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September 10, 1981 - Image 24

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The Michigan Daily, 1981-09-10

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OPINION

Page 4

Thursday, September 10, 1981

The Michigan Daily

Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan

A MICHIGAN (WHERE?) GRAD SEEKS

TR UTH

Is there life after college?

Vol. XCII, No. 1

420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor,. MI 48109

Editorials represent a majority opinion of the Daily's Editorial Board
'Smaller but better?

R EDIRECTION, retrenchment,
"smaller but better." No matter
What the prevailing term, the changes
the University faces, during the next
decade will be a paramount concern.
Throughout the past year, ad-
ministrators have maintained that if it
is to remain a quality institution, the
University must concentrate on those
areas in which it is strongest and
eliminate its white elephants. We
agree, to a great extent, with the ad-
ministration's overall philosophy. The
University needs some direction; it
can't continue on a course of develop-
ment focusing raw growth as its only
goal. As administrators have pointed
out, if the state's bleak financial
situation were to improve
dramatically, there is still a need to
determine where the University is
going in the 80s.
Although we agree with the ad-
ministration's underlying philosophy,
we are greatly concerned about its
methods of implementation. Ad-
ministrators must take to heart the
concerns and interests of the faculty
and students.
The University community deserves
more than a condescending nod from
president Harold Shapiro or a
patronizing "I understand" from Vice
president Bill Frye. Acceptable
redirection will require effort by all
administrators to carefully consider
all viewpoints.
A prime example of the ad-

ministration's lack of concern for out-
side opinions surfaced last June in the
decision to eliminate the geography
department. Although the LSA faculty
voted to maintain the department and
many students advocated keeping it,
the administration chose elimination.
We, in fact, supported elimination of
the geography department; we
strongly object, however, to the sense
of predetermination put forth by ad-
ministrators throughout the review
process.
From a purely practical standpoint,
the administration should demonstrate
its support of the faculty and student
voice. If faculty self-governing proves
impotent, the University will not be
able to attract the quality
academicians it so eagerly seeks. Few
professors will choose a university in
which they have no control over their
academic destinies.
The same will hold true for students.
If programs and departments are
stripped wantonly, with little heed to
student wants or concerns, top-notch
students will seek education
elsewhere.
The University can and should be
directed in the 80s, but administrators
must realize that in the implemen-
tation of the smaller but better
philosophy they are treading on thin
ice. They should provide effective
vehicles for students and faculty input
redirection, if they want to maintain a
well-rounded, solid academic en-
vironment.

I fell prey to catastrophe the other day. Af-
ter a Pennsylvania state trooper pulled me
over and "strongly insisted" that I turn in my
Michigan driver's license for one from Pen-
nsylvania, I made haste to take my written
driver's test. Before I sat down at the
examiners taable, I was handed a "PA
Drivers Manual" and was urged to study it.
"Hell," I thought. Here I am, a University of
Michigan graduate, and I don't know how to
drive? Stop at stop sign, go the right way
down a one way street, and don't hit
pedestrians. The multiple choice test was
easy, and of 21 questions I answered 18
correctly-and I flunked! Nineteen, they told
me, was the passing figure.
I was crushed! My inflated ego was pun-
ctured.sHad I received the equivalent of 18 out
of 21 on the tests I took at Michigan, I not only
would have graduated summa curn laude, but
right now I would be dissecting cadavers and
rubbing elbows with everyone who was
anyone at Harvard Medical School.
I present this as one more piece of evidence
to support my thesis that post-college life is no
cake course. I anticipated fun, freedom, and
unrestricted pursuit of hedonistic pleasures
once I graduated. Not so; alumni life is tough.
I relish those memories of the difficult
decisions I never had to make while at U of M.
I just spent my fourth sleepless night trying to
decide in which bank to "deposit $500 for at
least two years." Will it be-Bank A, which will
give me a blender, Bank B, which is waving a
blender under my nose, or Bank C, which is
enticing me with a blender? If I didn't want a
blender so much, I would choose Bank D,
which is offering interest at 171/2 percent.
The most agonizing decisions I ever made
in college occurred at the beginning of the
semester when I set out to color-coordinate
my folders and notebooks for my courses.
(My career choice, by the way, was a

