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January 20, 1998 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1998-01-20

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4A - The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, January 20, 1998

cuez Lid igtun ituff

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.
Secure m sres
ITD policy will increase computer security

'in light of the lawsuits, ... we must pay particular
attention to the forces that will set us back decades.'
-Associate Provost for Academic and Multicultural Affairs Lester Monts,
on the Martin Luther King, Jr. Symposium's significance to the University
A1k wee(
,gel 1a4
tear ray,
{'emr WHAT V~yA

L ast week, the Information Technology
Division announced that it will take
new measures to secure University comput-
er accounts. This action is vital because a
compromised account could turn a student's
successful semester into a nightmare by
unveiling personal information and threat-
ening the security of papers and coursework
stored on the student's Institutional File
System space. Given the dangers of unsafe
passwords, students should take heed of the
division's warnings and guard themselves
and their work.
Starting this month, ITD will scan stu-
dent and faculty passwords for those
deemed vulnerable to hacking programs
and then warn the user. If the password is
not changed after three weeks, ITD officials
will replace it with a random alternative
password. Although this action might
appear drastic, it will deliver a fraction of
the grief that the user would endure if his or
her account were broken into. Hackers can
use stolen passwords to.harass or threaten
someone using someone else's name.
Before the user is able to detect the prob-
lem, his or her personal information, class
schedule and e-mail correspondence could
be accessed abused.
It is important that ITD take this situation
seriously and protect the University commu-
nity from harm. Students need to take the
division's warnings seriously and quickly
change their password to ensure their per-
sonal security. Failing to act quickly would

necessitate a visit to the ITD accounts'
office. While this may be a hassle, it could
instill a better understanding of the necessity
of protecting digital information.
The new procedure was introduced
because a preliminary scan revealed numer-
ous unsafe passwords. It is up to students to
take the initiative and switch to a password
that is more easily protected.
Students should avoid using predictable
information, such as nicknames, relatives'
names, pets or addresses in their passwords.
Additionally, using common words found in
a dictionary could make a password easy
prey to a hacking program. There are pre-
cautions other than guarding passwords.
Always shutting down a computer when
departing and not leaving a computer unat-
tended for a significant period will drasti-
cally reduce the chance of misuse.
It has often been said that vigilance is
the price of freedom. This is more true in
our world of electronic information and
communication than ever before. As com-
puter services improve and develop at the
University, so must users enhance their
understanding of the possible dangers of
failing to have a secure account and take the
necessary protective measures.
With every expansion of computers' use-
fulness to society, users become susceptible
to new malicious activities. Students should
take heed to ensure they will have no cause
for concern for the safety of personal infor-

Barely passing
State should increase spending on public schools

W henever there is a discussion about the
state of public school systems in
America, the same deficiencies are usually
mentioned. Recently, a survey that graded
several aspects of state school systems was
published by Education Weekly. Overall,
high schools throughout the country received
an average grade of a 'C.' More important,
the'breakdown of the grades for Michigan
public schools illustrated several weak areas.
Although the state did well from an academ-
ic standpoint, the survey used standardized
test scores as a measure of academic strength.
Such tests are often not an accurate measure-
ment of students' ability. The most glaring
problem in Michigan's schools has to do with
the great disparity in resources between vari-
ous districts.
Outside of the overall academic grade,
the Michigan public school system did not
fare well in the survey. Teaching quality in
Michigan received the national average of
'C.' The quality of the resources available in
the school system - such as computers and
televisions - received a 'B-.' Finally, the
schools' climate, which factors in student-
teacher ratios, school safety and class cur-
riculum, received a 'D.' These poor grades
demonstrate that many children in the state
are going to class in an environment that is
not conducive to learning.
These facets of the education system are
vital to the overall quality of education chil-
dren receive and need improvement.
Students cannot learn to the best of their
abilities if they do not have access to current
technology, are in classes with 40 other stu-
dents, or do not feel safe at school. There is
a strong correlation between these education
inadequacies and the amount of funding a

school receives - bad news for resource-
deprived schools. With an increase in finan-
cial support from the state government,
school officials would be able to make many
needed changes. More high-tech equipment
could be purchased. Schools could hire more
qualified faculty members - lowering stu-
dent-to-teacher ratios and improving the
learning environment.
In the past few years, much has been said
by politicians and government officials
about the need to improve the nation's school
system but nothing significant has been
accomplished. It is time for policymakers,
like state legislators and Michigan Gov. John
Engler, to focus their efforts on improving
the existing system, not abandoning it.
Engler's actions in the educational arena
often worked to the detriment of the state's
public schools. Various education reform
ideas, like the creation of charter schools, the
enactment of a school-voucher system, and
threatening to take over districts that do not
meet certain achievement standards will not
fix many of the public schools' problems.
With the start of the new year, the
Michigan state Legislature will soon begin
developing budget proposals for the next
fiscal year. There must be an increase in
the amount of money spent on education
and a concentrated effort to distribute more
funds to those school districts that lack
resources. All children, rich and poor,
should have a change to get a good educa-
tion. Political ideology and partisan poli-
tics must not hinder the greater effort to
address resource-deficient schools. At pre-
sent, not every child receives an equal edu-
cation - the state must take action to
mend the situation.

