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January 29, 2014 - Image 4

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4A - Wednesday, January 29, 2014

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

4A - Wednesday, January 29, 2014 The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom

e fMidiigan &4:at
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.
A suspect separation
In order to clear itself of suspicion, the 'U' must be transparent
he University's Student Sexual Misconduct Policy defines an expulsion
as a "permanent separation from the University." On Dec. 20, 2013,
former Michigan football kicker Brendan Gibbons was "permanently
separated" from the University. The expulsion was handed down following the
University's investigation into a case of sexual assault dating to Nov. 22, 2009.
At the moment, there is little information surrounding the story due to the
nature of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, which guarantees
the nondisclosure of student records. Also, University officials have declined to
comment on the story. While it is commendable that the University succeeded
in punishing Gibbons for violating the Student Sexual Misconduct Policy, there
are serious questions that the school needs to answer.

The best part of
school breaks -
seeing your best
Dude, you're a feminist

In November of 2009, Gibbons was allegedly
involved in a sexual assault incident. On Nov.
20, 2013, a letter from the University's Office
of Student conflict Resolution - the body that
carries out disciplinary proceedings against
students - stated that a preponderance of evi-
dence was present to find Gibbons responsible
for the alleged sexual assault. Gibbons met with
investigators from the Office of Institutional
Equity on Dec. 4, 2013 to review the findings.
On Dec. 19, 2013, OSCR contacted Gibbons via
a letter to his residence, informing him that he
was permanently separated from the Universi-
ty as of Dec. 20,2013. More than four years after
the incident, action was finally taken against
Gibbons, which leads to many questions for the
University administration and Athletic Depart-
ment that as of yet remain unanswered. Due to
legal restraints of FERPA, there is a significant
lack of available information from which to
draw concrete conclusions.
The University's delay in reaching a deci-
sion regarding the Gibbons case until now is
suspect. The initial reports of an incident of
sexual assault surfaced in November of 2009,
more than four years ago. At the moment,
no information has been released regard-
ing the investigation carried out by the OIE,
making it impossible to know the timeline
of the inquiry - when crucial evidence was
obtained or even when the investigation was
launched. It is possible that the implementa-
tion of new University policies regarding sex-

ual misconduct in 2011 led to the case being
reviewed. Still, that was more than two years
ago. It is difficult - maybe even unfair - to
speculate on the delicate process of inves-
tigating an allegation of sexual assault, but
the overwhelming student response has been
one of suspicion. If the University knowingly
postponed the expulsion of Gibbons in any
way over the last four years, it would be an
atrocity of the highest degree.
The timing of the expulsion is question-
able - and the University has not provided an
explanation for why the separation process
concluded in late December. The disciplin-
ary action of the University comes right at
the end of Gibbon's football career and at the
end of the football team's season. Four days
after Gibbons received the letter of expul-
sion from OSCR, Michigan coach Brady Hoke
announced that Gibbons would not play in
the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl due to a "fam-
ily matter." At this point, Gibbons was already
expelled from the University - therefore no
longer on the team - indicating a bizarre lack
of communication between the University and
the Athletic Department.
Although the University claims tobe bound
by FERPA in terms of what kind of information.
it can release regarding Gibbons' proceedings,
it needs to clarify the details of the case to the
best of its ability under the law to save the Uni-
versity's reputation and reinforce that this is
truly a community that expects respect.

