4A - Thursday, February 20, 2014
The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com
M $iclhinan 4:iluJ
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PETER SHAHIN and DANIEL WANG KATIE BURKE
EDITOR IN CHIEF EDITORIAL PAGE EDITORS MANAGING EDFIOR
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 'U' needs to be transparent in its partnership with TCF
S ince 2001, TCF has been known as the "Official Bank of the
MCard," allowing students to link MCards with their TCF
checking accounts and use MCards as ATM and debit cards. At
least 852 colleges nationwide have similar exclusive relationships with
banks. A February 2014 report by the Government Accountability Office
took issue with the these relationships, noting that they often benefit
schools more than students. In order to protect the financial interests of
students, the University should reevaluate its relationship with TCF bank.
Opposing party clichds
oing to parties is one to leave. I have nothing else to do, so noticed there are increments of time
of the most overlooked the conversation lingers until one of where the group splits. This places
struggles of gay college stu- them whispers, me in a situation that not even my
dents. Males and "Are you having fun, Mikey?" closest friends can alleviate.
females typically "Yeah," I half-heartedly lie. Fast forward to this year. I'm at
go out separately, "I just think you would have more a party with a group of my close
and I find myself fun if you had a guy with you." friends. They wouldn't think
alienated from "Yeah, I agree," I respond. of ditching me, but in our little
both groups. In However, inside, I disagree. I gang, a few are talking with their
my experience, absolutely, irrevocably disagree. significant others, some are talking
guys travel it Being gay shouldn't place me in the to potential hookups, and the rest
packs looking ' "needs-a-boyfriend-to-have-futt" are greeting a friend. I'm all alone,
for girls. Social- MICHAEL subcategory. I'm a human being that and the feeling of isolation sinks
ly acceptable SCHRAMM wants a place in a group. College into my stomach. I'm panicking.
homophobia has parties are such an emphasized Everyone but me is occupied.
already nudged portion of college life, so I just want Then, a thought hits me: Why am I
me outside the pack, and lacking a to get the full experience. That's not letting this bother me?
desire to pursue women leads to fur- too much to ask for. It's irritating Whether I like it or not, this
ther isolation. Then we have the girls. that something so simple feels situation is my reality. Ican choose
I usually go out with them, but being impossible to attain. to be miserable or make the best of
the only guy causes me to feel out of I'm now irritated at them, so I say my situation.
place. Couple this with the constant goodbye and keep circling. Perhaps "No one's paying attention to
fear of intruding on girl time - or I'm being too harsh on them. After me," I think to myself. "I should
even worse, a "girls' night," - and all, I can't read their minds, they just dance."
I'm unsure how to handle a simple probably don't realize how upset I I close my eyes and lose myself in
social gathering. I quickly faced am, and I'm no one's responsibility, the 2-Chainz-dubstep hybrid play-
these realizations my freshman year. though I wish they wanted to help ing. Somewhere between the shoul-
I had never been to a party before me. Regardless, I'm feeling horrible der shrugs and finger pointing, I
college, so initially I believed these as I circle the party. And somewhere, find a smile on my face. I exist in
issues stemmed from my inexperi- amid the grinding couples and alco- this happy zone until the song ends.
ence with social outings. However, holic stench, I look around,
two nights into my freshman year, it I'm faced with noting that abso-
became clear that I was stuck i this the reality that Perhaps being lutely nothing
state of limbo. - in an over- has changed. All
Agroupofmygirlfriends-andone wltelming sea gay intensifies my that's happened
boyfriend -- are going out. As soon of people - Iam -o-parti is I've allowed
as we get to the party, I'm passively utterly alone. lsolatlon at myself to have fun
ditched. The group of girls goes to I have two but loneliness is a on my own.
