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September 19, 1996 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1996-09-19

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4A - The Michigan Daily - Thursday, September 19, 1996

arhje S dc i grn &ilu

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 the majority of the Dailys editorial hoard. All
other articles, letters and cartoons do not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Michigan Daily.
Rock the vote
Bipartisan campus groups register students

The idea of a campus voter registration
drive is nothing new. In previous elec-
tion cycles, campus groups, such as the
College Democrats and College
Republicans, would stage their own drives,
targeting students likely to vote for their
side. This year is a different story - Voice
Your Vote, a bipartisan student group fea-
turing volunteers from across the campus
political spectrum, is trying to register any-
one it can reach.
Affiliated with the national "Rock the
Vote" campaign, Voice efforts have already
netted 3,200 newly registered student vot-
ers. In an era of diminishing student
activism and political interest, it is an
impressive accomplishment. Voice will
sponsor a number of special events next
week - including a speech by the Rev.
Jesse{ Jackson and a Diag appearance by the
MTV "Choose or Lose" bus - and the tally
is sure to grow
Voice's success may lie in the fact that it
does -not advocate any political philosophy
- it exists only to register students. Before,
eligible students might have shied away
from biased recruiters. Now, they are sim-
ply $resented with a form to fill out, and
allow*ved to safely retain whatever political
beliifs they may hold.
legardless of the approach, registering
student voters is important. The young
(under-25) vote has declined in nearly every
majbr election since 18-year-olds obtained
the flight to vote. And yet, the student vote is
verb important to presidential and congres-
sionil elections - students are a large seg-
menat of the electorate. By providing access
to registration - a crucial first step in the
political process - Voice is performing a

necessary service to allow the youth voice
to be heard. As a result, its work is not only
relevant to the current election, but also to
the future of the nation.
However, the benefits of Voice's efforts
do not end at the national level. By register-
ing students to vote in Ann Arbor, the group
gives students a chance to influence their
lives in the city. Besides voting for Bill
Clinton or Bob Dole - or neither - in
November, students also can cast ballots for
the local state representatives. Even closer
to home, students can vote for candidates to
the Board of Regents, the body ultimately
responsible for running the University.
Once registered, students remain eligible to
vote in other elections, including City
Council elections, which directly affect stu-.
dents' lives.
. Due to the relevance of local elections to
the University community, students current-
ly registered in their hometowns should
consider re-registering to vote in Ann
Arbor. They live most of the year in Ann
Arbor, and this will allow them to exercise
elective muscle in the city where local poli-
tics will affect them.
Moreover, registering to vote by absen-
tee ballot is often an added hassle that many
students avoid. Voting in Ann Arbor would
ease the voting process, thereby encourag-
ing participation.
Voter registration remains one of the
most critical and overlooked aspects of the
political scene. As the Oct. 5 registration
deadline approaches, students should take
advantage of the simple registration proce-
dure that Voice offers. As the MTV saying
reminds us, either "Choose or Lose." It's
that simple.

'Everyone has the right to walk where and when they
choose, and Safewalk helps to preserve that right.'
Andrea Lee, coordinator for Safewalk, the
University s campus-wide walking service
What academic advisers don't tell you
BY RON STEIGER And if my first theory was around several times. After
OK. Time's up. It's time to wrong, what else could it be? walking through countless
let me into the big room. Is it that at some point during hallways - and getting
Being a sophomore, I feel the year the answer is just almost as excited as you
that I've been here long going to hit you like the would if you heard "Get a
enough to answer the question "thunderbolt' (you know, like Life" was releasing new
that we all come to college to in "The Godfather," Michael episodes this fall - you will
learn: What am I going to be? in Sicily, whatever)? Some of once again hear your leader's
I always figured that the my sophomore friends have voice. It will speak the words
way one goes about obtaining told me they just think it'll "free pizza." While enjoying
this knowledge is to take a work itself out, sort of taking this heavenly slice you will be
whole bunch of classes in a the thunderbolt approach. But taken into a large room that's
plethora of different depart- personally, I think that completely black. The only
ments and eventually onesub- approach is just a bunch of light in the room is provided
ject will grab your interest baloney. I have my own theo- by stars randomly placed on
like Lorena grabbed John. ry. Basically, this theory con- the walls.
Then you'll know that is what sists of two major concepts. You are taken into this
you want to study, that is what First, all juniors and seniors room and the blindfold is
you want to do with the rest of are in on a conspiracy. taken off. Then a person sit-
your life. Well, after taking Second, there is a secret room ting behind a huge oak
classes in sociology, econom- somewhere on campus. judge's bench looks down at
ics, statistics, goat herding, That's right, first-year stu- you and tells you what you
English, psychology, history, dents and sophomores, you will study for the remaining
beer tasting (therguy told me heard it here first. At some two yearsat the University.
it was three credits, but I point during your sophomore You are also told what you
swear I worked hard enough year here, you will one day be will do when Ann Arbor is
for five), political science, approached while walking just a pre-graduation memory.
philosophy and Macarena harmlessly around campus. Then you are sworn to secre-
dancing, I still have no clue This man or woman who cy, so no first-year student or
what I want to do for a career. accosts you will whisper into unworthy sophomore will
First-year students aren't your ear to stay silent and go ever find out.
expected to know and juniors with him or her. The two of To me this idea is much
and seniors have already you will walk into a building more plausible and much less
decided. But us sophomores (one that I'm pretty sure is scary than deciding by
are stuck right in the middle. University property), a blind- myself. So to all the powers
- Steiger is an LSA fold will be slipped over your that be, this message is for
sophomore and a member eyes, and just to make you out you: I'm ready, so bring on
oftheDailv's editorial board. of sorts, you will be spun the ruckus.
Colum n unfair Jesus Christ would be doing just that, family values
attacked by the coalition's are being promoted. Logic
to Christian leader. Bakopoulos apparent- truly abounds ...
ly left his uncracked, dust- Reed, like his critics,
Coalition laden Gideon's Bible at home minces no words, but since
when he set out to become a he cannot crack a smile as
cross between Dave Barry large as Arkansas, he is
TO THE DAILY: and Howard Stern, armed labeled as a scheming cynic
I would like to take this with a mean, non-ethical dag- who would starve a newborn
opportunity to respond to a ger largely drawn from the by his liberal counterparts.

