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October 07, 2014 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 2014-10-07

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Page 4- Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Opi IO

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

IWCilian 46F 46F
Edited and managed by students at
the University of Michigan since1890.
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.

Practically every stud
frequent wanderer of
Michigan campus h
in the Diag holding a sign
warning of judgement
day. Every once in a
while, a group of very
conservative Christian
folks will congregate
in front of the Hatcher
Graduate Library,
holding these signs and
vocalizing their beliefs
about sexual assault,
alcohol consumption and
other activities common

lent, professor or
f the University of
as seen someone

response to this, so the screams coming from
the students were conducive to her silence.
These types of students rally together to
mock and refute the opinions held by these
conservative Christians, but they seem to
provide more than just a crowd of laughing
students. It is not every day and in every situ-
ation that a girl who was sexually assaulted
when she was seven years old openly talks
about the assault. Oftentimes, women who
are victims of sexual abuse keep quiet about
their experience(s). The fear of not being lis-
tened to and believed isn't too hard to fath-
om, considering the way rape and sexual
abuse are treated in our society. But, when
you gather a group of college-aged students
who all oppose the extreme opinions of a-con-
servative group, there appears to be an open
space for dialogue about sexual assault. That
being said, it is clear that not every survivor of
sexual abuse is rallying on the Diag and speak-
ing up. If they were to, though, the flock of
students could be considered somewhat of an
unconventional and informal support group,
welcoming and supporting discussions of
assault. Here, one can remain somewhat anon-

Warning this article may
be perceived as a spoiler
for those who haven't
yet seen the first season of "House of
"House of
Cards" gave me
a perception of
Washington, DA.
that I thought was
fantastical. As Ilay
in bed this summer
and binge-watched MAURA
the powerful LEVINE
Frank Underwood
share government secrets with the
young, vivacious journalist Zoe
Barnes, I was sure the show was
completely based on fiction. Each
time her phone rang and she was,
first to print a story, I was astounded
by Underwood's audacity and Zoe's
acceptance. It only made the whole
thing seem more outrageous when
Zoe and Underwood started an illicit
affair. As I watched, I was reminded
of the Watergate scandal, when
journalists Bob Woodward and Carl
Bernstein had a source nicknamed
"Deep Throat" giving them all the
secrets about the Nixon scandal to
print.It was later confirmed that Deep
Throat was FBI Associate Director
Mark Felt. This relationship between
the press and the government in D.C.
seemed rare to me: an informant from
inside the government giving the
press information is a total breach of
both trust and security clearance, and
therefore I thought it was something
only true in movies or in the past.
This past week, however, a huge
Secret Service scandal started to
unravel. The talk of the town was that
one of Obama's Secret Service agents
leaked the President's2012 campaign
stops to a Romney aide several days
before the schedule was released to

eltway nav
the public. The agent's motivation
is said to have been to impress the
woman he was flirting with. Sound
familiar? It's like another version
of the Zoe/Frank story. Granted,
the White Ho'use has denied these
allegations, but in my seminar class
this week we discussed the possibility
of such a scandal. Our guest speaker,
a. Special Forces captain in the U.S.
Army, asked us to think about what
the morale of the Secret Service staff
must be like in order for one of them
to feel it would be OK to make such
a leak. We talked about incentives
that could lead government agents
to share information with the press.
Low morale
is a plausible I've ditched
scenario in the
recent Secret a
Service scandal, and come tc
especially inevitable
considering the
fact that Secret in each a
Service Director
Julia Pierson governmej
due to worries of
poor performance. It's also possible
that Secret Service morale has been
low for years, leading an agent to
feel like there wouldn't be many
repercussions for revealingPresident
Barack Obama's schedule.
Regardless of the outcome in
this particular scandal, all of these
combined events have .led me to
reassess my opinion that security
leaks don't often happen in D.C. In
fact, I would argue just the opposite.
I've ditched my naivete and come
to realize the human nature and the
inevitable fallibility in each and every
government servant.
The other day, something small
went missing in my office at the
Department of Justice. People were
complaining jokingly that perhaps it
was stolen. I looked at them skepti-
cally and said, "Yeah, right, this is the

DOJ There's so much security to get
into this building there's no way any-
thingcould get stolen."The head para-
legal looked at me and said, "Don't
assume that everyone with a govern-
ment badge is an honest person. Just
because someone has a badge doesn't
make them honest." Although we
all had to go through rigorous back-
ground checks to even walk through AM
the door, the truth is background
checks can only go so far. For a Secret
Service agent, an FBI administrator
or even an intern, secret data is widely
available and protected by the per-
son's word. Considering human falli-
bility, Iam surprised by the trust the
government has

my naivete
realize the
nd every
nt Servant.

