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April 18, 1995 - Image 17

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1995-04-18

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The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, April 18, 1995 - 17

LFER

Elimination
of pass/fail a
good decision
To the Daily:
To argue that it is unfair that stu-
dents be expected to exert themselves
n "substandard" courses is to set low
urms and strive for mediocrity. Stu-
tents who are graded demand more,
totonly for themselves butalso of their
:nstructors. Abolishing the pass/fail
aption for fourth-semester language
zourses is neither aquick fix nor some-
thing for instructors to hide behind. We
will be more accountable becasue the
students will be more likely to demand
justification fortheirgrades, and if they
#Iecide the course did not provide the
tools or the classroom environment to
do better, then they can lodge a formal
complaint. The "true nature" of the
"flaws" to which your editorial repeat-
edly alludes, but neglects to specify,
will emerge with greater clarity and
seriousness when all students have a
stake in the quality of the courses. If
there are deficiencies, the department
'chairs will hear about them and, no
doubt, so will the Daily. Then, if you
find it necessary to address this issue
again, you will have concrete and docu-
mented criticisms to refer to.
John Minderhout
TA in German
Model minority
,myth persists
To the Daily:
This is in response to the article on
the performance "Generation Asian/
Pacific American" which coincided
during Asian Pacific American Aware-
ness Month. In celebration of Asian/
Pacific American Awareness Month, a
group of APA students and staff under
the group United Asian American Or-
ganizations (UAAO), came up with the
idea of displaying the various talents of
different APA organizations on the U-
M campus. This was an event of many
APAs coming together to celebrate the
diversity and cultural heritage through
various mediums such as dance, songs
and acting. As part of the performance,
we, the members of the U of M Asian
%American Student Coaltion
(UMAASC) Acting Troupe, came
away with a feeling of unity and em-
powerment in not only performing but
also witnessing the combined efforts of
other APA groups.
What came as a shock was to read in
the Daily, the quotes of Vice President
forStudent Affairs, Maureen Hartford
%and her husband, Professor of Engi-
neering, George Hartford. "It amazes
me how much talent these kids have,
especially because they aren't perfor-
mance majors," said Maureen Hart-
ford. George Hartford added, "because
they're all pre-med and pre-law."
Comments and attitudes such as
these are shared by many non-APAs
reflecting today's perception of the
mAsian/Pacific American as being the
"Model Minority." This myth attempts
to generalize APAs into one-dimen-
sional caracatures as the quiet, non-
complaining, hardworking Asians

who've "made it" in this country, where
their children are SAT whiz kids study-
ing to become doctors and engineers.
This may sound like a "positive
compliment," it is nevertheless, a ste-
reotype, which has stripped a group of
people of their ethnic identity and heri-
tage. The "Model Minority" myth im-
plies that APAs are lacking in the lib-
eral or fine arts, and therefore cannot
express themselves in a creative man-
ner.
Professor Hartford's remarks are a
slap in the face to all APAs who have
actively taken part in this cultural show

and/or have been involved in the U-M
community to promote APA issues.
It is both ironic and sad that two
highly educated people, both with
Ph.Ds in Education and Engineering
have missed the significance of Gen-
eration APA.
Anthony Ruey
UMAASC Acting Troupe, "Point of
View", Coordinator
Sports columnist
lacks knowledge
To the Daily:
I have been a figure skating coach
for three years. I skated competitively
in both freestyle and ice dancing for 10
years, and studied ballet for 11. I'm
writing in response to a woefully mis-
informed article by Ryan White pub-
lished in The Daily on April 6, titled
"Dance your way to the Olympics?".
The subject was the approval of ball-
room dancing as an Olympic sport by
the International Olympic Committee
(IOC). Since some might agree with
his sentiments, I would like to set the
record straight.
While I can't vouch for table tennis
or synchronized swimming (since I
never trained in either), I do have con-
siderable experience in both ice dance
and dancing in general. Ice dance is
pairs figure skating minus jumps and
spins. For this reason, it is not obvi-
ously as flashy and showy as other
forms of figure skating. Having spent
many years doing all kinds of skating,
I can attest to the coordination, bal-
ance, stamina, and enormous amount
of strength required in ice dance. High
level competitive skaters must utilize
both endurance and weight training in
order to excel in their sport: They are
serious athletes. To make skating look
so effortless requires strength and train-
ing comparable to that needed for bas-
ketball, hockey, track, or any other
sport. Anyone who doubts the diffi-
culty of figure skating should go to the
local rink and try it for themselves.
To be completely honest, I was a
little surprised to hear that ballroom
dancing would be an Olympic event.
However, if the IOC director is correct
that ballroom dancing requires the same
amountoftraining asicedance, then by
all means and without any doubt, it is
well qualified to be an Olympic sport.
As for dance sports being an oxy-
moron, I would be surprised to see any
untrained person perform classical bal-
let of an advanced level, and not tear a
major muscle in the first five minutes.
Make nomistake: intensive ballet train-
ing can be blood, sweat and tears. Foot-
ball players take ballet to improve their
coordination; if done properly, it im-
proves their strength and stamina, too.
Not a sport? Well, I guess you don't
score any goals, and the spectators don't
cheer as loud, but besides that ...
I understand that everyone has their
favorite sports and their own opinions.
I don't want to shove synchronized
swimming, skating, or dancing down
anyone's throat. However, I think it is
a good idea to be reasonably well-
informed about a subject before you
make judgements on it. Making fun of
something you don't understand is

