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March 17, 1997 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1997-03-17

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4A The Michigan Daily - Monday, March 17, 1997

E 9Utir1 rgtttt tti1

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

Editor in Chief
Editorial Page Editor

'I don't even know if it's going to be that
much fun. I don't really like to drink during the
day. I get tired and pass out by 9 o'clock.'
- LSA senior Roman Rozenblywn, explaining why he
shirks "traditional" St. Patricks Day celebrations



Unless otherwise noted, unsigned editorials reflect the opinion of the majority of the Daily's editorial board. Al
other articles, letters and cartoons do not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Michigan Daily.
Court n troube
'U' must come clean with NCAA


'N' ""--. .


A s an economically healthy, financially
independent faction, the University ath-
letic department rarely refers to the
University's central administration on its
institutional matters. However, recent allega-
tions surrounding the men's basketball team
demonstrate that the athletic department is
not above the law. Potential sanctions could
affect the University through its most visible
and high-profile connection with the gl6bal
community: its sports programs.
Last week, the University admitted to sev-
eral NCAA violations involving the men's
basketball program and Detroit-area booster
Ed Martin. The University - unable to
locate willing sources - abandoned its short
investigation and attempted to lay the matter
to rest. A few days later, the Detroit Free
Press found the sources that the University
did not and determined that the violations
did not end with free birthday cakes and
attempted security deposit payments. The
newspaper reported a barrage of allegations
- reportedly confirmed by unnamed
sources close to the team - including regu-
lar gifts, favors and cash payments from
Martin to players. The Free Press's reported
findings indicate that the University's inves-
tigation was unacceptably incomplete, at
best. NCAA officials rnust now enter the
scene to uncover what the University athletic
department cannot or will not.
Categorized as one who derives pleasure
from befriending promising young basket-
ball players, Martin has a toe in every
notable high school basketball program in
Detroit and is a familiar mentor for many of
the city's top young players. University
men's basketball coach Steve Fisher said
that maintaining cordial relations with
boosters like Martin is essential in playing
competitively for top recruits. However,
Martin had more ins with the University's
program than he should have - he fre-

quently received free tickets for games and
was a regular visitor to Crisler Arena. As a
University booster, any ties with players is
expressly forbidden by the NCAA. Fisher
should have drawn the line, restricting
Martin from Crisler and from pursuing
improper contacts with his team.
However, while Fisher should have kept
Martin out of games and practices, he - and
other coaches - cannot ban the Ed Martins
of the college basketball world. Critics call
for Fisher's dismissal, but until investigators
can prove his express permission and knowl-
edge of the violations, his position should
remain secure. Presently, the only crime of
which Fisher is guilty is neglect.
His players, on the other hand, should
know better. Accepting gifts - or even
assuming the appearances of impropriety _
is unacceptable behavior for University rep-
resentatives. Many of the University players
anticipate rewarding careers as professional
athletes, but for now, they must be content as
amateur players and University students.
Like all other students, student-athletes.
need money for the incidental expenses of
college. However, the NCAA recently
approved an amendment to allow student-
athletes - even full-scholarship players -
to hold part-time jobs to cover normal, out-
of-pocket expenses. Players are also permit-
ted to work in the off-season and during the
summer. If student-athletes need money -
besides the tuition they receive for playing
- they should get it the way other students
do: Earn it.
Student-athletes have no excuse for jeop-
ardizing sports programs and tarnishing the
University's reputation by accepting illegal.
gifts. Likewise, coaching staffs and athletic
administrators must demonstrate that they
can handle their programs. The University's
lack of institutional control necessitates a
complete, objective NCAA investigation.


Sold out

Bollinger unfavorably
W hen warm weather makes its way to
Ann Arbor, many students become
more attracted to a day on the Diag than to
a day of classes - faculty and students
alike experience this 'spring fever' each
year. However, according to quotations he
gave to The New York Times, University
President Lee Bollinger might not believe
that apathetic mindsets at the University are
simply a seasonal occurrence.
In a Times story this past Thursday,
Bollinger said that even on college campus-
es, "social idealism is dead or dormant,"
and maintained that the lack of vision or of
a social agenda contributes to growing apa-
thy towards politics within the nation. His
comments - spurred by a discussion about
President Clinton's campaign finance scan-
dals and public apathy about political
affairs - painted a picture of indifference
among the University's student body.
While this year's national elections
marked a low point for voter participation,
it is too soon to jump to conclusions regard-
ing increasing indifference toward politics.
The fervor of the '60s and '70s is long gone
- the America of the '90s is a different
place. Presently, the United States is not
involved in a major international war and
polled Americans agree that today's politi-
cal and ethical questions pale beside the
Watergate scandal. The country is, for the
most part, politically comfortable and most
University students enjoy a protected
lifestyle. However, to generalize the public,
. rT , . ,

