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April 07, 2014 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2014-04-07

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4A - Monday, April 7, 2014

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

4A - Monday, April 7, 2014 The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom

SMdgan BIly
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.
Credit where credit is due
University policy on transfer credit will help students economically
The Newnan Academic Advising Center sent out an e-mail
Wednesday informing LSA students of a new transfer credit
policy that allows all students, regardless of class standing, to
transfer credits earned at a community college starting this Spring Term.
This policy eliminates a previous rule that only permitted students with
fewer than 60 credits to transfer community college credit. In light of
this new policy, students with more than 60 credits, who are of junior
or senior standing, can now transfer credits from a community college.
The change is a positive move because it helps lower economic barriers
to higher education and allows for greater schedule flexibility without
diminishing the quality of a degree earned at the University.

Modeled off of the essay
"Interstellar" by Rebecca
To be the
daughter of a
beautiful, older
woman is to
sit down in the
memory of your
childhood attic,
your hands
running fin- SOPHIA
gered question USOW
marks around
the edges of an
old photograph.
The lady in the picture stretches
her arms into third position, neck
arched with a grace you've never
experienced (you with your stout
soccer thighs and your penchant
for the hunch).
Not that you've ever tried to
stand any differently, really. When
she signs you up for ballet class in
kindergarten you beg to be relieved
of the aching pain of toe touches
and pas de bourrles. You hate her
for forcing you to leave the quiet
wonder of the backyard, where you
have been painstakingly construct-
ing homes for ice fairies out of ici-
cles and snowy thumbprints.
You'll call her fat and ugly when
you fight, tell her that you don't love
her, but let her fold you into her
arms when you cry. Her softness,
the very thing that makes you
embarrassed when she picks you up
from school, is what comforts you,
what lulls your shaking body into
a slumber, head like a warm stone
against the skin-smooth cradle of
her breast.
Your mom struggles to draw an
audience to her shows. This isn't
a town for modern dance. You are

dragged to all her
suitcase full of boo
much attention to
the pride in her fac
her work fall into t
young - recent c
and talented immig
wan, the Philippine
never imagine that
one on the stage;
and collapsing likea
released on a breath
The pictures in,
that story, though i
decade to believe it
young and beautifu
a news anchor, ant
star. Sometimes sh
and wonderfulc
nails and a flowere
blue veil and leota
picture of her smo
lips half-parted and
fixed on a phantoi
(another man? It
couldn't be your
She never
smokes now,
just a Corona
or glass of wine
with dinner.
When did she
become so bor-
ing? you wonder
to yourself. You
never pause to
consider that your
the reason, that itu
the hole in your
and let the smallc
the wrinkles spreac
You tell her you thi
weird. You don't bri
to her shows, don
flyers she gives you
settle at the botts

rehearsals like a heavier than the guilt you brush
ks, never paying off when she asks you about them
the worry and later. Yeah, a couple people said they
e when she sees might go.
*he bodies of the Her talent survives your betrayal.
ollege graduates More than 15 years later, you watch
grants from Tai- her smile and wave to the audience
s and Cuba. You from under the blinding lights of the
she once was the stage, thanking you and your father
spinning, rising for always being there, always sup-
a dandelion floret porting her. She has taken her com-
of Chicago wind. pany across the country and beyond
the attic hint at its borders: Mexico, Cubaand maybe
t will take you a Germany in the next couple years.
In them she's as Her body of work is larger and older
Il as a babysitter, than you, her achievements greater
old-timey movie and begotten with more sacrifice
e wears strange than you can ever imagine, may even
costumes: long ever accomplish yourself. At the age
d headdress or a of 62 she still radiates an almost
rd. You find one childish beauty - eyes the blue of
king on a train, Superior and cheekbones high and
I eyes unsmiling, cut from the ore of Iron River. She
m photographer is bottle blonde, but it could be natu-
ral, she could be
much younger,
how did you not
Her softness, the see it until now?
Thewoman in
very thing that you're the pictures still
embarrassed ofis dances in time
1 with an unheard
what comforts you. music, still one-
and plucks the
hearts right out
of the chests of
might have been whoever dares watch. You want to
ras you who tore drag the whole world to her shows,
mother's beauty want to sit the President down and
dignities escape, pop in a VHS tape of her spinning,
d, the air deflate. spinning, spinning - all the
nk her dancing is while holding you, protecting you
ing many friends from yourself.