By Nick Katsarelas
relatively simple one. I never had to deal with
the old "is it going to be law, business, or
medical school" thing. With my grades, I
grabbed my diploma and took the first job of-
fer to come along.)
Ah. To be back in college. Every night we
used to sit around in our Lacoste shirts and
Topsiders, drinking beer, playing cards, and
singing college songs with lines like: "Mom
and Dad pay all the bills while we have
all theffun ... "
Funny thing, though, nine months after I
graduated, I get this note from the bank
telling me that until my hair turns grey, I'll be
paying them through the nose for the
thousands of dollars worth of loans that paid
for my education.
I called Mom. "Hey. What is this loan
business all about?" Irritated, she replied,
"You think your father and I were going to
pay all your bills while you were having all
the fun at college?"
And things like speaking are hardly easy
now. I learned a new way to talk in Ann Arbor
called collegespeak, a good example of which
comes from a friend of mine who was recently
describing one weekend night:
"We were at Charley's, right? and it was
crowded, I mean, we're talking no place to sit,
right? so we finally get a table and sit down
and order drinks And after a couple minutes
this guy comes up and he's mega-cute, right?
and he goes 'can I sit down?' and I go 'yeah'
and he goes 'what's your name?' and I go
'Lisa,' right? and I notice he's got this fox on
his shirt, I mean, we're talking Sears, right?
and it was gross, you know, so when he wasn't
looking I turned to Sherrie and I go 'gaud!'
right under my breath, and it was like, get rid

of him, right? so we finished our drinks and
left. Basically."
You think heroin is a tough habit to break?@
Try cutting out all the "rights" and "likes '
from your vocabulary. I break out itto a cold
sweat whenever I have to write, which is
every day, since I do it for a living. It's like
not easy, you know?
What is most shocking about these post-,
college days is the reaction I get from people
who've just been told I graduated from U of
M. In Ann Arbor I used to see T-shirts that
claim "Michigan-Harvard of the Midwest."
Needless to say, I was taken by surprise when
I failed to see any T-shirt out here that React
"Harvard-Michigan of the East."
One more thing. Recently,tI had the oppor-
tunity to meet the president of one of those
pint-sized private colleges out here-you
know, the ones the size of your high
school?-and after asking where I got my
degree, he said 0h, Michigan. Now that'sa.
good school. That's the one in East Lansing,
right?"
I guess there's a current country-western
hit that zeroes in on my "life after college."
It's a song by Clint Rizzo and the
Beautymarks, called "The Easy Life is so
Damn Hard." It's about a coal miner who, af-
ter graduating from junior college, finds out
the coal mines aren't all they're cracked up to
be. The chorus goes like this
I gave up my Wallabees
For a pair of working shoes
The easy life wasn 't supposed to be
Sooooo daaamn haaard.
Really.
Nick Katsarelas, a former Daily repor-
ter, said that if he had to do it all over
again, he would be a Saudi Arabian sheik,
"so's I could buy me one of them video
games. '

.r

U! ~ Wi

The Daily policy

O NE OF THE most important
aspects of any newspaper is its
opinion page. In addition to presenting
the newspaper's official stance on
selected issues, the page provides an
open forum for ideas of the com-
munity.
Daily staff members take their
responsibility on the Opinion Page
very seriously. At many newspapers
the publisher, who holds the purse
strings, and a small group of editors
decide on the publication's editorial
position. But because the Daily is
financially independent and student-
managed, no publisher dictates its
thoughts or philosophies; Daily
editorials represent a consensus of the
Daily's editorial board, in which any
Daily staff member may participate.
Each person has an equal vote; not
even the editor-in-chief may negate a

vote or overrule the editorial board's
decision.
Official Daily editorials appear on
the left side of the page, but any staff
member is welcome to offer opposing
yiews on the right side of the page.
Readers, too, play an important part
on the right side of the page. For that
space, readers are welcome to submit
guest columns and letters to the editor.
These columns and letters are
signed and do not necessarily
represent the views of the Daily staff.
Readers are encouraged to contribute
so the page can present a full range of
opinions. Not every letter or column
submitted will be run, but the Daily
strives to represent all viewpoints.
Most cartoons appearing on the page
are from national news syndicates, but
here, too, readers are encouraged to
submit their work for consideration.

