, and remain present and focused on the people they will become in the future. MR


Just Get Rid of It!


WITH TUITION GOING up with no signs of stopping, it is once again time to much is college worth? In recent years, many people on either side of the political spectrum have been questioning the validity of the current college environment. In the September issue of Forbes, Charles Murray wrote an article articulating what appears in his book, “Real Education: Four Simple Truths for Bringing America’s Schools Back to Reality.” In it, he dissects the lackadaisical approach to education that limits classroom time to four days a week. He quotes a Duke administrator as saying “We’ve run out of classroom space between 10:00 a.m. and 2:30 p.m., Tuesday through Thursday.” Clearly, the push for educational superiority in our nation’s universities has hit a serious snag, but it’s not a one-dimensional problem. Professors and students alike have contributed to an academic culture lacking in maturity and intellect. College educators have low expectations of their students, and students have low expectations of themselves and frequently attempt to tilt the playing table in their favor. “Professors are under pressure to accommodate students even when it comes to right and wrong answers. Talk to any college teacher and you will hear bemused accounts of encounters with students who think that the teacher’s criticisms of their work are ‘just your opinion…” Immaturity, thoughtlessness and a sense of entitlement are frequent characteristics of college students, even at a “prestigious” university such as Michigan. For many students college is a means of pushing away the inevitable crush of adulthood. When at one time maturity was expected at eighteen, now “thirtysomethings” are still searching for direction. Of course, marriage and children at sixteen and a fully-operational farmstead at


MARY SUE COLEMAN’S recent dismissal of the Amethyst Initiative, a proposal aimed at lowering the drinking age from twenty-one to eighteen, has


spurred even more debate around campus. The Initiative’s website reads “Adults under 21 are deemed capable of voting, signing contracts, serving on juries and enlisting in the military, but are told they are not mature enough to have a beer.” This is definitely a valid point, and I strongly agree with it, but why stop at eighteen? Adults under the age of twentyone should also be “deemed capable” of making decisions for themselves, which is my main problem with the government telling people of any age not to drink. Personally, I view alcohol as very unappealing. At certain times, however, I’ve found myself wanting to obtain alcohol just to spite the government, which came as a big surprise to me upon entering college. After thinking about it, however, it made complete sense. The legal age limit on alcohol only enflames the natural human tendency to desire things that are forbidden. Whether you are talking about drugs, sex, or candy (at young ages), people are obsessed with rebellion. When the government enforces drinking laws, they are essentially (in a metaphorical sense) a mother hiding presents from a child. If the parent makes it clear that they do not want the child to see the presents before Christmas, then the child is going to do whatever he can to find the presents and look at them before Christmas.

If a mother gave free access to the gifts, looking at them before Christmas would lose a significant amount of appeal. The same concept can be applied to alcohol. If the government would keep their hands out and allow citizens of any age to buy and consume alcohol, I strongly believe that teenagers would be less likely to binge drink. The government, while they do mean well with their limits on alcohol, are doing much more harm than good. My understanding of teen alcohol culture is one of people over the age of twenty-one buying alcohol for teenagers. When alcohol is available, underage students want to make the occasion worth it so there will be a catalogue of stories to tell their friends. Because of this, they drink in large amounts to make the occasion memorable, which can lead to many dangerous situations. Parties are also “forbidden” due to the stigma placed on it by families. Getting drunk becomes not only a method to defy society, but also a shallow method of rebellion against parental authority. People need to be trusted to choose for themselves in issues such as substance abuse. While at the beginning there may be abuse problems if the age limit were to be abolished, they would be the temporary sting before a long-term fix. Family acceptance of alcohol in minor amounts would become mainstream, and weekend parties where someone’s brother bought a keg would become less worthy of an event. While it may seem simplistic to rid of the drinking age, it really is not that far of a stretch. The government needs to understand that people can make responsible decisions for themselves, and that any laws against alcohol only cloud that judgment by bringing in rebellious factors. MR


09.30.2008 4.1.08


The Omnipotent Opiner

The Model Minority

Dysfunctional Debates

The Bail Out: Wall Street and Main Street



AS PRESIDENT GEORGE W. Bush and Senator John Kerry were participating in the second 2004 Presidential debate in St. Louis, Missouri, a fracas developed outside of the auditorium. While there were many peaceful protesters near the debate grounds throughout the night, a man had attempted to push through a line of police officers with the hope of gaining access to the debate. Seeing the activist as a threat, the police immediately detained him and ejected him from the premises. The arrest received little attention adam in the press the next morning since the majorpascarella ity of the American people were focusing to see which candidate received the bigger bounce in the newest polls. Most Americans, however, did not realize that the arrested protester was actually running to become the next President of the United States. In a press release distributed the next day, David Cobb, presidential candidate for the Green Party, described his motives for protesting the debate. “The real crime is the hijacking of our democracy,” he said, before going on to receive .096 percent of the vote in the 2004 Presidential election. Although the Green Party candidate’s rhetoric may seem extreme, he may have had a point. From Richard Nixon’s infamous decision to forego using makeup in the 1960 debate to Ronald Reagan claiming that he was not going to “exploit… [Walter Mondale’s] youth and inexperience” in 1984, Presidential debates have been regarded as a cornerstone of American democracy. For the past twenty years, however, a forum designed to promote voter education has been radically transformed into a forum of memorized talking points and carefully designed rules for both candidates. And with Senators McCain and Obama about to participate in three debates, the public should expect the same old arguments, whether it is “change,” “experience,” or “progress.” The truly ironic part is that while Washington is often criticized for being unable to compromise on major issues, it was a bipartisan agreement that would formally taint the foundations of the Presidential debate. The vehicle for limiting the amount of legitimate debate between candidates was the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD). Founded in 1988, the CPD replaced the League of Women Voters as the political body that was designed to “institutionalize the debates and strengthen the role of the political parties in the electoral process.” Granted, while the debate process wasn’t perfect under the League of Women Voter’s direction (there could have been a process to allow third party candidates to participate in order to enliven the debates), the CPD created a truly flawed debate format by allowing both political parties to dictate the rules and conduct of the debate. For one thing, so-called “Memoranda of Understanding” are established by both campaigns in order to establish a framework of common behavior for both candidates. You want to grill your opponent about some ridiculous statement that he made about health care? Forget about it. What if you want to bring in a chart or diagram to explain your newest plan to cure Social Security? Don’t even go there. While the Memoranda of Understanding are often released to the public (there was a large uproar over the conduct restricted by the 2004 Memorandum), the agreement between McCain and Obama has not been released. They obviously have nothing to hide, right? While the CPD is supposed to be all about voter education, they definitely aren’t hesitant to accept the occasional corporate contribution. It is virtually unknown that Presidential debates are indeed sponsored by private entities. In 1992, Philip Morris sponsored a hospitality event at the debate, offering free food and amenities to politicians and journalists. At the third 2000 Presidential debate, Anheuser-Busch offered food, drinks, and even ping-pong to its guests while distributing literature about unfair beer taxes in America. These soft-money contributions certainly do not go unnoticed by many of the nation’s most influential policymakers. Change is obviously needed in Presidential debates. Limiting the moderator’s position in order to allow the candidates to aggressively question each other, permitting third party candidates to participate, or even allowing the League of Women Voters to administer the debates will be a major step in promoting voter education. Our elections are too important to be comprised of clever talking points and slogans that are carefully crafted by the hands of speechwriters and spin-doctors. The American people deserve some truth when selecting the future leaders of their country. MR

