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September 22, 1997 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1997-09-22

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AA - The Michigan Daily - Monday, September 22, 1997

i1Jz £Irdigw Daig

420 Maynard Street r
Ann Arbor, MI 48109 JOSH WHITE
Editor in Chief
Edited and managed by ERIN MARSH
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.

'We want to make sure our admissions procedures really
mirror what we want to achieve in our student body.'
-- University Provost Nancy Cantor
U erV'rre

officials regulat
'U' events


u r~i~ih

Bollinger will dev
0 n Friday, students, faculty and distin-
guished educators filled Hill
Auditorium for Lee Bollinger's inaugura-
tion as the University's 12th president. The
Festive ceremony provided a perfect plat-
form for Bollinger to introduce his vision
for the University. His remarks included
ideas on the nature of public institutions and
the role the University plays in the sphere of
creative learning. His speech lacked deeper
substance - which will evolve with time
-- but he displayed a great deal of personal
excitement and charisma.
Bollinger arranged his address into a
Dumber of broad and abstract principles. He
peppered his remarks with literary refer-
ences, and called the University "a living
culture revelling in exploration of complex-
ity" and "an epicenter of idealism." While
4is speech lacked certain definitive quali-
ties, Bollinger did set forth a few meaning-
ful goals.
He called for a transparent administra-
tion that will "make things happen without
people knowing it's happening." A large
bureaucracy is inherent to an institution as
large as the University, but certain efforts
can be made to cut red tape. But a speech
lone cannot meet this goal - within a
Short period of time, Bollinger should pre-
sent a specific plan to streamline the admin-
Bollinger also reaffirmed his support for
fflrmative action. He said a public institu-
tion has the obligation to reach out to as
many segments of the population as possi-
ble - whether they vary by ethnic, racial,
socioeconomic or geographic distinctions.
i policies must further the University's
(&gstanding commitment to diversity.
Most important, Bollinger said the
University, along with other public institu-
tions, should not be subject to political
interference. In Lansing, Gov. John Engler
and his legislative colleagues have continu-
ally breached the University Board of


elop vision for 'U'
Regents' legal autonomy. In the past, the
legislature used the threat of withholding
state funding to butt its head into University
affairs - several glaring examples are forc-
ing the University to adhere to a certain in-
state to out-of-state student ratio, and trying
to withhold funding for benefits to
University employees' same-sex partners.
The regents, elected by a statewide majori-
ty, are most qualified to handle these kinds
of issues. While it is important for Bollinger
to maintain good relations with the capitol,
he must remain firm on this front -- mak-
ing every effort to put this non-interference
policy into state and national law.
In spite of these few promising state-
ments, Bollinger never indicated how he
would leave his permanent mark on the
University. He should consider taking a cue
from his predecessor.
Within the first six months of his presi-
dency, James Duderstadt created the
Michigan Mandate - which successfully
increased the University's minority popula-
tion. Duderstadt furthered his aim of
increasing campus diversity through the
Michigan Agenda for Women - a drive to
increase the number of women in faculty
and administrative positions, and to
increase female students' campus opportu-
nities. He also kicked off a fundraising ini-
tiative that put the University's endowment
on par with those at the nation's top private
colleges. Duderstadt's actions were not all
commendable - nevertheless, he quickly
established objectives, and worked cease-
lessly to accomplish them.
The University lies at a crossroads -
and Bollinger has the opportunity to forge
its path ahead. He first needs to determine
where he wants it to be heading. The
University must not be left to muddle along
without any apparent goals - it is an insti-
tution with limitless potential, and
Bollinger must quickly seize the opportuni-
ty to shape its future development.


VS. -


Faring weie
Work requirements excessive for students

Every year, the Daily
feels the need to publish the
same editorial ("What's the
rush?" 9/12/97). The editori-
al, generally aimed toward
first-year students, tries to
convince students not to
rush a fraternity or sorority
in the fal. Obviously, the
author did not take the time
to speak with any member
of the Greek community.
Like always, the editorial
was misleading in many
The Daily states in the
editorial that "because most
incoming students have not
yet adjusted to class sched-
ules, new roommates or the
broad offerings of college
life," perhaps waiting another
semester or year to rush is
the best choice. In addition,
the editorial claims that
"joining a Greek house may
prevent (a student) from
exploring other activities and
opportunities on campus."
Let us correct these
statements by offering the
complete picture of Greek
life. In actuality, joining a
Greek organization provides
one of the best outlets to
become involved in other
campus activities. The
diversity of membership in
each chapter opens many
doors in acquainting its
members with a wide vari-
ety of campus organiza-
tions. Greeks are found in
the Michigan Student
Assembly, Project Serve,
Student Alumni Council and
much more. It is not sur-
prising, then, that the man
and woman who were
awarded "The Most
Outstanding Graduating
Student From the University
of Michigan of the Class of
1996" were both members
of the Greek community.
That the Daily itself gives
this advice to new students is
rather hypocritical. In many
ways, joining the staff of the
Daily is similar to joining
any Greek organization.
Allow us to explain. As the
senior staff of the Daily grad-
uates, incoming students are
continually recruited to fill in
for the missing spots. Every
fall, the Daily holds mass
meetings and requires that
their staff spend time at their
"house;" the Student
Publications Building.
Sound familiar?
Even the Daily, on the
samepage as the "What's the
rush?" editorial, advertised
their mass meeting. We doubt
that the Daily would discour-
age an incoming student
from attending this meeting
so that he or she may absorb
a more comnlete nicture of