column written by the quite latter. Hopefully, Dean will start
unsound, though perhaps To his credit, he largely rolling up his sleeves and
furious Dean Bakopoulos succeeds in making conserva- doing some real research
("The gospel according to tive Christians seem the very before he begins his prose,
Ralph," 9/5/96) that appeared devil themselves. Being a which, despite the blatant
in the welcome-back issue of Christian, however, does not lack of any hint of objective-
the Daily (yes, Faulkner is mean that you condone all ness, towers above that of his
turning in his grave). conduct, no matter how sentence-challenged, column
The piece shamelessly grossly it debases name-happy colleagues at the
attacked Ralph Reed and the Christianity. Daily.
Christian Coalition in a most Any amateur student of I do not condone all (or
non-objective manner - Christian theology knows that necessarily any number) of
even for the Daily. being a sincere Christian the Christian Coalition's
Unfortunately, Dean does not means you understand, or try actions, but I do understand
know much about Reed or to understand the behavior from where Reed and they
his ideology beyond what he and then work from there in a are coming, as I do with
reads in Rolling Stone or fair and loving manner. Dean Bakopoulos and the
hears from Tabitha Soren on It is no surprise that Daily.
MTV Bakopoulos attacks those
He dares to claim (as who stand for family values CHAUNCEY HITCHCOCK
opposed to argue) that even and implies still, that by LSA SENIOR
First you had Must-see TV'...
Now check out our fall lineup!
Monday: Zachary M. Raimi/ "Smoke & Mirrors" and
Adrienne Janney/ "Community Chest"
Tuesday: Samuel Goodstein/ "Grand Illusion"
Wednesday: James Miller/ "Miller on Tap"
Thursday: Mpatanishi Tayari/ "Powerful Mpat"

Don't wait until
graduation to
get 'stoned'
I remember moving into Alice Lloyd
1dormitory for the first time three
years ago. As a first-year student, the'
University campus was new to me anc
I knew few people coming in.
Although begin-
ning a new and
independent life
from my family
was exciting it
was scary at the
same time. It took
our entourage
nearly 45 minutes
to get from
Stockwell Hall to
Lloyd and that
particular trip, MPATANISHI
alone, made the TAYARI
University seem
even larger and more imposing than
The rain that day bore a gloomy dis-
position to "move-in day." A day that
will always be remembered as the first
day of my crazy life.
As a senior, today, I look back over
subsequent years at the University and
find myself choking back tears.
Everyone always says that college
years are the best of your life, and it
seems as if I spent most of my time
worrying whether or not I was making
the best of my time here. "
A few days ago I was compelled to
reread an essay that was introduced to
me by one of my colleagues. It was
self-told tale about a man who, for rea
sons unknown to him, found his way
back to his alma matter after several
years of dire avoidance. The writer
remembered his first day at college as
being traumatic, and subsequent years
as being "punctuated by adversity."
After graduation, Dennis Ernst didn't
care if he ever returned.
Ernst was actually driving to another
destination when he found himse
back on campus. "Why am I here?" h
asked himself. As the befuddled alum
looked around his old stomping
grounds 10 years later, he began to
recognize a beauty that was never
before noticed amidst running to
classes and dodging people on the way
to the library.
And then he knew. He noticed "The
Rock" sitting directly in front of him.
"The Rock" was a four-foot-tall
boulder similar to the one we ha
here at the University. At the college
Ernst attended, however,° it ws
described as "a campus symbol o'
pranks and high jinks"; it was where
late-night pranksters would paint
obscenities or political statements, tar
and feather, or even tee-pee the object.
But years later, Dennis Ernst was
taunted by an object that reminded
him of all that he had missed durin
his college years. It is because
Ernst's regretful memories that Y
encourage first-year students - and
others - to make it a priority to get
the most out of your college experi-
It is during these four or five yearV
(or more) that you not only grow,
through academic success, but also
through community involvement and
building lifelong friendships.
If one of your friends is in theate'
don't turn down opportunities to go
his or her performances. As Dennis
Ernst looked around his alma mater,
he noticed the athletic field where

