4- The Michigan Daily - Friday, January 20, 1995
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Ann Arbor, MI 48109
Edited and managed by students at
the University of Michigan
Editor in Chief
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Unless otherwise noted, unsigned editorials reflect the opinion of a majority of the Daily's editorial board. All
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'All social dependence and oppression has its
roots in the economic dependence of the
oppressed upon the oppressor.'
- August Bebel
$ OA.E LL KO ;
Take a Break
Department overhaul uproots journalism at 'U'
Everyone knew that the Department of
Communication would explode, but no
one was sure where the pieces would land.
Now many are dissatisfied with the new ar-
rangement. According to the proposal an-
nounced last Friday, the department will be
pared down to a bare minimum. The depart-
ment will cover only mass communication
theory, and after a transitional period will
ultimately reduce its faculty considerably.
Certain aspects of this overhaul seem rela-
tively harmless, such as the moving of film
courses to Film/Video - although the final
outcome remains to be seen. Classes such as
public speaking will no longer have a place in
the University, and journalism will disappear
completely from LSA.
All of this is part of the "new mission" of
the Department of Communication. After fac-
ulty bickering, tenure disputes and an im-
proper seizure of the department by LSA Dean
Edie N. Goldenberg, the new rhetoric is that
the department should not train people for the
telecommunications andjournalism industries.
Rather, it should concern itself exclusively
with the study of mass communication as a
social, political and cultural phenomenon.
Current junior and senior concentrators
have the choice between the old and new
graduation requirements. In other words,
students are left to choose between the un-
stable, old curriculum, whose required
courses will soon be endangered species,
and the tentative, undeveloped new curricu-
lum. Either way students will be forced to
hunt for courses in other departments and
scrape together a degree. It will be a wonder
if there are any communication concentrators
left at the University come fall term.
Serious as this problem is, it pales in
comparison to the plan's most severe short-
coming: its failure to provide for an under-
graduate journalism concentration.
Even now, strong undergraduate prepara-
tion for a career in journalism cannot be at-
tained here. Provost and Executive Vice Presi-
dent forAcademic Affairs GilbertR. Whitaker
Jr. commented lackadaisically that students
seeking journalism education could go to
Michigan State University. This is a wholly
inadequate alternative, and is no excuse for the
University's refusal to build a quality program
of its own.
Whitaker is assembling a task force to
determine whether journalism can be placed
outside of LSA. Meanwhile, any journalism-
related courses will not be offered after next
year unless - by some miracle - they find
a "natural intellectual home" in another de-
partment. The push for journalism to be
separate from liberal arts education comes
from the belief that it is a craft or a trade, and
therefore should only be taught in a profes-
sional school setting. This is a grave mistake.
Journalism must not be divorced from
academia. A skilled writer who knows noth-
ing about the surrounding world is useless to
For this reason, the plan refused earlier
this year to make journalism a separate con-
centration within the Communication De-
partment should be reconsidered. Under the
proposal, students would have to double-con-
centrate in journalism and another LSA pro-
gram-with the exception of communication
- in order to give them a broader base from
which to work. Journalists would be able to
simultaneously learn a discipline, and learn
how to deliver it to a wider audience -- a
necessary skill for anyone going into the field.
If the concentration remains in LSA, this type
of learning environment can be fostered.
Unfortunately, the chaotic regrouping of
the Department of Communication will not
support a sound learning environment. While
some areas of study disappear, others will
become more complicated in the next few
years. Faculty will be shuffled mercilessly.
And journalism will have no future here.
As the Communication Department
"sharpens its focus," it also narrows its vi-
Defining King's dream
The RA process
To the Daily:
In response to the "Forrest
Fires" column "San Diego has
no chance of being super in
Miami," (1/17/95): beware of
the word "never" and its coun-
terpart phrase "no chance"
when dealing with situations
in sports, for there are no such
situations. Many of us can viv-
idly remember how Villanova
would "never" beat
Georgetown in the 1985
NCAA men's basketball cham-
pionship, or how Buster Dou-
glas would have "no chance" to
win the heavyweight champi-
onship from Mike Tyson back
It is these "never" and "no
chance" contests that have
given us some of the most
memorable moments in sports.
