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October 01, 2014 - Image 4

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Page 4A - Wednesday, October 1, 2014

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Page 4A - Wednesday, October 1, 2014 The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom

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bAidan &i
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 sqlely the views of their authors.
Too little, too late
The 'U' must make students its first priority on and off the field
aturday afternoon, sophomore quarterback Shane Mor-
ris took a helmet-to-helmet hit during the fourth quarter
of the Michigan football team's game against Minnesota.
Morris remained in the game after exhibiting concussion-like
symptoms, obvious even to the untrained eye. After further
assessment of an ankle injury sustained earlier in the game
by the head athletic trainer, Morris was cleared and allowed
into the game in blatant disregard for concussion protocol and
player safety. In the days that followed, Michigan coach Brady
Hoke, Athletic Director David Brandon and University Presi-
dent Mark Schlissel respectively released official statements
about Saturday's mishap. However, the lack of a timely and
forceful response from the University Athletic Department,
the University's Board of Regents and Schlissel and the ris-
ing discontent among students and alumni propelled the story
toward a national discussion about Michigan athletics and the
way it treats its students on and off the field. Moving forward,
the University and the Athletic Department must be transpar-
ent in their actions and make students their first priority.

The future in our hands

Recently, I've been hearing
an uptick in remarks from
friends and colleagues about
the distressing
state of our world
today, often citing
examples like the
conflict in East-
ern Ukraine, the
rash of airplane
crashes and/
or disappear- VICTORIA
ances, the rise in
anti-Semitism in NOBLE
response to the
latest waves of
violence between Hamas, the Pales-
tinian Authority and the Israeli gov-
ernment (and the violence itself), the.
global response (or lack thereof) to
the Ebola crisis, failure to converge
in collective action on environmental
issues, the handling of the Ferguson
protests andthespreadandactionsof
ISIS. Consideringthese examples, it's
hard to answer the questions of what
kind of world do we live in? with any-
thing but negative replies. Butthat's
the wrong question altogether.
As students, it would be funto
believethat the workthat we're doing
right here and now can seismically
affect the systematic destruction
that we see in the world today -
but for the most part, save for a few
rather impressive exceptions, we
unfortunately can't. The decisions
shaping global interactions todayare
made by men and women who were
educated years ago. As we further
our own education and careers, the
more relevant question becomes:
what kind of world do we want to
live in?
We have the awesome - and I
really do mean to use that adjective
literally - privilege of shaping the
future world. So pay attention,
because the problems of today

will soon be lessons of the past -
simultaneous sources of failure
and wisdom, actions that lay the
seedbed for future progress and
further regression into violence and
regional entropy.
The Cold War proxy war in
Afghanistan, lasting from December
1979 to February 1989, is an example
of this. The United States aided and
effectively armed the mujahideen to
help combat the ideology behind the
Brezhnev Doctrine. The victory over
the Soviet Army was quite profound,
andleftalastingvictoryforcapitalism
and democracy over socialism,
and marked the turning point in
the eventual dismantling of the
Soviet state.
The actions of the leaders at the
time laid the groundwork for the
issues that the now matured leaders
of our world today contend with.
U.S. foreign policy in the Afghan
intervention was a contributing
factor to the rise of Al-Qaeda and
other powerful yet extreme groups.
As a more mundane example, Samuel
Huntington's Clash of Civilizations
academic work influenced the
ideology of this same group.
To maintain that the current
events and their analysis won't be
relevant by the time that it is our
time to lead is nonsense. We live in
an important period in international
relations and domestic politics. The
moves our leaders make in dealing
with ISIS will shape regional culture
long-term, impacting the types and
strength of movements that could
gain traction in the Middle East in
the future. The multilateral public
health response to the Ebola cri-
sis will not only set a precedent for
future efforts, but also all but deter-
mine whether or not the disease will
become introduced outside of the
region in non-hospital settings. Sys-

tematic review of police policy and a
conscious look at cultural attitudes
in response prevent a repeat occur-
renceofthe Michael Brownshooting
could substantially affect race rela-
tions andthe quality ofthe American
criminal justice system. There is no
issue today that won't have a lasting
affect on the work that may need to
be done in the future.
We will have to collectively
determine what kind of world we
will want to live in as adults. But,
to quote my favorite musical "The
Sound of Music," "nothing comes
from nothing, nothing ever could."
The basis for our decisions about
what to do next must be predicated
on what has already has been done.
Even if we aren't conscious of the
events that shape future interaction,
the implementation of policy will
reflect the impact of past realities.
So read, and read a lot. Learn, and
seek out the experiences to learn as
much as you can about anything and
everything. Undoubtedly, many of
us will eventually find ourselves in
highly responsible positions with
the ability to affect the outcomes
of very pressing situations. But
even before we get to that point, it's
important to remember that we live
in a democratic country. The option
to hold the powerful accountable
and affect political decisions rests
in the hands of all of us (assuming
that we are all 18 and don't have any
unserved jail time). Hopefully, we'll
fulfill our civic responsibility this
Novembertocast aninformedballot.
Understanding the current world
is key to determining what kind
of world we want to live in later
down the road - and how to build
that world.
- Victoria Noble can be
reached at vjnoble@umich.edu.

