4A - Wednesday, March 26, 2014
The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com
4A - Wednesday, March 26, 2014 The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom
Edited and managed by students at
the University of Michigan since 1890.
420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
PETER SHAHIN and DANIEL WANG KATIE BURKE
EDITOR IN CHIEF EDITORIAL PAGE EDITORS MANAGING EDITOR
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 Michigan Daily editorial board endorses Manes and Abraham
entral Student Government's main purpose is to represent the
student body, to gauge the needs of University students and work
to implement beneficial changes. While current CSG leadership has
been effective in bringing about change - such as working to implement a
new football seating policy - its efforts have not encompassed the entirety
of campus. The next leaders of CSG should strive to fairly incorporate
traditionally unheard voices in student government in order to better
represent all students at the University. Except for one party, most of the
CSG presidential and vice presidential candidates are running on a platform
that is either too vague or overly narrow to the point of being exclusionary.
The Michigan Daily's editorial board is endorsing FORUM candidates
Carly Manes and Pavitra Abraham for CSG president and vice president
because of their inclusive vision and their plan to empower students.
Weight of thaw
While Make Michigan candidates have solid
experience in student government, their plans
for the future do not fully address current
campus concerns. Presidential candidate Bobby
Dishell, a Public Policy junior, is currently
serving as CSG vice president and vice
presidential candidate Meagan Shokar, an LSA
sophomore, is the CSG speaker of the assembly.
Their proposed initiatives for next year focus
primarily on improving the student experience
through campus technology - namely the
Michigan smartphone app - and mental
health. While mental health is an issue that
should be addressed by student government
- and something FORUM should emphasize
- there are other areas of campus life that
deserve attention as well. Specifically, campus
diversity, as proven by the #BBUM movement,
is an issue the future student government
should be concerned with. Bringing together
the large campus community and ensuring
every voice is heard should also be a major
focus. Make Michigan's past experience in'
student government may prove valuable, but its
lack of a comprehensive vision is problematic.
Independent candidate Aristide
Coumarbatch, an LSA senior, is running
under the premise of setting a good example
for other students, showing the importance of
creating equality and implementing diversity.
Coumarbatch decided to forgo the support of a
party to demonstrate to students that running
for CSG president is achievable by everyone.
Having no affiliation with a previous party or
experience as a representative, Coumarbatch
is completely new to CSG. Though he stresses
a "fight for change" and a need to "increase
diversity," Coumarbatch doesn't offer any
specific direction toward execution of these
goals. With a lack of objective and no previous
experience with the inner workings of the CSG,
we're uncertain as to what Coumarbatch would
be able to successfully accomplish.
From the Defend Affirmative Action Party,
LSA sophomore Mical Holt and LSA freshman
Taylor Jones are running for CSG president and
vice president. The party offers a strong vision
for improving the climate around social justice
on campus and should be commended for its
initiative in tackling one of the University's
most pressingissues. Whichever partyiselected
should strive to increase underrepresented
minority enrollment and serve as advocates for
affirmative action should the opportunity arise.
Especially in light of recent campus events, the
goals of DAAP deserve recognition from CSG.
However, as a single-issue party, DAAP's focus
is too narrow to fully serve the needs of the
entire student body.
Capitalizing on the noticeable lack of
student engagement with CSG, the Party Party
has established itself as a new alternative.
Unfortunately, the Party Party has no tangible
initiatives to support its unique approach.
The party has said that expressing specific
goals contradicts the notion that the student
body should direct CSG action. While this
philosophy is admirable, the Party Party's
lack of concrete goals is concerning and begs
the question of what exactly LSA junior Ryan
Hayes and Business junior Brennan Woods -
the party's presidential and vice presidential
candidates - would do if elected. Their call
for increased attention to student engagement
is certainly warranted, but CSG needs a leader
with a concrete vision to improve the school.
FORUM presidential candidate Carly
Manes is a Public Policy junior who has held
leadership positions in multiple student
organizations on campus and has served
on LSA Student Government as a freshman
and sophomore. Vice presidential candidate
Pavitra Abraham is also in her junior year
in LSA and is experienced in working as a
community organizer on campus. FORUM's
goal of creating a student position on the
University's Board of Regents is indicative of
the party's main focus of improving student
representation. FORUM has prioritized
students' voices by pushing an outreach
agenda to bring campus perspectives together.
In addition to an idealistic vision, Manes and
Abraham have specific proposals aimed at
improving student life. A bus route to local
grocery stores and a SafeRide app to ensure
student safety will benefit all of campus.
While such an ambitious agenda may seem
overwhelming, FORUM's plan to empower
passionate students in specific fields is a smart
and inclusive strategy.
This year, The Michigan Daily's editorial
board endorses FORUM candidates CARLY
MANES and PAVITRA ABRAHAM for CSG
president and vice president.
