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November 24, 1997 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1997-11-24

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4A - The Michigan Daily - Monday, November 24, 1997

bz idrtiguu t ail g

420 Maynard Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

Editor in Chief

'I've been waiting 21 years to do this and it
feels great. Oh, my God, it feels great. It's
like I've been reborn as a Michigan fan.'
- Education senior Dave Hebert, after Saturday s'
football victory over the Ohio State Buckeyes

and the CIA

Fidel Castro

Edited and managed by a RIS
students at the Editorial Page Editor
University of Michigan
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
COp out
Police brutality taints team's glorious victory


$OM iY a~
5, !q - ~t~a Oa - --4rS

Ai 4F H 1 ,

As the clock slowly wound down to mark
the end of Saturday's football game
against Ohio State, University students'
dreams of an undefeated season, a Big Ten
title, a shot at a national championship and a
berth to the Rose Bowl came true. Michigan
Stadium rocked with the joy of thousands of
fans; a crowd that has been known to fall into
lulls came alive. Jubilant students ran onto
the football field to snap photographs, hug
football players, exchange high-fives and
sing "The Victors" with the marching band.
Except the ones who were caught by
police officers. Those students were wrestled
to the ground, pummeled, shoved against the
-wall and sprayed directly in the eyes with
pepper spray.
The heightened security at Saturday's
game was an example of hypersensitive
planning run amok. The officers were out to
break up a riot - but there was no riot to
break up.
Early last week, University officials
warned students against rushing the field.
Department of Public Safety spokesperson
Beth Hall said, "It's a violation of regional
ordinance, and it's also very dangerous. We
don't want anybody to hurt themselves."
Whether or not it should be, running onto
the field is a civil infraction. But on Saturday,
it was not harmful. Students did not engage
in the type of destructive behavior that has
typified post-game "riots" at other schools,
like the uprising at the Univeristy of
Wisconsin in 1993. On Saturday, students
stayed away from the goalposts - a com-
mon cause of injury in on-field celebrations
- and refrained from thrashing about or oth-
erwise frenzied behavior.
Troops of officers sporting riot gear
marched along the sidelines midway through

the fourth quarter. Their ominous presence
recalled police action at the student riots of
the '60s and '70s - but Saturday's crowd of
students had none of the violent intentions of
the past. While the students were out to have
a good time and savor the moment, the offi-
cers' No. 1 agenda was to stifle and subdue
- with force. Fans in the stands watched in
shock as officers chased and tackled students
who loped onto the field to join friends. As
many as three officers at one time attacked
one student, forcing him to the ground, sit-
ting on him and repeatedly striking him.
Officers who could not run fast enough to
catch students simply stuck out a foot and
tripped them; other officers grabbed students
by the ankles and dumped them on the
ground. Students fell to the sidelines, weep-
ing and clutching their faces as officers
released clouds of pepper spray. Even stu-
dents still in the stands - several rows above
the field - experienced pain and tearing
when the pungent spray wafted up into thej
Students celebrating on the field after
Saturday's game commited a minor civil
infraction, but they did not behave in a way
that warranted police brutality. Although
University officials expressed concern for
students' safety, it is bitterly ironic that some
students suffered injuries at the hands of
police officers who were supposedly there to
keep students from getting hurt.
For many University students, memories
of Saturday will remain with them for the
rest of their lives. Most will remember the
exuberance of victory; others will remember
the blows they received from officers who
were supposed to protect them. In the future,
Univeristy officials should weigh the punish-
ment against the "crime."

C0 64-r
Fans celebrate U Rose Bowl berth

MSA blues
Student apathy decreases political influence

Riot cops'
actions were
a 'tragedy'
Hats off to the 1997
Michigan Wolverines. The
roses smell great. The post-
game ceremonies were a blast
after the game on Saturday.
The crowd really handled
itself well on the field after
the game.
It was a tragedy that the
thousands of ecstatic were met
by riot cops on the field. The
fans were no danger to the
teams, the staff or themselves.
Undefeated seasons are rare,
and the fans have every right
to go crazy. Rushing the field
was prohibited by the
University to prevent injuries,
but if anyone was hurt during
the post-game celebrations it
was because of the riot cops.
On a day that our students
and fans will never forget,
they will also remember
being thrown to the ground
and being sprayed with pep-
per spray. The fans should
have been helped down to the
field, not beaten down to the
ground. Even after hundreds
of fans were already on the
field, the officers were still
dragging fans down. I only
hope that if a similar situation
presents itself, the University
will act differently.
Hail to the Victors!
OSU paper
does poorly
with Poe
As a former sports editor
at the Daily, I'm interested to
see recent news and coverage.
I use your Website to view the
Daily. I just checked last
Friday's edition, featuring the
Ohio State Lantern's "The
Raven" for game predictions.
Someone teach them how
to do Poe, please. Without
going too far into technical
poetry discussions, I'll just
say there are countless prob-
lems with their rhyme scheme

