4A - Tuesday, September 3, 2013
The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com
4A - Tuesday, September 3, 2013 The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom
Edited and managed by students at
the University of Michigan since 1890.
I don't know (and that's OK)
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.
The first Football Saturday has passed and
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few paragraphs to introduce you, or reintro-
duce you, to the largest student newspaper at
the University oftMichigan.
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goes into print.
With that said, we aim for complete trans-
parency with the community we serve and
take responsibility when we break that trust
by straying from our mission of fairness and
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around Ann Arbor.
This semester is full of changes when it
comes to the Daily: We've brought back live-
blogging a variety of events and games, and
now we're running book reviews with the
help of a local bookstore Literati. And now
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" Thursday, Sept. 12
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" Tuesday, Sept. 17
" Thursday, Sept. 19
Andrew Weiner is the editor in chief.
his past summer, I lived
and interned in Wash-
ington, D.C. While I was
there, I learned
to love D.C.
for its quirks. I
loved that after
work meant .
going to happy
hour and that,
as a born-again
omnivore, there ZOE
was a never-E
ending supply of STAHL
burgers to try. I
loved picnics in
Meridian Park for lunch and runs
by the monument at night.'
But as much as I enjoyed being
in D.C., there were some things
I just couldn't get used to: The
muggy days didn't do it for me, nor
did the long waits for the always
What I really couldn't stomach
was how certain all of my fellow
college-aged interns were about
everything. On the Red Line to
Union Station, I heard a Senate
intern announce with absolute
confidence that "Hillary has these
next two terms in the bag. We'll
have Gov. O'Malley after that, but
for only one term. After that, you
know, we will gotta swing back, so
a Republican for two terms. Not
sure exactly who yet."
I also heard other twenty-some-
things announce their "politically
viable" plans to solve the Arab-
Israeli conflict, income inequality
and our public education system.
They all knew exactly what they
were talking about.
At first, I was impressed and even
jealous of how self-assured they
were. However, I soon realized how
this very certainty was actually
blinding them, making them unwill-
ing to hear the opinions of others -
or even just the facts.
In my head, I blamed their par-
ents. They must have praised their
kids for tying their shoes for the
100th time or remembering to say
"thank you" at age 12 - all in the
name of their children's self-esteem.
I blamed the colleges they
attended, too. I knew that these
schools - like ours - constantly
remind them that they are the
smartest, they are the elite, they
are destined for greatness.
But then I realized that I myself
was a little too certain. After see-
ing "Fruitvale Station," I caught
myself saying, "It will win the
Oscar for Best Film. The Academy
will want to make a statement." I
also began to announce the results
of the upcoming New York City
mayoral race - four months too
early- based off nothing except my
This epiphany didn't hit me until
a couple of weeks later. A family
friend had gone to the emergency
room a few days before, but was
dismissed. The emergency room
doctor said it was just a virus and
that it would pass.
Well, it turns out that the doc-
tor was wrong and our family
friend had both pneumonia and a
virus the hospital couldn't identi-
fy. For two days, a resident tested
out different antibiotics on him,
hoping that one would work. His
parents were told that he might
not make it. A week later, he was
discharged from the hospital, but
I don't know if it could have gone
any differently. Still, I found myself
wondering if the resident could have
called on an older, more experienced
doctor instead of waiting and guess-
ing. Perhaps it would have saved my
friend and his family from this ter-
I have to acknowledge
the limits of what I do
and don't know.
At the same time, it's certain
that I don't know what could have
or might have, but in the end, it
clicked: I have to acknowledge the
limits of what I do and don't know.
So, the next time someone men-
tions some intellectual-sounding
book I don't know, I won't nod
and smile like usual, and when
someone asks my opinion about
what's going on in Egypt, I'll admit
I haven't been followingthe news
too much. It may sound ignorant,
but hey, at least it's honest.
