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January 09, 2012 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 2012-01-09

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4A - Monday, January 9, 2012

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.
Imran Syed is the public editor. He can be reached at publiceditor@michigandaily.com.
Raising worry
'U' spending must align with student interests
With tuition increasing every year, students are under-
standably concerned about how their contribution to the
University's revenue is spent. A portion of the funds go
to yearly salary raises received by University employees. Spending
should follow inflation rates and provide the best resources for stu-
dents. Salary increases were improved to attract and retain professors
and administrators. While sometimes necessary and earned, salary
increases and bidding wars over highly paid professors and executive
officers result in tuition increases. Salary increases that students pay
for should be used to provide direct benefits and a better education
for the students.

Free speech restricted

n October of last year, an
e-mail went out to the staff of
The Michigan Daily with the
subject line of: "Important message
about petitions and causes.' That
e-mail drew my attention. I saved it,
and an excerpt (including original
emphasis) follows: "If you are on
staff or are in the process of becom-
ing a staff member, you CANNOT
sign any petitions or post links to
petitions on your Facebook wall.
This also applies to expressing your
opinion about issues on campus.
For example, you cannot publicly
state your opinion about controver-
sial topics like the pro-life exhibit
on the Diag."
The e-mail reflected a policy that
I've seen slowly crystallizing at this
newspaper for everal years now
- one that Iv never really been
comfortable with. In previous (and
more benign) forms, the policy was
difficult to contest. But as it stands
in the final form expressed in that
e-mail, that policy is clearly wrong,
and can't be the actual rule.
The Daily simply can't ban staff-
ers from "publicly expressing [their]
opinions about controversial top-
ics." To do so would be a grave viola-
tion of this paper's own free speech
ideals, and may even violate actual
legal standards pertaining to free
Upon digging into the Daily's
bylaws, I am happy to report that
the strict policy expressed in that
email is actually not the Daily's
official rule. I write this column to
clarify the true rule that the Daily's
bylaws have established to negotiate
the line between journalistic ethics
and personal freedom of speech. It's
important that the Daily's current
leaders pay close attention to the
relevant parts of the Daily's bylaws

and stop enforcing the erroneous,
overbroad policy expressed in that
The entirety of this issue is actu-
ally governed by just one segment of
the Daily's bylaws - Section III.2.A
of the Code of Ethics. The relevant
excerpt of that section follows:
"The Daily's beat reporters
should not reveal their bias about
their beats ... Similarly, general
assignment reporters and photog-
raphers may not reveal their biases
about stories they are covering.
Editors may not reveal their bias
about any story or issue they may
assign or rewrite. News reporters
and editors may not reveal person-
al opinions in the Daily that dam-
age the news section's reputation
of objectivity. Daily staff members
who are not covering a specific
beat, issue, or event may reveal
their biases, but not as a represen-
tative of the Daily. Any Daily staff-
ers who have identified themselves
as representatives of other organi-
zations at public events should not
simultaneously or subsequently
identify themselves as Daily staff-
ers in that context."
So, that section prohibits beat
reporters from expressing their
personal opinions about their
beats, and it also prohibits "general
assignment reporters and photog-
raphers" from revealing their bias-
es about stories they are covering.
That's fair enough, and completely
necessary to maintain objectivity
of the news section. It also takes
further steps to limit Daily staffers
from expressing opinions on issues
that they may be involved with in
their official capacity at the Daily.
But you'll notice that at every
step, the Code of Ethics hedges
and qualifies the restrictions -