Shaman Drum
tries to
We at Shaman Drum are
always interested in what our
customers have to say, be it
positive or negative. In
response to the Jan. 13 letter
("Using Shaman Drum is an
inconvenience"), we readily
acknowledge that the start of
a semester can be an incon-
venient time not only at
Shaman Drum but anywhere
else in the campus vicinity,
including the other textbook
stores. And while the author
of the letter exaggerates the
usual time it takes to buy
course books at Shaman
Drum, he fails to mention
our commitment to serving
the needs of students and fac-
ulty. From the moment we
receive a book order until the
student walks out the door
with his or her books, we
strive to make the necessary
ordeal of purchasing course
books as smooth and stress-
free as possible.
Our commitment doesn't
end once the semester has
begun. Our text and trade
stores serve the needs of both
the academic community and
the community at large
throughout the year. That is
why it does matter that we
are independently owned and
not a chain store. Shaman
Drum is operated by an
owner and staff concerned
about the people of Ann
Arbor and the students and
faculty of U of M, not by an
out-of-town board of direc-
tors concerned solely with
the bottom line.
As our textbook store has
grown, we have tried to stay
in touch with the needs of
students and faculty by
expanding our staff during
book rush and extending our
hours to relieve the midday
crunch when lines tend to be
at their longest. We welcome
any suggestions that might
make buying course books at
Shaman Drum as convenient
as possible.
Article was
Once again, the Daily has
sunk to a new low, with the
recent article on race-based
admissions ("'U' admissions
process alters GPAs,"
12/10/97). The problem that I
have with this article is the
fact that it started with thi

boost from being minorities.
Why didn't the article start
by saying that any student
who attends Country Day,
which is a predominantly
white school, also get this
same "boost?" So, a student
of any race with any GPA
would get the same "boost"
of a .4 if they came from
Country Day High School.
Since the article started
the way that it did, why was-
n't it deemed necessary to
point out that minority appli-
cants from Marquette, Mich.,
got extra points (as anyone
from the same area would as
well) because geographic
location is also considered in
I am also very curious
about the fact that any time
the issue of race-based
admissions comes into
debate, there is always this
mysterious unqualified
"minority" person who stole
a place at a university from a
desserving white person. And
somehow it becomes an
unqualified African
American. Nobody says that
they didn't get into school
because some woman took
their spot, which is ironic
since white women are the
greatest benefactors of affir-
mative action.
In this debate about affir-
mative action, too many peo-
ple seem to believe that
"minorities" take the back
door in while all of the white
students have ACT scores of
36 and 5.0/4.0 GPAs. There
are plenty of people at the
University whose scores did-
n't come anywhere near per-
fection, but some special cir-
cumstance and the grace of
God let them in this school.
So why doesn't the Daily do
an article about all of the stu-
dents that "slid" into this uni-
versity with B-/C+ grades
and low test scores, because I
guarantee that it will find
non-minorities more often
than it seems to think.
The Daily needs to take a
step back and re-evaluate
what it is trying to say and
actually make concrete argu-
ments. Basically, if the Daily
wants to say that it thinks
unqualified people are get-
ting unfair "boosts" then it
should just come out and say
it instead of dancing around
the issue and trying to make
snide digs about the qualifi-
cations of minorities.
There are several factors
that go into admission selec-
tion, so to just focus on one
aspect is onersided and not at
all objective. If the Daily
thinks someone was admitted
to the University who was
unqualified, it should prove it.
ITD should

