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October 08, 2013 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2013-10-08

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4 - Tuesday, October 8, 2013

_ 3: ..

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com


SMitigan 4atipU
/ Edited and managed by students at
the University of Michigan since 1890.

Bridge the (food) gap

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.
Retain and revitalize
New bill can help prevent outsourcing of Michigan's college graduates
In an attempt to encourage college graduates to stay in Michigan, state
Sen. Glenn Anderson (D-Westland) has sponsored a bill that will offer
a tax credit worth up to 50 percent of the amount paid on student loans
for students who agree to remain in Michigan after graduation. Besides a
tactic to help combat the rapidly increasing student-loan debt, the bill is
aimed to prevent the outsourcing of Michigan's educated youth. While the
program's costs may seem overwhelming, the benefits gained from retained
talent and creation of industry could revitalize the state's economy.

So, I walked through the gro-
cery store the other day and
picked up a box of Pop-Tarts,
not so much
because I want-
ed to buy them,
but more for the
sake of nostal-
gia. I used to eat
Pop-Tarts all the
time when I was
a kid - the cin-
namon kind that KATE
I stuck in the LARAMIE
toaster until they
were all gooey
and delicious. I read the list of ingre-
dients, took a look at the picture on
the front of the package, andthought
to myself: What is a Pop-Tart? Seri-
ously, this is a food we call by its
brand name because we don't have
a better description for it. We don't
know what they're made of or how to
classifythem - kindofstrange if you
think about it.
This weird observation about
Pop-Tarts isn't completely random.
It brings to light the most basic prob-
lemwiththe modernfoodsystem.As
a society, we're completely separated
from our food: where it comes from,
how it's processed and what it's
made with. Even the fruits and veg-
etables that we find at our grocery
stores are too perfect. Our tomatoes
are too red, lacking any blemishes or
bruises. Our potatoes couldn't pos-
sibly have come from the ground, as
they're just too clean to have been
grown in the dirt.
When food is presented in perfect
colors and nice square boxes,we lose
our association with what we eat and
the earth that it comes from. Edu-
cating people about this disconnect
is the heart of the local, sustainable
food movement - a movement that is
alive and well at the University.

The evening of Oct.2, Iheaded out ple told me that after a week of star-
to the University's Matthaei Botani- ing at a computer screen and sitting
cal Gardens to check out the annual in lecture, the Campus Farm was the
Harvest Festival put on by the Uni- place they came to settle down and
versity of Michigan's Sustainable take a break.
Food Program. The Harvest Festival Yet, by working at the farm, stu-
was held at the Campus Farm, a two- dents are naturally becoming more
acre plot of land established in 2013 aware and more connected with the
after the success of the initial pilot food system and their place in it.
project that began with the initia- People who have never seen a dirty
tive of a group of University masters potato are digging them out of the
students and a $42,000 Planet Blue ground. They're picking peppers
Innovation Fund. There was live that they never would've bought in
music, games and tours of the farm a store because they aren't the per-
by student volunteers. But most of fect color, and they're eating food,
all, there was food - real food - knowing exactly how it was grown
growing right there for people to and where it came from. Whether
pick and eat themselves. students are planting trees, spread-
UMSFP's mission is to foster "col- ing compost or harvesting produce
laborative leadership that empowers while they spend time with friends,
students to create asustainable food they're actively bridging the gap
system at the University of Michigan between themselves and their food.
while becoming change agents for a With the help of hands-on expe-
vibrant planet." A sizable mission, to rience, students are learning about
be sure, but after recently partici- responsible, sustainable food.
pating in a weekly "work day" at the In this way, UMSFP's mission is
Campus Farm, I'm more convinced becoming a success. As students
than ever that UMSFP and its mis- participate inlocal, organicfarming
sion are making a they're learn-
difference in the ing the value
University com- of mixing with
munity. The Campus Farm different peo-
The majority helps students learn ple and learn-
of students that ing about new
participate in the abOut responsible, and interesting
work days aren't sustainable food. perspectives.
environmental- Teach-
ists. They didn't ing people to
come to the farm become future
thinking that organic farming is the agents of change and help to devel-
solution to solving the separation op a more sustainable University
between us and the food that we eat. might sound like a daunting task. It
On the contrary, most students have turns out that it isn't so hard, if you
had no experience gardening - let just encourage people to get out-
alone farming. They come instead to side, plant a little of their own food
socialize with new people and enjoy and play in the dirt.
being outside when the weather is
warm and they have the chance to -Kate Laramie can be reached
get away from campus. Several peo- at laramiek@umich.edu.

