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April 02, 2014 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 2014-04-02

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4A - Wednesday, April 2, 2014

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

C lfidiian Daily
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.
Focus on the issues
The trivial antics during CSG elections are detrimental to students
L ast Thursday marked the closing of the Central Student Government
elections, yet the results weren't announced until Tuesday night. On
March 24, CSG parties FORUM and Make Michigan filed numerous
complaints against a number of parties. Though the the University Elections
Commission found defendants not guilty in the original complaints, four new
complaints were filed by Make Michigan over the weekend against FORUM,
the Party Party and the House of Cards Party. For the last two years, CSG has
shown that it's unable to conduct itself in a mature manner that puts student
voices above petty politics. Since CSG is obviously not capable of monitoring
itself, the University must step in as a third party to monitor CSG elections.
Each year, CSG parties track the actions students deserve to have their votes count.
of their opponents, searching for possible However, 3-percent penalties can rescind a
violations in the UEC election code. Individual significant number of votes, especially when a
candidates who receive 10 or more demerits person rapidly accumulates demerits. Election
and entire parties that receive 28 or more penalty policies are extreme, and in some cases
demerits are automatically disqualified from candidates lose amajorityoftheir votes - or are
the election. Alleged violations are reviewed by disqualified - forbreaking a policynthatcaffect a
the Central Student Judiciary, which assigns relatively small portion of the electorate.
any applicable demerits - in this case, one to With CSG allowing this broken system to
two demerits per minor infraction and three occur for a third consecutive year, it's time for
to four for major violations. Unfortunately, the University to intervene. CSG is supposed
the demerit policy created a system in which to be a crucial organization that connects
parties win based on violations, not political students to the University administration.
platforms. Last year, LSA seniors Chris Osborn Since CSG has proven time after time that
and Hayley Sakwa, executive candidates for it's not equipped to handle elections in a
FORUM, received the majority of votes but professional manner, University officials
were disqualified from the election because of must intervene in order to ensure elected
several violations. The demerit policy doesn't CSG officials represent the voice of students.
reflect a democratic system. CSG's failure to The University should create a third judiciary
adequately remedythe situation after last year's party consisted of faculty members to monitor
debacle indicates that the student government each election. With a judiciary system reigning
doesn't take its electoral system seriously, outside political campaigns and the CSG
These petty scandals and lawsuits perpetuate body of representatives, officials could fairly
the often misplaced campus perception that monitor situations and handle violations
CSG is a trivial and ineffective institution. appropriately. Filing insignificant charges
Failing to enforce an appropriate election - such as asserting that a campaign failed to
system doesn't just hurt CSG - it hurts report an $18 hotdog suit ora $7 wand - are
the students that believe and participate makinga mockery of CSG. Change is necessary
in student government. Dedicating time to in order to refocus the priorities of CSG onto
learn about candidates requires effort, and the students.
Barry Belmont, Edvinas Berzanskis, 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
Remembering Tigers stadium

Building our future

J ts 4 am. on Tuesday, April 1,
2014. I'm sitting in a tent just
outside the Michigan Union,
huddled in my

North Face jacket
and a sleeping
bag. Any other
Monday night
- or Tuesday
morning rather
- I would be fast
asleep in my bed.
But tonight I wait
for free tickets
to see President
Barack Obama for


