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January 14, 1997 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1997-01-14

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4 - The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, January 14, 1997

cuje Strduni~ n tuilg

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 Daily's editorial board. All
other articles, letters and cartoons do not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Michigan Daily.
Without warning
ITD policies hurt academic atmosphere

T he Information Technology Division
changed a lot of its policies in the past
few months - most of them detrimental to
students. Its newest policy will cut off
essential computing services to those with
insufficient funds in their computing
accounts. ITD is leaving students stranded
without warning.
Every month, students receive a pre-paid
subscription from ITD to pay for computing
services. In September, ITD dropped the
allocation to $10 while increasing the cost
of services, such as printing. For most stu-
dents, the regular subscription fees cover e-
nail, five megabytes of IFS space - a
place on a University server where students
can store files - and ITD login service,
totaling $1.95. However, printing saps the
account of 8 cents per printed side; after the
$4.40 minimum charge for dial-in Internet
access, accounts get charged by the minute.
Given computers' importance at the
University, the "small allocation fails to pro-
vide students with sufficient resources.
Under ITD's new policy, students will
have to pay out-of-pocket or face being cut
off from basic computing services. Through
extensive use of dial-in access, students can
end up with a negative amount in their
account - dial-in won't cut off in the mid-
dle of a call when the funds hit zero. At the
beginning of the month, the small allocation
may not pull the account into the black and
when subscription costs are taken, the stu-
dent loses access to e-mail, printing, dial-in
and IFS space.
Most students don't know how to check
account balances. Displaying the balance
after every print job, and possibly every
logout, would keep students informed as to
:how close they are to losing their privileges.
ITD Operations Manager Liz Salley said
%TD will not inform students before cutting
off these vital services. ITD could easily
Marijuana should b
,: oto, it's not the '60s anymore.
; California and Arizona residents have
realized this progression, and passed laws
to make marijuana legal for medicinal pur-
poses. The White House denounced both
laws, and, a week later, promised to spend
t$1 million to study scientific evidence on
,the effectiveness of medicinal marijuana.
That the White House would even consider
amending its classic "just say no" stance is
impressive. But the study seems to ignore
-other medical research, which shows that
marijuana is one of the safest therapeutical-
*ly active substances known.
For thousands of years, human beings
have used plants - such as cannabis - to
treat an array of ailments. The U.S. govern-
ment did not outlaw marijuana - for strict-
ly medicinal as well as recreational purpos-
es - until 1937. Currently, only eight
" Americans have obtained exceptions to the
ban for a specific medical treatment. Yet
studies have shown the benefits of marijua-
na for treatment of AIDS, glaucoma, can-
cer, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy and chron-

ic pain. In 1988, after years of court battles
trying to legalize marijuana for medicinal
purposes, the Drug Enforcement Agency's
chief administrative law judge, Francis
Young, ruled: "Marijuana, in its. natural
form, is one of the safest therapeutically
active substances known. ... It would be
unreasonable, arbitrary and capricious for
the DEA to continue to stand between those
sufferers and the benefits of this sub-
P e P I- _. 1

send an automated e-mail to students about
to be suspended a couple of business days
(or a couple of dollars) in advance.
"Godzilla" never misses a chance to inform
students who have reached their e-mail (not
IFS) storage quota, although it blocks e-
mail in the meantime. On a broader scope,
every student receives CRISP appointments
and financial-aid notices over e-mail -
why not low fund warnings?
ITD must view itself as a part of other
University functions. Professors often use
e-mail as a method to communicate with
students outside the classroom. Students
use their IFS space to store class assign-
ments and papers - if they lose access to
the space, they may have trouble meeting
assignment deadlines and their grades
could suffer. ITD's plan to punish students
who overdraw their computing account
could end up hurting the student's class
The solution ITD posits is for students to
set up self-funded accounts. ITD did well in
making it possible to create an account 24
hours a day at the NUBS site - thus pre-
venting late-night exchanges of passwords
to print papers. The process still requires a
minimum $25 deposit, payable by check or
money order. Of course, a North Campus
resident will have considerable trouble
making it to NUBS after the last bus.
ITD should fulfill a purpose streamlined
with the University's educational mission.
According to an ITD study, about 5 percent
of the computing accounts would have been
suspended had the new policy been in place
in November. Disconnecting the life line of
such a large chunk of the community is
unacceptable. Students pay thousands of
dollars in tuition and fees, which includes
computing costs -- to force them make
additional payments for a fundamental ser-
vice is doubly taxing.
e legal for medicine

