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October 27, 1997 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1997-10-27

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4A - The Michigan Daily - Monday, October 27, 1997

(The 3itiwn iai

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 refeet the opinion of The Michigan Daily.
Planning ahead
'U must improve its academic advising

'It feels great. The one thing we wanted to do was to
come in here and take over their stadium, and we did.'
- Michigan cornerback Charles Wodson, afticr
Michigan . victory over the Spartans Saturday
" l T MfAT buy +

Navigating the University's lists of con-
centration requirements, distribution
classes and elective classes can be a daunt-
ing task. As students begin planning their
schedule for winter term, many will turn to
their academic advisors for advice regarding
class choices. Michigan Student Assembly
members held a forum last Thursday to dis-
cuss problems students had with their advi-
sors and to brainstorm possible changes and
improvements. The discussion produced
many criticisms of the University's academ-
ic advising programs and its future.
Administrators should seek out more student
input and take their ideas under advisement.
When first-year students attend orienta-
tion, they are assigned to an academic advi-
sor, who is to guide them through class
selection and graduation requirements until
they declare a concentration, at which time
individual departments provide concentra-
tion advising. But, MSA's discussion
revealed that advising for undecided and
first-year students is lacking. The first few
semesters of college, when most students
remain undeclared, are important for com-
pleting other graduation prerequisites such
as distribution and language requirements.
Without adequate advice, students may be
forced to cram a great deal of their prelimi-
nary coursework into their last few semes-
ters or postpone graduation.
General academic advisers must serve as
a resource for all students. Students often
turn to them when considering graduate
schools or making concentration decisions.
But, if the advisors are uninformed or pass
the buck to another department, students
may find their efforts unrewarded. Presently,
students often find difficulty accessing
advisers - increased individual attention is

One method to increase accessibility to
academic advisers would be to offer faculty
members to a small pool of students on an
individual basis. Advising in this manner
would allow students to create a strong rela-
tionship with their advisor, and would pre-
vent the adviser from being overburdened
with hundreds of students.
Improving the present academic advising
environment should incorporate students'
problems and experiences with advisers.
MSA could provide the administration with
a useful source of information by expanding
on Thursday's discussion to increase the
number of students whose personal experi-
ences receive consideration.
Thursday's forum also unveiled differ-
ences in the quality of academic advising
between different schools and colleges. With
varying financial resources, individual
schools and departments provide their stu-
dents with different levels of advising. The
administration should strive to ensure that all
students, regardless of their academic disci-
pline, receive high-quality advising. MSA
could facilitate the establishment of an
advising standard by providing comparative
information from students of different
The beginning of a student's college
career can set the tone for the rest of their
college experience. In addition to figuring
out which house to rush and which clubs to
join, students must make important concen-
tration decisions that will likely effect their
career prospects and entire lives. Academic
advisers should serve as a resource for stu-
dents - the University should address stu-
dents' concerns with present advising

Tough choices
Parental consent laws should be eliminated

L ast week, the Supreme Court contin-
ued its five-year record of denying full
review to any case directly dealing with
abortion. But, it did take action. In a near-
unanimous vote of 8-1, the court refused to
give judges more power over young
women's decisions to end their pregnancies.
This action shredded a Louisiana parental
consent law that gave judges the right to
deny abortions, even if no rational reason
for doing so exists. A vote like this strikes
down an irrational clause in Louisiana's
parental consent law - however, these laws
should not be present in the first place. The
nation's highest court needs to stop skirting
the issue and openly debate abortion.
While the high court's action is not a
ruling, and therefore sets no national prece-
dent, the court was correct in striking down
a law that would further limit abortion
choice. Before 1995, Louisiana's parental
consent law said judges "shall" authorize
abortions, in loco parentis, in those cases in
which a young woman's maturity or best
interests are at stake. The 1995 law changed
the wording to say that judges "may" autho-
rize abortions in those circumstances. This
new wording imposed an arbitrary and
powerful hold over women's abortion rights
- the Supreme Court's vote made this
unreasonable clause unconstitutional.
Louisiana's parental consent law will need
to return to the wording of "shall." While
the law remains unacceptable, and actions
like these may be small measures -they
still target the heart of abortion rights.
The right to end a pregnancy should not
belong to either the court or parents - it
should be the woman's choice. While this

bypass, it did not go far enough. The
nation's highest court should have granted
review to the case, and used the opportuni-
ty to eliminate parental consent statutes.-
Many young women face coercion by par-
ents, or even by the law, to keep an unwant-
ed pregnancy. Situations such as these,
when a young woman cannot make her own
decision, may end in tragedy. Reports of
young women, too afraid to discuss abor-
tion with a parent or too scared to seek
other options, are becoming commonplace.
Many of these young women would opt for
abortion, but extenuating circumstances
linked to parental consent laws may force
them into options they do not want to
The rights Roe v. Wade guaranteed are
slowly being eroded. It is time for the
Supreme Court to debate abortion issues in
the open - and reaffirm the landmark Roe
decision. All women have a constitutional
right to end their pregnancies. But, parental
consent statutes infringe upon younger
women's rights. Louisiana was not alloweda
to expand judges' arbitrary powers to deny
abortion - but this is just a positive twist
on a very restrictive and unreasonable
parental consent law.
While a pregnant young woman's ideal
situation would include a supportive parent,
this is not always the case. Judges who
oppose abortion can make it difficult for
young women, who cannot obtain parental
consent, to receive the necessary permis-
sion. Women under the age of 18 need then
assurance that the decision to end a preg-
nancy is an option, and is their own choice.
The nation's highest court needs to:.take

