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February 01, 1995 - Image 4

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1995-02-01

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4 - The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, February 1, 1995

Ulbe £ d iguu ?&lgt

DAVID WARTOwsu

STANDING ON THE 8

01

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

' -

MICHAEL ROSENBERG
Editor in Chief
JUuE BECKER
JAMES NASH
Editorial Page Editors

Little moments, big impacts

E
i: "

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.
Entr6e exansion
New Mcard a valuable service for students

Since the University's debit system Entree
Plus was implemented 10 years ago, it
has become such an integral part of campus
life that today few students could imagine
getting along without it. An innovation
dubbed "complicated" by some and "gim-
micky" by others at the time of its debut, it is
now considered indispensable by most who
use it. With this in mind, the University now
unveils Mcard - an improved and extended
debit system that takes the convenience of
Entree Plus from dorms and the Union and
brings it to Ulrich's and Espresso Royale. It
is about time.
The new Mcard's procedures differ little
from the existing system. It is a debit system
in which students deposit a certain amount of
money, to be drawn upon when a purchase is
made - essentially an electronic check. The
major change lies in the new card's versatil-
ity. Whereas Entree Plus is limited to on-
campus and University-connected establish-
ments, Mcard could theoretically be used
throughout the city. It is a tremendous exten-
sion of students' buying power.
The advantages of this new system are
+many. First, it will introduce healthy compe-
tition to certain industries on campus that are
now largely monopolized, such as booksell-
ers. Currently, the Michigan Union Book-
store, operated by Barnes and Noble, is the
only one in Ann Arbor that accepts Entr6e
Plus as a form of payment. As such, it has a
tremendous amount of freedom in the prices
it charges, as books and other University
supplies are an expensive purchase for which
students often use Entree Plus as a way to

avoid laying out large sums of cash. The
Union Bookstore rarely fails to take advan-
tage of this fact. In this and many other
businesses, the competition brought about
by Mcard should lower prices and save stu-
dents money.
Additionally, Mcard provides a safe, con-
venient alternative to cash, which is easily
lost or stolen. In many cases, it should also
prove an alternative to credit, and will thus
allow students to avoid running up debt.
The University also deserves praise for
employing a pilot program of 500 to 1,000
students in the implementation of the new
card. Although advantageous in the long run,
as with any new system, users will run into
difficulties with Mcard in the early stages.
The pilot program should work out many of
the wrinkles before the card enters general
circulation next fall.
The only major criticism of Mcard is that
it should have been brought about sooner.
For a period of several years, University
administrators dragged their heels in moving
toward this system, citing legal and financial
difficulties as reasons for the delay. Mean-
while, other universities, such as Florida
State, were employing similar systems with
relative ease. The University's decision to
employ Mcard now proves that the system
was most likely possible all along, and should
have been put into place much earlier.
This delay aside, Mcard is an excellent
idea for which the University deserves credit.
Students can look forward to the system's
widespread implementation to make their
lives that much easier.

There are moments that pass and will
never come again. I'm not talking
about missed photo opportunities or poor
performances on exams. I'm talking about
the time I met Chris Webber.
I had seen him once before when I
asked the fabulous freshman to sign a
basketball schedule for my little cousin,
who is a huge fan of Michigan basketball.
I was very impressed that Chris signed it
for me. He was on the phone at the time, in
his dorm room. He put down the phone,
took the schedule, signed it with a genuine
smile. Great guy, I thought to myself.
He didn't have time for me, he could
have said. He needed his space. He had
every right to tell me to get the hell out of
his room, but no. It wasn't a mighty effort
to sign this thing, but valiant, in a sense,
nonetheless.
And this little act of his made my 9-
year-old cousin very happy. Everyone on
the block has seen this autograph because
its now-12-year-old owner has made sure
of it. He never shuts his eyes for the night,
I bet, without taking a look at his prized
autograph hanging proudly over the bed.
The second time I saw Chris Webber
was a year later. I was standing by the old
Drake's when he came up to me and said,
"Excuse me, can you tell me where Sha-
man Drum bookstore is?" My response
was two things - internal and external.
Internal was, "My God. You're Chris
Webber. Are you kidding? Of course I'll