The previous policy was initially
implemented with the logic that upperclassmen
shouldn't be able to receive credit from
community colleges because they teach first-
and second-year courses. However, Tim Dodd,
director of the Newnan Academic Advising
Center, contended that juniors and seniors
aren't prevented from taking and receiving
credit for 100- and 200-level courses here at the
University - so allowing more transfer credit
flexibility was essentially harmless.
This new policy helps level the playing field
for students of upper-level standing that need
to take courses off campus but can't afford
to pay for the more expensive credit costs of
a four-year university. This spring, in-state
credits for part-time students cost $690 for
the first credit and $510 for every additional
credit while out-of-state credits cost $1,825 for
the first credit and $1,645 for every additional
credit at the University according to the Office
of the Registrar. The typical community college
credit is much cheaper. For example, in-district
students at Oakland Community College
pay $76.40 per credit and resident students
at Schoolcraft College pay $90 per credit.
Furthermore, itallows students to stay at home
over the summer and take classes, rather than
paying for housing in Ann Arbor.
Accordingto a U.S. Department ofEducation
profile of 2007-08 first-time bachelor's degree
recipients, which included full-time as well

as part-time students, it took an average of six
years and four months to obtain a bachelor's
degree. For any number of reasons, it can be
hard for students to graduate in four years. This
can lead to an increase in education costs and
delays in career plans. Many students have to
work their way through school and others are
working toward dual degrees. Managing their
time and credits can be hard without taking
classes over the summer. The greater flexibility
this policy provides can help students earn
their degree ina more timely manner and start
paying offtheir student loans.
Transferred community college credits
are still subject to approval by the University,
so the quality of a University degree will not
decline as aresultofthis policy; the onlything
that really changes is how long a student
can take advantage of community college
classes. Allowing upperclassmen to transfer
community college credits doesn't change
what counts toward a University degree; 60
of the 120 credits needed to graduate still
can't be transferred from other institutions,
and the University can still deem credits unfit
for transfer.
This policy comes with essentially no costs
and has the benefits of saving students money
and helping them graduate in four years.
It is now easier and more cost-efficient for
students to fulfill requirements and graduate
in a timely manner.

't hand out the
at school. They
om of trashcans

- Sophia Usow can be reached
at sophiaus@umich.edu.

Barry Belmont, Edvinas Berzanskis, David Harris, Rachel John,
Nivedita Karki, Jacob Karafa, Jordyn Kay, Aarica Marsh,
Megan McDonald, Victoria Noble, Melissa Scholke,
Michael Schramm, Matthew Seligman, Paul Sherman,
Allison Raeck, Linh Vu, Daniel Wang, Derek Wolfe
Fuelinig the, future

An unnecessary hurdle

The reverberations of an opening gunshot
startled ears throughout the public sphere
years ago. While other states made mad
dashes across untread territory toward new
ideas about equality, Michigan slept on the
sidelines. March 21st, however, Michigan
pinned the number 18 onto its shirt and
sprinted to catch up in this race to provide the
marriage rights homosexual couples lawfully
deserve. Initiated by District Judge Bernard
Friedman's momentous decision to revoke a
ban created in 2004, Michigan became the
18th state in the country to abolish restrictions
on same-sex marriage. Same-sex couples and
their supporters rejoiced throughout the state.
Hundreds of couples flocked to county clerk
offices on Saturday morning to be legally
united and recognized as both spouses and
parents. In fact, 300 couples proclaimed their
vows to one another during the weekend when
the initial declaration was made.
As a fervent advocate for the LGBTQ
community and a genuinely concerned human
being, I realize flawed notions like "normality"
don't exist in real life. Any politician or any
voter concerned about the dismantling of
"traditional family values" honestly needs to
pull their minds out of the world of'50s sitcoms.
Reading the news about the court decision
excited me and reinstalled a shard of my broken
faith in Michigan's government. Sure, the state
wasexceedinglysluggishin acknowledgingthis
breach of constitutional freedom. Yes, 10 years
is a ridiculously and obscenely longtime to deny
individuals the rights to marry whoever they
love and to provide stability for their children.
I'll admit I sometimes am overly enthusiastic
and far too emotionally invested in my opinions
about LGBTQ rights. Yet, I know progress is
still worthwhile regardless of an unreasonably
long delay. Earlier in the month, I set aside my
usual annoyance with Michigan's government.
Despite my mental image of a state panting and
choking upon the dust of its 17 teammates as it
slowly jogged along the path they left behind, I
was satisfied to finally see Michigan running in
this race for equality.
My pride and zeal quickly toppled over.
Within the same Saturday when about 322
marriages occurred in the state, Michigan
Attorney General Bill Schuette placed an
entirely unnecessary hurdle in the way.
Michigan was finally gaining momentum and
pushing itself to achieve equality. Within a
moment, however, the same metaphorical 18th

