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October 02, 2008 - Image 4

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4A - Thursday, October 2, 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
tothedaily@unich.edu

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Now we know how Detroit feels:'
-Bar owner Harry Aiken Jr., about the recent cutbacks that luxury resort Sea Island, off the coast of Georgia,
recently made in response to the failing economy, as reported yesterday by The New York Times

ANDREW GROSSMAN
EDITOR IN CHIEF

GARY GRACA
EDITORIAL PAGE EDITOR

GABE NELSON
MANAGING EDITOR

HARUN BULJINA

E-MAIL HARUN AT BULJINAH@UMICH.EDU

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.
%FRM T-E DILY
A logical solution
Law School right to offer free pass from LSAT
The Law School Admissions Test - four words that send
shivers down the spines of prospective law students every-
where. But thanks to the new Wolverine Scholars admis-
sions program at the University's Law School, some University
undergraduate students may be able to dodge the LSAT. Although
the program has attracted a battery of criticism, it could be benefi-
cial to students, the state and the University, especially in its efforts
to foster diversity.

Unnecessary interference

6

The recently unveiled Wolverine Scholars
program - as the Law School is calling the
admissions program - will allow University
of Michigan undergraduates with a 3.8 GPA
or above to apply to the Law School after
completing their junior year without sub-
mitting an LSAT score. The goal is to. help
prospective students avoid the costly exam,
even mpre expensive test-prep books and
courses and hours of studying. But there's
a catch: Fewer than 200 prospective appli-
cants would be eligible, because of the GPA
requirement. Administrators predict that
between five and 10 students will be admit-
ted through the program.
The program has already caused a stir.
Some people are accusing the Law School of
implementing this program to increase the
median GPA of incoming classes. By boost-
ing the average GPA, the Law School could
potentially raise its standing in the ubiqui-
tous U.S. News & World Report rankings,
which weigh GPA heavily. In a business
where national reputation is pivotal, you
mess with those rankings, and heads start
to roll.
Despite the controversy, the program
could prove beneficial. The LSAT has long
been a deterrent for poorer students, who
can't afford the test and especially the test-
prep material. Eliminating the LSAT for
some undergraduates would help maintain
the diversity for which the Universitystrives.
Further, the admission process would also
be fairer because it would be based on long-
term academic achievement rather than on a
single test score.
By focusing on University undergradu-

ates, the state of Michigan would reap the
benefits, too. By encouraging students to
attend an in-state law school, when many of
the students likely to apply could potentially
go elsewhere, the program would encourage
highly educated professionals to stay here. It
would also encourage qualified undergradu-
ates to go on to Law School, now that it is
a little easier to apply. Both of these gains
would hopefully encourage students to plant
roots in the state.
For critics hell-bent on charging that the
Law School is trying to game the U.S. News
& World Report rankings, these rankings
are already manipulated and exploited. This
is a flaw in the integrity of the rankings, not
faults in the Law School's program. Other
critics assert that Wolverine Scholars will
encourage University undergraduates to
enroll in easier courses to inflate their GPAs,
thus having a better chance at being admit-
ted into the Law School. But for future law-
yers, good grades are required by almost all
law schools. For better or for worse, this new
program won't change students' behavior.
Regardless of its benefits and downfalls,
Wolverine Scholars is a gutsy program to
implement. A get-out-of-the-LSATs-for-free
card is very rare at top-tier lawaschools. How-
ever, other schools are watchingclosely and,
depending on the success of the program,
may follow suit. While ranking systems will
be in for a world of hurt if other universi-
ties and law schools move in this direction,
Wolverine Scholars will benefit students,
the University and the state of Michigan.
Despite its coptroversy, our ruling is in favor
of the Wolverine Scholars program.

Yesterday, AFRICOM, the U.S.
military's Africa Command,
became operational. It will be
incorporated into
the United States'
African strategy.
But is this increased
presence good for
Africa?
Let's look at
Somalia, inthe news
again this week -
after a Ukrainian IBRAHIM
ship loaded with 33
tanks of cargo was KAKWAN
pirated off its law-
less coast.
Since 1991, Somalia has lacked a
government and has been plagued
by competing warlords, leaving the
country in ruins and causing innu-
merable casualties. That almost
changed in 2006. For the first time in
almost two decades, a group known
as the Union of Islamic Courts was
on the verge of unifying the country
and establishing relative stability and
rule of law.
That almost happened, except for
some reason the United States feels
that the best way to secure its inter-
ests is to interfere with the natural
course of events abroad.
Where has this screwing around
gotten us in the past? These interven-
tionist solutions tend to backfire. For
example, our oil-driven installation
and support of the autocratic Shah
in Iran (secret police and all) eventu-
ally led to the 1979 Islamic Revolu-
tion that brought the current Iranian
government to power. There's a rea-
son why that government dislikes the
United States, and, no, it's not because
it "envies our way of life." It's because
more than 30 years ago, we support-
ed the guy who oppressed, jailed and
shot at many of its current members.