- Zoe Stahl can be reached
The summer, condensed
Wrapping up the last four months of University, city and state news
This summer was an especially busy one for the University,
Ann Arbor and the state of Michigan. Returning to school
can become quite stressful when you're unaware of the
recent changes to University policy and Michigan law. This edito-
rial will help fill you in on all of the changes you've missed over
the past four months, and what we'd like to see happen in the
A perfect politician?
This past July, the University's Board of
Regents voted to expand in-state tuition eli-
gibility to many of Michigan's undocumented
students, marking the end to a student-led
campaign for tuition equality. Beginning in
January 2014, undocumented residents in the
state may qualify for the lower resident tuition
prices, provided they can meet new residency
requirements. While this historic decision may
now make enrollment to the University pos-
sible for the state's undocumented population,
legal hurdles hinder the new policy's impact.
Undocumented students are currently ineli-
gible for state and federal financial aid. Con-
sidering the average undocumented family
earns $27,000 annually - roughly the cost of
attendance for one year at the University - the
broadening of in-state tuition is not enough.
If the University intends to promote a more
economically diverse campus, administration
must push state and federal officials to widen
financial-aid options - regardless of where
someone was born.
In August's primary election for Ann Arbor
City Council, both Ward 3 and 4 were up for
reelection. Incumbent Democrat Stephen
Kunselman was reelected in Ward 3, and Jack
Eaton beat out Marcia Higgins in Ward 4. Both
Kunselman and Eaton suggested that Ann
Arbor and the University should have a bet-
ter relationship with each other - a talking
point that's often brought up but rarely acted
upon. A break in this pattern is necessary come
November's election. For instance, Kunselman
said the University and the city need to work
together more efficiently in terms of security.
Better communication between the Univer-
sity Police and the city's law enforcement can
help prevent crime on campus. Even certain
improvements in the city, such as increased
street lighting, may promote both student
and resident safety. The council has a history
of seeing the University as a separate concern
from city matters; this year, we hope to see a
shift in this mindset.
Last Tuesday, the battle for Medicaid
expansion finally came to a close (for now) in
Michigan, with the state Senate reluctantly
approving the expansion, which is a criti-
cal mandate of the Affordable Care Act. Sup-
ported by Gov. Rick Snyder, the proposal will
add roughly more than 400,000 Michigan
residents to the low-income health insurance
plan. The expansion has been supported by
numerous organizations, including the Michi-
gan Health and Hospital Association and
the Small Business Association of Michigan.
These groups, like Snyder, have advocated the
positive fiscal impact ofexpandinghealth care.
Unfortunately, the conservative-dominated
state legislature's drawn-out debate over Med-
icaid was divided more on party lines rather
than the bill's flaws or merits. The ideological
divide nearly prevented Michigan's uninsured
from gaining coverage - an embarrassment
that even the Republican governor recognized.
The legislature should follow the governor's
example more often.
ne of the s
grow up a:
no one - abso-
lutely no one
- is perfect. We
learn that some
of our great-
est heroes in
life often have
ing our relent-
of them. In
recent months, I be
darker side of onec
Mayor Cory Booke
every reason to ad
has made a name f
intelligent and cl
tician with the c
work ethic of a c
nizer. As mayor, Bo
ally shoveled snow
his home and even
ing building to sav
His energy and p
ment have led to an
national profile, an
won the Democrati
New Jersey's vacan
In many ways, B
ome of what a publi
be. He cares deepl
works tirelessly a
intimately with h
be the epitome of e
with high-profile I
ticians. The prog
group Blue Amer
Silicon valley elite
willingness to cutS
nost difficult President Bill Clinton and countless
o grasp as we other Democrats have taken similar
nd mature is that paths, trying to be "pro-business"
as a way to garner bipartisan sup-
port while filling their campaign
coffers. They championed deregu-
lation, cut into the social safety net
and abandoned the middle class on
their way to the top. As a bona fide
rising star, it appears Booker may
be no different.
