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March 11, 2014 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2014-03-11

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4 - Tuesday, March 11, 2014

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

4 - Tuesday, March 11, 2014 The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

f idhigan 4at'619
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.
Removing the R-word
Michigan legislature commendably removes term to promote inclusion
ast Wednesday, both houses in the Michigan legislature unanimously
voted to remove the word 'retarded' from state laws. The movement
to remove the word from all official documents throughout the
United States began in 2009 with the "Spread the Word to End the Word"
campaign. This is a commendable move by the Michigan legislature
and demonstrates the state's commitment to the value of all citizens.

Calling all female mentors

etris essential for students to have
mentors. Mentorship is not just
about receiving life, career or
advice; it's about
personal affirma-
tion. It's about
seeing evidence
of how your per-
sonality, skills,
traits, knowledge
and experience NIVEDITA
can help you
succeed in your KARKI
goals. Seeing that
your "story," if
you will, can go somewhere.
I've asked about five female and
five male friends this question:
"Have you found a mentor in college
yet?" Most of the people in both the
groups weren't really sure about
what the role of a mentor is. Among
the girls, no one seemed to have given
it a thought - at least not in regard to
their instructors in college.
However, it turns out four out of
the fiveguys I talked to have someone
in mind. They thought of instructors
with whom they'd interacted with
regularly during previous courses.
Guy 1 looked up to the ideologies a.
professor whose office hours he had
attended often.
Guy 2 "totally bro-ed out" with a
former GSI who now works for atech
startup while traveling the country.
Guy 3 took an independent study
class and had to meet in-person with
a professor. They both had a common
liking for American football.
For Guy 4, surprisingly, this form
of interaction was getting picked
on in the class. The professor had
randomly chosen to engage in
friendly banter with him during
class, and this gave him all the
more reason to walk into class well
Not surprisingly, all their mentors
were male.
These stats are by no way a
representation of the entire student
population, but I'm afraid the figures
won't be too different for a larger
proportion of students.

I asked myself, t
someone who I co
yet in college? I me
looked up to on
female GSIs - an
who worked for M
summer, but did
anyone particular
know what I shoul
in a mentor either.
It's not that fem
approach male inst
advice or help o
mean, had I come
was working for a t
traveling the cou
doubt have wante
them. But would I b
with them?
All the guys had
in these
instructors that
resonated with
them. They
saw themselves
adapting some
of their mentor's
beliefs, and even
life choices, in
the long run.
The obvious
reason why
female students
find it hard to see
evident male do
faculty. Here at t
Michigan, only 25,
that have attaine
status are females.
I say it again
personal validat
number of male
the University pr
in personal b
preferences amon
mentors. It is muc
student to be able t
with multiple inst
However, havir
instructors, or ju
students recei
affirmation, leads
danger - the dangf
Due to the lack of
professionals who
interests with fem

oo - have I found find it hard to see themselves in an
uld call a mentor industry where they seemingly won't
an, I have always fit in. How they would carve their
e of my former path seems to be not even remotely
nd now friend - known. And what we don't know
licrosoft the past scares us.
In't really have So I thought of some of the women
in mind. I didn't outside of college I look up to today
d I be looking for in my area of interest - technology
and entrepreneurship. All happen to
ale students can't be women who are extremely hard
ructors for career working. These are the women who
n coursework. I have very similar stories - an Ivy
across a GSI who League education, commendable
ech startup while professional attitudes, tremendously
ntry, I would no good at what they do and always easy
d to get to know on the eyes.
e able to "bro out" But what about those of us who are
not Sheryl Sandberg from Harvard
Ifound something working for Facebook as COO, or
Mary Barra from
Stanford CEO-
ing at General
Now more than Motors? will
women ever
ever, female get to see their
fair share of
students are hungry Pete Cashmores
from Scotland
for mentors. running
Mashable, or
David Karps
k mentors is the founding Tumblr?
minance in the Now more than ever, female
he University of students are hungry for mentors.
percent of faculty With the freedom of career choice
rd full professor theydeliverandthescopeofpersonal
and professional growth they
, this is about provide for students, universities
ion. The large are, and have been, the place to
instructors at carve out our "stories." This is the
'oduces diversity time when students with diverse
ackground and backgrounds can be encouraged to
.g potential male make their own choices.
h easier for a male But university campuses continue
o find similarities to boast of (almost) equal number
ructors. of female and male students while
ng fewer female only little more than one half of them
ist fewer female receive personal validation from
ving personal those who guide them. What tone are
to a looming they setting for the students moving
er of a single story. out of college?

