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April 23, 1996 - Image 5

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1996-04-23

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The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, Apnl 23, 1996 - 5A

No 'ad hominem'
'attacks on
the French
I read Brent McIntosh's column
Confessions of a Francophobe"
,3/15/96) and could not believe The
Michigan Daily would approve the
printing of such a hateful slander.,
$Never mind that some University stu-
dents (and Michigan Daily readers)
are of French descent, or that French
exchange students and visiting profes-
sors come to Ann Arbor expecting to
be received like anyone else.
McIntosh starts off in no uncertain
terms: "My disdain is nothing but
knee-jerk Anglocentricism.
"But I don't even think that having
no solid reasons to hate France is
going to make me despise it the less."
How does this sort of language get
past the editorial board? Is it inthe
name of humor?
He then proceeds to attack the
French with visceral xenophobia sel-
dom tolerated in our campus newspa-
pers. Insulting stories, false accusa-
tions and stereotypes abound. Is the
rationale that no one is likely to be
offended and complain? Are some
(groups more acceptable targets for
public ridicule than others?
My point is simply this: If it is
wrong to attack any other nation or
ethnic group in this manner (as I
think it is), it is wrong for The
Michigan Daily to publish articles,
such as McIntosh's. Otherwise, now
that he has started on the French, why
should it stop there? Will he or other
Michigan Daily writers attack
Italians, Mexicans, the Irish, Jews,
*Native Americans or African
Americans next?
Maybe I should just relax and
ignore displays of swaggering igno-
rance such as this. After all, who can
take his comments seriously?
Nevertheless, I find his article to be
offensive because it is mean-spirited
and aimed at a specific group of peo-
ple. It is embarrassing that The
.Michigan Daily has tacitly approved
McIntosh's views by rubber-stamping
his work (disclaimer on the editorial
page notwithstanding). Besides, the
Daily should follow its own rules, as
stated on its editorial page, that "no
ad hominem attacks will be pub-
Kudos to ENACT:
for Earthweek
Not only was Earthweek 1996 a t
huge success by itself, but it was
much bigger and broader than last
year. Our week of speakers, projects, w,
events and service activities attracted
hundreds and hundreds of people con,
cerned about environmental issues.
Whereas the Michigan Student
Assembly hosted the event alone in
previous years, our key to success ttis
year was our new partner, Environ-
mental Action.
Led by such great people as Angie
Farleigh, Amy Grace, Joel Hoffmann
and tons of others, ENACT has done
a terrific job of co-organizing the F.
week's activities. F
Earthweek 1996 was a huge sucal
cess. Thanks, ENACT!

'Cartoonist Jim
Lasser needs to
get informed
This letter is directed specifically
to your cartoonist, Jim Lasser: Get a
I often try and avoid letting your
ignorance offend me, but this time I
just can't resist commenting. It seems
that the few times that I actually read
your strip, you completely baffle me
with your stupidity.
Your pot shots on minority stu-
dents are far from humorous. In fact,

they show the utmost disrespect. I
suggest you pick up a book (besides
coloring books MD magazines)
and just reu. i ,m e you would
learn somen. In it your bliga-
lion to pr snt some type of intellec-
tual viewpoint- i ask ... where the
hcl i: if? phas v ou should change
your stjp tile imm Sharp as Toast"
to "D umb : R k: if you want to
continue h your current angle of
"humor. I m givin you the benefit
of the louhj assuming that perhaps
some insi what you need.
oCh rwi a: Nursing student,
I'd ha.e to say your prognosis looks
pretty bleak at being a successful car-
tonon ist!
Oh. and by thc wty. I guarantee
that your presnc in any one of my
classes would not even earn you as
much attntion as your poor pathetic
character received. You also seem to
have forgoten that not all Nursing
students are female.
A nd the only thing I am desperate
for is a new artoonit at the Daily!

