Wednesday, June 29, 2011
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EDITOR IN CHIEF
TEDDY PAPES '
EDITORIAL PAGE EDITOR
Unsigned editorials reflect the official position of the Daily's editorialboard.
All other signed articles and illustrations represent solely the views of their authors.
Do the right thieng
Michigan must legalize same-sex marriage
A dvances in civil rights are indeed gaining momentum.
New York has just become the 6th state (7th if you
count Washington, D.C.) to allow same-sex marriage.
With a President who seems loath to advocate the issue, it's
impressive to see a state generate the internal impetus to push
such important legislation to fruition. Though the willingness
seems to be present, progress is slow, and it's important that
the country follows in the footsteps of the few states that have
taken this initiative. The same-sex marriage ban looks more
outdated every year, and if there was ever a time for the state
of Michigan to make strides, it's now.
Over the course of history, humans
have been driven by three different
stages of motivation. Motivation 1.0
was about sur-
vival (e.g. food).
Motivation 2.0 _
was about punish-
ment and reward
(e.g. money). Dan-
iel Pink, author of
"Drive," argues 1.0
and 2.0 represent ERIK
the old science of TORENBERG
tion and that we
should implement Motivation 3.0.
Motivation 3.0 consists of three
basic elements: autonomy, the desire
to direct our own lives; mastery, the
drive to improve ourselves in things
which are important to us; purpose,
the longing to contribute to some-
thing larger than ourselves.
Motivation 3.0 presumes that we
want more out of life than just food
and money, but rather we aspire to
"learn, create, and better the world."
We're now seeing this new sci-
ence of motivation demonstrated in
the business world. An increasing
number of businesses are creating
environments which foster inspira-
tion and creativity in the workplace.
Businesses are emphasizing results
over methods, offering employees
more control over how they struc-
ture their time.
We're also seeing the new science
of motivation through the rise of
entrepreneurship and the entrepre-
neurial mindset, which inspire us
to create and choose our own paths
(Autonomy). In addition, it's demon-
strated through the rise in popular-
ity of the 10,000 hour rule - a belief
that says it takes 3 hours a day for
ten years to become an expert in
something (Mastery). Additionally,
we see through the commencement
speakers who encourage us to make
meaning out of life rather than just
And, finally, we're beginning to
see Motivation 3.0 in education.
"The New Culture of Learning," a
recent book by Professor John Seely
Brown, provides examples of teach-
ers who engage students' internal
motivations and tailor their classes
accordingly. At the University of
Michigan, the -application for the
Ford School of Public Policy asks
students how they want to change
the world. A recent student move-
ment titled 1000 Voices rallied
for more action-based education
around campus, conveying students'
desire to learn not only through
text, but also experience.
Enter Uncollege, which describes
itself as a "social movement empow-
ering you to create tomorrow - with
or without letters after your name."
Uncollege is a blog with an
insightful, even provocative mani-
festo. It's a public forum for people
to discuss pedagogy, self-directed
learning and the current state of
higher education. It's a community
for students who are intrinsically
motivated and who are looking to
learn from each other.
The social movement is led by
Dale Stephens, a 19 year-old Cali-
fornian entrepreneur. After being
homeschooled since fifth grade, he
attended Hendrix College in Arkan-
sas before dropping out. He states:
"The direct impact I could have on
the world by engaging the commu-
nity around UnCollege far exceeded
the impact I could have by complet-
We Want more
out of life than
food and money.
ing homework assignments."
But Dale's position should be clar-
ified. Dale, who has been featured
on CNN, FOX and NPR, states: "I'm
not against school; I'm for learning,
and I think that learning happens
everywhere - not just in the class-
room." Uncollege aims to design the
ideal environment for learning, and
prove that such an environment can
be cost-effective. Dale's efforts have
gained a significant following.
However, Uncollege is not with-
out critics. Dale's column on CNN
received negative comments in addi-
tion to praise. It may be natural tobe
skeptical of changes to tradition. But,
at the very least, let's have a discus-
sion. Let's explore what 1000 Voices
and Uncollege have in common.
First, they involve students who ask
not only what they are doing, but
also why they are doing it. Second,
they involve students who rethink
what they need to learn and how
they learn best. Third, they involve
students who think about how they
can attain a better education.
In other words, college students
today are seeking autonomy, mas-
tery and purpose. We, perhaps more
than any other generation, march to
the beat of Motivation 3.0.
Erik Torenberg can be reached
Same-sex marriage has a few
avenues of potential legaliza-
tion, one being through federal
law. President Barack Obama
has condemned the Defense of
Marriage Act, a federal law that
defines marriage as a sanctity
between a man and a woman.
Additionally, DOMA doesn't
require states to honor same-
sex marriages performed in
other states. While it is neces-
sary to strike down this preju-
diced legislation, condemning
it is hardly making a bold state-
ment. Obama has said nothing
in support of same-sex mar-
riage and simply doesn't sup-
port a federal marriage law,
preferring to leave the legality
of same-sex marriage up to the
states. The country must have a
universal policy protecting civil
rights of homosexuals, and must
have a strong figure to instigate
it. Obama needs to rally the cur-
rent momentum and push for a
federal law that allows same-
In the event that Obama
doesn't push for a federal law
regarding the issue, it will remain
up to each state to make its own
laws to this effect. Unfortunately,
Michigan is one of the minor-
ity of states with a constitution
that bans same-sex marriage. It
even has specific language that
forbids honoring the benefits of
domestic partnerships and civil
unions awarded in other states.
It is because of this constitutional
provision that the Michigan state
legislature recently attempted to
fine the University for extending
benefits to cohabiting adults.
In a state that is often a fore-
runner in progress, it's sad to see
it stoop so low and share rank
with other states in the rejection
of equality. In this current social
climate, it's commendable that
a few states gave gay men and
women rights that they should
have always had. New York's
laudable legislation would not
have been possible without the
initiative of Republicans who
rejected their party's ethos.
Even with the potential backlash
of conservatives and religious
groups, there was an acknowl-
edgement that individual rights
are sometimes more important
than public will. As Michigan
lawmakers push forward with
the extension of marriage rights
for same-sex couples, it will be
important to remember this
fact: Michigan's government has
a duty to the public that elected
them, but they also have a duty
to minorities who might be dis-
enfranchised by a close-minded
majority. Michigan should fol-
low New York and the five states
before it and legalize same-sex