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April 15, 2008 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 2008-04-15

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4A - Tuesday, April 15, 2008
4Jb t*Iiiian Ea
Edited and managed by students at
the University of Michigan since 1890.
420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com




Unsigned editorials reflect the official position oftthe Daily's editorial board. All other signed articles
and illustrations represent solelytheviews 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 canbe reached at publiceditor@umich.edu.
7- Edgar Awards
We'll give you a fucking award to write home about
Back when J. Edgar Hoover, that infallible defender of our
constitutional rights, was playing dictator and spying on
Americans as head of the Federal Bureau of Investigation,
the Daily's editorial page handed out the Edgar Awards annually
to individuals and institutions best embodying his many admi-
rable characteristics. Of necessity, we revived the tradition in
recent years.

What particularly galls me is the lack
of quotation marks."
-Author J.K. Rowling, responded in court, in the case to block publication of a Harry Potter
lexicon by Michigan publisher, RDR Books, as reported yesterday by the Times Online.
Endoftheyear tough ts
thought I would use my final institution for years and have long- given the story more perspective. It
column of the year to give standing relationships with sources, also showcased one of my pet peeves:
some advice about ways the something that is not easily done by the use of a semi-anonymous source
Daily can improve students only here for four years. where it's not needed. In the story
its news cover- The other kind of sources are those one person was quoted only by first
age. who may not have knowledge about name. The Daily should not use anon-
The Daily's day- how the University operates but can ymous sources except in extraordi-
to-day coverage of provide insight into little-explored nary circumstances. If someone does
current events is areasofcampuslife -groups like veter- not want his or her name in the paper
top-flight. When a ans, non-traditional students, students in a regular news story, the reporter
breaking story hits, with disabilities and ethnic minorities. should find someone else to quote. By
the Daily throws For example, the furor over the addi- quoting this person anonymously, the
all it can at the tion of wheelchair-accessible seating article unintentionally made it seem
story, whether it is PAUL H. at the Big House should have naturally shameful that a student would want
a shooting on cam- JOHNSON led to stories about how the Univer- their full name in a story about gay
pus, the presiden- sity as a whole accommodates people issues, when there are plenty of open-
tial primary or the with disabilities. Stories about litiga- ly gay students on campus willing to
highs and lows of a sports season. tion regarding whether the University talk frankly about their experiences.
That said, I think the Daily needs can legally provide health insurance to
to do more to develop sources out- same-sexcouples could havebeenused
side the traditional orbit of student as a stepping-off point to better cover- Things the Dally
leaders and administration offi- age of gay and lesbian issues. StoriesL Dal
cials. Many stories feature the usual about Proposal 2 could have led down can improve upon
suspects, from the leaders of the a similar road.
Michigan Student Assembly to the One way to look for stories off the *
University administration. This leads beaten path is to take run of the mill in the future.
to a persistent sameness on the front stories that appear in the paper reg-
page and a lack of diversity - not just ularly and use them as a launching
racial and ethnic diversity, but also a point for a broader piece. The Daily The fact remains that the Daily is
lack of diversity in the types of sto- covers a lot of stories about speeches one of the finest student newspapers
ries in the Daily. When the Daily does given by prominent people who visit in the country, made all the more
write about those groups - in this I campus. Some are worthy, but others remarkable by the fact that it isn't
include not just minorities, but the could be used to examine an issue in supported by a journalism depart-
groups like the Greek system as well more depth. ment like many student daily news-
- the resulting stories don't cover as For example, take the article papers. Much like my alma mater's
much ground as they could. "LGBT advocate discusses sexual- college newspaper, the Cornell Daily
There are two kinds of sources that ity in the workplace" (04/03/2008). Sun, this means the staff tends to
the Daily will find useful. One is the Instead of doing an article solely have to re-invent the wheel each year
kind of person with knowledge of about the appearance of the head of because much institutional memory
how the University operates who can the Human Rights Campaign, the is lost when seniors graduate. It's a
point reporters in the direction of big article could have been about how challengeI know the Daily's staff can
stories and may or may notturn out to gay and lesbian students approach meet. I would like to thank the Daily
be sources quoted in the paper. These the job search. Do they come out? Do for finding a place for me here, and
are the sort of sources The Ann Arbor they stay in the closet? These events, I would like to congratulate all the
News and the Detroit Free Press used like the HRC speech, are generally graduating seniors and wish them
to break stories about the Univer- announced withsome advance notice, luck in whatever they do next. Have
sity this year, including allegations of and with a little reporting the story a great summer, everyone.
favoritism towards athletes and the could have been about the transition
hiring of a new football coach. Again, to the work world for one particular Paul H. Johnson is the Daily's
both papers benefited from hav- group of students. public editor. He can be reached
ing reporters who have covered the Further,morereportingmighthave at publiceditor@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, Imran Syed,
Neil Tambe, Matt Trecha, Kate Truesdell, Radhika Upadhyaya, Rachel Van Gilder, Rachel Wagner, Patrick Zabawa.
The best adviceI never got

