4 - Tuesday, September 18, 2012
The Michigan Daily - michiganclaily.com
4 - Tuesday, September18, 2012 The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom
Edited and managed by students at
the University of Michigan since 1890.
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Ann Arbor, MI 48109
JOSEPH LICHTERMAN and ADRIENNE ROBERTS ANDREW WEINER
EDITOR IN CHIEF EDITORIAL PAGE EDITORS MANAGING EDITOR
Unsigned editorials reflect the official position oftthe Daily's editorial board.
All other signed articles and illustrations represent solely the views ofttheir authors.
FROM THE DAILY
Infor m to protect
The 'U' needs to advertise medical amnesty
n May 8, Gov. Rick Snyder signed into law House Bill 4393,
finally puttingminplace a state-wide medical amnesty bill
that puts health and safety first. Under the new law, under-
age people seeking medical attention while under the influence of
alcohol are shielded from legal punishment when they call for help
and receive treatment for themselves or others. The medical amnesty
laws have the potential to save lives, especially on college campuses.
The law was passed more than four months ago, and yet many stu-
dents outside of University housing are still unaware of it. The Uni-
versity needs to make it a priority to educate and inform all students
about the changes in Michigan law, not just incoming freshmen.
There are 47 percent who are with [Barack
Obama] ... who believe that they are entitled to
health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it."
- Republican Presidential nominee Mitt Romney said in a fundraising event,
as reported by Mother Jones
y friend, after an
unlucky turn of events,
got stuck living in
North Quad for
her junior year
of college. She's
in a single,
ed to freshmen
mores on a daily
After a few ROBERTS
days of living
in this dreaded
teenage-infested environment, she
said, "I can't take this; there are
actual people knocking on my door
... wanting to talk and be my friend.
That would have been me a few
years ago, eagerly chatting with
whomever's door was open about
my hometown or the size of my
graduating class. Thinking about
doing that now sounds unimagi-
nable, and a little bit awful, too. For
some reason, past freshmen year,
this type of conversation seems a
little bit odd.
Interestingly enough, I used to
make fun of my parents for not hav-
ingenough friends. I stillsometimes
do. It always seemed that they were
fine with just hanging out with each
other. But that scenario isn't too far
removed from my days spent in the
back of lecture halls and studying
in a corner of the Law Library. It's
a scary thought.
This summer I read an article in
The New York Times, "Friends of a
Certain Age," and immediately for-
warded it to my parents, amazed at
how perfectly this described them.
They were just too old to make new
friends. They have jobs to worry
about and a house to maintain. It's
just not feasible for them to make
new connections at this point.
Making and keeping friends is an
entirely different, and supposedly
more difficult, process for them
than it is for people my age.
I worked the entire summer, and
some days as I stared at the comput-
er screen for the seventh straight
hour, I could feel myself getting
old and friendless. I'd come home
from work exhausted, say "hello"
to my roommates and then turn on
a rerun of "Seinfeld" and rest my
eyes. At 7 p.m.
I started school this year a little
nervous about how my social life
would change upon graduation. It
felt as if during the summer months
I'd been losing contact with old
friends. Reading this article had
entirely convinced me that friend-
ships will die out, and it will only
become more and more difficult to
meet close friends.
I think that it's true that many
friends you thought you'd be close
with forever will become busier,
move away and have lives that go
in completely different directions
than yours. It's like there's a weed-
ing out of friendships that begins in
college. But that doesn't necessarily
mean that you can't make new ones.
I've lost contact with some friends
over the years, but the ones I want
to be in my life are. And the same
goes for other college students I
know, and my parents as well.
However, I'm simultaneously
making new friends. The people
who I worked with this summer
were some of my closest friends. It's
hard not to be close with the people
you spend a majority of your time
with. And I know I'll stay ir contact
with them, even though I won't see
them every day.
The author of the Times article,
Alex Williams, states in an inter-
view with National Public Radio
that sociologists have settled on
three conditions to make close
friends: proximity, repeated inter-
actions and a setting that "encour-
ages people to let their guard
down." He then goes on to say that
college is the perfect setting for
age, but their
Williams is right, but I would
argue that he thinks about what
defines a "close" friend too nar-
rowly. The way we make friends
changes greatly throughout our
lives. It's even changed throughout
college. But I think it's possible to
form connections, and meaningful
ones at that, at any age.
Age is not the problem here.
Friendships do change with age,
but their meaning does not.
It's apparent that how we estab-
lish friendships and the ongoing
nature of them changes as we move
down the road of life. Right now, I
am enjoying that "perfect friend-
ship environment." But that still
doesn't mean I'm willing to relocate
to North Quad and spend my time
trick-or-treating for friends.
- Adrienne Roberts can be reached
at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow
her on Twitter at @A-drRoberts.
