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December 03, 1997 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1997-12-03

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4 - The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, December 3, 1997

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

JOSH WHITE
Editor in Chief
ERIN MARSH
Editorial Page Editor

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.
FROM THE DAILY
Rock the vote

" NOTABLE QUOTABLE,
'Wanting to educate the community was one of
our main goals. We had no idea where it would
take us when we first started.'
-LSA senior Lisa Goldman, a member ofAllianceforAIDSAwareness,
referring to the group's planning process for Monday's World AIDS Day
JORDAN YOUUNG N.U
,. - TiTIX
~ '4~.J

MSA voter turnout can still be higher

W hile 88 percent of the University stu-
dent body neglected to cast ballots
for the recent Michigan Student Assembly
election, voter turnout reached an all-time
high. The increase, while commendable,
only brought voter turnout to 12 percent -
a staggeringly low number of students.
MSA must work to increase voter participa-
tion by continuing the option of online vot-
ing and working toward informing the stu-
dent body about MSA.
Many students have no clue what MSA
is, what it does or why it exists. The hun-
dreds of flyers that appear in hallways,
classrooms and bulletin boards during MSA
elections do little to raise awareness. Many
students kick aside the torn-down signs,
complain about the waste of paper and go
about their business. When stopped on the
Diag by candidates reminding students to
"get out and vote," many politely nod and
go about their business, yet some are left
wondering "what is MSAT" To increase
voter turnout, MSA must inform the student
body about its role in campus life.
The MSA Webpage, which let students
vote online, certainly helped boost voter
turnout. On the site, candidates were able to
post personal statements and party plat-
forms. But many candidates failed to take
part in the effort. While the site exists to
inform students, without candidate partici-
pation it cannot reach its maximum poten-
tial.
On the downside of adding online vot-
ing, MSA decreased the number of paper
polling sites. If MSA's goal was to make

voting easier and more accessible to stu-
dents, the decrease in polling sites did just
the opposite. While the Website provided
alternative accessibility, eliminating certain
polling sites decreased student options.
The election results also shine a light on
the preferential treatment that MSA gives to
the colleges of LSA and Engineering.
Education, Music, Public Health and
Kinesiology MSA candidates each won
with a point total of less than 30 apiece. The
School of Natural Resources did not even
run a candidate. Jeffrey Holzhausen won
the Public Health seat with a point total of
two. These low numbers may be a result of
MSA's tendency to focus the bulk of its
attention on bigger schools. To boost voter
turnout, MSA must begin to concern them-
selves with the needs of all students.
While MSA can take measures to
increase voter participation, students are
not helpless. University students must
inform themselves about MSA and each
party's candidates and then get out and vote.
Twelve percent represents a pathetically low
number, especially for a student body that
has been known in the past for its activism.
During the spring MSA elections, students
must break the apathetic Generation X
stereotype, get to a polling site and cast an
informed vote.
MSA elections are a two-way street.
Students must take an active role, yet MSA
must also provide the means for students to
do so. Until a majority of the student body
take the time to vote, MSA has a long way
to go.

