Scanned image of the page. Keyboard directions: use + to zoom in, - to zoom out, arrow keys to pan inside the viewer.

Page Options

Download this Issue


Something wrong?

Something wrong with this page? Report problem.

Rights / Permissions

This collection, digitized in collaboration with the Michigan Daily and the Board for Student Publications, contains materials that are protected by copyright law. Access to these materials is provided for non-profit educational and research purposes. If you use an item from this collection, it is your responsibility to consider the work's copyright status and obtain any required permission.

March 04, 2009 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2009-03-04

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

4A - Wednesday, March 4, 2009

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

74C e WC4,&Dan+aily


Edited and managed by students at
the University of Michigan since 1890.
420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109


Unsigned editorials reflectthe official position oftthe Daily's editorial board. All other signed articles
and illustrations represent solely the views of their authors.
Poor procedure
'U' needs to provide a valid reason for dropping practice
or years, students in the University Medical School's
Advanced Trauma Life Support course operated on live
dogs to train for surgery. But after coming under heavy
criticism last month, the University of Michigan Health System
declared it would end the practice. In the statement announcing
its decision, UMHS mentioned that other viable options exist to
prepare students for trauma situations. Considering these other
options, UMHS's decision to put an end to a controversial and
possibly unethical practice may seem warranted. But if it only
stopped the practice to quell the public outcry, it wasn't acting
for the right reasons. The University needs to provide a sensible
rationale for decisions like this one because simply altering its
practices without proper explanation isn't sufficient.



Zac Efron in space

The decision to stop using live dogs for
surgical training came after the Physician's
Committee on Responsible Medicine - a
non-profit organization that promotes eth-
ical medical research - filed a complaint
with the U.S. Department of Agriculture
criticizing the practice. In the complaint,
PCRM suggested that Dr. Richard Bur-
ney, the professor who teaches a Advanced
Trauma Life Support course, misled the
University in order to use the live animals.
Citing reccomendations from the Health
System's Graduate Medical Education
Committee, UMHS announced an end to
the practice last Thursday. In place of the
dogs, the course will now use advanced
technology like the TraumaMan System,
an anatomical human mannequin used to
simulate real surgery.
But the recent decision to turn to tech-
nology like TraumaMan may be based
more on a desire to avoid a public relations
nightmare than a solid opinion about how
medical training should be performed. If
the University allowed the use of dogs for
surgery practice in the first .place, there
should have been a compelling reason for
why this was the best practice given. Now
that the practice is being discontinued, an
equally valid reason should be given.
Instead, the statement announcing the
decision was vague, even elusive, concern-

ing the University's reasoning. The state-
ment merely said, "The decision comes from
a recommendation by the Health System's
Graduate Medical Education Committee
after a review of simulators that can be
used to train medical professionals in trau-
ma procedures." UMHS has elected not to
explain the logic behind the decision.
This statement doesn't shed much light
on UMHS's reasoning. What concerned
individuals expect from the University is
clarity, not just a quick fix. The statement
doesn't say that the review showed that the
simulators are a better option than operat-
ing on live animals. And it doesn't give a
reason why live dogs were used in surgical
training in the first place. Instead, the state-
ment avoids the ethical concerns by danc-
ing around the issue and begs the question
of whether this practice was eliminated
simply because of the negative publicity.
The longerthe University avoids explain-
ing its reasoning behind first adopting and
then banning the practice encourages the
perception that the termination of the
practice was just a move to put an end to
the controversy. That's not a good enough
reason to make any decision, let alone one
that concerns training the people who may
one day save lives. The University should
take a firm stance behind its programs,
controversial or otherwise.

