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March 24, 1984 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1984-03-24

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0

OPINION

Page 4

Saturday, March 24, 1984

The Michigan Daivi

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rmm

Fashion unconsciousness on campus

By Naomi Saferstein
During the past several weeks I hit
the streets of Ann Arbor seeking an un-
derstanding of why the University student.
body dresses the way it does? (i.e. why
Caroline co-ed can buy a new sweat-
shirt for $10, but opts for one with holes
and pays $40). With this vision in mind
along with pen in one hand and pad in
the other, I began my quest for the
deeper meaning to the art of fashion.
I went to the Union, walked along the
Diag, even popped into the UGLi,
trudging on with my line of interrogation
regardless of how weird people thought
I was. And after days of unrelenting
pursuit, what did I come up with? ...
Nothing. You got it, dear readers, just a
bunch of "I don't knows" a few "well
everyone else does" and an assortment
of "it's comfortable."
BUT FOR ME folks, that simply
doesn't cut the mustard. That's right, I
don't buy it. We are not so naive as to
believe that people do things without
reason. Be serious, we're college
students, we've all read Sartre or at
least a bit of Nietzsche.
Thus, I concluded, all those responses
of ambiguity are a bunch of hulla-ba-

loo. I mean it's not as if any of these
people are Judy Jetson and just push a
button to get dressed each morning. It's
not even that their mothers still buy
them clothes. For if that were the case, I
truly doubt that Mrs. Q. would ever let
Susie out of the house with holes in her
clothes or her shoes untied.
Which brings me to a point that I can-
not comprehend; I'd like nothing .more
than for someone to explain why
people spend $80 to buy Timberland
boots, then end up not tying them so
they lok like something Li'l Abner
would wear. The comfort line doesn't
mean diddly-squat. You tell me that
some girl who's Guess jeans are two
sizes too small and so tight that she has
to unbutton ter pants to speak is
worried about whether or not her toes
can twinkle? I fail to see the comfort of
kissing the pavement simply because
you stepped on your shoelaces, or on the
laces of the person walking on either
side of you. Seriously, tell me that
Jackie O. or Princess Di would attend
any sort of gala affair with the straps of
her Jordan pumps unbuckled because
it's comfortable. Wrong. I find
nothing aesthetically pleasing about
slurping like an 80 year-old camel every
time you take a step. If that's

aesthetics, I'm Jerry Falwell.
AND WHILE we're on the subject of
aesthetics and fashion quirks that don't
click, it seems rather ironic that some
people spend 45 minutes getting
dressed each morning to attain the I-'
just- threw- on- the- first- thing- I-could-
find look. I don't need to be the one to
point out that this defeats the definition
of spontaneity. There is no art of beir
a slob. It's like being sort of pregnant
either you are or you're not. It's a bit af-
fected when Wannita Wanna-be gets up
and begins looking for argyle socks to
wear with her checkered shirt (so it's
slightly contrasting, but at the same
time rather complementary) then
chooses a vest to go with her rags to
riches, $45 sweater, making sure to ad-
just the collar, untuck the shirttails,
slouch her socks (so the left falls one-
quarter of an inch lower than the right)
and finally, an hour later, heads out the
door to class. During the whole process,
secretly hoping that today will be the
day the guy in her lit. class, the one in
the paint stained, baggy-butt Levi's
who has been wearing the same inside-
out T-shirt all week, will finally notice
her. All I can spy is girl, if clashing with
confidence doesn't get you your man,
there's always the athletic approach.

And another thing. I don't understand
why so many people at this University
dislike their eyes, this being the only
reason I can see for wearing those
stupid "I spy" sunglasses 24 hours a
day. Granted, it's one thing when it's
June, 80 degrees, the preacher's
preaching, the birds are singing, and
the sun is blazing. But what's the point
when it's February, 20 degrees, there's
no preacher, the closest thing to a bird
being last Friday's Colonel Sander's.
and there is certainly no sun. I once
asked some guy who has since taken to
New York for bigger and better things,
why he wears the ol' Varnesse imitation
on his face inside at 9 p.m. His reponse:
"I'm in character.' Character?
Character for what? Listen Maurice, I
felt like saying, if the world's a stage,
we're all in character - you don't see
me donning any shades, do you?
Bottom line for today's forum is, as
Barretta once said, different strokes for
different folks. And all I would like to
add is that the next time someone asks
you why you wear what you do; try not
to say "I don't know." Because if you
didn't would you still be wearing it?
Saferstein is a Daily staff reporter.

0I
z ,IA
Photo by DAVID FRANKEL
used to block the sun?

Daily
Does function follow fashion? Are sunglasses alwaysu

1~~

ieb tdetsgat at l
Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan

Stewart

Vol. XCIV-No. 138

420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

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

Averting collision

HE COLLISION of a U.S. aircraft
carrier and Soviet submarine in
the Sea of Japan Wednesday brought
the two superpowers together for the-
first time in many months. After
colliding over the installation of
American medium-range missiles in
Western Europe last year, the Soviets
walked out on arms negotiation talks.
Since that time, relations between the
two nations have been, in effect,
nonexistent.
There is movement within the two
governments, however, that might
lead to more constructive interraction
movement that should be en-
couraged and expanded. The advan-
tages of improving communications
with the Soviet Union are obvious.
Establishing diplomatic, cultural, and
scientific contact aids in a mutual un-
derstanding and opens up channels
through which a solution to the arms
race might be sought. What is not ob-
vious is just how to establish com-
munications during a period of such
tension and reticence.
The two countries participated in a
cultural and scientific exchange
agreement until 1980 when President
Carter discontinued it in protest over
the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. A
resumption of the agreement is being
discussed and would be a good first
step toward improved relations.
But as important -as changes of this
sort are, they sort of miss the point.
The conflict surrounding U.S.-Soviet
relations does not center around scien-
ce and culture, it centers around the
arms race. It is depressing to
recognize that against the backdrop of
chilled relations, a cultural exchange
is viewed as great progress.
The government is currently
debating whether to ask the Senate to
approve two nuclear treaties, one

