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Page 4A - Friday, November 14, 2014

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Page 4A - Friday, November14, 2014 The Michigan Daily - michigandaitycom

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.
The road to recovery
Detroit's emergence from bankruptcy shows glimmers of hope
etroit has struggled for more than half of a century
to revitalize itself. Precipitous population drops,
abandoned homes, rampant crime and the auto
industry's previous struggles has put the city in financial
turmoil. In March 2013, Republican Gov. Rick Snyder appointed
Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr, a University alum, to help
Detroit put the city on a stronger financial footing. A few months
later, in June 2013, the city filed for bankruptcy. Over the past
year, concerns over the possibility of the city's multimillion-
dollar art collection being sold and the loss of pensions for
retirees came to the forefront of national discussion. In order
to protect pensions and the city's art collections, state and
non-state actors collaborated on a plan to get Detroit out of
bankruptcy. This plan is a great start for Detroit's renewal, but
city officials and state legislators cannot allow apathy to set in
as a continued push is needed to rebuild the once great city.

the increase in applicantsto a school
with newfound athletic success is
called the "Flutie Effect," named
after the increase in admissions to
Boston College after quarterback
Doug Flutie's Hail Mary win in
1984 over the University of Miami
(althoughthe correlationinthis spe-
cific instance is disputed). Such an
effect is also said to have occurred at
George Mason and Butler after their
NCAA basketball tournament runs,
Appalachian State after its victory
over Michigan in 2007, and Boise
State, Northern Iowa and Auburn
after recent football successes.
Michigan itself was even a
launching point for the commercial-
ization of college athletics with the
marketing juggernaut that was the
Fab Five. Athletic royalties spiked
from $2 million in 1990-91 to $6.2
million in 1993-94, the Fab Five's
last season. The number of applica-

tions even climbed from 17,744 in
1991 to 19,687 in 1996, a 36-percent
climb that then Director of Admis-
sions Ted Spencer was reluctant to
correlate specifically to athletics,
but noted that in his own personal
experience many students were
drawn to the University because
of them.
Until there are enough negative
externalities to warrant changing
the system (which may not be far
off with the danger of concussions),
college sports will continue to be an
extremely marketable enterprise.
Yet the consequences of this
enterprise interfering with the
academic missions of the NCAA and
its institutions will continue to be
a contentious issue without a total
reshaping of the culture and role of
college athletics.
Schlissel may have apologized
and clarified some of his remarks,

but his remarks on the role of ath-
letics within the University show
a willingness to make Michigan a
leader in redefining what college
athletics look like. The NCAA will
look incredibly different as soon as
the next decade, perhaps with play-
ers being paid, a renewed empha-
sis on academics and graduation or
by any other number of significant
reforms that will be necessary for
the NCAA. Despite current issues, it
is clear that there is a place for col-
lege athletics and that much value
that can come from them. Michigan
must be at the forefront in defining
the rightrolefor athleticswithinthe
context of the University's mission,
and also as a leading institution in
shaping the inevitably changing
landscape of the NCAA.
- David Harris can be reached
at daharr@umich.edu.

Dressing like a woman

Nov. 7, Judge Steven Rhodes approved
Detroit's exit plan, allowing the city to end its
historic bankruptcy. The plan - dubbed the
"Grand Bargain" - was crafted by numerous
community members from local foundations,
the state government, city pensioners, the
Detroit Institute of Arts and the Detroit Water
and Sewage Department. The deal reduces
Detroit's debt by $7 billion, keeps the DIA's art
collection intact, cuts 12,000 non-public safety
retirees' pensions by 4.5 percent and pledges
$1.7 billion for the demolition of blighted
buildings. Thanks to the collaborative effort
of various organizations, the city and state
government and Orr, residents now have a
feasible plan for Detroit's future.
This exit plan includes a number of key
points that will greatly benefit the city. The.
long-maligned streetlight system, that at one
point had 40 percent of its lights broken, will
undergo a $185-million overhaul, replacing
the antiquated system with 65,000 LED
streetlights. The city was provided with 100
new Detroit Police Department squad cars and
23 new ambulances, which will aid in further
decreasing average EMS response times. These
response averages have already decreased
from 58 minutes to 18 minutes for police and to
12 minutes for ambulances. With an increased
operating budget, the DPD has focused on
hiring non-uniformed administrative staff
in order to move uniformed officers off of
desk-duty and back onto the streets. The plan
envisions spending about $400 million on
blight removal. The Duggan administration
is also aiming to demolish about 800 houses
per month. With all the whirlwind of the
bankruptcy, the major success of the process
was the protection of the DIA. The museum
was transferred into a charitable fund during
bankruptcy and, in the exit plan, was granted
autonomy from city ownership, protecting the
collection from any further attempts at sale or
liquidation. The exit plan gives the city new

