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September 05, 1997 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1997-09-05

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4 - The Michigan Daily - Friday, September 5, 1997

I firticht-,"46-ttn ttt7lij

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

*l A j

JosH WHITE
Editor in Chief
ERIN MARSH
Editorial Page Editor

NOTABLE QUOTABLE
'The rankings just don't capture what we see
as exciting and adventurous about Michigan.'
- Provost Nancy CawO 017 the UniveISityS
ranking in US. News and Wrld Report imagazine
PURPLE HERRING

",rtess otherwise noted, 1+ns; gned edcitoriarls reflect the opinion of the majority of the Dailys editorial beard. All
other articles, leuers and cartoons do not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Michigan Daily
FROM THE DAILY
Mand ory sentence
Uniform law doesn't work for Michigan

I - . qt - .

uring his tenure, Michigan Gov. John
Engler regularly swept aside school
children's welfare in favor of pursuing a
personal crusade to increase state control of
'public schools. During the summer, an Ann
Arbor Huron High School student brought
a.small pocketknife to class. The child was
overseas for 10 years and thus, may not
have been aware of his action's dire conse-
quences. State law mandated that the Ann
Arbor School Board - to some of its
trustees' chagrin - expel the student. The
case exemplifies statewide student discipli-
nary regulations' inflexibility and con-
straints. More equitable decisions could be
made if school districts once again were
allowed to formulate their own weapon-
possession policies.
Two years ago, the state legislature
passed a law stipulating that any student
bringing a weapon to school be expelled for
one year. The law improved the governor's
standing with national conservatives who
wanted to "get tough" on young criminals.
Although intended to deter young ruffians,
the law may leave some undeserving chil-
dren in the lurch - it leaves little room to
consider individual circumstances.
Since 1995, Ann Arbor alone has been
forced to expel 10 students for weapon pos-
session. Many trustees regret that expulsion
is the only option in such cases. Trustee
Nicholas Roumel even tried to table the
summer expulsion indefinitely to protest
the ordinance. Engler should heed the
trustees' convictions - local school boards
are far better qualified to discipline local
students than Lansing legislators.
Bringing a weapon to school puts lives
in danger and may eventually cause stu-
dents fearing violence to lose focus on their

studies. Students who bring guns or knives
to school deserve to be severely punished
- up to and possibly including expulsion
-- for tarnishing a school environment
designed for learning. However, there is a
difference between a student carrying a gun
with the intent of using it and another who
inadvertently forgets a small tool left in a
pocket or bookbag.
In the legal system, judges handing out
sentences have a large degree of flexibility.
With children's futures at stake, school
boards should have similar powers to inves-
tigate and determine the appropriate pun-
ishment for each incident. Some students
are habitual dangers, while low self-esteem
and a need for acceptance may plague oth-
ers.
Therapy and counseling, along with per-
forming community service, could be
preferable to expulsion in many circum-
stances. Expelling a child for a year will
affect the rest of her or his life. If they are
unable to afford private schooling, finding a
job will be difficult and motivation to grad-
uate from high school may dissipate.
Turning to criminal activity or rejecting
academic pursuits altogether will become
far more likely for an expelled student with
lots of time and little to do.
The same, uniform, across-the-board
disciplinary laws applied to districts as var-
ied as Flint and Farmington are bound to be
flawed. Engler must stop seeking out the
national limelight at children's expense -
usurping school districts' power has caused
some students' futures to be compromised.
Getting tough on youth crime is an
admirable objective, but uniformly
expelling students without consideration for
individual circumstances or context is not.