School of Pharmacy first-year
tales of the
To the Daily:
Recently it has come to my
attention that there are people
who use the same institution I
do, and shouldn't be here. I
want to take some time to talk
about the institution, and those
The institution, of course,
is the Intramural Building,
specifically the basketball
The people, of course, are
the "air-impaired." This is a
severe problem that we as
Rational Thinking Individu-
als with a Desire for Restor-
ing Merit (RTIWADFRM)
think the University ought to
Let me give an example
of what I am referring to, for
those of you who are not fa-
miliar with what I'm talking
about. The other day, I was
about to play basketball and
I was assembling my team.
An individual came up to me
who was obviously "air-im-
paired." (You can spot these
guys from a mile away!)
"Do you have all of your
"No, I don't," I responded.
"Can I play with you?"
To the Daily:
If we ever hope to achieve
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s
dream of a truly multicultural
society, we need the dream
defined. Was Dr. King's
dream about a bicultural, bira-
cial society? Did he only dream
in black and white?
I believe Dr. King's dream
of a multicultural society went
beyond racial and ethnic cat-
egories to include different
religions, lifestyles and socio-
What I have heard and seen
at the University of Michigan
has led me to conclude that
they have a different dream. It
is a dream of mulitcultural
words and statistics, but not
one of spirit and substance.
The lack of a clear defini-
tion of just what is meant by
multiculturalism has resulted
in it being dominated by the
Black-white paradigm. I have
witnessed time and time again,
on this campus, that domina-
tion resulting in the silencing
of the voices from other races
I believe Dr. King's dream
was about a society that's in-
clusive, not exclusive. It's
about more, not less. It's
multicultural because it's
about all of us. It brings us an
understanding, at the most
radical level, not only about
our differences as human be-
ings, but what it is that we
have in common.
This kind of
the very foundation of soci-
ety. It is an idea of a radically
I told him that I realized
this, andI understood perfectly
that it wasn'this fault, but there
was nothing that I could do
So the player walked away,
and the next thing Iknow some-
one with a whistle around his
neck tells me, "This guy has
got to play with you." So I'm
saying to myself, "Greati" and
I proceed to get on the court
and do my best.
We get blown out of the
This is why I am forming
the RTIWADFRM Move-
ment. I think that those who
are air-impaired should go to
gyms where the air-impaired
naturally flock, or perhaps
even to schools where these
There was a time when we,
as Players, could compete
against each other without fear
of being contaminatedby those
different color. It threatens the
way things have always been,
in education, business, gov-
ernment and social interaction.
It represents a new way of
thinking which will result in
The words "community"
and "communicate" come
from the same root. A com-
munity is a group of people
who communicate. This is at
the heart of the dream, human
communication. Heart to
heart, soul to soul, this is the
bedrock of human relation-
ships. It involves a type of
listening that is done not with
the ears alone, but with the
heart and mind.
We can have all the correct
language, the perfect statisti-
cal balance, all the right laws
on the books, but if we cannot
talk to one another heart to
heart, we have nothing at all.
We have no more of a truly
multicultural community than
the ability we possess to com-
municate with one another and
especially, with those who
"appear" to be different from
ourselves. We impoverish our-
selves if we think we can only
learn and live with those
people who look like us.
Dr. King's dream is much
broader than what has been
called multiculturalism to date.
Let's define the dream, stretch-
ing our hearts and minds to go
beyond just the color of our
skin, to the core of our human-
ity, our character, our very
Glenn R. Stutzky
Social work graduate student
To the Daily:
Obviously nobody told our
first-year friend "The Legend
of Angell Hall." It is evident
from his Friday, Jan. 13 letter
("Writeroverreacts to bathroom
signs") that he doesn't have the
historical background neces-
sary to write about the bath-
room issue. He wasn't around
last year when the Daily did its
expos6 on the world-renowned
use of the 24-hour bathroom,
complete with photos of semen-
stained stall doors. Sadly
enough, sex is exactly what the
signs in the bathrooms are re-
Those who plan ahead have al-
ready decided where to defrost over
Spring Break. But let's face it: Most
ofyoudon'tplan ahead. In fact, most
of you can't decide what you want
for lunch until you are in the middle
of dessert. You need organization.
You need direction.
What you don't need is another
long-winded, drawn-out, overblown
introduction to a column. So, with-
out further fanfare ...
THE SPRING BREAK VCA-
TION GUIDE THAT'S SO COOL IT
GETS ITALICS AND ALL CAPS
Cancun. This is a nice place to
go, except that, due to extreme heat,
you will come back rather crispy.
