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March 28, 2012 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 2012-03-28

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4A - Wednesday, 28, 2012

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com


I C id 1an Batly
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.
Tickets are too much
The Athletic Department shouldn't raise prices
ost University Students are proud of the Michigan ath-
letic programs. They feel a close, emotional attachment
to the University's nationally renowned varsity teams
- especially football, men's basketball and hockey. College athlet-
ics are an integral part of the Wolverine experience, and the Ath-
letic Department shouldn't make it more expensive for students to
attend the games.


This is my last election. After my election, I'll have
more flexibility."
- President Barack Obama to Russian President DmitriMedvedev yesterday
about the state of missle defense negotiations after November's election

A need for recognition

The Athletic Department has increased
prices for football and men's basketball stu-
dent season tickets for the upcoming season.
Individual home football game tickets rose
from $31.50 to $32.50 this year, and the price
of basketball season tickets increased 50 per-
cent to $150. But next football season, Michi-
gan only hosts six games, compared to eight
in 2011. Many of Michigan's home opponents
aren't its biggest rivals as the Wolverines play
Nebraska, Notre Dame and Ohio State on the
road, yet ticket prices have still gone up.
This hike in ticket prices is unwarranted.
Debt-ridden students are already struggling
to manage the daily expenses of college as
it becomes increasingly expensive. With
cuts to the University's budget made by the
state, tuition prices have increased, textbook
expenditures are weighing heavy on stu-
dents' pockets and now sports ticket prices
have increased as well.
Hunter Lochmann, the Athletic Depart-
ment's chief marketing officer, claims that
the purpose of the increase in prices is to
keep them level with those of other insti-
tutions and to encourage fans to arrive to
games early and amplify the Michigan spir-
it. With record-breaking attendance at the
night game against Notre Dame last season,
students have proven that the Michigan spir-
it hasn't faded.

An increase in ticket prices will not make
students more excited for the games - if any-
thing, it will have the opposite effect. The
Athletic Department should bolster student
pride by making student tickets more afford-
able. The Athletic Department's motives for
raising ticket prices are fairly obvious. The
men's basketball and football teams greatly
improved last season, and expectations going
into the next season are sky-high for both
squads. The Athletic Department has identi-
fied this as an opportunity to profit from our
The Athletic Department shouldn't exploit
its students like this. There's no doubt that
students will still buy the season tickets no
matter what the price is because of the inelas-
tic and high demand to attend the games
- further proving how dedicated Michigan
fans are. Contrary to what Lochmann sug-
gested, students don't need a price increase
to encourage them to come to the games ear-
lier. The Athletic Department shouldn't try
to make money off students' dedication and
emotional investment in Michigan's sports
teams. Obviously the Athletic Department
would want to increase ticket prices with a
business perspective in mind. But, students
aren't merely consumers - they're the devot-
ed fans. A hike in ticket prices is unnecessary
and sends the wrong message to students.

ne of mankind's favor-
ite pastimes is criticizing
the younger generation
- your parents
have probably -
bragged before
about how their
generation tis
better than
yours. Almostr
inevitably, the
younger gen-
eration rolls its DAR-WEI
collective eyes CHEN
when hearing
the criticism,
citing some sort of misunderstand-
ing caused by the "generation gap."
I want to take this opportunity to
complain about something I see in
my own generation. Perhaps the
criticism will be more well-received
in this manner.
My gripe with my generation
is as follows: members of Genera-
tion Y want credit for everything
they do, no matter how menial the
accomplishment is. I'll admit that
this gripe applies to me sometimes
- I'm just observing the trend and
reporting on it. Whether the devel=
optaent was caused by social media
or simply exacerbated by it is debat-
able. And the motives for trying to
garner said credit are varied: self-
aggrandizement, need for reassur-
ance, social competitiveness, etc.
But regardless of cause or motive,
Generation Y is undoubtedly hun-
gry for credit and praise.
To see the phenomenon in action,
simply log onto Facebook. One of the
disturbing recent trends is people
posting pictures of their food. Of
course, some food-related moments
are worth savoring, such as prepar-
ing a difficult dish or dining at a spe-
cial place. However, news feeds now
often present users with friends'
pictures of even relatively average
foods. Nothing to get excited about
- after all, every human being eats
at least somewhat regularly.
The reason people post pictures