ANY TIME I want to find out how “middle America” feels about a particular issue, I read my hometown newspaper. Mark Twain once said that when the world ended, he’d move to Cincinnati, because then he’d have another 20 years to spare. My hometown likes high school football, three-way cheese coneys, friendly people, and as little change as possible. But when the Letters to the Editor all tend to be about the same topic, and the front-page story is about something other than the latest Bengals matchup, I know something big is going on. Today was no exception. Every single letter is about the jane possible $700 billion dollar bailout of Wall Street corporacoaston tions that has put the Bush Administration on the defensive and made the country’s financial woes water-cooler conversation. Beth Schweiger of Delhi Township wrote, “I don’t know why the American people should be forced to bail out the CEOs and presidents of the companies that have brought about this crisis. It is their GREED that has caused this mess. Their assets and personal property, national and foreign, should be seized and used as part of the solution.” She’s not the only one. From Emmette Boone of College Corner: “Do not bail out companies that have been raped by thieves and managed poorly so they can continue their poor business practices in the future, especially do not use taxpayers’ dollars to bail them out”. Lawmakers are getting calls, emails, and letters in unprecedented numbers. According to the New York Times, Senator Barbara Boxer received 17,000 emails and 2,000 phone calls. Everyone has an opinion on the bail-out—how it should work, why it might not work, and whether it’s the government’s role to bail any companies out at all. Most people are saying that this is the wrong direction, and the questions posed to the Secretary of the Treasury Henry Paulson by the Senate Banking Committee showed that senators feel very much the same way. President Bush said in a televised speech on September 24th that he would not normally support such an aggressive intervention by the federal government, but desperate times call for desperate measures. “The market is not functioning properly. There has been a widespread loss of confidence, and major sectors of America’s financial system are at risk of shutting down. The government’s top economic experts warn that, without immediate action by Congress, America could slip into a financial panic and a distressing scenario would unfold.” Following that logic, and knowing what I’ve learned about the financial crisis, I understand the reasons for the bailout. I don’t want banks to fail, I don’t want an increase in foreclosures, and I have too many college loans to be able to ignore the increase in interest rates and the decrease in credit. I can even understand a possible influx of American money into foreign banks that have large shares in American companies and hold the money of thousands of American citizens. But the phones in Washington keep ringing and more citizens are making their voices heard. People are angry, because this proposal won’t hurt the wealthiest people who are most likely to have been major players in the mortgage crisis or on Wall Street. It’s going to hurt the people who write letters to the Cincinnati Enquirer, who take out loans to send their kids to Catholic schools and work hard to own their own home and go to the Ohio River to see the fireworks on Labor Day. To them, it’s just another case of the wealthiest Americans pulling one over on the little guy.

But whatever happens, I hope the major deciders remember that behind the spikes on Wall Street and the nervousness of investment bankers, there’s an America that deserves financial security. I don’t know what will get decided in the next few days. House and Senate negotiators have agreed to support President Bush’s proposal, but Senators Obama and McCain are meeting with the President and other Congressional Leaders to see what can get done. But whatever happens, I hope the major deciders remember that behind the spikes on Wall Street and the nervousness of investment bankers, there’s an America that deserves financial security. MR


09.30.2008 4.1.08 TUITION Continued from FRONT PAGE

recruiters of Michigan talent are now forced to look elsewhere or not hire at all. “That person graduating may wind up as an accountant where they might have gotten a big Wall Street job.” There is, however, some good news. “Looking at the statistics, people with higher degrees always have extraordinarily low unemployment rates.” Firms that would offer the lucrative pay and benefits packages of the past may not be hiring as frequently and the jobs that Michigan graduates obtain might not be within their area of choice, but graduates will be able to find SLACKER Continued from FRONT PAGE


surer Kyra VandeBunte shed light on the group’s financial situation. The CDs do not charge their members dues and raise most of their funds through t-shirt sales, which has been fairly profitable with recently expanded membership. The CDs also raise funds through a direct mailing campaign and sponsorship of a bar-night-andbreakfast. In terms of outside support for the CDs, neither the Michigan Federation of College Democrats nor the National Federation of College Democrats provides funds to the Michigan Chapter, according to VandeBunte. In the past, the organization has received financial support from the Washtenaw County Democrats. Non-profit help for the CDs or the CRs from ideological organizations would violate those organizations’ 501(c)(3) tax exempt status, which prevents nonprofits from using money to influence elections for public office. The CDs have used their funds to plan events and

jobs within six months of graduation. Other occupations are still great for job hunters. “Jobs in health care have expanded in employment every year for the past eight, even in Michigan.” These include not only medical professions, but also jobs in management and consulting. Government positions may also be a boon to new graduates: “Assuming that there is this tremendous expansion in the government’s role in the financial markets, there might be some great opportunities for people with finance backgrounds, within the Federal Reserve (for example). These jobs

won’t have the same pay, but graduates can help regulate us out of this crisis.” Students with degrees in statistics and economics who might have worked for Wall Street firms might be able to get analyst positions with the government, especially if the planned bailout requires unprecedented access by members of the Treasury into Wall Street ledgers. Still, graduating seniors have reason to be concerned as the fight for jobs after graduation gets tougher. MR

tour, citing a few incidents in which conservatives allegedly attempted to pay universities or students substantial sums of money in order to prevent him from speaking. Moore lauded the efforts of students who fought for the right to have him speak. He also poked fun at those who counter-protested at his rallies, including some students who began chanting a prayer, the Hail Mary, at him during one of his speeches and one girl who suggested that people who did not support the President should be exiled and murdered. These moments were posited as comical, intending to poke fun at Bush supporters and cultural conservatives alike. Despite the fact that Kerry lost the 2004 election, the sheer size of these passionate, screaming crowds of Kerry supporters that Moore’s rallies drew was overwhelming, and illustrated Moore’s point – that there are thousands of extremely enthusiastic, politically engaged young people in America, and that they do have a serious impact on the outcome of elections. As Moore points out, even though Bush won, no incumbent President has ever won by so small a margin, thanks in part to the efforts of young (mostly left-leaning) voters. Those who attended the speech and film were generally excited; there was much applause and cheering for both Moore’s speech itself and for the speeches filmed in “Slacker Uprising.” Margaret Chen, a senior, said that Moore’s lecture was effective because he is a relatable and pas-

sionate figure. “Moore brought up some good points about the election and got me thinking about different issues,” said Chen. “Some of his comments about the Republican Party may have been a little overboard, but since I’m fully in support of Obama, his speech turned out to be super encouraging, especially at the end of his speech when he put his faith in the youth to turn up for the upcoming election.” Sam Bates, a junior, took a different view. “I agree with Michael Moore’s ideas and stances,” said Bates. “However, his new movie was more about himself than the thousands of supporters he claimed to have made it for. He revels in his own spotlight, and can be just as narrowminded and abrasive as the conservatives he mocks.” The presentation was sponsored by UM’s School of Art and Design, as part of the Penny W. Stamps Distinguished Visitor series dedicated to bringing influential artists of a wide range of genres to campus to give free lectures for any interested students. While this was originally simply intended to be a lecture, Moore decided weeks before the presentation to provide a free premiere as well. MR

make themselves and their candidate more visible on campus. This has required them to purchase supplies like clipboards and voter registration forms, “small minute stuff that adds up,” VandeBunte commented. The CDs have also covered transportation costs for “district invasions” where CD members go to various counties and canvass for Democratic candidates. One such candidate is Gary Peters who is campaigning against Representative Joe Knollenberg in Michigan’s 9th congressional district. In the future, they plan to take a trip to Columbus, Ohio for a joint event with the Ohio State University chapter over fall break. On the other side of the political spectrum, College Republican’s Chairman Brady Smith stated that in order to raise funds, the CRs charge their members $10 in dues; something Smith considers “starter money” for early CR events and fundraisers. The CRs also make a considerable amount of money selling t-shirts. Awaiting the delivery of McCain paraphernalia, including

buttons and McCain-Palin t-shirts, the CRs plan to sell these at near-wholesale price. The CRs have little outside help as well, as non-profit donations are impossible. “It’s tough for us to get grant money,” Smith said. The CRs have sponsored phone-banking events on campus, where assembled Republicans call citizens on behalf of the McCain Victory Campaign. Other planned events include a Homecoming tailgate. Events, particularly speakers are planned, yet the booking is a significant expense. As the election draws near, expect to see members of the CRs and the CDs out in force, fighting for the hearts and minds of the Michigan electorate. MR

THE MICHIGAN REVIEW is now in your ear. Check out our podcasts online with guests and commentary!

