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4A - Monday, September 30, 2013

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

4A - Monday, September 3D, 2013 The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom

b Ie Mhdiigan &ail,

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.
One successful nerd?
Snyder should stand up against the Tea Party for moderate values
Although Gov. Rick Snyder hasn't officially announced his re-
election bid for 2014, his campaign machine has begun saturat-
ing the airwaves with a new slogan "One Successful Nerd," an
update of his original "One Tough Nerd" motto. While the slogan fits a
nice narrative, "successful" may be a bit presumptuous. Through tough
budgeting and some controversial decisions, Michigan's operating deficit
is gone and the economy is on the mend. Snyder has put in much effort
to attract businesses to the state of Michigan - some would argue quite
successfully. However, Snyder can only claim success if his administra-
tion stands up for moderate values and sound policy against the state's

This semester I'm taking a
strategy class in the Busi-
ness school called "The
Corporation in
Society." The
course debates
the purpose of
the modern-day
corporation and
ponders if it has
an obligation to
fulfill a social HARSHA
purpose. But, on
the first day of NAHATA
class we started
thinking about
the purpose of a university educa-
tion and whether that purpose is
being served to its maximum. And
that's a discussion that isn't had
In 1907, psychologist William
James delivered an address at Rad-
cliffe College titled "The Social
value of the College-Bred." It's
amazing to see that central themes
and questions posed in this address
are still relevant. James draws a dis-
tinction between a technical school
education and liberal-arts universi-
ties. He points out that a university
education is a way to gain a broader
understanding of the world and a
place to exercise your thinking in a
way that's different than perfecting
a specific skill.
Yet, university education is
increasingly becoming special-
ized and skill-oriented. From the
start there's pressure to focus on a
particular area and excel at build-
ing tangible workplace skill sets
in a particular department. With
pre-professional tracks and com-
bined masters/bachelors programs,
sometimes incoming freshman

already have the next four years
mapped out. But looking back at
my university experience, it's the
uncertainty and ability to experi-
ment that has contributed to my
growth the most.
I remember when I started col-
lege three years ago: I came in
with a clear idea of how I thought
it would be. I knew what organiza-
tions I wanted to join and what I
wanted to study. I was going to be
best friends with my roommate.
Everyone I talked to told me college
was going to be the best four years
of my life, and coming in I thought
I knew exactly what to do to make
sure that was the case.
I couldn't have been more wrong.
College has still been the best
years of my life, but in a complete-
ly unexpected
way. From orga-
nizations I'm a .
part of, to the Losing o
major I've cho- now and
sen, I'm learn-
ing about things broader
that I didn't
even know education
existed four
years ago, much
less was interested in. My passions,
interests and goals have all evolved,
and I know they will continue to.
And each step of the way has been
a huge learning experience - even
things that I thought were com-
pletely irrelevant at the time have
played a central role in getting me
to the point I'm at now.
In fact, I only wish I had come
in with less of a plan, and had
allowed myself even more free-
dom to explore. This past sum-
mer, I watched one of Educational

Theatre Company's productions at
freshman orientation. Watching
that performance as a rising senior
gave me a different perspective.
There isa part in the play that men-
tions that, inevitably, at some point
everyone coming into college will
find themselves "stuck" - stuck
to old habits, friends, comfortable
things. And to fully appreciate
one's college experience one has to
become "unstuck."
It took me until senior year to
realize how stuck I had been. And
I only wish I had seen that sooner.
One of my favorite quotes says:
"Life begins at the edge of your
comfort zone." I knew this, and
coming into college I fully planned
to embody this, and, yet, soon found
myself unconsciously slipping back
into my comfort
The thing is,
cus every sometimes even
then has once you real-
ize that you're
ned mys stuck, becoming
unstuck is the
al outlook. hard part. It's
hard because it's
so much easier
to stay in your comfort zone. It's
natural. So often you find yourself
falling into it even when you didn't
know you were. But slowly ventur-
ing out beyond that comfort has
led to some of the most formative
experiences I've had. And when I
look back, I can pinpoint the way in
which losing focus every now and
then has broadened my educational
-Harsha Nahata can be
reached at hnahata@umich.edu.

Tea Party-dominated legislature.
Despite announcing that Michigan's edu-
cational system "does not work" at an educa-
tional summit in April, state government has
done more to enhance problems for higher
education than to fix them. Since Snyder has
been in office, funding for public universities
has decreased by 11.35 percent, spurring fur-
ther privatization of supposedly public insti-
tutions and driving up tuition. Michigan's
lack of commitment to education is an embar-
rassment, and Snyder should use his bully pul-
pit to reprioritize it in Lansing.
Furthermore, Snyder has done little to
attract students to stay in Michigan after
graduation from any of the state's colleges.
Michigan invests in students and degrees only
to have graduates leave and take their talent
elsewhere. Providing incentives to companies
that hire young people would entice quali-
fied students to stay in state after graduation.
Improving public transit between Detroit and
other Michigan cities, creating a student-loan
forgiveness program and properly implement-
ing the Affordable Care Act are only a few pol-
icies that could help prevent brain drain.
Several of the largest failures of Snyder's
first term stem from the comically conserva-

