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February 26, 1996 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1996-02-26

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dA - The Michigan Daily - Monday, February 26, 1996

be £iduigun DIg

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

Editor in Chief
Editorial Page Editors

'You can't get in or out of the cave when the sump is
filled up so they were stuck in the cave.'
- Cathy Bean explains why her husband was trapped
in a cave in Kentuckv last week. He and six other
people, including two University students, were stuck.

Unless othe rwise 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.
Matock ainstiation
Duderstadt's actions were appropriate




University President James Duderstadt
called on the Michigan State Police to
investigate a recent internal conflict. Last
Saturday, John Matlock, director of the Of-
fice of Academic and Multicultural Initia-
tives, was arrested and charged with assault-
ing a Department of.Public Safety officer. At
this time, only Matlock has offered a state-
ment - DPS has not.
Matlock said he was attempting to enter
the Central Campus Recreation Building to
judge a basketball contest when the DPS
officer allegedly pushed him for entering the
wrong door. Matlock said he responded by
lifting his hands and saying, "Don't touch
me." Matlock claims the DPS officer re-
sponded by pushing him against a wall and
handcuffing him before Matlock could iden-
tify himselfas a contest judge. Matlock claims
the DPS officer did not ask him to leave
before the officer pushed Matlock.
The case puts the University in an awk-
ward position - the controversy is between
one of its top officials and its own police
force. Few objective parties are left in this
scenario who could conduct an impartial
investigation and make unbiased decisions.
Enter the Michigan State Police.
Duderstadt requested a state-conducted in-
vestigation three days after the incident, cit-
ing the necessity of a fair investigation as
motivation for the request. He said, "Al-
though I have great respect for the efforts of
the Department of Public Safety in providing
a safe environment at public events, I want to
be certain that all parties get a fair hearing."
Duderstadt made the appropriate deci-
sion. The case involves highly visible Uni-

versity figures - if mishandled by a biased
party, it could turn ugly. It would be nearly
impossible for the University to handle the
investigation internally and maintain objec-
tivity. Even asking the Ann Arbor Police
Department to conduct an investigation would
be too awkward - it sits close to the
University's police force. Everyone within
the University community with the skills to
conduct such an investigation has a vested
interest in the outcome - the very definition
of bias. Duderstadt made an appropriate and
timely call for assistance from the outside.
The quicker a thorough investigation is com-
pleted, the lesser the margin for controversy.
DPS and OAMI are two departments central
to University operations, and to see a conflict
of this nature is troubling.
Thus far, the administration has responded
to the incident appropriately. Matlock's state-
ment followed soon after the arrest, and
Duderstadt's responding request for investi-
gation came shortly thereafter. One party
remains auspiciously silent - DPS has not
offered a statement, explanation or anything
else justifying the arrest or its alleged role in
the conflict. If DPS has nothing to hide, it
should not delay any longer in releasing a
statement. Its reluctance hinders the investi-
gation and cheats the University community
of an accurate account of the events. In light
of other involved parties' prompt response,
DPS is remiss in its hesitance.
The state police will obtain this informa-
tion whether or not DPS offers it. The ques-
tion now is whether DPS will come clean and
offer the information before the state police
make it look foolish.

-= ¬Ę ONE O3Y,



Thou shalt not mandate
Tennessee must keep church and state separate
In an effort to "reaffirm moral standards," constitutional -spoken from a pulpit rather
the Tennessee Senate approved a resolu- than the Senate floor.
tion urging schools, businesses and places of Concern over values is influencing voters
worship to observe the Ten Commandments. -the religious right is challenging moderate
Senate Majority Leader Ben Atchley - a Republicans this election year, pressuring
Republican who is strongly supported by . them to align with more extremist conserva-

For the duration of Mike
Rosenberg's article ("Sports-
men of the beer salute Sports
Illustrated," 2/15/96), 1
searched desperately for
some sign of sarcasm
regarding the views he was
imparting. Unfortunately. I
found none. Mike - when
was the last time you, or
anyone else you know,
looked into the mirror and
saw Arnold Scwarzenager's
physique staring back at
you? You have some serious
issues if you really believe
that women should model
themselves after the super-
skinny, super-unhealthy,
supermodel bodies. This is
not only unattainable for
most women, but it's ideas
like yours that cause women
to be obsessed with food and
develop varying types of
disorders surrounding eating
as well. Ninety percent of
young women are unsatisfied
with their bodies - is this
because they are told that if
they don't look like Cathy
Ireland they aren't healthy
and beautiful'? This is what
is implied by your comment
about the regular athletic
women in Sports Illustrated
being unattractive.
The fact that a major
sports magazine devotes its
only women's issue to
swimsuits and not athletic
achievement really gives me
a disturbing message about
what women are valued for
in our society. Mike, m'aybe
you should spend less time
reading the SI Swimsuit
Issue and try conversing
with some living and
breathing women - you
might learn something.
M ehta's
record is
The primary criticism of
Probir Mehta in recent
letters to the editor hinges on
Probir Mehta's rationale for
joining the Michigan Party.
The principal critics "laugh
with amazement" at Mehta's
decision, calling him
"hypocritical." If these
cackling critics were to
spend less time as the high
priests of divisiveness,
nerhans thev could eliminate

