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February 02, 1994 - Image 22

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1994-02-02

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w w w w w







And now a word
from our sponsoraBrk
Ah, spring break.a Br k
That annual period
of rebirth so longr
considered asacred ust don't
ritual - a chance toJu t d f'
relocate drinking,
partying and neg-
lecting classes on a
our campuses too
drinking, partying
and neglecting
classes in warmer climates. The simplest of pleasures.
But in case you haven't noticed, this beloved respite
from the collegiate grind has been tainted. It has gone the
way of Christmas, the Fourth of July and the Super Bowl,
becoming unmercifully, shamelessly commercial.
You can't just escape and do your own thing anymore.
Most of what you went to escape from is right there wait-y
ing for you: overzealous sales pitches, endless pandering,
corporate pressure.
For example, the hotel I stayed at in Clearwater, Fla., a
couple years back showcased beer-sponsored swimming
contests for vacationing students (the majority of whom,,
last I heard, were underage). Now, I've got nothing
against sipping a brew in the shallow end of a nicely heat-,
ed, kidney-shaped swimming pool. But it used to be we
students had to find ways to drink on our own, all the
while hiding from hotel folks intent on avoiding damaged
property. No more. Goodbye, fastidious, bash-busting
hotel managers and the thrill of the chase. Hello, "Chug As .
Beer, Swim a Lap" night.
It's worse than buying pumpkins in July or marshmal-
low Easter eggs in December. Nowadays, MTV hits the
airwaves with a series of spring break-related bacchanals
in early February and winds things down sometime
around Labor Day. For weeks on end, perky VJs put offdp d
their inevitable futures as Time-Life records salespeople,
stalking Florida beaches for vacationing students to inter-
view. You know, just your typical college kids - guys
who've wandered in from the set of the Soloflex commer-
cial and women showcasing the latest in dental floss Whether you call them dare-
apparel. You see them on campus all the time. devils, thrill seekers or extreme
If it wasn't spring break, it would be another occasion athletes, one thing is certain:
or holiday. If there's money to be made, it'll be spon- They won t be calling you.
sored. ("Coming up next on MTV - It's the Instead, they'll be
annual Arbor Day Wet Shrub Wearing Contest!") miles away, rac-
But I do not blame big business for trying to E ' KEing down a
squeeze Generation Xers out of Mom and Dad's mountain, navi-
dough. (It's certainly not our own money. We gating under a
wandering souls of X can't even afford our own B E A K giant sail or
name, let alone reasonably priced $9 Fort swimming 50 feet
Lauderdale shot glasses.) el under the sea,
All this commercialization upset me initially, exploring the
but then I said to myself, "Hey, there's free beer, ocean floor.
ubiquitous bikinis, debauchery aplenty. I can get This spring
into this. Heck, I like volleyball as much as the next guy." break, Brian Smith, a junior at
Why complain? So corporate America is infatuated with Cornell U., will rent a sailboat
our attention and our patronage. Fine. Let them come. out of Coconut Grove, Fla., and
Wine us, dine us. We'll eat their food, drink their beer and sail to Paradise Island - solo.
saunter around in our wet T-Shirts. "There is such a sense of free-
It's either exploit or be exploited, so go on and horde dom being out alone on the open
freebies while you can, or one of these years you'll gradu- ocean," he says. "It's so liberat-
ate and wish you had. ing. There's nothing for miles.
See you at the MTV Arbor Day compound. Connell That's my idea of spring break -
Barrett, The Insider, Bowling Green State U. getting away from all the busy
huste of schoo."
I In a recent survey oft464 readers, 63% say For Mike Gueriera, a senior at
. they believe spring break has become too the U. of Colorado, Denver, the
S commercialized. What do you thinkp Call ideal spring break is a little dif-
a (800) U-YIEWS ext. 63 B BrIan_
12 " U. Magazine

