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November 20, 2009 - Image 4

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4A - Friday, November 20, 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

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this weekend, proving once Obama joke and leave it at that
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Unsigned editorials reflect the official position of the Daily's editorial board. All other signed articles
and illustrations represent solely the views of their authors.
Common sense
The Common App will ease burden on potential students
tudents may remember how difficult it was to apply to mul-
tiple colleges that all required different applications. But
the process is about to become a little easier for students
who want to apply to the University. Administrators recently
announced that they intend to adopt the Common App, a standard-
ized application already in use by many universities. By making it
so that students don't have to fill out so many distinct applications,
the University will attract more applicants from across the coun-
try. As it transitions to the Common App, the University should
simply make sure that it retains unique and important criteria

Smoking won't stop

here has been a lot of talk late-
ly about the University's pro-
posed campus-wide smoking
ban, which would
prohibit smoking
on all University .
property start-
ing in July 2011.
Aside from the
fact that the ban
is both unfair
and an infringe-
ment upon stu-
dents' rights, the JARSHA
ban's enforce- PANDUAG
ment mechanism K
the ban is illogi-
cal. Violators of
the ban will be directed to cessation
workshops instead of paying fines.
But cessation workshops aren't going
to curb smoking on campus. Instead
of creating a new policy that isn't
going to work, enforcement of the
current smoking policy on campus
should be improved.
First of all, it's important to
remember that the policy in place
now, which says that smoking should
be a "reasonable distance" from
building entrances, isn't enforced.
Cigarette smokers can always be
found smoking in between classes
directly outside busy buildings like
Mason Hall or the Modern Lan-
guage Building. It's possible that the
new policy is partially a reaction to
complaints due to lax enforcement
rather than the need for a new initia-
tive. After all, Ken Warner, dean of
the School of Public Health, said at
a University forum last week that he
wasn't sure how the ban originated.
It may be true that at four other
universities that implemented a simi-
lar prohibition, 97 percent of people
were said to have behaved in accor-
dance with it. This could be because a

comprehensive ban has more concrete
limits than "reasonable distance," or
because relatively shoddy enforce-
ment goes under the radar. But stud-
ies of compliance rates have not been
done for the 256 other colleges where
a smoking ban has been put in place,
so it's definitely possible that the com-
pliance rate is exaggerated.
It's irritating that the University
administration seems to be making
the same mistake. The first smoking
policy isn't working properly because
it isn't enforced, and the restrictive
new policy borne of this failure will
probably fall into the same trap.
Though the University's intentions
may be benevolent, there is a major
flaw in this approach. Understanding
why takes a review of the transtheo-
retical model regarding behavioral
change. According to the theory, the
process of quitting smoking can be
broken into five stages: precontem-
plation, contemplation, preparation,
action and maintenance. The most
important stage to understand is
precontemplation. In this stage, indi-
viduals are completely unwilling to
quit and may not be swayed because
they are either "unconvinced of the
problem, see change as impossible or
are unwilling to change."
As the 2006 Maryland Adult
Tobacco Surveys show, 61 percent of
smokers are in this precontempla-
tion stage. Essentially, direction to
attend smoking cessation workshops
wouldn't be beneficial at all to them.
Considering the majority of smok-
ers on campus are likely to be in the
precontemplation stage, these work-
shops have a far greater potential to
be a waste of money than an effective
enforcement mechanism.
The University of Iowa, which was
mandated to ban smoking on campus
by state law, has a much more logi-

cal approach to enforcing the law.
There, violators are fined $50 per
infraction. Establishing tangible
consequences, as opposed to offer-
ing treatments that smokers may not
be open to, is a much more effective
method of making sure the Univer-
sity's current policy is followed. In
addition, a fine would easily raise
revenue for the University, which
could help make up the cost of ces-
sation programs that may be useful
to the proportion of smokers who are
considering quitting. Such programs
could be a part of the solution, but
not the major component of aiding in
the enforcement of the ban.
U should better
enforce its current
smoking policies.
If the current smoking policies
were properly enforced, and officers
ticketed people smoking near build-
ings, there may have been less sup-
port for the campus-wide smoking
ban in the first place. This enforce-
ment should have been the solution
to any complaints about smoking on
campus. The prohibition is an egre-
gious violation of students' rights,
and it excessively stigmatizes one
bad habit - but the wrong approach
is being taken to enforce it by the
administration, since most smokers
aren't going to quit because of a ces-
sation workshop. if the ban is inevi-
table, it would be better to save the
money and fine violators.
-Harsha Panduranga can be
reached at harshap@umich.edu.

