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October 01, 1997 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1997-10-01

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4 - The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, October 1, 1997

e lCu igttn ttilg

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.
Urban restoration
'U' graduates help revitalize Detroit

'We're not here to just hear David Jaye, we're here to
bury his attempt to resegregate the schools.'
- Renee Brunk a member of the Coalition to Defend AffirmativeAction by Any Means
Necessary, protesting Monday's Shelby Twn. hearing on 'U'affirmative action policies
'u' f tsback 'nst violence

n many ways, Detroit's heyday is gone.
An exodus of businesses and industries
from the city's downtown area to suburbs
and smaller cities resulted in severe eco-
nomic problems. Now, as the city rebuilds
itself and its economic base, massive reno-
vations and new buildings are necessary to
attract companies back to the downtown
area. Raynall Harris and Dorian Moore, two
graduates of the University's College of
Architecture and Urban Planning, con-.
tributed to the rebuilding efforts - setting
an excellent precedent the University and
other graduates should follow.
Detroit landed in the national spotlight
earlier this year when Vice President Al
Gore visited the city to deliver an address to
the White House Community
Empowerment Conference. Praising the
community's efforts to rebuild the city,
Gore added the importance of "empower-
ment zones" to Detroit's and other cities'
continued enhancement. In these areas, the
federal government encourages growth by
offering tax incentives and priority consid-
eration in federal programs. Detroit's zone
is at the site of a former Cadillac factory -
when it closed, unemployment rose and the
neighborhood deteriorated. The govern-
ment's declaration of this area as - an
"empowerment zone" helped it greatly as
businesses began moving back to the pover-
ty-stricken urban area, bringing with them
jobs and economic stability.
The revitalization makes necessary the
construction of new facilities to house busi-
nesses. In addition, old, dilapidated build-
ings, and neighborhoods full of neglected
houses, need renovation and upkeep. A
comprehensive plan for improvement and
assistance from urban planning profession-

als is necessary to breathe life into the city's
Harris and Moore are already involved
in the city's improvement. Harris - who
graduated in 1994 -- is involved in several
initiatives with the city government. One of
them is the renovation of an old warehouse
to accommodate the Detroit Police
Customer Service Center that will house
administrative offices, conference rooms
and a dispatch center for emergency calls.
Moore's work with the city involved
restoring a predominantly Mexican
American public high school in southwest-
ern Detroit. He now works on converting a
deserted office building in the downtown
area to loft apartments. But Moore
expressed dismay that many of his fellow
graduates are not working on rebuilding
The University has a vast array of
resources - from professors to students -
that could aid and consult on downtown
Detroit's revitalization. The University
should offer its services to city officials and
to private companies considering moving
into downtown Detroit. The resulting boost
in economic strength would enhance the
entire metro Detroit area.
The city of Detroit is on the rebound.
With increased support from private indus-
tries, and federal aid to revitalize its urban
centers, the city could be well on its way to
regaining its previous economic vibrance.
The University should place a stake in
enhancing the metropolitan neighborhood
and encourage both students and faculty to
contribute to the city's revitalization. With
help from the community, Detroit could
again emerge as an industrial and economi-
cally stable hub.

As a campus community,
it will take time to recover
from the shock of the recent
murder of one of our students,
Tamara S. Williams. Even as
we mourn our loss, we also
want to recognize and com-
mend the many individuals
who intervened on her behalf
and who responded after the
Beginning with her North
Campus neighbors who
immediately called 911 and
tried to dissuade her attacker
and the Department of Public
Safety officers who respond-
ed to the call, members*of the
University community have
demonstrated their compas-
sion, concern for others and
sincere desire to create a safe
The trauma team and sur-
geons are to be commended
as are the many faculty, staff
and students, who, each in
their own way, responded to
this tragedy. Many have
helped us express our grief:
counselors; Housing and
Student Affairs staff who
worked with Tamara's friends
and neighbors; The Michigan
Daily, which published a spe-
cial edition; and individuals
and organizations that
planned vigils, just to name a
Although Tamara's death
brings the issue of domestic
violence to the forefront of
our public consciousness, the
campus community has been
working for the past several
years on concerns surround-
ing campus security. The first
Task Force on Campus Safety
and Security, which issued a
report in 1990, and a second
task force, which issued its
report in April, have played a
leadership role in these

