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September 17, 2013 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 2013-09-17

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4 - Tuesday, September 17, 2013

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com


,4e Michigan 3attv

An unexpected silver lining

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.
Are all donati ons eq ual?
Donors' wishes should align with student preferences
lans to develop a new graduate student residence hall were
met with potential resistance from some graduate students at
a town hall meeting on Sept. 11. University officials spoke with
graduate students at a forum Wednesday dedicated to discussing what
will likely be called the Munger Residence Hall, a new dormitory fund-
ed by a $110-million donation from University alum Charles Munger,
who also bankrolled a similar residence hall at Stanford University.
Despite enthusiasm from the administration, the building's seven-res-
ident unit layout and potential prices disenchanted graduate students
in attendance. However, when these criticisms were voiced, E. Royster
Harper, vice president of student affairs, emphasized Munger's own
intention with the dormitory, and the administration's need to respect
those wishes. Moving forward, the University needs to do a better job
balancing the wishes of donors with student needs.

As much as it pains me to
admit it, a guilty pleasure
of mine the last three years
has been the
website Total
Frat Move. Yes,
it's juvenile, ter-
rible humor that
promotes every-
thing bad about'
college - but,
hey, that doesn't JAMES
mean it isn't BRENNAN
still funny. Last
Thursday night,
as I was partak-
ing in this particular indulgence, I
stumbled upon a somewhat more
serious - though still humorously
written - article about sorority
rush at the University of Alabama.
According to this story,which
links to a report published in The
Crimson white, Alabama's stu-
dent newspaper, two black women
failed to receive a bid at any soror-
ity this fall, reportedly because of
their race.
Upon seeing the title to this par-
ticular story, I quickly concluded
exactly what I was about to read.
Because of some sort of de facto
racism, all of the sororities at Ala-
bama refused to bid any black girls
and the conservative-leaning TFM
writer was going to conjure some
typical response dismissing all
claims of racism more complex than
a Klan member burning a cross.
Instead, I was very pleasantly
What actually happened was
many of the top sororities at Ala-
bama saw these two girls as highly
qualified candidates for membership
- noting their high levels of involve-
ment, great performance in school
and prestigious families. As they
began the bid process though, their
alumnae advisors informed them
that if they were to extend a bid to a
black woman, funding and support

would be removed
OK, so maybe
prised" was a poo
- clearly, this is s
occurrence of mo
But there's a silo
story that can't be
As it turns out
of members in m
actively fought
alumnae, assertinj
were ideal candi
wrong to drop the
race, spending ho:
ter house crying o
alumnae strong-a
taking. Most im
though, mul-
tiple girls from
multiple houses
have sought
out reporters
to reveal these
injustices, fully
knowing the
personal risks
they took in
doing so.
Despite beingpr
of society - due t
and their social st
fought against th
behaved in a way t
preconceived noti
girls in the south.
the country that c
deal of prejudice,
pride in my genera
to discriminate bas
I'm not going 1
ture too simply, as
more going on h
being coerced int
recruits. Theseg
protested more,
there were some
entire houses -
this discriminati
over, there are con
fraternities threat
ate with integrate
- raising further

from the chapter.
"pleasantly sur-
r choice of words
till a horrendous
dern-day racism.
er lining to this
a large number
ultiple sororities
their influential
g that the women
dates and it was
m based on their
urs in their chap-
ver the path their
irmed them into
portantly of all

discrimination in the University of
Alabama Greek system. Regardless,
the women who voiced their dissent
and reported the discrimination still
deserve our applause.
To all of you women who stood up
during your recruitment process and
blew the whistle on the whole situ-
ation, I want to express my admira-
tion and pride in what you've done.
You may face serious criticism from
your alumnae, your peers and even
some of your sisters, but just remem-
ber that the boos are coming from
the cheap seats. And even as you face
this adversity, don't leave your chap-
ters - they need you now more than

ever. As Jimmy
Hood, the first
The cha' black student in
e change you re Alabama history, 4
starting will be once said, "One
person can make
worth it. a difference if
that one person
is committed to
making a differ-
ivileged members The last few years of your time
o both their race in college may be difficult, but
atus - these girls the change you're starting will be
e status quo and worth it.
hat broke my own Finally, to the alumnae who
ons about sorority bullied these girls into dropping
Even in a part of two well-qualified young ladies
an retain a great based on race, I have this to say:
I can still take 2013 marks the 50th anniversary
ation choosing not of desegregation at the University
sed on race. of Alabama, when Jimmy Hood
to paint this pic- and Vivian Malone were famously
clearly there was stopped in person by Alabama Gov.
ere than women George Wallace. I don't need to tell
o dropping black you who the heroes and villains
girls could have in this story are. Think very care-
and I'm certain fully about your next moves. If you
girls - or even choose to take the same path as
who didn't fight Wallace, then I'm certain he'll be
on at all. More- holding a spot for you on the ash
nflicting claims of heap of history.
ening to disaffili-
d houses as well - James Brennan can be
r questions about reached at jmbthree@umich.edu.