The University has taken some steps to edu-
cate new students on medical amnesty. This
summer, it worked to familiarize incoming
freshmen with what the amnesty law means
for them. At summer orientation sessions, Uni-
versity Department of Public Safety officers
discussed the standards that the new law puts
in place, letting students know what happens
when they call in for alcohol-related emergen-
cies. Legal changes were also reflected in this
year's AlcoholEdu course - the online alco-
hol education seminar incoming students are
required to complete. However, many Univer-
sity upperclassmen are unaware of the medi-
cal amnesty law. Housing directors recently
began telling resident advisors to include
information about medical amnesty laws in
hall e-mails in an attempt to spread the word
to those living in dorms.
The University's effort to inform students
of this potentially life-saving law, however,
has not extended to upperclassmen living off-
campus. It has been four months since the law
was passed, but the 'U' hasn't sent an e-mail
to the student body outlining the changes in
Michigan's law. There hasn't been any formal
reminders from the University or DPS.
Since the beginning of September, Univer-
sity students partook in Welcome Week and
home football games, both of which are noto-
rious for excessive drinking. Yet many stu-
dents aren't aware of the new safety measures
under the law. Given that at least 1,400 college
students' deaths a year are linked to alcohol,
allowing even one student to remain ignorant
of the law's changes is unacceptable.
The changes created by the amnesty law
are too closely tied to the health of students
to be tossed aside as common knowledge. Any
assumptions made by the administration in
the belief that its students have been educated
by outside sources are dangerously inaccurate.
While the University should be doing more
to advertise the amnesty law in order to pro-
vide students with the proper facts and eradi-
cate misinterpretations, students share that
The 'U' can easily spread the word by dis-
tributing informational flyers or sending mass
e-mails, but no consistent effort has been
observed. In the years to come, University
administration needs to nail down a system
that reaches and educates everyone at the.Uni-
versity, regardless of year, age or geographical
location. The University has the responsibil-
ity to combat issues related to health, protec-
tion and safety of its students, and when these
efforts fall short, it puts every student at risk.
EDITORIAL BOARD MEMBERS:
Kaan Avdan, Eli Cahan, Nirbhay Jain, Jesse Klein, Melanie Kruvelis,
Patrick Maillet, Harsha Nahata, Timothy Rabb, Adrienne Roberts,
Vanessa Rychlinski, Sarah Skaluba, Michael Spaeth, Caroline Syms
SHARIK BASHIRI VIEWPOINT
The two faces of America
This pastcsummer I was out with my friends
in the downtown area of Karachi, Pakistan
known as Saddar. While driving, I noticed
some political graffiti on a wall. Someone
had sprayed the slogan "go America go." This
slogan may be misunderstood as one that is
meant to cheer on American effort in the War
on Terror. However, it was an anti-America
slogan demanding that the United States leave
Pakistan and discontinue its presence in my
home country's northern areas. I immediately
dismissed the graffiti as extremist right-wing
rhetoric and continued driving.
But the graffiti's message stuck with me. I.
thought about how Pakistanis view the Unit-
ed States and the accuracy of their percep-
tions. Although that slogan doesn't speak for
all of Pakistan, surely anti-U.S. sentiment has
been on the rise.
Over the past year I've lived in the United
States and seen a side of this country that
the majority of Pakistanis probably haven't.
I believe ignorance contributes to why peo-
ple in Pakistan are so critical of America.
Instead of fervently criticizing the country,
Pakistan should learn from America's his-
tory - a history that is rife with political
and social activism for domestic and inter-
national matters alike.
Nothing was handed to the American peo-
ple on a silver platter. Every right was hard-
earned and contested, from ending segregation
to grantingwomenthe righttovote. Pakistanis
have to learn to do the same. In my opinion,
misinformation and alack of insight leads peo-
ple to create a monstrous image of America.
I later understood that there's a reason-
able explanation as to why an increase in
anti-American sentiment may be justified -
beyond just lack of information. America is a
country of two faces. Domestically, America
is a secular, open and tolerant country, at
least by law. Internationally, it portrays itself
as a power to be feared and, for some people,
loathed. While Pakistanis don't know about
domestic America and its people, it seems
that Americans aren't aware of the face their
country shows to the world.
There's a severe information deficit on both
ends. Through the previous year, I hardly
saw a mention of drone strikes in mainstream
American media. The public seems to be
oblivious to the fact that innocent lives are
lost in drone attacks that the U.S. government
carries out in Pakistan and Yemen. The only
times media mentions the drone strikes are
when a high-profile target is killed. The trag-
edy of innocent lives lost is rarely reported,
and there's very little debate and discussion
on this topic.
. I was appalled by the unprofessionalism in
American news reporting. News feels more
Anderson Cooper, one of the most promi-
nent anchors on American television, has a
segment on his show AC360 called the 'Rid-
icuList' where, as the name suggests, truly
ridiculous information, such as videos of dogs
singing on YouTube, is shared on prime time
television. The media seems to have forgot-
ten what it once stood for. American media
in the past inspired activism: Students right
here at Michigan and at colleges around the
country, such as University of California,
Berkeley, once protested and organized sit-
ins on their college campuses. They fought
against the Vietnam War and the draft. They
are responsible for bringing an end to injus-
tices committed by the government. Today, in
these very universities, students have forgot-
ten their own history.
