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October 12, 1988 - Image 4

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1988-10-12

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

4

OPINION

Page 4

Wednesday, October 12, 1988

The MichigaonDaily

Power manipulates objective

By Brian Nienhaus
I have kept the Weekend Magazine of
October 23, 1987 on my desk now for
what amounts to a year now. It has sur-
vived numerous cleaning binges - twice I
threw it away, only to retrieve it from the
dust bin after some half-conscious second
thought. It's grungy now.
Still, yellowing and brittle, the mag-
azine bothers me every time I pick it up.
Page one is a photo of the Weekend ed-
itors happily embracing and wearing sharp
baggy sweaters and jackets. There is a
photo of the news staff on page 4, ac-
companying an article entitled "Here's the
FASHION SCOOP!!!" Captioning the
photo are the names of job titles of the
news staff.
On page 6, the reader is told to refer
back to the page 4 photo, but this time re-
placing their names and occupations with

media
bodies, reclothe them in sweaters and
denims, photo them an replace their names
witi numbers, and pop them into a
lifestyle article. They could remain very
still and nonparticipatory in all of this-

numbers (left to right) and accompanying
descriptions.
Here's one of them: "Robert Scott ltd.
turtleneck, tricot St. Raphael sweater,
rough hewn denim skirt available at Bag-
piper. Prices available on request."
This is obviously the result of a cute
idea of the 'total marketing plan' in which
a publication's contents are determined by
what its marketing staff considers to be oh
so nice.
Looking back at the photo again, I see
one of my old mass communication
students Rob Earle. Now he's a "Jay Todd
shirt, $16, and necktie, $8; Coder Jacket,
$85, and pants, $30. Available at Chess
King."
And.here I thought he was the editor-in-
chief.
The same magic unfolds throughout the
rest of the magazine. First the sports staff,
then the business staff, and in mystical

procession the photo, the opinion, and the
arts staff of the Daily - all turned into
numbered mannequins modeling clothes.
Well, it's a year late but here's my
gripe: I thought and still think that it was
both arrogant and poor taste for the Daily
to flaunt its total dependence on consumer
marketing enterprise like they did through-
out that magazine. Had they no shame?
Fashion ads and photo layouts set up like
they were articles? Daily staff members
creating and then participating in an
artificial advertising event? And then using
a standard feature article lay out conven-
tions to cover it up?
That's my gripe, and here's why I'm
writing to you now: this past week some
Michigan Daily staffers participated in a
protest demonstration of the inauguration
of President Duderstadt. A couple were ar-
rested and another staffer was injured and
taken to the hospital. Daily staff members
were clearly participating in an event
covered by the Daily.
In Monday's Ann Arbor News there was
an article about a regent who was upset by
this participation. In her interview with
Regent Philip Power, News reporter Karen
Grassmuck includes the following quote:
"When staff members report on events and
then turn around and participate in them,
I'm troubled by it."
I hope both she and I got it right; I want
to be objective. Anyway, Regent Power,
of newspaper family stock, was upset by
this participation, and he did what any
decent citizen of our free system would
do- he called up his local paper and had
an article written about his concerns, mak-
ing sure to offer a couple of pithy state-
ments that are a newspaper's equivalent of
the television sound bite so that the object
of his dismay would survive any inverted-
pyramid editing.
All well and good for Regent Power. I'll
even grant him that the excuses given for
this turn of events by the Daily have been
and will continue to be flimsy at best.

Staffers were participating, even if the
person who wrote the article was not.
You see, Regent Power probably
believes that when a person aspires to the
profession of journalism, they should not

4

'Regent Power probably believes that when a person as-
pires to the profession of journalism, they should not wear
that aspiration lightly, like a Bugatchi sweater.'

wear that aspiration lightly, like a
Bugatchi sweater. He would want the
ethics of objective professional journalism
to envelop the person twenty-four hours a
day, keeping out the taint and pollution of
real-world activity.
To put this in another way, Regent
Power would perhaps feel better if jour-
nalists remained hermetically sealed off
from the events of their world, inactive
and internally pure. Then conceivably, one
could take up these angelic journalists,
remove their clothes gently from their
I

very objective.
Perhaps this captures something of
Regent Power's vision of objective
journalism, and maybe that's why he
didn't get on the phone last October to
have his anger crystalized in an Ann Arbor
News article back then. He was just seeing
objective journalists displayed in creative
layout. I'd just like him to know that I
was looking at the same thing and seeing
mannequins.
Brian Nienhaus is a graduate student in
communications.