hope: with city services improving, emergency
services average response times declining and
the treasured DIA saved, Detroit is moving
down the path of recovery.
While these steps are commendable,
further steps are needed to ensure Detroit's
continued economic revitalization. The
Financial Review Commission needs to do
a more thorough job going forward so the
that the city makes stable, sound, long-term
investments and tax collection is efficient
and effective. According to a Detroit News
analysis, taxes were completely collected
on just 53 percent of non-exempt Detroit
properties. Even fewer saw timely payment.
If the city is going to maintain and improve'
its infrastructure, an effective strategy of
collecting taxes and a system to work with
residents having difficulty with payment will
be needed. Further,the city has a responsibility
to ensure that economic improvements spread
outward and aren't to comparatively wealthier
areas. This might create a dichotomous and
tense social situation, and could negatively
affect long-term stability, a requisite for
sustainable economic growth. Moreover,
pushes for voter education and registration
and increasing voter turnout might also
promote civic engagement and governmental
stability. Finally, as the population of the city
is substantially lower than it was at its peak,
Detroit should recognize that reversing the
mass exodus from the city is a key component
to its growth.
With the approval of its bankruptcy plan,
Detroit has been granted a rare second chance
and a pointed direction for growth. However
thankful the city may be, this is not the
time to relax. While Detroit's exit plan does
address a number of crucial problems, there
are still numerous obstacles to overcome. The
previous failures that led to this point cannot
be repeated, and all those involved must be
fully dedicated to Detroit's rebirth.

hen I was four, I always
wanted to wear this
patterned T-shirt that
had basketballs, tennis balls, base-
balls and footballs
printed on the
front and back. I
took every oppor-
tunity to put it
on, dirty or clean,
which my mother
found appalling.f
She had bought
it for me without JENNY
much thought, WANG
imagining that
I'd wear it only
at night, in the privacy of our home.
During the day, of course, she would
dress me up in pink and frills, with a
red bow clipped onto my short hair.
I'm not sure why I loved that shirt
so much. I'm also not sure why the
first item of clothing I'd ever picked
out at a department store was a pair
of gray sweat pants from the boys'
section (maybe it was the amazingly
gigantic pockets). Igrew up watching
Pokdmon and Teenage Mutant Ninja
Turtles, collecting Yu-Gi-Oh cards,
wearing large-sized T-shirts I got
from playing tennis. My mother
often joked to me, "Things would be
so much easier if you were born aboy.
I wonder what happened."
But I did not, and I still do not,
consider myself to be a "boy." I've
always been a girl, and I've never
been uncertain of my "girlhood." For
some reason or another, I simply felt
uncomfortable in "girly" clothing. In
middleschool, my mother introduced
me to "skinny jeans" and suggested
I have "long hair," all to my horror.

In high school, when my peers were
more free to express their developing
bodies through their clothing, I wore
big sweatshirts that flattened my
chest and baggy pants that hid my
butt. "How," my mother would plead,
"are you ever going to get a boy to
notice you?"
I'm approaching that stage in
my life when calling myself a "girl"
draws puzzled looks. I hear them
thinking, "Don't you mean woman?"
and I'm not sure how to answer,
because for my whole life, I've lived
comfortably in the more ambiguous
"girl" category. What, after all, is
a woman? Isn't she supposed to be
white, heterosexual, beautiful, slim
and tall (but not taller than her man)?
Doesn'tshe have an hourglass figure,
strutting down the sidewalk like it's
her runway, her perfect hair bobbing
and flowing in the breeze? Where
exactly do I fit in that image?
These musings have recently
sprung to my mind for two reasons.
The first being my mother's recent
talks about the "M-word." I should
be married by the time I'm 26, she
says. I should have my first child
by 28. I should have at least two
children. I should make myself look
more attractive to men. I should be
searching seriously while I have the
time, because after I graduate, I won't
be surrounded by as many people as
I am on-campus. These suggestions
have, to say the least, caused some
unnecessary anxiety.
The second reason comes as a
much more welcomed and pleasant
surprise. The Central Student Gov-
ernment has been working to expand
the University's non-discrimination