represented students
student body with no social agenda was
rash, considering his brief time as president
of the University. Not only is campus more
politically active than many factions of the
private sector, but the University's commit-
ment to social service is unrivaled.
Programs such as the Office of Community
Service Learning, the Greek System and
the English Composition Board increase
awareness among students and orchestrate
countless community service and outreach
projects. Project Serve alone links more
than 1,500 students to 150 community
organizations every year. Students demon-
strate that they are not comfortable riding
on the University's prestige; there is a gen-
uine commitment to community improve-
ment and social responsibility.
This type of promise to the community
leads to national awareness. Bollinger
should re-acquaint himself with the
University's student community before mis-
representing it to a national audience. He
needs to know where to look for such
The University's student body is one of
the finest in the country. Perusing organiza-
tions' banners in the Diag, attending meet-
ings of one of the hundreds of campus orga-
nizations or talking to a few of the thou-
sands of bright, aware and active students at
the University is evidence that campus is
very socially aware. Student activism
employs different methods than those of the
past. Bollinger should not write off

U supports
In response to the nea-
tive reactions that have devel-
oped regarding President
Bollinger's comments regard-
ing social idealism, d like to
do the unusual job of defend-
ing the University adminis-
tration and their support of
students, student groups and
student activism. Having
been active and dealt with the
University administration, I
think that they truly want to
help student groups make a
difference as much as possi-
bl e.
The extent to which they
fail is not due to a lack of
concern or a feeling of ambi-
guity toward students, student
groups and student activism
rather, it's due to not knowing
how better to support stu-
dents. They are, perhaps, out
of touch to an extent, but
they are not ambivalent or
unsupportive of student
activism - quite the oppo-
site is true. I believe that
President Bollinger resonates
with that sentiment. I think if
you take a good look at all
the administration already
does to support student
groups, you'd be impressed.
There is much yet to be
-done in terms of the adminis-
tration's support of student
groups, but I think it's unfair
to disregard the substantial
amount of support that they
have lent in the past and pre-
are not 'gifts'
The University does not
understand the spirit of gift-
giving. This was most recent-
ly illustrated to us by the
arrival of elegant off-white
envelopes in our mailboxes
last week. The cards inside
asked graduating seniors to
show their "school spirit" by
participating in the Senior
Pledge Program. They ended
by informing us that a
University representative
(i.e., a paid student caller
from Michigan Telefund)
would be calling in the near
future to solicit our "gift."
To us, this "gift" insults
the whole idea of recognizing
the University's excellence
through a gift. By giving a
gift, one acts upon inspira-
tion. That inspiration comes
from being endeared to
something or someone to
such an extent that one is
moved to give by one's own

debt, the same people who
will solicit our "gifts" have
been soliciting our parents
since the very day that we
enrolled. If we were in a
position at this time to
donate, we would certainly
know who to address the
check to and would not need
such solicitation.
We oppose the
University's organized effort
through Telefund to solicit
"gifts" from graduating
seniors. While giving through
Telefund may seem to show
one's gratitude towards the
University, this should not be
the only way seniors can sup-
port the University. We resent
being solicited and will be
sure to have our answering
machines on for the
inevitable call.
School of
Social Work
Why does the Daily con-
tinue to overlook the School
of Social Work? The School
of Social Work at the
University of Michigan has
been ranked No. I by U.S.-
News and World Report for
the past several years. The
School of SocialIWork has
been highly ranked by other
polls as well. The Daily miss-
es all these polls and surveys
concerning the School of
Social Work.
The University has a No.
I program right under its
nose and yet the Daily seems
to go out of its way to ignore
it. Why doesn't the School of
Social Work ever get men-
tioned in the Daily? It doesn't
seem like the Daily even
acknowledges that there is a
School of Social Work at the
Articles in the Daily have
reported on the Law School.
the Business School and,
most recently, the Medical
School. That very same U.S.
News and World Report sur-
vey rated the School of
Social Work at the University
No. 1. In the future, can the
Daily give the students at the
School of Social Work some
Editorial used
As a freuent online read-