rather immature, and does not make a
particularly intelligent impression.
Susan L. Schlee
SNRE junior
Daily fails to
cover Christians
To the Daily:
Were I a visitor from another planet
who desired to learn about the Univer-
sity of Michigan, and had picked up,
say, the April 7 edition of the Daily
with the hopes of curing my ignorance,
I might have noticed the large spread

entitled "Keeping up with Religion on
Campus." I would have seen a picture
of worshipping Muslims, another one
of Jewish students, and one of a Bud-
dha figurine and a Buddhist student.
Then, my curiousity aroused, I would
have proceeded into the article itself
where I would have read about Muslim
students, Jewish students, and Zen Bud-
dhist students. I might have concluded
that three main religions existed on
campus, and having read the entire
article, I probably would have thought
that "everyone else" outside those reli-
gions is basically intolerant, suppres-
sive and bigoted.
Is the ommission here obvious to
anyone besides myself? I am a Chris-
tian student, and I, like many of the
people mentioned in the article, have
struggled to make time to devote to my
religion. As I go through the day in our
secular society I find my beliefs and
my faith in God continually confronted
and challenged. And I know I'm not
the only one. There are many other
studentslikeme whocarry ona"battle"
as I do every day, yet the article made
no mention of a single Christian.
Maybe the Christians just aren't
visible within the crowd of society, and
there was no reason for the Daily's
reporter to comment or talk about them,
even though she was writing an article
about religion on campus. Baloney.
There were two Diag "vigils" discussed
in that same Friday issue of the Daily:
one on the SAPAC protesters and one
on the Amnesty International protest-
ers. I happened to be going through the
Diag the day before and I noticed these
vigils. I also couldn't help but notice
the group of people handing out Chris-
tian pamphlets and witnessing for Christ
with loud, clear voices. Yet they aren't
mentioned in the Daily. It's as if any-
thing bearing the name of Christ is
forbidden to be mentioned in the news-
paper. Please note these omissions.
Doug Woodhams
Engineering senior
Columnist gets
case facts wrong
To the Daily:
James R. Cho may believe that the
Statement of Student Rights and Re-
sponsibilities is misguided. In attack-
ing the code, however, Cho has pre-
sented an entirely distorted version of
the facts that led to the charges against
Kendrick Kakazu and the other assail-
ants. The attack on Eric Wise repre-
sents exactly the sort ofevent for which
the code was put in place, and although
Cho casts Kakazu as a victim, that is far
from the case.
Rather than having a "run-in" with
Wise, Kendrick Kakazu first encoun-
tered Wise when he and Paul Uzgeris
crashed a small Law School gathering
and then refused repeated requests to
leave. So drunk that he repeatedly fell
down, Kakazu punched a guest in the
jaw - and was struck in return -
before finally leaving the premises.
Witnesses attest to the aggression of
Kakazu and Uzgeris and the restraint
exercised by everyone else present.
Kakazu and Uzgeris returned at 3
a.m., along with four members of the

wrestling team. Kakazu knocked on
the door while Uzgeris and wrestlers
Brian Freeman, Lanre Olabisi, Zachary

Feldman and Jehad Hamden hid out-
side. After he opened the door, Wise
was dragged into the front yard, where
the group kicked Wise at least 25 times
in the head, chest and back. The doctor
who treated Wise stated that Wise was
fortunate to have escaped brain hemor-
rhaging, loss of vision or loss of hear-
ing. (Wise did suffer a ruptured blood
vessel on one ear.) Donald Wiest, who
stood behind Wise, had the glass door
broken across his face. Before calling
for help, Wiest saw the group attack
Wise.
Criminal prosecution following the
attack was difficult. The police treated
theeventlargely as amatter forcampus
authorities. Kakazu pleaded "no con-
test" to charges of aggravated assault
but refused to name any fellow attack-
ers. Attempts at investigation were sty-
mied by head wrestling coach Dale
Bahr, who denied having any photos of
the wrestling team when Wise requested
them. Bahr's staff also called Wise at
home and suggested that he drop the
case.
Cho's summary of the incident
misses these essential facts. Further,
Cho's illustrations of the "unfairness"
of the code are also inaccurate. He
discusses the "unfairness" of an attor-
ney being present with Wise and Wiest,
but does not mention that accused wres-
tierBrian Freeman also has an attorney
who has consulted with the charged
students. Cho omits that Wise and Wiest
have numerous witnesses who were
present that night and who will testify
regarding the attack on Wise.
Whatever problems may exist in
the code, students who are willing to
attack strangers in such a brutal man-
ner do not belong at this University.
Though Cho casts Kakazu as "perse-
cuted" and "a victim," Kakazu and his
fellow attackers are merely being held
accountable for this vicious attack.
Carrie Fletcher
Daniel Hunter
Mark Powers
Donald Wiest
J. Eric Wise
Second-year Law students
Chiapas series
pleases reader
To the Daily:
I want to congratulate the Daily
staff for the series of articles on the
Chiapas situation last week.
I am an international student, and I
have been disappointed by the low
regard and minimal coverage that the
Daily, and the U.S. press in general,
gives to international issues. However,
I gained some respect for the Daily
when I read the articles on Chiapas on
the cover, giving it the importance it
deserves (since for me, a country strug-
gling for true democracy, for instance,
is more important than a little kid col-
lecting Easter eggs, whose picture took
half of your 4/17/95 cover). It has been
the most comprehensive coverage of
an international issue I have seen in the
Daily during my time at Michigan, and
I would like to see more articles like
that in the future.
It was a great step, congratulations

