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January 08, 1998 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1998-01-08

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4 - The Michigan Daily - Thursday, January 8, 1998

L7ble £Eidigrn iBaitg

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


Editor in Chief
Editorial Page Editor

ULnless otherwise noted, unsigned editorials reflect the opinion of the majority of the Daily . editorial board. All
other articles, letters and cartoons do not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Michigan Daily
A~ed seating
Old seats hinder discussion in classroom

'We're quite confident that our client
will be vindicated. It's true that is the
predominant factor, which is unconstitutional
Tery Pell, senior legal counselfor the Center for Individual Rights,
on the University s response to the lawsuit against the Law School

P arents often remind their children to
face forward when they are sitting
down. Yet much of that tradition continues
now at the University due to old seats.
Any LSA student who has completed at
least a year understands the problem of
many discussion section classrooms -
many of the desks in Mason Hall are bolt-
ed to the ground. This would be accept-
able for lecture courses, but it greatly hin-
ders communication in discussions. The
University should renovate these outdated
rooms by replacing the stationary desks
with moveable ones.
Discussion sections are essential ele-
ments for students faced with large lecture
classes. They provide students with a
smaller classroom setting and allow them
tz introduce questions about the lectures.
The most important part of this small
group interaction- is the discussion and
insight that it produces. The concept of
discussion sections is to have students
interact with each other regarding course
material. This allows students to clarify
unresolved issues as well as verbalize what
they learned in lecture. By discussing the
material, students are able to absorb it
more easily.
Logically, it is easiest for students in
discussion sections to face each other. But
with the fixed seating in many of the
rooms in Mason Hall, students are forced
to face the instructor and not their peers.
This makes communication difficult
between classmates. Instead of the instruc-
tor playing the role of mediator, he or she

becomes a dominating participant in the
conversation - reducing it to a small lec-
ture. The conversation revolves around the
instructor's comments rather than allowing
the students to question and contradict
each other.
The University's Scheduling
Department is assigned the daunting task
of finding rooms for lectures and discus-
sions. Class information is fed into a com-
puter, which then matches each class with
a respective classroom. The department
makes disabled students and instructors its
first priority for room preference. Other
requests, such as instructors' need for
video projection equipment, are consid-
ered as well. Only if an LSA department
requests moveable chairs will the
Scheduling Department consider it as a
possibility - but it is not held as a high
It is not the Scheduling Department's
fault that discussions are assigned restric-
tive rooms - the LSA Deans' Office and
the academic units heading those discus-
sions have failed to renovate old class-
rooms. The second floor of Mason Hall
needs renovation the most as much of the
third floor already has moveable seats. In
addition, individual LSA departments
should request that each of their discussion
sections have a suitable room that helps
facilitate communication rather than hin-
ders it. The University owes it to its students
to provide the best possible learning envi-
ronment - even if it requires renovating
old facilities.


Gender resegregation voids women's progress
L ast month, a Pentagon panel recom- tary would fail to communicate to male
mended an immediate end to the mil- troops that the armed forces will not toler-
itary's experiment of housing male and ate sexual harassment or assault. Instead, a
female recruits in co-ed barracks during return to separate barracks would engender
basic training. The advisory group's a tacit acceptance of sexual force and would

report to Defense Secretary William
Cohen cited improved discipline and
curbed sexual harassment of female
recruits as the probable advantages of re-
establishing gender segregation in living
quarters. Though the months of co-ed
housing have been characterized by poor
sexual restraint among recruits and
increased harassment, the military should
maintain the co-ed quarters to prevent a
situation that might hinder the ability of
women to advance in the military.
In the months since officials first deseg-
regated Army, Navy and Air Force troops to
appease feminists demanding an androgy-
nous military, incidents of sexual intimida-
tion and assaults have multiplied. In addi-
tion, increased sexual activity has crippled
some units so severely that some comman-
ders have resorted to prohibiting male and
female recruits from speaking to one anoth-
er without a witness present. Living in co-
ed tents, even troops serving in Bosnia have
also seen higher rates of pregnancy.
While the Pentagon panel has chosen an
easy and obvious remedy to the predica-
ment, its recommendation effectively
avoids the problem rather than fixing the;
situation. The establishment of separate
barracks would furthermore yield a new set;
of problems.
For instance, by simply removing
women from male living quarters, the mili-

perpetuate an antagonistic climate toward
female recruits. A return to gender segrega-
tion would implicity fuel the irrational
argument that the military erred in its deci-
sion to integrate female recruits.
In addition, the failure to completely
amalgamate women into all aspects of basic
training would yield division among troops
and would place women into a separate
class. Such division constitutes a step back-
ward for females' efforts to excel within the
military, potentially mirroring on a smaller
scale the separate-but-equal status
bestowed upon the black community earlier
this century. Though the panel contends in
its report that separate quarters would not
affect joint training, the failure of units to
share a common experience would
undoubtedly diminish their cohesiveness.
While the experiment of mixing all
troops into co-ed barracks has seen a trou-
bled beginning, the military must explore
methods of improving the existing situation
- perhaps by stepping up its current train-
ing in sensitivity and gender differences.
The segregation of troops, though it might
immediately decrease assaults, harassment
and increased sexual activity, would deal a
harsh blow to the ability of women to
advance - and even be accepted - in the
military. The Pentagon and the armed
forces must remain committed to effecting
social change.