put in every sin-
gle person they
Living in D.C.
has taught me
that the govern-
ment is made up
of people just
like you and me.
It is a network

amongst college students.'
represent the group vary fr(
but they consistently and p
sign that warns those wh
should have equal rights an
attracted to the same sex (a
others) that Judgment Da
consistency, on some level, i
their point across, I guess.
Fortunately, a lot of studen
sity tend to disagree that
the types of people men-
tioned above should be
fearful of Judgment Day.
Each group of extremist
Christians comes with a
group of infuriated stu-
dents. I have not walked
through the Diag once
without seeing a rally of
students actively oppos-
ing the group's opin-
ions. After a woman was
preaching victim blame
for rape - such as, girls
with bigger boobs and
more revealing shirts are
the ones who-get raped by
the boys - and the impor-
tance of being married to
your partner before hav-
ing sex with him or her, stu
with a concerto of uproar.
premarital, consensual sex
shouted, triggering shouts of
from the rest of the students.
Along with critical coms
ing consensual and premarit
also came out and spoke abos
of sexual assault. She criticiz
comment about some girls bei
tible to rape than others by p
about her own experience; be
a man at the age of seven. "N
it then?" she asked, triggerit
of encouraging and positiv
the rest of the students. The
ated with the religious grou

The people that.
om time to time,
roudly hold the
o think women
d those who are
long with many
y is coming -
s key for getting
its at the Univer-

of organizations
manned by supportstaffwholead nor-
mal lives, have fallible traits and are
not always dependable. If you think
about it too hard, you might get scared
in the hands ofunreliable or dishonest
individuals. But our system has almost
always worked. There will always be
motivations for people to leak infor-
mation to the press, an unexpected
yet human quality that the Founding
Fathers may not have considered
when writing our constitution. Leaks
will always happen because our gov-
ernment is not run by super-humans
with flawless moral calculators. This
is no reason for-alarm, however, for as
long as leaks exist, so too will punish-
ment for the leakers.
- Maura Levine can be reached
at mtoval@umich.edu.


ymous (names do not have
to be revealed), talk about
their instance or instances
It isnot every of sexual abuse and have
i v y a crowd of supportive stu-
day and in every dents behind them.
While this type of
situation tht a girl conversation is not for
everybody, I think it is
who was sexually still important that these
types of dialogue exist
assaulted when she in college settings. Not
every survivor of assault
was seven years old may be comfortable with
ever talking about their
openly talks about experience or experiences
in a group of strangers that
the assault. he/she attends school with,
but the ones who do can
find support in an unlikely
space. These conversations
dents responded may seem elementary or unsophisticated, but
Let's hear it for they are nonetheless important in creating a
!" one student relatively safe space on campus for those who
encouragement are victims of sexual assault. Even if a person
doesn't have the urge to speak up about the
nents encourag- instance of being a target of abuse, it is still
al sex, a woman encouraging to hear a large group of students
at being a victim cheering for consensual sex, especially when
ed the woman's the group includes a fair number of male
ng more suscep- students. As frustrating as the conservative
roviding a story occupiers of the Diag can be, their presence
ing assaulted by encourages agroup ofsupporters ofconsensual
Was I asking for sex and raises awareness of the prominence of
ng another roar sexual assault.
e screams from
woman associ- - Rennie Pasquinelli can be
p didn't have a reached at renpasq@umich.edu.

Devin Eggert, 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

BAMN supports firing of Dave Brandon

The recent protest and march to the Uni-
versity President's house calling for the firing
of Athletic Director David Brandon following=
the gross disregard for the health and safety
of sophomore quarterback Shane Morris is an
expression of the rising anger over the priva-
tization of the University and its unabashed
policy of prioritizing profits over the well-
being of students. There is growing desire
of students on this campus to take matters
into their own hands in the spirit of the mass
resistance against racism and police brutality
in Ferguson, Missouri. BAMN supports the
demand for the firing of David Brandon and
Michigan's coach Brady Hoke, and we call
for the organization of a union for student-
athletes that will provide protection from
dangerous, unhealthy practices and playing
conditions, that prevents the University from
revoking the scholarships of players who suf-
fer injuries and protects the overall educa-
tional and financial interests of the students
against the exploitation of the University.
The mistreatment and exploitation of stu-
dent athletes and the prioritizing of profits is
one of the many ways in which the Universi-
ty's administration has failed to provide a full
educational college experience with access
to opportunities and safety for all students.
Instead, the University has fostered and pro-
tected a growing, hostile campus climate, in
which safety and opportunities are no longer
a priority if they are in the way of profits and
against the interests of the increasingly con-
servative private donors and sponsors.
The hostile conditions on campus have
especially affected minority students whose