Of all the perks of working in downtown
Detroit, the restaurants the city has to offer
duringlunch breaks might be the best of them.
So as I did every Friday, I left my office for a
lunch break to enjoy some of Detroit's finest. I
was in the mood for a good burger, so Mercury
Burger Bar in Corktown was the destination.
The drive along Michigan Avenue in
Corktown may be the worst in the city. It's
useless to try to avoid the potholes - you just
drive through them hoping for thebest. The road
is made of bricks, remnants from when trolley
cars used to take patrons from Michigan Central
Station to downtown with a single lane of patchy
pavement in the middle to cover the old tracks,
unused for more than 60 years now. Sometimes a
bit of the metal tracks canbe seen peeking out of
that poorly paved asphalt, fragments of a past far
brighter than theblight that has faced the center
of Corktown since the closing of Tiger Stadium.
I'd driven past the blank field of the former
stadium site on the corner of Michigan and
Trumbull many times since the old ballpark
had closed. Some of my first memories were
formed in that stadium, a cathedral to the
golden age of baseball. I would go with my dad,
take a seat underneath the overhanging upper
deck and take in as much of the field that wasn't
blocked by the support beams scattered among
the seats. The Tigers were never winners
during those years. Not once did they even post
a winning season during my lifetime of games
at the stadium,but not once did it matter to me.
Today, for whatever reason, I decided to
pull up next to the iron gates - the sole rem-
nant of the exterior of the stadium. Gone are
the large white facades and the large, white-
painted light structures. In right field, where
that famous overhang of the upper deck once
stood, is just patchy grass. Where I once sat as
an eager kindergarten-aged child - baseball
glove on my left hand waiting for the souvenir
that never came - was nothing.
It was a perfect summer day for the baseball
game this field would never see again. I walked
inside the gates to the infield dirt, which
remains from the original playing field and is
kept up by volunteers alone. The Navin Field
Grounds Crew, as they call themselves, pays
homage to the original name of the field that
opened the same day as Fenway Park in Boston.
How different have the two historic icons
been treated.
In the middle of the barren block, 200 feet

in the air stands the flagpole that once rested
inside the left-center field fence as an obstacle
in the outfield. The same flag that 53,000 fans
stood to face with their hats off before each
game now stands alone. Comerica Park once
had its own flagpole placed in the field of play
as an homage from the new to the old.
I turned to resume my lunch plans but real-
ized I wasn't alone. Another college-aged man
- perhaps another intern working downtown
- and his dad walked through the gates tak-
ing in the same empty field. The dad wore an
orange-billed Tigers cap, the old logo with the
rough tiger face emblazoned on the front. The
Tigers haven't used that logo in 20 years.
The original Mercury Bar in Corktown
closed in the 1980s. What once was the
popular spot for train travelers at Michigan
Central Station since before World War II
became abandoned just like the station itself.
A few years ago, two new owners found the
bar's original sign, flipped on the neon sign
and proceeded to open the best burger joint
downtown. The restaurant still stands in the
shadow of the decrepit station, as the splendid
decay appears synonymous with the city. Even
as time passes, the past remains in plain sight.
It's been almost five years since the
demolition of the sacred stadium, The Corner.
It too once loomed for 10 years and was decrepit
and decayinglike thetrain station. Thebases Ty
Cobb stole, the dugout where manager Sparky
Anderson yelled, "You don't want to walk him!"
to Padres pitcher Goose Gossage before Kirk
Gibson homered in the 1984 World Series, the
field Charlie "The Mechanical Man" Gehringer
patrolled and the fences that Hammerin' Hank
Greenberg slugged baseballs over, the football
grass where Lions player Chuck Hughes
suffered a heart attack during a football game
and passed away. None of it remains.
But even though the stadium is gone,
reduced to ablank slate of infield dirt and grass,
something is still there. Something far grander
than the grandiosity of the stadium ever was. It
can be covered up like the pavement covers the
trolley tracks. It can be pushed aside. But it can
neverbe taken away.
As I exited through the gates, the dad and his
son broke out their baseball gloves and started
to play catch. They say baseball is America's
pastime. And the pastime never dies.
David Harris is an Engineering junior.