of even routine meals is simple:
Once the food is eaten, they can't
get credit for having the food
anymore. Especially if they pre-
pared the food themselves, the lost
chance for credit can potentially
be devastating. What bothers me.
is that Generation Y feels the need
to document commonplace events,
such as eating, to gain some mar-
ginal credit for their accomplish-
ments. Preparing and consuming
food is basic human sustenance - a
lack of documentation shouldn't be
To be clear, I'm not necessarily
slamming food pictures specifically
- I'm slamming those who want
credit for every part of their lives,
eatingbeitnga particularlyegregious
example of something ordinary
for which people still want credit.
Another example can be found in
applications such as Foursquare,
which enables people to take credit
for frequenting the gym, for exam-
ple. I'll concede that hittingthe gym
is less of a necessity than eating,
meaning gym trips are slightly more
worthy of announcement. However,
for people who exercise often, any
given trip is routine and therefore
not announcement-worthy. They're
likely reporting it repeatedly to get
the social credit associated with
being active.
Even ostensibly well-intentioned
actions can have underlying credit-
grabbing motivations. The most
recent viral internet movement was
Kony 2012, a campaign by Invisible
Children, Inc. to bring Ugandan war
criminal Joseph Kony to justice. I
acknowledge the campaign and its
good intentions. But for many in the
social media world, Kony presented
a chance to appear noble and well-
informed, possibly one too good to
pass up. You've probably seen many
of your friends casually posting on
Facebook about him.
How do I knowthatpeople in Gen-
eration Y probably don't care much
about Kony? Ask yourself if you're

still hearing about him now.The fact
that so many of these movements
end up as transient fads reveals, in
my opinion, that people care only
enough to the point that it helpstheir
own image. After that point, the per-
sonal returns are diminishing and
not worth pursuing.
When people expend effort to get
credit for menial accomplishments,
they develop inflated senses of self-
importance. And while Generation
Y isn't full of slackers like some in
Generation Y
wants credit for
older generations would believe, it
doesn't need to be conceited either.
I believe credit should be given only
when it's due. For example, instead
of sharing every gym trip, perhaps
tweeting about reaching an exer-
cise milestone is more appropriate.
If you have an insightful comment
to make about a social movement,
contribute your comment to the
discourse instead of casually refer-
encing the movement just to appear
All people want recognition at
some level, as Professor Abraham
Maslow has theorized in his Hierar-
chy of Needs pyramid. I realize that
nothingis wrongwithwantingpraise
- I'm particularly needy myself.
With this column, I'm merely dif-
ferentiating between what is praise-
worthy and what isn't. They say that
champions are made when no one's
watching. My fear is that Generation
Y always wants to be watched.
-Dar-Wei Chen can be reached at
chendw@umich.edu. Follow him on
Twitter at @DWChen_MDaily.


Prima facie

On March 15, the Multi-Ethnic Infor-
mation Exchange hosted an event at the
School of Information to explore the swirl-
ing controversy around a mobile application
recently patented by Microsoft. Among other
things, the app communicates with users'
GPS devices to provide directions around
unsafe neighborhoods. Microsoft rejected
the negative criticism of its product - which
some labeled the "Avoid the Ghetto App"
- by stating the classification of "unsafe"
neighborhoods stems from crime statistics
and demographics. The MIX discussion did
not attempt to respond to the alleged racism
inherent in the concept, but rather sought
to provoke a larger discussion of informa-
tion, ethics and our role between the two as
emerging professionals.
By all accounts, the dialogue succeeded
in exchanging ideas, identifying responsi-
bilities and broadening perspectives. I left
the lecture hall immensely encouraged by
the capacity of SI students to enact positive
change in the lives of citizens everywhere.
And while I still retain that optimism, the
recent shooting death of 17-year-old Trayvon
Martin in Sanford, Fla., an Orlando suburb,
diminishes,a small portion of that attitude..
His assailant, 28-year-old George Zimmer-
man, informed police he shot the teenager
- who was black - in self-defense. This is
despite the fact that after he phoned authori-
ties about a "suspicious" young man "walk-
ing around and looking about," Zimmerman
exited his vehicle with a 9-millimeter hand-
gun and began to follow Martin. A physical
encounter occurred, the specifics of which
may never be known, and it concluded with
a single gunshot wound to Martin's chest. He
was pronounced dead shortly thereafter.
Sanford Police continue to reiterate they
have no probable cause to arrest Zimmerman
- who is white - due to a vague 2005 Florida
law allowing a person to use deadly force if
under the belief that great bodily harm or
death is imminent. In essence, so long as
Zimmerman perceived Martin to be a threat
to his life, he possessed the right to "stand
his ground." Since Martin is no longer alive
to prove he did not pose such a threat to Zim-
merman law enforcement officials declare
their hands to be tied. Issues abound with the
case, prompting state and federal authorities
to launch their own investigation.
Now, I'm no lawyer, nor will I pretend to

