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January 15, 2014 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 2014-01-15

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4A - Wednesday, January 15, 2014

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

c 4cMitig an aty
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.
Immunizing Michigan
The University should require vaccinations for the safety of students
With the recent outbreaks of influenza in Michigan and across
the country, the importance of early prevention has come to
the forefront of public conversation. Healthful practices and
safety precautions are being offered as possible solutions, but one of the
most effective solutions - namely, vaccination - does not get the attention
it deserves from University health officials. Vaccinations save the lives of
millions of people every year by safely and efficiently protecting against
myriad diseases. Their proven effectiveness stands starkly against the
University's lackluster vaccination program. The University must improve
its vaccination requirements and its vaccination-promotion program as a
whole for the health and safety of its students.

The danger of a flyer

imply walking from the Diag
to the Posting Wall, one is
bombarded with posters, ban-
ners, flyers and
quarter sheets
from various
and events on d
campus. There
is no doubt that
our students,
professors and HARLEEN
faculty care KAUR
about a lot -----
of things.
Between guest speakers and con-
ferences, social justice dialogues
and ally trainings, our student body
appears to be very socially con-
scious. However, the question is, are
we actually accomplishing anything
with these deliberate and evident
acts of empathy?
A few years ago, Malcolm
Gladwell wrote an article called
"Small Change: Why the revolution
will not be tweeted." Besides my
inexplicable addiction to both Mal-
colm Gladwell and Twitter, there
are a few reasons this article caught
my attention. Gladwell discusses
how, with the increasing popular-
ity of social media, we are losing
sight of true activism. Being physi-
cally present is what sparked great
movements, not simply showing
support through tweets and sharing
links on Facebook. Looking back on
movements that inspire me - most
notably the Civil Rights Movement
- college students just like us were
able to organize nationwide, with-
out any previous communication.
Rather, pure passion and a need for
change drove them.
As a student who is starting to
become very aware that my days in

Ann Arbor are limited, I al
what I can do to leave my:
the University. To be honesi
think it will be through
sheets and Facebook posts.
Although we shouldn't d
the tools we have such a
media and flyers, we also nee
ognize the importance of ou
Although these new techn
tools allow us to make cony
across borders and comn
they also make it easier f
abandon our cause. All you
do is throw away that flyer.
This is the problem with j
ing on a piece of paper to r
message. It lacks the piecec
ism that Ilove the most: our
ity. Taking the
human factor out
of activism allows
us to forget that,
behind each Ch
cause, there is a
person who truly throi
cares about the
issue and is per- an
sonally affected
by the result of it.
I have a deep faith
in the empathy of
our student body, but I th
somewhere along the way, it
among the Facebook posts
and flyers.
Without building tangib
tionships across commun
will be impossible for us to
unified student body. We w
tinue to cover each other
with our own, click "attend
a Facebook event and then
not to go because we're too
actually leave our rooms, or
in bed and re-tweet that int
article in the Daily. Failing t
humanity in social justice

k myself us to disengage from the problem
mark on and call ourselves activists, without
t, I don't actually taking action.
quarter So, really, how much of a dif-
ference are we making when we
isregard choose to put up flyers, walk away
s social and hope someone comes to our
d to rec- event? Does it really make us a
r voices. better person for taking a quarter
rological sheet from that person standing at
nections the posting wall - know that I have
nunities, been on both sides of this - and
or us to then throw it away when they aren't
have to looking? Where is the line between
actually caring about social jus-
ust rely- tice and being a campus that only
elay our appears to care?
of activ- I do not claim to be above this
human- problem, but I ask you to join me
in pushing
ourselves for-
ward to actu-
ally engage, in
these issues.
ange won't occur Iteadosust
Instead of just
ugh quarter sheets covering the
Posting Wall
Facebook posts.- Pi ndless
with endless
tape and flyers
every day, and
then watching
the layers get
ink that torn down every night, let us unite
got lost in a cause that creates a deep pas-
tweets sion for social justice within all of
us. We can use these tools to start
le rela- conversations - such as creating a
ities, it hashtag to start conversations about
create a race or using Facebook to get the
vill con- word out on a dialogue about socio-
's flyers economic status - but we cannot
ling" on let it stop there. Without engaging
n decide the humanity within each one of us,
tired to we will continue to fall short, never
r just sit reaching the ultimate goal of justice.
o see the - Harleen Kaur can be reached
allows at harleen@umich.edu.

