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November 11, 2013 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 2013-11-11

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4A -Monday, November 11, 2013

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

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Edited and managed by students at
the University of Michigan since 1890.
420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI48109

This school has experienced unacceptable instances
of injustice recently, and many people are not aware
of what is happening at this university."
- University of California, Los Angeles student Sy Stokes told the Huffington Post Friday regarding a video
about low Black enrollment statistics at the university that he helped produce.


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.
Following cities' lead
Anti-discrimination legislation should be adopted at all levels
n Nov. 5th, voters in Royal Oak, Mich. approved a human-rights
ordinance that prohibits discrimination based on sexual ori-
entation and other identities, joining 29 other communities in
the state that have adopted similar policies. Clearly Royal Oak's push to
become a more inclusive community isn't an anomaly, and similar legisla-
tion should be adopted at the local and state level.

In the weeks leading up to the Nov. 5 elec-
tion, opposition from groups like Just Royal
Oak mobilized in an attempt to thwart the
ordinance's passage. The group centered its
argument on the potential increase in law-
suits and sex crimes that may arise from
banning discrimination. They're concerned
that businesses may become subject to law-
suits under the new legislation, a concern
that apparently trumps anti-discrimination
in housing and employment. Adversaries of
the proposed city law have argued that tol-
erance for the LGBTQ community is already
high, eliminating the need to institutionalize
anti-discrimination. "I don't believe it should
be a civil right," said Fadwa Gillanders, the
head of the Just Royal Oak campaign. "(The
LGBTQ community) is already protected on
the basis of their sex, their gender."
But the logic used by Gillanders and other
opponents to the new statute falls flat. The
group argued against legislation that may
lead to more gender-neutral restrooms, say-
ing, "There are a lot of bathroom cases of men
coming in and taking pictures under the stalls
- of masturbating in front of little girls."
That anecdote appears to have come from a
case in Colorado, where one student allegedly
harassed other students ina female restroom.
The case, propelled by conservative religious
publications, has since been debunked by the
school's superintendent. Furthermore, the
arguments used by the ordinance's detrac-
tors are nothing more than fear-mongering..
According to Michigan Radio, claims of
rampant lawsuits following the ordinance's
passage are largely baseless, as the cities in
Michigan with similar statutes report few, if
any, lawsuits based on such anti-discrimina-

tion laws. "The non-discrimination policies
offer legal recourse where there are none,"
said Emily Dievendorf, the managing direc-
tor of Equality Michigan. "The state of Mich-
igan provides no protections for the LGBTQ
community from discrimination in employ-
ment, housing and public accommodations.
And our local governments are stepping up to
the plate to protect their citizens."
The ordinance provides not only legal pro-
tection to the city's LGBTQ community, but
also psychological protection. The fines and
legal pathways are critical in safeguarding
LGBTQ residents, but the city's adoption of
such member signal a widespread acceptance
of an often-targeted community. In 2001, a
similar ballot was struck down in Royal Oak
by a two to one margin. Twelve years later,
the attitudes in the city have shifted, with
more than 53 percent of voters supporting the
ordinance. Royal Oak Mayor Jim Ellison sup-
ported the ordinance, saying, "It is needed. It
is the right time for it. Look around the coun-
try and the state. Attitudes are changing."
While Royal Oak's new statute offers a
previously nonexistent legal pathway for the
LGBTQ community, its strength won't fully
be realized until both other cities and the state
pass similar legislation. Currently, Michigan's
civil rights legislation doesn't protect LGBTQ
residents. But even augmenting the state leg-
islation isn't enough. According to Allison
VanKuiken, campaign manager for One Royal
Oak, complaints filed through state law would
have to be run through the attorney general,
whereas local ordinances can be filed with
nearby authorities. Both cities and the state
must pass legislation that will protect the
LGBTQ community at all levels.

As many.
the middle ofa
civil war. Te
Party characters
such as Sen. Ted
Cruz (R-Texas
and former Rep
Michele Bach
mann (R-Minn.)
proved to the
nation that they
were willing to
do anything in
order to get their
way. Even if th
humiliating the
ship of both cong
putting hundred
people out of wo
the global econot
People say, "
been divided bet
able to comprc
these guys do th
simple: The Tea
Devin Nunes (
put it best when
Tea Party as "1
cide vests." Nun
saying, "They ha
just a lemming. I
your death is not
It's alot like th
Knight" when
(Michael Caine) s
(Christian Bale),
looking for anytl
men just want t
burn." Unlike po
parties who have
reelection camp
don't compromis
elected in distric
type of behavior.
when the Speake

