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November 15, 2012 - Image 4

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4A - Thursday, November 15, 2012

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.corn

4A - Thursday, November 15, 2012 The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom

#1p idligan al
Edited and managed by students at
the University of Michigan since 1890.
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Ann Arbor, MI 48109
tothedaily@michigandailycom
TIMOTHY RABB
JOSEPH LICHTERMAN and ADRIENNE ROBERTS ANDREW WEINER
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.
FROM THE DAILY
Students for regent
Board should amend its bylaws to allow oversight
A s the University's Board of Regents preps for its monthly
meeting on Thursday, the board, as of late, has stepped up
the security at its meetings, incorporating metal detectors,
a rope divider and a separate door through which the regents enter
and exit. Some allege that these measures create an unnecessary rift
between students and their University's governing body. To ensure
a direct line of communication between students and regents, the
regents should amend its bylaws to institute a de facto, non-voting
student regent position in the vein of the University of Nebraska.

After years of patronage to the Victoria's
Secret brand, I am repaid with the mean-
spririted, disrespectful trivialization of a
proud Native identity This Native girl is
ready to go commando:'
- Indian Country columnist Ruth Hopkins, after model Karlie Koss wore a Native American
headdress in a Victoria's Secret fashion show. The company later apologized via Twitter.
'Extra,' or essential?

0

State schools in Arizona, California, Texas
and Washington all have governor-appointed
student regent positions. Some of the posi-
tions including voting privileges and some
don't, but the general goal of each is to keep
students apprised of and involved in their
schools' decision-making processes. The
University cannot provide for a voting stu-
dent regent position, since an amendment to
the state constitution would be required to
allow the governor to appoint a student to the
University's Board of Regents, as regents are
elected by a statewide vote.
However, Nebraska's regents - who are
also selected via general election - amended
its bylaws to state, "the student body presi-
dent of the University of Nebraska Kearney
shall be recognized and serve as a de facto
member of the Board." Since the University of
Michigan's regency is restricted by the same
electoral procedures as Nebraska's, the Uni-
versity's board could follow their precedent
by amending its bylaws to incorporate one
or two student regent positions. While the
students' de facto designation would prevent
them from voting, they would still share a
table with the regents, discuss issues of per-
tinence to students and potentially influence
key decisions.
Newly elected regents Mark Bernstein and
Shauna Ryder Diggs won on a platform of
open mindedness and consensus building, so

it seems an opportune time to implement this
change. Nearly every governor-appointed
regency has either a voting or non-voting stu-
dent regent position. Though the fact that our
regents are chosen by general election may
hinder the speedy implementation of an offi-
cial, voting student regent position, a defacto
student regent is the logical first step.
Perhaps the provision of a non-voting stu-
dent regent would motivate interest groups to
propose an amendment to the state constitu-
tion intime for the midterm election. An ideal
voting student regent position would follow
the template of the University of Arizona's
Board of Regents. In Arizona, there are two
rotating student regent positions - one vot-
ing and one non-voting - appointed by the
state's governor to serve two-year terms. The
non-voting student spends their first year
learning about the regency in preparation for
a second year as a voting member.
Regardless of whether or not a de facto
student regent position could someday cul-
minate in an official voting position, an
amendment of the board's bylaws would be
a welcome means of bringing students closer
to those who make decisions that affect their
daily lives. The board - equipped with a new-
ly-elected regents - should follow Nebraska's
lead by establishing provisions for a student
regent position in whatever capacity the cur-
rent state laws allow.

've spent a significant portion
of my last two Julys, Augusts,
Septembers, Octobers and
Novembers
immersed in
dancing. Not
only dancing,
but choreo-
graphing, teach-
ing and helping
to produce the
Indian Ameri-
can Student HEMA
Association's KARUNA-
annual cul- KARAM
tural show. The
IASA show is
the largest student-run production
in North America, selling out Hill
Auditorium and raising thousands
of dollars for charity each year.
Until last week, I was committing
the equivalent of eight to 10 credit
hours per week to the show, and it
turned out to be a great success. But
still, I continue to encounter the
voices that ask, "Isn't that such a
waste of time?"
I'm committing more time to
a student organization than I am
to some of my classes, swapping
exam reviews for practices, writ-
ing e-mails instead of finishing
homework. Sound familiar? On my
resume, it seemsI'm dancing away
several hours of my school year,
which appears to be directly cor-
related with my less-than-stellar
academics. And I know I'm not
alone. Many of us discover our
passions in college - and they're
not in our schoolwork, but in our
extracurriculars. This inevitably
takes a toll on our academic per-
formance, but that doesn't stop us
from putting in countless hours
toward activities that will never
be graded. Just because something
doesn't contribute to your GPA,
however, doesn't make it a waste.
My position as a choreographer

