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Page 4 - Tuesday, September 9, 2014

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

4

Edited and managed by students at
the University of Michigan since 1890.
420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
tothedaily@michigandaily.com
MEGAN MCDONALD
PETER SHAHIN and DANIEL WANG KATIE BURKE
EDITOR IN CHIEF EDITORIAL PAGE EDITORS MANAGING EDITOR
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.
An applicable education

oving homes is one of my least
favorite activities. Don't get me
wrong, my inner
neuroticism fights with me
every year because moving
means positively placating
the neurosis: cleaning out
old clothes and giving away
those articles that somehow
manage to no longer see the
light of day from the depths MARA
of my closet. It's just that in
college we have to do it too LEVINE
often, moving out in May
and moving back in during
the last week of August. For most of us, this
meansthe same suitcasesbeingstuffedwith the
same sweats, Michigan shirts, winter boots and
going-out clothes (what else do we wear in Ann
Arbor, anyway?). But the end of this summer
brought a particularly heinous twinge to my
packing ritual as I packed not for Ann Arbor, but
for Washington, D.C. Business suits and heels
took up the space that is usually occupied by
leggings and gymshoes.
Like several other political science students
this semester, I will be participating in
Michigan in Washington, interning for the
government and crying every Saturday because
I'mnotintownfor footballseason.Myacademic
internship will find me at the U.S. Department
of Justice Environment and Natural Resources
Division, and my adventuresome spirit will find
me wandering around after work, seeing every
museum possible and taking more pictures
than myphone can hold.
Applying to work at the DOJ was quite the
ordeal.Security background checks to work for
the federal government are extensive. Let's just
say answering the questions about every place
I'd ever lived was the easiest part in a litany of
brain-scratching - but that got me excited for
what is _to come. As an intern my duties will..
require me to view hearings on the Hill about
environmental issues and report back to my
office, along with other legal research chores.
This internship matches what I want to do as a
career in the future.
Getting to the background check stage
wasn't possible without a long and rigorous
application and interview phase, however, and
before my introductory classes for Michigan
in Washington last winter, I was frightened to
start this process. After all, I knew nothing at
all about applying for a government internship

or how to interview well. While I had plenty
of classroom experience, my job-seeking and
interview skills were lacking. To my surprise,
there are quite a few helpful hints that are
known by members of the Career Counseling
team and others with experience.
These hints on how to successfully get a job,
internship or apply to graduate school should
not be confined just to those who ask. Instead
of having to take a class for distribution on
campus at the University that is completely
unrelated to our majors, such as the
quantitative reasoning requirement for social
science majors, I propose that students should
be required to take a class that is meaningful
and applicable to our lives. This class would
prepare us for graduate school, internships
or jobs in our specific fields by teaching us
necessary interview and application skills,
and therefore would be much more beneficial
than wasting our precious tuition dollars
on classes we don't even want to take (like
calculus as an Anthropology major).
My suggestion does not come as a total
shot in the dark. Historically, apprenticeships
were the only way that people learned a
profession and were thus prepared to enter the
job market. Granted, I am not asking that we
return to the 1700s. Rather, I am suggesting
that students who have decided their field of
interest be asked to look at all the possibilities
for employment or further schooling with
others in their major in a classroom setting.
With the skills garnered in a class like this, all
of the guesswork would be taken out of how to
properly applyfor a competitive job and how to
interview well, depending on your field.
Othersmaysaythateliminatingadistribution
requirement would make a less well-rounded
student, but these people would forget that
certain undergraduates are already allowed to
bypass distribution requirements. An example
of this is the College of Engineering kids who
aren't required to take a language unless they
want to. Based on this logic, why should those
people studying the social sciences be required
to take quantitative reasoning? A class giving
us tools to advance our careers and look at all
possibilities would be more worthwhile than
an unrelated distribution requirement, and
would give us the skills to succeed and compete
in an ever-changing job market.
- MauraLevine can be reached
at mtoval@umich.edu.

