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April 16, 2012 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2012-04-16

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4A - Monday, April 16, 2012

The Michigan Daily - michiganclaily.com

4A -MonayApri 16 202 Th Mihign Daly mihigadaiyco

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.
Enact tuition equality
Charge in-state rates for undocumented immigrants
As the cost of obtaining a college degree increases each year,
higher education becomes a less realistic goal for those from
lower income families or families hesitant to accumulate
debt. As a result, diversity at the University continues to exist increas-
ingly only in rhetoric. While many steps must be taken to attract
and retain students from all walks of life, the University is currently
examining whether to charge in-state tuition rates to undocumented
immigrants residing in Michigan. Charging the out-of-state tuition
for undocumented Michigan public school graduates hinders stu-
dents who worked hard to be accepted to the University. The Univer-
sity's Board of Regents should make this issue a priority and enforce
tuition equality to increase student diversity and maintain focus on



The Daily's 'Order' dilemma

education, not politics.
At the request of Regent Julia Darlow
(D-Ann Arbor), Provost Philip Hanlon is
assembling a report on tuition equality for
undocumented students for the board's con-
sideration. Members of the Coalition for
Tuition Equality, a student-led alliance aim-
ing to bring students and student organiza-
tions together in support of tuition equality,
have spoken at the regents' monthly meet-
ings about the circumstances undocumented
students face at the University. The group
hopes the University will change its policy
and allow undocumented immigrants who
have graduated from Michigan high schools
to pay in-state tuition.
The University should enact this change to
open doors for a more racially and socio-eco-
nomically diverse student body. The Univer-
sity prides itself on its diversity - experience
with diversity is raised as early the admis-
sions application - but as demonstrated by
recent incoming freshman classes, the Uni-
versity can be doing much more, especially
in terms of socio-economic diversity. Recent
reports have shown that 79 percent of college
enrolled students are in the highest income
bracket, but only 34 percent are in the low-
est. Lowering tuition would allow for more
high-achieving undocumented immigrants
to enroll in the University, and increase rep-

resentation for a large but often ignored sec-
tor of the population.
Since CTE's founding this year by Public
Policy junior Kevin Mersol-Barg, the orga-
nization has made impressive progress, as
evidence by Hanlon's upcoming report. CTE
has successfully brought a wide array of stu-
dent organizations into the conversation on
tuition equality. It's apparent there is campus
support for a policy change, and it's not dif-
ficult to understand why. Many undocument-
ed immigrants came to the U.S. by no fault
of their own and face daily difficulties due
to their immigration status. Barring those
students from a more affordable education
increases their hardship. Other Michigan
universities, including Western Michigan
University and Wayne State University, have
policies that allow undocumented immi-
grants to pay in-state rates. The University is
in a clear position to be an advocate for edu-
Congress hasn't passed the Development,
Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act,
which would grant citizenship to undocu-
mented minors after living in the country
for five years, since its introduction in 2001.
Because of this lack of federal action, the Uni-
versity is obligated to support education and
student diversity by enacting tuition equality.

The fallout from last week's
Statement cover story -
"Order and chaos: Explor-
ing the controversy surrounding a
not-so-secret society" - was quite
extraordinary for one reason: The
most outspoken critics and defend-
ers of the story are really pretty
much the same people: Current or
recently-departed editors of The
Michigan Daily. This uniquely
staffed controversy brought up
two important issues that I want to
First is the membership of Daily
staffers inthe studentgroup known
as Order of Angell. This controver-
sy has confirmed my belief that it is
inappropriate for editors who com-
prise the Daily's leadership core to
be affiliated with Order. I say this
with no ill intent toward Order.
Admittedly, I'm no expert on that
group. I come to this conclusion
solely based on the question of
what is best for the Daily.
I understand that there is a long
tradition of Daily editors being
involved with Order (and its prede-
cessor, Michigamua). I also recog-
nize that Order does some positive
things on campus, and that mem-
bership of a Daily editor in the
group could have some potential
benefit. All that said, I believe that
the drawbacks of a Daily editor
being involved in that group out-
weigh the benefits.
This opinion is informed by per-
sonal experience of several recent
debates at this paper about order
membership - though I concede
that many editors have joined with-
out controversy. It's also informed
by my knowledge of how this paper
works, what its needs are, and what
ultimately are the journalistic and
practical life lessons students are
supposed to learn at the Daily.
The mere fact that joining Order
is a contentious issue that causes
immense friction among the Dai-
ly's staff is reason enough to avoid
it. This is not to say that editors
don't have the right to join, but just
that they should show good judg-
ment about their responsibilities as
leaders at the Daily and walk away
from this unnecessary controversy.
Just as importantly, consider
why the Daily forbids its staffers
from being involved in student gov-
ernment: The perceived conflict of
loyalties is too much to explain.
The primary responsibility and
allegiance of Daily editors should