before ultimately stating that Daily
staffers are generally allowed to
express their opinions as long as
they don't do so as representatives
of the Daily. The nuance in that
rule is crucial to maintaining the
proper balance between journalis-
tic integrity and personal freedom
of speech of Daily staffers. That
nuance should not be lost.
Without digging too far into
the law pertaining to free speech
(because I don't think this issue
should even come to that), I brief-
ly summarize to underscore the
seriousness of the issue. The U.S.
Supreme Court has held that pub-
lic employees do not lose their free
speech rights as a result of their
employment. There are many fac-
tors to consider, but broad restric-
tions on expressing any opinions
publicly almost always fail the test.
And while Daily staffers may not
see themselves as public employ-
ees, their checks come from a pub-
lic University, and the body of law
applying to other public employees
will likely apply here.
Potential legal violations aside,
the Daily has a strong core belief in
a broad application of the concept
of free speech. It's important that
those in charge of the paper apply
those ideals to the free speech
rights of their staffers outside of
the Daily. The Daily's bylaws strike
an important balance on this front,
and it can't be ignored.
-The public editor is an independent
critic of the Daily, and neither the editorial
board nor the editor in chief exercise
control over the contents of his columns.
The opinions expressed do not necessarily
constitute the opinion of the Daily.
Imran Syed can be reached at


Compared to previous years, faculty and
staff received below-average salary increas-
es. Faculty received a 2.8 percent increase
while staff received a 2.2 percent increase.
This year's changes are less than the average
salary increases over the past five years - 3.7
percent for faculty and 2.5 percent for staff.
The executive officers received a 2.7 percent
salary increase, higher than the five-year
average of 2.5 percent.
Salary increases are necessary to retain
the best faculty and staff. Instructors of all
skill levels should get salary increases to
keep pace with inflation. Snyder's 2012 fis-
cal year budget brought about drastic cuts to
state funding for the University. Asa result, a
larger portion of salary increases must come
from tuition raises.
Students should not pay for large sal-
-y raises for teachers who don't necessarily
haoe a large impact on them. Top universities
engage in bidding wars to attract talented
faculty, but oftentimes professors' other
University endeavors, like research projects,
have little personal impact on students. The

professors who interact with the most stu-
dents and have a positive impact on the cam-
pus community deserve to be rewarded for
their work.
The highest salary increase was given to
executives who declined a salary increase
in 2009. While their positions are obviously
important, these officials rarely interact
with students. University President Mary
Sue Coleman recently sent a letter to Presi-
dent Barack Obama advocating for afford-
able higher education. The executives' raise
contradicts Coleman's public declaration
that the University is working toward more
affordable higher education. The executive
officers should once again skip their salary
increase if they are advocating for affordable
education, even if the denial of the raise is
simply a symbolic gesture.
Obviously, salary increases are part of a
normal, yearly procedure. But as tuition costs
and the decline of state funding make higher
education less accessible, the University must
ensure that all types of spending increases
are vital and in students' best interests.

Readers are encouraged to submit letters to the editor and viewpoints. Letters should be fewer
than 300 words while viewpoints should be 550 to 850 words. Both must include the writer's full
name and University affiliation. Send submissions to tothedaily@michigandaily.com
Institutionalizing ignorance

Why the world should end

We've all heard the news. The Mayan calen-
dar predicts the world will end on Dec. 21 - a
mere 11 months and 12 days from now. There's
no scientific proof. There's no mythological
proof. Hell, even Mayan scholars disclaim the
theory that the calendar ends. They claim that
just the current cycle ends. No matter. The year
2012has become such a phenomenon that there
was a movie with John Cusack in it (Note - not
at all worth watching). Most people are scared
about the world ending. They don't wantto die.
There are things they want to do, people they
want to see and places they want to visit. I, for
one, am excited at the prospect of the world
ending. I believe a lot of good will come of it.
Besides, there are legitimate reasons as to why
the world should end this December.
1. It's the only way to stop the SEC from win-
ning more Bowl Championship Series titles,
and it stops the BCS controversy.
2. Oil reserves are out? Who cares? Nobody
is driving anymore anyway.
3. Global warming? There willbe no globe to
warm. Pollution? No big deal. Whatever pollu-
tion goes into space will be of no consequence.
4. All the health issues in the world will be
gone. Especially obesity. Pizza as a vegetable
didn't help stop the world from ending. Noth-
ing will. So you might as well forgetaboutexer-
cise and eat whatever the hell you want. Who
cares aboutchaving a heart attack at 22? At least
you went out on your own terms.
5. Genocide and racism? We're all equal
when we're all dead.
6. The new Hobbit movie that's coming out
won't have a chance to disappoint. Though it
probably won't anyway.
7. The U.S. can finally pay off all its debt,
which would be $0.00.
8. All the species that are endangered and
need protection will be extinct anyway, as will
those species that aren't endangered.
9. Republicans and Democrats will finally
get along. Also, there will be no more politick-
ing. No more mudslinging. No more campaign-
ing. No more debates. No more TV ads. No
more anything when it comes to politics.
10. We will finally have found the cure for
cancer, HIV, HPV, herpes, gonorrhea, polio and
the common cold all at once. And it's the same
simple thing.
11. Gun control will be solved.
12. Abortion will no longer be an issue. All
those unborn babies will be dead anyway.
13. Nuclear reactors will all melt down. Just
like the anti-nuclear activists said.

