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February 29, 1996 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1996-02-29

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4A - The Michigan Daily - Thursday, February 29, 1996

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

Editor in Chief
Editorial Page Editors


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.
The greening of East U.
New landscape plan inconsiderate and wasteful

'A week ago they wrote our obituary. Now we can
perhaps write the obituary of conventional political
punditry In America.'
- Presidential candidate Steve Forbes pokes fun
at the analysts Tuesday night who said his
campaign was nearly over.
i f

A sundesirable as more campus construc-
tion sounds, sometimes it is worth the
trouble. Construction on East University
Avenue between North and South University
Avenues begins at the end of this semester
and will greatly improve the current land-
Improvement is always a good idea. How-
ever, the means can be problematic. The
University, in conjunction with Johnson,
Johnson and Roy Landscaping Company,
did not necessarily choose the best route. The

dents populate East University Avenue ev-
ery day, their input would have brought an
unconsidered angle to the new mall. For
example, one student suggested an ecologi-
cally balanced and energy-efficient design.
The landscaping company chose to use
non-native vegetation such as Scotch pines
- usually used for Christmas trees -- and
flowering apple crab trees. These trees re-
quire more energy and water than is readily
available in Michigan's climate. Instead,
SNRE students advocate using native plants

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University neglected to seek
out any input from a large group
of students whose opinion
would have been beneficial -
yet they are creating the new
"pedestrian mall" in these stu-
dents' backyard, the School of
Natural Resources and Envi-
SNRE students study the
sustainability of native plants,
and distinguish between dif-
ferent plant varieties and pos-
sible combinations that will
compliment each other. They
work to develop more sensible
and creative landscaping skills
and to explore various ways in


because they grow
easier, are less expen-
sive to maintain and are
just as aesthetically
pleasing. An artificial ir-
rigation system would
not be required to main-
tain native plants; it is
necessary for non-native
vegetation. By neglect-
ing these suggestions,
the resulting facility will
not be entirely ecologi-
cally sound.
The landscaping
company's idea centers
around aesthetics; there-


which eco-

logically sound landscapes can still be aes-
thetically pleasing. To avoid seeking the stu-
dents' advice is not only an oversight on the
University's part -it is plain inconsiderate.
The University is a place for learning
knowledge, then applying it. The landscap-
ing project was a perfect opportunity for
willing students to further their knowledge
and gain experience in something that they
have studied - satisfying and rewarding
SNRE students had ideas for this project
that should have been considered. Since stu-

fore, planners chose to use exotic plants that
cost more to maintain in the long run. But
who will pay to maintain special pines and
crab apples? Students, if asked, would most
likely not support Scotch pines over white
pines if they had to foot the bill. It is finan-
cially unwise to invest in frivolously reland-
scaping a section of campus.
The funds would be better used if they
contributed to educating SNRE students. If
the University focused more of its business
transactions on its educational mission, the
campus would be more pleasing for students,
- mall or no mall.

Engler cuts again
Adult education too important to play with

Lmong Gov. John Engler's many claims,
e professes to hold a strong commit-
ment to providing Michigan residents with a
world-class educational system at all levels.
However, when the governor's actual educa-
tionpolicies are scrutinized, a different Engler
emerges. Since elected, he has attempted to
cut funding for schools in various ways. He
proposed the elimination of funding for the
Native American tuitionwaiver program that
helps Native American college students fi-
nance their education. In addition, he has
proposed abysmally low allocation increases
to K-12 schools in recent years. Engler has a
new target to shoot his toy guns at: adult
Michigan traditionally has spent more per
capita compared to the national average on
education for those returning to pursue a high
school diploma or acquire a Graduation
Equivalency Degree. In his 1996-97 fiscal
budget proposed before the state Legislature
last week, Engler stated his intent to break
this tradition by requesting a $185-million
cut. The proposal calls for a drastic alteration
of how money is administered. He said
changes are needed to "guarantee the avail-
ability of services for all."
His proposal would do the opposite. The
proposed changes would limit the number
eligible for state-funded education, and leave
the rest with fewer education payment alter-
The biggest change in the distribution of
money is an age limit for those who did not
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viduals 20 years of age or younger will be
eligible for state-funded education. The over-
20 crowd only will be eligible forjob training
or literacy tutoring on one condition - if
they already have a job. Moreover, the state
might charge tuition for a late high school
education or equivalent.
Engler's proposal claims "to ensure that
resources are most focused on those closest
to school age" through the age limit - but he
ignored some realities. Many people attempt
to further their education because they need
to increase their income, especially if they
have families; these people are usually over
20 years old. Instead of creating a specific
cut-off line, Engler should design a system
that weighs need over age. As it stands, his
proposal threatens to leave potential students
without the finances to educate themselves
- despite the Republican doctrine of pulling
oneself up by the bootstraps through educa-
tion and free enterprise.
One of Engler's favorite games to keep
the underprivileged uneducated is welfare
reform. He urged lawmakers to yank welfare
after only two years - whether or not the
recipients have jobs. Statistically, those on
welfare have less education. By cutting back
funding for adult education, he risks putting
those in need of good jobs in a dire situation.
Engler continues to send contradictory
messages. He wants to be the "education
governor," but he consistently cuts back
needed funding to keep Michigan schools
competitive. Adult education helps
Mirhnion'c Amnmitc hi-mm e nntrihutors to

