Page 4A - Monday, October 6, 2014
Edited and managed by students at
the University of Michigan since 1890.
420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
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 ofttheir authors.
A Michigan community
A s part of a campus community, staying Saturday. Whatever the reason, it's almost too
in tune with the happenings of the easy to slip into a bad mood and forget what we
world is an inevitable habit. With so do know - to stop appreciating what it is about
much discussion, awareness of current issues the day-to-day that defines college.
sometimes seems to happen through osmosis. There used to be an energy that the air
It's part of the reason college exists, to almost hummed with. It's not always the same
encourage discourse and for everyone, but recently it's been universally
worldliness, collaboration quieted by the whirlwind of another semester
and communication across gearing up to pace.
different backgrounds and It's depressing to acknowledge that this time
cultures. It's one of the great around just doesn'tfeel the same. Somehow life
things about being a student. has gotten more stressful, and the tried and
Unfortunately, the world true benchmarks of good times past now seem
spins too fast to keep track of shallow and unfulfilling.
everything in it. It was the conglomeration of the known and
Certain events have the TYLER unknown that comprised the feeling in the first
power to divert the energy SCOTT place, and now it all feels old and tired.
and attention normally put However, that isn't to say that all hope is lost.
into sustaining the definitive At some point that exciting energy will show
cultural atmosphere of campus. Of course, "cer- itself again. It makes some people dance like
tain things" really means midterms, the soul- their friends have never seen, and others smile
sucking demonic exams that determineexactly so wide it hurts - an anxious excitement that
how stressful life is for the rest of the semester. nobody knows how to verbalize.
Still, with summer not too far in the past, There will be a known functional recipe to
those recent memories seem like a better time, elicit it. But when it's recognized, the greatest
when life was at ease and no troubles existed epiphany that privileged kids away at school
in the world. The fact that it isn't true anymore can have should strike. The energy wasn't
doesn't matter, because now what feels like somehow built into the masonry of the campus
every spare moment - from the morning and the city, and it doesn't leak out from back-
shower to late nights in the UGLi - is spent yard speakers and brass marching horns. It is
obsessing over material we don't know. Yet we here because we are here, and it's the things we
march on. think we hate that brew it.
Most people can at least empathize. Parents, The feeling is community; it is Michigan. We
and even occasionally professors who choose came after we felt it first from those who were
to show their human side, acknowledge that here before, and we were met with academic
midterms are the first of many stressful times demands that we were told give this school its
in a new academic year, and even if the college relevance and prestige.
scene looks pretty familiar by now, there are Even though we knew what we were signing
always new challenges. up for, we came to be among the best, and we
It's a conglomeration of the known and all came to stay. The doubt and challenge of it
unknown that causes so much stress. It's why that can quell the energy, but only for a while.
on some days the thought of real adulthood and Soon enough this stressful time too shall pass,
never having to go to lecture again seems like and somehow we'll have all survived, proving
the most beautiful thing in the world. to ourselves once again why we deserve to stay
Fall isfinallyhere,butitdoesn'tquitefeel like here, and be champions.
The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com
Have your voice be heard
U niversity students rallied eral issue of athletic safety atthe pro-
together against a common test. This has me feelinga bit unsure
evil this week: Uniyersity, about why students chose to orga-
Athletic Direc- nize themselves in the first place.
tor Dave Brandon. While I'm all for having an impas-
Controversy over sioned discussion via protest, I'm
Michigan Coach left unconvinced by the reasoning
Brady Hoke's deci- behind screams for Brandon's res-
sion to continue ignation. It seems as if students are
to play sophomore pissedoffmerelybythefactthattheir
quarterback Shane precious, often-bragged-about foot-
Morris after he'd ball team is experiencing its worst
shown obvious AUSTIN season in recent memory; the true
signs of a concus- DAVIS issue at hand - namely the ignored
sion - combined safety hazards of Morris' continued
with frustrations play - seemed a mere afterthought
over consecutive losses - prompted in comparisonto students' anger that
hundreds last Monday to protest their team has been losing. Because
against the leadership of Michigan of this, I find myself wondering if
athletics, Dave Brandon, calling for students banded together last Mon-
his immediate resignation. The on- day for a common cause, or rather to
field decision and its subsequent conveniently use the events of two
student protest have since garnered Saturdays ago to create a scapegoat
national attention, having been fea- for their pent-up frustrations with
tured in such news outlets as The the University's football program.
