4 - Friday, March 18, 2011 ,
The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com
4 - Friday, March 18, 2011 The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom
C4 ichigan atlv
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STEPHANIE STEINBERG and EMILY ORLEY KYLE SWANSON
EDITOR IN CHIEF EDITORIAL PAGE EDITORS MANAGING EDITOR
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.
Attorney General needs to support what's lawful
Many employees struggle to separate where their profession-
al lives end and their personal lives begin. In 2009, Julea
Ward was dismissed from Eastern Michigan University's
counseling program after she refused to counsel a gay student seeking
help. According to the Detroit Free Press, Ward informed her supervi-
sor that because of her religious beliefs she thinks that homosexual-
ity is immoral and she couldn't support a gay student's relationship as
part of her training. Following her dismissal, Ward sued EMU, citing
religious discrimination. She claims the university infringed upon her
First Amendment rights, and her removal from the program was cen-
tered on her unwillingness to change her beliefs.
E-MAIL JEFF AT JEFFDZ@UMICH.EDU
1e.7 - 1-.8 = ? a 0 f o r a g u y w it h t h re e d e g re e s...
1.7-1.8=? j > . Mata.?
~ ~*Snyder sure needs is brash a
on his math
He passes legislation
So let's getthis straight: cateringto rich cEo's...
Governor Snyder hopes to
balance the budget by ..while ticking off teachers,
increasing senior and students, senior citizens,
working-class taxes by unionized labor, the middle
$1.7 million...class and the working
class all at once. a
.and then giving
All "grown up"
According to a March 14 AnnArbor.com
article, a federal court dismissed Ward's case
in July. Though Ward and her attorneys are
within their rights in asking the United States
Court of Appeals to reconsider the case, the
court's original decision should be upheld.
EMU adheres to the Code of Ethics of the
American Counseling Association and the Eth-
ical Standards of the American School Coun-
selor Association. The American Counseling
Association's "Layperson's Guide to Counselor
Ethics" states "professional counselor(s) will
treat (patients) with respect and dignity, espe-
cially in regard to age, color, culture, disability,
ethnic group, gender, race, religion, sexual ori-
entation, marital status, or socioeconomic sta-
tus" By these standards, Ward clearly did not
adhere to her responsibilities as a counselor.
Ward's case isn't about religious discrimi-
nation. EMU is within their rights to dismiss
agraduate student who wouldn't represent the
professional integrity the school expectsgrad-
uates to uphold. Counselors have an obliga-
tion to behave in a proper way - obviously one
which befits the open-mindedness required
in their profession. Ward herself was clearly
discriminating against a demographic of stu-
dents, which is wrong regardless of her rea-
soning. Would a medical school allow students
to graduate if they informed their supervisors
they would not provide medical treatment to
African-American patients? The answer in
that case, as it is in this case, is clear.
No one is questioning Ward's rights to her
personal religious views. The issue is her
unwillingness to perform her job as she was
expected to, and because she failed in her
responsibilities, she was dismissed. The judi-
cial system has recognized this once, and the
appellate court should do the same.
What's most troubling is Michigan Attor-
ney General Bill Schuette's decision to release
a statement in support of Ward. He claimed
that religious freedoms don't fall by the way-
side on college campuses and that EMU is
setting a dangerous precedent that threatens
all students of faith. This statement ignores
the professional standards that Ward refused
to uphold. Even more concerning is Schuette
taking a stance at all: After former Attorney
General Mike Cox's questionable handling of
the Andrew Shirvell incident - in which the
assistant attorney general accused Michigan
Student Assembly President Chris Armstrong
of having a "radical homosexual agenda" -
Shuette's statement continues an alarming
trend of discrimination against homosexuals.
Contrary to Schuette's beliefs, Ward was
not dismissed for being a Christian, but rather
for failingto perform her job duties. It's impor-
tant that the First Amendment not be used as a
safety net for discrimination.
Irecently had an out-of-body
Let me set the scene for you.
I've been student teaching at Brigh-
ton High School
for a little more
than two months
now. At this stage
in the game, I'm
doi"g most of the
day. I'm planning
rules and trying RACHEL
to ensure that VAN GILDER
learning is actu-
For the most part, it's going really
well. Like with any job, there are
good days and bad days. There are
students who I really appreciate and
students who I just can't figure out.
But overall, I'm beginning to figure
out what kind of teacher I am.