VIEWPOINT
Don't bury the media with Diana

BY JOE REUBENS
In the wake of Princess
Diana's tragic and untimely
death, the paparazzi has
taken a lot of heat. Even
members of the media have
joined in on thesblitz. Some
are going so far as to say that
the freedom of the press
should be limited, as it leads
to high-profile people being
harassed. The National
Enquirer, the self-appointed
king of the tabloids, has
vowed not to print any photos
taken "while a photographer
was infringing on a celebri-
ty's privacy." The National
Enquirer, a publication that
specialized in infringing on
celebrities' privacy.
Ambitious journalists, the
ones who go the extra step to
the get the exclusive, are
being junked left and right.
The truth is, the seven
journalists who were
"involved" in that horrible
accident in Paris should be
praised. The notorious seven
should be heaped with accla-
mation for their extraordinary
initiative. They were going 70
miles an hour on motorcycles
- now that is dedication!
Any talk of restraining such
brave lengths is nothing short
of ludicrous.
I feel the plight of the
celebrity. Having no personal
life could not be a good thing;

I can definitely sympathize.
There are times, I am sure,
when nothing seems more
appealing to them than an
evening of tranquility and
solitude. Alas, that is not the
life they chose. To be blunt,
constant hounding goes with
the territory when you are
famous. Marry the Prince of
Wales, and one shouldn't be
surprised when a lot of unde-
sirable, unwanted and unso-
licited attention comes your
way. If one doesn't want the
constant surveillance, simply
refrain from becoming a
celebrity. There are not many
garbage men complaining
about unwelcomed floods of
photographers in their back-
yards. Famous people have no
right to be left alone; it is part
of their job description. If
President Clinton told the
reporters on the White House
beat to give him some space,
the whole world would laugh
at how ridiculous the request
was. There certainly would be
no discussion of reforming
the First Amendment to
appease him. Gary Hart
wouldn't even support that.
Limiting the rights of gad-
flies is a slippery slope. One
week you limit the press from
"harassing" people, the next
week you limit them from
reporting unflattering infor-
mation about people.

Eventually, anything really
interesting and print-worthy
will be too scandalous to run.
The only way to ensure an
honest, free press is to give
them full reign. The only way
to ensure that the press stays
fresh and innovative and
dynamic is to praise them
when they take chances and
go out on a limb. A society in
which journalists who are
brave and resolute are held in
scorn is one where the press
cannot thrive, or even survive.
Diana's death lastbweek
was truly horrifying, but the
wrong people are being held
accountable. The press should
not be slandered for doing its
job - instead, Diana's drunk,
reckless chauffeur should be
held responsible. Driving in
excess of 100 miles per hour
is reckless whether or not the
parade of journalists trailing
you is being intrusive. It is a
moot point; flying that fast
through a tunnel is a bad idea.
Blaming the press for an
egregious, fatal blunder made
by the driver will have reper-
cussions more lasting and
devastating than the death of
the Princess. It will strike a
nail into the coffin of the
already floundering American
press.

