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September 13, 1994 - Image 4

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1994-09-13

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4 - The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, September 13, 1994

c'be £idigta &dlg

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a w a s-a r w v r(+ V V i-s Y r v

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

Jessie Halladay
Editor in Chief
Samuel Goodstein
Flint Wainess

Editorial Page Editors
Unless otherwise noted, unsigned editorials reflect the opinion of a majority of the Daily's editorial board. All
other articles, letters, and cartoons do not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Michigan Daily.

A flawed alcohol policy
'U' attempts to regulate student values, norms

'The University won't protect you. A subpoena is
an easy thing to give, but a very difficult thing to
stop.'
-Graduate student Charles Griffith , whose
transcript is being subpoenaed in a local court case..
WHEN ALL 1$ SAID AND DON E...
NO ONE ASKS ... NO ONE TELLS...
...,AND NO OE CARES.
}
\ e
C-
Communication Dept. Fiasco

After a year and a half of wasted committee
M~meetings and expensive work hours, the
University has finally enacted its new Student
Policy on Alcohol and Other Drugs. The re-
vised - and permanent - policy continues
the University's stance against the improper
use of alcohol and drugs. But the policy also
suggests the regulation of student organiza-
tions and documents the use of the Statement
of Student Rights and Responsibilities (a.k.a.
the Code) to penalize illegal consumption or
distribution of such substances. While the new
policy is mostly University rhetoric designed
to "develop, affirm, maintain and modify com-
munity-wide, behavioral norms," it contains
many disturbing elements which highlight the
University's desire to further regulate stu-
dents' behavior and student organizations.
Although the University has claimed it was
mandated by the Federal Drug-Free Schools
and Campuses Act of 1989 to enact such a
policy, the Code and the former interim Alco-
hol Policy were sufficient to meet these re-
quirements. While it is proper for the Univer-
sity to discourage the use of drugs and alcohol,
and important for the University to provide
services to those who abuse these substances,
it is not necessary for the University to impose
far-reaching values such as abstinence from
alcohol on its students. The new policy's lan-
guage concerning student values goes beyond
the federal mandate, and the long time spent
drafting and redrafting this policy is further
proofoftheUniversity'sinfatuationwithcom-
mittee meetings and bureaucracy.
The most offensive and potentially danger-
ous section of this document is that which
covers student organizations. The policy

strongly recommends that student organiza-
tions adopt the administration's outlined guide-
lines to "reflect the values of this policy."
However, the guidelines are hypocritical, re-
strictive and vague: Organizations "should
not sell or provide any alcohol to any person,"
but, if they do, six guidelines should be fol-
lowed, including banning the purchase of
alcohol with organizational funds or member
contributions and forbidding the serving of
alcohol from common or self-serve contain-
ers. This leaves no other viable option, sug-
gesting that the University is attempting to
proscribe alcohol use. And, what in the world
does not constitute a common or self-serve
container? Not surprisingly, the ramifications
of these guidelines were clearly not thought
out during the year the University spent revis-
ing this policy.
The new policy will probably not affect the
everyday lives of the student body. But it
clearly shows that the University is continu-
ing its efforts to further regulate students'
lives beyond the restrictions already imposed
by the Code.
Moreover, the University is overreaching
its bounds by attempting to regulate student
organizations, an authority granted solely to
students through the campus student govern-
ment, the Michigan Student Assembly.
This is the second in afive part
editorial series explaining changes
in various University policies that
occurred over the summer.

By Richard Campbell
For the record, LSA Dean
Edie Goldenberg's appoint-
mentof the six-person commit-
tee to investigate the future of
the Department of Communi-
cation follows her usual pattern
of top-down administrative
rule. No one in the department,
excluding her self-appointed
administrators, was asked for
suggestions about the make-up
of the committee. The dean
apparently was so desperate for
people to serve that one mem-
ber, who has taken a job at
another university next year,
will be flown in for weekly fall
meetings. (I hope the press
keeps careful track of what de-
partment endowment fund is
being exploited for such travel.)
And although one of the big-
gest issues remains the rela-
tionship between theory and
practice, no one from the pro-
fessional areas of journalism,
film or video was named to
serve on the committee. The
dean apparently has already
decided that teaching and study-
ing these areas will no longer
be central to a vibrant commu-
nication department.
One thing missing from the
dean's "charge" to the commit-
tee is an investigation into the

