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49

4A - Thursday, September 24, 2009

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

L7 4 e 9 ti c4igan wily

Edited and managed by students at
the University of Michigan since 1890.
420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
tothedaily@umich.edu
ROBERT SOAVE COURTNEY RATKOWIAK
EDITORIAL PAGE EDITOR MANAGING EDITOR

GARY GRACA
EDITOR IN CHIEF

It should not be called the Security Co
called the 'terror counc
- Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, asserting that the five permanent memb
have too much power, in an address to the U.

Unsigned editorials reflect the official position of the Daily's editorial board. All other signed articles
and illustrations represent solely the views oftheir authors.
Making the right call
U, state need Good Samaritan policy for underage drinkers
hen a friend who has had too much to drink clearly
needs to go to the hospital, the first thought is probably
to call for help. But the law states that an intoxicated
minor who calls for medical attention for a dangerously intoxi-
cated friend can receive a minor in possession charge. To fix this,
the Michigan Student Assembly and the Senate Advisory Commit-
tee on University Affairs are trying to include a "Good Samaritan"
policy in the Student Code of Conduct that would enable students
to call the Department of Public Safety without fear of legal reper-
cussion. While the University should certainly implement this
change, the Good Samaritan policy also deserves consideration
and approval from the state legislature.

The forgotten J

n February 2007, Vice President
Dick Cheney and Speaker of the
House Nancy Pelosi locked horns
over the Iraq War
troop surge. The
media mudslinging
between the two
reached a climax
when Pelosi called
the White House 1
to complain that
Cheney had ques-
tioned her patrio-
tism. Good Morning CHRIS
America's Jonathan KOSLOWSKI
Karl asked Cheney
what he thought
about Pelosi's accu-
sations.
He responded, "I didn't question
her patriotism. I questioned her judg-
ment. Al-Qaeda functions on the basis
that they think they can break our
will. That's their fundamental under-
lying strategy. My statement was if we
adopt the Pelosi policy, we will vali-
date the strategy of Al-Qaeda. I said
it, and I meant it. And I'm not backing
down."
I put that quote in the "favorite quo-
tations" section of my Facebook pro-
file when I heard it - not only because
it sums up the awe-inspiring gump-
tion of our former vice president, but
also because I wanted it to remind me
of something. If Al-Qaeda perceives
weakness in the United States govern-
ment over the Middle East wars, it will
validate their plan to defeat us.
More than two years later, in a
confidential document leaked to the
Washington Post this week, General
Stanley McChrystal, lead commander
of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghani-
stan, said the U.S. will lose inAfghani-
stan unless more troops are brought to
the fight.
Despite many Democrats' contin-

ued opposition to the wars in the Mid-
dle East, I expected President Barack
Obama to quickly heed the advice
of his top general. After all, it was
just last March when Obama made a
speech outlining his commitment to
"enhance the military, governance,
and economic capacity" of Afghani-
stan. Obama warned, "If the Afghan
government falls to the Taliban - or
allows Al-Qaeda to go unchallenged
- that country will again be a base for
terrorists who want to kill as many of
our people as they possibly can."
But Obama has not yet decided if he
will send more troops to Afghanistan.
Aides have said the President wants
more time to weigh his options, and
USA Today reportedthat several of
Obama's advisors, including Vice Pres-
ident Joe Biden, have revealed their
aversions to increasingU.S. forces.
I don't fault the President for taking
his time to make a careful decision in
a matter that will affect thousands of
Americans and Afghanis, but I don't
understand why this issue is not tak-
ing precedence in his administra-
tion. According to the Washington
Post, Defense Secretary Robert Gates
received McChrystal's report on Aug.
30, nearly a month ago. What have
we heard about Obama's Afghanistan:
strategy between then and the leak of
this report?
Even if you disagree with Obama's
desire to stay in Afghanistan, you
should be wondering why his admin-
istration was devoting so much atten-
tion to health care and climate change
with this bombshell sitting on his
desk. McChrystal guarantees that a
failure to change tactics will result in
defeat. Obama should have been act-
ing quickly on the General's advice or
designing a plan to remove our troops
before the situation becomes even
more deadly.

