Page 4A - Friday, November 21, 2014
The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com
Page 4A - Friday, November 21, 2014 The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom
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Edited and managed by students at
the University of Michigan since 1890.
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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 oftthe Daily's editorial board.
All other signed articles and illustrations represent solely the views of their authors.
A united approach
The 'U' has an opportunity to lead the prioritization of academics
common narrative of late surrounds the separation of
athletics and academics at the University. President
Mark Schlissel has accurately pointed out that "Athletics
isn't part of the mission statement of the University." However,
an attitude of disregard perpetuates a culture that allows the
impact of the Athletic Department's demands on student-
athletes to go unchecked. It has been previously documented
that successful collegiate athletic programs contribute many
academic benefits to their associated universities, indicating that
academics and athletics are not independent. Unfortunately, this
reality creates incentives for the exploitation of student-athletes.
The University is poised to upset this status quo and fix it with
careful hiring of a new athletic director.
Breaking the business cycle
t a Tuesday morning, and I five o'clock. I can't spend any more always will.
lie awake as my third snooze money eating out, so I rush home Scheduling time for myself has
alarm goes off. It's 9:08 a.m. to eat dinner before my meeting for quickly become. a necessity due
and my class another job at 6 p.m. Once I'm done, to business this semester. It isn't
starts at 10 a.m., I realize walking will cause me tobe unproductive. It isn't selfish. It
so I rush to eat late, so I drive instead. As I'm driv- isn't wasting time. If I'm not giving
breakfast, shower ing I put a song from my iPhone to myself time to recover, I'm bound to
and get ready. I'm play. I remember when I loved this break down from the infinite forces
five minutes late, song during middle school - a time pulling me in every direction. I
so I slide into the where I could allocate two hours to need it - both to feel better and
nearest seat. As lyingin bed and listening to music. I remind myself that I'm a human,
my professor lec- get to my meeting a minute before it not a robot.
tures, I fade in starts. It concludes at 8 o'clock, and I The idea of making time for your-
and out because MICHAEL head to the nearest place to study for self is also scientifically backed. Get-
I'm preparing SCHAMM four hours. At 12 a.m. I'm too tired ting more sleep, napping during the
questions for an to productively review material, so I day and takingtime away from work
interview at one drive home and go to sleep. are all associated with increased
o'clock in the afternoon. As the lec- After two months straight of productivity. Evidence shows that
ture finishes I place my notebook this business, I realize that I need we're most productive when we
with just three new bullet points in a change. spend no more than 90 minutes on.
my backpack and power walk to my It's now a Sunday morning, and I a specific activity. If you don't have
next class. I grab an open seat. This try to finish all of my work and meet- time in your day to get everything
class has chargers, so I quickly slide ings. It's 11 o'clock at night when I done, sometimes the best solution is
my laptop out and begin answer- finish, and I reward myself with time to spend less time doingthings.You'll
ing e-mails. Class has begun, and off. I sprawl out on my bed and open be more productive in the longrun.
I alternate between responding to Spotify, doing nothing and think- It's tough on this campus. We all
e-mails and listening to lecture. As, ing nothing and being nothing for have student organizations, clubs,
I finish the fourth e-mail, class ends, two hours. In these moments I'm jobs, classes and responsibilities
and I hurry to Lorch Hall where I'm reminded that I'm not a robot. I'm a layngmore commitments on us than
scheduled to gather some informa- human, and I can't spend my entire ever before. But the solution isn't
tionfor anewsletterwritingjob. The life checking things off my "to do" to always work more. Sometimes,
interview finishes, and I walk to the list. And though I have an exam, taking time to yourself allows you to
UGLi. I have exactly one hour, and two writing assignments, a column, get more done in a shorter time.
I need to study because I have an work for one job, side projects for the After you finish this paragraph,
exam the next day. After studyiog, other job and general homework to get out your planner and make time
I make my way to office hours and do the following week, doing some- for yourself; trust me, you need it.
spend the next two hours absorbing thing that I love for myself grounds
information and asking questions me in perspective. Everything will - Michael Schramm can be
for my exam the next day. Now, it's get done. Like it always has. Like it reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
LAUREL RUZA I
Regardless of the lengths universities go
to separate athletics from their academic
principles, the two are deeply intertwined.
Collegiate athletics provide universities with
perhaps their most prominent and far-reaching
advertising platform. The NCAA's staggering
television contracts highlight the value the
nation places on collegiate sports, and this
attention inevitably increases for universities
with successful teams. The intimacy of the
relationship between college academics and
athletics cannot be denied; it has even been
quantified in a study by Dong Chung, Harvard
Business School assistant professor of business
administration. His paper, "The Dynamic
Advertising Effect of Collegiate Athletics"
outlines that "when a school goes from being
'mediocre''to being 'great' :on the football
field, applications ,increase by,17.7 percent."