t is a well-known fact that many
people, and cats, are unhappy.
For instance, there are many
pessimistic people
who will see a glass
that is half full and '
declare, "I hate
And now, as we
resume our educa-
tion, many people
say, "I can't believe -
spring break is over, WILL
I hate school andG
wish I were some- GRUNDLER
where else," in a
huffy tone, looking
very huffy.
Imagine my surprise, then, when
I pitched to my fellow peers my alien
movie idea - a film that is virtually all
about the desire to be somewhere else
- and they hated it.
One unhappy person disliked it so
much that he ripped up my drawing
of the aliens I had doodled on a nap-
kin. Can you imagine if someone had
ripped up J.K. Rowling's napkin about
Harry Potter? I can't. Well, she would
have most likely gotten another one
and started over. But what if there
weren't any left? Anyway, the point is I
forgot how to draw the aliens, and the
new ones I drew look stupid.
I've decided, then, that it would be
best to share my movie with a wider,
more diverse audience. With this arti-
cle it could, perhaps, reach tens of peo-
ple. Therefore, what follows is a letter
I sent to Steven Spielberg discussing
my idea:
Dear Mr. Spielberg,
I imagine you receive thousands of
boring movie ideas a month, such as
documentaries about the Jonas Broth-
ers. However, I promise you mine is
interesting and, above all, unique.
I've always enjoyed your movies
because a recurring theme is that of
extraordinary things happening to

rather ordinary characters - I believe
that this is a powerful theme. In your
film E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial, for
example, there's nothing very special
about E.T., but then he befriends the
little boy who owns a flying bike, and a
flying bike is quite extraordinary. But
I'm sure you already know this.
My idea for a movie came to me last
summer when I worked in a grocery
store. One night I came home, exhaust-
ed, and my cat bit me! For no reason,
you understand. It's well known that
cats are naturally unhappy. I cursed
at her and threw her outside into the
night, but then I felt guilty and went
out to fetch her. And there, among
the brilliant stars and the Milky Way,
was a mysterious, flashing object that
looked remarkably like an airplanel
It turned out it was an airplane.
But it sparked my imagination - what
if, against all odds, an ordinary per-
son, played by Zac Efron, had a close
encounter with a UFO? One that left
him obsessed with UFOs and a strange
geological formation where UFOs
landed? So obsessed that he ignored
his cat, which bites a lot, and said UFO
abducted it (the cat, you understand)?
is emotional tension that, although the
story concerns aliens, adds a distinct
sense of humanity to the production,
because humanity doesn't especially
enjoy cats and would like to see them
The main plot of the film, then,.
is Zac's desire to see the UFO once
more and visit the geological forma-
tion where it lands (which turns out
to be Mt. Rushmore), as well as rescue
his cat and repair their relationship.
Here's the twist: The aliens turn out
to be peaceful. How many aliens por-
trayed in films, with the exception of
Chewbacca and Keanu Reeves, turn
out to be friendly? Here's the second
twist: The aliens communicate via
musical signals. Not the traditional

squeaks or grunts or river dancing, but
musical notes.
And then, the third and final twist:
although Zac is reunited with his cat
when he travels to Mt. Rushmore to
see the UFO, he chooses to enter the
UFO and leave Earth. And then the
audience realizes it was what he had
wanted the whole movie. He didn't
wantto have an ordinary job and be an
ordinary person - he wanted to be an
alien ambassador, which pays better.
He wanted to see the universe. And
In theaters near
you, if Spielberg
gets back to me.
his cat is okay with his decision. At the
very end, when Zac is holding the cat
before he leaves, it understands some-
how, and maybe it could lick his nose.
That's all I've got so far, but I would
appreciate your advice.
I have yet to hear back from him,
but he is extremely busy. I hope he's
not one of those pessimistic people,
though, to whom I've tried to tell my
idea. They listen for less than thirty
seconds before muttering how cold
Michigan is, utterly missing myoentire
message: if Zac can escape his situa-
tion and become an ambassador of the
universe, why can't they escape theirs?
But instead of transferring to the Uni-
versity of Miami, I imagine most of the
people I talked to will continue to stay
in Michigan.
And I will not be dedicating my
movie to them.
- Will Grundler can be reached
at sailgull@umich.eds.




