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November 29, 2012 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 2012-11-29

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4A - Thursday, November 29, 2012

The Michigan Daily = michigandaily.com

4A - Thursday, November 29, 2012 The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom

GJbE 1Jicdigan &itgj
Edited and managed by students at
the University of Michigan since 1890.
420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
tothedaily@michigandaily.com
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 T HE DAILY
Improvingeducation
Reform is needed in Michigan's public schools
Republican Gov. Rick Snyder is expected to present the
details of an important new education bill for the state of
Michigan in February. The proposed education reform bill,
which was recently obtained by the Detroit Free Press, would sub-
stantially change the public education system in the state of Michi-
gan. While reforming Michigan education should be discussed, this
bill could change the entire ideology of our educational system by
implementing unnecessarily extreme changes.

Getting your MRS and BME degrees

hile dinner tables across
America were still warm
from the turkey and fix-
ings last Thurs-
day night, mine
was just heat-
ing up with a
new source of
warmth: con-
versation. Ideas
were being
argued, sto-
ries were being HEMA
shared, conclu- KARUNA-
sions were being KARAM
drawn. But the
topic at hand
was one that only rarely had made it
to the dinner table or, for that matter,
was even spoken aloud in my family:
relationships and marriage.'
With many of the daughters of
family friends hitting their mid-
20s and looking toward marriage,
combined with the realization that
my mother was engaged by my age,
it shouldn't have surprised me that
a taboo topic a few years ago in my
family was now being openly dis-
cussed. Growing up in America in
a fairly traditional Indian house-
hold, I never expected my parents
to condone any type of romantic
relationship in my life. But I guess
their recently revealed open-mind-
edness was understandable. After
all, where else but in college would
I ever encounter so many potential
future grooms?
A widely circulated column that
ran this past summer in the Univer-
sity of Georgia's student paper, The
Red & Black, satirized the concept
of women, particularly at Southern
schools, whose goal is to graduate
with an "MRS degree"- that is,
a ring on their finger and nothing

more. The column received wide-
spread criticism for the sensitive
nature of the topic and the "satire"
being perhaps not satirical enough.
The columnist subsequently issued
a statement explaining her inten-
tions and affirming her belief that
many women now, including herself,
are very ambitious and are certainly
not in college for the sole purpose of
finding a husband. However, much
of the attention the columnreceived
undoubtedly stemmed from the
truth underlying the satire.
Apart from being a source of
higher education, for many people
college also serves as a goldmine of
intelligent, like-minded people who
happen to also be in their physical
prime.'There's no doubt that a large
percentage of Americans meet their
future spouses or companions in
college, and while the MRS degree
may be a frowned-upon concept,
the reasons for women histori-
cally choosing this route are, quite
honestly, logical. Of course, many
women now expect much more out
of college than a ring on their fin-
ger or evena boyfriend, but perhaps
a shift in priorities has also led to
more disregard for the non-aca-
demic opportunities college offers.
There's nothing wrong with
graduating with a 4.0 in fashion
merchandise and high hopes for a
proposal from your Harvard Uni-
versity Law boyfriend. But maybe
the Elle Woods types are best left
to the fictional world of "Legally
Blonde." More commonly today,
especially at top tier schools, we
see highly motivated and career-
oriented women - graduating per-
haps without 4.0s, but with offers
from companies like Apple or Gold-
man Sachs. Some may exit with a

serious relationship as well, but
this isn't high on the priority list
for many of them.
I'll admit it: I've been single for
five semesters of college and as far
as I know, it may stay that way for
my remaining three. I have big plans
for my future to further my educa-
tion and develop myself profession-
ally. I certainly didn't come here for
an MRS degree. But I think the tint
on the lens through which I view
Elle Woods had a
few things right
about college.

I

I

Among other provisions, the bill would
provide scholarships of $2,500 per semester,
of up to $10,000, to students who finish high
school early, and would "provide a framework
for funding based on performance, once the
proper assessment and testing mechanisms
are in place," the Free Press reported. The
bill also removes district ownership of stu-
dents, allowing students to choose in which
district they enroll. Funding provided to stu-
dents will then follow the students to the dis-
trict they transfer to - potentially splitting
a student's funding among multiple districts.
We shouldn't be encouraging high school
students to graduate early. Many students
whograduate earlymaynotbe matureenough
to move into a college environment. Attend-
ing high school for four years is important for
students because they have time to develop
their social skills and ability to interact with
peers and teachers, which will benefit them
in both casual and professional social situa-
tions later in life. Extracurricular activities
in high school help to develop skills such as
teamwork and cooperation that cannot be
taught in the classroom and make students
more well-rounded individuals. If students

focus exclusively on schoolwork and rush to
graduate, they may miss out on many of these
valuable opportunities. Education isn't just
about grades, its about growth.
Funding based on performance is also
very problematic for disadvantaged students.
Schools in lower-income areas are likely to
perform differently than students in liigher-
income areas. The current bill doesn't com-
pensate for this disparity. Public education
is supposed to provide the best education for
everybody. Performance-based funding isn't
the way to fund public education.
Unlike a voucher system, public educa-
tion is intended to benefit everyone. Pub-
lic education is paid through taxes, much
more effective than the voucher system. By
turning Michigan's education system into
a voucher system, some students will have
more opportunities than others, leaving
some students worse off. This system based
in inequality is the wrong way to fix Michi-
gan's education system.
We need to find ways to improve Michi-
gan's educational system, but the proposed
bill does more harm than good for Michi-
gan's students.

