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February 12, 2014 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2014-02-12

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4A - Wednesday, February 12, 2014

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

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.
Strengthening LGBTQ support
The 'U' should fortify and increase advocacy programs on campus
ast Saturday, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder announced the
federal government would mandate that additional marriage benefits
be accessible to same-sex couples who are legally married, regardless
of whether their marriage is recognized in their home state. Granting new
legal protections to same-sex couples is a profound and commendable
development in the gay rights movement. However, LGBTQ citizens face
many other serious obstacles that don't garner nearly as much attention
as marriage equality. Many LBGTQ youths and adults alike are faced with
serious issues such as bullying, inclusion and depression on a daily basis. In
order to fully support its LGBTQ students and faculty, the University must
promote awareness and take concrete action from relief of these inequalities.



- w5Ae A'ea +ceeDo -vti e-
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Still so.O s '1~ V-
ca a e Sbos iY1 , -w
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Love thy community

The new policy - revealed during a Human
Rights Campaign event in New York - ensures
that same-sex couples will be allowed equal
rights concerning legal matters such as filing
for bankruptcy, prisoner visitation and federal
benefit programs. These programs will include
death and educational benefits to the spouses of
police officers and firefighters killed in action.
Holder's announcement mirrors a growing
trend in the United States in support of
marriage equality. Same-sex marriage is now
legal in 17 states and just last year the Defense
of Marriage Act was deemed unconstitutional
by the U.S. Supreme Court. These actions
taken by the Obama adtninistrations and states
throughout the country are highly admirable.
Ironically, the Department of Justice's
extension of benefits to same-sex couples
is technically illegal in the 31 states that
constitutionally prohibit gay marriage,
including Michigan. However, in the 2012 State
of the State survey, 56 percent of respondents
indicated that they supported same-sex
marriage. Since the majority of Michiganders
are in favor, and the Obama administration
is mandating that federal benefits be given
to married same-sex couples, it's illogical for
Michigan to continue opposing gay marriage.
The ban needs to be overturned and same-sex

marriage legalized in the state.
The University has done much to support its
LGBTQ community,butcould improve itsefforts.
Organizations, like the office of Institutional
Equity, were created in order to protect students
and faculty from discrimination. Family housing
is available to married same-sex couples and
domestic partnerships. The University also offers
gender-neutral housing in its undergraduate
dormitories through the Gender Inclusive Living
Experience learning-community, created for
students who do not identify with restrictive
gender roles. But gender-neutral housing is only
available to those in GILE, and should be further
expanded.Onlyhaving2spots is notenough, and
not only should the number of spots increase, but
their location as well. tntegratinggender-neutral
housing in other dormitories would provide
more opportunities for students to join the many
other learning communities housing offers. To
address serious issues that LGBTQ individuals
face, more programs should be offered through
CAPS and the Spectrum center. Currently, there
are relatively few psychological help services for
LGBTQ members, and those that do exist are not
advertised well. The University needs to raise
further awareness of the inequalities that affect
LGBTQ students and faculty, and fortify the
advocacy programs that already exist.

his past week was arguably
one of the worst of this
winter so far. It seemed like
the sky gods
had an infinite
amount of snow
to throw down at
us, the air was so
cold it sometimes
hurt to breathe,
and it probably
would have been
more effective HARLEEN
to ice skate to KAUR
class rather than
walk. However,
there was still a small group of
people outside. They were bearing
the cold and snow to interact with
passersby and bring awareness to an
issue that is rarely spoken of ia Ann
Arbor: homelessness.
The International Network of
Street Papers organizes an annual
"Vendor Appreciation Week," which
took place from Feb. 3 to Feb. 7 this
year. Street papers are newspapers
that are sold by individuals who iden-
tify as homeless to benefit that same
community. These papers are active
around the country, and even out-
side the United States. INSP reaches
out each year to all of its affiliates to
participate in this week of activities,
which includes GroUndcover News,
the local street paper in Ann Arbor.
In April 2010, Groundcover News
founder Susan Beckett started the
paper after seeing a successful street
paper in Seattle. She recognized the
need for a similar organization in
Ann Arbor, and started the iscred-
ibly successful group. Groundcover
News provides a transition for those

