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January 30, 2008 - Image 4

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4A -Wednesday, January 30, 2008

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Edited and managed by students at
the University of Michigan since 1890.
420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
Unsigned editorials reflect the official position of the Daily's editorial board. 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 and takes a criticallook at
coverage and content in every section of the paper. Readers are encouraged to contact the public editor
with questions and comments. He can be reached at publiceditor@umich.edu.
An earneuA~d degree
Student victimized in Red Scare deserves honorary degree
Persecuted because of his family's origins. Expelled from the
armed forces for alleged political associations. Tried with
evidence that was questionable at best. Prevented from
earning his University degree. This is the story of Milo Radulovich,
a student wronged by his university and his country for standing up
against anti-communist fear-mongers in the federal government.

I'm proud I ran a positive campaign.
I ran a campaign that was uplifting."
-Republican presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani, in his concession speech yesterday after placing third in
Florida's primary. Giuliani is expected to drop out of the Republican presidential race today.


A universal mandate

On Sunday a memorial service was
held in Detroit for Radulovich, who died
in November, to honor his life and heroic
struggle against McCarthyism. And now,
half a century after his fight, it's time for
the University to follow suit by award-
ing him an honorary degree to rectify its
failure to support him and its compliance
with the government's excesses during the
Red Scare.
Radulovich attended the University
under the GI bill in the early 1950s while
serving as a U.S. Air Force lieutenant in
the reserves. In 1953 he was accused of
having communist connections through
his father and sister, whose only crimes
were political activism and a subscription
to a Serbian newspaper. This flimsy alle-
gation was enough to get him discharged
from the U.S. Air Force, an action he
fought in the media and in the courts. But
the overwhelming stress of the case forced
the devoted student to drop out of the Uni-
versity during his final semester.
Radulovich's case, which was featured
in the 2005 Academy Award-nominated
film "Good Night, and Good Luck," has
become well known for its exemplifica-
tion of the gross civil rights violations
associated with the Red.Scare of the mid-
20th century. But the story seldom told is
that of the University's role in this affair.
Under the pressures of fighting his wrong-
ful discharge against significant odds, his
schoolwork suffered. But the University
turned a blind eye to his troubles. When
Radulovich expressed concerns about
managing his case and his course load, a
faculty member responded, "Why don't
you find a new major?"

This attitude echoes other stories of the
University'spassive adherenceto McCarthy-
ism, when it even failed to support accused
faculty. What's worse is that Radulovich was
later found innocent and reinstated into the
armed services, but he never received simi-
lar reparation from the University.
Metro Times columnist and University
alum Jack Lessenberry has suggested in
the past that the University confer an
honorary degree upon Radulovich, but he
reports that he never received a response.
When questioned, the University was
unable to confirm or deny that it received
Lessenberry's letters, nor could it offer
an explanation as to what happened with
his request. Meanwhile, it made Mos Def
a "Visiting Professor" out of gratitude
for his participation in this year's Martin
Luther King, Jr. Day activities.
One of the hopes the University should
have for its graduates is that they use their
education to make a difference. What
Radulovich lacked in credits he com-
pensated for in life experience, inspiring
change in a way befitting of a University
But the past is in the past. The cur-
rent administration should not be held
responsible for the mistakes of its prede-
cessors. However, it should take the time
to acknowledge those mistakes and honor
Radulovich as an example of responsible
citizenship. The University should rec-
ognize his righteous struggle by granting
him an honorary degree. This gesture, long
overdue and, sadly, post-mortem, would be
a step toward acknowledging the Universi-
ty's failure to defend Radulovich and oth-
ers like him against McCarthyism.