And so we present the fifth annual Edgar
" The Charlton Heston "from my cold,
dead hands" Edgar goes to the University
administration for stonewalling wheel-
chair accessibility concerns raised by the
Michigan Paralyzed veterans of America.
Heston was fighting for rights, the Univer-
sity was denying them - it's hard to decide
who did more to make the Constitution cry.
* The Kwame Kilpatrick Edgar for
hanging onto political office after an
embarrassing scandal stemming from use
of an electronic device goes to Michigan
Student Assembly Rep. Tony Vulaj
for getting re-elected to the seat he had
resigned after being convicted of two felo-
nies. Apparently career-ending scandals
these days must involve hiring expensive
The Defend Affirmative Action
PartyEdgarformaintainingthe semblance
of democracy in a pre-determined election
goes to the "Uncommitted" option on the
ballot for the Michigan Democratic pri-
mary. If only DAAP were as reasonable as
* The FEMA Edgar for timely respons-
es to urgent situations goes to the Univer-
sity for its new emergency alert system.
Almost a year after the tragedy at Virginia
Tech, students now have a way to learn
about campus crises in less than the 10
hours it takes a campus-wide e-mail to cir-
culate. Text messaging is fine, but it would
be better if President Coleman just stood on
the roof of the Union and yelled, "The bad
guys are coming!"
* The Guns N' Roses Edgar for most
anticipated comeback goes to the Michi-
gan men's basketball team. If we have
to bet whether "Chinese Democracy" will
come out before the basketball team makes
the NCAA tournament, we're going with
"Chinese Democracy." Coach Beilein, you
didn't know what you were getting into.
Welcome to the jungle.
* The Rodney Dangerfield "I don't
get no respect" Edgar goes to the Grad-
uate Employees' Organization for its
one-day walkout. Overused, ineffective
and mildly comical. Do those words to
describe GEO's walkouts or Dangerfield's
catchphrase? You decide.
® The Don Imus "nappy-headed ho"
Edgar for sensitivity goes to former MSA
President Zack Yost for his Facebook

group mocking another MSA representa-
tive's Asperger's syndrome. Don't worry
Zack, Imus got his show back.
* The Pike masturbator Edgar for
embarrassing oneself in public goes to
former MSA Rep. Kenny Baker for
attempting to use an offensive Facebook
group as a political springboard. Too bad
Baker forgot that he wasn't wearing any
clothes, either.
* The Hillary Clinton Edgar for cling-
ing to the past goes to Hash Bash. Remem-
ber when Hillary was the frontrunner,
man? It seemed, like, totally ... what's that
word ... inevitable. Yeah, inevitable. Wait,
what are we protesting for again?
" The Michigan State University
Police Edgar for ruining
students' fun goes
to Michigan Sta-
dium's ushers for
throwing out Hot
Dog Man during
this year's Michi-
gan-Oregon game.
Flying beer bottles /
are dangerous, but
whoawas ever hurt
by a flying hot
* The
Burger Edgar for
offending the deli-
cate sensibilities
of students goes to
the South Quad Hall
Council. It's only a mat-
ter of time before every
restaurant on cam-
pus is called "Food"
and every residence o
hall T-shirt simply
says "Hooray for
* The J. Edgar Hoover Edgar for uneth-
ical, incompetent investigations goes to The
Ann Arbor News for its four-part series on
athletics and academics at the University.
Privacy is really not a big deal. And who
needs ethics, anyway?
* The Perez Hilton Edgar for "I hate
it so much, but I can't stop reading" goes to
The Michigan Daily. It has sudoku. And
Crime Notes. And, well, that's about it, but
what else are you going to do in your econ


