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November 20, 2019 - Image 1

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michigandaily.com
Ann Arbor, Michigan
Wednesday, November 20, 2019

ONE HUNDRED AND TWENTY-NINE YEARS OF EDITORIAL FREEDOM

The Diag was occupied by
more than 30 students Tuesday
night participating in the first
“One Night Without a Home”
sleep-out in Ann Arbor. The
event, hosted by the Shelter
Association
of
Washtenaw
County, as well as student
activist organizations MReach

and CURIS - Public Health
Advocacy, comes as one of many
organized by SAWC this week
as a part of the National Hunger
and Homelessness Awareness
Week.
The
event,
which
accompanied
other
“Nights
Without a Home” held across
the country, featured speeches
from University of Michigan
student organizations The Dot

Org and Poverty Solutions,
testimonials
from
former
SAWC clients, activities to help
students confront the realities of
homelessness and a candlelight
vigil held in honor of lives lost to
homelessness. Over the course
of the evening, attendees were
invited to confront their biases
toward
people
experiencing
homelessness.
Sarah Papsal, SAWC Director

of
Development,
said
the
event is meant to “simulate
homelessness” to the fullest
extent possible in a single night.
Papsal explained that while
students may never understand
what it is like to go weeks
without a shower or clean
clothes, they can empathize
with the fear of spending a
night alone in the cold.
The
School
of
Public
Health
held
a
lecture
Tuesday evening addressing
Michigan’s
investigations
and response to per- and
polyfluoroalkyl
substances
(PFAS) contaminating sources
of drinking water. The keynote
speaker at the lecture was
Betsy Wasilevich, a senior
epidemiologist at the Michigan
Department of Health and
Human Services. The audience
consisted of about 30 people,
including students and faculty
members.
The lecture started off with
Wasilevich introducing PFAS
and talking about a few of its
sources.
“PFAS is a group of chemicals,
over a thousand analytes of
these types of chemicals, they
are incredibly stable, have a
generally long half-life, they
break down slowly and they
bioaccumulate,”
Wasilevich
said. “We all have some level
of exposure to PFAS. Teflon
coating, fire-fighting foams,
food packaging. It is also in the
water.”
Wasilevich
highlighted
the challenges in addressing
PFAS, which is an emerging
contaminant.

GOT A NEWS TIP?
Call 734-418-4115 or e-mail
news@michigandaily.com and let us know.

INDEX
Vol. CXXIX, No. 31
©2019 The Michigan Daily

N E WS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2

O PI N I O N . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4

CL A SSIFIEDS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6

S U D O K U . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2

A R T S . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5

S P O R T S . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
michigandaily.com

For more stories and coverage, visit

The FemDems and JustDems,
two issue committees of the
University
of
Michigan’s
chapter
of
the
College
Democrats, hosted a panel titled
“Rethinking Public Policy in
an Age of Mass Incarceration”
Tuesday night.
The
panel
consisted
of
Francine
Banner,
associate
professor of Sociology at U-M
Dearborn, and Mark Fancher,
a staff attorney for the Racial
Justice Project of the ACLU of
Michigan. They discussed the
issue of mass incarceration and
the policies and factors that
contribute to it, specifically
those that harm women and the
Black community. The panel
was attended by a group of about
50 students and community
members at the Ford School of
Public Policy.
LSA senior Emma Rooney,
the co-chair of JustDems, told
The Michigan Daily they invited
Banner and Fancher due to their
previous experience with the
criminal justice system.
“Banner taught in prison
systems, and Mark Fancher has
experience with the ACLU and
doing direct court cases, and
we wanted to focus on policies,”
Rooney said.

Panelists
talk policy
approach
to justice

CAMPUS LIFE
Sleep-out organizers seek to draw
attention to homelessness in A2

Activities, vigil highlight experiences of people dealing with housing insecurity

Official
examines
response
to PFAS

RESEARCH

Follow The Daily
on Instagram,
@michigandaily

JULIA SCHACHINGER/Daily
Students participate in the first sleep-out to raise awareness about homelessness Tuesday evening.