who are homeless or
situations by creating
to help one move fros
lifestyle to providingI
finding a permanent,
Groundcover News
active vendors andr
registered and trained
There were many
dents who chose to sI
including Michigan b:
Jordan Morgan. The
Groundcover News stu
had some of its memb
Nursing junior Jenny
the group this past fall
students involved in a
wherethey cantruly ma
Another member of
sophomore Ian Mark
experience was incre'
because it allowed hi
the shoes of a vendor,
what they go through(
"It made me stop an
what it would be like
only source of
income, especially
since a lot of times
you might only
get a few bucks
an hour," he said.
Ideally we would
be compassionate
about this all the
time, but Mark
said "it's easy for
students to forget
about the desperate st
income and homeless
the city," Mark said. "
essential because it gii
individuals a voice
not otherwise have

in low-incomne it empowers these individuals
a community by providing them with valuable
m a less secure opportunities to break out of the
for oneself and brutal cycle of poverty."
job. Currently, As students at the University,
has about 23 we have a certain responsibility to
more than 170 remain attentive to issues that affect
1. our local community. There may
Michigan stu- be a barrier or separation between
hadow vendors, students and the "Ann Arborites,"
asketball player but it leaves me with a bad taste in my
newly founded mouth knowingthat the non-student
dest group also population often considers us self-
ters participate. centered or uppity. We certainly
Crorey started have a responsibility to do well in
I as a way to get our classes and remain attentive to
local nonprofit our extra-curricular activities, but
ske a difference. it is just as important to understand
the group, LSA the broader Ann Arbor community in
k, felt that the which we reside.
dibly beneficial It's understandable that each indi-
m to step into vidual will care more about certain
and experience issues, but as a resident of an area, I
on a daily basis. think it is a fair expectation that we
id think about should at least be knowledgeable of
if that was my the issues that influence our neigh-
bors. with-
out this basic
It's important to understanding,
we can allow
understand the ourselves to fall
broader Ann Arbor into traps like
believing that
community in which we are "help-
ing" the home-
we reside. less, or doing
them a favor.
We are all sim-
Truggles of low- ply sharing our perspectives and sto-
populations in ries with each other, to create a larger
Groundcover is community for us all.

ves low-income
they might

- Harleen Kaur can be reached
at harleenpumich.edu.

Barry Belmont, Jacob Karafa, Nivedita Karki, Jordyn Kay, Kellie Halushka,
Aarica Marsh, Megan McDonald, Victoria Noble, Michael Schramm,
Matthew Seligman, Paul Sherman, Allison Raeck, Daniel Wang, Derek Wolfe
Gaining a new perspective

