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November 15, 2011 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 2011-11-15

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4 - Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

4 usaNvme1, 01TeMcia.al - mc.gna. yo

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.
Imran Syed is the public editor. He canbe reached at publiceditor@michigandaily.com.
.M H
Uphold marijuana law
Schuette should respect the desire of voters
M ichigan's medical marijuana law has once again comej
under fire. Currently, the law allows people with regis-
tered identification cards to legally possess marijuana ifj
they have a prescription. But Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuettej
is making it increasingly difficult to obtain medicinal marijuana by
arguing that Michigan's policy conflicts with federal law and should
be enforced differently. Michigan's attorney general should not be
working to undermine laws passed by Michigan residents. Medical
marijuana is legal in Michigan, and the state needs to stop trying to
limit its availability and accessibility.



0 o What did you
___ 0 wishfor?
Please beat OSU,
Please beat OSU
Make U' economically diverse


Schuette released a statement on Nov.. 10
indicating that the clause in the medical mari-
juana law that prohibits police from confiscat-
ing medicinal marijuana is in conflict of federal
law. But since this has been the case since the
law's passage in 2008, it's strange that the issue
isbeingbroughtup now. Schuette needstostop
trying to make medicinal marijuana illegal
because of his personal opinion of the policy
and should instead honor the wishes of Michi-
gan voters who passed the law with 63 percent
approval. Medical marijuana users should be
allowed to utilize their prescriptions without
the fear of confiscation.
Schuette has also threatened to prosecute
Michigan police officers with drug dealing
charges if they return prescribed marijuana
to patients. He questions if officers can even
enforce the law, saying in the same statement
that doing so would be "impossible." An attor-
ney general who would seek to make criminals
out of his state's police officers is in no way suit-
able for the position. It is aridiculous and base-
less claim that returning a legal prescription to
its owner is drug dealing, and it's an insult to
police departments across the state.
A similar issue was settled in California in
2007 when a medical marijuana patient suc-

cessfully sued the police for taking his pre-
scription marijuana during a traffic stop and
not returning it. Restricting the return of per-
sonal property unduly confiscated is a purpose-
less task to try to uphold, and Schuette should
not be encouraging it.
Michigan residents - whose taxes pay
Schuette's salary - deserve an attorney
general who will work for them, not against
them. Schuette and other members of the
state government need to make the medi-
cal marijuana legislation easy to follow for
police, patients and physicians. Schuette
needs to put his personal beliefs aside and
carry out the job he was elected for - uphold-
ing Michigan's laws, including those regard-
ing medical marijuana.
Michigan's medical marijuana lawis contro-
versial among residents of the state and some
members of the Legislature. The individu-
als opposing the law, including the attorney
general, have the right to seek its repeal. But
Schuette does not have the right to circum-
vent and undermine state laws for the sake of
his own personal agenda. Schuette needs to
honor the desires of Michigan voters and help
make the medicinal marijuana law clear for all
involved parties.

Remember those question-
naires we filled out during
freshman orientation? Each
year, the Univer-
sity's Division of
Student Affairs
compiles the
data from those
forms and pub-
lishes the results
online. Perusing
the report is fas-
cinating, to say MATTHEW
the least. In addi- GREEN
tion to offering a-
standard 'demo-
graphic profile of each graduating
class, the report includes findings
on students' political views, future
plans and even self-image. Appar-
ently, 76.9 percent of University stu-
dents responded in 2009 that it was
essential or very important to them
to be "very well off financially."
This is a completely understandable
desire, of course, particularly for
incoming freshmen accustomed to
the comforts and luxuries their par-
ents had lavished on them up until
that point.
But exactly how comfortable
and pampered are these students?
The questionnaire data hints at an
For the class of 2013 (the most
recent class for .which data is pub-
lished), 84.4 percent of students
reported parental income above
$50,000 a year. More students
reported an annual family income
of over $250,000 (16.9 percent) than
below $50,000 (15.6 percent). Keep
in mind that according to the 2010
U.S. Census, more than half of all
Michigan residents make less than
$50,000 each year. Given their rela-
tive affluence, it's no wonder that
such a high percentage of University
students would expect a modicum of
economic success.
Intriguingly, about 50 percent of
students reported that their fathers
were doctors, lawyers, engineers,
executives or business owners. And
more than 75 percent of their par-
ents went to college, compared to the
27.5 percent of American adults who
did according to The Chronicle of

