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January 06, 2012 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 2012-01-06

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4 - Friday, January 6, 2012

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.cam

4 - ridy, anuay 6 202 Th Mihign Daly mihigadaiyco

4C fiiigan a30 l
Edited and managed by students at
the University of Michigan since 1890.
420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
tothedaily@michigandaily.com
ASHLEY GRIESSHAMMER
JOSEPH LICHTERMAN and ANDREW WEINER JOSH HEALY
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.
Imran Syed is the public editor. He can be reached at publiceditor@michigandaily.com.
F RO M THE D AILY
Closing time in Detroit
Police must ensure precincts serve residents
Detroit is considered one of the most dangerous cities in the
nation. A recent decision by the Detroit Police Department
will close certain precincts within the city to the public from
4 p.m. to 8 a.m. every day. The closings cause a concern for the safety
of Detroit residents. If residents truly don't use the precincts during
those hours and don't have a legitimate need for them, closing the pre-
cincts for a large part of the day may save Detroit a significant amount
of money. However, before a decision that could negatively affect citi-
zens is made, police officials should conduct thorough research with
the safety of the community in mind.

0

And the next leg of the marathon is the Palmetto
state...here we come South Carolina!!!"
- A tweet from Texas Gov. Rick Perry's Twitter account after he announced Tuesday he would
reassess his presidential campaign following his fifth place finish in the Iowa caucuses.
A we ll-rounded edcto

Detroit Police Department precincts and
districts in certain parts of the city will be
closed to the public from 4 p.m. to 8 a.m.
every day beginning on Monday. Several
clerical jobs, including report clerk, desk
clerk and timekeeper, will be eliminated. The
officers currently holding these positions
will be returning to street patrol. The pro-
gram is scheduled to be expanded city-wide
next month.
Before deciding to eliminate 24-hour pre-
cincts, the city should conduct comprehen-
sive research to determine if there is a need
for them. If residents use the precincts and
want them open all the time, the city should
not close them. The purpose of the police
force is to protect and serve the commu-
nity. If residents feel they need a precinct to
be open for 24 hours a day, then they have a
right to have that service.
The police department has proposed
a switch to virtual precincts. The idea of
switching to virtual precincts has the poten-
tial to be a viable solution. If the technology
is in placeforresidents to file complaints and,
perform other tasks online instead of at a
physical precinct, the option could prove to

be a money-saver for the cash-strapped city
of Detroit.
It's commendable that Detroit is not com-
pletely eliminating the jobs at the shuttered
precincts. Returning officers to the street
serves as a win-win situation for residents
and officers. Since Detroit is a dangerous city,
more street patrols could deter crime and
increase the safety of residents. These officers
will also stay employed, so they won't add to
Detroit's already high unemployment rate.
Closing Detroit police precincts has both
positives and negatives. The hours of the day
when the precincts will close tend to be when
most crimes occur, so the virtual precinct
system should be flawless before it's imple-
mented. If the safety of Detroit residents is
compromised in any way by closing the pre-
cincts, they should remain open around the
clock. Though residents will not be able to
receive services at the physical locations, the
move will place officers back on the street,
where they can better protect residents. If
the residents of Detroit want the precincts
to remain open for 24 hours,,and have dem-
onstrated a need for it, they should have that
right.

ver break, I caught up
with a friend of mine who
hails from Australia. After
reminiscing
for some time
about the high
school years she
spent living in
my hometown
in Maryland,
we moved on
to share sto- LEAH
ries about our
respective col- POTKIN
lege experienc-
es. We compared
everything from American and
Australian bar culture to classroom
dynamics. Aside from the differ-
ences in drink and sport preferences
- she prefers Crown Lager and soc-
cer while I'm partial to Sam Adams
and American football- what most
surprised me was her genuine
shock (bordering on disdain) that
a university as prestigious as ours
offers classes beyond the core aca-
demic curriculum typically associ-
ated with "university" studies in
the Down Under. In this case, I was
referring to a meditation and con-
templative practice course I had just
completed.
As she explained, her course
choices in Australia are much more
limited, and classes are more focused
on preparing students for specific
professions or vocations. Her expla-
nation indeed highlights a con-
tinuing quandary for students. It's
difficult to find a balance between
core academic and vocational cours-
es intended to better prepare stu-
dents for immediate entry into the
work world, and alternative and cre-
ative courses, which contribute to a
well-rounded and fulfilling college
experience.
Supporting the argument for
a more focused curriculum is a
study released earlier this week by
Georgetown University's Center on
Education and the Workforce, which
reported a11.1% and 9.4% unemploy-
ment rate for recent college gradu-

