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September 12, 2014 - Image 4

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Page 4A - Friday, September 12, 2014

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Page 4A - Friday, September12, 2014 The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom

4R{7d igan alh)
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.
Never too safe
Additional emergency precautions can save lives in future crises.
Wednesday at 8:55 a.m., an emergency alert - in
the form of text messages, emails, phone calls and
social media - notified students and faculty of a
reported man with a gun entering the Chemistry Building. It
was later discovered that the weapon was not real, and instead
was a "rubberized" replica used for ROTC training. While this
event has shed light on the potentially serious concerns with
emergency safety communication and procedure, the incident
that created this situation was the result of an oversight. In
response, ROTC has said it will implement new procedures,
which will hopefully prevent another occurrence.

Rethinking the melting pot

ong before I first thought
about what love was, I
imagined my wedding in a
Catholic church
in California.
California,
because that
was where the
air smelled
like oranges
and the ocean,
and a Catholic .jLu
church because ZARINA
at some critical
crossroad in my
childhood logic,
I deemed this the appropriate setting
for an American wedding. I felt no
particular affinity with the Catholic
Church, nor did I feel any real
longing to eventually be married, but
imagining it seemed an important
ritual to undertake. Something that
people do on the long and narrow
road that culminates in ashimmering
mirage of adulthood.
My paternal grandparents were
fairly devout Catholics and in the
intermittent summers when we
would live with them I would be
expected to adopt their faith, a nod
of respect to my father's family. On
these humid summer Sundays, I
would sit in the front bench seat of
the old Buick and watch for blue
herons in the tall bay grass of the
Chesapeake as we drove into a town
of slanted wooden houses and tuna
sandwiches; a town so polar opposite
from my dusty and sweet desert
home of minarets and bougainvillea
that it seemed like a dream. It made
me vaguely sick to my stomach, the
feelingthat I was alive in some other
person's memory - an incarnation
of a period of time where some
sensations had been amplified and
others forgotten entirely.
We attended mass in a small stone
church made large and imposing by a
stained glass depiction of St. Patrick
banishing all of Ireland's snakes into
a dark and unforgiving sea. I remem-
ber being young and kneeling on a
kelly green carpet, crying in petition
to a larger-than-life statue of a white-
skinned, blue-eyed, thorn-crowned
Jesus, nailed to a cross, painted blood
runningdownhishandsandforehead.
"Please get him down," I begged
the nun who taught catechism on
Sundays, "he is hurt."
"He died for your sins,"
she responded in a tone that
addressed none of my anxieties but
suggested resolution.
Later we ate animal crackers and
drank lemonade out of paper cups

and prayed for our absolu
salvation.
Forgive us our trespasse
forgive those that trespass ag
Trespassing seemed ani
to ask deliverance from.
petual outsiders, someti
brother and I would talk toi
kids, primarily about thing
'n slides and Go-Gurt (two
remember being singularly
important and American tl
ticular summers), the con
would invariably turn toc
about where we came from.
"Are you terrorists?"
"Do you ride a camel to sc
"Why are you wearing
(In response to a pictur
brother in a galabeyya.)
"Your God isn't even real
"Go to hell," I wanted to;
because this was the ne
most potent in my armory o
"you don't know anything."
"Haha," I said instead,
the animal crackers aroun
desk into little awkward b
of embarrassment, "I'm n
like that." I felt
a smoldering
shame, both Mel
for breaking
the trust of the pot
things I loved t
most, and also W
for wanting
desperately to Wr
belong with r
these new
and powerful
antagonizers.
It was a delicate balanc
two identities in America
were vigilant about poin
apparent deficiencies in "A
ness." Accents, smells, sk
clothing and beliefs all we;
tial conditions in need of rei
I pictured a new
accurate sign to hang
Customs and Immigration
recently slouched along a
International Airport:
Welcome to the America;
Melt right into this pot, Lad;
would beckon, with som
reservations. Handpick afe
of your culture that we mig
your cool music, your
clothes," perhaps your acc
sounds sexy and European,
the rest of yourself behind. I
lowbrow, and/or a burden to
But every lie was a
for some part of yourself
instinctively knew to be n
Every omission signified si

