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February 05, 1998 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1998-02-05

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4A - The Michigan Daily - Thursday, February 5, 1998

Ul|e aidTigan tailg

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

LAURIE MAYK
Editor in Chief
JACK SCHILLACI
Editorial Page Editor

Unless 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.
FROM THE DAILY
GNe order
Goss' plan will aid In student athletes' J'ob hunt

NOTABLE QUOTABLE
it is now clear that (Kenneth) Starr's last shot at
getting the president is the obstruction of justice route.'
- Communication Studies Prof Michael Traugott, on the investigation
of allegations that the president had an affair with Monica Lewinsky
PURPLE HERRING CONVENIENCE ABOUNDS
PEoPLE OF- CUA v , of
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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

O n Monday, the University Athletic
Department saw some big changes as
Athletic Director Tom Goss' restructuring
of the department took effect. Many of the
department's senior administrators took on
new responsibilities in an effort to increase
communication and consolidate positions
within the department. Similar to the way
that University President Lee Bollinger
reorganized top administrative positions at
the University when he
took office, Goss has
made changes to allow
for more efficient work- ~
ing relationships within
the department.
Although most of the
restructuring involves
changes in the duties of -s
current administrators,
Goss has created a new position designed
to help student athletes find employment
both during the summer and after gradua-
tion. The new post will work in conjunc-
tion with the Career Planning and
Placement Office and the Center for
Learning and Community Service and
will be filled by former Michigan football
player Warde Manuel. This position is
likely to be the most beneficial change to
the department.
The establishment of a position focus-
ing on student athlete development is a
great advantage for the University.
Because practice, sporting events and trav-
el consume so much of student athletes'
time, many find it difficult to seek
employment - any job search must be
scheduled around their athletic season.
Setting up a program that will help student
athletes find jobs and participate in com-
munity service projects will help to allevi-

ate the problem.
Helping student athletes gain access to
career opportunities is an excellent goal
for the Athletic Department to set. While
some college athletes eventually go on to
lucrative professional careers, some do
not. It is important that these athletes are
not impeded in their career search because
of their participation in sports. A depart-
ment initiative that focuses on student-
athlete career development will help to
prevent this problem by aiding student
athletes in preparing for their post-gradu-
ation plans. It should also help student
athletes devote a little more time to
exploring their career interests, something
that is often very difficult because of their
busy schedules.
The new program will also increase
student athletes' opportunities to partici-
pate in community service. While not
directly related to career planning, the
Athletic Department's program gives stu-
dent athletes a way to give back to the
community - something they might not
normally be able to do with the tight
schedule they keep. In addition, commu-
nity service provides experience for many
careers and if often helpful in attracting
future employers.
Athletics contribute a great deal to the
University's reputation. But sports should
not be the only part of a University ath-
lete's life - they are students too and are
here to learn and to prepare for a career as
well as play sports. Goss' and the Athletic
Department's new devotion to helping
them do this is the best feature of the
changed system. It is important that the
University's athletes have every possible
opportunity to succeed beyond the playing
field.

Off balance
Budget could threaten economy during crisis

A midst scandal, the State of the Union
speech and the ever-present populari-
ty ratings, President Bill Clinton continues
to do one thing - his job. For the past
week, he has promoted his ambitious agen-
da nationwide, campaigning particularly
hard in the Midwest. Clinton's most-recent
policy announcement focused on balancing
the national budget. On Monday, he
unveiled the first balanced budget proposal
in 30 years, sending Congress a $1.7-tril-
lion federal spending plan that projects a
decade's worth of budget surpluses. While
a deficit-free budget is a worthwhile objec-
tive, mandated spending caps and inflexi-
ble time frames are a dangerously strict
regiment that may harm the nation in the
long run.
The United States' economic well-being
is a complicated and ever-changing ideolo-
gy. For example, in times of recession, a
balanced budget might necessitate violent
cuts to social programs that keep large
number of Americans from falling below
the poverty line. Moreover, if the economy
faces a downturn, it would be normal eco-
nomic policy for the federal government to
infuse money into the economy, offsetting
the balance with a spending surplus. A
mandated balance budget could intensify
economic depression during times of eco-
nomic distress.
A 1999 spending plan could look per-
fect on paper but when the nation's pock-
etbook is in the hands of policy makers
and politicians, adhering to an established
plan could take precedence over doing
,ha ;is hPgt fnr ta;nin zwP1-h.;n

lems - fiscal irresponsibility. The
pledge to balance the budget through
spending increases, tax credits and grants
reads like an all-or-nothing policy: bal-
ance the budget at all costs by the end of
fiscal year 1999.
A loophole or escape clause does not
exist - a necessary component of any
economic plan. The necessary time and
debate is missing from Clinton's proposal.
When dealing with economic decision-
making, discussion and fiscal responsibil-
ity are necessary to offset any disastrous
possibilities. Clinton forecasted a $9.5
billion surplus for fiscal year 1999, which
begins Oct. 1, and steadily growing sur-
pluses that would add up to $1.1 trillion
10 years from now. The spending plan
also includes grants and tax incentives to
help reduce class size in schools by
recruiting 100,000 more teachers and
building thousands of new classrooms;
$17.9 billion in new lines of credit to
increase the lending coffers of the
International Monetary Fund, the 181-
country organization that is leading the
global bailout of financially troubled
Asian economies.
As Republicans contend, Clinton does
not know the meaning of a laissez-faire
government. And while bigger might be
better, it certainly does not mean it will be
more responsible. Clinton's proposal
should not force the decision makers in
Washington to make unsound choices
simply because a plan to balance the bud-
get looms overhead. A balanced budget is
nn caa the nitd;ates nudstre,.

