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September 13, 2010 - Image 4

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4A - Monday, September 13, 2010

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

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 represent solely the views ofttheir authors.
Textbook case of spending
Faculty members must help lower textbook costs
A new school year means time to hit the books, but soaring
textbook prices have students reaching time and time again
for their wallets. But there could be hope for students' sav-
ings accounts in the near future following the introduction of a
federal law that requires professors to post a list of textbooks for
their classes during registration. This new regulation could signif-
icantly benefit the student body and the University faculty should
recognize the law's potential to help their students. The provision
provides a sensible rule for faculty members to follow, but teachers
should take the initiative to find ways to decrease the cost of books
even further.


Constructing the Constitution

On Jul. 1, a provision to the Higher
Education Opportunity Act that require
professors at schools that receive federal
funding to post textbook lists at the time of
registration became effective. According
to figures from the Student Public Interest
Research Group, students spend an aver-
age of $900 on textbooks each year. The
regulation aims to decrease that expense.
But many students said the new rules
won't change their shopping habits despite
new, cheaper options being available to
them, according to a report last week in
the Daily.
Students should take advantage of the
provision. It will give students more time
to buy textbooks. This means that students
will have more opportunity to compare
prices from websites and local bookstores.
Granting access to required readings prior
to the start of school would give students
ample time to scan through textbook
websites like Half.com, Amazon.com and
Cheapbooks.com before waiting in line
at local University bookstores. The added
competition could help to encourage local
bookstores to offer more books to rent
a significantly cheaper option - and per-
haps even drive down prices.
In addition to the benefit of lowering stu-

dent costs, this law could potentially help
students become more prepared for class.
As such, faculty should make every effort
to comply with the regulation. They can
start by making sure to post book lists in
accordance with this policy change. But
to ensure students don't buy non-required
books, faculty should also indicate specifi-
cally which texts are required and which
are optional for further reading.
University faculty should also recognize
that complying with this law isn't limited
to posting book lists early. At its core, the
law is meant to alleviate the burden of
costs on students. In keeping with the spir-
it of the law, University faculty members
should consider choosing less expensive,
textbooks when feasible. Faculty should
also make additional books available on
reserve at the library and consider posting
more reading excerpts online via CTools.
With the rising costs of higher educa-
tion, this provision could help students
manage tight budgets responsibly. And
faculty members should go the extra mile
to provide students with textbook lists and
possibly cheaper alternatives to expensive
textbooks. The federal government has
done its job, now it is up to faculty to make
the policy reach as far as possible.

Summarizing a silly debate with
casual British nonchalance,
Charles Brooker, a columnist
for The Guard-
ian, wrote: "I once
had a poo in a pub
about two minutes'
walk from Buck-
ingham Palace.
I was not subse-
quently arrested
and charged with
crapping directly
onto the Queen's IMRAN
pillow. That's how
'distance' works" SYED
('Ground Zero _
mosque'? The real-
ity is lessprovocative, 08/23/2010).
As the ninth anniversary of Sept.11
passes, we once again take a moment
to reflect how much the world
changed that day. But the physics of
"distance" still doesn't bend for sen-
timentality, and Brooker's point is
well taken. The supposed "Ground
Zero mosque" is being built a good
two minutes' walk away from ground
zero, and in New York City, that's a
buffer zone of countless buildings
and tens of thousands of people.
Liberal know-it-ails have embraced
this side of the story and mocked cer-
tain oblivious conservatives who insist
that Ground Zero has special sig-
nificance, and no mosque can be built
there. But in indulging this idiotic side
debate, the actual important point is
lost - if the First Amendment is still
good, that mosque can be built even
on the hallowest of grounds, proper
building permits considered.
But suddenly that's not the argu-
ment. By advocating the most ludi-
crous extreme possible, the Right has
managed to water down the debate
so much that a principled stand for
a fundamental constitutional right is
off the table. And recently, scumbag
Donald Trump offered to just buy
up land at a premium to prevent the
mosque from being built there. Such

benighted ignorance is a grave mis-
take, reminiscent of this country's
greatest failure: Segregation. One
part of that story follows.
Mayor Johnny Smith was a fine
man. As recounted in Kevin Boyle's
award-winning book, "Arc of Jus-
tice," Smith was elected in 1924 and
guided Detroit through tumultuous
times. Despite the city's spiraling
prosperity - thanks to the industrial
boom that made Detroit America's
fourth largest city - racial tensions
created dangerous unrest.
A Polish-Catholic who came up
from the streets of the city's East Side,
Smith was working class through and
through. He was a champion of the
huddled masses who madeup the mas-
sive, miserable underbelly of Detroit's
industrial juggernaut, and Smith's
election was a step for progress. .
And Johnny Smith never really.
changed. He always remained a
champion of the poor, the weak and
even the black. But when times got
tough, he made the mistake of accept-
ing compromise on the question of
basic civil rights. On such things,
there can never be compromise.
Detroit had clearly segregated
housingeven as early as the 1920s. But
black professionals who had earned
a reputation and a fortune thought
they deserved better. If they had the
moneyto move to a nicer house on the
white side of town, wasn't that their
right as Americans?
So thought Dr. Alexander Turner,
a respected black surgeon. And he
probably still thought it while hud-
dled in a pool of blood on the floor
of his car as his chauffeur sped away
from an angry white mob that had
just thrown Turner out of his new
house. So thought Dr. Ossian Sweet,
whose murder trial for firing into
another angry white mob seeking to
evict him is one of the most famous in
Michigan's annals of justice.
And sotoo, thought Johnny Smith.
Certainly black people had the right

