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October 01, 2009 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 2009-10-01

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4A - Thursday, October 1, 2009

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@umich.edu
GARY GRACA ROBERT SOAVE COURTNEY RATKOWIAK
EDITOR IN CHIEF EDITORIAL PAGE EDITOR MANAGING EDITOR
Unsigned editorials reflect the official position of the Daily's editorial board. All other signed articles
and illustrations represent solely the views ofttheir authors.
Research rewards
University research creates jobs, grows the economy
or Michigan, research means economic growth. At a time
when the state economy is failing and the state govern-
ment's revenue sources are dwindling, investing in the work
of research universities is a necessity. According to a report commis-
sioned by the University Research Corridor, Michigan's economy
increased by 1500 percent because of its investment in university
research - a fact that slash-happy state legislators should keep in
mind as they attempt to predict the state's financial future. Research
universities are injecting needed jobs and growth into the economy,
and they deserve continued support from the state.

4

The guy just cares so much about the institution.
I mean, that's what he told us."
- Charles Gifford, a board member of Bank of America, commenting on the resignation of CEO Kenneth Lewis,
who recently came under fire for possibly illegal practices, as reported yesterday by the New York Times.
A ha i-assed alternative

The URC is a coalition of the state's
research universities - Michigan State Uni-
versity, Wayne State University and the Uni-
versity of Michigan - formed in 2006. The
report, conducted by the Anderson Econom-
ic Group, showed a total of $1.4 billion was
spent on research in the 2008 fiscal year. of
that, $880 million came from state appropri-
ations and the rest was funded through fed-
eral money and local organizations. The URC
generated an estimated $14.5 billion for the
state's economy through job opportunities
and estimated alumni earnings. It also cre-
ated 28 startup companies over a 12-month
period.- up 10 percent from 2007 - and has
swelled $1.6 billion since the inception of the
URC.
The study shows that funding higher edu-
cation, and particularly research, is not an
irrational or idealistic idea, but one that dra-
matically benefits the state. In additionto the
potential to cure diseases and develop alter-
native energy solutions, funding research
creates jobs and attracts employers to the
state. It also brings Michigan an intrinsic
respect and vitality that gets people inter-
ested in living and conducting business in
the state. The opportunities provided by the
URC can help foster this kind of community.
The fact that research is important is no
surprise to University of Michigan students
and faculty, many of whom chose this school

in part because of its research reputation
and opportunities. More than 1000 fresh-
men and sophomores alone participate in the
Undergraduate Research Opportunity Pro-
gram, a program that allows them to spend
a year working with faculty on cutting-edge
research. Opportunities like this to provide
hands-on learning are attractive to aspiring
minds, and bring more faculty and students
here.
But as it stands, the state's universities are
like oases in a desert of unemployment. The
wealth this state once derived from manu-
facturing is gradually vanishing. Many ofthe
tasks performed by working-class Michigan-
ders are too easily shipped to places where
labor and resources are cheaper. The value
of the state shifting from manufacturing to
research-based fields is hard to overestimate.
Wayne State's research on biodiesel develop-
ment, Michigan State's on biomass conser-
vation and the University of Michigan's on
organic solar cells have all contributed to
economic development by promoting jobs in
alternative energy fields.
As important as it may be for the state gov-
ernment to spend responsibly, money is never
more valuable than when in the hands of the
best and brightest innovators. Both state and
federal governments should do their part to
support research in the university setting
and the opportunities it provides.

When I first walked into
East Quad upon my recent
return to Ann Arbor, I was
pleasantly sur-
prised by much of
the dorm's summer
renovation. The
lobby's new color
scheme was mark-
edly more tasteful
and the new wood
floors in many of - - '
the rooms were aM
needed upgrade MATTHEW
fromtheghastly,old GREEN
linoleum. But when
I walked out of the
new basement laundry room to find
that the Halfway Inn had been closed,
I had to do a double take. I could see
the need for certain improvements in
the structure of the cafe, but to remove
it entirely seemed extreme.
For those who are perhaps unfamil-
iar with the East Quad of old, the Half-
way Inn was a retail-dining spot in
the basement of the dormitory. It was
dubbed "the Halfass" as a joke refer-
ence to the lovably lukewarm attitude
its workers had toward efficiently pre-
paring food. But in fairness, the delay
in food preparation probably had more
to do with inadequate kitchen resourc-
es rather than the indifference of the
staff.
The food, though hardly dietetic,
was both well prepared and pleasing
to undergraduate palates. And the
ambience was everything one would
expect from a caf6 in the basement
of the quirky Residential College. An
old piano sat in a corner of the room,
against wallslined with eclectic record
album covers. Couches and comfy
chairs, in addition to standard cafete-
ria tables, created a community caf6
feel out of an otherwise institutional
space. And the odd, alternative music

