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February 12, 2008 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 2008-02-12

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4 - Tuesday, February 12, 2008

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com a

EILy MJidiigan &4ly
Edited and managed by students at
the University of Michigan since 1890.
420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

The system hasn't been able to handle the
less-complicated cases it has been
presented with to date."
- David Glazier, a Loyola Law School professor, forecasting problems the Guantanamo Bay military commissions
will have trying six detainees linked to the Sept. 11 attacks, as reported yesterday by The New York Times.
A dark medical history





Unsigned editorials reflect the official position oftthe 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 critical look at
coverage and content in every section of the paper. Readers are encouraged to contact the public editor
with questions and comments. He canbe reached at publiceditor@umich.edu.
Textbook troubles
Non-profit and student-run stores offer partial solutions
t may be best known for its maze of piled textbooks, cramped
rooms, long lines at the beginning of the semester, high prices,
exclusive books and no-buyback policy, but Shaman Drum is
quickly earning itself a new reputation as the most student-friendly
bookstore in town. While students, lawmakers and universities have
been working to lower the financial burden of buying textbooks,
bookstores have largely been absent from the list of concerned par-
ties. Shaman Drum is making a good effort to fix this problem by
working with student interns and considering a switch to a nonprof-
it business model. The next step is a student-run bookstore.

When the topic of reproduc-
tive rights comes up today,
the debate is usually about
or abortions. But
once upon a time in
America, thousands
of individuals were
victimized by a dif-
ferent kind of gov-
ernment regulation
- one that sought
to rob them of their
biological ability to ARIKIA
reproduce. MILLIKAN
Forced sexual-
sterilization was a
reality in America, the state of Michi-
gan and at this university from the
turn of the 20th century until as late
as 1970s. The involuntary surgeries
were permanent, but their place in
our collective consciousness is fading,
and there are reparations that must be
made before this sordid chapter in his-
toryis forgotten.
Historians estimate that between
60,000 and 70,000 forced sexual ster-
ilizations were carried out during
the eugenics movement in America.
Inspired by the prospect of crafting a
better human race through evolution -
a concept that wasn't even fully under-
stood at the time - people who called
themselves scientists conjured plans
to rid the gene pool of "unfit individu-
als." Throughout the state, they forced
their victims to undergo surgeries that
left them physically unable to produce
These surgeries, which involved
severing the ducts through which
sperm travel or severing or remov-
ing the fallopian tubes through which
eggs, occurred with little to no regard
for the victims' consent. They would be
considered highly unethical by today's
medical standards. Initially, the steril-
izations were meant for the criminally

insane housed in state prisons and
mental institutions. But determined
eugenicists broadened the criteria to
include the sterilization of the "feeble-
minded." Soon, this state-mandated
process became a way for the govern-
ment to eliminate the potential off-
spring of those it deemed a problem,
including people who were poor, sexu-
ally deviant or members of a racial
minority group.
A large portion of these surgeries
took place in Michigan. This state
was inextricably involved, rank-
ing fourth in the procedures among
the 33 states that adopted steriliza-
tion legislation. It forced steriliza-
tion upon at least 3,786 residents
- many of them of Native American
Michigan set itself apart from the
crowd in 1897 when it became the first
state to propose legislation for forced
sterilization. Thelegislationwasreject-
ed, but the eugenics movement contin-
ued to grow in popularity, especiallyin
the fields of science and medicine. In
fact, the dean of the University's medi-
cal school, Victor Vaughan, was a vocal
supporter. Vaughan believed that ster-
ilizing poor people would help them
and the human race. When forced
sterilization became Michigan law in
1913, Vaughan was serving on the State
Board of Health. Vaughan is now hon-
ored in the Medical School's Hall of
Honor, and a School of Public Health
building is named after him.
But Vaughan wasn't the only con-
nection between the University and
eugenics. The University is harboring
a deep, dark secret about the past, bur-
ied under the names of some of its most
respected forefathers. After Clarence
Cook Little resigned from his posi-
tion as University president in 1929,
he went on to become the president of
the American Eugenics Society. Every
time a student boards a bus from its

central location or walks inside the
C.C. Little Science Building, his name
is innocently recalled.
But perhaps the most alarming detail
about our beloved school is that forced
sterilization procedures were actually
performed by University employees at
the Universityhospital.
The history of the U.S. eugenics
movement is largely removed from
the collective consciousness of Ameri-
cans. While there is a large emphasis
in public education about the forced
sterilization in Germany in conjunc-
tion with the Holocaust, there is
rarely ever mention of the movement
that went on in our own backyards.
But with the horrors that eugenics
brought came important lessons that
we cannot afford to forget.
happened here
Out ofallthe statesthatwere respon-
sible for mass forced sterilizations,
Michigan is the only state that has yet
to issue an apology. It started here and
it is long overdue that it ends here with
a formal apology to all the victims of
this atrocious procedure from Gov.
Jennifer Granholm on behalf of the
state and from Mary Sue Coleman on
behalf of the University.
Until this happens, every time you
catch a bus at C.C. Little or hear Victor
Vaughan's name, remember what they
actually stood for and what this Uni-
versity condoned.
ArikiaMillikan is a Daily associate
editorial page editor. She can be
reached at arikia@umich.edu.