In the interests of full disclosure, the author is a member of the College Republicans.


to open. Roughly, 1,700 people attended. Because of the astronomical turnout, Moore held a second screening, which, according to a representative at the Michigan Theater, about 160 people attended. Moore spoke for about an hour and a half prior to the movie, criticizing the Republican Party – in particular the Bush administration – to raucous applause. He argued that America is “a fairly liberal country” – particularly Americans between 18 and 29 – and that if more young people voted, a Democratic victory would be inevitable. Moore referred to “Slacker Uprising” as “the people’s film,” calling it a “gift” to all of his supportive fans. It became available for free download on Tuesday, September 23. While most of Moore’s other documentaries are designed to target a specific political issue, this film focused on Moore’s efforts to support Kerry during the 2004 election. During a 62-city tour of universities in the 20 battleground states, he tried to encourage college students to vote by decrying the wrongs of the Bush administration – particularly the Iraq war and civil rights issues – and offering any “slacker” who registered to vote a pack of clean underwear and some Ramen noodles. The rallies also involved numerous appearances and performances by celebrities, ranging from the band R.E.M. to the comedienne Roseanne Barr. The film gave time to both to Moore’s speeches and to the enthusiasm of Kerry supporters and Moore fans at these rallies. It also detailed some of the negative reactions to his


09.30.2008 4.1.08



Libertarians Give Away Gun Lesson on Second Amendment


On September 24th, the Michigan Libertarians had their Second Annual Gun Giveaway. Speaking to the small crowd assembled, the Michigan Libertarians had Leon Drolet, Chairman of the Michigan Taxpayers Alliance and a former state congressman, give his opinions on the Second Amendment, as well as a short review of the process for obtaining a concealed carry permit in Michigan. “Every day, people’s right to their property is violated,” he said, citing police sale of convicted person’s property, and what he considers illegal wiretaps. Additionally, efforts to impinge on the right to bear arms have repeatedly failed in the ballot box. The right was recently upheld by the Supreme Court in last session’s Heller v. District of Columbia case, which Drolet considered too close with a 4-3 decision. In 1996, state law was changed to make Michigan a “will issue” state. This replaced the gun boards that used to, and frequently did not, issue concealed weapons permits. Drolet used the example of state congressman Jim Ryan, a Republican who voted against the concealed carry reform. He was defeated by a pro-gun Democrat and the popular scorn of his constituents in

Ballot Initiative Rundown

the next election. Drolet notes that the implementation of a monopoly of violence is crucial to the power of any state. Yet as Americans we have broken that hegemony, a fact that the state finds “unsettling.” The Castle doctrine, which governs the right of citizens to defend themselves in their own homes, was also a topic of discussion. “Your home is your castle…you can defend your family without fear of prosecution,” Drolet explained. The Castle doctrine is largely based on English Common Law, and in the state of Michigan, Section 768.21c of the Code of Criminal Procedure states, “the common law of this state applies except that the duty to retreat before using deadly force is not required if an individual is in his or her own dwelling or within the curtilage of that dwelling.” “The Bill of Rights was created for citizens, not government,” he stated. Politicians have learned one lesson for now, “they’ve temporarily given up…but they’ll always be back.” He also quickly summarized the laws in Michigan, briefly going over the limits for getting a concealed carry permit and where you cannot carry them–dorms and classrooms are off limits here on campus, along with churches, financial institutions, courts, theaters, hospitals, sports arenas, restaurants with a liquor li-

GUN Continued on PAGE 10

Good Samaritan Policy Hits Roadblocks at U-M



Unlike the student activism that surrounded the Proposal 2 affirmative action ban in the 2007 election, most students are unable to even name a single proposal on this year’s Michigan ballot. When asked about whether she knew about the Michigan ballot proposals, one student and Michigan voter simply answered, “I am shamefully clueless.” For those who would like to refrain from being completely “clueless” at the voting booth this November, here is an overview of the 2008 Michigan Ballot Initiatives: Proposal 1: Coalition for Compassionate Care For the past couple of years, individuals with signs saying “Legalize Medical Marijuana” have asked Ann Arbor passers-by to sign ballots advocating what will be now be labeled on Michigan ballots as the “Coalition for Compassionate Care” initiative. There has already been a local medical marijuana initiative passed with 74% approval in Ann Arbor, along with other local initiatives passed in Detroit, Ferndale, Flint, and Traverse City. This specific initiative will appear in the upcoming November election on the state-wide ballot. Beyond asking whether marijuana should be legalized for medical purposes, voters should also think about the following specific questions. These are considerations that necessarily entail in the passing of the initiative:

Save your friend or save yourself? This question may seem out of the ordinary, but thousands of college students across the country will face this question this year. An apparent overdose on illegal drugs or alcohol can be a confusing and scary experience. With the added concern of judicial consequences, hesitation to act is a recurring theme. Many organizations on campus, specifically the SSDP (Students for a Sensible Drug Policy), are pushing for the implementation of a Good Samaritan Policy. The Good Samaritan Policy would allow the friend of someone who has potentially overdosed on drugs or alcohol to contact medical and police assistance, without the fear of having charges pressed against their friend or themselves. The policy has been implemented at over a hundred colleges and universities across the United States, as well as the entire state of New Mexico. Supporters of the Good Samaritan Policy believe that the policy would save lives. “The Good Samaritan Policy would remove the hesitation of students to contact medical help,” said University of Michigan SSDP Executive Director, Chris Chiles. “During an apparent overdose, every minute spent worrying about criminal consequences is another minute it will take for help to arrive. That minute can very literally be the difference between life and death.” Supporters also cite a 2006 study from the International Journal of Drug Policy. According to the study, emergency calls doubled at Cornell University after it put into place its Good Samaritan Policy in 2002. However, alcohol abuse rates have remained constant. Opponents of the Good Samaritan Policy say the

