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November 21, 2007 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 2007-11-21

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4A - Wednesday, November 21, 2007 The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Edited and managed by students at
the University of Michigan since 1890.
420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI48109
Unsigned editorials reflect the official position oftthe Daily's editorialboard.All other signed articles
and illustrations represent solely the views of their authors.
The Daily's public editor, Paul H. Johnson, acts as the readers' representative andtakes a critical look at
coverage andcontent in every section of the paper. Readers are encouraged to contact the publiceditor
with questions andcomments. He canbe reached at publiceditor@umich.edu.
A bigger break
Students need Wednesday before Thanksgiving to travel
You shouldn't be reading this editorial. It's the day before
Thanksgiving; you shouldn't even be on campus. With the
considerable expense and hassle of travel and the late-fall
weather that always acts up around this holiday, the University's
insistence on holding classes the day before Thanksgiving is deplor-
able. Today is among the busiest travel days of the year and getting
a flight out later today is prohibitively expensive, if at all possible.
By holding classes until 5 p.m. the day before Thanksgiving, the
University is essentially creating a structural barrier that leaves
students no choice other than skipping class or not being home in
time for Thanksgiving. Neither option is acceptable.

Whatever right the Second Amendment
guarantees, it does not require the District to
stand by while its citizens die."
- The defendants' petition to the U.S. Supreme Court in the case Heller v. District of Columbia, which
challenges Washington D.C.'s ban on handguns. The court decided to hear the case yesterday.
A numbers game you can't win


As an undergrad in the process
of applying to law school, I
have a good understanding of
how misleading
numbers can be.
I'm a better candi-
date than my LSAT.
score might indi-
cate (I swear); my
grade point aver-
age isn't enough
for law schools
to judge me by IMRAN
because of a little SYED
thing called grade
inflation, and just
about every school insists it is better
than its ranking in the U.S. News and
World Report. By all accounts, to truly
understand, you have to look beyond
the numbers. Got it?
Detroit is the most dangerous city in
America- accordingto crime statistics
tallied by the Federal Bureau of Inves-
tigation and fudged and released in a
report called "City Crime Rankings:
Crime in Metropolitan America" by CQ
Press. Ranking rates of violent crime
such as murder and rape in 378 cities
across the country (minimum popula-
tion of 75,000), the report had Detroit
edging out St. Louis and Flint for the
crown. With the national average set at
zero, Detroit's "crime score" was 407.
That ought to scare you enough to can-
cel that trip to the Red Wings game.
I know I'm not scared of the report's
findings. For one thing, according to
The Associated Press, the FBI itself has
said that "these rough rankings pro-
vide no insight" and "create misleading
perceptions." Also, the American Soci-
ety of Criminology has decried the CQ
Press report as "an irresponsible mis-
use" of crime data, the AP reported.
Even overlooking all that, the fact that
I lived in Detroit for several years while
ittopped suchridiculous lists is enough
to discount for me such attempts to
classify Detroit as more dangerous
than any other urban center.
But I'll tell you what does scare me.
According to the AP, the people behind

the report claim: The report "helps
concerned Americans learn how their
communities fare in the fight against
crime. The first step in making our
cities and states safer is to understand
the true magnitude of their crime
problems. This will only be achieved
through straightforward data that all
of us can use and understand."
No. Takingthat positionis defeatist
and onlyleads to ambivalence. Reduc-
ing violent crime to a numbers game
results in simply putting more police
officers in neighborhoods with high
crime rates: It's the outdated enforce-
ment solution that has failed repeat-
edly for decades. We don't need to
know "the true magnitude" of Amer-
ica or Detroit's crime problem; suf-
fice it to say that there are many more
violent crimes every year than there
should be. What we need is to under-
stand the specific, minute underly-
ing factors for those crimes and their
implications. We need to look beyond
the numbers to understand why vio-
lent crime remains a bigger problem
in America than in any comparable
industrialized nation.
I went to high school in Canton,
Mich. If you have picked up a local
newspaper in the past couple of
weeks, that might mean something
to you. In a gruesome murder that
left even Wayne County Prosecutor
Kym Worthy shocked, a 17-year-old
senior at Canton High School teamed
up with an 18-year-old friend from
Westland, Mich. to lure a man into his
grandfather's garage, slit his throat
and repeatedly stab him before decap-
itatinghim and burninghis hands and
feet with a blowtorch.
I don't know where Canton ranks
on the City Crime Rankings list, but
reading about that case for the first
time left me paralyzed. Should we
treat this murder as less important
simply because there weren't several
more in its vicinity? It doesn't matter
how many other killers and murders
there are in Canton: All that matters
is why these two kids committed their