policy to include "sexual expres-
sion." If implemented, we'll be see-
ing "sexual expression" receiving
protections alongsidethe manyother
identities we all carry: race, national
origin, age, sex, sexual orientation,
gender identity, gender expression,
disability, religion, etc. I think, how-
ever, while race, gender identity and
sexual orientation are usually at the
forefront of identity politics (and
rightfully so), we should also pay
more attention to sexual expression
and gender expression, and how they
tie into each of our lives.
Sexual expression describes not
just the sexual activities we engage
in, but also how we present ourselves
as sexual beings. How we dress, talk
and behave all factor into this, Along
the same lines, gender expression
deals with how we present ourselves
within expected gender roles. I think
it's pretty clear that while these two
concepts are distinct, they are also
very closely related to each other.
How I dress dictates how I "show
off" both of these identities.
In the mornings, I put on a T-shirt,
a thin jacket and a pair of jeans. I tie
my hair into a ponytail and brush
my bangs to the sides. As I leave my
apartment, I slip on my gray overcoat
and step into my sneakers. I tend to
walk briskly, especially when it's cold
outside, hands buried in my pockets.
Sometimes,-Iworrywhat people think
of me when I pass them by, but then I
see all the people around me - the dif-
ferent ways they dress, walk and talk
- and feel just a little more at home.
- Jenny Wang can be reached
at wenny@umich.edu.

EDITORIAL BOARD MEMBERS
Edvinas Berzanskis, Devin Eggert, David Harris,
Rachel John, Jordyn Kay, Aarica Marsh, Megan McDonald,
Victoria Noble, Michael Paul, Allison Raeck, Melissa Scholke,
Michael Schramm, Matthew Seligman, Mary Kate Winn,
Jenny Wang, Daniel Wang, Derek Wolfe
Laughing away the stress

Leading the change

ere we are again with Michigan
athletics in the news for something
other than a win-loss record or the
product on the field. This
time the media attention is
for criticism from University
President Mark Schlissel of
the general athletic culture
and its role within the b
academic institution.
The continued patter of
athletics having a dominant
role in the media coverage of
the University can be traced DAVID
to one simple reason: people HARRIS
want football, basketball,
hockey and the other myriad
of sports, are willing to pay for said methods
of entertainment, and thus are given what
they want. It's the very basis of capitalism,
in which a demand is filled with a service for
the benefit of the producer and utility of the
consumer. This makes the American sports
industry a dominant force both economically
and socially, and often dominant over other
newsworthy events at the University.
This dominance of college athletics creates
a myriad of problems. It forces the NCAA
and the athletic departments of its member
schools to act both as a business and an
altruistic organization providing educational
opportunity and other opportunities to
student-athletes. The NCAA brings in more
than $870 million in revenue a year, and
Michigan itselfhas revenues totalingover $140

million, while at the same time championing
the free educational opportunities provided
for the very students they profit off of via
its monopoly. The sheer amount of money
thrown around in college athleticsexposes the
hypocrisy that the NCAA continues to try to
balance but refuses to acknowledge.
This is not just a problem of the alleged
bending of admissions for athletes or the time
commitments involved for student-athletes.
College sports have become tightly inter-
twined with not just the university experi-
ence but American culture itself. Because in
the end, the basic desires of fans are to watch
football, to watch their favorite school and to
watch their favorite school be good at football,
and thus a university is driven to throw large
sums of money around to meet these demands.
Colleges often spend more on coach salaries
than they do on compensated tuition for schol-
arship athletes. Many schools even charge
student fees that go directly toward the uni-
versity's athletic department (commendably,
Michigan does not charge these fees, contrib-
uting in part to our higher-than-average ticket
prices). And as a showing of the large demand
that brings in the money to make it all possible,
the 15 biggest stadiums in the United States are
all college football stadiums. For big-time pro-
grams, football and other sports have become
one of the greatest ways to market the school;
for smaller schools without the resources, it
becomes a seemingly necessary burden.
Athletics has also been tied to the very rea-
sons for applying and attending a school, and