be just for the sake of argument. But as an
archival student, Iam eerily reminded of this
19th-century legal doctrine: "A colored man
is, prima facie, a slave." The precept resulted
in the illegal detention and enslavement of
countless free blacks, as the courts ascribed
the burden unto them to prove their free-
dom. Likewise, Sanford authorities first need
evidence. to verify Martin did not endan-
ger Zimmerman's life, a deeply problematic
commentary in this era with the nation's
first black president. That a self-appointed
neighborhood watchman can successfully
justify Jim Crow-esque vigilantism under
the auspices of perception demonstrates the
great distance we have to travel toward racial
understanding in our country. Such a real-
ity should be a cause for concern not just in
Florida, but all across the nation. The willful
inaction of the Sanford Police Department
has sent a clear and unambiguous message
to American society: primafacie, young black
men are criminals.
That sobering prejudice brings me back to
the Microsoft application. While intendingto
increase safety, it ultimately produces a men-
tality in which they are out to get us. It rests
upon the unsubstantiated claim that certain
people living in certain areas commit certain
crimes more frequently than others. Increas-
ingly, the targets of those dog whistles tend
to be younger and browner. This same notion
led the killer of Grosse Pointe's Jane Bashara
to dump her body on the east side of Detroit.
Surely, the murderer thought, these heinous
crimes always happen near Gratiot Avenue,
leaving the police to assume one of them did
In the end, there is perhaps no data a
Microsoft researcher could aggregate to
inform Trayvon Martin of the danger he
eventually met. Indeed, we must give pause
to remember that the crimes prosecuted are
rarely the whole of crimes committed. A
black boy was stalked, shot and killed as he
walked home with a bag of candy and a can
of iced tea. If that's not criminal, I'm not sure
any of us knows what is. That his admitted
killer is a free man wages a psychological war
against Martin's parents that is just as vio-
lent, senseless and avoidable as the murder of
their child.
Jarrett Drake is a first year master's
student in the School of Information.

Aida Ali, Laura Argintar, Kaan Avdan, Ashley Griesshammer, Nirbhay Jain, Jesse Klein,
Patrick Maillet, Erika Mayer, Harsha Nahata, Harsha Panduranga, Timothy Rabb, Adrienne Roberts, Vanessa
Rychlinski, Sarah Skaluba, Seth Soderborg, Caroline Syms, Andrew Weiner
I justwant my medicine

On a sunny morning during my freshman year of
college, I woke up to my insides being pummeled. This
was nothing new - for eight years Ihad struggled with
monthly ordeals of incapacitating corporal mutiny. But
it was the first week of school, so I began walking to
class. I ended up collapsing on a bathroom floor, vom-
iting, drenched in sweat and immobilized with agony.
After what seemed like years, an ambulance came and
paramedics took me to the hospital.
We never found out what happened that day. But
they put me on birth control to prevent another hospi-
tal visit. Three years and a few other female conditions
later, the birth control pill is still the only medication
protecting me against needlessly suffering again.
A lot of guy friends ask why I take the pill if I'm not
having sex. I was offended until I realized that they
believed the common misconception that oral contra-
ceptives are only for people having sex. Many use this
fallacy - citing society's declining sexual morality and
religious freedom - to express opposition to the bill
requiring all private insurance plans to cover oral con-
traceptives. But for me, the pill is a medicine.
According to the Guttmacher Institute, about 11.2
million women in the United States take the pill.
Another 6.5 million use oral contraceptives in part
for non-contraceptive benefits. 1.56 million women
take the pill strictly for non-contraceptive purposes -
762,000 of which have never had sex.
Oral contraceptives are powerful. Medical research
indicates that they significantly decrease the risk of
ovarian, colorectal and uterine cancer. The pill can also
treat dysfunctional uterine bleeding, acne, endometrio-
sis, menstrual cramps, hypermenorrhea, PMS, PMDD,
ovarian cysts, chocolate cysts, fibroids, polycystic ovar-
ian syndrome and irregular menstrual cycles.
I find it disconcerting when people like Rush Lim-
baugh and Foster Friess call women taking oral contra-
ceptives "sluts" or advise them to put "aspirin between

their knees," especially since more than 6 million
women take the pill for medical reasons.-These condi-
tions are not sexually transmitted, and I doubt absti-
nence prevents or cures any of them. Limbaugh and
Friess's words demonstrate the importance of taking
women's health seriously and using education to abol-
ish misconceptions about the pill.
While I respect someone's opposition to the pill's
contraceptive benefits, I have to wonder what gives
anybody permission to deny someone healthcare. If
nobody would deny a diabetic insulin for religious
reasons, why would they deny a woman medicine for
endometriosis? For that matter, if a woman needed an
operation for something otherwise preventable by the
pill, would objectors pay for her surgery, medication
and hospital bills? If the woman was unable to treat
her condition because the objector denied her access to
the necessary treatment, wouldn't the objector be cul-
pable for her needing surgery? While I hope objectors
would foot the bill for potential cases like this, I doubt
they'd be willing to pay for the thousands of women
who would suffer the consequences of the objector's
I invite opponents of the birth control bill to con-
sider who their decision could affect - because illness
strikes regardless of faith, chastity or politics. What if
their wives, girlfriends, daughters or sisters had con-
ditions that needed to be treated with oral contracep-
tives? Would they deny their loved ones the pill? Could
they watch their loved ones needlessly suffer because
of them? If they could do that in good conscience, I sup-
pose they have that right. But before anybody makes
that choice, I hope they remember the Bible verse
Zechariah 7:9, "This is what the LORD Almighty said:
'Administer true justice; show mercy and compassion
to one another."'
Kelsey Trotta is an LSA junior.




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