Anderson's Senate Bill 408 has the potential
to have widespread effects. The financial bur-
den that student loans impose on individual
college students would be lifted - not only for
current students, but also for future students
who may have avoided a traditional four-year
degree after considering the hefty price-tag.
With college tuition in the United States hav-
ing risen more than 300 percent since 1990,
discouraged prospective students have not
been a surprise - even more so in Michigan,
where tuition has increased by 23.1 percent
since the 2008 academic year alone. The bill's
goals are also directed toward diminishing
the financial woes of the entire state, includ-
ing Detroit. By allowing Michigan graduates to
consider the benefits of reducing their student
loans, the program would lead to an increase
in a young, skilled and educated population.
Prevention, or even mitigation, of Michigan's
"brain drain" would further contribute to a
growing accumulation of an educated work-
force during Michigan's period of revival.
Despite the nature of the legislation pro-

posed being largely optimistic, its impacts
need to be further developed and refined. The
proposed cost totals more than $300 million.
To ensure the program's costs will be ulti-
mately covered by returns on the investment,
the bill will need to incentivize students to
settle in Michigan long-term. Furthermore,
while the bill may be able to convince gradu-
ates to stay and work within the state, jobs
need to be available for these students. As a
preventive measure, the gradual distribution
of tax credits may prove to be an indicative
approach as to whether retained graduates
would be benefitting from the Michigan
employment market.
This bill aims at the right demographic to
improve Michigan's future. The increase of
tuition and subsequent increase of student
loans has paralyzed a generation of students
now unable or, at the very least, unwilling to
remain in Michigan post-graduation. As stu-
dents follow their classmates out of state to
seek better opportunities, this bill seeks to
keep them here or even bring a few back.