Housing fails
to address
Oxford's needs
We like the way the article
about Oxford Housing ("ICC
trying to purchase Oxford"
10/21/97) skirted around the
relevant issues at hand.
According to William Zeller,
the University is not ready to
make decisions on the sale of
Oxford. This is misleading,
since Housing probably can-
not sell Oxford at this point in
time. In 1996, Housing signed
a contract with the Executive
Residence of the Business
School, granting them full use
of the kitchens in Geddes and
Emmanuel houses. This con-
tract does not expire until
1999, which is likely when
Housing will make the sale.
Oxford has been a thorn in
the side of Housing recently,
due to resident complaints
regarding a wide array of
aggravations. The leased-out
kitchens, once a substitute for
the lack of a cafeteria at
Oxford, are no longer avail-
able for resident use.
Housing's only compensation
thus far has been to credit
$100 in Entree Plus to the
Geddes and Emmanuel resi-
dents, which can conveniently
be used at the nearest cafete-
ria, located six blocks away
with no bus service.
Moreover, while the
Business School is paying for
the use of the kitchens, the
cost of housing at Oxford
remains unchanged.
Originally, the kitchens were
used in conjunction with the
co-op status of Oxford
Housing. In 1995, Housing
revoked the co-op status and
increased the room cost at
Oxford. In compensation, they
offered free micro-fridges to
Oxford residents, but even
this will no longer be the case
next year.
According to the article,
Housing is addressing long-
term issues at Oxford. Chief
safety issues here include the
lack of lighting and emer-
gency phones. It took two
years of asking to get Housing
to upgrade the lighting, and
they are making even slower
progress on the phones. The
main reason for the inaction
lies in the potential sale of
Oxford. Why invest in safety
if it is going to be sold any-
way? If Housing is investing
money for upgrades at
Oxford, they are doing it in
such a way that we have not
noticed, and they are doing it
because residents are insisting
they should.
Maureen Hartford also
comments about Oxford,
"they're not our greatest
buildings." We would like to
point out that in terms of
building quality, Oxford is
nicer than anything else
Housing has on campus.
(', r msn -.n nan n n rf

Oxford if'it does not generate
income, but they are eliminat-
ing any incentive for people to
live there. We feel that
Housing should learn to solve
its problems rather than elimi-
nate them.
Miller is the
Daily's best
Though I first found him
to be a hyperbolic blowhard I
must admit that James Miller
has slowly developed his col-
umn into the editorial page's
best. Miller is particularly
adept at spicing his commen-
taries with a biting wit, with-
out straying from his main
point, like so many of his
While most other Daily
editorialists are following the
standard format, Miller has
carved out his own.
Title IX is not
designed for
aspiring pro
I am writing in regards to
the Title IX article in the
Daily ("Title IX reaches key
moment" 10/22/97). 1 could
not have been more disap-
pointed with Donna
Lopiano's (Executive Director
of the Women's Sports
Foundation) opinions of
women in college sports. She
states that enough "women
have received the benefits of
Title IX to produce a pool of
professional athletes ."
Sorry, but I thought that
college sports were not to be
a stepping stone to the profes-
sional arena. Title IX gives
women the benefits of com-
petition as it has to men for
years. Those benefits are
competing, team work, equali-
ty and individuality, which
can be used throughout life in
the real world.
Let us face it, maybe 20
male athletes a year from
Michigan get drafted, and
have that opportunity to reach
the pinnacle of sports. That is
20 out of several hundred ath-
letes. Basically, college sports
is the end for most sports
careers, male or female.
Emphasis should be placed
on maintaining the student in
the student athlete, because,
more often than not, educa-

