4A - Wednesday, September 18, 2013
The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com
4A - Wednesday, September18, 2013 The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom
4e fitichinan t wily
From singleness to selectivity
Edited and managed by students at
the University of Michigan since 1890.
420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
and ADRIENNE ROBERTS MATT SLOVIN
EDITORIAL PAGE EDITORS MANAGING EDITOR
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.
FROM T E DA LY
Success with social bonds?
Michigan should be cautious with this program
his month, Michigan became the eighth state chosen to receive
aid from the Social Impact Bond Technical Assistance Lab at
Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government.
The crux of this social impact bond model is that private investors team
up with state governments to create and finance social-service programs.
The bonds, also known as pay-for-success contracts, allow governments
to explore solutions to persistent social problems while saving taxpayer
dollars. In light of recent budget cuts made by the states GOP leadership
and legislature, the advent of this program comes with good timing. How-
ever, because of the lack of sufficient empirical evidence on the success of
the program, the state must proceed with caution.
Hello. My name is Emily.
And I'm a serial dater.
"Serial dater?" you may
be asking your-
self. "What in the
what is a serial
Well, a serial
dater is essen-
tially a person
who is addicted
to relation- EMILY
ships. All of theE
crap that comes PITTINOS
someone - the
initial chemistry, the morningsex,
the fights for blankets, the buying
of Christmas presents, the driving
to the airport, the meetingof the
parents, the lusting after others, the
fightingover commitment issues,
the breaking up, the making up, the
breaking up again - all of it gives us
purpose in our lives. We can't stop
caring for people, no matter how
lost they are, because we're awe-
some at it and it makes us feel high.
We're the kind of people who look
at a 20-something alcoholic with an
I-will-destroy-you glint in his eye
and say, "I could work with that -
he seems like a great guy."
It's dangerous, stifling, invigorat-
ing, messy, gooey, garish, hideous,
lovely. St's a trip. It's a sickness.
So far, I've got my eight-month
chip for singleness - which I define
as staying out of monogamous
relationships. Many of you may be
thinking, "Big whoop, lady, that's
nothing." However, it's not nothing
to me. Since I started dating at age
14, I was never out of a relationship
for longer than three weeks, until
now. And beingsingle for the first
time since I hit puberty was both
fascinating and as difficult as trying
to recite the alphabet backwards...
in Sanskrit ... with marbles in my years, and I caught myself relapsing
mouth. into my old ways a couple times. I'd
Of course, the biggest adjustment sleep with someone and imagine
was loneliness. I didn't like the idea "being" with them, no matter how
of coming home to myself. After little we had in common or how
a day that made me feel small, I broken they were. But, unlike before
couldn't sit in my bed with my head this whole single experiment, now I
in someone's lap. I learned to cook hear myself whispering, "And how
for one like the divorcees in roman- long have you felt depressed?" to a
tic dramas do, using only handfuls near stranger on the pillownext to
of pasta and half an onion. I missed me. An "Eject Immediately" siren
intimacy - sexual and otherwise. now sounds in my brain.
But I got myself excited about dip- Any good quiz in Cosmo will
ping into the world of more casual tell you that singleness forces
contact, propelled by the revolving personal growth, and the cliche
doors of flirtation. is as true for me as anyone else. I
Singleness realized that I
makes everyone will always get
a suspect for invested in the
future coitus. Buses had never lives of people
At parties, I was felt so sex and I sleep with,
eager to mingle so after seeing
with the rolling neither had I what the world
bodies, giggling has to offer, I've
and grazing become more
forearms. On selective with
the bus ride to my romantic
North Campus, attractive strang- entanglements.
ers would make eye contact with It turns out that the problem
me as I gauged their interest and with serial dating isn't the dat-
imagined them with their clothes ing itself, but rather the absence
off. Buses had never felt so sexy, of choice that comes with a con-
and neither had I. stant stream of lovers. If you open
Over the next couple of months, yourself up to anyone who comes
I fell in and out of beds. Every along, all kinds of losers are bound
weekend the possibilities seemed to come in with the tide. This will
infinite and I'd even tidy up my probably sound like old news to
room before going out in case I most of you, but some of us have to
brought someone home. I hooked learn to be picky. Instead of jump-
up with a range of people, from a ing into bed or a relationship with
26-year-old gardener to a young any warm body that comes along,
poet from Marquette. I doubled the I've started to think more critically
number of people I've slept with about what I want in a partner. All
and had some pretty bad sex. people need love in their lives, but
In the beginning it was exhilarat- that doesn't mean I have to be the
ing, but after a while all that fornica- one to give it to them.
tion felt stagnant and empty. I never
stopped craving the closeness I'd - Emily Pittinos can be reached
become accustomed to all of those at firstname.lastname@example.org.
