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October 25, 1996 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1996-10-25

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4- The Michigan Daily - Friday, October 25, 1996

wje Si Wogrni I

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 them ajority of the Dailys editorial board.A/ /
other articles, letters and cartoons do not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Michigan Daily.
Ranting over rankings
MSA resolution won't solve problems

'You may not see the benefits immediately. But you
touch a lot of people along the way. You really change
some people's lives.'
-- Joseph Dorsey a Peace Caotps recruiter,
explaining the benefits of the Peace Corps
I -/
0 -

his week, the Michigan Student
Assembly pgssed a resolution that
characterizes the U.S. News and World
Report rankings of the top universities in
America - in which the University
appeared at 24 - as possessing unfair cri-
teria and inherit biases against many institu-
tions. MSA Vice President Probir Mehta
proposed the resolution, which grew out of
similar student government proposals at
Stanford, Harvard and the Massachusetts
Institute of Technology. The proposal also
calls upon the University Board of Regents
to deny the publication's requests for the
information necessary to complete. its sur-
vey. Though MSA's criticisms of the U.S.
News rankings are valid and intelligent
assessments, the assembly's request for the
regents to withhold public information is
anot an appropriate action.
One significant problem with U.S. News
rankings, and similar surveys, is an appar-
ent disregard for educational quality and
satisfaction. In U.S. News' report, academ-
ic reputation is only one of many categories
under investigation, yet the report claims to
be an accurate representation of the educa-
tional quality of the various schools.
The report studies many subjective and
biased areas, such as the percentage of
alumni that donate money to their alma
mater and each institution's student selec-
tivity. Both of these categories favor small,
private colleges over large universities,
because smaller institutions have fewer
alums and smaller student bases from
which to work. The University, for example
ranked I Ith in academic reputation, but

134th in percentage of alum donations.
Hence, the University's overall ranking suf-
fered. If it were purely a survey of educa-
tional quality, the University's overall rank-
ing would not be below several institutions
currently holding lower academic ratings.
But sour grapes are not motivating
MSA. In fact, many schools like the
University or Harvard, Stanford and MIT
(ranked 3, 4 and 5, respectively) have
attained some benefits from the rankings.
Many schools, such as the University's No.
1 ranked undergraduate School of Business
Administration, see the rankings as an asset
and a way to attract the best applicants.
However, admissions officers may use the
rankings, which provide an incomplete por-
trait of schools, to take actions that will
reflect more positively on their universities.
What is best for students and staff may not
be the principal concern of a university.
MSA's proposal, however, is off-base in
its demand that the regents withhold infor-
mation from U.S. News. Despite the skewed
ranking system, the data is public informa-
tion- the University is, after all, a public
institution. If the regents do not relinquish
material to U.S. News, the magazine could
file a Freedom of Information Act request,
and obtain the data it needs to complete the
report. Also, MSA should not encourage the
regents, a body that often has trouble keep-
ing public information in the open, to hide
U.S. News' interpretative system is the
culpable party, not the admissions data -
which should remain a matter of public

Drugging and driving
Clinton's proposal would accomplish nil

[f Bill Clinton could do it again, he'd
Clinton's now-infamous statement that
he would inhale marijuana if he could try it
again, which was broadcasted on MTV dur-
ing the 1992 campaign, has given
Republicans yet another chance to attack
the president for being "soft on drugs." The
.message may not be resonating with the
voters, but it is affecting the president.
Just two weeks before the election,
Clinton introduced legislation to crack
down on underage drinking and drug use.
'The proposal would require every first-time
driver to pass a drug test before receiving a
license. While Clinton crafted the legisla-
tion in the right spirit, the new law would do
nothing to stop underage drug use; it is not
In his weekly radio address last week,
Clinton said he wants a "zero tolerance"
policy. "No drugs - or no driver's license,"
Clinton said. "If you're under 21 and you
drink, you can't drive - period." Due to the
recent sharp increase in drug use among
America's youth, Clinton believes that a
lure of a driver's license is more compelling
than drugs - he mistakenly believes the
proposal would change a person's behavior.
- Few will claim that cracking down on
teen-agers who drive under the influence of
alcohol or drugs is a bad idea. This legisla-
tion, however, would not serve that pur-
pose. First, it is unfair to put thousands of
teen-agers through drug testing. Clinton
hopes the "90 percent (of teen-agers) who
are drug-free" will participate willingly to
help identify other teens who use drugs.
However, such a requirement is unfair and
would make the lives of the innocent teen-
agers more difficult.
Moreover, teen-agers would know not to