barbaric acts.
In saying that its rankings are a
vital step in stopping crime, the CQ
Press is taking the easy way out. If
counting murders could help stop
them, then I'd be on board, but the
true solution is much more demand-
ing. A real solution would ask "why"
in places where no one is comfort-
able; it would ask for the story of a
person's entire life, not the insignifi-
cant motion of pulling a trigger.
Preventing crimes like the one in
Canton involves asking why a student
who kept an extensive death list on his
person at all times is still described
as "a nice guy" and "a great kid" by
Counting crimes
won't lead to
any solutions.
people who knew him, as seems tobe
the case with every school shooter,
rapist, robber, etc. Have we lost our
grip on what type of behavior is a sign
of clear, imminent danger?
People need to be educated, not
frightened. We have distractive,
unproductive lists like the City Crime
Rankings to blame for shifting the
focus from understanding to enforce-
ment, but we're not going to win this
battle with police officers and pros-
ecutors alone. We need doctors, psy-
chiatrists, sociologists and experts
in many other fields to share infor-
mation, codify' procedure and diag-
noses and be forthcoming with their
insights on every individual crime and
its circumstances.
But all that means nothing if you're
bent on making a horse race out of
crime statistics.
Imran Syed is the Daily's
editorial page editor. He can be
reached at galad@umich.edu.


Unsurprisingly, most lecture halls will be
significantlyemptierthanusualtoday. More
than one-third of students at the University
are from out of state, and Thanksgiving is a
family holiday, after all. Students need and
deserve at least one travel day before the
Thanksgiving holiday, especially because
many students will be going home for the
first time since the school year began.
It is difficult enough to find transporta-
tion on packed buses, trains and planes,
but when one factors in the small window
of time during which a student can travel,
the financial cost also becomes an issue.
Because so many people need to travel
during this time of year, ticket prices sky-
rocket, forcing students who play by the
rules and go to class on Wednesday to pay
exorbitant fees to get home. If the Univer-
sity canceled Wednesday classes, instead
of just cutting them off at 5 p.m., students
would have a little more flexibility to

choose more affordable transportation.
Even President Bush has recognized the
stresses of traveling just before Thanks-
giving. Last week he announced a plan to
allow commercial planes to fly in military
airspace on specific days the week before
Thanksgiving. The president's efforts may
help alleviate the travel burden during
this time of year for most travelers, but
the University must be the one to give stu-
dents more options.
The University recently recognized and
remedied another similar situation in its
academic calendar. This year, the Winter
2008 semester will begin on Jan. 3 - anoth-
er example of terrible timing that barely
allows students travel time between New
Year's Day and the first day of the new term.
As of Winter 2009, however, the University
will not resume classes until Jan. 7.
Students deserve a similar break over
Thanksgiving Break.