A short lesson
in marketing
Sell them what
they haven 't got
Tdo not think it has dawned on our
j generation yet that we might actual-
ly need. or want love. Few of us have
decided in any concrete sense thatl
might indeed want respect and c -
mitment along
with companion-
ship. vam certain-
ly no Dear Abby
and Isure as hell
ain't Dr. Ruth, but 'a
I can think of no
issue on which our
generation is more
cynical than our
most personal and
intimate relation- PAUL
ships. Even poli- SERILLA
tics, dreary eIk s
employment out- b rbFAe
looks and mondo-
huge holes in the ozone layer have a
better rap in the under-30 crowd than
romance.
Maybe I should punctuate that
premise with an example of what I
talking about. It is all embodied in
mighty "hook up": the vapid, sex-d-
yen, frigid, unfeeling, emotional outlet
of the '90s. The "hook up" is quick,fre
of emotional baggage and hopefully,
relatively antiseptic. The whole idea is
pretty depressing because I think most
people could benefit by reaching below
these shallow depths, but I understand
the fear of finding nothing there. t
It's not a moral judgment, just ;a
preachy observation, because frank)I
don't care what you do with you r
time (pick up macrame for allI care)
and I've never bought "Family Values
(I haven't even shopped there).
Beyond that, I can't say that the "hook
up" is any different than the free love
of the '60s or the one-night stand of
the swinging '70s - it could just be a
matter of linguistic fashions-fr
describing exactly the same thing. I
wasn't there then and I am in no
tion to say that things were any dier-
ent back then. Ask your parents, they
were around, I'm sure they'd love to
discuss cultural norms about sex.
It is possible that most of us under 30
are too young to really care about being
serious about finding much meaning or
fulfillment in other people, especially
in monogamous partnerships.
Considering our parents' generation
had about a 50-percent divorce rate it
makes a lot of sense for us to be#
tious and perhaps ay bit neurotically
choosy. However, the baby-boomer
generation exhibits the same symptoms
of "heart disease" as their children, per-
haps because so many of them are
divorcees. Parent and child bridge the
generation gap by running the "Love
Sucks Marathon" together. It's touching
- somebody, please call Oprah.
So how do I know all this? Sin~
- "Jerry Maguire."W
It's not really that the story is so
meaningful, it is too cliche. Here's a
quick summation: A cute, basically suc-
cessful businessman falls for a cute,
Jewel lookalike who also happens to be
a single mom, despite his unyielding
crush on a handsome, yet high-strung
professional football player (hey, k11l
them like I see them). Really folks,bo
many times have we heard that one;
"Jerry Maguire" taught me so
because it made more than $153
lion. Men and women alike boiJt

tickets. By the way boys, don't give "I~e
that "I went to see the Wayne Foies
cameo" bullshit - you went for the
whole flick and cried like Cgba
Gooding Jr. at the Oscars. ..
In any event, a lot of people saw this
movie, despite the fact that it was really
a trite flick. They went to see it beca!s
it allowed them to grab a little vicari9
romance. If sex and violence sell a little
adrenaline escape for people who thitik
they have boring lives, why not sell love
too? Romance as a consumer good for a
society that lacks it - the next big-fad,
and you heard it here first.
But what about all the other romantic
movies that flopped like "Howard the
Duck" times "Ishtar?" Well, Jerry bad
something that I can't quite remember
seeing in a big-budget picture recer46
Jerry did not understand love.
In fact, he actually screws up sevral
times because he does not get the whole
romance, commitment, partnesiip
equation. At the end, he gives a speech
that was sure to make the loneliest beart
buy another ticket, but you can't reiiy
be sure that he completely knows uViat
he wants or what he's got.
"Jerry" the movie made the big
bucks because Jerry the characterde
n't understand love and he got it any-
way. Perfect for a society that doesn't
comprehend love either; sort ofike
winning a romance lotto, everyoie.is
looking for a winning ticket.
Don't believe me? Look at some of
the recent trends in music, advertising,

Paying for the parks
Millage would benefit students, community

Joe Reubens is an
LSA first-year student.

Students frequently mention the "work
hard, play hard" ethic that dominates the
University. The University provides the
"'work hard"; the city of Ann Arbor provides
space and opportunity for the "play hard."
Ann Arbor city parks provide hundreds of
square acres of rolling hills, trees, water-
front and swimming pools where students
can relax. A tax concerning local Ann
Arbor parks will face voters on the Nov. 4
ballof. University students should use this
as an opportunity to exercise their right to
Vote as well as to preserve the valuable
parks in the area.
Two separate issues concerning the
parks are proposed. One entails a renewal
and increase of a five-year parks mainte-
nance and repair millage at 0.4725 mills.
The other requests a $1.7 million bond for
reconstruction of the Leslie Science Center,
requiring a 0.14 mills tax, which will be
repaid over five years. The average home-
owner would pay roughly $17 more per
year. This negligible amount is a small price
to pay to preserve the local nature sites.
University students may not still run for
the swing sets at the park, but a large major-
ity continue to make use of the public
parks. The parks provide an escape for
University students as well as the commu-
nity from the pressures of daily life.
Students and taxpayers alike should be will-
ing to contribute the small amount back to
aid the entire community
In addition to the aesthetic benefits the
parks provide to the community, the Leslie
Science Center would provide a chance for
the community to become aware of envi-
romental issues that effect everyone. The