Higher Education in January 2011.
Reading this, you're probably
unsurprised. Affluent parents have
long sent their children to the best
schools their money could buy. It's
hardly newsworthy that an elite
school would cater to a moneyed
clientele. Mere mention of Harvard
and Yale conjures images of wealth
and status as much as it does aca-
demic prestige.
But Harvard and Yale, as well as
other prestigious institutions, have
begun to address their historic social
exclusivity. According to Harvard's
office of financial aid, "families with
incomes currently below $60,000
are not expected to contribute to col-
lege costs." Period. Yale and Prince-
ton, in addition to Harvard, recently
re-examined their early-admission
processes to ensure that the process
didn't unfairly favor well-heeled
These actions may not have solved
the problem of wealth inequality on
college campuses,butthey've atleast
started an administrative dialogue
about makinghigher education more
socially equitable. Against a back-
drop of continually rising income
inequality, perhaps it's time for the
University to seriously address the
disparity between the rich and poor
as reflected by its student body.
More than any Ivy League institu-
tion, the University of Michigan has
an imperative as a flagship public
school to live up to its responsibility
to serve the public good.
How can the University claim
a commitment to diversity with a
demographic profile as homoge-
nously affluent as ours?
The University can foster more
economic diversity in a variety of
ways. Most obviously, the adminis-
tration could think twice the next
time a tuition increase is on the
table. According to a May 2011 poll
by the Pew Research Center where a
nationally representative sample of
2,142 adults ages 18 and older were
surveyed, 48 percent of 18 to 34 year
olds who hadn't gone to college said
they didn't go because they couldn't
afford it. Financial aid is also part of
the solution. Perhaps the University

should follow Harvard's lead, offer-
ing more sweeping financial aid
packages to low-income students.
That'd be expensive, sure. But at
$6.5 billion, the University of Mich-
igan's endowment is greater than
the GNP of Nicaragua. I think we
can afford it.
The endowment
is more than
Nicaragua's GNP.
To its credit, the University
already takes into consideration the
economic background of applicants
each fall. It awards points to stu-
dents if they're from an economically
depressed region or if they attended
an underprivileged high school. But
as progressive and important as
these considerations may be, they
clearly aren't doing enough. The
University must do a better job of
reaching out to disadvantaged high
school students before the applica-
tion process even begins.
As the Occupy Wall Street move-
ment decries the unequal influence
of the wealthiest few, it's worth
calling attention to the channels
through which they attained their
power and fortune. Many of them
surely funneled through the nation's
most elite colleges. In the parlance of
OWS, the University needs to take a
firmer stance in support of educat-
ing the 99 percent.
There's nothing wrong with
wanting to make a decent living, as
the data shows that many Universi-
ty students do. It's part of the Amer-
ican dream, after all, and young
people across the socioeconomic
spectrum likely share this aspira-
tion. It's the University's respon-
sibility to ensure that this goal can
be met by the genuine Leaders and
Best - not just the already wealthy
and well connected.
- Matthew Green can be
reached at greenmat@umich.edu.

Aida Ali, Michelle DeWitt, Ashley Griesshammer, Nirbhay Jain, Patrick Maillet,
Erika Mayer, Harsha Nahata, Emily Orley, Teddy Papes, Timothy Rabb,
Vanessa Rychlinski, Caroline Syms, Seth Soderborg, Andrew Weiner
Vote MForward for MSA

The Michigan Student Assembly has got-
ten off to a very successful start this year. With
MSA elections this Wednesday and Thursday,
now is a great time to learn about what MSA
has been doing on campus. Prior to last year,
MSA had been inefficient and slow to respond
to student needs, in part because MSA mem-
bers were concerned with political posturing.
Last year, then MSA President Chris Arm-
strong demanded more from the assembly
and began the process of making MSA more
relevant to students' lives. Many members of
MForward, a student advocacy group on cam-
pus and an MSA party, supported Armstrong's
I joined MForward the semester after Arm-
strong was elected. I was drawn to it because it
had already begun to produce the results that
it had promised, and I wanted to contribute.
Under MForward's lead, MSA helped secure
Saturday night dining in residence halls, held a
massive Lupe Fiasco benefit concert and began
the process of having regular Farmers' Mar-
kets in the Michigan Union. MSA also won a
more inclusive University Housing roommate
policy that is fairer for transgender and gender
non-conforming students and has already been
This year, I have been pleased to see MFor-
ward continue to improve MSA under Presi-
dent DeAndree Watson. Watson and his team
hosted a tailgate before the Notre Dame night
game and provided food and fun to more than
8,000 students. Under his leadership, MFor-
ward members have hosted many other student
service events on campus such as a housing
rights awareness week and a fair trade aware-
ness week. MForward supporters, including
myself, have also worked to reduce the inter-
nal costs of MSA so that we can redirect more
money to fund student organizations. Some of
us have renewed lobbying efforts at the state
and local levels by working with the city ofAnn
Arbor to maintain its pedestrian protection
laws and by lobbying the state to pass anti-bul-
lying legislation and provide more money for
higher education.
MForward can achieve these great things

