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November 15, 1996 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1996-11-15

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4 - The Michigan Daily - Friday, November 15, 1996

cFbe £(chigdui t nlg

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

Editor in Chief
Editorial Page Editors

-r -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

Drunken i
Alcohol Awareness A
he University sent students an impor-
'' tant message this past week: Drink
responsibly. This plea has been the central
&-Theme of Alcohol Awareness Week, an
Znnual event that the Substance Abuse
:education Network, the Office of the Vice
WPresident for Student Affairs, University
Health Services and University Housing
sponsors. The week's method of addressing
the problem of college alcohol abuse con-
stitutes a productive force in curbing reck-
less drinking among students.
The issue of abusive drinking among
college students clearly warrants the atten-
tion of the University. Alcohol Awareness
-Week comes in the wake of several studies
reporting that about two-fifths of college
students are binge drinkers. The studies
reveal that virtually all binge drinkers admit
to suffering negative consequences, which
range from hangovers to sexual assaults.
'Violence, unsafe sex, academic problems
and traffic accidents on college campuses
also frequently stem from irresponsible
Maureen Hartford, vice president for
Student Affairs told The Michigan Daily
that such problems exist at the University.
"Much of the research we've done on this
campus and on campuses across the country
suggests that our students are not that dif-
ferent from other college students."
The week's agenda is pragmatic - it
; informs students on alcohol abuse and the
potential dangers of substance through var-
ious presentations, including a self-help
r panel, alcohol-related violence against
women, alcohol and the law, and an exhibit
on drunk-driving. The display of such real-
istic consequences of careless drinking is an

Week helps students

'We put a lot of hard work and time preparing the sign.
Some people just seem to think they can ignore the law
and do what they feel to our sign.'
- LSA senior Haaris Ahmad, a member of the Muslim Students Association,
reacting to the recent destruction of his organization's sign

effective means of reaching University stu-
dents - many of whom have likely been
exposed to the repercussions of substance
Motivational speakers, often recovering
alcoholics, lend a first-hand view of the
negative consequences of substance abuse
to the event. They serve to legitimize the
rhetoric students hear on the issue of
responsible drinking - bringing reality to
the sordid statistics on substance abuse.
Much of the country's recent campaign
against college alcohol abuse has called
for students to abstain from drinking.
This popular approach proves unrealistic
when one considers that 70 percent of
American college students drink regular-
ly. Such a chastising approach is more
likely to make college students deaf to the
issue of substance abuse than to diminish
the problem.
The University's Alcohol Awareness
Week attacks the issue in a much more sen-
sible fashion by encouraging students to
examine their drinking habits and to modi-
fy them, if necessary. The event is more
than a mere forum for the University to
preach to students; it also presents students
with social alternatives to drinking includ-
ing late-night organized sports and alcohol-
free dance parties. This approach shows stu-
dents that a high blood alcohol level is not a
necessary part of social interaction.
Through Alcohol Awareness Week the
University takes an effective step toward
lessening the problem of collegiate sub-
stance abuse. Other institutions should
establish similar programs to bring the
important message to a wider audience of
n frien~ds fnl
pen A2 chapter
with sexual orientation.
However, PFLAG does not have a chap-
ter in Ann Arbor. A University or a city
chapter would help to foster a more under-
standing environment. Many of the disputes
that result on campus concerning sexual
orientation are a result of lack of under-
standing. PFLAG would help to combat
discrimination based upon ignorance.
Moreover, Ann Arbor has a large homo-
sexual population; a local PFLAG chapter
would cater to the needs of the
family members.
Although gays, lesbians and
bisexuals are a minority, they
do not merit the discrimination
they receive. Studies show that
about 10 percent of the popula-
tion is homosexual. Although
they have been striving to gain
acceptance within the commu-
nity, there is still a large major-
rWIMSATT/ Daiyity who do not choose not to
accept their differences.

.- . !

Help fron
PFLAG should c

embers of Parents, Families and
iI, Friends of Lesbians and Gays voted
recently in favor of creating a second
PFLAG chapter in Detroit. An increase in
support of the existing chapter lead orga-
rnizers to form the new group. In addition to
opening a second PFLAG location in the
Metro Detroit area, PFLAG should add an
Ann Arbor chapter - it would enhance the
current resources for gays and lesbians at
e the University.
PFLAG is an organization
formed to promote health and
well-being of gay, lesbian and
bisexual persons, as well as
their family and friends.
PFLAG works to accomplish
these goals by working with the
gay and lesbian segments of
society, educating the public on
homosexual issues, combating
-discrimination, and securing
equal civil rights.
The organization, which has
more than 400 national chapters, is an
important resource for the furthering of the
equal civil rights for gays and lesbians.
"Overall, PFLAG works with people of all
sexual orientations to break down the
: stereotypes and misconceptions surround-
ing homosexuality.
The University has many resources to
.assist the homosexual community. For
'example, the Lesbian/Gay/Bisexual
:.Programming Office has a noticeable pres-
,nce at the University. Its employees work
to promote a tolerant atmosphere at the
Jniversity and provide help for students. In
iddition, the Queer Unity Project has many
f the same goals as LGBPO. Together, the
.. _rr c c_ - .rc rvrr- nn--.ii - : . t i m: a o

