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May 14, 2012 - Image 4

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41

Monday, May 14, 2012
The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com
Edited and managed by students at
the University of Michigan since 1890.
420 Maynard St.
Ann Arboyr MI 48109
tothedaily@umich.edu

"Real" experience

JACOB AXELRAD
EDITOR IN CHIEF

GIACOMO BOLOGNA
MANAGING EDITOR

ADRIENNE ROBERTS
EDITORIAL PAGE EDITOR

Unsigned editorials reflect the official position of the Daily's editorial board.
All other signed articles and illustrations represent solely theviews of their authors.
FRMTE AL
Marriage equality
President Obama's comments reflect changing views
History was made Wed. May 9, 2012 when President Barack
Obama became the first U.S. president to publicly support
same-sex marriage, sparking the conversation about the
legalization of same-sex marriage once again. Obama's comments indi-
cated that he believes all U.S. states should legalize same-sex marriage.
While some states have taken the initiative and given same-sex cou-
ples the right to marry, Michigan, unfortunately, has not. In light of
Obama's monumental announcement, Michigan should take steps to
make his message a reality and legalize same-sex marriage.

Twenty-five strangers, dropped
off in a foreign country, forced to
live together in one hotel for five
weeks as they
acclimate to
the language,
the culture
and each other.
Sounds like
something
you'd watch on
MTV, right?
Well, in this
version of "The CAITLIN
Real World" MORATH
I'm contestant
number one.
And there's one
major twist: I'm earning seven col-
lege credits.
In just a few days I will depart
for my study abroad program
in Rome. I'll spend the next five
weeks studying social science and
immersing myself in history and
red wine. Despite having an Ital-
ian best friend and an undying love
of pasta, my knowledge of Italian
language and culture is limitedto
"The Godfather," and whatever
Giada De Laurentiis tells me. I'm
culturally aware that mobsters
and food don't even begin to cover
the essence of Italy. But as for
everything else, I'm in for a sur-
prise. (Okay, I take it back. Maybe
I'm hoping that food really does
account for half of Italian culture.)
The first half of each week is
scheduled with class, but the rest
is left for traveling either alone or
with classmates I have yet to meet.
Sorrento, Florence, Berlin; get
ready, here we come. For better or
worse, I'm set to travel Europe the
only way I know how, with a group
of strangers. And, quite frankly, I
think that's the best way to go.
Some find comfort in traveling
in the company of friends or fam-
ily, but I prefer my companions to
be as new as the surroundings I'm
discovering.
The first time I traveled abroad
was with the student-ambassador
group, People to People. The pro-
gram combined high school stu-
dents from all over Michigan into
one group, and then sent us away
for three weeks to tour England
and France. I'd never been the type
of kid to go away to camp, so the
idea of spending three weeks over-
seas with complete strangers terri-
fied me, even as a teenager.
I quickly realized that the ano-
nymity between my cohorts and I

was a blessing of sorts. We had no
shared history and could reason-
ably assume that we wouldn't be
seeing much of each other after
the trip was over, so there was no
pretense to act like anything other
than myself. It wasn't as if the
group lacked camaraderie. In fact,
we all seemed to fall into an easy
friendship. The distinct difference
between traveling with loved ones
and traveling with near strangers
is that I had the freedom to pursue
my own interests.
Anonymity is
a blessing for
studying abroad.
I rarely stayed with just one
group of friends throughout the
day; instead, I preferred to jump
from clique to clique. Not being
tethered to just one or two com-
panions gave me the freedom to
interact with all sorts of people,
and to let their personalities and
interests color my own experience.
I toured the Louvre with an art
teacher, saw the beaches of Nor-
mandy with a veteran's grand-
daughter, practiced ballet with
dance students on the Englishwsea
shore and even broke away from
the group entirely in Gravesend to
shop with some local schoolgirls.
I wouldn't have had the opportu-
nity to jump as easily from group to
group if I had been tied to a select
few from home.
My high-school experience
proved that heading into travel
groups without a companion is the
most rewarding and free way to go.
And hey, this is college, right? So
why not up the ante? Make it five
weeks instead of three, and toss ina
language barrier for good measure.
I'm even studying abroad through
another university, so there's really
no chance I'll get to know my class-
mates before we board the flight
to Rome. Things are about to get
Real (okay, so maybe Ishould come
to terms with the fact that I'm not
actually going to be on an MTV
show).
Caitlin Morath can be reached
at cmorath@umich.edu.