runner crashed into Schuette's appeal with
arms and legs flailing, and collapsed onto the
ground. Due to the unjust action of the state's
appeals court, a bruised and bloody Michigan
remained unconscious in the pathway -
covered in the homophobic dirt other states
kicked off their sneakers.
Michigan's members of the LGBTQ
community were at a similar impasse. Last
week, Gov. Rick Snyder told happy newlyweds
that their marriages wouldn't be recognized
by the state. Thankfully, U.S. Attorney General
Eric Holder intervened on the matter and
prevented the frustrated couples from waiting
to hear whether state government officials
would strip them of their constitutional rights.
The rationale used to justify this egregious
breach of human rights in my mind is far worse
than the request for an appeal of Friedman's
decision, and the state's reinstitution of the ban
is too inexcusable to remain unnoticed.
This entire situation oflegaluncertainty and
irresponsibility is based upon concerns about
the sanctity of marriage, providing the best
home environment for children, and decisions
made by voters 10 years ago. Lawmakers were
instantly prepared to hash out the cliched
argument that same-sex marriage is immoral
and has negative effects upon children, but
the studies are contradictory. If Michigan's
leaders truly had the well-being of citizens
and children in mind, they would realize
removing the stigma associated with same-sex
marriage would lessen the stress, harassment
and insecurity couples and families regularly
face. Abandoning the defense of archaic voting
decisions is in the best interest of Michigan's
citizens. It's 2014! Times and opinions have
changed, and there's a whole new crop of
voters who disagree with this ancient ruling.
In this scenario, the federal government
shouldn't have needed to clean up Schuette
and Snyder's mess. By issuing the appeal and
dangling the possibility of marriage rights in
front of both married and unmarried LGBTQ
members, Michigan officials are sending the
message our brothers, sisters, parents, friends,
roommates and classmates don't deserve
the full extent of their constitutional rights
because they refuse to be stuffed into this
nice, restricting imaginary box of normalcy
and creating these hurdles is the only way to
keep them from escaping.
Melissa Scholke is an LSA sophomore.

The debate on climate change is
over. Last month, scientists from
the American Association for the
Advancement of Science, the world's
largestgeneralscientificsociety, said
evidence of human-caused climate
change is as conclusive as evidence
linking smoking and lung cancer. In
a report titled "What We Know: The
Reality, Risks and Response to Cli-
mate Change" AAAS explained that,
like the consensus among the health
community regarding the risks of
smoking, "a similar consensus now
exists among climate scientists, a
consensus that maintains climate
change is happening, and human
activity is the cause." The debate
now shifts to what can be done.
March 20, our law student organi-
zation - Law Students for Respon-
sible Divestment from Fossil Fuels 9
- presented in front of the Universi-
ty's Board of Regents, and proposed
a step in the right direction. In a
20-page detail-filled proposal, we
argued that the University should
divest its endowment from coal and
oil equities and bonds. These invest-
ments represent the companies that
are the primary drivers of climate
change - both because of their
emissions and because of their mis-
information campaigns.
While there have been other
divestment efforts regarding fossil
fuels, LSRD's approach sets us
apart. First, we focus on a much
smaller subset of investments: just
coal and oil equities and bonds.
These make up only about 1 percent
of the University's endowment. In
contrast, the student-run Divest
and. Invest campaign (with whom
we've worked closely and who is
co-sponsoring this proposal) is
asking the regents for a complete
divestment from fossil fuels. This
touches on near 10 percent of the
endowment. Further, they are asking
the University to re-invest that
money in "socially, environmentally
and economically responsible
companies." While we support its
efforts, our proposal is different.
We're talking about substantially
less money, taken only from the two
primary drivers of climate change,
and we are not requesting that the
University re-invest their money in
any particular way.
Our request is also different from
divestment proposals on other cam-
puses. Probablythemost public cam-
paign is the one at Harvard. They're