to live wherever they wished, Smith
said in an open letter printed in the
city's newspapers on Sept. 12, 1925.
But, he went on to say: "It does not do
for any man to demand to the fullest
any right which the law gives him."
Black people, Smith believed, needed
to calm down, play nice and stop try-
ing to exercise rights they technically
did have.
The "Ground '
Zero mosque" is a
civil rights issue.

Smith was wrong. Black peoples
right to live anywhere they please
means nothing unless they are pro-
tected in choosing to live peacefully
among white neighbors who do Vt
want them there.
Today we recognize that truth.
Perhaps one day soon we'll recognize
another truth as well: If freedom of
religion still exists in this country,
Muslims can build a mosque (within
fair ordinances and with permits)
wherever they damn well please.
Hallowed ground? That'swhat
those white mobs said of white neigh-
borhoods. But thankfully, it's st#l
America, and the Constitution doesn't
make such fickle exceptions. Dr. Sweet
had the great Clarence Darrow and
Frank Murphy - the University law
school's two proudest alumni - to
ensure that even an all-white jury was
convinced of that crucial truth.
The mobs gather again now, in New
York and elsewhere, to deny a minor-
ity group its constitutional rights.
Who will rise against the madness to
defeat them this time?
- Imran Syed can be reached
at galad@umich.edu.

The Daily opinion blog is open for business. Jeremy Levy wonders if the Daily
is too rough on MSA. And Erika Mayer reminds you to call your mother.
Bridge the healthy food gap


Millennials take Manhattan

Let's face some facts. We live in a state in
which many cities are ridden with fast food
and cheap corner store goods, but lack acces-
sible nutritious food. I understand what you're
probably saying to yourself: "This kid is about
to go all Food, Inc. on me." Though I admire
your guess, it's not completely correct.
Living in Ann Arbor is nearly a delusional
experience. This year, I'm in a residence hall
equipped with a cafe designated to serve vege-
tarian and vegan meals. On my two-block walk
to class each morning, I pass at least three or
four restaurants that serve local produce and
consider their menu sustainable. What I mean
is that Ann Arbor could probably serve as Al
Gore's mythical oasis. But it's easy to forget
that although Ann Arbor may be a hotbed for
yuppie culture, we too have our own plight in
respect to nutritional food accessibility.
In Ann Arbor, although nutritious food may
be aplenty, accessibility for disenfranchised
citizens borders the impossible. According to a
Hunger in America 2010 study, there have been
approximately 44,000 new recipients of food
assistance since 2006, as reported by annarbor.
com in February. The average benefit for U.S.
recipients of aid in 2009 was $133.12 per month.
I'm not quite sure when you last stepped into
the Ann Arbor Whole Foods, but a dinner for a
family of five could quite possibly cost $133.12.
The consequences on the community are
grim. To combat the problem of high prices, the
recipients of aid often buy processed and fatty
foods from cheap neighborhood stores. Health
problems causedby poor diet have reached an all
time high nationwide. They are especially acute
in low-income citizens from Michigan - citizens
to whom healthy foods are virtually unavailable.
The Fair Food Network of Michigan recog-
nized this fundamental need in numerous com-
munities across the state. According to a story
published on annarbor.com on Sept. 7, the FFN
recognized a dire need in the Ann Arbor area,
and established a "Double Up Food Bucks"

program in both the Ypsilanti Farmers Market
and Ann Arbor's Westside Market in Kerry-
town. The "Double Up Food Bucks" incentive
enhances the Ann Arbor Farmers Market's cur-
rent program, which accepts food stamps and
other food assistance programs in exchange for
Michigan-grown fruits and vegetables.
Though the Ann Arbor Farmers Market
made headway by accepting food assistance
money last year, the fault was not with their
program, but with food culture as a whole.
Buying a $5 head of lettuce at the market was
previously fiscally irresponsible to the average
recipient of aid, especially when those five dol-
lars could be spent for a larger quantity of food
elsewhere. "Double Up Food Bucks" puts an end
to this nutritional calamity. The new program
now doubles bridge card spending at the mar-
ket up to $20. Do the math. Someone who would
regularly spend $20 at the market now gets $40
worth of fresh groceries.
Programs like "Double Up Food Bucks"
clearly aren't feasible in every community, but
local and federal governments should attempt
to connect with organizations that encour-
age nutritionally conscious and local food aid
for the poor and maligned. If based on noth-
ing more than basic economic virtue, it's in the
state government's best interests to keep its aid
money rooted in Michigan. Local food makes
sense. Farmers in Michigan benefit economical-
ly, the carbon footprint of locally produced food
is much less than its processed counterpart and
the nutritional benefits trump those of nation-
ally produced and packaged products.
We have a duty to our posterity and our-
selves to support agencies - like the Fair Food
Network - that evoke socially responsible
ideas. The opportunity to invest in our future
is now. As a society, we have the chance to
flourish by encouraging healthy alternatives -
or die by our own fork and knife.
Eaghan Davis is an LSA freshman.