New York Times and ESPN. Regardless of their reasoning, stu-
It's clear that the decision to keep dents did indeed congregate on Uni-
Morris in play by Hoke was both versity President Mark Schlissel's
dangerous and wrong; Morris was front lawn in order to decree their
noticeably sluggish and limping shame in the University; they want-
after sustaining injuries during the ed to "have their voices heard" on
Minnesota game. According to the this issue. At many points through-
Mayo Clinic, a second concussion out the University's history, students
within such a short timeframe of have attempted to have their voices
a first could have led to fatal brain heard regarding other problems that
swelling. I'm sure everyone can they felt brought shame to the Uni-
agree that the chance of a player's versity as well.
death outweighs the winning of a In the 1960s students and faculty
football game, no matter how badly members alike joined forces in pro-
an athletic program needs a win to testing the Vietnam War. Male stu-
uphold its prestige. dents publically burned their draft
Drawing awareness to this dis- cards and professors organized a
tinction is of course important for "teach-in"in which all participators
reviewing the University's treat- locked themselves inside a lecture
ment of its athletes and, in general, hall on campus to discuss the moral
for protecting athletes everywhere. fortitude of continued U.S. involve-
Despite this, the oddly vicious and ment in Vietnam. In more recent
personalized outpour of emotion history, only last year, students ral-
over the decline of Michigan football lied in dissent of the University's
took precedence over the more gen- handling of rape allegations against
former Michigan kicker Brendan
Gibbons, whose process of rep-
rimand was controversially kept
under strict confidentiality by the
University for approximately four
years before his eventual expulsion.
During the same term, Black stu-
dents stood together in the freez-
ing Michigan winter in order to
call attention to the racially homog-
enous demographics on campus. I
would argue that the public discus-
sion of these issues is of far more
importance than the loss of football
games, the price of student tickets
or even the mistake on the part of
the coaches to place an injured
player back in the game; however,
none of the aforementioned ral-
lies garnered nearly as much pub-
licity or student involvement as
Protests can destroy institutions
of subjugation and dispel tyrannies.
Twenty-five years ago this year, the
world saw this happen as thousands
of Germans of the former East and
West Germanies ripped apart the
physical symbol of the Iron Curtain
- the Berlin Wall - with hammers
and hands in order to be reunited
with their countrymen, some for
the first time in 28 years. Protests
are powerful because they take
many voices and compile them in
one salient shout in defiance of
Students on Monday were indeed
attempting to defy an inconve-
niencing reality. But if the reality
of overpriced football tickets and a
lackluster football program is what
students are truly so vehemently
against, they'll find their hundreds-
strong shout for change met with a
louder laugh of ridicule based on the
hilarity of their argument.
- Austin Davis can be reached
EDITORIAL BOARD MEMBERS
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
it. Maybe it's still too warm to feel the refresh-
ing cut of cold in the air, or maybe our football
team is too bad to get properly excited about a
- Tyler Scott can be reached
MARK KILLINGSWORTH |
A tale of two programs
Last Saturday night, Rutgers, which joined
the Big Ten in July, beat Michigan, one of the
conference's founders. Michigan athletics is
reeling from a week-long public relations night-
mare. No wonder the Wolverine community is
feeling, well, seriously blue.
But the Michigan-Rutgers matchup wasn't
just a game. It highlights some of the worst
features of today's college athletics - but it also
offers a glimpse of a different future.
As an undergraduate, I loved Michigan
athletics. I've returned for homecoming,
sung "Varsity" and "The Victors" endlessly,
and walked through the Big House admiring
the displays: the winningest program, 42
conference championships and 11 national
championships - at least one every decade from
the'00s to the'40s.
But after Bennie Oosterbaan's 1948 team,
Michigan was unable to win a national title
until 1997, and after that ... nothing.
How come? Schools everywhere now hope
to vault to prominence, attract more and better
students and get more money via big-time
sports. Michigan State was one of the first,
followed by upstarts like Central Florida and
Boise State. Not surprisingly, older programs
are sometimes elbowed aside.
