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January 21, 1998 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1998-01-21

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4 - The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, January 21, 1998

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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
Research revamped
UROP expansion benefits upperclass students

'The administrators were getting increases when faculty
were not getting increases. That was inappropriate.'
- Physiology Prof Louis D'Alecy, chair of the faculty's Senate Advisory
Committee on University Affairs, on changes in University employees'salaries
I1 I
- This cartoon originally ran in the Daily on Jan. 16, 1996.

T he University's Undergraduate
Research Opportunities Program has
always provided a unique experience to stu-
dents who wish to work closely with
renowned professors and participate in
ground-breaking research projects.
Recently expanded to include junior and
senior upper-division students, UROP has
increased its base of students and its
research opportunities. From a program that
initially catered to a small portion of stu-
dents at the University, it has grown into a
highly recognized program, not only at the
University but across the nation. UROP's
expansion follows its own philosophy -
unique and personal opportunities for the
entire student body of a large, public uni-
While prestigious universities draw
Nobel Prize-winning scholars, students
rarely receive the benefits of such accred-
ited intellect. Lecture enrollments num-
ber in the hundreds and office hours are
few and far between. The University is no
exception to the rule: Well respected
nationwide, especially for many of its
social science and population studies, the
University community provides varied
and thorough research is produced year
after year. Hardly a textbook is published
without reference to a study conducted at
or through the University.
Because tremendous amounts of
research is at students' fingertips, UROP
provides a bridge between knowledge of
such research's results and actual participa-

tion. Originally available only to first- and
second-year students, UROP gained the sta-
ble foundation and necessary credibility at
the University. Now, with nine years under
its belt, upperclass students can benefit
from the opportunities UROP provides.
UROP allows students a certain degree
of autonomy while leaving much of the
professional relationship at the discretion
of the professors and students - partici-
pating students usually help with data
collection, fact checking and summaries
of data sets. Weekly meeting conducted
by peer advisors provide watchful eyes
and helpful hands.
Not only do students involved in UROP
gather experience in the field of research
but they also receive important career-ori-
ented information. Students accepted to
the UROP program must go through a
selection process in order to gain a spot on
a research team. Professors are encour-
aged to ask for a student's resume and
interview the candidate before selection.
This mock job hunt allows students to
practice skills that will certainly be a
necessity in the future.
The many aspects of UROP are growing
every year and this semester these wonder-
ful opportunities are available to the entire
undergraduate community. Students inter-
ested in a particular field of research or
curious about the research process should
check out the opportunities available
through UROP - a world of research

The dng stuff
Glenn is an example of heroism and service

p oliticians are strange, funny people.
They spend their lives creating policies
that affect everyone. But at the same time,
many feel that they never make the right
choices. Always under attack, lawmakers
seem to find something comforting in the
prestige and power they wield. At the end of
their careers, they traditionally record their
memoirs and retire on the money from the
book sales. But not so with Sen. John Glenn
In a press conference last Thursday, the
National Aeronautics and Space
Administration announced that the 76-year-
old U.S. senator will be accompanying the
six astronauts aboard the space shuttle
Columbia on its next voyage in October.
This move was not a surprise for many, as
Glenn has been campaigning for his return
to space for the past two years.
Glenn - the first American to orbit the
Earth - is no stranger to heroism. With his
safe return from orbit in 1962, he rode a
wave of fame around the world until it ulti-
mately rocketed him to Washington in
1974. While in Congress, Glenn has rarely
been out of the limelight, most recently
standing up as an outspoken Clinton sup-
porter and ally.
For Glenn, more prestige is not the
main goal of this journey. NASA hopes to
study the effects of weightlessness on
elderly people. This will make Glenn --
who will be 77 years old and the oldest
person in space by the time of the launch
- its guinea pig. Especially in a time
where legislation and name recognition
seem to drive most politicians, Glenn's
selflessness is atypical and brings a
refreshingly new and wholesome image
to people working on Capital Hill.
Ever since the Challenger disaster of
1 4R where c.hrnnl teaeher rirfict