er of the Daily, a University
grad and an employee of the
Michigan House of
Representatives, I need to
raise a nitpicking point about
the editorial on the student
regent campaign fee
("Buying a vote," 3/12/97).
It referred to the fact that
no 'congressperson" had
been willing to sponsor legis-
lation to move the issue for-
ward in the Michigan
Legislature. Congressperson
and congressional representa-
tive are terms only applied to
U.S. representatives and U.S.
senators, who are elected to
the two bodies comprising
the Congress of the United
In Michigan, we have a
State House of
Representatives and a State
Senate, forming the State
Legislature. Its members are
either state representatives or
state senators, collectively
known as "legislators."
I don't expect that every-
one be familiar with the dis-
tinction, but the student paper
of a great university should
do its bit for civics education
by using the appropriate
must run on
Two weeks ago I sent out,
by mass e-mail to every can-
didate for every seat in MSA,
an offer for free publicity. I
am running a non-partisan,
Web-based candidate infor-
mation site called "inform"
(http:aww umich.
edu/~inform). Any candidate
may post pretty much any-
thing he or she wants there.
This letter is not directed
toward the 15 candidates (as
of March 13) who have
replied to my offer. It is,
instead, directed toward the
over 50 candidates who
My challenge is this: Do
you have any message at all?
Are you running on any
issues? Do you have any
leadership experience? Or are
you nothing but a pretty face
on an inane poster?
To the voters: Many wor-
thy candidates have respond-
ed to my call and produced
clear, pointed reasons for you
to elect or re-elect them.
Please read what they have
written and cast an informed
vote this Wednesday and

St.Patrick s~
betray history
K iss me, I'm Irish.
No, really, I am.
Today, in case the rather green
appearance of everyone on the street
didn't sink in, is St. Patrick's Day, the
day when every-
one, supposedly.-
is Irish.
dangle from
ceilings across
the country and
beckon from
windows of
bars, everyone 4
pretends there
actually is some MEGAN
mythical lan- SCHIMPF
guage of "blar- pcssap IONS
ney" that
requires only a poor Irish accent to be
fluent, leprechauns are regarded as
more than simple trolls pursuing pots
of gold, and green beer flows like,
well, regular-colored beer.
It is easy to condemn the debauchery4
of St: Patrick's Day and criticize bars
and breweries for making a mockery
of what began as - and remained in
Ireland until about 40 years ago - a
religious' holiday. St. Patrick's Day is
no0 longer what it once was - and for
more reasons than a change in color
over thousands of years: Irish celebrat-
ing St. Patrick's Day originally wore
blue instead of green.
But what is not so easy to compre-
hend is the underlying truth of what
the distortion of St. Patrick's Day
means. Just as March 1 7 is the day
Ivhen everyone adds an O0' to the
beginning of their last name, we com-
memorate and toast our cultural her-
itage with symbols and traditions that,
over the centuries, generations and
oceans, have lost much of their origi-
nal meaning.
Collectively, our ancestral identity4
has been perturbed, even by those
intending to honor their cultural past,
to a level of preconceived notions of
what it means to be Irish, Japanese,
Greek or anything else.
For this, history deserves to shoulder
some of the blame.
Persecution, for any one of countles
reasons, drove most American immi
grants to leave their native countries tO
fulfill a dream-across an ocean. In the'
process, many traditions were altered
to save lives and allow them to contin-
ue in some manner. Slavery destroyed
thousands of proud traditions. Ellis
Island changed thousands of ethnic
names into English "equivalents" that
were easier to pronounce and spell.
Living conditions in slums and ghettos
and prejudice in the United States fur-
thered the evolution.
So what we started over with was not
what we had once started with. We are
left with definitions of culture based
on traditional foods, selected holidays,
piecemeal history lessons about battle
seroes and tourist campaigns and slo-
To find the truth requires slipping
hack through hundreds of years and
miles. There we find the portion of the
responsibility we shoulder. Otherwise,
we celebrate on the surface without
understanding the reasons.
While this is not inherently evil, it is
accepting only the first layer of expla-
nation. It is as if we were to accept
everything we were taught without
ever asking a question.
It is taking the easy way out.

But it could also be regarded as tak-
ing the American way out. This
inlvolves the "melting pot" more than
the lazy chair, a "tossed salad" more
than a remote control. As the only
nation that has been shaped almost
entirely by immigrants, the essence of
coming here was to start over, to find a
new - hopefully better -- life. People
who came wanted to be Americans,
not citizens of Italy, Russia or Mexico.
And the people who came were
those who were determined to shape a
better world for their children. In some
places, anyone who could, left.
From the very beginning, immigrat-
ing was a compromise between what
they left and what they created anew.
Our cultural identity, as it evolved
away from its roots, blended into a
common perception of what it means
to be German or African into a com-
mon perception of what it means to be
Compromise necessarily entails los-
ing every now and then. But it also
involves winning. As our modern cul-1
trlidentity becomes dependent on
current events, entertainment and ath-
letics, it is dangerous to forget where
we started.
It is equally dangerous to rest entire-
ly on what we perceive to be real.



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