University President Mary Sue
Coleman and Hillary Clinton
have a lot in common. Both
are powerful female_
leaders in tradition-F
ally male-domi-
nated fields. Both
have conveniently
shifting principles.
If Clinton becomes %
our 44th president,
both will have been
the first female
president of their GARY
respective institu- GRACA
But they have
another thing in common: Both are
ardent supporters of universal health
Clinton headed the disastrous
Task Force on National Health Care
Reform in 1994. Coleman co-chaired
the Institute of Medicine's Committee
on the Consequences of Uninsurance.
As a Democratic presidential candi-
date, Clinton is practically required to
be a voice for the uninsured. Coleman
had her own moment in the national
spotlight as a proponent of univer-
sal health care when she presented
a report to Congress on behalf of the
Institute of Medicine in 2004. She
said, "The committee believes this is
an urgent problem - work mustbegin
immediately. There is no justifiable
excuse for delay."
However, there's one big difference
between Clinton and Coleman: Clin-
ton can back up her rhetoric. Granted,
one is a U.S. presidential frontrunner
and the other is auniversity president.
However, Clinton has used her politi-
cal clout in a strong effort to cover the
estimated 47-50 million uninsured
Americans - an effort that was maybe
a little too strong when she was First
Lady - while Coleman just spit out
a lofty public statement about how
someone else should do something.
Coleman is exactly right, though:
There is no excuse for the federal gov-
ernment to drag its feet in ensuring
that every American is insured. But
Coleman and the University have the
power to start small in the meantime
by mandating that students who want
to attend the University have health

An estimated one-third of Ameri-
ca's uninsured is between the ages of
18 and 24. A 2005 survey of students
at the University's Ann Arbor campus
found that 5.6 percent of undergradu-
ate and 10.5 percent of graduate stu-
dents were uninsured. Considering
that there were roughly25,500 under-
graduate and 14,500graduatestudents
enrolled in the fall 2005 semester,
that means about 2,950 students were
While international students are
requiredto either prove they have cov-
erage during their time in the United
States or buy a University-sponsored
plan, the University doesn't require
the same of domestic students. The
University offers the Domestic Stu-
dent Health Insurance Plan for Amer-
ican students, but the premium starts
at an overwhelming $2,183 a year, a
figure that has more than tripled in
actual-value cost since the plan began
in 1997 at $678.
According to Karen Klever, super-
visor of the University Health Service
Managed Care/Student Insurance
Office, UHS notes "a direct cor-
relation between the decrease in
membership and increases in the
insurance premiums."
For many students, who are young
and healthy, the choice is obvious:
Avoid the exorbitant premiums by
going without health insurance. But
the costs could be enormous. Trips to
the emergency room can cost thou-
sands of dollars, money that has to
come from somewhere. While the
University doesn't charge University
hospital bills to student accounts, if
students are stuck with tuition and
medical bills without the money to
pay both, it's a tough choice to make.
Many choose to drop out in order to
pay the medical expenses.
If the University wants a solution,
mandatory health insurance is all the
rage. Similar to laws that mandate
car insurance for all drivers, by forc-
ing everyone to have health insurance
and subsidizing the insurance for low-
income people, these requirements
expand the pool of healthy contribu-
tors, reducing average costs. Further,
by encouraging primary care instead
of emergency care, unpaid hospital
expenses plummet. Make everyone

pitch in and you insure everyone,
while cutting average costs.
While states like Massachusetts,
California and even Michigan are just
getting in the game, universities have
been doing this for a while. In a 2003
New York Times article, a health care
consultant estimated that 25 percent
of public universities and 90 percent
of private universities require proof of
health insurance in order to enroll.
Matthew Sullivan of The Chicker-
ing Group Inc., the insurance com-
pany running the University's policy,
explained to me that while insurance
rates vary depending on a number of
factors, mandating insurance has cer-
tainly reduced premiums for students.
According to its website, Florida State
University, which recently started
requiring all incoming freshmen to
show proof of health insurance, has
a policy with a premium that starts at
$1,440 a year.
How covering the
uninsured can
start with the 'U'
Seemingly, the added bonus of
mandating health insurance for stu-
dents is that it can be figured into
college expenses, allowing financial
aid to cover the costs. According to
The Chickering Group's website,
Title IV of the 2004 Reauthorization
of the Higher Education Act allows
students to use financial aid to pay
health insurance costs, an incentive
for students to buy insurance. Not
only would mandating health insur-
ance reduce costs, it could help cover
some of those costs too.
According to Klever, "The issue of
requiring health insurance for stu-
dent's attending the Ann Arbor Cam-
pus is currently being reviewed." As
Coleman said four years ago, though,
there is no justifiable excuse for delay.
Gary Graca is an associate
editorial page editor. He can be
reached at gmgraca@umich.edu.