Conservative
arguments
show fear
TO THE DAILY:
What a wild, inequitable
world this is. Here, in the
United States in the '90s, we
have white people - mem-
bers of the dominant hege-
monic culture - suing uni-
versities because the minority
populations at these schools
have gotten a little out of
hand - by American stan-
dards, that is. Granted,
Americans have always strug-
gled with a poor sense of his-
tory, but the problem is
becoming especially acute.
For example, what is this new
fascination with meritocracy?
The United States does not
know - and has never
known - what meritocracy
is; let's ask ourselves how
specific minorities became
disproportionately powerless
in the first place.
This is the University of
Michigan; I know someone at
this school studies history.
The Civil Rights Act of 1964
did not give rise to the
nation's first form of affirma-
tive actign - white privilege
was hard at work for hun-
dreds of years prior to that
corrective legislation.
I am beginning to
believe that right-wingers
actually stand in the mirror
and practice keeping a
straight face when they pre-
sent their arguments against
affirmative action. I know I
would laugh if I had to pre-
sent them. I think it would
save quite a bit of trouble if
conservatives would just
state the obvious: the idea
of institutionalized white
privilege becoming any
weaker scares the hell out
of them. The debate today is
not one about equality or
morality - it is about
power and resources, plain
and simple. Any advance
for minorities results in a
disadvantage for whites,
hence the pernicious attack
on affirmative action.
Though no one wants to say
it, there is a very large seg-
ment of this society that is
not going to abdicate their
white privilege without a
fight.
If I am making people
uncomfortable, too bad.
Someone has to present the
truth that we avoid like
plague. What I want to see is
a right-winger respond to
this letter; be logical now,
none of those amorphous
moral arguments, please. But
I understand if you would
rather not - rhetoric does
not hold up too well under
close scrutiny.
ISA KaSmG
LSA FIRST-YEAR STUDENT
i _ w .

would take absolutely no
pride in.
After I left Scorekeepers
and walked across the Diag
toward the gathering on
South University Avenue
with my brother and a friend,
we passed by two people who
had chanted loudly "It's great
to be a Michigan Wolverine."
As we walked passed them, I
heard one of them say "These
Asians probably have no
idea," obviously in reference
to our perceived ignorance of
any sports activities whatso-
ever.
The reason that I didn't
stop to confront these two
people on the spot was
because I didn't believe that
such ignorance even
deserved the entertainment
of a response. I stand by
that decision, but I believe
the University needs to be
aware of such prejudiced
attitudes among the student
body.
I know it is impossible for
the University to control all
the words that each of the
students on the campus say.
But at the same time, the
University cannot say that it
is an institution that is com-
pletely friendly to minorities
as long as attitudes such as
the one expressed to me con-
tinue to exist.
I applaud all the people
who work every day to
increase the awareness of our
community to the needs of
minorities. I ask that all
members of the community
actively support them, and
that everybody make a com-
mitment to throw away per-
sonal racial prejudices and
stereotype views that you
may hold. Let us all work
together so that the entire
University, not just the foot-
ball team, is worthy of
national respect.
Ro TING
UNIVERSITY ALUMNUS
'U' should
block Daily
distribution
To THE DAILY:
The Daily's editorial
lamenting the promotion of
tobacco in its pages ("A divi-
sion within," 1/26/98) is hon-
orable, yet misses a key point
- the Daily receives signifi-
cant support from the
University, which allows the
newspaper and it advertise-
ments to be distributed in all
University dorms and build-
ings. The University has the
right to stop distribution in
its buildings. In fact, I imag-
ine the University could be
subject to lawsuits for having
its halls littered with tobacco
ads.
If you are truly sincere in
your opposition to tobacco