just to stay there, and then to go
up the face, even if you don't top
out the climb. I'd rather be out-
side in nature and not with
hordes of people, doing some-
thing athletic instead of just sit-
ting around."
Randall says her only beef with
the sport is the difficulty of tak-
ing photographs while trying to
climh. And the results aren t so
good either. "When you get your
[photos] back all you have are
these huge butt shots."
And then there's the rush of
being airborne - of falling
10,000 feet to your spring break
destination, as students from
Syracuse U. and Cornell U. do
through Finger Lakes Skydiving
in New York.
Why would students opt for a
parachute and goggles over swim
trunks or a bikini? "You're seeing
skydiving more and more, in
movies and on television... and
more and more people say, 'Jeez,
I'd really like to try that some-
time,'" says John King, who owns
and operates Finger Lakes
Skydiving. And for some -
believe it or not - it's a way to
fulfill a graduation requirement.
"A few years back, a group of stu-
dents were one phys. ed. credit
short of graduating, and so they
I showed up here, took a jump and
- had me fill out some forms." The
students made the jump success-
)fully, and got their diplomas.
Of course, skydiving isn't fool-
proof. "There is always a possi-
bility of severe injury and death
with skydiving," King says, "but
that's part of the attraction."
But you don't have to jump out
of an airplane to fear for your
safety. The beauty of an extreme
sports break is found in the many
ways you can endanger yourself.
Like, say, heading south of the
border to catch some waves.
Mike Phares, surf club presi-
dent at Pepperdine U., recalls
some unexpectedly hairy spring
break moments in Baja, Mexico.
"We've gotten caught by fed-
erales for sleeping on the beach,
and we had to pay them off,"
Phares says. "We had one guy go
over the falls on the waves and
we thought he cracked his head
Of course, you can always look
death and dismemberment in the
face right in the good ole U.S. of
A., fighting approximately one
zillion of your spring break col-
leagues for free giveaways in
But keep in mind the words of
Willy Loman in Death of a
Salesman: "The world is an oys-
ter. But don't crack it open ona
mattress." Or a beach blanket. U

ents, Third Millennium was started to
"provide a voice for the post-Baby
Boom generation [Americans born in
the 1960s and 1970s]," according to
their mission statement.
The founders are a group of activists,
journalists and other professionals,
many of whom met last spring to dis-
cuss generational issues. "There's
always a lot of interest groups out there
to argue for more spending," says co-
founder Jonathan Karl, a human rights
activist and a 25-year-old graduate of
Vassar College in New York. "But
there's never any group out there that
will say 'We're willing to make a sacri-
fice.' "
Deliberately putting aside divisive
issues like abortion and the death
penalty, this self-dubbed "post-parti-
san" group comprises liberals and con-
servatives, Democrats and Republicans.
They've advocated legislation like the
Penny-Kasich $90 billion deficit-reduc-
tion amendment to the federal budget,
and condemned Clinton's health care
plan for being "fiscally irresponsible
and generationally unfair." Like Lead...
or Leave, they advocate cuts in Social
Security and Medicare, and they also
say the government can reduce the
deficit and still spend more on certain
domestic programs.
Third Millennium, however, hasn't
really done anything to act on their
beliefs aside from generating huge
amounts of publicity. Their biggest
achievement so far has been a self-
dubbed "powwow" with about 30
Congressional members and staffers
last September.
While Third Millennium is a bit
more civilized than, say, Lead...or
Leave, they're sometimes a bit too
polite. At their meeting with members
of Congress, for instance, they agreed
to voice their concerns in the future by
phoning the representatives' offices -
an arrangement that any American has
with Capitol Hill.
Karl says the group has a chapter in
Washington, composed largely of
Capitol Hill aides, which provides an
information pipeline to Congress. He
also says of most members, "We're
political amateurs. Most of the people
involved in Third Millennium had
never even worked in politics before."
They're poorly organized, however,
and they haven't done much yet, even
allowing for inexperience. It's a grim
outlook for any political group, post-
prtisan or not.
What you'llbe doing if you join:
Going to a few meetings, maybe lis-
tening to a few lectures... tentative
plans include holding volunteer fairs
for community service and sponsoring
speakers series.
Grade: C- Right now, they've accom-
plished remarkably little except preach-
ing. But they are newer than any other
group featured here.

For more information about Third
Millennium, call (212) 979-2001. E-mail
PaulNashak, The Georgetown Voice,
Georgetown U. and Mike Pound, The
Post, Ohio U., contributed to this report.
College Republicans
Focus: "Scaling back government
and the bureaucracy, reversing the
welfare state, and educating the
next generation of young people
for the next century"-- National
Chairman Bill Spadea
Founded: 1892
Membership: 756 chapters. They

estimate 86,000 members.
Funding: 70 to 80 percent through
fund-raising events, 20 to 30 per-
cent through the GOP. No dues.
n this age when everyone treats
"party" like a dirty word, it's a nice
change of pace to see the College
Republican national leadership embrac-
ing good old-fashioned partisanship.
National Chairman Bill Spades, a 24-
year-old graduate of Boston U. and for-
mer youth director for George Bush's
1992 campaign, makes no bones about
it in an open letter to new members:
"I'm looking forward to working with
you in the fight against Clinton
Liberalism and Political Correctness."