Hoping student activism will return

A Washington education

Bruce Wasserstein, who graduated from
the University in 1967, has spearheaded a
thousand business deals collectively valued
at a quarter of a trillion dollars during his
career. The most recent issue of Portfolio
Magazine described his key strength: He is a
generalist. Wasserstein has a wide spectrum
of contacts and knowledge across diverse
industries, as opposed to investors with "an
extensive web of connections" largely lim-
ited to a single industry.
In a nation where the majority of educa-
tion is standardized, it is increasingly useful
to become academic generalists like Wasser-
stein, exploring and discovering ideas across
fields rather than limiting our thinking to a
single discipline. The University's Michigan
in Washington program is a case study in the
innovative intellectual experiences we need
as students. Through this program, 20 to 25
students live and work in a world-class city for
the fall or winter semester, encountering new
points of view and their own hidden passions.
Living in Washington D.C. provides a truly
interdisciplinary experience. Our nation's
capital is brimming with rare opportunities
and cultural adventures. Students can attend
a U.S. Senate hearing in the morning, study in
the magnificent reading rooms of the Library
of Congress in the afternoon and experience
the youthful culture of the Adams Morgan
area, as well as a midnight monument tour in
the evening. They can wake up on the weekend
to a postcard view of the Washington Monu-
ment, jog to the new World War II Memorial,
visit one of the many ethnic festivals through-
out the year and enjoy the campus spirit at
Georgetown and George Washington uni-
versities. From the Smithsonian to the White
House, real world experience complements
semester-long research and academic pursuits
in the program.
It's important to explore ideas in new set-
tings. One of the best ways to stay curious
about our world is to move to new locations
and engage with unique cultures. Uniformity
is ancient. Because the 21st century provides
infinite opportunities to listen, click, watch
and explore, it is increasingly valuable to

learn how different people do and see things
differently. But most of all, uniformity is un-
American. Schools, museums, public forums
and kickball games are all outlets that allow
us to get out into a world and increase our
social capital.
If we understand the ways that other
people make choices, the social fabric of this
country will strengthen. For example, Wash-
ington, D.C. is home to a great 'variety of
people, including world-renowned scholars,
celebrated political leaders, passionate artists
and performers and, of course, the hundreds
of interns who are the backbone of many busi-
nesses and bureaucracies. Students come to
learn and intern in the nation's capital from
many universities throughout the country,
participating in programs like Michigan in
Washington. One of the greatest benefits of
participating in such programs is getting the
chance to meet other college students from
around the country who share the desire to
make an impact on our generation.
Learning in Washington D.C. also immers-
es students in the diverse heritage of Ameri-
ca. It is one of the best places to study who
we are as Americans, how we enact change
as a society and where our nation is heading.
Textbooks can only teach so much about the
complexity of our government and the depth
of our democracy; a true personal experi-
ence is needed to grasp what it means to be
an American.
The World Economic Forum posed a
question Thursday: "What Job Should My
Child Take in a Globalizing Economy?" The
responses collected by The New York Times
included offering children a more flexible
education to be adaptable and open to all
cultures. Participating in a program like
Michigan in Washington and the unique per-
spectives that can be gained from it might
offer not only a highly enjoyable semester,
but also a payoff in life.
Adam Finkel is an LSA senior. Hayley Kallenberg
is an LSA junior. They were participants in the
Michigan in Washington program in fall 2007.
The deadline for applications is Friday, Feb. 1.