aces with degrees in the arts and
humanities, respectively. only grad-
uates with architecture degrees, a
field which was significantly and
negatively impacted by the housing
bust, had a higher rate of unemploy-
ment. And while these results might
be expected considering the coun-
try's current economic state, the
numbers for unemployment of grad-
uates with more technical degrees
did not suffer to the same extent.
Despite my friend's disapproval
and the results of such studies, stu-
dents should still be encouraged
to take courses that are not strictly
academic in order to balance their
schedules and expand their minds
- ideally in ways which will assist
them with their core courses and
future endeavors.
In the same way football players
can benefit fromtaking ballet classes
to improve performance on the field,
University students can benefit from
taking arts and humanities classes
in order to get them thinking in new
ways and with different parts of
their brain.
In addition to taking creative
classes to find balance, University
students should be encouraged to
take classes in creative areas that
interest them because of the oppor-
tunity to learn in the amazing,
highly recognized programs the
University has to offer. Moreover,
while the benefits of a more struc-
tured academic curriculum maylead
to more success in the job market
immediately after graduation, there
certainly is no guarantee that such
directed studies will lead to long-
term happiness or fulfillment.
Further complicating the discus-
sion of the potential benefits of tak-
ing classes outside the core academic
curriculum is the supposition that
such classes are what students deem
"easy A" classes. Students take these
electives in order to inflate their
GPAs, and while higher-level arts
classes are most certainly difficult,
some lower level and less conven-
tional ones - such as the meditation

course I took - indeed deserve the
"easy A" identification, something
nearly every student looks for when
scanning websites such as ratemy-
professor.com. While some students
may, in fact, elect to take such class-
es solely with the intention of get-
ting a good grade, many others do
not, and if the end result for either
party is exposure to, or appreciation
of, a new subject, then the motiva-
tion for taking the classbecomes less
important.
Classes outside a
core curriculum
can be beneficial.
With a new semester just under
way, students shouldn't take the
endless benefits of exploring areas
outside their core curriculum for
granted, and they should take cre-
ative classes in conjunction with
strictly academic ones. Though such
creative courses may not pay imme-
diate dividends in the "real world" as
compared to more directed technical
business or engineering courses, the
application of materiallearned in cre-
ative classes could very well be more
practical and fulfilling in the post-
college world outside the work arena.
So, while strict academics and
soccer might be the norm Down
Under, a balance of less convention-
al classes and strictly academic ones
- along with, of course, football -
should be accepted as the norm both
here in the United States and at the
University specifically. So long as
the University continues to give stu-
dents the flexibility to choose their
courses, students should be encour-
aged to make their selections with-
out fear of limitingnthemselves in the
job market.
- LeahPotkin can be reached
at lpotkin@umich.edu.

CONTRIBUTE TO THE COVERSATION
Readers are encouraged to submit letters to the editor and viewpoints. Letters
should be fewer than 300 words while viewpoints should be less than 850
words. Both must include the writer's full name and University affiliation. Send
submissions to tothedaily@michigandaily.com
SARAH SKALUBAI W
Back out of blacking out

EDITORIAL BOARD MEMBERS:
Aida Ali, Kaan Avdan, Ashley Griesshammer, Nirbhay Jain, Jesse Klein,
Patrick Maillet, Erika Mayer, Harsha Nahata, Timothy Rabb,
Vanessa Rychlinski, Sarah Skaluba, Seth Soderborg,hCaroline Syms, Andrew Weiner
CHAYSON HURST 1 VIEWPOINT
The rise of Groupon-care

When your first thoughts upon waking up
range from "How in the world did I get here?"
to "What happened to me last night?," don't
laugh it off with your friends and joke about
the drunk texts that may have been sent the
previous night. Blacking out has become a
serious issue on college campuses across the
nation, and it's now being viewed ass a'normal'
part of the college experience. More than half
of college students that drink alcohol report
having blacked out at least once in the previ-
ousyear, accordingto a Northwestern Univer-
sity study in 2011. But an even scarier thought
is the fact that as more students experience
blackouts, we are desensitizing ourselves to
the dangerous and serious nature of the situ-
ation.
Blacking out mainly occurs from one of
the three following reasons: drinking too
much too fast, not eating a large enough meal
before drinking or beingunder a large amount
of physical or mental stress. All of these are
common here on campus, where students are
constantly running around without adequate
meals and proper nutrition while they're also
overwhelmed from the stress and workload
that tough University classes create. In addi-
tion, the social scene at frats, bars and Satur-
day pre-parties does nothing to help curb the
binge drinking that so many college students
find themselves a part of. It is the common
associationwith social drinkingthathas made
blacking out a new norm here on campus.
In reality though, it's anything but normal.
Not to be confused with passing out from
too much alcohol, blacking out is actually a
type of amnesia. An individual who enters a
blackout state suffers from memory loss that
can last anywhere from 10 minutes to several
hours depending on that individual's situation
and past alcohol history. In this state, alco-
hol interferes with neural synapses and leads
to disruption in the formation of long-term
memories. This makes it impossible to have
any recollection of the previous night's festivi-
ties the next morning, and it's extremely scary
for the individual involved.
Blacking out is definitely not something to