The Athletic Department's handling of
the situation after the game and its response,
or lack thereof, was a total failure. Hoke's
postgame press conference indicated his
total ignorance regarding the incident,
and his official statement, released Sunday
afternoon, didn't address Morris' head
injury. ByrtSunday night, th faiure of they
Athletic Department to address the situation
and admit shortcomings allowed the story to
hit all the major news outlets, even taking a
segment on ABC's "World News" and "Good
Morning America."
In his weekly Monday press conference,
Hoke remained blatantly unprepared, did
not know key information and repeatedly
answered questions by asking reporters to
refer to a forthcoming statement from the
medical staff. At 12:52 a.m. Tuesday morning,
that statement did not come from the medical
staff, rather it came from Brandon, who
addressedthesituationonbehalfoftheAthletic
Department. The statementcontradicted many
of Hoke's half-answers during his earlier
press conference. Most notably, Brandon
confirmed Morris had suffered a "probable,
mild concussion," when previously Hoke stated
therg had been no signs of head trauma.
According to Brandon, the oversight
occurred because medical personnel and the
coaching staff did not see the hit. A general
failure of communication further prevented
the proper and timely handling of Mor-
ris' head injury. Though this statement and
statements from Hoke don't suggest inten-
tionality, there is no acceptable excuse for
compromising player safety, as negligence is
equally as deplorable. The players on the field
are entwined in a culture of toughness and
playing through injury without much regard
to the potential hazards of doing so. The
decision to play cannot be left to the students.
ESPN Broadcaster Ed Cunningham
lambasted the team for its lack of concern
for Morris' safety for multiple minutes on air
during the game, both before the hit to the
head while Morris was limping around with
an ankle injury and after the hit. The crowd
booed loudly when Morris was left in and
subsequently when he reentered the game.
Because the hit on Morris occurred after the
ball left his hands, the coaches were no longer

watching the quarterback when the incident
happened, and therefore, sideline staff
assumed his post-hit stumbling was due to
his ankle injury. The lack of communication
between coaching staff, athletic trainers and
the team neurologist prevented Morris from
receivinag 'a l4. examination and allowed
for his reinsertion into the game; Brandofs
statement early Tuesday :morning, outlines
a plan to have a medical professional in
the press box or video booth to ensure that
this situation will not happen again due to
a failure to see the entirety of the play, and
also says the team is examining its sideline
communications with regard to player
injuries. These proposed changes, supported
by Schlissel in his statement, and by the
NCAA, must be implemented immediately.
This incident was just the tipping point
for public opinion of the University Athletic
Department. Students feel a large disconnect
with the Athletic Department, especially in
light of the failed implementation of a general
admission seating policy at football games
and the switch to a claims-based system for
basketball tickets. Furthermore, students
and non-students alike are fed up with
historically high ticket prices, especially
for a season with one of the weakest
home schedules in recent memory and an
increasingly over commercialized stadium
culture. Many fans feel loyalty is no longer
rewarded, as exemplified earlier in the week
with the two Coke products for two tickets
marketing ploy. In addition, the mishandling
offormerkickerBrendanGibbons'permanent
separation from the University after being
found responsible for violating the school's
sexual misconduct policy contributed to the
simmering discontent of many students.
Overall, the Athletic Department's
public relations has failed to positively
engage students, alumni and fans, leading
to Tuesday's protest and petition through
the CSG website calling for Dave Brandon's
resignation that has amassed over 10,000
signatures. In order to rectify the situation,
the University administration and the
Athletic Department must restructure their
priorities to include the safety and well-being
of student athletes while also keeping the
input of all students in mind.

