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March 25, 2009 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 2009-03-25

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4A - Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

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Edited and managed by students at
the University of Michigan 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 ofttheir authors.
Opening the door
Diverse viewpoints have value in the academic world
Y ou may remember the Patriot Act - President George
W. Bush's overzealous, freedom-curtailing response to
national security threats. The act resulted in many prom-
inent intellectual voices being kept out of the country based solely
on their personal ideologies. But last Wednesday, in a letter to the
Obama administration, the American Civil Liberties Union joined
with other civil rights and free speech groups to protest these
McCarthy-esque ideological-exclusion policies left over from the
Bush administration. It's imperative that the Obama administra-
tion overturns this prejudiced protocol in favor of promoting tol-
erance, academic freedom and diversity.

Fun, fearless and flawed

Ideological-exclusion policies were
authorized as part of the Patriot Act under
the Bush administration in 2001 to pre-
vent the immigration of people with cer-
tain ideological values. The logic behind
the policy is that these people have beliefs
that make them dangerous. But in prac-
tice, prominent intellectuals seeking to
visit American universities and confer-
ences have been turned away at the border
for no good reason. Last Wednesday, doz-
ens of organizations, including the ACLU,
the Center for Campus Free Speech and
the National Education Association, sent
a letter to administration officials detail-
ing their opposition to these policies. The
ACLU's letter also requests a re-evaluation
of cases already decided under this poli-
cy, including one scheduled for court this
Tariq Ramadan, a Swiss intellectual
who is Muslim, was invited to speak at
the University of Notre Dame but was
denied-entrance to the United States in
2004. Adam Habib, a South African politi-
cal critic, was also denied a visa in 2007.
If the only difference between citizens and
intellectuals who have been turned away is
that one holds an American passport and
the other does not, this standard is clearly
wrong. In the name of academic freedom,
these intellectuals must be allowed to enter
the nation, or we won't be able to benefit
from their intelligence, insights and, yes,
This sort of isolationist behavior is detri-

mental to society. To increase understand-
ing of different cultures, the government
has to lead the way in fostering open
debate. Listening to and accepting criti-
cism from people with different beliefs is
the only way to increase our understand-
ing of others. By censoring these views,
the government effectively discriminates
against those with different beliefs, add-
ing fuel to the fires of extremism - which
actually can be dangerous. Closing our
borders to diversity only increases igno-
rance and fear.
It's the role of universities to provide
students with access to ideological per-
spectives that they might not otherwise
encounter. This is an impossible mission
to fulfill if the government so strictly
screen applicants to enter the U.S. based
solely on ideology. In order to create
students who are truly well rounded,
universities' right to sponsor controver-
sial speakers and teachers must not be
infringed so drastically.
Not everyone who criticizes America is
a danger to our nation. The Bush admin-
istration's assumption that everyone who
criticizes America is dangerous was clum-
sy and offensive - and Obama must revive
America's international image by discard-
ing this discriminatory practice. For eight
years America's borders have been closed
and America has suffered. It's time to open
our borders and our eyes to the rest of the
world, including those who challenge our

Cosmopolitan's continued pop-
ularity in the modern age as
a "woman's magazine" has
long mystified me.
Despite the gener-
alized testimonies
of douchebaggy
women are an
extremely varied
group of people -
shocking, I know,
especially consid- EILEEN
ering we comprise
half the freaking STAHL
planet. So until
recently, I was
completely clueless as to what univer-
sal womanly trait Cosmo's marketing
team could be cashing in on. After
some careful thought, I've realized
that Cosmo could be craftier than it
looks. Rather than a superficial love
of shoes, the magazine may actually
be catering to a deep-seated biologi-
cal and emotional urge among women
that even I subscribe to. The thing is,
Cosmo doesn't handle this in the most
stellar way.
I should mention my legendary
love-hate relationship with Cosmo. I
eagerly devour each new issue so that
I can rant about how it isn't fit to be
used for kindling. My main beef with
Cosmo is that it claims to be for fun,
fearless, independent women and yet
devotes a huge amount of space (sev-
eral feature articles and an entire
section called the "Man Manual")
to the capture and keeping of men.
The number of techniques devoted to
"man snaring" is depressingly ridic-
ulous, offering advice ranging from
the decent (don't sleep with him on
the first date) to the cringe-worthy (if
you want him to call you back, always
wear high heels) I can't imagine how
a Cosmo Girl can be fearless when
she's constantly analyzing her boy-
friend's "hand holding technique."
So I was very surprised to find
myself agreeing with the majority
of an April 2009 article "The 50 Best
Relationship Tips Ever." Some of them