laugh off and joke about in the morning when
you can't remember how you got home (if you
did), what you were doing for those three and
a half hours and where you managed to lose
your credit card, ID and cell phone. Blacking
out has become a dangerous trend in our com-
munity that can lead to injury, sexual assault,
unprotected sex and, often times, regret. Poor
decisions are made under the influence of
large quantities of alcohol and can't be remem-
bered in the morning when the time has come
to deal with the consequences and fix the
damagethat was done. This vicious cycle leads
to immense stress, anxiety and even depres-
sion if the blacking out occurs often enough.
It is a growing trend among college students
today that has taught us it's okay to blackout
when drinking, and it's even a fun goal to aim
for. The next time you hear someone yell, "I'm
getting blackout tonight," take a second to ask
if they truly understand what they're saying.
Binge drinking on college campuses is
ancient news, butthe increase in students who
are blacking out needs to stop. It's not worth
the stress, regret and embarrassment in the
morning when the previous night is one giant
blur. We were all intelligent enough to get into
the University, so it's time to start acting like
it and drop the mindset that blacking out is a
socially acceptable behavior. As a community,
we need to educate each other on the negative
consequences associated with blackouts and
how dangerous they can actually be to one's
health. We need to change our mindsets and
realize thatblackingout isn't all it's crackedup
to be, and is in fact quite the opposite.
So the next time you're out with friends -
whether you're casually sipping a beer, cel-
ebrating a 21st birthday or raging hard - just
remember to drink responsibly, watch out for
one another and eata decent meal beforehand.
Let's try to start acting like the responsible,
intelligent students that were accepted to the
University in the first place. Don't we want
to remember as much of our undergraduate
experience as possible?
-Sarah Skaluba is an LSA sophomore.

ver Winter Break, while
browsingthe Web, I noticed
that the Internet discount
giant Groupon now offers coupons
for medical procedures. It's clear
many Americans who don't have
health insurance find these deals
appealing, but is relying on Grou-
pon for medical procedures a viable
alternative to conventional health
insurance?
The first deal I found was a teeth
cleaning for $39. Groupon also
listed full eye exams for $29. Both
deals boasted hundreds of dollars
in savings compared to the project-
ed normal cost of the procedures.
It didn't shock me that these deals
were available because many Amer-
icans don't have dental or vision
insurance - even I don't have cov-
erage for those. What scared me
most, however, were the multiple
discounts for full medical check-
ups. One deal offered an examina-
tion for only $69 - it even included
blood and urine testing.
But it doesn't stop there. There
were even listings on Groupon for
LASIK eye surgery at the unbeat-
able price of $2,100 per eye! That's
a 58 percent discount according to
Groupon. These are just a few of
the many deals on medical proce-
dures that can be found on the site.
In fact, according to an Associated
Press article, DealRadar.com - an
online coupon finder - found that
one out of every 11 deals offered
online last year were discounts on
medical procedures.

As an aspiring pre-med student,
I'm all for finding ways to make
health care more affordable, but,
using online deal sites like Groupon
scares me.
For one, many of the business-
es offering deals on Groupon are
doing so to advertise their compa-
ny or practice. The idea is simple:
If potential customers, clients or
patients come in and enjoy their
experience, they are more likely to
come back for additional services.
Eventually, those coupons for
$29 eye exams will be extremely
hard to find. When that happens,
former coupon patients will either
be forced to pay the full price of the
procedure out of pocket, or forego
the procedure altogether. Both of
these are unfortunate options. It's
important to remember that like
other businesses, ophthalmologists,
dentists and every other medical
professional can't sustain services
that are significantly discounted in
the long run - they'd go bankrupt.
It's dangerous to rely on cou-
pons because they're inconsistent.
For example, if you get a cavity and
your "health insurer" is Groupon,
the only option you have is to go
online and hope that a nearby den-
tist is offering discounts on fillings.
If you can't find such a discount,
then you go without.
One final potential problem is
the constant movement from one
health professional to another. It's
unlikely to see the same doctor that
offers a $69 checkup offer another

discounted procedure one year
later. If you want another checkup,
you will need to purchase the most
affordable discounted checkup that
you can find, which will likely be
with a different doctor.
Entire medical records are not
quickly transferred from one office
to another. One needs to fill outa lot
of paperwork and questionnaires at
both offices to facilitate the trans-
fer. Unpredictable things can hap-
pen that could hinder the care you
receive. Maybe you forget to men-
tion an allergy, or perhaps previous
relevant symptoms that could help
your current doctor quickly diag-
nose a problem slip your mind on
a given visit - there is real reason
why many healthcare professionals
claim consistency leads to better
care.
In all, Groupon can help bridge
gaps in one's medical insurance, but
online, discounted procedures are
not a solution to America's health
care problems. The system isn't
reliable enough to be the primary
source of care a person receives.
Perhaps a more viable option is for
sites like Groupon to offer coupons
for conventional health coverage,
like a discount on six months of
coverage from established insur-
ance companies. Hopefully the
future holds better healthcare solu-
tions for all Americans. Until then,
I'm off to get my teeth cleaned for
$39.
- Chayson Hurst is an LSA junior.

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