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December 02, 1996 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1996-12-02

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4 - The Michigan Daily - Monday, December 2, 1996

UWbe £iignT 1§ilg

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

>, :.
, ;

Editor in Chief
Editorial Page Editors

'Someone is boring me, I think it is me.'
- Oscar Wilde

Unless otherwise noted, unsigned editorials reflect the opinion of the majority of the Daily :s editorial board. All
other articles, letters and cartoons do not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Michigan Daily.
Welcome aboard
Bollinger's early arrival will benefit 'U'



T his old ship will have her new captain
sooner than she thinks.
President-select Lee Bollinger will
become an employee of the University on
Jan. 1. One month later, he will take the
The arrangement couldn't be better.
Although Bollinger was dean of the
University Law School, he has been away at
Dartmouth College, serving as its provost,
for the last couple of years. The month of
January will give him time to get back into
the swing before plunging into a difficult
and time-consuming job. Bollinger
deserves commendation for working with
Dartmouth to arrange a quick arrival at the
University - one that will benefit the
whole community.
Former University President James
Duderstadt did not undergo such a transi-
tion period. However, he was provost at the
time of his promotion, and had been interim
president during Robert Shapiro's tenure, so
he was quite familiar with both the
University community and the administra-
tion. One of Duderstadt's predecessors,
Robben Fleming, spent four months on
campus before assuming the position.
Bollinger's previous experience here makes
such a period unnecessary. Fleming, howev-
er, got to shadow then-president Harlan
Hatcher - Bollinger will not have the
chance to shadow Duderstadt. However,
interim President Homer Neal, a capable
leader, should be able to show Bollinger the
necessary ropes.
Bollinger will have the opportunity to sit
in on Neal's meetings, meet with student
and faculty campus leaders, and begin
forming rapport with his core staff. As Neal
can attest, the job contains a great deal of

upkeep work, such as public relations,
keeping in touch with the administrative
staff and many daily decisions. In that type
of atmosphere, long-range goals can be dif-
ficult to achieve. While Bollinger is learn-
ing the daily tasks of the University presi-
dency, it would behoove him to formulate
some of his long-term goals.
Bollinger already has articulated plans to
give the deans a larger role in University deci-
sion-making. His experience as a dean puts
him in a position to strengthen the relation-
ship between the positions. Moreover, deans
- including LSA Dean Edie Goldenberg -
have spoken in favor of his idea. Their sup-
port will help Bollinger as he reaches out to
other deans.
While Provost Bernard Machen commu-
nicates regularly with the deans, the presi-
dent's involvement would bring input to a
new level. Plus, Machen has said he plans to
step down as provost when Bollinger can
fill the position. Bollinger's direct experi-
ence with the deans will help the new pres-
ident stay in touch with them after Machen
and help the new provost ease into the job.
Ultimately, Bollinger must provide the
top of the academic leadership tier, consid-
ering the input of the provost, deans - and
the faculty. Bringing the deans closer to the
administrative process also means bringing
the faculty closer. Faculty members have
wanted more input for a long time -
Bollinger seems to have listened to them,
What is left, of course, is the student
body. In addition to teaching a course after
his first semester, Bollinger must have a
game plan for keeping in touch with student
needs. January is a good time for him to dis-
cover the best ways to go about it.

.p omJONES'
L - T


racurricular tests
Barring activities could increase drug use

A t Burlington High School in the state
of Washington, giving a urine sample
precedes marching band practice - and
play practice and football practice and choir
rehearsal. Burlington administrators recent-
ly implemented a $30,000 program to test
all students for illicit drug use before they
are allowed to participate in any extracur-
ricular activities. Besides the expense and
inefficiency, the program is a serious
infraction of constitutional rights. Other
school systems across the nation may view
Burlington as a model for similar programs
-but implementing other programs like
Burlington's would be a leap backward for
students' rights. Burlington should discon-
tinue its mandatory drug-testing program
- and state legislatures across the country
must not allow schools to create new pro-
grams like it.
The high school's program uses standard
urine testing to screen samples for marijuana
and other illicit drugs - alcohol and nico-
tine are not among the sought-after chemi-
cals. The tests allow for habits that are illegal
at most high school students' age - if
administrators simply wish to isolate illegal
behavior among high school students, their
so-called cure is already faulty, at best.
The tests are inefficient - they seek out
drug use the wrong way at the wrong time.
Habits, like extracurricular activities, tend
to occur in students' after-school hours. The
most serious effects of drug use would arise
in the classroom. If Burlington administra-
tors are looking to regulate students' perfor-
mance, would they have students take drug
tests before walking into school each day?
A sident can he excluded from an after-