We haven't won national championships
lately, but we still generate enormous revenues.
Athletic program profits were over $23 million
in 2011-12, and almost $12.5 million in 2012-13,
Joining the Rutgers economics faculty in
the 1970s, I found an athletic program that was
very different from the booming enterprise in
Ann Arbor. The stadium was less than half the
size of the Big House. Rutgers played schools
like Colgate. It had traditions - after all, in
1869, Rutgers beat Princeton in the first-ever
college football game - but the program was
Then the Board of Governors decided that
Rutgers should go big-time.
So began a long, largely unimpressive and
painfully costly saga. Simply put, Rutgers'
athletics program doesn't generate nearly
enough revenue to cover expenses, resulting
in huge annual deficits. Between 2004-
05 and 2012-13, the cumulative deficit was
$237.9 million, which Rutgers has financed by
tapping student fees (over $300 per year per
undergraduate on the New Brunswick campus)
and its discretionary fund.
In 2013, Rutgers President Robert
Barchi admitted that Rutgers athletics is
"siphoning dollars off from the academic
mission." This moment of candor has never
returned. Instead, Barchi and the BOG have
a new mantra: be patient; huge Big Ten media
revenues are coming.
But Rutgers' current financial plan for
athletics actually forecasts an additional $183
million in deficits between 2013-14 and 2021-
22, even after including these revenues. The
athletic director recently disclosed that the
2014-15 deficit will be over $4 million larger
than forecast. Last month Rutgers raised the
football coach's salary by $200,000 while telling
the library to cut $550,000 from its budget.
Michigan and Rutgers have one thing
in common: athletics is autonomous and
enormously powerful, either because itis hugely
profitable (Michigan) or because the school's
governing body is completely indifferent to
huge deficits (Rutgers).
Either way, athletics becomes a law unto
itself Rutgers athletics gets a blank check;
Rutgers academics covers it. Michigan athletics
gives back only a sliver of its profits to the
academic enterprise, and management - from
the athletic director on down - is seemingly
incapable of managing competently, as witness
the flurry of conflicting statements about the
Shane Morris affair.
In both places, commercialismruns rampant.
Rutgers Stadium is now High Point Solutions
Stadium and will have enhanced cellphone
service (does that ring a bell, Wolverines?). In
a special promotion, Michigan sold football
tickets for the price of two Cokes (the result of
yet more "miscommunication," according to
the program). Aping the NFL, the Big House
blasts Eminem over the loudspeakers instead of
featuring the marching band. Both schools run
seat-licensing schemes that let rich fans write
off high-ticket prices as a tax deduction.
No other country - not Canada, Australia or
anywhere else - has the U.S. mania for college
sports. Turning things around will be difficult.
But the protests in Ann Arbor this week mean
that change is possible. My reading of the blogs,
posts and tweets suggests that many of the pro-
testers are angry not just about the failure to
protect Shane Morris, but also about the relent-
less commercialization of Michigan athletics.
Change needs leaders as well as protesters.
It's early in Mark Schlissel's tenure, but it's not
too early for him to build a coalition with other
college presidents to get the economic insanity
of today's college athletics under control. After
all, aren't we the leaders and best?
Mark R. Killingsworth is a 1967 University alum,
former editor of The Michigan Daily and is nowa
Professor of Economics at Rutgers University.
10 years old
I shrink away at the sight of my
mother struggling to make sense of
what the tall man in the white shirt
says to her. I hunch up my shoulders
instinctively, digging my hands into
the folds of her pleated skirt as if it
would be enough to keep me still.
Keep me rooted. Keep me grounded.
He speaks harsh sounds and stings
of pain, as if he pinches, prods, and
pulls at our skins, scoffs at our fur-
rowed brows and obscenities sent
"Go back to where you came from."
I learn to become ashamed of stut-
ters and broken English; I promise to
myself I will not become my mother.
I learn to distance myself from her.
Her identity will not be mine. She
will not be a representation of me.
I'm better than that.
12 years old
My friends laugh, crinkling their
noses and pushing it around the
table. The distinctive smell and taste
of home becomes a joke; everything
becomes slow and sleepy and hazy.
