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December 05, 1997 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1997-12-05

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4- The Michigan Daly - Friday, December 5, 1997

c l e %t igtt t l ttil

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

Editor in Chief
Editorial Page Editor

Unless otherwise noted, unsigned editorials reflect the opinion of the majority of the Daily edoitrial hoard. All
other articles, letters and cartoons do not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Michigan Daily.
Over the line
Redistrictin lan will reduce schools' problems
s Ann Arbor's population continues to to alleviate overcrowding exacerbated current
expand, deficiencies in the public edu- problems. Bussing students further away to

' mean, we aren't in a utopian society. We're doing
better, I think. I definitely wouldn't label Michigan as
a segregated school and I think we're progressing.'
- LSA junior En land Hsiao, on diversity at the Uniiver:sity
_ r 5evg ....ff jf _ _it _ e-
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c Ypu L 4Tf A
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cation system have become increasingly
apparent. The time has come for the city to
make changes to the school system and
attempt to compensate for several factors
such as the district's inefficient use of
space, non-contiguous boundaries between
schools' enrollments, excessive bussing and
a lack of racial diversity. In 1985, city offi-
cials instituted significant reform with the
enactment of a major redistricting plan. The
district's current problems provide the
opportunity for the city to better the city's
public education system.
The Ann Arbor School Board identified
the crisis when it voted to study possible
redstricting options to alleviate overcrowd-
ing- problems at Lawton and Dickens
Elementary Schools. As the process moved
along, surveys were sent to parents to gath-
er- ideas for possible improvement. Three
thousand people replied, stating they were
happy with the present system. But grim
statistics about the increasing number of
children being bussed to schools and the
increasing number of schools exceeding
capacity clearly predict that the school sys-
tern will no longer be able to sufficiently
educate all children.
Children who attend elementary schools
would be affected most if the district lines
were redrawn. The need for significant
change is apparent. Enrollment in the school
system has increased from 13,600 to 16,000
since 1985. Moreover, the city's population is
expanding outward. Yet 27 of the district's 30
schools are near the city's center, ultimately
causing a greater dependency on buses.
Another large problem is that past efforts

less-crowded schools is no longer an option
because most schools are already at capacity.
Finally, officials must deal with the
schools' present racial imbalance. In today's
multicultural society, the best education for
children is not a homogeneous one - local
officials and parents must commit them-
selves to supporting racial integration in the
city's district. Schools that have severe stu-
dent and faculty racial imbalances should
be desegregated. This effort will require a
more efficient bussing system but children
need to learn in permanent classrooms, not
in makeshift ones or on buses.
Considering that the city's schools also
suffer from a severe achievement gap
between black and white students, redis-
tricting should be used to help quell that
problem. By providing for racial integra-
tion, the gap may dissipate - aiding the dis-
trict's other efforts at equalizing education-
al opportunities.
The people deciding the future of the
school system have an enormous task in
front of them. The redistricting plan must
consider the schools' intertwined problems
like racial imbalances and too much bus-
ing. These concerns need to be addressed
by a creative redistricting plan that allevi-
ates overcrowding problems and the lack
of schools outside the expanding beltway
of Ann Arbor. City officials should quick-
ly implement a solution; the school dis-
tricts' problems will likely get worse if left
in the present condition. The city has an
opportunity to implement significant edu-
cation reform - benefiting all citizens
and students.

SCommittee would provide valuable guidance
ore than a week has passed; bruises er issue to the forefront - years following
are healing and flared tempers have deputization, it is still a struggle to determine
rnellowed. Police officers' controversial where DPS fits into the University. The Ann
xactions following Michigan's victory over Arbor's Police Department used to patrol
:Ohio State prompted many students, facul- University grounds at a fraction of DPS'
: y and administrators to question and seek cost. But the University fought a huge battle
:i o re-evaluate the Department of Public to win the right to deputize, and there is no
Safety's role on campus. indication that administrators will change
Provost Nancy Cantor, during a meeting their stance anytime soon.
ivith the Senate Advisory Committee on Given these circumstances, an oversight
;Jniversity Affairs, promised to fully inves- panel must be installed. DPS officers and
4igate what transpired following the game, their immediate supervisors are currently
and announced plans to form a faculty DPS responsible for determining the depart-
_versight committee. While her announce- ment's priorities. Many of these individuals
bment is clearly meant to satiate an angry were recruited from other city and state
community, her ideas have a good intent. police departments, and may have difficul-
:But Cantor's words will ring hollow unless ties adequately addressing campus law
:he plans come to fruition - the University enforcement's intricacies.
must give faculty and students the power to Cantor's committee, consisting of facul-
:rheck DPS' extensive. ty, staff and students, would examine DPS
The administration has admitted to botch- policy, planning and procedures. But exam-
ng plans for handling fans following the ination does not go far enough - the com-
:Ohio State contest. Cantor even acknowl- mittee should have the power to negotiate
-edged that it was unrealistic to believe stu- any changes it finds to be necessary. In
dents would not rush the field. It is uselessto addition, committee members should par-
Wonder why administrators did not apply this ticipate in the planning process for all
dine of reasoning before the game. Instead, major events.
:the University must evaluate why the officers In its preparations for the Ohio State
used unnecessary force, and who is to blame. game, DPS misjudged how students would
; DPS officers, the Washtenaw County react to the threat of police force. They
rsheriff and the Michigan State Police all erroneously believed that a few officers in
inanned the field following the game. It is riot gear would prevent thousands from
linclear if there was ever a coordinated post- cavorting on the field in celebration. There
:ame plan that took all contingencies into is no one who can feel the University com-
ccount. None of the outfits have accepted munity's pulse better than community
lame for police activities, and the orders members themselves. An oversight com-
liven to officers have not been released to mittee would help mold DPS' procedures to
:the public. The fact remains that a handful closely fit campus needs. If such a commit-
of fans were violently taken to the ground tee had participated in DPS' post-game
end sprayed with mace while 8,000 of their planning process, there would not be a sour
compatriots peacefully rallied on the field. footnote to Michigan's historic victory on