We know that rest, plenty
of fluids and a marathon
on Netflix is the cure
for feeling icky.
Just kicking back
and taking a few
moments for you T
amidst the hectic
life of a college
student is neces-
sary. Between
exams, projects,
essays and more, SARA
we get bogged SHAMASKIN
down with stress
and anxiety.
Plenty of people say "laughter is
the best medicine," and we nod and
then continue on with our busy life-
styles. But laughter can actually be
helpful, and lucky for the Univer-
sity, we have ComCo. ComCo is the
premier improv comedy group on
campus that has been present since
1979, providing students with a
chance to step back from their aca-
demics to enjoy a hilarious show.
I talked with John Dennehy and
Daniel Markowitz, two members of
ComCo, to see what they had to say
about their group and their pres-
ence on campus.
Both seniors, Dennehy and
Markowitz joined ComCo as
freshmen. Dennehy, a business major,
sought out ComCo before coming to
campus. Markowitz, a Philosophy,
Politics and Economics major, found
ComCo via Maize Pages the day of
auditions. But in the end, both were
accepted and have since improved
their comedic skills. And after four
years, the influence on their lives
has been profound. Dennehy said,

"... it's a nice way to blow off steam
from stress of class and everything
... You have your friends which are,
often, a lot like you. But then when
you join groups, especially a small-
knit group like ComCo, where you're
in it for four years, you really get to
know people thatcyou probably would
never have met if you hadn't joined
the group." This is such a vital part of
a ComCo player's college experience,
that without it, the feeling "builds
up," as Markowitz said. "This
weirdness that just needs to get out.
And practice is such an open zone
and allows everythingto get out."
The improvised form of
entertainment allowsforthe audience
to getinvolved, not just sit and watch.
During a show, players ask the
audience for various nouns, locations
and adjectives. By participating, the
audience feels a greater connection
by contributing their own ideas,
and they step back from their own
lives to become part of the show.
Markowitz said he can tell that,
"They love getting into it with us."
With the buzzing crowd packed into
an Angell Hall auditorium, Dennehy
and the other ComCo players can feel
it as well. "It's symbiotic because we
feed off the audience's energy, they
feed off ours. We have a very tight
relationship with our audience." But
the benefits don't stop there. Not
only is a fantastic show produced, but
there are even health benefits.
According to a 2010 paper pub-
lished by Simon Lei and colleagues in
the Journal of Instructional Psychol-
ogy titled "Humor on Learning in the
College Classroom," there are several
health benefits to just simply laugh-

ing. The diaphragm massages the
right side of the heart, which releases
endorphins, and the cerebral cortex
is stimulated. Laughing also enhanc-
es self-image and self-confidence,
and alleviates anxiety and depres-
sion. With all of these benefits, it is
no wonder the phrase "laughter is the
best medicine" is so popular.
We need a chance to laugh. As stu-
dents, we push ourselves to our men-
tal, physical and emotional capacities
while ata competitive university. We
have to take a few seconds to forget
about the grades that we feel define
us and the workload ahead. From
a ComCo player's standpoint, you
can't take life too seriously. Dennehy
can see that there is more to this col-
lege experience than solely sitting
in a library. "Be present, listen to
what others are saying ... thinking
that school is school and everything
is what it is ... there's no fun in that.
At some point you have to enjoy your
life." It's a chance to salvage some of
your own mental health, to recover
from whatever stressors are present
in your life. These toxins accumu-
late, only hurting you further down
the road. But if you take one evening
every month to sit in an auditorium
and laugh until you cry, you will not
only leave that room with aching abs,
but also with a refreshed feeling. The
feeling that you took some time for
you, not for your professors or your
friends, not for your exam or that
CTools assignment, will be so restor-
ative to your life and your mental and
physical health.
- Sara Shamaskin can be
reached at scsham@umich.edu.

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