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November 26, 2012 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 2012-11-26

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4A-Monday, November 26, 2012

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

4A-Monday, November 26, 2012 The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom

TJb MidiianGailgj
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.
Too big to succeed
Big Ten is only benefitting financial interests
During a week that usually evokes bitter hatred between Ohio
and Michigan, many Big Ten students were found united in
their distaste for the announcement that two new universi-
ties will be joining the Big Ten Conference. On Nov.19 and 20, the Uni-
versity of Maryland and Rutgers University, respectively, announced
they would be joining the Big Ten, an expansion that will undoubtedly
shake up one of the nation's most respected and traditional sports con-
ferences. This move was inspired by purely financial interests and will
serve little benefit to either University students or student athletes.
The University of Maryland has announced This decision was made out of financial
it will be joining the Big Ten effective as of interests as opposed to the interests of the stu-
July 1, 2014 and will begin competition in the dent body. The Big Ten currently has the most
conference in the 2014-2015 academic year. lucrative television contract of any conference,
Though Rutgers hasn't clearly stated when it with each member receiving about $24 mil-
will be joining the conference due to possible lion in television revenue last year. According
complications regarding its exit from the Big to ESPN, the total amount of Big Ten Network
East, many anticipate a similar entry date to revenue may increase as much as $200 million
Maryland's. With the addition of two teams - with the introduction of new Maryland and
bringing the total number of teams in the Big New York City television markets. Although
Ten to 14 - the structure of the conference this money will positively affect the Athletic
schedule will undoubtedly require adjustment. Department, the average student will likely see
Insiders belive these adjustments will result little of the increased revenue.
in an extended conference schedule, thus cre- The decision to add Rutgers and Maryland
ating a more physically straining season for was done far too swiftly and lacked any trans-
all student athletes. The location of these two parency. Most Big Ten fans were stunned to
schools is also a source of concern consider- hear the news on Monday, considering that
ing that student athletes will have to travel nearly no one had heard any news of possible
out of the historically Midwest territory to the talks with the two schools. To many, this sud-
East Coast. According to Time Magazine, the den announcement seemed inappropriate and
average travel time for Maryland to a Big Ten lacked the approval of students, alumni, stu-
opponent now jumps to 664 miles - a 42-per- dent athletes and even coaches.
cent increase from when theywre a part of the The Big Ten is the oldest Division 1 confer-
Atlantic Coast Conference. With teams as far ence in the United States. The tradition and
as Nebraska and New Jersey, student athletes history that made the Big Ten so storied is now
will now have to travel for longer periods of under attack from financial interests. Without
the semester, impeding their ability to be func- limiting greedy expansions such as these, the
tional students. Big Ten will continue to be degraded.
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, Paul Sherman,
Sarah Skaluba, Michael Spaeth, Gus Turner, Derek Wolfe
Paint it black
For years, Black Friday has been a holiday tion takes over because we want those items.
tradition. Just hours after the Thanksgiving The door buster deals end by early afternoon,
leftovers are put away, the streets and park- and retailers use this ploy to play on our
ing lots of malls and electronic stores begin to sense of urgency and our fear of missing out.
fill with adrenaline-filled shoppers, anxiously These two factors, combined with Christmas
clutchingnewspaper advertisements featuring phopping guilt trips and a healthy dose of
photos of $179 flat-screen TVs and 60-percent adrenaline, draw us out to stores earlier and
discounts on winter coats. Each year, people earlier every year.
flood the stores with the hope of finding the The flip side of this is that these factors
"deal of the century." But while some wonder if also blind us to logic, practicality and social
the sales are worth the madness, others ques- graces. Five minutes into their feeding frenzy
tion the necessity of Black Friday altogether. over the newest tablet, the nicest people sud-
With the convenience of online shopping, denly turn into wild animals and care very
many stores are waiting until "Cyber Monday" little about whose feetcthey step on or if the old
to unleash the huge sales on their merchan- woman beside them had her hands on the box
dise. Other stores extend their in-store sales first. People spend money on things they don't

