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October 07, 1997 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1997-10-07

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4 - The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, October 7, 1997

EAlCir Ygttn Frilg

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

Editor in Chief
Editorial Page Editor

'We're leaving a mark on the University campus just for
Gandhi. We wanted to honor him by doing community
service ... the way he wanted it to be done.'
- LSA first-year student Bela Patel

_ntess 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
Big Ten trade
Sharing resources helps students
n he University of Michigan and alone. The University's influence is already
Michigan State University have recent- formidable - a coalition of 11 of the coun-
ly formed a partnership to help students try's best schools could garner even more
from both schools. Increasing the resources influence for students' benefit. Such a
ayailable to students through partnerships group could lobby for legislation to ease the
that leave rivalries on the athletic field is an financial burden on students. A Big Ten
idea worth expanding to include the entire consortium could push for more govern-
.ig Ten Conference. ment-sponsored financial aid and more tax
The idea of forming an academic breaks for parents putting children through
alliance throughout the Big Ten has already college. On the state level, a consortium
entered its early stages. Currently the entire could enable partnerships between schools
conference is working together in a pro- in common states to seek change through a
gram called the Midwest Universities combined attack.
Consortium for International Activities. This consortium in no way should
Essentially, this program seeks to make all infringe upon each schools' sovereignty.
of the libraries within the Big Ten available Students going to the University should still
to each school via the Internet. This is a be able to count on the programs for which
great idea that could enhance students' abil- they came to Ann Arbor. Students' courses
ity to do more comprehensive research. In shouldn't be threatened, and professors
addition, other academic exchanges should temporarily assigned to different schools
lbe proposed and developed. must remain available for students at their
One method of exchange being dis- home campus. Students apply to specific
cussed by the University and our "rivals" in universities for their resources and pro-
East Lansing is a faculty-exchange pro- grams - the faculty and information
gram. Every Big Ten university has a exchange should enhance the educational
respectable academic reputation and each experience but not remove schools' valu-
school has its own niche of expertise. For able programs.
example, Northwestern University boasts A consortium of Big Ten schools seems to
one of the best journalism schools in the be the logical first step in forming an acade-
country and the University houses one of mic network of schools. However, if such a
the best business schools. Students at every group is formed and enjoys success, the pro-
Big Ten school could benefit from guest gram should be expanded regionally. Many
lectures or mini-courses taught by experts more local schools have great resources to
from different schools. The University share, and the proximity of many great
should be first in line to support faculty schools, such as Wayne State University,
exchange - we pride ourselves in our com- would surely enable a more frequent rate of
mitment to diversity and this is another way exchange than more distant ones.
Io bring many different groups to campus. Each school must remember that the
Another point for universities to consid- most important aspect of such a network is
er is that the strength of many is greater the students, and every cooperation must
than the strength of one. A consortium of occur to advance students' interests.
Big Ten schools could wield much more Handled properly, the exchange programs
influence with the federal government and could enhance students' education and
with state governments than any school higher education's political clout.
Backhanded bmil
Good intentions are clouded by poor means