academic standing. However, if students are
subjected to mandatory drug tests simply
because they want to join a group or team,
the results of those tests could have a nega-
tive impact on students' academic standing
within the school district. Students may
face sanctions although the test results may
be no indication of the student's academic
Students experiment with and use drugs
for a number of reasons, including some
serious social factors. The student who
abuses drugs as a temporary escape from a
difficult home or family situation might
rely heavily on extracurricular activities as
a nonchemical way to escape rough situa-
tions, build positive social interactions and
increase self-esteem. Children who depend
on drugs to lift them up are the kids who
need activities like band and sports the
most. Excluding them from after-school
groups means the students have nowhere to
go and nothing to do - except more drugs.
Administrators do not have the students'
best interests in mind when they enforce
mandatory drug testing before allowing
extracurricular participation - they misin-
terpret the function of the activities. After-
school programs are meant to engage,
involve and build students' confidence and
interests. Mandatory drug testing turns pro-
grams - which could be focused on posi-
tive processes and outcomes - into a
reward for the worry-free and a bane for
students with drug problems.
Administrators at Burlington and other dis-
tricts across the country must refocus and
give students with drug problems the
onnortuniv to increase their sense of self-

OSU win
gives Blue
false hope
Congratulations to the
football team on its win over
Ohio State University, but it's
too bad. I'm glad for the
football players on this year's
team, but I fear for the future
because of this win. With this
one win over, OSU and the
New Year's Day bowl that
may very well come with it,
this season became "a suc-
cessful season." That is a
The team and the football
program have shown some
glaring weaknesses over the
past few seasons, and espe-
cially this year. But, since we
had "a successful season,"
there is no reason to make
any changes to a program in
need of some serious
changes. The old saying is
true - if it ain't broke, don't
fix it. I'm really afraid that
this one win will give those
in the football program the
feeling that it "ain't broke."
That will be unfortunate!
Thanks for
Thank you for publishing
a story about our Micro
Truck team in the "Campus
Notes" column last month
("Engineers place in truck
race," I1/18/96). Our team,
along with the society, appre-
ciates the publicity. Thank
LaLonde is
too risky as
blood donor
Poor Ryan LaLonde can't
give blood because he's
homosexual ("Red Cross dis-
criminates against gays,"
11/13/96). Here's an idea:
When Ryan stops engaging
in an activity that puts him at
a high risk for AIDS and
other communicable diseases,
he will be allowed to give
blood, because he will no
longer pose a risk of passing
those diseases into the
nation's blood supply.
With all due respect, I
would rather hurt LaLonde's
feelings than have one inno-
cent person get AIDS, simply

recognize it as a sensitive
issue. But after reading the
letter, "Cartoon was insensi-
tive," (11/14/96) 1 find that
maybe it is possible to be too
In the letter, the writer
attacks the cartoon "Ground
Zero" (11/12/96) for the car-
toonist's assertion that with
the coming of winter, the
"bluebook exams were not
named for their color, but for
the color of your skin." The
letter further goes on and
says that blue-skinned people
equate light-skinned people,
and the cartoonist's implica-
tion that the community only
consists of these people is
I seem to recall that our
school color is blue. Does
that imply that the University
has only light-skinned peo-
ple? Obviously not, consider-
ing the amount of minority
students that attend this
And so far, the little
colony of Smurfs, that I
seemed to be totally unaware
of, haven't spoken up about
this particular cartoon.
Furthermore, I don't see
how what the weather does to
your skin has anything to do
with race and color.
Yes, skin color is discrim-
inated against in society. But
if we nitpick every little thing
that comes even remotely
close to the issue, we may
find that the cause against
discrimination may just take
a little bit longer.
Perhaps the writer should
keep their contempt for the
Daily and their views on
color and race separate. And
then get a sense of humor.
Men's soccer
As a member of the
University of Michigan men's
soccer club (the only
University men's soccer
team), I've become accus-
tomed to a lack of University
support and recognition.
However, the club's recent
achievement at the National
Collegiate Soccer Association
National Championship
Tournament in Phoenix mer-
its attention.
Led by seniors Dave
Colliver, Mike Milman, Kris
Wiljanen, Eugene Chang and
Gronthik Chatterjee, the team
rolled through its first five
Among its prey were
Wisconsin-Lacrosse (1-0),
Texas (3-1) and Colorado
State (1-1) in preliminary
action, and Georgia Tech (3-
1) and Southwest Texas (1-0)
.n itntnron . c :i fn