'I'm looking forward to seeing old friends and beginning
to talk with some people about what the issues are, so
we can begin with some energy in February.'
- University President-select Lee Bollinger
FuruRE. oF
SocAL_ ECUWtI .... \
Online Daily The print media aban- story itself
Jdoned the practice of selec-
is enjoyableLiel rotg poor g*ram""- JOHN WODFORD
research showed that verba- EXECUTIVE EDITOR,
TO THE DAILY: tim quotes were selectively MICHIGAN TODAY
Reading the Daily daily used to insult or ridicule
from Arizona is one of my certain individuals, classes
great pleasures. of persons, especially Rules' book
It is about the best of the blacks, poor people, white
University home page southerners, immigrants deserves
items! and the like.
JF. BRINKERHOFF The journalistic profes- criticismnand
UNIVESITYALUM sion noted that since the
UNIVERSITY ALUM speech of politicians, corpo- parody
rate officials, entertainers and
such was systematically cor- T
Selective rected by reporters, this cour- To I LY:
tesyshold b exende toall I had heard about the
quoting pe onso extended to book "The Rules: Time-
Today, unfortunately, we Tested Secrets for Capturing
mocks may see certain publications the Heart of Mr. Right" from
maya friend of mine before I read
sourcan coese do - the article by Adrienne
sandodn ien oting do nes- Janney ("Do Rules girls have
TO THE DAILY: paper and magazine subjects. more fun?" 1/13/97).
Your reporter quotes the It is an unfortunate regres- second time.
late Prof. Betty Jean Jones's sion. Aside from being sexist,
father as having said that I hope, however, that the oppressive, stereotypical, it's
when he returned to his Daily will see the error of its just stupid.
home after leaving his way n eunt h iy I want to thank Adrienne
daughter, "I know she done of most major newspapers for tearing into a book that so
called me three or four and correct all poor grammar deserves to be torn into.
times." ("'U' mourns loss of that is not relevant to the Thankfully, others have
theatre prof. in Comair story itself. also agreed with Adrienne
crash," 1/13/97) Today, unfortunately, we and me on that subject. For
Although Mr. Jones may may see certain publications all of you who wish to laugh
have expressed himself in returning to a selective, arro- may I suggest the book
those words, your reporter gant, condescending double- "Breaking the Rules," by
and her colleagues should standard in quoting of news- Laura Banks and Janette
know that it is the usual prac- paper and magazine sub- Barber, a parody on "The
tice in print journalism to jects. Rules," and sure to be a com-
correct grammatical errors. It is an unfortunate edy classic. I'm not going to
Everyone, from presidents to regression, tell you what's in the book -
actors to educators, occasion- I hope, however, that the you have to find out - but I
ally uses incorrect or non- Daily will see the error of its know that you won't be dis-
standard grammar. way and return to the policy appointed.
Newspapers and magazines of most major newspapers
routinely correct the substan- and correct all poor grammar DOUGLS BARNS
dard usage. that is not relevant to the LSA SENIOR

Do away with language requirement

On Ingmar
Bean and
passing time
Ingmar Bergman's ability to expose
man's daily struggle, what Camus
called "the nakedness of man before
the absurdity of life," is unsurpassed
cinematic history. His films dramati
and thereby evoke,
the full gamut of
human emotions:
from disgust to joy
and everything in
In one of
Bergman's many
Isak Borg is an
elderly professor SAMUEL
returning by car to GOODSTEIN
his old school to
receive an award; during the journey
Borg comes to terms with the failure
that is his life. As a husband, father
and friend he has failed those close to
him. On the eve of this car-ride, Borg
had a dream; with this dream Bergma
creates one of the most powerfW
scenes in celluloid history. Stumbling
through the empty streets of his town,
Borg is surrounded by images of his
death; looking up, he sees a great
clock with no hands. For Borg, not
only has time stopped, it has ceased to
For most people, there are two very
distinct methods to measure time. The
first is the socially constructed variety,
whereby we break up our days into 2A
equivalent blocks as an artificiW
means of following the movement of
our planet around the sun. (Some
scholars claim that our solar calendar
is, in fact, off the mark and should be
adjusted.) The movement of the hands
is indeed a social construct, created to
compartmentalize our days and per-
fected to aid the flow of business.
Proof: The time zones that are such a
central component in our recogniti9
of time were not developed until thie
railroad became the dominant mode of
economic transit in the late 19th cen-
tury. Railroad companies, for obvious
reasons, needed time to be standard-
ized; before this development, noon
was the moment the sun was at its
highest point - in other words, each
city had its own noon-time. This para-
digm for time is man-made and emo-
tionless, but pragmatic.
The second way to monitor time*
so simple that a person could measure
it even if they had never learned to
count. This second paradigm of time is
no social construct, it is born of an
emotional energy - experienced
when standardized time is suspended.
When the most terrifying moment of
your.lifelasts an eternity, when one
joyous week seems to consume only a
single day - this mode of time can
be captured by convention, cannot
standardized. When time elapses in
this way, we are completely helpless to
control or measure it; it moves and
takes us along.
Bergman's genius lay in his recogni-
tion of the power of this unmeasurable
time. His clock with no hands is so
haunting because it exposes our fear of
a time so long in duration that we can-
not endure. Bergman lays bare the dis-
tinction between time measured by t
clock and time measured in the min