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cense, and day care centers. According to the National Rifle Association’s summary of the laws in Michigan, there are no permits needed to purchase a rifle or shotgun; the only requirement is that you must be over 18 years old and not be under indictment or a convicted felon. For handguns, you must be 18, a US citizen, Michigan resident, have no felony convictions, have never been judged insane, and score above a 70% on a pistol safety test. The winner of the prize, a $250 gift certificate to Mill Creek Sports in Dexter, was junior Geoff Greening. He said that since he was nearing his twenty-first birthday, he would likely hold off buying a handgun until he would be able to apply for a concealed carry license. He stated that he would prefer a simple handgun, or perhaps a revolver. Greening commented that, in doing research concerning the pertinent handgun laws prior to the event, “It was hard to get straight information off of Michigan government websites.” Michigan Libertarians Co-Chair Eric Plourde was very pleased with the turnout, and stated that the group plans to continue the gun raffle yearly. It was the Michigan Libertarians’ first event this year, and though the turnout was modest, Plourde noted that regular

policy violates state laws. Diane Brown of the University Health Service (UHS) doesn’t believe the policy can be strictly implemented at the University, without violating state laws. “Legally, a police officer can not be in the presence of a violation of a law, and not warrant a ticket or arrest.” Michigan Representative Rebekah Warren (53rd District) disagrees with this position. “Michigan’s constitution gives our public universities broad autonomy on creating university policies that are in the best interest of the student body and staff.” Currently, only one public university in the state of Michigan utilizes the Good Samaritan Policy. Kalamazoo College has put into place a Medical Amnesty Program, which follows the example set by universities across the country such as Cornell and Harvard. At the moment, the program has been considered a success and no legal issues have appeared. The legality of this policy has been of great debate by many in the University. Because of this concern, the University’s Alcohol and Other Drug Review Committee decided not to recommend putting in place the Good Samaritan Policy. The committee will look at the issue again later, research pending from the University of Michigan Substance Abuse Research Center (UMSARC). Disappointed but determined, Chris Chiles said, “It’s been a tough campaign over the past few months, but I’m not giving up on this.” With no recommendation by the University’s Alcohol and Other Drug Review Committee to put policy into place, only one thing is for certain: many students are hoping to see a change in policies regarding alcohol and drug overdoses. MR




August 1st of 2009 will mark the launch of a new manifestation of the Servicemen’s Readjustment Act, otherwise known as the GI Bill. The “Post 9/11 GI Bill” entitles veterans who have served at least ninety days in the military after September 11, 2001 to full tuition at a public in-state school, a housing stipend of approximately $1,100 a month and a book and supply stipend of $1000 a year. The new bill improves upon the former Montgomery GI Bill enacted in 1985 that provided student veterans with only $1,321 a month and charged an enrollment fee of $1,200. On the campus of the University, student veterans of the War on Terror have gained a stronger presence through their efforts at working with members of the administration to gain benefits. Two such students, Branden DeRoche, a freshman planning on studying business and Peter Turpel, a sophomore studying mechanical engineering, are looking forward to the possible benefits of the new manifestation of the GI Bill and discussed in an interview their own experiences of serving in the armed services. Peter Turpel served in Iraq for a year-long tour, and DeRoche was stationed in North Carolina for four years. Both DeRoche and Turpel were in agreement that the Montgomery GI bill was both more complicated and did not really give student veterans the necessary money, especially considering housing costs, as compared to the new bill. “In-state tuition [paid for] and with all the benefits it will be sweet,” Turpel commented. When asked to comment on the experience of serving in the armed forces before coming to college, both were in agreement that the experience was a positive one. “I am older and I know what I want to do. [Now] I know the purpose behind [my] education which a lot of kids don’t know,” DeRoche reflected. When asked about his plans for attending college after the service, he responded, “I wanted to join since I was thirteen. Money for school is just icing on the cake.” Both thought that the experience of serving in the military was useful, even enjoyable at times, but it was not all fun, “Anytime you lose people,” Turpel commented. “Yeah, [I joined the military] partly for school money and I always wanted to. I knew I wasn’t going to get enough money for school,” stated Turpel. When asked how he felt about his experience he stated, “I am more focused and collected and more mature.” As for skills that the military taught them which they have found useful at Michigan, both agreed that learning how to work with others in a military setting has translated well for them at Michigan. “[The military] has a diverse group of people to work with,” Turpel added, and that dealing with such diverse groups in the past has made adjusting here a lot easier. Both Turpel and DeRoche noted that though veterans are making progress here on campus, there is still a barrier between student veterans and the student population as a whole. “I don’t believe that we aren’t ‘accepted’ just that most other students don’t quite understand. It’s not that people are hostile, rather that they’re more unsure/hesitant because there’s less common ground to connect on,” Turpel said. Sentiments against the war have not helped to bridge this gap. After college, the two have diverging paths. “I ‘m being ‘activated’ or ‘mobilized’ [by the reserves] which forces me to withdraw from school [for two years]. I plan to get my degree and then go to grad school or work for an engineering company,” said Turpel, while DeRoche plans to, “Start [his] own business or work for another major business.” MR

Israeli MP Delivers Lecture BY SREYA VEMPATTI ‘12

On September 17, Aryeh Eldad, a member of the Knesset, the Israeli parliament, presented a talk about the Israel-Palestine conflict at the University of Michigan. Professor Eldad discussed his views on the topic, stressing that peaceful coexistence is not an option. This is the first time an Israeli member of parliament has spoken on campus. The event was jointly sponsored by Israel Idea, StandWithUs and the Zionist Organization of America, and had an audience of 150 people. Professor Eldad is not only a member of the National Union but also heads the plastic surgery unit at the Hadassah Medical Center in Jerusalem. He served as the Chief Medical Officer of the Israel Defense Forces between 1997 and 2000. “The way to stop terror is to stop the creation of a Palestinian state. A Palestinian state can be created only on the ruins of the state of Israel,” he said. Professor Eldad gave an overview of the background of the region, talking about the Balfour Declaration and the subsequent partition of the land into two separate states, one Arab and one Jewish, and the 1948 establishment of the Jewish state as an independent country, Israel. He explained the reasons behind the Israel-Palestine conflict, debunking the assumption that the conflict is territorial. He said if it were territorial, it could have been solved long ago. According to Eldad, the conflict is due to a clash of religion and civilization. “Conflict is a local symptom of global disease,” he said, explaining that countries everywhere are afraid of cultural infiltration, giving the example of European countries’ concern with the ‘Islamization’ of their continent. He believes the occupation should be ended if peace will ever be restored in the region but said Arabs enjoy more support because they are major oil producers.


Student Veterans Anticipate New GI Bill

“The way to stop terror is to stop the creation of a Palestinian state.” Professor Eldad said it was no use trying to divide the territory, as doing so would only appease the Arabs. He blamed the leaders for misleading the people by categorizing the conflict as territorial. He proposed the formation of two separate states and the resettlement of refugees, bringing forth the idea that the citizens of Israel can simultaneously be residents of the state of Palestine. Professor Eldad recounted a story in which he treated a 20-year-old suicide bomber. He said the bomber wanted to blow up at a bat mitzvah but only partially executed the attack because there weren’t enough children present. He blamed the Ministry of Education for approving textbooks that generate more hatred, citing math problems that involved calculating the relationship between suicide bombers and number of people killed. Eldad wants the Israelis to stay firm on their values and interests and ensure Palestine does not defeat them by force. He pointed out that the recognition of the right to a Jewish state is more important than a mere declaration and said “we will not have peace with the Arabs forever, but may gain respect.” MR