4

4

/Fil9 Photo
Daily Arts people pose in last year's Fall Fashion issue. They are all
wearing clothes provided by Daily advertisers.

JESSICA GREENE/Daily
Ann Arbor police arrest Daily Opinion Page staff writer Rollie Hud-
son outside of Hill Auditorium during President James Duderstadt's
inauguration.

4

ae weAirbtiran Badl
Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan
420 Maynard St.
Vol. IC, No. 25 Ann Arbor, MI 48109
Unsigned editorials represent a majority of the Daily's Editorial Board. Allother
cartoons, signed articles, and letters do not necessarily represent the opinion
of the Daily.

Ltersoe etor

Greek
Skewed on iM

system defended

[ore lies

I

fraternities about frats

Free University

THE HUGE AMOUNT of money spent
on President James Duderstadt's inau-
guration last Thursday is outrageous
when students continue to be priced out
of the University. The 12 percent tu-
ition hike enacted by the board of Re-
gents has made a universit.y education
even less accessible to people of lower
incomes.
The Scholastic Aptitude Test, a major
factor in undergraduate admissions,
has been shown to predict only the in-
come of a student's parents - not a
student's ability to succeed in college.
These standardized tests have also been
demonstrated to be racially and cultur-
ally biased. Similar tests such as the
Graduate Record Exam are used for
admission to graduate schools.
The University makes an effort to re-
cruit only those students it knows will
be able to pay. University recruiters
visit no Detroit public schools (except
Renaissance and Cass - two selective
high schools which base admissions on
examinations.) Instead they concentrate
on the largely white and much more af-
fluent suburbs. In this way many urban
Blacks are discouraged from applying
since they remain unaware of the
financial aid that might be available.
According to Nikki Hall, an LSA ju-
nior who attended Renaissance, "If I'd
gone to Redford [another Detroit high
school] or somewhere, I probably
wouldn't have known that there were
opportunities open to me."
Not only is the admissions process a
barrier to the diversity of which Duder-
stadt constantly boasts, the combina-
tion of the tuition hike and inadequate

financial aid has closed the door to
many students. Although minorities are
as a group much poorer and less able to
absorb the raised tuition, no federal or
state funding has been specifically tar-
geted for minorities. Thus, the effect of
the tuition hike has been to close the
university to the disadvantaged, who
are largely minorities and women.
LSA Dean Peter Steiner's ten-term
limit on graduate student support
works against equal treatment of
women, minorities and people with
lower incomes. Many women and mi-
norities received a less comprehensive
undergraduate education. For example,
undergraduate female science majors
are sometimes counseled out of taking
higher math or lab courses and are
forced to use up some of their ten terms
filling in these gaps in graduate school.
Women are also less able than men to
pay for .their own education beyond
these ten terms.
Proposals to increase federal loans
might provide a short term solution but
ignore the root of the problem. The
loan system is itself riddled with
racism and sexism. Minorities and
women are less able to pay back the
loans since they are tracked into lower
paying jobs and are also less likely to
receive the loans in the first place.
The only real solution is for the gov-
ernment to completely subsidize higher
education. If the economic factor could
be removed from campuses, then many
of the most substantial barriers to
"diversity" would also disappear. In
the meantime, 12 percent tuition hikes
only make the situation worse.

