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July 11, 2013 - Image 5

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Michigan Daily Summer Weekly, 2013-07-11
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I

Thursday, July 11, 2013
The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

POACHING
From Page 2
Since the testing was
discontinued, the levels have been
declining due to the balancing
effect of the world's oceans and
ecosystems. These trackable
changes give researchers like Fisher
'd'd Cerling clues as to when layers
of ivory were formed.
"What we do is take a small
sample of that material bordering
the base of the tusk (and) measure
the amount of carbon-14 in that
sample using accelerator mass
spectrometry," Fisher said.
"In certain circumstances that
measurement all by itself may be
enough to determine the date of
death of the animal."
The individual testing of samples
from seized ivory shipments costs
about $500, Cerling said. However
he said this is a small price to pay,
considering both the magnitude
of the poaching problem as well
as the millions of dollars that are
associated with the illegal industry.
However, cost is also what is
preventing the research from going
any further. Cerling said a lack
of funding has stopped the team
from applying their carbon-dating
method to suspect ivory outside the
laboratory.
-Yet Cerling says they must
continue to pursue funding as the
poaching problem persists. Just
last week, five tons of ivory worth
$20 million in the Philippines was
seized, he said.

Fisher said up until now, it's been
nearly impossible to convict ivory
smugglers because they can claim
that the ivory was extracted before
the bans in 1975 and 1989. But
this carbon-dating method could
provide evidence against them.
"You find the shipper and you say
'so what's up with these tusks in the
clothing (shipment)' and they say
'oh oh yeah yeah well we had some
space in the shipment. No need to
worry aboutthatthat's old ivory....so
it's perfectly legal' and we say'hmm
we'll see about that'," Fisher said.
George Wittemyer, a professor
of ecology at Colorado State
University who is involved with the
study and has conducted extensive
research on African elephants in
the past, said this new method has
the potential to ease the poaching
problem by providing precise data.
He said one of the main questions
that this research could answer is
exactly how illegal ivory is being
obtained. If the tests indicate that
the seized ivory is from elephants
who have died in the last few years,
they will have evidence of current
and active poaching. Likewise,
if the ivory appears to be taken
from animals killed within the last
20 years, the researchers will be
able to infer that it is coming from
storehouses.
"We're very interested in how
this ivory being is procured,"
Wittemyer said. "This is an
important technique to help us
identify the mechanisms of the
trade."

FACULTY
From Page 1
against the state of Michigan
defending the right of higher
education institutions to use
affirmative action policies in
their admissions procedures. The
case, Cantrell v. Granholm was
later combined with Coalition
to Defend Affirmative Action v.
Granholm by the U.S. District
Court of Eastern Michigan. The
District Court ruled summarily
in both cases in favor of the state.
The CDAA successfully appealed
to the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court,
which reversed the District
Court's ruling. In November
2012, a 15-judge panel ruled
S to 7 to uphold the reversal
of the District Court's ruling.
However, it stayed its own ruling
from taking effect pending the
Supreme Court's review, which
it granted on March 25.
The nation's highest court
will hear the case in its autumn
session of this year.
The coalition argued that
MCRI is a violation of the
14th Amendment to the U.S.
Constitution since it allegedly
prevents minority students
from fully exploring and using
their experiences with race
in the college admissions
process. Their argument also
relies on precedent set in
Grutter v. Bollinger and Gratz
v. Bollinger, historic cases in
which the University was the
party - and bearing the name
of former University President
Lee Bollinger - which defined
the legality and parameters of
affirmative action programs
across the nation.
In their initial filing with
the Supreme Court, Michigan
Attorney General Bill Schuette
and the associated petitioners
rebuffed both the reasoning
of the coalition and the Sixth
Circuit Court, writing, "It is
exceedingly odd to say that a
statute which bars a state from
"discriminat(ing) ... on the
basis of race" violates the Equal
Protection Clause because it
discriminates on the basis of
race and sex. Yet that is precisely
what the en bane majority held
here."
While the future of
affirmative action hinges on the
outcome of the case, the court is
expected to be equally interested
in determining what power
courts can have in overturning
popular referendum. While the