is only one of many student organi-
zation experiences from which I've
learned immense amounts through-
out college. Even though many of
these activities have nothing to do
with what I'm studying, they repre-
sent a wide and important range of
interests that definitely contribute
to my skill set. But how much of this
passion can be justified within the
scope of college, where we're told
that our duties as a student come
first and foremost?
Perhaps our definition of "stu-
dent" is wrong. Sure, we're repeat-
edly told that college is about
much more than our GPAs. That's
why such a large percentage of us
are involved with student orga-
nizations. But for those of us who
commit so much time to these
organizations that we sometimes
compromise school for them, we
shouldn't have to feel that we are
inferior "students." In fact, organi-
zational experiences really do teach
us things we woild never learn in
class, and provide a release for aca-
demic or personal stress.
Choreographing for IASA has
taught me people skills, logistics,
time management and so much
more. This is the stuff that fuels not
only my personal conversations but
also my interviews. I've seen these
extracurricular skills regularly
translate into my academic life. No,
I'm not teaching my lab partners
how to dance But Im organizing
and leading group meetings, moti-
vating others to get things done
and dealing delicately with difficult
people or situations.
Yes, "go get involved!" people
say. Have new experiences, meet
diverse groups of people, broaden
your horizons! Until it starts mess-
ing with your grades. That's when
you should take a step back, they
say. Grades are more important,
and you're wasting your time.

Skipping one or two lectures for
a student organization is fine.
Per semester. But one or two in
a month? A week? Are you out of
your mind?
Students who
spend hours in
clubs shouldn't
feel inferior.
I suppose that's where we start
to wonder where to draw the line.
How much time spent on extracur-
riculars is too much? It's important
to have a full, vibrant resume, but
not at the cost of academic suc-
cess. For me, I'm willing to make
that compromise. I'm passing my
classes - and not necessarily by
painfully small margins - and
learning to balance my time well
as a result of all my other commit-
ments. Academics are important,
but grades mean little after our first
job or graduate experience. Extra-
curricular experiences stay with us
much longer and affect us in much
greater ways. These are the things
from college that will really stick.
Has my GPA taken a hit as a
result of all the time and effort I
spend on my student organiza-
tions? I'll be honest - absolutely.
But I wouldn't trade these experi-
ences for anything. I'm convinced
that they're worth something.
Something big; something more
than'what my B.S.E. degree alone
will stand for when I graduate.
And certainly something more
than a waste of time.
- Hema Karunakaram can be
reached at khema@umich.edu.

6

EDITORIAL BOARD MEMBERS
Kaan Avdan, Sharik Bashir, Barry Belmont, Eli Cahan, Nirbhay Jain,
Jesse Klein, Melanie Kruvelis, Patrick Maillet, Jasmine McNenny,
Harsha Nahata, Timothy Rabb, Adrienne Roberts, Vanessa Rychlinski,
Sarah Skaluba, Michael Spaeth, Gus Turner, Derek Wolfe
MAX HELLER|bcVIEWPOINT
Curb anuC ear ran

As the United States closed out its elec-
tion season heavily concentrated on domestic
economic concerns, unemployment and job
growth, it's important not to lose siglit of issues
that resonate at the international level. While
the United States is largely focused on getting
itseconomymovingforward,Americansshould
push for their government to continue leading
global opposition toward Iran's nuclear pro-
gram. While sanctions on Iran's central bank
have taken their toll on the Iranian regime, it's
clear that more mustbe done to ensure that Iran
does not achieve nuclear capabilities.
Throughout the election season, American
leadership was noticeably quiet when it came
to discussing efforts to halt Iran's nuclear
developments. Meanwhile, Israel has been
working with the international community
to advance further cooperative efforts. In a
joint appearance, Israeli Prime Minister Bibi
Netanyahu and French President Francois
Hollande stated that while the current round
of international sanctions is adversely affect-
ing Iran's economy, it's equally clear that Iran
has continued its nuclear program.
The international community has already
taken several critical steps on this issue. Firstof
all, it is now widely accepted that Iran's nuclear
program isn't solely intended for the creation of
civilian power, but indeed exists with the inten-
tion of developing weapons. Additionally, the
international community has come together
around the implementation of economic sanc-
tions levied against the Iranian regime. Anoth-
er important step was taken Wednesday when
Hollande indicated agreement with Netanyahu
that further sanctions against Iran should still
be implemented by the European Union in
order to further curb Iran's nuclear ambitions.
However, after all of the progress that has
been made, there still exists serious discord
among members of the international commu-
nity regarding how to ultimately end Iran's
pursuit of a nuclear weapon. Namely, in order
to stop Iran's nuclear program, members of the
European Union are hesitant to open the door to
military action as a means of last resort. While

