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April 13, 2012 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 2012-04-13

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4 - Friday April, 13, 2012

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

74c itdligan B3aihJ
Edited and managed by students at
the University of Michigan since 1890.
420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
tothedaily@michigansdaily.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.
Don't judge cabook...
Skill, not appearance, must dictate employment
besity is an endemic public health issue in the United States. A
new controversial policy at a hospital in Victoria, Texas bans
people with a body mass index greater than 35 from being
hired in an attempt to tackle the issue of obesity. The hospital argues
that its hiring policy was implemented to promote a professional,
health-conscious image of the employees working at Citizens Medical
Center. Though obesity is a growing problem in the United States and
needs to be addressed, Citizens Medical Center's actions only further
an underlying bias against those who are overweight. Using discrimi-
natory methods to prohibit a group of people from seeking employ-
ment is neither a viable nor fair solution to this problem.

Reduce, reuse, re-educate

love recycling.
I have a purse and an
umbrella made from recycled
water bottles, a collection of recy-
cled-newspaper
pencils and each
fall I'm excited
by the prospect
of purchasing
new recycled
notebooks.
I pick up water
bottles from the KRISTEN
street and stoop KILEK
down to rescue
paper tumble-
weeds on my way to class - but I
have to admit that I don't always
rinse the residue from my peanut
butter jars.
I didn't realize this mattered until
last week when I took a tour of Ann
Arbor's Materials Recovery Facil-
ity. This is where our milk cartons,
condiment jars, soon-to-be-banned
water bottles and all other accept-
able recyclables are delivered, then
sorted out and sent off for a new pur-
pose in life.
Though I thought I was well
versed on Ann Arbor's recycling
prior to my visit, some of my small
oversights have been burdening the
system. Materials received with
food residues, for example, must
be hauled to a landfill. They don't
accept plastic caps or lids either. The
Materials Recovery Facility must
pay to dispose of these items due to
my occasional error.
Education and clarity are key to
any successful recycling program
- but are they really enough? No
matter how hard a busy American
citizen works to keep up with their
local facility's changing and detailed
requirements, many still miss the
fine print. Some won't ever be moti-
vated to self-educate themselves
about recycling.
With consumer-driven recycling
limited by these constraints, I have
to wonder: Would it be more appro-
priate for manufacturers to facili-
tate recycling programs given their
much greater knowledge base, direct

interest and ability to provide con-
sumer incentives?
Many writers, politicians and
industry leaders have tinkered with
this concept. William McDonough,
author of "Cradle to Cradle: Remak-
ing the Way We Make Things" is
fervent about the benefits of urging
manufacturers to take responsibil-
ity for their products at life's-end.
McDonough's ultimate and lofty
ideal is to completely eliminate the
idea of waste by restructuring man-
ufacturing to cut out practices that
necessitate third-party recycling
services in the first place.
Countries including Sweden
and the Netherlands have devel-
oped policies regarding automobile
disposal, which embody some of
McDonough's values. In the 1990s,
the Netherlands introduced a "dis-
posal fee" into the cost of new cars
purchased in the country to cover
expenses for dismantling, transport-
ing and recycling old autos.
Sweden has used a "deposit-
refund" system since the 1970s. This
system necessitates that the produc-
er or importer of a car pays a "recy-
cling fee" to the vehicle Disposal
Fund. The fund pays the final owner
to extract materials from their car
once it's deregistered at the end of
its life.
In Japan's Fuji-Xerox plants, a
longer-range economic perspective
is adapted than in the United States.
Its assembly facilities include prod-
uct take-back and disassembly units.
The products are broken down into
component parts and then manufac-
tured for future sale. Though their
disassembly processes aren't com-
pletely cost effective yet, the com-
pany aims to make its system more
efficient and anticipates benefits
from future legislation that will help
drive down its costs.
Companies shouldn't be able
to profit without paying the com-
plete costs. Legislation should
require more manufacturers to take
responsibility for their end waste.
Of course, these systems still
involve consumer education and

compliance. The main difference
from municipal or separate, priva-
tized materials recovery programs,
though, is that a recycling process
managed by the manufacturer can
be more standardized, with clearer
consumer incentives explained on a
more palatable scale.
It's in our
financial interest
to support
recycling.
In Michigan, the trash disposal
fee, or tipping fee, has been notori-
ously low for years, making our state
a dumping ground and particularly
difficult region for profitable recy-
cling. In September 2011, a motion
to increase Michigan's $.07 per ton
tipping fee to $.12 per ton was signed
by Republican Gov. Rick Snyder. But
according to a study conducted by
Columbia University's Earth Insti-
tute and Biocycle, a waste industry
jounral, the average U.S. tipping fee
in 2010 was $44.09/ton. Michigan's
fee is a pittance.
Considering how well money
speaks in the United States, higher
tipping fees could also be part of
the waste disposal puzzle. It could
increase recycling volumes and also
present an incentive for industries
to use materials that can be profit-
ably recycled.
For the time being, though, the
Ann Arbor community is paying for
the city's materials recovery ser-
vices. It's our civic duty and direct
financial interest to educate our-
selves and support the most efficient
recycling system we can.
So, excuse me while I go review
its guidelines.
-Kristen Kiluk can be reached
at kkiluk@umich.