Wolverine Scholars Program Unveiled BY CHERRI BUIJK ‘10

The University of Michigan Law School has recently introduced its “Wolverine Scholars Program,” an initiative for undergraduate U-M students interested in legal studies at the U-M Law School. Having an “in-depth familiarity with Michigan undergrad curricula and faculty,” the program allows for a highly selective, well-informed process of selection. The program, its website explains, is confident that assessing academic strengths of the student applicants could be accomplished without outside assessment standards: the program will waive the typically-required submission of an LSAT score. The program stresses that its “admissions review and philosophy is the same for the Wolverine Scholars Program as it is generally.” It emphasizes a holistic evaluation that requires assessment of leadership, determination and discipline, and creativity and resilience in dealing with adversity. The process would seek to place academic achievement in context of the total student experience and background, including work experience, goals, perspectives, and socioeconomic background. An LSAT score submission is not the only element being waived. “Because we wish to encourage broad participation in this program, we will waive the usual application fee for anyone applying under the Wolverine Scholars Program,” the program says. The National Law Journal took notice of the program, interviewing Admissions Dean Sarah Zearfoss. The program, she said, is an attempt to increase applications for U-M Law School from both in-state residents of Michigan and U-M undergrads. “There’s a perception among Michigan undergrads that they don’t have a chance of getting in (to the law school),” Zearfoss told the journal. “People end up not applying because their LSAT score is below the median. They just give up.” Some, however, have already voiced criticism of the program. Jurisdynamics Network, which seeks to assess law “amidst societal and technological change,” exhibited an entry in their MoneyLaw blog by Tim W. Bell, professor at Chapman University School of Law. In it, he posits a skeptical interpretation of U-M law school motives

behind the creation of the program. “I wonder if the University of Michigan Law School counts among them an opportunity to improve its performance in the U.S. News and World Report rankings. After all, the Law School can hardly report LSAT scores for its IL [International Law] Wolverine Scholars if no such scores exist. Yet those same students offer the school a chance to greatly improve the mean GPA of its IL class.” Bell’s criticism stems from the program’s requirement, not simply its toleration, that applicants need not have taken the LSAT test. Further specifications for the Wolverine Scholars Program application require that U-M undergraduates complete their junior year, and be either a rising or graduating senior. Applicants must also have completed six full-time semesters of attendance at the U-M Ann Arbor campus, and must have at least a 3.80 GPA. TheWolverine Scholars Program will be accepting applications for PHOTO JOSEPH XU / MR STAFF the Fall 2010 term. MR


Rocking the


Cops Can Be Pro-Drugs, Too BY ZACK DIVOZZO ‘11

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DRUGS Continued on PAGE 11


Rock the Vote, commissioning a bipartisan research team that conducted a phone survey of 500 18-29 year olds, released last week its most recent polling results for the age group since February. The poll, which dealt with prospective young voter turnout for the November 4 presidential election and partisan leanings as well as questions of young voter values and concerns as political participants, found that young adults will be voting in record high numbers, and they will be voting strongly Democratic. According to Rock the Vote, young voter turnout in every state’s contests has doubled or tripled between 2004 and 2008, a trend expected to follow through to the 2008 presidential election: In 2004, Rock the Vote, the nation’s largest young voter registration organization, had witnessed 1 million registered voters for the age group; as of September 23, 1.6 million were registered to vote, and that number is still growing. According to the poll, 82% are expected to a cast a ballot in November. “This election year the issues are important, the stakes are high, the playing field is historic – and young voters know it,” said Rock The Vote’s Executive Director Heather Smith in a press teleconference. The poll shows Barack Obama with a 27 point advantage over McCain, with 48% strongly in favor of the Obama-Biden ticket and 28% strongly in favor of McCainPalin. This can be attributed in part, according to Rock the Vote, by Obama’s 18 point advantage in sharing the values of young people, 74% of which say that change is most important to them. Democratic analysts for Rock the Vote anticipate long-term trends toward Democratic affiliation for this generation of now-young voters, a generation that - though not all are currently of voting age – is “bigger in size than the baby boomer generation.” The analysts believe that they could “remake the political landscape a la Carl Rove... for decades to come,” citing University of Michigan research that found the pattern of voters’ political association in the first three elections of their political experience to be strongly indicative of their future political affiliation as adults. At the same time, increase in the political interest of 18-29 year olds has been significant among Republicans as well, as Brian Nienaber of the Tarrance Group, who worked for Rock The Vote’s recent polling, points out. “John McCain is engaging young people like no Republican candidate has since Ronald Reagan in 1980,” he said. Simultaneously, the potential impact of this age group in the election process could be at risk of being softened, according to some cases of college-age voter registration impediments. The Roanoke Times reported a Virginia County official’s recent attempt to convince students that changing their permanent address to Blacksburg, their stu

While it may seem that an event on the legalization of drugs hosted by Students for a Sensible Drug Policy would only be attended by a handful of campus stoners, in reality it was anything but. The event, held on September 18th and titled “Why the War on Drugs Was Never Meant To Be Won”, drew a large group of people and touched on many areas that are relatable to a wide spectrum of viewpoints. Greg Francisco, the event’s speaker, joined the Coast Guard after a few years of college at Michigan State. He served off the coast of Boston, where his job was to inform boaters of various boating safety precautions that they were unaware of. The occasional drug smuggling case would arise, but for the most part his job was to help the people on the water. After Ronald Reagan came into office and initiated his Zero Drug Tolerance policy, however, Francisco’s job quickly transformed. He was required to randomly board ten to fifteen boats per day in order to arrest any boater who was in possession of drugs, no matter the amount. Towards the middle of his speech, Francisco created an interesting metaphor by likening drugs to a force of nature. When society deals with tornados, hurricanes, or other natural forces, they don’t try to stop them. Instead, they teach their children how to stay safe throughout their duration. Francisco was a staunch advocate of educating children in communities to either stay away from drugs or responsibly use them. This takes away the “exotic” or “cool” stigma placed on drugs, which is only in place because of the mysterious aura surrounding them. Francisco also made an appeal to conservative ears, asking why so many of them are for the war on drugs. He argued that it goes against the core conservative values of small government and lower taxes. Hundreds of thousands of people are imprisoned each year for marijuana possession, and it costs an astronomical amount of money to hold them in prison and put them through trial. This, Francisco claimed, is why the War on Drugs is only perpetuating a larger and more intrusive government. His most important point during the discussion, however, was that winning the War on Drugs is simply unachievable. When drugs become scarce, their value increases, which not only heightens the danger but brings a larger number of individuals into the trade. When drugs are worth so much money, the risk to enter the dangerous trade becomes an acceptable option to people who may not have considered it before. Francisco claimed that ceasing the War on Drugs would end this life-threatening trade overnight by making drugs easier to obtain. In an interview with Lieutenant Logghe of the Ann Arbor police department, however, Logghe said that it is “simplistic to say we should legalize drugs.” While he admitted that education is very important when dealing with drug policy, Logghe advocated a balanced approach between force and education. “Nobody wants to be an alcoholic,” Logghe said, which was the main reason why he is in favor of enforcing drug laws on people with “addictive personalities”. “It sounds like he [Francisco] is giving up. We can’t give up.” Francisco also mentioned that the War on Drugs is very corrupt. The police force loves hunting drug users because the war’s forty billion dollar a year budget gives them hefty grants and new “toys” to use against harmless people instead of focusing on real criminals. Government instituted rehabilitation clinics, which drug users are forced to attend in some cases, are also fans of the War on Drugs. Lieutenant Logghe of the Ann Arbor police, however, seemed to dispute Francisco’s points regarding police officers. When asked about extra funding to fight the war on drugs, Logghe said with a laugh that he “hasn’t seen it.”