from its existing application.
The Common App, which currently serves
392 other major private and public universi-
ties, provides a single, standardized applica-
tion form for undergraduates and includes
school-specific supplements. Admissions
officials have applied to start using the Com-
mon App as early as this February. If every-
thing goes as planned, students applying for
the University's late summer admissions
cycle of 2010 will be the first to submit the
populat application. Administrators plan to
preserve the unique essay questions found
on the current application by including these
questions as supplements. The change will
affect the format of the application, rather
than the substance of it.
While proponents of the University's
exclusive application might argue that it
separates the dedicated applicants from
the uninterested, there is little reason that
the application process should be made
any more burdensome than it needs to be.
The University's move to the Common App
reflects the realities faced by high school
seniors today. The high-achieving stu-
dents that the University hopes to attract
shouldn't have to fill out separate and
redundant paperwork for every school to
which they apply. And since the switch to
the Common App is primarily a matter of
reformatting the information on the appli-
cation and can still include the essay ques-

tions that make the University application
unique, there's little benefit to using an
exclusive application.
The switch to the Common App is a
gesture of outreach that will increase the
University's visibility and attract a more
geographically and socially diverse group
of applicants. As a result, the University's
already massive number of applicants will
almost certainly increase. Many similar
schools have reported more applications
after making the switch to the Common
App. As the size of the applicant pool
increases, the University can expect to have
an even more varied group of applicants
from which to choose. The result will be an
even more diverse student body.
It may be true that the Common App
could cause more students with less inter-
est to apply to the University as a backup
school. But the benefits in having a larger
pool of applicants to draw from will more
than offset this. And administrators can
work to ensure that an increase in the num-
ber of out-of-state applicants doesn't com-
promise the availability of quality education
for students in Michigan.
The University's switch to the Com-
mon App is a good move, promising a more
diverse applicant pool and decreasing the
burden on high school seniors applying for

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.


Dying for Twilight love



Unless you live in a promotion-proof bunker,
you know that today is the release date for "New,
Moon," the movie based on the second of Stephe-
nie Meyer's four amazingly popular "Twilight"
books for young adults. These hyper-dramatic
romance novels about the sparkling emo vampire
and the girl who loved him send teen girls squeal-
ing loudly enough to kill small animals. And
while I enjoy a good love story, there are some
seriously creepy messages in "Twilight" about
what is and isn't romantic. I want to know who
the hell decided to market "Twilight" to teens
and tweens.
Case in point: our 17-year-old heroine, Bella,
spends the majority of "New Moon" trying to kill
herself because her zombie boyfriend, Edward,
hs broken up with her. Well, technically, she's
throwing herselfinto potentially lethal situations
because it causes her to hallucinate Edward's
voice screaming at her for being a melodramatic
cretin. But if she does die in the process, Bella
assures us she's fine with it, because her life
is officially over now and "the sheer beauty of
(Edward's voice) amazed me. I couldn't allow my
memory to lose it, no matter the price." Accord-
ing to Meyer's website, we shouldn't judge Bella
for any of this because this is how people behave
when they lose true love.
Yeah. This isn't My Little Pony.
The Yellow Ribbon Teen Suicide Prevention
Program, apparently the last people on Earth
whose brains haven't been shorted out by glitter,
issued a warning that a movie presenting sui-
cide as romantic might not be such a good thing
to show to teenagers, especially if they share
Bella's low self-esteem. Across more than 2,200
pages, Bella moans incessantly about how she is
"hideous" and "worthless." Unfortunately, these
are feelings that a lot of teen girls can identify
with. Thanks in part to the Ralph Lauren school
of beauty, American girls are undergoing what
many mental health professionals call "a crisis of
self-esteem," obsessing over being attractive and
accepted by peers. This is more than typical teen
angst-- the last twenty years have seen skyrock-
eting rates in depression, eating disorders and
self-mutilation among young women.
It's Edward's acceptance, I think, that makes
him so appealing to girls. When you feel imper-
fect, the idea of a perfect guy who will wrap you
in his scintillating arms and whisper his devotion