Vaccines work. The absence of diseases like
diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, measles,
mumps, rubella, hepatitis B, meningitis and
varicella from everyday life is a direct benefit
of laws requiring children to be vaccinated as a
condition for entering public education. Public
education, and specifically public higher edu-
cation, fosters areas of close contact, exchange
and collaboration - the same kinds of areas
where diseases are often most communicable.
Preventative measures should be put in place to
ensure the well-being of all participants.
Diseases and infections such as influenza,
meningitis, hepatitis B and human papillo-
mavirus have an elevated risk of incidence in
college environments due to students' close
and continual contact with one another. Yet
Michigan's higher education system does not
require domestic students to show proof of
vaccination upon acceptance - though some
international students are required to be test-
ed for tuberculosis.
Many other schools across the nation require
vaccinations as a condition of enrollment,
includingthe University of California, Berkeley
for hepatitis B and the University of Texas for
bacterial meningitis. In both instances, a state
mandate compelstheuniversitiesto adoptthese
standards, with the Texas legislation going so

far as to enforce the requirement for all higher
education institutions, public or private. While
Michigan's K-12 vaccination program is compa-
rable to the rest of the country's as a result of
federal guidelines, it is woefullybehind inother
areas where vaccinations are necessary. Hospi-
tal employees, ambulatory care physicians and
correctional inmates are not required in any
way to be vaccinated for any disease.
While at times on the leading edge of mod-
ern vaccination legislation, Michigan's overall
hands-off approach to vaccination regulation
in higher education has left many of its student-
citizens susceptible. While direct, state-based
legislative action might be the preferred route
to improve the state's overall vaccination poli-
cies, the University must do more - if not by
state mandate then on its own - to show con-
cern for the welfare of its students. At the very
least, the University must increase the aware-
ness and the availability of vaccines for its stu-
dents, staff and faculty.
Students should be protected and feel safe
from the dangerous diseases that are easily
spread. One of the easiest and most effective
ways to do this is to emphasize preventative
health neasures and make them available.Vac-
cines savelives, and with the proper promotion
and standards, so too will the University.

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
Changing, the conversation

Charity is a quick fix

The holidays are officially over. Wrapping
paper lies in the bottom of trashcans. Presents
are worn in. Netflix is no longer the main event
of the day. And tiredness once again looms
amongstressed students.
But other things are also becoming old
and remain stuck in the past. The Salvation
Army's red kettles and jingling bells have been
removed. Collection boxes with the "Toys for
Tots" label have been dismantled. Piles of cans
have been delivered, and none remain. But peo-
ple are still hungry. Children still need warmth
and toys. Loose change burns a hole in one's
pocket very quickly. The holidays are winding
down, and so are acts of charity.
Charity is a quick fix. During the holidays,
donation boxes are overflowing, but once the
Christmas trees have been thrown away and
the twinkling lights have been turned off, dona-
tions halt. Such acts of kindness do little to rem-
edythe real issue. Theyare veryvertical actions
- the top gives to the bottom. There is no soli-
darity. There is no collaboration. Solutions are
seen as coming from positions of privilege, and
oftentimes they are not solutions at all, but
actually overlook the real issue. The amount
that is donated is never toomuch. Loose change
and old toys are appropriate, because the lost
weight will not be felt. Charity inevitably views
some as helpless receivers and others as selfless
saviors. It dictates that some have the answers
and the means to implement them while others
remain powerless. Never through charity can
we move beyond privilege and these problem-
atic dynamics.
I believe in a common liberation. I believe in
solidarity. We all have something to give and
receive from others despite the intersection of
our identities. As allies, we can move forward
to solve the issues of why hunger and poverty
exist. Charity turns us into opposite poles
and slaps a small Band-Aid on a wound that is
much bigger. Moving from problematic char-
ity to powerful solidarity means making some
changes first.
Change the narrative. "Help" should not be
solely defined as giving tangible resources that
cover basic needs. This definition limits us
to viewing help as stemming only from those
with material resources and not from those
who lack the necessary funds. Instead of con-
fining ourselves to this idea of help, we should
move toward entertaining the idea of empow-
erment. Empowerment comes in many forms
and shades. It dictates that each person and
community is equally part of the equation. It
gives a voice to all and wards off the potential of

disseminating norms and solutions of the privi-
leged group onto others.
We also need to change the idea of who is a
receiver. Each community, including my priv-
ileged, white community lined with picket
fences and green lawns, needs empowerment.
Empowerment does not mean that only the
less privileged need attention, or that they
lack ability and knowledge. My privileged
community needs empowerment to gain a
consciousness it currently lacks. Such com-
munities need the strength to echo the truth
and unearth the unjust structures they rely
on. Other communities and individuals may
need empoweriment to unlock their voices,
reach for their potential and gain a positive
self-image. By empowering and attending to
everyone's different needs, we can change the
equation. We all become an equally important
component of the solution through which we
have the potential to learn, empower, listen
and influence.
To do that, we must create intersectional-
ity. Issues are interwoven. People do not fit
into boxed categories, and our problems are
not individual entities. Therefore, we cannot
approach liberation without turning it into a
common fight. Even though my white skin does
not make me a target, I still need to be liberated
from privilege and need my friends and allies
to be liberated from oppression. Together we
are stronger.
We can come together and link hands. Char-
ity allows people to give to others without even
meeting the people they are supposedly help-
ing. The distance between "givers" and "receiv-
ers" prevents any true warmth, compassion or
care from forming. We cannot create change
without nurturing genuine relationships. By
meeting the people we hope to collaborate
with, we can find the love we need to become
braver fighters.
Make giving a part of yourself: Charity dic-
tates giving as a concrete and singular act.
Food, money, toys and clothes are donated
once in a while, and then the act is over. Don't
give only when it is convenient for you. Taking
the steps to form solidarity and to empower
others as well as yourself means turning these
acts into an essence of yourself. Solidarity is a
state of being. It radiates outwaird and influ-
ences our actions at every moment.
It is time for us to create real change. It is
time to create solidarity and begin a true fight
for liberation. Come join.
Maja Tosic is an LSA senior.