n less than two weeks, I will sit
among my peers in a black cap and
gown, marking the completion of
my college educa-
tion. After spending
four long years as a
cog in the bureau-
cratic machine that
is the University of
Michigan, living for 4
the weekends and
dying inside, I feel
justified in pass-
ing on some words ARIKIA
of advice for those MILLIKAN
who still have a long
way to go.
The University administration
cares about two things: money and
reputation. Sometimes it's necessary to
remind it that its reputation is riding on
your education.
This is your education - make what
you want of it. The system will work
for you if you force it to. You can cus-
tom-build your major, opt out of pre-
reqs and talk your way into classes that
are supposedly full. If you're not satis-
fied with your situation, explore your
You always have options. In terms
of education, one might think the best
way to go is the most commonly trav-
eled route: Math 115, Math 116, Orgo I,
Orgo II, blah, blah ... But I have found
that the most learning occurs on the
unconventional paths.
Learning is hard when you don't
like or care about what you're doing. In
situations like this, your confidence is
liable to take a hit. You might encoun-
ter people who will make you feel
worthless for not jumping through as
many hoops as the person sitting next
to you is willing to jump through. Don't
buy into it.
In high school, you might have been
good at everything. In college it's rare.
Instead of interpreting failure asa hor-
rible event, look at it as a sign that you
need to find something else to do. Be
grateful that you found out when you
did, if it's not already too late.
It's never too late.
It's OK to get a C. It's even more OK
to take a W.
Grades are often apoor way to mea-
sure intelligence (although if your
future employer hasn't caught on, you
may want to be careful with this one).
Shit happens; you might not see eye
to eye with your GSI; your super-keen
bullshit detector might turn energy into
apathy. Detach yourself from all previ-
ous meaning of the letters A through E,
and instead ask yourself if you learned
somethingthat inspired you.
There's a good chance you will learn
more from socializing than you ever
could in a classroom. Don't become so
obsessed with perfection that you for-
get about the talents that have already
brought you this far in life.

It is OK to be smarter than your
peers - and your instructors. It hap-
pens, and it happens often. There are a
lot of people in the world who just don't
fucking get it. Take what they say with
a grain of salt, and don't be afraid to tell
them what you think.
Take 400-level classes. Don't think
the numerical value in the hundreds
slot of a course number should corre-
spond to the year of college you are in.
It's an intimidationtactic,becausethey
think that freshmen don't get it. But if
you're feeling intellectually stifled
by your weed-out classes, take one of
these for a change. They're not neces-
sarily harder, they're just better. And
they're taught by - gasp - real, live
Chalmers Knight. As cold as this
institution may seem sometimes, know
that there are people here who want to
help you. Chalmers is one of those peo-
ple. He is often identified by the term
"academic advisor," but I have come to
know him as a philosopher, life coach
and something of a psychic.
You've probably already learned that
college requires a certain level of mas-
ochism. You will stay up all night com-
pleting tasks thathave neither purpose
nor meaning; you might spend days
surviving on caffeine alone; you could
experience stress at levels that cause
your body to react as though you are a

prisoner of war. But the one thing you
must never sacrifice is your sanity.
There is always a way out of unten-
able situations. Once you get out, you
will be smarter and more equipped to
deal with the bullshit that people will
throw at you in the future. I'm not say-
ing you should take people's shit, but
I wish someone
had told me this
four years ago.
next time it's presented you'll be able
to recognize it when you see it. That's
learning, too.
The last thing I can tell you is this:
It's worth it. It has to be worth it. Sub-
tract where you were when you first
set foot on campus from where you
are now. The total mental difference
- whether it's information from books
or love or the conversation you had at 5
a.m. inyour friend'sbasement - is why
it's worth it.
Arikia Millikan is a Daily associate
editorial page editor. She can be
reached at arikia@umich.edu.




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