When the University broke the news of
Munger's donation in April - the largest gift
to the University prior to Stephen Ross's early
September donation - administrators outlined
a vision for a complex that would bringtogether
students from different academic backgrounds
in an attempt to "make graduate study less iso-
lated," as University President Mary Sue Cole-
man put it. Munger's well-intentioned mission,
however, has begun to outwweigh the interests
of students themselves.
ating this interdisciplinary community was
by building seven-resident apartments with
shared living space. At the town-hall session,
however, graduate students - the targeted
tenants of the complex - reacted negatively
to the "experimental" concept, arguing that
this attempt at creating community-style liv-
ing isn't the right fit for upper-level students.
Graduate studies often require intense focus,
and students in graduate programs are closer
to starting families than their undergraduate
counterparts. Despite the attempt at build-
ing community, seven-person housing units
might not be the most productive way to fos-
ter the dialogue that Munger wants to build.
The price oflivinginthe residencehallis also
concerning - especially considering students
would be sharing space with so many people.

Current price approximations for the resi-
dence hall are about $1,000 per month. While
this price might keep the University competi-
tive with the recent rise of luxury apartments
in Ann Arbor, it's far from an affordable option
for graduate students, especially those already
managingstudent-loan debt.
"When you're still working from, in a lot
of cases, a research stipend or something like
that, you have to be pretty frugal with what
you're spending on housing," Rackham stu-
dent Michael Hand, Rackham Student Gov-
ernment representative, said at the meeting.
In light of rising housing prices in the city, the
University's role in housing should be provid-
ing an affordable option. The vision of the
donor shouldn't impede the ability to finance
students' education.
The University has received many signifi-
cant donations in the past year, from Ross's
recentedonationto gifts fromthe Zell family. Of
course, the University community is grateful
for the continued support from alumni; how-
ever, these donations are offered and planned
long before they're announced to the entire
University. Instead of focusing on unveiling
these donations with pomp and circumstance,
the University should be working toward
bridging the gap between donors and students
long before building plans are released.

Kaan Avdan, Sharik Bashir, Barry Belmont, Eli Cahan, Eric Ferguson, Jesse Klein,
Melanie Kruvelis, Maura Levine, Patrick Maillet, Aarica Marsh, Megan McDonald, Harsha
Nahata, Adrienne Roberts, Paul Sherman, Sarah Skaluba, Daniel Wang, Derek Wolfe
'Zero -tolerance' generation


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.
Send letters to tothedaily@michigandaily.com.
Hungry for more-

A s I walked down South University
Avenue yesterday, I counted one liquor
store, two pizza parlors, four bars and
countless restaurants.
State Street didn't look
much different either.
Despite what seems
like an abundance of food
options, stories of hunger
are an all-too-real, but
rarely discussed, realityx
on campus. Student Food ZOE
Co., a pop-up produce
stand seeking to provide STAHL
fresh, affordable fruits
and vegetables to the
student body, conducted a survey in 2012 of
grocery shopping and eating habits among
students. According to their research, 15,000
Michigan students are considered "food
insecure," meaning students were "unable
to acquire adequate food ... because they
had insufficient money and other resources
for food." Whether that's because the gro-
cery stores within walking distance are too
expensive or the more
affordable supermar-
kets are difficult to Stories of
reach without a car
remains unclear. are an all-i
Either way, asa result
nearly 12.6 percent of reality ont
those considered food
insecure frequently
experience hunger and
many others rely on empty-calorie meals like
ramen and Easy Mac.
The University isn't alone, though: Food
insecurity plagues other campuses across the
country. Michigan State University, San Diego
City College, University of Central Florida and
a host of others have all identified hunger as
an issue. However, unlike the University, these
schools, along with University of California,
Los Angeles, Grand Rapids Community Col-
lege and University of Michigan, Dearborn,
have been proactive, starting either food
banks or free bag-lunch programs in response

to high hunger rates among their students.
Given the University's concern for students'
health and well-being, we should do the same.
The University has already committed to
providing healthier food options by start-
ing the Marmers' Market in the Michigan
Union and sourcing more nutritional options
in University-run stores, like U-go's and Pier-
pont Commons. Unfortunately, these options
are not always at student-friendly prices.
Considering the magnitude of the problem,
the University should embark on a study to
identify the reasons for the University's high
food-insecurity rates. Figuring out the barri-
ers to food access is a first step. In an e-mail
interview, Margot Finn, a lecturer of food
studies at the University, asks critical ques-
tions: "Is it too hard to get on the city bus
routes that go to grocery stores? Are bikes
and zip cars too expensive? ... (Are) stores like
(Revive) and the People's Food Co-op either
too expensive or also too inconvenient? ... Is it
because real estate near campus is too expen-
sive, so they'd have to charge Babo prices?
Is there simply not enough student demand
- between dorm cafeterias
and the ubiquity of relatively
hunger cheap prepared food?"
Once the University has
too-real defined the scope of the
problem, it will be better
campus. equipped to assess options
and possible solutions,
such as a food bank, a free
bag lunch program or ride-
shares to the grocery store. I trust that such a
research-oriented and innovative university
will come up with a creative and multi-facet-
ed solution.
I do realize the problem is systemic of
something larger - rising income inequality
and tuition rates that leave students strapped
for cash and forced to push basic needs to the
back burner. Let's hope the University can
start to make a difference.
- Zoe Stahl can be reached
at zoestahl@umich.edu.

