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October 10, 2013 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 2013-10-10

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4A - Thursday, October 10, 2013

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

4A - Thursday, October10, 2013 The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom

itM iigan rly
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.
Recalculating route ***
New off-campus bus plan is a step in a safer direction
n Tuesday, students received an e-mail with the subject line
"BREAKING" from Central Student Government. It announced
an off-campus bus route in partnership with the Interfraterni-
ty Council. Starting in Winter 2014, the bus route will run from 10 p.m.
to 3 a.m. Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. This bus route addresses an
under-discussed issue at the University: off-campus crime. It's certain-
ly one step toward addressing the problem, but at this point, its success
depends entirely on financial support from sponsors.

Shedding light

This Fall Break, I'm check-
ing another activity off my
college bucket list: RV-ing.
to Happy Val-
ley, Penn. for
the Michigan-
State "University
football game.
Though the trip
promises to be
quite the adven- TIMOTHY
ture, I can't help BURROUGHS
but reflect on
the condemning
shadow that's
still over Penn State, following the
Jerry Sandusky scandal and its pub-
licized fallout.
Two years later, Penn State has
made dramatic changes regarding
child safety and has begun the long
process of rebuilding its reputation.
But on a national level, have we
done enough to prevent these hei-
nous crimes?
In 2011, allegations of serial sexual
abuse by former Penn State assis-
tant football coach Jerry Sandusky
rocked the world of college athletics.
The abuse, followed by the institu-
tional cover-up andnegligence, led to
the firing of head coach Joe Paterno
and multiple school administrators.
The investigation grabbed national
headlines, tarnished the reputation
of the university and raised serious
questions about minors' safety and
institutional responsibility.
As the dust begins to settle, the
landscape around Penn State and
attention to minors' safety across
the nation has dramatically changed.
Sandusky was convicted and sen-
tenced to 30 to 60 years in prison.
Administrators associated with
the cover up are to stand trial for
obstruction of justice next spring.
Nineteen of the victims have reached
settlements and received checks
from the university. Penn State,
which set aside $60 million to pay for
the settlements,has removedstatues,
endured rioting and mourned for the
prolonged suffering of the victims
and the negligence which allowed it.
Perhaps the most promising effect

of the scandal can be prominently or" situation, which the Depart-
seen here in Ann Arbor. During a ment's operational budget of $137.5
forum discussion on minors' safety million simply does notsupport.
on campus, Katie Miranto, the Mich- While the vetting processes isn't
igan Athletic Camp administrator, and will never be perfect - Sandusky
raised serious concerns about a dra- had no priors that would have been
matic hole in the University's Athlet- flagged by such a background check
it Department's background check before he was hired at Penn State in
program. She noted that one of the 1969 - we can demand that the Ath-
background checks used looks only letic Department actively evaluate
at crimes committed in Michigan, and improve how they are providing
meaning the same attention to detail a safe environment for minors. How-
might not be applied to out-of-state ever, claiming an outsourced back-
applicants, who account for 33 per- ground check, which represents one
cent of the camp staff. mere aspect of the entire vetting pro-
These concerns sparked immedi- cess, isn't thorough enough does not
ate action and clarification by Michi- prove negligence or greed on the part
gan's Athletic Department. David of the Athletic Department.
Ablauf, associate athletic director of After the administrator of the
media and public relations, outlined campsraised theseseriousissues,the
the additional elements of the vetting department reacted by recognizing
process, as well and addressing
as ones it plansithem immedi-.
on implementing, In a post-Sandusky ately and public-
while clarify- era it's naive to think ly. If the Daily's
ing, "background concern is that
checks of all the 'U' isn't thinking the department
kinds - whether is not doing its
handled person- about abuse. due diligence,
ally, by coaches or it's important
through database to note it was.
reviews - are important, but they are an Athletic Department employee
just one way to keep kids safe." who pointed out this shortcoming
Since the forum, The Michigan in the first place. This is an example
Daily's editorial board has adamant- of a serious loophole being raised
ly voiced its criticism of the Athletic transparently and the department
Department's lack of initiative in responding by taking immediate
these matters in addition to mak- action to close it.
ing claims that attention to market- It's naive to believe in the post-
ing campaigns has replaced efforts Sandusky era that an institution
to provide a safe environment for doesn't realize the severity of abuse
minors. Furthermore, Zach Helfand, crimes and the scaring effect they
one of the Daily's sports editors, stat- can have on a university and com-
ed that "the problem is that the Ath- munity. Our institutions cannot
letic Department has chosen to fund become completely safe overnight,
a skywriting campaign rather than but this process of open dialogue
pay to protect vulnerable children." and publicly looking to improve
These assertions present a false minors' safety is our best weapon
dilemma by implying that the depart- against these criminals. Miranto's
ment actively soughtto cut and direct fears and the Department's actions
funding and energy away from back- show we have begun to adapt and
ground checks in favor of -frivolous fight the terrifying world Sandusky
marketing campaigns. But there's no and Penn State brought into the
evidence that this is at all reality. By national spotlight.
creating this connection, the Daily
has presented an oversimplification -Timothy Burroughs can be
by offering only a dramatic "either- reached at timburr@umich.edu.