14. We will finally have a storage place for all
those nuclear bombs.
15. The Cold War will finally be over. We'll
have put Russia in its place.
16. The conflict between Israel and the Pal-
estinians will be solved. Neither gets that land.
The aliens take it over and everybody loses.
That's fair, isn't it?
17. Justin. Bieber. Will. Be. Dead. And. There.
Will. Be. No. More. Twilight. How is that not a
good thing?
18. We'll all find out if there truly is a God.
Also, we'll see if thatwhole heaven thing is true
19. Water will finally run out for all of us. Too
bad "all of us" might be a few people left.
20. Maybe zombies will finally come to life
and eat us all ... at least all those movies will be
true then.
21. A few lucky people might be able to visit
Mars, or Venus, or even Jupiter. That's assum-
ing Earth takes the moon with it.
22. No more tests. No more homework. No
more studying. Just an eternity of relaxation.
Think of it as an extra-long nap from which
you'll never wake up.
23. All those issues with capital punishment
will be moot. Those criminals that the liber-
als want to save will all be dead. Granted, the
innocent ones will be dead too, but that's just
a side effect.
24. Teams that won't be able to add one more
trophy: The Green Bay Packers, the Miami
Heat, the New York Yankees, the St. Louis
Cardinals, and the Detroit Red Wings. Play-
ers and coaches who won't be in our faces for
much longer: LeBron James, Roger Federer,
Michael Phelps, Tiger Woods, A-Rod, Derek
Jeter, Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady, James Har-
rison, Michael Vick, Joe Paterno, Urban Meyer,
and Rich Rod.
25. Michigan Football will end its final regu-
lar season where it should. With an unblem-
ished record and a complete spanking of that
School Down South.
There you have it. Whythe world should end
this year. It's sad that there are more reasons
why it should end than why it shouldn't. We'll
always remember the good years, or the good
ol' years - which to most of us was when we
were told it was the good ol' years. So here's to
hoping that the world does end in 2012. I can't
stand the world as it is any longer. Something
needs to change.
Nirbhay Jain is an LSA freshman.

in Latino/a studies? How
about Afroamerican and
African studies?
Or Hebrew and
Jewish Cultural
studies? Wom-
en's studies? Ara-
bic, Armenian,
Persian, Turk-
ish, and Islamic
studies? CHARDELL
Maybe a bet- _
ter question is
this: Who here
enjoys the freedom to learn our his-
That, among other things, is a rea-
son to be proud of the University of
Michigan. Whether we identify with
specific cultural studies or simply
wish to deepen our appreciation for
them, all students here enjoy a safe
space in which to pursue our aca-
demic interests. That's something to
be thankful for, and why I'm so dis-
turbed by recent events in Arizona.
No, I'm not talking about the
state's dubious immigration law,
which by some interpretations pro-
motes racial profiling as a means to
identify illegal aliens.
I'm talking about Arizona's efforts
to institutionalize ignorance - to
curb access to key pieces of Ameri-
can history by outlawing the study
of minority oppression. That's right.
Arizona wants to gloss over anything
remotely shameful in our past.
Here's what's happening in the
strange land of Arizona.
In 2010, the Arizona state Leg-
islature passed a law prohibiting
school districts from having any
classes that encourage "the over-
throw of the United States govern-
ment," incite "resentment toward
a race or class of people," are
"designed primarily for pupils of
a particular ethnic group" and/or
"advocate ethnic solidarity."
Shortly after going into effect,
John Huppenthal, Arizona superin-
tendent of public instruction, ruled
that the Tucson Unified School Dis-
trict was in violation of the new law.
Why? Because TUSD, which is 61
percent Latino, offers its students
a program in Mexican American
studies. Huppenthal said he fears