tell you where Shaman Drum is."
External was, "Sure. You walk around
the corner there and you'll see it on your
right. Real small shop." And he left. I
smiled, and then I kicked myself. The
moment had passed.
This is what should have happened: I
should have said, "Sure. I'll walk you
there."
And along the way I should have told
him, "I just want to thank you for doing
something you probably don't even re-
member doing. You signed a schedule for
me, so I could give it to my cousin. Re-
member? And I thanked you profusely.
You remember that?
"And then I gave it to my cousin. He
got so excited he didn't utter a word. He
sleeps with your signature hanging over
his bed. You made a 9-year-old very happy,
Chris. I just wanted to tell you. Here. Here
is Shaman Drum. See you later."
That's what should have happened.
But it didn't. And I imagine that I will
never get the chance to see Chris Webber
again, now that he's a big shot NBA player
and all. I probably won't see him in Ann
Arbor ever again. I'll never get to thank
him for this little deed.
In the hustle and bustle of the NBA,
I'm afraid Webber and others may take
less and less time to sign autographs. Less
and less time to acknowledge fans indi-
vidually. What is the incentive? Fans rush
for autographs, pushing, shoving, they get

it, smile and leave to show Mom.
How are the superstars to know that a
two-second autograph will turn into the
personal idol of a little kid who pays
homage to it every morning with an ad-
miring stare? I fear that Chris, now a big
shot, may gradually become immune to
the little big impacts.
Webber doesn't know that one time he
put down the phone to sign a schedule and
now my cousin thinks he is the greatest
guy ever to hang on his wall.
Impact is a difficult thing to realize.
My mother, a teacher, has influenced thou-
sands with little gestures. She knows be-
cause students tell her so.
My mother has about 100 students a
year; Chris Webber has a world of fans.
Fans are not students. They rarely come
back to say thanks.
Can Webber, too, realize that little ges-
tures make a big difference? Sometimes
we may forget to tell him. Some of us may
not have the chance.
If you ever happen to read this, Chris,
let me know. I think you're a great guy.
Maybe people tell you that a lot. I don't
know. But here it is coming from me - a
little peon who writes a column and once
got you to sign a schedule. It would mean
a lot to me if I knew that you knew the
impact one autograph can make.
- Wartowski is an LSA senior major-
ing in economics. He can be e-mailed with
comments at davidek@umich.edu.

I

i

JIM LASSER

SHARP AS TOAST

NOTABLE QUOTABLE
"If each Chechen
would have a
woman, there
would be no war.
That's why
(women are) the
source of war on
the planet."
- Russian nationalist
leader Vladimir
Zhirinovsky

KOBE.- AAN.
* r
AtIrK W~

Not a request
States must comply with Motor Voter law
L ast month, Attorney General Janet Reno nia and his counterparts in Illinois and Pe
and the U.S. Justice Department filed sylvania have refused to obey the acta
suit against California, Illinois and Pennsyl- Wilson has sued to halt its implementat
vania for refusing to comply with the Na- Wilson cites the unfairness of "unfun
tional Voter Registration Act of 1993. This federal mandates" as one reason for his t
law, dubbed the Motor Voter Act, stipulates disregard for this law - complaining1
that all states offer voter registration forms the federal government has ordered s'
where citizens register their automobiles and action but has provided the states with
at offices that provide social services. Imple- funds to carry it out. Yet there is no l
mentation of the law means that anyone prohibition of unfunded federal manda
getting a driver's license, Medicaid, food and such mandates are nothing new in
stamps or a myriad of other services - federal system. One must doubt whethert
whether by mail or in person - may also is really the governors' quarrel with the 1
register to vote at that time. The act is a long- Even if funding were the true basis for
overdue attempt to enfranchise people who Republican governors' opposition to this h
otherwise would not register to vote, and the it raises serious questions about their pri
governors who flagrantly defy it are effec- ties. Surely increased voter registration is
tively depriving many people of their politi- everyone's best interests - so why do tb
cal rights. governors so desperately want to block
Motor Voter, by making registration sig- Perhaps more alarming, this act of defianc
nificantly easier and more accessible, raises reminiscent of Southern governors' refu
the number of persons registered. And, since to obey federal orders to desegregate put
increasing the political involvement of citi- schools. Can state governors choose sim
zens is of primary importance to society, this to ignore federal laws they disagree w
law deserves support. Are laws enacted by the federal governmi
Only 61 percent of Americans eligible to mere options for state governors? Acti
register did so in 1992's presidential elec- such as these, in which states complel
tion. Moreover, the percentage of minorities ignore the mandate of the federal gov
and those in lower socioeconomic groups ment, must be stopped.
who register to vote is even more dismal. If The Motor Voter law, if implemen
implemented correctly, Motor Voter would according to plan, will certainly incre
undoubtedly enlarge total voter registration; voter registration. It may not spectacul
more important, it would increase the num- increase voter turnout in the next electi
ber of middle- and lower- economic class but it will surely help alleviate the sens
Americans who register by expanding the disenfranchisement that large sectors of1
methods of registration and thus removing American populace feel. Everyone -
much of the burden on citizens. gardless of political beliefs - should
Republican Gov. Pete Wilson of Califor- plaud this objective.
How TO CONTACT THEM
Vice President for Student Affairs Maureen A. Hartford
Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs
6015 Fleming Building
764-5132