This Halloween, don't be a fool

Kaan Avdan, Sharik Bashir, Barry Belmont, James Brennan,
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
Defeating the stigma
When a person we know becomes ill, would be afraid to admit if I was depressed
whether with something like cancer, the flu or bipolar because I wouldn't want people
or just a simple cold, most people are quick to to judge me and look at me differently. I
send them well wishes and tell them that they wouldn't want people to look at me like I
hope they get better soon. When a person's am crazy.
lungs aren't working correctly or they break Now think about what would happen if
a bone, we don't look at them as if they are instead of looking negatively at people who
weaker and tell them to toughen up. After all, suffer from a mental illness and instead of
bones break, people get cancer, organs fail. As telling them that they just need to change
a community we accept that and we try our their mindset, what if we encouraged them
best to help those people get better. We look to seek help and treatment, just as much as
at almost all bodily ailments in this mindset. we encourage people who have cancer to go
When you're physically sick, tell someone, go to the doctor and seek treatment? According
to the doctor, get help. to the University of Washington, more than
I think all of these attitudes change, how- 90 percent of people who commit suicide also
ever, when it comes to a different kind of suffer from a mental disorder. All I can think
illness: mental illnesses. I'm talking about about is whether some of these suicides could
people who experience depression, schizo- have been prevented if there weren't a stigma
phrenia, obsessive-compulsive disorder, against people with mental illnesses and if it
bipolar disorder, etc. There's a stigma sur- was more acceptable for people to suffer from
rounding mental illness in America, and it's mental illness and thereby seek help.
far from OK. People tend to view those with The problem is that people can see a cut on
mental illnesses as weak and inferior. People your leg, or a broken arm, but people can't see
who suffer from mental illnesses often feel as a mental illness. You can't point to anxiety
though they need to repress their issues and or schizophrenia and say "this is where it's
fight them alone. hurting" and put a Band-Aid on it and make
This stigma surrounding mental illness everything better. Mental illness is seen as
leads people to believe that it's OK to fall and abstract and is difficult to understand for
scrape your knee and it's OK if your heart many people. However, if everyone learned
goes into failure. All of these things are more about mental illnesses and opened their
understandable. But your brain isn't working minds I think we could change things.
perfectly? Are you crazy or insane? Do you I believe we could revolutionize the way
feel sad a lot of the time? You're hearing voic- people view mental illness by simply letting
es? That's not OK. That's just weird. There people know that they are still strong and
must be something really wrong with you. that they are still normal even if they do suf-
Why are you like that? And why can't you just fer from mental illness. One small step would
make it stop? be to just stop using words like insane, which
When that's the attitude people have has clearly developed a very negative con-
toward mental illness, when that's what those notation. We need to not just make it OK for
who suffer from these illnesses hear, see and people to admit to others that they have some
are taught by the media - which constantly sort of mental illness, but to encourage them
perpetuates this negative stigma - how can to speak out and support them when they do.
we expect anyone to seek help, to speak out, So, I'll start. My name is Jordyn Kay, and I
to be anything besides embarrassed by their suffer from anxiety. I know that this doesn't
illness? We can't. make me weak, or stupid, or broken, it just
It's estimated that there are more than makes me someone who sometimes needs a
54-million Americans suffering from men- little help, just like every other human being
tal illnesses and these numbers only involve in the world.
people who seek help. There are many others
who haven't sought treatment. I know that I r Jordyn Kay is an LSA junior.
Keep up with columnists, read Daily editorials, view cartoons and join in the debate.
Check out @michdailyoped and Facebook.com/MichiganDaily
to get updates on Daily opinion content throughout the day.

There's so much to love about
fall: Fashionable folks
somehow manage to look
even more ridic-
ulously fashion-
able than usual,
leaves call on
you to go out of
your way just to
hear that fulfill-
ing crunch, and
there's an over-
whelming influx ZEINAB
of pumpkin- KHIALIL
flavored every-
thing. All of
these lead up to one of fall's much-
anticipated peaks: Halloween.
Let's step back now and qualify
that last one. Halloween certainly
can't go on my "there's so much to
love about fall" list unconditionally.
I'm not a Halloween enthusiast,
but I have friends who are, and
that's cool - I can appreciate the
spirit. What isn't cool, though, is
what neighborhoods and campuses
across the country are subjected
to every year - unabashed racism
and sexism masked as "fun."
Actually, your ignorance isn't
fun at all. It makes many of your
peers feel unsafe, embarrasses
your school's image and really just
makes you look like a fool.
Below, I offer the "College Stu-
dent's Guide to Not Be a Fool This
Halloween." This is not an exhaus-
tive list, but it's a good place to
1. Do not culturally appropriate.
These days, Halloween and cul-
tural appropriation seem to come
hand-in-hand. Put simply, cul-
tural appropriation is when we use
expressions of cultures, including
clothing and dressing styles, with-
out permission and without giving
due credit. Appropriation is espe-
cially problematic when the source
culture is a minority group that
has time and again been denied its
agency and rendered invisible.
Recent examples of cultural
appropriation include Miley
Cyrus's gig at the MTV Video
Music Awards where she used
Black women's bodies as her props
while performing a song that she
requested from her songwriters to
sound like "something that feels
Black". Other examples include:
Selena Gomez's "Come & Get It"
performance at the MTV Movie
Awards where she sported a spar-
kly bindi, Lady Gaga's "burqa
swag" fetish that utilizes Muslim
women's bodies to sell albums
while wholly ignoring their voices,
and Urban Outfitter's Navajo Hip-
ster fashion items that exploit and