Tobacco ad
with stories
T found It a little odd that
the back of the Daily on Nov.
25 had about half of the
space taken up by two arti-
cles regarding dangerous
tobacco use ("No one knows
how to stop youth from
tobacco use" and "Tobacco
companies may get subpoe-
nas") while the other half
was taken up by a big, bright
yellow "Rooster Snuff"
smokeless tobacco ad. It
seems, at least from my per-
spective, that the ad and the
articles may conflict with
each other. Ah well.
safety issues
After enduring;three
games against sub-par oppo-
nents (Northwestern, Notre
Dame and Minnesota) thanks
to the historical split-season
ticket I received this year, I
thought that my football
pains would be alleviated
after I was allowed to pur-
chase an Ohio State ticket
(which was made possible by
the kind folks at the Ticket
Department who saw my dis-
advantage). Visions of hug-
ging Lloyd Carr and picking
up Big House sod were soon
dashed when I learned that
the Department of Public
Safety was going to arrest
anyone who "endangers the
safety of others" and stormed
the field after our victory on
Nov. 22.
If the real concern here is
safety, then maybe instead of
catering to the wishes of
alumni whose well-being
would be threatened from
their front-row seat as they
react to our victory over Ohio
State by mere applause, their
fine seats could be divvied
out to us current University
students who happened to get
split-season tickets. There is
no doubt that we would
quickly abandon our seat to
rush out onto the field and
celebrate the triumph. That
way, the University could kill
two birds with one stone by
giving we "season-ticket
holders" a game to watch
against a quality team while
preserving the safety of the
alumni, who would watch the
celebration from their secure
seats in the 69th row.

cussions of collegiate admis-
sions policies neglect an
important point. Every stu-
dent admitted to LSA was
accepted for the same funda-
mental reasons: Each holds
extraordinary promise for
developing his or her own
intellectual talents, for
enlivening the intellectual
activities of the University,
and for enhancing the well-
being of society.
Earlier this month, a law-
suit challenging LSA's admis-
sions policies was filed in a
federal court. This suit brings
to our own campus the
national debate thatthas been
going on for several years
regarding the use of race as a
factor in admissions. We, as '
individuals, are committed to
the concept of affirmative
action, and we welcome the
opportunity to place our per-
sonal values, as well as our
expectations and aspirations
for LSA, before the public as
the national debate unfolds.
The issue of how
American higher education
can best serve our increasing-
ly diverse population is
important, and it merits the
kind of serious discussion
with suspended judgment.
that President Lee Bollinger
described in his inaugural
As this discussion pro-
ceeds, it is important that we
rememberthe many things
that unite us. After all, the
goals, values and mission
which we share are far more
significant than any disagree-
ments that may emerge
among us. During this period.
let us strive to treat all mem-
bers of the LSA community
with the respect and recogni-
tion of their belonging.

Belief in oneself, and
one's team, can create won-
derful results. Go Blue.
U' should
end contract
with Nike
Frankly, I find it quite
pathetic that the only front-
page story about Nike focus-
es on the mix-up of color
scheme in the warm-up suits-
("'M' team gets blue and
white apparel," 121/197).
The truth is that Nike doesn't
give a shit about the .
University. In fact, they don't
care about anybody, includ-
ing thousands of their
exploited, over-worked and
under-paid sweatshop labor-
ers in Asia. All that Nike
cares about is profit. We are
just one more tool to use in
order to achieve the almighty
profit. They try to appease us
with Nike gear (they can't
even get the colors right),
tailgate parties and other
such meaningless trinkets. It's
time to end the Nike contract
and the University support of
a proven corporate violator of
human rights and fair labor
Jaye shows a
lack of