The Tea Party problem
Americans learned all but guarantee that his caucus reckless behavior du
the government would vote rank-and-file for issues couple months will h
n, the GOP is in like the debt ceiling, Tea Party rep- The good newsis t
a resentatives are now being rewarded the Tea Party willjoin
a for dividing their party and causing Bull Moose Party a
s mass hysteria like the episode we saw failed political move:
unfold only a few weeks ago. tually fades into ir
) Take Dean Young, Alabama's con- Americanpeople are
. gressionalspecial election candidate, that Tea Party cand
- for example. Throughout Young's for office. In lastv
campaign, he stated he would fightto Tea Party favorites s
e have Speaker John Boehner removed gubernatorial candi
PATRICK from power and constantly reiter- cinelli and Young t
MAILLET ated that President Barack Obama counterparts. A CNN
n was born in Kenya. The birther two weeks ago show
r claim doesn't surprise me that much cent of Americans h
hat meant publicly coming from an Alabama Tea Party able view of the T
Republican leader- candidate, but to
ressional chambers, publicly campaign
Is of thousands of against the leader Americans are
rk and jeopardizing ofyourownparty?
my. This simply would realizing these
Our Congress has not have hap-
fore, but they were pened a few years ultra-conservatives
omise. Why can't ago. unfitf office.
hat?" The reason is The Tea Party af
Party is crazy. Rep. problem has esca-
R-Calif.) probably lated as a result


uring these last
ave paid off.
hat soon enough
n the Whigs, the
nd every other
ment that even-
relevance. The
idates are unfit
week's election,
uch as Virginia
date Ken Cuc-
ost to moderate
vpoll conducted
'ed that 56 per-
ave an unfavor-
ea Party while
just 28 percent
approve of
the grassroots
movement that
began four
years ago.
Although it
will take some
time to fully
rid our gov-
ernment of the

he referred to the
emmings with sui-
es followed this by
ve to be more than
Because jumping to
e scene in "The Dark
Alfred Pennyworth
says to Bruce Wayne
"Some men aren't
hing logical ... Some
o watch the world
liticians from both
to facea legitimate
aign, Tea Partiers
e because they are
:ts that reward this
Whereas in the past
r of the House could


of limitless campaign contributions
and gerrymandered districts. Now,
instead of having a government in
which both sides need to compro-
mise, it becomes a contest in which
Republican can act more conserva-
tive and less cordial to Democrats.
What did Ted Cruz possibly gain
from turninga once-bipartisan issue
like raising the debt ceiling into an
absolute circus? If he runs for presi-
dent in 2016, he will be able to tap
into a massive pool of conservative
donors like the Koch brothers while
also being able to say he is the truest
conservative during the Republican
primary. This type of behavior is
rewarded in early primaries such as
Iowa caucus, so Cruz's stubborn and

uncompromising, birther-move-
ment loving, Internal-Revenue-
Service-hating clan of kamikazes
that is the Tea Party, the light has
finally appeared at the end of the
tunnel. It may be 10 years, or even
20 before even the ridiculously ger-
rymandered districts of the Deep
South start electing moderate and
sensible Republicans again, but that
time will inevitably come. Until that
glorious hour arrives, both Demo-
crats and Republicans alike need
to stand together and work to make
sure the Tea Party movement dies a
quick death.
- Patrick.Mailletcan be
reached at maillet@umich.edu.

East Quad's a home, not a hotel

Kaan Avdan, Sharik Bashir, Barry Belmont,
James Brennan, Eric Ferguson, Jordyn Kay, Jesse Klein,
Melanie Kruvelis, Maura Levine, Aarica Marsh, Megan
McDonald, Victoria Noble, Adrienne Roberts, Paul Sherman,
Daniel Wang, Derek Wolfe

Gains of learning language
outweigh chance of misuse
and commodification
In Layan Charara's article "Language - the
tool of oppression" she condemns those in her
Arabic language class for wishing to join the
U.S. State Department. It's quite bafflingto me
why one would object to diplomats - people
whose job is to communicate with other
countries - learning the native language.
While I agree with Charara that awareness
of the misuse of language in politics is
essential,she seems to be unaware ofherironic
use of stock political phrases in place of actual
evidence or argument. The article is filled with
the type of meaningless cliches George Orwell

railed against in his 1946 "Politics and the
English language:" "clarion call," "inherently
imperialistic endeavor," "breeding people of
privilege," "commodification of language." I
feel like I've just won a game of progressive
jargon bingo.
The language requirement in the college
of LSA is there for a reason. If Charara really
does see the next Donald Rumsfeld sitting
across from her, isn't it a good thing that the
potential imperialist is learning about the
native language and culture from dedicated
teachers? What's the alternative - no one in
the diplomatic corps or law enforcement that
can communicate with an Arabic speaker? I
side with Orwell: "language is an instrument
for expressing and not for concealing or
Robert Havey
2009 Alum

