2B The Statement // Wednesday, September 22, 2010
Wednesday, September 22, 2010 // The Statement 7B
Editor in Chief.
Cover photo courtesy of ... Bryan Pickens,
a prisoner involved in the Universityof '
Michigan's Prison Creative Arts Proiject. The
painting istitied "Confiscated Goods."
The Statement is The Michigan
Daily's news magazine, distributed
every Wednesday during the
academic year. To contact The
Statement e-mail calero@michi-
Come to our LAST
mass meeting at 420
random student interview by will grundler
Hi, this is The Michigan Daily.
I'm introducing a feature
called Random Student
Interview.Would youlike to partici-
I would love to.
I've been asked to ask about current
events. So, my first question is, who
Who do I think really killed Kennedy?
It's still very much up in the air. Do
youthink it was the Russians?
Um, I would say that it was probably
Lee Harvey Oswald, but if it wasn't
him, I would blame it on a vast right-
wing conspiracy before I would blame
it on the Russians.
So, blame the Republicans is what
So, I take it you're not a political sci-
What's your major?
I'm a philosophy major.
Alright, on that note, do you think
the Michigan Student Assembly
should be dissolved or banned from
campus or both?
I would saythat with all the moneythat
the University gets, the least they can
do is let us spend some of it.
Moving on, how many of the 18,000
Dailys printed each day do youthink
are not used primarily to clean
I bet most of them get used to clean up
spills after two or three people have
So what college do you think we
could just do away with? Like the
residential college, or maybe Engi-
You have a vendetta against engineer-
ing, I see.
An Engineering major killed my
father.Whatlanguage did youtake?
Ah, moi aussi. I got like a C in it.
Je deteste dtudier le frangais.
Does that mean youlike giraffes?
So, I'm noticing that you're smok-
ing. What do you think about this
upcoming smoking ban, and what do
you intend to do about it?
I think it's funny. The sooner they start
banningsmokingon campus, the soon-
er all smokers will start pitching their
cigarette butts all over campus and
making it disgusting.
Do you think physical aggression
and actually taking a cigarette out
of a person's mouth and burning it
on their skin would work better?
I think that over the course of the
last several millennia, smokers have
proved tobe a pretty resilient bunch.
Like cockroaches. So, you know
when you're walking down the Diag
and you spot one of those annoying
people handing out fliers, and then
when they try to give you their flier,
you snatch it from their hand, crum-
I think that handing out fliers for a stu-
dent group is a pretty discouraging task
since nobody seems very interested and
out of nobody, even fewer people seem
like they'll read it.
So, would you say as a philosophy
major you get a bunch of girls all
I would say as a philosophy major, the
response is evenly divided between
three categories: people who don't care,
people who think they already know
what you're learning and people who
find whatyou do repulsive becausethey
assume you think you're smarter than
WhichI hardlydisagree with.
Uh huh. What philosopher do you
Neither. I try to keep philosophy out of
my everyday life because I've noticed
the people who try to actually apply it
to everyday situations find themselves,
you know, somewhere between Jesus
and Niche. Crazy orcrucified.
Do you think we exist in any real
sense? Or no?
I think we definitely exist, like at least
one of us.
Well, I mean I'm more certain of that
than Iam of anything else.
Anything you'd like to add? Any
to the none philosophy majors? Like,
just a motto?
group of peo-
pie that want
to have a lit-
tle bit better
to live in."
Mikey, left, leads a weekly camp
meeting. Caleb Poirier, center, is
sitting with a bag at urine tests.
Prompted by the recent discovery at
a used needle at Camp Take Notice,
Poirier proposed that everyone
anonymously single out suspected
drug users among the campers. The
residents vouted in favor of Poirier's
plan, and two residents had to pro-
vide urine samples. Both came out
clean. The camp has a strict no drug
living in a tent community instead of a
permanent shelter - lack of bathroom
facilities, no electricity, no easy access
to food or water and exposure to the
elements, to name a few - there are
other aspects of the camp that provide
a certain amount of freedom to its resi-
dents. A freedom that, to some, is diffi-
cult to attain at a shelter.