or soul; Isak Borg is so terrified by his
dream not because time has run out
but because time has lost its meaning,
time has moved from measurable to
I have experienced, I think, a third
way to account for time. Consider pro-
found contentment: time spent that is
so rewarding that the movement of L
hands is irrelevant, but whereby
emotional danger of the second way is
put to rest. The emotional danger is
what Bergman toys with, is what
makes one terrifying minute last for-
ever and is what makes one week of
bliss seem like a split second.
This danger - like any dangerous
thing - can lead to pleasure or pain.
But contentment, real contentment,
sidesteps the danger. When time
moves thus, you do not notice h
much, or how fast, time has gone
- you only notice your contentment.
This, I have often thought, is how
many grandparents must feel when
they spend time with their grandchil-
dren. Or how we feel when spending
any amount of time with a person or
object that we deeply care about (a
loved one, a book, a symphony), when
time is utterly overshadowed by the
So where does this leave us? Perhaps
the most astounding aspect of the
information revolution currently
underway has been the near elimina-
tion of time as a meaningful paradigm.
When information, goods and people

The American Medical Association will
revoke the certification of doctors who pre-
scribe marijuana. Patients who use it are
still in jeopardy of federal prosecution no
matter what state laws say. So, legal or not,
it's illegal, in federal logic.
General Barry McCaffrey, a retired
Army officer who heads the White House
Office of National Drug Control Policy, is
also leading the study. McCaffrey's previ-
ous work could prevent him from produc-
ing an unbiased study - into something his
salary pays him to keep illegal. Steve
Michael, a spokesperson for Act Up, an
AIDS advocacy and protest group, said it
best: "Putting McCaffrey in charge of this
research is like putting Nixon in charge of
the Watergate files." No matter what the
current laws say, the White House must take
a serious look at the reported benefits of
medicinal marijuana.
When the federal government isn't prose-
cuting the sick, it is also overzealously pros-
ecuting individuals who choose to use mari-
juana for recreational purposes. Since 1965,
law enforcement has made more than 10
million marijuana arrests. Another arrest
occurs every 54 seconds in the United States.
Millions of dollars flood enforcement agen-
cies and the states constantly spend money
on new prisons - to continue the war on
drugs - instead of working on prevention.
But preventing such use is frivolous;
marijuana is not physically addictive, and
no one has died from an overdose of the
A.,. T. 4 1, n - T n-is iti:- M -

Editor's note: This editorial
originally appeared in the
Daily 10 years ago.
L SA faculty members
want to make incoming
students in the fall of 1988
take a language competency
test. The test would deter-
mine how much, if any, for-
eign language instruction a
student should be forced to
endure. Rather than expand
language requirements, the
University should consider
doing away with them alto-
Currently all LSA stu-
dents must complete four
years of foreign language
study in high school or test
out at orientation. If they do
not test out, students must
complete the equivalent of
four semesters of language.
Under proposed rule
changes, incoming students
with four years of language
already under their belts
would also have to test out.
The justification for the
proposal is that only 20 per-
cent of all incoming first-
year students with four years

proficiency of University
students. It has gained sup-
port as well among those
who believe students who
fail their placement exams in
foreign language should not
be let off the ho.ok simply
because they had four years
in high school.
Proponents of change on
the Foreign Language
Committee, a subcommittee
of the LSA Curriculum
Committee, argue that the
changes will encourage high
schools to improve their lan-
guage courses in preparation
for the tests. This argument is
It is unlikely that high
schools that do not currently
advise students of the four-
year exemption will turn over
a new leaf and inform their
students of the new require-
ments. Much less will they
revamp their languagepro-
grams to prepare students for
placement tests. Those
schools that do inform stu-
dents of requirements may
gear classes toward passing
tests, instead of instilling true

cate with them. Because of
ethnocentrism, which fol-
lows from an inability to
communicate, Americans are
often confused and bewil-
dered by that which seems
The University should not
add to this bewilderment by
propagating an unnecessary
language requirement. There
are a lot of important skills to
be obtained in four years of
Knowledge of history, a
firm grounding in science and
the ability to write clearly are
among them. Students, how-
ever, are not required to study
any of these admirable sub-
jects for four long semesters.
Students are generally
mature enough to select their
own classes. There is nothing
wrong with distribution
requirements, if they are rea-
TheUniversity's trs dif-
ficile language requirement
just will not do. An under-
standing of foreign cultures
and societies can be gained
from history and sociology

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