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November 13, 1997 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1997-11-13

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4A -, The Michigan Daily - Thursday, November 13, 1997

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Ie mitigan ilailg

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

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Bk
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JoSII Wimuf:
Editor in Chief
ERIN MARSh
Editorial Page Editor

t'uless othewise noted, unsigned editorials reflect the opinion of the majority of the Dayr :s editorial board A//1
other articles, letters and cartoons do not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Michigan Daili,
FROM THE DAILY
Candidates on the Web
Students learn about issues on new Website

NOTABLE QUOTABLE,
'Portrayal of gays and lesbians in the media range from
dismal and ignorant to sometimes fairly astute. It's far
from perfect, but it's so immensely improved that it
makes me feel positive.'
- Detroit free Press writer David Lyman, at a gay issues media panel Twsday
PURPLE HERRING
sfICANSN
Fo, CHANGEF
I ItL

As representative candidates begin their
walk down the campaign trail, a new
deelopment on the Michigan Student
Assembly's Website has added a slight curve
to the path. No longer will the candidate with
thy.- most ostentatious campaign literature nec-
ess ily have the advantage. MSA has recent-
ly Utgun providing literature on all candidates
on is Website (http://www umich. edu/~vote).
No'W,:students are able to access the platforms
of each candidate. This new development
sh(uld help shift the focus of the election
froW the flashiest signs back to the best ideas.
TheVWebsite also offers a link to online voting.
Alih-ugh the Website should reach out to
mndease student participation, MSA should
no viminate live forums in which students
canctually meet the candidates.
' record 12 percent of the student popu-
lati~n voted in the spring election. The
onie voting and information should serve
as a way to increase the turnout. Candidates
will have the opportunity to reach the group
of Estudents who do not attend debates or
forums, but who may be willing to point
and click. Candidates now have the oppor-
tunify to create an extension of their image
through a different forum than a live or tele-
vised speech or debate.
The new Website could help eliminate
mtxcb of the campaign propaganda by pro-
vidig students with a chance to access
infbrmation for all candidates equally.
Avliability of such information should
pla be emphasis back on the ideas rather
thant-he artwork and rhetoric. As represen-
tatives of the University population, MSA
representatives should be selected with con-
sideration for their plans and ideology.
The ci

Name recognition alone does not indicate
an intelligent qualification for a vote.
Students now have fewer excuses for their
apathetic showing in past elections. As a
result of the information added to the
Website, students do not even have to leave
their homes in order to become educated
voters - or even to vote, for that matter.
For the benefit of those students who
take a more active interest in elections, the
new Website should not replace opportuni-
ties to meet and speak with the candidates.
If the assembly wants to mobilize the
University and encourage the voting popu-
lation, it should not leave old-fashioned
debates by the wayside. As the representa-
tive board of the student body, MSA has a
responsibility to get its views across and
meet the constituents it works to represent.
By staying in touch with constituents as
much as possible, the assembly members
should become continually aware of stu-
dents' desires and suggestions.
The Website development is an exciting
expansion with possibilities for the future.
Rather than simply updating the informa-
tion site at election time, MSA should con-
tinually add new developments throughout
the year. In addition to campaign platforms
at election time, assembly members should
take the responsibility to ensure the accessi-
bility of information about current progress,
projects and even create room for students
to provide feedback. Representatives should
not simply strive to make themselves
known at election time, but at all times.
They should take advantage of this new
forum and continually strive to maintain
contacts with constituents.