college's treatment of the de-
partment over the past five
years. And there's plenty to
investigate here. After many of
us worked for seven years to
upgrade the curriculum and cre-
ate an atmosphere that sup-
ported multiple research per-
spectives, Dean Goldenberg
charged in public that "in her
judgement" the department was
not providing "educational ex-
periences for our students that
compare with the best avail-
able in peer institutions." This
came as a big surprise to many
of us in the department who
had won teaching and research
awards under this dean's ad-
ministration.
So how did she arrive at her
harsh evaluation? It is hard to
tell. The dean made these
charges-amazingly repeated
in public by Provost Whitaker
and President Duderstadt -
without the benefit of formal
internal or external reviews,
which is the usual way admin-
istrators arrive at informed
judgements about departments
and programs.
At any rate, I hope the com-
mittee will investigate the
College'sown record at "build-
ing" the department under the

current dean. With six junior
faculty (only two remain) hired
between 1987 and 1989 to re-
energize the department, prom-
ises were made by the College
to balance humanistic and so-
cial science perspectives and to
provide additional senior lead-
ership (there were only four
senior faculty in the department
in 1987). Neitherhas happened.
Under the current dean, two
senior male faculty have been
added through the ISR "back
door"; neither competed for his
tenured position against other
qualified senior scholars in the
field through a democratic na-
tional search and both spend
much of their time at the ISR.
The third addition, former chair
Neil Malamuth, brought in by
the College through a search
orchestrated by the dean, de-
cided to return to UCLA. And
for the record ... when the cur-
rent dean took office, there were
four women on tenure track in
the department; beginning in
1995, no tenure track women
will be working for the depart-
ment.
Dr. Campbell is a former
asst. professor of
communication at the
University.

Everything I
learned in
college
Daytime television is hell. Base-
ball -save the Little League World
Series - is gone, the O.J. Simpson
hearings are dwindling into the ri-
diculou s, and the Price i s Right hasn't
gotten any better since I had the flu
when I was nine. It was time to go
back to school.
When people started returning
last week I found a new amusement
- putting point-totals on the heads
of you careless pedestrians ("50
points for the guy reading The Excit
ing Life of the One-Toed Sloth! Wait
-he's wearing more than five items
of Michigan clothing! 75 points!")
Nevertheless, it's really not nec-
essary to read books while walking.
Here, in handy clip-out form made
possible by technology fromDuPont
is Everything I Learned in College
(subtitled A Know-It-All Grad Stu-
dent Tells All, only $39.95, not avail-
able in stores, operators are standing
by, place your tray tables in an up-
right and locked position, itemsmay
have shifted during flight.)
English: Having a conversa-
tion in college is really very easy. As
long as you don't mention your
marvelous SAT scores or the num-
ber of awards you got in high school,
you'll be fine. (Depending on your
conversational intentions, it may not
be smart to mention your high school
girlfriend, either.) All it really takes
to have a conversation at college
during the first few weeks is mastery
of a few simple questions:
- Where are you from? (then
say you know someone from there,
once lived there, or passed through
on the way to someplace more inter-
esting.)
-What dorm are you living in?
(hopefully it'll be the same one
you're in. Otherwise, end the con-
versation immediately, because
you'll never see them again.)
-What are you majoring in?("I
don'tknow yet" is the best response,
because then you can convince them
that your esteemed major is far and
away the best choice.)
" Economics: You practically
need a course in economics to sur-
vive in college these days. Outside
of playing the stock market or get-
ting a job at Taco Bell, the best way
to make money is not to spend it. I
think the biggest economics lesson I
learned in college was to get into
publishing - $20 for a paperback
book is almost as good as the $100
screwdrivers the Pentagon buys. In
the end, you'll beat the father Iover-
heard in a bank last fall: when the
teller explained that his daughter
would withdraw money using her
ATMcard, he exclaimed, "You mean
she's going to get money from a
machine??" This, kids, is called the

generation gap.
" Sex Education: Forget Fallo-
pian tubes and spermatozoa - liv-
ing in a dorm is the best sex-ed class
anyone ever had. At least when
you're a first year in college, noth-
ing feels more adult than staying up
until3a.m. with everyone telling All
You Ever Wanted to Know About
Sex But Your Mother Thought Was
Disgusting. Onthemore serious side,
a co-ed dorm can also be an educa-
tion in equality - once you've ar-
gued free will vs. determinism over
the baked eggplant in the dining hall'
or brushed your teeth in a co-ed
bathroom, the opposite sex ceases to
be a mystery.
" Politics: Campus elections are
always a lot of fun, especially if no
one takes it seriously. The easiest
way to do this is to form a "joke
party:" you promise balmy tempera-
tures in January, Elvis as a gradua-
tionspeaker, small classes, and other
laughableimpossibles. Runon aplat-
T,. . :,.r....,,r w... ..a

