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March 03, 1987 - Image 4

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1987-03-03

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OPINION
Page 4 Tuesday, March 3, 1987 The Michigan Daily

Focus

on

By Kurt Muenchow
I , too, believe that the role of student
government is to advocate student
interests. The point on which I disagree
with many is the scope of our advocacy. I
firmly believe that MSA should be
involved only in CAMPUS issues, and
that we should limit our participation on
outside issues. I feel, that the appropriate
forum for the expression of the sentiment
of the student body on extra-campus
issues is the various student groups
which actively support or oppose various
world events or policies. Let me make it
very clear that I do not necessarily
disagree with the content or political bent
of many of the resolutions MSA has
adopted in the past. I, too, believe that
US involvement in Nicaragua is totally
inappropriate. I also believe, however, (as
I am convinced that most of the students
on the campus do too) that MSA is the
incorrect forum for addressing these
concerns. I think that student
organizations such as Latin American
Solidarity Committee (LASC), College
Democrats, College Republicans, etc...
are the appropriate, and most effective
forums for addressing extra-campus
issues. MSA is the most appropriate
forum for addressing CAMPUS issues.
Because MSA has limited resources (both
time [people power] and money), we
should concentrate those tesources on
campus issues. THINK GLOBALLY,
ACT LOCALLY is an axiom which we
tout quite often in the school of Natural
Muenchow is the president of MSA

Resources, which I belicve in,
applies to this argument.
government is expected toc
issues of immediate student co
any action we take should alloK
JOSEPHINE) STUDENT to a
following question for his/her s
How does (this MSA action
the quality, or ease of atta
education (or better my existe
4 (or however-many) years here
Any action we take for whi
a concrete, and DIRECT ansv
question, is appropriate for the.
(Here I would like to poin
concievably, the price of lima
fresh grapes] in upper slobobia
a tenuous, indirect effect on
citizen of the USA, and m
maybe, on me as a student her
of M)
When discussing this is
important to note that there a
key distinctions to be made
arguing CAMPUS vs. NON-
issue involvement, NOT s
non-student issue involvem
MAY be a student issue may
campus issue. What MAY 1
campus issue may be a stud
Examples of the first argu
situations such as Nicaragua,
fresh grapes, the price of graba
in Afghanistan. Examples
campus, student issues are fin
town re-zoning, and issues

student,
and which education (whatever their geographi
Student origin within the United States).
deal with
oncern ..... Therefore, we have a clear distincti
w JOE (or which allows us to deal with issu
inswer the which DO provide an answer to the abo'
elf: question above, while still allowing us
focus our resources. Further, this alloy
n) improve us to steer clear of issues over which,
aining my have no effect.
nce) in my
e at U of M While presenting arguments I discu
'resources'. I mean not only the tangib
h tresources such as paper, computer tim
ic there is man(woman)-hours, ink, etc..; I me
wer to this also the intangible cost to MSA in t
Assembly. currency of credibility, in the currencyc
t out that effectiveness, in the currency of imag
abeans [or Why is it that MSA has such a 'bad',
a may have 'mis-understood', or 'unknown' reputati
n me as a ? How has it developed ? Why ? Why
aybe, just it so hard for MSA to accomplish vario
re at the U concrete goals, carry out producti
projects ? I am not suggesting that a lo
of RESOURCES due to only NO]
sue, it is CAMPUS involvement is solely1
are several blame. I would, however, contend that
. We are CAMPUS-focused MSA would be mo
CAMPUS highly productive than any previo
tudent vs. Assembly has ever been. And producti
ent. What in a way which would actually begin
NOT be a. build and stockpile resources rather th
be a non- piddle them away.
ent issue.
ument are If you're still reading by now, eith
California you're:
anzo beans 1) fascinated about how I ramble on.
of non- 2) curious about what I have to say.
ancial aid, 3) so bored with class you ha
of higher nothing better to do.