suicide is the
wrong solution
Your editorial on Oct. 22
("The right to die") argues,
"Denying individuals the
right to die, under circum-
stances where death is
inevitable and pain is
extreme, violates their 14th
Amendment rights." If physi-
cian-assisted suicide was ever
deemed a constitutional right,
it is difficult for me to see
how it could be restricted to
certain citizens, such as those
whose death is inevitable, or
whose pain is extreme. If it is
a constitutional right, then
how can any citizen be pre-
vented from exercising that
right -- even suicidal teens
like the ones whose deaths
were reported in the same
Also, in the Netherlands,
efforts to prevent abuse of
physician-assisted suicide, by
imposing strict guidelines of
the kind being proposed in
Oregon, have failed miser-
ably. Guidelines established
by that country's courts in
1981 included that the patient
must be conscious, experi-
encing unbearable pain and
requesting death voluntarily.
Yet an official govern-
ment study known as the
Remmelink Report, released
in September 1991, revealed
that in 1990, 1,040 people
were killed by doctors with-
out the patient's knowledge
or consent. An additional
8,100 patients died from
intentional overdoses of pain
medication; in 61 percent of
these cases (4,941 patients),
the overdose was given with-
out the patient's consent.
These 5,981 involuntary
deaths represent 4.6 percent
of the approximately 130,000
deaths in the Netherlands in
To think that the experi-
ence of the Netherlands
could never happen here in
the U.S. - especially since
the Dutch have free health
care and we do not - would
be, I fear, sadly naive.
Dying a painful death is a
terrible thing. Physician-
assisted suicide, however, is
the wrong solution. Instead,
let us channel our energies
and resources into improving
pain management and hos-
pice services.
Let us stand with those
who are suffering, whether
their pain be physical or
emotional, and not merely
help them get out of the way.
True death with dignity
comes to those who are sup-
ported by people who are
willing to surround them
with love, patiently bear their
sufferings with them and per-
severe with them to their nat-
ural end.
Is each of us willing to

Sports clichds *
taken just one
game at a time
f, as most people say, organized
iathletics are a microcosm of real
life, then sports commentary is defi-
nitely the language of cliche.
After all, our everyday parlance is
full of unoriginal phrasing -talk to
is best exemplified by the sports
broadcasts we so
love to consume.
And, considering
that I was almost
three years old
when my beloved
Bullets came from
behind to win the
1978 NBA cham-
pionship, motivat-
ed the whole way
by the catch JOSHUA
phrase "It's not RICH
over until the fat TIVIAL
lady sings," I'm _______
surprised I hadn't realized this sooner.
Nowadays, when I tune into a pre-
or post-event show on radio or televi-
sion, I find that cliches - and., even
more obnoxious, the statement of tI*
obvious - dominate the typical banaT
commentary and pointless heated
arguments. Moreover, watching ESPN
or any of its rival sports media outlets
during a game, I hear the commenta-
tors - people who are supposedly
educated enough to intelligently pre-
sent a game to a mass audience -
communicating even less eloquently
(just look at "Monday Night Football"
after it becomes Tuesday Morning
Football, and you'll see what I mean
Clearly, the ridiculousness of the
language of sports goes beyond the
famous scene in "Bull Durham," when
Tim Robbins' character, Nuke
LaLoosh, poignantlydeclares that
"You gotta play it one day at a time."
You know, "Sometimes you win;
sometimes you lose."
Surely, were he living in the real
world, Nuke's linguistic master
would put him in the booth with th
likes of Dick Vitale and Howie Long
upon retirement. For that reason, I
envy such champions of sports poetry
- analysts like John Madden, the
Dorothy Parker of his day. When I
retire I'll just sit on my ass and get fat;
when an athlete or coach retires he
gets to sit on his derriere, talk out of it
and get paid big bucks.
And that bugs me, because I'd like
to think that, like them, I know plent3
about sports. For example, I'm well
aware that the Washington Redskins
are by far the best team in profession-
al football.
Still, I find many of the things said
during a typical sporting event even
more baffling than the concept of the
"forward lateral." Hence, the follow-
ing are a few of the more nonsensical
comments that perplexed me durin
one week of intense professional an
college athletics watching.
"That was a dumb penalty." As we
should know, all athletes are required
to commit only highly intelligent
detrimental fouls.
"Sometimes this game just comes
down to the way the ball bounces" A
"For something like this to hap-
pen is heartbreaking." Hearing this
after, say, seeing a Michigan basket
ball player call a timeout when h
doesn't have one, I am usually dumb-
struck by the profound insight
expressed in the announcer's words.
His thoughts allude to a deep emotion

that I certainly wouldn't have consid-
This phrase reminds us that sports
commentary is also the science of
mind reading.
"Three feet separates them, an
that's like a mile." Actually, it's like a
yard. But it is interesting to note that
another guyain another sport could be
caught out at home plate by approxi-
mately the same distance.
"I can't tell you how much that
play will motivate the Wolverines."
It's too bad that the announcer can't
tell me, because I really want to know.
In fact, I'm always surprised by the
amount of information that the
announcer can 't tell me, like the moti-
vation behind executing a certain play,
or what must be going through the
coach's head right now, or how much
that broken leg hurt.
"Bobby Ross knows that Scott
Mitchell can throw the football."
Which is a pretty good reason for
making Mitchell the quarterback, I'd
"That was one of the best plays
we'll see all year." It seems as if every
other halfway exciting or well-execut-
ed operation in the sports arena must
be given this distinction of ambiguous
praise. Why can't we be honest with
ourselves: This is a boring game, and
we are wasting our time watching it.
"He goes out there and gives 110




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