The leading example of this trend took place
in 1984 when Boston College's Doug Flutie
threw a last-second, game-winning Hail
Mary touchdown to trump the University of
Miami. The so-called Flutie Effect caused
the school's application pool to increase by
30 percent in two years. Furthermore, Chung
has found that the sports-induced attention
drew a 4.8-percent increase in the average SAT
score of admitted students, confirming the
influence athletic success has on students of
all academic abilities. A boost in the academic
standing of a university is associated with
a rise in ranking and thus a rise in funding.
These benefits explain whya university would
encourage good athletic performance. To
deny the positive impact successful athletics
has on our university would be unrealistic
Unfortunately, it seems that academics
are often sacrificed for athletic performance.
Earlier this year, CNN filed open records
requests at 37 universities and found that 7 to
18 percent of revenue sport athletes players
performed at elementary school reading
levels as indicated by admissions exams such
as the SAT and ACT. If these students cannot
keep up with the rigorous curriculum of the
universities, it is at the fault of the school
for placing unprepared students in a no-win
The University of North Carolina's solution
to the issue of admitting underprepared
athletes has been the most widely publicized.
An independent investigator found that for
about 18 years, UNC had its athletes take
fake classes to inflate GPA to eligible levels.
Some 3,100 student-athletes were found to
be involved in the scandal. In 2009, similar
athletic fraud occurred at Florida State
University, involving 60 student-athletes.
In 2008, the Ann Arbor News released a
four-part series highlighting the University of
Michigan's questionable practices, including
pressuring student-athletes into certain
majors. The report said, based on a 2007
audit, counselors even used athletes' own
login credentials to alter their schedules. In
2009, the University was found to violate the
NCAA's practice time limits - limiting the
amount of time student-athletes had to devote
to academics - and was placed on probation
for three years.
Many universities have removed the
emphasis on "student" from student-athlete.
If student-athletes are supposed to receive a
top-tier education in exchange for the revenue
they bring universities, it has been found
that they are too often'cheated out of, this
compensation by pressure from counselorsx
and demands from coaches. This culture
continues because of a lack ofleadership from
the NCAA and a universal cowardice from
schools that has led to a textbook prisoner's
dilemma. As Schlissel stated, enforcing
the NCAA limit on practice and workout
hours would be ideal, but doing so would be
"ridiculous" if other universities don't follow
suit. Enforcing the standards may lead to
diminished athletic performance, and no
university will act without the guarantee that
all others will begin to comply as well.
But there is hope. The Big Ten conference
has provided a blueprint to solving the
athletics-academics paradox with a unified
approach that eliminates the cost of being the
first and only school to prioritize academics.
This year the Big Ten conference passed a
resolution that guarantees scholarships to
athletes of all its member colleges for the
entirety of their academic careers. Given they
are in good standing with the institution, this
would no longer allow academic opportunity
to be contingent on athletic performance and
health. The Pac-12has passed a similar reform.
These guarantees are monumental steps
in securing the educational compensation
athletes are entitled to.
Still, more needs to be done. It is
unacceptable that, as Schlissel pointed out,
nobody obeys the NCAA cap on practice hours.
The University of Michigan is in a uniquej
position to deal with these controversies: the
athletic director is currently undetermined.
There is an opportunity to hire a director who
is dedicated to protecting and providing for
the student-athletes as they deserve; one who
is willing to spearhead reform and reach out
to other universities to band together - as the
Big Ten and Pac Twelve conferences have - to
improve the welfare of our student-athletes.
This week is the first National
Week of Action for the "It's On
Us" campaign. "It's On Us" is a
campaign that was launched by
the White House and the Center
for American Progress' Generation
Progress, an advocacy organization
based in Washington, D.C., this
past September. This campaign was
launched in order to fundamentally
shift the wayin which we think about
sexual assault. It's an opportunity
to say, "not on our campus," "not
anymore" and build off the amazing
momentum that has already
been generated by groups such as
#CarryThatWeight and I Will.,;,
As President Barack Obama said
when launching this campaign, "It's
on all of us to reject the quiet toler-
ance of sexual assault." The goal of
"It's On Us" is to engage students
across campuses in an effort to curb
campus sexual assault and empower
them to be part of the solution rather
than passive bystanders to the prob-
lem. It calls on all ofus to step up and
pledge to create safe environments on
Generation Progress made contact
and a coalition of student leaders
was formed. Given the current
campus climate and the ways in
which issues surrounding sexual
assault have been handled in the
past, we believe many students are
becoming disheartened by what they
are seeing. Based on this, we chose to
lead a series of inclusive roundtable
discussions to come up with tangible
policy solutions on how to continue
to improve sexual assault prevention
throughout our college careers.
We also aimed to evaluate our
Us: A week of action
responsibilities as individuals and
as a community. In order to do this,
the other student leaders and I felt it
was best for this event to be removed
from student organization affiliation
and be a nonpartisan space where all
students felt comfortable expressing
their views and opinions.
Throughout the week, I came
together with other campus leaders
and a wide range of students. The
still exposed to first-year sexual
assault prevention programming
to law students who have limited
exposurewto our University's
programming or: misconduct policy.
During the roundtables, we broke
off into small groups with student
facilitators leading the discussion,
and brainstormed ways in which the
University can ensure each student
has and knows what resources are
available for students on campus.