Coleman gave the club the
lead. It remained 1-0 until the
Longhorns scored two quick
goals in the final 15 minutes.
The club's second-place fin-
ish was its best ever, improv-
ing upon last year's semi-
final appearance. It exceeded
this year's expectations and
raised them one step higher
for next season.
But should the club's
expectations be raised to a
different level - varsity sta-
Such a strong perfor-
mance by a motivated group
of unsupported student ath-
letes definitely begs this
Unlike a national champi-
onship next year, however,
achieving varsity status
seems to club members to be
beyond their grasp.
Respect and congratula-
tions are, due to the
University men's soccer team
for its performances on the
playing field, in the class-
room and in the University
Salt team
comments on
salt vs. sand
Two recent letters were
sent to you by students ('"U'
should salt walks instead of
using sand," 11/14/96, and
"Using mud on sidewalks is
foolish," 11/19/96) complain-
ing about the University's use
of sand as a de-icer on cam-
pus sidewalks.
In 1995, the Salt Team
was formed at the University.
This M-Quality interdiscipli-
nary team was charged to
study the University's use of
de-icing compounds on its
walks, parking lots and
streets to determine the
appropriate guidelines for
applying de-icing materials.
Our goal is to make it
safe for pedestrians and -
motorists, while protecting
the environment and preserv-
ing University buildings and
On that day, sand was felt
to be the best de-icer avail-
able given the weather and
the particular sidewalk condi-
tions. While the team has not
recommended the elimination
of the use of salt as a de-icer,
the corrosive effects of salt
have led us to look at viable
alternative de-icers that do
not appear to have the same
damaging effects as salt.
Sand, too, can cause dam-
age to building interiors and
may degrade water quality
when it is washed into the
storm sewer system.
-, +,,- .~.. t, Ad;

Te joys of
lfe at the U'
"'A university should be a place of
light, of liberty; and of learning."
- Benjamin Disraeli
T his past weekend, thousands of
University students returned
home to the sleepy streets of suburban
America. Ten minutes after walking
through the door, I
can imagine, a
wave of ennui hit
and never left.
Yes, the return
home after months
in a university set
ting is a bit of a
culture shock
especially if you
live in calm and
courtly suburbs
After you say ZACARY
hello to parents, M. RAIMI
siblings and pets
there is nothing much to do and not
many places to go. You glance through'
your mail, skim the local newspaper,.
chit-chat with your mom and dad, and
then there is a wasteland of time.
Thanksgiving Day is not much bet-
ter. You can watch football games al
day to pass the time, but then comes
dinner. All of your relatives, whom
you have not seen in many months, ask
you the same boring questions over
and over again. Notice the questions.
are never about what you have learned,
what new ideas you are discussing in.
your classes, or what great works of
literature you have read.
Instead, you get bombarded with
more topical and practical questions
that lack the intellectual depth t
which we've become accustomed.
Your distant cousin may ask what yout
major is, and then he may proceed to
tell you a long, boring story about
what his major was when he was in
college 40 years ago - and why his
was better than yours.
And then someone asks the dreaded
question: "So, what are you going to
do next year," a question that send
lightning bolts of fear through the
hearts of seniors.
They mean well, of course. But it is
Thanksgiving dinner reminds us that
suburban life lacks a spark of creativi-
ty and excitement that this city - and
most other university towns - culti-
vate and possess. I went home last
Wednesday talking about Shakespeare
and FDR's New Deal and returned
here Sunday talking about strip mall
and the neighbor's new dog. I shudder
to think what I'll be talking about after
Christmas break.
There are many benefits to growing
up and living in the suburbs. The crime
rate is low, there are many decent
schools and strong families, a:
wholesomeness abounds. Shoppuin
establishments and eateries are clode
- after all, suburbs are the heartla
of American consumer culture.
As I ate my turkey, cranberries and
Jell-O mold (which, Mom, was quite!
good) Thursday evening, I could not
help but be thankful for attending the;
University and spending most of the
year in Ann Arbor.
This may sound like blasphemy to
some, and not so long ago, I wanted
nothing more than to return home and
escape this town. After all, college is
often tough, gritty, lonely and hard
The teachers assign so much home-
work, papers are due every week and

exams consistently lurk around every:
corner. There is no escaping this
But after visiting home, I realized
how much I've grown to like this place:
Disraeli was right. A university is a
place of learning. And through learning'
comes a sense of liberation --a freeing'
from old ideas, stereotypes, attitude
and notions. And with this liberation;
the whole world looks lighter and
brighter. Suburban America rarely chal
lenges one to find this liberation.
Think about it: A university setting
is one of the only places in America -
perhaps the world - where ideas
count. People thrive on deep discus-
sions about the meaning of life, the
existence of God and the fundamental
role of government. It is hard to fin ,
such topics of conversation on the
sidewalks of your suburb's strip malls
or the booths of your town's coffee
shops, if it has any.
There is always something happen-
ing at the University. Famous lecturers
from around the world give talks on all
sorts of topics - some interesting,
others shockingly terrible. There are
always film and music festivals at the
local movie theaters or parks. And, i
bars are your thing, I hear that you can
indulge your alcoholic needs in many
a watering hole around town.
This university, in particular, has
taken great strides in the last decade to
diversify its student body. I have come
.o - - :.r - .t thi :.ii :.cit ne pa








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