and I hope you keep it up.
Humberto Sanchez
Business School junior

Dreadlocks a
form of cultural
expression
To the Daily:
Regarding "McFerrin's music les-
sons" by Dusitn Howes (2/27/95), I
noticed that under the photo of Mr.
McFerrin is the caption,"Mr. McFerrin
is a cool guy, even with his slightly
annoying new dreads." Upon reading
the article I noticed there were no other
further references to his hair to justify
that assertion.
First of all, why are his "dreads"
slightly annoying? Secondly, is that
your personal perspective or did they
hamper his performance? Lastly, is he
a cool guy despite his "dreads" - an
inference that most people with dreads
are not cool?
I am very annoyed with the caption
since I feel his hair is irrelavnt to his
talent. Maybe some are more comfort-
able with Mr. McFerrin's 'pre-dread'
persona (Don't Worry Be Happy!), but
as we move faster toward the 21st
century personal expression shouldn't
be critieria for who's "cool." IJam not a
big Bobby McFerrin fan, however I
feel that such a condescending state-
ment minimizes the efforts of African-
Americans toestablish theirethnic iden-
tities and cultural pride. Mr. McFerrin
doesn't wear his hair that way to annoy
anyone; he is just comfortable enough
with himself to let his hair grow unre-
stricted. In fact, I have more respect for
him than ever since he acknowledged
his heritage. In addition, his "dreads"
are not new. Judging from the picture,
that is at least four years of growth! Is
anything considered "new" after four
years?
I can't speak for all who choose to
"grow locks" but I suggest that the
Daily think twice about making flip-
pant and crass comments about
"dreads." It is not responsible journal-
ism and it feeds into negative stereo-
types. Not all "dreads" smoke
marijauana, rob, steal and go unbathed.
Those are negative images that are not
characteristic of most "dreadren" I
know. I am an advanced doctoral stu-
dent at the University of Michigan, the
current Peace Corps Campus Coordi-
nator, and I wear "dreads." Drawing
negative attention to Mr. McFerrin's
has racist overtones and a lack of ap-
preciation for his position in American
culture.
Dreadlocks are not for everyone
and I do understand the annoyance or
fear that they can create in the minds of
some people. But, why perpetuate the

myth'? Think about it, dreadlocks are
natural. Most of us who wear them
wash our hair regularly. We don't put
harmful chemicals in our hair and on
ourscalps.We don't dye,fry,orlyeour
hair. We just let it grow. Although
some trim the sides and back to stylize
the look, the basic idea is to let nature
take its course.
The point is "dreads" are a personal
choice. I see plenty of different hair
styles, colors and textures on campus
daily, but do I have any rationale to say
that a white person with long, blonde,
curly hair annoys me if I prefer short,
straight, brunette hair'? I think not.
Dreadlocks are not a "hair-style,"
they are forms of expression using the
natural texture of our hair to bind with
itself into elongated twists or locks.
Not only are they an indicator of spiri-
tual and cultural awakening, they can
also denote a conscious way of life and/
or a symbol of racial pride.
Joseph W. Dorsey
SNRE graduate student
Don't rent from
Campus Rentals
To the Daily:
This letter is being written as a
warning to all prospective tenants in
the Ann Arbor area. DO NOT RENT
FROM CAMPUS RENTALS! While
their practices in the past have included
deception of tenants, illegal rent con-
tracts, and deliberately putting tenants'
safety in jeapardy, today they sunk to
new levels of sleaze.
I am currently a Campus Rentals
tenant in a house with a private drive-
way, and although we were issued three
parking permits for the drive, we were
assured that it was ours to do with as we
pleased. Today, however, a Campus
Rentals representative led a city meter
maid around and pointed out a number.
of cars t ticket and tow. They even went
as far as to tow a motorcycle which was
not taking up any space because it did
not display the proper parking sticker.
(There is nowhere on the cycly to put a
permit.)
If it was that big of a deal, the
parking situation could have been taken
care of with a single letter or call to
tenants. Instead Campus Rentals chose
to cost the residents of only one house
a minimum of $188, making sure todo
it at a time when most University stu-
dents are most strapped for money.
Tenants: don't give your money to
a company that has no care or courtesy
towards its clients.
Philip Cusick
Engineering junior

+ M w
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e shol.
Whatto xpet o

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