Although the CRs use the GOP plat-
form, they also pass resolutions to sup-
plement it at their biennial conven-
tions, usually taking a more conserva-
tive stance than the GOP on such
issues as gun control and abortion.
Aside from campaigning for Repub-
lican candidates (Spadea estimates that
the CRs registered 200,000 voters in
1992), they've recently taken steps like
these to fight liberalism and PC:
At the U. of Colorado last No-
vember, CRs submitted a petition to
the Board of Regents which cited that
only 2 percent of faculty were regis-
tered Republicans and demanded
greater Republican representation on
administrator and faculty search com-
mittees. "Even some liberal students
have said that they haven't been chal-
lenged [by professors] because they
agree too much with the faculty," says
Chairman Brad Dempsey, a junior.
At the U. of California, Berkeley,
Executive Director Eric Davis, a senior,
cites the group's most successful activi-
ty last semester as "disrupt[ing the]
entire rally" of Democrats who
opposed Proposition 174 (a proposal to
fund parents' choices to send their chil-
dren to private schools or allow them to
choose a public school).
When it comes to fighting liberals,
the CRs do a good job. But this seems
to be the focus of their activity.
In their defense, the CRs don't have a
president or a majority in Congress to
support, and this may be why they
haven't organized any national lobby-
ing for legislation or demonstrations on
issues since the 1992 elections.
Right now, says Spadea, they're just
"mobilizing" for the 1994 Congres-
sional and Senate elections, and they're
planning on targeting certain states for
voter registration drives this year. 'My
objective is to build a large organization
before we go into battle and take on a
major issue," Spadea says.
They'll also be taking on Clinton's
health care plan. "We will absolutely be
involved as the health care debacle
unfolds before our eyes," Spadea says.
What you'll be doing if you jloin:
Debating with liberals. Hosting
speakers andregistering voters.
Volunteering for campaigns.
Grade: B- Maybe it's because the
Republican Party is the minority in
Congress, but so far the CRs seem
more interested in blaming the
Democrats/liberals for problems than
working for solutions.
For more information, call (202) 662-
1330. E-mail address: 73373,1453
College Democrats
Focus: Electing Democrats, sup-
porting Democratic legislation
and "furthering the student

ferent. Like Smith, he gets the
hell out of Dodge, but he prefers
being above sea level. Gueriera
often spends his breaks extreme
skiing, last year at Crested Butte,
"That's the most hard-core ski-
ing I had done, ever. I hiked past
the lift for 20 minutes, to about
11,000 feet, sidestepping up a
hill. It's usually very tight,
flanked by rocks and trees. It's
tight jumping turns that you have
to do or get hurt."
The best part? "The combina-
tion of incredible speed and
knowing that you have to make
these turns that you've picked
out for yourself," he says.
For Elissa Randall, a senior at
the U. of North Carolina, spring
break is often spent climbing up
a mountain instead of coming
down. Randall, an avid hiker and
soccer player, flew to New
Mexico for break two years ago
to climb at Cochiti Mesa.
"It's a challenge to be on a
sheer wall," Randall says. "First,


Information was gathered from national
headquarters and five or more campus
chapters of each group. The groups were
graded in six categories:
Level of Activity: In the past year, have they
done lobbying and/or campaign work at the
national and grassroots levels? Have they
conducted educational/civic awareness
efforts (debates, demonstrations, voter reg-
istrations) at the national and grassroots
Membership: Groups were graded on a
"curve;" those with more than 500 chapters,
A; 150-500 chapters, B; 50-150 chapters, C;
fewer than 50 chapters, D. Since individual
members can't organize for action as well as
chapters. only chapter memberships were
Representation: Are members and/or con-
stituents adequately represented at the
national level? Do delegates from schools

and/or regions vote on all platforms? Do all
members elect delegates to national and/or
statewide conventions?
Organization: Do they have a lull-time
national staff, regional/state directors and
national/state conventions? Does the nation-
al headquarters communicate at least twice
a month with surveyed chapters?
Accessibility: Two college students made at
least two phone calls to each organization,
requesting more information. Did represen-
tatives answer the phone or return the calls?
Did they provide information about their
activities and how to get involved? Did they
provide the names of regional contacts? Did
they send information through the mail?
Funding: This applies only to groups claim-
ing to be nonpartisan. Groups "lost points'
for accepting money from politicians and/or
political groups; how many points they lost
depended on how much money they accept.

Salsbe Cornell Daily

cotnednx -a-s


U. Magazine " 17

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