4A - Wednesday, February 20, 2008
The Michigan Daily michigandaily.com
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the University ofMichigan since 1890.
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Ann Arbor, MI 48109
0 'A4 QU TA E
One of the greatest benefits of the
revolution is that even our prostitutes
are college graduates."
- Fidel Castro, speaking about the benefits of the communist revolution he led in Cuba in a 2003
documentary "Comandante." Castro said yesterday that he would give up the Cuban presidency.
The price of succeSs
EDITOR IN CHIEF
EDITORIAL PAGE EDITOR
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, PaulH. 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 can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
F RC)M T HE DA ILY
Professi ng discontent
Faculty members deserve a fair say in University decisions
Jf the fiasco surrounding Spring Commencement has left stu-
dents feeling unappreciated, they're not alone. The Michigan
Stadium construction and other such endeavors has provoked
protest from University faculty as well. According to the results of
an annual survey of faculty members, the overwhelming majority
is dissatisfied with its lack of voice in University affairs. This news,
along with students' outrage over graduation, highlights a larger
problem: This administration's lack of consideration for outside
views and input. A shared governance document between the Senate
Assembly and the Office of the Provost, however, gives the adminis-
tration the perfect chance to address at least part of this issue.
t's all about connections. Last
winter I finally admitted that to
the job market like
the game that it 1
is. Swallowing my
pride, I applied for
a highly competitive
internship in a sena-
torial office, casu-
ally mentioning in
my cover letter that EMMARIE
my grandparents HUETTEMAN
were friends of the
senator. (I drew the
line at having someone "make a call"
for me.) However, my fears of earning
an unmerited internship were quickly
assuaged when I was rejected.
ThenI learnedthatthere are options
for those ofus whose connections don't
deliver or even don'texist:A fewAmer-
ican companies that bank on affluent
parents worrying enough about their
children's future to buy them intern-
ships. For a mere $6,000 - plus the
non-refundable $35 application fee
- University of Dreams guarantees
qualified applicants a domestic intern-
ship with a top company in the indus-
try of their choice. Founded in 2001,
this internship placement program
secures applicants thekindofpositions
that could lead to successful careers,
while saving companies the trouble of
sorting through thousands of rdsumes
to find a few qualified applicants.
The company certainly knows how
to sell it. The University of Dreams
website features slideshows of satisfied
customers, smiling on the beach, at
theme parks and even with celebrities.,
They look successful and well coifed,
and programs like the "Summer with
the Stars" internship in Los Angeles
boast "an experience filled with celeb-
rity sightings, movie premieres, sunny
skies and palm trees." And the photo-
graphs don't show anything as mun-
dane as work.
Even without the fun in the sun,
it's an attractive prospect to college
students. In 2006, Vault, a company
specializing in career counseling,
reported that 82 percent of students
surveyed said that having an intern-
ship was "extremely important" to
future success. These positions are
excellent r6sum6 builders, offering
fledgling entrepreneurs everything
they need: experience, contacts or jobs.
And considering Vault's revelationthat
64 percent of students had been offered
full-time jobs at companies with which
they had interned, getting an intern-
ship may be the difference between
success and failure.
However, $6,000 is a heavy price
to pay for success, especially when
your family doesn't have the expend-
able income to enroll you in programs
like University of Dreams. Rather than
striving to maintain a (relatively) even
playing field, companies like this one
are shamelessly proving the notion
that everything's for sale - and profit-
ing from it.
Let's be honest: It's not an evenplay-
ingfield anyway.Therehas alwaysbeen
nepotism in the job market, whether it
was the storeowner passing his busi-
ness down to his son or the uncle
making a call to a powerful friend for
his niece. Connections help, and busi-
nesses like University of Dreams know
that - which is whythey cultivate rela-
tionships with powerful companies
like Merrill Lynch and Entertainment
Tonight, then sell the spoils of these
But many students can't afford tak-
ing an underpaid or even unpaid sum-
mer position, letalone pay for one. This
only widensthe income gap. Any quali-
fied applicant can land an internship,
but being an intern requires the finan-
cial security to make it through three
months with little to no income. And
because having an internship offers
more and better opportunities, those
who can afford internships tend to
enter more lucrative careers.
Unfortunately, it only makes it hard-
er for students with nothing to lever-
age. While none of the internships for
which I'm applying mention cruising
Rodeo Drive in the job description,
there's no one sneaking my resumd to
the top of the stack. Those of us who
still believe in meritocracy are becom-
ing increasingly panicked,plagued with
earlier application deadlines and more
stringent qualifications. It certainly
explains the desperate willingness to
pay thousands of dollars for a guaran-
teed "in" at desirable companies.
But, after all, University of Dreams
only claims to give qualified applicants
a push. To offer prospective clients (and
skeptics) a first-hand look into the pro-
gram, itencourages its students to blog
Can't find an
Just buy one.
