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March 23, 1995 - Image 4

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1995-03-23

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4 - The Michigan Daily - Thursday, March 23, 1995

(be £ichigan atig

JASON LICfTSTEIN

JAsON's LYRIC

M

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

MICHAEL ROSENBERG
Editor in Chief
JULIE BECKER
JAMEs NASH
Editorial Page Editors

The day the music died:
Post-liberalism at the 'U'

Unless otherwise noted, unsigned editorials reflect the opinion offa majority of the Daily's editorial board. All
other articles, letters, and cartoons do not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Michigan Daily.
Tedbmok he
Professors should submit orders by deadline

A s April nears, most students are think-
ing about warm weather and upcoming
final exams. However, at this time of year,
another issue also bears consideration. At
the end of each term, thousands of students
hike out to Ulrich's, Michigan Book and
Supply or the Michigan Union Bookstore to
unload their semester's texts. Often, these
students find the stores unwilling to pay
more than a pittance for their used books, and
go away frustrated and angry at the book-
stores. But are the bookstores to blame? Not
completely - professors who miss the dead-
line to submit textbook orders are inadvert-
ently cheating students out of a fair price.
To those at the University involved with
textbooks, April 15 represents more than the
day their taxes are due. It also represents the
"deadline," as set by bookstores, for profes-
sors to turn in their orders for the fall term.
When orders are submitted by that time, it
allows the bookstores to set buy-back plans
for the end of the semester. Naturally, with-
out knowing which books are to be reused in
the following term, these stores refuse to pay
for items they may not be able to resell. As a
result, the stores also have a shortage of used
- and therefore affordable -texts when the
next semester begins. Unfortunately, instruc-
tors far too often miss this deadline.
The instructors are not solely to blame for
this chaos. At the root of the problem are the
labyrinthine reporting procedures currently
in place. As of now, instructors wishing to
place orders to the three major outlets must
report to the Textbook Reporting Service.

On the other hand, orders for Shaman Drum
are handled independently.
What is necessary is a streamlining, or at
least a simplification of the current system.
A major improvement would come if the
"deadline" were backed by the force of the
University. A plan proposed to the adminis-
tration last summer called for faculty to re-
port text orders to the Office of Academic
Affairs, which would subsequently distrib-
ute the orders to various bookstores. In con-
trast to going through the TRS and/or having
to walk to Shaman Drum, faculty would have
to fill out only one form. Unfortunately, this
$40,000 plan, which has a reported 70 per-
cent success rate, compared to around 10
percent under the current system, was judged
too expensive by the administration. A sim-
pler measure would be the construction of an
on-line system into which instructors could
enter electronic order forms and send them
directly to a database. Bookstores could then
easily retrieve the information.
Instead of pointing fingers at "greedy"
publishers and bookstore owners, students
should expect their professors to fulfill the
minimal responsibility of submitting text-
book orders by April 15. The University, in
turn, should work to simplify the process.
This term, LSA and Business school admin-
istrators are sending letters to professors urg-
ing them to get their book orders in by April
15. This is the minimum students have a right
to expect from their University. Out of con-
sideration for their students, professors should
take heed and submit their orders on time.

T here is a day not too far back that must
be chronicled- for those students of
history and for those readers of print me-
dia at the prestigious University of Michi-
gan. Inquisitive young minds can today
rift through old parchment and read the
travails and run-ins of former SDS icon
Tom Hayden. Now read this. The infa-
mous moment that the once mighty opin-
ion-makers of the student body politic
have keeled over has come. The ivy has
choked off its roots. The nourishment no
longer flows through its little plant veins
to the collective noggin upstairs.
We as students in the Hebrew year
5755 have finally and unilaterally surren-
dered the mantle of intellectual curiosity,
freedom and classical liberalism. This fact
of nature be recorded and duly noted (like
the Pixies classic Surfer Rosa) in the
bounded record books and journals of the
ages. This day like all the others came and
went without much more than a whimper,
but in actuality this fateful day has been
lurking for some time now, in the shad-
ows. Now even in Ann Arbor, in the year
of Noot and a liberalism thoroughly
trounced and battered back to the stone
age (oh, the lamentable liberal), a once
gallant and free institution has too given
way to a frightening political and intellec-
tual equivocation. Countless others have
constructed paltry rationalizations on the
hostile takeover of student autonomy (read:
Maureen's 2017).
Like Newt, Mike Christie III has been
able to deconstruct long-standing political
worldviews and basic paradigms of how
the world is perceived and assessed. Like
Ronald Reagan, Christie has shaped,