Things I thoui
United State:
when I was t
comprehend
the difference
between the
three branches:
1. The
president is
always a white
man (wrong).
2. The
losing presiden-
tial candidate
becomes the
vice president
(wrong).
3. Our coun
countries becausev
amongst their int
(wrong).
Numbers ~ one
objectively incorr
theories. Number
is not a definitive fa
hard to falsify due
involvement in Iraq
Obama administra
it would send 300r
to assist the Iraqi g
Sunni extremist gr
nine days later, P
authorized limited
retaliation againsttl
Thousands of non
and - more recent
Northern Iraq ar
forced to relocate,
into slavery. Even s
being targeted. The
all too familiar wi
conflicts stemming
We aren't too acqu
here at home, but
tends to recognize
worth addressing.
media is also doin
with keeping the

Ethical vs. practical
ght about the about our activity in Iraq. Entering ria, is vi
s government "Iraq" into the Google search bar in the rE
oo young to even can do wonders for a thirsty brain; rape an
at least 10 pages of recent stories Armya
are displayed subsequent to hitting more tl
the enter button. Media coverage method
and consistent updates are justified The1
considering a great deal of people are assistin
in the process of being exterminated. and Set
Iraq's current crisis can be clas- has ple
sified as genocide by factoring in Haram
RENNIE executions, rapes and forced emi- not par
PASQUINELLI gration. Rationally, I thought the and Nig
Obama administration sent military backbur
advisers and airstrikes into Iraq isn't ou
this summer because of that rea- other cc
son. We're buddies with the Kurds, not the
ntry aids other anyway. But, if the United States focus li
we fear fatalities jumped at every opportunity to sup- a bit of:
nocent civilians port countries currently battling an We v
oppressive group o government, as direc
and two are news publications would be much our ecc
ect little kid busier than they presently are. ideolog
three, however, Five other places in the world are that fri
lsehood, but not in surprisingly similar conditions Increas
to current U.S. to Iraq's. There's a good chance that threate
. On June 19, the the average U.S. citizen has no idea because
tion announced that such repressive regimes even oil in Ir
military advisers existed in the following countries, we get;
,overnment with let alone knows that some may con- Simil
oup ISIS. Forty- sider these situations to be geno- instabil
resident Obama tide. The Central African Republic, oil pric
air strikes in two distinct states in Burma (Rakh- 5 perce
he group. ine and Kachin), and Nigeria are well as
n-Sunni Muslims experiencing extermination of por- valuesr
tly - Yazidis in tions of their population. prioriti
e being killed, The difference between other conflict
raped and sold countries and Iraq? Americans threat t
ome Sunnis are are most fearful of ISIS because valuesc
Middle East is they're a hazard to our country. So, is
th extreme civil Top officials have warned that ISIS attempt
from religion. is the "biggest threat" to the United is a see
ainted with that States. Threeo
our government The Central African Republic, prove tI
that it's an issue both states of Burma, and Nigeria be a flat
The American are all experiencing genocides due
sg a decent job to religious conflict. Boko Haram,
public updated an Islamist extremist group in Nige- r

iolently targeting Christians
egion. This includes murder,
d slave trade. The Nigerian
and Air Force have killed
han 3,000 people through
s of "counter-insurgency."
U.N. has made attempts at
g all of these countries,
cretary of State John' Kerry
dged to try to find Boko
terrorists. But the U.N. is
rt of the U.S. government,
geria has been placed on the
rner. Several may believe it
ir job to give assistance to
ountries, but evidently that's
status quo's workings. Our
es heavily in Iraq, and even
our attention is on Nigeria.
iew ISIS and Boko Haram
ct threats to U.S. values and
onomy. ISIS's violence and
y are not the only factors
ghten American politicians.
ed instability in Iraq
ns U.S. oil reserves; chiefly
e ISIS generates funds from
aq and Saudi Arabia, where
about 8 percent of our oil.
lar to Iraq, Nigerian
ity could also destabilize
es at home - we get about
nt of our oil from them - as
threaten typical Christian
that our country tends to
ze. The other countries'
s do not pose even a slight
to the U.S., on the basis of
or economics.
theU.S.anethical actorthat
ts to step in every time there U
mingly alarming genocide?
other countries besides Iraq
he answer to that question to
t out "no."
Rennie Pasquinelli can be
reached at renpasq@umich.edu.