both young and old to learn about the envi-
ronment. The center is a valuable contribu-
tion to the community - with the passage
of the tax, its assets could greatly expand to
a larger portion of the community.
The need for an increase in funding is
integral to local parks' upkeep. Most stu-
dents take for granted the well-kept
grounds and services - the small tax will
not only preserve these natural assets, but
will also promote education throughout the
community with the science center.
Many students may view Ann Arbor as
simply the town in which they attend class-
es. Considering that students pay to reside
in the city for the majority of, if not the
entire, year, they should take an active
stance in local political issues. By not reg-
istering to vote, students waive the right to
make their opinions known regarding issues
of both lesser and greater consequence. In
the absence of larger issues such as presi-
dential elections, students looking to exer-
cise their newly acquired right need look no
further than the park tax proposal, which is
an issue that does not require extensive
research. Students could use the issue to
voice their opinion and help support an
important community project at the same
time.
Students should exercise their political
voices in support of the park tax proposals.
The importance of an escape in the midst of
campus is an asset that deserves preserva-
tion. Though local taxes are bound to show
up in students' rents, the services they will
support are important for maintaining
health and well-being. The millage is an
insignificant price to pay for the true value

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Miller's
column was
'prejudiced'
TO THE DAILY:
I, along with many others,
found James Miller's piece
"Welcome to the U': An
open letter to New York stu-
dents" (9/3/97) prejudiced
and discriminatory. Miller
has obviously not made an
effort to know many New
Yorkers because, as with any
other group, the stereotype
does not hold true for the
majority. It is dangerous and
ignorant to encourage gener-
alizations.
Also, Miller has apparent-
ly not been to New York in
recent years. Mayor Rudolph
Guiliani has been very suc-
cessful in solving many of
Manhattan's problems. He has
been instrumental in helping
the homeless off the street and
crime is down tremendously.
New York is now the safest
city to live in with a popula-
tion of more than a million
people.
Intelligent articles are the
result of intelligent and cor-
rect information. I hope
Miller does not consider him-
self a journalist because jour-

nalism is about seeking the
correct information and truth.
I would also like to
express my outrage at the
editor, Josh White, for print-
ing such a derogatory and
prejudiced piece. While free
press is an essential compo-
nent to our society, so are
civil liberties and freedom
from discrimination.
Columns like Miller's
encourage stereotypes and
ignorance. Certainly if this
letter was to any other group
on campus it would never
have been published. All out-
of-state students not only pay
a lot of money to come to
this University but also have
to achieve excellence to be
admitted. Even though we
were not born in Michigan,
we have as much right to be
at this University as any other
student.
Miller and The Michigan
Daily should be embarrassed
and ashamed that this piece
was printed. I think an apolo-
gy should be issued to all
out-of-statp students, and
especially to New York stu-
dents. I thought this campus
was past discrimination and
prejudice, I guess I was
wrong.
BRETT ROTHMAN
LSA JUNIOR

Negative
stereotypes
won't help 'U,
TO THE DAILY:
I am writing in response
to James Miller's column
("Welcome to the sU': An
open letter to New Work stu-
dents," 9/3/97).
I hope that I have not lost
my sense of humor because I
could not find any hints that
the article was written
tongue-in-cheek.
It has been a tradition of
Daily writers to poke fun at
various groups of people on
campus with humor and
irony.
However, I am quite sur-
prised that Miller chose to
write such a vitriolic piece
about a sizeable campus
minority in the first edition
of the year
Although I am sure the
New Yorkers will survive the
rantings of Miller, instilling
and reinforcing such negative
stereotypes will not improve
the atmosphere of the
University.
BILL WALSH
RACKHAM

Do you have an opinion?

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