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4A - Thursday, March 21, 2013

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

CJiie 1iidiigan 4Bath
Edited and managed by students at
the University of Michigan since 1890.

(Dis) honor society

420 Maynard St.,
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
tothedaily@michigandaily.com
MELANIE KRUVELIS
and ADRIENNE ROBERTS MATT SLOVIN
EDITORIAL PAGE EDITORS MANAGING EDITOR

ANDREW WEINER
EDITOR IN CHIEF

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.
Vote Osborn and Sakwa
forUM platform commits to activism and student life
common complaint of Central Student Government -
one the Daily's editorial board has echoed year after year
- is that CSG isn't relevant to students because students
don't know about it, nor do they care. After CSG President Man-
ish Parikh's year in office, however, we feel comfortable saying
that more students are aware of CSG and understand the tangible
changes the assembly can bring to campus. Moving forward, CSG
should redirect its purpose, focusing on policies that can change
the face of the University. While many of the CSG presidential and
vice-presidential candidates brought up inconveniences they'd like
to remedy, such as more printing for LSA students and an app for
MCards, one party stood out in its commitment to solving every-
day problems students regularly face, while concentrating on goals
that might significantly change a student's university experience.
The Michigan Daily's editorial board endorses forUM candidates
for CSG president and vice president because of party's dedication
to both social change and daily student struggles.

Clad in Native American rega-
lia and covered from head
to toe in war paint, the lat-
est "braves" ran
around in front
of the Hatch-
er Graduate
Library. As hun-
dreds of students
looked on, Mich-
igamua initiated
its latest class KEVIN
of members as MERSOL-
part of its annual BARG
rope-in. The year
was 1939.
This scene
repeated itself for most of the last
century. Founded in 1902, Mich-
igamua, one of the University's self-
described senior honor societies,
fashioned itself as an imagined all-
male Native American tribe. Over
time, public outcry put the kibosh on
most of Michiagamua's overtlyoffen-
sive and discriminatory practices.
In breach of agreements against
it, Michigamuacontinued to misap-
propriate Native American culture
and reinforce painful stereotypes
into the 21st century. And it didn't
admit women into its ranks until the
University's Dean of Students forced
them to in 1999.
In a move to distance itself fromits
past, Michigamua changed its name
to the order of Angell in 2007. Today,
whether or not its members realize it,
the organization faces an existential
crisis: Should it still exist?
To answer this question, some
background is in order.
The Order of Angell serves as a
window into the past, a vestige of
student life from more than a cen-
tury ago. Student societies were
all the rage on campus in the first
decade of the 20th century. These
exclusive organizations brought
together like-minded individuals,
and, according to Wilfred Shaw,
former editor of Michigan Alumnus

magazine, membership "reflected
not so much scholastic attainment
as personal popularity."
Societies sprung up in depart-
ments across the University; these
included the Alchemists who stud-
ied chemistry and the Druids who
studied literature. Two senior soci-
eties lasted to the present day: the
order of Angell and the engineer-
ing society, vulcan. Together with
a third all-female society, Adara
- known as Phoenix today - the
three societies occupied floors five
through seven of the Michigan
Union's tower until 2000.
Each year, the Order of Angell, the
most prominent of the tower societ-
ies, invites its incoming "pride" of
about two dozen leaders through
an application-less process known
as "tapping." The group claims to
recruit the most distinguished lead-
ers on campus, provide a forum
to discuss campus issues and spur
"humble" leadership. In addition,
members can benefit from its con-
nection to accomplished alumni who
participated in the organization.
Once we scrape away abandoned
practices, one strand in particular
ties Michigamua of the past to the
order of Angell of the present: self-
congratulatory elitism.
When it distanced itself from its
racist past, the Order of Angell lost
part of its identity. It had for so long
mocked Native Americans that in
many respects shaped its unique and
disturbing place on campus.
And when the University forced
the organization to accept women
into its ranks, it once more lost its all-
male identity. Since Congress passed
Title IX into law in 1972, student
organizations can neither discrimi-
nate against women nor otherwise
exclude them. However, Michigamua
flouted this law for decades and
would likely have remained an all-
male group had the University not
finally intervened 26years later.

Having shed much of its racist
and discriminatory practices, what
purpose does the Order of Angell
serve? It allows a select few to meet
regularly. And for the rest of campus,
it stands as a constant reminder of
the practices and attitudes that hurt
a minority community and the cam-
pus at large. It provides a window to
a past to which student organizing
shouldn't return.
However, we can take positive
steps forward. First, the Order of
Angell should disband and similarly
elitist, self-congratulatory group
organizations should consider doing
the same.
The Order of
Angell must
disband, along with
other elitist groups.
And in their place, we should
build spaces for student leaders to
meet over a sustained period, estab-
lish strong relationships and engage
in dialogue about pressing campus
issues. We can develop a program
that strives towards similar goals as
the present day Order of Angell with-
out the baggage of the past. More-
over, this endeavor would provide .*
an inclusive experience for student
leaders, one that societies like Order
of Angell fail to provide.
Never again, I hope, will students
find it acceptable to parade around
campus in culturally insensitive
ways. Instead, I long for a future
where student leaders cast aside cul-
turally destructive groups and con-
nect through inclusive forums.
- Kevin Mersol-Barg can be
reached at kmersolb@umich.edu.