football and intramural games
occurred without him. Instead, he went
home on weekends. In the spring his
fraternity had annual picnics, but he
always found something to stud}
Similarly, don't let these Michign
years pass without singing "Hail T
The Victors" at least once during bas-
ketball season. Or make time to visit
Michigan Union parties when Black'
Greeks are "steppin." Years later,
Dennis regrets knowing "a lot of equa-
tions, but not many students." Or
memorizing "formulas, but forgetting
to have fun." Dennis Ernst also never
painted his rock.
Alternately, there are several peopl
who have painted their owvn rocks
their lifetime. Specifically, I remember
and respect my recently deceased and
dearly loved grandmother for all she
had accomplished through her 90
years of life. Mama Thelma Garrett
helped me realize the importance and
virtues of selfless acts of involvement
and commitment. I think people like
my grandmother, who have lived fuH-
and colorful lives, are the soundest g
us all.
Dennis Ernst went back to his alma
mater to encompass this "soundness"
and "add color to a ... gray fragment
of (his) life." And so, according to
Ernst, it took 10 years for him to real-,


One on one
commission excludes Perot from debates

It he road to the presidency is often
a lonely path and Ross Perot's
jouiney has gotten lonelier.
The Commission on Presidential
Debates decided to exclude Reform Party
candidate Ross Perot from this year's
debdtes. The commission based its decision
on Perot's low standing in public-opinion
polls - critics charge that his standing
indicates no victories for the Perot-Choate
ticket in November.
If this is the only criterion, perhaps the
committee should disinvite former Sen.
Bob Dole (R-Kan.) as well.
While the commission's efforts to pro-
vide a debate for public viewing are appre-
ciated, excluding Perot's ticket is partisan
prejudice. The commission considered
Perot's support before deciding whether to
invite him to the debates; it planned to pro-
vide a forum "from which the American
people will actually choose the next presi-
dent." But the nonpartisan commission
silenced Perot. To construct debates as a
battle between two parties undercuts the
commission's responsibility to sponsor gen-
uine political discussion.
One of the benefits of including Perot in
the debates would be the American public's
opportunity to listen to a third candidate -
one who is a refreshing change from the tra-
ditional politician. Some believe Perot's
thirst for attention is a mockery of legiti-
mate political debate. However, critics over-
look the Reform Party's goals and its con-
tribition to the political debate. For exam-
ple, :the Reform Party is calling for cam-
pai, finance reform, an issue that the
othe'r two narties have evaded.

more entertaining than President Clinton or
Dole. Some ridicule Perot's use of charts
and infomercials. Although comical, they
helped to convince the American public of
the national deficit's severity.
Moreover, Perot's exclusion undercuts
the national commitment to democracy.
Perot's name will likely appear on the ballot
in all 50 states. His presence adds a new
dynamic to Americans' voting practices.
Furthermore, he is eligible for about $30
million in federal funds because of his
strong showing in 1992. Unlike other polit-
ical parties, the Reform Party's recent
emergence proves it to be a viable political
force - another reason to include it in the
Most political observers give Perot little
chance to win the presidential election.
Even so, he is not a marginal candidate.
Within the last four years, Perot has devel-
oped an independent electoral base - first
with United We Stand and now with the
Reform Party.
By inviting Perot to debate, the
American public may have another alterna-
tive to "politics as usual." In 1992, Perot
gained stature as a respectable leader -
perhaps one worthy of the presidency. The
candidates for other potential third parties
have not crossed the threshold. Americans'
desire for change and anger with the politi-
cal process is widespread. Politics is
volatile, and no one can predict how many
voters will back Perot in November.
Restructuring the candidate selection
process for debates would be fairly simple.
The commission should not bar people
from the debates whom they presume to


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