Yeah yeah, women have the
same opportunities as men,
no one's against gender
equity, what are
feminists still
doing here, blah
blah blah.
Let's talk about
food. Those of
us fortunate
enough to have
family dinners NIVEDITA
worth remember- KARI
ing always miss
the goodness of
a home-cooked meal. Inarguably,
most people grew up around their
mother's cooking.
But once you start talking about
professional cookery, it's a man's
world. The Gordon Ramsays, Jamie
Olivers and Marco Pierre Whites
have become the face of the indus-
try, and the Nigella Lawsons become
more known for their personal lives
despite their equally phenomenal
work. Seriously, just Google these
The fight for gender equality has
been fought for so long that often-
times we forget things are still not
the same for men and women. I
could give you a list of places where
women have either rarely or never
been seen, but I don't want to over-
whelm you.
Or wait, maybe I do. Check out
every President of the United States,
the number of female professors
at the University, the highest-paid
people in Hollywood, the propor-
tion of female students at Ross, the
highest-paid athletes and the list of
Fortune 500 CEOs. I could mention
many more areas lacking women,
but those editing this article would
probably have to cut them out for the
sake of a word limit.
In a TEDx talk, Nigerian author
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
described a feminist as someone
"who believes in the social, politi-
cal and economic equality of the
sexes." These words can also be
heard verbatim in Beyonce's new
song, "Flawless." It is one of the

most simple - yet
definitions of femi
tify with. I know
who stand by thi
feminism, yet the}
identifying them:
nists. But when yc
they do so, they re
grunts, mumbles a
ligible noises.
During my sect
lege, I attended
conference here o:
discussing gender
around calling m
and didn't have a
people's negativei
stands for - until
was expected to gc
my undergarment
the hair on my he
grow everywhereE
Sure, that coul
nism means to so]
nism's meaning h
time. I was
puzzled by see-
ing that even the
most informed
people cave in
to stereotypical
images without
even knowing
what the term
stands for.
the person who
believes in the
social, political,
and economic
equality of the s
to Adichie. Femin
evolving concept.
mid-20th century,
countries across th
suffrage, represen
ture, the right to w
to an education. I
1980s, there were
who campaigned
fication of wome
Brown, editor o
magazine, revolut
ing worldwide byI
women from varic
on the covers, dres

most accurate - called "provocative clothes." In the
nism that I iden- early 1990s, the concept of 'cyber-
several people feminism' evolved, giving impetus
is description of to women empowerment through
y shy away from the web. Unfortunately, it lost its
selves as femi- actual aim in the by-lanes of time.
ou ask them why What does "social, political and
ply with shrugs, economic equality" mean to us
nd other unintel- today? Does political equality mean
a world average of 19.1 percent of
snd week in col- women in Parliament? The fact that
a social-justice women made an average of 80.9
n campus. While cents for every dollar a male earned
issues, I went in 2012? Could the difference be
yself a feminist accounted for by clothing, the kind
clue about some of career options women take up,
image of what it the social behavior that is 'ideal' for
I was told that I a woman, the basic fundamental
o around burning right to education, that women are
ts, chopping off limited by societal norms?
ad and letting it All I want as a feminist is for
else to fit the bill, women to be able to make choices as
d be what femi- they please. I wish for every woman
meone, but femi- to have the freedom to choose her
as changed over own path - to make decisions per-
taining to her
life by her own
prudence and
Whether you choose individual per-
to wear a hijab or cewhether
flaunt your legs, as you choose to
flaunt your faith
long as you do it of by wearing a
.rol hijabor flaunt
your own free will, your legs like
you're a feminst. the next Miley
Cyrus, as long
as you're doing
it of your own
exes," according free will, you're a feminist. Whether
ism has been an you make the choice to be the next
In the early and computer geek or decide to ques-
women in most tion philosophy like Socrates, you're
e world fought for a feminist.
tation in legisla- Nobody's choices should be shad-
'ork and the right owed by a particular half of the
in the 1970s and human population or limited in
some feminists the name of societal culture. If you
against objecti- believe in the social, political and
n. Helen Gurley economic equality of the sexes, no
if Cosmopolitan matter what your gender is - you're
ionized publish- a feminist.