There are
more events
on campus
than sports
This past Friday and
Saturday, two superb a
cappella concerts were
performed at Rackham
Auditorium. These concerts
were known as Monsters of
A Cappella VI. After
attending Saturday night's
concert, I was looking
forward to the Daily's
coverage of this concert in
Monday's edition. How silly
of me to assume that the
University's newspaper
would cover an artistic event
in which three University
organizations participated.
No, I should have known
that this rag you call a
'campus newspaper" would
have coverage of movies
that no one on this campus is
going to see because there
aren't any decent movie
theatres within two miles of
campus. You also covered a
book review as well as a
record review. Also, there
was a review of the "Kane
Twirling Showdown."
Personally (and I'm
certain that others agree with
me on this campus). I would
much rather have seen an
article about the concert and
the article about the cane
twirling. Then if you have
more space to fill, put the
other stuff in. Your paper
regularly forgets about any
campus activity that is not a
sport. Incidentally, the last
time I was on a newspaper
staff, our first priority was to
report stories objectively.
Perhaps your writers should
look into what "objective"
Israel not
for viewpoint
writer's bias
On Feb. 5 several letters
were published expressing
anger over an article that had
appeared a week earlier
titled, "Israel a lonely
champion of democracy,"
(1/24/96). Two of the three
letters accurately criticized
the author's portrayal of the
Arab world. Joe Roche, the
author of the original piece,
made blanket statements
regarding women in Arab
countries among other items,
which were either untrue, or
misleading. Additionally, he
was unfairly judging the

trayed as the aggressor. Let
me remind Kishek that in
1956 Egypt blockaded the
Suez Canal, in direct
contradiction to the U.N.
Security Council's resolu-
tion of Sept. 1,1951,
forbidding them to do so. In
1967, Israel's pre-emptive
attack, was necessitated by
the massing of troops on the
Egyptian, Syrian and
Jordanian borders, as well as
a war pact signed between
Egypt and Jordan. Egypt
went as far as to ask the
United Nations to remove
their peacekeeping forces,
lest they should be in-
volved in the impending
conflict. In 1981, the
"lonely Lebanese villages,"
housed PLO and Hizbullah
terrorists who continually
shelled northern Israeli
towns, as they still do
today. (Though it should be
noted and commended that
the PLO has stopped using
terror as their means of
Mr. Kishek conve-
niently forgot to mention
the 1973 surprise attack on
Israel by its Arab neigh-
bors on Yom Kippur, the
holiest day of the Jewish
As for his claim that
Israel came to existence by
"driving out" thousands of
Arabs, he once again
forgets to mention that
Israel's existence was
mandated by the United
Nations in 1947, in the
partition plan. A plan that
divided the land into two
states, one Arab and one
Jewish. Israel accepted the
plan; the Arabs did not,
and proceeded to attack the
infant state from every
direction the very day that
she declared her indepen-
Roche's article falsely
accuses Arab countries of
practices that they are not
guilty of However, Israel is
not responsible for Roche's
bias. Kishek, a Rackam
student, should learn from
Haytham Bahoora and Amer
Zahr, undergraduates, that it
is one thing to criticize an
author's bias and prejudice
and another to fight lies with
more deception.
is an issue
for junior
school girls
Kate Epstein's column
("I'll have what she's
having: 'The joys of eager