molded and carefully nursed his campus
persona and political viability, for his day
was on the horizon, destined for history.
His candidacy is ostensibly non-partisan
and stoically objective -- a pure public
opinion poll candidacy -- a candidacy
thinly veiled to hide a fundamental social
conservatism. What he, as well as this
chronicler didn't count on, was the sys-
tematic crumbling of a liberal legacy in
this community that has been around be-
fore even Bob Dole was born. This is
occurring on a systematic level.
The counter-revolutionaries of the New
Revolution, along with paralyzed moder-
ates, are on the verge of accomplishing a
historic feat: countenancing the ascension
of pathological political illusions and a
gutless pseudo-intellectual mindset pro-
foundly affected by the sands of public
perception. The end of the world is here
my friends, this time brought to you by
men who find shelter under the moniker of
a sinister de-intellectualized objectivity,
individuals who now preside over the
bested, ideologically whitewashed souls.
Reminiscent of LBJ's great days at the
helm of the Senate, liberals lost to, and
budding idealists caved into, the will of
the apathetic creed and young Republi-
cans with short-term memories. Time, his-
tory, precedent, legacy all were suspended.
The atom was isolated. The quark was
identified and given its name. The death is
complete. An ideological purge rivaling
the best Stalin had to offer in the snowy
mountains and political training camps of
the Urals. Collegiate leftists, liberal prag-
matists and political outsiders all were left
in the dust of this epochal watershed, which

ushered in a thoroughly sanitized and
scrubbed former College Republican to
glorified ecstasy. Somehow, the align-
ment of the cosmos and the quirky nature
of the universe traded plowshares for
swords and reason for pandering. Once
critical, naggingly analytic political neo-
phytes no longer are; instead, in their place
at the wooden tables sit the shiftless, the
historically blind, the politically impres-
sionable, the unfortunate conduits of the
dark ages.
These post-modem men and women
have risen to their places of deferential
decision-making because retentively-loose
entities of words and letters from sea
(Couzens) to shining sea XTurco's West
Quad) cannot hold onto decisive individu-
als with distinci perspectives and real opin-
ions and quantifiable social and political
points of view.
This year is probably the least conse-
quential in the history- of the opinion-
making at the University. To wit, these
folks, this motley crew, is in the process of
anointing a stark naked political animal, a
member of the societally unproductive -
the political class -- a student/politician
that most probably sought a seat on the
Washtenaw County Commission for "re-
sume bullets," and once held a prominent
position in the dubious local GOP. But it
was all smiles. Hell, the spineless, con-
sultant apologists for the Gergenites and
the Reaganites have triumphed, from the
Diag outward in 30-mile radii, affecting
the best of student publications in its path.
"Here in this heartland," as Bono said.
Please, save me from tomorrow. That part's
mine.

ip

N

r

r

JIM LASSER

SHARP AS TOASTI

How do we stop student election apathy
Create a party that all students will stan
- ~ A#\

di behind!...
iE P11LP

~f fri(J-AJ-

.;

' IION PARTY.

Making Imprints

~rcor

Student newspaper
In Grosse Pointe, Mich., school board mem-
bers are demanding that students surren-
der editorial control over a literary magazine
that carried controversial material the ad-
ministration deemed unacceptable. This rep-
resents a dangerous threat to the rights of
students everywhere.
In its February issue, the Grosse Pointe
South High School publication, Imprints,
published student submissions dealing with
suicide, violence and attacks on traditional
religion. After parents complained, school
board members demanded that the students
relinquish control. Admittedly, most readers
would find the contents questionable. Still,
the choice of what to publish should rest
firmly with the students. The right to a free
press protects even high school students.
The argument against the students' posi-
tion rests on the $8,000 appropriation the
publication receives from the district. The
district claims this entitles the administration
to exercise control over the contents of the
literature. That notion has, in fact, been up-
held by the U.S. Supreme Court, which ruled
that schools may censor school newspapers.
However, the logic behind this ruling was,
and still is, severely flawed. Student publica-
tions should be just that - publications con-
trolled entirely by the students. School dis-
tricts should not assume that funding a pub-
lication gives them artistic or editorial con-
trol. Districts should instead provide money
with no strings attached. The supposed goal
of schools in funding literary magazines is to
help students to develop their own cultural

must operate freely
identities. Censorship is a major infringe-
ment on any cultural activity. If there are to
be student publications, they must be con-
trolled by students, not politicians on the
school board.
This issue transcends the debate in Grosse
Pointe. Since schools fund their own librar-
ies, school boards have felt justified in ban-
ning from their libraries such "tasteless"
works as The Wizard of Oz and The Adven-
tures of Tom Sawyer. Or take student news-
papers. Just because they are underwritten by
the schools does not mean that those schools
should be immune from criticism in the pages.
Sadly, though, that is the situation in many of
the schools in this nation. The Grosse Pointe
case sounds an alarm for renewed attacks on
students' rights. However, it should serve as
a catalyst for new free speech demands.
It is therefore encouraging that, if the
school board does bow to its more reaction-
ary members and serve the editors of Im-
prints with a choice between funding and
control, the students plan to refuse the money.
Students should not accept "hush money." If
schools are not capable of reasonable poli-
cies on their support for student groups, then
students should look elsewhere for money.
The contents of Imprints, or of any stu-
dent publication at any institution, may be
questionable. But it is students, not adminis-
trators, who should be doing the questioning.
If school board members want control over a
literary magazine, or any other written work,
they should publish their own. Leave the
students' work alone.

f 1
-Mr. Wolf for Ombudsman'
-Smoking allowed everywhere! Y
-All administators must view PULP F
-Code? What Code?