Ida' review
lacked taste
Let me begin by saying
that overall, I am quite
impressed with the quality of
The Michigan Daily. For a
student paper, it is excellent
and in many ways superior to
the large city paper from my
s lowever, the Arts section
is one area in which I see a
definite need for improve-
ment. I have yet to see a
favorable rev iew o' any per-
formance that is on the clas-
sical side of things. I have
also yet to see a performance
that was nearly as bad as the
reviewer seemed to think it
The Dec. 8 review
(.Ida"s slow plot, dull music
fail to captivate") is only the
latest example of this prob-
lem. I personally found this
production to be quite enjoy-
able, and I didn't see anyone
in the audience who seemed
as though they would dis-
agree with me. There was
plenty of laughter at the
humorous lines in the play,
and I thought that the songs
were done quite well. And
yes, Ida is supposed to sound
like she's singing opera - an
operetta is a comic opera, so
she was singing opera. It
seems as though this review-
er's attention span is not up
to the demands of Gilbert
and Sullivan. In fact, the only
part of the review with which
I agreed was the first sen-
tence: "Gilbert and Sullivan
operettas are an acquired
taste." This reviewer has
clearly not acquired this taste
and he does not seem inter-
ested in doing so. The Daily
needs to have theater review-
ers who actually have an
interest in theater and who
can be relied upon to com-
ment intelligently on what
they have watched.
IM football
helped build
Four years ago, I led a
group of guys from Couzens
dorm to victory in our first
intramural football game. I
was a third baseman in high
school and had a decent arm,
so I was voted quarterback.
After that game, my arm
soon left me and so did our
propensity for victories. We
won three more games in our
IM football careers. One was
a bye, one was a forfeit,and
one was against a team that

said, "We got worse with
every game we played." He
was right.
The Crazy Cooters lost
their final IM football game a
couple of weeks ago. As I
watched my team play, 1 real-
ized that the same guys from
Couzens were still playing for
the Cooters. Over four years.
many players have graced the
Cooters' roster with their
names, but the nucleus has
remained secure. These are
some of the best friends that I
have made in college. IM
football brought us together,
and for that, I am grateful.
action does
not enhance
Both politicians and stu-
dents have argued for may
years about the diversity
unity and fellowship affirma-
tive action brings to society. I
wish that were true.
Unfortunately, I have seen a
great deal of division caused
by affirmative action. Many
minority groups spend far too
much time fighting over who
is the greater victim, who is
entitled to more compensa-
tion, and who is a minority!
As a conservative Puerto
Rican at the Medical School,
I am part of a small minority
Life experience and the
media have led me to expect
prejudice and racism from the
"privileged majority" in an
almost paranoid fashion. The
opposite has shown to be true.
While I have experienced
racism and prejudice from the
so-called "majority," the most
open and blatant racism I have
experienced has come from
other minorities. My conserv-
ative beliefs have left me open
to many attacks from other
minorities. Often, I find
myself having to defend my
minority identity to other
minorities! A recent example
occurred right here at the
University by an employee.
This African American indi-
vidual made the comment that
by using my full birth name
as it appears on my birth cer-
tificate is an attempt to hide
my Puerto Rican background
after gaining admission to
medical school. My full name
is Carlos Eugenio Hernandez
Ford. Without attempting to
explain Puerto Rican naming
traditions, I leave it to each
reader to decide whether
using my maternal last name
after my paternal last name
truly hides my proud heritage!
The point is that I do not

