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September 10, 1992 - Image 23

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1992-09-10

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

Daily offers
a student
* perspective
by Geoff Earle
Everyone reads the Daily - they
really do. I'm not claiming this out
of blind egotism or even out of my
love for the newspaper. Many stu-
dents only read the Daily as a way to
kill time before classes. A marketing
survey conducted a few years ago
made it clear that it is the Daily
crossword puzzle and Calvin and
Hobbes - not our editorial policy
- that most students are concerned
But I like to think there are other
reasons why everyone reads the
Daily. Administrators read it to field
criticism of their policies. Professors
read it to survey student opinion.
Activists read it to see themselves in
print. And scores of letter-writers
read it awaiting a screw-up so that
they can scold us in print.
More importantly, though, the
Daily offers a unique perspective
that other papers don't have - a
student perspective. And the Daily's
commitment to students goes beyond
what's inscribed in its masthead. It is
not only "edited and managed by
students at the University of
Michigan," but for students at the
University of Michigan.
Without this perspective, student
issues might well get swept under
the carpet.
When Daily reporters write sto-
ries about national issues like the '92
election, they always include a
student reaction. When the Daily
made endorsements for Ann Arbor
City Council seats, its editorial deci-
sions were made on the basis of stu-
dent issues.
What was the candidate's posi-
tion on the city's crackdown on loud
parties? On the Ann Arbor Police's
affinity for tear gas? These questions
were important to students, and only
the Daily pursued them.
Without the Daily, students
would have to chose a candidate
based on someone else's criteria.
That means the campaign issues
would center around garbage dumps
and property taxes - something
students care little about.
When covering the University, a
student perspective is especially
crucial. One thing that becomes clear
after a brief tenure here is that the
University is about more than just
students. Faculty, state taxpayers,
local residents, and alumni all have a
stake in the University.
But it often seems like each of
these constituencies has someone
looking out for their interests. City
residents have a City Council that
caters to their needs. The University
administration has the regents to
vote its agenda. Alumni have finan-
cial clout to buy influence. But stu-
dents - despite the giant financial
contribution represented by tuition
dollars - don't have much pull
around here.

That is why when University de-
cisions are made (and they are usu-
ally made without student input)
someone needs to be writing about
how it affects students. When the re-
gents pass a budget for the
University, the University Record
and the local newspapers may be
concerned about funding for the
medical center. But students would
probably rather know how much
their tuition went up and why.
When the University doesn't of-
fer students a place to study all
night, they need to know what their
student government is doing about it.
A variety of rare conditions make
the Daily's independent perspective
possible. For one thing, there are no
real economic pressures affecting
what appears in the Daily - a far
cry from the considerable pull ad-
vertisers have over the "corporate
Sometimes this freedom allows
the Daily to fall into the trap of mak-
ing the news instead of simply re-
porting it. Two of the biggest issues
on campus last year involved pieces
that appeared in the Daily - a holo-
caust revisionist ad and editorial
cartoons that some deemed offen-
sive. Regardless of those debates, it
is encouraging that the student
newspaper had the freedom to ignite
them. That freedom simply does not
exist in the mainstream media.
It is that type of freedom to print
what the editors see fit, coupled with
the Daily's commitment to deal first
and foremost with student issues,
.. nfr'. TnAM. ranilpr. a :in_ n

The Michigan Daily/New Student Edition-Perspectives - Thursday, September 10, 1992 - Page 3

Two women rally at the annual Take Back the Night March.
Campus women's organizations
offer political action, support