CONTRIBUTE TO THE CONVERSATION
Readers are encouraged to submit letters to the editor and viewpoints.
Letters should be fewer than 300 words while viewpoints should be 550-850 words.
Send the writer's full name and University affiliation to tothedaily@michigandaily.com.
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

0

-

Send them in

While engineers looking
uncomfortable in their
formal wear handed
out resumes at
the career fair
just outside, 20
clowns took turns
sweeping the floor
of the Walgreen
Drama Center on
North Campus.
They sat in a
long row on the AVERY
gray linoleum. DIUBALDO
Each wore a
red plastic nose
strung up with a loop of elastic that
dangled from his neck or rode high
on his forehead like a miner's lamp.
All were students in the School of
Music, Theatre & Dance, and for 17 of
them, this class - listed dryly in the
course guide as "Physical Theater" -
was required for their graduation in
the spring.
On the far wall, facing them, a
black curtain stretched up toward
the ceiling; between the clowns
and the curtain, four knee-high
cubes delineated the corners of an
imaginary stage.
Seated in a wooden chair - the
only one in the room with arms -
was Lancaster-born Malcolm Tulip,
professor and ringmaster. He thrust
into the air a worn blue-handled
broom. "Who wants it?"
A student dressed in black
sweatpants and matching T-shirt
clambered to her feet and took the
broom from his hand. She pulled
on her false nose and worried at the
elasticwhichhadoncebeenwhitebut
was now turned beige with years of
flop sweat.
"You've never seen this stage
before," Tulip said, "but you need to
sweep it, and to sweep it well."
Nodding, she approached the
stage and paused at its invisible
threshold. She bowed her head,
briefly indistinguishable from a
woman in desperate prayer, and then
strode forward, broom in hand. She

had hardly walked four paces before
Tulip shouted: "Breathe!"
She opened her mouth with an
audible exhale. A few of her peers in
the audience chuckled with relief -
a laugh, yes, but not quite the sort a
clown is looling for.
Tulip turned to a student seated
on his right: "It's an acting habit of
hers," he said, "keeping her mouth
closed like that. It's not funny." The
students nodded. "She closes her
mouth, and she's dead."
"Next!"
Her place was taken by a young
woman whose white cable-knit
sweater billowed over a pair of dark
tights. She entered as her predeces-
sor did and began to sweep the floor,
slowly at first but with gathering
speed, until she was practically strik-
ing the ground with manic energy.
She glanced at the audience. Silence.
She slowed, made a few abstracted
sweeps at the floor, and was still,
looking from one end of the stage
to the other. Were this not an
improvisational exercise, one might
think she had forgotten her line.
Finally Tulip called out to her:
"Lots of thinking going on, right?"
She nodded. Most students are
hesitant to speak while wearing
"the nose," although at -this point
in their training, it's probably due
less to a deliberate stylistic choice
than to an uncertainty as to how
they ought to respond. Do they take
Tulip's direction as themselves, the
"actor"? Or as their clowns, hazy and
shapeless entities whose manner of
speech - if they even speak at all -
remains undetermined?Graduates of
Tulip's clown class speak uniformly
of not having created their clowns
but of having "found" them as if
they had emerged fully formed
from within themselves, costumed,
strutting, grimacing.
Tulip gestured for the student
to remove her nose. She did. "What
were you thinking about?" he asked.
"WhetherI was doing a good job?"
"Butyou weren't doing anything."

Helpless and looking rather
like a child unmasked while trick-
or-treating, the student shrugged
her shoulders.
"Look," Tulip said, rising from his
chair and taking the broom from her
hand. "You guys are making this too
complicated." He began to sweep.
"Just sweep the floor."
"It's simple." He turned on the
balls of his feet as he ended one
pass across the stage and began
another. "It's about the profundity,
the insignificance of the human
experience after the dropping of the
atom bomb."
An uncertain laugh floated up
from his audience, and he held up a
hand. "No - that's really how this
shit started. You sweep here, then
you sweep there, then you sweep
here, then you sweep there, then
you die." He surveyed the imaginary
dust-pile at his feet. "And that's it."
In the hour's closing minutes,
Tulip set down the broom at center-
stage and returned to his seat. He
gestured to a student waiting in the
wings, the last to go.
She pulled on her nose and took a
few hesitant steps forward. "A wild
broom!" Tulip whispered, narrating.
"It's abandoned! It's all alone! What
will it say?"
Playing along, the clown warily
tiptoed nearer its quarry. She leaned
over, bending at the waist to cock
an ear at the broom, and, after a
moment's silence, let out a guffaw as
if at a silent punchline.
"Did the broom tell you a
dirty joke?"
The clown nodded.
"I don't believe you!" Tulip cried.
"You didn't listen long enough to
hear anything!"
Holding up a finger, the clown
bent closer to the broom, listening.
She paused. And paused longer 4
still. Then she laughed, and so did
everyone else.
- Avery DiUbaldo can be
reached at diubaldo@umich.edu.

The health and safety of our entire
student community, including all of
our student-athletes, is my most
important responsibility as
University president:'
- University President Mark Schlissel said in a statement
released Wednesday afternoon, in response to the handling
and fallout of the Shane Morris incident.

I

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