The President's Task Force
on Violence Against Women
on Campus also has been
working to educate members
of the campus community
about the many forms of vio-
lence against women - from
sexual assault, sexual harass-
ment, and dating and domes-
tic violence to stalking,
threats and other abusive
behavior- and to change
attitudes that condone or per-
haps even encourage acts of
violence toward women. The
task force is co-chaired by
Patricia W. Coleman-Burns,
assistant professor of nursing
and director of multicultural
affairs at the School of
Nursing; and Daniel G.
Saunders, associate professor
of social work.
Student athletes have
played an important role in
this educational campaign.
Team captains and their com-
ments about violence against
women are featured in a
poster that is displayed promi-
nently in a number of campus
locations. The task force also
has been working to broadcast
its educational message
through other means, as var-
ied as bumper stickers, the
Greek system, the English as
a Second Language program,
publication of a special issue
of PRISM that addresses vio-
lence against women, and a
Web page, which will be oper-
ational in the near future.
Much more needs to be
done, and to that end the task
force is moving in new direc-
tions. Plans include:
Create a comprehensive
system to distribute safety
information using e-mail,
campus newspapers and a dis-
tribution list for crime alerts
Determine the range
and type of training provided

to University child care work-
ers and teach child care work-
ers to recognize and identify
children affected by family
Work with DPS to
review current policies and
protocols for responding 'to
domestic violence and sexual
assault among students living
on campus
Increase the scope and
amount of material across the
curriculum about violence
against women
g Increase awareness
among employees by provid-
ing additional training for
supervisors regarding vio-
lence in the workplace and
include material about vio-
lence in new employee orien-
N Identify gaps in campus
services to victims of violence
and recommend ways to fill
those gaps
We are extremely proud of
how members of the
Michigan community
responded to this crisis; of the
care provided to the victims,
their neighbors and friends.
We will continue our educa-
tional efforts regarding vio-
lence against women.
Violence affects and concerns
all of us, as demonstrated by
our communal response to
Tamara's death.

embody the
bland, dull and
invisible masses
A re you a meathead? Chuck,
porterhouse, rib-eye - this one's
for you guys.
You see them everywhere. Within
the confines of Central Campus, the
are as common as
coffee bars and
hippie band
posters on tele-
phone poles. They
are the reason that
lines for nearly
every service in
town have. that
kind of Soviet,
ration-card huge-
ness. They are the JAMES
bread crumbs in MILE
our little colle- MLE
giate casserole.
They are the
Meatheads are the only population
that no one has a definite opinion on
Most people don't even notice them as
they cover the campus like pollen on a
summer afternoon. You may not real.
ize it, but you know meatheads.
Meatheads are the guys who wear
"Football is life" T-shirts to class at
least two days out of the week. When
you sign that get-to-know-you sheet
that GSIs pass around the first meeting
of a discussion section, meatheads are
the undecided, second-semester
Meatheads are not athletes, but wish
to God they were. Meatheads are no-
in fraternities, but wish to God the
were. You know these guys.
Meatheads derive their irritating
manner from their blandness. Even at
their worst, every other population on
campus has a distinct personality, be it
RC dirt-eaters, monkish engineers, B-
school Beemer chasers or any of the
castrating Huns from the social sci-
ences. They all have an ethos, a pas-
sion that makes them different fro
the rest of us.
Meatheads don't have this. They just
are. They aren't very smart, but not
stupid enough to be entertaining or
profitable -the living embodiment of
a 'C' average.
Meatheads are content to live in a
world of 15 cent packages of Ramen
noodles, plastic Burger King cups of
Milwaukee's Best, scum-covered front
porches and John Belushi posters.
They blunder through life, breathin
with their mouths open, asking for the
syllabi in Nove-mber and keeping
Cliff's Notes, Blue Notes and Anheiser-
Busch comfortably in the black.
They are suburban semi-heroes
named Josh, Matt, Mike and Rob who
take up space, have weight and convert
oxygen into carbon dioxide. They fill
the bottom ranks of the psych and
engineering departments, and if the
vanished from the planet tonight,
nobody but the landlord and their
mothers would notice - the human
equivalent of tapioca pudding. They
are harmless, typically inoffensive and
have absolutely no reason to exist.
If you or someone you love can
agree with two or more of the follow-
ing statements, please don't hesitate to
get help:
The levels of my wit and charm
are inversely proportional to the pri
of domestic keg beer.
My favorite color is flannel.
The last book I understood, fin-

ished and read for pleasure was writ-
ten by Judy Blume, John Grisham or
Michael Crichton.
E I spent at least 20 minutes picking
out a baseball hat to wear with my
prom tuxedo.
Standing in the mob outside
Scorekeeper's is just as fun as bein
Subway and the films of Adam
Sandler can yield at least three dates.
0 Pouring her a beer is foreplay.
Steve Miller is a musical genius.
The only black people I know are
on "SportsCenter" or "Different
Strokes" reruns.
The jingle from the diamond com-
mercials was written by either Mozart
or Beethoven.
0 Course numbers higher than the
200s give me a headache.
I was denied a bid because I
couldn't remember my house letters.
Volvo is a part of the female
E If the words "So, how about it?"
don't melt her heart, she ain't worth it.
E Sweatpants with creases are con-
sidered formal wear.
E Foreign countries do not mak
N French toast is ethnic food.
Vegetables are those funny crispy
things in your burrito.
E High-fiving during action movies
makes me closer to my friends.
E Watching pay-per-view porno
makes me closer to my friends.