'U' admissions
are unfair to
non-minority
students
TO THE DAILY:
Last week, I proposed that
MSA include a referendum
questioning the University's
admissions policies on the
spring ballot. The assembly
refused to. Lest anyone feel
the need to get into my head
to find out why I proposed
the question, or why I still
think it must be asked, let me
relate a story.
Back in my freshman
year, there was a fight
between the state Legislature
and the University Board of
Regents regarding the per-
centage of incoming first-
year students who came from
Michigan. In the end, a large
number of in-state wait-listed
students were accepted.
I met several students that
year who were admitted
under those circumstances -
they were white and very bit-
ter. They related to me how
African American students
from their high schools had
been accepted outright even
though they had far lower
GPAs, and they were deeply
angered at "the system."
Now, I certainly had no
way to verify the truth of any
of those stories, let alone use
them as justification for my
later attempts to bring the
issue up to MSA. It showed
to me a huge problem: how-
ever neurotic/racist/bigoted
those students were, their sto-
ries were factually plausible.
We've all seen the admis-
sions criteria. And if I had
been in their shoes, I doubt
I'd feel any differently.
Affirmative action
makes sense when you look
at it from an over-arching
societal view. But when
people are convinced that
their personal opportunities
have been limited by their
skin color, and the govern-
ment is to blame, something
is wrong.
Everyone in America is
guaranteed equal protection
under the law, regardless of
their skin color. Perhaps not
everyone is getting it now.
But we should be working to
bring that guarantee to
everyone, not blatantly
ignoring it for some. Of
course the average white stu-
dent has many advantages
over other minority students.
But that's hardly sufficient
reasoning to convince any-
one who sees their personal
opportunity limited by affir-
mative action that the pro-
gram is justified.
In the end, giving racial
preferences to any group
asks members of other
groups to forfeit their right

Commercialism
ofDiana sdeath
draws from her
importance in life
It was enough that every special year-
end commemorative issue had her
face on its cover. That they wrote anoth-
er heart-wrenching eulogy. That th
chose from the wealth of photos one
more time.
And that is
fine - it is
arguable that
Princess Diana's .
death was the
most significant
news story of last
year. at least in
the eyes of the
magazine-buy-
ing public. MEGAN
But now it's SCHIMPF
time to step PRESCRIPTIONS
back. Regardless
of how much Diana's death touched
people across the world unlike any
event in recent memory, she has been
dead for five months.
True sentiments have quieted. Her
friends and family have adjusted to
new normalcy. It's possible again to b
flowers in London. Tabloids have found
new subjects.
But the exploitation parade is just
kicking into high gear.
Recently, the Spencer family
announcedplans to hold a concert,
the admission fee will go to charity, of
course - near Diana's burial site.
Performers have not been announced,
but even if Hanson is headlining, there
won't be a blade of grass left when i4
over.
This follows the family's plans to
open their estate in the summer for pub-
lic viewing of the island grave - from
the shoreline - and a museum that will
chronicle Diana's life in memorabilia
and home video.
And this is Diana's family, who
sharply criticized her overexposure in the
media. Who chose a burial on an islan
miles from London for its serenity ar
privacy. Who balked at official monu-
ments because Diana would have wanted
the money to go to charity instead.
So much for finally finding peace
from the glare of the spotlight.
Open any major newspaper and there
will be an ad for new commemorative
stamp set, which went on sale Tuesday
in Britain and sales agents across the
globe. Its dignity supposedly draws
from the regal purple border and ti
mix of formal and informal portraits
among the six poses. One American -
here's a point of national pride -
bought 900 sets. Extra printings of the
stamp sets - here's a surprise - have
already been ordered.
Russian scientists named a newly dis-
covered pale blue mineral "dianite."
A Franklin Mint mailing offers lucky
recipients the chance to be one of thk
first to own a Diana doll. A bear nam
Diana electrified the not-really-slump-
ing Beanie Baby sales.
Never mind the countless books,
biographies, calendars, videotapes,
revised editions, anthologies, memoirs,
collections, albums, memory books and
tributes that occupy their own section at
bookstores. Or the double CD that bears
her name and picture, although filled
with previously recorded material with
no prior connection to the princess.
the piles of other garbage that has a pi
ture and the dates of her life on it.
Time magazine, in an apparent effort
to express outrage at the commercial-

ism, runs a semi-regular feature called
"Di-ploitation Watch." The very exis-
tence of the feature contributes to the
phenomenon it aims to ridicule.
Elton John's eulogy-in-song, "Candle
in the Wind 1997," is now the highest-
selling single in history. It took t*
Spice Girls - they love girl power in
Britain - to push it from the top of the
weekly charts.
But John is the least offender. He
donated 100 percent of the profits from
the anthem to Diana's charity and
vowed never to sing it again. He faded
into the shadows of the mourning
parade and left his song ringing from
Westminster Abbey.
The others, methinks, doth profess
their grief too much.
None of this is a surprise. While bla-
tant commercialism was staved off by
raw emotion and a need to devour all
information about her immediately fol-
lowing Diana's death, it has blossomed
since. And the demand gives new mean-
ing to the phrase "global economy."
Tickets, trinkets and tributes keep
communal grieving alive, but also hide
under the guise of continuing Diana'
philanthropic aims. Each of the co
memorative editions justifies itself by
donating a percentage - some are
laughably tiny - to her memorial fund.
Diana's sudden death robbed her fans
of the chance to prepare, necessitating
that the grieving nrocess extend longer

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