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October 10, 2014 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 2014-10-10

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4A - Friday, October10, 2014

The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom



Gly idtpan Big
Edited and managed by students at
the University of Michigan since 1890.
420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
Unsigned editorials reflectthe official position of the Daily's editorial board.
All other signed articles snd illustrations represent solely the views of their authors.
A major wake up call
Athletic Department must repair relationships
viral campaign began earlier this week, urging students
to boycott the kickoff of Michigan's home game against.
Penn State Saturday. Originating from the comments
section of MGoBlog, an online blog that chronicles Michigan
Athletics, the boycott is a student response to a series of mistakes
and failures from Athletic Director Dave Brandon and the
University's Athletic Department. This list of grievances begins
as early as 2009 - before Dave Brandon's tenure - and concludes
as recently as two weeks ago. Student outrage has reached a peak,
culminating with protests on the Diag and outside University
President Mark Schlissel's house. Such an outburst is not easy to
incite and should not be taken lightly. The University, the Athletic
Department and Dave Brandon need to begin a serious push to
win back the student body by implementing policies that can
preemptively address potential crises.

Ann Arbor's housing headache

As we've entered October, I'm
sure everyone's settling into
dorms. But don't
feel too settled,
because now's the
time that you real-
ly need to think :
about housing.
Simply put, a
student's search
for housing in Ann '
Arbor is ridicu- MICHAEL
lous. Not only are SCHRAMM
housing prices
unreasonable rela-
tive to what students at other col-
leges pay, but the process of finding
housing contains an unreasonable
number of traps and difficulties.
The process's stress stems from
issues explained by basic economics.
A culmination of factors - including
the renovations in large student
housing facilities like South Quad
and West Quad, a consistent increase
in admitted students and off-campus
housing reaching or exceeding
capacity - has created an excess
demand that the housing supply
struggles to meet. With so many
students looking for housing, tenants
in convenient locations can charge
higher prices and expect students to
sign leases in October or November.
The expectation of signing a lease
in October or November can lead to
serious issues. You've lived in your
current housing for a month or two,
so you really haven't lived with your
housemates or roommates long
enough to know whether your liv-
ing styles are similar. But you don't
have the time to see how things play
out. If you're even considering living
with them, you have to immediately
look into the possibility of living with
them next year. If they're down,
that's great, and you can renew your
lease or find new housing and pray
that you'll live well together for the
next two years. However, this doesn't
always happen, and sometimes your
roommates want different housing
experiences or already realize your
living situation isn't suitable. This
would be stressful in any circum-
stance,but you don't reallyhave time
to think your other options through.
You only really have three weeks
before all your friends solidify their
plays, soi you have to scramble, and
accept any housing offer you find -
even if it's one that you don't want.
This isn't even taking into con-
sideration how much relationships
can change in a year. If you sign an

August-to-August lease in October, should be developed to stop these
you have 11 months until you live sidestepping policies. The University
with those people. Eleven months should advocate to the Ann Arbor
of time can have a pretty significant City Council for a 100-day period as
impact on a person's social life. You opposed to the current 70-day policy.
could very well realize in January Additionally, rules should exist to
or February that you would have prohibit students from touring or
preferred to live with other people, signing May-to-May leases until
particularly if you're a freshman or Dec. 15. These policies would allow
sophomore who immediately signed students to sign leases during mid-
a lease with people youbarely know. December at the earliest. Coupled
But let's just assume that you find with exams and Winter Break,
the right people to live with next students would likely not be able
year. Now you can actually begin to sign a lease until they return for
your housing search. However, this second semester. Having all of first
is by no means a period of leisurely semester to brainstorm housing
searching options to determine your groups would give students an
bestfit.Youhave at most amonth and opportunity to make informed and
a half to decide where you want to intelligent decisions. This could also
live, so your search turns into a rabid decrease housing prices as landlords
hunt to find a place that you don't may lower rent to attract, more
hate, is located somewhere you want students given that they have less
to live and falls within your budget. time for studentsto signleases.
Unfortunately, you're not the only This policy change would also be
person in your living group, and optimal as second semester is around
each individual has different prefer- the time that the University opensup
ences. These people are your friends, the process-for on-campus housing,
though, so you don't want to step allowingstudentstorealisticallycon-
on anyone's toes, and you also don't sider both possibilities. As it is now, if
want to say anything that would a student chooses to live on-campus
remove you from the group. These for the following year, they ,take a
issues obviously arise in any hous- risk because if they don't get housing,
ing situation, but the higher-priced the off-campus market is essentially
student housing drained.
in An 'Arbor Going to
coupled with the Michigan
expectation of Simply put, a student's already entails
signing a lease . numerous
so soon, elevates search for housing in responsibili-
the need to find Ann Arbor ties. Students
something - struggle jug-
whether it's per- is ridiculous. gling school,
fect or just OK. organizations
These issues and their social
are significant, life. With all
and I think the of these issues
University should be advocating for going on, housing should be the least
changesinleasingpoliciestoalleviate of students' concerns, but neverthe-
the situation. No, the University less remains one. This is my third
cannot do anythingto guarantee that year of experiencing an unreason-
housingwillbe effortless,butit could able amount of housing stress cou-
fight for regulations if it really cared pled with hearing about how all my
about students' well-being. Codes friends are stressed out. And from
exist in Ann Arbor that prohibit what I hear, this isn't something
renters from allowing anyone to sign that students at schools with more
a lease or view housing until 70 days relaxed housing markets experience.
after current leasers have lived in the After spending six years renovat-
property. However, landlords can ing on-campus facilities without
allow unattended viewing of housing making efforts to alleviate the extra
units and force students to sign pre- students in the off-campus market,
lease agreements in order to sidestep I hope that the University (or time
these, "odes.. Furthermore, ;with force, with .political .clout) makes
the options of May-to-May leases, an effort to alleviate some of these
some renters don't need to sidestep issues.
the policies and can immediately
find students to sign a lease within Michael Schramm can be reached
the first weeks of school. Rules at mschramm@umich.edu.

