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October 19, 1990 - Image 16

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1990-10-19

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Page 16 -The Michigan Daily - Friday, October 19, 1990

Ot Miigan i3ailld
EDITED AND MANAGED BY STUDENTS
AT THE UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN
420 Maynard Street
Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109

_...__.

Viewpoint

cairn.-- _ --"- i

I lCA NJ ~%/M UAJt

NOAH FINKEL
Editor in Chief

DAVID SCHWARTZ
Opinion Editor

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.

LSA requirement
Vote initiates an important process of change

LAST WEEK, LSA FACULTY AP-
proved one of four "diversity" course
requirements, culminating a sometimes-
fierce battle among professors in the
University's largest college dating from
1987. The approval of the Faculty
Proposal, which will require students
to select one course that "addresses is-
sues arising from racial or ethnic intol-
erance" in order to graduate, is hope-
fully the first step in a process to re-
vamp the University's curriculum.
Opponents of a mandatory require-
ment have argued against the LSA pro-
posals because they believe it will insti-
tute a backlash, created by forcing stu-
dents to attend a class they don't want
to take. Also, many students and fac-
ulty who initiated the push for a
mandatory class are unhappy with the
outcome because none of the proposals
go as far as the original demands made
by ' the United Coalition Against
Racism.
But these criticisms, on both sides,
ignore the monumental nature of the
LSA faculty's vote - the College of
LSA has now determined that issues of
race and racism are important enough
to be included in every students' edu-
cation. Even opponents of making such
a requirement "mandatory" should ap-
plaud the effort to redress inequities in

the curriculum, and staunch supporters
of a more stringent requirement should
recognize the faculty vote as an impor-
tant initiative that had previously been
lacking.
Though the new requirement must
be fulfilled by all LSA students begin-
ning with the class of 1995, it is not
really much of a burden on students.
Countless classes will be provided to
meet the requirement, and chances are a
large number of students already take at
least one of these courses. Having to
choose one out of dozens of possible
courses is not really ramming dogma
down students' throats.
Still, proponents of a stricter re-
quirement are correct in noting that the
LSA proposal will not do enough to
teach students about current and histor-
ical issues of race and racism.
The new requirement should be
thought of only as a beginning. In or-
der for the University to truly offer
students a broader curriculum, con-
cepts of race, and diversity in general,
should be incorporated into all aspects
of a University education.
The LSA faculty deserve credit for
altering the status quo, but students and
faculty should not be content until more
fundamental changes are instituted
throughout the University.

_
B 'SN CONSIDERS c V«.

Support educational 'choice' for state students

!MSU shanties

By Mary J. Ruwart
Today, "choice" has come to mean
some type of rebate or voucher system
which allows the transfer of students and
funds to a school (usually public) desig-
nated by the parents. By providing compe-
tition, and allowing the "customers" to
vote with their tax dollars, it has improved
literacy and parental satisfaction in places
as diverse as Vermont, Minnesota, and
Harlem. This kind of choice does work,
but only scratches the surface.
Today, we cannot choose who teaches
our children. Teachers are accredited in
ways that have little to do with compe-
tency. For example, even though the
Midwest suffers from a lack of math and
science teachers, a person such as myself
who is qualified to teach these subjects at
a college level cannot legally teach in
Michigan public, or even private, high
schools.
Parents without state certification are
not permitted to homeschool even if they
prove that their children learn faster and
better that way.
Today, we cannot choose where our
children learn. If we try to send our kids to
an innovative place staffed by profession-
als who haven't the blessing of certifica-
tion, they'll be forcibly extracted and sent
to an institution approved by Big Brother.
Today, we cannot choose how our chil-
dren learn. The instructor still stands at the
Dr. Ruwart, a Senior Research Scientist
at The Upjohn Co. in Kalamazoo, Mich.,
is a candidate for State Board of Educa-
tion.