Nina Amilineni, Emad Ansari, Emily Barton, Elise Baun, Harun Buljina, Ben Caleca,
Satyajeet Deshmukh, Brian Flaherty, Emmarie Huetteman, Emma Jeszke,
Sutha K Kanagasingam, Shannon Kellman, Edward McPhee, Matthew Shutler,
Neil Tambe, Radhika Upadhyaya, Rachel Van Gilder
Society has a responsibility and cultivation of these resources is a moral
and necessary goal.
to protect the environment Matthew Brunner
LSA senior
Adam Gaglio's recent condemnation of envi- Environmentalism is based
ronmentalism (The perils of environmentalism,
03/03/2009) was, ironically, a waste of paper on humanistic principles
and ink. To expand: Gaglio believes that the
environmentalism movement is predicated on
the notion that nature should remain wholly TO THE DAILY:
untouched by mankind and pristine. He frames In Adam Gaglio's recent viewpoint (The per-
the issue as a zero-sum game between human ils of environmentalism, 03/03/2009), he stated
welfare and environmental health, and seems that the green movement is working towards
to think that environmentalism would con- "the destruction of civilization" and "a return to
demn any despoiling of the environment to the Stone Age." As a member of the movement,
extract natural resources. I can say that neither myself nor any of my col-
While there are certainly "live in a tree, leagues are preaching the return to a cave-dwell-
poop in a bucket" environmentalists out there, ing, hunting and gathering existence! Of course,
the mainstream environmentalist movement Gaglio's point was that of retrogression - that
is not about the supremacy of unblemished . environmentalists seek to hinder the advance-
nature over human needs. In fact, the major- ment of mankind. In actuality, we are seeking
ity of environmental causes are now framed just the opposite.
in terms of increasing human welfare, in two What many individuals are asking for is
distinct ways. sustainable energy sources, increased energy
First, environmental regulations help ensure efficiency, new green job opportunities and inno-
that primary goods are not squandered through vative technologies for a competitive market. Is
inefficient machinery, that clean air and water this not human advancement at its best? Why
are preserved, and that environmental toxins must we envision progress as "drilling for oil in
do not rise to levels which could damage the Alaska" or "mining tar sands in Canada"? Why
ecosystem (upon which we depend). Thus, must we develop toward a future of externalities
there is an immediate benefit to humanity from where we pollute unconcernedly, waste uninhib-
environmental policy. itedly and destroy irresponsibly? We must move
The second consideration, which Gaglio forward, but not along that path.
mocks in his opening paragraph, is the pres- At the very core of his argument, Gaglio made
ervation of resources for future generations. a fundamental error. Environmentalism is not
Overzealous consumption of natural resources "anti-mankind." Rather, it seeks to preserve
and the generation of pollution by our genera- mankind by providing a means to sustain our
tion will negatively affect the welfare of subse- existence on this planet. How can this be inter-
quent generations. Although the moral primacy preted as a disregard for human life? It's because
of human needs is the central thesis of Gaglio's of environmentalism's intrinsic compulsion to
argument, his concern for human well-being is improve human condition that politicians such
focused wholly on the current generation. Such as former Vice President Al Gore and President
logic is contradictory, as it states that future Obama embrace itso dearly.
humans have no claim to resources, which is a It's not a surprise to me to see viewpoints such
decidedly anti-human sentiment. as Gaglio's. The term "environmentalism" is mis-
Environmentalism, in its current manifes- leading and unfortunately seems to turn away
tation, is about using resources efficiently and those who don't share a passion for the outdoors.
cleanly. The world is not, as Gaglio portrays it, In reality, this movement is composed of individ-
a bipolar conflict between humans and nature uals who desire the sustainability of health, equi-
and environmentalism is not a concerted effort ty, and a peaceful coexistence onthis Earth. It is a
to "return to the Stone Age." Rather, environ- concern for the long-term and is motivated by the
mentalism recognizes that humans are directly mostbasic instinct of humankind: survival.
dependent on the biodiversity, natural resourc-
es and cleanliness of our surroundings for our Margo Ludmer
continued survival, and that the preservation LSA junior

As the Michigan Student Assembly examines its future on campus, the Daily would
like students to voice their opinions on what should be a part of its agenda.
Defending workers ights

