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October 29, 1997 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1997-10-29

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4A - The Michigan Daily -- Thursday, October 30, 1997
~iw Lirbiga

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

F 1- y
fY ?
,._ :

Unless otherwise noted, unsigned editorials reflect the Opinion /the maji
oilier articles, letters and cartoons do not necessariy reflect h, /pini n f
'U' should divest its tobacc

'Generally people either see China as a land of
pandas or a land of tanks crushing students.'
- Andrew Mertha, a graduate student instructor in political science
) p)
-cast HJ t a- A __ Mtws,'aW.


he Campaign for Michigan was a roar-
ing success- but the influx of cash has
given University financial officers a host of
new challenges. The Senate Advisory
Committee on University Affairs approved a
resolution this week urging the Board of
Regents to divest the University's holdings in
tobacco companies. Blue chip tobacco
stocks, until recently, have been a stable fix-
ture in all major pension and investment
funds - including the University's. But in
light' of recent and disturbing discoveries
concerning tobacco companies' operations
and advertising, the regents should seek out
alternative investments.
Tobacco companies have repeatedly said
that tobacco has few adverse health effects
- going so far as to compare nicotine
addicts to those addicted to chocolate. These
clains are far from accurate. Researchers
report that tobacco causes more than
400,000 deaths per year, and results in $50
billion in direct medical costs. But Big
Tobacco's facade appears to be crumbling.
Under mounting legal pressure, the compa-
nies cut a deal with the government last sum-
mer, offering to pay $368.5 billion over 25
years to pay for tobacco lawsuits. Although
the agreement is not ideal and renegotiation
is necessary, it implies that tobacco compa-
nies are admitting the obvious - tobacco
products are addictive and deadly.
During recent Congressional testimony,
the tobacco industry's fervent publicity
machine suffered its strongest blow to date.
In 4 statement to Congress, Ian Uydess, a
former Phillip Morris research scientist,
said that the company knew that cigarettes
had a drug-like effect on the brain. He goes
on to claim that they used this information
to keep people smoking - by carefully and
deceptively controlling cigarette nicotine

Cigarette mn r<.
not end with inc
properties. The nn
ing in the Unt
residents smoked in 1965
25.5 percent today. C
intense, and new smkes
increased market shar. T

42 4 percent of
comp ared with

the majority of new
than 16 years of age oe C
Marlboro Man are tw c xanpl
ing campaigns that are s
designed specificaly t prey
market. These ados mus be sto
are one of the p
thirds of youn
18. Among thoe a
third will die from nan. w

'ar younger
me and the
s fadvertis-
&ts - and
pd- they

te. 's a's.

Tobacco con.
denying liabiliy
claiming evidn a
These claim s are faes' CoU ie
States' Center for D'a o( tolsas
that nine out of ) n no
to secondhan d t obaco ie ha C
classifies second-h
gen known to e
Given this linkto c a od
stop shirking ther
medical expense
ramifications of c
Tobacco comp
of manipulatin
should not invest p
try rooted so deeply n deepaion and denial
-it should take it hanids out of Big
Tobacco's pockebo The Universiys
investment pori

percent in tobacc
ble and equaly attracfns
these funds.

ltrn'avs fo


VCC hooks up schools to sur

T hanks to an innovative community ser-
vice project, the information super-
highway now runs conveniently through the
classrooms of one Ann Arbor-area high
school. Last Saturday, the University's
Volunteer Computer Corps, an organization
dedicated to improving the technology of
non-profit groups, wired the Saline
Christian School to the Internet in
Washtenaw County's first NetDay. Using

er-equipped classrooms Ne Da prtvides
will aid students in career searches.
As the cost of Internet wirng proves rel-
atively high, more affluent schol districts

'U' should
value public
While tgenerally support
the University's stated policy
on LSA admissions and the
University in the admissions
lawsuit that has been filed
against it, I would like to
point out my distress with
some admissions practices at
Michigan. According to pub-
lished reports in various local
newspapers this summer, the
University gives more con-
sideration to prestigious East
Coast prep schools, and pri-
vate schools in general,
before considering public.
school curriculums, which
are some of the best that
money can't buy.
The University is the
finest public university in the
nation, and it should support
public schools in that regard.
The Northwest Ordinance,
which helped establish this
region in 1787, was one of
the first documents ever to
provide for free public edu-
cation to all people, and the
University, as one of the
finest institutions in a state
that sprang from that docu-
ment, should be mindful of
this in its considerations of
public school students and
public school curriculums.
Not all people have the
choice or the means to attend
private schools, but that
should not hurt them in their
attempts to better themselves
through public education.
Letter was
unfair to bus
I'm writing in response to
Linda Wielfaert's letter
regarding the bus system
("Bus system leaves many in
the lurch, 10/23/97).
lb begin, any complaints
regarding the parking conges-
tion and expensive parking
permits should be addressed
to those responsible for them,
and this is not the transporta-
tion department. Wielfaert
also claims that the drivers
are okay with this "pathetic"
bus service because they
don't use it. Not true. Many
of the drivers use the bus to
get to class on North
Campus, get to work by
Criser Arena, or just to get
around Central Campus. The
reason these drivers say the
bus schedule is "pretty well
need-based" is because they
troubled themselves to learn
the schedule, so they do not
have to "stand. while missing

