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January 23, 2014 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 2014-01-23

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4A - Thursday, January 23, 2014

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

4A - Thursday, January 23, 2014 The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom

4C {idligan Eat*1
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 solelythe views of their authors.
Yale blues(book)
Universities should create student friendly course databases
ast week, Yale University students trying to access "Yale Bluebook
+" received a message the website had been blocked and deemed
"malicious" by administrators. Many users claimed that the site -
created to aid students in course planning -was a better resource than similar
sites constructed by the university. According to the Yale IT department,
YBB+ was forced to shut down due to the design of the site which encouraged
a rating system and already existing digital resources to help students design
their schedules. Furthermore, Yale College Dean Mary Miller stated, "Yale's
policy on free expression and free speech entitles no one to appropriate a
Yale resource and use it as their own." Instead of shutting down a website
that only enhances the academic experience, Yale should work to develop
sites that better resemble the user-friendly system students preferred. Using
YBB+ as an example, the University of Michigan should be working with
students to create a website that provides more comprehensive information
on courses and instructor evaluations.

Escaping social stigma

hough not yet legally equal
to heterosexuals, recent
LGBTQ community action
is moving gays
closer to politi-
cal equality.
Seventeen states
allow gay mar-
riage, seven
of which
passed legisla-
tion in 2013. The MICHAEL
Supreme Court SCHRAM1VM
also overturned
the Defense of
Marriage Act, allowing married
couples social security benefits,
shared health insurance and retire-
ment savings. These changes dem-
onstrate genuine strides towards
civic equality.
But they mean absolutely nothing
without social equality.
By social equality, I mean the gen-
eral population treating LGBTQ com-
munity members equally. Whether
someone knows, assumes or believes
that anotheris gay shouldn't differen-
tiate a conversation from one they'd
have with a heterosexual. (The one
exception being a romantic-based
conversation, which falls under the
domain of differences between het-
erosexual and LGBT individuals.)
Though this shouldn't be the case,
I'm treated differently in situations
where people don't assume I'mgay.
Let's use the gym as an example.
I enter the Central Campus Rec-
reational Building and see the guy
swiping people in. I give him my
MCard and he swipes it as he says,
"Sup, dude." We're on a "dude" basis
as he sees me pretty frequently.
I head down a flight of stairs to
the weight room. Upon entering, I
see one of the regulars. We make
eye contact, and I give him a head
nod to acknowledge his presence.
He does the same. Having a shared
existence in the gym has given us
a mutual respect for each other. I
head to the bench press and begin
exercising when a guy signals that
he wants my attention.
"Hey man, can you spot me?"

"For sure, dude," I respond.
I help him with his set, and on
his ninth rep, I give him a little help
pushing the bar up. After finishing,
he responds with a "Thanks man,"
and I respond with a "No problem."
At the gym, these guys talk to me
the same way that they'd talk to the
rest of their buddies. They treat me
with the same respect, and they don't
go into a conversation assuming that
I'm any different than they are.
However, in many other situa-
tions, I'm not treated as guys would
treat each other. For instance, I was
talking to a guy on the first day of a
class. We were having a good conver-
sation, and I thought that we couldbe
pretty good friends. Then, we got on
the topic of music. He asked who my
favorite musician was and, in giving
an honest answer, I responded with
Lady Gaga.
Liking Lady Gaga shouldn't be
used to assume a guy is gay. Music
preferences - like clothing choices,
hairstyle and personality traits -
aren't indicators of homosexuality;
an attraction to the same sex is.
However, I can't deny that our soci-
ety contains (incorrect) gay stereo-
types, and liking Lady Gaga is one
of them.
So when I gave that response -
even though it wasn't a fair assump-
tion - I could tell that he thought I
was gay. And it shifted our interac-
tions. Of course he was never out-
right mean to me, but he treated
me differently than when he didn't
believe I was gay. This shouldn't
happen. Sure, some of my traits are
more feminine than a stereotypi-
cal guy, and I am gay. But when it
comes down to it, I'm still a guy.
Being gay means having a dif-
ferent sexual orientation. It doesn't
dictate my interests. I like Lady
Gaga because I like Lady Gaga. I
wear orange jackets because I like
wearing orange jackets. I enjoy real-
ity television because I enjoy real-
ity television. They may differ from
male stereotypes, but I don't enjoy
them because I'm gay. My interests
also shouldn't make others feel that

