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April 05, 2013 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 2013-04-05

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4A - Friday, April 5, 2013

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

4A -Fridy, pril5, 013 he ichian Dily- mihigndaiyco

C l e firichigan 3ailm

Restore our confidence

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.
Enabling the disabled
The University needs to make a clear effort to accommodate all students
Students can pick from countless extracurricular activities at
the University. With intramural sports, student organizations
and Greek Life, there are plenty of ways to stay active outside
of the classroom. However, things aren't as easy for students with
disabilities. They may find themselves barred from the IM sports
teams or unable to access some lecture halls across campus. While
Services for Students with Disabilities has made great strides in pro-
viding students with disabilities the proper academic help, Univer-
sity leaders can't ignore these issues and must continue to strive to
build a community that's accepting and accessible to all students.

W hen Benjamin Franklin
and the other founding
fathers left Indepen-
dence Hall after
the Constitu-
tional Conven-
tion of 1787,
anxious citizens
waited outside
the hall for
news. A woman
asked Frank- PATRICK
lin what they MAILLET
had created, to
which Franklin
responded, "A
Republic, if you can keep it."
The United States is one of the
world's longest ongoing republics,
withstanding tests from a civil war
to economic collapse. Unfortunate-
ly, the integrity that has secured
this epic republic's success is in dire
jeopardy. The 2010 U.S. Supreme
Court decision in Citizens United v.
Federal Election Commission, more
commonly known as Citizens Unit-
ed, threatens this great nation, and
unless we tirelessly work to reverse
its all-reaching power, it'll erode
the very core of this country.
The Citizens United decision
was a 5-4 vote that opened the
floodgates for limitless campaign
contributions by individuals, cor-
porations and unions to political
"super PACs." Although the exact
details of the decision are compli-
cated and could take up multiple
novels - let alone a single column -
the important factor of the Citizens
United decision is that it reversed
much of the McCain-Feingold Act,
a 2002 campaign finance bill.
The 2012 electionwas the United
States' first true glimpse of the ter-
rifying power that Citizens United
had unleashed. The Federal Elec-
tion Commission estimates that $7
billion was spent on the 2012 elec-
tion cycle. Furthermore, according
to The Wall Street Journal, super
PACs spent $567,498,628 on the
2012 elections, $98 million in the
final week of October. Of this mas-
sive amount of super PAC money,
58.9 percent of donations were $1
million or higher and were given by
a total of 159 individuals. Most ter-
rifying of all, because super PACs
can accept funds from nonprofit
organizations, which are legally

allowed to conceal the identities of
their donors, roughly 31 percent of
outside spending in 2012 was given
anonymously and cannot be traced
to its original donor.
These numbers are truly stagger-
ing and have given us a preview of
what a post-Citizens United Amer-
ica will look like. Individuals such
as the Koch Brothers or Sheldon
Adelson can fund entire campaigns
and can single-handedly install
elected officials who best protect
their personal interests. Take, for
example, Adelson, who famously
bragged about donating $100 mil-
lion in the 2012 election. If anyone
truly believes that limitless cam-
paign contributions don't threaten
our very democracy, let's look at the
role that Adelson and his multi-bil-
lion-dollar wealth played in 2012.
In early 2011, Adelson madeA it
known that he was willing to do
whatever it took to ensure Presi-
dent Barack Obama's defeat in 2012.
He originally supported Newt Gin-
grich as the Republican candidate
and donated more than $20 million
to the former speaker of the house's
campaign. Adelson wasn't a fan of
Romney, but once Gingrich fell out
of the race, Adelson was forced to
accept the GOP candidate. The bil-
lionaire's support didn't come easily,
though. Looking back, it was solidi-
fied only after Romney attended
a fundraiser in Israel at Adelson's
side. Perhaps desperate to appease
Adelson's famously hawkish views
on Israel, Romney blamed "cultural
differences" for the economic dis-
parities between Israel and Palestine
and admitted that peace was most
Romney's desperate appease-
ment of Adelson didn't stop at just
foreign policy. Within four days of
being named Romney's running
mate, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.)
flew out to Las Vegas for a personal,
closed-door meeting with Adel-
son. Because candidates are pro-
hibited from explicitly asking for
super PAC donations, the Romney
campaign was quick to reassure
the media that this was a "finance
event, nota fundraiser."
In the end, Adelson donated
more $30 million to Restore Our
Future, the super PAC that sup-
ported Romney. This may seem like