chalkboard and drills kids on the content of
their schoolbooks. Use of new technolo-
gies, or of innovative teaching techniques,
requires the approval of school boards and
teachers' unions, who fear that they would
be rendered obsolete by space-age teaching.
In fact, letting machines do the repetitive
teaching would free teachers for more cre-
ative instruction.
Today, we cannot choose what our
children learn. The core curriculum is de-
cided by bureaucrats and teachers unions,
not by parents and students. Whether a
child is receptive to a particular subject at

If we try to send our kids to an innovative place
staffed by professionals who haven't the blessing of
certification, they'll be forcibly extracted and sent to.
an institution approved by Big Brother.

fers the loss.
There was a time in our country when
choice was the law of the land. There was
no compulsory education at all. Parents
sent their children to private tutors, neigh-
borhood schools that charged tuition,
church-sponsored free charity schools, or
persons willing to take on apprentices
or taught them at home.
In 19th-century Boston, surveys
showed that over 90 percent of school-age
children were enrolled in some sort of edu-
cational program - even though no law
forced them to do so. The curriculum was

Beware of similiar policies on this campus
bN OCT. 12, THE MICHIGAN STATE and not - as the administrat
Jniversity Board of Trustees passed an - to protect students from
rdinance that would require permits that may endanger public r
r the "erection and maintenance" of safety.
tructures on campus. The ordinance, Students at the University
*hich goes into effect Nov. 12, was gan should pledge their soli
treated in response to the disputed students of the Free Speech C
eople's Park, MSU's "shantytown." MSU. It is a common pract
: People's Park - which includes policies at one university b
structures calling attention to racism, plementing them at ano
(J.S. intervention in Central America, shanties here were threatene
Iomelessness and other human rights ter by the regents.
'fsues - has been under attack from Walter Harrison, executi
MSU's administration since the shan- of University Relations, was
dies' original construction last spring. the Ann Arbor News ass
The shanties have been defended in MSU ordinance was "intere
g series of negotiations by students added that the University wc
from the Free Speech Coalition, a the policy.
group of student activist organizations. Such comments are dang
;Since other structures on campus - cause the University has der
:such as those advertising fraternity selective censorship before
rush events - were permitted by the day, for example, the Michig
!administration, the destruction of polit- Assembly Students' Rights
cal shanties would be a blatant viola- sion sponsored a "chalk-i
tion of First Amendment rights, the Diag opposing the deputi2
students argued. force. Slogans denouncing1
The American Civil Liberties Union painted from 10 am to n
in Lansing is poised to challenge the hosed off by the University t
eniversity, should it prosecute anyone an unusual display of efficie
for violating the ordinance. While it part of University grounds
nay be legal for a public university to pervisors.
stipulate the "time, place, and manner" Talk of a policy similar to
io which structures are built, the target MSU has students rightly
Mf the ordinance suggests that the about the regents' plan to ad
granting of permits will be based on prehensive code of student
;content. demic conduct, and it is im
This is a clear attempt to silence po- remain abreast of any Unive
itical dissent and debate on campus, to restrict students' rights.

bion argues
structures
health and
of Michi-
darity with
Coalition at
tice to test
before im-
ther, and
;d last win-
ve director
quoted in
saying the
sting," and
ould review
gerous, be-
monstrated
Last Fri-
gan Student
Commis-
n" on the
zed police
the police,
oon, were
by3pm-
ncy on the
crew su-
the one at
concerned
opt a com-
t non-aca-
portant to
rsity plans

a particular time is irrelevant.
Since children are discouraged from par-
ticipating significantly in the work force
until their late teens, they sometimes have
trouble figuring out why it's important for
them to learn many of the things they're
being taught. For an unmotivated individ-
ual studying the wrong subject at the
wrong time, learning is almost impossi-
ble.
Today, we cannot choose when our
children learn. Not only is the curriculum
dictated, but the number of hours and years
they must attend school is fixed as well. If
the uniform program doesn't fit the child's
optimal learning pattern, the student suf-

varied and adaptable to each child. If par-
ents weren't satisfied, they took their chil-
dren and tuition elsewhere. If children
weren't satisfied, they often as not went to
live with relatives, or on their own.
The result? Americans were considered
the most literate people in the world.
In spite of this record, mandated
"public" education came into vogue so ev-
eryone would have an identical education.
But our children are individuals, not
clones. Our educational system has failed,
by its rigidity, to teach the secret of our
country's success: freedom of choice, the
American way.