Perhaps the most alarming fault was the
perceived mishandling of the sexual assault
case involving former Michigan kicker
Brendan Gibbons. Though Gibbons was
accused of sexual assault on Nov. 22, 2009,
he was not suspended from play until more
than four years later, in December of 2013.
This delay in confronting the issue revealed
a clear flaw in the system that various
University units have since had to remedy
- including upholding the Student Sexual
Misconduct Policy.
The Athletic Department played a
significant role in mistreating the situation
by concealing Gibbons' separation from,
the University. After the Office of Student
Conflict Resolution issued Gibbons'
suspension Dec. 19, 2013, a copy of the
expulsion letter signed by Gibbons was
faxed from the Athletic Department on
the same date. This indicates that athletic
officials were aware of the separation at
that time at the latest. Only a very serious
breakdown in communication would explain
Brandon's ignorance of the separation at this
point. However, at the Buffalo Wild Wings
Bowl Dec. 28, Michigan Coach Brady Hoke
claimed that Gibbons would not play because
of a "family matter." Hoke also stated that
Gibbons would not participate in the regular-
season finale against Ohio State due to an
undisclosed injury. Again, either the Athletic
Department had a very troubling problem
with communication, Brandon failed to
inform Hoke of the situation or Hoke's
statements were made up. Regardless, Hoke's
indirect manner of addressing the questions,
as well as providing false information, brings
to light an institutional problem within
the Department.
The U.S. Department of Education has
since opened a federal investigation into
the University's handling of the case. The
Department's Office for Civil Rights is now
reviewing whether or not the University
violated the Title IX legislation in relation
to the Gibbons case, as well as sexual assault
and harassment on campus in general.
The fact that the Athletic Department and
University bungled a situation so seriously as
to draw the attention of federal investigators
aligns with its repetitive lack of transparency
and questionable procedures.
Ticket pricing and policies have also

angered students and non-students alike.
The increase in the cost for season tickets,
coupled with the weakest home schedule
in recent memory, makes the Athletic
Department seem out of touch with the
reality of fans unable to afford tickets. The
switch to general admission seating for
students last season also caused students to
lose trust in the department's ability to make
decisions regarding student ticket policy,
as the system was a failure that had to be
altered again in short order, this time with
the Central Student Government and the
departmentworking together to institute the
new policy in place for this year. The Athletic
Department's failure to include student input
from the beginning not only manifests in
negative opinion, but smothers school spirit
and future fans of University athletics.
Most recently, the Shane Morris incident
has driven student patience to the brink. By
allowing a concussed sophomore quarterback
to continue to play, the Michigan Football
program put a 20-year-old's life at risk.
Morris' injury showed that sideline medical
policies - which have since been updated -
weren't thorough enough to protect student
health. While Brandon has said that it was
a miscommunication and a "mistake that
cannot occur again," the fact that it happened
at all suggests incompetence, as negligence is
an unacceptable excuse for risking student
lives. Brandon and the Athletic Department
need to be proactive rather than reactive. The
Athletic Department's communication issues
were not isolated to the field. After the game,
Brandon and Hoke publicly contradicted each
other multiple times, the most concerning
of which was when they were spoke of
Morris' condition.
The fact that a group of students is willing
to sacrifice the public image of the University
to institute a boycott at this Saturday's game
is a clear example that student opinion of the
Athletic Department under Dave Brandon has
hit an extreme low point. The Department
has lost support of fans with its ticket pricing
and policy, and the support of sports fans
and non-fans alike with its handling of the
Gibbons incident and Morris injury. This
outcry and negative sentiment cannot be
ignored by the Athletic Department, which
must now bring about substantive change to
rebuild lost trust.