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

The more we
have to do, the
less we listen
O ne ofhlife's lessons as learned i
kindergarten, or in listeningt
mothers and children at the supermar-.
ket: No one talks to hear themsexesv
speak.
But it feels that way
L istening has become the latest cor.
dial courtesy to
fall by the way-
side. Studiously
taking in every
spoken xword
takes too much
effort, too much
time to have top
Especially when
tuning out is so
much easier. MEGAN*
It is a common SCHMPF
strategy to PECIII S
attend a class E_ CR__ T__N_
purely to make sure nothing impor-
tant happens - listen with one ear
read the paper with one eye, do the
crossword puzzle with one hand And
get next to nothing out of the experi-
ence except the ability to swagger out
of the lecture hall and say you Just
weren't listeiing. So much cooler
than actually having to admit that you.
were paying attention to what was
going on.
And so much less effort for a brain
suffering from lack of sleep and 20
more interesting things to think of
Ah, but that's just class, right?
Surely we listen when it's really
important, like when someone is
speaking directly to us.
Wrong. What was the person next to
you saying'?
Exactly.
How much, other than talking, can
you accomplish during a phone call
especially with a portable phone?
Exactly again.
How many times have you asked
someoneva question and keptswalking
before you heard the answer -=
whether or not they even heard you4
and did answer" Or answered someone
else's question incorrectly because you
never heard the question"d'
It is remarkably inefficient and self-
iidulgent to only listen to someone
else talk. Busy people get fidgety:
What else could I be doing What's
happening that I'm missing" What do
I still have left to do" a
Simply, listening takes time And
time is probably the world's most valu-
able commodity, because no one -
not even the Franklin Planner people
- can make more of it In the rush to
get three things done at once, listening
gets smushed in with doing some-
thing, thinking something else and
watching yet another something.
Distracted by our own little mind-
worlds, there's not enough room left to
care about what anyone else is saying.
But it's worth it Just being there can4
solve problems and absorbinforma-
tion

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and 'U'

Conference aims to promote good relations

Nurturing the city-university relation-
ship was the central theme Wednesday
as representatives from two major college
towns met to discuss U.S. college town
problems. One hundred and five representa-
tives from the Chapel Hill, N.C., city gov-
ernment business sector and the University
of North Carolina traveled to Ann Arbor to
meet with members of the city council, local
leaders and the University. The culmination
of two years of planning, the event sought to
provide an opportunity for both sides to
glean a new perspective on effective means
of addressing concerns in their respective
communities. The meeting constitutes a
resourceful method of addressing college
town concerns and maintaining fundamental
cooperation between cities and universities.
The relationship of Ann Arbor and the
University has for years exemplified a pro-
ductive and synergetic city-college associa-
tion. The University, for example, belongs to
a smafl group of schools nationwide that
sends a student representative - MSA pres-
ident Mike Nagrant - to city council meet-
ings to:lend a student voice to city decisions.
In addition, the community has seen several
projects materialize from city-university
cooperation. The lights illuminating South
University Avenue and the Diag, for
instance, stem from the efforts of the
Campus Safety Task Force, an organization
conceived and born from the joint efforts of
Ann Arbor mayor Ingrid Sheldon and the
Michigan Student Assembly. Sheldon and
the University also collaborated to expand
the once-congested Main St.-Stadium Blvd.
intersection, a corner whose enlargement
brought the city onto University land.
Though the responsibility of the construc-
tion lay with the city, the University readily

dents contributed heavily to the traffic.
The quality of its city-university rela-
tionship makes Ann Arbor an important
stop for the UNC representatives, who have
traveled to other university towns over the
past decade. Their decision to come to town
this week reveals that the association
between Ann Arbor and the University has
become an example to schools nationwide.
UNC's interest in Ann Arbor also stems
from the southern school's recent acquisi-
tion of 1,000 acres of Chapel Hill land
detached from the main campus. The school
seeks to glean lessons from the University,
which faced the same situation 30 years ago
with the current-day North Campus region.
While providing many answers to the
UNC and Chapel Hill representatives, the
University also plans to use this opportunity
to address its own problems. A proposal to
hike city parking meter rates freshly inked,
Ann Arbor and the University hold concerns
over transportation - specifically, parking
and busing. In addition, the issue of zoning
and physically distributing an increasingly
unwieldy population looms over the heads of
the University and city council. The visit pre-
sents an unusual opportunity to seek detached
outside perspectives and opinions on how to
effectively address internal concerns.
The visit of the UNC and Chapel Hill
representatives allows two prominent. col-
lege towns - each of which has confronted
the issues of managing a cooperative city-
university relationship - to share the wis-
dom gleaned from centuries of existence.
The meeting proves an practical method of
addressing relevant concerns. Other schools
should entertain events such as this to forti-
fy the quality of college-community rela-
tionships and to facilitate city and universi-