But back to my out-of-body expe-
rience. It happened when I made
a pit stop in the restroom - which
probably isn't the most idyllic setting
for a revelation. I was wearing what
Kathryn Young, the coordinator
for the Undergraduate Secondary
Teacher Education Program in the
School of Education, calls "teacher
clothes" - which consist of sensible
slacks and a blouse - and a little bit
of makeup. After I finished washing
my hands, I looked up into the mir-
ror above the sink to check my hair.
I stopped and had to stare at myself
for a few seconds.
The young woman in the mirror
who was looking back at me was a
I didn't have a lot of time to con-
template the feeling at the time.
There were 28 high school seniors
waiting for me to talk about "All
Quiet on the Western Front." But
when I got home after school, I took
a few moments to consider what had
I remembered that scene in
"Finding Neverland" when Johnny
Depp, portraying the author of Peter
Pan, J.M. Barrie, tells the character
George Llewelyn Davies, "Some-
where during the last 30 seconds,
you've become a grown-up."
The moment I experienced felt
something like that. It was kind of
like getting a kick in the face. Bam!
You're an adult. Or, perhaps more
accurately, other people think you're
an adult. That's a pretty terrifying
thought when those other people are
high school seniors.
The students who I teach are gen-
erally a rambunctious bunch. They
are energetic, witty and never give
me a break. At 17 and 18 years old,
they think they're wise in the ways
of the world and that there's nothing
anyone can teach them about any-
It wasn't that long ago that I was
these students. When I was 17, I
thought I knew everything too. But,
of course, I was wrong. Now, at 21
years old, I'm about to graduate. I
spent a year as the editorial page
editor of a fantastic college newspa-
per discussing tense, controversial
issues with some very bright people.
I think I know a fair amount about
the way the world works. But when
I get that feeling, I wonder what I'll
think of 21-year-old Rachel when
I'm 25and 29 and 34.
Graduation gets a little nearer
and more real every day. I'm looking
toward the future with a mixture of
excitement and blind terror. After
May, I'm going to need to have a job
lined up, I'm going to need a loan
to buy a car and I'm going to need
But at the same time, though I had
that feeling in the restroom, some-
times I still feel like I'm just playing
dress-up when I walk into the class-
room each day in business casual. I
look back at my senior year of high
school and wonder if I'll ever actu-
ally grow up or if I'll be clinging to
the second starfromthe rightfor the
rest of my life.
One day we will
all realize that
we are adults.
The purpose of college is for us
to start to become grown-ups. We
learn about chemistry, economics
and ourselves. But for the most part,
we still think of ourselves as kids.
Many of us are still dependent upon
our parents. As much as we want to
show how smart, sophisticated and
well-prepared for the world we are,
we're still just a bunch of college
At some point, we're all going to
have an epiphany that we're grown
up. Maybe this already happened
for you. If it hasn't, prepare yourself
now, because it's coming. It might
not happen until you get engaged or
you get your first promotion, but it's
going to happen. And you'll realize
that you are not Peter Pan, and you
are goingto have to grow up.
-Rachel Van Gilder was the Daily's
editorial page editor in 2010. She can
be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
EDITORIAL BOARD MEMBERS:
Aida Ali, Will Butler, Ellie Chessen, Michelle DeWitt, Ashley Griesshammer,
Melanie Kruvelis, Patrick Maillet, Erika Mayer, Harsha Nahata, Emily Orley,
Harsha Panduranga, Teddy Papes, Asa Smith, Seth Soderborg, Andrew Weiner
ASA SMITH I
Beware of feral pigs
--the The Best of The Michigan Difference: Look at The Podium to
odi msee this Week's top five MichDiff.com posts.
p IJ U I1 Go to michigandaily.com/blogs/The Podium
Snyder, I'm disappointed
There is a large issue in this state that very
few in Lansing are doing anything about. The
economy can wait - that comes and goes in
cycles. The prison system? Someone else can
handle that problem. I am talking, of course,
about the massive amounts of feral pigs run-
ning around this state, not to mention this
I know what you're thinking: Asa, this is a
ridiculous premise. There is no feral pig prob-
lem. You are clearly not putting enough time
into researching your work. I say to you, dear
reader, that you are wrong. Accordingto a Feb.
5 article in the Detroit News, anywhere from
3,000 to 5,000 of these dangerous pigs are
roaming around Michigan, possibly in your
The issue has gotten so out of hand that
these pigs have been given the ultimate in
hunting go-ahead. According to Depart-
ment of Natural Resources and Environment
spokesperson Mary Detloff, "Basically, our
policy is shoot first and ask questions later."