tion and betrayed and irretrievably lost in
the betrayal.
es, as we It was a delicate balance for
yainst us. everyone who claimed home in more
apt thing than one culture, because wandering
The per- too far into either identity meant
mes my the threat of losing the other and
the other belonging to no one. Or belonging
s like slip to everyone.
things I Instead of constantly asking for
present, forgiveness for trespassing, I began
hose par- to imagine our own rosary, our
versation own devotions in the words of Joan
questions Didion, the patron saint of anxious
observers and uncertain wanderers,
those who read meaning and
chool?" metaphor into the loss of a bracelet,
a dress?" the time on the clock, a perfectly
e of my peeled orange:
"A , place belongs forever to
whoever claims it hardest, remembers
tell them, it most obsessively, wrenches it from
west and itself, shapes it, renders it, loves it
f insults, so radically that he remakes it in his
own image."
pushing The balance doesn't have to be
d on my found in what we choose to leave
herds out behind in the immigration line, at
ot really the door to school or on the first
day of college,
but in remaking
t right into this the places we've
found in our
t, Lady Liberty own image.
Places that don't
Tould beckon, need gentle
. explaining to
th somelisted those who do not
eservations understand your
* osongs and your
words and your
struggles - a
e, having place that isn't always for them.
. People If I could make my own sign to
ting out hang in Immigration and Customs
merican- now it would say "You don't have to
in color, melt into the pot. You don't have to
re poten- dissolve into anything else." Bring it
medy. all and demand that they accept it
more uniquely and unconditionally, the
in the way it was meant to be accepted.
i line I'd Every "strange" smell and every
at Dulles accented syllable made new in your
voice. The tall and yellowing bay
n Dream! grass, the banyan trees in a Maadi
y Liberty garden. Every word in a language
ie listed handed down through your mother,
w aspects lost, to time and an imperfect,
rht enjoy, unwilling memory. Every faded
"colorful picture, smuggled from a shoebox
ent if it and examined by flashlight under
but leave covers. Every fear of the future,
t's weird, every comfort of the past and every
us. fault, made whole in your eyes by an
requiem unequivocal, radical love. All of it.
that you
ecessary. Julia Zarina can be reached
omething at jumilton@umich.edu.

The event illuminated shortcomings
in the University's system in responding
to a potential real, active shooter or
other situations of imminent danger. The
original alert was delayed in reaching many
intended recipients, and many students were
uninformed about the event for a period of
time that could have proven dangerous had
the situation been a genuine threat. Further,
both students and faculty demonstrated
limited understanding of emergency protocol.
Though this situation was fortunately a false
alarm, it revealed the dire need to improve
campus response to similar situations in
the future.
While the University Police sent out
its alert within minutes of learning that
there was a possible armed suspect on
campus, cellular service providers, weather
conditions and other technological problems
created a lag in when students and faculty
received the information. Many did not
receive the message at all. These initial
alerts are incredibly important as they allow
students to take the necessary precautions
to avoid exposing themselves to danger in
the crucial minutes before law enforcement
arrives to contain the situation. While text
messages and e-mails are logical forms
of communication to widely disseminate
information, both are subject to the
unreliability of cellular service and internet
connections. University Police Chief Robert
Neumann has said that DPSS is constantly
working to improve their emergency alert
system. Obviously, it's impossible to create
a 100 percent fail-proof alert system, but
the discovery and implementation of more
reliable forms of communication for future
crises - such as a P.A. system or lockdown
alarm system similar to fire alarms - may
save lives.
In the meantime, campus safety can be
significantly improved if more students and
staff sign up for the University emergency
alerts. According to a DPSS spokesperson, less
than 35 percent of students are subscribed
to receive DPSS text messages. The more
studentsthat sign up for this service, the more
widely urgent information will be spread

across campus, decreasing the chance that
anyone will be late in receiving potentially
life-saving information. Changing the status
quo from an opt-in system to an opt-out one
could make a tremendous difference.
Concerns also arose in regard to the
scarcity of information in the DPSS alerts.
Even after the "all clear" message, students
were unsure of what had happened and felt
uneasy resuming normal activities without a
full explanation. In crisis events, the priority
is to notify all necessary personnel as quickly
as possible; brevity is expected and often
necessary. Even the "all clear" resolution
message is time-sensitive for reducing undue
stress. But, afterward, when all urgent alerts
have been sent out, DPSS should consider
delivering a follow-up alert summarizing the
situation. The DPSS spokesperson says that
these emergency alerts are limited to a 100
character limit. If this restriction becomes
limiting, DPSS should alert students that
more information can be found online on its
website. It is better to err on the side of excess
information rather than too little, especially
in emergency situations.
In addition to the communication
concerns, this incident raises questions about
the emergency preparedness of University
staff and faculty. Some graduate student
instructors, if not all, are not required to
undergo emergency protocol information
or training sessions. Even if the University
continues to forgo critical training for
all employees, it should mandate a safety
training session for faculty who are routinely
overseeing large groups of students -
professors, lecturers, GSIs, etc. This will
not only improve the safety of both staff and
students, but can prevent panic and chaos
if students know that faculty members are
properly trained. Mandatory emergency
training is widely required in K-12 education
and with large classes at the university level,
such courses become even more critical.
Emergencies are unpredictable and
maybe even inevitable, but with continual
improvements to DPSS communication
systems and proper training for University
faculty, tragedies can be prevented.