E4~~~Th~HA kJ;&ij~ic oATS 0-,r

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

In Young's memory
The late mayor was a visionary leader

Many suburbanites never understood
his blunt, angry words and confronta-
tional demeanor, but he was what Detroit
needed: a strong mayor for a politically
tumultuous era. Former Mayor Coleman
Young was a fighter, a man who tirelessly
devoted his life to the struggle for civil rights
and a father figure and hero for a generation
of black Detroiters. His decisions were often
brash and controversial, but he permanently
etched his legacy into the history of
Michigan's largest city.
When Young retired, blacks outnumbered
whites on the Detroit police force three to
two, and city contracts gave minority firms
more than $125 million per year in business.
In 1974, before Mayor Young stormed into
office, statistics were not so encouraging.
Less than one in 10 Detroit police officers
were black, and many black Detroiters
feared law enforcement officials who were,
at best, out of touch, and often brutally racist.
Young centered his first mayoral cam-
paign around ending the vigilante behavior
of the "Stop the Robberies, Enjoy Safe
Streets Unit," a Detroit undercover police
squad designed to keep order. He passion-
ately rallied ministers and other neighbor-
hood leaders, blaming the squad for wanton-
ly killing 22 residents, most of them black.
Perhaps Young's greatest accomplishments
were in the law enforcement arena - he
eliminated the STRESS unit, integrated the
police force and re-established trust between.
Detroit's emerging black majority and the
city's police officials.
Young's heyday was in the late 1970s,
when he leapfrogged into national promi-
nence by forging strong ties with President
Jimmy Carter, Republican Gov. William.
Milliken and many of Detroit's most promi-
nent businessmen. Young's vision for down-
town yielded Hart Plaza, the Renaissance

ing People Mover.
But through all these successes, moving
vans kept crossing Eight Mile Road and
racial tensions continued to brew. In 1974,
there were 714 homicides in Detroit, and the
city became known worldwide as the murder
capital of America. Young called on crimi-
nals to hit Eight Mile, and suburbanites furi-
ously criticized the late mayor for urging
criminals to rob the suburbs.
Young was never averse to playing the race
card. But who are we to blame him? He felt
racism's bite when he was denied admission
.to Catholic school and while at the receiving
end of police officers' blows. Through raw
intelligence and unabated determination,
Young overcame great odds to rise to promi-
nence. Before being elected as Detroit's
mayor he was the floor leader of the Michigan
State Senate, and courageously testified
before the infamous House Un-American
Activities Committee, calling the committee's
own actions "un-American.'
Young never acted without critics gnaw-
ing at his heels. Oakland County Executive
L. Brooks Patterson said that Young "was
singly responsible for the demise of Detroit."
Others claimed he ignored neighborhoods in
favor of his grand vision for downtown. Yet
with a shrinking industrial base, money for
city services had to be cut and layoffs in the
police force made cracking down on crime
difficult. Young did what he could, but no
one could have stopped the city's fall.
Young was a hero to the black communi-
ty and a role model to minority youth. He
was a man who never backed down from a
fight, and even in his illness-plagued later
years he repeatedly defied medical forecasts
that gave him little chance of survival. The
late mayor had his quirks and faults, but he
brought pride, self-respect and hope to a
community that never before had a leader

Celebrating a
Michigan win
in handcuffs
TO THE DAILY:
Hello, you all probably
know me. Look in the Nov.
24 sports section and you'll
see a helpless individual
being pressed to the ground
by two wonderful police offi-
cers in front of thousands of
fans.
Yes, that's me. I was
lucky enough to celebrate the
Michigan win while being
handcuffed! I wanted to
point out the ridiculousness
of the situation. I am about
5'11" and 150 pounds. Being
the animal 1 am, I was great-
ly appreciative of the four
cops who were nice enough
to slam me into the ground
and yell several expletives at
me.
And if that wasn't
enough, I was dragged a
good seven or eight yards. I
know this because at the time
my face was pressed into the
10-yard line hash mark while
being scraped against the
ground. Luckily for me, the
blood only got onto the bot-
tom of my pants and on my
shoes. God forbid if I blood-
ied a police officer.
I am also glad that the
four cops who were unneces-
sarily assaulting me didn't
bother to harass any one of
the other 10,000 fans on the
field at the time. I was happy
to have been given all of this
welcomed attention. Perhaps
I would have escaped their
grasp and done something
"very bad" Well anyway, 1
thought the police should
know that this was a job well
done.
Oh yeah, my two friends
(who wish to remain anony-
mous) would like to give
shout-outs to the defenseless
police officers who sprayed
them with pepper spray. Way
to go!
JUSTIN TURKAT
LSA FIRST-YEAR STUDENT
Concert
review was
error-filled'
TO THE DAILY:
This letter is in response
to Gabriel Smith's review of
Adam Sander's concert at
Hill Auditorium ("Sander
disappoints with sloppy
show," 11/24/97). While 1,
along with many other stu-
dents, would have liked the
show to go on longer, I did
not, in any way, feel ripped
off by what I received, and
neither did any of the other
students I talked to. I heard
all my favorites, with the two
notable exceptions that the
article mentioned.