identity because of race or
politics. Do we really
believe society will be a bet-
ter place by eliminating all
other points of view? Must
society be only liberal or
only conservative or some-
one's idea of politically cor-
rect? What is wrong with re-
examining any policy or sys-
tem? Analysis and review is
the only way to assure
Finally, I know the
University Medical School
has done een thing possible
to ensure my class has a very
diverse composition. This
school has proven to be one
of the most racially sensitive
institutions I have ever had
the privilege of attending. I
encourage people of all cul-
tures with a desire for a med-
ical education to apply at the
University. Go blue!
Parking at 'U,
is insufficient
I am writing to complain
about the lack of parking
here on our beautiful campus.
Why is the University so
worried about accommodat-
ing students so they can all
get season football tickets by
spending millions to add
seats to the stadium, but they
are too cheap to add a park-
ing structure anywhere on
campus? It seems to me that
80 percent of parking on this
campus is for staff and facul-
ty. Those lucky enough to
find a parking spot must con-
stantly check their meter and
add change or else the meter
people, being the vultures
they are, will use their
"radar" to pinpoint their vehi-
cle after only minutes of the
meter expiring.
The City of Ann Arbor
and the University both make
a bundle of cash each year
from expired meters and
other parking violations.
Why don't they put some of
this money back by con-
structing new parking lots
that are for students only?
NorthCampus has a
notably bad parkingtproblem.
There are currently three lots
that I know of on North
Campus that allow student
parking. Total parking on
North Campus, I estimate, is
at well under 300 parking
spots, not including the com-
muter lot.
When the University
decided to build a mainly
commuter campus (i.e.
North Campus), why didn't
they think about where thou-
sands of students would be

'Seinfeld ' comas
to Ann Arbor
and brings its
quirkiness alon
T's a little-known fact that when
Jerry Seinfeld leaves television
screens in May, he's moving to
Arbor. (ie's heard there are plenty
other transplanted New Yorkers
So fear no
longer that you,
who have faith-
fully watched
and taped the
show ever since
you lost
"Cheers" five
years ago,will
lose that Jerry-
ness. MEGAN
It'll be easy to SCHIMPF
spot Seinfeld - PRESCRIPTIONS
he'll be the one
in the puffy shirt.
And while even Jerry might not be
able to afford the rent for an Ann
Arbor one-bedroom apartment of that
size - hey, this isn't the Big Apple -
there's one thing you can be sure o
will be absolutely spotless and germ-
Until Kramer blows through the
door, that is; although there's beentno
word yet on whether Kramer, George
and Elaine will also be making the
If they do, they too will feel plenty at
home - stores are already stockin;up
on Jujyfruits and Junior Mints, perfect
with a swig of Snapple.
And every stationery store in town s
starting with a fresh collection o
envelopes - no use taking any
Local restaurants are hoping Elaine
will enjoy a nice Chipati more than a
big salad, but she's really looking for a
Chinese restaurant that will actually
deliver to her.
Zingerman's is warming up the mar-
ble rye recipe and Mrs. Peabody:
perfecting black and white cooki
and trying to stave off the muffin-top
It will certainly be easier fo
"Seinfeld, party of four" to find a table
in a restaurant in Ann Arbor. And the
10-cent bottle deposit is legal here.
But watch out - the bidding wars
are on to be the next coffeeshop. The
competition could get really ugly.
But when they do settle in,gcoun
Jerry to find humor rooted in the li
idiosyncrasies that an outsider will
notice: a bell tower with no clock, 50-
degree weather in January, and a bas-
ketball team that beat the No. I team
in the country but lost to Eastern
Michigan and Central Michigan, for
Jerryshas said he's a little concerned
about one type of food - they're
called the Bagel Nazis and it won',
pretty. Could any of them mreasure'2
to New York standards?
But one thing he is sure of - with
the liberal atmosphere on campus, he's
sure to be able to start a student group
dedicated to the winter holiday of his
devotees. Look for Diag boards for
SCOFUS - Students Celebrating On
Ann Arbor water has its own pecu-
liarities, but low-flow shower heads
shouldn't be too much of a problez
most rental units are too old. Jerry will
be looking for landlords with multiple
sets of keys, though, just in case who-
ever has his spare takes off for, say,

Expect to be able to purchase a male
bra - yeah, yeah, you can call it the
"bro" if you want - but beware the
retro-style raincoats soon toappear in
used clothing shops. They've been
known to have moths.
Jerry is hoping that either .the
Michigan or the State theaters 'will
show "Schindler's List" - he could
finally see the end. It'll probably just
be "The English Patient," though, and
that could really set off Elaine.
On that topic, Seinfeld's been known
to date younger women - but be on
the lookout for "the switch" if you've
got a roommate.
At least he's not with George. o
that there's anything wrong with th
Close talkers and low talkers need
not apply. And we know it wasn't a
pick, but it's better to just avoid that
whole nasty situation.
You'll know how you stand if you
peek at the speed-dial listing on the
phone - the higher the number, the
better you're doing. And guys, ask
yourselfothis question: Are you
If it's cigars you desire, ask Kramr
Word on the streets has it that he's got
the goods on getting Cubans in
Maybe George will start a marine
biology department - there's plenty



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