According the Texas Tribune, the hos-
pitals policy states that "(an employee's)
physique 'should fit with a representational
image or specific mental projection of the job
of a healthcare professional,' including an
appearance 'free from distraction' for hospi-
tal patients."
Opponents are reaching out to the federal
Equal Employment Opportunity Commis-
sion and looking to the federal Americans
with Disabilities Act for protection from the
provision. Their main issue with the law is
its specific assertion of "appearance" as the
reason for a policy change. In places such as
Washington, D.C. for example, there is a law
against discrimination based on any surface
level characteristic - otherwise known as
the "ugly law."
It's wrong for any employment policy to
discriminate based solely on an individual's
outer appearance. There is not implicit cor-
relation between how a person looks and
their ability to perform their'job. Employers
make decisions on how well an individual is
able to do the job, not on how they look. Some
opponents also believe that the hospital's
policy may be illegal. While Michigan is cur-

rently the only state in the nation that explic-
itly bans weight discrimination explicitly,
and other equal employment laws through-
out the nation may raise concern about the
hospital policy.
An unnecessary stigma against overweight
individuals already exists in society. Taking
extreme actions - such as barring employ-
ment - to further discriminate against those
who are overweight will only perpetuate the
negative stereotypes. Obesity is a problem that
needs to be addressed in a more positive man-
ner. Promotinglhealthier food options, encour-
aging nutrition education and highlighting
physical activity are all ways to better edu-
cate people on how to live a healthy life. The
actions taken by this Texas hospital don't solve
the problem; instead, they only create a larger
stigma against obese people.
Obesity is considered a chronic disease
by the Centers for Disease Control and Pre-
vention and it must be taken seriously. Still,
companies shouldn't bar qualified potential
employees based solely on weight. Obesity
in the United States is a growing epidemic,
but discriminatory practices should not be
instilled as a means to an end for this problem.

CONTRIBUTE TO THE COVERSATION
Readers are encouraged to submit letstersto the editor and viewpoints. Letters should be fewer
than 300 words while viewpoints should be 550-850 words. Both must include the writer's full
name and University affiliation. Send submissions to tothedaily@michigandaily.com.
Millennial moaning

EDITORIAL BOARD MEMBERS:
Kaan Avdan, Eli Cahan, 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
SEND LETTERS TO: TOTHEDAILY@MItCANDAILY.COM

Order article violates
Journalistic stGndards
TO THE DAILY:
As the former editor in chief of The Michi-
gan Daily, I am deeply disappointed by The
Statement story published in Wednesday's
edition of the paper. When approached about
the story in January, I was told the story
would discuss what Order of Angell has done
on campus since the organization has become
more transparent and would include inter-
views with several members of our organiza-
tion. The writer did neither of those things
in her article. Instead, the reporter misled
me and other sources by misrepresenting
what her story was about. While I know from
experience that story angles often evolve
before publication, it is against journalistic
ethics to mislead sources about the angle of a
story. Seven other current members of Order
of Angell were interviewed for the article and
told the reporter about work the organiza-
tion has done this year - including fostering
leadership development for students in the
third annual Leaders for Life event, start-
ing an annual scholarship for campus lead-
ers and raising more than $3,000 for Relay
for Life. And though the reporter told several
individuals that the story would focus on this
work, the writer only included one sentence
about some of the initiatives toward the end
of the piece.