MomentUM is unique in that their presiden-
tial candidate, Nick Swider, is an LSA freshman.
While he brings a fresh set of eyescto CSG, as evi-
denced in his desire to give LSA students more
printing and increasing bus services between
North and Central Campus on weekends, a
representative, rather than a president, could
work to remedy these problems. While being a
freshman may offer a distinctive perspective, it
doesn't necessarily foster the ability to recog-
nize long-standing flaws that upperclassmen
may understand more deeply. With more time
on campus, we're confident that Swider can
continue develop his platform, along with his
awareness of the diverse issues that affect the
University. But the role of CSG president is not a
learning experience and requires a leader with
a serious understanding of campus.
The presidential and vice presidential can-
didates from youMich, Michael Proppe and
Bobby Dishell, offer clearly defined objec-
tives for their campaign, such as developing a
survey that links students to organizations of
interest and bringing a 24-hour caf6 to North
Campus. However, their proposed plan seems
more quantitative than qualitative in nature
- a laundry list of tasks, rather than a vision.
Furthermore, the long-term goals offered by
youMich, like an entrepreneurial learning
community angled towards engineering and
business students, fail to meet the needs of
students on a larger scale. Though the MCard
mobile app and student organization survey
they promise may be practical proposals,
these are goals which could be accomplished
through active participation in CSG. The via-
bility of youMich's platform, however, is cer-
tainly strong, and forUM should take note of
Proppe and Dishell's feasible goals.
Independent candidates Scott Christopher
and Ethan Michaeli also offer a wide-reaching
platform with a variety of issues covered. Their
primary goal - expanding and improving the
University's Counseling and Psychologist Ser-
vices - touches on an important issue that has
been largely ignored by other candidates. Their
plan to reduce crime in Ann Arbor through
reforming mental health resources on campus,
however, lacks a direct path to implementation.
From promising shuttle service for graduate
students to and from job interviews to allow-
ing current students to have the first read on
prospective University applications, complet-
ing the tasks in Christopher and Michaeli's
platform would be a reach. The breadth of their
goals leaves us uncertain in terms of what they
would accomplish in a year.

As their name suggests, the Defend Affirma-
tive Action Party also brings a specific platform
to the race, with a focus on one main objective
- bringing affirmative action back to campus.
Presidential candidate Ashley Garrick and her
vice-presidential running mate Chene Karega
both have significant activist experience on cam-
pus, and offer a strong vision of social justice to
the campaign. To say their objectives are impor-
tant would be an incredible understatement, as
underrepresented minority enrollment at the
University continues to decline. However, their
platform, which includes an upcoming march
on Washington D.C. and campus-wide dialogues
on racism, is too specific for CSG leadership. The
president of CSG must represent the interests of
all students, and while a commitment to affir-
mative action is prevalent among some students,
others may be more interested in longer dining
hall hours and other immediate goals. More-
over, the bureaucratic nature of CSG might actu-
ally impede the candidates' ability to enact the
change they desire, as they become inundated in
studentorganization funding forms and meeting
minutes. The goals of DAAP are commendable,
and while they may not be the right fit for CSG
leadership, we hope they continue the fight for
equalityon and offcampus.
Of all the parties running in this year's elec-
tion, forUM strikes the best balance between
tangible goals and dedication to fostering a
socially aware campus. Presidential candidate
Chris Osborn has significant CSG experience,
serving as CSG treasurer under Parikh. Hay-
ley Sakwa, Osborn's running mate, hasn't been
involved in CSG, leaving the pair with both
fresh eyes and a seasoned understanding of the
body. The commitment of forUM to givingstu-
dents a greater role on campus, as made clear
through their plan to introduce a non-voting
student seat to the Board of Regents, suggests
that the party cares about empowering stu-
dents outside of CSG committees. From bring-
ing in more local food on campus to increasing
the University's connection with Detroit,
forUM's platform molds activist visions into
achievable goals. While forUM lacks certain
provisions of the other candidates, such as
mental health reform and mentorship with
local high school students, their well-defined
plan and commitment to working within and
outside the CSG structure suggests openness
to new ideas.
For this year's election, The Michigan
Daily's editorial board endorses CHRIS
OSBORN and HAYLEY SAKWA for CSG
president and vice president.

