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November 04, 1987 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1987-11-04

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,

OPINION
Wednesday, November 4, 1987

Page 4

The Michigan Daily

te maebtna ne r Michigan
Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan

Vol. XCVIII, No.40

420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 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.

Look into Ginsberg

HEN THE NOMINATION OF Robert
Bork to the Supreme Court was in its
death throes, President Reagan indig-
nantly vowed to choose another
'nominee who would upset the major-
fity of the Senate just as much as
Bork had. With the nomination of
Judge Douglas Ginsberg last week,
the question remains: has the Presi-
dent made good on his promise by
nominating another conservative in
Bork's mold?
Not enough information is available
to determine Judge Ginsberg's stands
on the key constitutional issues
* which played so crucial a role in the
defeat of Judge Bork. Indeed, there
is a paucity of information as to what
Judge Ginsberg's views are on most
contentious social issues, from abor-
.tion to minority rights. Ginsberg's
'legal writings concentrate almost ex-
lusively on regulatory and antitrust
jssues. In his short tenure on the
Court of Appeals for the District of
Columbia, he has accumulated "only a
brief judicial record. There is nothing
which indicates Ginsberg's positions
on civil liberties issues..
In light of Reagan's pledge to ap-
:point another conservative justice,
:Ginsberg's sparse judicial record
: does little to dispel the fear that he
:may in fact be the ideological equiva-
lent of Bork. Bork may well have
been confirmed had he not carried the
political baggage contained of his ul-
tra-conservative academic writings
which cast serious doubt on the verity
of the more moderate positions he
professed during the confirmation
hearings.

The fact that Ginsberg was the first
choice of Attorney General Edwin
Meese and is known to have been
heavily favored by the most conser-
vative administration officials also
concerns many who desire a moderate
justice to replace Justice Lewis Pow-
ell.
As disturbing are revelations that
Ginsberg handled a Justice depart-
ment effort to extend First Amend-
ment protections to cable operators
that would benefit a corporation in
which he had $140,000 invested.
Such indications are by no means
conclusive, and should not be taken
as a justification to prejudge Ginsberg
before all of the facts come to light.
But they are sufficient to warrant a
great deal of care on the part of the
Senate during the confirmation hear-
ings. President Reagan has repeatedly
criticized the Senate for what he calls
the "delayed" and "politicized"
confirmation hearings of Judge Bork,
and has urged that there be "no delays
to gear up opposition or support for
this [Ginsberg's] nomination."
Nonetheless, a rushed and per-
functory hearing is exactly what the
Senate should avoid, even more so in
the case of the enigmatic Ginsberg
than with Bork, whose beliefs were
well documented. Only by careful re-
search and thorough questioning can
the senators determine where this
latest nominee really stands. The Ju-
diciary Committee must be even more
methodical than before, for as Senator
Kennedy said, Judge Ginsberg may
very well be an "ideological clone of
Judge Bork - a Judge Bork with-
out a paper trail."

0
Logie resl
I am constantly amazed by the fact that
whenever the Daily prints an article in any
way critical of the Greek system, this criti-
cism seems to generate more letters to the
editor than any other single topic on cam-
pus. More than racism, sexism, the Code,
more than virtually anything this side of
Mark Borowsky's full-court slam of New
Yorkers.
JOH N
LOG IE
Greeks suspect, I think correctly, that
many "outsiders" do not hold them, collec-
tively, in the highest regard. In my case,
this is certainly true. While there are a few
Greeks I like and respect, like Ms. Stokes
for example, I have, over the years devel-
oped an increasing distaste for the system
as a whole.
One reason for this distaste, as I stated in
my column, is the propensity for these
private organizations to, from time to time,
take over public throughfares for their own
private enjoyment. If these gatherings are
meant to entertain me, they do not. I have
chosen, I think wisely, not to partake of
the many delights that lurk within the
Greek system. But many people within the
system do not respect that. They wonder
how anyone could possibly not want to do
the things they do. So they feel obliged to
let others know that they are missing
something. Something great.
There has been a great deal of misunder-
standing over the other criticism in my
column, which is partially my fault, and
partially the fault of insecure people reading
with their hearts rather than their heads.
Nowhere in my article do I say that organi-
zations like the American Heart Associa-
tion, the the Muscular Dystrophy
Association, and Children's Hospital are in
any way unworthy organizations. On the
contrary. To the best of my knowledge they
are fine, deserving organizations, and I am
delighted by most efforts to aid them.
My frustration stems from the fact that
the Greek community on this campus rou-
tinely trumpets its dedication to philan-
thropy, yet several Greek organizations
persist in presenting fundraisers which rep-
resent only the bare minimum that an or-
ganization could do without surrendering
John Logie is Weekend magazine's
columnist.