break in service. No one ever
has to wait for 30 minutes if
they do their part and consult
a schedule.
Now, let's talk about those
"comatose" drivers who can
sometimes be so "lousy" that
they run late even with no
traffic. A lot of times these
drivers are running late
because of the passengers.
During peak times, the buses
may run late as it takes a bit
longer to crowd 80 people on
your bus. Another thing the
drivers will do is wait for
those running to catch the
bus. Waiting a minute here
and there for people adds up,
and before long the driver
might be a couple of minutes
off schedule. Thus, these dri-
vers running late are usually
the nice ones, not the lousy
ones. However, the buses are
usually on time, and very sel-
dom do they run more than
five minutes late. Check your
As for the smiles and hel-
los, how many times do you
go out of your way to greet
the driver? The drivers are
trying to watch traffic, pedes-
trians, and passengers; they
are not hired to entertain. Do
you expect juggling acts at
stop lights? I'm hired to get
you there safely, not to be the
sunshine of your life. Still, I
usually do greet passengers if
they look at me, and I always
reply to a "thank you."
Instead of ragging on the dri-
vers, how about a little appre-
Story typified
bias in press
The article by Ken Mazur
on the University of
Michigan Students for a Free
Tibet ("Campus group focus-
es on Tibetan issues'"
10/24/97) is one-sided and
typical of the general anti-
Chinese bias in the U.S. mass
The UMSFT asserts that
the province of Tibet should
be allowed to practice "self-
determination," basically to
secede from China. Tibet has
been a province of China
since the 13th century, and
will remain a province of
China. This may sound harsh
and unyielding, but consider
America's own imperialist
occupations. Who are we to
talk about self-determina-
tion? Why aren't Americans
criticizing the current depre-
cation of our allies? The
human rights violations
against Chechens in Russia
and the Palestinians in Israel
are two examples that come
to mind. Why are we singling
out China?

isolation of China is the solu-
tion to fix their problems of
human rights. This will make
things worse, because isola-
tion will return China to even
greater dictatorial rule, and
its entire people will suffer.
Second, there isn't another
country on this planet that
would join the United States
in enforcing trade sanctions.
America has unsuccessfully
tried sanctions against Libya,
but since most everyone else
is trading with them, their
economy has not been hurt.
Finally, the strong eco-
nomic situation in China has
brought about more freedoms
to the average person in
China than at any time in its
history. I visited China in
both 1984 and 1996, and the
changes are revolutionary.
People speak freely in the
street about almost any topic
(including criticisms of the
government). There is free-
dom to travel about and settle
almost anywhere in the coun-
try. There isda higher standard
of living and happiness in
1996 than what I observed in
Democratic institutions
will gradually sink into the
national psyche by continued
economic improvement. If
you don't believe me, look at
the history of democracy in
both Taiwan and South
Korea. Waving a stick and
making threats will only
delay this trend.
It saddens me that the
only images Americans see
of China now are negative.
People are reacting only to
the one-sided propaganda of
boh Hollywood and the
Christian Coalition. China
is very complex and chang-
ing rapidly. The current
regime, led by Jiang Zemin
(who negotiated a peaceful
end to the Democracy
movement in Shanghai),
wants a better relationship
with America.
Proposal B is
too pricey for
'U' students
As a graduate student and
Ann Arbor resident, I wanted
to inform University students
of the controversy involving
Proposal B.
Proposal B asks Ann
Arbor voters to raise their
taxes $1.7 million for the
privilege of putting a park at
risk. We can't afford that kind
of environmental education,
considering the existing
deficits in the school system.
The cost estimates provided
by the contractors are exorbi-