Students
behaved well
at Bollingers'
TO THE DAILY:
The Bollingers' hospitali-
ty in welcoming hundreds of'
crazed fans to storm their
home in Saturday's post-vic-
tory celebration was indeed
remarkable. And while the
frenzied stampede has likely
left the Bollingers with a
fierce carpet-cleaning bill,
the fans demonstrated an
admirable sense of respect
and restraint while gal livanti-
ng through the President's
home.
Rows and rows of import-
ed beer were left untouched
in the fridge and one student
seemed to be deeply
absorbed in a giant tome in
the Bollingers' library.
Saturday's victory clearly
attested to the character of
the fans as well as the superi-
ority of the football team.
I'm just gosh-darn proud to
be a Wolverine.
JEREMY HORELICK
LSA SENIOR
Racist policy
is harming
education
TO THE DAILY:
Without a set of policies
conceived to counteract the
institutionalized racism and
sexism that continues to exist
in American society, this dis-
crimmation would result in
the virtual elimination of
blacks and other minorities
from higher education, and
women from many fields of'
education.
Irrefutable evidence of
this comes from the universi-
ties where affirmative action
has already been eliminated.
At the University of
California at Berkeley Boalt
Law School, there is only one
incoming black freshman--
who was actually a holdover
admit from the year before
At UC San Diego and Davis
Medical Schools, there are no
incoming black freshmen At
the University of Texas at
Austin, where the Hopwood
suit recently eliminated affir-
mative action, the numbers of
black and Latino students in
the graduate schools has
dropped dramatically. Last
year, there were 3 1 black and
42 Latmo students, while this
year there are only four black
and 25 Latino students out of
a graduating class of 475 No
honest person with their eyes
open can deny the impact
that the national elimination
of affirmative action would
have on higher education in
America - only token num-
bers of black and other
minority students would be

high schools. Schools that
have a majority of black and
other minority students are
more often poor and located
in inner cities.
It is not unusual for an
inner-city school to receive
as little as one-third of the
funding per student as their
suburban counterparts.
Affirmative action pro-
grams at universities and col-
leges are necessary to coun-
teract this social deficiency
and inequality in primary
education. It is only through
building a new mass, mili-
tant, integrated civil rights
movement that we will be
able to on the one hand save
affirmative action for those
children who have already
been through this separate
and unequal school system,
and on the other to fight for
quality and equal primary
education for all children.
JESSICA CURTIN
LSA SENIOR
'U' must be
mindful of
lawsuit costs
TO THE DAILY:
I am writing to comment
on the most recent of many
asinine statements and poli-
cies in respect to the affirma-
tive action lawsuit against the
University. The Daily recently
reported that Vice President
for University Relations
Walter Harrison plans to fight
the lawsuit "at any cost"
(11 t5/97). Harrison was quot-
ed as saying that "the impor-
tant thing is not the cost, but
the principle." So, here we
have a public official who is
supposedly accountable -- at
least indirectly - to the citi-
zens of Michigan essentially
saying that cost is not impor-
tant. This attitude is perfectly
indicative of the University
administration's inability to
comprehend one simple fact:
The University is a public
institution, accountable to the
public, and funded by tax dol-
lars. The University, despite
the belief of the administra-
tion, is not the Vatican, or
some autonomous entity
within a nation that is not
accountable to the
Constitution The administra-
tion seems to feel that it can
set up its own rules (i e , the
Code), determine its own val
ues (i e , affirmative action),
spend millions of dollars on
anything it wishes, and do
whatever the hell it feels like
with no regard to any laws
that might prohibit it from
doing so It is, simply stated,
the arrogance of academia in
its purest form
H arrison's recent com-
ment dust confirms that. He
and the University adminis-
tration plan to spend millions
of dollars to preserve a very
questionable and shoddy pol-

