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February 04, 2014 - Image 4

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4 - Tuesday, February 4, 2014

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

CJbE 1J*idilaan &d~oI.j
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 hoard.
All other signed articles and illustrations represent solely the views of their authors.
Student-athletes deserve a voice
The NCAA needs to listen to and address the concerns of athletes
n an attempt to give student-athletes a collective voice, players at
Northwestern University have filed paperwork to form a player's
union under the National Labor Relations Board. The group, called
the College Athletes Players Association, has outlined 11 goals in order to
improve the safety and future of college athletes. The NCAA completely
disregarded the players' requests, noting that student-athletes are not
employees by any definition and therefore have no rights to collectively
bargain. However, Northwestern's players pose legitimate demands
regarding the well-being of student-athletes. The NCAA must work
alongside college athletes to find a better way to address these concerns.

Skea 50 _ ---
Wcrn4%er al finthsog he
We'r e all In this together

eng an American Culture
minor, I've taken a handful
of courses that center on dis-

cussions of race
and ethnicity. I
admit that there
have been times
I've avoided eye
contact with dis-
cussion leaders
in hopes of not
beingcalled on,
and when I was,
I've chosen my
words carefully


The players' stated goals aren't central-
ized on pay-to-play schemes but instead are
more reasonable: increased attention to inju-
ries, scholarship guarantees and allowing
student-athletes freedom for employment
or other commercial opportunities. Better
benefits in education and healthcare would
greatly enhance the quality of a student-ath-
lete's time in college and beyond. The union
would give the players the means necessary
to communicate with the NCAA regarding
these issues, but the NCAA continues to shut
the players out. Thus, the decision rests with
the NLRB and the court systems.
The NCAA made $71 million in surplus
revenue during the 2012 fiscal year with $872
million in total revenue. The University of
Michigan's projected budget for 2013-14 was
$137.5 million, with a projected $8.9 million
in surplus. Student-athletes are being used to
generate these large profits, and deserve a col-
lective say. The NCAA claims player participa-
tion is voluntary, however, college level sports
often serve as the only stepping-stone for ath-
letes pursuing a professional career. Even for
athletes not planning on playing at the next
level, scholarships are often a necessary means
of paying for a post-secondary education.
In college sports, injury concerns are
extremely prevalent, especially in football,

with recent attention surrounding the many
cases of chronic traumatic encephalopathy
in players. Concussion treatment is a seri-
ous issue with CTE leading to effects such as
memory loss, confusion, impaired judgment,
depression and aggressive behavior. An orga-
nized voice is necessary to guarantee long-
term care for injured players.
Student-athlete scholarships themselves
are not even a guarantee. Up until an August
2011 vote by Division I schools, universities
couldn't offer scholarships that would last
longer than one year. However, since then
only six schools in the major athletic confer-
ences signed more than 24 multi-year schol-
arships. Scholarships that aren't multi-year
must be renewed each successive year, creat-
ing a situation where student-athletes have
no protection for their futures.
Student-athletes have long been refused a
seat at the table in the matters that concern
them most. Issues such as medical care and
scholarships, as well as other pressing issues
such as whether to increase stipends to cover
the full cost of attendance to prevent what
Northwestern quarterback Kain Colter has
called a "pay-to-play system," the NCAA and
its member institutions must work togetsher
to listen to the voices of student-athletes,
unionized or not.

out of fear of
unintentionally offending my peers.
After all, I'm white and from a small
community with little diversity.
I've often wondered if my observa-
tions were worthy of contribution.
I've since come to the conclusion
that they are. Minority issues at the
University of Michigan have been
brought to the forefront and we can-
not be afraid to talk about them.
To complete my minor require-
ments, I enrolled in a creative writing
seminar that's structured on inter-
group dialogue and creative respons-
es to writings related to race, gender,
sex and class. It's the first semester
the seminar has been offered, and I
feel fortunate to have had the oppor-
tunity to enroll in a course that has
challenged my perceptions.
One of our first reading assign-
ments was a piece by Harryette
Mullen titled, "Imagining the