Student group makes
much ado about nothing

ple, but never h
as ridiculous as
mentioned in N.
No Thai! (Thais

TO THE DAILY: is offensive, 11/1
An article in Monday's Daily described that anvone coul
Rackham student Sirarat Sarntivijai as by that name just
being "confused" when she saw what these students t
she says is the discriminatory name of to take a joke, b
the popular campus eatery No Thai! trivial that it do
(Thai students: Eatery's name is offensive, kind of mention.
11/19/2007). She isn't alone in her befud- These studen
dlement: I was confused too. However, izing themselves
my confusion did not derive from the I'm surprised th.
name of the particular restaurant or even the White Marl
the prospect that it might be question- "offensive" name
able. Instead, it came from the fact that
Sarntivijai decided to give this particular Matt Fojtik
issue attention at all. Engineeringsenior
We live in a society where racial and
ethnic discrimination determines so
much about the lives of millions. Pris- After twoI
ons are disproportionately packed with
minorities. Housing discrimination in must Supp
the past and present makes the suburban
landscape look almost uninterruptedly TO THE DAILY:
white. It is impossible to deny that dis- In all of my ye
crimination is anything but prevalent. has been nothit
However, by claiming that discrimi- more than a vic
nation is implicit in the name of a local last Saturday. L
restaurant, Sarntivijai is doing more supports Michig
harm than good. By focusing on issues was fairlyemotio
that when compared to others are unim- would be an un
portant, it makes it easier for the general followingSaturd
population to discount and trivialize all questioning the .
issues of discrimination, especially the players and coac
ones that are actually damaging. All of a that Michigan fo
sudden, those pursuing issues that really see yourself as a
matter fallvictim to accusations that they fan and a person
are being overly politically correct. support what we
We have to use better judgment in our a team in disarr
accusations,because ifweclaimdiscrimi- for answers and
nation frequently, we will find that people to unfair criticis
will stop listening when it really matters. have a team thate
than ever.
AbrahamsHiatt I am damn pr
LSA senior less of whether
watching a 12-in
No Thai! controversy amont watching t
at home watchi
doesn't deserve attention father or scream
people in the Big
I'd rather be doi
TO THE DAILY: fall than watch
In my four years at the University, In my four year
I've seen a lot of easily offended peo- football prograc
,. s roa
we ownnac~k t
stweaa aeedm. asar .

ave I heard of anything
the outraged students
Monday's article about
students: Eatery's name
19/2007). The thought
ld be "deeply offended"
t baffles me. I would tell
o toughen up, or learn
ut this is so incredibly
esn't even deserve that
its should stop victim-
and grow up. Frankly,
ey didn't try to go after
ket too for its equally
e. Good grief.
losses, fans
ort team
ars as a sports fan there
ng that I have wanted
tory against Ohio State
ike everyone else who
an football, to say that I
nal after Saturday's loss
derstatement. However,
ay's game I heard people
heart and passion of the
hes. Some even claimed
otball was dead. If you
leader, a true Michigan
of class, then you must
have. What we have is
ray, a program looking
a retiring coach subject
m. Most important, we
needs our support more
oud to say that regard-
I am in a dorm room
ch screen, in my apart-
the game with friends,
ng the game with my
ing with 110,000 other
House, there is nothing
ng on a Saturday in the
ing Michigan football.
s at the University the
m has served as some-
r ha b 'mAi
tAA esn ! !