limiting underground weapons testing
and the other monitoring nuclear ex-
plosions used for peaceful purposes.
Ratification of the treaties would ease
the verification process in that each
side would have to turn over geological
data and allow for at least limited on-
site inspection. Ratification should be
encouraged as an immediate and con-
crete step toward cooperation with the
Soviets on an issue relevant to the ar-
ms race.
Another avenue for cooperation is
opening up at the East-West security
conference in Stockholm. American
diplomats attending the conference
are reporting an apparent willingness
on the part of the Soviets to resume
arms limitation talks should the United
States make a non-aggression pledge.
Such a pledge would limit the risk of
armed confrontation in Europe by
outlining'specific, binding military
measures - such as a declaration of
troop movements.
The willingness of the Soviets is seen
as a desire to save face after their
walkout last year. A U.S. "nonuse of
force" statement would offler the
Soviets the concession they need to
come back to the bargaining table.
American diplomats believe that
there is no reason to offer the Soviets
such a face-saving gesture after the
walkout last year. There is every
reason, however, to offer such a
gesture. k
The United Nations Charter, and
NATO documents already contain
renunciation of force agreements and
a forceful restatement is a small con-
cession when viewed against the back-
drop of silence on arms limitation.
Talks can and should resume. It is
time for the United States to play the
cards in its hand and stop this silly
game once and for all.

I
I

IF IT WERENT FOR THESE DAMN POLLS, WE COULD RUN FREE.,

LETTERS TO THE DAILY:

Increasing minority

enroll

To the Daily:
I wish to respond to the column
by Patrick Louthan entitled "'U'
blacks still face hostilities."
(Daily, March 8) While I heartily
agree with the implied premise
that successful recruitment of
students by an institution rests
heavily on the general climate
which prevails at the institution;
e.g., racial, financial, social,
academic, etc., I wholeheartedly
disagree with the analogy which
compares the University with the
KKK in terms of racism.
Surely there is racism present
and practiced at all institutions
with populations of students,
faculty, and staff, similar to that
of this university but I do not per-
ceive this university to be par-
ticularly racist in comparison
with such institutions. Racism
practiced by such institutions is
usually quite subtle, though often
quite vicious and hostile. By
comparison, racism is quite over-
tly professed and practiced by
the KKK.
As a recruiter of minority
students for the University con-
tinuously since 1969, I have not
perceived fear of racism as a key
deterrent to attracting minority
students to this institution. Ap-
parently the presence .or
possibility of racism is an
assumed "given" in our society

serving more minority students:
1) The provision of greater finan-
cial aid and scholarship oppor-
tunities (especially to out-of-state
minority students) ; 2) improving
the relationships between
University faculty and minority
students; e.g. more frequent and
earlier exposure of minority
Undergradu

To the Daily;
Recently, the bulletin boards in
the hallway in the basement of
the Legal Research Building,
where law school student
organizations have their offices,
have been vandalized by un-
dergraduate students.
These attacks have been going
on all year, but during the most
recent of these incidents, the per-
petrators were caught. When
asked why they were ripping
down notices, newspaper clip-
pings, etc., they replied that they
did not agree with the politics of
the organization represented by
the board they vandalized.
As a member of the Jewish
Law Students Union, the
organization in question, I would
like to respond publicly to this
"explanation.'' First, our
organization is not a political
RLOOM CONITY

students with faculty members -
summer programs for high
school sophomores and juniors,
"etc.
Many more, I .feel, would
willingly risk enduring any
possible racism here if adequate
attention is given to the above
matters which are deemed to be
ate privilege is'
'organization. It is more of a
social and cultural forum for
Jewish students in the law school.
Our members differ widely both
in the conviction with which their
religious views are held, and in
the political perspectives they
bring to the group. Second,
nothing on our bulletin board, at
the time, had even the remotest
connection to anything political.
Posted materials were notices of
upcoming events and items'of
general interest. Finally, even- if
posted items of any sort provoke
such a vehement reaction that
one who disagrees with their
message feels they must be coun-
tered, certainly removing them
from the public view is, at best,
an inadequate solution (censor-
ship has a history of failure) and
very probably counterproduc-
tive.

ment
so crucial to enrolling and siir-
viving at The University' bf
Michigan.
-David Robinson
March 16
Robinson is assistant diree-
tor of admissions at the
University.

questioned
Possibly what is most offensive
about this whole incident (and
others which preceded it), is that
this is private property. There 2ig
a lot of grumbling'within the law
school about whether una
dergraduates ought to be allowed
to use the building altogether. It
is precisely this sort of thing that
prompts law students to summon
security guards to have non-lave
students evicted. We don't make
a mess of our own property:
Unlike LSA or engineering
schools, the law school is a small
community, and these types of
things do not remain anonymous;
Besides, for the most part, we're
in the building every day, and
we'd like for our surroundings to
be pleasant, and to be secure in
our rights.
- Julie selbst
March 21

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