less than random. Most teen-age drug users
would wise up to the plan and cleanse their
system before applying for a license. This
would make it harder to catch teen-agers
with drugs in their system. Drug testing has
not proved to be 100 percent accurate; there
are "wink-and-nod" ways to make a test
result come out negative, even though an
individual may be on drugs.
Furthermore, the responsibility for
enforcing the law would be passed onto the
states. Clinton also has threatened states
that do not comply with the legislation with
a 10-percent reduction per year of their fed-
eral highway construction funding. The
states may have to set up additional bureau-
cracy to enforce the law, which promises to
yield few positive results. Plus, the law
ignores all of the adults who use drugs; bet-
ter legislation would have encompassed
Clinton seems to have proposed the leg-
islation in order to appear that he is con-
fronting the country's drug problem.
Republican presidential candidate Bob
Dole has repeatedly attacked Clinton for
not being "tough on drugs." In fact, this is
one of the few issues to add spark to Dole's
lackluster campaign. Clinton's proposal
seems more like a flimsy attempt of to win
over wary voters than it is an honest plan to
help prevent teen-age drug use.
Clinton does have part of the idea right
- that teen-agers plus drugs plus a car
could lead to trouble. But the legislation is
misguided - it would do little, if anything,
to cut down on teen-age substance abusers..
Instead, state governments should work
with the federal government to develop
tougher drunk-driving laws that would pun-
ish people of all ages. If Clinton wants to be
tough on drugs, he needs to create legisla-

After months of anticipa-
tion. lawsuits and injunctions,
the names of the finalists for
the position of University
president were announced
last week. Not knowing much
about any of the candidates, I
looked for the Daily to help
me evaluate the caliber of
these candidates. I opened up
the editorial page, hoping to
get an interesting, cogent
analysis of these candidates.
What was the first sentence
describing these finalists?
"Three white boys and
one white girl," ("A deaf ear,"
10/18/96). Four distinguished
finalists chosen from a list of
more than 300 names were
ignominiously reduced to
being judged solely on their
lack of pigmentation on their
skin. Is this what we've come
to? Was this the goal of
Martin Luther King? Every
white candidate is dismissed
as a "white boy" or a "white
girl?" The Daily would not
be happy unless white candi-
dates, no matter how quali-
fied or distinguished they
are, are excluded. What's
next? Let's fire all the white
Daily editorial page writers!
needs limits
At first I thought I would
let Nicholas Kirks letter,
"The rich are the reason why
America is great" (10/15/96),
go by without responding to
it. But then I recalled that I
recently heard almost the
same words from a middle-
aged businesswoman, and so
then I felt that, as a good lib-
eral, maybe I have a respon-
sibility to try to educate Kirk.
Kirk, a very large per-
centage of the wealth in this
country is inherited. Oh. And
there are Americans today
who are so hard-working that
they work two or three jobs,
yet they barely make ends
meet. Oh. You see, capitalism
rewards hard work, but it also
rewards employers who make
their workers work as hard as
possible for as little as possi-
ble. It also rewards employers
who force their employees to
work overtime rather than
training and hiring the unem-
ployed. Oh. We also have a
Federal Reserve Board that
attempts to fine tune the
economy so that unemploy-
ment does not fall below 5
percent. Why? Because when
that happens, wages rise

system is moving increasing-
ly in the direction of a win-
ner-take-all system. No mat-
ter how hard we all work, all
of us are not going to be
upper-level managers, major
league ballplayers, TV news
anchors or heart surgeons.
Consider a corporation
where the lowest-paid
employee makes about
$10,000 and the CEO has an
annual income more than $2
million. Maybe the CEO
works harder than the janitor
or the mail clerk, but 200
times harder? Capitalism can
lead to excess. We do not
need to abolish it, but we
must temper it with regula-
tions (for example, laws for-
bidding forced overtime) and
redistribution mechanisms.
By making our income tax
much more progressive, we
even could establish a floor
and a ceiling for incomes.
Those earning nothing or
very little would receive a
negative income tax, and
those earning the most would
pay at rates approaching 100
percent. One only has to look
at most European countries
to see that it is possible to tax
the rich much more than we
do, and to provide a better
safety net for the poor, with-
out destroying capitalism.
Most Americans work
very hard, and most of those
unemployed and under-
employed would like jobs.
Yet real incomes for most
people have been slipping for
more than 20 years, while the
top few percent have made
tremendous gains. We must
turn this trend around if
America is to remain great.
Greeks not
for incident
As a recent graduate of
the University and a former
member of the Greek com-
munity, I am appalled by the
article that you decided to
print in Tuesday's edition
titled "Police, IFC investigate
Theta Chi" (10/2296). The
slanderous story is complete-
ly unsubstantiated, based
merely on hearsay, and repre-
sents yet another unwarranted
attack on the Greek commu-
nity. The author offers the
reader mere speculation
regarding the alleged distrib-
ution of alcohol at the frater-
nity and fails to address the
real issue - personal
accountability for one's
actions. Should the alleged
incident prove to be true,
who really is at fault? The
individual or the institution'?
In today's rapidly changing
social environment, it has
heari- mac inn nvto ; r

