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December 04, 1997 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1997-12-04

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4A- The Michigan Daily - Thursday, December 4, 1997

Etiwg ib!n &ilg

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

9 . ..

Editor in Chief
Editorial Page Editor

'We are confident that our admissions
policy is constitutional.'
--University Law Dean Jeffrey Lehman

Medical school
teaches the
vitality of what
lies beneath
W e say good-bye to Elizabeth
next week.
The August moment we chose that
name for our cadaver seems much
longer ago than just four months. It
was when we
started as first-
year medical stu-
dents; it was
when we pulled
back the sheet
for the first time.
And there she


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.
Double jeopardy
Law School policies fit 'U' mission



r the second time in three months, the
. University faces a legal challenge to its
affirmative action admissions policy. The
Center for Individual Rights, a right-wing
political think tank, filed a lawsuit yesterday
against the University's Law School, alleging
that it violated an applicant's 14th
Amendment rights by using race-based pref-
erences in admissions decisions. While CIR
representatives claim that they want to fight
discrimination, their goals negate efforts to
increase diversity and equality. The University
must stand steadfastly behind its affirmative
action policies and continue to support the
ideals that contribute so greatly to the
University's academic mission.
Now more than ever, learning about a
wealth of other cultures and backgrounds is
important in the job market. By providing a
diverse academic environment, the University
prepares students for future jobs in a multicul-
tural setting. In addition, by bringing in stu-
dents with a wide variety of backgrounds, the
University helps bring a unique palette of per-
spetives into academic discussions.
In 1978, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in
Bakke v. California that race could be a con-
tributing factor in admissions decisions. In
1948, former University President James
Duderstadt implemented the Michigan
Mandate, the University's affirmative action
program that helped minority enrollment
increase from 12.7 percent in 1990 to 25 per-
cent this year.
Yesterday, CIR announced its new assault
on ¬Ęthe University's admissions policy. The
sui claims that Law School officials dis-
critninated against Barbara Grutter '-en
they did not grant her admission for this? ca-
derhic year. Because the Law School adits
such a small number of those who apply, it

is forced to reject two-thirds of its appli-
cants. But affirmative action should not be
blamed for students not getting into the
University - it is inherent in the highly
competitive nature of law school admis-
The center's lawsuit claims that the
University used race as an overriding factor
in its admissions decisions. In reality, it is a
mere portion of the large scheme that offi-
cials look at when they admit students. The
admissions policies also grant bonus points
to children of alumni, students who come
from underrepresented geographical areas
and students with athletic and leadership
abilities. The University's use of race-based
factors is pursuant to the dictums estab-
lished by the Bakke decision - the court
system should dismiss CIR's lawsuit.
Other universities that no longer use affir-
mative action policies in admissions have seen
a severe reduction in the number of minorities
in their applicant pools and enrollments. The
University of Texas Law School and the
University of California system - whose
board of regents discontinued all affirmative
action policies a year ago - are having trou-
ble maintaining any sort of campus diversity.
The school's students will not benefit from the
diverse experiences that are so important to
workers in the multicultural job market.
CIR officials view affirmative action as
simply reverse discrimination. But if properly
implemented, it is much more than that.
Decades of legal and de facto racist policies
have created a significant obstacle for minori-
ties trying to reach high professional goals.
Affirmative action gives underrepresented
minorities the opportunity to overcome this
"glass ceiling" - the University must contin-
ue to defend its admissions policies.







warming up
U.S., Europe buckle down for a compromise

very minute, humans are pumping
approximately 48,000 tons of carbon
diogide into the atmosphere. The United
States - containing less than 5 percent of
thej world's population - is responsible for
25 percent of CO2 emissions. CO2, often
called a "greenhouse gas," is a leading cause
of the greenhouse effect - a phenomenon
mast climate scientists believe will spark
drastic and devastating climate changes.
While carbon dioxide is a naturally
occurring gas, its concentration in the
atriosphere has been rapidly increasing
sine the industrial revolution. The cause of
the increase is the use of fossil fuels: oil,
cool and gas. The effects of the increase in
greenhouse gas emissions are clearly visi-
bl4 today. Since 1880, the Earth's average
teriperature has risen by .5 to .6 degrees
Celsius. This increase in temperature,
wlich will continue if emissions continue
to .ise, poses a threat to the intricate bal-
ance of nature.
In an effort to curb global warming,
negotiators from 150 nations are meeting in
Kybto, Japan, for the Climate Summit,
which runs through Dec. 10. The United
States - the major contributor of green-
hoise gas emissions - is currently plan-
niig a proposal to reduce emissions to 1990
leviels by 2012. In 1992, President Clinton
plodged to reduce U.S. emissions to such
levels by 2000. While conveniently pushing
balk the deadline 12 years, the United
States also lags behind the commendable
proposal by the European Union, which
cads for a 15 percent reduction below 1990
levels by 2010. The United States must take
a serious step toward reducing greenhouse
gas emissions by accepting the stricter

