STAND up to the genocide in Darfur

To the Daily:

I would like to commend Brandon Conradis for bringing attention to the genocide in Darfur (The politics of Hollywood, 02/19/2008). However, while celebrities bring attention to causes, it is grassroots activism that really effects change. The crisis in Darfur is complex, but the steps a person can take towards ending it are simple: Get involved, and get active. Here at the University we have a chapter of STAND: A Student Anti-Genocide Coalition, which is a dedicated group of students who believe that standing by and letting a crime against humanity unfold is unacceptable. We are committed to raising awareness about, relief funds for and taking political action on the genocide in Darfur.

The only way to stop this genocide is to build a strong foundation of resistance. By not doing anything, you’re actually contributing to the silence that permits so much injustice in this world. To make our message against genocide heard, we need a lot of people to make a lot of noise. STAND meetings are Mondays at 8 p.m. in the Ginsberg Center. So don’t stand by. Stand up.

Emily Lardner
LSA sophomore
The letter writer is the president of STAND.

Giving new meaning to paid internships

To the Daily:

I have an interesting note to add to Emmarie Huetteman’s column about University of Dreams (The price of success, 02/20/2008). According to the press release distributor PR Leap, the University of Michigan has the most University of Dreams alumni of any university in America. And it has the most by far, with 108 University of Michigan alumni compared to Washington University in St. Louis with the second most at 66.

The “internship” has become a signifier for personal connections or wealth. I hope admissions committees take this into account because curricula vitae bloated with summer internships at MTV or Merrill Lynch don’t necessarily display a candidate’s true abilities, intelligence or potential. I am disappointed that the University leads the pack of students willing to pay for summer internships – the cost of which exceeds in-state tuition for a semester – for résumé-building.

What can I say? Huetteman is right: The meritocracy is dead, and apparently dreams now come with hefty price tags. I just didn’t expect that students from this university would have to buy their way to the top.

Carly Kaloustian
LSA senior

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