PAY
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DUTf BETUR I -OuLPINq1 YOUWLLE-! ''

UObtRitbiganilati
Vol. XCII, No. 1
Thursday, September 10, 1981
The Michigan Daily is edited and managed by students at The University
of Michigan. Published daily Tuesday through Sunday mornings during the
University year at 420 Maynard Street, Ann Arbor, Michigan, 48109. Sub-
scription rates: $12 September through April (2 semesters); $13by mail out-
side Ann Arbor. Summer session publisnea Tuesday through saturday mor-
nings. Subscription rates: $6.50 in Ann Arbor; $7 by mail outside Ann Arbor.
Second class postage paid at Ann Arbor, Michigan. POSTMASTER: Send
address changes to THE MICHIGAN DAILY, 420 Maynard Street, Ann Ar-
bor, MI 48109.
The Michigan Daily isa member of the Associated Press and subscribes to United Press Inter-
national, Pacific News Service, Los Angeles Times Syndicate and Field Newspapers Syndicate.
News room: (313) 764-0552,76-DAILY: Sports.desk: 764-0562; Circulation: 764-0558; Classified Ad-
vertising: 764-0557; Display advertising: 764-0554; Billing: 764-0550; Composing room: 764-0556.
Special New Student Editon Staff
Editor-University, Arts & Living ............ ..............STEVE HOOK
Editor-News, City, Surviving ......................PAMELA KRAMER
Associate Editor-News ........................CHRISTOPHER POTTER
Editor-Sports ................................. MARK MIHANOVIC
Associate Editors-Sports ........... ........... MARK FISCHER,
BUDDY MOOREHOUSE
Editors-Photography...........................JACKIE BELL
DAT TT . TIIRTnM

Student apathy: Who needs it?

Six years ago, the Daily carried a full page
advertisement which told students in a hand-
lettered scrawl: "Clothes are irrelevant
bourgeois socially restricting products of a
capitalistic society-but if you need any,
we've got the groovy stuff . . . The Plastic
Reality is called a credit card, and it helps
you to get yourself together without getting it
all together at once. Be a plastic activist and
confront us about opening an account in your
name."
The ad reads like some bizarre satire of
The Sixties Radical, and it's a pretty good in-
dication (advertisers tend to know their stuff)
that by 1975, student activism was on its way
down the tubes. Now, in 1981, the situation has
not improved.
TODAY'S STUDENT is described as-
lethargic and apathetic by local politicians
and campus leaders. Historians are calling us
the "Me Generation," and accusing us of
having 30-minute attention spans. And then,
there's always the 35-year-old: "When I was
on campus, we cared. We were out protesting
2Anfcd+ +in*n ai mh#w..a m,.rnnarnw uni

By Pamela Kramer
ALTHOUGH STUDENTS usually live in
Ann Arbor for only a few years, they are very
much a part of the city, and they have a
responsibility to improve it in any way they
can, if only out of self-interest. It is important
to have city council members who will look
out for student concerns, but if students won't
demand such representation through voting,
they shouldn't expect to get it. Students often
feel powerless to alter situations in which
they are getting the short end of the deal. But
they are not powerless. Ann Arbor's unique
housing nightmare is a specific example of
students working to change things. Tenants
may think they have it bad now, but the
housing situation used to be worse: Illegal
leases were the rule, maintenance was vir-
tually non-existent, and most tenants had
very little knowledge of their rights. But in
1970. a grrnm nf tenants deided thev had had

On campus, there is also a need for in-
creased student participation. Nearly all of
the student groups are suffering declining
membership. Even the major organizations,
such as PIRGIM and the Michigan Student
Assembly, are complaining that low levels of
involvement are hindering them in accom-
plishing their goals.
BUT THE "worthiness" of campus groups
is not the only factor which should attract
students. Participation is not all labor; it is
usually more fun than work. And, it's impor-
tant to note that the experience gained can be
very helpful in post-college life.
With all of these wonderful positive points,
why are levels of student involvement so low?
Writing the problem off to raw narcissismis
too simplistic. Students today are facing an.
economic crisis-complete with cuts in finan-
cial aid and hikes in tuition-as well as in-
creasing competition for grades (it's all part
of getting into grad school, or finding a choice
spot in the job market).
MORE STIDENTS HAVE tn nend mora -

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