college has been lifted just slightly.
Will I go out of my way now to
look for a husband? Absolutely not.
But will I welcome the possibility
of allowing serious relationships
as I might allow for other extra-
curricular activities? Starting this
week, perhaps.
None of us are here in college just
to snag that future spouse or com-
panion. But there's no denying that
this opportunity likely won't pres-
ent itself again. There's no need to
skip class or lose sleep over it. But
go ahead and put your best foot
forward. Go to that party, text that
person back. Sure, they might just
be a college fling. But they could
always turn out to be much more.
- Hema Karunakaram can be
reached at khema@umich.edu. Follow
her on Twitter @hemakarunakaram.

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
MAURA LEVINEVIE..WP i N
ot down with the sickness

I was being dragged to the ground and
my foot inadvertently hit the man."
- Detroit Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh, in response to a swift kick he
delivered to Houston Texans quarterback Matt Schuab's groin at last Thursday's game.
NIRBHAY JAIN VIEWPOIN T
Why Lincoln would los

Being told that you have noth-
ing more than a common cold after
waiting in line at University Health
Services for three hours to treat an
eight-week-long illness would make
any student a bit disgruntled. This
happened to my best friend this fall.
Her sickness for several months and
eventual retreat home to receive
proper medical attention at her local
family physician drew my atten-
tion to the pressing administra-
tive issues in our University Health
System. Though we're entitled to
"free"- read: included in our tuition
charges - health care as University
students, it seems we're paying an
untold price. The health program
has turned into a bureaucracy where
nurses can give students a "code" to
bypass the system while others wait
helplessly with a fever for hours,
only to be told they cannot see a doc-
tor for a week. With one of the best
medical programs in the world, the
University should be doing more for
its students and faculty.
It all started when my friend first
got sick in September. Her illness
progressed to night sweats, fevers
and a horrible cough, so she ventured
her first trip to UHS. She waited
for several hours and was eventu-
ally prescribed antibiotics, but they
didn'thelp. As the weather got colder,
she got sicker and sickeruntil itgotso
bad she could barely walk without
feeling her head pound and couldn't
sleep at night without waking up in a
cold, feverish sweat.
Naturally, it was hard to main-
tain her schoolwork and demand-
ing schedule, so she returned to

UHS. Upon arrival, they immedi-
ately sent her to wait for two hours.
Then, despite the fact that her record
showed a return visit for worsening
symptoms, she was sent to a desk
to schedule an appointment with a
doctor. They scheduled her for a few
days later. When she went in for her
appointment, the doctors looked at
her chart, looked in her eyes, nose
and throat, and handed her a pam-
phlet on the common cold.
Asa last resort to stop the deterio-
ration of her health, my friend help-
lessly traveled home to see her own
doctor, knowing she couldn't just,
have a common cold. Her home prac-
titioner diagnosed her with a severe
sinus infection. She was prescribed
the proper medications before she
returned to campus. Though she was
grateful to be on the mend, she was
behind on her work as a result of the
hours spent waiting in UHS and the
subsequent trip home. This anecdote
exemplifies our University's failing
health system.
With the new triage system enact-
ed in this fall, students who walk in
seeking medical care first have to
wait to be scheduled for an appoint-
ment based on the severity of their
illness. There are virtually no more
walk-ins welcome. While in theory,
the scheduling makes sense and does
help separate those who need less-
urgent STI tests from those who are
bed-ridden with severe illnesses,
it's not working. Students who are
in desperate need for medical atten-
tion are not receiving help quickly
enough. It seems that the system
determining the severity of the ill-

ness and the subsequent urgency for
care, is at fault.
It's not enough to look at a stu-
dent and say, "You don't have a fever
this moment and you're not violently
throwing up, so come back in a week
for your appointment," as opposed to
another student with a skin infection
(like another with whom I've spo-
ken) who gets fast-tracked to a doctor
without much wait time. Since the
skin infection was deemed "highly
contagious," the student got immedi-
ate care with a special "code" given
via phone to bypass the scheduling
portion and she moved straight to
waiting for a doctor.
I don't believe the doctors, secre-
taries or nurses are the ones at fault
in UHS. Rather, it's the bureaucratic
system. The fact that UHS is under-
staffed only complicates matters,
making waittimes too long and creat-
ing the necessity for a triage system.
The triage system, in turn, is unfair
to those with medical problems who
are qualitatively not deemed "imme-
diate," or "contagious" though the
student has been suffering for weeks
or may need immediate help. An inac-
curate diagnosis is more likely when
the staff feels pressured, overworked
and stressed. The point of having free
health care at the University is to help
students get better more quickly so
they can return to schoolwork. The
new UHS program isn't fulfilling this
need. The triage system needs to be
modified to help our students get bet-
ter faster and make sure our peers and
friends aren't sick for an entire term.
Maura Levine is an LSA sophomore.