~ ...rte
- w
at least .30 times!$
7--

NOTABLE QUOTABLE
"I wear a suit,
carry a pager ..
and have my
septum and my
naval pierced, a
few tattoos and a
pet ferret."
- Atlanta resident
John Ore, 25, on why
he participates in
"raves"

pi

ICTION

LETTERS

Diver denies
swim team
championship
To the Daily:
Here's a hypothetical sce-
nario: It's Final Four 1989. The
Michigan men's basketball team
will play for the national champi-
onship against Seton Hall. But
the Wolverines will play without
high-scoring guard Rumeal
Robinson. Why? Earlier in the
fall, Robinson elected to com-
pete in the Pan-American Games,
to be held the same weekend.
Robinson reasoned that the Pan-
Am Games "will be a once-in-a-
lifetime experience." Needless
to say, without Robinson's win-
ning free throws in overtime,
Michigan loses the national title.
Impossible. Unrealistic. A
Michigan athlete would never
sacrifice the team for his or her
own personal "experiences," es-
pecially if a national title was at
stake! Unfortunately, here's an
actual scenario: This past week-
end, the Michigan women's
swimming and diving team com-
peted at the NCAA Champion-
ships. The No. 2 ranked Michi-
gan women's swimming and
diving team had a chance to
become the national champions.

From a teammate's stand-
point, this was a poor decision.
From a coach's standpoint, it
was a nightmare. How did Zarse
come to this decision? Who, if
anyone, gave her this bad ad-
vice? Richard Kimball, her div-
ing coach? Her parents? Her
psychic counselor? No matter
who decided or advised her, it
was the wrong decision. As a
Michigan athlete on scholarship,
the athlete has an obligation to
the University to compete.
Zarse's decision cost Michi-
gan its first women's national
title in history. Her emphasis on
the individual over the team, as
well as her emphasis on repre-
senting herself instead of the in-
stitution that pays for her schol-
arship absolutely disgusts me. Let
this be a lesson to all coaches and
athletes alike. The team is more
important than the individual.
More can be accomplished as a
team (i.e. a national title), than as
a collection of individuals.
Cameron Taylor
LSA junior
'Lyric' off key
on politics
To the Daily:
One of the things I have no-

half-century of "New Deal"
welfare. What is so terrible about
giving the money to the states,
which can definitely use it more
efficiently due to their proxim-
ity to the recipients? Washing-
ton has spent trillions of dollars
fighting welfare since the 1960s,
but things have gotten worse
since then. If Edgar, Engler,
Thompson and Voinovich
weren't running the Rust Belt,
it's a good bet that Mr. Lichtstein
would not be so exercised.
In fact, the entire column is
nothing more than sophomoric
fear-mongering against the
wealthy. Mr. Lichtstein is cor-
rect to criticize the beneficia-
ries of corporate welfare (Dick
Armey's flat tax proposal would
eliminate their special tax breaks
- but what does Mr. Lichtstein
make of that?), but they consti-
tute only a small percentage of
rich people. Most wealthy
Americans have worked hard
for their fortune, and their ef-
forts have unequivocally im-
proved the lives of countless
others (who provides the jobs,
rich people or homeless winos?).
If you impede their progress by
imposing tax increases and other
burdens on them, they will hoard
their money rather than invest
it. As a result, they will lose
little while everyone else suf-

'Laissez-faire'
poorly defined
To the Daily:
I am writing because I am
tired of people misusing the la-
bel of laissez-faire capitalism
and, in the process, depicting
the doctrine in a false light. In a
recent column, Jason Lichtstein
states that the "corporate wel-
fare" (government subsidies to
businesses) employed by ou*
Congress is an example of
"laisses-faire capitalism reincar-
nated." Nothing could be fur-
ther from the truth. In Webster's
Ninth New Collegiate Dictio-
nary, laissez-faire and capital-
ism have these definitions:
1. laissez-faire: "a doctrine
opposing governmental inter
ference in economic affairs be
yond the minimum necessary
for the maintenance of peace
and property rights."
2. capitalism: "an economic
system characterized by private
or corporate ownership of capi-
tal goods, by investments that
are determined by private deci-
sion rather than state control*
and by prices, production, and
the distribution of goods that
are determined mainly by com-
petition in a free market."
According to these defini-

How TO CONTACT THEM
Lewis A. Morrissey, chief freedom of Information officer
Office of the Vice President for University Relations
2064 Fleming Administration Building
763-5800
Lew. Morrissey@um.cc.umich.edu

,.. - ,

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