their own actions. The pub-
lic's tendency to blame the
institution in such a situation
merely perpetuates this reck-
less behavior amongst young
adults as they are rarely held
accountable for their own
actions. The institution is
punished while the individual
walks away. Punishing the
institution in this matter
merely provides a short-term
cure for the situation but fails
to provide a long-term reso-
lution to the issue of personal
The author's reckless dis-
regard for the facts jeopar-
dizes not only a potentially
innocent fraternity but more
importantly, inaccurately
directs blame toward the fra-
ternity president. It is my sin-
cere hope that this lack of
journalistic integrity doesn't
result in a misplaced punish-
ment for an innocent individ-
ual. Rather than searching to
place blame, let us all be
thankful that the young
woman ended up safe and is
out of danger.
Writer unfair
to Christ
I am writing to address
inaccuracies in a letter you
printed on Oct. 21 ("Leave
Christ at Berkeley") about
the vice chancellor and
provost of the University of
California at Berkeley, Carol
Christ. William Donakowski,
identified as a faculty mem-
ber here, wrote about Christ's
candidacy for the University
of Michigan presidency.
Donakowski is, in fact, a
staff scientist employed by
the Space Sciences
Laboratory, a unit that is
under the supervision of our
Vice Chancellor for Research
Joseph Cerny, and not under
the supervision of Christ, as
Donakowski asserted in his
letter. The events he recount-
ed in his letter with respect to
Christ never took place. For
example, Donakowski never
contacted Christ's office as
he claimed and she, there-
fore, never turned down a
request to meet with him and
his colleagues. Cerny, howev-
er, did hold a meeting with
the staff. Although not stated,
Donakowski's true motive in
sending this letter may have
stemmed from the fact that
employees at the laboratory
are currently involved in a
very acrimonious protest
against a decision to bring
them into the campus parking
system and charge them for
parking, due to our institu-
tion's financed improvements
to their parking lot.
Staff scientists also have

Ladies and
gents, position
your tongue for
better kissing
While surfing the 'Net looking for
column idea, I came across
page created by Flirts International, a
company appar-
ently dedicated to
increasing the
quantity and qua-
ity of flirting,
around the world
(Please, please
don't ask me how
I got to this page; I
swear it was an
accident. I was
looking up the K ATIE
word "internation- HUTCHINS
al." Really.)
Aside from telling you how to be
attractive and who the famous flirts
and non-flirts are (e.g. Lloyd Bentsen
and Warren Christopher, respectively),
it gives tips on kissing. I thought I
might share the kissing tips with you,
because - tragic as it is - bad kiss
ing happens a lot on this campus.
For example, a friend of mine was on
her first date with a guy she met at a
party. The relationship ended with the
goodnight kiss. The poor guy didn't
use his tongue. That's right - no
Now this is something pretty basic
that we all should have learned by now.
People hook up the same way they live
their lives: passively, aggressively,
shyly, dominatrix-style - but, in thi
culture, everybody uses their tongue.
It's a given.
Most of the Flirts International's tips
seemed to be aimed at the high school
population, but a few might be helpful
to people of college age:
"Kiss as though you have all the
time in the world." I included this tip
for the men on campus.
You really do have all night, and,-all
next week, and until you graduate t.
get laid - so don't push it. Relax,
enjoy kissing for what it is, and ddh't
get so damn turned on that you forget
that it's a person you're with.
t "Open your eyes (IF you can stand
the intimacy)." This one has potential,
but - if done improperly - it can
have unpleasant ramifications. When
you are staring at your partner as you
kiss, just make sure you let him or her
know you're doing this.
I was kissing a recent boyfriend for
good half hour before I realized that
his eyes were open the majority of the
time. This made me feel uncomfort-
able. I don't want people looking at me
when I'm kissing, even if they're
Later, I tried opening my eyes to
check to see if he was opening his, but
when we made contact - and both hur-
niedly looked away - it kind of too~'
away the romantic feel of the moment.
I would suggest not using this "tech-
nique" until later in the relationship.
Se"Kiss your partner's face in places
other than the lips" Ooooh. This real-
ly works for women. Lotsa points for
creativity. But I'm not sure how guys
react to it.
When I was 13, I ordered two books
from the back of some pre-teen maga-
zine: "The Get Him System" and.
"Secrets of Kissing." One told me hog
I - no matter whatI looked like-
could get any guy I wanted. Money

back guarantee. (I still use the tech-
niques to this day. I have an extra copy
if anyone wants it.)
And, of course, "Secrets of Kissing"
told me what to do with him once I got
These books were marvelous hand-
books for the teen-age years - an(i
both suggested the kissing on the fac
thing. I tried it a few times, but some-I
times guys get freaked out by this. Too
aggressive, I guess.
"Two or more little kisses are a
nice way to warm up to big kisses" I
don't know if this is all that necessary,
but it's kind of cute. Either way, unless
you're really sure of yourself, it's
always best tobmake surefthe other
party wants to be kissed before you go
all out and smother him with tongu
"Relax your lips, but don't let
them mush up." Now that's an appeal-
ing image. I'm not so sure what this
one means, but I do know that mush-
ing up is something to be avoided.
"Add another 'little kiss' or two
after the rbig one. Kissing doesn't
begin and end abruptly." The "big
one," huh? I like that.
Like the little kiss before the bi'
kiss, this isn't really necessary. There's
something to be said for pulling away
from a big long passionate one and
gasping for air while giving your part-
ner that sexy "ooh, you animal" look.
This is a big ego-booster for him. Then

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