4A - Friday, October 3, 2008
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O pinlion The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com
How long have I been at this?
Like five weeks."
- Gov. Sarah Palin, explaining why she hasn't made many statements about the current financial
crisis during the vice presidential debate yesterday with Sen. Joe Biden.
MAX FABICK ( D ' SUIS E-MAIL MAX AT FABICKM@UMICH.EDU
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 oftheir authors.
A more healthy U'
Mandatory health care coverage a needed solution
The worst part about getting sick should be falling behind in
school. For uninsured students, a serious illness can mean
a serious medical bill - and too much debt to afford tuition.
Rising health care costs are hitting Americans hard and, for some,
can pose an obstacle to obtaining a college degree. But it doesn't
need to be this way. Thankfully, a health plan assuring that all Uni-
versity students are covered in order to attend the University will
likely reach the University's executive officers and Board of Regents
soon. It's been a long time coming, and at this point, access to afford-
able health care for students can't come soon enough.
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' ' PIT Bull PALIW.
Taking a hitfor tradition
The proposed plan is the result of eight
years of work by Robert Winfield, director
of University Health Service. It would not
force students to buy University-provided
health insurance coverage; it would simply
require each student to have some type of
insurance in order to enroll for classes. A
University insurance policy would exist, as
it does now, but students could opt out of
it if they are already covered - though, by
their parents' plan, for instance. The new
policy is based on systems already in place
at the University of Minnesota and the Uni-
versity of California.
Of the several options available, this plan
has taken the best route. Some schools
unnecessarily require that all students, even
if they have coverage through their parents,
buy health care plans provided through
their universities. This doesn't do that -
and it shouldn't. What this plan does do is
correct a glaring problem on campus: that
all students are not protected from medi-
cal emergencies. The need is real: A 2005
survey of University students found that 5.6
percent of undergraduate and 10.5 percent
of graduate students were uninsured.
A natural priority of the new proposal is
to keep the plan affordable, and as the plan
stands, itdoes that. Ifthis is passed, the Uni-
versity's insurance plan would cost about
$1,700 a year. That is roughly 25 percent
cheaper than the current plan, and should
be cheap enough that it is accessible for all
students. The cost is more reasonable when
you consider that because the $1,700 would
be mandatory for any student entering the
University without insurance, economical-
ly disadvantaged students would be eligible
for financial aid to cover the cost.
More broadly, this plan will ensure that
being a part of the University community
also means the community will support
you. By mandating health care coverage,
this plan fulfills University's responsibil-
ity to ensure the health and safety of its
students. Yes, in a roundabout way that
means some students who can afford the
extra cost will be helping to lower the cost
for others who are not as fortunate. But the
point of this effort is to prevent all students
from having to choose between paying
tuition or medical bills. Assuring that the
student next to you in lecture can continue
at this university even if tragedy strikes is
an essential part of what this university's
community is about.
As it is now, the University is plunging
deeper into the same health care problems
that plague the rest of the nation. With the
proposal slated for presentation in the com-
ing weeks, Winfield and E. Royster Harper,
vice president for student affairs, are right
to prioritize this issue. The regents should
follow their lead in passing this system.
There are students' futures at stake.
Every player in the annual Mud-
bowl tournament understands
that serious injuries are pos-
sible, yet very few
care. Last Sunday,
I experienced this
ried traditions of ;
Greek competi- 12
tion, no-rule, no-
pad football and ARI
injury have dazzled PARRITZ
the University of
Michigan for more
than 70 years. This
year, 0 decided to experience these
traditions from the field and no longer
from the sideline.
With only a minute or two left on
the game clock, my team was on its
way to a tremendous victory in our
first tournament game. Despite our
lead; there is a no-mercy rule in Mud-
bowl; you play as hard as you can until
the last whistle blows. In this spirit,
I desperately blocked an opponent
for my quarterback, who was tearing
down the field behind me. But this
guy didn't go down as easily as I had
anticipated. In retrospect, I should
have immediately let go - but that
isn't the nature of the game.
Close your eyes and imagine the
sound of shelled peanuts snapping
under the weight of a person's foot.
Now imagine that same sound com-
ing from bones in your body. I almost
wish I had been knocked out and left
(at least) temporarily oblivious to the
results of this horrific sound. I wasn't
After I hit the ground, I looked
down at the source of pain and saw
something that resembled my foot -
except it was bent outwards. My hope
that someone had left some peanuts
on the field wasn't true. .