Bisexuality Day Doesn’t Go BothWays BY CHRISTINE HWANG ‘10

No music was sung at the Celebrating Bisexuality Day “Redefinition of Identity” concert and lecture given by a feminist, Asian-American activist musician Magdalen Hsu-Li at the Kerrytown Concert House. “Like so many Americans can relate to right now,” claimed Hsu-Li, “I caught the flu a few days ago—so I can’t sing tonight.” Instead, the audience listened to Hsu-Li talk about the struggles she went through growing up in the South as an Asian, bisexual woman with Tourette’s Syndrome. Breaks were taken during the talk as Hsu-Li played tracks off her various CDs to show the audience how she felt during different stages of her life. “It’s so great for me to talk to a left-leaning audience,” said Hsu-Li, starting off her lecture with the first of many political comments that roused the audience, “It’s hard for me, of course, because I get sent to the middle of nowhere…to the red states.” Hsu-Li herself grew up in the “middle of nowhere.” Hsu-Li described her hometown, Martinsville, Virginia, as the epitome of the stereotypical Southern small town, racist and attached to memories of the Confederacy. Her parents, strongly right wing and Republican, had escaped China during the Cultural Revolution. Though her parents assimilated into the ways of the white southern upper-class, Hsu-Li said that going to the prep school she attended was like walking around with a giant “A” for “Asian” pinned to her chest. “People would ask me, ‘What are you?’” said Hsu-

Li, to which she would answer, “I’m American,” an answer that few were willing to hear. “When someone asks you this enough,” said HsuLi, “You start to wonder, ‘What am I?’” In her home life, Hsu-Li struggled with fitting into the Asian-American stereotype of the “model minority,” which made her fight with Tourette’s Syndrome significantly more difficult, as it did not fit into her parents’ image of the “perfect Asian girl” she was intended to become. Hsu-Li described her struggle with Tourette’s Syndrome as the darkest period of her life. When she was sixteen, she decided that she was going to train herself to fight the symptoms of the debilitating disease, and was eventually able to control the stuttering and outbursts that are signposts of the disorder. Hsu-Li’s road to becoming a musician came after being successful at the Rhode Island School of Art and Design, where she dreamed of wearing black and chain-smoking with other serious-minded artists in New York City. That is, until one night she dreamed that she was in Seattle, which is where she interpreted that she was supposed to be a part of the rock revolution. In Seattle, she replaced her dreams of being an artist with being a rock musician and pursued this dream by attending music school. This path into the music world suddenly changed during an incident when one of her professors asked her, “Why can’t you be more submissive like the other Asian girls in this school?”

Hsu-Li went back to the professor and asked him why he asked her that, but he denied ever asking the question, and soon word spread to the administration, which told her that they believed he misinterpreted her. After this, Hsu-Li dropped out of college and decided to go on tour, where she has remained for several years. “I’ve been to crazy places and five star hotels,” said Hsu-Li, “I never expected my life would ever turn out this way.” Towards the end of her talk, Hsu-Li finally discussed her coming out as bisexual. She remembers being on the road and being asked, “You’re just a baby bisexual, aren’t you?” “Maybe,” she answered. Speculation surrounded her sexuality, which inspired her to eventually make her bisexuality public. “I came out as out as I could be,” said Hsu-Li, “To shape myself before others can shape me.” Proud of what she does, which she says is, “really about service, giving back pieces of me,” Hsu-Li never denies what her work is about. She described how old ladies on airplanes would ask her, “What do you do for a living?” “I would tell them that I make music for a living,” said Hsu-Li. When asked what type of music, HsuLi would answer, “gay, lesbian, bisexual, feminist, Asian…” Hsu-Li imitated the answers that the old ladies would give: “That’s nice,” followed by a pause, “Everyone’s got issues…” MR




Lindsey: “So everybody, we need an Arts & Culture column.”

The U-M Edition BY EDEN STIFFMAN ‘12

Whether you have been here for a month or several years, you have probably heard some of the myths circulating on campus. Despite the often outlandish sounding rumors, a Michigan professor who wishes to remain anonymous says, “psychological research shows that people hang on to casual explanations even when they know the story is wrong...Some things are so ‘good’ a fit with our beliefs that they should be true!” Despite the important (and entertaining) role they play in campus culture, it is time the facts behind these myths were exposed. Myth: We do not have snow days at U-M because a law student sued for a tuition refund. One professor claims that this is “not true, only Business School students have complained to their Dean about not getting their money’s worth when a class was once let out early. In fact, we had two or three snow days around nine years ago.” The University’s Standard Practice Guide on Emergency Closings says that “time lost from the regular work schedule during an Emergency Closing of the staff member’s area will be without loss of regular compensation.” While this guideline specifically concerns staff, Assistant General Counsel Jack Bernard says this “could be interpreted to be either the source of the myth or the result of it.” Myth: There are underground tunnels connecting South and West Quad. Director of Housing Communications, Peter Logan, says that while “there are narrow, crowded utility channels between South and West Quads for water, steam, condensate and other utilities -- they are not passageways. Access is constricted -- and restricted to only

maintenance personnel.” These tunnels can be found between numerous campus buildings, but most are under surveillance and getting caught can result in a fine. Explore are your own risk. Myth: If a U-M bus hits a student, the University will cover that student’s tuition. Regrettably, Dave Miller, Executive Director of Parking & Transportation Services says that to his knowledge “…this is a myth.” Kelly Cunningham, Director of Public Affairs, provided additional clarification. “Generally speaking, the University does not refund tuition after drop deadlines for accidents or illnesses. We do offer tuition insurance at very reasonable rates that would cover the costs of this hypothetical case. But it would require the student to have purchased the tuition insurance in advance,” she said. “As an institution, we do reserve the right to review each case individually and in some cases a canceling of the tuition charges would occur,” she added. Myth: There is a U-M flag on the moon. According to that same professor of cognitive psychology, “If there were ever any Michigan men on the moon, and there were, there is indeed a U-M flag there. And, likely, some urine.” As satisfying as this explanation is, further investigation through the Alumni Association revealed that in 1971, the all-U-M crew of the Apollo 15 brought several U-M items with them to the moon: a miniature U-M flag, a miniature Department of Aerospace Engineering seal, and a charter of the Alumni Club of the Moon. While the flag was, in fact, not left, the Alumni Club of the Moon’s charter does leave behind a mark of U-M pride. MR

Jonathan Kozol Speak on Latest Book Decries on No Child Left Behind BY CHERRI BUIJK ‘10

Last Friday, Wayne State University hosted a talk entitled “Still Separate, Still Unequal” presented by educator, activist, and author Jonathan Kozol. Kozol is both a controversial and celebrated figure in the world of education reform, having first drawn public notice in 1965 through his Boston Public Schools teaching position. Kozol, noticing the absence of black authors in the class curriculum, introduced the writing of Langston Hughes to his fourth grade students, and was subsequently fired for curriculum deviation. The backbone of the talk was his most recent book, “Letters to a Young Teacher,” an exchange in letter format between Kozol and a young teacher, Francesca, who is experiencing her first year teaching a first grade class in Boston’s inner city. Francesca, creating an environment of play and creative exploration for her students, functions as a challenge to prevalent expert opinion of childhood education: in Kozol’s words, an opinion that perpetuates “a “proto-miliatary method of instruction that marches [children] to the next high stakes exam.” The “high stakes exam” refers to provisions of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB), which requires “local educational agencies” to demonstrate student proficiency through standardized, state-created tests. According to an executive summary from the U.S. Department of Education, the NCLB “incorporates principles and strategies proposed by President Bush,” including “increased accountability for States, school districts, and schools; greater choice for parents and students, particularly those attending low-performing schools; more flexibility for States and local educational agencies (LEAs) in the use of Federal education dollars; and a stronger emphasis on reading, especially for our youngest children.” But to Kozol, these strategies ultimately do leave many children behind – particularly inner city children.