faculty committees refutes
his critics' assertion that his
primary concern is
"electabilitv," Clearly
Mehta's committee work
proves his devotion to
student representation.
The tirades of the
opposition party serve only
to underscore its foremost
worry: how to hoodwink
students into doubting their
own overwhelming favorite
of seven straight elections
the Michigan Party.
use of
A AUW stats
After reading Kate
Epstein's column ('I'll
have what she's having':
The joys of eager youn
cousins," 2/19/96), I am
struck by how readily she
uses data to support her
point by only selectively
reporting the facts. She
states: "According to a ...
report of the AAUW, less
than a third of girls in high
school ... strongly agree
with the statement, 'I am
happy the way I am,'
compared with nearly half
the boys." While this is true,
she conveniently forgets to
tell the whole story.
Specifically, that
respondants to the above
mentioned study were given
five possible replies to "I am
happy the way I am." They
were: "always true," "sort of
true," "sometimes true/
sometimes false," "sort of
false" and "always false."
When the total number
of students responding with
one of the first three answers
are added up, the numbers
come out a lot less convinc-
ing - 88 percent of girls,
compared to 92 percent of
Since only the last two
responses actually constitute
a problematic level of self-
esteem (who really feels
good about themselves all
the time?), it appears that
this data fails to support any
conclusion about a signifi-
cant "gender gap" in the
self-esteem of high school
boys and girls.
Next time Epstein wishes
to quote hard data to support
her views, I suggest she take
the time to read all the

Laziness at
fault, not
I am writing in response
to Dean Bakopoulos' column
on Feb. 15 ("For arts and
emotion, press return now").
Bakopoulos fears that the
continuous advance in
computer chess players, as
evidenced by the recent
defeat of the world chess
champion Gary Kasparov by
Deep Blue, foretells the
imminent arrival of ma-
chines that will be able to
create works of art superior
to any created by humans.
Bakopoulos, I can assure you
that this is not the case.
No researcher in the field
of artificial intelligence has
made any sort of firm
proposal about how we
might design a machine to
create art.that a human
would find unique and vital.
In contrast, the mechanisms
that most computer chess
programs use are fairly
straightforward - high
speed search of the game
positions with some tricky
ways to eliminate unpromis-
ing lines of play and a vast
database of opening moves
and end-games.
Instead, direct your
attention to a few of the
many computer tools that
actually assist human
creativity. The World Wide
Web has provided a medium
for a potentially unbounded
sharing of creative works.
Many professors and
students in the University's
digital library project are
working to utilize artificial
intelligence techniques to
assist a person in providing,
acquiring and using informa-
tion on the Internet. Some
day these techniques may
help you to find works of art
and literature that you never
could have imagined existed,
from all parts of the world.
Clearly these wonderful
tools will not guarantee a
new renaissance of world-
wide intellectual and
creative achievement. If
humans do not create and
make available works of art
on the Internet, or the typical
person does nQt care to look
beyond some computer
equivalent of tabloid talk
shows, one of the most
popular products avaiable
on the other great techno-
logical marvel, then we will
indeed be lost in emotional
and intellectual numbness.
But we will not be able to
blame that on the designers
of computers. We will have
only our own laziness and
ambivalence to fault.