S \ Da
1WIMSATT oaiiy

lT D correct to
c rack own on
Endless thanks should go to ITD
for final acting on electronic junk
mail. The inial junk mail and count-
less responses al recipients" that
one has been orced to wade through
every ime omeone has had every-
thing from a arage le to a political
agenda has ben a thorn in the side of
many who rely on e-mail on a daily
Thak a i the Daily for cover-
ing this story lTD Suspends users'
accoun," 4/1796) and recognizing
its importance.
Where is the
racism that
I'm a bit onifused. 1 still don't
know why Wayne Wolbert and his
ac 'omplhes alegedly stole 8,700
copies of the paper on March 27. 1
read the Daily every day. and except
for some lapses in tste by editorial
cartoonists, and sone reviews in the
arts section that are a little more per-
sonal th n a professional reviewer
should write, I hae yet to find the
blatant racism that incited 250 pro-
testers to rarch ("251 Protest Against
Paper for Racism" '396). Was it the
non-endors:ment o1 the United
People's Coaliton candidates for the
presidency of MSA that caused Kalif
Jama, at EM :tudent to say.
"St raightn up r u won't have no
damn newspaper" Or was it the
January 25 editoral on the Dental
School Three:("Crying Wolf: Dental
School 3 dmg ih against
racism") ha n National
Women's ihsOraiigCoalition
and LSA junior Jessica Curtin so
much .htsh emne that the
Daily "drop is racist policies and
drop all action pursuing students
responsible for the removal of the
papers or there will be hell to pay on
this campus." Or maybe it was the
accurate report that an Alianza com-
mittee member was involved in the
theft of the papers that would anger
LSA senor Asha Jefferson to the
point of calling the Daily ".. elitist
trash. My randmother and my moth-
er (I m stll tring to figure what they
have to with this) burn trash," while

burning a copy.
However offensive Wolbert and
accomplices found the paper, it does
not excuse the criminal act of stealing
the papers from distribution sites.
By doing so, those responsible
have denied the constitutional right of
free press to both the publishers and
the readers.
They have stolen property, in the
form of advertisements, from the
advertisers. And they have stolen
from the students themselves.
It is unfortunate that the
Washtenaw County Prosecutor's
Office refused to press charges for
this case, because it gives every dis-
gruntled student or group the green
light to practice this form of censor-
ship whenever they so desire.
And if people like Ann Kim
Pham, United Asian American
Organization's Advocacy chair and an
LSA junior, believe this theft was not
censorship, but a form of public
protest, then I would suggest they sit
down with a copy of the Constitution
and the Bill of Rights and read.
To those who believe that the
Daily is guilty of "perpetuating insti-
tutionalized racism," then why not try
to change it from within? The
Michigan Daily is a paper written and
published by students for the students.
It is open to all students.
Why not join the staff? At the
beginning of each term, there are
numerous notices in every issue of the
Daily that seek staff members for the
paper. If you believe there is a prob-
lem, become part of the solution.
For my part, there is no problem
with the Daily. For what the staff is
asked to do on a daily basis, I feel
they do an excellent job. They put out
a paper far superior to the papers of
other colleges and universities.
I resent being denied my right to
read the paper because four or five
individuals felt that it was their job to
decide what I should or should not be
reading. It is my job to discern what
is right or wrong for me. (It is not)
the job of a bunch of disgruntled stu-
dents parading around campus with
puffed-up egos looking for an excuse
to hurl unfounded accusations at fel-
low students.
Rose defends
biannual address
While it is my job, as Michigan
Student Assembly president, to repre-
sent the needs and concerns of my
constituents to the administration, it is
also my job to address the underlying
problems within our university.
Further, it is paramount that the
MSA presidentset down a vision for
an optimal education - one encom-
passing academic excellence and stu-
dent well-being.
The talk that I delivered at the
April regents meeting covered topics
pertinent to every student's Michigan
Undergraduate and graduate cur-
ricula, harmony among all ethnicities,
support for non-traditional students,
affordable tuition: These are the tenets
of a quality University education,.
tenets that affect all students. These
are the issues I will continue to exam-
ine as I work to serve my peers.
Representing students involves much
more than dwelling on past issues or
on-going contests over the Code.