the second time in my three years
on campus.
I was fairly uncertain about
whether I wanted to wait in line
tonight, as I saw Obama last time he
came to campus and I wasn't sure if I
was mentally prepared to wait in line
for 10-12 hours. It would be warmer
this time versus the last, but a big
commitment nonetheless. Obviously,
I decided to come out, mostly
because I knew that I would have the
company of many friends who had
decided to camp out. As I sit here in
line, I am thankful for the fact that
I attend a school that provides me
with such wonderful opportunities,
like the ability to see the current
President not once, but twice during
my college career.
However, I consider many other
things as I wait here in line. One is
that, a few hours ago, a friend came
around asking for signatures for a
petition to raise the minimum wage
here in Michigan. Interestingly
enough, people were fairly hesitant
to sign, even though technically
that is the reason we are all here.
Also, the fact that when the topic
of Obama's speech was announced,
many were surprised due to the
"The only way to deal with an
unfree world is to become so absolutely
free that your very existence is an act
of rebellion." -Aert Camus
I spent all of last year on campus
practicing something I called 'silent
love.' Walking around from class to
class, through the Diag or around
the Union, I would yell, in my head,
my love for the people around me.
"I love you, beautiful girl in the red
coat and red pants, you are as big as
your heart will let you be, you are
lovely. I love you too, sweet hipster
boy with pants rolled up and head
hung down, lift your head up for you
arebrilliant. I love you, boy with your
head in a book of comics, and you,
lovely professor or staff, fearless in
brightly colored clothing. I love you
too, man who sits every day to share
your music with the UGLi and its sad
neighbors." I would speak in my head
to every person I passed, give them
compliments, tell them I loved them,
would yell it atnthem so fierce.
Sometimes I fear we have lost
our ability to love, to say thank you,
hand on abus ride fromBursley-Baits
to C.C. Little. We put up walls, judge
on appearances and decide we don't
like people without knowing them,
simply because of how they look or
act. We do not know everyone's story,
everyone's reality. We do not know
why someone may be sad or glowing
or angry. We no longer know how to
ask the big questions or say the big
things. Instead, we fill our days with
small talk.
I have often been judged,
sometimes accurately and
sometimes completely inaccurately.
I am a person who has been disliked
as much as I have been loved, who
has found herselfbullied all through
elementary and middle and high
school, who stuffed her bra to try to
fit in and cut her wrists to try to cry
out. I am not here to prove myself as
a person to you. I am just here to ask
you to listen.
Several months ago a blog/web-
site/Facebook page called Humans
of New York blew up - a man, Bran-

don Stanton, would walk the streets
of New York City and take photos
of people. What made him differ-
ent though was that he would talk

sentiment that"
isn't a relevant to;
of Michigan stude
I would like to cha
Tomorrow, we
talk about why h
the national mi
$10.10, nearly a $
Michigan's curren
wage. Though the
portion of the st
doesn't feel affect
still a considerable
even within the c
who would bene
$7.40 an hour, $2
week, or $1,184
barely cover food;
University student
Looking at
population, Ann P
impacted by
wage. According
Arbor News, "
chronically home
in Washtenaw Co
over the past two
several thriving
programs in
Ann Arbor and
County to
assist these
individuals in
finding their
way back
into the work
force and with
housing, but it's
still a problem th
some time until
changes occur. A:
minimum wage is
One concern wi
in the minimum v
would simply adju
has certainly occur

wage is that costs
:st - a trend that
rred in Ann Arbor

Silent love
to the people whose photos he took
- would ask them powerful ques-
tions and receive even more power-
ful responses. He paired these quotes
with the photos and gave a heautiful
and raw humanity to these strangers.
I started following his blog, and
as it took off, so did many similar to
his: Humans of Boston, Humans of
Detroit and Humans of Los Angeles.
I began to think of a few things as I
saw this evolution. First, how little
or much we show through our face,
carry in our body language and
tell in our voice. How many stories
those around us carry but do not
share. Second, how much small talk
we have, speaking about weather or
current events but so rarely ourselves
or our feelings. How reserved we are
with those we love but how open we
can be with strangers. Lastly, the girl
with her feet hanging off the bridge
might need you to smile at her, pull
her away or maybe even simply join
her for a bit. Sit in silence. Appreciate
the new view.
As my campus has turned into a
place of conflict, anger, frustration,
fear - a place where people do not
feel safe, listened to, or supported -
I have wondered what the answer
may be. Is taking away the humanity
from those we do not know a new
phenomenon? Or rather have we
spent too much time learning how
to build walls to know how to break
them down? I hear everyone saying
they want peace, but the ways in
which they want it are not the same.
We have shut our ears to the other
side. We have tuned out.
Let me share something personal
in the hopes that you will listen. I
am angry. I am just as angry as you,
or perhaps less, or even more. I am
frustrated. I am privileged. I am
oppressed. These are not mutually
exclusive. I am white; I am female; I
am pansexual; I am young; I am mid-
dle class. I have decided to live every
day as an act of rebellion against the
oppressive institutions, systems and
cultural norms that perpetrate these
inequalities. I will not marry until
everyone, regardless of gender, can
marry in the eyes of the law. I will not
support a system that is oppressive.
I am angry. I want to wear the
clothes that I want to. I want to