issues
cal 4) running in the upcoming I
elections for a seat on the Assembly
on
es I agree that student interests muse
ve made aware to local, state, and nati
to leaders. Exactly. STUDE
ws INTERESTS. Those concerns wk
we when addressed by the Assembly, pro
an answer to our constituent stude
question above. Many times, in respo
1ss to my arguments, the jump is made fi
)le student interests of campus concern
re, zoning, state and national student aid)
an student, non-campus concerns (Cei
he America and California fresh grape:
of divorce the issues into the above sL
ge. catagories of campus-related and r
or campus related; and suggest that we
on MSA deal with the former. I fui
is suggest that LASC et. al. deal with
us latter, and that those who are dealing
ve the latter in the Assembly, are, in
)ss doing the students and themselve
N- disservice, both by wasting
to Assembly's resources (there's that ;
t a again), and by not gaining the most e
re on the non-campus issue thatt
us concievably could through other stu
ive organizations.
to
an
Pick your battles, and choose the r
advantageous ground to fight them
her MSA is the best arena for campus isst
and can address them with unbrid
legitimacy. Other student organizati
can do the same for non-campus conce
ve
I certainly agree that if we (MSA)

urged

idly by twiddling our thumbs while
Mayor Pierce re-zones Burns Park and -
Gov. Blanchard denies sufficient financial
aid, we ARE doing ourselves a great,-
injustice. It is our place to address such
issues of campus, student concern.

4

If we fail to address any "state or
national leaders ... implementing policies
which restrict living space, deprive them
of money for school, or threaten our
lives" then we have done the students an
injustice. We do not ignore these things,
nor would I want us to ignore them. This
does NOT mean, however, that you can
automatically generalize the financial aid
argument to include the Nicaragua
argument, as is often done in discussions
of this issue.
Finally, Student government prepares
students for life outside college. By
actively advocating student, campus
concerns, we teach many how to be
effective on extra-campus concerns. I
agree that ... if a student government is
to be effective, it cannot hide from issues
and events which effect students lives ...
I hope the discussion of MSA's role in
campus VS. non-campus issues is
thoroughly discussed in MSA's upcoming
election campaigns. I also urge you to
take the time to vote for the candidates
and party which echo your own
sentiments on this important issue.

I
I

I

Eie Manaedbyt an atilg
Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan

Black

Vol. XCVII, No. 103

420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, M1 48109

Unsigned editorials represent a majority of the Daily's Editorial Board
All other cartoons, signed articles, and letters do not necessarily represent the opinion of the Daily.

Deaf ears

By Joshua Ray Levin
Something really scary happened in
my history class last week. During a
conversation about the Progressive era, a
student raised her hand and asked who was
W.E.B. DuBois. I was suprised that
someone in an Honors U.S. History class
was not familiar with such an influential
American figure. One person's ignorance
is hardly scary; the discussion which
followed her question, however, was.
During this discussion, it was revealed
that the overwhelming majority of my
class had little or no previous knowledge
of DuBois, or Booker T. Washington, or
their great debates about the direction of
the earlytwentieth century civil rights
movement. Further discussion showed
that almost none of my classmates had
any education in black history at all. In
fact, I was only one of a handful of
students present who even knew it is
Black History Month.
Levin is parliamentarian of the campus
chapter of the NAACP.

history 1
I found this shocking. These students,
almost all of whom had taken Advanced
Placement U.S. History, had gone
through twelve years of education without
ever realizing the tremendous
accomplishments and contributions
blacks and other minorities have made to
American history and culture. And these
weren't just sheltered suburban rich kids,
either. In-staters and out-of-staters,
privately and publicly schooled, suburban
and city raised-people from all kinds of
backgrounds-and most of them were
completely ignorant of black history.
This is not meant as a condemnation
of my fellow students, or to make me
sound less ignorant than them. What this
means is that American children are being
deprived of a true understanding of real
American history. Even the most
advanced students in this field are leaving
high school with a whitewashed version
of our past.
This is a crime. Students at all levels
are being cheated out of a complete
education, and this lack of education leads
to the gross lack of understanding

gnored
between blacks and whites. The greatest
problem facing race relations is not
hatred, but ignorance-and by not
addressing this problem, the University is
indirectly contributing to the ignorance of
its students.
Something .mus be done. Although
the University cannot dictate what
primary and secondary schools teach, the
university community can greatly
influence it. History professors who
publish their work should include more
minority contributions in their texts.
Students going on to become teachers
could take with them a more complete
education, to be passed on to their
students. And the University of Michigan
must strive to improve the education of
its students by including more minority
history in its curriculum.
The ignorance of most Michigan
students with regards to black history is
dangerous. If the University is indeed
committed to the complete education of
its students, it must take steps to
improve interracial understanding.