My throat closes up and I feel
the familiar sting of burning acid
threatening to drip out of my eyes.
My friends look at me with a weary
expression, rolling their eyes and
laughing. All of a sudden, all I can
taste is my own words and laughter,
"I know, right?"
I pack up my favorite meal, and
throw it out.
I tell my mother that it was
Next time she asks what I want for
lunch, I point to the white bread in
favor of the white rice. Peanut butter
in exchange for the dried seaweed.
An apple replacing the kimchi.
Lunch becomes the first step away
from my parents' culture.
They're different. I don't want
to be different. I don't want to
I just want to be American.
13 years old
The people who looked like me
were the people I didn't want to be.
Awkwardly short with chubby faces,
we seemed to blend into each other.
I was called three different names in
the same hour.
"Lisa! No. Yuan. Wait no ... I got it
- just wait for it. It's on the tip of my
tongue. It has to be ... Susanna?"
Even in middle school, I under-
stood we were all perceived in the
same way - smart, submissive, shy,
quiet, second-rate objects to satisfy
the nearest diversity requirement.
In group projects, we were given the
most responsibility, and assumed
to complete the project on our own
means. We were talked about as the
"model minorities," the ones who
would get 'A's to attend prestigious
universities. My race, it seemed,
embraced the pressure to be perfect.
Surrounded by these representa-
tions, I believed that this was all that
I could be. All that I would ever be.
To break away from that stereotype,
I spent time unfairly judging my
own outward appearance. If I could
change what I looked like, I believed
that it would change what other peo-
ple expected of me. I thoughtthat if I
looked like other girls - tall, skinny,
shiny, and happy, I could break away
from the stereotype that followed
me. Trying to contort my body to
gain acceptance, I skipped meals and
chewed gum. My appetite and hun-
ger began to disappear. So did I.
15 years old
I wish I could say that the first
time I stuck my fingers down my
throat would be the last time I ever
did something carelessly harmful
to myself. I felt my own ghosts sink
down the drains and transform
themselves into something clear,
something pure. As if purging my
insides-would transform my bruises,
self-inflicted by my own distaste for
my appearance. It made me forget
I needed to write out an excused
absence for my sister, that I needed
to read documents and explain to my
mother what it meant in elementary
English, that I needed to find a
plausible excuse for why I wasn't
feeling up to eating lunch again.
Throwing up food to maintain my
unnaturally slim figure was some-
thing that I could control in a world
where I was being labeled, used, and
expected to hold up the image that
was thrown upon me the moment I
stepped into rooms. Purging became
a coping mechanism; it became away
of life; it began to define me,
I thought I understood my
intentions for turning my insides
out, for sticking my fingers down my
throat, for refusing anything but a
handfulofgrapes aday. I never really
thought to see how fragile it all ways,
how deep it went. Just like everyone
else, I only saw the top layer, where
I was close to the size 0 jeans and
Western standard of thin beauty, and
never cared to go to the root of the
and my coping mechanism became
my downfall; it ate me up when I
was young and impressionable, and
I clung on to it with hopeful despair
Living with an eating disorder is
a permanent battle between what
I know is right and what I feel is
right. After multiple fainting spells
and even greater health problems, I
steadily forced myself to eat three
meals a day and keep it inside my
stomach. However, I began to feel
as if I was losing a piece of myself
with the improvement of my health.
I felt as if I had no control over who
I was becoming.
This feeling of helplessness is
what makes it easy to fall back
into familiar patterns. It's easy to
resort to a coping mechanism that
seemed to quench my thirst for
control because the number on the
scale was the only tie I had with
self-confidence. Just as it became
easier to allow others' preconceived
notions of what I should be to sculpt
me into an image of impossibility.
I never once tried to explain that
their idea of perfection based on my
race eventually molded me into a
misunderstood mask of repressed
desire for control over who I wanted
to be. My weight became represen-
tative of everything that I desired
to attain but was out of my reach -
acceptance, perfection, admiration,
assimilation into American society
when I looked and was born into
someone that seemed completely
misaligned with stereotypical social
norms. Similarly, my weight became
the only thing that I felt I could con-
See PERFECTION, Page SA