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September 06, 2013 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 2013-09-06

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4A - Friday, September 6, 2013

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

4A - Friday, September 6, 2013 The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom

C 4e fitichinan l 4:3at4olm

Respect begins with apronoun

Edited and managed by students at
the University of Michigan since 1890.
420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
tothedaily@michigandaily.com
MELANIE KRUVELIS
and ADRIENNE ROBERTS MATT SLOVIN
EDITORIAL PAGE EDITORS MANAGING EDITOR

ANDREW WEINER
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.
Unfair and under-regulated
The University needs to take initiative toward unpaid internships
Jn June, a federal district judge in New York ruled that Fox
Searchlight Pictures violated minimum wage law and overtime
laws by treating unpaid interns as regular employees on the set
of the 2010 film "Black Swan." The case, along with many others, has
shed light on the world of unpaid internships. Students are among the
most vocal against the practice as many have been victim to injustices
of these supposed mentorship opportunities. This recent movement
brings to mind the University's role in helping its students secure sum-
mer internships. The University's Career Center and internship pro-
grams, such as the Public Service Internship Program and Semester in
Detroit, are great resources for students to find internships. However,
the University could do more for students financially by fundraising
specifically for internship programs and working with other universi-
ties to provide reduced-rate housing. Furthermore, the Career Center
should review the types of internships it posts to ensure that they are
in fact mentorships if unpaid, not free labor, and create black lists of
companies who abuse the positions.

Bradley Manning, the U.S.
soldier praised as a whistle-
blower by some and con-
demned asa
traitor by oth-
ers, identifies
as a woman.
She wishes to
be called Chel-
sea Manning,
would like to
be referred to KATIE
with the femi- STEEN
nine pronoun
and would like
to begin hormone therapy. As Man-
ning put it, "I was born trans. I am a
woman from birth but because I was
born with a penis I was labeled a
man. What we do choose is when to
come out, not what our gender is."
So there it is - she said, "I am a
woman.' Seems simple enough. See
how I didn't say, "He stated, 'I am
a woman?' " No, of course I didn't,
because to do so would invalidate
Manning's explicit request to be
acknowledged as a woman.
To do so would essentially say,
but, yeah - you're not really a
woman. To do so would roll my
eyes at not just Manning but the
identity of all transgender people.
To do so would be essentially call-
ing Manning delusional -I don't
care if you think you're a woman,
you have a penis, damn it! This is
the same kind of mentality that
results in reactions to Manning's
statement like, "He's crazy" or
a "He's a tranny!" It's the same
mentality that keeps gender-
identity disorder in the Diagnostic
and Statistical Manual of Mental
Disorders - that essentially tells

transgender people, "You have a
disorder that can be treated," just
like how we can all pray the gay
away, right, guys? (Homosexuality
was once in the DSM as well.)
And yet, transphobic mentalities
continue. I'm not just talking about
comments and tweets and whatever
other mediums the peanut gal-
lery uses to spew ignorant, hateful
remarks. I'm referring to articles
pertainingto Manning's transgen-
der identity that continue to refer to
her as "him." Even articles that spe-
cifically address the media's failure
to comply with Manning's request
to be referred to with feminine pro-
nouns do exactly that. They literally
do exactly what Manning requested
they not do, effectively undermin-
ing Manning's authority on her own
gender and identity. It's patronizing,
disrespectful and, apparently, cor-
rect, according to the Associated
Press Stylebook.
Yes, the AP Stylebook, the holy
book of journalistic style, states
that reporters should, "Use the
pronoun preferred by individuals
who have acquired the physical
characteristics of the opposite sex
or present themselves in a way that
does not correspond with their
sex at birth." In other words, the
identity of a transgender person is
apparently not valid to a reporter
until he or she undergoes surgery
or hormone replacement Therapy.
It's almost as if the AP Stylebook
is trying to call a bluff - like, oh
yeah, if you're so trans, where's
your sex reassignment surgery,
huh? It's insulting - not to mention
that it's not always convenient or
within someone's financial means

to get surgery just because of some
outdated stylebook. The gender of
a trans person is not validated by
a surgeon's knife; it's validated by
the individual.
The gender of a
trans person is
not validated by a
surgeon's knife.
And don't even get me started on
the need for trans people to "pres-
ent themselves in a way that does
not correspond with their sex at
birth." What the hell does that even
mean? I don't bake cupcakes when
I'm stressed out, I've only seen one
episode of "Girls" and I never laugh
while eatingsalad. I rarely wash
my jeans, I shower "when I feel
like it" and I sincerely like to drink
beer. I'm not the most "lady-like"
lady, so does that qualify me to be a
transgender man? Seriously, the idea
that trans people necessarily need
to "present" themselves as a certain
gender not only reinforces baseless
gender stereotypes, it's a vague and
absurd requirement.
You don't have to be a reporter
to support, or at the very least
respect, transgender rights. The
mere act of usingthe appropriate
language to address Manning and
any trans person sets an example
of how to respect a human being.
- Katie Steen can be reached
at katheliz@umich.edu.

