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September 23, 1997 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1997-09-23

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4 - The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, September 23, 1997

cfe 3ittit n Dalig

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's editorial board. All
other articles, letters and cartoons do not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Michigan Daily.
Number crunching
Admissions should consider individuals

'The world of politics (and of life more generally)
necessarily emphasizes commitment to
beliefs rather than suspension of beliefs.'
- University President Lee Bollinger, in his inaugural address last Friday
WI11lc o F offa uTY

Stand against
the hatred that
pervades the


September marks the beginning of the
University school year, the college foot-
ball season and the annual admissions
cycle. As applications from the class of
2002 slowly begin to trickle into the
Undergraduate Admissions Office, admin-
istrators plan to review the policies that will
determine which students get in. Presently,
the admissions procedure is much like a
giant math equation - officers plug in fac-
tors X, Y and Z and produce a number that
is meant to describe a student. A review of
present admission policies is necessary to
ensure that the strength and diversity of
future University classes is maintained.
Applications for admission to the
University are somewhat simplistic.
Students submit their high school tran-
scripts, ACT or SAT scores, lists of extra-
curricular activities and an application essay.
Admissions officers then take this informa-
tion and compile it into a formula, the result
of which is an altered GPA. With that num-
ber, admissions officers can determine
whether to admit, reject or waitlist a student.
While the present admissions scheme takes
into account numerous attributes, it fails to
take into account every facet that can con-
tribute to a student's academic career.
Instead of relying so heavily on numeri-
cal computations, the University would do
well to treat applicants as individuals rather
than numbers. The University presently
includes a system that gives students from
some schools a boost in GPA. However, it
gives the boost arbitrarily, without examin-
ing the student's personal abilities or high
school class schedule. In addition, most of
the schools whose students receive the extra
points are private and costly, giving eco-


nomically advantaged students a head start
at getting admitted to the University. Hard-
working students from poor high schools
step into the admissions picture with an
inherent disadvantage to overcome what
they cannot control.
Instead of such a formulaic approach to
deciding a student's worth, the University
should adopt a system that takes into
account a student's individual abilities. The
University cannot quantify all of a student's
abilities, even with the best tabulation sys-
tem. President Lee Bollinger stated inten-
tions to increase the University Admissions
Office staff to allow for more individual
attention to applicants. The personnel
increase would be a good first step to indi-
vidual consideration of students' special
abilities and circumstances.
The University also incorporates affir-
mative action policies into its admissions
process. Severe pressure from state legisla-
tors and political conservatives are making
the University's policies difficult to main-
tain. State Rep. Deborah Whyman (R-
Canton Twp.) views the University's poli-
cies as discriminatory and along with four
other state representatives, promised to sue
the University for discrimination.
Administrators must fare the affirmative-
action storm.
University administrators stated inten-
tions to not ditch the current admissions
system. Reviewing present policies and
adding more individual consideration to the
process will enhance the campus and aid
the University's academic mission. The
University should examine the present
process to ensure that the its academic rep-
utation perseveres in the years to come.

n uphill battle
Homeless vets struggle for survival
D uring this period of national economic field of battle to an area of safety and secu-
prosperity, it is important that the rity. The first event took place more than 10
country help its citizens reach their full years ago in San Diego. The weekend event
potential. However, many fall through the is a camp-out, during which veterans
government's economic safety net. A seg- received warm food and hot baths - some
mient of the U.S. population that is particu- of the simpler things in life that most of us
larly distraught are homeless veterans. The take for granted. In addition, they were
same people who once fought for their informed about the vast array of rehabilita-
country are now struggling to survive in an tive options available to them, which could
increasingly competitive and changing job help them get back on their feet.
market. In particular, drug abuse and alcoholism
One of the most difficult things for vet- impede homeless veterans in their struggle

Asking for
apologies is
a 'mistake'
Regarding the Indian-
American letter writing to
NBC - you've got to be kid-
ding. If those people wrote
856 letters because Jay Leno
said something tasteless
(what do you expect), I can't
imagine how many they write
to really offensive people. I
don't doubt the intentions of
the letter writers; if some-
thing offends you, let it be
known. But asking for an
apology is a mistake. There
are far greater causes to fight
for; the low-class humor of a
peon like Leno should not be
anyone's aim. And don't even
get me started on "Caroline
in the City' a show that
shouldn't be on the air any-
Good humor should be
allowed to poke fun at people.
Case in point: "The
Simpsons"' Apu
Nahasanimapetalan, the man-
ager of the Qwik-E-Mart on
the show, is the stereotypical.
Indian, working at a conve-
nience store. His character is
hilarious and not the least bit
offensive to me. In fact, I find
it funny because I know so
few Indians who are not doc-
tors, engineers, entrepreneurs,
teachers and other assorted
professions. The show pokes
fun at cops, white trash,
Indians, and all of American
society. Being able to laugh at
yourself and realize that life
is too short for stupid things
like NBC and Leno is key to
mental survival.
I suggest that writing let-
ters is perfectly legitimate
and worthwhile, but don't ask
for apologies. Someone out
there found it funny, so let it
be. I just won't watch Leno
(because he's not funny), or
"Caroline in the City"
(because it sucks). And I still
laugh every time Apu pulls
out his statue of Ganesha, the
Hindu God of Wisdom, and
prays for a good day of sales.
It probably doesn't matter,
but I'm Indian.
Panel will
I would like to applaud
the Daily's coverage of the
issue of backlash as it per-
tains to survivors of domestic
violence. The issue is impor-
tant for survivors of child
sexual abuse as well. The
issues are very closely linked