E-MAIL CONOR AT CTCA@UMICH.EDU
SIB Lab's venture into social-impact bonds
is the largest in the United States to date. The
bonds provide states with money for programs
that were previously underfunded to tackle
pressing issues such as recidivism, lack of early-
childhood education, homelessness and more.
If the programs succeed, taxpayers pay the
investors back with a profit. Bonuses are also
awarded if programs exceed target levels. If the
programs do not succeed, however, taxpayers
incur no cost, and investors receive no returns.
What makes the bonds worthwhile is that
through pay-for-success contracts, states are
able to reap the benefits of these programs with
little risk up front. The contracts encourage
private investment and also allow state gov-
ernments to reallocate existing funds to other
underfunded matters. Additionally, fellows
from the SIB Lab monitor the programs, elimi-
nating the possibility of investor corruption
and an expensive bill for the government and
taxpayers, as was the case when school admin-
istrators fabricated test scores to receive money
from the No Child Left Behind program.
The chief complaint against social-impact
bonds is that they lack performance data.
Although considerable success has been seen
in Britain and Australia, it's difficult to tell if
the program will thrive in the United States.
New York and several other states have only
just begun the program. That being said, it's
imperative that the state of Michigan takes
all risks into consideration and is as transpar-
ent as possible throughout the process. More-
over, the state should play a significant role
in the search for investors in order to provide
The recent balancing of the state's budget
has severely curtailed funds for critical social
programs, such as the Michigan Prisoner
Reentry Initiative. Social-impact bonds have
the potential to ease these blows and increase
the amount of money flowing into our econ-
omy without crippling our tax base. Snyder
describes Michigan as "the nation's Come-
back State," but if the state wants to make a
significant economic recovery, it should not
do it by taking this program at face value and
gambling on people's livelihoods. The state
legislature certainly welcomes this program
as it applied to be a part of it, but it should
embrace it carefully.
EDITORIAL BOARD MEMBERS
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
DAN WANG1 |VI
"How the fuck does a foreigner win Miss
America?" they said. "Miss New York is an
Indian ... With all do respect, this is America."
In the shadow of Nina Davuluri's historic
win at the Miss America pageant, her fellow
Americans flocked to Twitter to voice their
patriotism. "So Miss America is a terrorist,"
Davuluri's crowning on Sunday marks the
first time an Indian-American has won the
prestigious scholarship pageant - a day to be
celebrated as America trends toward a collec-
tive tolerance, and yet the moment is marred
by prejudice and ignorance. Born in Syracuse,
N.Y., Davuluri legally deserves the second
half of her descriptor - Indian-American. She
attended the University of Michigan, earning a
degree in brain behavior and cognitive science,
and plans to pay back her debt to U.S. society
by applying to medical school. For some Ameri-
cans, however, this isn't enough.
"WHEN WILL A WHITE WOMAN WIN
#MISSAMERICA? Ever??!!" they protest.
While the racist remarks directed towards
Davuluri are certainly not a sentiment shared
by the majority, I know it's a dialogue that all
minorities in America have heard before. I,
like our new Miss America, don't look like the
prototypical American - but you already knew
that. Wang might be equivalent to Smith in
China, but here it's a dead giveaway. Despite
being born in Michigan, I look like I was born
in Hong Kong. And because of these differenc-
es, I am occasionally invited by other Ameri-
cans to go back to my own country. Usually,
they address me as a "chink" - rude. But, it's
not just me. Minorities all across the country
have experienced something similar to varying
degrees. I want to be American, yet sometimes
I can't help but feel that America doesn't want
minorities like me. Davuluri was born in New
York, but she looks like she was born in Mum-
bai, leadingsome to say, "If you're #MissAmeri-
ca you should have to be American."
I know that most Americans are not so big-
oted, and that the general consensus is that
diversity is something to be celebrated. I know
the United States is one of the only nations on
earth that has to balance so many different
people. And I know that, for the most part, we
are doing a good job of coexisting together. But
it's insulting to suggest that we are a post-racial
America. And it is insulting to hear other Amer-
icans bemoan the efforts of expanding diversity
and compassion as excessive and unnecessary.
When the first American of Indian descent is
crowned Miss America and a group of Ameri-
cans respond with, "Asian or indian are you kid-
din this is america omg," I know we've still got
work to do.
Dan Wang is an LSA senior.