And then there were all the other
screw-ups. We helped to create the
Taliban, and turned what would have
been a short internal Vietnamese
conflict into a prolonged war, to name
a couple. What did these actions
have in common? Our government
thought that it would counter com-
munism, and it was, therefore, in the
national interest. But in the long run
none worked, and these policies only
returned to haunt us - the Taliban
would turn against us, and the Viet-
nam war would go down in history
as a tremendous defeat for the United
States, let alone devastating to the
Vietnamese.
But communism was the old enemy.
Today, the target is terrorism. That's
why Somalia had to lose its shot at
peace, and in 2006 we destroyed its
best shot at stability in 17 years.
The United States believed that
the rise of an Islamist movement in
Somalia would transform the coun-
try into a terrorist safe haven. That's
why when the UIC began to gain con-
trol over large areas of the country,
the United States intervened and in
a matter of days shattered the order
established by the UIC.
It did not matter that the UIC's
leader was a moderate, or that the
UIC represented a popularly support-
ed union of judicial organizations,
performing governmental functions
and providing police health and edu-
cational services. An Islamist govern-
ment was unacceptable.
There weren't big headlines about
that, but in late 2006.a number of U.S.
special forces and gunships were sent
to Somalia. An unknown number of
Somalis were also captured, detained
and interrogated - and these guys
didn't have the American Civil Liber-
ties Union crying on their behalf.
It did not end there. We sponsored

an Ethiopian invasion of Somalia - a
very bad move given the long history
(over 400 years) of animosity between
the two countries. The United States
historically sucks at winning "hearts
and minds," but this was a particular-
ly thoughtless act. The United States
aims to counter terrorism, or at least
ostensibly place itself in a position
where its actions won't inflame ter-
rorist causes. And then we go sponsor
the invasion of a Muslim country by a
Christian one. Whatever the reason,
it looks bad. And make no mistake, it
has been ahot recruiting point for the
very sort of groups that the United
States aims to contain.
Learning from
our intervention
in Somalia.
But the United States knows best.
Removing the UIC has once again
plunged the country into war and
lawlessness. And then there is the bit
about countering terrorism. Disorder
and resentment have a way of defy-
ing that goal - in fact, since the 2006
U.S. intervention a group known as
Al-Shabab has splintered away from
the remnants of the UIC, and earlier
this year the U.S. State Department
officially recognized Al-Shabab as a
brand new terrorist organization.
Added to that, the UIC seems
to be making a comeback in some
areas - you can bet it'll be a bit more
"extreme" this time around.
Ibrahim Kakwan can be reached
at ijameel@uwich.edu.

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EDITORIAL BOARD MEMBERS:
Nina Amilineni, Emad Ansari, Harun Buljina, Ben Caleca, Satyajeet Deshmukh, Brian Flaherty,
Matthew Green, Emmarie Huetteman, Emma Jeszke, Shannon Kellman, Edward McPhee,
Emily Michels, Kate Peabody, Robert Soave, Eileen Stahl, Jennifer Sussex, Radhika Upadhyaya,
Rachel Van Gilder, Margaret Young
E E TE TSEND LETTERS TO: TOTHEDAILY@UMICH.EDU
All groups, partisan or not, Cartoon belittles voter
should be allowed in dorms registration efforts

An alternative to monogamy

TO THE DAILY:
Although University Housing has rightly
allowed VoiceYourVote to returnto the residence
halls, University Housing has not dealt with the
larger issue still at hand. The University's policies
restricting political activity in the dorms violate
students' First Amendment rights.
As a center of intellectual inquiry,the Universi-
ty should encourage political debate and political
speech, not restrict it. By refusing to allow par-
tisan student groups to canvass in the residence
halls, the University is violating students' right
to freedom of speech and association. Just like
students who live off-campus, dormresidents are
free to keep their doors closed or to simply say,
"No thanks" to canvassers. And, just like stu-
dents who live off-campus, dorm residents have
the right to knock on their neighbors' doors on
behalf of any candidate they choose.
The University of Michigan should follow
Michigan State's example on this issue and allow
political student groups free access to the dorms.
Students don't give up their First Amendment
rights atthe residence hall door.
We call on University Housing to allow all stu-
dent political groups, partisan and non-partisan,
to exercise their First Amendment rights by can-
vassing in the dorms.
Bennett Stein, Renagh O'Leary and
Amanda Grigg
The letter writers are board members of the
University's undergraduate chapter ofthe Ameri-
can Civil Liberties Union.

