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November 26, 2013 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 2013-11-26

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4 - Tuesday, November 26, 2013

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

4 - Tuesday, November 26, 2013 The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom


4e fitichipan wily

Edited and managed by students at
the University of Michigan since 1890.
420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109


Misrepresented by the media
T wo years ago, I lost my vided me with endless motivation, dren - who are doing ev
greatest hero and role encouragement and vision. they can to avoid falling
model in life. After a short While network news pundits and stereotype society has cr
battle with can- our uncles at Thanksgiving dinner them. Though I wouldn't c
cer, my father proclaim that there aren't enough men "mentors," they comt
passed away due positive Black, male role models same respect that any othe
to complications outside of pro-sports, Hollywood mine does.
from chemo- and the music industry, I've met one day over the summ
therapy, leaving and been mentored by more great visiting a soup kitchen on
me without the African-American men than I can East Side, I watched as a 21
most important count. The problem isn't a lack of broke down sobbing in fro
male presence JAMES role models; it's a lack of visibil- pregnant girlfriend and aco
in a young man's ity. The news and television love organizer. He told us abou
development. By BRENNAN covering Black athletes or musi- was trying so hard to avoid
the time he died cians - almost as much as they ting a crime to pay off ticke
I was 18-years- love covering Black criminals - but because he knew that wit
old and technically an adult, but it seems that hardworking, intel- money he would go to jail, lo
as we all know, very few boys have ligent, admirable Black men just and have to start all over;
become men at that age. don't fit into their programming. he sat there crying, the co
I needed another role model. Not Furthermore, one of the worst organizer explained to him
just because I'm supposed to have and most pervasive stereotypes of had been in the exact same
one, but also because I desired it. Black men in America is the por- a decade ago - trying to a
I was hungry for guidance and a trayal of their role as fathers and ing into old ways while tat
direct example of how to be a man, role models. The media portrays of his daughter, cutting g
like a primal instinct. Time and Black males as dead-beat dads, phi- washing cars for cash. It wa

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.
Universal security standards
The University should develop a program to increase party safety
n Nov. 1, two students at the University's chapter of Sigma
Alpha Epsilon fraternity house were stabbed while attempting
to remove patrons from the premises. Following the incident,
the security measures taken by fraternities for their parties have come
under scrutiny. While SAE's party wasn't sanctioned by the Interfra-
ternity Council, most fraternity events are required to be, which means
fraternities must follow strict guidelines and go through a brief security
session to ensure the safety of attendees. Although it's difficult to deter-
mine whether the incident at SAE could have been prevented at an IFC-
sanctioned party, an overhaul of the current fraternity security system
should be discussed, as well as University-provided security training for
all students, regardless of where they live.

into the
eated for
call these
mand the
r hero of
er while
nt of his
t how he
ts he had 4
hout the
se his job
again. As
nthat he
e position
void fall- 4
king care
rass and
s a strug-

Under IFC guidelines, fraternities are
required to have some members on guard -
called sober monitors - at each party, with
the number of them needed depending on
the size of the event. Each year of pledges
for each fraternity are trained to understand
the responsibilities of a sober monitor, which
include controlling who enters parties, help-
ing those who have fallen sick and keeping
the party itself under control. This training,
as well as abiding by IFC sanctions, is benefi-
cial for the fraternity. IFC-registered parties
are surveyed twice a night and sober moni-
tors are tested to ensure sobriety.
However, the system is not without its
flaws. The training is not entirely comprehen-
sive - only a single, one-to-three-hour lesson
is required. There is also a general lack of uni-
formity between the training of fraternities
and sororities, as some sororities are required
to take GreekLifeEdu - an alcohol education
course designed for Greek Life members -
while fraternities are not. In order to improve
this system, both pledges and brothers should
take refresher courses on sober monitor
training at least once a year to ensure party
security remains up to the latest standards.

On a larger scale, the University should
consider implementing similar training for
all students. The University has acknowl-
edged the realities of student life outside of
campus with its Stay in the Blue program, so
expanding the program to training shouldn't
be out of the realm of possibilities. Most of
campus is outside of the jurisdiction of the
IFC, so the current lack of training creates an
unnecessarily dangerous environment. The
University has a history of distancing itself
from fraternities that violate sanctions, but
administration must both come to terms with
the fact that students are involved with these
organizations and embrace an opportunity to
improve safety across campus.
The IFC sanctions offer the best model to
ensure fraternity safety. But its flaws in mini-
mal training for sober monitors coupled with
the lack of alcohol education across Greek life
are concerning. While the University should
acknowledge the independence of the IFC,
it should also begin working on a program to
increase party safety for all students - Greek-
Life-affiliated or not. Maintaining the safety
of its students should be a top priority for the
University, even if the events occur off-campus.