for twelve paragraphs is a powerful and com-
forting fantasy. But Bella never learns to value
herself, continuing her tirade right up until the
last book. Instead, she bases her entire sense of
self on Edward's attention. As Robert Pattinson,
the actor who plays Edward, put it, "she doesn't
really get fixed, she just gets this addiction ... she
becomes completely dependent."
How dependent? When Edward leaves, even
if it's just for a weekend, we are treated to daz-
zling descriptions of Bella having what sound a
hell of a lot like panic attacks. "I would rather die
than stay away from you," she informs Edward,
and as "New Moon" proves, she wasn't kidding
around. She confesses she doesn't have much of
a life outside of Edward - friends, hobbies or a
personality - because her life is Edward. I should
probably also throw out there that Mdyer's char-
acters consistently praise Bella for being mature
for her age.
Basing your self-worth around the approval
of someone else leaves you wide open for abu-
sive relationships, and Edward often isn't the
best boyfriend this side of a restraining order.
He yells, intimidates and chastises Bella as if she
were a child. While Bella confesses she's afraid of
his "black moods," she blames her own inadequa-
cy for his behavior. It takes Edward cutting her
car's brakes and placing her under house arrest
to get Bella angry, but even then, she succumbs
to his will and never considers leaving him. After
all, his sister assures Bella while she's locked up
in Edward's house that he's only doing it because
he loves her.
I understand that "Twilight" is fantasy, but
abusive relationships, dependency and teen sui-
cide are pretty high on my list of things that aren't
romantic. Teen girls are taking the series very
seriously, even obsessively, reading the books
several times a week. on one thread I ran across
on Yahoo! Answers, a reader said, "I HAVE to
read it or I break down crying."
However much we may enjoy the good points
of "Twilight," publisher Little, Brown & Com-
pany had a responsibility to make sure the books
were appropriate before spending several million
dollars promoting them. We've been blinded by
dazzle. The time to start asking questions is long
Eileen Stahl is an LSA senior.

Party like it's 1969

This football season has been tough. After all the yelling,
analyzing and figuring out where things went wrong, at the
end of the day, we have to realize that sometimes things
just don't work out in sports the way we hope. But for true
Michigan students, alumni and fans, this season can still be
spectacular. The team can save everythingthrough one act:
beating Ohio State on Saturday.
A Michigan win wouldn't be the biggest upset in the his-
tory of the rivalry. That will always belong to the 1969 team'
coached by the legendary Bo Schembechler. But this vic-
tory would come close.
So, what can Michigan students, alumni and fans do to
help out the team and show that we are still true blue head-
ing into one of college football's greatest rivalries?
To start, come to the Go Blue, Beat OSU Pep Rally today
at 6 p.m. on the Diag. For those juniors and seniors and
graduate students who experienced this two years ago, you
know how great the event was. As one of the people who
experienced it, I have to say the word "experienced" rather
than "attended," because the atmosphere was so electric
I could feel it. Sophomores and freshmen who have yet to
experience an Ohio State game should be prepared for a
completely different feel to Michigan Stadium. Come to the
pep rally for a preview.
As a part of Go Blue, Beat OSU Week, the pep rally is a
culmination of efforts put forth by various student groups,

Michigan Student Association, LSA Student Government
and many sponsors. Thousands of free T-shirts, giveaways,
the band, cheerleaders, Football coach Rich Rodriguez and
the team will all be part of the spectacle Friday night. I say
this in part to entice you to coiie to the pep rally, but also
because I hope I'm not disappointed with student support
for this once-a-year event.
Everyday, someone sends an e-mail out to a group I'm
part of that states, "Selling OSU Ticket, Highest Offer." I
know it's tempting to forget about the game because the
odds of winning are so low. I know this season isn't great.
I know there is a hockey game and a basketball game that
night. Forget about all of that. This year is far from over.
This Saturday, everything is on the line. For once, Michi-
gan truly can be "all in."
Coming to the pep rally will prove that Michigan stu-
dents still believe in the maize and blue magic and are far
from the "fair-weather fans" other schools like to believe
we are. Go out to the bars or basketball or hockey after-
ward. But take one hour out of our last home football week-
end of the year and prove that you care about our school
and our team. On Saturday night, maybe we can party like
it's 1969.
This viewpoint was written by Andrew Chinsky
on behalf of the Go Blue, Beat OSU Core Team.



VS/h aT U'IS-soS Fla
Tj -I

Nina Amilineni, Emad Ansari, Emily Barton, Jamie Block, Will Butler, Ben Caleca,
Nicholas Clift, Michelle DeWitt, Brian Flaherty, Emma Jeszke, Raghu Kainkaryam,
Sutha K Kanagasingam, Erika Mayer, Edward McPhee, Harsha Panduranga, Alex Schiff,
Asa Smith, Brittany Smith, Radhika Upadhyaya, Rachel Van Gilder, Laura Veith

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