JAMES The accusations raised by his
BRENNAN opponents on the left are not
unfounded, as Booker has accepted
millions in donations from Wall
egan to see the Street, has made close friends with
of my most trea- the leaders of tech giants and has
supported dubious charter-school
Newark, N.J. initiatives. It seems that the mayor
r, I quickly found many have dubbed "Superman" is
ore him. Booker not quite the hero he was made out
for himself as an to be.
harismatic poli- As disheartening as it may be
ommitment and to mature and realize that people
ommunity orga- like Booker are not the gods they
'oker has person- seemed like at first, part of grow-
for constituents, ing up is also finding the good in
victims to stay in situations rather than the perfect.
ran into a burn- The critiques of Booker's politi-
e someone's life. cal stances and potential to be a
ersonal involve- national leader overshadow what
explosion in his truly matters about him, which is
id last month he a concept that no poll or study will
c nomination for ever be able to quantify.
it Senate seat. People like Booker inspire all
ooker is the epit- of us to do what it takes to really
it servant should make change happen. When I look
y for his city, he at the list of the would-be senator's
nd he connects accomplishments, I say to myself,
is constituents. "I could do that." I don't know if I
also appears to could get Mark Zuckerberg to give
verything wrong my school district a $100-million
Democratic poli- grant, but it doesn't take a Rhodes
;ressive activist scholar to volunteer with Big
rica refused to Brothers Big Sisters. It also doesn't
citing his cozy take a mayor to shovel snow or give
Wall Street and people displaced by natural disas-
s, his support for ters a place to stay.,
on reform and a As much as progressives can
Social Security. and should call into question what
k Obama, former Booker really supports, they have
to look past political positions
and realize what's really impor-
tant. Booker deserves his "Super-
man" moniker purely for inspiring
thousands of people to do the lit-
tle things that make big accom-
plishments possible. Going out to
shovel snow motivated dozens of
Newark residents to do the same
and suddenly an entire community
was helping people get to work, go
to the store and take their kids to
school. It's not the most glorious,
Being a true public
servant - and for that
matter, a true hero - is
about helping others.
but it makes a difference. Being a
public servant is not about writ-
ing laws, just like being a hero is
not about dressing up and fighting
crime. Being a true public servant
- and for that matter, a true hero
- is about helping others.
You don't have to be elected
mayor or get a law degree from Yale
University to be a public servant.
Would I have voted for Booker had
I lived in New Jersey? I honestly
can't say. What I can say for certain,
though, is that I will always admire
Booker for the way he.inspired me
to help others, even in little ways.
He has inspired countless others,
and the ripple effects of his sym-
bolic acts have made a difference
that cannot be quantified. Booker
will always be a superhero to me,
not because of what he does, but
because of what he symbolizes and
how he inspires me.
- James Brennan can be
reached at email@example.com.
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Response to "Open letter to
edge" alluded to E
advised by a semi
School of SocialV
not to burn your1
TO THE DAILY: Lm outh shut, beha
Dr. Shane Brady provided an excellent white liberals, esp
description of what many black students and The disinvitatic
black faculty at the University of Michigan have compelling failure
known for years - activism is always welcome dent Mary SueC
at Michigan, but there are strong restrictions response, i.e., ap
on who may articulate the activism. "insider knowled,
Blacks may "altmost" freely pontificate on the it's par for the cc
subject of race, but only during Martin Luther the next election f
King Day or Week, and only after receiving Regents to seek n
approval from the office of Multicultural Stud- Dr. Brady. Believe:
ies. Mind you, nothing too controversial. ment is not renew
Being a woman of color with staying power
at Michigan requires some sacrifice. The Audrey Jackson
nature of this sacrifice is the "insider knowl- University alum
by Brady. As I was recently
-retired black faculty in the
Work, "you have to be sure
bridges." Simply keep your
'e gratefully and don't upset
ecially ones with money.
on is no surprise. The more
e is that of University Presi-
Coleman to offer a public
ology. But for those with
ge" of University. politics,
ourse. Well, there's always
or the University's Board of
eeded change. Thank you,
me, if your lecture appoint-
ed, some of us understand.
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