models in the
fitvnzy of pivm
Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority's
workshop, "Prom Night Frenzy,"
might change the meaning of prom
night for its participants, the African
American girls of Ann Arbor's high
Prom is a night
for display. Every-
one looks so dif
ferent in evening
dresses and tux-
edos that no one
can help staring.
Standing up to the
probing gaze of
your entire high
school class de-
mands serious
preparation. Prom KATE
night was the first EPSTEIN
and last time I wore
make-up during my high school years.
So much preparation went' into ap-
pearance for prom night, especially
for girls, that it took on the weight of
being the bestwe could possibly look,
and our stares at each other became
even more persistent.
If you believe the fashion maga-
zines about such comparisons be-
tween women's appearances, only,
one body type measures up. It is, of
course, thinner than most of the girls
at my prom. It is also generally white.
The few black women who make the
fashion magazines are generally ex-
der as their white counterparts. As
Patrice Petway, one of the organizers
of "Prom Night Frenzy," says, it is
not a standard of beauty to which the
African American community sub-
The Queen of Sheba, a monarch
who visits King Solomon in the Bible,
will represent an alternative standard
of beauty in the workshop. A legend-
ary beauty claimed by Ethiopian tra-
dition, the Queen of Sheba took up
space. Pictures ofher depict her as far
too large to make the pages of
Seventeen's prom issue.
The fact that the Queen of Sheba is
an icon of beauty with the staying
power of centuries suggests the ab-
surdity of a single standard of beauty.
Under a single standard of beauty,
either the Queen of Sheba or Uma
Thurman would be intrinsically un-
beautiful. If either of them were so
obviously un-beautiful, everyone
would notice. And yet both of them
enjoy a reputation for beauty.
A single standard of beauty implies
a dream that everyone look alike.
"Beauty," clearly, lies on the happy
end of the spectrum, the end where
we all want to be, and where, presum-
ably, we want the people and things
we look at to be. Women don't neces-
sarily want the bulk ofthe women we
look at to be beautiful, but that is only
because we fear that we are not. If the
single standard of beauty offers any
kind of actual societal happiness- a
broken-backed, thwarted happiness
is the best we could do - it would be
with everyone measuring up to it.
Paradoxically, there isno such thing
as measuring up to the single stan-
dard of beauty represented by fash-
ion magazines. It does not exist out-
side of their pages. Even the models
who model for the photographs can-
not sustain the appearance fashion

photography gives them., Fashion
photography is all artifice:
airbrushing, special lighting, pinning
clothes from behind and countless
other techniques that do not work in
life. In life, even models have pores.
On a purely aesthetic level, imag-
ining the whole world measuring up
to the fashion magazines' standard of
beauty suggests that this standard
really has little to do with beauty
itself. If everyone looked the same,
the world would be much uglier in its
uniformity. If walking the streets of
Ann Arbor were like walking the
pages ofa fashion magazine, it would
be boring, and there's almost nothing
less aesthetically pleasing than bore-
I fAnnArbor were populated by the
stuff of fashion magazines, there
would be no one old enough to have
the education to qualify to teach.
Minorities would be missing too.
Neither the women who are deliver-
ing the "Prom Night Frenzy" work-
shop nor the high school girls who
are participating would exist because
none of them are white. The only way
for them to strive toward the ideal
standard of beauty is to try to dimin-
ish their own existence by such mea-
sures as losing weight and de-empha-
sizing those characteristics that make
them look less white.
"Prom Night Frenzy" is going the
other wav Sioma Gamma Rho's




Christian Conservatives -
resolution, which passed 27-
1. A tide of religious power
is sweeping over the Ten-
nessee General Assembly,
threatening the First Amend-
ment right that guarantees
"Congress shall make no law
respecting an establishment
of religion."
Separation of church and
state precludes former at-
tempts to revive mandatory
prayer and religious ceremo-
nies in public schools. The
resolution essentially ap-
proves state sponsorship of
religion in schools - codi-
fying Judeo-Christian mor-
als in a public institution.
schools to post and observe

sponsored the tive measures. The riskofrisingpoweramong

1! I

the religious right manifests
in the outcome of the overtly
unconstitutional resolution.
After a nearly unanimous
vote in the Senate, the reso-
lution is likely to pass within
the Tennessee House
Although the resolution
is relatively nonthreatening,
its symbolism is alarming.
Tennessee should have
learned from its neighbor
state of Kentucky, which
attempted to enact a similar
resolution two years ago.
The Kentucky legislation
mandated the observance of


It encourages
the Ten Com-

mandments, in addition to setting aside a
two-week period to pay tribute to the moral
Proponents are peddling the bill as "Judeo-
Christian," but the single Jewish member of
the state Senate cast the only vote against the
measure, correctly explaining that religious
promotion does not fall under the
government's job description.
Defendants of the resolution seek to
counter the country's alleged moral decline
by regulating religious observances in
schools. While Atchley could be commended
for single-handedly attempting to re-estab-
lish a "mnral anchor" for this nation. his

the Ten Commandments in all public schools.
The legislation was repealed by the Supreme
Court, ruling the resolution violated the First
Amendment establishment clause. Support-
ers of the Tennessee legislation argue the
regulation's semantics are not unconstitu-
tional - the resolution recommends practice
and observance of the Ten Commandments
without compelling public institutions to
As the line drawn between religion and
politics becomes increasingly ambiguous,
the government must work to safeguard First
Amendment rights, not to ensure values. The
Koran, Torah, the Bible and other religious
texts have a place in public-religious codes
inscrihed on the walls of classrooms. busi-




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