An uninspired choice

putting powerful
ous walks of life
sed in what they

- Nivedita Karki can be
reached at nivkarki@umich.edu

On Friday, the University announced the
selection of Mark Schlissel as its 14th president.
While some may rejoice at this choice, I received
the news lukewarmly. This is not because I doubt
President-elect Schlissel's qualifications, but
'rather because I am disappointed at how the
selection committee simply played it safe.
By "safe," I mean that they chose someone
who will understand how to operate the giant
that is the University of Michigan Health Sys-
tem, someone who understands how to continue
bringing in research grants and someone who
will uphold the University's commitment to aca-
demic excellence.
On the other hand, I share some students' dis-
satisfaction that the selection committee did not
make a bold choice that signifies a readiness to
challenge the status quo and recommit our Uni-
versity to the public mission. Students dreamed
of a president who would be ready to embrace
what #BBUM is trying to achieve, tackle the
complexity ofhealth and wellness issues on cam-
pus and display the moral obligation to commit
the University to social justice and sustainability
beyond the low-hanging fruits.
Even though students were excluded from
the selection committee this time, we were still
holding out hope that our voices would be heard
at the student forum organized by the presiden-
tial search committee back in September 2013.
However, after being told by the search firm
that at the time of the student forum, candidate

interviews were already being held, I was skepti-
cal thatthe regents really cared about our voices.
The fact that the issue of sustainability was not
even mentioned once in Friday's announcement
despite beingfeatured prominently atthe student
forum increased my exasperation. Perhaps this
is just a matter of miscommunication. If so, the
selection committee needs to communicate to us
whether they cared. However, if the lack of stu-
dent input in this entire process is any indication,
the Regents don't seem to care and students have
every right tobe angry.
We keep saying that higher education will
change dramatically over the next few decades.
Friday, the regents spoke loud and clear that
they are content maintaining the status quo
rather than being bold and responding to student
demands. As my friend remarked, the University
could have done amazing things with this oppor-
tunity. It didn't.
While my immense disappointment is direct-
ed at the regents and the selection committee, I
withhold my judgment of President-elect Schlis-
sel until he articulates his vision. In fact, his
record at Brown shows a willingness to work
with students, and his remarks on affordability
and access are commendable. I hope he proves all
my doubts and concerns unfounded and that in a
year's time, Iwill be able to look back and claim
that this viewpoint is no longer relevant.
Chirapon Wangwongwiroj is an alum.

Barry Belmont, Rima Fadlallah, Nivedita Karki, Jordyn Kay, Kellie Halushka,
Aarica Marsh, Megan McDonald; Victoria Noble, Michael Schramm, Matthew
Seligman, Paul Sherman, Allison Raeck, Daniel Wang, Derek Wolfe

r )f ISEND L
Winter wimp-out
Is anybody reading today's print edition?
Probably not, because the University of Michigan
cravenly chose to cancel classes today, ending a
proud 36-year tradition of keeping school open,
no matter the weather. The last time Michigan
canceled classes, it snowed 19 inches. Today? It's
a bit cold. And windy! But apparently that's rea-
son enough for the powers that be in the Flem-
ing Building and student government to wave the
white flag. Doesn't the Wolverine's natural habi-
tat extend north of the Arctic Circle?
Students and staff at Minnesota, Wisconsin
and even Michigan State, the three northernmost
Big Ten institutions, will all go to school today,
despite temperatures well below the super-zero
forecast in Ann Arbor. The Michigan Difference:
Wimping out when the wind picks up. Champi-
.ons of the West, or Cowards of the North?