IN THE COMMERCIAL, WHEN EF
Hutton talks, people listen. They
stop whatever they're doing, put
their hands to their ears, and strain
to hear every word. If only student
opinion was greeted with the same
heightened interest by the
University administration.
In the case of the recent medical
school calendar change, the
administration did not even pay the
students the courtesy of allowing
them to speak before discounting
what they had to say.1
On February 5, the medical
school's executive committee voted
to start its year one week later in
August which would mean that fall
semester would end a week later in
December. The proposed change
cut a week off winter break and 3
days off the study time for finals.
Students had hoped to make a
presentation in opposition to the
change at the executive committee
meeting but were told the
discussion of the issue was to be
postponed a week. Then, to the
students' surprise, the decision
was made by the committee
without student input. James
Taren, associate dean for academic
programming, explained that "the
executive committee didn't wish to
get student opinion at that time."
Students had important
objections to register. The typical
medical student is under a lot of
pressure in a highly competitive
atmosphere which makes the
winter break particularly important
as a chance to rest from a grueling

semester. By cutting the exam
study days the proposed changes
would only increase the pressure
on the students.
The administration argues that
the calendar change is necessary in
order to make it easier for
professors to teach both
undergraduates and in the medical
school. Also, they argue it would
benefit those students in other
schools and in the inteflex program
who take classes in the medical
school. In addition, the adminis-
tration says that the students were
given a chance to express their
views prior to the executive
committee's decision.
This argument makes no sense.
Should students be denied the
opportunity to state their objections
to the executive committeesimply
because they were allowed to state
them at a preliminary stage?
The students expressed outrage
over the way in which the decision
was made at the February 12
executive council meeting. Perhaps
out of embarrassment over the way
they had originally handled the
situation, the executive voted the
cut the semester by two days in
order to provide extra study days
before finals.
For the medical students, this
decision was a "bittersweet"
victory at best. The proposed
change in the beginning and end of
fall semester was left intact and a
precedent was created to exclude
students from future executive
committee decisions.

LETTERS:
'University gives students coping skills

To The Daily:
"The problem here is that you
never registered for the course,"
replied Dean Goetz in answer to
my question of why I did not
receive a grade in the Aerospace
Engineering course that I had
attended for a full term. "But
Dean Goetz," I replied, " I was
told by the professor that
everyone on the wait-list got
in." What I did not realize,
however, is that in order to be
officially registered for the
course, I had to go through
CRISP again. "Well, Mark,
this is exactly the kind of thing
we try to stress at the University
of Michigan. No one is here to
look after you. The
responsibility is yours to make
sure that everything is on order."
I could not believe it. I was
actually being chewed out by the
head man himself. But, as I
later came to realize, he spoke
words of wisdom as he was
lecturing me oa the stupidity and
carelessness of my actions. An
education from the University of

each student is also given the
chance to develop a winning
attitude that will carry him
through the most troubling of
times later in life.
Most students at the
University of Michigan have
gone though a period when they
felt that the Undergraduate
program was one of the worst in
the nation. But as time goes on,
most of these students realize
that the only reason for their
dislike is because they are afraid
of the unknowns here. When
they finally realize that they are
in control of their lives, it is
then that they begin to develop a
keen sense of responsibility.
They start to see that it is
imperative to get things done
that they may have let slide
before. Sometimes even their
physical health can prompt them
to accept some responsibility
and take action to prevent
problems.
The students at the University
of Michigan also seem to have
no problem developing a sense
.. .. ...... ...., - I -.. .,_ .3

most students seem to come to+
realize that they are not dumb
either and achieve confidence in
the things they undertake.
But perhaps the mostr
valuable facet of an education1
here at the University of
Michigan is the development,1
through dealing and finding:
solutions to everyday problems,j
of an attitude that will help each
student get through the toughi
times by allowing him to see.
things in their true perspective.
The leading cause of depressions
in college students is thee
misconception of the severity of
one's problems. It is through
learning to see through the
Apologize.
To The Daily:
I am writing in regard to the
letters published on February
11 (Daily, 2/11/87) regarding
the behavior of a "select group"
of protesters who displayed
their displeasure with the visit

difficult times that a person can
truly do well on the outside,,
world, for if he lets too many
problems get him down, he will
most likely let it happen once he
gets out of Ann Arbor also.
An education from the
University of Michigan is
certainly one of the best in the
nation. The academics are top
notch in many departments. But,
it is through facing and
overcoming the everyday
problems and pressures that
students can truly say they are
educated.
-Mark Douglas Siddall 4
February 5
for eggs *
apology to former President
Ford.
If the beliefs of any group,
conservative, liberal, or radical, K
are to be taken seriously, we
must prove that our viewpoints
are made on mature decisions.
The throwing of eggs only

rr.I n *W I - - . -

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