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September 17, 2010 - Image 4

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4A - Friday, September 17, 2010

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.corn

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






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Unsigned editorials reflect the official position of the Daily's editorial board. All other signed articles
and illustrations representsolely the views of their authors.
Simulate Survival Flight
UMHS needs to use humane methods of teaching
T he University has recently come under fire from a national
animal rights organization for teaching methods that are
far from progressive. People for the Ethical Treatment of
Animals filed a complaint against the University of Michigan Health
Services for using cats and pigs to help train prospective nurses in
its Survival Flight course. Despite the existence of more humane
options for training nursing students, the University is continuing
to perform simulations with animals. Regardless of the legality of
the use of animals, UMHS should still consider other, more humane
methods of training. UMHS should use medical simulators as the
preferred method of training.

,\ 1.

The first year offreedom


PETA filed a complaint with the Unit-
ed States Department of Agriculture last
week, urging it to investigate UHMS's use
of cats and pigs to practice intubation and
other procedures. PETA alleges that the
use of cats and pigs for training purposes
in the Survival Flight course breaches the
Animal Welfare Act of 1966, as reported
by the Daily on Monday. UMHS defended
the training method and stated that it had
increased the use of human patient simu-
lators and decreased the use of animals in
its training courses. UMHS also said that
the procedures were similar to ones per-
formed .by veterinarians when treating
animals in the clinic and that most of the
cats used were adopted afterward.
The legality of UHMS's use of cats and
pigs is still up for debate. But regardless
of the USDA's investigation, the Univer-
sity should reevaluate teaching methods
that involve the use of animals. Though we
want our doctors and nurses to be as well
trained as possible, training should also be
humane. Since other options exist, UMHS
shouldn't use pigs and cats as a default
training method.
One technique that can likely replace the
use of animals is the use of human patient
simulators. A simulator has the advantage
of being able to replicate the anatomy of a

human body far more accurately than a cat
or pig. These simulators allow students to
get thorough and accurate training, while
also approaching their education in a
humane way. UMHS should use its human
simulator, called the TraumaMan System,
to help train nurses. And if the Trauma-
Man system isn't appropriate for the pur-
poses of the Survival Flight course, UMHS
should invest in research to develop a bet-
ter simulator.
This is not the first time that the Univer-
sity has been investigated for unethical uses
of animals in courses. In 2009, PETA filed
a complaint saying that a different UMHS
course was using dogs to practice proce-
dures to treat trauma injuries. That filing
led to weeks of scandal and debate. These
complaints and lawsuits shouldn't be part of
the culture at the University. They are costly,
time consuming and cast a negative light on
otherwise positive studies and training. But
mostly, they are unnecessary because other
options are available.
UMHS courses should continue their
tradition of excellence. But the future
of medical training doesn't lie with the
use of animals. Rather, it will be based in
advanced human patient simulation tech-
nology. That is where UMHS should direct
its resources.

It's been two weeks or so since
you've finally arrived. You spent
your summer whining to all your
friends how you
couldn't "wait to
go to school," and
chafed at your par-
ents' mandate that
you spend time
with your grand-
parents, your little
sister or - heaven
forbid - them. You
have your TCF VANESSA
hoodies, M-plan-
ners, your crew RYCHLINSKI
from your resi-
dence hall and your
bright-eyed zeal. Gone now are the
pre-socialization jitters about room-
mates and evening plans. The awk-
ward dust from being thrown from
the safe - if somewhat constricting
- arms of your parents into your new
lives has finally settled. Are you as
blissfully free as you had imagined?
Probably not. It happened to all
of us. The first week is a whirlwind
of moving in, welcome week and the
first few days of classes. Then, sud-
denly, you have a new pressurized
song and dance - one of homework,
extracurriculars and planning for
your future. Now is the time of mass
meetings, mixers, CTools assign-
ments and schedules.
This time last year, I was fresh
from a land of all girls and plaid
uniforms. As you can imagine, Ann
Arbor became my playground. I'm
not going to sit here rattling off ways
to "get involved" through clubs, tell
you about the many places to study
and wax nostalgic about community
center activities or whatever. Instead,
my advice is to do absolutely nothing.
On its website, the Office of New
Student Programs "strongly [encour-

ages you] to take advantage of every-
thing the campus and community has
to offer." It's impossible for anyone to
experience "everything" the Univer-
sity has to offer in all of their time as
a student here. Some of the greatest
triumphs of our school --its diversity
and excellence in a myriad fields -
are also what makes it overwhelm-
ing. Last year I deleted almost every
single e-mail regarding dorm events,
clubs that I signed up for and service
opportunities only because of the fact
that it was exhausting. It's ridiculous
how freshmen are continually prod-
ded to "try new things." College is
a new thing, and for many students
it's enough of an adjustment without
worrying about padding a resume for
grad school.
now: Youjust spent four years tryingto
gethere. Four years ofputtingtogether
the right GPA, test scores, the ideal
blend of activities and finally the per-
fect application. Get out of that mode.
Stop trying to look good on paper. If
you came to the University knowing
exactly your career path, I salute you.
But for therest thathave no idea where
your interests lie, don't look for them
by blindly scrolling through Maize
Pages. Most of you came from high
schools that were rife with cliques,
social mores and an overall identity.
This school is wholly unlike any of
them, and I urge you to find yourself
during your freshman year before you
get lost in the campus culture.
My second reason is that all orga-
nizations on the University cam-
pus are fervently - no, voraciously
- seeking new recruits. Students on
the Diag will attempt to lure you in
almost daily with promises of candy
or a cool-looking game, shouting at
you to join up. Freshmen, pleaseresist
this overachiever-esque, psychologi-