and their meters.
How about this? The Daily
has done it better. When I
covered women's basketball,
we did a Raven takeoff col-
umn. We actually got the
poem correct! Not kinda-cor-
good. Right on. But then
again, would you expect
something different from
lacked faith
0 ye of little faith ...
As the football season is near-
ing its completion, I cannot
help thinking back to an arti-
cle in SPORTSMonday that
was written on Sept. 8 by
"The Bronx Bomber," Alan
Goldenbach. I realize that the
article was written with the
good intentions of making
University students realize that
there are other talented varsity
sports programs at Michigan
outside of the Big Three.
However, I cannot help but
wondering about his dire pre-
diction regarding the football
team's fate. "The football
team is a 7-5 team at best,"
was his experienced opinion
of the upcoming season. What
the hell was he thinking? He
also said that "they need
about 10 clones of (Woodson)
if they want to smell the roses
four months from now"
Genetic engineering aside,
I would say that they have cre-
ated a fairly solid team that is
looking forward to the Rose
Bowl come New Year's. As for
their record, I see that the
Wolverines have exceeded
Goldenbach's 7-5 mark. Where
is this sports writer's school
pride? As an editor and student
of the University, didn't he
have enough sense to look past
the records of the previous
four seasons and acknowledge
the nation's best defense?
Come on Bronx Bomber,
don't give your team the shaft.

OSU fan
As a strong Buckeye fan,
I wish to offer the "Blue"
congratulations on the best
football game I have ever
witnessed in my 60 and one-
half years of life. And partic-
ularly to Charles Woodson.
It seems there is always
some jerk in life that hasdto
shoot off his big mouth, and
this year it appears to be David
Boston. How he could have
ever make the remarks he did
about Charles is beyond me.
Charles shoved it down his
throat and other parts of his
anatomy - which is just.
If Charles Woodson is not
a strong candidate for the
Heisman, I don't know who
should be. I witnessed a
"makeover" of Jim Thorpe
Saturday - both on defense
and on offense. This guy is a
dynamic player. He makes it
happen and did make it hap-
pen. And tell Marcus Ray
"hello" from his fans down
here in Columbus.
Good luck in the Rose
Bowl and bring it back for
the Big Ten!
Florida happy
'to return
the favor'
I would like to be among
the first to congratulate the
University of Michigan on
what should prove to be your
uncontested No. I status in
all NCAA football polls. As a
student at the University of
Florida, it brings me great
pleasure to have been able to
return last year's favor.
Best of luck in your bid
for the national champi-
onship. Go Wolverines!!!

really wrote
this column
Thirty-four years ago today a
strange nightclub owner named
Jack Ruby gunned down an even
stranger assassin named Lee Harvey
Oswald in an underground parking
in Dallas, Texas.
Millions of
Americans wit-
nessed the event
on live television.
and in an instant
the nation, already
at once shocked
and captivated by 21
the sudden death
of President John
F. Kennedy, was JOSHUA
transformed into a RICH
suspicious lot. TRIVIAL
America became a PURSUITS
place where citi-
zens would sooner second-guess their
politicians, bureaucrats and journalists
than accept theatruth.
But let's get a few things clear. Lee
Harvey Oswald killed John Kennedy.
Not the CIA. Not Fidel Castro.
Oliver Stone. Oswald was a deranged
Communist sympathizer, an angry cit-
izen who had already considered off-
ing numerous public figures. He hated
Kennedy, and his anger manifested
itself in his homicidal behavior.
Unfortunately, Ruby murdered
Oswald before any trial took place.
The plot thickened; the "truth" was
pushed by the, wayside in lieu of more
thrilling spook stories.
Ever since, many Americans h
been unable to believe, well, anythi.
A plane crashes: it must be a conspir-
acy - some Long Islander with a
shoulder rocket launcher must have
destroyed it. A British princess dies in
an automobile accident: there must
have been another car involved. A
presidential aide commits suicide: ie
must have been knee-deep in some
sort of shady espionage.
It has become common in our s
ety to (unnecessarily) question every-
thing that occurs. Despite the number
of electronic media outlets that sprout
hourly, Americans have become
increasingly alienated from politics,
unaware of the basic news of the day
and generally disinterested in the
world beyond their DVD players and
PowerMacs. The public still seks
involvement in this external world, but
its participation and level of unO
standing has deteriorated so much that
it needs to turn every true, real-life
story into a movie plot in order to find
it acceptable.
Something as extraordinary and
inconceivable as the assassination of a
president has to have an equally
astounding explanation. It is more
romantic to believe that the CIA in
team with Fidel Castro and the Ma
conspired to kill Kennedy, as oppo
to little Lee Harvey Oswald who was,
simply, a crazy, homicidal Communist.
(And why does there always have, to
be a reason for everything? The best
explanation I ever heard for John
Kennedy's assassination is that Lee
Harvey Oswald did it alone - because
there is no better evidence to refute the
only feasible theory about the event.)
Nonetheless, TV shows like "The X-
Files," movies like "Conspir
Theory" and books like Jim Garrisoi a
"On the Trail of the Assassins" con-
stantly point the finger at so-called
conspiracies. Americans are spoiled by
these things., and we are led to auto-
matically believe the absurd: if aliens
didn't land in Roswell, N.M. - as we