that the curriculums "characterize
historical events in racial terms."
"Absolutely," he said in an inter-
view with National Public Radio.
"We have to study historical injus-
tice, but we need to do that within
the context of creating a better
society, not creating racial resent-
ment that leads students into an
attitude of getting even as opposed
to getting ahead."
Maybe that argument would
hold some weight if there were any
semblance of truth in it. Instead,
according to an independent audit
conducted by Cambium Learning
Group, Inc. in Jun. 2011, there was
no evidence that the Mexican Amer-
ican studies program is in violation
of the law. In fact, the courses may
be doing more good than they're
given credit for - reading and writ-
ing scores were up, the classes were
popular and effective and high
school seniors enrolled ina Mexican
American studies course, the report
stated, "are more likely to graduate
than their peers."
It's clear from looking at hard
facts - the Mexican American stud-
ies course is helping to close the
achievement gap that has plagued
the district for longer than most
would like to acknowledge.
But that's the funny thing about
Arizona - facts don't seem to mat-
ter. Less than two weeks ago, an
Arizona state judge, responding to
a TUSD appeal, sided with Huppen-
thal. In spite of Cambium's report,
the judge reaffirmed that the cours-
es in Mexican American studies vio-
late state law.
Now TUSD faces a choice. Unless
Tucson reforms or abolishes Mexi-
can American studies, it is within
the state's rights to withhold 10 per-
cent of the district's funding-about
$15 million per year.
So let me be frank, Arizona - this
is disgusting.
But perhaps equally disgusting
is the lack of attention this story
has received. All of this made some
waves, albeit small, in the national
media back in June 2010 when
Huppenthal first made the allega-
tions against TUSD.. Vet I've heard
next to nothing about it over the
last few weeks. Now, as Arizona
readies itself to deny a significant

portion of its students the right to
learn and the right to succeed, our
media and national leaders are con-
tent to stand idly by, watching care-
lessly as a blatant affront to justice
unfolds before them.
The events playing out in Tucson
are indicative of a broader worri-
some national trend - our inability
to question, criticize or condemn our
own nation's history. Why have we,
Americans, succumbed to a glori-
fied mythology wherein the United
States can do no wrong? Why have
we grown complacent in our concep-
tualization of the past?
Let me be frank,
Arizona - this is
I have no doubt that we live in
a great country, but let's also not
deceive ourselves.
Our deified Founding Fathers
were slave-owners. Our forebears
exterminated Native Americans.
The United States has ignored fla-
grant human rights abuses, and our
government has supported dictator-
ships. For all its progress, the United
States is not yet a society of perfect
equal opportunity. And yes, Mexican
Americans have indeed been victims
of discrimination and exploitation.
Like every individual, and like
every nation, we have skeletons in
our closet. Don't try to hide them
or pretend we're perfect. Sure, you
and I aren't responsible for what
happened hundreds of years ago
- slavery didn't occur under our
watch. But we do ourselves a dis-
service, and we become complicit
in those travesties, when we fail to
acknowledge the events that make
up our history and shape the world
in which we live today.
Don't put a stopper on historical
consciousness - in the classroom,
most of all.
- Daniel Chardell can be
reached at chardell@umich.edu.

Aida Ali, Kaan Avdan, Michelle DeWitt, Ashley Griesshammer, Nirbhay Jain, Jesse Klein,
Patrick Maillet, Erika Mayer, Harsha Nahata, Emily Orley, Timothy Rabb, Adrienne Roberts,
Vanessa Rychlinski, Sarah Skaluba, Caroline Syms, Seth Soderborg, Andrew Weiner


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