cal bullying. These people seem tobe
gentle, sane creatures, but if you are
apathetic to their aims or maybe just
want a pink Starburst, beware. They
have been known to become hostile.
For example, a girl once yelled at me
for ignoring her, when in fact I had
simply said, "No, thank you," quietly.
A tactic I find works exceptionally
well when pressed with club hecklers
is to hurriedly walk as if angry. It may
not be possible to get to class with-
out having brightly colored papers
forced into your hand, but it's better
than the alternative of falling victim.
Never give out your full name and
guard your uniqname with your life.
I assure you, if you express the least
bit of interest in an organization, you
will be hunted down.
Don't hurry to
get involved your
freshman year.
Save yourself during your fresh-
man year. You're here at the mythical
land of college and you're still pretty
free. Your first year is not the time
to grow up, and chances are you're
still going to have to do some menial
labor this coming summer instead
of an internship in New York or D.C.
or Timbuktu. You have three more
years after this one to figure out the
meaning of "involvement," the right
"career," and the extent of that little
sucker "responsibility." In the mean-
time, go ahead, have a little fun.
- Vanessa Rychlinski can be'
reached at vanrych@umich.edu.

'U' needs to stop inhumane
animal training techniques
By continuing to allow pigs and cats to be
harmed and killed in its Survival Flight course
for nurses, the University - my undergraduate
alma mater - is violating both the spirit and the
letter of federal laws designed to protect animals
in laboratories (PETA files complaint against 'U'
Survival Flight course, 09/13/2010).
The Animal Welfare Act states that animal
use in experiments or training should only be
approved when non-animal methods are "not
available." It's impossible for the University to
meet this burden when evaluating the use of
animals for the life support skills covered in its
Survival Flight course because other Univer-
sity advanced training courses use sophisticated
human patient simulators. Simulation manne-
quins are recognized as the preferred standard
for teaching because they allow trainees to prac-
tice on accurate anatomy and repeat procedures
until they are adept.
Just last year, the University's Graduate Medi-
cal Education Committee announced that simu-
lators would replace the use of animals in the
school's Advanced Trauma Life Support course
- a course for physicians and nurses that covers
the same procedures that pigs are still being cut
up and killed for in.Survival Flight.
When I was a law student at Texas Tech Uni-
versity, the school ended the use of cats for pedi-
atric intubation training. This is the skill that is
still being taught by maiming cats in Survival
Flight even though the University's Pediatric
Advanced Life Support course already teaches
this skill using simulators exclusively.
The use of animals in the Survival Flight
course is morally, scientifically and legally unjus-
tifiable. I hope that the University will take the
high road, admit that it can do better and make
easy - but necessary - curricular changes that
benefit humans and animals. Until then, I've
given up my membership to the Alumni Associa-
tion and have let the school know not to expect
any more checks. I hope people follow suit.
Robyn Katz

RecycleBank is flawed in
spite of incentive program
Wednesday's editorial gave an overly sim-
plistic view of the RecycleBank incentive pro-
gram (Bank on Recycling, 9/15/2010). Though
the initiative will help students' limited bud-
gets, which is great news, the Daily also said
that the program would "promote environ-
mental friendliness." That statement that isn't
necessarily true.
It is a bitter pill to swallow that in many
cases, recycling an item does not make up
for the environmental destruction caused by
manufacturing it - especially when it comes
to plastics. This is true because the bottles and
other items we buy on a daily basis are almost
always made of entirely virgin plastic. When
we recycle them, they are not made into new
plastic bottles. Instead, they are "downcycled"
into lower-quality plastic products which are
later put into landfills. In fact, curbside recy-
cling programs often accept and throw away
plastics that cannot even be recycled, in order
to avoid confusion among consumers. Recy-
cling is critical and can be very effective, but
it's not a perfect system.
Furthermore, since points are accumulated
using a sensor in the bins, people will be tempt-
ed to recycle items that should be put in the
trash (i.e. used napkins, paper towels and food
waste). This is troublesome because spilled
food can ruin paper products and make them
no longer recyclable.
Finally, the RecycleBank program is likely to
encourage overconsumption. Rewarding larg-
er quantities of waste - even if that waste is
recyclable - will only reinforce our obsession
with convenience foods and disposable prod-
ucts. RecycleBank should be regarded with
skepticism. It is, after all, a company looking to
make money, not an objective authority teach-
ing right from wrong.
There are advantages to the RecycleBank
program if it teaches some students to use
their recycling bins and helps them financially.
However, we should always bear in mind that
"reduce" and "reuse" come first for a reason.