Sixth Circuit Court, sitting en
bane, upheld overturning the
MCRI, the Ninth Circuit Court
did not support a challenge
to California's Proposition
209 in 1997 - another ban on
affirmative action.
Reconciling these two
conflicting circuit court
precedents will be one of the
chief tasks of the Supreme Court
as the eight justices consider the
case. Justice Elena Kagan, an
appointee of President Barack
Obama, recused herself from the
case due to perceived conflicts
of interest from her time as
Solicitor General.
As the case's hearing draws
closer, both the University and
other parties are considering
preparing briefs for submission
to the court. After the passage
of the MCRI, University
President Mary Sue Coleman
publicly promised to challenge
the initiative in court in a
dramatic speech on the Diag.
In a December interview with
The Michigan Daily, when
asked whether she would have
any concerns about reinstating
a policy the majority of voters
opposed, Coleman said she
would not commit herself to any
course of action before the court
ruled.
"There's a pretty robust
argument going on in the legal
community about constitutional
amendments and what this
means," Coleman said. "I
wouldn't want to opine on that
yet until we're faced with it."
As Coleman is stepping down
from her role as president next
year, the decision of whether
or not to reinstate affirmative
action programs will likely fall
to her successor, pending the
court's ruling.
Because the University is
listed as a respondent in the
case, University spokesman
Rick Fitzgerald could only
offer limited comment on the
administration's legal strategy
in approaching the case. He
emphasized that though the
University continues to support
affirmative action, it cannot take
any action as long as the MCRI
remains in effect.
Michigan State University,
also a party in the case, is
currently preparing its brief
for submission to the Supreme
Court. MSU spokesman Jason
Cody said the school would
likely be filing its brief some
time in August but was unable to
comment further since it is still

being written.
Though the University has
not made a move to file a brief,
Philosophy Prof. Carl Cohen,
one of the University's most
senior tenured faculty and an
outspoken critic of affirmative
action policies, has filed a joint
amicus curiae brief with other
opponents from across the
country.
While the brief draws heavily
on reasoning from the Texas
Association of Scholars in its
opposition to affirmative action
policies, Cohen said he focused
his portion of the brief more on
the constitutionality of popular
referendum - which he sees as the
most important issue of the case.
"I was amazed at the decision
of the Circuit Court," he said.
"The people of the state of
Michigan have the right to
determine policy of the state of
Michigan within the frame of
the United States Constitution.
The Sixth Circuit Court of
Appeals denied them that right
and decided on their own view
of the matter that this was not
appropriate decision making for
the people of the state."
Citing James Madison's
Federalist Papers, Cohen also
said the Sixth Circuit Court had
exercised its "will" rather than
its "judgment," and that popular
referendum must be answerable
only to the strictures of the
Constitution itself in judicial
review.
Since the central question is
the power and legal standing of
a popularly adopted referendum,
Cohen said he could see some
of the court's liberal justices
supporting overturning the
Sixth Circuit Court's decision
in the interests of popular
sovereignty.
"I don't think people fully
understand what's at issue here,"
Cohen said. "People think 'are
they for affirmative action or
are they against it?' But that's
not the issue here - the issue is
the right of the people to make a
decision against certain policies
whether you like that policy or
don't like that policy."
He added that he saw it as
likely that the court will, in the
end, reverse the Sixth Circuit
Court's ruling.
"An honest of the intellectual
or civil community will say,
'Look, whatever I may think
about affirmative action, I think
it's reasonable for the people to
decide whether they want it or
don't want it.'"