Students leave 'U'
ready for real world
by Melissa Peerless
Daily NSE Editor
Three hours after my parents first brought me to the University, I was
bopping from frat party to frat party having the time of my life.
"This is college," I thought, relishing the freedom - from curfews,
from enforced laws about underaged drinking, from responsibility to any-
one besides myself.
Three weeks later, I was sitting in a blisteringly hot laundry room in
Mary Markley Hall, struggling to understand some chemistry problems
while doing an emergency load of whites. I was sweaty, confused and
"This is college," I thought, fearing I would crack under all of the pres-
sure - to get good grades, to keep every aspect of my life in order, to get
along with my roommate.
I was right both times. College is all things to all people. It's parties,
but it's also laundry. It's free beer, but it's also chemistry. It's playing fris-
bee on the Diag on a gorgeous spring afternoon, but it's also trekking
through three feet of snow to go to early morning classes in February.
A successful college career blends the right amount of unabashed glee
with just enough woeful misery. There really is a positive for every nega-
tive. A tragedy is always followed by some wonderful occurrence. A bad
grade in one class always coincides with a perfect paper in another. A fight
with one friend always reinforces closeness with someone else.
A large university magnifies the paradox of college life.
An institution dealing with thousands of students cannot reach out to
every student and offer special advice and personal attention. This lack o
guidance may cause you to take courses which are too difficult or choose a
major which is not suited to you. At the same time, however, students who
are left to fend for themselves often stumble upon new and enriching expe-
riences they would not encounter in a more rigidly programmed
A smaller school would keep a closer eye on students. The watch -
while protective and comforting - becomes restrictive and limiting.
The University draws its students from hundreds of different back-
grounds, while smaller colleges often attract students from specific envi-
ronments or areas.
The University's diverse student body is both its biggest asset and
worst drawback.
You will come into contact with people who have grown up in circum-
stances completely unlike your own.
This can cause problems. Some students find it difficult to adjust to liv-
ing in a multicultural community. Intolerance has resulted in a campus
which is segregated, with many students spending time only with those
people similar to themselves.
These people miss out on the best education the University has to offer.
More than 40,000 individuals - each with original ideas, perspectives and
emotions - make up the University community. You owe it to yourself to
listen to others' viewpoints. You will certainly be enlightened, and may
even change your mind.
You are used to home - for some of you, a place where everyone
acted the same way, looked the same way, and thought the same way.
At home, nobody encouraged you to protest anything. But nobody en-
couraged you to question anything either.
Just as you should challenge yourself academically by taking difficult
courses, you should challenge yourself morally and intellectually by giving
different viewpoints a chance. You should take advantage of the diverse
perspectives expressed by students on campus. You shouldn't be afraid to
disagree with unconventional ideas, but you shouldn't be afraid to agree
with them either.
Living in a multicultural community is not easy, but it is realistic.
Existing as part of a diverse student population helps prepare you to exist
as part of a diverse world population.
You will learn how to take both failures and successes in stride as you
complete your college career. You will emerge ready to tackle a world
even bigger - and more confusing - than the University.

by Gwen Shaffer
Daily Staff Reporter
Whether you are male or female,
there is a group on campus dealing
with women's issues that could af-
fect your life. From staunch conser-
vatism to the radical left, the follow-
ing is a summary of some of the
more active University organizations
that deal with gender issues.
The Society of Women engineers
(SWE) was founded on the base of
promoting careers in engineering
and encouraging women to pursue
them. SWE is open to both female
and male engineering students and
focuses on educating all students
about engineering, providing stu-
dents technical and professional de-
velopment opportunities and promot-
ing the engineering field as a whole.
The Ann Arbor Coalition to
Defend Abortion and Reproductive
Rights, commonly known as
AACDARR, is an organization
which actively fights for women's
rights. Some of its goals are to
maintain Roe v. Wade, defend
women's health care clinics and
support free, safe abortions.
For students already involved in
student organizations - but who
have a personal interest in preserving
women's reproductive freedoms -
the Pro-Choice Coalition functions
as an umbrella group. It attempts to

unify pro-choice students from many
different student groups and back-
grounds. Its chief purposes include
educating and involving mainstream
students not affiliated with other
pro-choice or political groups.
On the other side of the spectrum,
Students for Life is a coalition of
University students who seek to en-
gage the important issues and con-

The Feminist Women's Union is
a broad-based feminist movement
committed to internal education and
outreach to the public. The Union
sponsors public forums, lectures and
study groups. The Feminist
Women's Union is the main orga-
nizer of the annual Take Back the
Night Rally, a march for women