This winter's beginning was
familiar. Snow fell - first in
coveted flurries, and then as
My aloe plant
on my windowsill.
and I muddied our
kitchen floor with
Canada geese, EMILY
who always seem PITTINOS
to stick around PTTINS
long after they
probed the frozenground for morsels
each day before tucking their faces
under their wings at night.
As my senior year plodded
along, the consistently negative
temperatures made my every outdoor
movement robotic and hasty. My
friends and I would help each other
across glinting layers of sidewalk ice,
laughing in disbelief as we slipped
and gripped each other's arms.
We became both quick-footed and
cautious, learning to exploit areas
with the most traction - the blotches
of new-fallen snow, the places where
slush had formed around footprints
and then refrozen.
Our bodies ached from struggling
with gravity - spines twisted after
retracting missteps, hips wrenched
from halting mid-fall - and we
bitched over beers about kinks in our
necks like the arthritic members of a
Red HatSociety.We cobbledtogether
poetry portfolios, and wrote lengthy
theses about security checkpoints
and feminist anarchy, but even our
most vibrant conversations always
turned back to the snow.
Time compounded, as it tends
to do - days diffusing into weeks
and then into months. Months of
lungs lined with stubborn phlegm;
months of fingers fumbling withkeys
in the cold; months of smug couples
strolling around campus with their
hands tucked sweetly in each other's
slowed my blood flow; warmth barely
worked through me, like a weak
current trickling over a frozen river,
turning my skin gray and chilly to
the touch. Any time I left the house, I
keptmyhead down to protect myraw
cheeks from the wind; I didn'tlook at
the sky all winter.
Some moments inspired the
exaggerations I'll feed my children
when they complain about having
to don their coats on Halloween.
I'll mention the most frigid night
of the year, when my housemates
and I stayed up singing and sucking
down pulls of whiskey, afraid the
heat would silently fail and give
us over to hypothermia as we
slept. I'll tell them about how my
parents feared their roof would
collapse under the weight of its ice
blanket, and in the mornings, in
that moment between dream and
waking, I imagined my childhood
home as a mound of white rubble,
the family dog barking and digging
desperately through the snow.
But, despite all doubts, this
morning I looked out my window to
find March waiting for me - as she
always does at this time of year -
with the gift of thaw in her hands.
The sidewalk ice is receding to
reveal lost treasures - car keys,
lipstick tubes, pushpins, dropped
tampons, hubcaps, that lone
and forsaken mitten. The geese
survived. My parents' roof isstill
intact. But as its shingles reemerge,
and the mountains of plowed snow
on the Diag shrink to nothing, all of
that weight remains.
Though I'm no longer skidding
down these streets, bent and
braced for the cold, my shoulders
don't seem any looser or lighter.
While I should be rejoicing -
cartwheeling across the prickly
grass and inhaling a little sunshine
- I actually feel heavier than I did
in the midst of the Polar Vortex.
The weight of ice has been
replaced by the reality of spring, the
reality that this is my last month of
living my current life. The monot-
ony that was encouraged by this
urban tundra - circuits between
class, work, bar, sleep, class, work,
bar, sleep - seduced me into this
city's collective hibernation, and
tricked me into thinking time had
slowed. But now that my internal
calendar is thawing out with the
rest of our campus, it feels like I've
overslept for months and missed
every class, every deadline, every
party, every interview, every Sun-
of course, this isn't a new
discovery; all students fear the end
of school, and a little panic nourishes
both ambition and the soul.
However, wisdom and reason
don't seem totake the edge off of this
trepidation, or make me any more
sure-footed as I polish off the year.
Like every senior class before us,
we face a future full of winters. Like
every class before us, we will slip
before catching ourselves on a good
friend's shoulder. Eventually, we will
land firmly on the ground, though
whether we make contact with our
feet or asses first depends entirely
on the way we fall. Either way, it will
hurt - our bodies will ache along
with-our hearts. But our lives are
changing as quickly as ice can melt
out of existence, and we have to brace
ourselves for the sudden heat of it all.
- Enily Pittinos can be reached
LAUREN GROSSMANN I
Stop hating and try a little empathy
Everyone carries their own problems on
their back and tries to find some blame for
things beyond their control. This past week,
we saw tensions rise at the University over an
issue about disinvesting fromthe State of Israel,
and there has been much controversy over the
result. I will be the first to admit Iam biased in
this issue. I amJewishandpro-Israel.However,
I do not think resolutions like this belong in
the hands of our student government. Its job
is to enhance the life of students on campus
and it should not be forced to play a role in a
highly polarizing issue that divides members
of the campus. People have been arguing that
members of Central Student Government have
been "cowards" because they ended the debate
on the issue by tabling the motion to end the bill
indefinitely. However, not all members of CSG
are personally invested in the issue and may
not know enough about either side to make a
justified stance on the issue. Tabling the motion
might not have been the right decision, but it
was the best given the options.