7ro RA Et2'-S ywteE
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AL 15 AgOy Ltsr
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leave some
Since the departure of
cartoonist Jim Lasser last
May, the Daily has started
publishing the work of some
new cartoonists on the cut-
ting edge of post-modern edi-
torial criticism. Obviously,
however, they are well ahead
of their time and may be con-
fusing some of our students,
myself included, with their
new-age intellectual com-
mentary on modern college
For instance, Jordan
Young, the ultra-bohemian
author of "Tune Up," appears
to have invented an entirely
new style of cartooning,
drawing marginally relevant
pictures and writing captions
and dialogue that seldom
contain jokes, punch lines, or
any meaningful data whatso-
ever. He has thus transcended
the object-oriented con-
straints of human copscious-
ness with his avant-garde,
high-minded disdain for sen-
sical literature and has bro-
ken the simian shackles of
our collective need for clo-
sure by providing us with
totally open-ended cartoons
containing no beginning,
middle or end, no connection
between captions, pictures
and dialogue, nor even
between individual drawings
within a single cartoon!
Theacartoon appearing in
the Oct. 1 Daily is a prime
example of this new format.
The foreground picture con-
tains a likeness of folk singer
Bob Dylan wearing disco-era
trousers and shoes and sport-
ing a wig similar to Sir Isaac
Newton's. He is playing the
guitar for an entity in the
background that can be
explained only as a half-old
man, half-gastropod doing
"the hustle" and chanting
incorrectly the lyrics to one
of Dylan's songs. The
Caption reads, "Pope John
Paul Ringo," a clever pun of
the world's Catholic Christian
leader and the first names of
three Beatles, an
amazing surprise because the
drawing contains no refer-
ences to any of them! Every
time I think I've got "Tune
lUp" figured out, I get thrown
for another mind-liberating
I never want to be respon-
sible for the burden of
"understanding" an editorial
cartoon ever again, and
thanks to the Daily, I never
will! Keep up the good work.

("Troublesome timing,"
9/l/97) but there is room for
improvement for this policy.
I am from a Chinese
background and call myself
an atheist. Although there is
no such thing as a "holy day"
in my secular lifestyle there
are holidays that I deem seri-
ous enough to sacrifice a
day's academic demands.
These holidays do not pos-
sess religious significance
but are extremely important
in the cultural arena.
Holidays such as the
Chinese New Year, Mid-Fall
Festival and Dragon Boat
Festival are celebrated by
Chinese people worldwide

Without me, they'd have no
sweats to show off. Without
my contribution, they'd have
no Earth-shaking stereo sys-
tem. In fact, I don't expect
them to win. I just want them
to clean my house or some-
House' image
is not relevant

n May, the state House passed the
Campus Sexual Assault Information Act,
drafted by state Rep. Laura Baird (D-
Okemos). The package of bills requires
state universities to adhere to guidelines
dealing with sexual assault cases in order to
be eligible for many financial aid programs
such as the Michigan Competitive
Scholarship Program and the Tuition Grant
The bill proposes a good idea - all col-
leges and universities should have an estab-
lished policy on sexual assault. The
University's current, several-year-old sexual
assault policy could use another look for
updating and possible revisions. However,
colleges and universities must take the pro-
ject on without the threat of financial pun-
The bill is somewhat paradoxical - in
trying to help students, it threatens to remove
countless programs on which many rely. It
punishes students for something beyond
their control - they could lose financial
backing due to their administrators' actions.
Baird's genuine concern for issues of sexual
assault on university campuses are muddled
by her means to achieve her aim.
Even though the Michigan Constitution
forbids such encroachment on state univer-
sity policies under the Headlee
Amendment, Baird bypassed the amend-
ment with a technicality in her bill and
argues the University's conformity is volun-
tary. Yet, to maintain funding, the
University inherently has no choice. The
state legislature should not use money to

cram their programs down state universi-
ties' throats. The bill does not contradict the
literal interpretation of the amendment, but
it is in direct opposition to its design and
spirit. Laws should be analyzed for overall
objective rather than semantics to prevent
abuse. Words are limited in their expres-
sion, making laws imperfect.
Much of what the bill advocates is
already established -- in some form - at
the University. In addition to an official
sexual assault policy, groups like the Sexual
Assault Prevention and Awareness Center
have been offering services to sexual-
assault survivors and educating the
University community for more than 10
years. The majority of state universities
already have a sexual assault .policy in
The trauma of sexual assault should
never be overlooked or taken lightly. At the
same time, state legislatures should realize
the responsibilities and the limitations of
their positions. State representatives should
not overstep the bounds of their jobs and
pounce on the University's autonomy.
The state Senate should not pass Baird's
bill. Despite good intentions, it alone will
not attack the problem at hand. Moreover,
Baird's tactics tie financial punishment to a
task that university and college administra-
tions should be examining for the good of
their student populations, not to secure
funding. State colleges and universities
should demonstrate responsibility and
revise their sexual assault policies without
the threats of Baird's bill.