I'm any more different than any of
their friends. One friend may love
rap and the other loves rock, but this
doesn't influence their friendship.
Therefore, although my enjoyment
of pop deviates more strikingly from
the norm, it shouldn't cause any dif-
ferences compared to guys who like
rap or rock. And havingsome stereo-
typically feminine interests doesn't
indicate that all my interests are ste-
reotypically gay. I like lifting weights
and video games just as much as the
next guy, and Kendrick Lamar is one
of my favorite artists. Like everyone
else, I'm a unique individual with a
variety of interests.
Not only does sexuality bear no
influence on my hobbies, it bears
no influence on my personality. I
have some stereotypically gay traits.
I use "like" frequently and I can
quote "Mean Girls" in its entirety
- although many straight guys do
both of these surprisingly frequently.
However, these choices don't define
who I am as a person. They're just
traits and quotes that I enjoy. Having
these doesn't imply that all my man-
nerisms are feminine.
Boys aren't solely responsible for
homosexual stereotyping. Though
in my experiences, I generally see
guys stereotyping a little more than
girls, girls can stereotype as well.
And to say that every guy treats me
prejudicially wouldn't be accurate.
I've met a lot of guys who get to
know me for who I am as a person,
not letting my sexuality influence
their perception of me. But I've
also met enough people - too many
actually - that instantaneously ste-
reotype me. Though I'm not a lesbi-
an, transgender or bisexual, I know
both men and women stereotype
each of these subgroups. I can't
know whether every LGBT member
would confirm this with certainty,
but at least for me, no U.S. legisla-
tion aimed at making me feel like a
political insider can offset feeling
like a social outsider.
- Michael Schramm can be
reached at mschramm@umich.edu.

Created by brothers Peter Xu and Harry
Yu, YBB+ was intended to ease the process of
course selection by offering average class and
professor evaluations all in one place. The
site was created to unify the scattered infor-
mation on Yale's internal system that's more
difficult for students to access and navigate.
Prior to the shutdown, more than 2,000 of
Yale's 5,000 undergraduates were using the
site to plan their class schedules. After the
database was effectively blocked, Xu and Yu
were threatened with disciplinary action for
the unauthorized use of the Yale logos. Ulti-
mately, the university deleted the site, forcing
thousands of students to revert back to less
efficient systems of course planning.
Yale's original site - which Yu and Xu
set out to improve - was itself a student-
created product, eventually bought out by
the university. However, facing difficulty
finding and comparing courses upon their
arrival at Yale, Xu and Yu decided to create
a new site - actions that match Yale's cur-
riculum to promote innovation and academic
freedom. Information this vital should be

readily available to students in a way that's
easily accessible. Given YBB+'s success,
the university should seek student input in
designing a new website, instead of stifling
student innovation.
the success of YBB+ and create a centralized
website for students to easily access informa-
tion about courses. Providing evaluations of
professors while scheduling classes would be
incredibly beneficial to the student body. The
University should utilize the resources avail-
able to create such a website and encourage
student input in its creation.
If Yale truly is the great place for innova-
tion it prides itself on being, then sites like
YBB+ - which are clearly in the best interest
of its students - shouldn't be forced to shut
down. Instead of impeding on student inno-
vation, Yale should work towards offering
students the most efficient resources. Fur-
thermore, the University of Michigan must
also work toward creating a centralized web-
site to give students as much information on
courses as they can when scheduling.