An open letter to President Obama

Devin Eggert, David Harris, Rachel John, Nivedita Karki,
Jacob Karafa, Jordyn Kay, Aarica Marsh, Megan McDonald,
Victoria Noble, Allison Raeck, Melissa Scholke, Michael Schramm,
Matthew Seligman, Paul Sherman, Linh Vu,
Meher Walia, Mary Kate Winn, Daniel Wang, Derek Wolfe
All signs point to a cover-up, but
I want to give the White House a
chance to explain itself."
- Rep Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), chairman of a House oversight
subcommittee investigating the Secret Service prostitution
scandal, said after the release of new information in the case

To Mr. Obama,
To Mr. Obama,
I address my letter to
you in earnest. I
write in the full
faith that one
day, somehow,
you will read it.
I write you as an
American. But I
do not write you
as my president.
I write you as no OMAR
one else will, for MAHMOOD
the war criminal
that you are.
Of course, being a war criminal is
a prerequisite for taking residence
in the White House. The CIA, under
LBJ and Nixon, would keep akill list
of Viet Cong members. In a covert
operation called the Phoenix, they
would send out assassins to check
off those names. So you are hardly
being creative. Instead, !you have
earned your place in a long-standing
American tradition, and are on the
wrongside of history.
Decades from now, students of
history will remember you as the
drone president. What I remember
of the Vietnam War from my history
class is not the valor ofthe Americans
in the jungle. I remember the piles
of dead villagers all reported by
our soldiers as Viet Cong members.
Squadrons of American soldiers
would rifle through the villages and
count dead babies and even pet dogs
amongthe terrorists they had killed.
No American can walk out of history
class with his head held high. We
have blood on our hands.:
What you are doing, Mr. Obama,
is even more sinister. You deliver
death in the most cowardly of ways.
And you revel in it. At the White
House Correspondents' Dinner in
2010, you dressed up in your tux-
edo and bow tie and flirted with the
crowd. The Jonas Brothers were
there, and we learned that Sasha
and Malia were big fans. But you
warned them to tread carefully.
"Boys, I have two words for you,"
you said. "Predator drones ... you
will never see it coming."
I dare you, Mr.Obama, tolook into

the eyes of any on
whose fathers an
taken away and cra
But you persist in
ror. In 2011, the
350 drone operate
fighter jet pilots. N
operator have to]
And never does
have to see the fac
killing. Instead the
a red body on the
once his body isr
Hellfire missile, t
watch as it bleeds o
In military slang,
call their victims "
This is how y
Rehman's grandn
out picking okra i
ing fields of Kh]
Pakistan and Afg
steppes of great
grandmother was
was ready to pick
not yet ripe, and f
ed she was a tei
was engulfed in
ness, and when
they subsided
her grandmoth-
er was dead.
Momina Bibi
had been flung a
league away, so
badly disfigured
that the villag-
ers would not let
her sons see her
body. She was a
grandmother of
nine. The childre
scared of blue sl
drones will see th
Only five mem
were there to hi
when she visitedy
You've chosen Ma
stani poster child,
don't need anothe
probably is awkw
the eyes of a littleI
mother you killec
eyes, Mr. Obama.
The Bureau
Journalism has do
procure from you
those you have k

ie of the children them well hidden. I think it might be
d mothers you've best to not tell how many you have
ck that same joke. killed, and how many more whose
your reign of ter- lives you have ripped apart. Not only
Air Force trained because they can't be told, but that to
ors and only 250 quantify death is more the practice
lever does a drone of the politicians and cynics that
leave the ground. defend your drone program.
a drone operator But I do have to address my
e of the man he is detractors, simply because they are
target appears as in power. Some, such as Douglas
heat sensor, and Murray of the Henry Jackson
ripped apart by a Society, argue that you should be
the operator can congratulated for having "landed on
sut and turns blue. the most efficient means known to
drone operators kill Western enemies while harming
bug splats." as few potential friends as possible."
ou killed Nabila Another, Norton Schwartz, retired
mother. She was U.S. Air Force general and former
n the never-end- chief of staff of the Air For e,, was
yber in between just as eloquent in declaring that
;hanistan on the your drone program "minimizes
mountains. Her loss of life for friendly forces and
telling her which maximizes the opportunity to avoid
k and which was needless casualties of friendlies; in
or that you decid- other words, collateral damage." But
rrorist. The field so what, I ask, if drones minimize
flames and dark- civilian casualties? So what if they
are surgical and
precise? Your
program can
Decades from now, only be justified
with such
students of history will jargon, because
the plain truth
remember you as the belies it. These
drone president. megalomaniacs
' have turned
warfare into
ratios, into a
trolley problem,
n of Khyber are and humanity is lost.
ky, because your Those who defend the program
em. profess that terrorist cells are
bers of Congress being decapitated. But they have no
ear Nabila speak ground to stand on - if anything,
'ou in the Capitol. it helps recruitment. Decapitating
lala as your Paki- organizations has historically been
and I suppose you ineffective and counterintuitive.
r. In any case, it One needs only point to the assas-
vard to look into sination of Chechen leaders by the
girl whose grand- Russian government from 2002 to
d. She has hazel 2006. As explains Professor Audrey
Kurth Cronin of George Mason Uni-
of Investigative versity's School of Public Policy, the
one well to try to conflict changed from a "separatist
the numbers of insurgency to a broader
illed. You've kept See OBAMA, Page 5A



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