Judging from survey results, there is a
clear air of discontent. Of the 30 percent of
eligible faculty who responded, roughly 70
percent felt that the administration should
"consult elected faculty representatives ...
early in the planning of any major construc-
tionprojects, includingthose forsportsfacil-
ities." The concern stems in no small part
from the this summer's much-publicized
University Board of Regents final decision
to go ahead with adding luxury boxes to the
Big House. At the time, 600 staff and fac-
ulty members signed a petition against the
proposed expansion. In October, the Senate
Assembly - the faculty's chief governing
body - passed a related motion asking the
University to reconsider its stadium plans.
Ultimately, the University's administration
largely ignored both actions.
Now, the shared governance document
may change things for the better. The docu-
ment, crafted by the Senate Assembly and
the Office of the Provost, is meant to define
the role of the faculty in administrative
affairs. The key issue here is exactly what
influence faculty representatives would
have in supposedly non-academic matters
like construction projects. At any univer-
sity, the line between what is strictly an
academic matter or a non-academic matter
is unclear. However, professors are a large
part of what make this university what it
is. It's embarrassing that they are left out
of the loop. More broadly, having more fac-
ulty influence would be a breath of fresh
air in decision making, especially given the
administration's insistence on executing
decisions from the top down.
Democratization needs to happen
because the administration's decisions
affect all of us. The addition of skyboxes
to the Big House, for example, has reper-
cussions that extend far outside the walls
of the stadium. On an immediate level, the
graduating seniors know all too well the
way it has negatively affected their experi-
ences here at the University. Beyond that,
however, the stadium is a symbol of the
University as a whole; if the project attracts
criticism, it works against the University's
image and carries consequences for stu-
dents and faculty as well. In strictly finan-
cial terms, when the University takes out
loans for construction, it doesn't matter if
these loans are for a Medical School build-
ing or an Athletic Department project -
debt is debt. Every project affects whether
the University will be able to borrow for a
In agreeing to a shared governance docu-
ment that gives the faculty a greater voice,
the administration will show good faith
in addressing the concerns of the greater
University community. After all, Univer-
sity President Mary Sue Coleman and her
administration's legacy won't be judged by
the gentlemen's club that will occupy her
luxury boxes - it will be decided by the
entire University community. This com-
munity has had distressingly little say in
the issues that directly affect it. Fixing this
problem could start with the faculty.
about their thoughts and experiences.
one of its featured posts, "Hand over
fist oppurtunities (sic)," argues that
people who worry about the $6,000
cost are only hurtingthemselves.
"I am really passionate about what
University of Dreams does for people
and their future," said the poster. "And
this past week at internship mania I
meet a ton of people that have so much
ahead of them if they open the right
doors. It really made me think about
how many people are out there that
could be missing out because they set-
tle for a common internship."
Meritocracy just maybe dead.
Emmarie Huetteman is an associate
editorial page editor. She can be
reached at email@example.com.
EDITORIAL BOARD MEMBERS:
Emad Ansari, Harun Buljina, Anindya Bhadra, Kevin Bunkley, Ben Caleca, Satyajeet Deshmukh,
Milly Dick, Mike Eber, Emmarie Huetteman, Theresa Kennelly, Emily Michels,
Arikia Millikan, Kate Peabody, Robert Soave, lmran Syed, Neil Tambe, Matt Trecha,
Kate Truesdell, Radhika Upadhyaya, Rachel Van Gilder, Rachel Wagner, Patrick Zabawa.
SEND LETTERS TO: TOTHEDAILY@UMICH.EDU
Where is the response to the
Northern Illinois shooting?
That being sai
of this policy isr
Street and Hoov
for having a bee
yard, even thoug
KATIE HENDRICKS EP
Dressed to distress
Every year the hall council of each resi-
dence hall issues T-shirts in an effort to
build community. The shirts often attempt
to either cleverly insult different resi-
dence halls or feature witty or risque say-
ings. While the shirts have included sexual
innuendos in the past, South Quad's T-shirt
crossed the line this year by referencing the
sexually aggressive Soulja Boy song "Crank
That." The front of the shirt is emblazoned
with the Superman logo, and the back reads
"Superman that ..." referencing the song's
chorus of "Superman that ho."
While the word "ho" is not included on the
in its reference and its meaning. According to
the popular slang website urbandictionary.
com, the verb "superman" has the following
definition: "When you are mad at your girl
for not having sex with you. So when she falls
asleep you masturbate and cum on her back.
After that, stick the bed sheet on to her back
and when she wakes up it's stuck to the cum
and she has a cape like Superman!!!"
The act of "supermaning" is not simply a
sexual reference in a popular song, but rather
a highly gendered act of sexual aggression
and punishment. Though I recognize that it
was not the intention of the South Quad Hall
Council to propagate sexual violence, the
council made an irresponsible decision that
undermines the safe environment the Univer-
sity promises students in the residence halls.