Living with an invisible illness

Kaan Avdan, Sharik Bashir, Barry Belmont, James Brennan, Rima
Fadlallah, Eric Ferguson, Nivedita Karki, Jordyn Kay, Jesse Klein, Kellie
Halushka, Aarica Marsh, Megan McDonald, Victoria Noble, Michael
Schramm, Matthew Seligman, Daniel Wang, Derek Wolfe
\-. ook U p
4 -

At 18 years
school gra
their soo
careers as a
blur of caffeine
induced all-
nighters, nearly
celebratory bar
crawls, partying
until 3 a.m. and
sleeping in until
3 p.m. Though I
was diagnosed
with an
autoimmune diseas
I had an idealized
in which I was p
disease free and ded
schoolwork and soci
Unfortunately, m
the perfect college4
to a screeching halt
high school as my c
so exacerbated that
begin administerir
injections to contro
And so it began:
with my insurance
lar blood work, U
Service providers w
iar with the medics
effects and endless
nating the shipmen
with the mailing of
dorm building.
I'm one of many s
what is often termec
ness" - a condition
immediately appare
dents who don't apl
cally ill, and thus, ot
we're just as capab
student. But we're n
As fiercely indep
two-and-a-half yea
lege career, I have
that I need just a
help - but is that he
to me? I'm constant
office, whether fo
itself, the repercus
effects, or to compl
ensure I'm healthy
tinue to receive th
chronically fatigue
medication itself o:
ache that is insur,
and all the while e
pete on the same pl

old, most high- able-bodied peers.
aduates imagine I'm now familiar with the Ser-
n-to-be college vice for Students with Disabilities
office, but I had no idea that the
office even existed until my sopho-
more year - much less what services
they provided. As I tried to explain
to my professors what was affect-
ing my performance freshman year,
not one mentioned that there was an
office through which I could "regis-
ter" my chronic illness. Now having
LAUREN done so, I am still unconvinced of its
MCCARTHY efficacy. Is it sufficient information
just to hand my teachers a note at
the beginning of each semester? Will
my professors understand that the
e at 12 years old, occasional empty look in my eyes and
vision of college obvious exhaustion are not because
erfectly healthy, I was at Rick's until final call the
icated only to my night before? Or have they become
ial life. accustomed to the saturation and
y utopian take on prevalence of these letters so that
experience came they're no longer able to value them
my senior year of on a case-by-case basis? Additionally,
ondition became what young adult will readily iden-
tI was forced to tify him or herself as "disabled?"
ng weekly self- Undoubtedly there's a popula-
ii my symptoms. tion of students who would rather
monthly battles forgo the label and subsequent
company, regu- stigma than offer themselves up as
niversity Health a disabled individual. While I do
ho were unfamil- not believe that's well advised, it's
ation and its side understandable. I refused to sub-
trouble coordi- ject myself to even the thought, not
t of the syringes because I view "disabled" so nega-
ffice hours in my tively, but because I did not want to
issue myself a crutch.
tudents who have In 2013, the American College
d an "invisible ill- Health Association reported that
that may not be a combined 24.3 percent of college
nt. We are stu- students reported having a chronic
pear to be physi- illness or condition ranging from
hers assume that ADHD, diabetes, epilepsy, arthri-
le as the average tis and autoimmune disorders, to
ot. learning disabilities or psychiatric
endent as I am, conditions. Comprising almost a
ars into my col- quarter of college students, we are
finally conceded a collection of those with "invisible
little additional illnesses" who are vastly more prev-
lp trulysavailable alent than one might have imagined
ly in the doctor's and arguably deserving of more
r the treatment defined support.
sions of the side Acknowledging this need, DePaul
ete blood tests to University launched the Chronic Ill-
enough to con- ness Initiative at the School of New
e injections. I'm Learninginthe fall of 2003. The pur-
d either from the pose of the initiative is the belief that
r from the head- students with chronic illness - who
ance companies, number in millions - often find their
xpected to com- needs neglected. University-based
aying field as my offices for students with disabilities