Unimagined Reader." In the essay, identification, religion, class and any
Mullen explains how her work other difference that can be catego-
draws on language and culture to rized. When we separate, we often
write beyond the social bound- stop listening. For example, when
aries of her identity in hopes of the #BBUM movement began to
reaching those like and unlike her. gain force, it seemed our campus
I've always been drawn to writ- community began to divide due to
ing and have misinterpretation
admired those and misapprehen-
with the abil- . sion - it was the
ity to eloquently Minority issues at the antithesis of what
and effectively 'U'have been brought should have been
share their happening.
words with oth- to the forefront and we often for-
ers. I feel like get our common-
I've become we cannot be afraid to alities. We grow
one of those talk about them comfortable in
writers and for . our niche of peo-
that reason I ple who are much
will forever be like us. After read-
thankful to The Michigan Daily. But ing Mullen's essay, I decided to try to
I'm still new to writing for the public, imagine my readers as part of the
and because of that, I'm still new to categories that I'm not. My imagined
the appreciation of it. I now under- readers have a story I could never
stand that there are stories that only tell, and it's important to listen to
one person can tell, and therefore them. I'm lucky that my curriculum
any person can write with author- allows me tobe exposed to these dis-
ity about their experiences and what cussions regularly. I hope that the
theyknow. #BBUM movement has engendered
Reading Mullen's piece made dialogue concerning race and diver-
me consider: who is my imagined sity in new venues, not only about the
reader? It's something I've subcon- issues at hand, but about the differ-
sciously reflected on while writing ences and commonalities among us.
columns, but it wasn't until reading Because at the end of the day, even
Mullen's piece that I really consid- though it may be cliche, we really are
ered the idea. all in this together.
We're constantly confronted with
reasons to separate from each other - Sara Morosi can be reached
based upon race, gender, sexual at smorosi umich.edu.

Readers are encouraged to submit letters to the editor. Letters should
be fewer than 300 words and must include the writer's full name and
University affiliation. We do not print anonymous letters. Send letters to
(Miss)represented in movies

Barry Belmont, Rima Fadlallah, Nivedita Karki, Jordyn Kay, Kellie Halushka,
Aarica Marsh, Megan McDonald, Victoria Noble, Michael Schramm,
Matthew SeligmanPaul Sherman, Allison Raeck, Daniel Wang, Derek Wolfe
Powerful ideas and lasting change

Award season is well underway this win-
ter; the Golden Globes and the Screen Actors
Guild Awards have come and gone. The
eagerly anticipated list of Oscar nominations
has been released. There are some incredibly
interesting and well-done films on the list of
nominations for these award shows. Some
explore important topics and others purely
entertain. However, few of these films fulfill
a simple and basic requirement: passing the
Bechdel Test. This test, named after Ameri-
can cartoonist Alison Bechdel, is a simple
and easy tool that many use to determine if
a movie has gender bias. In order for a movie
or television show to pass this test, it must
have at least two women in it who talk to each
other about something besides a man. While
this is an incredibly low standard for a movie
to uphold, many movies that appear on award
show nomination lists this year fail to pass.
Of the nine films nominated for the Acad-
emy Award for Best Picture, five failed this
painfully easy test. The two additional films
that were nominated for the Golden Globe
for Best Picture also failed. These problems
are indicative of a larger-scale problem in the
movie industry. Of the 50 top-grossing films
of 2013, 21 failed the Bechdel test. Though the
movies that passed the test typically made
more money than those that didn't pass, the
number of movies in 2013 that marginalized
women closely resembles patterns seen in
years past. Why this misogyny in the movie
industry exists is difficult to say.
Perhaps this issue is the result of a lack of
female representation in the movie industry.
The percentage of females working behind
the scenes is staggeringly low and probably
contributes to the lack of female representa-
tion on screen. The Geena Davis Institute on
Gender in Media has found that of the 1,565
content creators, only 7 percent of direc-

tors, 13 percent of writers and 20 percent of
producers are females. This means that the
ratio of males to females working behind the
camera is 4.8:1. No wonder males outnum-
ber females so heavily on the big screen. It's
even less surprising then, that women are so
inclined to only discuss men during movies.
It's hardly shocking that this male-dominat-
ed field can scarcely imagine women having
any other topic of conversation.
Though there are many more statistics
and observations to support the fact that
the movie industry both underrepresents
and misrepresents females, one might ask
why this is so important. Yes, it's obviously
a problem, but why should we care so much
about this shallow and superficial industry?
Well, first of all, it is indicative of much larger
issues in the United States - the underrep-
resentation of women in many fields of work,
the glass ceiling and the wage gap. Secondly,
the movie industry influences people on a
huge scale and can without a doubt affect the
way we think from a very young age.
Imagine the effect that this gender imbal-
ance and male focus can have on us. Growing
up watching movies that lack multi-dimen-
sional female characters is incredibly prob-
lematic and no doubt sets us up for failure
to overcome other issues facing women. It's
undeniable that media portrayal affects the
way both males and females think and act.
This is especially true when most of the
women with speaking roles are sexualized or
simplified to a stereotype. Although there has
been some progress when it comes to strong,
complex female characters in the industry,
there is still a long way to go as far as females
in front of and behind the camera; this award
season has been a glaring example of this.
Marykate Winn is an LSA freshman.