Abraham Lincoln, the first Republican
president, probably wouldn't win the Repub-
lican nomination for president if he ran today,
if the film"Lincoln" is any indication. Know-
ing director Steven Spielberg, writer Tony
Kuchner and lead actor Daniel Day-Lewis, it
was probably as historically accurate as a film
can get. In fact, Lincoln probably wouldn't
survive the first few primaries of the Republi-
can nomination process. The reason? He just
wasn't conservative enough.
As seen in "Lincoln," there were two
major Republican factions in the 1860s - the
radicals and the conservatives, akin to the
modern day Tea Party and moderate, Mitt.
Romney Republicans, respectively. However,
in the 1860s, the Republicans were the liberal
party, the one pushing the country toward'
progressive ideas. The Republicans were the
ones who wanted to abolish slavery, and Lin-
coln, straddling the line between moderate
and radical, wholeheartedly agreed. How-
ever, he never made slavery - a moral and
social issue to the Republicans - a fixture
of his campaign. In modern-day America,
a Republican cannot win the support of the
staunchly conservative base without straying
so far to the right as to make him unrecogniz-
able to centrists.
Furthermore, Lincoln believed in the wacky
idea of compromise, of working with people
with differing beliefs and political parties to
achieve a mutual goal. Day-Lewis's Lincolm
even says in the movie he wanted the Thir-
teenth Amendment to have bipartisan support.
Does the conservative faction of the Repub-
lican Party want to compromise? They hold
any possible debt deal hostage with a series of
unnecessary expenditures and tax cuts, which
economistsand the U.S. Department of Defense
have said could be dangerous. Senate Minority
Leader Mitch McConnell even said the goal of

Republicans in 2010 should not be to fix the
country, but to ensure that President Barack
Obama only served one term. That doesn't seem
conciliatory to me.
Lincoln would've been eviscerated by his
own party for working with Democrats, how-
ever subtly, to achieve his goal. That's not
how the modern conservative behaves. That's
not how the modern liberal tends to behave,
although the liberals are less forthright about
their unwillingness to work across the aisle.
Conservatives don't even attempt to hide
their disdain for their liberal counterparts.
The most telling sign of the shift of the
Republican Party was in a speech Thaddeus
Stevens (played by Tommy Lee Jones) gave
in the film before the House of Representa-
tives. He sacrificed his personal beliefs in
order to better the nation; the sacrifice of the
few to benefit the many. He made that sacri-
fice. Lincoln made that sacrifice. Republicans
have been more dependent on playingup their
personal moral beliefs, rather than seeingthe
bigger picture and how personal sacrifices
could help the nation as a whole - see: Todd
Akin/Richard Mourdock on rape and Marco
Rubio on creationism.
Republicans, see how you've changed! So
hnuch so that you wouldn't elect the great-
est president to ever come from your party.
Republicans and Democrats can both learn
from "Lincoln." The American Dream isn't
just white picket fences, minivans and subur-
ban schools. The American Dream is the idea
that any man can save the world with democ-
racy, and that democracy, despite its flaws,
can be a beautiful thing when it works prop-
erly. It was a beautiful thing during the time
of Lincoln. It will be a beautiful thing again.
We all just need to change.
Nirbhay Jain is an LSA junior.

LE E E TH T ) R T IE E DITOR SEND LETTERS TO: TOTHEDAILY@MICHIGANDAILY.COM

Establish a campus
biking culture
TO THE DAILY:
As anyone who has been on the
Diag during a school day knows,
bikes zip by students on foot and
weave in and out of the crowds non-
stop. Since2005,AnnArborhasbeen
a certified Silver-level Bike Friendly
City, a distinction awarded by the
League of American Bicyclists. The
key to living up to and improving the
University's biking standards, how-
ever - and the goal the University
should aim to achieve - is to estab-
lish a true biking culture on campus,
where biking doesn't simply replace

carbon-neutral walking but replaces from point A to point B, the benefits
driving as well. are marginal. By encouraging those
The University is already mov- who drive to use a bike instead,
ing in the right direction. Outdoor the'University's bike culture - one
Adventures' Blue Bikes rental pro- where students choose to bike even
gram is off to a strong start. A bike- though it might take a little longer
sharing program slated for next and might require putting on an,
year will increase student access to additional layer to combat winters
bikes with an inexpensive, conve- - will thrive.
nient system. While it makes sense We pride ourselves on being the
to place bike-sharing racks in cen- "leaders and best," so let's create a
tral, high-traffic areas, planners prominent biking culture and move
should also consider the benefits of to the front of the growing move-
having plenty of bikes on the cam- ment toward sustainable transpor-
pus perimeter. Biking cuts down on tation on college campuses.
travel time between classes, but if
the only people who use bikes are Joe Murray
those who would normally walk LSA freshman

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