numbers have been dropping to levels not
seen since before the 1970s, and increasing
numbers of women students who are victims
of sexual assault and rape. The University
covered for former kicker Brendan Gibbons
after he assaulted a female student in 2009
because football profits are worth more to the
administration than the safety and well-being
of women on this campus. These policies are
not jsolated to the Athletic Department; they
come from top administrators all the way up
to the president.
Minority students should not have to
accept the degradation of unequal treatment
and racist slurs as a condition of being on this
campus. Women have a right to be on this
campus without living under the constant
threat of sexual harassment, assault and rape.
We want a truly public university that serves
the needs of humanity, not a private business
accountable to its private and corporate
donors. We want a campus that is welcoming
and feels like home to all of us, a place where
we all have the freedom to be ourselves, to
think, to explore our diverse interests and to
develop our talents to their fullest potential,
without being exploited in the financial
interest of the University administration.
Student movements for progress and equal-
ity have defined what is best about this Univer-
sity, not the administration. We can change the
conditions on this campus. We must take the
example of Ferguson and take matters into our
own hands and keep marching until we win.
- Kate Stenvig is an University alum and
a By Any Means Necessary organizer.

According to the Human Rights
Campaign, an LGBTQ rights
organization, there are 1,138 benefits,
rights and protections provided to
married couplesthat arenot available
to same-sex couples. Michigan is one
of those states.
Imagine if your spouse was in an
automobile accident, and you rushed
to the emergency room desperate to
know she was ok. When you inquired
as to her location at the desk, you
were told that because you were
not her legal spouse or a member of
her family, you were not admitted.
This happens every day to same-sex
couples because this right, among
many other benefits, is only available
to legally married couples.
April DeBoer and Jayne Rowse
brought their case after a frightening
close call driving one winter day led
them to realize if one of them were to
perish, one or more of their children
could be placed with familythatthey
don't even know rather than staying
with their other parent. This was
a devastating thought that spurred
them to take action to gain the right
to adopt each other's children. The
judge in their case, Bernard Fried-
man, encouraged them to include a
challenge to the same-sex marriage
ban to get at the real problem behind
not being able to jointly adopt.
The judge ruled that the ban was
unconstitutional, and during one
day in March, 300 couples were
wed and now enjoy federal benefits.
However, these benefits are still
currently denied to most same-sex
couples because of their inability to
marry due to a stay on the ban. These
couples currently lie in wait, holding
out for a permanent reversal of the
ban, which is currently before three
U.S. Sixth Circuit Court Judges: Jef-
frey Sutton, Deborah Cook and Mar-


e re not there yet
tha Daughtrey. If they decide not to disorder and a 36.3-percent increase
overturn the ban, the case will then in psychiatric comorbidity. Add to
be sent to the U.S. Supreme Court to that the financial inequality of a
decide once and for all. It is thought lack of partner health care benefits,
that they will decide in favor of income tax breaks and Social
marriage equality. Security benefits, and it's a pretty
We live in America, home of the bleak picture.
free, .where all are created equal What would it look like if we lived
except for same-sex couples, who are up to our stated values? Same-sex
treated as second-class citizens by couples would have access to the
not being permitted to marry. Equal same rights and privileges as tra-
rights and protections are denied to ditionally married couples. They
these couples and their children. As a would be granted the simple right
nation, we claim to treasure freedom to marry and to provide two legal
and equality, but in reality, we just parents for their children. Children
aren't there yet. would live without being singled
Why aren't we there yet? Some out or stigmatized by having same-
critics believe that the children of sex parents; they would be assumed
; same-sex couples do not fare as well, equal, like everyone else. With
however the concerns about same- same-sex parental rights socially
sex parenting are unfounded accord- and legally legitimized, over time,
ing to a report recently published by these children would experience less
the American Academy of Pediat- humiliation coming from peer igno.
rics, which examined 30 years of rance on the matter. Supreme Court
research on this topic. According to Justice Anthony Kennedy in his brief
the report, "Many studies have dem- striking down the federal Defense of
onstrated that children's well-being Marriage Act in March noted about
is affected much more by their rela- the ban that the "purpose and effect
tionships with their parents, their (is) to disparage and to injure" those
parents' sense of competence and in same-sex marriages, subjecting
security, and the presence of social them to "a stigma" that "humiliates
and economic support for the family tens of thousands of children now
than by the gender or the sexual ori- being raised by same-sex couples."
entation of their parents." The evidence and the will of the
The impact of us not being there people support overturning the
yet is immense. According to a study Michigan ban on same-sex mar-
by Mark Hatzenbuehler published riage. Until this country has rights
in The.American Journal of Public that protect and honor all of our
Health, psychiatric disorders were citizens, we are lying to ourselves if
significantly increased in LGBTQ we believe in the fantasy of equality
individuals in states that actively in America. With recent progress in
banned same-sex marriage as the courts, I hold out hope that we
compared to states that did not. are well on our way to living up to
The results were significant, with the reputation on which this country
a 36.6-percent increase in mood was founded.
disorder, a 248.2-percent increase
in generalized anxiety disorder, Molly Indura is a graduate student
41.9-percent increase in alcohol use in the School of Social Work.


What's encouragig is that there are signs
of progress in the outbreak!"
- U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Tom Frieden said during the CDC press
conference on the Ebola outbreak on Monday.


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