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January 17, 1996 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1996-01-17

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4 -The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, January 17, 1996

Adbr £i arbigrn aiI
aynard Street ------MICHAEL ROSENBERG
-,r Aft 1n(Editor in Chief





Ann i rbor, ivi 48siu9
Edited and managed by '
students at the
University of Michigan __
' Unless otherwise noted, unsigned editorials reflect the
other articles, letters, and cartoons do not necesY
N Blooi

Will wriYeforfood: "Co nfss i
from the columrnist'clhair


Editorial Page Editors

opinion Of a majority ofthe Daily's editorial board. All
ssarily reflect the opinion of The Michigan Daily.

c an
yet t
on th

City should do more than return samples
ore than a year ago, Ann Arbor police future city officials that such a search must
seized the blood samples of 160 Afri- not happen again.
American men in connection with the Though the city is acting correctly in
al rapist investigation. On Friday, seven returning the samples, it cannot erase the
ths after a man was convicted of the grievous wrong police committed during the
°s of rapes and assaults, the process of investigation. Officers arbitrarily targeted
rning these samples finally began. African American males because anonymous
olice obtained the samples during the tips suggested the suspect was a black male
stigation from men who fit a rough de- fitting a very sketchy physical description.
tion of the rapist and who were found Many men who gave DNA samples also
in the areas of the crime scenes. Most of provided alibis for the crimes. The AAPD
samples were handed over voluntarily, targeted them because of physical character-
several were subpoenaed. istics alone, creating an ugly situation - one
n June 1995, Ervin D. Mitchell Jr. - that reeked of racism.
se blood sample was not among those The blood samples would still be gather-
ected by police - was convicted of the ing dust on a shelf today if not for Shelton's
es and sentenced to life in prison. After efforts. He deserves credit for fighting a
verdict, some of the 160 men who pro- battle that, on the surface, appeared more
d blood asked for the samples to be trouble than benefit. With no monetary re-
rned. Requests were denied due to city ward ahead, he still sued for the right to his
county officials' fear that it might give property, as well as for a larger principle: the
hell grounds for an appeal. But that constitutional protection against illegal search
ment was flimsy - DNA evidence es- and seizure. The requirement that law-en-
shed a positive link between Mitchell forcement officials obtain search warrants is
such a number of assaults as to be nearly designed to prevent witchhunts in which
ntrovertible. Even Assistant City Attor- police compel evidence from large numbers
Robert West conceded the argument was of innocent people.
the most compelling." Although the AAPD is acting correctly by
he blood samples sat on a laboratory voluntarily returning all blood samples to
f in East Lansing until 37-year-old Blair their proper owners, it should not be the
ton brought suit last month to have his city's only gesture ofatonement.Many ofthe
pie returned to him. Washtenaw Circuit men were both scared and angered when
re Kurtis T. Wilder ruled in his favor - pressured to give a blood sample. At least a
while the ruling applied only to Shelton, sincere apology should accompany the re-
City Council voted to return all 160 turned blood samples. It is not possible to
ples. Many council members expressed undo past'wrongs. The only sensible step the
et over the selective and coercive tactics AAPD can take now is to apologize for its
during the investigation, but the city has actions and ensure that the mistakes of the
o issue a formal apology. Apologizing serial rapist investigation will not be re-
e record would send a strong message to peated.

There was once a man who had nothing
interesting to say. Actually, there have
been many men (and women) with nothing
interesting to say, but in this story there is
only one man with nothing to say, and, in
fact, his problem was even worse than it
seemed at first because he also was suffering
from sleeplessness and hypochondria and
what he liked to call "a certain fallowness, if
you will, of the mind."
This meant that he couldn't think of
anything at all, because his mind had been
plowed but not seeded with even a single
idea. Compounding these difficulties, our
hero had somehow managed to obtain the
position of columnist at a local newspaper,
which added a tinge of irony to the whole
affair, since, of course, columnist types are
generally thought to have minds that are
never fallow. But this man was in the unen-
viable and unusual position of having to
write a newspaper column with nothing in-
teresting to say. Hence the tragedy of the
whole thing.
Actually it might be possible to turn this
apparent tragedy to your (and my) benefit.
What I'm thinking here is that Icould kindof
discuss various techniques of writing and
just sort of walk you through the whole
writing process. Since lamafterallaWriter,
while you are only a student (probably a lazy
one), you may even be able to get ECB credit

for this. Basically, my technique differs abit
from that of other Writers. I think I once.
heard of a Writer who said that he or she
would put a blank piece of paper in the
typewriter, all ready to go, and then stare at
it until beads of sweat or blood or something
started to pop out all over his or her forehead.
(I really did hear of this.) Using this process,
the Writer continues staring, undaunted by
the possibility of dehydration or blood loss,
until infused by his or her muse with a really
good idea.
I tend to find this method, although popu-
lar among "serious" Writers, a bit uncom-
fortable. Plus, we now use computers and it
ruins the whole effect if, while staring and
bleeding, you have to move the mouse every
few minutes to make the screen saver go
away. Instead of going to all that worry
about what you're going to write, why not
just take a nap and hope that something
comes to you in a dream? Isn't that what
happens in mythology and history and ev-
erything? The king is at a complete loss as to
whether he should kill his daughter/kill his
son/kill his mother/kill his father/kill every-
body and destroy everything/agree to a seven-
year balanced budget. During a nap, some
type of thing happens where he finds out,
while asleep, what he should do.
Actually, I can't name even one case in
history where this happens, but I'm sure it