Hollande and Netanyahu showed unity on the
issue of sanctions, the French President refused
to endorse Netanyahu's view that it would still
constitute "a relief" if Iran were militarily pre-
vented from acquiring nuclear arms.
Instead, Hollande pushed for direct nego-
tiations with the Iranian government with-
out preconditions, a strategy that's perilous at
best, given Iran's propensity not to negotiate
in good faith and the Iranian leadership's his-
tory of irrational decision making. Indeed, a
rational actor facing economic sanctions, such
as those currently faced by Iran, would surely
demonstrate a willingness to end their nuclear
weapons program, wouldn't they? In order to be
effective in such negotiations, the international
community must establish a credible threat of
military action against Iran if they refuse to
make concessions. Otherwise, Iran is in a posi-
tion where, given their previous intransigence,
they have no real incentive to negotiate.
For all of these reasons, it's critical that
Americans push the government to outline a
clear strategy for ending Iran's nuclear pro-
gram. America must encourage the interna-
tional community to keep all options on the
table when dealing with Iran. Israel doesn't
wish to engage Iran militarily without cause.
Rather, they seek to wait until all other options
are completely exhausted in stymieing Iran's
pursuit of nuclear weapons. It's critical that the
international community takes this stand in
order to maintain a united front against Iran's
nuclear program. Only then will the threat of
military action be credible enough to induce
Iran to begin making concessions, should the
next round of sanctions be unsuccessful. Amer-
ica's diplomatic leadership is critical in standing
with Israel and their position against a nuclear
Iran. As such, the time is now for Americans
to ask their government to lead in opposition
to Iran. Though election season can lead our
nation to be insular, the Iranian threat contin-
ues to pose danger nonetheless and must be a
priority for our elected leaders.
Max Heller is a Business senior.

CHECK US OUT ONLINE
Keep up with columnists, read Daily editorials, view cartoons and join in the debate.
Check out @michdailyoped and Facebook.com/MichiganDaily
to get updates on Daily opinion content throughout the day.
BARRY BELMONT IF1WPe )lTl)
Pseudoscience, real money

A recent study bya team of Michi-
gan State University researchers has
been making its rounds through the
news circuit with some variation of
the headline, "Reflexology eases can-
cer symptoms." Currently heralded
by the researchers and various news
outlets as a safe and effective treat-
ment based on this study, reflexol-
ogy is a form of alternative medicine
based on the idea that mechanical
stimulation of specific points on the
surface of the feet will relieve stress,
reduce pain and restore one's "ener-
gy balance" via undiscovered path-
ways that run throughout all major
organs in the body.
For this particular study, nearly
400 patients with advanced-stage
breast cancer were divided into three
groups and received one of three
therapies, in addition to their chemo-
therapy and/or hormonal therapy: a
specialized reflexology treatment, a
foot massage by a caregiver or con-
ventional nursing care. Based on
interviews conducted during the
weeks before and after treatment,
the researchers found that dyspnea
- shortness of breath - and overall
physical functioning of the reflexol-
ogy group were improved more than
the conventional care group.
What has been left out of all
reports of this story thus far are
the other results the authors found

which included no significant dif-
ferences in , health-related qual-
ity of life, symptoms of depression
or anxiety, pain and nausea relief.
Furthermore, the group of women
that received a regular foot mas-
sage showed a significant improve-
ment in fatigue relief that was not
matched by the group that received
reflexologytechniques. These irreg-
ular findings are typical of reflexol-
ogy and, in fact, systematic reviews
of the entire field have shown that
it's not an effective treatment for
any medical condition.
This is also true of complemen-
tary and alternative medicines as a
whole, where evidence of effective-
ness is nonexistent, inconsistent or
unable to perform better than a pla-
cebo. Yet many of these practices,
including acupuncture, chiroprac-
tic practices, herbal supplementa-
tion and homeopathy seem to be
increasingly sought outby people to
cure what ails them, typically as a
desire to cure the "whole" individ-
ual (mind, body and soul) through
"ancient" and "natural" remedies.
It's easy to understand the line of
reasoning that might lead to such a
desire: if it's been around for a long
time, there must be something to it;
if it's natural, it must not be harm-
ful; if it cures the whole individual,
it will fix me, not my disease.

But the reason such therapies are
able to thrive is because our modern
society is such an amazingly safe
place. Everything from level roads
and clean drinking water to the
mass availability of good food and
medicine has ensured that more
and more of us will die age-related
deaths. This is wonderful news -
we're living as long as humans can
possibly live. Added to the fact that
alternative medicines are gener-
ally so impotent as to not be harm-
ful, the use of the placebo-effective
medicine will continue to rise.
Though a case could be made
for the administration of placebos,
what is inexcusable is pretending
that such treatments work because
of meridians, chakras, toxin remov-
al or bioenergy. It's all nonsense.
While we should commend the
researchers of this study for their
desire to help people, their poor
methodology and reliance on a dis-
proven theoretical structure don't do
any good. Touching someone's feet
has been a sign of charity, humility
and love for millennia.We don'tneed
to embellish these gestures with
mystical language or pseudoscien-
tific claims to treat those around us
with the care they deserve.
Barry Belmont is an
Engineering gradute student.

6

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