Recounting stories from more than three decades of nationwide visits to inner city schools, he gave numerous accounts of what he sees as the NCLB’s negative trajectories toward creating “future economic units for American society”: He met an elementary school principal in Columbus, Ohio, who “preferred to think of [herself] as the building CEO”; he observed a kinder KOZOL Continued on PAGE 11

(crickets) Jane enters. Jane: “’Sup.” Lindsey: “Hey Jane.” Jane: “’Holla.” Lindsey: “Do you want to write the Arts & Culture column?” Jane: “Not particularly.” Lindsey: “Oh. Well, I guess I’ll write it. What should I write it on…”

Arts & Culture

Lazy Sunday @ MRev

Jane: “You could have the Editor-inChief’s favorite drinks.” Lindsey: “We wrote about drinking in the last issue.” Rubs forehead. “Besides, I’m under-age…” Jane: “Oh yeah. Wait….really? Oh, yeah, no, I guess you’re right.” (crickets) Jane: “I mean, you could still write it.” Lindsey: “We need a new topic. How was the journalism conference in New York?” Jane: “It was pretty sweet. After living off of Raisin Bran crunch for the last few years, it was nice to sample mango compote on my French toast with an unlimited bar. The only issue was when they say they have unlimited food and alcoholic beverages, it’s not good to test them. My head hurts.” Lindsey: “Did they have Diet Cherry Coke and Jack?? Jane: “Yeah. That wasn’t the coolest thing they had though – the house cocktail was champagne and blackberry liquor – it had a French name but I don’t remember what it was. Yeah I had like three of those.” Lindsey: “Nice.” (crickets) Lindsey: “So seriously, what should I write on?” Jane: “Well, you could talk about the transience of our college years, relating it back to heresthetical political campaigns in concord with a summary of a 10 year period ranging from 1945 to 1990. That’s what I did for my last history paper.” Lindsey: “What is that, mad-libs for college essays?” Jane: (blinks) “Yes.” Lindsey: “Dude, hold on, good song.” (turns up volume on iPod) Lindsey & Jane: “(singing) I kinda always knew I’d end up your ex-girlfriend, I hope I hold a special place with the rest of them…” Lindsey: “Could I write about relationshi-?” Jane: “No, Carrie Bradshaw, you couldn’t.” Lindsey: “Maybe I’ll just record what you and I say in the hopes that other people will understand how amazing it is that we get any work done at all.” Jane: “That’s preposterous. You better not put that in the issue.” MR




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GUN Continued from PAGE 6

Libertarian meetings have had much-increased turnout. He attributed this in part to the election. He said the Libertarians plan to host more events, while avoiding partisan politics, and intend to participate in a debate with the College Democrats and College Republicans in October. When asked if he saw a growing Libertarian strain in college students, Plourde thought that many college students who are fiscal conservatives have more open views on social issues than in years past, and thus can feel no particular connection to either party. The Libertarians continue to pursue these men and women, to enhance their numbers both financially and socially. MR

BALLOT Continued from PAGE 6

Should patients and their caregivers be able to cultivate their own marijuana, with limitations put on the quantity that they could possess? Should ID cards be issued to patients prescribed with marijuana, along with penalties established for false or fraudulent ID cards? Should arrested patients and caregivers be allowed to openly discuss their use of marijuana in courts? Those who answer yes to the preceding questions include legalization groups and a list of medical associations and organizations fighting against diseases like AIDS, Leukemia, and Lymphoma. They argue that the alleviation of severe pain should not be denied to patients, nor should patients have to risk legal problems in attempting to alleviate their pain. Opponents of the bill argue that Marinol, a legal medication, has similar effects and that marijuana has too many bad side effects. Proposal 2: Stem Cell Research Stem cell research, with its strong ties to abortion politics and the scientific community, has long been a pertinent national issue that most voters are at least aware of. What many Michigan voters may not be aware of, however, is that Michigan has some of the most restrictive laws on stem cell research in the nation, comparable only to North Dakota, South Dakota, Louisiana, and Arkansas. The Stem Cell Research Proposal, otherwise known as Cure Michigan, is listed as a “pro-

09.30.2008 4.1.08

VOTE Continued from PAGE 8

dent address at Virginia Tech, “could affect students’ scholarships or tax filings and would obligate them to change car registrations and their driver’s license to their permanent address.” At Radford University, the Roanoke Times reported a similar situation, where “Registrar Tracy Howard said he plans to call anyone listing a Radford University dorm room as an address to find out whether students consider their dorms their permanent residences.” According to The New York Times, such deterrents to college-age voters have been an issue since the voting age was lowered from 21 to 18 by the 26th Amendment in 1971, and continue “despite a 1979 ruling by the United States Supreme Court that students have the right to register at their college address.” In a September 25 meeting of the U.S. Committee on House Administration, Charlottesville, Virginia, General Registrar Sheri Iachetta addressed student rights to vote, according to Politico. Iachetta recognizes the opinion of some registrars that students, who will leave their college communities after graduation, should not register to vote there as short-term voters. Yet Iachetta believes this to be the wrong perspective. “You don’t want to create a special class of citizen, especially in a voting rights state. ... Students are being categorized and segregated,” she told Politico. “They are young adults, it is their decision.” MR

DRUGS Continued from PAGE 8

If drugs are ever to be legalized, however, Lieutenant Logghe said that a large change in society is required. “We are an extension of society,” Logghe said, “It’s what society decides that we enforce.” MR KOZOL Continued from PAGE 9

garten class in which a “mission statement” that hung on the wall read, “The mission of our school is to turn out products that will sharpen our nation’s competitive edge in the global marketplace”; in New York inner city schools, he witnessed teachers of third grade students clocking the time spent on each item that would relate to state tests, taking no time for other comments or questions. Such pressures toward measurable student achievement is a response to the NCLB’s “accountability” provisions, which directs that local educational agencies “establish specific annual, measurable objectives for continual and substantial progress of... students.” In its provision for “corrective action,” failure to demonstrate such success could result in staff replacement, the with-holding of funds from that failed school, or the introduction of not-for-profit or for-profit agencies to create instructional strategies. Kozol emphasized that, for most suburban schools, the ability to yield successful results is taken for granted. “You never see signs outside suburban schools insisting, ‘The students inside this building have the potential to learn,’” Kozol said, referring to such a sign he observed at an inner city school. For inner city schools, the demands of yielding such measurable achievement in the midst of “overcrowding and squalor” are immense, and require that students are “robbed of the crucial ability to ask critical questions, to question their reality,” Kozol said. Before improvement of inner city and early childhood education can begin, he believes that the “NCLB needs to be abolished and repealed.”

Between visiting classrooms, writing, and working with public policy makers, Kozol’s outspoken activism is a testament to his own dual perspective, having gone to prep schools as a child and, later, to Harvard. “I’ve seen both sides,” he tells skeptical congressmen, “and you can’t fool me!” MR

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posed constitutional amendment to permit with certain limitations stem cell research in Michigan.” Specifically, the amendment would allow the use of embryonic stem cells that would otherwise be discarded, the scientific production of stem cell cultures in labs to study diseases, and government funding of stem cell research. On the supporting side, the Cure Michigan website states, “Proposal 2 has one purpose: to allow researchers the ability to find the cures and therapies that millions of Michigan families desperately need.” Supporters of the proposal claim that Michigan’s current law criminalizes stem cell research, debilitating the discovery of cures for Parkinson’s, diabetes, cancer, Alzheimer’s, sickle cell anemia and spinal cord injuries. Pro-life and Catholic organizations are among those who oppose the proposal. Michigan Citizens Against Unrestricted Science and Experimentation (MiCAUSE), a leading opposition group, claims that the proposal would “radically amend the constitution to allow lethal research on live human embryos.” Controversy Behind Proposal That Almost Was: Reform Michigan Government Now One “almost was” initiative that sparked some controversy recently was the Reform Michigan Government Now proposal, which was ruled unconstitutional by the courts. This proposal would have changed much of the Michigan judicial and district structures. The initiative’s website claims the passing of the proposal would have “ensure[d] that lawmakers are working for the best interests of the people they were elected to represent — not the special interests.” Although the proposal claims to have been non-partisan, it had the backing of the AFL-CIO and the Michigan Democratic Party provided nearly all the $1.4 million in support of the proposal. The downfall began when a UAW PowerPoint was leaked to the public concerning the initiative. The first slide bore the subtitle “Changing the rules of politics in Michigan to help Democrats.” MR

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Face - Off

PAGE 12 P.