In 1992, at the environmental summit in
Rio de Janeiro, Clinton and Vice President
Al Gore accused the Bush administration of
being the "lone holdout" and an "obstacle.
to progress" when it came to reducing
greenhouse gas emissions;:Yet with the pro-
posed decrease by the United States, which
lags behind Europe's commendable plan, it
appears the Clinton administration is the
new obstacle.
To avoid a commotion from U.S. indus-
try, Clinton pushed back his original time
frame by eight to 12 years - at which time
he will no longer be in office. Clinton
claims he would face criticism either way,
for setting the bar too low or too high.
When it comes to reducing the real threat of
global warming, there must be no room for
doing too little, which is exactly what the
Clinton administration is proposing at
While politicians continue to dip their
hands into the pockets of big industries -
especially gas, coal and oil companies - it
will be difficult for the White House to
achieve a realistic reduction in the burning
of fossil fuels. The money that industry
groups put forth to derail emission caps
throws a monkey wrench into the reduction
of greenhouse gas emissions.
Clinton once called for "a strong
American commitment to realistic and
binding limits that will significantly reduce
our emissions of greenhouse gases." Yet as
the Kyoto conference pushes onward, the
United States continues to avoid making
that strong commitment. As the largest pol-
luter in the world, the United States must
match the European proposal and prove
they are truly committed to reducing global

'U' racial
climate is
The Michigan Mandate has
advocated diversity as its
underlying premise. It has
operated much in the same
way as the most traditional
approach for increasing diver-
sity. This approach adopts a
mathematical formula and
focuses on increasing the
quantity of the racial compo-
nents rather than taking a more
quality-oriented approach. The
University of Michigan cam-
pus is viewed as diverse. There
exists, however, a serious prob-
lem: the quality of the relation-
ship among the diverse groups.
This campus is very segregat-
ed. Not only are many students
not open to other cultures
there is also discernible tension
and animosity. The degraded
quality of the relationships is
partially a by-product of a
common assumption that all
people are the same and have
the same needs. The truth is
that different groups are quite
different and have distinct
needs and expectations.
The traditional approach
toward diversity is the expec-
tation that the minority groups
should compromise their
unique values, conform to the
behavioral framework set by
the majority and dominant
group and assimilate in the
big melting pot. The Michigan
Mandate thus far has simply
thrown some colored marbles
into the jar, while providing
least-effective mechanisms to
ease the ever-increasing ten-
sion and the current all-
encompassing racism by all
groups against the others. The
quality of the relationships
could be augmented not only
through cross-cultural educa-
tion and communication but
also through increasing
respect and recognition for
other cultures. This can hap-
pen by providing mechanisms
to teach about why people are
different, why they exhibit
different behaviors and what
these behaviors symbolize.
This kind of education would
be stimulating and thought-
provoking. And it has a
greater potential to change
one's opinion and level of
respect for differences. The
University of Michigan
administration should have
the integrity to re-evaluate the
merit of the Michigan
Mandate and create an emer-
gency task force to study the
emotionally charged issue of
diversity objectively and in an
unbiased fashion.
Thanks for

among the most active orga-
nizations on campus in com-
munity service and overall
educational opportunities and
with great coverage like this,
I am very certain that many
will feel inspired to continue
this work and hopefully more
will get involved. Again
thank you and continue your
excellent work.
of stories, ad
is 'humorous'
I was amused by the irony
on the back page of three recent
issues of the Daily. On Nov.25
you ran two articles from The
Washington Post: "No one
knows how to stop youth from
tobacco use," and "Tobacco
companies may get subpoenas."
Filling the better part of the
remainder of the page was a
brightly colored advertisement
for Rooster snuff.
When I read the Daily
Monday, Dec. 1, 1 was almost
equally entertained. Once
again, you printed two articles
pertaining to tobacco, one
titled "Federal magistrate looks
at tobacco lawsuit papers," and
the other with a subheading of
"According to a recent study,
the five most serious environ-
mental threats to children in
the United States are lead, air
pollution, pesticides, tobacco
smoke and contaminated
drinking water" The same
lurid ad for Rooster snuff was
prominently visible in all its
yellow-and-green glory.
Imagine my amusement
yesterday when I turned to
the back page and saw not
two but three articles on the
subject of tobacco, one of
which concerned advertising,
no less. If the editorial deci-
sions to run these articles
alongside this advertisement
were made consciously, I
applaud your sense of humor.
Ad reveals
I am struck by the irony of
your half-page display ad for
Rooster Snuff chewing tobac-
co, which is strategically
placed on the same page with
an article titled "No one
knows how to stop youth from
tobacco use. Did you do that
on purpose or are you com-
pletely clueless? If you want
to get young people to stop
using tobacco, stop advocat-
ing it through advertising!
I know tobacco compa-
nies will pay big money to