asking for divestment from direct
and indirect holdings from the top
200 publicly traded fossil fuel com-
panies. We, on the other hand, are
only discussing direct investments,
and we're only discussing coal and
oil, not natural gas.
But most importantly, our
proposal is unique from other
divestment campaigns because it is
based on the precedents established
from past successful divestment
efforts at the University, which
was outlined in a directive by the
University's Chief Financial Officer.
That, in large part, is why our "ask"
is so narrowly tailored - to ensure
that we meet this precedent.
Of note, the only times the
University has chosen to divest from
specific companies were in 1978
when it divested from companies
supporting apartheid, and, perhaps
not coincidentally, in 2000 when it
divested from tobacco companies.
In our proposal, we explain that
there is a clear, three-step approach
for divestment efforts: 1) The con-
cern tobe explored (climate change)
must express the broadly and con-
sistently held position of the cam-
pus community over time; 2) There
must be reason to believe that the
behavior or action in question may
be antithetical to the core mission
and values of the University; and 3)
There must be reason to believe that
the organization, industry or entity
to be singled out (coal and oil indus-
tries) may be uniquely responsible
for the problems identified. We're
confident that the investments in
coal and oil meet these standards.
First, there is a clear consensus on
campus that climate change exists
and that it poses real threats. Some
examples are the administration's
commitment to reducing Univer-
sity carbon emissions 25 percent by
2025, the educational pursuits of the
University's professors and students
andthe literallyhundreds of student
initiatives dedicated to sustainabil-
ity and combating climate change.
Second, the actions of the coal
and oil industries are antithetical
to the University's core mission
and values. As University President
Mary Sue Coleman said in a 2011
address, "Sustainability defines
the University of Michigan." A
perpetual reliance on coal and oil
does not align with this definition.
Beyond being antithetical to the
University's core value of sustain-

ability, the coal and oil industries'
actions mock the University's com-
mitment to academic integrity.
These two industries have spent
hundreds of millions of dollars on
lobbying efforts to thwart meaning-
ful legislative solutions on climate
change, and to create dubiously
named organizations such as the
Global Climate Coalition to under-
mine the scientific consensus on this
topic. LSRD believes, as the tobacco
divestment committee did, that "the
brazen dishonesty of (these indus-
tries) for so many years about a mat-
ter of such enormous public-health
significance is ... unquestionably
antithetical to the core missions of
the University." Investment in these
industries simply cannot be squared
with a University's commitment to
higher education.
Lastly, the actions of the coal and
oil industries make them uniquely
responsible for climate change.
First, of all the CO2 ever emitted by
burningfossil fuels, a full 83 percent
comes from just coal and oil. While
that is in part because of a long-
standing dependence on these prod-
ucts, coal and oil also emit far more
CO2 per unit of energy created than
other available fossil fuels, such as
natural gas (82 percent and 40 per-
cent more, respectively), and infi-
nitely more than renewable energy
resources. In short, coal and oil have
been, and will continue to be, the
primary drivers of climate change.
LSRD recognizes that the
endowment should not be used
primarily as a political tool. But, as
the University itself has recognized,
sometimes a set of investments
involves "such significant social or
moral implications ... that normal
investment practices should be
altered." The coal and oil industries
- as the primary drivers of climate
change and the misinformation
campaigns that have paralyzed steps
to counteract it - are investments
that meet this standard.
LSRD realizes that divestment
is just one step in the much larger
fight to combat climate change. That
being said, regardless of how large
an effect divestment may have, we
believe there is a value in being true
to your values, and currently, the
University is not living up to its own.
This article was written by members
of the Law Studentsfor Responsible
Divestment from Fossil Fuels.

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