When I returned to Pakistan this sum-
mer, newspapers and news channels were
inundated with headlines about drone strikes
and their consequent death counts. In Paki-
stan, drone strikes are seen as inhumane and
immoral. When an area is attacked, houses
are destroyed. When a drone attacks one loca-
tion, people cannot rescue the survivors as
they tremble with pain on the floor because
there's usually another strike in the same
location soon after the initial strike. Such acts
of brutality are what cause people to view the
United States as a monster.
I don't wish to impose my political views on
anyone. I simply recommend that Americans
should demand more information. They should
expect better and more professional journal-
ism. Demand to see the face of America that's
concealed, and be critical of both images.
Sharik Bashir is an LSA sophomore.
I recently watched the movie
"Innocence of Muslims", the film
many claim is responsible for inciting
anti-American protests around the
world. This film was shot by a man
named Nakoula Basseley Nakoula,
who turned out to have 17 different
aliases after initial scrutiny. It's by
far the most ridiculous movie I've
seen in my life, and it's depressing
that a filmmaker's hateful agenda
may have cost innocent lives and
ignited turmoil in the Middle East.
The movie depicts a half-witted,
bisexual prophet Mohammed who is
unfaithful, barbaric and lust-driven. I
can understand why Muslims across
the Middle East are outraged at the
ofthe hatred? Reporters who talked to
the protesters say that most of them
haven't seen the movie, but have been
told by their preachers that an Israeli-
American movie mocked Mohammed.
It seems as if there are other motives
for the unrest.
The sudden attacks at various U.S.
diplomatic posts, especially the con-
sulate in Libya, came as a surprise
to many. It's clear from reports by
a number of U.S. officials that they
weren't expecting such a violent
outburst in a country they helped
transition into democracy. However,
the mainly Islamist groups that took
down dictators across the Middle
East were never fond of the Unit-
ed States. The attacks and violent
mobs are just another display of this
The fact that these attacks hap-
pened amid an increasingly con-
tested election season means that
America's response to the events is
heavily affected by politics. While
the Republicans took this ill-fated
turn of events as an opening to blunt-
ly criticize President Obama's foreign
policy, the Democrats, including U.S.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton,
tried to argue that the only reason for
the uprisings was the movie "Inno-
cence of Muslims." All of these par-
tisan attitudes left virtually no room
for an honest evaluation or review of
the events among top U.S. political
candidates and officials.
On the other hand, civil war in
Syria - which until recently was
the center of U.S. attention in Mid-
dle Eastern politics - has been left
aside in light of the new events. I
believe, though, a close inspection
of the dynamics of Syria is key to
exposing the true motives of the
sudden unrest in the Middle East.
Before this summer, the West's
general consensus about Syria was
that the rebels were divided fac-
tions and lacked necessary weap-
onry and military training. But now
they have largely taken over Aleppo,
the country's most populous and
largest city, and are believed to have
a promising shot at taking down
Damascus, the nation's capital.
I spent my summer in Turkey - my
parents live there - and will try to
explain what's going on in the Middle
East, through what I have read in the
Turkish media and my discussions
with people while I was there.
It has come to my attention that
when NATO entered Libya, many
in the West believed that they were
helping Libyans into freedom and
taking risks for the Libyan people.
However, Russia, China and the
Muslim countries regarded this as
a greater plan for the West to exert
power over the Middle East and
control Libya's oil supplies. The
Turks' discussions on U.S. involve-
ment in Egypt started with the
claim that the United States real-
ized Mubarak was out of time and
started to back the protesters in
order to have a say in Egyptian poli-
cies when they come to power.
The typical Middle Easterner
is highly skeptical of U.S. foreign
policy. This might be the result of
years of Western colonization of
the Middle East, as well as many
small occurrences like this incon-
siderate and provocative movie.
This combination could spark years
of suppressed feelings. Arabs have
waited too long to be free; freedom
for them means no oppressors. This
includes Western influence.
The case in Syria is unique. The
consensus in Turkish media is
that Russia sells arms to Bashar
al-Assad, and Turkey and Lebanon
smuggle weaponry into Syria to the
rebels at the request of the United
States. What's more, less than a
month ago, representatives from
the opposition partyin Turkeytried
to get into a Syrian refugee camp in
which Syrian rebels were allegedly
given military training. They were
not let in by the military personnel
who guarded the camp.
My aim was to put all the infor-
mation on the table in an unbiased
way and let you, the reader, do the
deciding. However, I do feel obliged
to condemn the movie that sparked
the protests, and all the protesters
who rallied to take brutal revenge
by attacking innocent people.
Kaan Advan is an LSA sophomore.
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