Page 10-The Michigan Daily/New Student Edition - Thursday, September 6, 1990
An old staffer remembers...
Working for the Daily is worth the headaches
by Steve Knopper
For potential Michigan Daily
writers, the first step into the Stu-
dent Publications Building is the
second hardest one.
After you climb the graying
stone staircase and grasp the ping-
pong sized knobs at the corner of the
bannister, you find yourself at the
head huge, oblong, arched room
strewn with students running amok.
Telephones ring. Associated
Press wire machines buzz. Macin-
tosh computers utter bizarre techno-
sounds effects. Fingers click com-
puter keyboards. Fans whir over-
Voices chatter everywhere. Edi-
tors argue about content. Reporters
politely throw out questions to
sources on the phone. Two political
i science majors try to resolve the
Middle East conflict before the dead-
line. Somebody sings Van Morri-
son's "Moondance" off in the dis-
Suddenly, you wish you were
somewhere else. At some other
newspaper office, on some other
campus, maybe. This chaotic room
hcan't possibly house a newspaper.
SBut you against your better
judgement, you take a few more
steps into the room, toward someone
on the telephone behind a desk at the
other end. You innocently try to
catch their eye,'but they seem obliv-
A few people rush by, throwing
out polite smiles, which only make
you feel embarrassed because you
seem to be the only person who
L doesn't know what's going on.
k then that person, still cradling the
phone on their shoulder, looks up
and asks you if you want to write.
"Well, I was thinking, if it isn't
too much time..."
As soon as they look you in the
eye, size you up, and grin, you get a
strange feeling. Though you can't
possibly know it yet, something in-
side begins to think you've stumbled
into a trap.
The Michigan Daily has swal-
lowed you whole.
For the next few weeks, months,
and even years you will be a Daily
staffer. You may work 30 hours
weekly, covering protests, meetings,
and fires, or wander in a few times
every month to review movies or-
You may spend all you time at
the library researching George Bush
so you're prepared to take a stand at
the twice-weekly editorial board de-
bates that determine the newspaper's
opinion. You may traipse the cam-
pus looking for the perfect feature
photograph, or end up squatting at
Crisler Arena trying to snap Sean
Higgins at the tail end of a dunk. Or
you may end up talking with him
after the game.
You may come up with new con-
tacts - football coach Gary
Moeller, University President James
Duderstadt, and even the people who
read your applications and determine
whether you get any financial aid.
Soon, the Daily people - who
seemed in such disarray when you
first came in - have names to go
with the faces. They're from all over
- Detroit, Ames, Chicago, Port-
The building, too, comes to life.
You learn about recent history, like
the time a former editor-in-chief once
traversed the entire 100 yard-long
newsroom without touching the
floor, or about the Daily's team for
any sport, the Libels.
You learn about famous Daily
achievements - like revealing the
names of the last two University
Presidents before they were an-
nounced by the University, and
breaking the news about basketball
coach Bill Frieder's resignation be-
fore any paper in the country. You
also hear about infamous Daily
bloopers - like the time the front
pages sported a picture of the space
shuttle Challenger blowing up side-
In the library, you pore through
the bound volumes of newspapers
dating back to the turn of the cen-
tury. You can look up your birth-
date, D-Day, the Vietnam War, or
the days John F. Kennedy and Dr.
Martin Luther King Jr., were mur-
You read about Tom Hayden, the
former editor, whose experiences at
the Daily inspired him to help form
the Students for a Democratic Soci-
ety (SDS) in the 1960s. Or Arthur
Miller, who graduated from the
Daily to write Death of a Salesman,
or Chicago Tribune writer Ann
Marie Lipinski, the most recent
Daily alum to win a Pulitzer Prize.
Or any of the recent graduates who
now work for the New York Times,
Los Angeles Times, Sports Illus-
trated, San Francisco Examiner,
Philadelphia Inquirer, Indianapolis
Star, Detroit Free Press, and hun-
dreds of others.