be to this newspaper and student
government membership seems to
undermine that ideal.
Similarly, while I believe it is
possible to be in Order and judi-
ciously serve as a fair editor at this
newspaper - and I take issue with
any implication that recent editors
who were members of the group
committed breaches of journalistic
ethics I think that it is simply too
fine of a line to constantly walk. And
even when walked appropriately,
it causes editors to preclude them-
selves from editing or writing cer-
tain stories - which is a deviation
from their job responsibilities, and
causes more work for their peers.
After all, we have a choice, and we
should walk away from that line.
Moving on to the second issue:
The allegation that the story in
question was ill-intentioned, and
committed some breaches of jour-
nalistic ethics itself. It has been
alleged that some sources were mis-
led about the content of the story,
and that the story selectively picked
from the information provided by
sources to unfairly advocate an
agenda. It is impossible for me to
decide the truth of this issue: I have
been told exactly opposite things by
people I have no reason to distrust.
I will stick, then, to the bits that I
can objectively comment upon.
First, the mere fact that editors
who oversaw a story might have
personal iews on-anissue does not
constitute a confict of interest, and
allegations along those lines are
unfair. Second, it is routine prac-
tice for many sources to be inter-
viewed, and for only a few of them
to be quoted. I am told that cumu-
lative sources were paraphrased in
this story, and I see nothing wrong
with that. However, selective rep-
resentation of viewpoints, under
guise of telling the whole story, is
never acceptable. I encourage writ-
ers and editors to be especially cog-
nizant of that issue.
No one denies that sources were
contacted at the last minute - via
e-mail and Google Chat, no less.
And yet, I was repeatedly told that
this story was in planning and pro-
duction for many months. So, there
is a problem here.
The Daily has a policy of strong-
ly favoring in-person or phone
interviews over e-mail (or modes
even more fluid, such as instant
messaging). This policy has been
taken too lightly recently, and I

think this story provides a good
lesson on why it must once again
be strongly emphasized.
Yes, it is harder to get com-
ments from people in person or on
the phone, but that is precisely the
point: Our focus asjournalists is not
to do things the easy way,but rather
to embrace the hard way if that is
called for. The reason to avoid fall-
ing back on methods like e-mail is
made clear in this story: There is an
incentive to wait till the last min-
ute, to ask for "just a quick quote"
as opposed to actually having a con-
versation and getting full informa-
tion. My point here should not be
contested: Some of the very people
who settled for e-mail comments
in the Statement story asked me to
contact them by phone as opposed
to simply responding to my e-mail.
Finally, given the subject of this
story, andtheimmense disturbance
it caused within this newspaper, I
question what went into the deci-
sion to do this story at all. The Dai-
ly's bylaws state that "Management
Desk will have final authority over
all matters concerning the edito-
rial side of The Michigan Daily."
In practice, this has been taken to
mean that controversial stories are
run by M-Desk, especially stories
that comment on the internal deal-
ings of the Daily.
It would have been beneficial,
and arguably was required by the
Daily' bylaws, to have run the
Statement story in -question by
M-Desk - something that was not
done. When faced with the deci-
sion about whether to run this
story, M-Desk would have closely
questioned its purpose, gauged its
repercussions and then decided
whether it was worth the trouble.
Regardless of who made the deci-
sion, part of the consideration should
be how the story reflects on the pub-
lic image of this newspaper. As the
fallout from the story has shown,
coverage in this paper of order has
become more about the Daily than
about Order. There has to be a seri-
ous discussion about how healthy
that is for the Daily as an institution.
-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

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

'Let's makehistory together'
maintains the status quo

just does not addt
expect the reader t
from someone who
criminal and not as;

TO THE DAILY:: The authors wan
I write to address the misuse of the con- endorsing the same
cept of "making history" by the authors of supposedly support
the viewpoint, "Let's make historytogether." el's partner in pea
The authors cite former Israeli Prime Min- corrupt leader notor
ister Ehud Olmert's "passion and conviction" ignoring the rights
as inspiration for their call to endorse a two- ity, signing on to th
state settlement to the Palestinian-Israeli by the authors mai
conflict. During his premiership, Olmert postpones peace ra
oversaw the massacre of over 1,400 Pales- it. The statement rel
tinians, overwhelmingly innocent civilians official U.S. policyI
and more than 300 children, from Decem- ment aids and abets
ber 2008 until January 2009 during a brutal and illegal Israeli
military onslaught on Gaza. That period also and discrimination
resulted in the killings of six Israeli attack- To actually make h
ing soldiers - four from friendly fire - and peace and justice,
three innocent Israeli civilians rights for all Pales
Here the reader, as a person of conscience, We must call for a.
must ask: Is the killing of more than 300 and to the apartheid
children a criminal act, or are the children Israeli occupying p
to be dismissed as "collateral damage," as an indigenous Pales
dead colored bodies often are by imperialist
powers? If it's criminal (as the killing of any Abbas Z. Alawieh
innocent should be), then something here LSA senior