and their importance is com- To THE DAILY:
parable in status to Rosh I don't know what's
Hash Jesh caender Ippur worse, the fact that the Daily
that the sensitivity that is continues sto display the
extended to religious holi- Greek system in the "Aminal
days and religious practition- House" image, or that there
ers could also be extended to still exist some fraternities
cultural holidays and the that enjoy being portrayed
minorities who celebrate such this way. Those who under-
holidays, stand today's Greek System
know that fraternities have
PAK MAN SHUEN been confronted with chang-
LSA SOPHOMORE ing their creed and image.
Due to increased risk and lia-
bility of members, as well as
H illson' skyrocketing fraternity insur-
ance costs, fraternities are
points were forced to carry out social
events on a more responsible
confusing level. More important
though, more than half of
TO THE DAILY: incoming first-year classes
I amwriingin rgar to now look for college organi-
the letm ritl idffremar to zations that are centered
action is 'un-American,"' audyaeicsnom-
(9/29/97). It seems that munity service - not around
Gregory Hillson has gone to alcohol. Sure, fraternities
considerable lengths to sys- offer a good time and a place
tematically arrive at his ulti- to party and socialize - but
mate point of "focusing only today, they must offer more
on merit." I had a very diffi- (and many do).
cult time swallowing this, It is no secret that some
considering earlier he had fraternities cannot adequately
stated that the University admit to themselves that such
should make "alumni happy changes are needed. They too
by accepting their children," are caught up in the stereo-
in order to ensure "a strong type of what fraternities have
alumni network and mone- stood for, and to them, will
tary donations." He proceed- continue to stand for.
ed to state that this method of Unfortunately, there are the
admissions, which ensures fraternities that are represent-
"the financial health of the ed ver and over in the
University," is a "perfectly media, in movies and in the
just and appropriate" objec- minds of the population.
tive. However, whether they care
Does Mr. Hillson know to admit it or not, fraternity
what he is arguing for? Either chapters that still use alcohol
he isn't really the staunch
supporter of "focusing only as their selling point will
on merit" he claims to be, or cease to exist on campuses
the alumni status of someone around the country - either
in his lineage causedthe from stricter national and
University admissions com- campus rules, or even some-
mittee to overlook his own thing as extreme as an alco-
scholastic ineptitudes. hol-related accident or death.
Those fraternities that do
AWINASH BAWLE not fit the "Animal House"
LSA SENIOR stereotype measure brother-
hood not by your drinking
skill, but by your potential
Students for leadership and academics.
These fraternities offer stu-
expect team dents not only a place to
party and socialize but a
success place to help their character,
self-confidence and personal
TO THE DAILY: growth. Fraternity chapters
In ysteday' coumn like this understand the need
In yesterday's column for positive change and have
("pa tyiserwilltbents,, become the success stories of
10/6/97) John Leroi stated campuses around the country.
that we (as a student body) Today, we live in a society
have "disappointed (our) bas- of increased personal respon-
ketball team and (we) have sibility. Perhaps it's about
no right to expect any more time the media takes more
from them." responsibility for what they
I am by no definition of report and the few "Animal
the term a "basketball fan," House" fraternities left stop
but since I, along with every showing us how much they
other out-of-state student, can drink and begin showing
bought all those guys their us how much they can lead.
Explorers, I think I can
expect them to win every JOSEPH BURAK
game if it should please me. LSA SENIOR