tend to focus on more easily identi-
fiable disabilities that can be helped
by technological aids and existing
programs, while the ever-changing
needs of those with chronic illness
are often misunderstood or over-
looked. The initiative addresses these
issues, designed to accommodate
those with "invisible illnesses" and
their waxing and waningasymptoms.
The University should take a
close look at this program, and
adapt similar core values and im-
tiatives. While students are able to
register their chronic illness with
the University, there is more to be
done. Students could benefit from
having a space to simply meet each
other, share their concerns and
frustrations and proactively seek
modification of the existing system.
The University's Counseling and
Psychological Services offer sup-
port groups for grief, eating disor-
ders and social anxiety - but not
chronic illness.
More often than not, health-care
professionals at UHS are unfa-
miliar with the biologic drug that
I'm taking and have prescribed
medications that exacerbate my
existing symptoms. Though the
Services for Students with Dis-
abilities office provides academic
accommodations, they should
expand to provide adequate health-
care accommodations as well.
Perhaps UHS should identify for
students particular physicians
who are most knowledgeable about
chronic illnesses, and funnel those
of us suffering from them through
a separate scheduling process. Too
often, due to UHS's lack of under-
standing, I have been forced to out-
source my care to other physicians
and pay for their care as well as
the University's mandatory, nonre-
fundable "Healthcare Service Fee"
- $349.80 included annually in and
indistinguishable from my tuition.
Navigating my chronic illness
with little support from the Uni-
versity is 18 credit hours on its own;
however, with a few administra-
tive changes, increased awareness
and student advocacy, those with
"invisible illnesses" may finally be
able to find some relief.
- Lauren McCarthy can be
reached at laurmc@umich.edu.

MLive article criminalizes
the battle for equality
After a day of many wonderful symposiums
and panels commemorating Martin Luther
King Jr. for his activism in leading the Civil
Rights Movement, I was very upset when I
came home and saw an MLive article titled
"Being Black at University of Michigan orga-
nizers threaten 'physical action' if demands
aren't met." The article's title gives the first
impression that those organizing the #BBUM
campaign are "the bad guys" intendingto harm
others, emphasizing "physical action" in a way
where people who are unfamiliar with activist
terms would misinterpret it to mean "violence."
This is not the case. "Physical action" most
commonly means marches, singing, chanting,
human blockades, etc. The article's emphasis
on "threatening 'physical action'" is playing
into the stereotype that Blacks are aggressive
and irrational. Of all days, MLive chose MLK
Day to criminalize a minority group assertively
standing up for its rights.
I have overheard people calling the pro-
test organizers "extortionists" and comparing
them to terrorists for their assertive efforts in
fighting for social justice. People are asking

why they won't "ask nicely," and the answer
is simple - asking nicely has never worked for
the Black community. The Black community
has been oppressed for decades and is still very
much oppressed to this day.
Take a look at Detroit: it is dominantly
Black for a reason. Corrupt, racist planning
and policy has physically trapped thousands
of people in a cycle of poverty. Restrictive
covenants, anyone? Redlining? What about
the Fair Housing Act never being enforced,
thanks to former President Richard Nixon?
Job discrimination? Asking nicely is exactly
what people of power and privilege want!
They want the Black community to be quiet
and ask nicely so that they can continue to
ignore them. They want to keep them in a
political cage. Everyone needs to face the
facts - racism is still very alive today. Crimi-
nalizing this group of Black activists shows
that everyone, especially the University
of Michigan, has a lot of work to do in the
social justice department. I congratulate the
#BBUM campaign for standing up for human
rights, and I hope to see many more people -
Black, white, green or blue - join this ongo-
ing battle of fighting for true equality.
Kaleah Mabin
Vice President ofDiversity at the
Inter-Cooperative Council and a 2013 alum

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