I
I

4

a

Two successful internship programs pro-
moted by the University are Semester in
Detroit and the Public Service Internship
Program in Washington D.C. While both
programs offer financial aid, their support is
limited. Semester in Detroit mandates that
all participants reside in Wayne State Univer-
sity residence halls, meaning students must
pay the steep rates and fees. Both programs
award need-based financial aid to students
who qualify through the University's Office
of Financial Aid. However, this award process
doesn't take into consideration students who
may not receive much financial aid and must
maintain continuous employment in order
to remain financially stable. The University
should expand financial aid to students con-
sidering unpaid internships especially in
areas where unpaid is the norm.
Reports of abuse stemming from unpaid
internships are on the rise. Since the ruling
of the case against Fox, more than 20 law-
suits have been filed against major companies

for their abuse of unpaid interns. The rights
of these unpaid interns who are being taken
advantage of by large corporations need to be
protected. In order for an unpaid internship to
be considered legal under the Fair Labor Stan-
dards Act, the intern must be provided an edu-
cational experience in the workplace and the
company must not gain an immediate advan-
tage from the intern. The University can help
ensure these requirements are met by review-
ing and scrutinizing the companies the Career
Center posts on its internship website or are
actively recruiting on campus. This would pro-
mote positive mentorship experiences for its
students and reward companies who provide
actual educational internship programs.
Internships play an important partin secur-
ing a job after college. Students who can afford
to will continue to apply for unpaid intern-
ships and companies will still offer them. It's
up to universities like Michigan to acknowl-
edge the reality of this situation and advocate
for their students.

A billionaire real estate developer has given $200 million to
the University of Michigan - with the mandate that all of
the money goes to the business school and the athletic de-
partment. Congrats on some shitty philanthropy, asshole."
- Gawker writer Hamilton Nolan said about Stephen Ross's $200-million
donation to the University on Wednesday.
Recoganize our roots

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EDITORIAL BOARD MEMBERS
Kaan Avdan, Sharik Bashir, Barry Belmont, Eli Cahan, Eric Ferguson,
Jesse Klein, Melanie Kruvelis, Maura Levine, Patrick Maillet, Aarica Marsh,
Megan McDonald, Jasmine McNenny, Harsha Nahata,
Adrienne Roberts, Paul Sherman, Sarah Skaluba,
Daniel Wang, Derek Wolfe
COLIN KEIFFER |
Moneynot well spent

Dear Mr. Ross,
The University announced on Wednesday
that you donated $200 million - the largest
single gift in the history of the school. Asa fel-
low alum of the University, I want to thank you
for your donation to our alma mater, but with
reservations.
As reported by The Michigan Daily, your
gift allocates $100 million to the Athletic
Department and $100 million to the business
school. While the gift is commendable, I ques-
tion if it will best serve the University's com-
munity with its current recipients.
The Athletic Department already has $386
million in net assets and a $64 million endow-
ment. Dave Brandon, the University's athletic
director, presented a budget in June expecting
$8.9 million in profit this year. Anyone who
has attended a game at Michigan Stadium,
the Crisler Center or Yost Ice Arena knows
that our stadiums are the best in the country.
Additionally, the athletic campus has grown
immensely over the last few years, and our
resources for fostering student athletes are
second to none. The Ross School of Business
is the premier business school in the country.
Neither department needs your money to con-
tinue their success.
As University President Mary Sue Coleman
said in her 2002 inaugural address, "The glory
of the University of Michigan resides in its
abilityto re-invent itself continually, to cherish
its roots while inventing the future." Donated
elsewhere, $200 million has the ability to do
just that. And I've come up with some alterna-
tive, transformative ideas for your donation.

The money could go toward scholarships for
underprivileged and underrepresented groups.
We should continue to commit to diversity on
campus and give as broad a range of individu-
als as possible access to the University.
We should also support public service stu-
dents who may wish to serve in the military
before attending school or after graduation,
whose only deterrent may be the financial con-
sequences of attending the University.
Your donation could fund initiatives foster-
ing student research and creativity. The next
Facebook or the cure for cancer could be in the
mind of an incoming freshman. These funds
could help creative individuals make their
dreams a reality.
More social engagement programs could
be implemented within the local community.
With more than 40,000 students, the Uni-
versity can better serve the poor, sick and
disenfranchised. More funds toward these
objectives would make practical and quanti-
fiable improvements in many people's quality
of life.
You've said you wish for the University to
be a world-class institution and to train our
students for leadership opportunities in their
futures. Former University President James
Angell once remarked, "...every appropria-
tion to the University sows seeds in the most
fruitful of all soils." I hope that you use your
success for the good of the greater University
community so it can continue to be the school
that we love.
Colin Keiffer is a University alum.