a lot of money to you and me, but to
a man worth more than $21 billion,
it isn't much. Had Romney been
elected and had he implemented his
tax plan filled with tax cuts for cor-
porations and the wealthy, Adelson
would have saved approximately
$2 billion. For a man who made his
fortune in casinos, this was a bet
that could've paid out big returns
for him.
Our democratic
system is being
auctioned off to the


The Services for Students with Disabilities
office serves the 4 percent of students who have
some sort of disability. They assist students by
providing note-taking services and various
electronic services that can aid in academics.
While these measures are certainly helpful,
they don't guarantee the inclusive environment
within lecture halls and classrooms that leads
to an effective learning experience.
Some newer buildings such as the Ross
School of Business may prove accessible for
students with physical handicaps; however, all
University lecture halls and buildings should
be equally accessible. And in those that are
accessible, students with disabilities are often
forced to sit in the back of the room - away
from the rest of the students. Furthermore,
the jam-packed lecture halls of the Chemistry
Building and Natural Science Building aren't
only poorly accessible, but overcrowded and
congested as well. These issues do not only
affectstudents with disabilities, but the class-
ro0m experience as well.
Students with disabilities should have more
opportunities to get involved on campus. For

example, the University's Department of Rec-
reational Sports needs to work to include these
students on their IM sports teams by creating
leagues in which everyone can get involved -
much like a co-ed league. Also, there could be
leagues devoted to students with disabilities.
The University of Illinois and Ohio State Uni-
versity, among other colleges, already have
competitive wheelchair sports teams of their
own. The University needs to be an active part-
ner to disabled Wolverines and implement a
similar league here.
More often than not, disability awareness
goes unnoticed on campus. Students and fac-
ulty aren't aware of the issues students with
disabilities face on a daily basis and the stig-
mas often associated with such identities. As
a University that stands to promote diver-
sity, acceptance and open-mindedness, the
administration needs to play a larger role in
ensuring that all students are able to engage
in the extracurricular activities offered
through our University, as well as create an
accessible and accepting environment for the
entire student body.

highest bidder.
So what now? The court has
ruled and now we must live with it,
right? Wrong! On Wednesday, Con-
gressman John Dingell (D-Mich.)
spoke at the Ford School of Public
Policy explaining his new legisla-
tion that, if passed, could reinstate
some vital elements of campaign
fundraising laws. Appropriately
cited as the Restoring Confidence
in Our Democracy Act, this bill
would prohibit corporations and
unions from buying advertising
supporting campaign causes and
would force super PACs to abide by
the same $5,000 donation limit as
regular PACs.
As Dingell made clear at the
event, this bill certainly isn't going
to solve every problem within our
campaign system, but it's definitely
agood start. Our democratic system
is slowly but surely being auctioned
off to the highest bidder. We need
to reinstate some sort of order to a
system that has become popularly
known as the "wild, wild west."
I highly doubt Franklin envi-
sioned Citizens United when he
ominously answered that woman's
question on the steps of Indepen-
dence Hall. Regardless of what
he meant with that statement, the
United States now faces a colossal
threat. Whether or not our republic
survives, only time will tell.

Kaan Avdan, Sharik Bashir, Barry Belmont, Eli Cahan, Eric Ferguson, Jesse Klein,
Melanie Kruvelis, Maura Levine, Patrick Maillet, Aarica Marsh, Megan McDonald,
Jasmine McNenny, Harsha Nahata, Adrienne Roberts, Paul Sherman, Sarah Skaluba,
Michael Spaeth, Daniel Wang, Luchen Wang, Derek Wolfe
Misinterpreted benefits

- Patrick Maillet can be
reached at maillet@umich.edu.