again, as I reached out and tried
to fill this void. I was lucky to find
people willing to teach me.
In high school I was exposed to
a network of incredible African-
American men any person should
be honored to meet. Chief among
these is Trevor Coleman, the author
and chief speechwriter for former
Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm.
He was a close friend of my father
and has become like a second dad
to me. Mr. Coleman introduced me
briefly to people such as Judges Eric
Clay, Damon Keith and Ted Shaw,
who's a Law School professor and
the former NAACP Legal Defense
Fund director.
In college I've been able to work
under incredible professors, such
as Matthew Countryman and Har-
wood McClerking, while being
mentored at the ACLU by attorney
Mark Fancher. While some of these
men have played far more signifi-
cant roles than others in my life, it's
safe to say that all of them have pro-

landerers and
absentee par-
ents to illegiti-
mate children.
The men I've
had the honor
of being men-
tored by are not
just successful
in their pro-
fessions, but
they're also menc
father figures far1
required of any ind
family men who pr
lent role model for
while mentoring m
less others.
What the news a
forgets are the sto
American men w
mistakes and are w
to break away fro
the media seems to
only option. Every'
Detroit I meet peo
tions - often young

gle, but earlier
that spring, his
The problem daughter gradu-
ated from high
isn't a lack of role school with afull
ride to college.
models; it's a lack I was moved
by that event in a
of visibility. way I can't real-
ly explain. The
pure strength
of integrity and and commitment they showed to
beyond what is themselves, their family and their
ividual. They're community was beyond anything
rovide an excel- I had ever witnessed and inspired
their children, me the same way that my father and ,
yself and count- other role models have. Whether
we're talking about educated men
lso conveniently at the top of their fields or just guys
ries of African- trying to get by for their families,
ho have made ignore what the media says - there
orking tirelessly are amazing Black role models all
m the life that around us. We simply have to open
believe is their our eyes and look.

week working in
ple in bad situa-
g men with chil-

-James Brennan can be reached

Readers are encouraged to submit letters to the editor and viewpoints.
Letters should be fewer than 300 words while viewpoints should be 550-850
words. Send the writer's full name and University affiliation to
Unlimi tedaccess slimited options


Kaan Avdan, Sharik Bashir, Barry Belmont, James Brennan, Rima
Fadlallah, Eric Ferguson, Jordyn Kay, Jesse Klein, Melanie Kruvelis,
Aarica Marsh, Megan McDonald, Victoria Noble, Adrienne
Roberts, Matthew Seligman, Daniel Wang, Derek Wolfe
'But you're smart'

The #BBUM campaign's intention was to
spark discussion about the lack of diversity
on the University's campus. The campaign
has caught national interest and has become
a huge trend on Twitter. This was a catalyst
for the much-needed discussions of the unful-
filled promise of higher enrollment rates for
minority students and the fact that the Uni-
versity promotes tolerance but not acceptance
of the different racial, ethnic and religious
groups that inhabit this campus.
I wanted to take advantage of this oppor-
tunity to speak about my experiences as a bi-
racial woman at the University.
I often joke that I'm racially ambiguous and
will change races depending on how someone
will classify me. Though it makes me and other
people laugh, it covers up the actual discom-
fort I feel. I identify as bi-racial - half White
and half Black - but I'm not always seen as
how I identify.
Perhaps my very light complexion gives a
twist to people's preconceived notions of how
a bi-racial woman should look. Depending on
whom you ask, Ihave been classified as Puerto
Rican, White, from "some" island, and when
people are completely unsure they will say,
"you're something, right?"
These racial and ethnic classifications come
from some small-binding stereotype. For
example, my very curly hair gives some type
of indication that I may be a minority, and it's
furthered when some hear that I use slang that
doesn't fit in with mainstream white vernacu-
lar. Once it's confirmed that I'm bi-racial, peo-
ple will say, "that makes sense," "I could tell
by the way you spoke," "your hair is different"
and many other variations. Then the annoying
questions come: "Can you wash your hair?"
"Why do you speak Black?" "Which parent is
Black?" "Do you sometimes get confused on
how you should act?"
Before I understood the complexity of the
ignorance surrounding race, I would become