up. Why do the authors
o take pointers on peace
has credibility as a war
a peace proponent?
nt to "make history" by
unjust settlement that is
ed by Olmert and "Isra-
ce, Mahmoud Abbas," a
rious for suppressing and
of Palestinians. In real-
he declaration purported
ntains a status quo that
ther than moves toward
gurgitates what has been
for years as our govern-
the sustenance of racist
occupation, segregation
n against Palestinians.
istory and move toward
we must demand equal
tinians and all Israelis.
n end to the occupation
d tactics employed by the
ower in its dealings with
tinian population.


The end result

When I started looking at colleges, which seems like
a million years ago now, my parents stressed the impor-
tance of the "college experience." While it was obvi-
ously importantto get a good education, they reminded
me that the next four years of my life would involve a
lot of learning and experiences that took place outside
the classroom. And when I left for school, they told me
again in fear that I would bury my nose in my books,
never to be seen again.
It turned out to not be a problem for me - I didn't
let striving to get good grades get in the way of clubs I
wanted to join, dinners I wanted to go to, or friends I
wanted to make. I certainly didn't let a little thing like
class stop me from going to the Sugar Bowl. And as a
result, I think I had a pretty great college experience
while maintaining a high standard of work. I don't look
back on my time here and wish I had done X, Y and Z
instead. (Though I do regret never sledding in the Arb
- who knew we wouldn't get snow this winter?)
As I move forward from this period, though, that
seems to have changed. Not by any means from my
parents, who think it's important to enjoy your life, but
from others. The same people who stress the impor-
tance of the "college experience" are now telling me
to look toward the end goal as I consider different
law schools. Suddenly all that matters is what school
has the most internships, what school has the highest
placement record and what school is ranked highest on
reviews. No one has asked me where I think I'm going
to be happy.
It sounds stupid even when I say it. I mean, ask any-
one. You don't go to law school to be happy, you go to
become a lawyer. And that is absolutely true. (Serious-

Explore off-campus cuisine
If you want to have a competition for the
best on-campus restaurants, go nuts. But I
TO THE DAILY: love the food in my home town, and I'm not
The recent "Best of Ann Arbor" section going to listen to you tell the entire student
really hurt as an Ann Arbor-ite and student. body that the best coffee shop in Ann Arbor
Chipotle is the best Mexican restaurant in is a nationwide chain! Students should stray
Ann Arbor? No Thai! has the best Thai food? out of their comfort zones and see what Ann
As a Jew, maybe I'm not the best authority Arbor actually has to offer. They might just
on these types of cuisine, but I'm pretty sure find tastier, more authentic and, most impor-
they're both just overpriced fast food joints. tantly, more affordable cuisine is just a few
The best Mexican food in town is, without extra steps away.
a question, Bandito's - I'd say Prickly Pear
if you expanded the category to Southwest. Ephriam Love
The best Thai would probably be at Tuptim. LSA senior

ly, not worth the money if you aren't going to actually
become a lawyer.) But unless I'm totally different from
everyone else on the planet, which is not totally out of
the realm of possibility, I don't do very good work when
I'm miserable.
Of course, I'm picking a law school based on employ-
ment prospects, school reputation and specialization in
my field of interest. But I'm also going to pick a school
where I am going to get along with the other students,
like the area around me and feel like I belong. Honestly,
if I'm unhappy at my school, I'm hardly goingto do well
enough to place in the rankings, even if I'm at the best
law school I could get into.
It sounds really simple when put like that, but I think
it's a concept that too many people around me are for-
getting, both with regard to my life and to theirs. There
is more to life than grades; there is more to life than
going to the best school in the country. If I don't take
time outside of law school to do things that make me
happy, whether it's going out with friends, going to the
zoo or traveling to Michigan football games, what am
I going to have when there is no more law school? If I
make myself solely one thing, I'm not going to be very
And if I make my choice about my future one thing
- what is going to best get me to the end goal - with-
out taking into account all the things that are going to
happen along the way, my <em>life</em> isn't going to
be very interesting either. I know where I want to be in
five years, and I know the rough path I need to take to
get there. But I'm going to have some fun along the way.
Erika Mayer is an LSA senior.

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