Toning down the passion

Living in a Detroit suburb my entire life has
given me a bit of an outsider's view of the city.
I grew up knowing about the problems of the
city, the hidden danger that the city harbored
and the major events the city had to offer. The
media has always negatively portrayed Detroit.
Consequently, my knowledge of and exposure
to the city as a child was limited to the few
excursions my family made into the city,
primarily for sportingevents, the Thanksgiving
Day Parade and the obligatory Lafayette Coney
Island hot dog. Though situated a mere 25
minutes from the city my entire life, I didn't
know much more about it than what I saw on
the news.
Upon joining the student body at the
University, Detroit seemed "trendy." Everyone
was doing service-learning work in Detroit,
and I didn't get it. Why Detroit? Why now? I
was extremely skeptical of the entire ordeal as I
felt it perpetuated this idea of the white-savior
complex, and I didn't know if I would ever want
to be involved in something like that.
During January of my freshman year, I
was coaxed into being a site leader for Detroit
Partnership Day. I had absolutely no clue what
I was getting into, with the exception of the
fact that I'd be joined by about 1,400 of my
peers in Detroit. I wasn't sure what difference
I could make in one day. I was a bit reluctant
to be involved in something I wasn't sure I
supported, but decided to give it a chance.'
Two months later, DP Day finally rolled
around, and at 6:30 a.m., I rose with the sun.
I spitefully piled on layers upon layers of
clothing, grabbed a cup of coffee in the eerily
quiet Michigan Union and walked to meet
the rest of my peers who were volunteering
with me.
I volunteered at Neighbors Building
Brightmoor that day, and was pleasantly
surprised by how much I enjoyed my
experience. Five other students and I worked
with a man who told us all about his journey
to Detroit 30 years ago and how he fell in love
with the city. His dedication and his care really
inspired me. The work I did was tiring and
tedious, but the impact that man made on me
that day has stayed with me ever since.
What I realized during that tine was that
it's not about the amount of siding I moved or
how clean the alley looked after we finished

our work for the day, but the relationships I
was able to forge during the experience that
made DP Day a highlight of my freshman year.
I realized that I was looking at DP Day from
the wrong angle. DP Day is about more than
just spending your Saturday volunteering in
Detroit; it's about taking active steps and taking
into account that service-learning is as much
about receiving as it is giving. Though I was the
one volunteering, I felt a bit guilty about how
good I felt after doing so. Was that supposed to
happen? Was I doing something wrong?
One year later, I am now on the Major Events
Team of the Detroit Partnership and have a new
perspective, which enables me to see an entirely
cometoappreciateisthatthe DetroitPartnership
truly is about building mutually beneficial
partnerships. If this happened to me, I have no
doubt it is also happeningto many others. What
ostensiblybeganas a "chore" hasmorphed intoa
labor of love.
The approach the Detroit Partnership
takes toward creating these relationships is
intentional. The group researches potential
sites first and foremost. After that, applications
are sentto Detroit-based organizations seeking
their participation. If the organizations are
interested, they decide whether they'd like
volunteers to work with them to achieve some
of their goals. The Detroit Partnership works
carefully to let these organizations articulate
specifically what help they need and to match
that need with available resources. If we can't
accommodate their needs for the specific event,
we work to find other ways, such as one-time
programs or weekly programs to involve these
organizations. Doing this really enforces the
sustainability of these relationships.
with the hope of creating your own
connections, I encourage you to join me -
and the rest of the Detroit Partnership - in
volunteering on DP Day. Be one of the 1,400
University students who join forces to serve the
community, learn from one another and create
meaningful relationships along the way. Don't
think of it as one day, but rather a step toward
familiarizing yourself with the city beyond
what you see in the news. Sign up to volunteer
at thedetroitpartnership.org.
Blair Sucher is an LESA sophomore.

O Sunday, the Big 12
suspended Oklahoma State
sophomore star basketball
player Marcus
Smart for three
games due to an
altercation with
a Texas Tech fan
named Jeff Orr on
Feb. 8. Toward the
end of the game,
after Smart came
tumbling into Orr
after attempting DEREK
to block a slhot, Orr WOLFE
reportedly called
Smart "a piece of
crap," to which Smart responded by
shoving hin - think a toned-down
Ben Wallace during the infamous
"Malice at the Palace."
While this is, thankfully, the
first time we've seen Smart actually
lay hands on someone else, his
frustrations have been expressed
publicly in recent weeks - he was
caught kicking a chair during a win
against West Virginia last month.
Smart obviously made a mistake.
His emotions got the best of him
amid the difficult stretch of games
his team has gone through - Okla-
homa State has a disappointing 4-6
conference record. And I tlhiak it
can be universally agreed upon that
there is no circumstance where shov-
ing someone - whether it be another
player, a coach or a fan - is appropri-
ate. Smart, at age 19, is a public figure
and an all but guaranteed top-10 pick
in the upcoming NBA draft thisJune.
He has to hold himself to a high stan-
dard. End of story.
But we also shouldn't let Orr's role
go unnoticed. Sure, he apologized,
saying, "My actions last night were
inappropriate and do not reflect
myself or Texas Tech - a university
Ilove dearly."
However his original action -
to call Smart a "piece of crap" in
that setting - was pure coward-
ice. There's an uneven playing field
between players and fans in sports,
the producer and the consumer -
especially in college athletics. And
that holds even truer atnbig Division I
schools, such as Oklahoma State and
the University of Michigan, which
generates more than $100 million in
revenue each year.