uncil, it should be
il.' "
er states of the U.N. Security Council
N., as reported yesterday by MSNBC.
ight
Obama's hesitation to address this
report as seriously as he hasaddressed
health care sends the wrong message
to Al-Qaeda. Maybe the administra-
tion will surprise me with news of
a well-reasoned troop increase plan
within the coming days, but I fear
Obama has been purposefully delay-
ing action so as not to alienate Dem-
ocrat support for the public health
insurance option. His support margin
is so thin that the risk of an unpopular
troop increase driving away potential
votes is too great.
Obama is stalling on
Afghanistan to save
his domestic agenda.
Regardless of his behind-the-
scene motives, Obama needs to fol-
low in the steps of Dick Cheney and
take a strong stand on Afghanistan
if he hopes to keep Al-Qaeda and
its supporters at bay. Shuffling his
feet, especially for political reasons,
makes the U.S. appear weak, energiz-
es the opposition and validates their
strategy. Obama promised a better
future for Afghanistan. Around half
of America disagrees with him over
health care. Any minuscule impact
we could have on the Earth's climate
would take decades to occur- The
American and Afghani lives at risk
in an extremely unstable situation
demand that Obama take action now.
It's about time he gave this issue the
attention it deserves.
- Chris Koslowski can be
reached at cskoslow@umich.edu.

The Good Samaritan policy was proposed
at a meeting between MSA and SACUA to
discuss changes to the Student Code of Con-
duct. These University governing bodies
are following in the steps of state Sen. Liz
Brater (D-Ann Arbor), who introduced a bill
to the legislature in April to protect under-
age drinkers who call for help on behalf of
intoxicated friends. Minors who seek help
for their friends would be exempt from
MIPs and the resulting fines of up to $400,
court appearances and possible probation.
This was Brater's second attempt to pass
such legislation.
MIPs, expensive fines and inconvenient
court appearances are serious threats. Rath-
er than face such repercussions, underage
drinkers may choose not to call the police
when friends are in need. But lives could be
saved if only underage drinkers had less to
fear from calling the police at urgent times.
The law should not act as a deterrent to sav-
ing lives and amending the Student Code of
Conduct to include a Good Samaritan clause
signals the University wants to seriously
combat alcohol-related deaths.
Still, the University is hardly the only
place in need of such a policy. Despite two
attempts, the legislature failed to act on
Brater's bill. But this statewide bill is the

best way to make sure that lives are not
lost because underage drinkers fear getting
MIPs. If the legislature really wants to make
protect the lives of underage drinkers, it
should reconsider the Good Samaritan pol-
icy and adopt it.
But the University, for its part, is not in
the clear on drinking issues just by putting
the Good Samaritan policy into the Student
Code of Conduct. The alarming amount of
alcohol-related deaths on college campus-
es has caught the attention of 135 college
presidents, who have reacted by signing
the Amethyst Initiative. This proposal calls
on Congress to look into the 1984 National
Minimum Drinking Age Act and determine
whether it has been effective at curbing
binge drinking. A discussion on the effec-
tiveness of the current drinking age could
only be beneficial, but University President
Mary Sue Coleman has refused to sign the
Amethyst Initiative, calling into question
her dedication to finding solutions to binge
drinkingas well as her supposed open-mind-
edness toward new ideas and approaches.
So while the University needs a Good
Samaritan clause, it also needs a president
who is willing to look for new solutions to
the binge drinking problem on college cam-
puses.

EDITORIAL BOARD MEMBERS:
Nina Amilineni, Emad Ansari, Emily Barton, Ben Caleca, Brian Flaherty, Emma Jeszke,
Raghu Kainkaryam, Sutha K Kanagasingam, Erika Mayer, Edward McPhee, Harsha Panduranga,
Asa Smith, Brittany Smith, Radhika Upadhyaya, Rachel Van Gilder, Laura Veith

The Daily is looking for a diverse group of strong, informed, passionate writers to
join the Editorial Board. Editorial Board members are responsible for discussing and
writing the editorials that appear on the left side of the opinion page.
E-MAIL ROBERT SOAVE AT RSOAVE@UMICH.EDU FOR MORE INFORMATION.
Don't miss campus moments

4

4

SEND LETTERS TO: TOTHEDAILY@UMICH.EDU

Make respectapriority while
recruitingfor student groups
TO THE DAILY:
As the new academic year kicks off, many
student organizations start off with heavy
recruitment. But as different groups try to get
their message out, recruitment can become
competitive. Though competition can be a
powerful uniting factor, it is our hope that
recruitment strategies are done in a respectful
manner. Strategies of hazing and destruction
of Diag boards, banners and flyers are not going
to unite our community. We have seen more
of this behavior this year, and it is worth the
reminder that respecting competitors is a more
effective strategy. As the semester progresses,

we would like to encourage co-sponsorships as
one way to foster an inclusive campus environ-
ment.
Itis our individual responsibility tobe aware
of our own role in promoting a positive and safe
campus climate. If you feel that you have been
a target of hate or bias, please know that there
are confidential resources available to you on
campus. Go to http://www.urespect.umich.
edu/ and view the reporting section. If you are-
interested in joining the Expect Respect Stu-
dent Steering Committee or would like us to
collaborate with you on an event on campus,
please email us at expectrespect@umich.edu.
Christina Tzortzinis and Amber Zarb
LSA junior; School of Social Work graduate
student