Why the fond
memories of 4
others leave me
N ostalgiais an interesting phenom-
I am not referring to any specific
revival in the "K-Tel Solid Gold Hits of
1971" sense of the word, I just mean t
general way we
attach too much
sentiment to our
past. We remember
things in a way that
amplifies the emo-F
tion, good or bad
--it isn't exactly
the same as when .k s
it happened.
Somewhere in the
recesses ofsoursAUL
brains, between SERILLA
electrical charges BtRLLA.
and chemical rear- WARFARE4dl
tions, our memo-
ries of meaningful events arecmutating
into grandiose escapades.
Nostalgic thoughts are like the silly-
putty of the mind in which the protag-
onists of these stories (often ourselves)
get stretched in every direcio a
becoming giants among men. T
funny thing is that we are suspicious of
any story about the big one that got
away, except when that story passes
our own lips.We believe our own bull.
I suppose it is an innate human ten-
dency to spice up a story and then to
believe our own exaggerations of real-
ity that we have created the venerable
and the vilified icons of every age.
Jason and the Argonauts? Probab! .
just a couple of Greeks who went saili
on their buddy's boat, gave a little too
much praise to the god of fermented
beverages, ate a few too many stuffed
grape leaves, fell asleep and drifted out
to sea. They finally made it back to woric
on Monday (four years later) and told
everybody what a great time they had,
throwing in a couple of sea monsters fOr
good measure. Suddenly, it is a timeless
tale of magnanimous proportions.
Every icon we believe in is probad
like that. George Washington never
actually cut down a cherry tree,but once
ate an entire cherry pie over a long
weekend. The famous "frozen tundra"
NFC Championship Game at Lambea .
Field was really played on a 60-degree
day, but there was a hefty breeze and it
looked pretty nippy on TV.
The reason I got thinking about
blowing a little reminiscence out of
proportion is that the college ye
followed closely by the high schoo
years, seem to be our culture's prime
target for meaningless exaggeration.
I am not sure why we don't decipher
the elaborate strings of stories tht
enter the trash compactor between oj
ears and come out in one solid clun.
"Yeah, remember that one time fres-
man year when we beat Ohio State at
Notre Dame in the same weeker,
Tyrone Wheatley had 1,000 yards, a
Bob had like, 65 beers, and we went l
that party on Arbor with like, 2,0
people, and then like, 10 feet of snv
fell in an hour, and the dead rose fro
the grave to terrorize the living?"
"Yeah - good weekend."
Maybe blowing things out of propo
tion, when it is no longer really signif-
icant is just a little naturally occurritg
dose of reassurance that kicks in every
once in a while. As long as these min
delusions don't spiral out of contr
are they that big of a problem?

For instance, the other day I was
hanging out with a few friends and one
of them pulled out a video tape of the
last gig he played with this .rock band
in high school. They played bars aili
small clubs; they were pretty good but
my friend rarely brings it up. In fact,
he seemed more impressed with how
young and skinny he looked than
guitar solos. It was harmless fu,
remembering something that seems to
have happened a long time ago.,'t.
Then another friend pointed out that
our ex-guitar-slinging pal had acconi
plished a lot since then, moved on in a
different direction and still had a lot to
look forward to,awhile that band might
have been atop a short list of lifetime
achievements for the other musicians.
it made me think about reaching
lifetime peak at a very young ag
Maybe some of us are nostalgic
because we have very little else to
hang on to. It seems likely - we al
see the washed up ex-jocks and popu-
lar kids on our vacations home. They
appear to be living off stored high
school memories of when they were
cool, confident and thought they court
live forever. A lot of people out thet
are in high school hibernation, waiti
to be woken by the dawn of a seco
prom that isn't coming.
1 think the problem is that we, the
college bound, have picked up a little
hubris by finally overcoming the limi-
tation of the ever-enigmatic high
school popularity contest. Some live in
the past, but the college student's


'M' football
I was very proud to see
the Michigan victory on Nov.
22, even from a distance. I
attended the University in the
'70s during the era of Dennis
Franklin, Dan Dufek and
other luminaries.
It is doubly satisfying to
see the success the team
enjoyed. particularly with the
many questions that were
present at the beginning of
the season. Michigan beat a
very strong football team in
the Buckeyes.
So, what is the meaning
of a strong football team, in
the scheme of things? In the
Wolverines' case, they repre-
sent what is excellent and

unders tanding
This letter is regarding
comments made by
Representative David Jaye on
Nov. 19 at the Affirmative
Action Symposium held by
the Michigan Student
Assembly. Jaye's opposition
to affirmative action is based
on the idea that it is in itself a
discriminatory program, that
we are looking for a diversity
of minds which is not neces-
sarily achieved through a
diversity of race. Jaye is a
prime example of why we
need racial diversity on this
campus. Jaye, at the sympo-
sium, constantly referred to
people of Asian decent as
"Orientals." For those of you
lacking this diversity of
thoughts, people are not
pleased to be referred to as
Orientals. The term }orien-
tal" is to reference objects
such as food, clothing, rugs,
etc. The term is not to be
confused with Asian or Asian
Pacific American (which can
be used to categorize racial
backgrounds). For people
who do not understand the
achievement of mental diver-



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