tain movies, is a very
raunchy comedian. Just look
at "Billy Madison." That
movie was as raunchy and
perverted as it could possibly
get while still remaining at
the PG-13 level.
His fans like this. I am
willing to bet that nearly
every person who can recite
"The Thanksgiving Song,"
also knows nearly all the
words to Sander's most
risque song of all, "At a
Medium Pace."
All of Sandler's albums
and all flyers for his show
bear the "Parental Advisory:
Explicit Lyrics" label, and if
Smith was upset or offended
by what he heard, then I have
no sympathy for him whatso-
ever. Suffice it to say that
Adam Sander is not forathe
easily offended.
But while my opinion is
different than Smith's, that is
not what prompted me to
write this letter. The article
was so error-filled, that I
began to question if the
reviewer had even heard of
Sandler before, or if he even
paid attention to anything the
whole night.
Sandler played nine songs
and many of these were not
even mentioned in Smith's
article. The article constantly
referred to "The
Thanksgiving Song" and
"The Hanukkah Song" as just
"Thanksgiving" and
"Hanukkah." Smith said that
everyone knows the words to
"The Thanksgiving Song,"
and then went on to misquote
it.
He stated that "What the
Hell Happened to Me?" was
the title track from Sander's
first album, when, in fact, it
is from his second. He went
on to speak about "Corduroy
Blues," which I heartily agree
was the worst song of the
show, but didn't even men-
tion it by name, referring to it
as "a song about fat people
and human body parts."
In the future, I would sug-
gest that your reviewers at
least make an effort to sound
like they know what they are
talking about, because unin-
formed reviews like this one
only succeed in decreasing
the credibility of both the the
writer and The Michigan
Daily.
HENRY GEHRINGER
ENGINEERING JUNIOR
Bring unity
back to the
community
To THE DAILY:
Although it has been
many years since I was a
young girl growing up in
rural Louisiana, I can still
remember the closeness of
my community of Tank Farm
Road. I remember my Aunt
Lulu baking sweet potato

screwed up their life.
Yes, we were truly a com-
munity. Times have sure
changed. But have they
changed for the better?
Everyone is consumed with
society's political issues,
affirmative action, welfare
reform and constructing casi-
nos. Don't get me wrong; I
am in no way implying that
these things are not important
to me, because they are.
Just as important though,
is the lonely elderly lady, the
stressed-out single mom or
dad and the confused teen-
ager. Nobody has time for
anyone else. Our young men
are dropping out of school at
an enormous rate; teen-age
girls are becoming mommies
way too soon, breaking their
mothers' hearts and shatter-
ing their dreams of growing
into the young educated
career women their mothers
hoped for.
Our backwater communi-
ty knew something that many
of us have forgotten - we
must work together for our
own common good and the
future of our children.
Do yourself and your
community a favor. Reach
out to help someone, even if
it is just to say a friendly
hello or a kind word.
Volunteer at a local school or
retirement center. Bring unity
back into your community by
caring and sharing. The
reward will be great.
CLEMINTENE BENJAMIN
SCHOOL OF SOCIAL WORK
Vote totals
reflect need
for change
To THE DAILY:
How strange. The election
is over. The results are in.
Did no one notice that an
absurd majority of votes went
to a first-year student, Sarah
Chopp? This fact was men-
tioned less then incidentally
on page 7 of the Nov. 25
Daily.
Did anyone consider that
the record turnout in the fall
vote may be due to the
exceptional qualities of the
winningest candidates? The
results show it. The students
want change. Students no
longer want to hear empty
promises of antiquated party
platforms.
They want real leader-
ship. They want innovation.
They want someone who
cares. Chopp was out in the
cold talking to students, hear-
ing their concerns and assur-
ing them that the power to
change is in their hands.
This is what generated
such unheralded voter
expression. Students want
change and students voted for
change. Why did the Daily
fail to recognize this? Have
the parties recognized this?