The Daily's opinion blog offers you words of wisom. In Erika Mayer's experience,
fish don't make very good pets in the residence halls. Go to michigandaily.com and click on 'Blogs'.
The battle for State Street

This summer I sat on a panel of
University students as prospec-
tive applicants asked questions
about what it is
like to be a Wolver-
ine. The panelists I
eagerly jumped at
the opportunities
to explain just what
it's like to live in Ann
Arbor and proud-
ly claim the title'
"Leaders and Best."
But one ques- TYLER
tion caught us off JONES
guard. A prospec-
tive student asked,
"I walk around
State Street on football Saturdays and
I love the atmosphere, but there is so
much drinking everywhere. What is
being done about that?" The five of us
panelists exchanged glances and man-
aged awkward giggles as we fumbled
for a response that could put this appli-
cant's mind at ease. But no answer
came. Instead, the moderator jumped
into action, deflecting the question and
moving the discussion to something
more digestible.
That question lingered with me
because we had no answer. Though
underage drinking occurs on college
campuses across the nation, Univer-
sity officials must not shy away from
developing and enforcing a compre-
hensive plan to combat this problem.
According to collegedrinking-
prevention.gov, roughly 850 college
students between the ages of 18 and
21 died in 2009 as a result of alcohol-
related injuries. That boils down to
about two students each day. Addi-
tionally, about 300,000 students in
that range are injured as a result of
alcohol. That is the equivalent of
about 822 students - or nearly the
entire capacity of East Quad - every
single day. Though the public health
community acknowledges the inher-
ent dangers of underage drinking,
most of society has ignored the sta-

tistics. Underage drinking remains a
staple of football Saturday on cam-
puses across the nation.
The National Institute of Alco-
hol Abuse and Alcoholism says that
roughly 83 percent of college stu-
dents drink. Clearly, this is not a
problem only at the University. But
perhaps the main factor that inhibits
the development of a cohesive plan to
combat underage drinking on campus
is that some simply don't see this epi-
demic as a problem. From my friends
in South Quad last year who were
caught drinking to the parents of high
school friends who sit idly by while
underage drinking occurs in their
homes, alcohol is often seen simply as
a rite of passage for adolescents.
But I don't shake my finger at
underage drinking simply because
it's against the law. If some students
must rely on alcohol during every
football tailgate and late night mixer
to relax, a social crutch is formed and
being truly comfortable in any social
setting without alcohol becomes less
likely. Surgeon General Dr. Kenneth
Moritsugu sumed it up best in his
2007 Call to Action to Prevent and
Reduce Underage Drinking. He said,
"Adolescent alcohol use is not an
acceptable rite of passage but a seri-
ous threat to adolescent development
and health."
Based on the NIAAA's calculations,
roughly 21,000 of Michigan's 26,208
undergraduates drink alcohol. Accord-
ing to a statement released by the
Department of Public Safety, "Begin-
ning September 2 through Septem-
ber 9, 2010, the Washtenaw County
Sheriff's Office and the Saline Police
Department, in partnership with the
University of Michigan Department of
Public Safety, will be on the lookout for
underage drinkers." According to the
press release, "Research and experi-
ence confirm strong enforcement helps
to reduce underage drinking..." Crack-
ing down on underage drinking will
combat, "alcohol poisoning, impaired

driving and suicide," the statement
said. On the first night of the increased
enforcement alone, 48 tickets were
issued and two arrests were made.
This is tremendous progress for
local law enforcement that clearly
recognizes the inherent dangers of
underage drinking. But I can't help but
wonder why this "crackdown" war-
ranted a press release. Is it news that
a law enforcement agency is enforcing
the law? Perhaps if the strict enforce-
ment of the legal drinking age didn't
happen only seven days out of every
school year, this would seem like less of
a headline. One can't help but wonder
if local law enforcement has a plan to
combat this ubiquitous problem for the
remainder of the year.
Underage drinking
is not an adolescent
rite of passage.
I remember when I attended Cam
pus Day my senior year of high school.
Eager to tour the Diag and explore the
ivy-covered buildings, I was instead
greeted with a raucous game of vol-
leyball on State Street and the bitter
smell of stale alcohol. The University
is first and foremost an institution of
higher learning with a long history of
tackling some of the world's toughest
problems. Before we are to meet the
challenges that face the international
community, we must develop a policy
to combat this life-threatening prob-
lem at home. However, if we choose
to sit idly by, we must be prepared to
defend this response to every incom-
ing student who simply wants a world-
class education.
- Tyler Jones can be reached
at tylerlj@umich.edu.

The letter-writer is a University alum and cur-
rent legal fellow with People for the Ethical Tess Nugent
Treatment ofAnimals. LSA sophomore

Aida Ali, Jordan Birnholtz, Adrianna Bojrab, Will Butler, Michelle DeWitt,
Ashley Griesshammer Will Grundler, Jeremy Levy, Erika Mayer, Emily Orley, Harsha Panduranga,
Tommaso Pavone, Leah Potkin, Asa Smith, Brittany Smith, Laura Veith

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