Before you know it, you're an ed-
Through all the long day shifts
and night shifts, preparing copy for
the next day's newspaper, you
couldn't leave. Through all the frus-
trating journalism debates - ethics,
objectivity, affirmative action, gen-
der-inclusive language, you just
Something kept drawing you
back, again and again.
Now, as you sit behind the Mac-
intosh for the umpteenth time, you
realize what it is: despite the hard
work the daily hassles, The Michi-
gan Daily is a swell place. As gradu-
See DAILY, Page 14
Daily staffer Ruth Littmann works on a story. Working for the Daily isn't always easy, but as most writers will attest,
more often that not, it's a lot of fun.
Intramural athletics surprise even Bo
by David Parrish
Daily Staff Writer
Even former Michigan Football
Coach Bo Schembechler was sur-
prized to find the intramural program
sponsors 300 flag-football teams a
year, said Connie Ahrens, proudly as
she described the extensiveness of her
The intramural program - in
which participation is sure to reduce
stress, Ahrens said - serves thou-
sands of students each year with
more than 30 different sports.
Sixty to 100 soccer teams, 250
softball teams, and 450 basketball
teams are only a few of the sports
open to all students regardless of
"All of the sports are divided by
divisions so everyone has an oppor-
tunity to play," Ahrens said.
Each sport is divided into three
skill levels consisting of A, B, or
superstar. The superstar level cannot
earn points for all-year competitions.
One of the fastest growing divi-
sions is the Co-Rec division teams
where men and women can play to-
gether, said Jamie Bermel, assistant
director of intramural sports.
Co-Rec sports rules are modified
to encourage equal playing opportu-
nities for men and women. The in-
tramural sports program also features
an all women's division.
Within the men's, Co-Rec and
women's divisions, there is an all-
campus division open to anyone re-
gardless of residence or academic sta-
tus. In addition, fraternities and
sororities have their own division.
These divisions are restricted to un-
dergraduate Greek members. People
who qualify for this division can
also participate in residence hall
sports as long as their two teams do
not compete in the same sport.
The residence hall division is one
of the largest of the divisions and
climaxes with the all-year competi-
tion to determine the best hall.
Trophies are awarded for all divi-
sions and divisional Manager-of-the-
year, Athlete-of-the-year, and an All-
Sports Team awards are granted.
Last year, because of over-com-
petitive and over-enthusiastic play-
ers, the Intramural Department began
a sportsmanship rating program to
make the games more friendly, said
Ahrens. Today, each team is awarded
a letter grade between "A" and "E."
Any team that receives less than a
"B" grade for the pre-play-off tour-
nament is not allowed to compete in
The rating system is similar to
the system used in soccer where
players are give a "yellow" card for
minor offensives (i.e. obscenity, ar-
guing, interference, etc.) or a "red'
card for major offensives (i.e. fight-
ing, profanity towards officials or
After one yellow card the team
cannot get above a "B" rating. If a
team gets more than one card the
team cannot get over a "C" rating,
and if a team gets a red card they re-
ceive no higher than a "D."
In an effort to keep players from
getting too involved in the games,
the department now requires team
managers to attend pre-season meet-
ings. During the meetings, managers
learn the basic rules of the sport and
thereby, become responsible for the
team player's actions.
The Intramural Department pro-
vides employment for approximately
250 students who work as officials
each year. Officials are paid about
five dollars an hour and work be-
tween three and ten hours a week.
Officials must attend a special
pre-season clinic which takes about
ten hours and is held over several
days. Officials may also participate
The cost of participation is about
three dollars for individuals and 46
dollars for teams. The most expen-
sive sport - intramural ice hockey
- was started last winter and costs
approximately $300 to enter.
The competiton was fierce in the
different hockey divisions, especially
among the fraternities. Fighting,
however, is strictly prohibited. Any
player that participates in a fight is
banned from the rest of the season.
Any student interested in partici-
pating on an intramural team or
working for the Intramural Depart-
ment should call the intramural de-
partment at 769-3562. Most resi-
dence halls field teams in several
sports. Contact the athletic director
of your house or residence for more
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