Some things I learned this sum-
mer: I can't afford to be well-
nourished in New York City,
professional peo-
ple also kill time at
work by watching
YouTube videos
and the first task.
for most people of
our generation at
our first jobs will
be disproving the
assumption that -
we're ignorant LIBBY
and entitled. Face- ASHTON
book's creator,
Mark Zuckerberg,
has given our gen-
eration's reputation a boost but it's
just not enough for our faces to be
seen over the towering images of
Snooki and Heidi Montag.
During my internship this sum-
mer, I made a good first impres-
sion on my boss, whose friends had
exchanged horror stories about
incompetent interns and warned her
not to have high hopes. All I had to do
to exceed expectations was to know
how to converse with her and not roll
my eyes at her.
Maybe all the praise and reinforce-
ment that's paved my way to young
adulthood has blurred my self-concept
of 18- to 26-year-olds. But I thought
we, asa unit of Millenials, were amaz-
ing and everyone knew it. But I've
heard our generation described as
delusional and conceited.
We have a reputation for acting
entitled, lazy and being incapable of
completing any actual work. Maybe
we're decent students and creative
enough to turn out some impressive
iPhoto albums, but we're digging our-
selves into a hole in the field of real-
world work - which is a pretty dried
up place to begin with.
I think our generation is misun-
derstood - by everyone, including
us. The New York Times Magazine

recently published a ten-page piece
by Robin Marantz Henig called
"What Is It About 20-Somethings?"
in which she discusses the work of
psychologist Jeffrey Arnett, who
attempts to make sense of some of the
confusing and contradictory charac-
teristics of what he calls "emerging
adulthood." This piece - along with
conversations with my summer boss
and others - gave my picture of our
demographic some clarity.
I now have a grasp on two visions
of today's emerging adults. One is
that we're a group of spoiled, cod-
dled, developmentally stunted, over-
grown children who irrationally
expect praise and success where
none is due. The other is that we're
inspired, enlightened, uncompromis-
ing, justice-oriented change agents
who look past the recession and the
politically-infected federal govern-
ment to see a better world - and are
willing to work for it.
Parts of each of these descriptions
have always characterized 20-some-
things, while other parts are specific
to our generation. Since the turn of
the twentieth century, psychologists
have been aware of the "sense of pos-
sibilities" that exists in young people.
However, our generation has been
uniquely described as the "happiness
generation" - we prioritize personal
fulfillment above all else. So those
two qualities together explain why
we turn down our fourth choice job
offer: we won't be miserable and we
know something better exists. It's
not, in most cases, because we're lazy
and want more money.
There are those who say that soci-
ety's acceptance of our generation
putting off the start of a family until
our 30s and taking our time to figure
out the exact career path we want to
follow is allowing us to stay children
forever. Stalling commitment, how-
ever, doesn't necessarily mean we're
stalling our adult selves from emerg-

ing. Many of us are investing a lot of
energy and serious consideration to
figuring out what, exactly, will bring
us the most fulfillment and how,
exactly, we want to impact the world.
Our generation
has a reputation for
acting entitled.
Before jumping into a committed
relationship, a career and a mort,
gage (some or all of which I plan td
have before I'm thirty), I want to do
whatever I can to ensure "the dreary,
dead-end jobs, the bitter divorces, the
disappointing and disrespectful chil,
dren" - as TheNewYork Times Maga5
zine putit - are not a part of my future
and Arnett's research says 96 percent
of you, as 20-somethings, don't sel
that in your futures either. Our critic
see this period of exploration and con-
sideration as arrested development
which I suppose it is if we're hiding
from adulthood instead of sizing it u
and seeing where we fit into it.
We should feel grateful for th4
opportunity to create a foundatioj
for personal fulfillment and we nee4
to be watchful of our tendency t4
expect that happiness will be handed *
to us. We have to work hard for it
right now. And to our future bosses,
It's a win-win because'once we figurq
out what work will make us happy,
we'll gladly do a lot of itfor you. We're
the same kids who had to get int
college during the most competitiv
applicant climate ever - we know 0
how to work hard, we just won't do i
unless we believe in it.
- Libby Ashton can be reached
at eashton@umich.edu

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

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