dance if I want to, sing if I want to,
not explain myself because you say
that I have to. I have been sexually
assaulted. I have notshared this with
anyone other than family, closest
of friends, therapists or hospital
doctors. This is a story I wear every
day in my voice and my body, on my
face, but hide. I am not alone. We
are all carrying our baggage, some
tucked into breast pockets, some
spilling over onto that 2 a.m. busback
to North Campus. I am not asking
you to pity me, to say you are sorry. In
fact, I am still not ready to talk about
these things. I am just asking that
you respect the stories that surround
you every day.
I am pretending you are Brandon
Stanton on a train in New York City,
and you are asking me about the time
I was the most scared. I am telling
him, "I am scared every day. I am
scared that someone will hurt me.
That someone is hurting someone
else. I am scared that we are not lis-
tening to each other. Iam scared that
there is nothing Ican do tofix it."
As my campus has turned into a
volatile and emotional place, a place
where some feel scared to share
their beliefs, and others feel like
there is nothing they can do to fix it,
I see something else. I see passion. I
see walls being broken down. I see
people coming together in ways they
did not think that they could.
I am just asking that we do one
more thing. That we start being
more mindful, stop judging others,
start asking strangers questions,
stop all the small talk, start saying
the big things even if they hurt. I am
asking that we realize that those who
are privileged did not ask for that
privilege, that they must recognize
it and fight against it in the very
act of their existence to the best of
their abilities. I am asking that we
remember that each person on that
bus or sitting in the Diag enjoying
45-degree weather has a story,
unspoken but real. I am asking that
we all start practicing love. Not only
self-love and friend love, but silent
love. Let us give our peers back their
humanity. Let us try to listen.
Corine Rosenberg is
an LSA sophomore.

"minimum wage as housing rates have continued
pic for University to rise over the years. This is why
nts," is anarrative changing the environment in Ann
allenge. Arbor to be more accepting toward
will hear Obama students and residents of lower
e wants to raise socioeconomic statuses requires a
nimum wage to larger institutional change within
3 difference from University Housing, local realtors
it $7.40 minimum and high-rises. Making these
re may be a large changes will certainly take time, but
udent body that with a raise in the minimum wage
ed by this, there is and an adjustment of housing prices,
e group of people, Ann Arbor can become a diverse city
ity of Ann Arbor, that is welcoming and accessible
fit. Living off of toward students and residents from a
96 for a 40-hour variety of social classes.
a month, would when Obama speaks on
and rent for most Wednesday, I hope to not only hear
ts. him make his argument for raising
the broader the minimum wage, but also why
Arbor is certainly and how it's relevant to students
the minimum at Michigan. These policy issues
to The Ann that may not seem relevant to each
The number of and every student are important to
eless individuals discuss because it ties us to larger
unty has doubled issues that influence our community
years." There are and the nation as a whole.
and engaging in
Our voices and a about topics
actions like the national
will shape the next minimum wage
will allow us
generation of policies to realize the
. significance
and institutions, of educating
ourselves on
policy issues,
sat will exist for our voices and allowing ourselves to
larger structural be heard. Our voices and actions will
n increase in the build the next generation of policies
one of them. and institutions, so the earlier we
th a national raise start our involvement, the better.

- Harleen Kaur can be reached
at harleen@urich.edu.

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