'You're not American enough'
I don't like beauty pageants. I as inherently evil. times the experiences of Asian-
don't like the parading on a runway, Somehow, it's anti-American to be American women are also ignored.
the gawking at women or the body Muslim. When Huma Abedin, a top The "Model Minority" myth gives
image issues it perpetuates. But I aide to Hillary Clinton, was accused privileges to Asian-Americans by
hate racism and bigotry even more. of having ties to the Muslim Brother- claiming they can "pass as white"
Sunday night, Nina Davuluri hood by House Republicans, Repub- and by their portrayal as more
was crowned Miss America 2014. lican Senator John McCain came to competent, but ignores the het-
According to the University Alumni her defense: "Put simply, Huma rep- erogeneous identities and cultural
Association, Nina "was on the dean's resents what is best about America: norms of the people. Asian doesn't
list and earned the Michigan Merit the daughter of immigrants, who has mean just Chinese, and Indian
Award and National Honor Society risen to the highest levels of our gov- doesn't mean non-Asian.
nods while studying atthe Universi- ernment on the basis of her substan- Nina does have a lot of privi-
ty of Michigan, where she graduated tial personal merit and her abiding leged identities - her University
with a degree in brain behavior and commitment to the American ideals education, her physician father, her
cognitive science. She'll also serve as that she embodies so fully," McCain likely comfortable economic status,
a spokesperson for STEM working said. "I am proud to know Huma and and now the power of a social net-
with the Department of Education." to call her my friend." work and fame.
Not only was she the first Indian Doesn't Nina also represent But as seen through the backlash
Miss New York, but she's now also "what is best of America?" Her online, despite these privileged
the first Indian Miss America - a parents immigrated to the United identities and being from Syracuse,
cause for celebration. States 30 years ago. Her dad is a N.Y., it's not "American enough."
But before Davuluri even had physician, she graduated from a top This, my friends, is the issue that
the opportunity to feel the weight university and is headed to medical pervades many recent immigrant
of all those crystals on her head, school. In her time at the Univer- children, "third-culture kids" and
Twitter was ablaze with ignorant sity, she not only balanced books, anyone with a tint of complexion
remarks - calling her a terrorist, but also was heavily involved in the that isn't European. We are told,
saying she's connected to al-Qaeda campus community. "You're not American enough."
and arguing that the pageant needs If any of these ranters did their The storm created after Nina's
background checks. homework, they'd know that Nina crown is ultimately a good thing.
I really want to scream, "You actually observes Hinduism. But Seeing a University alum who might
are ignorant!" to every foul mouth then again, how much homework also be struggling like me to find
that has tweeted these bigoted do you do before you hate? that "right" foundation and watch-
statements, sort of in the "you There's also an issue of cultural ing her respond with articulate and
get a car" voice of Oprah. How- appropriation. Nina was told her charismatic statements to bigotry
ever, let me digress and let's talk Bollywood dance was a "risk" on a national platform means we are
about Islamophobia. because it would be "too foreign" doing something right.
We've come to a point in modern for the Miss America competi- Seeing my friends' anger after
history in which there are times tion. But it would've been totally reading bigoted tweets means we
known as pre-9/11 and post-9/11. cool to do Irish performance or are headed in the right direction,
Pre-9/11 is when I was a fifth grader, something "American." but we need to continue to chal-
and the world was all rainbows in The narrative that "American" lenge these notions of what "us"
my eyes. Post-9/11has been filled - which often excludes South and "them" mean.
with attacks on Sikh and Muslim and Central America - somehow Being Indian-American does
Americans. The lack of knowledge has to be a total absence of any- mean that this pluralism exists,
of Islam and the stereotyping of thing not continentally connected or that honoring heritage doesn't
turbans meant that innocent Sikh to the United States is narrow. negate U.S. citizenship.
community members were attacked, Representation of heritage isn't Ihave high hopes of Nina in her
Muslim women's hijabs were torn un-American. Somehow when an new stage. The talk of diversity isn't
off, and even 10 years later, we still Indian woman claims her cultural sterling, but maybe somethingster-
have these attacks on anyone who identity, it's disgusting and un- ling can come out of usingthe Miss
just "looks Muslim." This constant American. Sorry, but I don't walk America title to challenge racism in
image of what a Muslim looks like into Urban Outfitters for the tribal this country.
means that every time there's a "look." My look is mine. My look My brown skin is just as Ameri-
national tragedy, Muslim Ameri- is my blood, my history and my can, my heritage isjust as strong,
cans are holding their breath, afraid family. It's mine. and I am just as proud.
"N OT A BLE Q U OT ABLE
I was an adult when I was
supposed to be a kid. So now I'm an
adult, and I'm acting like a kid."
- Miley Cyrus on her celebrity status in an interview with Har )er's Bazaar.
of the backlash that comes when
national channels pinpoint Muslims
It's bad enough that oppressions
of women of color exist, but often-
Munmun Khan is an LSA senior.