"dance with each other" and tell me options: solve I've finally
that I should stay with the couple. I the problem or UniVersal problem. arrived at a
don't want to be a third wheel, but I stop trying to go significant
nod my head and say, "Sure." But after out. I choose the conclusion: It's
10 minutes alone with the couple I latter this time and head home, butI solely my responsibility to have fun
can tell by their body language that know I can't forever. at a party. Having good friendships
they want me to leave. Couples want Because if feeling alone at parties certainlyhelps; you can'tdance alone
alone time, so I partially understand. stings, never goingburns. Assuming all the time, but when you are alone,
Unfortunately, this forces se into my that parties are outrageously fun is you don't have to feel unpleasant.
own alone time. It's awkward and clicht. The truth is they aren't, but It's what you make of the situation,
uncomfortable. Everyone around watching others acting like they and - though I sometimes fail in
me is socializing, yet I'm encased in are makes partying appear more making this decision - if I actively
a conversation-less bubble. It hurts outrageously fun than it is. Little choose to have fun, I'll have fun.
because no one understaids how is more traumatizing than seeing I'm sure everyone experiences
much I want to belong. a group of smiling people walk isolation at parties. Perhaps being
I'm not sure how to occupy my past toy door, heading towards an gay intensifies the problem, but
time. I take a lap, giving me some evening I can't be a part of. After loneliness is a universal experience.
time to think. I run into a few of my experiencing this enough times, Maybe you're the guy who doesn't
guy friends, and we do the "bro hug." I realized I needed to address the like hooking up with girls. Maybe all
We chat, but after a few exchanged problem. your friends have found a dancing
words, we say goodbye. They'd So I changed my strategy. I found partner, leaving you solo. Maybe
never tell me this, but I know they're groups who enjoyed going out with your friends are busy chatting with
thinking that I don't belong with me. I finally enjoyed parties, but others. Regardless, it's during these
them in these social scenes. even during the best evenings I still moments you have to create your
I continue circling, and through experienced alienating moments. own fun. It opposes party clich6s,
the flashing strobe lights and loud Unfortunately (for me), parties are a but if you're faced with isolation, you
music I come across the girls who generally heterosexual scene. If guys have to make the best of it.
ditched me. They smile and say hello, are looking for a hookup, it's usually
but I know they're only making a girl, and vice versa. Even if a mix - Michael Schramm can be
small talk. It's clear they want me of guys and girls go out together, I've reached at mschrammgumich.edu.
The GAOreport found that about 11 percent
of colleges and universities nationwide
provided debit card services similar to TCF
- these 852 colleges tend to be larger in size,
encompassing 40 percent of college students.
The study was conducted in response to a
recent increase in the number of colleges
establishing partnerships with banks. The
trend spurred new concerns about fees and
whether the universities provide students
with adequate information about non-
affiliated banks. The study found fees were
not higher than average (although higher
than credit unions), except for a case where
a fee was placed on using a PIN instead of a
signature. Neutrality was the main issue of
the study. Students are often encouraged
to sign up with the university's affiliated
card provider, and some universities
receive payment based on the number of
accounts opened or transactions made. The
terms of the agreement betweeni TCF and
the University are unclear, which raises
another issue the study found - contracts
between colleges and card providers are not
made publicly visible. GAO consequently
recommended that the U.S. Congress call for
card providers to publish agreements with
colleges. They also suggested that colleges
provide unbiased information about the
partnered banks to help students make the'
best financial decisions for themselves.
The University's connection with TCF
provides students with easy and free access to
ATM services. It has also made it convenient
for students to manage their personal
finances on campus. However, students are
often misled or inadequately informed on the
services they are receiving. At orientation,
where many University students sign up with
a school-sponsored TCF campus checking
account, the details of agreements are often
glossed over. Students are often distracted
by the excitement of registering for classes
and being at a new school, and this is not a
conducive space for entering in to financial
agreements. Students don't realize that they
may be putting themselves at risk of falling
victim to hidden fees and charges that are
less than clear.
The official account agreement for TCF
and the account holder contains fees such
as a $37 overdraft fee and a $3 fee for using
non-TCF ATMs. The list of fees, provided
on the TCF checking account summary,
however, is not comprehensive - one section
is labeled "other service fees." This is not
available on the consumer's physical copy of
what they signed. Online, one finds other fees
that include a $5 statement-update fee and
$35 stop-payment fee. These fees are fairly
standard. However, the degree to which the
University benefits from this relationship
should be made public.