Ignoring student rigts
Mandatory drug testing violates civil liberties

School administrators in Florida's Dade
County are sending a firm message to
high school students: If you do drugs,
beware. Their approach is both simple and
unique. The school board, with the parents'
written permission, will contract a private
agency to randomly conduct drug tests on
all participating students.
However, the law is vague in regards to
drug testing. A 1995 United States Supreme
Court ruling declared that public school
athletes must submit to random mandatory
testing, even if administrators do not sus-
pect usage. Administrators based the legali-
ty of their testing plan on this ruling, but
what they fail to recognize is that their
interpretation of the law may be incorrect.
The ruling applies solely to athletes, and
says nothing about general students. The
administrators, in an effort to validate their
plan, formulated their own interpretation of
the ruling. The court is the only body dele-
gated with the authority to make interpreta-
tions. The administrators have no right to
manipulate the law.
The law is not the only issue at hand -
the plan clearly violates both the students'
right to learn and their civil rights. There is
absolutely no reason to test students with-
out probable cause. The threat of drug test-
ing only instills fear within the student
body, especially given the occurrence of
false positives. The punitive measures a stu-
dent could face as a result of false positives
could seriously undermine their academic
careers. School should be a place of learn-
ing, not of threats and punishment.
By randomly testing all students, the
school system is conveying a dangerous

message of distrust. The school-student
relationship should be one of mutual
respect and reliance. When the school sys-
tem initiates its plan, the cohesive bond
between students and faculty will break
down. All relationships dictate the necessi-
ty for both parties to be on equal terms. The
school system's plan places the administra-
tion above the students, thereby creating an
added burden to the majority of innocent
Another issue is that the school system
plans on investing $200,000 in this pro-
gram. That money could easily be used to
supplement drug education and general
education. Such a large sum assuredly
could also finance an immense amount of
books and faculty. Instead of concentrating
on punishment, the school system could
utilize the money in a more progressive and
encouraging way. Education can include
drug and alcohol awareness in addition to
the traditional studies. It is not the school's
responsibility to act as law enforcer and
judge on top of its more important duties.
Rather than using testing as a means of
deterrence, the school system should spend
more money on drug awareness. By assum-
ing the role of educator rather than
enforcer, the school would give students the
respect administrators desire themselves.
Educating students is a much more
proactive and long-term solution than pun-
ishment. Punishment, in most cases, pro-
vides no guarantee that people will refrain
from taking illicit substances. Only through
education will students learn the dangers
and consequences of drugs and alcohol -
and that is the best deterrent of all.

vigii shows ftat students care


Our generation is relent-
lessly accused of apathy, lack
of direction, misguided val-
ues and other such disem-
powering labels. This past
Thursday night, the
University community stood
together on the Diag in one
of the most moving and pow-
erful retorts to those accusa-
tions that has been witnessed
in recent years.
In response to recent acts
of hatred that had been quiet-
ly emerging on campus, sev-
eral members of the student
body formed a plan to raise
public awareness of the
occurrences, and to unite the
student body in a stance
against violence and hatred.
In the early wake of the pow-
erful momentum of student
commitment, a member of
our community, Tamara

vigil was planned. A message
was sent to all reaches of the
University, calling for a stop
to all activity on Thursday
evening - calling for all stu-
dents, faculty, staff and Ann
Arbor residents to gather in
the center of our campus and
make a silent statement pro-
claiming our solidarity.
The statement made was
so penetrating that it could
only have been done with
silence. The trees and the
bricks that have witnessed
demonstrations of talent and
of protest, of sorrow and of
laughter, of preaching and of
pleading in the very heart of
our University, on Thursday
evening, watched as near two
thousand people united for
one reason: to show that we
care. To show that the future
of our community, and of the

2,000 people with dripping
candles in hand said all that
needed to be said. That
dozens of groups had literal-
ly stopped their meetings and
walked together to the Diag
was a realization of our com-
mitment to change.
We listened as the presi-
dent of our student body
called on us to recommit to
our common values, to stand
together in solidarity. As we
blew out the candles, we
thought of two real action
steps we could take to com-
bat violence and hatred.
And as we went back to
our homes and offices, the
,imprint we left on the heart
of the University was more
than the patches of dripped
wax that covered the span of
the Diag, but the realization
that the students will hold


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