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March 25, 1983 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1983-03-25

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OPINION

)age 4

Friday, March 25, 1983

The Michigan Daily

Wasserman

Edie madita atig
Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan

Vol. XCill, No. 137

420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

Editorials represent a majority opinion of the Daily's Editorial Board

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Athletes deserve better

r WE CMANNOT CUT
WE RQUESTC-D
1N 1984
'1$N'T 'IT JUST AS
L1KEL Y TE SOVIETS

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T111S MAOUNT 1s
'PRUAETOE
SOVETSTO Iu~t
, /THHR UII.DUP

A LL THAT IS perverse in college
athletics was displayed this week
when Jerry Tarkanian of the Univer-
sity of Nevada-Las Vegas was named
"coach of the year" by United Press
International. In choosing Tarkanian,
the UPI panel of sportswriters and
broadcasters reaffirmed that fair
recruiting practices and worthwhile
education count for little in the battle
for dollars and victories.
To be sure, Tarkanian's record on
the court is impressive. This year his
team won 28 games and lost only three.
At one point, the Running Rebels had
garnered 24 wins in a row. The team
earned a position in the NCAA national
,championship basketball tournament
by winning the Pacific Coast Athletic
Conference championship, but lost its
first NCAA tournament game.
Tarkanian is also the winningest active
college coach on a percentage basis.
But his other statistics are im-
pressive, too. He has been at UNLV for
nine years and only five of his scholar-
ship basketball players have
.graduated. In 1977, UNLV was put on

/

NCAA probation for two years for
recruiting violations. The school was
ordered to suspend Tarkanian for the
same time period, but to date has suc-
cessfully fought the suspension in
court. In 1973, he left Long Beach
State University just before that school
was put on probation for three years
for similar recruiting violations.
Tarkanian is far from coach of the
year. He has failed as a leader of young
people who deserve a lot better than to
be exploited and glorified because they
are excellent basketball players.
A far better choice would have been
'someone like Princeton's Pete Carril.
His team won the Ivy League cham-
pionship and even its first game in the
NCAA tournament.
Pete Carril's players, though, will
graduate at the end of their four years
at Princeton. In Ivy League athletics,
that's the rule rather than the excep-
tion. Pete Carril is part of a program
that emphasizes college athletics for
what it should be - part of the learning
experience. In many schools, that
principle has been forgotten.

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LETTERS TO THE DAILY:

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'Jungle 'party shows racism at 'U'

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Misleading the Senate

T HE RECENT disclosures that Pres-
ident Reagan's nominee to head the
nations arms control agency misled
the Senate during his confirmation
hearings further demonstrates that the
p esident has chosen the wrong person
for the job.
In response to senators' questions
about what personnel changes he
might make if confirmed as director of
the Arms Control and Disarmament
Agency, Kenneth Adelman said he
hadn't thought about the situation at
all. Recent memos obtained by the
Senate Foreign Relations Committee,
however, shows that Adelman has his
eyes on eliminating several soft-liners
on the agency's staff.
The implication is clear that
Adelman misled his questioners and he
has yet to fully explain why. This
brings up the issue of whether there
are other activities Adelman has failed
to make the committee aware of.
One issue Adelman has made the
committee painfully fully aware of is
his ignorance of arms control policies
and initiatives. Asked by one senator
what he would do if the Soviets
proposed to eliminate nuclear arms,

Adelman replied he'd never thought of
the idea, though presumably that is the
ultimate goal of the arms control
agency. Are the Soviets, cheating on
current agreements another senator
asked. Again Adelman had no answer.
Adelman's misguided assertions to
the Senate, his tenuous grasp of arms
control issues, and apparent refusal to
do homework necessary to answer
even basic questions, make him
inadequate to head the nation's
already lethargic arms control efforts.
The agency is currently in a turmoil
with many personnel problems and
needs not only a strong leader, but a
knowledgeable one.
Coming to Adelman's defense,
Republican senators have labeled the
tough scrutiny by the committee a
"witch hunt." But in light of the
Senate's failure to adequately screen
candidates for Reagan's top cabinet
posts, the nation has been saddled with
the likes of Anne Burford and others
who mismanage and bungle gover-
nment policy. Under the threat of an
ever burgeoning nuclear arms race,
the Senate cannot afford to be wrong
again.____

To the Daily:
It was very honest of The
Michigan Daily to report the
latest comedic episodes of one of
Michigan's very own "Animal
Houses."
The "Jungle Party", hosted by
Sigma Alpha Mu fraternity is
yet another exampleeof the
disrespect and discriminatory at-
titudes that are typical of whites
towards blacks at the University
of Michigan. And you wonder
why there is a declining rate in
black enrollment?
While the fraternity's social
chairman (Steve Cohen) and
president (Jeff Libman) feel that
the party reflected tradition and
not racism, they must have con-
sidered the possible
ramifications of its theme.
Where does this fraternity think
that blacks come from anyway,
the moon? No, let me refresh
your memory. Several hundreds
of years ago, blacks were brough
over to America from the jungles
and villages of Africa. Saying
that "the people who are upset
have no relation to the jungle" is.
an excuse (and a poor one) made
in embarassment by the frater-
nity after receiving news ex-
posure.
It upsets me. to see whites
idolize, glorify, and praise a
black athlete (only when it suits
their purpose) with banners
above their fraternity entrances
displaying, "THANKS, A.C.,WE,
LOVE A.C., A.C. IS #1!" and

later act so insensitively as to
throw a "Jungle-Party." Anthony
Carter is black too! Do you think
that he or any other of the black
athletes that the whites "brown-
nose" during football season
would have joined in the
festivities (had they even been
invited)?
What next, a "slave auction" or
a "minstrel show"? How would
the Sammies feel if some frater-

nity threw an "Anne Frank
Holocaust Party?" I feel that this
would be insensitive, cruel and
reflect views of anti-semitism.
I hope that unlike Sigma Alpha,
Epsilon (at the University of Cin-
ncinati) and Theta Chi (at
Michigan State University),
Sigma Alpha Mu fraternity is
severely reprimanded and gets
their charter revoked. Perhaps
disciplinary action will force
Sigma Alpha Mu and other whites

to be more considerate, develop
healthier attitudes, and to 'put
away racist ideas before it
becomes too late for mere
apologies.
I suggest that fraternities like
Sigma Alpha Mu should spend
more time and money plannin
constructive social events (like
fund raising for charities) and
less time around the keg.
-Carol E. Alexander
March 2