On April 10, 2010, the very first
TEDxUofM conference was held
in the Biomedical Science Research
Building, inviting a crowd of 300
people to explore "ideas worth
spreading." Four years and four
conferences later, we're inviting
1,300 attendees to share the experi-
ence once more at the Power Center.
In light of the media's recent criti-
cism of TED and the realization of
our fifth anniversary we would be
remiss to ask ... why?
Why is TEDxUofM important?
Many would immediately look
to the speakers: skilled orators,
performers, thinkers, musicians,
academics and so much more. Our
speakers are members of the Uni-
versity of Michigan community
who have the opportunity to inspire
in 18 minutes or less. While some
appear as though they were born to
be on the TED stage - exuding an
air of comfort in their presentation
- the reality is that their presence
on the stage is often unfamiliar,
new and exciting. Presenting their
life's work through the lens of an
overarching common theme, this
is their moment to show why their
idea is different. Why their idea is
unsettling. Why their idea matters.
But let's slow down. Concentrat-
ing years of research, degrees and
experiences into one talk seems
nearly impossible considering the
wealth of knowledge necessary
to even scratch the surface on an
advanced idea. Professional confer-
ences, comparatively, are presented
over the course of days and require
expertise as aprerequisite for atten-
dance. How can we possibly expect
to intelligibly present enough infor-
mation for comprehension without
divulging the didactic particulars?
The answer lies - somewhat

unsuspectingly - in our attendees.
Students, members of the University
community, Ann Arborites and fam-
ily members; our attendees are unre-
lenting investigators who are able
to digest a talk down to its founda-
tion. They're hungry, not focusing in
on an isolated problem, but instead
placing ideas within a larger context.
They're hungry to connect with a
new field of study; hungry to chal-
lenge and be challenged; hungry to
move out of their comfort zone and
be a part of something bigger. It's
this energy that permeates through
the Power Center. It radiates from
the stage when one talk comes to
an end, and persists through engag-
ing conversation that often spills out
from the mirrored glass doors. Then
the lights dim, a speaker steps out
and another cycle begins.
Even our passionate audience,
however, can't ignore the fact that
TEDxUofM is over in eight hours.
Its existence feels like a strike of
lightning, a haiku or perhaps a neu-
ronal action potential. After all the
effort put in by the speakers, the
time taken by the attendees and
the organizational work done by
the team, how does the conference
have a lasting influence?
The persistence - of TEDxUofM
talks can partially be explained
through their design. The backbone
of every talk isn't about some inno-
vation - a commonly misconceived
notion - these talks are about ideas:
entropy-increasing, foundation-
shaking ideas with the uncanny
ability to ripple through into diverse
areas of thought. Suddenly, a pre-
med student is thinking about the
adversity overcome by Jackie Robin-
son and global health inequality. An
artist sees a prison as a collection of
untapped creativity rather than an

institution of criminals. A professor
is inspired by the inextinguishable,
unimaginable, unexplainable will of
two young men to overcome paraly-
sis. These ideas stay with you. We
dare to even suggest that they change
you. Forever.
In recognition of our confer-
ence's finite lifespan, we have
diversified to accommodate conver-
sations all year long. Gallery open-
ings, daily blog posts and monthly
salons facilitating "conversations
worth having," fill the calendars of
our community. Recently, we have
undertaken a new venture along
with the College of Engineering
entitled Campus of the Future, a
series of salons focusing on what
education at the University will
look like in 50 years. We're expand-
ing our reach, rejecting complacen-
cy and evolving with the needs of
our community.
Despite all this, when asked why
TEDxUofM is important, mem-
bers of our team don't immediately
think of our speakers, our attend-
ees or the work they do with the
community. They think of the new
student walking onto the Diag and
feeling overwhelmed by the possi-
bilities a community of 40,000 has
to offer. TEDxUofM is for them. It's
there to help them find a new pas-
sion or perhaps rethink an old one.
It exists as a catalyst connecting
thinkers, both young and old, look-
ing to make an impact on the world.
We are here for you.
We ask that you join us on Sat-
urday, March 15th and help us con-
tinue transforming through ideas
worth spreading. The application to
attend is open now.
TEDxUofM can be contacted
at infotedxuofm.com.

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