But what struck me was not pain,
nor was it the sick, pale faces of my
friends surrounding me; it was my
absolute lack of regret.
Not once did I question my decision
to play, nor did I harbor any resent-
ment toward my opponent. I wanted
to be part of one of Greek Life's most
famed traditions. And in that, I'm
proud to say, I succeeded.
Some of you might be thinking,
"What a dumbass! Is he serious?"
Yes, I'm dead serious, but there is no
doubt that many friends and family
of Mudbowl players strongly criticize
their participation in the tournament.
For them, the risks (injury) are over-
whelmingly clear, but the rewards
(pride) are not. Is winning the tourna-
ment, or even winning just one game,
worth a dangerous injury? How do
the players, coaches and Sigma Alpha
Epsilon, Mudbowl's host, justify this
I'll tell you. It is an incredible honor
to play in Mudbowl. For more than 70
years, the Mudbowl tournament has
been an iconic Michigan Greek event,
and since freshman year I longed to
be a part of my fraternity's team. I
didn't initially try out for the same
reasons that most of the Greek com-
munity abstains from Mudbowl: pre-
existing and potential injuries, as well
as a significant time commitment.
But after many months of thought, I
determined that, for me, these rea-
sons were mediocre deterrents, even
though they are both justified and
Sportsmanship and camaraderie
are integral to the honor of Mudbowl.
When I returned from the hospital
Sunday night, I opened an e-mail from
two of the members of the oppos-
ing team, one of whom was John,
the player I had (attempted to) block
before I obliterated my ankle. These
gentlemen wanted to stop by the hos-
pital, and they offered their uncon-
ditional support. I was completely
blown away. I didn't know such com-
passion existed in Mudbowl.
Finally, camaraderie in Mudbowl
transcends any traditional under-
standing of teamwork. Brothers and
sisters standing beside you cradle
your health and future in their hands.
Even one missed block could lead to
a concussion. This creates a unique
sense of trust. Not only do players and
friends depend on each other for vic-
tory (or defeat), they also depend on
each other for safety.
Winning a Mudbowl game elevates
you to an unparalleled euphoria. This
is why young men and women contin-
ue to play. This is why they are willing
to sacrifice their time and their bod-
ies. And this is why Mudbowl means
so much to the Greek community.
I was honored to
break my footin a
Though my short Mudbowl career
will likely end with a plate and screws
in my ankle, I guarantee that my
injury and the.injuries of the count-
less other Mudbowl players I saw in
the emergency room will positively
strengthen our teams and fraternities.
On a Mudbowl team, all individuals
disappear. What remains is a com-
plete, single unit with fiery dedication
and an unmatched desire to win. And
this tradition will never change.
But, just in case, it may be prudent
to have an on site emergency medical
team at SAE tomorrow.
Ari Parritz can be reached
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
SEND LETTERS TO: TOTHEDAILY@UMICH.EDU
Double standard when it
comes to Muslims and Arabs
TO THE DAILY:
In his letter to the editor last week, Malik
Mossa-Basha expressed his displeasure at a stu-
dent organization's decision to bring a hateful
speaker to campus (IDEA's choice to bringEldad
to campus offensive, 09/26/2008). However, he
neglected to mention the Daily's responsibility
for broadcasting that hateful message and facili-
tating its spread throughout campus. Aryeh
Eldad's bigoted rhetoric was once limited to a
handful of members of some obscure group,
but thanks to The Michigan Daily, thousands of
students woke up to read about how Eldad said,
"The (Arab) culture does not sanctify life, but
death." Replace "Arab" with "Jewish" or "Afri-
can American" and we would rightly condemn
it as hate speech. But for some reason, it's OK
to portray Arabs and Muslims in that offensive
light. How does that make sense?
We like to think that we have made great
strides as a society in overcoming hatred and
KEVIN DEKIMPE I
intolerance. We are asked on a daily basis to
forget the wrongs of the past and to look ahead
to a brighter future - a future where all people
are treated as equals regardless of their faith or
background. Yet, if any group lives in constant
fear of being discriminated against, it is Mus-
lim Americans. Even Barack Obama shudders at
being associated with us; in fact, for many of us,
the motto of his campaign might as well be, "I
am not and have never been a Muslim," replayed
in a sickeningly endless loop. In a society when
even the rock star candidate for "change" is
unable to speak up in our defense, what can we
to look forward to?