Before spring break, the University's President's Advi-
sory Committee on Labor Standards and Human Rights
recommended to President Mary Sue Coleman that we end
our licensing contract with apparel-maker Russell Corpo-
ration. The recommendation came after workers' rights
abuses surfaced at Russell's plant in Honduras called Jer-
zees de Honduras - particularly in response to the glar-
ing "cut-and-run" tactic used at this factory, where over
1800 workers had been amidst collective bargaining nego-
tiations. During negotiations with the union on its first
contract, Russell closed the factory, leaving the workers,
mostly women, without a means to support their families
- a blatant violation of our University Code of Conduct for
Licensees. In light of this, we appreciate the committee's
decision to respect the Code of Conduct and recommend
endingthe contract, but we also wish to emphasize thatthe
context of this decision is indicative of a vastly insufficient
process for ensuring widespread global protection of work-
ers' rights.
Even an obvious case of malfeasance like this took half
a year before action was taken, given that the committee
meets only once a month. Further, while other universities
cut contracts in response to Russell's anti-union activity
last year in another Honduran plant, Jerzees de Choloma,
the University of Michigan did not. Nor did we act when
the New Era Cap Company sent top executives (includ-
ing a "fair" labor association board member) to Alabama
to intimidate and illegally fire activists struggling for a
living wage and equal opportunity, in what the NAACP
ultimately called "a disgraceful and discriminatory situa-
tion." Nor did we take action two years ago in a situation of
striking resemblance to the current Russell case when con-
tractors for licensees like Nike were pressured to "cut-and-
run" when workers demanded a livable wage and dignity
through union contract negotiation at the BJ&B factory in
the Dominican Republic.
These are the cases that have come to light thanks to the
efforts of the Workers' Rights Consortium. But they also
call attention to the need for oversight for the overwhelm-
ing 4,782 factory job-sites currently sourced by University
of Michigan logo licensees.
Reassuringly, the most recent meeting of the commit-
tee produced a discussion of several stipulations that Rus-
sell must meet if it ever wants a contract with us again.
These include additional recommendations that can create
momentum toward a just solution for the Honduran work-

ers who are still unemployed and likely blacklisted despite
this historic string of university business decisions. These
indicators are still being drafted, but they will likely include
that Russell must step up protections regarding freedom
of association, respect collective bargaining agreements,
strengthen language in company policies protecting worli-
ers and not open new factories without a tangibly positive
collective bargaining atmosphere.
These are laudable goals, but the facts maintain that the
status quo global system lacks the means of full compliance
with these dreams. The only way to ensure that our code
of conduct is followed is to institute a program in which
we ally with other universities to get our apparel made'in
a more focused number of factories that require more su-
tainable contractrelationships. This way, our marketpower
can be concentrated to effect real change.
This program exists in the living document of the Desig-
nated Suppliers Program, a program tobe undertakenby the
WRC that would require university apparel be made only in
factories paying a living wage and have worker represen-
tation and other vital protections. The Designated Suppli-
ers Program cannot be launched until enough universities
have signed on to support a working group set up to fashion
university market power and introduce this revolutionary
program in the global apparel industry.
To silence critics of this ambitious and innovative pro-
gram, the WRC is working with clothing manufacturer and
University licensee Knights Apparel to enactthe provisions
of the DSP on a single company scale. The pilot program
will show the industry and universities that the principles
of the DSP can fulfill our moral imperative while remain-
ing economically viable. Thankfully, the committee has
appeared supportive of including provisions to encourage
independent university bookstores and shops to replace
outgoing Russell stock with Knights Apparel, who would
source new orders in deference to workers' rights atthe for-
merly forsaken BJ&B factory in the Dominican Republic.
We encourage supporters of the DSP to tell shop manag-
ers and owners carrying University logo apparel that they
would like to see Knights Apparel products on the shelves
because it is currently the only major brand that has been
produced in a system designed for human dignity over
Kate Barut, Jason Bates and Ken Srdjak are members
of Students Organizing for Labor and Economic Equaliy.

Back to Top

© 2022 Regents of the University of Michigan