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April 12, 2011 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 2011-04-12

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4 -Tuesday, April12, 2011,

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Edited and managed by students at
the University of Michigan since 1890.
420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
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.
Connecting communities
North Campus needs to be more accessible
If only there was a way to move North Campus farther
south. That seemed to be the consensus of students who
attended "The North Campus Rant: The Good, The Bad
and The Dude!" last week at Pierpont Commons. About 15 stu-
dents attended the event, and they voiced their concerns about
everything from accessibility of transportation to social life
on North Campus. Some even called it a "satellite campus."


RO n w h s-i
Body image bluue


The consensus is clear - North Campus
needs to be more linked to the rest of the Uni-
versity. Many freshmen are assigned to live in
North Campus residence halls, and they often
struggle to feel connected with the rest of
campus. While the buses run fairly frequently,
students' reliance on them makes academic
and social life difficult. Among the proposals
discussed at the meeting was changes to trans-
portation to and from North Campus. New
transportation options, like a trolley system
or even a Disney World-esque tram, should be
considered to alleviate transportation woes.
But accessibility involves more than just
transportation. Currently, using computers,
printers or even getting into certain buildings
on North Campus is difficult for students who
aren't in the College of Engineering, School
of Art & Design, College of Architecture and
Urban Planning or School of Music, Theater
& Dance. Lack of access to resources is a sig-
nificant reason for students' dissatisfaction
with North Campus. The University needs
to expand accessibility to resources on North
Campus to all students, which will provide an
incentive for students to use these facilities
for schoolwork.
Students are also bothered by the lack of
social activities on North Campus. Most Uni-
versity-sponsored social events, such as UMix
and arts nights, take place on Central Campus.
While North Campus does hold drive-in mov-

ies at the North Campus Recreation Building,
there need to be more social activities on North
Campus so students who live there don't have
to travel to Central Campus each time they
want to attend a social event. Movie nights, art
exhibits and University-sponsored events like
UMix are great ways to make North Campus
more inviting.
Though North Campus feels like a "satel-
lite campus," it's a part of the University. Only
15 people showed up to last week's meeting,
which is indicative of the average student's
attitude toward North Campus: apathy.
Efforts to improve the North Campus commu-
nity, however, would likely spark enthusiasm
for students who either choose or are forced
to live there.
Many students go through their entire time
at the University without having any reason to
venture to North Campus. But if more students
actually take part in these discussions, maybe
North Campus doesn't have tobe a place that is
avoided at all costs. Students need to voice their
complaints and concerns about North Campus
because the University is listening. This is a
chance to turn North Campus into something
that feels like a part of the University.
Better accessibility and more social events
on North Campus are just a start to reconcil-
ing the estranged campus. The attitude and
interest toward the campus has to change bo
in order to revive its image.

ast week, I was practicing a
method of evasion typical for
most college students: pro-
For me this
usually means
I wind up on
some health
or food relat-
ed website in
the process of
avoiding writ- MARY
ing a paper.
That night, I DEMERY
ended up on
website. I was drawn to the headline
"Shocking Body-Image News: 97%
of Women Will Be Cruel to Their
Bodies Today." Yikes.
After conducting a survey of
300 women (all, according to the
website, of varying sizes), Glamour
found that 97 percent of the 300 did
not like what they saw when they
looked inthe mirror. Theyexpressed
this distaste via thoughts like:
"You're fat." "osh, those jeans are a
bit too tight. Not doing great things
for your pudgy thighs." "Ugh, I hate
that band of fat that hangs over my
jeans." "I look fat." These are the
horrifying, damaging thoughts that
97 percent of those 300 women utter
to themselves every day. How many
of them would say those words to a
friend? Worse still, this wasn't just
a onetime occurrence. On the con-
trary, most women thought negative
thoughts about their body 13 times
each day.
After reading the survey results, I
wondered briefly whether I was one
of the 97 percent. Then I laughed. Of
course I am. Though I'm often a fan
of my body, I'm not yet a member of
the coveted 3 percent who are actu-

ally consistently kind to their bodies.
For the next few days, Glamour's
survey results bounced around
in my head. I thought about them
when I looked in the mirror as I got
dressed. They were certainly on my
mind when I readyet another shock-
ing article about women and health
a few days later. This one was on The
New York Times Well blog, called
"An Older Generation Falls Prey to
Eating Disorders." Apparently more
and more older women are seeking
treatment for eating disorders like
anorexia, bulimia and binge eat-
ing disorder. The typical individual
seeking treatment for an eating dis-
order is a young woman. So what do
the droves of older women seeking
treatment reveal about our society?
To me, they indicate that the pres-
sure to be thin is pervasive no matter
how old you are.
Perhaps naively, I hadn't real-
ized that this was the case. I always
assumed that my occasional body
image woes were a phase, some-
thing I lived through as a teenager
and young woman and would then
discard, easily and effortlessly, when
I entered adulthood. But The New
York Times article proved other-
wise. There's a very real possibility
that I will still be bothered by my
body when I'm 40 - that is, if I don't
take action now.
This all got me wondering: How
can I start loving my body? Even as
I write this it's hard not to roll my
eyes - it sounds very hippie-dippy.
But it shouldn't have to. Lately, I've
realized that constructing your body
image doesn't have to be a passive
activity. You don't have to be as thin
as the models iiVogue', nor dd you
have to feel bad about your body if
you're not that thin.