were fairly obvious but nonetheless
true, like number 24, which pointed
out that men don't have a psychic
mind-reading mechanism to know
what you want for your birthday.
Others were more poignant, such as
"deliver an ultimatum to geta commit-
ment only if you're prepared to walk
away." I thumbed through the rest of
the magazine, as well as a few back
issues I've kept in order to write this
very column, and realized the articles
I could get behind were all devoted to
relationships, not dating.
It was then I realized that Cosmo's
boy craziness is marketed to the
"female" desire for a healthy rela-
tionship. There is a small but vocal
group among feminists that claim
this yearning is artificial and wrong,
and that the only women who sub-
scribe to it have been duped by the
conniving minds of patriarchy. Actu-
ally, it's quite real and has its basis in
evolutionary biology. Since women
carry and nourish a baby, finding a
man to protect her while in this vul-
nerable state meant the difference
between life and death for a woman
and her offspring. Men, on the other
hand, could take the "quantity over
quality" approach.
Of course, that raises the point that
there's also an "evolutionary basis"
for your boyfriend to impregnate the
entire cheerleading team, so let me
stress that evolutionary biology just
explains why we think about rela-
tionships more than men, not that
we're the only ones who want them.
Actually, I'm of the opinion that most
emotionally mature adults will ben-
efit from spending their lives with
someone else. Having a good partner
in life means more than just compan-
ionship or having a live-in pickle jar-
opener. Another humanbeingsharing
your life means that you will always
have someone who offers you unique
insight on your shared experiences,
providing a fantastic opportunity
for new perspectives and personal
growth. Those who enjoy such a
beautiful connection tend to con-

sider themselves lucky, and not just
women in relationships with men. In
fact, when you take homosexual rela-
tionships into account, there doesn't
have to be male involvement at all.
My love-hate
relationship with
Cosmo magazine.
So I'm fine with Cosmo wanting to
help ladies maintain their. relation-
ships. What I have a problem with is
their apparent obsession with find-
ing a man right now, which perme-
ates the magazine so much that even
the "Single Girl's Bible" usually fea-
tures some how-to-land-a-dateable-
guy advice. While relationships are
lovely, it obviously isn't healthy to
want to get into them like your life
depends on it. Seeing as most rela-
tionships end in failure, people who
are only happy when they're dating
can count on being miserable a lot.
Plus, if you're not comfortable with
the person you are when you're sin-
gle, when you do get into a relation-
ship you won't exactly offer the other
person a lot of growth opportunities.
I dated a guy at a similar point in
my life, and all I could do was glibly
agree with every (often questionable)
point he made.
I maintain that Cosmo has a lot of
room for improvement, both in terms
of its man craziness and its diet pill
advertisements every ten pages. But
perhaps because tm now dating
someone wonderful myself, I realize
that women shouldn't feel ashamed
for wanting advice on making their
relationship a success, and Cosmo
is sometimes good at offering that.
Now if they'd only sort through their
dependency issues.
- Eileen Stahl can be reached
at efstahl@umich.edu.


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,
Jeremy Levy, Erika Mayer, Edward McPhee, Matthew Shutler,
Neil Tambe, Radhika Upadhyaya, Rachel Van Gilder
Readers are encouraged to submit letters to the editor. Letters should be less than 300
words and must include the writer's full name and University affiliation. Letters are edited
for style, length, clarity and accuracy. All submissions become property of the Daily.
We do not print anonymous letters.
Send letters to tothedoily@umich.edu.
Columnist's film criticism Daily fails to properly cover
should be based on logic women's gymnastics win

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.