This resolution would've separated people
on campus. Yesterday, I was talking to
someone about the issue and she feared there
might have been a race issue that the campus
is ignoring. She asked me, "How does a white
privileged girl like yourself know about the
shame that the minority students feel on
campus?" My answer: I don't. I personally
cannot know what it was like to grow up as
a racial minority in white America. But, I
am Jewish and I've been a victim of anti-
Semitism. I've witnessed people putting
swastikas at a high school in my hometown,
I've been called Christ-killer, I've been told
I am going to hell for just being Jewish, and
that hurt. My grandparents were Holocaust
survivors; my grandfather survived
Mauthausen Concentration Camp. Anyone
that is a minority faces some kind of stigma
that some members of society won't accept.
I am not asking for sympathy, everyone
has their own problems. We should look past
our own problems and try to find common
ground among our social groups. We are all
students at this University who come from all
backgrounds. We come together to make this
campus a diverse and enriching atmosphere.
We should embrace those differences and find
things that make us the same. People reading
this might call me a racist just because of my
stance on the issue. Iam willing to sit and talk
in an open forum. I am willing to talk and
listen - you might find out we have more in
common than we realize.
People need to stop blaming others for
actions that are beyond their control. It hinders
cooperation and growth. It divides us. Blaming
CSG is not goingto solve the issue,.it's just going
to raise tensions further.
Lauren Grossmann is an LSA junior.
EDITORIAL BOARD MEMBERS
Barry Belmont, Edvinas Berzanskis, Nivedita Karki, Jacob Karafa, Jordyn Kay,
Aarica Marsh, Megan McDonald, Victoria Noble, Michael Schramm, Matthew
Seligman, Paul Sherman, Allison Raeck, Linh Vu, Daniel Wang, Derek Wolfe
YAZAN KHERALLAH N
We will not be silent
The following narrative is the and stripped their childhood away a year and doesn't know when she
speech I was planning to give at the from them. I asked myself: What will see him again.
Central Student Government meeting could children ever do to deserve And when I think of violence
on Tuesday had the legislators not growing up under the circumstances committed by the Israeli military, I
decided to shut down discussion. We of a violent military occupation? I think of Mustafa Tamimi, who died
will not be silent. want all of you to ask yourselves the after having half his face blown off by
Iwas blessed withtheopportunity same question. a tear gas canister shot into his face
to spend my last summer in the West Because when I think of the by IDF soldiers. I went to his village,
Bank helping organize a summer occupation's system of racial Nabi Saleh, and participated in one of
camp for children of the Dheisheh segregation and how Palestinians the weekly peaceful demonstrations
refugee camp in Bethlehem. Living must go through checkpoints to they hold in protest of a nearby
under occupation, Palestinian get from place to place, I think of settlement taking their water source.
children are forced to survive in Tasneem. Just 10-years-old, she I met his friends. How traumatizing
extremely severe circumstances. had a rheumatism that required a the sight ofthis severed jaw must have
The motivation for the summer medical operation that could only be been for the children who grew up
camp was to provide a semblance of performed in East Jerusalem - land with him.
normalcy, a safe space in which they that is internationally recognized to The fact of the matter is, unlike
can learn, play and grow - away be part of the Palestinian territories. what Newt Gingrich would have
from their harsh environment, if Because of checkpoints, she wasn't you believe, Palestinians are not an
that's even possible. allowed to cross into East Jerusalem invented people and neither are the
During my time in the West Bank, and get the medical care she needs. realities we are telling you of. The
I witnessed the occupation's brutal If she doesn't, she'll never be able to occupation has real consequences,
policies. I saw the checkpoints, walk properly again. on real people, with real lives. And
the segregated bus systems, the When I think of administrative our University's investments have
settlements, and Israeli soldiers' detention, and the way Palestinians real consequences.
terrorization of Palestinian towns are funneled into prisons en masse So when we talk to you about
and villages. I heard horrible stories without charge, without visitation military blockades, checkpoints and
of innocent family members killed rights, and without due process, I separation walls, I want you to think
and of family members that were think of Israa'. When I asked the of Palestinian children. I want you to
imprisoned, tortured and taken away. class to draw a picture of something think ofIsraa' and how she may never
The entire time, I thought of how that made them happy, she drew see her brother again. And of Tas-
this impacted the kids I worked and her family eating dinner together. neem, who may never walk properly
played with daily. I thought of how She said it was the first dinner her again. And I want you to ask your-
those children were born into a world family will have after her brother selves: What did they do to deserve
that has rejected them and ignored is released from prison. Because the way the world has treated them?
their suffering - a world that has of administrative detention, Israa'
treated them with hate and racism hasn't seen her older brother in over Yazan Kherallah isvan LSA senior.
I am upset. I am disappointed. But more so, I
am very proud of what we've accomplished."
-LSA senior Suha Najjar said in response to CSG's decision to vote down the proposed UM Divest
resolution by SAFE. Najjar was one of the original authors.