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September 20, 1993 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1993-09-20

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4 - The Michigan Daily - Monday, September 20, 1993

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420 Maynard
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
Edited and managed
by students at the
University of Michigan

JosH DuBow
Editor in Chief
Editorial Page Editor

ll Y

Unless otherwise noted, unsigned editorials reflect the majority opinion of the Daily editorial board.
All other cartoons, articles and letters do not necessarily represent the opinion of the Daily.

Honor often overlooked at acadamy

U.S. Navy investigators have
recently revealed that as many as
125 midshipmen at the U.S. Naval
Academy may have received
advance copies of a final exam last
December. If true, this would be a
major cheating scandal at a school
which supposedly takes its honor
code seriously. But to many people,
the events at a school with 4,100
students seem to have little
relevance to our lives. The military
academies, like the Navy's at
Annapolis, Md., appear to be
worlds unto themselves, interesting
little institutions which deserve
only passing attention.
Unfortunately, the academies
are more important than one might
believe. The academies train the
young men and women who are
supposed to be this nation's finest
officers, officers who help defend
us, the taxpayers. Given that a four-
year education at one of the
nation's four military academies
can cost $100,000, each cadet and
midshipman represents a
substantial investment of our
money. So when incidents like the
one at Annapolis occur, we should
carefully examine how well the
academies are fulfilling their stated
purpose: "to provide leaders of
character who will serve the
Common Defense."
In pursuit of a career in the
Army, I myself attended the U.S.
Military Academy at West Point,
N.Y. Ever since I was a boy, I
wanted to be a soldier. So, during
high school I attended one of West
Point's recruitment seminars. In
Giancola is an LSA senior and
Daily Arts staffer

one of these meetings, a recruiter
told me and the other prospective
cadets that West Point's honor code
is essential to developing "leaders
of character." West Point's honor
code states, "No cadet shall lie,
cheat, or steal, or tolerate those
who do." The other academies have
similar codes. This code, the
recruiter explained, is not merely
something cadets obey so they can
get along with one another. The
honor code also serves a valuable
military purpose, and his example
made this point clear.
During the Korean War, a
young officer was ordered to move
his men from point A to point B in
a certain amount of time. This
officer and his men set out from
point A, searching for enemy
soldiers. The going was slow, and
the officer was far from point B
when his superior asked him by
radio if he had reached point B yet.
The officer, being late, told his
superior that he was at point B, but
he really was not. The commander,
taking the young officer at his
word, ordered an artillery attack
between points A and B,
bombarding the officer and his
men. The officer survived the
attack of "friendly fire," but had to
live knowing that several of his
men died because of his lie.
To me, the message of this story
was clear: a responsible officer tells
the truth at all costs. I realized the
importance of West Point's honor
code, and took it seriously. But not
all of my fellow cadets saw the
honor code the same way I did. In
the four months I attended West
Point, some of my classmates
displayed a contempt for the honor
code and the values that code is

supposed to instill. To these cadets
the recruiter's story held another
message: if you lie (or cheat, or
steal) don't get caught. The young
officer in the story was simply
unlucky; he got "caught" and
suffered for it in the worst possible
way. Some cadets I knew believed
that they were luckier, or smarter,
and thus could beat West Point's
"quaint" honor system.
In theory, honorable cadets are@4
the code's primary enforcers. The
honor code states that cadets shall
not tolerate their classmates' lying,
cheating, or stealing, but this works
only when all cadets are honorable.
When the code's enforcers - the
cadets - are themselves
dishonorable, no one gets in trouble
for breaking the honor code. If all
the cadets in a class are cheating,
they all can get away with it as long
as they all agree not to squeal. In
the same way, the Annapolis
cheaters would have escaped
scrutiny if six of them had not
confessed. The problem lies not
with the code itself, but with the
cadets who cynically trample its
West Point's failure to address
this problem in its cadets was one
of the many reasons I left the
academy prematurely. Apparently,
what I saw at West Point was more
widespread than I had thought. As
the Annapolis case illustrates, the
academies attract too many
students who are more interested in
serving themselves than serving the
higher values inherent in their
honor codes. Since the code is
important to developing good
officers, the ability of the
academies to train such officers
must be questioned.

AsTre. h ongtr efc
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Purdue cam
"Purdue has a litter problem which
~.would be simple to eliminate.
° Of the more than 500 student clubs
Sand organizations at Purdue, a large
number of them choose to advertise
their callouts and various functions
by taping hundreds of flyers on the
sidewalks around campus. Appar-
ently, the clubs and organizations that
-. choose this form of advertising don't
° realize what a terrible mess they are
The University administration
needs to establish a rule which would
not al, nnn,.nni;-ann of ,,v

Focus on national

pus deluged with flyers

crown, not roses
To the Daily:
How in the world can you not
have your team emotionally
prepared for a game against Notre
Dame. Whether they are 11-0 or
0-11 it should not matter. What is
Mo doing? Every season the
football team goes into each
season with goals: 1) Win the Big
Ten, 2) Win the Rose Bowl, and
finally, (if we can go undefeated
and untied for the entire season)
win the mythical National
Championship. Get real. Here's an
idea Mo, shoot for the top
(National Championship) first.
Every season it is the same old
bull. Lou Holtz somehow took all
the heat from the new book Under
a Tarnished Dome away from his
team and prepared them to come
into Michigan Stadium and beat a
much better team. I can go on and
on but I better not.
Houston, Texas

MSA is inept
To the Daily:
I have just returned from my
first MSA meeting, and I am
writing this letter because I am
disgusted with the way MSA has
chosen to represent me as a
student. I went to the MSA
meeting Tuesday evening and
patiently waited to voice my
concerns about the issue of AATU
funding. I heard only one speaker
offer weak arguments against the
funding. I heard many MSA
representatives stall time with
confrontational dialogue and
irrelevant questions, in order to
use up the allotted hour of
"constituents' time." I heard just
one representative ask pertinent
questions about alternative
funding. Soon all of the hour was
used up. Then I watched in
amazement as half of MSA voted
to restrict speaking time. They
partially succeeded and
unfortunately I and many other
students did not get the chance to
speak. I came to the meeting with

something to say, as a student, and
left furious. Instead of seeing
representatives who listen seriously
to their constituents, I heard them
ridicule and snicker at speakers
under their breath, entertain
ludicrous dialogue about
"government surveillance through
TVs" and basically thumb their
noses at the audience. I got the
impression that most of the had
already made up their mind on the
issue and were not willing to listen
to constituents' opinions and
knowledge. Granted, there were
representatives who spoke up on
the constituents' behalf and did
appear to listen to speakers, but not
very many. Before Tuesday I had
believed that MSA was a student
government which worked for the
students of this university, but now
it seems that most of them are just
fulfilling their own political
agendas. I ask this, who is MSA
LSA Junior


Some clubs have found it necessary to spell
out words with their flyers, as if just one flyer
placed strategically wasn't good enough. This
entire practice needs to be stopped.

As the flyers are subjected to
rain and wind, they begin to tear
apart and blow all over the campus
- in trees, bushes, doorways, etc.
When the tape finally comes free
from the concrete or brick, there is

another notch.
Walking around campus is not
the experience it should be.
Instead of being able to look at
extensive landscaping and well-
kept lawns, students cannot so

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CA U--

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