A remedy abroad

n the plane to Buenos Aires
I had no idea what was
in store for me. A million
emotions darted
through me
while I nervously
sat on my 11-hour,
flight. I had
never been south
of Mexico ever in
my life, let alone
without my par- SARA
ents. Was I crazy SHOUHAYIB
for going to a
country where I
didn't know a single soul? It was too
late to turn back. I reclined my seat
and closed my eyes. I woke up to a
flight attendant telling me we were
preparing for landing. I looked out
the window and saw greenery, and
thought to myself, "Hey, this really
doesn't look any different from
home." Man, was I wrong.
I instantly felt like an alien when
I tried to catch a cab at the airport.
My Spanish definitely was not as
good as I thought. Argentinians
have a distinct accent where they
pronounce all words with a "Y" or
a double "L" as a "J". So words like
"ella," meaning "her," would sound
like "eja". It tripped me up a lot.
Eight years of Spanish only got me
here? Sheesh.
I was scared and I was worried.
I didn't know if I could muster the
courage to make mistakes and risk
looking like an idiot while trying to
speak a foreign language. I remem-
bered a quote by Eleanor Roosevelt
that I had framed on my night-
stand back home in Michigan. It
said, "Believe in yourself. You gain
strength, courage and confidence by
every experience in which you stop
to look fear in the face ... you must do
that which you think you cannot do."
I carried this quote in mind for
the first few weeks of my five-month
journey. It slowly became a part of
my everyday actions and me. I tried
things I normally wouldn't try and
I experimented with my limits. I
was able to travel to Chile, Uruguay,
Colombia, Bolivia and Peru during
my stay. I never imagined I would
be that fortunate to backpack with
my friends like that. It changed my
life and how I viewed the world
around me. It made me feel free and
powerful, like I had the world at my
fingertips.
For my fellow Wolverines - or
any college students for that matter
- who are interested in studying
abroad, I have a few words for you:
Take the path less traveled.
Most people choose to go to Spain

or Europe to study abroad. Try
something different.
Studying abroad opens your
eyes, and as cliche as it sounds, it
truly does broaden your horizons.
If you didn't have the opportunity
to grow up in an ethnic home it's
your chance to adopt a new culture.
Live at a home-stay if you have the
opportunity - you won't regret it. I
lived with a 70-year-old seamstress
whom I grew to love like my own
grandmother. I owe my Spanish
proficiency to her - she didn't
know a lick of English. By studying
abroad you can connect to the
native people of the country you're
in and most importantly it helps
teach you about yourself. It teaches
you about your fears and how much
you're willing to push the limits of
your life.
It's a big world
out there. Go
explore it.
I was afraid I wouldn't make
friends. In retrospect, I was silly
for thinking that. I made three
extraordinary friends from all over
the U.S. during my program, from
Washington D.C., Texas and North
Carolina - all of whom I have visited
after my abroad experience. They
became my family away from home.
I will love and cherish them for the
rest of my life. They're the kind of
friends I want at my wedding.
Truthfully, before Argentina, I
felt lost. I had gone through some
things leading up to my departure
and I wasn't the happiest meI could
be. The beautiful city of Buenos
Aires was the remedy I needed. I
finally felt like me again. I fell in
love with South America and it will
alwaysbe aregionoftheworldthat I
hold close to my heart. It helped me
discover who I was and what I was
capable of. My college experience
never would have been the same if
it weren't for study abroad. It was
the time of my life still to this day. I
wish there was a way I could pay it
back, because Iam forever indebted
to the happiness and fulfillment it
gave me.
Regardless of where you choose
to go, it's a big world out there. Go
explore it.
-Sara Shouhayib can be
reached at sarasho@umich.edu.

that's not
always the
most obvio
thing in the
world. Lasi
February,
18-year-old
Justin Car
of Austin,
Texas, was
arrested in
connection
a post he iv
Facebook a
player gam
His parent
that the co
in the head
a kindergat
blood of th
/ And eat ti
one of thee
castic jest,
"JK" and p
implying t
The police:
however, a
facing up t
charges of
threat" des
nothing in]
have enabl
There ar
with this s
is what Ca
adult, frien
stranger, i
depraved
see a joke
kindergart
slightly pe
more con
that law e
have arres
of a single
isolated
someone it
anonymou
saved live
authorities
actually pL
style mass
multiple f