for several days after Black Friday and/or start need just because it sounds like a good deal or
their sales as early as 7 p.m. on Thanksgiving because everyone else thinks it's a good deal.
Day. Many shoppers affirm that these deals For example, all eyes are drawn to the
are actually just as good, if not better, than the half-destroyed sweatshirt display wheth-
door busters on Friday morning. er we intended to buy a sweatshirt or not.
Yet, at exactly midnight on Friday morning, We're tempted only by the knowledge that
hundreds of people herded into the Westfield a high number of people must have consid-
Mall in Canton, Ohio and began ripping mer- ered it a bargain. Similarly, the sales that
chandise from the racks of specialty shops stores put up are not always as savings-filled
and department stores. Every Black Friday is as they first appear. With all the balloons,
the same - the shoppingworld is thrown into fire-engine red signs and coupon passes,
pandemonium as people revert to their animal we're lulled into believing that these sales
instincts in orderto get $100 off an iPad. are a one-time deal when, in actuality, they
But are the deals really that good? Usually, could easily reappear two weeks later as the
these same discounts can be found on Ama- Christmas season draws near.
zon or eBay regardless of what day it is. What Black Friday is neither logical nor practi-
makes people go out is the lure of "hopeium."' cal. It's dangerous, exhausting and barbaric.
We are obsessed with instant gratification It's like an amusement park. It feeds our need
and the need to feel like we earned the deal for excitement, our child-like optimism and
that we got by waking up early, clawing our our inbred materialism. Though many articles
way through the crowd and standing in a line call for the extinction of Black Friday, it will be
that wraps allethe way around the store. Black the mental thrill of the whole experience - if
Friday is more about the psychology and less nothing else - that keeps it alive. Week-long
about the actual sales. sales aren't as tantalizing, and online shopping
The psychology of Black Friday's chaos lacks the emotional satisfaction. Black Friday
stems from our fear of scarcity. On Black Fri- isn't leaving us any time soon. It's like a drug,
day, there are only a limited number of high- and we're all hooked.
quality items available at the bargain prices
and, therefore, our natural sense of competi- Jasmine McNenny is an LSA sophomore.
Readers are encouraged to submit letters to the editor and viewpoints. Letters should
be fewer than 300 words while viewpoints should be 550-850 words. Send the
writer's full name and University affiliation to tothedaily@michigandaily.com.

What better time than now?

They say you don't really
understand a catastrophe
until it strikes you person-
ally. They say
that watching
the wreckage of
a natural disas-
ter on a televi-
sion screen just
isn't the same
as knowing the
people, the places
or the things that PATRICK
were destroyed MAILLET
by a storm. I
never thought
that I would have to learn what this
advice actually meant, thinking that
somehow my home in New Jersey
would always be exempt from this
rule of thumb. I was wrong.
Luckily, my family and our home
avoided the path of Hurricane
Sandy. Aside from heavy rain and
extended power outages, my family
was extremely lucky. Unfortunately,
I can't say the same for many of my
friends, their homes or the majority
of New Jersey and New York.
In the span of a few days, plac-
es that I've known my entire life
were wiped away. From Jenkin-
son's Boardwalk to friends' beach
houses, places that I've gone to my
entire life vanished into the sea.
One of my best friends, Grace, had
a small two-bedroom beach house
on Long Beach Island. My friends
and I always would go there in the-
summer, where her family would
host us. Some of my most cherished
moments from high school occurred
at Grace's beach house.
When I called Grace right after
Sandy hit, she told me that her par-
ents had to take a boat to where their
house used to be, and when they
arrived at the house, three of the four
walls had collapsed, and the house
was filled with mud and broken
glass. They were considered one of
the lucky ones. Her neighbor wasn't

so fortunate - a pontoon boat that
escaped from a nearby dock ended up
on top of what used to be his house.
Almost every house on her block
will have to be demolished before
they can even begin to think about
I always thought storms like
these were for the South and that
something like a hurricane, much
less a superstorm, could. never hit
the Northeast. Unfortunately, I'm
afraid that we're going to have to
get used to it.
After Sandy ravaged New York
City, reports began to come out that
New York's Mayor Bloomberg and
Governor Cuomo were discussing
the possible construction of a levee
system around Manhattan. This
system would be similar to the one
surrounding New Orleans. When I
heard this news, I couldn't help but
feel astounded that the Northeast
would now have to get used to hur-
ricanes and other natural disasters.
How could this happen? How have
our weather patterns changed, like
this? As Governor Cuomo put it, it
seems like "we have a100-year flood
every two years now."
Experts have long stated that no
one storm can be directly due to
climate change. However, carbon
emissions can strongly affect the
likelihood of storms and their rela-
tive strength. As water tempera-
tures continue to rise, hurricanes
may occur more often and with
growing force.
Even if you disagree with climate
change, you cannot possibly deny the
fact that weather in recent years has
become ever more extreme. As The
New York Times reported, "three of
the 10 worst floods in Lower Man-
hattan's history since 1906 have
happened in the last three years."
According to the National Climate
Data Center, "of the 10 warmestsum-
mers in U.S. history, seven of them
have been since 2000."

Although the data is there, the
scientific world stands behind it and
the firsthand evidence is undeniable,
countless people still deny that cli-
mate change is happening and that
our planet is getting warmer. I love
when conservatives rant about their
duty to protect their children's and
grandchildren's futures by focusing
on slashing America's debt. These
same "future-defenders" are the
ones who deny climate change, spit
in the face of science and hamper any
realistic options that America can
take to reduce its carbon emissions.
Defending the
future means
climate change.
Our debt is undeniably a massive
threat to the future of this country
but it must be dealt with gradually,
through bipartisan efforts. However,
if you're going to grab the micro-
phone and rant about how you and
your political colleagues are fighting
to defend future generations, then
use that same principle when con-
fronted with the future of our planet.
The damage done by Sandy has
resulted in more than $100 billion
in property damage, more than 100
casualties and immeasurable emo-
tional damage. We have the ability
and the obligation to work togeth-
er as a country to counter climate
change. We have to wake up from
this disaster once and for all and fight
to make sure it doesn't happen again. .
We need to act now.
Patrick Maillet can be
reached at maillet@umich.edu.