Blue advances to
Sweet 16 again

By BEN SEIDMAN
Daily Sports Writer
Texas A&M took the Michi-
gan women's tennis team to the
brink, bending but not breaking at
the Varsity Tennis Center in Ann
Arbor this weekend.
With the dual score tied at
three, the only athletes left on the
courts were Michigan sophomore
Brooke Bolender and Aggie Naz-
ari Urbina. In order for Michigan
win a third consecutive bid to the
NCAA Sweet 16, Bolender would
have to dig deep in the third set to
pull out a victory against her stiff
competition.
And Bolender did just that. Only
two weeks ago, Bolender was put
in an identical situation but failed,
as Michigan lost, 4-3, to Purdue on
April 29.
"Unfortunately I had one of
those two weeks ago," Bolender
said. "I've accepted that it's going
to be me. Basically, I have been in
that situation. It's kind of a rare
situation and regardless of wheth-
er I have won or lost in the past, I
know what it feels like."
Bolender credited junior Mimi
Nguyen for staying on the courts
as long as she could, but when
Nguyen couldn't hold off any lon-
ger, Bolender stepped up for the
team.
The crowd was crucial in push-
ing Bolender to fight through any
doubts she may have had as she
helped claw her team back to vic-
tory.
"We had an awesome crowd
here today," Bolender said. "It was
a very intense dual match. It was a
little nerve-racking but fortunate-
ly we worked hard enough to pull
it off."
Bernstein was both relieved
and excited. She was relieved
for Bolender to come through in
another tough spot and also excit-
ed to make it to the Sweet 16 for
the third year in a row.
"We've had a few disappoint-
ments this year, which I think is
a sign of being young, but it was
huge for everyone to step up today
after losing a tough doubles point,"
Bernstein said. "We were a little
deflated and I got on them and

they stepped up to take four sin-
gles points."
Being at home was huge for Ber-
nstein and the team. At this point
of the season, the team was not
ready to give up.
"I'm looking at the scoreboard
and I'm like, we got to turn one
of these around," Bernstein said.
"The way they competed, I'm
proud of the girls and I'm happy
for them. It helps being at home
and having fighters. We just didn't
want our season to end.
"I'm so happy for (Brooke). I
was standing there and thinking
to myself, 'You want to win for the
team, but I just wanted her to win,
more just because I didn't want her
to have to go through the feeling
that she had against Purdue."'
The team circled Bolender to
celebrate the victory on home turf.
"You've got to stay on the court
as long as you can," said Bern-
stein. "We've had different people
stepping up. That's what a team
is. That's what is so special about
college tennis. It is an individual
sport but in the college format, it's
a team and you need everybody."
The only senior on the team,
Michelle Sulahian, defeated her
opponent, Janine Erasmus, win-
ning 12 of her 16 games played Sat-
urday.
"Texas A&M gave us a run for
our money today," Sulahian said.
"They're a good team. Every week-
end we're fighting and everyone's
starting to play together as ateam.
We can hang with anybody really."
Michigan men't basketball
coach John Beilein was in atten-
dance Saturday for the final
matches after watching the soft-
ball team finish a sweep of Purdue.
"It was a great atmosphere here
with the way it unfolded," Beilein
said. "The drama was incredible so
I am really happy for (Michigan)
coach (Ronni) Bernstein and the
team because they had to go' all
the way to win this one. There is a
great appreciation on this campus
with the high-level athletes that
are on the other teams and not just
your own."
Next week, Michigan will face
off against a tough Florida team,
ranked number two in the nation.

By GREG GARNO lowing height (17-feet, 7-inches), he
Daily Sports Writer was still pleased with his improved
performance after he finished

seniors Nick Neuman and Matt
Campbell, who ran their fastest
time.

Monday, May 14, 2012 (x T
The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com
MEN'S TRACK AND FIELD
Forys, Greenlee shine for
Wolverines at Big ens