Thursday, July 11, 2013
The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom
Context is everything
hen it comes to the one Facebook post's worth of no immediate threat. Tha
Internet, context is twisted sarcasm, the cost of this happening enough right
everything- but zealous person's effort to protect While DeFluri wasn't ar
the public has become a family's or otherwise detained f
suffering and months of a young stunt, D'Ambrosio was hel
us man's life. a grand jury dismissed hi
e iCarter's case is just the lat- Moreover, Carter's comme
t est evidence showing that both made in an argument with
law enforcement and the general er gamer regarding a game
public have trouble distinguish- players, are notoriously
ter ing between online sarcasm and siastic - something I can
ERIC online threats. In 2010, police in to, having heard my hous
FERGUSON California issued a stern warn- screaming various obsc
ing to the public about the Inter- about the very same game,
to net meme character "Pedobear" daily over the past school y
tade while arguing on being a mascot for pedophiles.
bout the online multi- This was probably lost amid
e League of Legends. hysterical laughter from anyone
s and attorney claim aware of its common use as a way People ofte
mment - "I'm fucked to mock people online who come do ' et
alright. I'ma shoot up off as inappropriately interested Oflt get t
rten / And watch the in young girls. Even more recent- Internet.
e innocent rain down ly, 18-year-old aspiring rapper
he beating heart of Cameron D'Ambrosio was arrest-
m. - was made in sar- ed after posting lyrics referencing
as it was followed by the Boston bombings to his wall Context doesn'tinheren
receded by a comment on Facebook and threatened with der what Carter or D'A
hat Carter was crazy. up to 20 years in prison. posted on Facebook harm
saw it quite differently, This lack of understanding the eyes of the public or
nd as a result Carter is has even shown itself at the enforcement. It doesn't les
o 10 years in prison on University, when campus police anxiety bystanders must h
makinga "terroristic reacted with praiseworthy speed when seeing a man in a ga
pite police finding this past Valentine's Day to walking around campus.
his house that would reports of a man - Engineering it does do in an online sei
ed him to carry it out. student Albert DeFluri - in change the meaning be
'e several things wrong Angell Hall wearing a gas mask. person's words in a way th
ituation, one of which Apparently, it wasn't until well obvious unless you know
irter said. Teenager or after police had been dispatched thing about the comm
d of Carter or complete that anyone made a connection that person identifies with
t takes a particularly between DeFluri's gear and the rappers to gamers to Met
sense of humor to Grumpy Cat sign hanging around fanatics, the sheer variety
about shooting up a his neck, which read "Love is in and offline communities-
en and not be at least the airyGet out the gas mask." with their own in-jokes at
rturbed. What is far Admittedly, it's slightly ridicu- torical norms that range
icerning, though, is lous to suggest that every ques- the absurd to the dow
enforcement seems to tionable statement and public disturbing - is overwhe
ted him on the basis behavior should be checked for Law enforcement must be,
e-mail containing an Internet-specific references identify when one of thes
screenshot sent by before alerting police. One man's munities is relevant toa
n Canada. Even so, this jest can all too easily become Otherwise, they risk ar
S vigilante could have another's threat. But if police are and threatening to pro
s if they had alerted trying to prioritize public safety even more people forn
to someone who was and have any respect whatso- threats they never actually
anning a Sandy Hook- ever for freedom of speech, they
sacre. But thanks to have to look at the whole picture -Eric Ferguson
ailures to understand once they have confirmed there's reached at ericff a@umi

5

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it now.
rrested
for his
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is case.
nt was
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whose
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enities
almost
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'n
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sen the
ave felt
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What
tting is
hind a
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Isome-
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. From
mebase
y of on
- each
nd rhe-
e from
vnright
elming.
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isecute
making
made.
can be
ch.edu.

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party's immigration reform strategy.

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