EDITORIAL BOARD MEMBERS
Kaan Avdan, Sharik Bashir, Barry Belmont, Eli Cahan, Jesse Klein,
Melanie Kruvelis, Maura Levine, Patrick Maillet, Aarica Marsh,
Megan McDonald, Jasmine McNenny, Harsha Nahata, Adrienne Roberts,
Paul Sherman, Sarah Skaluba, Michael Spaeth, Luchen Wang, Derek Wolfe
ANDREW WEINER I
Missed connections

0

Should connecting to the Inter-
net in the United States be a battle
in 2013? The short answer: prob-
ably not.
For students in Ann Arbor liv-
ing off campus, capitalism begets
two options for home Internet. It's
choice between companies both
famous for their incompetence:
Comcast, with such a dismal repu-
tation that they've slowly rebrand-
ed as Xfinity while hoping you
didn't notice, and AT&T, which
seemed to think I was irrational
for attempting to trade money in
exchange for Internet in my apart-
ment (it took three months, but we
sorted it out).
The Internet market in the United
States is in disarray. Because laying
thousands of miles of wiring and
infrastructure is expensive, a natu-
ral oligopoly occurs, but the market
that has resulted isn't best serving
the country. With little competition,
the companies haven't been chal-
lenged to improve nearly any aspect
of their business. Customer service
- or lack thereof - aside, the state
of U.S. Internet speed and accessi-
bility has broad implications for our
nation's competitiveness and reflects
an underdeveloped federal strategy.
In 2011, a study done by Netflix
implies a suggestion for those who
just want to binge watch "30 Rock"
without endless buffering: Move to
Canada. When the world's largest
videostreaming company measured
Internet speeds, it found Canadian
top and average download speeds
beat the United States.
Our Northern neighbor isn't the
only one that has us beat. For truly
fast Internet, you'll need to leave
the continent. In NetIndex's cur-
rent rankings of worldwide Internet
speeds, the United States sits in 34th

place with 13.04-megabyte-per-
second downloads, one spot behind
Canada. The top 10 includes Hong
Kong (44.71 mbps), South Korea
(34.72 mbps), Switzerland (30.16
mbps) and the European Union with
the best overall average.
The geographic concentration
of high-speed access is also cause
for concern. Private companies
have little incentive to wire rural
parts of America, which is a dis-
advantage for health care, schools
and businesses in these regions.
President Barack Obama's stimulus
attempted to address this through
the $4-billion Broadband Technol-
ogy Opportunities Program. How-
ever, a recent article in The New
York Times highlighted that the
program has had trouble getting
off the ground in many states and
is plagued with waste and fraud
where it has.
Policymakers and Internet advo-
cates have long recognized this
impediment to U.S. competitive-
ness. In 2013, a business is as fast as
its Internet, and a city's attractive-
ness to new startups is indisputably
linked to high-speed availability.
An example: When Google decid-
ed to have cities compete to be guin-
ea pigs in its fiber experiment, it's
obvious why officials in Topeka, Kan.
changed the city's name to "Google"
as part of their bid. The economic
benefit of the fiber optics, which offer
one-gigabyte-per-second down-
loads, spurs the imagination and
innovation of entrepreneurs. The
startup scene in Kansas City, Kan.,
which became the first Google Fiber
hub, has already been invigorated.
And while providers tout high
-speed broadband connections in
multimillion-dollar advertising
campaigns, availability is limited

and price prohibitive - nearly a
third of Americans opt not to pay
for in-home, high-speed Internet.
According to the Organization for
Economic Cooperation and Devel-
opment, 70 percent of Americans
have high-speed connectivity.
South Korea: 94 percent.
In the 1990s, South Korea priori-
tized Internet literacy and connec-
tivity - policies that have proven
impressively effective. While South
Korean youth have a well-docu-
mented Internet addiction and
population density plays a part, the
United States needs to develop a
similar long-term strategy soits cit-
izens can build the next Facebooks
and Googles and, more important-
ly, watch 70 episodes of "The West
Wing" in a row without issue.
For starters: Push for open
access to allow companies to share
basic infrastructure, curb the
20-state trend of wealthy providers
lobbying to prohibit local competi-
tive markets, and invest heavily in
infrastructure and providing low-
interest loans to do so. Introducing
competition into the stagnant mar-
ket could have incalculable impact.
Programs like the stimulus-funded
one are a good start, but one-time
investments aren't a substitute for a
clear roadmap.
Americans shouldn't be picking
between the lesser of two evils for
a service that's intrinsic to daily life
and economic prosperity. The Unit-
ed States shouldn't be content with
34th place. As a nation, we've long
seen the value of connecting people,
places and ideas. We must recognize
that, like our bridges and roads, our
cyber infrastructure is falling into
disrepair and needs attention.
Andrew Weiner is the editor in chief.

0

Female soccer players are second
only to football players in the
number of concussions (they
sustain per year)."
- Anne B. Sereno, a professor of neurobiology at the University of Texas Health Science
Center told The New York Times on Wednesday. Sereno recently led a study on high
school soccer players, raising concerns about heading the bail.

0I

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