Bringing a better campus to this
university requires courage and vision
to question critically the direction of
our present efforts. Where the leaders
have no vision, the people perish.
LSA-SG members
deserve thanks
I would like to thank all of the
members of the LSA-Student
Government for their dedication, hard
work and friendship during the past
For the representatives who were
not re-elected, including myself, this
means the sad end of a significant
part of their college careers.
It just goes to show that the results

of student government elections are
by no means a measure of qualifica-
tion, dedication and desire to make a
difference, but sadly they are deter-
mined by how much you can wallpa-
per your name and picture over any-
thing and everything not moving in
Angell Hall (even then they made
exceptions to this ...), and by how
many "quarter sheets" you can shove
at people while they are standing at a
poll site (which is illegal).
It is a backward student govern-
ment system if 51 students express an
interest in working toward making a
difference, and yet more than half of
them are turned away by the process
of elections.
Imagine the work that could be
accomplished and ideas that could be
generated if 51 hardworking individu-
als put their heads together.
I am not saying that the LSA-SG
should be expanded to include 51 rep-
resentatives, but that anyone who has
a desire to work for the benefit of the
students of LSA be allowed and
encouraged to do so. I urge everyone
that did not win to stick around and
participate by going to our general
and committee meetings and having
your voice heard. If your intentions
were beyond simply building up your
resume, then this should not be a
stretch. If nothing else, you will learn
the ins and outs of the student govern-
ment and be a more knowledgeable
and prepared candidate for the next
time around.
So the student body does not give
you power to vote at general meet-
ings, so what? Empower yourself.
Spring fashion
photos ignore
Heterosexism is the assumption
that opposite-sex unions are superior
to same-sex unions.
In the Daily's "Spring Fashion"
section (3/21/96) there are pho-
tographs of people in intimate
embraces suggesting romance and
sexuality. I would like to point out
that all of these pictures are of a man
and a woman together.
Usually, this type of homosexual/
bisexual exclusion takes place quite
unintentionally. I doubt that the pho-
tographer or the person who did the
layout consciously decided to exclude
representations of same-sex tender-
ness.The effect, however, is to subtly
portray an exclusively heterosexual
world. I request that in the future you
be more sensitive to the large number
of people on this campus who happen
to be bisexual and homosexual.
Your shots of these models in
exclusively heterosexual-oriented
poses is an especially glaring omis-
sion because at least three of the
models in this section are, in fact,
openly homosexual.


'The Brown Slug'
I have just now finished reading
Jordan Stancil's column "If you're
going to the Brown Jug. take Flint or
Sam along" (4/17/96). This piece of
journalism really struck a nerve with
me. I could not agree more. Refer to
the Brown Jug as "the Slug." (It has
to do with the brownness, as well as
the feeling you get after eating that
greasy food and imbibing the swill
they call "coffee.") Try the Northside
Cafe; it's on Plymouth Road. As an
engineer. I feel more comfortable
there, and that is where Max used to
Jefe and Mesh
want to stay
involved in 'U'
After a long 2 1/2 weeks of cam-
paigning, the "Jefe & Mesh" ticket
lost. However, I want to congratulate
the winners of the Michigan Student
Assembly presidential election -
Fiona Rose and Probir Mehta of the
Michigan Party. They are hard work-
ers, good campaigners, and deserve a
lot of credit for winning the election.
I am still not a party supporter -
far from it - but I see its obvious
advantages in the MSA elections. Our
four- to six-person independent cam-
paign organization was unable to
effectively contend for the presidency
against the well armed and well-
manned parties. There are many
things I would like to see changed
about the MSA elections - how they
are run and how they are campaigned
T he way LSA-SG candidates can
campaign within 25 feet of the elec-
tion site, while MSA candidates must
stand 50 feet away gives parties a
tremendous advantage.
This allows parties to be able to
say, "Just remember to vote all
Michigan Party!" That is the biggest
asset of the parties, an independent
candidate cannot say anything so easy
to remember.
This is why independent candi-
dates are so disadvantaged.
There are many more problems
with the current state of the student
government. I just want to encourage
those who won positions in this elec-
tion to remember their constituents -
the students.
Do not forget us now that the elec-
tion is done.
Do not keep us in the dark on
issues students really care about.
Do not forget who put you all in
But again. I would like to fully
congratulate the winners of this year's
I just hope that our candidacy
made them realize that there are stu-
dents out there who do care, besides
those directly involved in MSA. The
student government should represent
the concerns of the students, not the
concerns of those in power.