policy of not letting civilians travel in
space with a highly trained crew. While it
would be hard to argue that Glenn is just
an average civilian, this is nonetheless a
notable decision by NASA. Who better to
represent the elderly than Glenn? And
who better to open the door for the possi-
bility of general space travel for the aver-
age citizen?
When he announced that he will not
run for political office and that 1998
would be his last year in Washington,
D.C., Glenn made those who are involved
in government take a moment to reflect on
what roles a good lawmaker plays. Always
a champion of the underprivileged and
underrepresented, Glenn has given a new
definition to the role of senator. With ref-
erence to Glenn, no longer is a senator an
old misogynist, preaching the party line
and spending or saving taxpayers' money.
The astronaut has made the senator a
national hero, literally putting his life into
harm's way for the sake or scientific
In the end, how can a person's worth be
fairly measured? Does value come from
the amount of completed orbits or the
number of welfare bills passed? It is not
that John Glenn is more important that
famed astronaut Buzz Aldrin or House
Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.). Glenn is
simply re-evaluating what it takes to be a
true hero and what the term "civil ser-
vant" really means.
Perhaps this is just a publicity stunt for
NASA and a way for Glenn to get into his-
tory books once again, but what a stun-
ning way to go about such actions. Great
developments in geriatrics may not sur-
face in October, but the fact that John
Glenn will be in orbit should make people
ievrxre -e ele tter lnnminr tha t

claims are
out of hand
I must applaud Scott
Thompson for coming for-
ward and highlighting yet
another area where the
University discriminates.
("'U' admissions are biased
against poor students,"
/15/98). It's trailblazing pio-
neers like Thompson who
give a voice to those poor,
poolless, trackless U of M
hopefuls who, since they
come from poor white areas,
must be too busy sitting in
their trailers watching "Jenny
Jones" or reading the
"National Enquirer" to write
their own letters. I think I'll
throw another log on the fire:
Left-handed people like
myself are blatantly discrimi-
nated against.
The proportions of right-
handed people to left handers
here does not even come close
to representing the actual
number in society. We have
been discriminated against for
years, and it's about time
someone stood up. Life is
much harder for left-handed
people - we get in more fatal
car crashes, nearly kill our-
selves with scissors, and hey,
forget ironing.
There is no way to tell if
someone is right or left hand-
ed just by looking at their
application, so here is my
solution: Five extra points
should be added on to our
ACT score. I figure that's at
least the margin of error creat-
ed by making left-handed peo-
ple take those damn tests at
desks designed for (you
guessed it) right-handed peo-
ple. Your body must twist in
all sorts of bizarre positions to
fill in those little circles. Not
to mention the fact that as we
write, our left hands smear
what we've just written, so it's
quite possible we got more
correct and the smearing made
the machine think we'd filled
in the wrong answer. I think
five is quite generous on our
part, come to think of it.
I am appalled the
University had been allowed
to get away with this kind of
behavior for so long. This
blatant discrimination must
end. I demand justice!
Daily music
poll ignores
R&B, hipop
I have a question for the
Daily music staff who picked

bly the Daily's worst over-
sight, EryKah Badu. When I
walk around campus, I see
students of color all over. I
doubt that most of them who
are bobbing their heads with
their headphones are listen-
ing to The Verve, Sarah
McLachlan, Blur, etc ... .
Come on Daily writers,
that poll is ridiculous. I think
the Daily needs to take affir-
mative steps to get some
diversity on that staff?
US. piety not
a result of
I am writing to comment
on a recent letter to the Daily,
("U.S. piety is not surpris-
ing," 1/16/98). The authors of
the letter offer the hypothesis
that the United States is one
of the most pious nations in
the world because it has a
"less generous and secure
safety net than do the indus-
trialized European countries'
The authors continue by say-
ing that Americans are less
secure about their futures and
therefore more likely to seek
comfort from God. Finally,
they draw the conclusion that
high church attendance in the
United States reflects aspects
of society "of which we
should not be proud."
Well, I'd like to offer an
alternative hypothesis.
Citizens of Sweden and other
European nations have low
church attendance compared
to the United States because
the people of Europe practice
a religion that does not require
church attendance: worship tQ
the State. The governments of
industrialized Europe are so
intrusive and oppressive that
virtually all sense of individual
identity is lost.
While most Americans rely
on themselves, the people of
many European nations, such
as Sweden, rely on the govern-
ment. The ideals of individual-
ism and self-reliance form a
central tenet of Christianity,
which is the dominant religion
in the United States. Thus, a
strong relationship between a
limited state and a belief in
God is bound to exist; the two
ideas compliment and rein-
force each other.
Given this, I fail to see
why high church attendance
reflects aspects of U.S. soci-
ety "of which we should not
be proud." High participa-
tion in religion reflects the
strength and continuation of
those ideals that have bred
the strongest economy and
nation on Earth: self-
reliance and individualism.
Of this, we should certainly