We also dialogued about what we
as students can do to create an
environment where sexual assault
is unacceptable and survivors are
supported and empowered.
Many action items were gener-
ated, including broadening the tra-
ditional narratives regarding sexual
assault. The conversation currently
tends to revolve around assaults
committed by strangers or assaults
that occur at fraternity parties. Yet,
studies have shown perpetrators of
sexual assault are often friends or
acquaintances of the person they
are assaulting. This conversation
also- needs to expand to include
individuals with varying identi-
ties, including: non-binary genders,
sexual orientation, racial and ethnic
minorities, ability status and reli-
gious affiliation. Our current conver-
sations lack diversity and therefore
inclusivity. We know that assaults
affect already marginalized commu-
nities and many students often feel
even more isolated and vulnerable
after an assault. At the roundtables,
we discussed University-sponsored
annual sexual misconduct educa-
tional programming. The University
has beneficial programs in place cur-
rently for freshmen, and expanding
these programs would provide posi-
tive feedback as well as an opportu-
nityfor potential changestoincrease
their overall effectiveness.
It's onus to start the conversation,
but more importantly, it's on our
campus community to listen and act.
These roundtables were the start to
inclusive productive conversations,
but byno meansaretheyour end goal.
Conversations and policy solutions
should be collaborative between sur-
vivors, the student body and admin-
istrators. Our collaboration is needed
to authentically address the needs of
survivors while acting in effective,
legal parameters. There are steps
we need to take, and the planners,
facilitators and many participants
will be meeting in the coming weeks
to determine various impactful stu-
dent-led initiatives moving forward.
In the meantime, we all must pledge
to actively intervene when we think
our friends are in danger. We pledge
to take our peers' and our own safety
seriously. It's on all of us to change
the culture on campus and prevent
Laurel Ruza is a Public Policy senior.
STUDENTS ALLIED FOR FREEDOM AND EQUALITY
A SAFE statement of intent
EDITORIAL BOARD MEMBERS
Edvinas Berzanskis, Devin Eggert, David Harris,
Rachel John, Jordyn Kay, Jesse Klein, 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
ENJOY A GOOD ARGUMENT? LIKE CURRENT
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A similar version of this article
was previously published on SAFE's
As students at the University of
Michigan who are committed to the
self-determination and humanity of
all people, we, Students Allied for
Freedom and Equality, call for our
University to stand by its history of
supporting civil and social justice
movements, as well as holding this
institution to the high standard of
leaders and best. We specifically
call upon the University to divest
from companies that profit from the
systematic violation of Palestinian
human rights. In standing by our
moral obligations as University stu-
dents, SAFE officially announces
the launch of its #UMDivest cam-
paign for the 2014-15 academic year.
Palestinian suffering is thor-
oughly documented by scholars,
human rights activists, and world
leaders. Since 1967, Palestinians in
the West Bank and Gaza have been
living under Israeli militaryoccupa-
tion. This occupation is recognized
as illegal under international law,
with Palestinians in the Occupied
Territories subjected to a system of
discriminatory and arbitrary laws.
Segregated bus systems, restricted
freedom of movement and routine
incarceration without due process
are part of Palestinians' daily real-
ity. In clear violation of the Geneva
Convention, the Israeli government
also forcibly removes Palestin-
ians from their homes which are
demolished to make way for illegal
settlements in the occupied West
Bank. More than 500,000 settlers
currently inhabit the West Bank in
over 100 illegal settlements, which
are subsidized and facilitated by the
As part of the occupation, Pal-
estinians in Gaza also face routine
military assaults killing thousands
of civilians. Most recently, this past
summer's Operation Protective
Edge, a 50-day long war on Gaza
in which the Israel Defense Forces
killed more than 2,200 Palestin-
ians, wounded 11,000 and displaced
500,000 Gaza residents.
In the case of the University
of Michigan, we are invested in
multiple companies that aid and
facilitate this system of violence and
oppression against Palestinians.
Two examples include Caterpillar
and United Technologies. The
following are examples of the
crimes our University funds:
and provides bulldozers and
civil engineering tools ... used in
demolitions of Palestinians' houses
in the occupied territories, in the
construction of the separation wall
and settlements on Palestinian
land, in military incursions and as
weapons. The Israeli armyhas used
unmanned D9 bulldozers (Dawn
Thunder) in the December 2008
attacks in Gaza" and in the murder
of Evergreen State College student
United Technologies "produces
Blackhawk helicopters which are
used by the Israeli military to
attack Palestinian cities, refugee
camps and villages. Many civilians
have been killed in these attacks."
As our University remains
invested in these companies, we as
students are complicit in human
rights violations. SAFE calls
upon the University of Michigan
student body to reflect and learn
more about the current situation.
We announce a year-long series of
events to educate our campus and
allow for open discussion on the
#UMDivest initiative. We refuse
to be unwillingly implicated in the
oppression of others and believe
that any prospect for justice and
peace begins with an unconditional
respect for human life and dignity.
Students Allied for Freedom
Thisarticle was written
by members of SAFE.