To the Daily:
Tenure for four women of color still pending
In a viewpoint earlier this week about tenure for women of color (Deterring Women of Color, 12/05/2007), the writer incorrectly names five assistant professors who were recently denied tenure. One of the five assistant professors named in the article did not receive tenure last year. For the remaining four, it is too early to know the outcome of this year’s tenure decisions because several levels of evaluation and decision making remain at the college and University levels.
The letter writer is director of the University’s Office of Public Affairs and Media Relations.
Yost resignation is an important opportunity
It has unfortunately taken the recent controversy in the Michigan Student Assembly to bring issues about disabilities to the forefront. Unlike other social identities like race or gender, this issue does not usually receive the same level of attention – certainly not the amount it deserves. We must take advantage of this new level of awareness and turn the unfortunate circumstances into a dedicated effort to promote positive change.
Those who called for the resignation of former MSA President Zack Yost, including myself, now must take the next step and accept the important responsibility to address these issues. Students with disabilities are one of the diverse groups that make our campus so unique. Every single person on campus should address these issues in a personal way. Sit down and talk with a friend, join MSA’s committee on students with disabilities – just so something. If we don’t, Yost’s humbling resignation will be for naught.
In an effort to embrace this important element of diversity, there are some concrete steps we can take to move forward. The University administration should take the lead by bringing the Big House into full compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. In addition, University administrators should make it their goal to bring the entire campus into compliance. The Intergroup Relations program can develop a dialogue that addresses the issues surrounding disabilities. The University can also allow IGR classes to fulfill the University’s race and ethnicity requirement.
Even if all of these things are done, at the end of the day we will still have disability-related issues that need to be addressed. If you have ideas or input, please feel free to meet with fellow students dedicated to this issue at 3 p.m. in the Tap Room of the Union on Sunday. I personally plan to pursue these issues and do everything I can to make things right. I hope you will do the same.
U.P. is more diverse than people think
As a native of the Upper Peninsula, I am proud to call myself a Yooper. I applaud John Daavettila for attempting to break some misconceptions of the upper half of our state (Up north, the mockery rings hollow, 12/03/2007). Although I have not seen “Nimrod Nation,” I can attest to the experiences of seeing awe in people’s faces when I mention my origins. My favorite reaction: “Oh my god! I didn’t know there are Indian people in the U.P.!”
I agree that all stereotypes have some truth to them. I admit that it does seem like home is very far when you have to fly to Minneapolis before taking a connecting flight to another part of Michigan. And it is a little embarrassing when my friends actually catch me ending sentences with an “eh.” The U.P. certainly makes for a great conversation topic, but as Daavettila succinctly explains it, “There are a great number of articulate, intelligent people who don’t always wear hunting caps.”
Luckily, there are many of us here at the University to prove it.
Daily’s coverage of RAs incomplete and unfair
The Michigan Daily has once again proven that it is incapable of objective journalism. The picture and caption accompanying Res hall desk jobs cause ire (12/04/2007) unfairly suggest that resident advisors are not only angry about front desk duties, but are incompetent and ineffectual in their work there. I find it disappointing that the Daily chose to portray RAs as a whiny, hostile mass.
University Housing requests that RAs, not comment on policy until it has been reviewed internally. We comply not out of fear or censure, but rather out of respect for the job. Regardless of any personal feelings about working at the front desk, I do it because it is part of my job, and I do it well because anything else would be insulting to my position.
How can you expect to write a viable exposé regarding new RA job obligations while quoting just one RA? The Daily does itself and the University a disservice through its consistent lack of interest in balanced journalism.
The letter writer is a resident advisor in East Quad.
Drama of MSA meeting clichéd and uninspiring
I was so moved to read former Michigan Student Assembly President Zack Yost’s final words to his successor Mohammad Dar: “You go get ’em, you understand?” (Yost resigns, and Dar is sworn in, 12/05/2007). Did Dar respond, “We’re getting too old for this shit!” as tears brimmed in his eyes? Did the two grasp hands one last time before Yost turned and left without so much as a backward glance, music swelling in the background?
Is anyone going to tell these people that the campus could care less about the self-important melodrama playing itself out here?