Finishing in ninth place would fourth in the Big Ten Indoor LaPlante said he was disap-
normally be a good reason for Championships in February. pointed in his team's occasional
Michigan men's track and field "It feels great," Greenlee said. setbacks, like a failed handoff in
coach Fred LaPlante to be worried. "It hasn't quite sunk in yet, but I've the 4x100 meter relay or freshman
Instead, he has reason to relax. done all I can do to help the team. Herman Washington tripping in
The Wolverines finished with "I've been working on a lot of the 110-meter hurdles.
50 points in the Big Ten Outdoor technical stuff, but have been Regardless, the "role-players"
Championship, well behind cham- really fortunate with our assistant got a taste of the spotlight and
pion Wisconsin - who had 121 - pole-vaulting coach (Shean Con- watched fellow teammates success
but had two first-place finishers in lon). We've done work with my run over the weekend, which LaPlante
junior pole-vaulter Jack Greenlee and take-off, and its still a work in said he hopes will stick in their
and senior distance runner Craig progress, but the better that gets minds.
Forys. the better the vault gets." "It was a very encouraging per-
"Obviously you'd always like Redshirt sophomore Ethan Den- formance for us," LaPlante said.
to be higher, but this is one of the nis also shined on Friday, finishing "Our team sees our guys have
best-contested Big Ten meets in runner-up in the hammer throw, some really big performances and
history," LaPlante said. "There with his toss of 59.65-meters (195- I think that's going to give every-
were phenomenal performances, feet, 8-inches). body a boost. We're pretty close
and we were a part of that." The Wolverines also had stand- to being an upper-division team in
The meet was highlighted by out performances from sophomore the conference and we're going in
senior Craig Forys, though, who Ali Aratsu, who finished second the right direction."
ran the fastest time in the nation in the 400-meter hurdles with a Michigan travels to the NCAA
this year in the 3000-meter stee- time of 49.3 - the third fastest in East Regional for those individuals
plechase. He won ina time of 8:28, the country this year - and the that qualified, where they will look
which also set a Big Ten meet 4x400-meter relay team of Aratsu, to qualify for the NCAA National
record and met the automatic "A" freshman Phillip Washington, and meet.
standard for the U.S. Olympic tri-
als later this year.
"I couldn't wrap my head uH
around whether I should be more
excited about winning the race o
setting the meet record, or quali-
fying for the trials," Forys said.
"So it was kind of hard to pinpoint
where my happiness should be." 8 5
Forys came back and captured
third inthe 5000-meterrunonthe 3 2
final day, after finishing second
in the Indoor Championship this 7 8 9 2
year. The key factor in his success
has been his health and consistent
training for the past two years 3 8 9 2 5 4
allowing him to stay focused o-
improving without distractions. 2 3 9
But for Forys, years of experi-
ence taught him to-take advantage 9 7 3 5 6 2
of the moment.
"I was still buzzing off the
steeplechase, so it was easy t 7
get excited for the (5000-mete
race)," Forys said.1 9
Greenlee highlighted day on-
of the weekend with a height o 8 4
5.26-meters (17-feet, 3-inches)
on his first vault, beating out two
other competitors who needed
multiple tries to clear the height.
Despite failing to clear the fol

1
t
l

On Wednesday, Obama went
on national television for an
interview with Robin Roberts on
ABC. He stated that his views on
same-sex marriage have evolved
throughout his term as president.
While originally in support of
equal benefits for same-sex part-
ners through civil unions, Obama
announced that his stance on the
issue has changed and he now
believes same-sex couples should
have the right to marry. This
statement came a day after North
Carolina banned gay marriage in
their constitution, showing the
rapidly-changing yet still-divided
national stance on the issue.
Obama's comments represent
the changing political climate of
our country. In the past 10 years,
Americans' views on same-sex
marriage have changed quickly as
the acceptance of same-sex mar-
riage increases. Pew Research

Center found that among regis-
tered voters, support for same-
sex marriage has grown from 35
percent in 2001 to 47 percent this
year. While some states, such as
North Carolina, have banned
same-sex marriage in their con-
stitution, there is an overall trend
toward support of same-sex
marriage among Democrats and
Republicans.
Michigan needs to take the
initiative and legalize same-sex
marriage. In telephone inter-
views with 600 likely Michigan
voters, 44 percent said they sup-
port same-sex marriage com-
pared to the 43 percent that
oppose it. Our state has advocat-
ed gay rights for years, with Ann
Arbor being the first city in the
U.S. to pass a gay rights ordinance
in 1972 and then electing the first
Openly gay city-council member
in 1974. We should continue this

history of acceptance and support
of gay rights by legalizing same-
sex marriage, thereby setting a
precedent for other states to fol-
low.
The legalization of same-
sex marriage is not a partisan
issue, nor is it a "liberal" policy
that most of the U.S. is strongly
against. Same-sex marriage is
supported by people of all dif-
ferent ages, political parties and
backgrounds. If Michigan wants
to look back with pride on its
support of same-sex marriage, it
should take steps to allow these
couples to marry. Obama has
made it clear that if the president
of the United States is allowed
to come out in support of gay
marriage, the people of the U.S.
should rally behind him and push
for the legalization of this basic
human right:.

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