Upon picking up Tuesday's copy of the Daily, I
was disappointed to see yet another half-thought-
outfilmcriticismbyBlakeGoble (Playingfor keeps,
03/24/2009). What irritated me was not so much
the list of films but rather his arrogance and dis-
respect for his readers. In the article, he names
the best sports films ever made. He bases these
claims on four rules which are seemingly picked
at random: "No Kevin Costner films. No Boxing
films..." He offers no reason for dismissing sports
classics like "Field of Dreams", "Million Dollar
Baby" or "Raging Bull." Was he merely trying to
be a contrarian? Not only is his list illogical, but
he flaunts his unrivaled arrogance: "Don't like
the rules? Tough. I don't have to justify them."
Apparently, the Daily's film criticism has
shrunken to the level of two middle school kids
arguing on the back of a bus while on their way
to school. I can hardly fault Mr. Goble for having
personal tastes, but as a film critic, his articles
should have some sort of coherency and govern-
ing logic. Examining the work of any good film
critic, one will discover this logic. When a critic
provides no rational for their judgements, they
become merely a snob. And that's the last thing
I want to read.
Taylor Stanton
Music junior

I was disappointed to open my copy of the
Daily on Monday morning to find no mention
of the 17th Big Ten Championship title won by
the women's gymnastics team. Under the lead-
ership of coach Bev Plocki, this team has won
the last three conference titles.
With much of the team starting their sea-
son recovering from surgery, the Wolverines
entered the competition this past weekend in
Champaign as the underdogs. But the entire
team stepped up to score a season-best 197.075
when they needed it most.
This victory was highlighted by individual
wins from Trish Wilson, who scored a 9.95
on the uneven bars, and Kylee Botterman,
who scored a 9.95 on floor and came in 2nd all
Both Wilson and Botterman returned this
season from major injuries. Yet there was no
mention of these feats anywhere to be found in
the Daily.
These girls deserve to be recognized for
their incredible determination and for refusing
to ever change their goals. So I send them my
highest congratulations - and the Daily ought
to be ashamed that it didn't beat meto it.
Scott Bregman
LSA senior

Lobby for car
one of the most prominent complaints from the stu-
dent body in recent years has been the lack of action
about poor street lighting in some off-campus neighbor-
hoods. Although there haven't been many visible results
to date, the Michigan Student Assembly has been working
diligently on the issue for months. We are optimistic that
we will all begin to see brighter streets by the end of this
It has been a difficult problem to fix, due in part to both
a lack of funding in the city budget and the inherent dif-
ficulties with navigating the city bureaucracy. Through
our efforts, we are close to finalizing the installation of
additional city streetlights in the neighborhood south of
Hill Street.
These lights will reach some of the darkest areas, such
as the triangle intersection of East University, Oakland
and Tappan streets.
While the new city lights will undoubtedly make the
streets safer, the MSA Campus Safety Commission is
committed to doing much more to ensure that students
have a safe way to walk home every night. Doing so will
require help from all of you.
The MSA CSC has launched a project to ensure that
every off-campus house and apartment building is
equipped with an automatic porch light that turns on by
itself at night and off in the morning. These lights will act
as a deterrent against home invasions, especially during
breaks when many houses would ordinarily be completely
Additionally, these lights will contribute to making the
streets brighter and safer. Imagine how much of a differ-
ence would be made by installing lights in the front of
each house.
After securing the funds to provide property owners

npus lighting
and management companies with the light sensors at no
cost, the MSA CSC contacted a number of them through
the mail to ask for support in our efforts. A meeting in the
fall with a large contingent of local landlords and prop-
erty managers regarding the lighting issue encouraged
MSA's belief that we would get a sizable buy-in for this
Sadly, this was not the case. It has now been over a
month since we sent letters asking for participation and
we have only received one response, albeit a very positive
Dan of Dan's Houses has committed to installing the
sensors on nearly 75 properties located in off-campus
So we are reaching out to students to ask for their help.
We now need you to lobby your landlords and manage-
ment companies to participate in this project. We need
you to call, e-mail or visit your landlords to voice your
concerns about dark streets and to tell them that you want
an automatic porch light from MSA.
Ensure landlords that the cost to them is nearly noth-
ing - we provide the sensor for free and your landlord
puts it on an existing socket and bulb. All landlords are
required to do is send an e-mail to campussafety@umich.
edu and the sensors will be ordered and delivered to them
as quickly as possible.
Please take one minute out of your day to reach out
to your landlord so that we can truly take a step toward
making the night bright.
Students with questions about this project can e-mail
the MSA CSC at campussafety@umich.edu.
This viewpoint was submitted on behalf of
the MSA Campus Safety Commission.

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