Walkable streets, reliable
public transporta-
tion, affordable retail,
healthy dining
and safe resi-
dential neigh-
borhoods - all
things we, as
students of the
University and
residents of
Ann Arbor, take _
for granted on a ALEXANDER
daily basis. The HFANN
city, despite
some subtle
flaws, provides
a high quality of life for the vast
majority within its borders.
The same cannot be said for
many in Detroit, the major metrop-
olis of nearly 700,000 people, less
than 50 miles east of Ann Arbor.
A declining population, hem-
orrhaging resources, high crime
rates, a struggling school system
and unemployment all culminated
in the largest municipal bankrupt-
cy in U.S. history just filed on July
18. Needless to say, Detroit could
use a helping hand right now.
And the University isn't doing
enough to help the city.
I don't mean to imply that the
University is at all responsible for
more than 60 years of progressive
decline in Detroit. Nor do I believe
that the University must raise the
banner as a champion of the city -
quite frankly, Detroit citizens and
community officials neither need
nor want that. ButI do think that
the University needs to embrace
the fact that a healthy, strong and
vibrant Detroit is as good for the
University as it is for southeast
Michigan as a whole.
I don't intend to minimize cur-
rent efforts in the city, represented
by the accomplishments of thou-
sands of students, alumni and fac-
ulty every year.
The Detroit Partnership, just one
student organization with strong
ties to the city, sends 200 students
to Detroit every week duringthe
school year to participate in vol-
unteer programs established in
every part of Detroit. Their flagship
volunteer event, Detroit Partner-

ship Day, brings 1,400 students to
Detroit to volunteer.
Semester in Detroit is another
opportunity for University students
to engage with the city. It provides
a unique opportunity for par-
ticipants to live in Detroit on the
Wayne State University campus,
attend classes and work in Detroit.
The University's Detroit Cen-
ter in Midtown houses Semester
in Detroit classrooms and also
accommodates several programs
benefiting Detroit residents from
various schools across campus.
For example, the School of Public
Health's Healthy Environments
Project researches and promotes
heart health in Detroit neighbor-
hoods, where the death rate from
cardiovascular disease is nearly
twice as high as state and national
averages. The School of Social
Work partners with the Skillman
Foundation to provide technical
assistance in implementing its
Good Neighborhoods program
in six different Detroit neighbor-
hoods. The School of Art & Design,
the Taubman College of Archi-
tecture and Urban Planning, the
Gerald R. Ford School of Public
Policy, the College of Engineering
and University of Michigan Health
System all have some presence at
the Detroit Center.
In reality, the initiatives
described here only representa
fraction of the good work being
done by the University in the city of
Detroit. But even the whole piece
remains just a beginning.
The first step toward greater
engagement involves expanding
students' knowledge of the city's
history, problems and attractions.
To that end, the University, from
top to bottom, needs to facilitate
a more prominent dialogue about
Detroit and can begin by hosting an
increased number of speakers dis-
cussingthe issues Detroit currently
faces that see national headlines
almost daily.
Just as importantly, more stu-
dents need to go to Detroit. There's
no better way to learn about the
city and all it has to offer than to
physically be there. Whether from
fear of the city's negative reputa-

tion, ignorance of its treasures or
typical student time constraints,
too few of my fellow classmates
make the trip to Detroit in their
four years. The University could
facilitate more opportunities to see
Detroit and, likewise, better adver-
tise the Detroit Center's availability
to students.
A healthy, strong and
vibrant Detroit is as good
for the University as it is
for Southeast Michigan
as a whole.
Also, as discussions with Feo-
dies Shipp III, the Detroit Center's
associate director, revealed, some
University departments are notice-
ably absent from the Detroit Center
roster. The Career Center is an
excellent resource for students on
campus and could provide profes-
sional development resources,
job-search assistance and resume
feedback to Detroit residents des-
perately in need of such services.
In May, the United States Bureau of
Labor Statistics identified Detroit's
unemployment rate to be above 16
percent - devastatingly high com-
pared to the state's near 9 percent.
The University could positively
impact the lives of many job seek-
ers by establishing a branch of the
Career Center in Detroit servicing,
in part, local Detroiters.
There are a number of other
positive changes the Univer-
sity could make that would affect
Detroit. But the most important
is the collective recognition - as
students, faculty and staff mem-
bers of the University - that even
though the University is first and
foremost a major national public
research institution, it also has
local roots. And since the Univer-
sity was founded in 1817 in Detroit
- before moving to Ann Arbor 20
years later - its roots are deepest
in Detroit.
- Alexander Hermann can be
reached at aherm@umich.edu.

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