Banning alcohol
will not attack I
the problem'of
binge drinking
Last week, the nation's academic
community was reminded of the
frailty of life, as embodied by the
senseless loss of an 18-year-old s
dent to alcohol. Following first-yW
student Scott
Krueger's tragic
demise from over-
drinking at an
MIT fraternity
party, students ,
and collegiate
authorities scram-
bled to respond to
the secondrecent
drinking death of
a young student JOSH
- they brain- WHITE
stormed about JUMPING
alcohol and its THE GUN
impact on society
and ruminated about how to get alco-
hol out of the hands of the nation's
Immediately, both academia and the
fraternity's national organizat
lashed out against alcohol, promis
to rid MIT's houses of the substance
and that the fraternity's chapters
nationwide would be dry by 2000. As
many people at the University of
Michigan said immediately after
these bold moves, that is both unreal-
istic and does not attack the root of
the problem. By pledging to go alco-
hol-free, officials are missing the
point, and sadly, are not helping stu-
Take the alcohol out of the hou
- controlled environments where
underage drinking is at least some-
what monitored by peers - and you
unleash a large number of students
into other forms of abuse at other,
uncontrolled locales.University of
Michigan fraternity parties have
changed astronomically since just
three years ago, when kegs were piled
up in fraternity foyes andalcohol1
omnipresent. Today, thanks To
Interfraternity Council rules and regu-
lations, kegs are forbidden and parties
While it is easy to blame the frater-
nities and social organizations nation-
wide as the culprits in promoting alco-
hol abuse - and it is clear that they
have been branded as such - the real
malady is being overlooked. Drinking
on college campuses is not limited
nor centered around, the Greek
tems nor social clubs. Binge drinking
is not limited to young men, and fra-
ternity pledges are not the only stu-
dents getting drunk.
It just so happens that the Louisiana
State University student who died in
late August as a result of binge drink-
ing was also at a fraternity function
when he met with peril, but it just as
easily could have been at a ho
party, in a residence ball or at a
The fact that the two students who
have recently died due to drinking
were both underage is almost inconse-
quential - regardless of age (one was
18 and the other 20) alcohol kills when
used exorbitantly, whether one is 16 or
If age were a factor, then it would
seem natural to point the finger at the
students' respective fraternities. Surely
the houses forced their new recruit*
drink to their deaths. Ofucourse that
isn't the case - how could any orga-
nization want its new members to die?

While it is conceivable that the stu-
dents were forced to drink (hazing
does still exist, what a surprise); it
seems almost unfathomable that any-
one, especially friends, would force
someone into danger.
The real problem is that no one; in
either case, realized the danger eo
person actually faced. It amounts to a
lack of respect for a deadly poison, a
poison that is as accepted as it is
abused. That a large group of people
lost track of a friend's drinking at a
large party is not uncommon, but at
MIT and LSU, it proved fatal. This can
happen anywhere and to anyone.
In a rite of passage that is as alluring
as it is repulsive, 21-year-olds all over
the country pounce on the bar sc
for their big birthday bash, some
whom attempt (and often succeed in)
downing 21 drinks in a very short time
span. In shots, nearly a fifth of hard
alcohol, that total is deadly - yet
those who make the attempt are sickly
revered for their ability to live through
it. Their friendsshove drink after drink
in front of their faces and call them a
"wuss" or a "pussy" for not being able
to keep up. Peer pressure certainy
not limited to fraternity parties or
pledge events.
A young woman was carted out of
West Quad on a gurney late Saturday
night, too drunk to know where she
was or what was going on. A few of
the woman's friends said that she had
been partying in a room and that she
had basically lost consciousness. The
fact that a concerned passerby proba-
bly saved her life will never cross h r
mind, especially the next time
drinks - if she can even remember it.
What the University community
needs to do is not focus on taking the
alcohol away from such students -
those students will drink no matter
what policies are in place- it needs
to teach students the dangers of exces-
sive drinking and encourage modera-
- Josh White can be reached
e-mail at jswhite@umich.

- A ,' '
V MY 10 aD

Policy should
cover cultural
I applaud the University's
policy on religious-academic
conflicts, seeing such policies
as making the campus more
attractive to people of differ-
ent faiths and could con-
tribute to making this campus
a more diverse place. I also
am in total agreement with
the arguments presented by
the Daily's editorial in sup-
port of this policy

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