'School days are the unhappiest in the whole
span of human existence. They are full of dull,
unintelligible tasks, new and unpleasant ordi-
nances, with brutal violations of common
sense and common decency.'
H L Mencken

..:. :. ,., .
M S A v o i n
needs reformn
I was rather unimpressed with the
organisation of the voting booths this
year for the Michigan Student
Assembly elections. This is my third
year voting, and I was particularly
disappointed with the voting site at
Angell Hall
First, after the first day of running
out of ballots, it seems only logical
that those in charge of the booths
would ensure that ballots would not
be scarce the following day. But again
the ballot supply ran dry.
Secondly the table appeared very
sloppily organized. Papers were in
disarray on the table. Student ID
cards were not taken with care they
were scattered on the table with not
much regard to possible loss or theft.
Thirdly, and this may seem overly
critical but nonetheless significant,
the workers at the booth were crabby.
They were not well informedof elec-
tion processes. For example, one
worker did not know when more bal-
lots would be arriving and at what
time the voting site would be closing.
The poor attitude in which the person
responded to questions casted an
unsophisticated light on proceedings.,
Finally, and most importantly, I
was not given all the ballots available.
The worker at the booth failed to give
me the ballot for candidates running
for LSA-SG. This worried me other
students may not have received equal
opportunity to choose from all slated
candidates, not to mention the fact
that it may have hurt certain candi-
dates' number of votes. I needed t
request the ballot that I did not
receive, and the worker brushed it off
as a minor overlook. Perhaps next
time the ballots and papers should be
packaged together for the voter prioi-
to the election days.
With such low voter-turnout each
year, it surprises me that the booths
are not more voter-friendly. Three
types of people vote each year:
Those who sincerely care about legis-
lation, those who simply want to get
involved with campus elections and
those who have a friend who is run-
ning for a position. These are the
same people that vote every time, and
it accounts for a very low percentage
of the entire student population. In
order to help expand the popularity of
MSA elections. the election sites need
to be better organized so students can
he assured that their vote will not be
lost and that their participation in the
voting process is serious, not for a
careless cause.


Secret societies 'shame' cornunity

It has been found that three secret societies exist in the
tower of the Michigan Union. I hope to convey to the
University community that the existence of these societies
shames the University and eviscerates fundamental values
of humanity.
"Michiguama" claim themselves to be the top 25 men
on campus, "Adara" the top 25 women on campus, and
the Vulcans to be the top 25 engineers. These groups have
a rich history of racism, sexism and elitism. They use
Michigan facilities, are secretive, claim to be the creme
de la creme of the University, and are
supported by the administration of the
University.A man 1s
Considering that the roots of racism,
sexism and other genocidal tendencies What hec
are born when a group or an individual what he's
think themselves better than the next, the
implications of the existence of these does noti
groups are frightening. The University's an lessc
support for these groups is inexcusable
The history of various oppressive lead-

not make him any less of a man. An athlete can be a bet-
ter athlete than another, but not a better man by virtue of
being an athlete. A scholar can be a better scholar, but not
a better woman by virtue of being a scholar. All men and
women are morally equal.
This process of understanding the equal moral worth
of individuals, called the "Enlightenment." occurred sev-
eral centuries ago. Unfortunately, the imbecilic idea that
certain people are better than others as human beings has
trickled down despite great leaps in knowledge, under-
standing, and education. The explanation for this lies in
the feeble minds of the few who have
formed and participate in these secret
Sman. societies. They have a cavernous need to
feel like they are better, because their
oes, or lives are run by feelings of insecurity
and inadequacy. These same people walk
good at' around campus, looking for people to
lake him admire them. These few people are the
a man same people who read Nietszche and
_______ think every sentence applies to them.
The same mentality, if you look back in



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