Consider the world's largest alumni base dis-
gusted and embarrassed; the decision to can-
cel classes is a betrayal to recent graduates who
proudly recallbraving temperatures significantly
below zero on their way to classes in February
2007 and February 2009. All those who came
before certainly remember their own solemn,
snowy treks to Angell Hall, the Modern Lan-
guages Building and West Hall with negative
temperatures biting at their flesh, but not their
resolve. We are all mortified by this capitulation.
While the University is closed today, the bars
surrounding campus will surely be open for busi-
ness. We bet more than a few Wolverines brave
the blustery weather to enjoy their day off.
This is a yellow decision by the Maize
and Blue.
David Watnick and William Petrich
2010 and 2011 Alumni

T ones
the L
heard that I
would have
theme "India
the World"
the Winter 2
semester, I1
unsure of ho'
felt. I suppos
should have
proud since
inclined to fo
on my "motl
land," but I we
anything. I kn
ences that my
to get left out
discussing Ind
time was no di
When the
released, I
through them,
that they wou
array of perspe
ties for student
Instead, I found
North Indian p
is often focuse
of its adoption'
culture. Bollyw
the Himalayasr
some, but I fou
carefully - th
accurately - co
India. This was
image of India
in the Western
ated to challeng
The first nev
South Asian St
that "All oft

Telling India's entire story
tly, I really can't stand activities are geared towards helping ter has showcased a very Northern,
SA Theme Semester. students, faculty, .and the commu- upper/middle-class and Hindu-cen-
'en when I first nity at large see the ways that India tric India. Even though some of these
LSA - whether through art and aesthet- identities are the largest in numbers,
the ics or economics - is relevant to our or most commonly portrayed by West-
in everyday lives." This is a very ambi- ern society, it would be silly to assume
for tious goal, but I would argue that the that they make up the majority of
014 first step is at least making it relevant India's identity as a nation.
was to those who are from India. As some- Luckily, we have quite a few student
w I one whose entire lineage is rooted groups on campus, and even students
e I in India, I cannot even bring myself outside of those groups, who come
felt to attend Theme Semester events or from incredibly different families and
the HARLEEN enroll in the classes. Does that really backgrounds in India. By including
felt KAUR make it relevant? multiple perspectives, we can create a
icus In all of the events and courses broader lens for others to view India,
her- that the Center for South Asian even if it may not be the perfect story.
as more anxious than Studies has planned, there have Although it may seem problematic to
.ew from past experi- been mentions of India's enormous display the negative aspects of a com-
family's story tended diversity. However, a large focus on munity or country, it is even more
of the picture when Northern India and Hinduism will troublesome to pretend that these
ia. Unfortunately, this overshadow any mention of other issues do not exist. Without recogni-
fferent. faiths and cultures. India will con- tion and acceptance of problems, it is
theme courses were tinue to be painted as the "world's impossible to move forward and cre-
remember scrolling largest democracy," even though it ate positive social change.
still having some hope has a history of oppressing minor- There may not be anything I can
ild provide a diverse ity groups and targeting them with do about making the Theme Semes-
ectives and opportuni- acts of violence. The most upsetting ter more inclusive at this point, espe-
s to learn about India. omission for me is that 30 years ago, cially when it comes to the courses
Iclass after classon the the Indian government planned it offers. Nevertheless, at least now
erspective - one that and carried out a military operation I can be more aware. The underrep-
d on due to its because ending in the deaths of approxi- resented stories were very clear to
of elements of Western mately 20,000 Sikhs. To this day, me this time around because some
vood, British India and there have been no repercussions of them were my own. In future dis-
may represent India to for those involved. course, I hope to remember that his-
nd myself looking at a "India in theiWorld" maybe exactly tory is always written by the victors,
tough not necessarily how the University and the Center for and there will undoubtedly be per-
instructed portrayal of South Asian Studies want to portray spectives left out. Just because I'm
s created to fit into the India, but it should not be mistaken reading something out of a textbook
that is already present for the truth. There are several gaping or hearing it from the mouth of a
iworld - not one cre- holes in the picture, and I hope that professor doesn't mean it's the whole
ge it. they attempt to mend this mistake by truth. It's just one piece of it.

tudies r
the T1

r the Center for creating space for more diversity in
eleased claimed their events and programming for the
heme Semester rest of the term. Thus far, the newslet-

- Harleen Kaur can be reached
at harleen@umict.edu


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