The Daily's call to explore
this subject further, will in
part be answered by a panel
everyone interested in the
issue of backlash against sur-
vivors of domestic violence
and child sexual abuse should
attend. Panelists will include
Dr. Kathleen Faller, Ph.D.,
internationally recognized
authority on child sexual
abuse and Lore Rodgers, J.D.
from SAFE House and oth-
ers: Backlash: Are Gains
Made By Women and
Children Under Attack? A
Panel Discussion by
Professionals and Survivors
in the Fields of Domestic
Violence and Child Sexual
The panel will focus on:
Public perception of victims
of violence and abuse, prose-
cution of offenders of vio-
lence, and clients' legal and
therapeutic rights. It will be
held Wednesday, Sept. 24, at
6:30 p.m. in the Modemn
Languages Building, Lecture
Room 1. For more informa-
tion, please e-mail
should be
informed of
Thomas Bress isn't the
only person who noticed the
Ortho Tri-Cyclen insert in
last Monday's issue. I saw it,
too, but my opinion is quite
different than that of Thomas
Bress ("Birth control insert
was 'offensive,"' 9/19/97). I
respect his Catholic beliefs
and in no way am I challeng-
ing them. In addition, I
understand that he does not
agree with birth control; he
has the right to think as such.
However, I can't let that letter
slide without comment.
Though he may be
Catholic, not everybody at
this school is. Some, but not
all, share his belief that inter-
course is meant solely for
spousal tomfoolery.
Individuals who have inter-
course before marriage
should use contraception
unless they are looking to
become parents. Considering
that many students here (and
all over) have sex, then why
shouldn't the Daily include a
contraceptive advertisement?
I was rather offended by
Bress' suggestion that women
who are taking the pill should
read the medical warnings and
precautions. Women who are
responsible enough to seek
contraception are apt to find
out about their contraceptive
choices. Before I take any sort
of medication, I read about it.

pill for its cancer-preventing
qualities or to regulate the
menstrual cycle. As far as
Ortho Tri-Cyclen goes, it is
the first oral contraceptive
pill to be FDA-approved for
treating acne.
As stated earlier, I honest-
ly respect his opinion. I
don't, however, agree with it.
I'm sorry if he is offended by
the insert; personally, I was
glad to see it because it pro-
motes responsible living.
Sexual activity and reproduc-
tive health are individual
responsibilities that each per-
son needs to consider. Some
people may find that sex is
not for them until marriage,
and others may frolic
throughout their youth. But
don't be offended by a news-
paper including an insert
about contraception - it's
merely business as usual.
There is no
left to 'unite'
We live in a very different
atmosphere than that of the
late '80s and early '90s. The
political poles on Capitol Hill
have shifted. Gone is the
Republican White House and
Congress. Replacing these
two are the exact opposite, a
Democratic White House
receiving legislature from a
Congress. Why this obvious
recap of the obvious?
Because with these changes'
the gridlock that was the sole
continuous accomplishment
of the '80s was replaced by
an almost fanatical fervor for
bipartisanship. This biparti-
sanship was wished for and
talked about through the
early '90s and before as the
goal of the public in electing
However, now that the
American public has achieved
this goal, we find millions of
Americans on sides of the
aisle berating it as wrong. For
example, we have the letter
printed in the Daily from Eric
Dirnbach ("Left must recon-
cile for change," 9/15/97).
Dinbach urges the "left" to
unite against the right, which
is at present destroying the
United States. He talks of the
poor being held back by the
right, but neglects to mention
under this new cooperation
the economy has been better
than it has been in decades.
This kind of growth usually
comes in pre-war conditions,
as in the late '30s. Here we
are in relative peace, with an
economy that is allowing even
the poorest to advance.
Dirnbach also mentions the
right attacks on the welfare