F

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otal
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the
this
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ori-
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isal
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ply
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I

LETTERS

Reactions to Middle East photostory

Lurie presents
slanted view
To the Daily:
After reading the article ac-
companying the photos of the
"Middle East peace: is this it?"
piece (1/27/95), we were left to
wonder if there actually are two
sides to this story. It seemed as
though the author, Jonathan
Lurie, has a very slanted view
of the recent events in the Middle
East. On the editorial pages of
the Daily we are accustomed to
reading columns that present a
completely one-sided view of
issues. We are left assume that
the Daily now extends its edito-
rial opinions to many other ar-
eas of the paper.
Lurie writes, "Every time the
Israeli government bars entry
by Palestinians into Israel, work-
ers are unable to feed their fami-
lies." In light of recent events, it
would seem obvious that the
Israeli government is not bar-
ring entry to Palestinian work-
ers to decrease competition for
jobs. The issue of peace in the
Middle East is a very controver-
sial issue. Lurie attacks this is-
sue with what seems to be com-
plete ignorance of current events
and the history of terrorist acts
against Israel. The author points
out that "there are those on both
sides of the conflict who do not

bemoans the lack of improve-
ment in quality of life for the
Palestinians.
Lurie questions Israel's con-
tinuing economic involvement
in the Gaza Strip. He complains
that the use of Israeli currency
continues and that Israeli busi-
nesses continue to employ Pal-
estinian workers. If Israel
stopped employing Palestinian
black-market workers, the cur-
rent 50 percent unemployment
rate that Lurie quotes would im-
mediately plummet. Where
would the Lurie-desired "Pal-
estinian currency" be then? The
only way to ensure that the Pal-
estinian economy will survive
is to build a strong base. By
slowly pulling out, while the
United States and other Arab
nations provide loans, Israel is
ensuring that the Palestinian
economy gets off to a good start,
not sabotaging it.
Reasonable people under-
stand that there are two sides to
this story. Jonathan Lurie evi-
dently feels that all of the prob-
lems are a result of Israeli ac-
tions alone. The forum for ex-
pressing such opinions is under
the heading of the editorial page,
where the readers are expecting
to hear opinions. But please
don't try to pass off these one-
sided views as photojournalism.
Jared Gerstenblatt
ten Hnuitlew

odically taint the paper's integ-
rity and objectivity. From the
outrageous publication of an
advertisement questioning the
existence of the Holocaust, sev-
eral years back, to the numer-
ous articles aimed at showing
Israel in an unfavorable light
through distorting or deleting
important facts, the Daily's
trend seems to be clear.
The full page, color display
of Jonathan Lurie's pictorial is
yet another blow by the Daily to
both the State of Israel and the
Jewish people. Its biased photo-
graphs and text depict Israel as
a harsh and divided people who
oppose peace and wish to con-
tinue oppressing the Palestin-
ian people. Indeed, while the
photographs do represent some
unfortunate realities in Israeli
society, they fail to address the
entire scope of what is a very
complicated issue. Instead, they
simplify the matter, by painting
Israel to be a tyrannical nation,
committed to violating human
rights. Furthermore, the display
only focuses on the hardship of
.Palestinian life and undermines
the hundreds of thousands of
Israelis who have died either
fighting for, or redeeming their
nation.
Lurie's intended portrayal is
simply not true. Anyone who
does a minute amount of re-
search, will discover that Israel's

they can to prevent peace -
usually in the form of terrorism,
an act which over the last year,
has taken over 150 Israeli and
Palestinian lives. I believe that
the media has an obligation t*
play an objective, informative
and conciliatory role in helping
to promote and display the peace
process. The Daily has once
again failed to do this. We are a
free society in America, and the
Daily rightfully boasts its edito-
rial freedom - but this free-
dom is being used to create wha
I believe to be a dangerous situ
ation. As a university commu-
nity no source speaks louder
than the presentation in our daily
newspaper. Indeed, by being so
blatantly anti-Israel, the Daily
only succeeds in alienating
many of its community mem-
bers, while misinforming many
others. I call upon the Daily'
authorities to stop badgering a
complex situation by merely
scratching its surface, but in-
stead to reveal the truth - to
many readers this truth may
come as a surprise.
David Goodman
LSA senior
Politicalviews
belong on
editorial page,
no~t in nhrntnc

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