MELANIE TAYLOR
Daily Staff Reporter

statement

See PFAS, Page 3A

PETER HUMMER
For The Daily

Event examines impact
of mass incarceration on
prisoners, communities

Epidemiologist reflects
on state’s handling of
‘forever chemicals’

NAVYA GUPTA
For The Daily

Saudi
Arabian
journalist
Safa Al Ahmad gave a talk
after accepting the Wallenberg
Medal from President Mark
Schlissel Tuesday night. She
spoke in Rackham Auditorium
to a crowd of a few hundred
community
members
and
students.
The Wallenberg Medal is
named after 1935 University
of Michigan graduate Raoul
Wallenberg, who saved more
than 80,000 lives in Nazi-
occupied Hungary during World
War II. The award is given to
those who “demonstrate the
capacity of the human spirit
to stand up for the helpless,
to defend the integrity of the
powerless, and to speak out
on behalf of the voiceless.” Al
Ahmad is the 27th recipient
of the award, joining notable
recipients
like
Elie
Wiesel,
Archbishop Desmond Tutu, and

the Dalai Lama.
“If I’m going to be honest,
this
completely
feels
like
imposter syndrome,” Al Ahmad
said. “I don’t know why I was
chosen … all I can say is that I’m
overwhelmed and honored, and
I hope I deserve it.”
As
a
journalist
and
filmmaker,
Al
Ahmad
has
produced documentaries about
the uprisings in the Middle
East. She said her reporting on
the complexities of the conflict
in areas of Yemen has put her
in great danger, yet she has
continued to cover this area.
“It’s constantly keeping me
on my toes as a storywriter,” Al
Ahmad said. “You never think
‘Oh, that’s it. I’ve seen it all in
Yemen.’ You have not and you
never will. So, on a personal,
selfish level, I find it’s really
important to keep engaged and
interested, intrigued by a story.”

Solomon Rajput, a 27-year-old
medical student at the University
of Michigan, began his campaign
for U.S. Congress about a month
ago. He spoke about his campaign
Tuesday night at a town hall
event he co-hosted with the
Young Democratic Socialists of
America.
LSA junior Elias Khoury is the
president of YDSA and helped
organize the event. After hearing

about Rajput’s campaign, Khoury
said he wanted to get involved.
Khoury was interested in the
fact that Rajput is a primary
challenger to incumbent U.S. Rep.
Debbie Dingell, D-Ann Arbor.
“I reached out to Solomon,
who was accessible and easy to
get in touch with,” Khoury said.
“We were talking back and forth,
and eventually we got him to
come to one of our meetings, and
he did a little presentation about
what his canvas is all about. The
vast majority of our membership

were, more or less, on board. So,
since then, we’ve been working
pretty closely with him, and we
decided it would be a nice idea to
put this town hall together.”
Rajput began by speaking
about his reasons for running.
Currently, Rajput is taking a leave
of absence from the University
of Michigan Medical School in
order to pursue his campaign. He
said the main reason he got into
the race was because of climate
change, noting he has always
been passionate about climate

issues and wants to become a
doctor in a green world.
“The number one reason why
I got into this race was because
of this little thing called climate
change,” Rajput said. “It might
kill us all if we don’t figure out
what to do. … This baby step
approach where we have a 90
year plan and we do something
this year and then re-evaluate in
50 years when everyone else is
dead, it’s not going to happen.”

Safa Al Ahmad receives award for
BBC documentary on uprisings

Journalist
wins medal
for film on
Middle East

U-M medical student running for
Congress holds town hall meeting

Solomon Rajput discusses policy priorities, decision to challenge Rep. Dingell

See MEDAL, Page 3A

CLAIRE MEINGAST/Daily
Medical School student Solomon Rajput speaks about his plan to challege U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell in the 2020 elections during a town hall at Palmer Commons Tuesday
evening.

BRAYDEN HIRSCH
For The Daily

IULIA DOBRIN
Daily Staff Reporter

See PANEL, Page 3A

See SLEEP-OUT, Page 3A

See CANDIDATE, Page 3A

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