4A - Monday, November 28, 2011
The Michigan Daily -- michigandaily.com I
4A - Monday, November 28, 2011The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom
GJ11 MJihc11gan adlU
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EDITOR IN CHIEF EDITORIAL PAGE EDITORS MANAGING EDITOR
Unsigned editorials reflect the official position of the Daily's editorial board.
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Imran Syed is the public editor. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Work with campus police
DPS meeting encourages student cooperation
In an effort to foster transparency, assuage anxieties and discuss
the apparent prevalence of crime on campus the University's
Department of Public Safety held its first public meeting on
Nov. 22. The meeting was an important step toward bridging the gap
between students and DPS and will hopefully encourage a coopera-
What 'security'really looks like
have no idea when the authori-
tative history of post-9/11
America, in all its sadness,
ference to the
human cost of
war, will be
ever, I think I
know what the
jacket art will
look like. NEILL
Even by the MOHAMMAD
we've set over the last 10 years, with
150,000 civilian deaths in Iraq -
that's at least 50 Iraqis for every one
American lost on 9/11 - and airport
security measures that increasingly
resemble systematic molestation,
the viral video of the recent police
crackdown at the University of Cali-
fornia, Davis is chilling. The univer-
sity administration asked police to
break up a peaceful, completely non-
violent demonstrationunder the pre-
tense that the protesters hadviolated
a ban on camping on school grounds.
Police officers responded to the
scene in full riot gear, and in a calm
and orderly fashion, proceeded to
douse the protesters in pepper spray
as they sat motionless onthe ground.
True to form, Chancellor Linda
Katehi initially lied about the cir-
cumstances of the riot deployment,
claiming that the police only resort-
ed to pepper spray after they were
surrounded by protesters. once the
video surfaced, Katehi was forced to
recant; she later appeared on "Good
Morning America" to appeal to the
victims to help "start the healing
process and move forward."
Based on their actions, neither
Katehi nor any other implicated
Davis administrators deserve to be
a part of that process, and hope-
fully they'll be forced from office
soon. However, that leaves another
important question unanswered:
Why does Davis, a rural town of
only 30,000 people or so, have a riot
squad in the first place?
The answer, once again, has a
lot to do with 9/11. It's difficult to
adequately describe just how much
money the United States has spent
on the nebulous, ill-defined concept
of "homeland security" since 2001.
The numbers themselves - at least
$30 billion a year in each of the last
10 years - hardly seem adequate.
Much of this spending is granted
by the Department of Homeland
Security to the states, and then
from the states to individual coun-
ties and towns. From the perspec-
tive of local law enforcement,
.Homeland Security might as well
be Scrooge McDuck's money bin.
It's free money that law enforce-
ment can spend on neat toys with-
out having to suffer the various
indignities of the normal budget
process. All it takes is a few magic
words on a grant application, like
"first-responder preparedness," and
anything resembling good sense
immediately vanishes from conver-
sation and is replaced by a nice big
check from the federal government.
That's how officials in Keith
County in the Nebraska panhandle
(population: 8,370) were able to
spend $45,000 on diving equipment
to help terrorist-proof a local reser-
voir. That's why many local police
stations' storage lockers frequently
resemble a deleted scene from the
"Call of Duty: Modern Warfare"
series, with surplus M-14 and M-16
riflesshowing up in places as remote
as Jasper, Fla. (population: 2,000).
That's also why hundreds of small
police and sheriff's departments,
including one in Adrian, Mich., now
have retro-fitted armored person-
nel carriers, whose primary uses
seem to be tearing up city streets.
Harold Peterson, the director of
emergency management in Keith
County, told the Los Angeles Times
earlier this year that "it's impor-
tant to understand the homeland
security equipment wasn't bought
to be tucked away for the day there
would be some terrorism event."
Of course it wasn't - not when you
could be using it to play soldier and
intimidate innocent civilians. This
summer, the Department of Educa-
tion used its militarized police force
to execute a no-knock warrant in
Stockton, Calif. After three young
children had been dragged out of
bed and into a waiting patrol car, it
turned out that the SWAT team was
at the wrong address.
Why does Davis
have a riot squad
in the first place?
In a way, the student demon-
strators in Davis were lucky. The
unprovoked pepper spray attack
was vicious but certainly prefer-
able to being flattened by an APC.
Next time, though, they might not
be so lucky. The Federal Aviation
Administration is expected to adopt
new rules this January that allow
civilian agencies to purchase and
operate drone aircrafts. The same
technology that's been terrorizing
the Afghan countryside will soon be
available to every small-town sher-
iff with a Rambo complex right here
I hope that someone is able to a
snap a picture of the first Predator
look-alike used to attack protest-
ers from overhead. It would make a
heck of a book cover.
- Neill Mohammad can be
reached at email@example.com.
tive future relationship.