tive Republicans in the state legislature, and
the governor's inability to keep that caucus
under control. The controversial right-to-
work legislation passed despite Snyder's
insistence that it was not a priority policy for
his administration. It's difficult to keep young
people in the state with restrictive abor-
tion laws and policies that are hostile to the
LGBTQ community. Some of these laws being
pushed through the lame-duck legislature
make Snyder appear aloof and outgunned by
his more conservative GOP peers. The gover-
nor should clarify his social views, and abide
by his campaign promise to be socially lib-
eral. Whether those views conflict with the
far right of his party, Snyder should stay true
to his campaign promises and push for more
moderate social legislation.
Snyder has a lot of work to do if he wants
the support of students in the upcoming elec-
tion, first by standing up to the Tea Party
ideologues in Lansing. More funding for
higher education, incentives for companies
that hire recent graduates, improved infra-
structure and more moderate social views
can help the governor go from "nerd" to "suc-
cessful nerd."

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
Thank you., Ted

Keep up with columnists, read Daily editorials, view cartoons and join in the debate.
Check out @michigandaily to get updates on Daily opinion content throughout the day.
Say 'no more' to generalizations

On a sunny football Saturday about two
weeks ago, I was walking down East Univer-
sity Avenue with a few friends when I decided
to share an amusing fact I had realized earlier
that day: the only maize and blue shirt I had
was one that read: "I love girls that love girls."
My friends and I laughed, buta male student
sitting at a table on the street overheard our
conversation and chose to yell at me, "Hey,
me too! Hey, are you tryingto lez out?" My
friends, being as great as they are, responded
with some choice words, and a sarcastic "Oh,
I'm so happy we live in such a'progressive'
town." Problem solved, right? Not quite.
I don't think I can accurately describe the
anger this stirred in me. To rewind a little
bit, I think I need to explain that I only very
recently became comfortable with my sexuali-
ty. Nine years of Catholic school plus a lifetime
of sexual/sexuality conservatism in my broad-
er families, precipitated by a hetero-normative
and homophobic culture, left me suppressing
my feelings for women for 19 long years of my
life. It wasn't until I moved into a co-op last
year that I started to come to terms with the
fact that I had always been queer, whether
willing to admit it to myself or not.
Over the past 10 months or so, I've gone
through an incredible transformation. I now
feel that I have not only "come to terms"
with my sexuality, but I actively celebrate it.
Years of suppression morphed into pride and
a comfort with myself that I never imagined
I could experience. Sometimes I want to
scream from the rooftops: "I'm a woman who
loves women!" Because I really do, and I've
never felt so proud of it.
Fast-forward to that day on the street
wherein my fellow student asked me if I was
"tryingto lez out." This language represents
a male-dominated culture that fetishizes les-
bian identities. Let me just say this to the male
population at Michigan once: Lesbians are not
here to serve your fantasies. In fact, we, and
all women and people, are not here to serve
your anything. We want nothing to do with
you sexually. And, please, don't even get me
started on the confusion around bisexuality
- if a woman likes both men and women, her/
ze's/their relationships with women still have
nothing to do with you.
This situation has been eating away at me

ever since it happened. What bothers me
most about this language is that the Univer-
sity and Ann Arbor at large claim to be hubs
of progressive ideologies, and, at the very
least, claim to be accepting of all identities.
However, I feel uncomfortable every time a
class, club or meetingstarts without asking
people their preferred gender pronouns. For
the record, though I disagree with the gender
binary in general, I'm lucky enough to feel
comfortable with the sex identity I was born
into. But what about my transgender, gender-
queer, etc. peers? I feel uncomfortable wear-
ing my "LGBTQ" pride shirt to class and club
meetings for fear that another club member
or professor is homophobic. I feel uncomfort-
able with the large portion of Greek life on
our campus that reinforces a heteronorma-
tive, and often patriarchal, society. To be fair,
I don't mean to blanket all of Greek life with
generalizations. I merely mean to say that the
system is based on antiquated understandings
of sexuality and gender.
In a country that appears to have made
great strides forward in the acceptance of
queer identities, represented by the more than
50 percent of Americans who support same-
sex marriage, I'm sad to say that I still feel
uncomfortable and exiled on Michigan's cam-
pus. Perhaps this is indicative of the nature of
the argument for same-sex marriage: that it
emphasizes tolerance and acceptance over a
real understanding of the harmfulness of all
I have to say that I'm unbelievably lucky
to live in the co-op I do, where it's explicit
that feeling comfortable to be oneself with-
out judgment or harassment is the norm.
For those who don't have this privilege - all
my fellow LGBTQI/A-Z individuals on this
campus struggling every day - I'm with you.
Pride isstill our parade, so come yell from the
rooftops with me sometime. It's only through
pride and solidarity that we have a chance
of moving forward together. In my last two
years here, I'm making it my point to say "no
more" to this kind of behavior and thinking on
our campus. Nineteen years is a longtime to
refuse your own identity. Join me in spending
the next 60 years defending it.
Marion Berger is an LSA junior.