A n offer to the Sadm mies

To the Daily:
My credentials are, I hope,
reasonably impeccable for the
promise of help this letter
publicly offers to the Sammies, to
Messers Cohen and Libman, and
to the "tradition" that is not a
''party.'' Birth place: nine
degrees north of the equator;
color: rather dark complex; af-
filiation: research center of the
midwest.
'What I propose is simply a way
of exalting into even grander
design the slogan between those
two tribal members of Sigma
Alpha Mu that appeared (in the
Daily on March 22: "Jungle Par-
ty '83" it's not just a party it's a
tradition." The offer consists in
adding a special brand of literate
dignity, as ought to be ap-
propriate in a university setting,
to Jungle 84.
I have been told I have a fairly

good voice (notwithstanding),
and on thatnrecommendation
would read, from the ancestors,
matters that may be relevant the
next tribal gathering: excerpts
from Hegel on "Africa proper;"
from Freud on the totems and
taboos of virtually all the
"savages" of Africa, aboriginal
Australia, and Asia; and from
Albert Schweitzer, antique
"elder brother." and, closer yet
to the heart of an English
professor, the exquisite poetry of
Wallace Stevens' "Like
Decoratiog~s in a Nigger
Cemetary" or, less elegant but
more rhythmic fun, from Vachel
Lindsay's "Congo." Others,
possibly-depending on the
benign neglect of time and
libation.

Should- the "Frat Party" niot
take place as your average
"Jungle '84"-given Mr. Cohen'
"if' somebody said something, it
would definitely stop"-all need
not be considered lost, however.
The Daily, in its reasoned sense
of priorities in photography and
news coverage (front page), may
simply wish to publish the
relevant pages of what I would
have read to the tribe, perhaps
with choreographed notes? There
would seem to be no point at all i
letting anything so vital go to
,waste, not even in 1984.
A tradition is, after all, not just
a party.
-Lemuel A. Johnson
Dept. of English
March 22

Daily sensationalizes issue

Traditions of prejudice

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To the Daily:
In the recent Daily story, "Frat
Party Draws Accusations Of
Racism," (March 22) the studen-
ts of Sigma Alpha Mu fraternity
justify their "Jungle Party" by
tradition and, they believe, in no
way is the party theme racist.
However, the "tradition" the
students refer to is itself racist.
During the 1950s, the period when
the "Jungle Parties" originated,
the United States was one of the
most racist and segregated coun-
tries in the world. Jim Crow laws
were common place and their
purpose was to keep black and
white people separate from birth
to death.
As Patrick Mason said, "It

should be shocking that sup-
posedly intelligent people let this
kind of act go on. The fact that it's
going on proves this country has
a long way to go in its racial at-
titudes." This is very true.
It is sad that "narrow-minded
and insensitive" people do not
take advantage of their stay at
the University of Michigan, with
its wide spectrum of people -of
every nationality and culture,
and learn about other groups
besides themselves. Also, the
most depressing aspect of this in-
cident is that these people, with
their prejudice attitudes, will be
the business and political leaders
of the next century.
-Deborah D. Holloway
March 22

To the Daily:
Glen Young and The Michigan
Daily have gone too far. The front
page article, "Frat party draws
accusations of racism" (Daily,
March 22) was a slap in the face
of the black community. As one of
the black student leaders contac-
ted by Young for his article, it
was obvious that he was attem-
pting to create an issue.
First, I have been informed by
Young himself that the Daily
knew of the party some time
before it occured and yet waited
until after the event to contact
black students and others for his
article. Secondly, although the
theme of the party is
questionable, it seems ridiculous
to condemn an entire fraternity
for having an affair of more than

200 individuals in which onl
three of the individuals acted in a
derogatory manner.
Finally, in printing such an ar-
ticle and its accompanying
photographs, the Daily has belit-
tied and insulted the very serious
questions of racism that exist on
this campus. By avoiding and/or
ignoring real examples of racism
faced by blacks and other
minorities on campus to instea
focus on trivial, sensationalized
hype, the Daily has once again
struck a blow for racial dis-
harmony. I can only hope that the
next time the Daily finds itself
lacking for front-page material it
will relieve itself at someone
else's expense.
- Rick Jones
Vice president, minority affairs
Michigan Student Assembly
* .. fl 4. . -- -

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.
1

ie irony jostereotyping

Party had no racist intent

I

To the Daily:.
Isn't it ironic that some of the
same people who were offended
by Phillip Lawes' article "
'Japs': Are They Fact or Fic-

tion," painted themselves black
for the Sigma Alpha Mu "Jungle
Party" Saturday night?
-Steven Marks
March 22

h

To the Daily:
In an article on Sigma Alpha
Mu fraternity's annual "Jungle
Party" ("Frat party draws ac-
cusations of racism," Daily,

presented the occasion and drew
some elaborate and poor
analogy. All of the fraternity
members quoted in the article
stressed the lack of any racist in-

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