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March 21, 2008 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 2008-03-21

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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

4 - Friday, March 21, 2008
Edited and managed by students at
the University ofMichigan 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 ofntheir 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 ofthe paper. Readers are encouraged to contact the public editor
with questions andcomments. He canbe reached at publiceditor@umich.edu.
Giving back
Harvard Law to waive tuition in exchange for publi service
here may be a lot of lawyers in hell, but there certainly
aren't enough working at nonprofit law firms. Enter Har-
vard Law School. America's premiere university is trying
a new plan to funnel recent graduates into public service jobs. The
program - which waives third-year tuition in exchange for public
service work - is meant to alleviate graduate students' debt and
increase the number of students choosing careers with the gov-
ernment and non-profit organizations. While the program has its
flaws, the federal government and other universities should follow
Harvard's lead and implement similar tuition aid programs.

Announced Tuesday, the Harvard pro-
gram will provide free tuition for a year to
law students completing their third year
in exchange for a commitment to spend
five years after graduation working for the
government, at a non-profit organization
or in another public service sector. This
aid program is one of a kind at American
law schools. It hopes to bring well-quali-
fied Harvard Law graduates into influential
public service careers. Because the tuition
provided from the program is direct aid -
rather than a loan - it offers an incentive
for students to commit if they want to avoid
burying themselves in high-interest debt.
Always the trendsetter in higher educa-
tion, Harvard is at it again. Career placement
programs with financial incentives are a
good way of attracting graduates to popular
- yet extremely important - government
jobs, as well as bringing in students who
can't necessarily afford an elite law school
education. Between 2003 and 2006, only 9.8
to 12.1 percent of Harvard Law's graduating
class went on to work in nonprofit or govern-
ment jobs. Instead of moving in six-figure-
salary jobs, these talented students should
be sharing their intellectual wealth. With

endowments that rival the GDP of Samoa,
these universities can help.
That's not to say that this program is with-
out its flaws. Students needing the financial
aid are the ones attracted to this program
and the ones who go into these public ser-
vice jobs. However, this does nothing to
push wealthier students into public service
as well. If we are hoping to make these types
of programs as meaningful as possible, stu-
dents from all incomes mustbe involved.
While this program may have its pit-
falls, the possible benefits are too great to
overlook. Dually promoting public service
work and an elite law school education will
encourage students to receive higher educa-
tion and contribute back to society - two
things our country needs more of.
But to truly make an impact, this can'tjust
be an option at Harvard. The federal gov-
ernment should spearhead providing tuition
waiversiin exchange for public service com-
mitments. By providing financial incentive,
universities and the government will con-
tribute to filling public service jobs with
highly educated graduates - an achieve-
ment that will help better our government,
economy and community.