happened quite frequently during the Reagan
adiinistration, and besides, this anecdote
proves two things. One is that artists t
themselves too seriously, what with alli Is
staring for hours at a piece of paper. The
other is that the Political Method, i.e. using
one's sleeping hours effectively, is clearly
the best way to find inspiration. After all,
who really runs this country? The freaky
artists or, the down-to-earth types who are
mature enough to know when they need a
Now that we have that cleared up, we can
move on to how one is supposed to wri.
Actually, I'll leave that for next time. SW
fice it to say that the first step is to remember
that it doesn't really matter what you write
because much has been written and much
will be written and it's not like little old you
can "forge in the smithy of your pathetic soul
the uncreated conscience of your r4ce."
Maybe that's a misqoute, but I would
like to close by addressing something that's
probably on your mind right now. The word
"hack" has always seemed a bit harsh to r
I think that it would be better for society
general if we were to come up with a word
that doesn't sound so violent. At the very
least, it would make me feel better ...
-.Iordan Stancil can be reached pver
e-mail at rialto@umich.edu.





'Racism is still
alive and kicking
on campus. If
necessary we
should keep,
marching every
- LSA senior Monique
Marshall, a participant in
the annual Unity March
sponsored by the Blqak
Student Un I


Scared sober
Med Center program teaches critical lesson

Library 110: I'd rather eat meatball subs

he University ofMichigan Medical Cen-
ter deserves recognition for initiating its
proactive new program, "Facing Alcohol
Challenges Together." The Trauma/Burn
Center provides the gruesome and morbid
realities of irresponsible alcohol consump-
tion and drug use in a blunt, graphic two-day
seminar. The program utilizes innovative
methods to target tragically preventable sub-
stance abuse injuries and deaths. It paints a
vivid portrait of the dizzying and painful
series of events involved in emergency treat-
ment, sparing no detail for the faint of heart.
The object is to scare teens sober.
Facts and a hospital tour introduce teens
and their parents to the grim realities of
substance abuse and injury. When faced with
the glaring effects of medical trauma treat-
ment, teens' illusions of immortality quickly
disintegrate. Unlike school health classes,
the program does not sugarcoat the harsh
reality that substance abuse kills.
An effective facet of the UMMC's pro-
gram is parental involvement. Instead of fur-
ther condemning first-time substance abus-
ers, the UMMC is working with law enforce-
ment agents to prevent future offenses: It
warns parents and teens about the conse-
quences of alcohol and substance abuse. In-
stead of a simple slap on the wrist, teens and
their parents must discuss the repercussions
of their actions.
:Po Through a mock-death scene, parents ex-
perience the pain and shock of hearing from
Ann Arbor Mayor
Ann Arbo
100 N.
Ann Arbor,

the chaplain that their child has died. The
horror is only an exercise-these parents are
given a second chance. Three real truths
arise: second chances are rare, alcohol and
drugs kill and death is a permanent condi-
Witnessing the consequences of personal
irresponsibility grants a rebirth that forces
parents and their children to confront sub-
stance abuse issues openly. Conversations
ignite and relationships strengthen as fami-
lies verbalize fears, emotions and anxieties.
Discipline, expectations and priorities are
reassessed before real accidents occur.
Through education, emotion and experience
this program forcefully empowers parents to
be proactive with regard to alcohol.
Community outreach in preventative care
is both cost and life saving. A similar pro-
gram in Indiana found that after attending the
seminar, re-arrest rates for teens plunged
from between 50 and 80 percent down to 30
percent. The costs of sponsoring preventa-
tive seminars are minuscule when compared
to the enormous expense of hospitalization
and the incalculable cost of the loss of life.
A similar shock-value approach should
be used to deter other high-risk health behav-
iors. For example, introducing teen smokers
to emphysema sufferers demonstrates how
smoking kills and could extinguish teen smok-
ing. Basic warnings of infallibility often fall
on deaf ears - the time has come to scare
people straight.