Bring insiders to justice

As part of the U.S. Securities
and Exchange Commission's
investigation into what
may become the
largest insider-
trading scheme
ever, University
neurology Prof.
Sidney Gilman1
signed a non-
agreement on
Wednesday after TIMOTHY
being sued by BURROUGHS
federal authori-
ties. The agree-
ment eliminates the possibility of
any criminal charges being filed
against Gilman and requires him to
pay $234,000 in damages.
Gilman appears to be another
stepping stone in a much larger
investigation of Matthew Martoma,
a portfolio manager at CR Intrinsic
Investors, a hedge fund management
firm based in Connecticut. The SEC
has already gone after Martoma,
but their main target appears to be
Wall Street mogul Steve Cohen, the
founder and owner of SAC Capital
Advisors, the parentcompany of CR
Intrinsic Investors.
Gilman was accused of leaking
information regarding trials for an
Alzheimer drug. With this non-pub-
lic information, Martoma allegedly
withdrew his company's $700-mil-
lion investment in two pharmaceuti-
cal companies. Martoma's company
then went on to place a significant
short gale against the two compa-
nies. This resulted in $83 million in
profits for SAC and the avoidance of a
$194-million loss. SAC retained Gil-
man as a consultant for $108,000.
The University has released a
statement claiming it is taking "this
situation very seriously and is care-
fully reviewing all of Dr. Gilman's
activities while a faculty member at
our University." The statement adds
Big Ten shouldn't sell
off is integrity
For me, the participation of
schools exclusively from the Mid-
west was what made the Big Ten
charming and appealing. I could
live with our struggles in national
championships and bowl games
because the Big Ten comprised my
entire football world. I felt all warm
inside when Wisconsin played

that the University will follow the.
guidelines in place regarding con-
sulting work and clinical trials.
Gilman's future at the Univer-
sity of Michigan Health System is
still unclear. Though he seems to
have escaped the U.S. Securities
and Exchange Commission with-
out any criminal charges, the Uni-
versity would still be able to take
disciplinary action. Gilman's law-
yer attests to his client's continued
cooperation with authorities in a
statement Wednesday. An article
in The New York Times explains
how Gilman's testimony could be
critical in the SEC's case against
Martoma. This additional testi-
mony could force Martoma to sign
an agreement with prosecutors
and testify against Cohen.
As one of the top institutes for
higher education, the University
must hold its faculty to the highest
level of academic integrity, which
Gilman's actions clearly violated.
As one of the University's highest-
paid professors, Gilman should
be a role model for his students
and other members of faculty. The
University must understand the
importance of the precedent their
reaction to these allegations will
set for the entire school.
It's still too early to predict
what type of punishment the Uni-
versity should implement against
Gilman. As its statement suggests,
the judicial process will result in
further information being released,
and based upon that knowledge,
the University can act. Some have
speculated that Gilman passed on
the results of the clinical trials not
knowing thatthey would be used as
insider information by Martoma.
Furthermore, there are examples
of traders taking advantage of med-
ical professionals who sometimes
lack complete understanding of
SEC rules and regulations. They try

to gain some bit of non-public infor-
mation, which to a medical profes-
sional might be inconsequential
and harmless, but in the hands of
a trader could be extremely impor-
tant. If this is the case, Gilman has
been presented with an opportu-
nity to redeem himself by helping
the authorities crack down on Mar-
toma. This would give a University
faculty member the opportunity to
admit he made a mistake and con-
currently show his true character
by testifying and bringing these
individuals to justice.
The 'U' should
hold its faculty
to the highest
However, if it's discovered that
Gilman acted knowingly out of
personal interest, he should no lon-
ger have any connection with the
University. If this is the case, he
contributed to the greedy, manipu-
lative culture that caused our econ-
omy's recent struggles. That type of
person has no place at our beloved
University or its hospital.
Once additional details sur-
rounding Gilman's motives come
forward, I can only hope that Uni-
versity will act with fairness. I
want to believe that Gilman acted
unknowingly and has found him-
self caught up in an extremely
unfortunate situation. If, so, he
should act like a true Wolverine and
demonstrate his sound character by
assisting the SEC in their pursuit of
the real criminals in this case.
- Timothy Burroughs can be
reached at timburr@umich.edu.



Iowa, or Purdue played Illinois.
Even being a Michigan graduate,
I'd follow all the Big Ten games in
the paper and watch them when
available on television. Midwestern
imagery came to my mind. I cared
about the conference rivalries and
the Big Ten championship. I didn't
welcome the addition of Penn State,
but I lived with it since Pennsyl-'
vania borders Ohio and Lake Erie,
and since the state's Western side is
Midwest-like, culturally. And it was
only one outsider anyway.

But now, Big Ten commissioner
Jim Delaney is inviting New York
City and Washington D.C. onto
the farm. This, along with Dave
Brandon's references to the Mich-
igan "brand," is just too much for
me. I hope that advertisements
in Michigan Stadium aren't next,
but I can't say I'd be shocked by
anything in a world where money
trumps everything.
Scott Kashkin
1984 University alum

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