In an age when so many have been brain-
washed by the false rhetoric of the "war on
terror," it takes courage to reject the black and
white labels forced upon us and to respect each
other for our differences as well as our similari-
ties. I hope that our generation, as the leaders
of tomorrow, might be able to demonstrate such
courage, even though the leaders of today have
failed in this monumental responsibility.
School ofPublic Health
E-MAIL KEVIN AT DEKEVIN@UMICH.EDU
LISA GENTILE I VIEWPOINT
More than friends with benefits
For nearly three years I've maintained the position that a
normal relationship isn't possible (or even practical) in col-
lege. I consider myself no expert on what constitutes a "nor-
mal relationship," having had my fair share of interesting
men drift in and out of my life. And I'm not really known as
a one-man woman.
But when I read Rose Afriyie's column yesterday (Why
nonmonogamy?, 10/02/2008) I felt she left out an impor-
tant (and often overlooked) part of ourselves: emotion. She
explained the rational decision-making that can go into
being in a nonmonogamous "relationship." But what Afriyie
failed to address was that when entering into a nonmonoga-
mous "relationship," most of my classmates aren't making a
mutual well-thought-out decision. Often they are makinga
selfish, flippant one.
We live in hook-up culture. We chose our bedmates as
quickly as our drink orders. We walk around like we're bul-
letproof and invincible. Who can stop us when we're this
young, restless and destructive (though more often than not
it's self-destructive)? This may help us learn more about our-
selves everyday. But at what expense?
By entering into these nonmonogamous "relationships,"
we're only setting ourselves up for emotional failure. We
may be maturing sexually and intellectually (that's sup-
posed to be the reason we're here), but how can we develop
emotionally if we're consistently leaving feelings out of the
picture? We're putting half ourselves out there and asking
our casual companions to only address part of what is truly
us. How can we better understand ourselves if we can't
reveal our naked emotions to someone who sees us in the
I won't deny that I enjoy the independence that comes
from not being technically attached to anyone. But nonmo-
nogamous "relationships" aren't without their own set of
rules. As Afriyie wrote, "nonmonogamy ... requires peopleto
communicate, negotiate and set boundaries." That sounds a
lot-like a committed relationship. What happened to the fun
and excitement of casual freedom? I don't believe it exists.
The temporary enjoyment of detachment can often be
replaced with feelings of emptiness and loneliness. And
while the person lying next to us in bed can hear our wild-
est fantasies, our greatestworries may be kept silent for fear
that revealing too much takes the "relationship" to the next
Afriyie also addressed the issue of us as pure sexual
beings. She wrote, "It's possible to communicate sexual
interest to someone you find attractive while also disclos-
ing that presently - or indefinitely - you can't meet the
requirements of a formalized commitment with that per-
son." But what if this never ends? What if we continue to
float along asking for nothing more than a warm body and
a goodnight kiss? By addressing only our sexual needs, we
forget to satisfy our emotional and intellectual desires. To
achieve a full and satisfying maturity, we need to address all
of our different facets. A casual relationship may just leave
us wanting more.
She continued, "But (a nonmonogamous relationship)
also allows you to face your ephemeral partners the morn-
ing after, or days after in the street, because you've been
honest about the terms of your exchange." From my experi-
ences with temporary flings, honesty isn't at the top of most
people's priorities. I can only imagine a humorous morning-
after encounter involving an engaging conversation where
we honestly lay outoutwants, needs and feelings for a casu-
al relationship. Can someone tell me where this Neverever
Land is and how to get there?
Near the end of her column, Afriyie admitted that nonmo-
nogamy "is not for everybody," but "we have an obligation to
ourselves to develop a rubric for our sexual limitations and
desires that allow us to truly pursue happiness." I've failed
to find this happiness she speaks of in my casual relation-
ships. Am I doingsomething wrong?
I believe pure and complete happiness will come to us
when we're fully satisfied sexually, emotionally and intel-
lectually. The sexual revolution of the '70s allowed us to
push our boundaries, but I'm tired of being shoved into an
emotionless era. We shouldn't have to give up complete ful-
fillment for momentary pleasure.
Lisa Gentile is an LS, senior.
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