The student internship program is one of
the most student-friendly things Shaman
Drum has done recently. Organized with;
the Michigan Student Assembly, the pro-
gram offered two students unpaid intern-
ships at the store during the fall semester.
The students' goal: learn about prices from
the owners' side and use that experience
to craft solutions.
Obviously, Shaman Drum had its own
reasons for offering these positions. It
hoped to debunk the image of the college
bookstore as a place that rips off students.
But overall this was the transparent look at
the store, not a propaganda scheme. That's
more than most bookstores can say.
More important than the store's intern-
ships is the store's stated goal of going
nonprofit. If it does change its business
model, one of two good things for students
could happen. First, the store's current
profit and savings from lower taxes could
go toward lower textbook prices - exact-
ly what students want. If prices don't go
down, though, students can be assured
that Shaman Drum isn't ripping them off.
While this might be a consolation prize, a
little piece of mind is valuable.
Shaman Drum's newfound engagement
with students is nearing a textbook solu-
tion that has been a long time coming at

the University: a student-run bookstore.
This model is the ultimate incorporation
of students into the textbook business.
Previously, the University created a non-
profit, student-run store in 1969. That store
remained in operation until 1985, when the
Michigan Union Director Frank Cianciola
ran it out of business by refusing to allow
the floundering U-Cellar to sell University
Although the high price of textbooks
may be caused mostly by publishers, a
student-run bookstore would have every
incentive to keep book prices as low as
possible, something the Barnes and Noble
that replaced U-Cellar doesn't have. Cer-
tainly students are capable of running
one - they already run the student book
exchange, which offers some of the low-
est prices for books each year. A non-profit
bookstore not only provides a source for
cheaper textbooks, but it forces other area
bookstores to follow suit.
Overall, students' best option is still buy-
ing their textbooks on the Internet. But for
those who don't and for those classes that
maybe buying from campus bookstores is
a necessity, non-profit stores can be more
responsive to students' concern. Shaman
Drum is leading the way. A student-run
bookstore should follow.

What counts as useful criticism?

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

Absent activism

T housands of Americans, par-
ticularly from the University
of Michigan, have traveled the
world thanks to the
Peace Corps. So it
comes as no sur-
prise that there was
a vigorous reader
response to an
article that raised
questions about the
motivations of the-
Peace Corps (Uni- PAUL H.
versity ranks fifth in
grads joining Peace JOHNSON
Corps, 01/29/2008).
The article ques-
tioned whether Peace Corps volun-
teers xere choosing to go abroad for
the right reasons. Readers worried
that the article unfairly maligned the
Peace Corps and that the article's crit-
icisms werdh't carefully considered.
Basically, I think the Daily could
have done more reporting. The arti-
cle extensively quoted an LSA senior
Claudia Williams who raised many of
the questions about the Peace Corps,
but the Daily never explained to read-
ers why this particular person was
talking about the Peace Corps or what
her motivation was for talking. While
I think she has the right to her point of
view, the Daily should have also found
more critics to talk about shortcom-
ings that may exist in the Peace Corps.
Also, the article could have fleshed out
why this particular senior was talking
about the program. There have been
a number of studies conducted about
the Peace Corps and it's value or lack
Daily staff Reporter Gabe Rivin, an
LSA senior, said he found Williams
by walking through Mason Hall and

talking to people about their opin-
ion of the program. Rivin said that
the woman told him she was from a
developing country and had first-hand
experience about the Peace Corps, but
she didn't name the country. That fact
got edited out of the story.
Knowing more about Williams
would have given her criticisms more
weight and added to the value of her
comments. But the article did allow
the speakers to respond to the criti-
cisms leveled. As well, Rivin said he
was pressed for time in completing
the article. He said the Daily should
consider giving more time for articles
that aren't particularly time sensitive,
like this one. This would make sure
the reporting could be fleshed out
more completely.
The criticisms of the Peace Corps
expressed in the article have been
mentioned for years in one form or
Some of the criticisms have been
rather comical. The late Sen. Jesse
Helms (R-NC.) once told The New
York Times that he saw funding for
the Peace Corps as "more ratfood
for the Third World" and called the
organization a refuge ''for drugged-
out losers, leftists and homosexuals."
Even the first director of the Peace
Corps, Sargent Shriver, said that the
Peace Corps shows Americans that
our good will'isn't always welcome.
He said: "Peace Corps Volunteers
come home to the USA realizing that
there are billions-yes, billions-of
human beings not enraptured by our
pretensions, or our practices, or even
our standards of conduct."
As Sen. Christopher Dodd (D-
Coon.) said in a speech during the
45th anniversary of the Peace Corps