young cousins," 2/19/96)
and Sol Derrow's letter
("Columnist's use of AAUW
stats inaccurate," 2/26/96)
refer to the 1990 survey
completed jointly by the
American Association of
University Women and
Greenberg-Lake: The
Analysis Group.
Derrow asserts that
Epstein only selectively
reported facts from this
survey: He claims that a
complete account of the
responses to the survey's
query, "I'm happy the way I
am" fails to support any
conclusion about differences
in girls' and boys' self-
esteem. In an e-mail
correspondence, Derrow
indicated that he had read
neither the survey's data
report nor the 1991 Execu-
tive Summary (titled
"Shortchanging Girls,
Shortchanging America").
The 1990 survey
collected data from 3,000
girls and boys, ages 9-15,
attending schools at 12
locations nationwide. The
sample size at each location
was proportional to the
number of school-age
children in the states that
clustered around the
The survey examined
changes in attitudes and
identity among girls and
boys. Five measures
attempted to gauge self-
esteem. Girls and boys
responded on a qualitative
scale ranging from "always
true" to "always false" to the
following statements: I like
the way I look, I like most
things about myself, I'm
happy the way I am,
sometimes I don't like
myself that much and I wish
I werefsomebody else.
The survey results
suggest that young people in
general may suffer a loss of
self-esteem as they grow
"Adolescence is a tough
time for both girls and
boys," notes the 1991
Executive Summary.
Greenberg-Lake and the
AAUW also calculated a
"Self-Esteem Index,"
incorporating all five
measures that attempted to
gauge self-esteem, for girls
and boys.
The self-esteem indices
for boys in elementary,
middle and high school were
4.99, 4.68 and 4.65, respec-
tively, suggesting an
unhappy decline in boys'
self-esteem as they proceed
through adolescence.The
corresponding self-esteem
indices for girls were 3.93,
2.80, and 2.77, suggesting
that girls suffer lower self-
esteem, and that their self-
esteem declines more

The meaning of
exposed by a
biopsych GSI
E arly last Friday morning, I rolled
out of bed and journeyed to East
Engineering (now known as East Hall,
as many uppity psychology profes-
sors will tell you). Little did I know,
my biopsych GSI
was about to tell
me the meaning of
life, and I thought
I'd share it with
everyone. a
It's two-by-two
cell charts, guys.
That'sall itis. "It's
a way to think r
about all kinds of
social interaction," KATIE
he said trium- HUTCHINS
phantly. From
ground squirrel
alarm calls to the cost-benefit analy-
sis of raising your children or leaving
to make more, it al boils down to cell
I hurriedly copied this into my note-
book and began plugging in my love
life, my decisionsabout grad schools
and my choice for the next president
of the United States. But I discovered
- to my dismay - that charts don't
explain everything. Neither does
chemistry or physics or religion or
literature (although the last one comes
close). The fact is, everyone's
Most of us are confused as hell
about life, and to keep ourselves from
going totally nuts we reduce it all to
words, symbols, line graphs and num-
bers. Everyone has found his favorite
way of explaining the world, and
what followsis the development of
universities and the various disci-
plines within them.
If we really thought about all the
possibilities, we, wouldn't be very
productive. We'd sit around thinking
all day. So we categorize. And clas-
sify. And pull out our pocket calcula-
tors to do differential equations so we
can feel smart.
Every part of our lives is based on
a category that somebody else con-
structed. We're run by the wristwatch,
the daily planner, the scale, the com-
puter and the textbook. Those of us
who consider ourselves more enl ight-4
ened find truth in music (and all its
notes, keys, measures and styles),
fashion (whoever decided we had to
wear underwear, anyway?) and po-
etry (rhyme, rhythm, meter and qual-
ity). More noble, perhaps, but they're
still social constructs.
The result? We have people who
consider themselves experts in these
fields. Professors, chemists, systems
analysts and engineers can speak, and
we'll take their word as truth. It cre-
ates this whole culture of systematic
learning and knowledge, and Ameri-
cans are trapped in it. You can't be
successful unless you go to college
and grad school and then follow in
the footsteps of many other young
bright pre-professionals.
But this learning is not knowledge,
per se. It's something more sinister.
The symptom of it is those snotty
kids in class who think they know
everything. Who raise their hands
and say, "But Dr. So-and-So, are you

sure that the t-test would be prefer-
able to the ANO VA?"
ANOVA? I'm sorry, but the only
thing relevant about that is that it
almost made me fail Stats 402. And
anyone who reads far enough ahead
in his textbook to know what-it means
really doesn't have a clue.
I'm not claiming to have the an-
swers. I don't, because I'mtrapped in
this culture too. Time that would be
better spent musing about those omi-
nous crows in the trees by Angell
Hall is spent perusing anthropology
books or learning some random
researcher's hypothesis about plant
growth. I'll stay up all night to get an
A in English, but I won't do the same
because I'm pondering the existence
of higher beings. That's dangerous,
and - when you truly consider it -
extremely misguided priorities.
I stood outside Angell Hall at 4
a.m. last night (and the night before
that, and before that, and before that)
smoking a cigarette and thinking
about the implications of it all. About
the tremendous power this society
has over us, that it"can make all these
incredibly intelligent people sit in
front of computers at risk to their
health and spiritual well-being for
hours on end, most of them pulling
good quotes out of texts they haven't
read and trying to write a cohesive
paper without plagiarizing. That's not
I was half temnted to null a fire


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