Thank you, Ted Cruz. After
the Texas senator's epic,
21-hour floor speech Tues-
day in which
he advocated
defunding the
Care Act, I have
nothing to say
but thank you.
(Side note:
we don't call PATRICK
Social SecurityPA IC
Roosevelt-Care MAILLET
or Medicare
The bill has a name, and it's the
Affordable Care Act.)
Although a thank you is in order
simply because Cruz further exem-
plified just how comically divided
and reckless the Republican Party is
with his 21-hour rant, my gratitude
is for something Cruz said during
his speech.
At 8 p.m., approximately five
hours into his remarks, Cruz began
reading Dr. Seuss's "Green Eggs and
Ham". Although Cruz made the bold
claim that his father had invented the
colorful dish three hours prior in his
speech, the main reason he read the
story was for his two young daugh-
ters watching back home in Texas.
For those unfamiliar with the
story, "Green Eggs and Ham" is the
tale of a man who refuses to eat green
eggs and ham even though the char-
acter "Sam-I-Am" relentlessly thinks
of odd scenarios in which the man
could possibly eat the dish. Eventu-
ally, in an effort to get Sam-I-Am to
leave him alone, the man finally tries
a bite and realizes that he actually
loves it.
At the end of the dramatized read-
ing, Cruz asserted that there may be
some similarities between this clas-
sic children's story and the ACA. As
Cruz explained, "They did not like
Obamacare in a box with a fox, in a
house or with a mouse." His point
was that no matter where or how you
implement the contentious 2010 leg-
islation, America will not like it.
One would assume that some-
where along the educational path of a
man who graduated cum laude from

Princeton and then magna cum laude
from Harvard Law, "Green Eggs and
Ham" would probably be covered.
And yet Cruz - with his impres-
sive educational background, self-
proclaimed fan-hood of Dr. Seuss
and, apparently, the rightful heir
to the green eggs and ham recipe -
somehow missed the actual mean-
ing of the classic children's story
and, ironically enough, strengthened
arguments of those who support the
landmark health-care bill.
We don't yet know the entirty of
what the ACA will do for America. It
could destroy this nation, it could be
the greatest step forward in Ameri-
can history or it could have absolute-
ly no effect on any of our lives - we
don't know because it hasn't been
implemented yet.
What we do know is this: More
than 44-million Americans are unin-
sured. Approximately 17.9 percent
of our GDP is spent on health care
costs compared to the European
Union average
of 8.3 percent.
And, accord- Most An
ing to the World
Health Organi- simply
zation, America under
ranks 38th in
health care qual- the A
ity (Costa Rica
beat us, but don't
worry, we're ahead of Slovenia).
Everyone agrees that we have a
problem. Well, except for pharma-
ceutical and insurance companies
who have contributed close to half a
billion dollars to political candidates
over the last five years. It's weird how
you can donate that much money, and
suddenly Congress votes 42 times to
defund the law that would slash your
incomparably high profits, but that's
a different column altogether.
What people don't agree on is how
to fix this problem. Inl2010, President
Barack Obama signed the ACA and
last summer the US Supreme Court
upheld the bill as constitutional.
Three years after the bill became
law and one year before the law actu-
ally goes into effect, Republicans are
threatening to shut down the govern-
ment unless the ACA is defunded. As


Cruz reiterated in his glorified tem-
per tantrum, Republicans are say-
ing that the ACA must be repealed
because of the detrimental effects it
has had on America. But other than
allowing children to stay on their
parents' health-care plan until age
26 andbanning insurance companies
from not accepting people with pre-
existing conditions, the ACA hasn't
been able to actually do anything yet.
Republicans claim that busi-
nesses are preparing for the bill by
making employees work less than
the 30-hours-per-week threshold
that defines a full-time employee in
order to avoid paying for health care.
While it is true that America has seen
a rapid growth in part-time jobs and
millions of Americans remain under-
employed, this trend was happening
well before the ACA, and economists
argue that the economy is mostly to
blame for this pattern, not the ACA.
Most Americans simply don't
understand the ACA. A recent poll in
the Wall Street
Journal showed
rericans that 70 percent of
T don't Americans don't
know what's in
stand the bill. CNBC
also released
kCA. a poll showing
that 46 percent
of Americans
oppose "Obamacare," yet only 37
percent oppose the bill when dubbed
"The Affordable Care Act." I'm going
to go ahead and assume those 9 per-
cent of respondents who answered
differently when the title changed
are part of the 70 percent of people
who don't understand the bill.
Instead of shutting down our gov-
ernment, which will likely happen
Tuesday night, why can't we try and
see the effects of the ACA?
Let's learn from Dr. Seuss and
actually implement the ACA instead
of trying to repeal something that
people don't understand. Once
America tries a bite and gives a
damn, we will realize the ACA isn't
so bad, Sam-I-Am.
-Patrick Maillet can be
reached at maillet@umich.edu.

Readers may have noticed the different masthead on the front page of today's edition of The
Michigan Daily. Each year on or around the Daily's birthday, Sept. 29, we revert to the original
masthead first used on that date in 1890. We look forward to continuing to serve
the University community in our 124th year of editorial freedom.
- Andrew Weiner, editor in chief


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