I do not deny that Order of Angell has
a controversial past. However, by simply
rehashing that past and not providing any
new facts or infortmation about the group, the
story fails to offer any real value. In addition,
the article was clearly biased. By omitting
several interviews from members who dis-
cussed their involvement in the organization
and what the group does today, the writers
and editors framed the story in a way meant
to discredit the organization.
While the piece also personally attacks me
by questioning my ethics and editing prac-
tices, I would like to point out the conflict of
interest for those who wrote and edited the
story. Dylan Cinti, a co-managing editor of
The Statement, has been an outspoken critic
of Order of Angell in the past. Though this
vocal criticism demonstrates a bias against
the organization, he edited and contributed
reporting to the story. This is a clear viola-
tion of journalistic ethics, and other editors
who knew of his bias should have intervened.
I will always hold the Daily in high regard,
and I do believe it's very important to have rig-
orous debates about potential conflicts of inter-
est, but I am saddened to see that one of the
best college newspapers in the country overtly
ignored the journalistic principles of objectiv-
ity and fairness in publishing this piece.
Stephanie Steinberg
LSA senior and former editor in chief of The
Michigan Daily

As graduation looms just
around the corner for
seniors, I can't help but to
think, "I'm so
glad I'm not one
of them."
Like most stu-
dents, I change
my idea of what I
want to be when
I "grow up"
more times than ADRIENNE
is probably sane. ROBERTS
After listening
to career panels,
I can usually eliminate three differ-
ent jobs I once thought I might have
had an interest in. Internships have
taught me more about what I know
I don't want in a job than what I can
actually envision myself doing in
the future.
I have a high and definitely unre-
alistic expectation that my first job
out of college will be my dream job.
And I know it's unreasonable think-
ing. But I view a career as finding
something similar to a soul mate.
The thought of never finding a career
that's fulfilling and exciting scares
me more than never finding a human
companion. Many other students feel
the exact same way.
MTV recently released a study
called "No Collar Workers" (ouch),
which surveyed 509 people in the
millennial generation, who they
defined as people in their twenties
and thirties. The results proved
that people my age are feeling the
same way I am, even if comes at the
cost of actually having a job. Half
of those surveyed would rather not
have a job than have one they hate.
Eighty percent of millennial work-
ers want regular feedback and rec-
ognition at their workplace.
The study also finds that millen-
nial workers believe their bosses
can learn something from them,
and many want to decide how to

do projects at work. The results
painted a picture that made my
generation seem self-absorbed, ide-
alistic and, well, quite possibly out
of touch.
It's unsettling to read studies
like these because there's such a
dichotomy between what we want
and what we can reasonably expect.
We're still feeling the effects of a
recession. We crave creative oppor-
tunities. Jobs are scarce. We need
a career that fulfills us. The list,
unfortunately, goes on.
But really, it's more than just
thinking we're intellectual won-
ders. We want something out of our
careers that previously hasn't been
discussed. It's not about working
9 to 5 and bringing home a decent
paycheck anymore. We want to form
connections with our work. We crave
collaboration with others, including
our supervisors. And we don't want
to blindly follow calling orders.
Many of us have been raised to
embrace our uniqueness, and most
of the classes at the University sup-
port this. Many are theory-based,
emphasizing critical thinking and
writing. Even this week, the Uni-
versity was praised for its teaching
style on The Colbert Report. But,
this kind of learning doesn't always
translate to technical and specific
skills needed for many jobs.
It's not impossible to reconcile
these competing interests. The big-
gest thing I think we can do as stu-
dents soon entering the workforce
is to realize that our first job may
not be our dream job. And that's a
little difficult to imagine for some.
I've always had this romantic idea
of finding an entry-level job at a
company or government agency
I loved and then working my way
up. That's just not the case for most
people, nor is it practical.
We need some sort of income,
thus we need jobs. We can't afford

to be selective to such an extent
that we inhibit ourselves from
gaining valuable experience, wher-
ever it may come from.
We crave
creative input in
our jobs.
Employers need to understand
that we have valuable skill sets that
can be intentionally enhanced in
certain ways. Collaborative work-
ing and creative input are what we
desire, thus making the results of
our work much richer and, conse-
quently, more valuable.
Post-college life is frightening.
Even though I still have plenty of
time left to decide where my life
is heading, I consider more career
prospects than I probably should.
We, as a generation, are much more
active in obtaining internships and
preparing for careers early on. So
it's intimidating to hear that what
we yearn for in a job may not exact-
ly match reality.
Ultimately, it's important to
remember that with any story of
happiness, you have to go through
a few - or many - bad relation-
ships to eventually find it. It's just
as important to remember that in
the end, there is a career out there
for you, and now is the time to take
the classes and participate in the
extra-curricular activities you love.
Because if you are indifferent to
the career path you will soon be on,
you may be stuck in a bad marriage
with no escape in sight.
-Adrienne Roberts can be reached at
adrirobe@umich.edu.

"I apologize to Ann Romney and anyone
else who was offended. Let's declare peace
in this phony war and go back to focus on
the substance."
- Democratic strategist Hilary Rosen said in a statement about her remarks
Wednesday that Ann Romeny has "never worked a day in her life."

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columnists, read Daily editorials and join in the debate.
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