reduce the Navajo Nation:
In all these cases, the so
cultures are used as fads t,
profits, with the people sp
them often caringlittle fo:
cultural, religious or histo
significance such items ca
problem with diminishing
diverse cultures into "cool
is that these items will like
cease to be sexy or desirab
few months. Reducing son
cultural identity to a costt
and commodifying and pe
ing their traditions contrit
the dehumanization of pe
often are already struggli
their communities' livelih
More generic examples
tural appropriation - but,
popular nonetheless - inc
dressing as a Native Amer
"Pocahontas", an exotic be
er (not sure if I should be .
sad that this costume is so
an oil-sheik terrorist, trad
geishas, Mexican hombres
list goes on.
Lest anyone say these cc
are a way of honoring or v
ing diverse cultures, let's f
moment think critically ab
encounters with
such cultures
in a broader W
social context.
Dressing up pa
as a racial/ and s
cultural iden- fal
tity has noth-
ing to do with
engagement or cultural ap
tion. Appropriation hierar
organizes cultures by nor
whiteness and othering no
ern, non-white cultures. I:
izes on their perceived -a
misrepresented - differen
without bothering to unde
2. Do not dress in Blackf
This one truly deserves
category because of its per
ness on college campusesf
single year. As it turns out
intellectual hubs that are
university towns are ripe]
ing grounds for anti-Black
Blackface became an integ
of the entertainment indu
when it emerged in minstr
in the 19th century, yet, so
some people still think it's
cover themselves with bla
or shoe polish for "fun".
Stop. Don't do it. Don'tl
friends do it.
It doesn't matter how cl

to a pat- you think you look dressed as
Aunt Jemimaor Antoine Dodson
urce or Denard Robinson. This abhor-
o make rent practice has been used for
orting hundreds of years to bolster white
r any supremacy. Embodying and rekin-
rical dling the pain of historical and
rry. The contemporary oppression is never
richly OK - no matter how innocent your
" trends intentions may be.
ely 3. Do not slut-shame.
le in a Here, too, is something I hear
neone's every year: "Halloween is the one
me, day of the year where girls have an
rvert- excuse to be slutty."
butes to Without doubt, there definitely
ople who is something unsettling about
ng for the burgeoning of super-sexy
ood and costumes, especially when we
consider who largely designs these
of cul- costumes and runs these indus-
wildly tries. Just as unsettling is how
lude polarized and rigidly gendered
iran these costumes are, targeting and
elly danc- bombarding particular genders
happy or with particular kinds of costumes.
Ad out), But people who complain about
itional the "slutty excuse" usually aren't
, and the critiquing how costume indus-
tries - largely dictated by the male
ostumes gaze - contribute to the hyper-
alu- sexualization and objectification
or a of women. Rather, their criticisms
sout our amount to little more than slut
shaming, where
people, often
Vhy should we be women, look
ssive about racism down at women
who are per-
lexism because they ceived to be or
l on a certain day? are trig to
*be attractive
- something
we're socialized
precia- to do to women who seem to come
'chically close to attaining impossible hege-
malizing monic beauty standards. It's cool
an-West- if you don't want to dress in sexy
t capital- costumes, and by all means cri-
and often tique the conscienceless industries
aces that commodify women's bodies
rstand but don't reinforce the language
and attitudes that patriarchy uses
ace. to shame us.
its own 4. Do not dismiss those who pro-
rvasive- test this madness.
every Realistically, even with all the
, the cautions and reminders, cultural
our appropriation, blackface and per-
breed- vasive sexism will likely happen
racism. this Halloween. When it does,
gral part don't be taken aback or dismiss
stry those who call it out as "too sensi-
rel shows tive," lacking a sense of humor
mehow or needing to "get over it." Why
OK to should we be passive about racism
ck paint and sexism because they fall on a
certain day of the calendar?

let your

-Zeinab Khalil can be
reached at zkha@umich.edu.


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