the right to justify its existence by citing
public service.
I don't think either point can really be
disputed. Grab an Ensian and read the Greek
pages. (This can be fun. My favorite was
the sorority which mentions its dinner
promoting Alcohol Awareness Week next
to a photo of "a thirsty (sorority member)
at Derby Days Beer Chug.") The Panhel-
lenic Organization describes Philanthropic
and community wide services as an
"integral part" of the organization. Over 60
percent of the Greek organizations in the
1987 Ensian yearbook list various philan-
thropic efforts prominently as part of their
accomplishments for the year. If anyone
out there is wondering why outsiders feel
that the Greek community advertises its
charity, they need look no further than the
nearest Ensian. If that isn't enough, I can
certainly prove that we, at the Daily, often
receive calls sometimes requesting and
sometimes demanding publicity for Greek
fundraisers.
Now to.the important issue, the minimal
effort behind the maximum advertisement. I
do recognize that many Greek-sponsored
events are wholly commendable. Those
members of the Greek system who have
taken the term service organization to heart
and earned it, deserve praise. Bravo! You are
part of the solution, and not part of the
problem. And to the degree that you have
been willing to do so without calling
attention to your sacrifices, I add a special
"hurrah!" This is the hallmark of true char-
ity. You have earned the right to call your-
selves "philanthropic," now show some
class and don't.
But organizations which bounce basket-
balls, or see-saw, and complain when
passersby don't kick in, saying things like,
"Sure... go off and have a good time at the
bar, while I'm standing out here on the
Diag, freezing my ass off" are charitable,
just barely, but they are a far cry from what
should be expected, and I would like to
suggest demanded, from self-proclaimed
philanthropic organizations. To these
groups I say, go get your feet wet. Go par-
ticipate directly in charity. Or stop pro-
claiming the glory of your minimal sacri-
fices to everyone within earshot. Take a
hint from the men's basketball team, or
from Pi Beta Phi, both of whom threw
Halloween parties for underprivileged chil-
dren.
Most non-Greek bucketeers are in fact
members of the organizations solicited for.
When one donates to a Latin American

Solidarity Committee bucket on the Diag,
no one else claims the money as part of
"their" philanthropy. The charity belongs
to the donor, and LASC, and this is as it
should be. Simply soliciting money from
pedestrians is not an overhwelmingly noble
form of charity, but it becomes intolerable
when a tangentially involved third party
uses the donations to toot their own horn.
I am already growing very tired of the ar-
gument that Greeks do more for charity
than anyone else on campus. I am con-
vinced that many members of the campus
community are involved in many charitable
concerns, but don't feel the need to adver-
tise. In the case of Greek bucket drives, a
significant percentage of the credit belongs
to the students and passerby who are filling
the buckets, though this is rarely acknowl-
edged. And the Greek system, in addition to
citing philanthropy, also cites the quality,
talent, and dedication of its membership,
suggesting to me that its members are em-
inently capable of doing more than the rest
of us.
I write this in hopes of steering the im-
pending debate to the really important is-
sues raised by my column. Should private
organizations have the right to overrun
significant portions of the campus area
with private activities? What level of in-
volvement and dedication can be fairly ex-
pected from self-proclaimed philanthropic
organizations? Consider that if the sixty-
three members of the basketball bouncing
fraternity each donated twenty-four hours of
their talents as office workers, organizers,
writers, and able bodies, to the American
Heart Association, rather than staging a
twenty-four hour bounce-a-thon, they
would generate $5,065 worth of work, cal-
culating the value of their hours conserva-
tively, at minimum wage.hAnd this would
be real charity, beyond the criticisms of
tired outsiders whose prejudices about the
Greek system are often borne out by Diag
activities.
Many times over the past five years my
all-too obvious prejudices about the Greek
system have been confirmed. My apprecia-
tion of efforts like the Pi Beta Phi party
has been jaundiced by my disapproval for
so many other activities. I call upon the
members of the Greek community who
stop at the minimum to press further, or
drop the pretense. The services provided are
being vitiated by the disservices to the
community as a whole.