According to CSG President Michael
Proppe, "84 percent of reported crimes took
place after 10 p.m., 67 percent took place off-
campus and 64 percent occurred in scenarios
in which the victim was walking." Introduc-
ing the new bus route is one step to potential-
ly reducing off-campus crime, but it will take
more effort on the University's part to make
sure students who live off-campus are safe.
CSG, however, should be commended for tak-
ing the initiative in finding and implementing
a way to protect students. The University will
be one of the first schools to start an off-cam-
pus bus route, and the student government
deserves the credit for finding new and inno-
vative ways to address crime.
Though the route is in itsbeginningstages,
it should be improved by adding additional
stops. The majority of the stops under the
current plan are concentrated in the Hill
area, leaving out a large number of students
living in South Campus and Kerrytown.

Moreover, the current bus route is only
scheduled to run on Thursday, Friday and
Saturday nights. That leaves four nights for
students to find alternative routes back home.
To extend late-night, off-campus bus routes
to cover the entire week and more areas of
campus, the administration should fund the
estimated $40,000 needed to expand service.
CSG and the IFC are taking proactive steps
to ensure campus safety, and now it's time for
the administration to match that effort.,
CSG should be commended for address-
ing issues that concern the safety of the stu-
dent body. With the relative prevalence of
off-campus crime, university administration
should've already initiated practical preven-
tion programs like the new bus route instead
of waiting for student leadership to take
action. It's not perfect - its limited route and
scope should be addressed, but now it's up to
the University to support the 30,000 students
that live off-campus.

Kaan Avdan, Sharik Bashir, Barry Belmont, James Brennan, Eli Cahan,
Eric Ferguson, Jordyn Kay, Jesse Klein, Melanie Kruvelis, Maura Levine, Patrick
Maillet, Aarica Marsh, Megan McDonald, Harsha Nahata,
Adrienne Roberts, Paul Sherman, Sarah Skaluba,
Daniel Wang, Derek Wolfe
(Un)equal opportunity

I've never done twerking in my life, and
I don't intend to take it up."
- U.S. House Representative Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) said Wednesday in response to Miley Cyrus'
government shutdown parody on Saturday Night Live.
Government taken hostage

"All men are created equal" - and even
today are still worth more than women.
The Declaration of Independence and
subsequent ideological foundations of Amer-
ica aided in forming our patriarchal society
where women are still systemically depreci-
ated. This is perhaps best exemplified in the
workplace. We have to work extra hard to
overturn antiquated gender notions. What's
our reward? Equal work for unequal pay.
Sound like the American Dream? Not quite.
The Equal Pay Act of 1963 helped amelio-
rate some of the discrimination women faced
by making it illegal to use gender as a basis for
higher salary. From the 1960s to 2011, women
have gone from earning on average less than
60 percent (58 cents per dollar) of what men
were making to roughly 77 percent (77 cents
per dollar, for full-time, white women) for the
same work. The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act
of 2009 amended this original act by allowing'
women to file lawsuits against unequal pay up
to 180 days after their most recent paycheck,
instead upon first recognition of the injustice
- as was previously held by law.
Despite the progression, Lilly Ledbetter,
the woman for whom the law was named,
admits that women are still pushed into the
gender gap. Why?
For starters, there are several loopholes
in our current legislation regarding working
women. Currently, if I have an inclination that
my male counterpart is earning more than Iam
for analogous work, what can I do about it? In
this uncertain economy, should I risk my job in
attempt to find out the truth? That's an option,
but not a very fair or logical one.
Secondly, there's a mass infiltration of
fabricated explanations regarding the truth
behind why women are making less than
men. These notions are nothing new and
much of what the feminist movement sought
'to reform. Still, there's a widely held belief,
even among women, that our pay gap is a
result of our choices - choices like working
less and seeking more pink-collar jobs.
While some women may in fact clock in
fewer hours than men and pursue lower-
paying jobs, it's undeniable that these factors
inaccurately account for the entirety of wage
discrimination. Even CONSAD, a consulting
company contracted by the Department of