next year, when the "What's
the rush?" editorial is reprint-
ed yet again, the Daily could
interview some members of
the Greek community and get
their opinion. The majority of
them would explain that they
were so happy to have rushed
in the fall.
crews deserve
It seems that students
often complain about the
amount of construction tak-
ing place on campus, or how
long the projects take, so I'd
like to take a moment to
thank the crews that worked
to make the most identifiable
part of campus a whole lot
The Diag restoration was
a huge undertaking that
involved all sorts of drainage
improvement, sidewalk con-
struction and light installa-
tion. While it might have
been easy for the University
to start the project as soon as
everyone left and forget
about Spring and Summer
term students, that's not
what happened. We didn't
see one or two workers each
day, didn't see idle equip-
ment, didn't see a complete
lack of progress until the Art
Fair, at which point we saw a
miraculous and renewed
commitment to the project
- no.
We saw a continuous and
grueling effort all along,
which meant the crews didn't
have to scramble to finish
everything in the last week
before students returned.
So the next time you see
one of our various construc-
tion sites and grumble about
how long it's taking, I ask
you to remember the Diag!
benefits of
This is a response to
Thomas Bress's letter, "Birth
control insert was 'offen-
sive"' (9/19/97).
I am sorry that he was
dismayed and offended by a
birth control pill advertise-
ment inserted in the Daily.
He is a practicing Catholic
and believes that sex should
be only for nroducing chil-

They realize that it is expen-
sive and difficult to raise
large families. A good thing
for the planet, because the
human population is growing
too much as it is and causing
a decimation of other species
of life.
Catholic Italy, which
already has a very high popu-
lation density, has the lowest
fertility rate in the world -
less than two children per
woman. They have not
achieved this by relying on
the rhythm method!
I hope he doesn't think
that the Daily should forbid
birth control ads, even if they
are aimed mainly at unmar-
ried students. Be aware that
there are some Hindus here
who believe that cows are
holy and one should not eat
beef. Some Orthodox Jews
believe that men should not
listen to women singing.
Should the Daily stop adver-
tising hamburgers and
women singers? If everyone
had to abide by everyone
else's religious prohibitions,
no one would be able to do
Yes, birth control pills
increase the risk of some
types of cancer. The fine
print Bress referred to also
indicated that they decrease
the risk of some other types.
For non-smokers under 35,
there is probably no net
health hazard in using the
Birth control pills may
sometimes prevent implanta-
tion of a fertilized egg. But a
fertilized egg is not a person.
As a biologist, I know that
life does not begin at concep-
tion. Life continues at con-
ception. Life only began once
on Earth - billions of years
ago, when an inanimate col-
lection of molecules acquired
the ability to replicate itself.
Everything since has been
part of one continuous
process. We are connected in
time to every other living
A fertilized egg is no
more in possession of a soul
than one of your liver cells.
There are no scientific data
to suggest that it is. Nor does
the Bible, if you accept its
authority (I don't), say that
life begins at conception.
The Catholic church once
held that the soul takes pos-
session of the body at the
time of quickening; that is,
when the mother first per-
ceives the movements of the
fetus. The idea of the soul
arriving at conception is a
modern-day conjecture of
some theologians, and is
It takes more than nine
months for a fertilized egg to
develop into a person. The
mental characteristics that
distinguish humans from
other animals appear only
after birth.
Condoms have an advan-
tage over pills, not because
they act before fertilization,
but becaue thev nmrtect