EDITORIAL BOARD MEMBERS
Jaekwan An, Barry Belmont, Edvinas Berzanskis, David Harris,
Rachel John, Nivedita Karki, Jacob Karafa, Jordyn Kay,
Aarica Marsh, Megan McDonald, Victoria Noble, Melissa Scholke,
Michael Schramm, Matthew Seligman, Paul Sherman, Allison Raeck,
Linh Vu, Meher Walia, Mary Kate Winn, Daniel Wang, Derek Wolfe

HARLEEN KAUR I

DANIEL KARR I
An opportunity for the center

The current political
atmosphere of congressional
gridlock and polarization
leaves little room for the ide-
ological center and its ideas.
However, intense partisan-
ship and the dysfunction it
has caused may actually pro-
vide centrists with an oppor-
tunity to make their voices
heard. With congressional
approval ratings and pro-
ductivity near historic lows,
pragmatists have the oppor-
tunity to appeal to the Amer-
ican electorate by providing
policy solutions that could
satisfy Americans' desire for
a functional legislature.
Even though hyper-par-
tisanship makes it appear
that there is nothing in com-
mon between the left and
right, there is in fact common
ground between both sides.
For example, both President
Barack Obama and former
Republican U.S. Rep. Newt
Gingrich have said that the
U.S. corporate tax rate, the
highest in the developed
world, should be lowered.

Even though Gingrich and
Obama are an unlikely team,
their agreement reveals there
is still some consensus on
how to reform the tax code,
a subject that is normally
left untouched due to grid-
lock. More recently, U.S.
Republican Sen. Rand Paul
and Former Secretary of
State Hillary Clinton issued
similar statements regarding
the unrest in Ferguson, Mis-
souri, further demonstrating
that there, are commonali-
ties between politicians who
usually don't agree. There is
room for compromise, but
there is currently no voice
to advocate for it. Centrists
can fill this void by proposing
policies that are widely sup-
ported, but would normally
not pass due to partisanship.
Although pragmatism
and compromise may sound
appealing, Democrats and.
Republicans must first
change the way they nego-
tiate and interact with one
another. Primarily, the lack
of bipartisan friendships in

Congress today is not con-
ducive for negotiation, and
former congressmen have
actually lamented the decline
in bipartisan friendships and
expressed how they are cru-
cial for compromise. Nev-
ertheless, centrists are in
an advantageous position to
encourage bipartisan friend-
ships. This will allow one
side to better understand
the perspective of the other
and will create an environ-
ment for more productive
negotiation. Whether it is
leading the charge to pass a
tax compromise, or encour-
aging bipartisan friendships,
centrists have the opportu-
nity to increase pragmatism
and effective policymaking
in Congress. Through these
efforts, pragmatists can ful-
fill the lack of strong lead-
ership in Congress and can
work to rebuild the American
public's trust in government.
Daniel Karr is an
LSA sophomore.

Moving back has been great
after a long and busy summer. I was
thrilled to see my friends again,
excited to meet my new residents in
South Quad and both nostalgic and
ecstatic to start my last year here.
But new years and people also bring
new problems, and unfortunately
Labor Day evening was a testament
to that.
Walking back to my dorm after a
nice night with my family, we were
approached by a man who appeared
to have been drinking quite a bit. He
asked my father for some money,
and he politely declined and kept
walking. The man became angry
and started shouting after us as
we walked away, including the
comment, "Give me that towel on
your head!"
We continued walking down
the street and were very close to
my dorm when a truck of students
drove past with the windows rolled
down, I assume to enjoy the pleasant
weather as we were. As they passed
us, a boy in the back seat stuck his
head out and yelled, "I love Ann
Arbor, towel head!"
Twice. In less than 10 minutes.
Even as I write this, my anger,
and also helplessness, from last
night return. There was no point in
engaging in conversation in either
scenario, but the fear that entered all
of us makes me wish we could have.