That's right, if you see one of these pigs you
can shoot to kill. But this isn't just an inconve-
nience for the state - the pigs are lethal. They
dig three feet into the ground, they destroy
acres of farmland and they can hit speeds of
30 mph. These sometimes 200-pound boars
can annihilate your land, eat your food, mate
with your sows and be gone before the rooster
crows to wake you up in the morning.
Not only are they large, nasty and pesky,
they also apparently are becoming wary of our
attempts at putting them down. One enterpris-
ing family had to build traps over the course of
a month because the pigs were catching on to
the movements of their enemies. We are offi-
cially at the point where we can stop being
concerned about Watson - the IBM computer
that competed on Jeopardy - killing us all,
and we can fear the true enemy of the future
- the hyper intelligent wild boar. Nothing is
more frighteningthan a 200-pound beast with
tusks moving 30 mph straight at you.
Luckily, there are some who are braver than
I. One particularly confident hunter claimed
in the Detroit News story that all the state
needed to do was put a bounty on the head of
the pigs. Throwing down the gauntlet, this
hunter said that ifa bounty was instituted the
pigs "wouldn't be a problem for very long."
The Detroit News has for years run articles
about the danger of the Asian Carp and the
risk they pose to the Great Lakes. However,
according to Dennis Fijalkowski, the execu-
tive director of the Michigan Wildlife Conser-
vancy, our fears have been misplaced. In the
same Detroit news article, he said, "People
are concerned about Asian Carp entering the
Great Lakes, but these pigs are already here."
So there you have it. The real danger animal
in the state is not some carp from Chicago, but
the pigs we have roaming our land right now. I
am going to let Fijalkowski have the last word
in this article due to his magnificent way with
words: "They are the enemy and should be
shot on sight."
Asa Smith is LSA Junior.
I wanted to give you a chance, Gov. Rick Snyder. I
really did. Your campaign as "One Tough Nerd" made
me chuckle. You seemed to be more moderate than your
Republican counterparts. You were a fresh face in a
dated crowd. But something about you just wasn't right.
Something about you was off, so I proceeded to vote
for your opponent Virg Bernero. When you won, I told
myself, "Whatever. I'm not too upset. He seems capable.
Let's give him a chance." Today, I realize I was wrongto
do so. I have lost all faith in you, Governor Snyder. Sadly,
it only took less than two months for me to feel this way.
It first started with your tax modifications. Logic
would say that, in order to balance the budget, you
would need to raise taxes. ButI don't think you thought
this through properly. You proceeded to raise taxes
for the poor and our senior citizens, which left me
confused. Where's the logic in that? Shouldn't those
who can actually afford to pay taxes be the ones to pay
taxes? I'm not saying we should raise taxes on the rich
or middle class by dramatic measures, but don't you
think it's a bit bizarre to make those who are suffering
suffer even more?
Then came the budget cuts. I knew they would be
harsh like you promised in your campaign, but even
with that anticipation in mind, I was left appalled.
Due to your massive cuts to education, Detroit Public
Schools is closing 70 of its 142 schools next school year.
Classroom sizes will swell to 60 students a class (that
is, if kids actually attend school in those horrible condi-
tions). Your logic is that charter schools will come in to
fill the void, but can you really expect this to happen in
a matter of months? DPS has been in a state of chaos for
years. Instead of trying to fix the problem, you decide
to cut education, which in turn will lead to more kids
not attending schools, higher crime rates and a lower
graduation rate - if it can go any lower. I know this is
cliche, but if we want to fix our future, shouldn't the
one thing we invest inbe education? According to you,
And, I found out you passed the Financial Manager
Bill? This law gives you the power to remove elected
local officials from power and place your own staff in
their place. Also, when you exercise this power, you will
be able to nullify collective bargaining agreements. Are
you even watching what's going on in Wisconsin? Don't
you think that this bill gives you too much of an iron fist?
Weren't you complaining about President Barack Obama
abusing his power? Where's the respect for the demo-
cratic process?It's one thingto provide strugglingtowns
with financial aid, financial experts and suggest alterna-
tive measures. It's another thing entirely to sidestep the
electoral process and dictate to a town you don't live in.
Enough is enough, Snyder. Iam sick and tired of your
destruction of our state. You have gone too far. It's only
been two months, but I think a little bit of change is in
order - whether that is in your mindset as governor,
the mindset of the people who have been content with
your failure or maybe even a change in who should be
in the governor's chair. I don't have all the answers to
our state's problems - they are complex and confusing
issues that don't have perfect answers. But I do know
that the solutions and methods you have used to address
our problems, thus far, make about as much sense as
burning our state to the ground with kerosene and Zippo
lighters. Actually, that might be a bit less destructive at
Tobias Franz is an Engineering sophomore.
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