Red Cross
does not
In a recent letter to the
editor, a student was con-
cerned that the Red Cross
was discriminatory because it
did not allow homosexual
men to donate blood, even
though they may practice
safe sex ("Red Cross discrim-
inates against gays,"
Although it is true that
the spread of HIV has slowed
down considerably among the
gay community, there is still
a hugely disproportionate
number of gay men who have
contracted HIV compared to
other groups. Now in case
people aren't aware, there is
still no absolute 100-percent
effective method of testing
blood for HIV
- Since the Red Cross can-
not stop taking blood, they
have to instill some measures
to reduce the risk of contami-
nation. I find the idea prepos-
terous that the Red Cross is
on some anti-gay campaign.
If so, then why are gay
women not excluded from
giving blood? It is because
they are not a high-risk
group. If the day ever comes
that HIV is not more com-
mon among homosexual men
than the rest of the popula-
tion, than I am sure that the
Red Cross will reverse its
For now, I find it disturb-
ing that Ryan Lalonde would
have the Red Cross allow a
greater threat to the safety of
the rest of the population
because he is on some cru-
sade to improve his leader-
ship image now that he is in
charge of the Queer Unity
209 protest
was not
While I agree with the
Daily that the Prop. 209 pro-
testers at the University of
California at Berkeley were
wrong by throwing their cam-
pus newspaper in the foun-
tain and burning them, I dis-
agree that what else they did
was justified ("Hanging from
the tower" '11/11/96).
I do not see how chaining
to the clocktower and ringing
it all night, disrupting the
entire university, helps send
the message against 209. I
see it as a childish reaction
for students who didn't get
what they wanted.
I do respect the right of

I am also confused about
the Daily's interpretations of
math. A significant majority
of Californians, including
myself, voted for 209, 54 per-
cent strong. Yet the Daily
says this is "far from an over-
whelming endorsement"
Maybe it is all part of this
new math.
Banner theft
hurts LAW
I'm just writing you to let
you know that earlier this
week the Muslim Students
Association put a banner up
on the Diag letting the cam-
pus community know that
this week is Islam Awareness
During this week
Muslims all over campus go
out of their way to try and
dispel the rumors and myths
that surround the world's sec-
ond largest religion. They
hold lectures and put up dis-
play boards telling the simple
truths that they believe in.
This banner was a beautiful
invitation for all to come and
learn about Islam. It took
many hours of labor to
design and paint. The Muslim
Student Association was hop-
ing to keep it for further use
in the future.
Unfortunately some peo-
ple appear to not like the idea
of living together peacefully
in a community where every-
one understands and accepts
each others beliefs. You see,
this banner was ripped down
less than 24 hours after it was
put up.
Now I would normally
not be that perturbed by this;
I am nonconfrontational and
I may have thought that per-
haps it was just some drunks
who pulled it down or a freak
accident. However, this is not
the first time such a thing has
happened. Earlier this year,
the Muslims Students
Association put up a banner
for their mass meeting. It too
was ripped down. But not all
at once, first the part telling
where the meeting wasto be
located, then the time, and
finally the whole thing.
I am appalled that such a
thing could be done.
Especially on campus ...
heck on the Diag. Isn't there
supposed to be some securi-
ty? Doesn't the University
value Islam as well as other
religions? How can this hap-
pen without anyone seeing it,
or knowing about it?
It angers me that these
people can get away with
such a thing. Are Muslims
less than others? Is their
work less meaningful? If this
was another organization
would there be more outrage?

'Big Head
Todd' review
In regard to your recent
review of a concert by Big
Head Todd and The Monsters
("Big Head Todd energizes
Michigan," 11/11/96), 1 must
say your coverage was dismal
at best. As a fan of both the
band Big Head Todd as well
as music as a medium, I was
dismayed by the lack of accu-
racy and objectivity in your
coverage of this fine concert.
First and foremost, your
article begins with a direct
contradiction. The title would
lead one to believe that this
review would be a positive
one, yet in reality it is an act
of stereotyping and unsup-
ported claims that falsely
portrays this recent event.
The theme around whic
this review is based is that
Big Head Todd and the
Monsters created a state of
boredom through their per-
formance. This leads me to
ask one simple question:
Were you even at the show?
The audience was on their
feet throughout the perfor-
mance visibly content with
the musical variety. It seems
awfully trivial to not only
make a false claim such as
boredom, but to also leave
out some crucial points
which highlighted the show.
You fail to merely men-
tion lead singer Todd Mohr's
flawless performance on the
guitar or the band's fine ren-
dition of John Lee Hooker's
"Boom Boom Boom." It is
these actual occurrences, not
your vague opinions, which
deserve discussion in your
Furthermore, your stereo-
typing of the audience is
completely uncouth. You
refer to the audience as "fra-
ternity heavy, hippie-laden,
surreptitiously pot-smoking."
This is completely untrue. At
the performance I verbalized
my surprise in the fact that
the crowd seemed older than
college age and rather clean
To generalize this audi-
ence in terms of their pres-
ence in the Greek system,
their social nature, and their
use of illegal substances
leads me to wonder: Did you
do a survey while at the per-
formance? If not, how did
you know that the majority of
the crowd was in fraternities,
was hippies, and was smok-
ing pot. You generalized,
which is completely unethi-
Finally, I commend your
effort to gain support for-
your claims by interviewing a
band member, but who did
you interview? The drummer.