09.30.2008 4.1.08

Free Market Economy Pro Free Market BY JONATHAN SLEMROD ‘10

Pro Market Regulation BY KAREN BOORE ‘09

Understanding the ongoing financial crisis is extremely complicated, but it’s even harder to come up with a solution. The story basically goes like this: people took out mortgages with lucrative terms to take advantage of the rising housing market. These mortgages were bundled together into “securities” and sold to Wall Street investors, who sold them again to other investors. It seemed to be a win-win situation for all – until the housing bubble burst. As housing prices fell, people simply walked away from their mortgages, often with only their credit rating taking a hit. Institutions that had invested heavily in mortgage-backed securities collapsed as investors realized that their assets were “toxic.” Much of the blame can be placed on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the massive government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs) which were created during the Great Depression to help facilitate lending among low and middle-income individuals. In 1968, Lyndon Johnson took Fannie and Freddie off the government books to help balance the budget, converting them to quasi-government entities publicly traded on the stock market. Although not explicitly stated, it was clear that Fannie and Freddie had an implicit government-backing, meaning that taxpayers would pick up the tab for any losses they may incur. Fannie and Freddie and their political allies spun the titanic GSEs as “too big too fail” and regarded any attempt at reform as a disservice to “affordable housing” and the poor. They didn’t think Fannie and Freddie’s portfolios were insolvent. They were wrong. In July, the President signed off on a massive 694-page bill to prop up Fannie and Freddie by offering the GSEs an unlimited line of credit. The bailout will likely cost taxpayers over $20 billion over the next two years. Unfortunately, the Fannie and Freddie bailout was not the only bailout of the year. In January, Secretary Paulson told us that Congress must approve $152 in new government spending for a stimulus package because “the potential cost of not acting has become too high.” Next, he told us that the Federal Reserve needed to authorize $29 billion in loans to the global investment firm Bear Stearns to stop its collapse. In September, the government nationalized Fannie and Freddie – with a cost of $200 billion. Lehman Brothers came knocking next, for $87 billion, and then AIG, for $85 billion in loans. Detroit automakers have hopped on the bandwagon and convinced politicians to slip billions in loan guarantees into the latest appropriations bill. Where does the government draw the line? Democrats think the economy is a winning issue this November, and blame “Bush-McCain” economic policies and deregulation for the current economic state. In fact, the Bush Administration in 2003 proposed what the New York Times called “most significant regulatory overhaul in the housing finance industry since the savings and loan crisis a decade ago.” Among other provisions, the reforms would have helped the Treasury Department whether Fannie and Freddie had the necessary oversight over what the Times called their “ballooning portfolios.” But Fannie and Freddie’s ferocious political clout in Washington stopped the reform bill dead in its tracks. By nature, government bailouts insulate private companies from risk and encourage them to come knocking on Washington’s door anytime they have a problem. Reforms should be focused on the long-term stability of the housing market, not short-term regulatory fixes. The incentives of government policies such as the Community Reinvestment Act of 1977, which encourage risky lending in low-income areas should be closely examined. Now that Fannie and Freddie are explicitly backed by taxpayers, a permanent ban on lobbying activities on behalf of the GSEs should be implemented. Profits made from selling the toxic assets should be used towards paying down the national debt, which is nearing $10 trillion. Easy money policies by the Federal Reserve which create a massive subsidy for the housing market should be scrutinized. Cutting the capital gains tax would help revive sagging capital markets. Phasing Fannie and Freddie into fully privatized companies without taxpayer backing is crucial. These are only a few possible reforms – everything must be on the table. Although policymakers seem intent on rushing into an irresponsible bailout package that rewards those least deserving of a reward and straps Average Joes with the bill, the real tragedy of the economic situation will be the perception that capitalism and the free market is responsible for the current state of the economy. Short-term solutions may in fact be necessary to prevent a financial collapse, but more government spending and regulation will only exacerbate the problem. MR

THERE IS NO such thing as a free lunch. Nor is there such a thing as a truly free market. Mixed markets are the closest thing there is today. Regulation is in place to correct “market failures” when information asymmetries exist and individual actions negatively impact third parties and society as a whole. In mixed markets, individual interest remains the market mechanism, but regulation maintains its place. In the highly connected markets today, we see that what happens on Wall Street can have an impact across the US and the world. Indeed, many players contributed to the current financial mess. In the primary market for mortgages, unregulated third-party mortgage brokers gave loans to lenders with poor credit scores knowing that the likelihood of default was high. Financial incentives and a lack of accountability spurred mortgage brokers on without check as they bundled the mortgages into securities and passed them on to Wall Street investors. Information about securities was limited. The highly sophisticated securities took individual mortgages and bundled them based on different criteria (due dates, healthiness) in a manner that was difficult to value. Yet, respected ratings agencies that had never seen such securities before gave them the highest rating, AAA. Regulators who had difficulty valuing the mortgages took the ratings at face value. What is necessary is that given regulators meet the sophistication of assets in the market; at the same time, market players need to reevaluate the level of risk tied to sophisticated assets. Large hedge funds, pension funds, endowments, and high infusions of capital from abroad sought out the highly-rated, high-yield securities operating under the assumption that real estate remained as strong an investment as it had historically. When home price appreciation flattened, the value of these securities took a dive. Now, credit markets have tightened as the impact of the toxic assets on banks’ financial statements limit the amount they extend as loans. The impact of risky money management strategies is affecting those who played no role in the mortgage markets. For one, citizens suffer from the unoccupied and often unkempt foreclosed homes in their neighborhoods. More importantly, large and small businesses as well as citizens in nearly every stage of life can be affected as access to capital prevents them from responsibly taking on debt to carry on normal business transactions. As some businesses fail, more Americans lose their jobs. Regulation could have played a role in preventing this mess, and if new regulation is written and enforced effectively, it can prevent future catastrophes. Regulation has the potential to both grease the wheels of capitalism and to place inefficient limits on industrious capitalists. There must be balance, and regulation must be implemented responsibly. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were formerly regulated by the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight. Yet, a 2003 New York Times article quotes Chairman of the Financial Services Committee Michael Oxley, ‘’The current regulator does not have the tools, or the mandate, to adequately regulate these enterprises…We have seen in recent months that mismanagement and questionable accounting practices went largely unnoticed by the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight.’’ Regulations and regulators need to be properly supported in order to fulfill their role. Another example of flawed regulation was reported in the New York Times in “S.E.C. Concedes Oversight Flaws Fueled Collapse.” It reported that Securities and Exchange Commission divisions failed to pursue companies which failed to submit required filings and also did not review filings that were submitted. Government mismanagement, where regulators fail to fulfill their obligations, is a discouraging part of regulation implementation. As inadequate regulation was practiced, we are seeing the fallout now in what can be up to $700B in tax payers’ money. Those who would favor no government regulation and now favor no government intervention could wait for ensuing economic decline to change their minds. It appears that with a breakthrough in negotiations in congress, they will not have to. MR

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