Labor, admitted a S to 7 percent difference
in men's salaries after controlling for those
extraneous variables. In the land of equal
opportunity,'the findings don't look so egali-
tarian to me.
What we need is a more robust solution.
And that could be The Paycheck Fairness Act.
Self-proclaimed "equity feminist," Christina
Hoff Sommers hits on these interrelated points
in many of her published works, namely her
bluntly titled piece, "The Case Against the Pay-
check Fairness Act." Here, she claims the bill as
something for "aggrieved" women and justifies
higher salaries for typically male-dominated
fields. She goes on to remark that business
school professors should earn more than those
in social work due to market demand.
Besides sounding like many males that
benefit from this current system, I don't think
she fully understands what she fights against.
In fact, research now suggests that within
universities, mission drift and permeating
implicit sexism account for some of the wage
gap. Within similar academic titles, women
are generally rewarded less for research
outcomes, spend more time on teaching and
have larger workloads than men, in addition
to greater service expectations. What does
Sommers have to say about that?
The Paycheck Fairness Act could require
companies to be more public with adminis-
tered wages, thus increasing awareness to
any inequality among employees. The act
has been so close, yet so far, from passing the
Senate. Could it be because female senatorial
presence is scarce? Perhaps.
But like Sommers, many women actu-
ally believe this act isn't necessary, and even
further, not progressive. The majority of the
Democratic Party is in support of the act, but
there are Republicans that are pulling back.
Female Republican legislators and female
Republican voters are allowing political affil-
iation to trump gender empowerment. Is this
the price we want to pay?
It's time that we women band together
to advocate for the American Dream - and
the Paycheck Fairness, Act. We're worth
fighting for.
Danielle Deveson is a Master
of Social Work candidate.

With impasse in Congress lead-
ing to a governnient shutdown, the
American people are asking whether
their representatives are capable
of fulfilling their public obligation.
Conventional wisdom in American
politics has attributed the blame
equally to both parties in times of
political divide. But is this actually
a fair assessment? An honest look
at the situation at hand shows that
this is not the case. The Republicans
in Congress have shown a level of
intransigence that is unparalleled in
the Democratic Party's stratagem.
This intransigence can be rooted
back to the election of President
Barack Obama in 2008. After the
Republicans suffered devastat-
ing losses in the elections - losing
control of the presidency and both
houses of Congress - key figures in
the party regrouped to formulate a
strategy to maintain their political
influence and regain control in 2012.
Among the 15 interlocutors were
representatives Paul Ryan and Eric
Cantor and senators Jim DeMint
and Tom Coburn, along with former
House Speaker Newt Gingrich. They
met before the president's inaugura-
tion for one purpose only: to scheme
against Obama's policy initiatives.
Gingrich's final words to his fellow
Republicans were: "You will remem-
ber this day. You'll remember this as
the day the seeds of2012 were sown."
Later, in 2010, Sen. Mitch McCo-
nnell of Kentucky reaffirmed the
true purpose of Congressional
Republicans in one of the most can-
did political statements of the past
few years: "The single most impor-
tant thing we (Republicans) want to
achieve is for President Obama to be
a one-term president."
This goal - to hurt the president

- played itself out over the course of
the next few years: The Republicans
blocked the president's executive
appointments, most recently seen
with the Defense Secretary Chuck
Hagel and Susan Rice, and unani-
mously rejected proposed legislation,
the earliest example being the stimu-
lus package.
Of course, resistance from the
opposition party along ideologi-
cal divides is completely expected;
it's quite believable that Democrats
held similar meetings after the 2000
and 2004 presidential elections. But
the level of obstructionism demon-
strated by the Republicans over the
past few years simply cannot be com-
pared to dissent by the Democrats
during the Bush presidency.
The Iraq War, for instance, was
supported by some liberals, and
Democrats in Congress. This isn't to
say that Democrats have a spotless
track record of governance; their
party's issues are numerous and
large, but they aren't the same as
those the Republican Party exhibits.
When we consider all of this
evidence, it's hard to say that the
Republicans have any intention of
"compromising" with the president.
They had no intention of compro-
mising when key figures from their
party conspired against progress,
and they certainly don't have the
intention of compromising now. But
that begs the question: What is the
track record of Democrats on com-
promising to the Republicans?
Actually, it's quite good - so good
that it has become one of the biggest
weaknesses of the Democratic Party.
Republican demand to leave out the
public option in Obama's health-care
bill, despite the fact that Obama's bill

with a public option would have been
the compromise. The current state of
the Affordable Care Act is not what
liberals desired; that's a single-payer
health-care system. The Affordable
Care Act in its current form is a bill
most Republicans supported just two
decades ago.
By giving into the Republican's
unreasonable demands time and
time again, the president and his
party have set a dangerous prec-
edent of negotiations - a precedent
that Republicans have completely
incorporated into their political
strategy. Their version of a compro-
mise now is 90 percent of what they
want and 10 percent of what every-
one else wants.
And now, when we assess our
current situation with the govern-
ment shutdown, the Republicans'
demands seem even more absurd.
They want to defund a healthcare
law that Republicans once favored.
Add to this the reaffirmation of the
Affordable Care Act in the 2012
elections and the adjudication of
the law by the U.S. Supreme Court,
and you have a Republican party
that has completely lost its mind.
They don't want to negotiate: They
want to take the government hos-
tage. They have decided that if they
cannot change policy by winning
elections, then they will change
policy by throwing tantrums.
The sooner the American elec-
torate realizes that the bulk our
political standstills have stemmed
from an opposition party that's
more concerned with beating the
president than making progress,
the sooner we can restore the our
democracy's integrity.
Aiman Faruqi is an LSA freshman.

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