Students often blindly sign up for these
accounts, some even believing it is just part of
the Mard process. The agreement between
the University and TCF raises the question
of what kind of responsibility the University
has to its students to provide information
concerning the possible issues that surround
banking with TCF. Not encouraging financial
literacy, especially an understanding of
the specific bank backed by the University,
shows a support for the predatory nature of
banks that target college students. Because
it markets the bank, the University has a
responsibility to provide all information
concerning the bank: this includes what
benefits the University receives from the
partnership, an overview (independent
from TCF) of how the TCF accounts work
and further knowledge of how students can
manage their finances on campus.
ate my sophomore year, I recall an increase in severe stomach inflammation
Googling "how to cook chicken," for pigs fed GM crops containing insecticidal
and despite several valiant attempts, toxins, a condition that would likely lead to
I opted for a salad that cancer in humans.
evening. A year later, I As a result, the European Union has
am making progress. I've tightened its GM food safety testing
graduated to making fish, requirements as many consumers continue
roasting vegetables and I to reject GM foods. Countries such as India,
know how to successfully Peru, Bolivia, the Philippines, Mexico, Japan
light and use a grill. As and South Korea have all issued moratoria on
college students transition GM food crops. Scientists in Russia believe a
from the comfort and total ban on GM products may be necessary.
convenience of dining LAUREN So why is the United States behind the curve?
halls and Blue Bucks, and MCCARTHY The FDA maintains that products from
take on the challenges GMOs have been in the U.S. food supply for
of off-campus housing, about 20 years, also noting that people have
the sometimes unfamiliar responsibility to been modifying plants for thousands of years
properly feed oneself is inevitable. through breeding and selection; however,
At 19 years old I was still unsure of how now genetically engineered plants are
to prepare raw meat, much less accurately modified through modern biotechnology. The
define gluten or understand the significance FDA defends their position that since genetic
of a "Non-GMO" label on my favorite flavorof modification does not significantly alter the
Kettle Brand chips. As we grow conscientious food, labeling is unnecessary.
of the food and nutrition we need to fuel Studies have shown that 90 percent of
our day-to-day operations, the GMO debate Americans would like GMO labels on their
warrants consideration. food, but federal and stategovernments do not
GMOs, or genetically modified organisms, require labeling for all genetically modified
are defined as plants or animals that have foods and have been slow to make adaptations
been genetically engineered with DNA from to relevant legislation. Just as consumers are
bacteria, viruses or like-organisms. These now able to ensure that products are gluten-
are experimental combinations of genes from free and dairy-free, shouldn't they have the
different species that otherwise cannot occur same right to easily identify non-GMO foods?
in nature or in traditional crossbreeding. If the products are genuinely as safe as
Contrary to biotech industry assurance, so GMO producers claim, then identifying their
far none of the GMO traits currently on the products shouldn't be any different that list-
market offer any consumer benefit, rather, a ing other ingredient such as sugar or flour.
growing body of evidence links GMOs with Research suggests that labeling will not
health problems, environmental damage and depreciate the GMO industry, but it will pro-
violation of farmers' and consumers' rights. vide consumers with the ability to make at)
In October 2013, the Associated Press informed decision about what they choose to
documented the dramatic and tragic increase ingest. Even if it is ultimately discovered that
in cancer and birth defects that have occurred GMOs bear no significant harmful or long-
in commercial farming areas of Argentina term effects, consumers deserve the right to
following the introduction of genetically take genetic modification into consideration.
modified crops. This data subsequently What is the hsarm in erring on the side of cau-
confirmed recent animal studies that suggest tion? When it comes to issues of health, it is
that GM - genetically modified - corn and well worth it to avoid taking any risks.
the herbicides sprayed on it may cause an
increase in cancer in the same strain of rats - Lauren McCarthy can be
used in Food and Drug Administration drug reached at laurmcnumich.edu.