furious and defensive when asked these idiotic
questions. What the hell do you mean, can I
wash my hair? Can you wash your hair? Why
do I speak Black? I was unaware that Black
was a language - please educate me. These
experiences are a small sliver of the amount
of ignorance and racism that my counterparts
in the Black community, and other minority
groups, face on a day-to-day basis.
during my freshman year in one of the Modern
Language Building's infamous 300-person
lectures. I had a discussion regarding race
with a gentleman that sat next to me. I men-
tioned that I was bi-racial and the expres-
sion on his face changed from a smile to one
of confusion. I was expecting this. But what
I wasn't expecting was his response: "But
you're smart?" Those three words will forever
be ingrained in my mind. Perhaps he thought
it was a compliment - I'm not sure. What I'm
sure of is that the stereotypes that we may
have thought were long gone with slavery and
Jim Crow still exist. Needless to say, I stopped
sitting next to him after that.
The purpose of this reflection was to bring
more awareness of the inequalities that minor-
ities in race, religion, culture and other social
identities that do not fit white culture face.
However, this discussion shouldn't be limited
to just the Black community but should be a
catalyst for improving how we look at and dis-
cuss diversity. We are doing a disservice to our
peers and ourselves by not speaking out about
the oppressive cloud that constantly rains over
minority students.
If everything else that I have written is for-
gotten, I hope to leave this message: This is
not just a Black problem. This is a community
problem that affects far more than the naked
eye can see. Things can be done and they will
be done, butonly if people are open and willing.
Danielle Parsons is an LSA senior.

ast Thursday, University
Housing announced a new
meal-plan structure for
students liv-
ing in residence
halls. Starting in
2014, all student
meal plans will
include unlim-
ited meals. This
is a change from
previous years HARSHA
in which plans NAHATA
were separated
into blocks of
125,150, 200 and
unlimited meals. Additionally, these
plans included significant amounts
of Dining Dollars and Blue Bucks:
The 125 meal plan, for example,
came with 300 Dining Dollars and
75 Blue Bucks. The new plans don't
include Blue Bucks and only include
25 Dining Dollars, a significant
change from previous years. The
policy also changes the way guest
meals are distributed, allowing stu-
dents only two guest meal swipes.
According to a University Hous-
ing official, the new plan was
discussed at length and chosen
to create a sense of community
through dining halls. Christine
Siegel, senior associate director of
housing services, wrote in an e-mail
to The Michigan Daily: "We want
students to feel comfortable that
they can eat as often as they like in
the dining hall. We are hoping that
the plans will encourage students
to use our dining facilities as hubs
for socializing and studying."

Allowing stu
access to dining I
serve as motivat
time there and al
in for smaller sna
out penalty. Asc
campus are renov
options, this me
provides those w
halls to take full:
different varieties
While this pl
to encourage stu
advantage of th
also creates a1
for waste. I had
my freshman ye
more than 60 me
of the year. Now
an anomaly as I
dining halls, but
echoed by others
this isn't applica
students vary
in their use
of the dining
hall, but there
are many who
don't eat large
numbers of
meals in the
dining hall.
This could
be for a vari-
ety of reasons.
students are outi
and meetings, it':
something wher
of coming back
Other times, the
par. Regardless o
I had, I still fou

udents unlimited menting that with outside food, and
halls will definitely Dining Dollars and Blue Bucks pro-
ion to spend more vided a great avenue to do so.
low them to swipe At the end of the day, while the
cks and meals with- dining halls are the primary source
dining halls across of meals for students living in the
ated and offer more dorms, they aren't the only source.
eal plan structure For students who don't eat in the
ho frequent dining dining halls as much, this new poli-
advantage of all the cy takes away flexibility and choice
offered. that students used to have.
an is a great way Furthermore, there isn't yet
idents to take full a systematic way to deal with
e dining halls, it waste from dining halls. With the
large opportunity onslaught of larger dining halls, the
I a 125 meal plan quantity and variety of food avail-
ar, and I still had able will only grow. Perhaps, with
eals left at the end the new policy more students will
I may have been be inclined to eat there resulting in
barely ate in the more consumption. But if that isn't
that concern was the case, there is also a lot of food
as well. Of course, that may go to waste.
ble to everyone as Ina walk around campus, we are
exposed to mem-
bers of the com-
The least we can munity who don't
have the same
do is examine access to food that
University stu-
Ways to minimize dents may have. If
there is going to
waste. be an expansion of
the meal-plan pol-
icy to place more
Sometimes when emphasis on dining hall meals, the
in between classes least we can do is also examine ways
s easier to just grab to minimize waste within the din-
e they are instead inghalls or explore opportunities to
to a dining hall. donate excess food.

food just isn't up to
)f how many meals
nd myself supple-

- Harsha Nahata can be
reached at hnahata@umich.edu.

:nd myself supple- reached al hnahata@smich.eds.

Frankly, it's offensive that it's something to
be brought before the Legislature -
requiring women to have rape insurance."
- Robert McCann, spokesman for Michigan Senate Minority Leader Gretchen Whitmer (D-East Lansing),
said regarding a petition that garnered over 315,000 signatures, which would require women to pay extra in
order to have abortion coverage as part of their health insurance.


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