I

i

ponds to his critics

I

4

4

4

LETTERS

Greeks sling mud at Logie's column

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CAS-E
"fEST

Logie stereotypes
To the Daily:
I'm sure this is not the only
letter you will receive i n
response to the column in the
Weekend Magazine, "Mudbowl
is Good, Clean Fun," (Daily,
10/30/87) but I hope you will
not dismiss this out of hand as
just another pissed-off greek
letting off steam.
The column, even if only
half-serious, and not intended
to cause offense, was irres-
ponsible. In it you presented an
image of greeks as rich,
superficial snobs. This seems
to be the stereotype of greeks
held by non-greeks. As with
all stereotypes, it has only a
loose connection with reality.
It does not accurately describe
the greek community and being
rather negative, does injury to
that community. By presenting
this stereotype, you both
reinforce it in the minds of
those who already hold it, and
propagate it by presenting it to
people who may have not
formed an impression of
greeks. The only potentially
positive result that might be
derived from the printing of the
column (on this occasion) is
that this stereotype, having
been brought out in the open,
can be directly challenged and,
hopefully, at least partially
disproven.
The image of greeks as rich,
superficial snobs is commun-
icated in the article by the

Rather than defending such
forms of charity fundraising,
and trying to explain or deny
the fact that many greeks do
come from wealthy back-
grounds, as has.been done in
the past, I would like to point
out that thse activities or
characteristics are not the only
activities or characteristics
which describe greeks. The
reason that people do not
recognize the diversity that
exists in the greek community
is that they are conditioned by
the sterotype. They expect and
perceive only such aspects of
the greek community as are
entitled in that stereotype.
Greeks who are not wealthy or
superficial or snobbish are
either not seen as greeks, or
when they are recognized as
such, are dismissed as
exceptions. I think that if, and
I hope when, you open your
eyes and mind and look around
you, you will find a lot of
people who are members of
sororities or fraternities, who
are dedicated and sincere in their
efforts to further ideals and
causes in which they believe,
and who enjoy socializing with
people who are not members of
their house.
There are obviously times
when parties are for "members
only" but it's wrong to
attribute this to snobbery, for
most parties are for a limited
group of people: the friends of
the people who are putting the
effort and money into throwing

the stereotype. However, these
aspects are only part of a much
larger whole which is the greek
system, and it is wrong to
judge the whole on a basis of a
fraction of it. When any
stereotype is taken as accur-
ately describing a group it is
the first act of prejudice. The
principle is the same in this
case, for greeks, as in the case
of prejudice against minorities
or women, although the
consequences are not nearly as
severe or disastrous in this case
as in the others.
Please, be a little more
thoughtful. If you wish to
point out the faults in the
greek system write about them
in such a way as to incline
greeks to thoughtfully con-
sider, and come to terms with,
those faults. Flip criticism in
the form of stereotying will get
you nowhere. As a parting
thought, let me ask whether
you think such an article,
focusing on stereotypes of
minorities or women, would
have been appropriate? Please
show us the same consideration
you show for such other
communities on this campus.
-Steve Hathaway
October 30
Commend Greeks
To the Daily:
John Logie's column,
"Mudbowl is Good, Clean
Fun," (Daily, 10/30/87) pres-
ented a faulty, incoherent
argument. Logie's sordid (sex-

ist) views on the merits of the
Mudbowl serve only as a 4
smokescreen for the pernicious
underlying argument condem-
ning Greek charity drives.
Specifically, Logie allows his
contempt for the Greek system
to color his views on certain
fund-raising practices (i.e.
bucketing). Logie neglected to
mention the other campus org-
anizations (LASC, SAPAC,
Take Back the Night, etc.) who
jlso employ this method of
soliciting funds. Rather than
dwelling on the dress, dem-
eanor, or social affiliation of
the solicitors, Logie should
focus upon the purpose and end
result of the solicitors' efforts:
helping the needy.
If Logie gives, as he says,
"grudgingly" to bucketeers,
perhaps he should not give at
all. His public condemnations
of, and de facto call to boycott
these types of drives, harm the
needy recipients more than
witholding his spare change
might. Without solicitation of
some sort or another, most
charities would founder under
public apathy. Those who give
of their time and effort, 4
regardless of their social orien-
tation, should be commended,
not reproached. Logie callously
abuses his journalistic power
by his pompous condem-
nations, and insults his read-
ership with prejudiced, long-
winded commentaries.
-Suzanne E. Stokes
November 1

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