know they did - then the still-living
Tupac Shakur must be the only
remaining resident of Nevada's myste-
rious Area 51.
Lest we forget that some true con-
spiracies have in fact occurred in his-
tory. Julius Caesar was assassinated by
some of his closest personal and polit-
ical cronies. Less well-known is the
conspiracy that cost President
Abraham Lincoln his life (John Wilkes
Booth committed the actual crime, but
three others were hanged for their par-
ticipation). As Iw rite, Terry Nichols is
on trial for helping Timothy McVei
blow up the federal building
Oklahoma City.
We are so busy crying wolf that truly
frightening instances like these regu-
larly pass us by. What's worse, our
seemingly harmless suspicion winds
up producing little concrete evidence,
as it more gravely disrespects the
memories of tragic figures like
Marilyn Monroe, Elvis Presley,
Vincent Foster and Biggie Sma
How offensive that Saturday's ne
reports marking the anniversary of
Kennedy's death were primarily con-
cerned with shady conspiracy theories,
rather than the damage that the event
inflicted on our national psyche!
According to legend, even The
Michigan Daily is at fault in perpetu-

hat is the Michigan Student
Assembly? Some students do not
even know a student government exists,
while others believe MSA does nothing of
consequence. At last week's elections, flyers
did not pepper the campus in the same quan-
tity as in past years, and fewer candidates put
long hours on the campaigning trail. More
likely than not, voter turnout will be a lowly
five to 10 percent of the student body. But
candidates and representatives were not just
victims of student apathy - they are contrib-
utors to its root cause. Yejide Peters, MSA's
election director, could not even muster
enough assembly members to help in the vote
count to have it completed by week's end.
Students and the assembly share the blame
for low voter turnout, and it is a situation that
cannot be repeated. MSA's mandate to repre-
sent the student voice to the Board of Regents
is severely diluted when only a small per-
centage of students cast their ballots.
For the second time ever, MSA gave stu-
dents the option to vote on the Internet.
MSA envisioned a one-stop shop, where
students could read about candidates and
then cast a well-informed vote. Of course,
this is not quite what happened - MSA's
plan failed because its publicity efforts
were, at best, subpar. Many candidates did
not make a strong effort to reach out to stu-
dents, and the normal campaigning fervor
seemed more like a tempered crawl.
Under the premise that students will
choose to vote online, MSA decided to cut
back on the number of voting sites in resi-
dence halls and other buildings across cam-
pus. Paper ballots are a convenience, and
are often cast by students who do not have
the time or the desire to on online snecifi-

cally to vote. Internet voting is a great idea,
but the bulk of paper balloting sites should
not have been eliminated.
A dearth of information and a smaller
number of actively campaigning candidates
are not the sole causes for low voter turnout.
One candidate flyer profoundly declared "I
will sell my mother for students." These kinds
of catch phrases, buzz words and gimmicks
lend credence to the widely held view that
MSA candidates are just out to get a bullet on
their resume. But this is not the case for all
assembly members - this year MSA has
made some efforts that will have a positive
impact on its constituents. MSA President
Michael Nagrant and Vice President Olga
Savic recently announced that MSA will open
a student-run, non-profit coursepack store, in
conjunction with the Michigan Union
Bookstore. The store, if successful, would save
some students a significant amount of money
each term. Assembly candidates should use
these types of innovative ideas as the basis for
their campaign. Only then will students view
the assembly as an important legislative body
that positively impacts students.
It would be unfair to blame low voter
turnout entirely on the assembly. Among
young voters across the nation, political apa-
thy abounds. The 18-25 age group tends to
cast fewer votes than older citizens. This was
particularly apparent at this year's Ann Arbor
City Council elections, with some wards hav-
ing fewer than 10 students voting. Political
clout comes through voicing opinions and
stepping into the ballot box. Whether an
MSA seat or federal government post is at
stake, student interests will not be addressed
adequately unless students make their voices

'Crime Notes'
is the best
part of paper
'Crime Notes' is my
favorite part of the paper! So
what if they are not really
crimes. The plastic fork swal-
lowing is my personal
People at this place need
to loosen up and laugh a lit-

impending lawsuit against the
University, I must say that I
am surprised and more than a
little disappointed at the shal-
lowness of the student body.
Is it correct to say that we
are diverse simply based on
statistical representations
regarding the minority con-
tent of the population?
Is it correct to say that we
are diverse because of the
socioeconomic backgrounds
of our parents or guardians?
Hardly. Is it correct to say

of our ideas, our opinions,
our personalities, our politics,
our interests, our experiences.
We are diverse by virtue of
our individuality, and by
virtue of being human
To camouflage that plain
and crystal truth with the
color of our skin is pointless,
racist and offensive. Nobody
benefits from the presence
of those who lack the intel-
lect to participate, succeed
and contribute to our suc-
cesses, regardless of their

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