There is no road to the White House
that does not go through Michigan'
- Gov. Jennifer Granholm, declaring the option of a second primary dead as lawmakers left a bill to
create one untouched before the weekend, as reported yesterday by The New York Times.
A5,VC D\F C_,
20JO\D) i t1 O) 7
hese days, "greening" your life But these choices aren't always easy The good riews is that even if you
is almost as trendy as adopt- to make. can't afford an $8 box ofKashi, you can
ing children from obscure Suppose you want to make a peanut still show your green allegiance. Right
developing coun- butter and jelly sandwich, a tried-and- now is a crucial time in the agricultur-
tries. You can barely true standby for the budgetarily chal- al community. Debate on the "Farm
turn around with- lenged student. A little investigative Bill," as it's comnmonly known, whAi
out being ht with reporting at a local supermarket fran- largely determines agricultural subsi-
an environmental chise proves my point. A loaf of store- dies and sets national regulations, was
message. The day brand wheat bread will run you a little recently extended to mid-April. So its
I opened Vogue to over $1, while a loaf of organic bread not too late to let your representatives
see an ad featuring of the same variety in the same shelf know how you feel. And if you, like
wind turbines in the will run you up to $3. A normal jar of me, aren't quite up on your obscure
background, I knew organic jam will run you about $1.50, small-farming regulation legislation,
Earth friendliness KATE while a super-value generic jar close there are more authoritative sources
had hit a whole new TRUESDELL to three times the size for $1. Organic like advocacy groups that can break
level of mainstream - peanut butter costs $ 5 to store brand's it down for you so you know what is
notoriety. $2. And if you want to wash that down
While it's important to maintain a with a little milk, a gallon of organic
healthy skepticism during this eco- milk will cost you $5, as opposed to
frenzy, it's good that important envi- the normal $3. Prices listed here are Adding up the
ronmental issues are finally entering small-scale and anecdotal but even at
into the public debate and mainstream this level, the point is obvious: It takes costs of
consciousness. I, for one, couldt green to be green.
be happier. There's just one catch - It's no secret that students' budgetsy t g dnaew haven
those lifestyle changes that allow you are stretched thin, and I can relate. I
to brand your vehicle with a "Honk dont always make the choices I know
If You Love Mother Earth" bumper are right. Despite my glamorous
sticker come with one heck of a hefty and fabulously paying job as a Daily (or should be) on the bargAiingtabl.
price tag. writer, I often find myself reaching (Check out the Sustainable Agricul-
It's hip to say that the main barrier for the 20-meal case of sodium-rich ture Coalition's explanation at www.
to better environmental practices is chemically-enhanced Ramen noodles sustainableagriculturecoalition.org.)
better education, but the truth is that instead of one pesticide-free Michi- it's difficult to prioritize this type
information can only go so far. And no gan-made apple for about the same of action because students' time, like
place illustrates i t han price. Realistically, some students are money, is a precious commodity for
college campuses. Students represent in tougher straits with even more rea- which demand exceeds supply. But
a group with unmatched exposure son to complain. these changes need to be made, not
to environmrel ness. While So what's a college co-ed to do? only in relation to food but alsouacrss
we enjoy this feast of knowledge, our The trouble is th he solution to the the board. Technologies like hybrid
pockets aren't always deep enough to problem starts way before you ever vehicles and cleaner power need more
let us practice what we preach. wipe your feet on the People's Food government support, too. While the
Take, for example, the average Co-op's welcome mat. Commod- importance of consumer awareness
student's diet. Food choices have a ity crop subsidies for giant corporate and grassroots support shouldnt
tremendous environmental impact. farms continue to plague the agri- be overlooked, the green movement
Although the credibility of certain cultural sector. Meanwhile, smaller- needs a boost from the top as well.
itee certifie tio"ndlike "oreamic" is scale farms practicing organic and Being able to make purchases in
sometimses tionable, foods pro- eco-conscious farming aren't afford- good conscious shouldn't be a luxury
duced without pesticides and away ed the same advantages, despite the limited to the upper crust.
from factory-farming monocultures Increased demand for these products.
are better for the planet - not to This difference ends up coming out of Kate Truesdell can be reached
mention, in many cases, your health. your pocket. at ketrue@umich.edu.
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, limran Syed,

Neil Tambe, Malt Trecha, Kate Truesdell, Radhika Upadhyaya, Rachel Van Gilder, Rachel Wagner. Patrick Zabawa.
Guess who's coming to dinner



Misinterpreting HagenI' ences you'll have here at the University.
quality teaching for unfair Hayley Ellard
grade inflation practices

TO THE DAILY: Those wi
As a proud student of the psychology
department, I found it disappointing to hear
the accusations brought against Prof. John
Hagen in The Ann Arbor News by Hagen's TO THE DAILY
colleagues at the University. Having taken As a lifelong
three courses with Hagen, including an excited to rece
independent study course, I found his classes buying tickets f
stimulating and his grading policy fair. Rath- excited becaus
er than being concerned with norm-refer- programin the
enced performance, Hagen gave his students Since it will be
the relevant feedback necessary for reten- I naturally tho
tion and improvement. It is unfortunate that a higher priori
such a distinguished professor would have I was angry a
such damaging statements made about him. because the At
Not only is it disrespectful to Hagen and his how it will det
teaching practices, but also to the athletes not be receivin
mentioned who take his courses. will now have p
As students at the University, athletes are ate seniors, ma
expected to perform just like other students. ing their fourt
And alas, they do in some courses. Why is Graduate st
this troubling? Further, why is the psychol- degrees from t
ogy department not interested in under- highest priorit
standing how students seem to be retaining the University
information and learning substantially more willingly chose
in courses taught by Hagen, instead of accus- that I am alone
ing him of grade inflation? Athletic Depar
It's unfortunate that Hagen had to be so that it does
unwittingly caught in the middle of a lapse in decide to stay:
professionalism. I would hope that apologies bechler so fam
are in order, and I would advise anyone who will be champi
may feel differently to take one of his cours-
es if you haven't. It's my sincere belief that Caroline Yee
it might be one of the most relevant experi- LSA senior