Every weekend
is Homecoming
for the tried-
and-true blue
A lumni will wander around cam-
pus this weekend wearing plaid
pants with little maize block 'N
stitched into them, hand-knit
Michigan football sweaters and inflat-
able football
helmets. There
will be a lot of
pointing and
excited talking
about whatever
happened in that
very spot back
in the day.
Meaning this
weekend is no
different than MEGAN
any other home SCHMPF
football game. PRESCRIPTIONS
Except this
weekend is Homecoming.
Most current students will realize it
is Homecoming only when they trip'
over something called "Village on the
Mall"- a mini-model of campus cr
ated for the occasion - on the way t
class today and tomorrow. Or possibly
because of the older cheerleaders and
band members on the field Saturday.
And a few more groups than usual will
be announced at the game for celebrat-
ing reunions.
Simply, a university as large as this
has trouble putting on an intimate
Homecoming celebration. It is logisti-
cally impossible. Very few student
will interact with alumni to share cor
mon experiences. Very few alumni
will randomly meet someone from
their student days.
The Homecoming Planning
Committee has about 20 events sched-
uled. By no means do they include
everyone; many people will not attend
any. The only broad-based event, the
Go Blue Brunch, could never seat nor
feed any more than a modest fractio
of the hundreds of thousands livi
University alumni.
A parade is not the solution. A big-
ger brunch is not the answer. More stu-
dent involvement is not the key. At its
heart, Homecoming should be for the
alumni who return to the site of their
former escapades. And it should offer
more than it does now to those people.
While many smaller schools and
graduate programs will host gather-
ings this weekend, that is all bg
impossible for the majority of
University students, who are enrolled
in the College of Literature, Science-
and the Arts. Graduation for these stu-
dents is a headache to plan -just ask:
anyone who went to this spring's cere
mony. Imagine the logistical migraine
that a reunion of all its graduates
would cause.
At some, mostly smaller, colleges
graduates prioritize a trip back 4
Homecoming. If they are truly unable
to go, they are seriously disappointed
because they will have missed the
opportunity to see many of their,
friends and participate in memorable
This is not the case for most
University of Michigan graduates. As,
a member of the Alumni Association, I
did not receive any notification in the
mail that this weekend
Homecoming. If I were not in A a
Arbor, it is unlikely I would even
know. (And I would probably not have'
football tickets anyway.)
And yet very few people anywhere

in the world would accuse Michigan,
graduates of lacking spirit or alle-
giance. Witness the record-holding
string of 100,000-plus crowds in
Michigan Stadium. Witness the
record-holding sales of Michigan me
chandise. Witness, even, t
University flag on the surface of thej
moon, courtesy of a few alumni.
No student would say, "Alumni,
don't come back.' Most take their con-
nection to the University very senous-
ly and want to give something in
Ironically, this is why Homecoming
fails - the University effectively
hosts little homecomings at ever
football game. When my aunt aW
uncle, both University alumni, drove
from Minnesota for the Iowa game,
they ran into several people they knew
and laughed about old times.
The majority of these geographical
and emotional trips are on whatever
weekend is convenient, or on a week-
end with a good football game (and
Brown Jug or no Brown Jug, what
alumnus would turn down Ohio Sta
tickets for this weekend's game.
Many alumni coordinate with family
and friends and hold private mini-
reunions. Some groups schedulk
their own reunions, creating official
mini-Homecomings throughout the
Because most alumni developed

- and, accordingly, weath
generally have bettet aceWs
Wide Web. Acknowledging
VCC uses NetDay to wire s
strating the most significan
tance. Their well-diected s

ier students -
sto the World
too disparity,
choo' s demon-
need for assis-
eraic provides

wiring equipment donated by Fry
Multimedia, a local Internet development
firm, the group was able to place the school
on line in about one day.
initiated last year in California, NetDay
hasused donated labor and materials to bring
low-cost Internet access to more than 50,000
classrooms in more than 40 states. As the
program makes Web access more accessible
to U.S. students, NetDay constitutes an effec-
tive step toward augmenting the educational
resources of grade-school students.
The importance of computers in schools
proves duly evident. As the amount of data
on the Internet doubles every six months,
Internet access proves an invaluable infor-
mational tool for grade-school students. In-
depth, up-to-the-minute facts and figures
become immediately available. In addition,
the: computer proficiency students glean
from computers in the classroom will prove
essential in securing lucrative careers. In
fact, Business Week reports that workers
who use computers earn an average of 10 to
15 percent more than those who do not,
even for the same job. In addition, the U.S.
Department of Labor estimates that more
than 44 percent of all jobs will demand


Internet access to students wit generally
limited exposure to t
Though VCC's work a d
with a gateway to the n per-
highway does prove eb eil
educators must not view thholog
as an immediate solui h o
ailmen ts of s chooel is 'mnatinwde
Internet access coni n
toward remedying the o s of the
United States' academa so
Problems such as low ir and
limited scientific and mahea fi-
ciency must not be"om ae o
dramatic, attention ing tecno cal
developments. Educx a
possible avenus
As Saline Chrisi frst
week on the Wveb, ohou~
sands of schools nai u-
dents with a windw o on
superhighway. Some p
27,000 to 40,000 p bout
one-third to onea
on the Web. The eooco
porate sponsors, suc ut d
merit the praise of the dn

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