Eight Michigan House bills and seven
Senate bills will remove the terms "retarded"
and "mental retardation" from a variety
of laws including those that addressing
criminal activity, mental health institutions,
insurance claims, educational facilities,
surrogate parenting, foster care and child care
systems. The term was first used by medical
professionals in 1895 in order to describe
"slow or limited intellectual or emotional
development or academic progress." However,
over time the connotation has morphed into a
term of degradation and insult. Today, the word
has no place in everyday language, let alone
official documents or professional use.

The movement to remove the term from
law is a national trend that has gained
momentum. After Gov. Rick Snyder signs
the package of bills, all but five states in
the United States will have removed the
offensive word from state law. By removing
the word from official documents, Michigan
is demonstrating its respect to individuals
and families affected by intellectual
disabilities. Similarly, the state Senate
voted to mark Wednesday - the day of the
bills' passage - as "Spread the word to end
the word" day across the state. With these
actions, Michigan can move forward as a
more inclusive community.

An edible alternative
Medical marijuana should be available in non-smokable forms for patients
ichigan legislature is currently debatingthe merits of edible
pieces of medical marijuana - non-smokable forms of the
medicine. The effects of medical marijuana are beneficial
for those diagnosed with a number of diseases. The Court of Appeals'
decision to outlaw non-inhalable forms of medical marijuana limits
the efficacy of the drug by alienating patients who have difficulties
inhaling smoke. Michigan legislators need to strongly consider
passing House Bill 5104 to allow the legal distribution of edibles.

visible successful
share personal
ale students, girls

Barry Belmont, Nivedita Karki, Jacob Kar,
Kellie Halushka, Aarica Marsh, Megan Mc
Noble, Michael Schramm, Matthew S
Sherman, Allison Raeck, Linh Vu, Daniel W
A professional invest

In July 2013, the Michigan Supreme Court
ruled that the sale of edible forms of medical
marijuana is not permissible under state law,
deeming non-smokable forms of marijuana to
not be "usable marihuana."
Michigan House Bill 5104, primarily
sponsored by state Rep. Eileen Kowall (R-
District 44), is being proposed in response to
this ruling.
The ban on edible forms of medical
marijuana harms patients who need a method
of ingesting the THC chemical without
inhaling smoke. Forcing young children and
patients with respiratory complications to
inhale smoke to reap the health benefits of
medical marijuana arbitrarily causes hardship

with no apparent benefit.
Medical marijuana is a popular pain reliever
among patients with cancer, HIV/AIDS,
Crohn's disease, insomnia and chronic pain.
However, newer studies have shown evidence
for more peculiar ailments. In small doses,
marijuana has been shown to reduce anxiety
levels and symptoms of ADHD. Similarly,
strains that are high in cannabidiol and low
in THC - such as the popular " Charlotte's
Web" - are being used to treat people with
highly debilitating conditions such as epilepsy
and Parkinson's disease. Legalizing the
distribution of edible forms of marijuana will
allow all patients to efficiently use medical
marijuana for their ailments.

Keep up with columnists, read Daily editorials, view
cartoons and join in the debate. Check out @michigandaily
to get updates on Daily content throughout the day.
Promotimg inclusive communities

We are writing to share our concern and
acknowledgement of how challenging, hurtful
and difficult the campus climate has been for
many of our students. From the voices at the
Freeze Out in the Fall to the most recent Speak
Out protest hosted by the United Coalition
for Racial Justice, we are sadly reminded that
this campus community is not as supportive,
welcoming or inclusive as we all wish it to be.
In January, University Provost Martha
Pollack and University President Mary Sue
Coleman reiterated the University's ongoing
commitment to diversity and inclusiveness. We
applaud this commitment and look forward to
contributing to the discussions necessary to
make progress in these areas.
As the directors and senior staff of under-
graduate programs across the College of Lit-
erature, Science and the Arts, we have been
meeting over the past year to identify ways
we can improve the campus climate. Our
work includes developing new workshops
and course modules to help educate students
about issues of personal and social identity,
inclusiveness and intercultural competency.
We are expanding the hands-on diversity
training and guidance for our student staff.
Our aim is for these students to have great-
er intercultural sensitivity, group facilita-
tion and problen-solving abilities in their
varied roles as peer advisors, study group
leaders and mentors. We are enhancing our
professional growth through sharing best
practices and undertaking the kinds of train-
ing we expect of our student leaders and of

ourselves. These efforts will help us promote
more inclusive and safer learning environ-
ments for all students. And we are pursuing
collaborations with Student Life to align our
support for incoming students and our collec-
tive message that we expect and need all stu-
dents on our campus to foster a community
of respect, support and inclusion. Together
we hope that these efforts will facilitate aca-
demic success and an equal opportunity for
students to reach their goals and aspirations
in a welcoming and inclusive environment.
In addition, Undergraduate Education,
a division of LSA, recently sponsored a
workshop series on diversity and climate for
faculty and staff. These workshops focused on
improving climate in classrooms and related
course activities, such as study groups. In
May, two additional teaching institutes will
highlight best practices for inclusive teaching
and learning.
While we occupy a small space on this
campus, we are more committed than ever
to make sure that all of our programs are
safe, respectful, and inclusive and that
those who work for us and participate in our
programs share and demonstrate this same
commitment. We welcome your input on how
we can achieve these goals. Please send an
email to us at lsa.uged.climate@umich.edu.
This article was written by members
of the The Climate Committee of LSA
Undergraduate Education. A full list of the
authors can be found in the online edition.