Support legislation, education to advance living wills

Jury selection
'Process must be revamped to attain balance
W HILE 2 LIVE CREW HAS RE- alleviating the problem. This act, how-
ceived national attention for the group's ever, seems to have had no effect on
allegedly obscene material, the current the type of juror called on to serve.
controversy over Florida's jury selec- Only three of the 70 potential jurors are
tion process has received little public- Black, and one of them has already
ity. The attorney defending the rap been excused. In addition, only four
;-group, Bruce Rogow, has called into out of 25 prospective jurors inter-
question the way in which Florida col- viewed had ever heard of rap music.
lects its pool of prospective jurors. In an attempt to resolve this situa-
Florida currently selects jurors from tion, Rogow suggested the court use
voter registration lists. Rogow has ar- lists of registered drivers in order to
%gued that this method is unconstitu- attain a more representative cross sec-
tional because it underrepresents tion of the population. If registered
Blacks and young people, the two de- drivers were used in addition to regis-.
mographic groups most familiar with tered voters, the likelihood of Blacks
rap music. and those between 18 and 25 being in-
Rogow is challenging the selection cluded on the jury panel will be greatly
process only in regard to obscenity innre vpt

To the Daily:
I was pleased to see an editorial con-
cerning the Michigan Medical Self-Deter-
mination Act (10/17/90). I was a legisla-
tive intern this summer for the American
Jewish Congress in Washington, D.C.,
where I pushed actively for national living
will legislation.
As one of the few states without legal
provisions for "living wills," this legisla-
tion is long overdue. However, in addition
to passing House Bill 4174, which would
recognize the right of any individual in
Michigan to sign an advance directive, a
nationwide campaign should be initiated to
educate Americans about this serious
right.
Today, only nine percent of all Ameri-
cans have signed living wills, which apply
only when the patient is close to death.
Even fewer have designated others to make
decisions for them. Only four percent of
hospitals ask, when admitting patients, if
they have signed an advance directive.
These low figures are due to a lack of ed-
ucation. So few people, including both
doctors and patients, are aware of this
right.
National legislation is currently mov-
ing through both chambers of Congress
which would require Medicare and Medi-
caid providers to make information avail-
able to their patients regarding living wills
and other advance directives. The bills
would also require insurance providers to
ask patients whether they have executed
living wills.
This type of education is a must. There
is no point to passing a law in Michigan
legalizing advance directives unless citi-
zens are aware of the advantages and disad-

To the Daily:
Elizabeth Lenhard's review of Jazz
Dance Theater's Night of Fusion mani-
fested several unfortunate characteristics of
much of the 'Daily's standard material:
smarmy tone, unclear descriptions,
"analysis" of professionals by amateurs,
and, of course, grammatical errors.
Certainly, reviews have a place in a
student newspaper, but, when generated by
amateurs, these critiques should simply
express opinions or emotional responses
to the works under review.

Attempts at analysis - for example,
deeming choreography "elementary" or
"trite" or "complex" - by the amateui,
the mere observer, serve no purpose and
are often evidence that the reviewer's oni
qualification was having a ticket.
Without credentials, a student critic's
attempt to disguise-his or her simple, une-
ducated evaluations as serious commentary
only serves to highlight the reviewer's ig-
norance.
Kyle Carr, M.D.
Resident, University Hospitats

'Amateur' reviewers shouldn 't analyze'

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