At the meeting, DPS Chief Greg O'Dell
explained that overall crime rates have
declined 30 percent since last year, but aggra-
vated assaults and robberies have increased.
He also said that despite the string of sexual
assaults this summer, the number of reported
sexual assaults has decreased by 42 percent
since last year. These statistics as well as dis-
cussions of other types of crime such as arson,
larceny and motor vehicle theft were dis-
cussed at the meeting.
Opening DPS meetings to the public will
create transparency in law enforcement
actions. Some University students have ques-
tioned the safety of Ann Arbor as crime has
become more apparent. The statistics provid-
ed at the meeting paint a realistic picture of
crime on campus, and this knowledge allows
students to react effectively to and understand
Though the meeting proved to be success-
ful, the time and date likely caused a low
attendance rate. Many students have morn-
ing classes, so holding the meeting at 8:30 a.m.
is not the best way to encourage attendance.
The first meeting was also held the Tuesday
before Thanksgiving when many students
had already left campus. With only two stu-
dents ttendinglthe first meeting, thelevel of
student involvement is not ideal. In the future,
DPS should schedule the meetings at a more
convenient time for students.
DPS plans to continue hosting public meet-
ings, but it's not only DPS's responsibility to
make these meetings effective. Students need
to attend the meetings and actively partici-
pate in discussions. By asking questions and
engaging in conversation, University students
will become involved in safety issues on and
near campus. Students need to learn how to
remain safe, respond to crime alerts and seek
help if needed.
The public crime meetings are a beneficial
way to build a relationship between students
and law enforcement officers. Future meet-
ings will encourage students to take an active
role in creating a safe environment on and
Students must take the initiative to attend
the DPS meetings and contribute ideas for
the way officers respond to and addresses
crime. Creating a safe environment on cam-
pus is an effort that requires students and
police officers to work together. Student
attendance at DPS meetings can help form a
cooperative relationship with police officials
that can help foster a safe campus environ-
ment in the future.
-.-h e The Complete Spectrum: Chris Dyer discusses the struggle
of transgender people to be properly identified by the state.
po im IlGo to michigandaily.com/blogs/The Podium
EDITORIAL BOARD MEMBERS:
Aida Ali, Michelle DeWitt, Ashley Griesshammer, Nirbhay Jain, Jesse Klein,
Patrick Maillet, Erika Mayer, Harsha Nahata, Emily Orley, Teddy Papes, Timothy Rabb,
Vanessa Rychlinski, Caroline Syms, Seth Soderborg, Andrew Weiner
EMILY GREENBERG AND ARIELLE FLEISHER I
Protect students around A2
The University's Department of Public
Safety opened its weekly crime meeting to
the general public this past Tuesday in order
to promote transparency and allow commu-
nity members to raise their concerns regard-
ing campus safety. We decided to attend this
meeting due to a recent experience with
assault - directly for one of us and indirectly
for the other - that resulted in a broken nose,
maxillary sinus fracture and a sudden sense
of vulnerability. We wanted to know whythe
University hadn't paid more attention to the
incident by alerting other University stu-
dents about the assault.
It turns out that DPS deals solely with
crimes that take place on campus property.
If a student takes a single step off campus
and becomes the victim of a crime, it is no
longer the responsibility of the University to
even so much as inform the student body as
to what happened. DPS decides whether or
not a crime alert will be sent out based on its
own subjective analysis of the severity of the
situation. We are misled to believe that crime
alerts are sent out for all crimes that occur
against University students, as several alerts
have been sent out for crimes that have not
occurred on campus property.
The fact is, student security is not an on-
or off-campus issue. More than half of Uni-
versity students live off campus. University
students study off campus, they eat and drink
off campus and they live off campus - their
world does not end where the physical cam-
pus ends. The campus police exist to protect
students, so we are asking them to protect
students by informing students.
If the University Police do not have the
capacity to alert students of crimes that are
occurring to students off campus, this needs
to be clearly stated, and students need to be
aware that they are not receiving the full
story. DPS should at least keep statistics of
crimes that happen to students in the Ann
Arbor area and send this data to students on
a regular basis.
As is, the current system provides the false
impression that students are being informed
of incidents, and this lack of information pro-
motes a false sense of security. The Univer-
sity needs to be honest with students about
the rates of crime in order to increase aware-
ness and empower students to push for poli-
cies that will make Ann Arbor as a whole a
safer place to live. There is no reason why
cabs should not be available downtown late
at night without a phone call to the cab com-
pany and a long wait. There is no reason why
the University cannot use its buses to estab-
lish a taxi system of its own that will trans-
port students to their homes from coffee
shops or bars after a certain hour.
The University has an obligation to care
for its students and to look out for their safe-
ty and well-being. This obligation certainly
extends beyond the campus. We cannot
change the state of safety on and off campus
unless students are knowledgeable about the
information they are and aren't being given.