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Spiraling textbook costs

01

H ow much did you pay for your books this
year? How many of themwere you forced
tobuy new? Andhow much money did you get
last term when you sold back your old books?
Textbooks prices are too high, and every-
one knows it. That's why the University, on a
cue from a state Congressional committee, has
set up its own study of Ann Arbor's textbook
prices. The Daily applauds the University's
decision and hopes the University guides this
committee in the right direction. The Univer-
sity must help establish a better convention for
the buying and selling of used books.
The problem with the textbook market is
that, at the end of the term, the bookstores are
placed in the difficult position of gambling on
the resale value for many of our used books.
They must gamble because many professors
don't report their textbook lists for the upcom-
ing term until afterthe initial buyback phase. In
order to protect their own interests, the book-
stores must offer very low trade prices for
students' used books. As a result, students
receive even less money for their used books
than would normally be dictated.
The less money students get for their used
books, the less money students can put to-
wards book purchases for the upcoming term.
Moreover, the lower the resale prices, the
smaller the number of used books resold to the
bookstores. Many students decide their used
textbooks are worth more to them as reference
or display books than they are to bookstores.
As a result, students buy more new books the
following term, and the cycle continues.
Luckily, there are two simple answers to
this problem. First, the University must help
modify the existing textbook reporting proce-
dure. Second, we as students must do more to
support our collective interest in higher resale
value for used textbooks.

procedure by setting definitive standards and
deadlines. At the University of Illinois, the
college acts as an overarching reporting appa-
ratus; all textbook lists must be submitted -
to the University itself-by a given deadline.
As a result, bookstores in the area are able to
assess their needs and stock used books ac-
cordingly, and students get better prices for
theirusedbooks.A University-imposeddead-
line would have another advantage as well. In
addition to forcing professors to choose their
lists ahead of time, a deadline would make
professors aware of the problem students face.
Many professors simply do not realize the
impact their laxity has on students' finances.
Second, students must do a better job of
supporting their own interests. For example,
students should support the Student Book
Exchange (SBE), which provides the student
body with a cost-effective way of reselling
used books directly to other students, thereby
eliminating any middleman. Since the public-
ity, labor and overhead costs associated with
SBE are covered by a small percentage fee
applied only to purchased books, the risks are
minimal. Moreover, SBE allows students to
set the prices for their used books so both the
seller and the buyer benefit from this price-
setting mechanism. And, most important, an
investment in the SBE is an investment in
more student control over textbook prices.
One of the biggest problems with the cur-
rent SBE system is its length. The exchange
only lasts five days, due to a lack of publicity
and help. An MSA-sponsored Student Book
Exchange could providemore labor and fund-
ing, better publicity, lower percentage fees
and a longer total span.
But the solution lies in the hands of the
University and its students. And if no action is
taken, spiraling textbook costs will continue

21st Century Ghosts, and an MSA resignation

To the Daily:
I grew up in Pittsburgh (and
arrived there the day of the
recent plane crash) with a be-
lief that strange beings lurked
in the dark, in closets, under
the beds, from crackling stair-
ways and by means of other
unexplained occurrences. But
that was in another century,
the 20th. Humans living in
caves, tents, mud huts and
snow shelters had different
monsters and ghosts in other
centuries.
Today, technology, con-
trolled by computers, has ush-
ered in new mysteries for the
21st century and along with
them postmodern fears and
dangers. It is frightening
enough when you enter your
bank, savings-and-loan or

credit union for an emergency
transaction andyou arehaunted
by the apprehension of "our
system is down." You can of-
ten survive the message sys-
tem failures and the computer
viruses in your storage files.
But lurking in our lives are
other spooks that experts are
reluctant to discuss.
There are computer pro-
grams that operate "smart"
weapon systems, health care
equipment and passenger air-
planes. So when wehear about
friendly fire that destroys our
own troops, strange circum-
stances that bedevil our hospi-
tals and passenger airplanes that
mysteriously drop out of the
sky, the experts are afraid to
tell you for fear of their careers

that these may be the computer
monsters and ghosts of the 21st
century and that there is much
more to come.
Mel Williams
Professor of Anthropology
To the Daily:
Ladies and gentlemen of
MSA, with no small measure
of personal satisfaction, I re-
sign from this body. However,
I would like to say that my few
months with MSA have been
excruciating. I have been un-
able to work with this organiza-
tion since it is composed of
self-serving, resume-stuffing
lapdogs.

Iq

Edgar Francis
LSA Junior

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