By Kasey Kerber
This semester, I'm paying
$209 to learn how to use Lov
For that price I could buy 209
Subway6-inch meatball subs, but
instead ... I'll be learning to use
the library.
You se. $209 is the amount
required for an out-of-state stu-
dent like myself to pay for one-
credit hourand an 'extremely high
quality. -cookbook-bound ''Li-
brarv 110" text book.
Not that I had a choice of
whether I wanted 209 meatball
subs or "how to use the library."
Library 110 is a one-credit course
required forall first-year students.
Yet taking the course might
have advantages. May be I would
make the most of my money
yeah, or maybe I'd be able to eat
209 subs in one sitting. I'll be
straight out: I hate Library 110
more than 3 a.m. phone calls front
a drunk guy who swears my name
is "Jenny."'
My main objections to the
course is are: it will not keep first-
year students from "failing' out
Kerber is a first-year stulent at
the UniversitNx' of Nebraska.
This article is reprinted with
permissionflrom the Iailyv

otschool (as designed), it teaches
students very little about using
the library and it costs students
too much.
One of the main reasons for
establishing the course was to
keep first-year students from fail-
ing out of school. The first-year
dropout rate is somewhere close
to 60 percent, and the adminis-
tration feels that if students have
better library skills, they would
have a better chance of staying in
Let me clear this up right
away: Students are not failing
out of school because they don't
know the Superintendent of
Documentsclassification system.
Bert and Ernie are failing out
of school because they went to
the nearest pub with Grover and
got so drunk that they ended up
passing out on Sesame Street.
Students also are failing because
they haven't learned good study
skills, they skip class or they never
wanted to pass in the first place.
Requiring students to take a li-
brary class is not going to have
any profound impact on the drop-
out rate.
Also, Library 1 10teaches stu-
dents very little about using the
library. The main reason is that
students have to do little with the
textbook and prove even less of'

what they've learned.
To pass the class, a student
has to do five assignments and
pass a final with 35 out of 50
questions correct. The worksheets
are easier than remembering your
Social Security number - I did
all five in a half-hour. While I
have not taken the test, the mere
fact that you need a'70 percent to
pass is pathetic. Bert and Ernie
could guess their way to a 70
percent on a multiple-choice test,
and they just learned how to count.
Any student who's crammed
for a final in five hours can tell
you - the moment after they've
taken the test ... the knowledge is
gone. Although it has not been
scientifically proven, I believe all
information from a class is trans-
ferred directly to the scantron test
sheet by means of No. 2 pencil
Once you turn in the test, you
are as dumb as when you first
walked into that class.
Lastly, this course is not worth
209 meatball subs. The main rea-
son is because students have the
ability to pass out of the course by
the second week. They simply
pass a test with 40 out of 50 ques-
tions correct (Bert and Ernie may
struggle, but Grover's in easy)
and the credit hour is theirs.
Pay no heed to the fact that

you wasted $83.50 (in-state cos
with textbook) or $209.00 (outj
of-state with textbook) fora
credit hour that won't even figure
into your GPA. The question is
Why pay $83.50 or $209.00 tc
take a test and get out of the class
when you could save your money
in the first place'?
Library 110 should be op-
tional, not required. If I want te
learn how to use the library; then
I'll take the course. If I suddenly
find the need to become a librar-
ian, I'll take comfort in kno
that goodo1' Library 110is there.
Otherwise, it'll be anothet
name in the schedule of classes.
Iftheadministration feelsthai
library skills are somethingevery
first-year student must have; fine.
Require students to buy, or bette
yet, issue them the cookbook'
bound Library 110 textbook.
It thoroughly explains h( tc
do everything in the library,
when the student finally needs tc
use the library, he or she has the
book handy. Glancing back, Li-
brary 110 makes about asmuchl
sense as swishing down a few
Vivarins with a cup of Nyquil. Its
intentions are good, but its struc-
ture and workings are miserable
Well, I gotta go now -- Bert.
Ernie, Grover and I have 209
meatball subs to work on ..0


GEO honors
King, opposes
'scab' editor
To the Daily:
I appreciated the article in
Tuesday's paper about GEO's
presence at MLK Day events. It
was fair and to the point. I would
be hesitant to characterize our
entire presence as protest, how-
ever. Certainly, members ofGEO
.-f;" ."t f }i ..-kA t otfr

pher Tuck says, Martin Luther
King Jr. stood for a lot of' stuff.
One of those things was the labor
movement. One was social jus-
tice. These are not the things Joe
Stroud represents, and these are
not the things the University re-
flects by inviting him to speak.
Our action was in no way unre-
lated. Many of us involved in
GEO believe that it is truer to
King's legacy to fight for social
justice than it is to honor a scab.
GEO is an organization com-

Lack of fan
cripples 'M'
To the Daily:
In reference to Antoine Pitts'
column ("Things that make you
go hmmm ..." 1/12/96), I can't
help but wholeheartedly agree
with him on several issues. The

Wouldn't it be nice if they
could say the same thing about
Crisler Arena?
Even with the 10,500 capac-
ity of the Mullins Center and a
successful team, UMass still
packs the place and gets peop to
stand up for the entire game. n
the team plays poorly, there is no
booing (like Dugan Fife gets),
but rather, explosive cheering.
I think buying my Michigan
hoop tickets was a mistake. Iguess
I expected a little more -from a
Big Te~n school with a huga'p~th-

Ingrid B. Sheldon
r City Hall
Fifth Ave.
MI 48107

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