ho stay should get
)tball seating
g Michigan football fan, I was
ive the e-mail last week about
for next season. I was especially
e I will be starting a graduate
School of Information next fall.
my fifth year at the University,
ught that I would be receiving
ty than I did this past season.
nd disappointed to learn that
hletic Department restructured
ermine ticket priority, I would
g the highest priority seating. I
riority behind the undergradu-
ny of whom will only be start-
h year at the University.
tudents with undergraduate
he University should have the
y because they have been at
for a longer period of time and
to return here. I don't believe
in this situation, and I urge the
tment to reconsider its policy
n't unjustly punish those who
at the University. As Bo Schem-
Ously declared, "Those who stay



n a campus where gay couples
are as common as North Face
jackets and not believing in
God is actually kind
of cool, you would
think that dating
someone with dif-
ferent religious
views would be as
easy as taking candy
from a baby. Unfor-
tunately, for many
students this idea SHAKIRA
is completely unac-
ceptable because as SMILER
they like to put it,
they are looking for
someone who shares the same "ideals"
and "values" as them.
Sure, dating someone with differ-
ent religious views can be challenging.
of course no one wants to be the idiot
who gives a Jewish girlfriend a dreidel
for Christmas. Everyone wants to be
able to spend religious holidays with
that special someone. Nonetheless,
refusing to give people a chance sim-
ply because of what they believe is just
as bad as not dating people because of
their race.
Yes, I've heard it all before, "You
can't compare religion and race
because religion plays a huge role in
their social identity and everyday
lifestyle, blah blah blah." This actu-
ally does have some validity. But for
many, race carries just as much weight
in their social identity as religion, and
in many communities there is often a
parallel between the two. For instance,
in the black community race influenc-
es educational background, economic
status and even religion, with most
black people being either Christian or

Muslim. Yet, you will quickly be called
a racist if you as much as mention you
only want date within your own race.
Why then is the blatant discrimina-
tion against someone because of their
religion OK, but you're called a bigot
if you choose to not date someone
because they are of a different race?
You can't actually look at someone
and tell whether he is Jewish, Chris-
tian or Muslim. But there are some
people whose race you can't deter-
mine by just looking at them either.
Sharing a religious belief can increase
your comfort level with someone, but
assuming that the relationship will
be uncomfortable because of religion
is silly. Judging whether someone is
dateable or not based solely on wheth-
er that person reads the Quran or the
Bible is a bad idea.
What happens if you meet some-
one that is giving, loyal, attractive,
hardworking and an all-around great
person, but you never allow that per-
son to show you that side because that
person is Buddhist and you are Chris-
tian? That's just as narrow-minded as
me dating a guy who's broke, ugly, lazy,
ignorant and annoying because he just
so happens to be black.
one of my Jewish friends brought
up a point that, in some instances, dat-
ing someone of the same religion is
just as tough as dating someone from
a different religion when one person
is a staunch religious follower and the
other person is less devoted. He says
that a lot of girls at the University who
are Jewish by birth identifymore with
being "American" than Jewish. As he
put it, "to them, Louis Vuitton means a
lot more than the Star of David."
In this instance, the argument that

exclusively dating within your religion
is.OK because of shared values is null
and void. If someone is a non-practic-
ing, uninterested Jew, do you really
have any more shared values with
them than you would with someone
who is a non-practicing, uninterested
It's hard finding a good Boo these
days. So, in order to expand your
options, sometimes you've got to think
outside the box. Try something new.
Give love a chance,
even if you don't
worship together


Aim2 ~ j 1 (MYHABITS.

Test the waters. But, if you decide
to give interfaith dating a try, please
don't put converting that person on
your agenda. No one wants to wake up
every morning hearing "Baby, do you
love Jesus yet?"
Picking and choosing who to date
because of religious views is a luxury
that students of dominant religions
have. It's easy to vow to only date a
Christian when you attend a univer-
sity where half the student body is
Christian, but stepping outside of that
comfort zone may be beneficial to your
love life. Many students from the Uni-
versity have gone on to have very suc-
cessful interfaith marriages, but you
will never know until you try.
Shakira Smiler can be reached
at stsmiler@umich.edu.


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