n Jan. 3, Rolling Stone
published an article titled
"Five Economic Reforms
Should Be Fight-
ing For," and
it's been circu-
lating around
the Internet
ever since. The
writer, Jesse h
Myersons, called
for five of what DEREK
can only be WOLFE
described as "a _
shade short of
Marx" reforms:
Guarantee work for everybody, give
social security to all, take back the
land, make everything owned by
everybody and create a public bank
in every state.
"The economy blows," he wrote.
"Unemployment blows ... so do jobs."
"Ever noticed how much land-
lords blow?" he questioned.
"Hoarders blow." And so does
Wall Street, according to him -- and
just about everyone, really.
Coming from a writer whose
Twitter bio includes #FULLCOM-
MUNISM, it should be to no one's
surprise that he thinks this way.
And it also shouldn't be surprising
that the article has been blasted
across all forms of media over the
past couple of weeks - especially by
conservatives, but not exclusively.
The reforms have been called
"tired, old 'solutions."' Of course
they are. History has shown that
this kind of economy does not
work and will never work. But that
doesn't mean there is nothing to be
learned from this not-so-eloquently
written piece that was clearly pub-
lished to create controversy.
Seriously, would it be such a bad
thing to actually try to change the
ways we - and especially our lead-
ers - do things? And I'm not talk-

ing about change for the sake of As ac
change. I'm talking about change lazy. Ant
because let's not pretend that our that "blo
current version of capitalism and tent with
foreign policy is working that great rather de
either; the economy's snail-pace politics t
improvement, the NSA scandal and alternativ
a stagnant Congress - among other first butp
things - don't help the cause. We cat
Consider the case of Dennis Rod- with den
man. He has also received a lot of leaders a
criticism over the past week for ourselves
his "basketball diplomacy" trip to our scho
North Korea where he went into need tos
a drunken outrage in which he our leads
mocked Kenneth Bae, an American politicsa
who was sentenced to 15 years in a on behin
labor camp for "hostile acts." be accept
Dennis Rodman is obviously any mor
not the person we want repre- Cards," fi
senting the
United States,
but maybe
we're being too It's possible that
closed-minded asking for too mu
about what he
has done. After asking for people
all, he's one of
the few Ameri- you know, aCtua
cans with any think.
form of a rela-
tionship with
Kim Jong-un.
The way I see it, there's no reason aren't aft
that "basketball diplomacy" can't It's po
be actual diplomacy and create much, asl
progress - the Olympics, another actually,
athletic event, have been used to but "thin
make political statements for years, Apple ad
and this can too. ButI fear
It's so easy to say we can't nego- opinion o
tiate with someone who commits improve.
the atrocities that Mr. Kim and or our let
other dictators have. But I believe So let'
that some dialogue is better than no - think
dialogue, even if it's at a basketball an open:
game. So while I hesitate to applaud New Yea
Rodman, his trip to North Korea a resolut
represents a different way of con-
ducting business that could initiate -
positive change.

country, we've just gotten
d to steal Myerson's word,
ws" too. We've grown con-
the status quo and would
bate the traditional red-blue
hat we know than consider
ves that may seem risky at
roduce significant rewards.
o change this, but it begins
manding more out of our
nd even becoming leaders
s. Yes, we are all busy with
ol, jobs and family, but we
start caring more and hold
ers accountable. The petty
and deal-making that goes
d the scenes can no longer
table. And it shouldn't take
e TV shows - "House of
or example - to show that
this behavior,
the obsession
with greed and
I'm power, is going
ich on. What we
a need are lead-
tO, ers - and they
don't just have
lty to come from
Washington -
who want to
bring new ideas
to the table and
'raid to do so.
ssible that I'm asking for too
kingfor peopleto,youknow,
think. And not just think,
k different" - cue the 1990s
Is - because yes, it's hard.
r that if we can't change our
sn change, then nothing will
Not jobs, not the economy
adership. Nothing.
s make an effort to - gasp
a little differently and have
mind. And look, it's still the
r, so it's not too late to make
- Derek Wolfe can be reached
at dewolfe@umich.edu.

Mistakes were clearly made. And as a
result, we let down the people we
are entrusted to serve."
- Gov. Chris Christie (R-N.J.) said last night in his State of the State Address regarding the
recent traffic jam scandal on the George Washington Bridge.

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