HARU N BULJ INA E E-MAIL HARUN AT BULJINAH@UMICH.EDU
- (
\ re.
D 00
flu
Don' t Tread O M

Campus is a vibrant and hap-
pening environment: living
in Ann Arbor presents many
opportunities to
learn outside of
class. Unfortu-
nately, undergrad-
uate students are
often unaware of
these opportuni-
ties, and they are
not always at fault.
While students HARSHA
should undeniably .pAprgA
be more aware of
their surroundings,
the various Uni-
versity departments and organiza-
tions that sponsor noteworthy events
and important speakers should also
make a more concerted and orga-
nized effort to advertise them.-
A university setting is meant to
foster education and facilitate the
broadening of our mental horizons.
The diverse range of events that
occurs on a college campus is nearly
unparalleled. Where else can a per-
son attend a Warhol exhibit, a ques-
tion-and-answer session with the
Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme
Court and a speech from a Nobel
Prize-winning economist and New
York Times columnist all in the span
of one month for free? It's impor-
tant to utilize this advantage as stu-
dents, since such opportunities may
never return. Tuition is hardly inex-
pensive, so we should get the most
knowledge for our buck.
But it's difficult to take advantage
of these opportunities when they
aren't well advertised. I followed
Paul Krugman's weekly column in
the New York Times over the sum-
mer and would have been interested

to hear him speak had I known he
would be visiting campus. The Mich-
igan Daily did a short news story
on Krugman's planned visit, but it
ran on Sept. 15 and said the tickets
were gone. Luckily, one of my Politi-
cal Science GSIs had sent an email
to students in my class on Sept., 9
informing us of the upcoming event
- I went to the Union and picked up
tickets the next day. I couldn't have
been the only person who was ill-
informed, because not many other
undergraduates I spoke with knew
of Krugman's visit, either.
The promotion of sponsored
events on campus is clearly unco-
ordinated. While this isn't anyone's
fault specifically, it's instead due to
the conglomeration of event spon-
sors on campus that all use different
methods of promoting their func-
tions. For example, the Public Policy
School and the Citigroup Founda-
tion will host Krugman, whereas the
Michigan Student Assembly hosted
oil tycoon T. Boone Pickens for
Homecoming Week last year. The
different advertising methods make
it difficult to find specifics on each
event in a centralized location.
The University does have resourc-
es to advertise events: the UM Events
website lists a great number of hap-
penings around campus. But the prob-
lem with the website is that especially
significant functions are drowned out
by a flood of other events.
The best way to fix this problem
would be to have events advertised
through a well-sorted centralized
source. UM Events does this to a cer-
tain extent, but does not differentiate
between a Free Shabbat Dinner at
Hillel and Paul Krugman's lecture,
unless the user specifies they are look-

ing for a lecture. The student should
have some responsibility in finding
events of their interestbut should not
have to sift through so much infor-
mation in order to find them if they're
not entirely sure what they might be
looking for. If the website was rede-
signed to highlight events that occur
less regularly, like Krugman's visit, or
if there were centralized e-mail lists
to direct student attention, informa-
There has to be a
better way to learn
about 'U' events.
tion might be better distributed.
While it's true that many do attend
noteworthy events - Krugman tick-
ets were gone, after all - it doesn't
mean that enough people know about
them. A rush for tickets is obviously
not desirable - the reason I was able
to obtain mine mayhave beenbecause
people weren't aware he was coming.
But just because the seats are filling
doesn't mean there's enough pro-
motion. People who want to attend
should be able to if they're willing to
wait for tickets early enough. It's only
fair.
Becoming more knowledgeable is
something we all should strive for. A
morediverse perspectiveis neverbad,
be it in the arts, politics, or sciences.
It's vital that students are made more
aware of the opportunities that they
have to learn on campus.
- Harsha Panduranga can be
reached at harshap@umich.edu.

I

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR:
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 tothedaily@umich.edu.

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