magazines think that writing
about it is enough. But then
they turn around and print
huge color ads for tobacco
products, featuring attractive
models, sandy beaches and
other seductive images that
convey the message:
"Smoking is cool. If you
smoke you will attract hot
men and sexy women. You
will find love. You will live
on a beach. You will be
What a load of crap! And
what hypocrisy on the part of
the newspapers and maga-
zines who do this: spending
pages of articles advocating a
healthy lifestyle and com-
menting on the insidiousness
of the tobacco companies
agendas, while simultaneous-
ly supporting the tobacco
giants by accepting their
money for ads and giving
them a forum to spread their
I'm disappointed that the
Daily has no compunction
about continuing this
hypocrisy, despite the average
age bracket of its readership.
I think it's irresponsible to
advertise tobacco at all, but
it's even more ridiculous to do
it on a page where you lament
the use of tobacco by youth in
an article. I hope you will take
seriously your responsibility
to your constituency to advo-
cate a healthy lifestyle and
that you will re-evaluate your
policy on tobacco advertise-
ments in your newspaper. I
also hope you will pay more
attention to what you're doing
when you lay out your ads. It's
embarrassing that an organi-
zation that is supposed to
reflect Michigan's fine intel-
lectual tradition would display
such stupidity and hypocrisy
in full color on the second-
most prominent page of its
story was
on target
This letter is in response
to the recent story you had
on the front page about AIDS
Awareness Day, Dec.y.
I would like to thank you
all (and especially Heather
Wiggin for writing the story)
for having a great front page on
Tuesday. It was a good feeling
to know that the University
united against such a vile dis-
ease. I would like to commend
everyone involved with the tent
and ribbon distribution because
they helped spread the message
that AIDS is nothing to be
taken lightly, and we must be
involved with the fight. The
pamphlets were quite informa-
tive and the ribbons will be
constant reminders to all of us

She was 67
years old. She
died of a stroke. EGN
The experi- SCHIMP,
ence of anatomy PRESCRIPTIONS
lab complete
with cadaver, commonly regarded as a
rite of initiation into medicine, has for-
ever changed the way my class wilJ
regard the human body, its compo-
nents and its workings.
That first cut is time to stand back,
take a deep breath and make the first
step toward the future. In one instant, a
lifelong naivete is lost: Will the fat and
fluid really ooze out? Could all her,
demons come out? What if she moves?
Preposterous, yes. But most people
don'tahave a lot of experience cutting
into a dead body.II
Assign groups of four people to
explore the human body during 42
three-hour lab sessions and then watc
the evolution from methodical timidity
to efficient assuredness. Suddenly the
words we stumbled over in August -
"down" means at least two direction
and every name has 13 syllables -
become second nature. Tiny nerves,
and arteries appear out of nowhere,
while in August they hid - really, T
swear - under layers of fat and tissue
Suddenly the students who didn't
know how to hold a scalpel can imitate,
the dissecting techniques of their;
Suddenly we feel accustomed to,
skinning and searching - because it's
what we do whenswe go to class:
Words and phrases that otherwise
sound illegal, immoral or simply non-'
sensical become logical and normal. "
Suddenly, we make inside jokes,"
from puns to literal takes on figurative
meanings. And we make outside jokes'
too, because even a medical school
mind can appreciate elemen'tary
school humor. While it may be gru&
some, a sense of humor helps keep,
hold of sanity on the day when yoer
open the stomach - or somewhere
It still smells - and that's not get'
ting any better. The bodies still aren't"
perfect, because some structures
change after death, others change with
age and others have been eaten away
by disease or surgically removed. We
know the bodies by their variations'
from implants to cancers to large
unidentifiable masses to missing
We marvel at the complexity of the
human body and wonder why all its
intricacies found their way to where
they lie. And then we curse evolution
for its vendetta against medical stu-
Yet we began to feel that even
though the volume of material does-
n't compare to the lack of time to
study it, it's all worth it. As the initi-
ation draws to a close, we've learned
some of the secrets and seen most of
the sights. Some are fascinating, oth-
ers are revolting. But they're all part
of the magical reason we showed up
in August and survived until
It was intriguing to look at the
cadaver and pontificate on what she
had used this body for. Then, in the
instant you hold her head in your
hands, you desperately try to separate
those emotions from the stark outline
of what you'll be tested on.
Snip here, cut there, probe over here.
Personality, not body image, defines
the person. It's more comfortable that
Then you don't have to wonder if
you are anything more than just an
organized collection of muscles; "
organs and bones. As we've deco +

structed the cadavers to beyond even
bare bones, we've begun to construc
our own body of medical knowledge,
but we've also seen what lies beneath',
everyone's skin, including our own.
Emotional distance is almost neces-
sary to not feel overwhelmed by the
privileges you've been accorded as the
"science people donate their bodies
to. But as you gradually lose that
August wonder, the conception of the
cadaver as a person also slips away,.
and that is dangerous.
Wonder is what takes you through;
the days when it's easy to forget the










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