I've been a die-hard Residential
College student ever since I came to
the University two and a half years
ago. I've declared my RC major,
joined an RC a cappella group, par-
ticipated in RC plays, written for RC
publications and done mymandated
time in an RC language class. I lived
in East Quad Residence Hall my
freshman year, and though it took
some time, I grew into the RC life-
style. I walked around the building
without shoes, went to morning lec-
ture in my pajamas and knew lunch-
time conversations were to be had
in a language other than English.
I will be the first to admit that
East Quad itself had some quirks,
for lack of a better word. Many
could call them flaws, but they were
part of the charm of the RC experi-
ence. Personally, I enjoyed that the
showerheads were best fit for those
5'5" and under because, as a 5'4"
girl, they made washing shampoo
out of my hair much quicker. Hear-
ing a toilet flush overhead during a
class was commonplace and added a
comedic interlude to serious debates
or tense conversations. The carpets
had a different dizzying pattern in
every room, spotted with mysteri-
ous stains, and the walls were only
a modest cinderblock. The ceilings
were a maze of piping, blotted with
the occasional leak and containing
possible asbestos threats, but the
health department hadn't shut us
down yet, so all was well. The Half-
Ass smelled like cream of broccoli
soup, but that didn't matter when
there was a free concert.
To most people, this lifestyle could
be deemed unorthodox at best, but to
RCers, it was a safe, anything-goes
kind of place, in which being differ-
ent was allowed, if not encouraged.
This difference was precisely what
deterred others from visiting East
Quad, keeping the community safely
enclosed and sheltered from out-
side criticism. When East Quad was
closed for renovations, however, all
of this changed.
RC faculty worked extremely
hard to ease the pains of transition
from East to West Quad; however,
the community took a serious hit.
Sophomores like myself couldn't

identify RC freshmen from anyone
else in the dining hall, depleting
the relationship between first- and
second-year students, and thus the
sense of community the RC tries to
stand for. Classes were in Denni-
son instead of the basement, mean-
ing it was necessary to put on real
clothes, walk across campus and sit
in a windowless building that has
been called ten levels of hell. As
terrible as Dennison is, it was truly
only one of many nails in the RC's
coffin that year.
Then, finally, a whole homeless
year later, East Quad was back.
RCers like myself rejoiced, look-
ing forward to wandering familiar
halls, sitting in old classrooms and
having a place to be weird without
being scoffed at by others.
Instead, we were greeted by a
generic building that lacks char-
acter and can be best compared to
the rich section of a shopping mall
or a brand new airport. For a reno-
vation that claimed it would main-
tain the integrity of the building, it
became blaringly clear that those
involved felt that there was not
much worth keeping except for the
outer walls. What appeared to be
the same building, the same home
was in reality gutted and redone
without much thought to the uses
of the building or the character of
the people that would be using it.
I'm not saying that new East
Quad isn't nice. It's clean and mod-
ern and freshmen that live there
now appreciate their new home as
much as I had appreciated mine
two years ago. However, they aren't
privy to how much was lost when
the building was redone.
The Half-Ass, or Halfway Inn,
was altogether removed from the
building's layout. It was not only a
place to study for students living
in East Quad, but a performance
venue for bands, a theater practice
space, a meeting room for forums
and the home of many art events
like open mic nights and poetry
readings. Without it, the art com-
munity is left only with one stage:
the Keene Theater. But, where is
the Keene Theater? Somehow in the
renovation, the outdoor entrance to

the theater was forgotten, the two
levels ofseatingwere separated and
left unmarked, and, adding insult
to injury, the lighting system was
disconnected and is now deemed
unsafe and unusable for what could
be the rest of the year. The East
Quad Music Co-op, a student run
non-profit that hosted shows in the
Half-Ass, not only lost their venue
space but also their office space,
which has been diminished to a
cage in a utility room. There are
also fewer music practice rooms
and the theater's classroom doubles
as a dance studio, combining two
heavily used spaces into just one
room with a mean septic leak.
For a community centered on
arts, the renovation certainly has
failed to prioritize the needs of the
artists who are living in the space.
My disdain for the new build-
ing doesn't even end with all that
was forgotten when redesigning
the quad; some of the additions are
just as ridiculous. First of all, why
so much glass? Is it supposed to be a
fish bowl or a zoo? Do people enjoy
being stared at in their glass class-
rooms, study lounges, or offices?
Why is there a portion of the cafete-
ria named 24 Carrots? Why 24, and
why carrots? Additionally, why so
mainstream? Everything about the
building reeks of business-mod that
appeals to potential students but
ignores the down-to-earth nature
of the RC.
East Quadders don't need swank
or class. We need walls that can be
painted on with murals of unicorns
and rainbows. We don't need a big
fancy cafeteria with "seven restau-
rant concepts," whatever the hell
that means anyway. We need more
pianos and places to dance at three
in the morning and stages to throw
free concerts on. We need the free-
dom to walk around without shoes
on and make the space our own,
not to feel afraid to leave our hand-
prints on yet another glass surface.
Regardless of how necessary the
renovation was, $116 million dollars
is an astronomical sum of money to
spend on making a home into a hotel.
Paige Pfleger is an LSA junior.

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