that often issued from a stereo in the
kitchen was a reminder that the Hal-
fass was a place in which conformity
was not required of anyone.
Yes, that's a predictable, clich6 sen-
timent from a student in the RC. But
East Quad's distinctive history as a
haven for unconventional students is
an important consideration that Uni-
versity Housingseemstoignore. Hous-
ing believes that by converting one of
the two ground floor dining halls into
a new retail dining cafe, it is recreat-
ing a center for dormitory recreation.
In some regards, it has succeeded -
there are more tables in its substitute
cafe, for example, and residents do buy
food there. But it has failed in main-
taining the time-honored tradition
of offering made-to-order food. And
more importantly, it has eliminated -
the offbeat flair that made the Halfass
worthwhile.
The University certainly has the
right to make structural changes to
retail dining, but in moving away from
the Halfass, the University has ignored
the caf6's other function of providing
a cultural center for the RC. I under-
stand that the intended purpose of the
Halfway Inn was to provide snacks
and necessities to East Quad residents,
and not simply to cater to the implicit
and unusual needs of the Residential
College. But students with alterna-
tive interests are already relegated to
the periphery by a University culture
that deifies football players. They need
a place where they can be comfortable
in their own skin.
At the moment, the Halfass still
exists as the home of the East Quad
Music Co-op. The EQMC will keep it
breathing as the last vestige of the glo-
rious, old East Quad until some distant
Housing official decides that this is
no longer a reason to keep the facil-
ity maintained. But this is not good

enough.Housingshouldkeeptheneeds
of East Quad's historically uncommon
students in mind and reverse the deci-
sion to remove retail dining from the
Halfass.
If that proves too costly, then they
ought to at least bring back the tradi-
tion of prepared-to-order food to their
new caf. This was a staple of the erst-
while Halfass, and since the current
facility has an even greater capacity
than the basement kitchen to prepare
ordered items, there's no reason why
such food cannot be offered. More-
over, the new cafe should be decorated
and furnished in a way that caters to
its community. Housing ought to let
East Quad residents paint murals on
the walls, perhaps, as administrators
permit in the residential hallways.
'U' should change
its plans for the
quirky cafe.
Lastly, I've heard that many in
Housing were upset by the seemingly
disrespectful name, "Halfass." But as
freshmen male residents are quick to
point out, the new name, "The Other
Way Inn" is embarrassingly sugges-
tive. Though I think this name evokes
colorful imagery, I think a different I
name might suit it better. It's sad that
Housing found the "Halfass" moniker
so objectionable. Because more than
ever before, that name seems fitting
for the retail dining option Housing is
currently offering us.
- Matthew Green can be reached
at greenmat@umich.edu.

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 tothedoily@umich.edu.
Extending HPVprotection

SEND LETTERS TO: TOTHEDAILY@UMICH.EDU
Daily misinterprets LGBT City Place housing isn't
issues in Banton article worth the historical losses

I
I

TO THE DAILY:
I was so excited to see that the Daily decided
to cover the Buju Banton concert controversy,
and I appreciate the attention to LGBT issues
on campus (Blind Pig: Controversial act still on,
09/30/2009). But I was very disappointed in
what was missing from the article. I can see the
value in including the perspective of Ms. Woods
in the discussion, but her statements completely
misrepresent the complexity of this issue. I wish
your writer had done his own research to counter
them.
Buju Banton still performs, and proudly ref-
erences, "Boom Bye-Bye," which clearly contra-
dicts the argument that he has moved away from
the beliefs he held when he wrote it 20 years ago.
Also, since his signing of the Reggae Compassion
Act two years ago, he has publicly denied signing
it so that he can continue to include hate speech
in his performances.
Your article concerns me because it plays
directly into a troubling trend on campus, which
is to discount LGBT activism as whiny, petty
and over-reactive. We did do our research. We
live this hate every day, and we have the right to
speak out about it.
Diana Parrish
School ofSocial Work

TO THE DAILY:
Regarding Monday's editorial, I agree that
providing housing for all types of people is an
admirable goal (From the Daily: Defeat by delay,
09/28/2009).
However, the Daily should note that the seven
houses proposed for demolition by City Place
already provide affordable housing right now for
students. New housing is more expensive than
older housing, and anything new on that site will
increase the cost of rent. The historic houses pro-
vide green lawns and large trees - adding to the
"green" aspects already in place. There is no need
to dump tons of construction debris in a landfill if
we preserve what is already there.
We have a win-win situation with affordable
housing for students and preserving important
historic buildings. The houses are connected
to important figures in Ann Arbor history that
have given names to our streets and schools and
provided a link to the past that many residents
appreciate.
I would also note that the city has approved an
affordable housing project on North Main Street.
In the long run, the city is better off without City
Place.
Susan Wineberg
Alum