atively short-lived: the gov-
Ticket lottery
hockey fans
One of the best experi-
ences I've had in my time at
U of M has been going to
hockey games. Being from
the Caribbean, it is something
I didn't get to do before com-
ing to the University. During
my second year here, I decid-
ed to get season tickets.
Although it was my first year
buying tickets, I thought I had
great seats for a game. My
seat was located four rows
from the top, directly behind
the visitors' bench. The view
was very good and was only
partially blocked by the rafter
next to me. I had such a good
experience that I decided to
buy tickets again for this sea-
son. When I got my seats for
this season, I found that I was
seated one section farther
down (one section closer to
the pep band), but I was seat-
ed two rows higher up! Now,
it may be my inexperience
here, but I don't consider the
seat that I have now better
than the seat I had last year.
After the first couple of
games, I went to the ticket
office and asked for an expla-
nation, since I believed that as
a second-year ticket holder, I
should have better seats. The
lady behind the ticket window
told me that it was due to the
lottery and that I might have
just gotten a bad number. As
an engineering student, that
argument just doesn't fit in
my book.
Looking at it logically, if
a certain number of students
bought tickets for the first
time the same year I bought
my first tickets, it's obvious
that only those students can
have the same level of prior-
ity as I do. That number
actually decreases because
people either don't want to
buy tickets, can't afford
them or graduate. Now let's
assume that in my first year,
I got the worst lottery pick
in my group; that obviously
means that I should sit in a
better seat. But let's assume
that my seat was the best lot-
tery seat for the first-year
student, that means that my
second-year seat has to be
better. The fact that I there
are first-year students and
people who bought tickets
for just one game doesn't
help. I keep on seeing peo-
ple who bought tickets last
year with me getting incredi-
ble seats right up on the
glass. Do I think I got a raw

Racism goes
much rther
than idle
intellectual talks
Ididn't go see Cornel West. I didn't
go to the panel discussion with
Provost Cantor and Chuck D. I don't
know why, either.
I know that we have problems
about race. I
know that the
Rev. Dr. Martin
Luther King, Jr.
was a brave man,
a hero and an
intellectual. I
know that he was
one of the few
people who truly
believed in the
doctrines of non- JAMES
violence and inte- MILLER
gration, and there MILLER
have been few ON TAP
true disciples
since him.
I know that racism and separatism
are still a part of all of us. I know that
because I am white, I can't see some of
what goes on, sometimes right in front
of me.
But I also know that the war over
race is not here. It's not on the Daily's
editorial page. It's not lurking under
David Jaye's bass-ackwards little
tongue and it's not scrawled on a
BAMN placard.
When I heard West was coming to
speak, I thought that a man of his
rhetorical abilities and formidable
intellect would be the perfect
weapon for the side of righteousness
and equity. Certainly he would be
able to open the rustiest mind and
crush the poor logic of the race-
baiters and separatists. But then I
thought about the audience.fThe
worst thing West would have faced
would have been some rail-necked
College Republican goober who
heard a few good anti-affirmative
remarks from George Will and was
itching to use them in public. That
man is not the enemy. Even Jaye,
poor, confused little populist that he
is, is not the enemy in the race war.
Of all the anti-affirmative action
activists, a tiny sliver actually
believe that black people are born
inferior to white people, and can't
control themselves, sexually or phar-
maceutical ly.
The enemy is that one uncle of yours
who still tells the joke that starts, "Two
niggers walk into a bar ...."
Anyone who has the brains to
respect Cornel West and read his
books is not a problem, no matter
where they fall ideologically. The
problem is that there is a segment of
the population thatstillacan't see
why the Confederate flag offends
people. There are those among us
who won't wait on black people in
stores and restaurants, won't let them
into their cabs, and assume they got
to where they are in the world by leg-
islative charity. OK, maybe I need to
rethink my position on David Jaye.
I would venture that most of our
racial problems are caused by people
who don't go to race forums at uni-
versity auditoriums, and don't care
what Cornel West, Chuck D. and
Nancy Cantor have to say about any-
thing because their dad told him black
folks are black folks and white folks
are white folks and never the two
shall meet. Just like his dad told him

and his father's father told him before
This is not to say that calm discus-
sion among rational, intelligent people
encourages dialogue and thought is a
useless thing. Even people who aren't
racist could still use a calm voice to
steer them in the right direction. But
there is a huge difference between
someone who believes affirmative
action is immoral and someone who
still owns a set of Sambo salt and pep-
per shakers.
Racial division causes such pain in
our national psyche because it's like
no other problem we know. It stumps
us; it confounds us. We throw money
at it and it doesn't get better. We hit
it with legislation and still it
The reasons why we can't live
together peacefully yet start in the
Middle Passage and reach from the
Triangle Trade to Jim Crow to O.J.
Simpson. Every journalist, author
and teacher who has anything to do
with racial issues has said that the
wounds of race run deep. This does-
n't go far enough. Our wounds run
to the bone, ooze pus and cry in
agony every time our national cor-
pus tries to roll over in bed. We
hated each other for centuries before
black folks were officially declassi-
fied as animals. It was another few
decades before lynching fell out of
favor as a hobby in the southern
rr_ . _ .._ . . a ,. _a ..











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