Check out The Michigan Daily's editorial board meetings. Every Monday and Thursday at
6pm, the Daily's opinion staff meets to discuss both University and national affairs and
write editorials. E-mail opinioneditors@michigandaily.com to join in the debate.
No rush for Mr. Right


Should the policies at the Ross School of
Business be changed? Are they unfair to other
students? Shouldtheybe extendedtotheentire
University? According to the reasons present-
ed in a recent editorial in The Michigan Daily,
("Bad Business", 3/14/13) the Business Schools'
policies are overwhelmingly negative. The
article criticizes its grade inflation and lack of
Friday classes. However, understanding why
the Business School holds these policies proves
the beliefthat it's essential that the administra-
tion change the inequities that exist between
colleges is misguided.
Grade Inflation at Ross
Grade inflation at Ross is no secret. The
average Ross student's grade point average
is about 3.6 while the University's average
rests at about 3.3. There's a large discrepancy,
but this entire argument is moot as GPAs are
mostly compared relative to which school a
student is enrolled in. Every program at this
University has . completely different grade
distributions, so comparing GPAs in absolu-
tion is known to be impractical. Insisting that
inflated grades will fool employers is insult-
ing to those employers' intelligences.
But this begs the question, what good comes
from Ross inflating its grades? Ross believes
its program will be strong if it devalues the
importance of GPA. Basically, Ross wants its
students to prove themselves outside the class-
room. This, in turn, causes students to focus
on achieving more in other extracurricular
activities. As for the matter thatgrade inflation
ill-prepares Ross students for the real world,
recruiters ranked Ross students fifth overall
in Business Week's 2012 Bachelor's of Business
Administration rankings, and they continue to
come to Ross every year. The grade inflation at
Ross does work well, as students continue to
land top jobs year in and year out - the main
goal for business schools.
Other top business schools might not have
the same grade inflation, but that is their own
concern. Ross should not change its grading
policy because it's not the same as others - it
should have policies that align with its goal of
preparing its students for the business world.
In the end, the quality of Ross is not dictated
by nominal GPAs, but by the quality of students
the program creates.
'No Friday Class' Policy
The article then moves on to the Ross policy
that no business classes are scheduled on Fri-

days. The author does an excellent job explain-
ing why the Business School has Fridays off,
only missing the point that second-round
interviews are usually held on Fridays.
Ross also has a number of unique policies
outside of grading that contribute to the Bach-
elor in Business Administration program's
high rankings in publications like U.S. News
and World's. For example, Businessjuniors and
seniors have an extra week added to their win-
ter break in order to seek out internships and
job offers. In addition, Ross avoids scheduling
Friday classes so their students can compete in
case competitions, attendspecial events at Ross
and work on group projects. It's not that Busi-
ness students don't deserve these perks, but if
they're offered to them, they should be offered
to undergraduates across the University.
However, the author fails to mention why
offering this to the rest of the school is a
good idea.
So should these policies be extended to
the rest ofthe University?
These policies should not be extended just
because of the sole fact that Ross has them.
If the author believes Fridays should be off
for all students, he or she should prove how
cramming a five-day school week into four
days for 24,000 undergraduates is beneficial.
This would make for a much stronger argu-
ment than, "others have this perk that helps
their program, so I want it also." If I want
Ross to lower its tuition by $900 per semes-
ter to match LSA, I would need to prove how
this is beneficial to the program. The burden
of proof is on me.
In the end, every college here has unique
goals, so these "entitlements" will always exist.
Therefore, it makes no sense to force superfi-
cial equality on our diverse programs. It would
be disadvantageous for everyone if the actions
taken by one college to improve itself were
misapplied to others with different priorities
or diluted ina misguided effort to share every-
thing. This isn't about equality - it's about
doing what is best for each program. Each col-
lege should adopt policies that provide its stu-
dents with the best curriculum. By taking this
approach, rather than forcing each college to
have the same policies, students at the Univer-
sity will receive atop-notch education tailored
to the ideals of each program.
Ankur Shah is a Business senior.