thing that has inspired me as well as
something that has taken my mind off
of things. I understand that this senior
class never beat Ohio State, but as a
senior at the University, I will not stand
for calling this class a failure. This team
gave the University great memories that
are right at the top of the college experi-
ence. They have shown character, per-
severance and leadership. They will be
champions in my book.
We are ultimately judged on how we
respond to setbacks rather than success.
Last time I checked, Michigan students,
fans and players have one more game to
prove their character to any doubters.
Support this team. Support Michigan
football. Go Blue.
Vincent Barrera
LSA senior
Carr's retirement shows
commitment to Michigan
Although I never joined any of the Fire
Lloyd Carr Facebook groups, I do under-
stand those students and alumni who
are rejoicing in the coach's retirement.
Regardless of how those affiliated with
the University feel about his departure,
Carr is doing us a great service. By ending
his 13-year stint at Michigan, he is sacri-
ficing himself for the interest of the alum-
ni, students and everyone wearing maize
and blue. Carr's decision to step down
again shows his devotion to Michigan.
Essentially, Carr has drowned out the
discussion of the Ohio State loss with
his announcement. ESPN is not dedicat-
ing time to talking about the big loss but
rather to Carr, and so the last four years of
OSUvictorieshavebeenrelegatedto afew
words scrolling across the ticker. This is
exactly what Michigan needed: a distrac-
tion from the poor result of recent bouts
with Ohio State and other bad losses. By
stepping down, Carr is forcing analysts to
debate potential replacements and define
his legacy rather than focus on the blem-
ishes of this and similar seasons.
In addition to removing the sting from
the OSU loss, Carr has created a wonder-
ful opportunity for future talent here at
the University. Many argue that Michi-
gan does not have time to wait for LSU
Coach Les Miles, because recruiting will
be negatively impacted. I disagree. Carr's
retirement has created a buzz around
Michigan: The whole nation is talking
about the school and the program. More
importantly the analysts and report-
ers are depicting Michigan in a rather
appealing way. Prospects from across the
nation are hearing great things about our
program. First, they might be playing for
a coach that currently helms the top team
in the country. Next, with different lead-
ership, recruits will have the opportunity

to beat the Buckeyes multiple times dur- believe that tI
ing their career here. Beyond that, poten- entire inserta
tial recruits are learning of the pride, plishments. S
tradition and class Michigan students Daily for putti
enjoy here in Ann Arbor. Carr has created
national attention around Michigan that Emily Cepla
will entice recruits. LSA sophomore
I appreciate what Carr has done for
Michigan throughout his time here.
Never once was I truly let down by the Carr way
coach, and I certainly never had to suf-
fer a season like Notre Dame's current of colleg
one. As he figuratively throws himself
under the bus, Carr has demonstrated TO THE DAIL!
his commitment to preserving the tra- I was sadde
dition of top talent and victories. For official wordt
the Saturday afternoons full of respect, ball coach Llo
victory and leadership, I applaud Carr's Even though a
efforts, and I hope he thoroughly enjoys ate and fan my
his retirement. always admir
integrity, clas
Jeff Wojcik ball needs mo
LSA freshman his retirement
football and t:
Daily's priorities lead to lions of the

here would have been an
about his life and accom-
hame on The Michigan
ng sports before family.
s goodfor all
e football
ened Monday to hear the
that Michigan head foot-
yd Carr is stepping down.
.s a Michigan State gradu-
y blood runs green, I have
ed Carr, particularly his
s and spirit. College foot-
re coaches like Carr, and
t is a blow to all of college
o the educational institu-
eat state of Michigan.


Corey Stringer
poor coverage of death Msu alum

When I heard about Joi Smith's tragic
death, I was shocked (Teammates remem-
ber Smith, 11/20/2007). Apparently, the
Daily didn't feel the same way. Rather,
the editors were so concerned with Lloyd
Carr's retirement that they could only
spare a fourth of page 10 on Smith.
Am I the only one who thinks the
newspaper's priorities are out of whack?
When one of our own dies, we should
rally around her to show our support
to her family and friends. Instead, the
Daily is sending the message that Michi-
gan football is more important than our
University family. If a Michigan football
player had died, would he have received
the same poor coverage? I'm tempted to

Emad Ansari, Anindya Bhadra,
Kevin Bunkley, Ben Caleca,
Jon Cohen, Milly Dick, Mike Eber,
Gary Graca, Emmarie Huetteman,
Theresa Kennelly, Emily Michels,
Kate Peabody, Robert Soave, Jennifer
Sussex, Neil Tambe, Matt Trecha,
Radhika Upadhyaya, Rachel Van
Gilder, Rachel Wagner, Patrick Zabawa

There are some
who say that my *.and they're all
wo e pcy stinky poophead
ideas are childish mss'
and immature ...
- s


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