For students already involved in student
organizations - but who have a personal
interest in preserving women's reproductive
freedoms - the Pro-Choice Coalition functions
as an umbrella group.


cerns surrounding abortion and the
preservation of pre-born, human life.
Women who would like to pro-
mote sisterhood, scholarship, and
community service might find their
niche in the Angel Club. The Angel
Club is a non-profit, non-Greek or-
ganization specifically for women.
The Domestic Violence Project
provides direct services to survivors
of domestic violence and their chil-
dren. In addition, the Domestic
Violence Project promotes com-
munity education through counseling
and group dialogues. Students are
always needed to help answer calls
on the phone lines and in support

held to commemorate a woman's
right to walk safely through the
streets at night.
The Jewish Feminists group is a
branch of Hillel, the student syna-
gogue. The group meets regularly
throughout the academic year to ex-
plore issues that impact the lives of
its participants as Jews and women.
The organization is open to anyone
in the University or local commu-
nity. Recent topics discussed include
Judaism and abortion and Yiddish
Women's Poetry. The group also
presents programs of special interest,
such as the annual Feminist Seder
during Passover.

University Activities Center lets
4 4 students show their true talents

by Lee Gardy
The University Activities Center (UAC) -
the single largest student-run organization at
the University - was created in 1965 to pro-
vide the campus with a programming board
devoted to offering a variety of cultural, social,
and educational events. UAC is operated by
volunteer students who are in charge of all of
the organization's day-to-day administration,
including financial. This provides the student
body with a tremendous opportunity not only
to gain valuable professional and leadership
experience, but also to meet new people and -
most importantly - to have fun.
The majority of UAC's work is done in its
18 committees, which cover a wide range of
If, for example, you enjoy performing on
stage, UAC has five groups that might be for
you. Amazin' Blue is a co-ed a capella singing
ensemble that performs a variety of music in-
cluding rock, jazz, and blues. It holds one con-
cert per term at the Rackham Auditorium.
Comedy Company is our student-directed and
written comedy troupe. It also performs once-
a-term at the Lydia Mendelssohn Theatre and
has taken the show to other schools in the Big
10. For those who have training in dance but
are not dance majors, Impact Dance could be
the ticket. Auditions are held in early fall, and
the company's performance is in the spring.
M U S K E T presents a musical each
semester in the Power Center. Last year, the
group's performances of Evita and Chess
played to rave reviews and sold-out audiences.
Meanwhile, Soph Show's cast is restricted to
first-year students and sophomores. Auditions
will be held in the fall for the first show, The
Apple Tree.
While the arts are certainly a major part of
UAC, we also have a few other groups devoted

headliners Wednesday nights at the U-Club in
the Union. Stop by some night for some great
laughs. Soundstage provides musical enter-
tainment Thursday nights at the U-Club.
Established bands - both local and student -
are featured each week. Special Promotions
brings exciting activities to the University. Past
events have included the CBS College Tour
and fashion shows by Girbaud and
Mademoiselle Magazine. Finally, Starbound,
the campus-wide talent competition, provides
students with the opportunity to perform, win
prizes, and gain experience and recognition.
Two of the University's greatest traditions
are organized by UAC committees. As official
coordinators of Homecoming, we plan the
The majority of UAC's work
is done in its 18 committees,
which cover a wide range of
parade, float contest, pep rally, and many other
campus-wide activities. Michigras brings the
festive atmosphere of Mardi Gras by celebrat-
ing the coming of spring with a fair on campus.
UAC, however, has not forgotten its obliga-
tion to planning educational activities. College
Bowl is a competitive quiz-trivia contest which
begins with an intramural tournament in the
fall. The all-star team selected from that tour-
nament travels to other competitions during the
winter term. The University's team has fin-
ished in the top 10 nationwide for the last two
years. Each term, Mini-Courses offers more
than 30 non-credit courses including ballroom
dancing, bartending, and wine tasting (sorry,
you must be 21 years of age or older, but it will
be worth the wait). Viewpoint Lectures
sponsors -a variety of lectures and forums.
Previous speakers have included Spike Lee,
Betty Friedan, and ESPN's Chris Berman.

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