But it does take some effort to
remember this. In our society,
unlessyou'reverythin, it's not really
acceptable to love your body. Unless
you're a size two, some would have
you think that you shouldn't love
your body - that you should only
love it once you've whittled your
frame down to a sample size. Even
on Glamour's website, where the
results of this survey also include
ways to work against negative body
image, there's a link to an article
called "Exactly what to eat to lose
weight." Where does it stop?
Pressure to be
thin persists
at all ages.

I'm learning that body image is
something that can be avoided -
much like homework. All it takes is
a little initial procrastination. I've
learned to avoid fashion websites.
I've let my subscription to Vogue
run out. I'm trying to push away
those negative thoughts: "Don't
think about that now," I repeat to
myself. Sometimes, it works: I shake
my head vigorously, or tell myself
to stop. Other times, the thought
slips in anyway. So what have I been
doing the past few days? Practicing
another method of evasion. I just
don't think about it. When athought
comes to mind, I push it out and
move on. Have I joined that 3 per-
cent? Not yet. But I'm getting there.
-Mary Demery can be reached
at mdemery@umich.edu.



Save our soldiers

The winner of the 2010 Academy Award
for Best Picture - "The Hurt Locker" - told
audiences that "war is a drug" and can be
addictive for soldiers. But war is also a drug
that can numb the senses and impair mental
capabilities. It impacts the human psyche in
unusual ways, traumatizing anyone exposed
to it, including our soldiers. On March 27,
Rolling Stone magazine published an article
about the "kill team" - a group of United
States soldiers in Afghanistan engaged in
killing innocent civilians, mutilating their
corpses, taking photographs and videos with
the corpses and, in one case, even cutting off
and carrying the finger of a dead civilian as
a memento. Disturbing, isn't it? How could
these soldiers be so cold-hearted and ruth-
less? Well, a soldier has to be ruthless in order
to be an efficient mercenary.
Corporal Jeremy Morlock and Private First
Class Andrew Holmesbegan, soldiers in the
military unit Bravo Company stationed near
Kandahar Province in Afghanistan, left their
team on one occasion "looking for someone to
kill" after a dry spell of encounters with the
enemy, the Taliban. They "picked" 15-year-old
Gul Mudin for "execution," killing him and
treating his corpse as a trophy, according to
the article. Morlock told the judge in trial that
he couldn't understand how he had lost his
moral compass. Horrifying images and vid-
eos of the killings have surfaced after being
passed on from soldier to soldier, including a
video showing soldiers attacking two Afghan
men by an airstrike while listening to cello
rock band Apocalyptica. While in many cases
- including this one - the victims were actual
enemies and not innocent civilians, soldiers
enjoying such encounters and documenting
them in photographs and videos is unethical
and against army protocol.
On the other hand, suicide rates among sol-
diers are extremely high. And frequently the
soldiers are not the only ones mourned. Time
magazine published an article in its March
issue discussing the story of Matthew Mag-
dzas, a soldier who shot his pregnant wife,
his 13-month-old daughter, the family's three
dogs and then himself on Aug. 18, 2010. He
was one of113 members of the National Guard
who committed suicide in 2010, according
to the article. Magdzas received insufficient
mental health care since his return from Iraq
in July 2007 after spending about a year there,
despite being flagged as a high suicide risk

case by the Department of Veteran Affairs.
Furthermore, the military asked him to leave
after an examination by a psychologist at Fort
Knox diagnosed his chronic post-traumatic
stress disorder. A soldier who went to Iraq
with Magdzas described this as'the reaction
of the army that believes it is "cheaper" to just
get rid of soldiers who are "broken" rather
than to rehabilitate them.
To end the life of another being is undoubt-
edly one of the most distressing human acts.
That is, if you have a normal human con-
science. A "guide" to political assassinations
published by the CIA as part of training files
during the U.S. coup in Guatemala in 1954
described murder as "not morally justifiable"
and said it shouldn't be attempted by "mor-
ally squeamish" persons. Committing mur-
der scars a person for life. There is no escape
other thanto switch off your moral conscious-
ness, as the CIA so thoughtfully pointed out.
So we have extremely traumatized soldiers
who couldn't handle the cruel face of war and
chose to end their lives along with their loved
ones, or soldiers who pushed their morals so
far away that it became difficult for them to
understand the monstrosity of their acts.
War is never good no matter where, for any
reasons or using any methods. It is also not
inevitable. But ifa war has to be fought, and
soldiers have to be trained and sent out to fight
in foreign lands, the least a country can do is
understand the plight of these soldiers and
have enough resources to take care of them
after they are exposed to terrifying environ-
ments. As we know from the case of Magd-
zas and hundreds like him, there clearly isn't
a strong enough support system for soldiers.
And by involving ourselves in more wars we
are increasing the number of individuals
treated as mere weapons - used, damaged
and discarded - in meaningless wars.
The greatest cost of war that the world will
continue to bear for at least an entire genera-
tion after it ends is its effect on the human
mind. For now, Corporal Morlock has been
sentenced to 24 years in jail for killing three
Afghan civilians, and Magdzas's family has
joined the hundreds of other families resigned
to move on from their loss. Writer Jose
Narosky rightfully said, "In war, there are no
unwounded soldiers." So why is it so difficult
to recognize and help the wounded?
Aida Ali is a senior editorial page editor.

