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September 06, 2011 - Image 8

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8A - Tuesday, September b, 2011

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.corn

8A - Tuesday, Seplember 6, 2011 The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom

Edited and managed by students at
the University of Michigan since 1890.
420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MS 48109
tothedaily@michigandaily.com

HANNAH DOW
The recent summer crimes have led to some changes at theuniversity
tow even guys are
carrying pepper spray.

E-MAIL HANNAH AT HDOW@UMICH.EDU
Quadruple yoga flame, perfect.
No
Thai!

STEPHANIE STEINBERG
EDITOR IN CHIEF

MICHELLE DEWITT
and EMILY ORLEY
EDITORIAL PAGE EDITORS

NICK SPAR
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.
Be safe and smart
'U' should respond reasonably to near-campus attacks
As students returned to campus this past week, in the back of many
of their minds was the string of sexual assaults that occurred near
campus in July and August. With the perpetrator of these attacks
still at large and students settling into their routines, there are concerns
about personal safety and the nature of the threat. It's important for mem-
bers of the University community and greater Ann Arbor area to be cogni-
zant of these concerns and employ reasonable safety measures as the fall

STEPHANIE STEINBERG I
Connecting the Daily with you

semester begins.
The six attacks this summer have justifiably
piqued students' attention to issues of personal
safety; prevention has become a prominent term.
To ensure they aren't led into dangerous situations,
students should follow the appropriate actions
outlined on the Information Regarding Recent
Assaults Near Campus website put together by
University officials in response to the increase in
attacks. But students need to also help protect their
peers. Students should watch out for others in the
event of suspicious activity. Awareness and com-
munity support are essential to make sure Univer-
sity students remain safe, according to Ann Arbor
Police Chief Barnett Jones.
The creation of the website was a significant step
by the University to not only provide the commu-
nity with valuable information, but also show that
administrators are responding seriously to these
attacks. Students should take advantage of this
resource and use the tools at their disposal, like
late-night transportation options offered by the
University. It's necessary that students adhere to
the preventative measures outlined on the site by
walking in groups when possible, being aware of
their surroundings and locking their doors.
Ann Arbor police and DPS have demonstrated
that they are working hard to catch the one or mul-
tiple attackers by increasing their patrol hours.

However, the city of Ann Arbor needs to demon-
strate that they take these attacks seriously by
responding to student concerns about off-campus
lighting. Studies of how effective street lighting
is in deterring crime are inconclusive. However,
lighting improves students' sense of personal safe-
ty and their ability to monitor their surroundings.
City Council members need to respond to students'
calls for increased street lighting and make off-
campus areas more secure for students.
While the recent off-campus attacks are
extremely concerning, it's important to acknowl-
edge that these types of attacks don't represent
the norm in college campus sexual assaults.
According to the U.S. Department of Justice, 80
percent to 90 percent of sexual attacks on col-
lege campuses occur among people who know
each other. The same study found that 5 percent
of completed and attempted rapes of college stu-
dents go unreported to police or other campus law
enforcement.
Returning to campus for the fall semester is an
exciting time and should be enjoyed by students.
While the recent attacks near campus have many
students concerned about their safety, taking
reasonable measures on and around campus will
help students to feel more secure at the University
while the perpetrator(s) remains at large.

Welcome!Whetheryou're afreshmanterrifiedof
stepping on the 'M' in fear of failing your first blue
book exam or a senior dreading graduation day and
takingthe first step into the real world, The Michi-
gan Daily is here to guide you through the year and
keep you up-to-date on the latest campus news.
Who we are
Our staff of about 150 student reporters, pho-
tographers and designers work together to put out
a daily newspaper that reflects the traditions and
standards upheld by generations of Daily staffers
from the past 121 years. Some days, we produce
a paper with front page stories that take hours of
reporting, research and investigating. Other days,
we're running around the second floor of the Stan-
ford Lipsey Student Publications Building scram-
bling to meet 2 a.m. deadline.
The Daily is run entirely by students. We receive
no funding from the University, which ensures we
have complete editorial control and can freely report
any University wrongdoings. The student journal-
ists at the Daily take their jobs seriously and often
work untilthe early hours of the morning to produce
stories that inform students, faculty, staff and Ann
Arbor residents aboutissues that affect their lives.
Connecting withyou
Over the past few months, the Daily has expand-
ed the way we deliver news in an effort to get you
the stories you want - when and where you want
them. In keeping up with the ever-evolving digital
landscape, we have increased our Facebook and
Twitter use.
After a Facebook competition with the school
down South last semester, the Daily became one of
the most 'liked' college newspapers in the nation.
(And thanks to you, we beat the Buckeyes.) We've
also increased the number of Twitter profiles and
have accounts for almost every section of the paper.
You can follow us: @michigandaily, @michdai-
lysports, @michdailyarts, @michdailyphoto and
@michdailyfball. In October, we will compete
against The State News to see which school news-
paper can dominate the Twittersphere - stay tuned
to learn how you can help us crush the Spartans.
What's new
This year, the Daily has appointed its second-ever
public editor (also known as an ombudsman) who
will write columns about good and bad Daily cover-
age, decisions made by Daily staff and respond to
readers who have concerns about anything they see
in the paper. We've created this position in order to
keep us accountable for our coverage and to better
address your concerns. To contact the public editor
Imran Syed, please e-mail publiceditor@michigan-
daily.com.
In the coming months, you'll notice more online
videos and new blogs, including ones devoted to
fashion and crime notes. We've added new e-news-
letters. Visit www.michigandaily.com/subscribel-
ist to sign up for breaking news, football, arts, Ann
Arbor news and more. The Daily also created a
website, www.maizeandbluereview.com, where