Here we thought that we were all Wolver-
ines - it's news to us that when it comes to
your safety, it matters where exactly you are
Emily Greenberg and Arielle Fleisher are
graduate students in the School of Public Health.
LEITEPS0 H E E D fR
Protect professors who have the
courage to stand up to authority
TO THE DAILY:
Dear The Michigan Daily,
Congratulations onyour raisinginterestinand cover-
age of the elections to the Department of Public Safety
Oversight Committee, a topic that had fallen sadly into
disregard for some years, to the detriment of both stu-
dents and faculty. It is impeccable timing on your part
that students have revitalized their interest in DPS over-
sight just as University of California campuses - Berke-
ley and, horrifically, Davis so far - facea mounting wave
of university-sanctioned violent reaction to peaceful
protests on public school campuses.
It is important that those on the DPS Oversight
Committee guard preemptively against such violent
reactions on the part of the University's DPS, and you
call upon administrators responsible for DPS to state
unequivocally before things reach a boiling point here
that such reactions will not be tolerated at the Univer-
sity of Michigan.
In a similarvein, please support faculty such as UC-
Davis's Nathan Brown, the faculty organizer of the
protest which was attacked, who wrote a courageous,
personal open letter criticizing the role of Chancellor
Learn about the rave scene
before making judgements
TO THE DAILY:
I am writing in response to Leah Potkin's article
"Don't 'rave' about drugs," as I feel that she may have
some gross misconceptions in accordance with what
the rave scene is all about.
I would first like to state that she does a very good
job in describing the dangers that accompany the
usage of 'rave' drugs. As an active participant in the
rave scene for almost two and a half years, I have wit-
nessed far too many people end up in dangerous situ-
ations because of their lack of judgment in relation to
narcotic usage. Drug usage is a sad side effect of the
scene, but it is far from the defining essence of what
makes electronic dance music so popular with today's
Where I take exception with Potkin's piece is when
she asserts that we, as members of the rave scene,
feel it necessary to take illegal narcotics in order to
"appreciate the music" that DJs play to "cater to their
drugged-out audiences." I feel comfortable speak-
ing for the rave crew, which I am a part of, when I say
that we have a great appreciation for the music sans
rave drugs. Many of us, myself included, actively write
about the music we listen to and the concerts we go
to for music blogs and music publications. We love the
music for the music, not because it's an excuse to "roll
face." In fact, I'm listening to one of Avicii's newest
SEND LETTERS TO: TOTHEDAILY@MICHIGANDAILY.COM
Linda Katehi - former University of Michigan electri-
cal engineering and computer science professor - in
the pepper-spraying and clubbing of peaceful protest-
ers on campus, and calling for her immediate resigna-
tion as has the Board of the Davis Faculty Association.
I say courageous because Brown is an untenured assis-
tant English professor at UC-Davis, and it has woefully
happened manytimes inthe pastthat criticswithoutthe
protection of tenure have suffered reprisals - even to
the point of dismissal at institutions of the caliber of UC-
Davis - for actions of far less public declat.
Just as with your timely position on DPS, I encourage
you to getout in front by casting the spotlight on the case
of Nathan Brown - lest athoughtful and passionate fac-
ulty defender of the right to free expression on campus
be sanctioned by an embarrassed administration which
has lost the confidence of its student body and faculty.
The University of Michigan American Association
of University Professors is calling upon faculty every-
where to maintain a vigil of protection around Brown
in the name of academic freedom and the faculty's right
to share in university governance. We would appreciate
any help we can get from students who agree with the
need to protect faculty leaders like Brown.
Interim president of the University of Michigan chapter
ofthe American Association of University Professors
songs as I write this letter. It is not rave drugs that are
"taking center stage" at concerts around the world. It
is the feeling of love, togetherness and pure happiness
that accompanies a four-hour dance party.
EDM is aboutgoing with your best friends to a place
where you can listen to music that makes you happy
and jump around likea lunatic for hours on end free of
judgment. Concerts are settings in which thousands of
people really do "dance like no one is watching," and
some of the best moments of my life have been realized
at the very raves Potkin presents as breeding grounds
for drug addiction.
Merriam-Webster defines ecstasy as "a state of
overwhelmingemotion; especially: rapturous delight."
To me that definition represents every time I get to go
see a show with the people who appreciate the music
as much as I do. I have never left a rave without a smile
on my face, and I've never left one in an ambulance like
many students do at fraternity parties, house parties
or one of the many bars on campus. The rave scene has
its abusers, but so does the alcohol scene, and alcohol is
far more prevalent on campus than raving ever will be.
I, in no way, condone the usage of rave drugs, but
before trashing the entire EDM scene as a public dan-
ger, I wish Potkin would have asked those of us who
actually partake in it regularly how we feel. Better yet,
she should come rave with us and see for herself first-
hand what it's all about - the more the merrier. We
aren't all evil people, I swear.
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