True leadership

i

EDITORIAL BOARD MEMBERS
Barry Belmont, 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

W ith my body coated
in a fine layer of dust
and sweat, my mind
wandered
among fantasies
of fall at the
University of
Michigan. My
feet, however,
were following
the rhythmic
sashay of a MELISSA
droning vacuum. SCHOLKE
This absent- _
minded dance
across the carpet
was soon interrupted. For months, I
swabbed, vacuumed and hauled as a
temporary addition to the custodial
crew. Yet, I still hadn't met the
company's owner.
Accompanied by my father, the
owner stood in the doorway asking
the same cliche questions about my
major, my year and whether or not I
was enjoying college. The owner -
after apathetically nodding to each
of my answers - saw my exhaustion
and attempted to reassure me by
insinuating days of manual labor
and completing menial tasks would
end once I graduated. He suggested
I could bypass the drudgery of blue-
collar work. I was dumbfounded he
said this in front of my father - the
head custodian. This supervisor
was supposedly the leader of the
company. Yet, he seemed to believe
that a higher salary and a certificate
allowed him to belittle the work of
his employees and to openly insult
an employee who has worked there
for decades.
While the statement may be an
isolated incident of arrogance in the
workplace, I've encountered this
elitist viewpoint before. College is
an institution designed to foster
independent thinking and to culti-
vate skills necessary for particular
careers. Far too often, however, a
college education is confused with
a pathway to a pedestal. Individuals
with a mindset similar to the compa-
ny owner enter college, regurgitate
answers, absorb enough information

to get class credit, obtain
sional title and degrade t
maynothavefollowedthes
In a recent essay by
Deresiewicz for The Nev
lit, he attributes these at
"grandiosity" and superior
damaging effects posed b
prestigious educational in
According to Deresiewicz,
tem of elite education man
young people who are s
talented and driven, yes,
anxious, timid, and lost,v
intellectual curiosity and,
sense of purpose." Consid
vast amount of financiala
capital invested in catapu
dents into institutions of
it's no shock money and
can take precedence in
minds. Deresiewicz argue;
failure and the goal of "clir
greasy pole of whatever h
they choose can strip you
of their creativity, their pa
their concern for the less
world around them.
While Deresiewicz's
focused on students atte;
League institutions, V
aren't immune to follos
disconnected, formulaic
to success. Michigan stud,
ourselves upon
being "the lead-
ers and best," We
and we attend that
a university
known inter- ou
nationally for
its tremendous t
commitment
to service and C
various forms
of research. In
fact, Washington Monthly
awarded the University the
in their current rankings o
leges. The publication rar
versities by measuring eac
research, civic engagem
social mobility.
Despite recognition for
versity's social mobility -
to admit and graduate stud

a profes- lower socioeconomic backgrounds
hose who - only 16 percent of University stu-
amepath. dents receive Pell grants. This per-
William centage is lower than some of the
w Repub- colleges* ranked beneath Univer-
titudes of sity of Michigan in the Washington
'ity to the Monthly report. The University takes
by today's pride in its diverse student body, but
stitutions. socioeconomic diversity is still lack-
"our sys- ing on campus. For students with-
ufactures out the financial means to attend
mart and such an acclaimed university, the
but also shortage of funds limits their edu-
with little cational options, puts them at a
a stunted disadvantage when compared to
lering the their more privileged peers and can
and social deter them from attending college
ilting stu- entirely. By increasing aid and cre-
learning, ating more opportunities for low-
prestige income students, the University can
students' level the playing field among its stu-
s a fear of dent body. The University has taken
mbing the strides, through numerous donors,
ilerarchy" initiatives and a selection of schol-
ng minds arships, to show concern for stu-
ssion and dents and communities in need, but
fortunate there's still room for improvement.
We need to ensure we don't loosen
critique our grasp upon the true definition
nding Ivy of leadership.
Volverines The goal of leaders is not to seek
wing this accolades or to establish themselves
approach at the top of their fields.While knowl-
ents pride edge is considered a hallmark of a
leader, the appli-
cation of one's
need to ensure knowledge and
,o o its combination
we don't loosen with compassion
grasp upon the forges true lead-
ers. Strong lead-
rue definition ers are humble
landempathize
of leadership. withothers.They
disregard social
hierarchies by
y recently realizing no individual role or career
13th spot is more important than another.
f 100 col- Leaders recognize individuals capa-
nked uni- ble of improving our world are found
h school's within various social classes, colleges
sent and and career fields, and they work tire-
lessly to include them.
the Uni-
its ability Melissa Scholke can be reached
ents from at melikaye@umich.edu.

This is a core principle of
my presidency: if you
threaten America, you will
find no safe haven."
- President Barack Obama said in a televised speech on Wednesday
outlining his plan of action against the islamic State of Iraq and the Levant

4

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