We are the sons and daughters
of the children of the 1960s. Our
parents led the world in protests
and social activism along with
drugs and free love. Their time was
characterized by protests on the
steps of the University of Califor-
nia, Berkeley, citywide marches
against the Vietnam War and more
political and social rebellion than
any generation since the civil war.
According to our parents' gen-
eration, we've become complacent.
We no longer stage huge protests
on our college campuses, highly
educated women with Ph.D.s are
more likely to opt out of a high-
paying job in order to spend more
time with their families and we
have alarmingly low voter turn-
out. The high point of our political
involvement was the 2008 presi-
dential election, only to swing the
complete opposite direction in
2012: utter apathy.
This isn't to say social activism
has completely disappeared in
college students. The recent pas-
sage of tuition equality for undoc-
umented Michigan residents and
veterans demonstrates the stu-
dent body's ability to endure and
affect change.
But the pressure to be involved
with local issues feels like a step-
ping stone to bigger - possibly
paying - things. A resume booster,
where affecting real change is sim-
ply a bonus.
Prof. Scott Campbell and Asso-
ciate Prof. Stephen Ward recently
commented on the professionalism
that activism has taken on at the
University in an interview with
The Michigan Daily. The wild, out-
of-control protests of the 60s were
sacrificed, but not necessarily the
social justice.
However, it's possible that the
lack of disorder and disruption of
these protests has lengthened the

time it takes for governments to
take notice and finally change poli-
cy. Simply put, it's easy to ignore an
online petition or Facebook group,
even if it's signed by 20,000 people.
A march or sit-in of that magni-
tude, however, would require gov-
ernment or police action and make
national front pages.
Many theories have circulated
about the Millennial generation's
lack of motivation to take part
in national issues. Is it the hours
we spent with the television and
Internet? Is it our supposedly nar-
cissistic obsession with Facebook,
Twitter, Tumblr and Instagram?
No. I would argue something
else entirely.
Our generation grew up in the
era of 'zero tolerance.' Every school
guidebook, classroom syllabus and
summer camp information e-mail
used some form of the phrase.
There was zero tolerance for bul-
lying, swearing, drugs and alcohol,
cheating, name calling, separating
from the group or pretty much any
rebellious behavior. Zero tolerance
is a vague statement. It allows an
individual to imagine the worst
possible outcome from violating
the rules. But it's understood that
zero tolerance doesn't meana chat
with the school principal and a call
to your parents.
It means losing everything.
This culture of zero tolerance
created a space that was unforgiv-
ing. One mistake and you were
screwed for life. Today's youth are
afraid to make mistakes and to be
rebellious because of this culture.
We just aren't willing to risk every-
thing we've worked for to attend a
political protest that'll most likely
end up with someone in jail and
make little progress anyway. If
we're going to break the rules, it's
going to be a fun way to blow off
some steam. We were taught one

strike and you're out, and that's
how we're living ourlives.
Another factor is the economic
downturn. Blemishes on a record
can only hurt you in the uphill
battle of getting a job during a time
of depressingly low job opportu-
nities. Accordingto an article in
The Wall Street Journal the rate
of unemployment for adults under
25 was 15.6 percent in August -
two and half times more than the
unemployment rate for 25 and
older. According to a CNBC article,
2012 and 2013 college graduates
will earn less over the next decade
than before the recession hit.
Even bleaker is the rate of
underemployed college graduates.
According to the Economic Policy
Institute, 19.1 percent of college
graduates were underemployed in
We've been conditioned to think
that any demerit on our record will
haunt us for the rest of our lives.
There's no patience for mistakes
of youth and there are too many
well-educated people for too few
jobs. With so many other quali-
fied, if not perfect, candidates, why
would any business risk taking the
applicant with a record or who had
a meeting with the dean?
While the parental genera-
tion may want youth population
to stand up, many are more con-
cerned with their individual child's
well-being and success than global
well-being. Few parents would
condone their child's choice to
drop out of school to join Occupy
Wall Street, but many praised the
youth for finally standing up for
something. It's a catch-22 that we,
as Millennials, are unable to avoid
- disappointing our parents and
throwing away our future or be
labeled dispirited and unpatriotic.
Jesse Klein is an LSA junior.


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