a time when the costs out-
weigh the benefits. But
Iarrison evidently believes
that the policy of affirmative
action is so special that it
must be protected "at any
cost," as if the world would
spin off toward the sun
tomorrow without it! Please!
So, to the administration I
say this: You're sacrificing the
ends for the means. Sure,
diversity is part of a good edu-
cation, but so are faculty and
resources. ven if you support
affirmative action wholeheart-
edly, it makes sense to defend
it only to a certain point, and
then move on. But to say that
cost is irrelevant is completely
irresponsible and arrogant.
Let's not forget whose money
this is, anyway.
GREGORY HILLSON
LSA JUNIOR
Stop the
'spamming'
TO THE DAILY:
This is an open letter to
all the frustrated e-mail users
out there who are recipients
of the recent and seemingly
never-ending "spam."
It is an unfortunate fact,
but if I wanted to remove
myself this monstrous and
annoying spam list, I would
be forced to be disconnected
from real mailings that I want
to read that are relevant to
my studies in public health
Instead of getting angry at
the whole throng of innocent
people who are the uninten-
tional recipients of the spam
list, however, I delete the
unwanted messages from my
inbox I do not read them I
choose not to get angry at the
spain and '"flame" my cry of
"take me off the listt" to the
world I choose not to blame
the victims of spam and
thereby continue the spam
cycle
The thousands of e-mail
users who receive a spain
message of "take me of the
list"' have no way of doing
so You must contact the
computer administrator of
your department if you want
off your department's e-mail
list
If you want to help pre-
vent the spreading of spam,
then do not reply to the thou-
sands of University affiliates
who are stuck on the lists
i'hlis only adds to the vicious
cycle of the spain
I make a conscious effort
not to "reply to all " I do not
wish to add to the junk mail
of thousands of University
students I do not wish to get
them all angry at me Instead
of flaming my frustrations to
all of them, I only reply to
the one person who began or
continued the spamming.
"Spammmg" is not toler-
ated by informed and ethical
e-mail users If you don't like

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M

To digest and remember what was
said takes effort and prioritizing those
words above all else Active listening
nvolves hearing information, process-
ing it and offering a response that fur-
thers the conversation instead of
"What?" or rephrasing what the other
person said
Active listening is a lost art
True, the ability to tune out the unin-
teresting or irrelevant comes with the
ability to accomplish something when
it's impossible to just get up and leave
This is certainly a valuable skill in cer-
tainly situations Unfortunately, it's
also uncontrollable It's not just dull
lectures, it's discussion sections of
fewer than 20 people It's one-on-one
meetings It's important lectures of
reuew sessions It's speeches outside
of classes
And suddenly, you have no clue
what anyone is saying because the
words are going in one ear and out the
other This is dangerous And sad
Why don't we listen to each other"
It is pompous to decide that another
person's words and thoughts we've
decided our brain cells could be more
gainfully employed figuring out what
to do that night or how to tackle a
major project
We've already decided that our
minutiae which could almost
always wait is more interesting and
important than what someone else
found intriguing enough to mention
out loud
That's an amazingly arrogant com-
mentary
Pay attention to a conversation and
count the number, of times people
interrupt each other Mid-sentence,
mid-thought Voices get louder and
faster Surely our point is better than
whatever anyone else is saying, surely
our i fe is more fascinating than theirs
That's an astonishingly disrespectful
commentary
When someone devotes the time and
reger to ti,,inv ,, i-.. e hndat

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