Hanging out 0
with Phish
friends lends
new perspective
P hish was here last weekend, and it
brought with it some cool peop
from Syracuse. They reminded
what being nice is
all about.f-
It was my friend
Adelle and her
boyfriend Matty.
Adelle and Matty
have been to about
25 Phishshows.
They love thex
band so much that
they'd drop every- s,"_ -K
thing to go see KATIE
them. Even if it is HUTCHINS
a 10-hour drive
Adelle and Matty taught me a fw
things about the way I used to lead my
life and the way I should be living it
now. They are all day, every day con-
cerned about the environment, sexism,
racism, Third World countries, inju-
tice and freedom.
Adelle is one of those hippie freaks
so many people are fond of ridiculing.
She's got a not-so-pretty car, plastered
with bumper stickers:
"Meat makes me sick."
"If you're not outraged, you're not
paying attention
"Join the army. Go to fun, exotic
places, meet exciting, interesting peo-
ple, and kill them."
And so on. She gets pulled over
the cops a lot.W
She also wears her hair in dreadlocks
sometimes. She makes her own
clothes and jewelry - (except for her
nose ring, which was store-bought).
She never kills bugs, and she doesn't
wear leather. She works in a children's
store and she's goingrto Latin America
through the Peace Corps.
I brought this happy couple to
Rendezvous to show them how w
derful a double almond-flavored skim
cappuccino can be. They ordered fresh
fruit juice. Simple, natural.
And when Matty spoke about the
"greatesthmusic known to man," he
was quick to correct his sexist slip:
"The greatest music known to people.
I'm sorry. I forgot."
I don't know anyone like them here.
Maybe Syracuse isn't nearly as chal-
lenging as this school. Maybe tl'r
gives them time to be crazy kids. A&
know is, they don't take themselves
too seriously, they are concerned about
everything we all should be concerned
about, and they also know how to have
a good time.
They bought all my housemates beer.
Good beer - Sierra Nevada, Saranac,
Long Shot. They made us eggplant
parmesan for dinner. They bought
meals for me at all my favorite rest
rants. They went to the Arb - in tI
weather - and enjoyed it.
They also decided, while they were
here, that they might as well go to the
Grand Rapids Phish show. They're
both in school, but figured they'd stick
around and play a little while longer.
I don't know many people who have
time to go on a weekend road trip, let
alone a week-long one. And I don't
know many people who visit friends'
homes with a cooler of beer for
house, their own towels and blanket,
and an insanely good attitude.
Certainly there are people here who

are dedicated to something valuable-
even if it's not Phish or simple living.
The College Democrats and College
Republicans showed a lot of energy
and perseverance thisaterm. The kids
going on Alternative Spring Break
trips - service trips sponsored b
Project Serve - are doing a g
thing. There are kids involved in the
University Mentorship Program, ECB
peer tutoring, and the Sexual Assault
Prevention and Awareness Center. It's
admirable to do these things while
attending school full-time.
But do ECB peer tutors also go on
road trips, recycle everything and buy
presents for their hosts? When they're
not counseling assault survivors on the
phone, are SAPAC volunteers alwzi
nice? When we get caught up in
causes and career goals, we sometimes
forget the little things that make a dif-
ference in the lives of those around us.
That giving someone two cigarettes
when they bum one off of you might
be just as important as becoming a
doctor. That smiling, saying "Hi," and
holding doors open for people only
take a few more seconds - but make
a world of difference.
We also forget about the little things
we should be concerned about. We're
going to be doctors, we're going to be
civil rights lawyers, we're going to be
rich so we can raise a good family. But
what about those poor people with the
buckets on the Diag? The ones collect-


The need for a second Detroit chapter of
PFLAG indicates that in addition to the
support of 10 percent of the population,
family members and friends are growing in
support of the homosexual individuals with
whom they are acquainted. This is an
important factor in off-setting the discrimi-
nation that homosexual individuals face
throughout their daily lives.
When gay, lesbians and bisexuals first
reveal their sexual preference, their families
and friends often feel uncertain about how
to treat them. These individuals often feel
alienated from their families as well. By
expanding PFLAG, the organization is
making great strides to see that their family
n4- ior a.: ria4- trih iblt a m withenn


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