beyond reason
I t's not all that unusual for
University students to come away
from the college experience with a few
minor brushes with the law -"noi
violations, parking tickets and the like.
However, it seems
that more and
more of the things
we do here are
becoming sanc-
tioned events.
Take, for
instance, a
Michigan football
Walking to
Michigan Stadium ERIN
on a football MARSH
Saturday is like THINKING
strolling through a oK 'i'
strange kind of
marketplace. Vendors hawk T-shirts
hot dogs and sodas, students try to lure
drivers onto their front yards for a
cramped $10 parking spot, and scores
of people are either trying to buy o
sell tickets for the game. Great fun,
right? It's a spectacle, and haggling
deals for parking and tickets used to be
one of the best parts of the day.
Now, anyone walking down the
street with tickets in their hand is sub-
ject to being stopped and threatened
by an Ann Arbor police officer.
Apparently, holding a couple of tickets
is a crime - it implies intent to sell
(which is illegal on University proper-
ty unless you have a license). That'
funny - I thought the only thing it
implies is that you don't have any
pockets. You don't have to be waving
the tickets around, you don't have to
holler, "I got one, who needs one?" All
you have to do is have the tickets in the
open, and some law enforcement offi:
cial can decide you're trying to sel
them. I talked to one student who wa
slapped with a $50 fine.
But beyond the subjectiveness of th
"crime," who really cares if someonri,
is selling a ticket? If it's my ticket,:
paid for it, and I want to get back ony
what I paid for it, who cares if I con
duct a private transaction? I und r.
stand the problem of counterfeit tickc
ets, but that's why we have phrases like
"let the buyer beware." It's a simple
exchange of property, and as long as
you're not trying to gouge someone
and make a huge profit, there's no rea
son for University and city officers to
have such a heart attack about it.
The fun continues once you get intc'
Michigan Stadium. Anyone wh:
attended one of our first two ga1e
could probably tell you that things are
different in the student section this
year. Those little men in the yellow
"Athletic Department Staff" jackets
are not so friendly any more. They
bark orders at students filing into thei
sections, physically blocking the
entrance until everyone shows them a
ticket. OK - they are trying to control
seating and keep kids from sneaking
into the wrong section. Fine. I respect
that. But I have never heard anyone so
rude and mean-spirited at what is sup-
posed to be an enjoyable event. None
of these kids deserve the browbeating
they take for standing a few rows away
from the number designated on their
People could, of course, avoid this
whole scenario by biting the bullet and
sitting (standing) in their assigned
seats. But that still doesn't justify the
rotten attitude of these athletic depart-
ment bouncers.
I asked one of them about the big
"crackdown," and I received this
response: Apparently last year, they

failed to help one kid find his seat
Turns out Daddy was a big-time con--
tributor to the athletic departmentand
held a $250,000 grudge. So now you
see: Damn if the athletic department is
going to let that happen again! No
matter what, they're going to make
sure they get theirs from all. those
beautifully wealthy alumni. You'd
think with all the money the depart-
ment rakes in in a year, it could take a
breather to treat students like human
beings or - and here's a wacky ide
- let freshmen attend the football
games. Apparently not.
(A brief aside: University President
Lee BollingerGand new Athletic
Director Tom Goss- neither of
whom have had anything to do with
the lousy things the department has
done lately -- have been inviting tick-
edess first-year students to sit in their
boxes during the game. Goss and
Bollinger don't have to do it, but the
want to. I think that's one of the neat-
est things I've ever heard.)
After the game this week, I was
thinking about all of the fun post-game
things I used to do as a kid - I
remember waiting outside the locker-
room for autographs from my.favorite
r--m ...T gra

A 11 students face the challenge of suc-
ceeding at the University: Hundreds
of pages of reading, papers, quizzes, prob-
lem sets - most feel the strain. Yet some
students face more - welfare recipients.
Michigan welfare recipients who attend
college full time must also work, at least 20
hours a week, or attend a "welfare-to-work"
program weekly, while also tending to their
personal lives, which could include single
parenthood. This clearly constitutes a heavy
workload. The welfare requirements need
restructuring - recipients need help, not
While the arguments supporting these
harsh guidelines render some truth, state
officials should look more toward the basic
purpose of welfare - to help improve the
lifestyle of those less fortunate. State offi-
cials claim that any job is better than no job
and they point to declining welfare rolls as
proof that this approach is working.
However, welfare advocates question these
claims and the types of jobs those moving
off welfare actually receive. According to
these advocates, education is the answer,
not a minimum wage job. Not only can a
college education improve the chances of
entering the work force, but it will also
improve the chances of remaining in the
work force. This is key so that past recipi-
ents do not have to depend on welfare
whenever times get rough.
State officials also point to the fact that
numerous students must work their way

should not receive or expect special treat
ment. But most working students are no
concerned with parenting, transportation
child care or food concerns while many
welfare recipients are.
Until 1994, Michigan welfare recipients
could attend college instead of looking for o
job. It was not until after they received z
college degree that work was strictly
enforced with penalties of monetary sanc-
tions. Currently, possible sanctions include
a 25-percent cut in recipients' welfare
checks and food stamps or complete cut-of
after four months. The state should return tc
the pre-1994 welfare policy - its focus oi,
education and then work should not have
changed. The welfare guidelines should no
abolish their concentration on working bu
should not be so stringent as to force stu
dents to work beyond what they reasonabl3
can. It is an unfair expectation of welfare
recipients, especially single parents, to con
tinue their education, manage their childrei
and work 20 hours per week.
A higher education embodies the hope
and dreams of many - today more thar
ever, a college degree is a necessity, not at
added bonus. Welfare used to do its part tF
help those less fortunate realize this dreanr
in a way most beneficial to the recipients
Today, welfare helps recipients realize thi
dream in a way most beneficial to state offi
cials, passing political fads and the finan
cial bottom line. Welfare must help those it
need one way or the other - it is up to stat




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