because, unlike other parties before us, we
work together on a daily basis to improve stu-
dent life. When I want to initiate a project,
I know I can count on my fellow MForward
members to assist me in those endeavors. This
semester, MForward is running an exciting
group of students who I not only look forward
to working with, but also know will serve the
campus well in continuing the progress that
MForward has already started. They have
already affirmed their commitment to provid-
ing transparency and advocating for student
needs and are full of ideas on how to make the
University a better place.
The MForward candidates in this election
have excellent goals, both large and small. For
example, DPS Oversight Committee candi-
date Freshman Lucy Zhao will work with the
Department of Public Safety to ensure that
crime alerts are consistently sent out in a timely
manner to promote student safety and aware-
ness on campus. LSA candidate Freshman
Angela Jung will strive to better the relation-
ship between MSA and students by ensuring
that there is a larger student government pres-
ence at events across campus. Finally, Engi-
neering candidates Freshman Andy Modell
and Freshman Saketh Samaymantri will work
collaboratively to improve the bus system and
ensure that Parking and Transportation Ser-
vices has student input when making decisions.
These are just a few examples of the numerous
projects the current MForward candidates
hope to work on in the coming semester.
I encourage you to vote in the upcoming
MSA elections tomorrow and Thursday. I can-
not overstate the importance of your participa-
tion. MSA works with the University all year on
your behalf, so we need to hear your voice as
students. Voting is also easy - just go to vote.
umich.edu to cast your vote tomorrow. I also
encourage you to go to MForward.org, where
you can find the extended platforms and bios
of the candidates that have joined MForward
this semester.
Louis Mirante is a sophomore in LSA, MSA
representative and member of MForward.

Keep up with columnists, read Daily editorials, view cartoons and join in the debate.
Check out @michdailyoped to get updates on Daily opinion content throughout the day.
Build Turkey-Israel relationship

In recent weeks, top Israeli officials have made it
increasingly clear thatthey are willing to extend an olive
branch and engage in civil diplomacy with adversarial
parties in the Middle East. Israel's recent offer and dis-
persal of humanitarian aid to Turkey in response to a
7.2-magnitude earthquake in late October is only the
latest example of Israel's sense of responsibility for the
health and safety of all people, not just Israelis. Howev-
er, when such altruism is met with indifference or even
hostility by the very people to whom Israel extended the
hand of friendship, it only serves to cast more doubts on
Turkey's seriousness as a true partner in the Middle East
peace process.
In the case of the international response to the recent
earthquake in Turkey, Israel was among the first coun-
tries to offer aid and disaster relief. However, Turkey
rejected Israel's first several offers of aid before finally
deciding to accept it - claiming a miscalculation of the
level of devastation was responsible for the initial denial.
Even still, Turkey has only accepted limited Israeli aid
in the form of temporary structures designed to provide
refuge to the earthquake's survivors, but has continued
to refuse Israeli offers to assist in the search and rescue
efforts to save victims from the wreckage. Why did Tur-
key choose to further endanger the lives of its own imper-
iled citizens by rejecting help that could be the difference
between life and death for many trapped Turks? Is Tur-
key really choosing to maintain tensions with Israel
over rescuing earthquake victims and mending a broken
friendship? It seems that way: The Turkish government
recently announced that Israel's generous relief efforts
do nothing to ease the diplomatic tension thathas existed
between the two countries for the last 18 months.
While Israel has shown itself to be awilling provider
of relief to humanitarian crises all over the world, includ-
ing Haiti and Japan, Turkey presumes that in offering to

provide for the basic needs of Turkish people beset by
tragic circumstances, Israel has ulterior motives. Indeed,
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan felt the
need last week to reassert his support for United Nations
economic sanctions against Israel, complainingthat "the
UN Security Council has issued more than 89 resolutions
on prospective sanctions against Israel, but they've never
been executed." Erdogan's reiteration of support for such
sanctions underscores the illogical Turkish paranoia that
exists surrounding Israel's offer of disaster relief.
Meanwhile, Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieber-
man has strongly stated thathe considers Israel's tenuous
relationship with the Turkish government to be immate-
rial in issuing critical aid to the Turkish people afflicted
by a natural disaster. Turkey's regrettable unwillingness
to place any value on easing diplomatic tensions with
Israel, a country that has displayed a willingness to come
to their aid and engage in normalized relations time and
time again, does not leave much hope for Turkey as a
member of a successful Middle Easternpeace process.
With every passing day, the Turkish government's
constant allusion to the Flotilla incident in May 2010 as
rationale for escalating tensions between the two nations
looks more like an excuse to remain indifferent and disen-
gaged than a legitimate claim of offense. Turkey's public
refusal to normalize relations with Israel is yet another
slap in the face to the idea that Israel's adversaries are
willing to reasonably negotiate and broker a long-term
regional peace. Instead, they would rather continue to
stigmatize isolated incidents. Israel has made clear time
and again that it can and will make overtures to other
regimes in the Middle East in order to lay the founda-
tion for long-term peace. Unfortunately, it seems that the
Israelis, yet again, are among the only ones ready to build.
Max Heller is a junior in the Ross School of Business.



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