TO THE DAILY:
I didn't appreciate the cartoon on Monday's
editorial page (09/29/2008), which pictured
two students walking quietly so as not to draw
attention to themselves and provoke the crowd
of voter registration volunteers. Admittedly, it
seems incredibly petty to find fault in a cartoon.
However, the cartoonist is not the only person
on campus with a hostile attitude toward voter
registration.
As someone who registers voters on the
Diag Monday through Friday,'and on the occa-
sional Saturday or Sunday, I can tell you that
not everyone on campus is registered. Since
welcome week, I have yet to go a day without
registering someone. Though I hate annoying
people as much as they hate being annoyed,
what we're doing is necessary.
J apologize to those of you who are tired of
being asked, "Are you registered?" Take conso-
lation in the fact that we're almost done. The
voter registration deadline is Monday, Oct.
6. And for those people I have not personally
accostdd with a pen and clipboard, register to
vote.
If you aren't registered to vote by next Mon-
day, you won't have the option of voting this
November. I'm willing to annoy and alien-
ate fellow students for just one more week to
make sure that everyone has the opportunity
to vote.
Rachel Slezak
LSA sophomore

f you've, heard a reference to the
1960's or '70s in recent weeks, it
has probably either been a segue
into a war hero
story about John
McCain or a lecture
from his conserva-
tive ilk wagging a
finger of judgment
at the sexual revolu-
tion that happened
during that time.
While people may ROSE
think of this sexual
revolution simply as AFRIYIE
an anything-goes,
free-love affair ofS
moral decadence, Speoking with
consider another Tongues
reading.
Sure, it's true that this era of sex-
ual enlightenment is regarded as a
time when nonmonogamy, a practice
of sexual or emotional involvement
with more than one person, was at its
height. But the goals of nonmonogamy
don't begin and end at having sex with
different people. It's more about pos-
sible downsides of monogamy: alack of
autonomy, jealousy and excessive con-
straints on other social relationships.
This begs the question:Whatlessons
can be learned from nonmonogamy
practiced decades ago that can benefit
both the monogamous and nonmonog-
amous here at the University?
One place to start looking for
answers is an essay published in the
2004 Sage Journal on Feminism and
Psychology, "The Personal is still
Political."Offeringahistoricalaccount
of '70s nonmonogamy, the essay con-
cluded, "This was not an individual
matter, but part of a collective under-
standing forged through overlapping
political, friendship and sexual net-
works, which enabled us to discuss
and challenge emotional responses
such as jealously and insecurity."
In other words, nonmonogamy -
not to be confused with infidelity,
which is the act of violating a mutu-
ally agreed upon commitment of
sexual exclusivity - requires people

to communicate, negotiate and set
boundaries.
Sound like useful skills?
I know what you are thinking: Plau-
sible theory, impossible practice. It
maybe even tougher to understand the
significance of this when you consider
students reported sexual behavior. .
According to a 2006 National College
Health Assessment suivey conducted
with University Health Service found
that only 24 percent of students at the
University had at least two or more
partners a year with respect to oral
sex, sexual intercourse and anal sex.
Compare that to the 41 percent of per-
sons who reported having at least one
partner.
There is a lot these numbers don't
tell you, though. While they tell us
that students use more restraint when
selecting their partners for sexual
behaviors with a higher risk of dis-
ease transmission, my theory is that
these numbers don't represent a true
assessment of the state of monogamy
on campus because they don't cover a
broader range of sexual associations.
For example, how many students
have tongue kissed another individu-
al? Masturbated with someone else?
Given a hickey? Manually stimulated
someone with his or her hands? While
these activities may not generally be
counted as sex, they would factor dif-
ferently when assessing monogamy.
Thus, if you have engaged in these
activities with more than one partner
over a period of time, you maybe more
nonmonogamous than you think.
And that's OK. Nonmonogamy
offers more practical measures for
those who are committed or free-
lancing. For the monogamous among
us, sexual exclusivity doesn't have to
meanthat you can't make new friends
with members of your partner's
sex. Monogamy can mean that you
trust your partner enough to know
that your partner's. friends are just
friends. Nonmonogamy also teaches
us that the face of jealousy doesn't
always look like Ike Turner - roam-
ing through your partner's belong-

ings fits that category, too. Your
staples of autonomy can still exist in
a relationship, and it shouldn't be a
requirement, for example, that -you
offer your pin number and Facebook
password to someone you are seeing
monogamously.
For those who want to explore an
alternative, nonmonogamy allows
people to recognize that they are sex-
ual beings with sexual needs despite
their relationship status. It's possible
to communicate sexual interest to
someone you find attractive while also
disclosing that presently - or indefi-
nitely - you can't meet the require-
ments of a formalized commitment
with that person. But it also allows
you to face your ephemeral partners
the morning after, or days after in the
street, because you've been honest
about the terms of your exchange.
Exploring options
outside of formal
relationships.
As college students, the temporal
constraint of graduation makes non-
monogamy a viable option that one
should be afforded without judgment.
Some may find nonmonogamy
inconceivable for them. Admittedly, it
is not for everybody. But we aren't the
rational species on the planet for no
reason. Let's not only be empowered
to investigate our respective disci-
plines but also the source of jealousy
and possession that sometimes come
over us when we romantically engage.
We have an obligation to ourselves to
develop a rubric for our sexual limita-
tions and desires that allow us to truly
pursue happiness.
Rose Afriyie is the Daily's sex and
relationship's columnist. She can be
reached at sariyie@umich.edu.

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CHRIS KOSLOWSKI iiT PsT UR
E-MAIL CHRIS AT CSKOSLOW@UMICH.EDU
S nyGah misflling in -
tor Pa dro1 Id Serious question here Whoa. You've got a crush can
debates Do you think physical ranholm, dontcha'
atractivens s playe srole :p
* V
v b O O:G

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