To the Daily:
I have endured liberal and
skewed writing for two years
without comment, but Stoney
Jones' article on fraternity rush
(Weekend, 10/7) is the perfect
ex--ample of what might have
been an excellent article had the
Daily not tried to
sensationalize a sit-uation
without any back-up.
Jones (who does not even
have the guts to print his real
name) wrote what I thought
was an ex-cellent article on his
experiences with fraternity
rush. However, it is very clear
in his article that he went into
rush with a big chip on his
shoulder.
I don't understand why an ar-
ticle which was objective
overall had to be contaminated
with per-sonal digs and
uncalled for pot-shots. Jones
says, "fraternities were far less
offensive as a whole than I
previously thought. I met very
few of the stereotypical...."
This tells me that he went into
rush with his opinions already
set, and it was up to the
fraternity to disprove the idea.
The cover was what I found
most troublesome. Why was
this editorial comment placed
on the front cover of Weekend?
I feel the whole article would
have been best placed in the
Opinion sec-tion! Also, there
was not a dis-claimer in the
story anywhere. So I take it
that you and the rest of the
Daily all believe that frater--
nity members are all "pretty-
boy womanizers." Not to
mention Fat Al's famous
quote, "Fuck frat, get fat." Oh,
by the way, obscen-ities rank
un there with sun-norting an

To the Daily:
This is in response to Rollie
Hudson's column, "The Greek
Alternative" (10/10/88). From
the beginning this column was
far from objective and
eventually so offensive that I
felt obligated to respond.
First, the author claims the
Greek system fosters a "rape
culture," and he offers a
substantiating quote: "Men are
encouraged to treat women
aggressively and women are
encouraged to submit." This
generalization of all members
of the Greek system is bad
enough, but failure to sub-
stantiate it immediately detracts
from the author's credibility.
He fails to explain how men
are encouraged to treat women
aggressively and how and why
women are encouraged to
submit.
Furthermore, his claim that
"women are given too much
alcohol and drugs and are
abused" is absurd and offensive.
Here Hudson is assuming that
all fraternity men try to do is
get women drunk and that
women quietly comply. To
depict women as unconscious,
unscrupulous followers is both
belittling to them and to the
intelligence of the reader. The
view of women as objects,
which the author himself
seems to suggest, is nothing
short of sexist.
Another disturbing claim is
that "excess alcohol
consumption and the
objectification of women as
sex objects are integral parts of
the Greek system." The author
fails to cite even one example
where this situation exists
anywhere, let alone on our

negative ideas? I think not.
Any system whose integral as-
pects were debauchery and
hedonism would not have
survived for over 150 years.
Hudson claims the Greek
system is racist, a place where
"white exclusiveness is accept-
able." No one I know would
agree with this statement. It is
clearly and undisputably unac-
ceptable, immoral and
unconstitutional. In my
opinion, to claim that the
Greek system and all of its
members foster racism is
nothing short of slanderous and
completely worthy of
retraction. This is the same
basisrthattracists attribute
towards other races and
religions: ignorance based on
misunderstanding.
Hudson estimates that people
in the Greek system give only
$29 on average to charity.
Philanthropy is not mandatory.
No law or statute or even
cultural attitude dictates that
anyone must give to
philanthropy. The facts that
people choose to give of their
time, energy and money is a
credit to them - Greek or non-
Greek.
It is extremely pretentious of
the author to assume that $29
is tool paltry an amount to
give to charity and that the
giver of this donation is an
elitist, wealthy scrooge. To
give of oneself to another
person or organization is
clearly magnanimous.
The most offensive remark
was the line, "The Greek
system perpetuates an anti-
intellectual existence which
champions apathy. Hudson
says the Greek system "does
not nurture progressive in-
dividuals who are concerned
with maximizing their full

equivalent of calling the Daily
objective. Both claims are
completely ludicrous.
-Joseph K. Hart
October 10
Black
Greeks
respond
To the Daily:
There are several issues
within Rollie Hudson's "The
Greek Alternative?" we feel
compelled to address. We fell it
is our duty not only as students
of the University but also as
members of the Black Greek
system to enlighten Hudson
about his misconceptions so
boldly stated in his column.
It should be understood that
Black and white systems are
separate. However, this separa-
tion is by choice and to a
certain extent is defined by
cultural variations. Each
system operates by different
goals, objectives, mottos and
traditions. In essence, the only
common bond that we share are
the letters of the Greek
alphabet.
We were appalled by
Hudson's statement concerning
the amount of money donated
to charity through Greek
organizations. Each Black
Greek organization is
committed to service on a
local, national and international
level. We would like to stress
service not "charity!" Each year
our efforts help to raise
hundreds of thousands of
dollars for community-oriented
causes. The monies generated
within our organizations are
not used for the purposes of

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