his September marked an
important breakthrough in
sexual health: an FDA panel
recommended
Gardasil, the HPV
vaccine, for males
ages nine through
26. Last semester,
I wrote multiple
columns about the
fact that although
men and women
have equal chances ROSE
of getting genital
warts - a symp- AFRIYIE
tom of HPV - they
don't have equal
access to testing or vaccinations.
Accurate tests and vaccinations are
available for women but not widely
available for men. Being the equality
advocate that I am, when I learned
that the vaccines would now be rec-
ommended for both sexes, I started to
do an Irish dance - yes, like the ones
in the River Dance commercials that
air at 5 a.m. - but halted mid-step.
It's not my intent to do an about-
face on this issue, but now that the
vaccine is almost here I am totally
conflicted. On one hand, men should
take their sexual health more seri-
ously because of how life-threatening
health outcomes can affect them and,
for heterosexuals, their female part-
ners. The introduction of this vac-
cine gives men an incentive to invest
in their sexual health. But there are
drawbacks when considering the
decision making of Merck, the mak-
ers of Gardasil, and the circumstanc-
es surrounding how money has been
spent to advocate for the vaccine. So,
allow me to interrupt the non-stop
vaccine related content dedicated to
the swine flu to tackle the business of
Gardasil.
My beef with Gardasil is really a
beef with the unethical practices of
Merck, the pharmaceutical giant that
currently has a monopoly over the
HPV vaccine in the U.S. A report pub-
lished in an Aug. 27 edition of Busi-

ness Week reminded us of Merck's
decision in 2006 and 2007 to lobby
lawmakers to make the vaccine man-
datory in some states. To boot, the
article notes that we still aren't in the
know about long-term effects of Gar-
dasil.
other ethical questions arise when
we consider how health care provid-
ers have been influenced by Merck's
monetary muscle. A report in an Aug.
19 issue of the Journal of the Ameri-
can Medical Association revealed
that Merck doled out grants to profes-
sional medical organizations, which
ostensibly promoted medical profes-
sionals to advocate for Gardasil. This
report also noted that Merck's strat-
egy put an increasing focus on all
women and not populations that were
most at risk to contract HPV.
Perhaps most intriguing is the
need for critical questions that evalu-
ate vaccination against preventative
testing - something that men still
lack in the case of HPV. This was
best captured by Dr. Diane Harper,
director of the Gynecologic Cancer
Prevention Research Group at Dart-
mouth, who was featured in a Los
Angeles Times report that ran last
year on Aug. 11. "If we vaccinate every
single 12-year-old, it should reduce by
half the number of cervical cancers
in the next 35 years... (but) with Pap
screening, we've reduced it by nearly
75%," she said. Knowing that, this is
my formal plea to Merck to invest in
HPV testing for men if they haven't
already started to do so.
But to Merck's credit, Gardasil
can't be all bad if it is one formality
away from being widely available for
men. A CNN report that ran on Sep.
9 noted that clinical trials revealed
a 90 percent reduction in the infec-
tion of genital warts and cancerous
lesions. Further, in an interview with
Medical Director of UHS Dr. Robert
Ernst, he confirmed, "The vaccine in
men would help to prevent the spread
of HPV to susceptible women, and
therefore indirectly help to reduce

the likelihood of cervical cancer in
women." He also noted that Gardasil
would vaccinate against penile can-
cers and gay men will have an oppor-
tunity to prevent strands of HPV that
could possibly cause anal cancers.
Gardasil for women at UHS costs
$173 per shot when you include
the health care provider's fee. Side
effects from the vaccine include pain
where you get the shot and a low-
grade fever.
Men should start
thinking about
sexual health, too.
I
Beyond these facts are also key
advantages. First, it's important to
note that the college setting makes
it easy to get vaccinations. It's acces-
sible to go to UHS because it's on
campus and it's relatively simple to
book an appointment. In the real
world, you may have to travel miles
away from your residence and cram
three appointments in between your
nine-to-five work schedule. Second,
for both men and women, getting the
vaccine can be a gateway to checking
up on other aspects of your sexual
health and asking your provider sex-
ual health questions.
Lastly, perhaps most obvious, it
will be really hard for you to contract
genital warts - an infection that con-
doms won't protect you from but the
vaccine will. Not getting warts isn't
just good for your health but also
your genital self-esteem. I can see
the Merck commercials now: "With
penis size anxiety and maintaining
an erection, you'll have one less thing
to worry about: warts!"
- Rose Afriyie is the Daily's sex
and relationships columnist. She can
be reached at sariyie@umich.edu.

HARUN BUL JINAt E-MAIL HARUN AT BULJINAH@UMICH.EDU
Fiscal conservatismrides to the rescue..
- . '
~ Q
1 \

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

4

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