Many campers say that merely hav-
ing a space of their own, small as it may
be, is a major source of liberation. It
allows them to store their belongings
somewhere they can access anytime
they need to - a privilege lost to those
staying in a shelter, who must choose
between carrying their possessions
around all day or puttingthemin a stor-
age space at the shelterthat is only open
for a short window of time each day.
Danielle, a MISSION board member
and a resident of the camp since April,
emphasized the importance of easy-
access storage when it comes to daily
obligations like job interviews. She
said that people staying at the Delonis
Center who have job interviews have to
carrytheir nice setof clothes with them
all day, which makes them wrinkled
"It's just much simpler here because
you can ... come in just before your
interview, get ready for it, go out, do
your interview, come back, put your
clothes away, change, and then go back
out and finish your day," she said.
Joseph - at 58 years old, one of the
oldest residents at the camp - spent
the maximum permitted stay of three
months at the people at the Delonis
Center prior to moving to CTN in
June. Though he said the Delonis cen-
ter helped him as much as they could,
the campsite has attributes the shelter
simply couldn't match, despite the dif-
ficulty of everyday life at the camp.
It's been two years since Joseph lost
his job. Originally from Brooklyn, New
York, he attended the University for
part of his undergraduate education
and later received a Master's Degree
in English composition from Eastern
Michigan University. He said he fell in
love with Ann Arbor during his school-
ing and decided to settle down and
raise a family here. He taught for six
years then had a long, successful career
as a technical writer.
What remains of Joseph's savings is
in a 401(K) that he can't access until he's
59.5 years old, so like many at the camp,
he's actively looking for work but hav-
ing no luck.
Joseph praised the camp for its
open-door policy and strict but reason-
able set of rules. He also emphasized
the level of camaraderie and respect
among the individuals at camp that he
feels is missing at the shelter.
Mikey also praised the camarade-
rie and respect found at CTN, call-
ing the camp members the "warmest,
most welcoming group of people" he
has ever met.
"I didn't have a tent when I first came
out here; they helped me find atent," he
said. "If somebody comes out here with
nothing but the clothes on their back,
they'll at least put them up for the night
in a tent and try to help them out."
Schulmeister said that homeless
individuals have always been at a dis-
advantage when applying for jobs, and
now thanks to the recession, that dis-
advantage is even greater because there
are more applications for every job
"You've got students and people
with degrees and better work histories
ahead of them now competing for low-
er-paying jobs and lower-skilled jobs
just because they are desperate to find
a job," she said.
Joseph said he thinks his age and
experience are the biggest obstacles he
faces on the job hunt.
"The subtext when I look for jobs
around here is basically either too old
or too overqualified," he said. "And I
understand the first part. They can't
say that to you legally, but I can see it
on their faces. It's a very young town
demographically, it just makes sense.
I get it."
At the end of August, Joseph moved
into an apartment. He was planning to
move to Portland, Oregon if his housing
situation hadn't improved before the
winter. Now, he said, he'll be able to stay
close to his daughters.
Like Joseph, Danielle plans to leave
the camp before the cold hits. A learn-
ing disability makes it difficult for hey
to find work, buthavingspent one term
in the Marine Corps, she qualifies for
Section 8 housing through the Veter-
Mikey will move to an apartment at
the beginning of October. In September
he began working toward an associate's
degree in social work and human ser-
vices at Washtenaw Community Col-
lege. He plans to use financial aid ant'
unemployment checks, which eventu-
allycamethrough after agruelingcourt
process, to pay rent on the apartment.
However, not everyone at the camp
has a foreseeable departure from
CTN. Joseph estimated that about 50
percent of the residents, discouraged
by the economy and/or various medi-
cal conditions, have come to accept
that they won't be "typical citizens
working a job."
As for the future of CTN as a whole,
the camp will not be settled until it
finds a piece of sanctioned land where it
will be safe from the constant threat of
eviction. This has been the camp's goal
since the beginning, but it has proved
to be no easy task. Until they do find a
stable place to pitch their tents, the resi
dents of CTN will have to live with the
knowledge that the slightest provoca-
tion, like a complaint from a neighbor,
could force the authorities to invoke
trespassing laws, and the camp would
have to pick up and relocate yet again.