nently. This poses an enor-
mous problem for those of us
who frequent the site. On
Jan. 13, the printers did not
work and we were left with
nothing to do but walk to
Angell Hall. This should not
happen. ITD should realize
that all computer centers, not
just Angell Hall, need consul-
tants. They can either rein-
state the NUBS consultants
or watch the entire lab go to
Daily omitted
election date
I want to thank the Daily
very much for informing us
as to some of the candidates'
positions and for reminding
us to vote in the upcoming
gubernatorial primaries. But
the Daily forgot to tell us
when the elections are! The
Daily pointed out that stu-
dents are underrepresented at
the polls, but you could have
helped solve the problem by
telling us when to go vote!
'U' students
lack class
In the last couple days,
our campus newspaper has
printed several letters from U
of M students. Never at a loss
of words, they dubbed us as
"hick-assed" and "corn-hoax-
ers,' called the national title
we won "tarnished," and
called Coach Osborne a
"pale, satanic freak." This is
only an example of the con-
tent of the letters I've read in
the last couple of days. Call
us what you will, but 1 keep
hearing from you that
Michigan is the classy bunch
and the people at Nebraska
are poor losers. Excuse me?
When it was announced
that the title was split, Coach
Tom Osborne immediately
came out and congratulated
Michigan and said he was
happy for them. Lloyd Carr?
Well, he simply whined that
he only won half the title.
And to call Osborne satanic?
There is no man on the face
of this Earth I admire more
than him. If there is anybody
I would want my son to grow
up and emulate, it would be
Tom Osborne.
We've got an imperfect
system in college football.
The national championship is
completely mythical. Show
some class - accept the fact

Our community
is stronger than
you may realize
D URHAM, N.C. - Community is a
strange word, even a strange con-
cept. When people mention community,
there are many ways in which to inter-
pret the term and an equal number of
responses. Most people know that they
belong to a community of some sort,
but it is obvious
that most people
also take that real-
ization for granted.
Here, at Duke
University this past
weekend, several
student journalists
and editors came
together to discuss
the idea of civic
journalism - and JOSH
it was obvious that WHITE
the idea of commu- JUMPING
nity is of vast HEGUN
importance to each
college represented. Obvious, as well,
was the fact that the University of
Michigan has a strong sense of commu-
nity and that, like on other college cam-
puses, it is taken for granted.
It was hard to define our University's
sense of community. mainly because it
often seems as if we are at each others'
throats. Whether it be protests, rallies,
posters, fliers, vandalism, hatred, poli-
tics, racism, gay-bashing, anti-semi-
tism or the ever-present issue of affir-
mative action, there seems to be a con-
stant flow of disagreement, argument
and frustration that pervades our daily
lives. Perhaps we are hung up on con-
troversy and need a good fight.
Perhaps we are getting sick of it.
But in describing what I saw as the
University of Michigan community, I
realized that these "problems" we face
make our University so much better -
without conflict there would be no dis-
cussion. Without discussion there would
be no progress.
What makes Ann Arbor such a great
place is that it welcomes everyone to
the table and gives each person a say.
Ann Arbor is an oasis of tolerance and
of diversity; the University is a hotbed
for disagreement and struggle. Without
such a system, it is doubtful we would
even try to understand one another.
The constant debate over affirmative
action that will take place on this cam-
pus for years to come is not indicative
of a problem - it would be terrible if
the debate weren't going on. The
minute one side rolls over is the minute
each of us has given in, the minute both
of our arguments lose credibility.
Perhaps "not playing well with others"
makes our community special.
Having similar interests and goals is
what links all of us; there is no question
in my mind that each person I have ever
met at the University wants the world to
be a better place and that they want
more people to be happy with the lives
they live. I also have no question that
we all have the basics down about treat-
ing other people with respect and about
proper treatment of the "rules" of soci-
ety. Of course there are some who go
well beyond the bounds of our stan-
dards, but a vast majority of us simply
wants this planet to improve.
More often than most may think, we
are on the same page about many issues
that affect our lives. We are more togeth-
er as a community than I think anyone
will acknowledge, and we seem to be
stubborn about wanting to be apart:
Regardless of how separate some may
perceive us to be - the University of

Michigan has a strong community that
works for our interests. All one has to do
is look at the past semester to find it.
No six months can describe this com-
munity better than those that just passed.
The University witnessed what hap-
pens when a member of our communi-
ty is killed. Thousands of students came
together in an unforgettable candlelight
vigil to celebrate the life of a young
woman and to condemn domestic vio-
lence. Out of horrible tragedy we were
able to join hands - forgetting race,
culture or heritage - to set our com-
munity's standards and to show support
for a life most of us didn't even touch.
We rallied against hatred and gave a
strong signal to those in our communi-
ty that tolerance is the only acceptable
action. To those who would deface the
Queer Unity Project's signs and to
those who would employ the swastika
as their symbol of hate, students and
faculty spoke out.
In the most direct way, we showed
support for our National Champions
both here and on the other side of the
country, joining together in a unani-
mous shout of triumph, yet never for-
getting our fallen heroes. We were
ready to re-evaluate our standards after
the untimely death of an athlete, and
we are gearing up for the long haul in
the debate on affirmative action.
Yesterdav, we showed sunnort for






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