While the phrase may seem like an innocent
or cheeky joke, it is distasteful and offensive,
particularly to women in its portrayal of mas-
culine dominance. What lies at the root of the
song is a message that belittles women and
ignores their right to choose when or when
not to have sex. Such a message, even with
innocent intent, trivializes the problem of
sexual violence by treating it as a joke.
The South. Quad Hall Council used stu-
dents' money to finance the dorm T-shirts
that many residents now refuse to purchase.
Housing shirts serve to represent the entire
community, and this community should not
be represented with a statement that is both
generally offensive and specifically demean-
ing to women.
Months after the T-shirts were first sold,
the South Quad Hall Council issued an apol-
ogy "to those who feel offended or insult-
ed," but this in no way took responsibility
or acknowledged wrongful behavior on the
council's part. This is not just about "feeling"
insulted but about the real insult committed
by the hall council and the mass production
of a slogan that explicitly references sexual
violence. It was the council's mistake and lack
of forethought that created the problem, not
those who were offended.
While the residence hall's "Hip Hop, Gen-
der, and the Politics of Language" forum host-
ed by the South Quad Hall Council on Feb. 11
addressed the issue, the event was marketed
as an educational opportunity specifically for
residents. The council members responsible
-for the slogan's use were not in attendance,
and the group's treatment of the issue again
failed to admit fault on the part of the council.
It is not just the residents who need education
about issues of sexual violence but also the
Thus, I would ask the members of the
South Quad Hall Council to make a continued
commitment to educate themselves about the
issue of sexual violence. The responsibility
given to hall council members as leaders of
the community and controllers of dorm funds
should match the responsibility expected
of them. At the very least, the hall council
members responsible must admit fault and
be accountable for violating the dorm's safe
environment, the maintenance of which is
purportedly their jobs.
The shirts are no longer being sold to stu-
dents and staff. However, South Quad should
provide alternative T-shirts without the offen-
sive slogan so that all students can be equally
comfortable representing their residence hall.
Katie Hendricks is an LSA sophomore.
She is a member of the F-Word.
TO THE DAILY: The next day, w
On April 17, 2007, University President Mary Sue trash had blown
Coleman released a statement offering condolences to though the table
the Virginia Tech community in the wake of the trag- who previouslyI
edy, as well as support to any members of the University tickets, we recei
community who felt they needed it. All in all, my ho
On Feb.14,2008, there was a shooting at Northern Illi- table in our fron
nois University. The University of Michigan has offered Ann Arbor n(
no response. This is the second high-profile college Though student
shooting in the past year. The University of Michigan the reason why:
claims to provide a safe environment for its students, but rent economic s
when itoffers no support or information to its students in and be a bit mor
response to a tragedy at a university very similar to ours, on their city eac
I find this commitment hard to believe.
The University immediately responded to the wide- ChrisVessels
spread distress over the location of graduation, yet it LSA senior
couldn't manage to issue any statement tothe community
regarding the shooting at Northern Illinois. Universities
across the country have offered Northern Illinois their ROSE JAFFE
condolences, while we have not. Whether or not one has
personal ties to Northern Illinois, this affects all of us,
Id, I believe thatthe current enforcement
ridiculous. In the past, I lived near State
er Street. My house received a ticketonce
r pong table with cups on it in the front
h none of these cupswere on the ground.
'e received another ticket because some
into our yard from nearby houses, even
e had been removed. Because the people
lived in our house had also received two
ived fines for third and fourth offenses.
use was fined around $750 for having a
eeds to define this policy more clearly.
s cause problems in the city,they are also
the city is shielded from Michigan's cur-
ituation. Residents need to realize this
e thankful that 35,000 rich kids descend
as members of a university communit.Iaexrml
disappointed that my university has done nothing to
address this most recent tragedy.
Shovel your sidewalks, please
TO THE DAILY:
One of the great pleasures of Ann Arbor is being able
to walk from my Burns Park home to my lab without the
stress of traffic or parking. Since I am approaching that
age where slipping and falling on pavement is becoming a
worry, this winter has turned my morning ritual into test
of balance and stability. One reason is that so many of the
large fraternity and sorority houses along my route fail to
clear the sidewalks.
I find it amazing that the 30 or more strong, healthy
students living in some of these houses can't manage to
clear 40 feetof walkway. Boys and girls, if youwantto act
like grown-ups, get out and shovel. Do it not because it is
a city ordinance, because it might save an old man's hip
(or you from liability) or because it is great exercise. Do it
because it is the right thing to do.
The letterwriter is an associate professor ofpathology in the
A2 policy is unfair when undefined
TO THE DAILY:
I don't have any problem with the city of Ann Arbor
giving tickets to houses with excessive amounts of trash
as a news story detailed Monday because the city obvi-
ously has a vested interest in maintaining a clean city
(Near campus, a dirty war over garbage, 02/18/2008). If
a family lives near a student house that constantly has
trash scattered in its front yard, the property value of
that family's home will likely decrease.
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