"Find a husband on campus
before you graduate."
What once seemed tobe the out-
dated motto of a lost generation of
housewives has resurfaced thanks
to Princeton University alum Susan
Patton. In a letter to The Daily
Princetonian, Patton explains that
these intelligent girls aren't going
to be satisfied marrying someone
less intelligent than they are and
that in general society, men pre-
fer women who are younger and
dumber. Therefore, the girls' most
suitable matches are at Princeton.
"Look around you," she said when
discussing her letter. "These are the
best guys." These comments have
sparked considerable controversy.
Patton's overgeneralizations are
as inaccurate as they are harmful.
They illustrate close-mindedness
and blatant arrogance. To say that
Princeton men are the best: that
no one else in the world is good
enough - anywhere - is just ridic-
ulous. Her comments are encourag-
ing Princeton girls to turn up their
noses at the rest of the world, to
believe there is nothing better for
them in society than what they can
get at Princeton. It's a great school,
but it's not the be-all-end-all of edu-
cation. There are only about 7,500
students at Princeton, undergradu-
ates and graduates combined. That
makes for a very small pool of suit-
ors and doesn't even begin to cover
the diversity of 7-billion people on
the planet. If we really want to find
that special someone, being pre-
tentious enough to whittle down

this number to a few thousand
is impractical.
I've seen some of this same
arrogance at our own university.
We're at a good school and like to
tell people that. It's not that we
should think any less of ourselves
or the University, but there's a dif-
ference between thinking you're
awesome and thinking everyone
else is beneath you. Even with our
40,000 students, I have my reserva-
tions in believing that one of those
is my future husband. We need to
be open-minded about life in gen-
eral, so thinking that you're above
99.99 percent of the global popula-
tion just because of the school you
go to is plain ignorance.
But, of course, this exhibition of
arrogance was not all that I found
distasteful. If I were a man, I sup-
pose I would be angered by her
assumptions that men prefer dumb
girls with pretty faces. But being a
woman, I found her suggestion of
using college like eHarmony offen-
sive. Though Patton's reasoning
is supported by her opinion that
Princeton girls are so superior in
intelligence and skill that they will
have trouble findinga partner good
enough, the mere suggestion that
college should be a place to find a
husband is an injustice.
College is a time to embrace
curiosity, exploration and selfish-
ness. It's about self-discovery and
self-actualization, not about fit-
ting our lives into the perfect little
1950s family. Haven't we, as women,
expanded our motivations beyond

just finding a husband? How has it
become so crucial to find a "good
man" that women are told to snag
one as soon as they can in order to
avoid ... what?
Those terrible, long, lonely years
of being independent and doing
something for themselves by them-
selves? I'm not against marriage,
even early marriage. But it's barbar-
ic to think that college is aplace that
women should be running around
like ravenous lionesses, constantly
searching for an antelope to dig
their claws into.
It's people like Patton who won't
let women move beyond these deep-
rooted stereotypes. Itdoesn't matter
that society sees women as strong
and capable individuals, there's still
an invisible string pulling back to
those traditional roles. Men aren't
told to marry in college. They're
encouraged to explore their options,
find a stable career and maybe settle
down with a family when they're
good and ready. But for women,
time is still considered our biggest
enemy, and it's not just people like
Patton that remind us. We do it to
ourselves. But whether or not mar-
riage is in our futures, the impor-
tance of gaining an education and
exploring this crazy, liberal world
of college shouldn't be marred with
talk of marriage and the constant
race to find "Mr. Right." These four
years are aboutus.We can't afford to
waste our time.
Jasmine McNenny is
an LSA freshman.

Readers are encouraged to submit letters to the editor. Letters should be fewer than
300 words and must include the writer's full name and University affiliation. We do
not print anonymous letters. Send letters to tothedaily@michigandaily.com.

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