criticism is something that the orga-
nization embraces. Dodd said: "The
Peace Corps is one sustained exer-
cise in self-criticism, and that's just
its strength. For our young men and
women, living and serving among
poverty is an implicit censure of their
relative wealth. Learning to serve and
work with our hands is a self-criti-
cism, because it confronts us with our
So it's worth talking about the
Peace Corps and I think the letters
published in the Dailyin response had
well-crafted objections to the article.
Daily should
criticize, but with
qualified sources
on the flip side is yesterday's story
about Teach for America ('U' leads
nation in TeachforAmdrica applicants,
02/11/2008), which could have used a
similar touch. But, in that story, there
were not any criticismsleveled against
the program. I think any organization
that does good would be served well
by airing and responding to the criti-
cisms leveled against its mission.
The Daily can't be afraid to go after
institutions, even ones as revered
as the Peace Corps and Teach for
America, so readers can have all the
information available about these pro-
grams that affect so many lives.
Paul H. Johnson is the Daily's
public editor. He can be reached
at publiceditor@umich.edu.

In the months between receiving my accep-
tance letter to the University and trying to
avoid stepping on the "M" on the Diag when
I came to campus, I conjured up many gran-
diose images of what my college career would
be like. The liberal reputation of the Univer-
sity fueled many of these glory-filled visions.
I pictured demonstrations on State Street
against the government's violent involve-
ment in the Middle East, posters against the
abortion bans and petitions advocating the
advancement of gay rights. The sepia tone
that covered these ideas in my mind probably
had more to do with their connection to the
ideals of the 1960s than my inability to sharp-
ly outline the future.
Many politically aware students hold up
the '60s as the golden age of student activism.
But is it worth being nostalgic for an era we
weren't alive to witness? We look so fondly
to the '60s and the intense advocacy of that
decade, but has it really disappeared? Or has
it merely shifted?
While the University's history of students'
penchant for causing ripples is substantial, the
face of student activism has changed. Tech-
nology is shaping the way we fight back and,
even more so, where we fight.
Our nostalgia for long-lost protest is well
deserved. Student activism began long before
the idealistic '60s, but that is when it truly
came into fruition, especially in Ann Arbor.
In 1966, more than 1,500 students staged
a sit-in to protest the compilation of class
rankings. A group of black students overtook
the administration building in 1968, where
University President Robben Fleming finally
listened to and then agreed to address their
complaints about lack of minority professors
and student enrollment. Later, in 1969, a rent-
ers' union was created, and nearly 1,000 stu-
dents withheld rent from landlords to force
rent reductions and repairs. In all of these
instances, students pulled together in alarm-
ing numbers in order to instigate change.
They stood in the way, making it impossible
to avoid their message.
Today our voice is often faint. But it's not
because students have stopped voicing their
opinions. The medium has changed. The
misplaced beauty of Facebook has forged a
new path for opinions. Creating Facebook
groups and events has become the new word

of mouth. And although the blogging universe
allows everyone to share unique thoughts,
who has time to read this mass virtual post-
ing wall?
We fight. We kick.And we definitely scream.
However, because so many of our efforts are
cyber, they don't make an impact. We sit in the
comfort of our computer chairs and complain
on blogs and make Facebook groups about
things with which we don't agree. The pro-
test against the graduation venue change was
loud, but outside the virtual world, the actual
protest failed miserably. In the fall of 2006,
when race- and gender-based affirmative
action was banned, students were outraged.
But where has that outrage gone? There have
been no sit-ins for increased minority enroll-
ment, not even a loud call for the admissions
figures for the upcoming year - which are
being released later than last year. Students
are more likely to be vocal online than to be
seen pushing for change in the flesh.
It can't be said that it is for lack of passion
that students don't fill the Daily with stories
of sit-ins. We are often positive activists,
championing causes like raising money for
children in need of physical rehabilitation or
garnering support for Barack Obama. Out-
side of these positive pursuits, we have still
accomplished alot. In the past few years, stu-
dents have effectively ousted Coca-Cola from
the University for unethical practices, rallied
against sweatshops and protested the war
in Iraq. But there were just as many causes
where our actions simply fell short, if they
were present at all.
I fall into the same trap about which I am
complaining. It simply is easier to contact
large amounts of people by e-mailingthem or
announcing an event via Facebook. But con-
versely, when I am being pestered to attend
this or support that, it is too easy to hit "not
attending",or to press delete. There are no dis-
appointed eyes on a computer screen.
We certainly aren't complacent,but we need
to take a page from'60s and use big actions to
create big changes. These grow from personal
interaction. Facebook can't be our medium, or
it will become our legacy.
Kate Peabody is an LSA junior and a
Daily associate editorial page editor. She
can reached at kmpeabo@umich.edu.

A 7
f '



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