American cl
what it means to
competitive atmos
in. We constantly
of the winning sit
by association. Ya
at its worst. Orr a
a fan and the factt
ticket doesn't give
to do what he
morally, of course
But why should
himself to the sam
does? That gam
broadcasted on
WatchESPN, afte
reality is that the
Smart are massivs
his job as an air
but it's very p.
incident lowered S
potentially costin
dollars. I'm sure "c
now written otte
report of Smart.
We also often
fact that college a
between 18 and 23
kids, just as I an
are entire TV net'
(read: obsessed
with) constantly
picking apart
their skills. Just
imagine being in
the public spot-
light for how
you perform
Terrifying, I
know. The pres-
sure is undoubt-
edly immense
and likely over-
And yes, I
scouting needs to
are millions of dol
don't pity profe
because sports,
career paths and t
with the territory
find it relevantt
much being under
every second of th
and not all athlet
handle it.
I also find it
"what is this
doing calling a 1S

ulture glorifies of crap?"' And for what reason? It's
be a fan with the pathetic. College athletics are one
sphere that we live of the great American traditions,
strive to be a part but the obsession of fans - in many
de, even if it's just cases older alumni - getting so
et, this is fandom excited over the success and failures
bused his right as of young adults is rather off-putting.
that he paid for his Yet, this is the target audience of
him the go-ahead media networks. And itseems to have
did (I'm talking caused schools' reputations to be
defined by their athletic programs'
n't he have to hold win-loss record. But, should that
se standard Smart really bethe caseTFor example, I find
e was nationally the Athletic Department's appalling
ESPNU and handling of the Brendan Gibbons
r all. Because the expulsion much more telling.
consequences for I'm not here suggesting drastic
he implications for changes to college athletics, rather
e. Orr gets to keep changes in the way we approach
traffic controller, them. Go to games. Have fun. Cheer
ossible that this on the winged helmets. I'm still
mart's draft stock, going to because college athletics
g him millions of do matter. But maybe, just maybe,
haracter issues" is they shouldn't matter as much
very single scout's when it comes to affecting our
overall well-being.
lose track of the University president-elect Mark
athletes are young, Schlissel summed up best what
years old. They're perhaps should be the role of ath-
a. However, there letics during the announcement of
works dedicated to his appointment: "We've got to find
ways to lever-
age that level
of public atten-
Maybe, just maybe, tion onto the
other wonderful
games shouldn't things that are
matter as much when happening on
campus as well."
it comes to affecting It's clear that
this leveraging
our overall well-being. isn't happen-
ing right now,
but it should be.
Because what is
happening right now, is young men
understand that and women being forced to excite
occur since there millions of staring eyes with their
lars at stake. I also play, all the while maintaining a posi-
ssional prospects, tiveattitude, with little returnforthe
are their chosen vast majority of them - fewer than
he attention comes 2 percent go pro. So if there's any-
as it stands. I just thingthatthis situation with Marcus
to point out how Smart has shown and confirmed, it's
a magnifying glass that athletics have gone beyond just
e day takes its toll, trying to create school spirit.
es are prepared to it's bigbusiness. And nobody likes

prudent to ask,
middle-aged man
9-year-old 'a piece

- Derek Wolfe can be reached
at dewolfe@umich.edu.



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