Recently, several news items
caused me to reflect on my four
years at the University and won-
der whether my glowing memories
are truly representative of my time
here or simply gilded by time and
distance. I consider myself fortu-
nate to have participated in many
different aspects of the Univer-
sity, engaging in tons of activities
that had me organizing events and
quarter-sheetingthe Diag with fer-
vor, all because I believed the Uni-
versity was a great place to engage
and interact with other students.
There were also downsides to
my involvement. I watched divi-
sion and discord entrench itself
among the myriad, self-obsessed
factions within student ranks. I
bemoaned our fate as our admin-
istration exploited the isolation of
each of these interests so that it
could more effectively marginalize
the whole. But, like a ray of light
shining through the clouds, I also
saw the number of students dis-
satisfied with these policies grow,
spurred by an administration that
purportedly represents them.
Students are realizing that the
status quo represents a truly bro-
ken system. This alone gave me
hope until April 2007, when mem-
bers of Students Organizing for
Labor and Economic Equality were
arrested in the president's office. I
felt that, through my personal affil-
iation with SOLE, I could aid mil-
lions of workers worldwide in their
struggle to empower themselves.
We continuously fought an indif-
ferent administration that seemed
more preoccupied with inventing
bureaucratic roadblocks to student
participation in governance than
leveraging its billions of dollars of
potential to solve dire, real-world
Things came to a head when
12 fearless students, backed by a
coalition of student groups, staged
a sit-in within the confines of Uni-
versity President Mary Sue Cole-
man's office, demanding an end to
the University's constant refusal
to adopt a policy that would make
apparel bearing the Block M logo
sweat-free. Sit-ins became com-
mon at the University in the 1960s,
and as recently as 1999, students
effectively used this tactic to com-
pel the administration to listen.
This was the "nuke" in our arsenal,

the final means by which we could
force them to acknowledge us not
in loco parentis, but as equals.
Rather than listen to her down-
trodden constituents or respect
their right to occupy a space of
their choosing within the Uni-
versity, a space with powerfully
symbolic significance, Coleman
enabled their arrest, citing post-
Sept. 11 security regulations as the
prima facia cause and cementing
her fearsome reputation as the ava-
tar of the Michigan Difference's
corporate donors.
I write this not to wax nostalgic
but because within a year's time
history is repeating itself.
When I arrived at the Univer-
sity in 2003, I remember Coleman
delivered a convocation speech
that claimed, "Your ultimate desti-
nation at the University of Michi-
gan is located about 100 yards from
here, in Michigan Stadium, where
we hold Commencement each
spring." I guess my class should
consider itself lucky for this boon,
because while she kept her word
to us, she failed our successors, the
class of 2008.
Once again, our administra-
tion has betrayed our hopes and
dreams, naive in its eyes, to better
serve its corporate donors. This

act is not aberrant but instead
emblematic of what the University
has become.
Independent of the callous dis-
regard for the faculty, the fans and
the handicapped when pursuing
luxury skyboxes at the Big House,
the writing has been on the wall
since before I enrolled. After so
much idle time, the silently com-
placent majority feels left with
little to do but blame itself.
Still, I cannot help but feel hope.
It is a hope that students are not
just placidly entering an abyss from
which they can be neither seen nor
heard, that this is a turning point
for the University and that enough
students are affected that change
will start here. It is a hope that
they will band together in unprec-
edented numbers to demand that
they no longer be silenced, that the
series of disenfranchising injustic-
es perpetuated against the student
body be rectified and that this new
coalition of students will never for-
get this travesty and never again
allow themselves to have their
voices diminished and dispersed.
Unfortunately, as an alum, all I
have is hope. Students alone have
the power to shape the University.
Saamir Rahman is a University alum.



.. . + +


Emad Ansari, Anindya Bhadra, Kevin Bunkley, Ben Caleca, Satyajeet Deshmukh,
Milly Dick, Mike Eber, Gary Graca, Emmarie Huetteman, Theresa Kennelly, Emily
Michels, Arikia Millikan, Kate Peabody, Robert Soave, Neil Tambe, Matt Trecha, Kate
Truesdell, Radhika Upadhyaya, Rachel Van Gilder, Rachel Wagner, Patrick Zabawa.



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