Cancun is hotter than Cindy
Crawford, and requires less cloth-
It's also fairly inexpensive: The
money there is worth about as much
in U.S. dollars as the gum on the
bottom of your shoe. Also, for an
extra $50, you can pay for a guy to
roll you over every two hours, to
help you get an even burn.
Also, you won't have to worry
about the locals, because there are
none. Nobody actually lives in
Cancun. What would you call these
people, anyway? Cancunians?
Acapulco. Pretty much the same
as Cancun, except it's harder to spell.
Florida. Thisis one ofour nation's
finest states - definitely among the
top 52. One major drawback is that
as soon as you arrive in Florida you
immediately become an old person,
which, in turn, affects your driving.
Florida may not be the best place
to visit for Spring Break, because it's
difficult to travel around the state. In
fact, it's difficult to move around at
all, because you at any given time
you are likely to be squished in a
crowd of17 million other college
students who thought Florida would
be a good place to go for Spring
California. These days, Califor-
nia is a wonderful place to go swim-
ming, preferably in the middle of the
Visiting California is frustrating
because everybody there is guaran-
teed to be better-looking than you. If
you don't have blond hair, a sculpted
body or plastic breasts, everyone will
know you are a tourist.
Europe. This is only recom-
mended to those students who know
how to speak European. This is a
tough language to learn, especially
because people in Europe have so
many different accents that it actu-
ally sounds like they are talking to-
tally different languages.
If you are going to Europe, your
best bet is probably to visit The
French Part instead of The British
Part. Although British people are
incredibly nice, they have no taste in
food. They are perfectly likely to
pourketchup on a live chipmunk and
call it "salad." Of course, if you
complain, they will apologize pro-
French people, on the other hand,
have not apologized since the early
1830s, which is pretty rude for a
country that stuck Gerard Depardieu
on us for no reason at all. The French
are so mean, it's like they are all
training to be Grand Wizard of the
College Republicans. Still, the
French do know their food, even if
they tell you to" your -
-" while they serve it to you.
New Orleans. For those who feel
The French Part is too much for them
to handle. an acceptable, smaller-
dose solution is the French Quarter.
People there are much more easygo-
ing, and their European is easier to
understand. Sometimes, it even
sounds like English.
Of course, at some point, you
won't understand anything anybody
says, because your body willbe about
r ey live in every hall. They post notices
and put cute name tags on all the doors.
They give advice, have meetings and try to
keep order. Each year, hundreds turn out to
apply for a comparatively few resident adviser
and other University Housing staff positions.
Some are attracted by free room and board,
many simply want to positively influence
younger students. However, the process puts
them all in the same dilemma.
This year, the first mass meeting for RA
applicants was held in late December. The
process of winnowing down will continue
through the months of January and February.
Those who make it to the final round of the
interview process will receive their final
status letter Feb. 27. For those who obtain
jobs, there is no problem, but the rest -the 75
percent who do not become RAs - are left
very much in the lurch. The great majority of
RA applicants, entering at least their junior
year, do not wish to live again in the dorms as
regular residents. Yet the uncertainty of the
RA process makes it impossible for them to
make any serious commitment (such as sign-
ing a lease) until they receive notice that they
have been dropped - and by then they have
little choice. By even the first cut in the inter-
view process, Feb. 1-2, nearly all housing
around campus is taken. In the end, applicants
must either resign themselves to living in the
dorms regardless of the result or else accept a
the need to know applicants' fall semester
grades, as one of the requirements for resident
staff is a minimum GPA of 2.5. Valid as this
concern is, there must be a better solution.
Perhaps applicants could be disqualified later
if their semester's grades brought them below
the minimum. Only a small minority would
realistically stand to lose their eligibility due to
the impact of one semester, and actual in-
stances where this happens must be very rare.
Surely they could be handled separately rather
than penalizing the entire pool of applicants.
The University should reevaluate its time
frame for the resident staff selection process.
Starting early in the fall would mean that all
applicants could receive a definite decision
by the beginning of December, assuming the
same time frame as for the present process.
This would give those who do not get posi-
tions plenty of time to find other housing.
Although starting the process so early would
force applicants to decide earlier, this deci-
sion is usually not impulsive, anyway. Many
enter the school year knowing they want to
apply. The pressure of having to make the
decision to apply more quickly seems insig-
nificant when compared with the pressure of
not knowing where to live the next year.
The overriding concern should be the
freedom of each applicant to find housing he
or she wants. Resident staff applicants are
people who want to contribute in the resi-
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