Towel Head
A few minutes after the truck drove
away, there was another truck that
pulled up next to us while we were
walking. I'm sure we all thought
it, but my mom is the one who
whispered it to me once we realized
it wasn't the case, "I thought they
were coming back for more."
Living in fear is not something
that I was taught. Rather, I was
taught to hold my head high
and practice my faith fearlessly,
regardless of the consequences. This
is what Sikhs have done throughout
history and, though it has led to
bloodshed and sacrifice many times,
it is what we will continue to do.
Yet there are many cases of blatant
discrimination, bias, and exclusion
that could be stopped, and that
will help prevent these instances of
misinformation and ignorance.
Each timea Sikh is stopped by the
TSA for a secondary screening in an
airport, it shows the people around
them that there is potentially
something to fear under a turban,
behind a beard or beneath dark skin.
Each time a Sikh is not allowed to
serve in the United States military
or their local law enforcement due
to his or her articles of faith, it tells
them that their love for this country
is not equal to others'. And when
FIBA, the international basketball
governing body, decided that they
needed more time to decide whether

or not Sikhs can play basketball
with their dastaars (turbans), it sent
the message that it is allowable to
exclude individuals for no reason
but the fact that they look different.
At this point in our nation's
history,it is unacceptable that weare
still allowing certain individuals to
face hate crimes and ignorance with
no justice. The small messages that
are sent on a day-to-day basis can
create the long-standing message
that a turban is dangerous or Sikhs
are a threat. As a Wolverine, seeing
a practicing Sikh with a turban on
one of our athletic teams would be
a dream of mine, but it might not
happen since he or she could not go
on to play professionally.
When I walk down State Street
or across the Diag, I want to know
that the fact that I feel at home isn't
countered by the fear that others
may have from their perceptions of
my turban or my brown skin. I want
to know that I don't have to explain
my identity or my presence to anyone
around me, but I can just belong as
one of the leaders and the best, just
like everyone around me. The day
that I feel truly fearless practicing
my faith will be the day that I truly
feel like a Michigan Victor, but until
then, I'll have to keep proving that
I'm not just a "towel head."
Harleen Kaur is an LSA senior.

SEND LETTERS TO: TOTHEDAILY@MICHIGANDAILY.COM
Standing together
- To all who believe a life is a life, and anyone who dies
from violence deserves to be remembered, we invite
TO THE DAILY: you to join us. We demand a future where Israelis
In November 2012, we, J Street, stood on the Diag and Palestinians live with dignity and respect, where
and held a vigil. Recent violence in Israel and Gaza left exercising free and democratic rights in the absence
us feeling saddened and frustrated. Palestinians and of violence is not a privilege or a marker of temporary
Israelis were dying, and we mourned. We held up flags, calm, buta given.
we lit candles and we commemorated the lives lost and We demand an end to this conflict. We invite voices
the families torn apart. who demand the status quo must change, who are
Today, after a resurgence of violence this summer, willing to embrace the narratives, losses, fears and
we remain frustrated. With heavy hearts and hopes of both peoples, who know there is nothing
determined minds, we are once more hosting a vigil on sustainable or acceptable about how this conflict forces
the Diag this Monday at 9 p.m. Israelis and Palestinians to live. We invite the voices
The events of the summer were not isolated; they on this campus who have a hope and a path forward
are part of a long pattern. Such violence happened and who will join us in this insistence:
three years ago and four years before that. We know We refuse to stand here in another three years.
that the current status quo is untenable. If we do not
diplomatically resolve this conflict, waves of violence Ari Schoenburg
will continue to disrupt any chance Palestinians and LSA junior
Israelis have for a viable, peaceful future. That is why
we're standing together and saying this must be the Max Ledersnaider
last vigil. Engineering junior

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