The past month has been a
flurry of activity surrounding the
infamous Michigan kicker Brendan
Gibbons case. Since the story
broke Jan. 28, the campus erupted
with questions as to how and why
this case was conducted. From
the outside looking in, it's easy to
assume that something went wrong
in the investigation process.
We, as a student body, don't know
exactly what happened. And, frank-
ly, it's none of our business. What
is our business has to do with the
overall rules and procedures of how
sexual misconduct cases are han-
dled at the University of Michigan.
It's not our business to know exactly
how this specific case was handled.
I support the administration's deni-
al of access to Central Student Gov-
ernment's task force to documents
relating to this specific case.
I also support the Office of Civil
Right's investigation of the Uni-
versity's handling of the Gibbons
case. I support it for many reasons
including, but not limited to, the
fact that it will be out of students'
hands. It will be conducted by pro-
fessionals who know the required
policies and who know how a uni-
versity should handle an investiga-
tion correctly. Contrary to the CSG
task force, the team at OCR will
not have to hastily educate them-
selves on basic information regard-
ing sexual assault and the standard
policies in order to conduct a thor-
ough investigation. OCR will have
adequate resources and be able to
reach out to informed individuals
for consultation. This will not be a
project that is in a stack of concerns
in the busy lives of student leaders.
In the old Sexual Misconduct
Policy, pre-2011, there was a part
of the procedures that was particu-
larly problematic and discouraged
survivors of sexual assault to report

what had been done to them. This
was often a trial-like review panel
including peers. It required survi-
vors to compile evidence of their
own case and present it to fellow
students on their own behalf. Even
with promises to ensure confidenti-
ality, the fact that other University
students would know the survivor's
intimate trauma and judge them
was reason enough, in some sur-
vivors' minds, to not report. Addi-
tionally, there was a high likelihood
that the students sitting on that
panel would not be representa-
tive of whom the survivor saw as a
'peer.' The thought of knowing that
other students, not of the survivor's
choosing, would hold such a per-
sonal and terrible story of a survi-
vor's past was a strong deterrence
for relying on the University's pre-
2011 Sexual Misconduct Policy.
This aspect of the procedures
has, thankfully, been omitted in
the new policy that was officially
implemented in the interim policy
in August 2011. What the CSG task
force is doing by investigating the
case as they are is bringing back
something that is reminiscent of
this review panel of peers. While
the intentions are coming from a
good place, ensuring the University
is a safe and just place for students,
the manner in which the task force
is seeking to answer the questions
they initially published is unduly
asking to invade the privacy of
confidential cases that have been
put into the hands of the University
professionals for a reason.
It's not other students' business
to know what happened in regard
to any specific case of sexual
misconduct. It is, however, the
general student body's and CSG's
business to know that the University
is acting with integrity and up to the
standards that it laid out in the 2013

- Nivedita Karki can be reached
at nivkarki@umich.edu.
afa, Jordyn Kay,
Donald, Victoria
eligman, Paul
ang, Derek Wolfe
Student Sexual Misconduct Policy.
The policy itself can be found online,
and there are staff members of the
University who are well versed in
the policy and would be more than
willing to explain the entire process
to any student that asked. Not many
students have been asking the right
questions, but is that a responsibility
to be put on the students?
With this is the importance of
maintaining privacy alongside
transparency, and it's something
thatthe Universityhas not been pro-
active about. There was not a conve-
nient briefing for the student body
regarding the new policy imple-
mentation (there was an e-mail that
many did not take the time to read).
There's not yet been training given
to faculty regarding the policy even
though they interact with students
closely each and every day. This
culture must change. The adminis-
tration did not proactively inform
the University community; instead,
they waited to react to students'
frantic questions that were based on
pieced-together information.
I wholeheartedly support the
investigation of the University of
Michigan through the Office of
Civil Rights and hope that this
campus can unite to use our student
voices productively to continue
to influence positive change in
the administration. The constant
dialogue around the Brendan
Gibbons case is alienating to many
on campus, and it is creating a
climate that can exclude survivors
by constant triggers. We want a
campus that builds survivors up
rather than making their pain a
hot topic. I hope that the federal
investigation aids in this progress
and gives our campus some closure.
Kathryn Abercrombie
is an LSA junior.

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300 words and must include the writer's full name and University affiliation. We do not
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