Aida Ali, Will Butler, Michelle DeWitt, Ashley Griesshammer, Melanie Kruvelis, Patrick Maillet,
Erika Mayer, Harsha Nahata, Emily Orley, Harsha Panduranga,
Teddy Papes, Timothy Rabb, Asa Smith, Seth Soderborg, Andrew Weiner
U should practice what it preaches

The University of Michigan is proud to have one of
the largest endowments of any university in the world.
It's able to obtain this endowment through investments,
mostly in stock. For example, the University may pur-
chase $100,000 worth of stock in the corporation JP
Morgan Chase, which entitles ittoa corresponding frac-
tion of the profits, known as dividends. This is one of the
primary ways the University sustains itself financially.
However, the University's investments aren't always
chosen with corporate social responsibility concerns in
mind, and as students, this concerns us. For example,
the Universityused to have investments in tobacco com-
panies and corporations that profited off South African
apartheid. In fact, these are the only cases in the Univer-
sity's history in which the administration has chosen to
divest, or sell our stock, due to concerns about socially
irresponsible actions these corporations are engaging in.
Unfortunately, the University is still invested in a
number of socially irresponsible corporations. A cam-
pus coalition, Practice What You Preach, has emerged
to address these issues. We find these investments
unacceptable and feel that it's inappropriate for a uni-
versity that values and preaches social justice to be
invested in socially irresponsible corporations. Last
week, we introduced a resolution to the Michigan
Student Assembly requesting the University to divest
from four corporations: Monsanto, British Petroleum,
HanesBrands Inc., and Northrop Grumman. These
four corporations exhibit particularly irresponsible
conduct, unbecoming of our university. However, these
aren't the only corporations the University invests in
that we feel act irresponsibly.
Monsanto, a biotechnology corporation, is respon-
sible for the manufacture of Agent Orange, the chemi-
cal that led to thousands of deaths, birth defects and
ecological destruction of thousands of acres of forests
when it was dispersed by air during the Vietnam War.
It is also responsible for massive leaks of toxic chemicals
into local communities, in one case causing the govern-
ment to order the evacuation of a city in Missouri. Addi-
tionally, Monsanto has facilitated the development of
genetically modified foods, which many scientists have
become concerned about due to their unknown impact
on human health and the environment.
We don't think we need to say much about BP, which
is responsible for the greatest environmental disaster in
U.S. history that killed 11 people-and caused irreversible

ecological damage.
HanesBrands, a clothing manufacturer, is known for
paying children in Bangladesh 6.5 cents per hour and
forcing them to work 12 to 14 hours a day, often seven
days a week, among other crimes.
Northrop Grumman, one of the world's largest weap-
ons developers and manufacturers has supplied military
apparatuses accused of being used for war crimes bythe
United Nations fact-findingmissions. An example of this
is the Israeli military, which used Northrop Grumman
parts for the Apache AH64D Longbow Helicopter, the
radar system for F-16 combat jets and Longbow Hellfire
II missiles. Israel's military has usedthese systems to kill
thousands of civilians, has violated numerous U.N. Secu-
rity Council resolutions and has been widely accused of
having committed war crimes by an independent, U.N.
fact-finding mission.
There's no doubt that any mention of Israel trans-
forms our resolution from a normal statement regarding
social justice into a document of intense controversy. As
stated in an article by members of J Street UMich (Invest
in peace, 04/05/2011), some believe that merely men-
tioning a corporation's military connections with Israel
unfairly places the blame for violence in the region on
Israel alone.
However, one cannot represent the Israeli-Palestinian
conflict asa relatively even match, since Israel is heavily
funded and has one of the most powerful militaries in
the world andthe biggest in the Middle East. In addition,
there are no direct ties that the University has with those
that make it possible for Palestinians to obtain weapons
- and if there were, the connection would likely be weak.
We don't approve of any violence in the Middle East, but
there's no financial connection the University has with
violence committed by Palestinians. If there were, we
would believe in divestment in those companies as well.
It's easy to dismiss this issue due to financial con-
straints. But when a family member was killed by one of
Northrop Grumman's weapons, or you lost your job on
the Gulf Coast after the BP oil spill, it's suddenly not so
easy to ignore. We feel that the University must acknowl-
edge the faults of and divest from the irresponsible cor- 0
porations it invests in if its claims to social justice are to
be taken seriously.
Joseph Varilone is a School of Public Policy junior.
He is a member of Practice What You Preach.

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