students can view results of teacher evaluations
and grade distributions by instructors. In another
endeavor to connect the University community, the
Daily recently launched www.themichdiff.com'
Have a short, funny story that could only happen to
a Wolverine? Share it on the website, where you'll
find other maize-and-blue related anecdotes that
will surelymake you laugh - or cry.
Share your thoughts
We recognize that the Daily wouldn't exist in
print or online without you. At the end of the day,
your support, opinions and ideas make this paper
one of the best in the country. (And I'm not just
being biased. In April, the Society of Professional
Journalists named the Daily among the top 10 col}
lege newspapers in the United States.)
We want to keep open communication with
readers going. If you're part of an organization
that wants to publicize an event or saw something
on campus that would make a great story, e-mail
news@michigandaily.com to let us know. We can't
promise to include everything in the paper, but
we'll do our best.
While we strive to get every name, fact and quote
right, we're human and make mistakes. But it's
important to us that they're corrected. If you spot
an error, please let us know by sending an e-mail
to corrections@michigandaily.com. You can also
voice your opinion about a story by sending a let{
ter to the editor at tothedaily@michigandaily.com
or contact me personally at steinberg@michigan
dailycom. We welcome all feedback, whether it's
constructive criticism or just criticism.
Join the staff
If you're interested in a journalism career, want
to test out your writing skills or flat out hate the
Daily and want to turn things around, come join
our staff. Just be prepared to also join midnight
games of four square, 24/7 coffee runs and a group
of students who eat, sleep and breathe at 420 May-
nard. Come find out more at our mass meetings at
7:30 p.m.
Monday, September 12
Tuesday, September 13
Sunday, September18
Tuesday, September 20
Can't make it? Check out www.michigandaily.
com/join-us for a description of available positions
and applications.
The Daily is one of the few platforms on campus
students can use to express their opinions and initi-
ate change that betters the University of Michigan.
Whether it's on Facebook, Twitter or the newsprint
delivered around campus Monday through Friday,
we hope to hear fromyou this year.
Stephanie Steinberg
Editor in Chief

0

ASHLEY HARRISON I
Crime reports are too generic

4

Dear University of Michigan Department of
Public Safety:
In light of the recent sexual assaults that have
occurred in Ann Arbor, I would first like your
department to know that I appreciate your efforts
to make our community safer. I am comforted
in knowing that you have increased the number
of patrol cars and are educating our community
about what precautions we can take to avoid sub-
sequent incidents.
I would, however, like to bring to your attention
a growing and prevalent problem regarding DPS
crime alerts. According to your website, the mis-
sion statement of your department is "to contrib-
ute and to promote a safe and secure community,
while respecting the rights and dignity of all per-
sons utilizing the facilities and programs of the
University of Michigan." I feel that the vague and/
or conflicting descriptions of black male suspects
in these crime reports do not respect the rights or
dignity of the black community of this campus.
These descriptions do not prevent crime or help
us find suspects, but instead promote racial pro-
filing.
On Aug. 27, 2011, the University community
received a crime report in which the suspect of
an assault incident was described as a "black

male, possibly bald or with dread locks, wearing
an orange, black, or red t-shirt, with gray sweat
pants." Unless both the suspect and victim of this
assault were Stevie Wonder, this description is
highly unlikely.
Dave Chappelle, a black male who, unlike Ste-
vie Wonder, is indisputably bald, jokes that the
police alert people to "be on the look out for a
black male between 47" and 6'8," between 120
and 280 pounds." While this may sound ridicu-
lous, direct quotes from DPS crime reports like
"group of black males" and "five black males"
offer the same amount of information as Dave
Chappelle's humorously absurd description.
With vague descriptions such as these, what is
the University community to do? Should we stop
every group of black males we pass (carefully
counting to make sure that there are, in fact, five
of them), or are we condemned to forever "change
the world" via Facebook statuses? I urge DPS to
stop sending out these ambiguous crime reports
if only for the sake of the generic black male. Six-
foot black males are people too.
Sincerely,
Generic Angry Black Woman
Ashley Harrison is an LSA senior.

EDITORIAL BOARD MEMBERS:
Aida Ali, Michelle DeWitt, Ashley Griesshammer, Patrick Maillet,
Erika Mayer, Harsha Nahata, Emily Orley, Harsha Panduranga,
Teddy Papes, Timothy Rabb, Seth Soderborg, Andrew Weiner

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