safety tests. Yet another large study showed
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EDITORIAL BOARD MEMBERS
Kaan Avdan, Barry Belmont, Nivedita Karki, Jacob Karafa, Jordyn Kay,
Kellie Halushka, Aarica Marsh, Megan McDonald, Victoria Noble,
Michael Schramm, Matthew Seligman, Paul Sherman,
Allison Raeck, Daniel Wang, Derek Wolfe
IVERSITY OF MICHIGAN ISRAEL COHORT I
Time for dialogue
campuses are the ideal ideas in an environment where attest to the strength of dialogue;
learn from each other. we can put forth our concerns direct negotiations between
University of Michigan and to listen to others in order to the Israelis and the Palestinian
hort, define this type of achieve a better future. The boycott Liberation Organization resulted in
as an opportunity for itself perpetuates the conflict by the acknowledgment of both sides'
Is to come together, with ignoring both sides of the equation. rights to exist in peace and security.
portunity for everyone's It must be established that the Dialogue has worked in the past,
be heard. Dialogue rests situation between the Israelis and and continues to be the integral
sic notion that everyone the Palestinians is not a zero-sum aspect in conflict resolution.
dges the other party's game. By advocating for BDS, SAFE Our desire to have a dialogue
d legitimacy to its own simplifies the situation into one and to work towards a two-state
This form of dialogue that is black and white, claiming solution - the only solution that
Omin for multiple voices to to be the only possible way, which takes into concern the needs of
, particularly in relation directly contradicts Palestinian both Israelis and Palestinians - is
raeli-Palestinian conflict. President Mahmnood Abbas's recent sincere. A two-state solution will
st not assume that all claims that the BDS movement is provide nation states for both the
Ils interested irn the more harmful than helpful for the Jewish people and the Palestinian
lestinian conflict only Palestinian people. Abbas recently people. The international
one side. on campus, stated: "We do not ask anyone community, Israel and the
ow different groups are to boycott Israel itself. We have Palestinian Authority are working
d with the future of the relations with Israel. We have feverishly to move forward with
a whole. one such group mutual recognition of Israel." With these issues and are on the brink
emplifies this holistic the president officially recognizing of a breakthrough. BDS directly
or the region - for both that BDS is an inefficient means threatens these efforts, just as the
'e of the Jewish people of achieving peace, he insists that president of the PA affirmed. Why
*he Palestinian people - Israel must be part of the solution. impede the road to peace?
t UMich. J Street UMich We encourage groups on campus to We would like to invite you to
s agenda the idea to lobby do the same, and it is for this reason take part in these efforts by joining
ate for the rights of both that we see dialogue as imperative us and I-LEAD at our upcoming
elis and Palestinians. to finding a way to involve all the event with "Onevoice", a grassroots
learly a large community individuals affected. organization that brings together
s to raise awareness and This is precisely why we join Israelis and Palestinians to
bout the large number of Abbas in condemning SAFE's discuss the burning issues at hand.
t affect both Palestinians argument that "opening a platform Please join students, Israelis and
lis in the region. With this for discussion on the boycott ... Palestinians, who are committed to
iverse activism prevalent would normalize these people's bettering the lives of both people,
Us, it is unfair for one marginalization in society." Plain at Hillel on Feb. 25 at 6 p.m., 1429
oup to claim to be "the and clear, the rejection of dialogue Hill St.
either the "Israeli cause" and the lack of willingness to We are ready to work towards a
mlestinian cause." bring people together to exchange sustainable future for both people.
its Allied for Freedom and ideas and implement change - is Will you be a part of this change?
s recent article written precisely what allows conflict to
rt of Boycot Divestsment continue,mboth onour campus and in Sincerely,
directly negates our the Middle East. SAFE claims that The University of Michigan
or such dialogue. BDS dialogue would not do anything Israel Cohort
movement for Boycott, for the Palestinian people, but we
nt and Sanctions of all believe - with proof embedded in This article was written by
'oducts - is detrimental recent history - that the opposite is members of the University of
abjective of exchanging true. In fact, the 1993 Oslo Accords Michigan Israel Cohort.