Celebrities,
penance, Crai
follies and a
poundofflesh
R ecently I've spent a lot of time
thinking about Kathie Lee
Gifford.
When I wake up in the morn ing
I'm not listening to Drew and Mike,
watch Regis and
Kathie Lee,
because they
come on at 9
when I'm making
coffee and trying
to think of a rea-
son to leave the
house.
And on one of
my more charita-
ble mornings 1 JAMES
thought to MILLER
myself, "Self, MILE
Kathie Lee and ON TAP
poor Frank have
been raked over the coals lately for all
their marital troubles. Is that really
fair?
4'1 mean, most people come from
families that have some kind of t
ble like that in their pasts. W
should Craig Kilborn make vicious
jokes about them? Are they so differ-
ent from the rest of America's cou-
ples? Maybe Craiggers should take it
easy on them."
Ever since the Diana Spencer inci-
dent, a lot of celebrities have been
getting an attitude with the lower
classes of the media about their
relentless pursuit of private materijl
for public consumption. The ar
ment, and I'm sure Kathie Lee and
every othermaligned celeb would
agree, is that if they weren't public
figures they wouldn't be getting any
of this treatment for doing things that
many of us do without the scrutiny.
Does being famous warrant the kind
of cruel and threateningttreatment
these people get?
Yes. And all of them get off lightl
Think about what these people
for a living. Take Kathie Lee, for
example.
She works for an hour a day, week-
ends excluded. She has a chauffeur,
nanny, cook and all the other celebr-
ty perks your imagination can con-
ceive. She will never have to wait in
line for anything ever again, nor will
she have to work hard ever again. She
is stupid and she is rich.
Every celebrity of sufficient mag
tude so as to be mobbed by fans, gs-
sip and paparazzi is gruesomely well-
paid for a job that, by all reasonable
accounts is fun, low-effort and idyl-
lic.
Now think about your sad life. Do
you have enough money to fill your
every desire the instant you have it?
Can you afford to live where you
want and drive what you want? Do
people hang on your every word? 0
you get to fornicate with attractive
people as a matter of birthright?
Focus your hate for me, my children.
These people live off our attention
and groveling. They subsist on our
insecurities and shortcomings.
Every ugly corner of your brain that
ever wanted to bed the homecoming
queen or ravage das ubermensch
lacrosse team captain is the reason
that Fiona Apple, Jewel, The Spi
Girls, Hanson, Jakob Dylan, Kath
Lee and Regis spend more on black
suits and sunglasses than we all make
in a year.

And then they come before us,
perched on an altar of VH 1 and fash-
ion, and spit at us.
"Go away, you dumpy plebians!"
they shout. "Leave the ticket money
in the mailbox and get the hell out of
my compound, unless you want L,
and Ulf to rough you up.'
Models, actors, musicians and
directors of a certain rank occupy a
place in the social and economic hier-
archy of our country that we can't
even comprehend. And they have the
nerve to complain that, boo fucking
hoo, the attention is putting a cramp
in their lives.
Madonna (don't ask me why the
tart is still allowed out of Pal
Beach) was on the MTV Vid
Music Awards, moaning that things
like the Diana Spencer incident
would continue to happen unless "we
get rid of our obsession with gossip
and rumor."
Did that thing just moralize at me?
1 don't think so, Material Wench.
Shouldn't you be selling pictures of
your infant daughter to "Spin?"
Madonna wouldn't exist if it were'
for our obsession with gossip ang~
rumor! She's not even a real person!
She is gossip and rumor!
Medieval Christianity used to have
this great idea. The cutting of a pound
of flesh from the body of sinner.
would act as penance for their trans-
gressions against God.

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