'U' community
Just more than a week ago, the
Queer Unity Project had a Diag
board ripped down and stolen - pre-
Sby people who did not agree
with or support the rights of lesbian,
gay, bisexual and
transgender mem-
bers of our com-
munity. Not only
targeting the
group for an
anonymous mes-
sage of hatred, but
stealing from the
group and pre-
venting QUP from
spreading its JosH
beliefs of toler- WHITE
ance and accep- JUMPING
tance to the THE GUN
University com-
And QUP leaders were exceptional-
ly upset because they couldn't do any-
thing about the theft and were power-
less to catch the person or people who
attacked them. While they filed a
report with the Department of Public
Safety, their board is gone, their
money spent on an empty advertise-
ment and their dignity hit with yet
another barb.
Cory Fryling, head of QUP, said he
understands that he will be "persecut-
ed" so long as he is alive (a terrifying
concept, but one that is probably not
far from the truth) but wants to know
how his group can prevent bigots
from stealinguhis signs in the future.
Just as campus leaders began to dis-
cuss this last week, another group was
targeted with blatant hatred in a simi-
lar way.
RC junior Andrew Schlegel wit-
nessed three students vandalizing a'
Hillel Diag board early Sunday morn-
ing outside of the Shapiro Library
Schlegel described the event as "one
of the most disturbing things that 1
have personally witnessed in my life.'
The students, in plain view, urinated
on the sign before ripping it down.
According to Schlegel, they then pro-
ceeded to spit on the Star of David that
is embedded in the ground at the een
ter of the West Hall Arch.
Schlegel, an East Quad resident
adviser, followed the group until feel- - :
ing that further pursuit would lead t
physical violence - but the damage
had already been done. The anti-semit-
ic actions of these three students will
most likely go unpunished, and were it .
not for one concerned student, would
most likely have gone unnoticed by the
University community.
Mounted on the back of recent
swastikas found in Mary Markley
Residence Hall, the QUP vandalism
last year's Campus GOP's bigote
chalkings and years of hatred against
all number of minorities on campus
the recent events are merely small
pieces in the larger puzzle. But they
must not be overlooked.
In a community based on higher
education, it is unfortunate that bigot
ed hatred must appear in so many-
forms and so often.
Whether exhibited as overt action or
as an evil glare, hatred brews an
seethes within members of our
University community and builds on
ideologies that have been cultivated
over 18 or more years of life. What
these sick individuals want is for all of
us to give up and accept their racism
and bigotry as something we cannot
effect - their victims' silence is one
of their greatest weapons.
When we experience hatred, there is
often a great fear of speaking up - thk
unfounded hesitancy is derived from
the all-too-real fear that those who

started with violent words will
respond with violent acts. So the big-
ots of the world win a silent triumph;
the victims are hurt and scared while
the oppressors are smug, free and
ready to do it again.
And so it brews inside all of us. The
hatred builds as new and creative ways
to spread an evil message are formu-
lated, and the victims increasingly
want to do something but have no idea
where to start.
What is truly sickening is that on
what is arguably one of the most liber-
al campuses in America there are so
many examples of intolerance. That
someone could so hate another, in an
educated community, is a frightening
concept. The idea that nothing can be
done is even worse - because it is
In order for the community to realize
the depth of such actions and the
impact they have on large segments of
our society, we must talk about such
bigotry. We must weed out those mem-
bers of our community who cannot
understand that we are all people and

erans to do, when returning
home from the service, is to re-
adjust to life that moved on
without them. An even greater
obstacle for some veterans is
the social stigma that followed
them home after the Vietnam
War. The result is an identity
crisis that is difficult to over-
come. They begin to feel lost
in a country that seems very
different from the one they

for the
First in a two-
part series

to overcome poverty and join
the workforce. Veterans can
benefit greatly from the kind of
alcoholic-support programs
and other counseling services
that the "stand down" includes
among its options. Yet another
of the program's positive
effects is that it provides home-
less vets with a sense of com-
munity they may have lacked.
Ultimately, the most important

left. As a result, many veterans, unable to
adjust to a different America, became a
part of the nation's already large homeless
There are approximately 10,000 home-
less veterans in the southeastern portion of
Michigan. Veterans represent almost 25
percent of the homeless population in this
specific region. In an effort to help these
homeless veterans, Chet McLeod, president
of the Southeastern Michigan Veterans
Stand-Down, organized a stand down at
Bell Isle, Mich., this past weekend.
In military terms. a "stand down" occurs

goals of this event are to give area veterans
a realistic sense of hope and camaraderie.
The country must not turn its back to the
less fortunate, especially those who served
to support national security. Events like the
Belle Isle "stand-down" represent a good
opportunity to enhance veterans' lives and
should occur more frequently throughout
the country. Sometimes it takes only a little
effort to make a significant impact on the
lives of others. If the United States is to
remain an economic and social leader,
organizations and people throughout the
nation must do more to help the members

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