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February 06, 1998 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1998-02-06

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4 - The Michigan Daily - Friday, February 6, 1998

c e artIC4igttit tjJU

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

Editor in Chief
Editorial Page Editor

'I don't see affirmative action as artificial, I
se it as an important aspect of what we do.'
- Ann Arbor Pioneer High School Principal Bob Galardi, discussing the
increasing interest in affirmative action policies among high school students

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.
Take the lead
Faculty should encourage departmental clubs

//I COME JAA''s~ o T#/' F

W hile many University undergraduate
students develop relationships with
professors according to whether or not they
attend weekly lectures, students who are
involved with department clubs often bene-
fit from closer relations. On Monday, proof
of this was released during an LSA faculty
meeting. The Joint Faculty-Student Policy
Committee shared the results of a year-long
study of University undergraduate student
department clubs that claimed students can
benefit from increased faculty involvement
in the organizations. University faculty
should take notice of these results and initi-
ate more involvement with these groups
which are beneficial to both students and
the professors involved.
The benefits and opportunities that
'department clubs offer students are numer-
ous. The size and time constraints of
University faculty and the complexity of
course scheduling prohibit many students
from taking classes with prominent profes-
sors within their concentration department.
Department clubs offer the opportunity for
undergraduate students to learn from pro-
fessors with whom they are not acquainted.
The relationships students and faculty form
are on a more personal level than tradition-
al student-teacher relationships.
Undergraduates can also take advantage of
scheduling advice from professors who
actually teach the courses - advice that
will likely surpass that given by normal aca-
demic advisers.
The benefits of departmental clubs are
not limited to students - faculty members
can gain from the experience as well. In
addition to the opportunity to better
acquaint themselves with those students
who may have previously been a small fig-
ure at the back of a lecture hall, clubs offer

professors a more tangible opportunity to
search out prospective student assistants.
Many professors at the University are in
need of research assistants and prefer to
individually select students to fill these
positions. Departmental clubs are an excel-
lent resource for professors to find dedicat-
ed students interested in and willing to help
with their research.
In addition to the report's claim of
insufficient support and leadership from
faculty members, undergraduate depart-
ment clubs also suffer from inadequate
funding and office space. In lieu of charg-
ing high dues - a practice that discour-
ages students from joining these benefi-
cial and supportive organizations - or
spending countless hours preparing
fundraisers to maintain self-sufficiency,
the committe recommendeed that each
department allot at least $200 for its
undergraduate club. Considering the ben-
efits these organizations offer to both stu-
dents and faculty, this minor request for
funds should be generously fulfilled by
Undergraduate student department
clubs have the potential to create an indi-
vidual niche for each student within the
University's academic community. At
such a large university, students often feel
as though they are merely a number.
Undergraduate clubs offer personal yet
professional relationships between stu-
dents and professors. Through the organi-
zations students can be transformed into
scholars, fulfilling the essence and ideal
of the University. But potential scholars
are being deprived of this opportunity by
a lack of funding and interest from the
very faculty members who could provide
inspiration to University students.

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A ugmenting the arts
Congress should approve NEA funding increase

A midst the recent frenzy in
Washington. D.C., President Clinton
unveiled his budget proposal on Monday.
While announcing greater spending for
teachers, police and federal employees, the
president also unveiled a funding increase
for the National Endowment for the Arts.
Conservative outcry over certain artistic
projects made the NEA one of the
Republicans' strategic opponents in their
1994 "Contract with America," resulting
in significant appropriation drops. Once
again, Republican leaders quickly declared
their opposition to the proposed increase
for the agency from $98 to $136 million in
favor of tax breaks. But Congress ought to
support this effort by Clinton - rejuve-
nating the NEA will strengthen the
nation's artistic fibre and give aspiring
individuals and programs the opportunity
to reach their goals.
The Republican party's leadership has,
on numerous occasions, scaled back feder-
al spending since its ascension to power in
1994. They specifically targeted the Public
Broadcasting System, National Public
Radio and the NEA. The Republican
Congress claimed a better government was
a smaller government. But denying funding
for programs that enhance the public's
understanding of current events, facilitate
national discussions and provide quality
entertainment is not a good way to improve
the government's budget. Additionally,
some conservatives' reasons for these cuts
are narrow-minded reactions to controver-
sial works of art that received money from
the NEA.

endeavor. But only the creator of art may
determine how to communicate an
expression - politicians have no place
denying funding to possibly controversial
art forms.
The government should support cul-
tural and intellectual development. With
this proposal, Clinton shows his support
for the arts and his understanding that
they are critical. His proposal, while ask-
ing for just a slight increase in military
spending, shifts away from the Cold War
mentality toward the new challenges that
confront the nation.
One of these challenges is to the nation's
unity, which depends on a sense of commu-
nity and lively discussion for support. By
guaranteeing funding for the arts, the pro-
posed budget would counter tendencies
toward social stratification and division.
Technological developments of the last cen-
tury have almost eliminated a sense of local
community and belonging. Although these
changes certainly improve the standard of
living in the United States, the nation
urgently needs supplementary means of
communication, expression and social con-
The National Endowment for the Arts
addresses this need. Additionally, the
University community would consider-
ably benefit from increased federal
spending on the arts, as the endowment
often grants money for creative projects
across campus and in the Ann Arbor com-
munity. The funding increase will
improve the quality of life for individual
citizens nationwide, Congress should

Iraqi faults
This is written to rebuff
some claims made by Aaron
Stark in his recent letter to
the editor ("Article Omitted
Iraqi Suffering," 2/4/98).
Stark described the horri-
ble things that he believes are
happening to the Iraqi people
as a result of U.S. leadership
in the Gulf War when in fact
many nations of the world
united to employ force to
evict Saddam Hussein from
Kuwait. Although it is unfor-
tunate the Iraqi people are
suffering, this is not due to a
concerted effort by the
United States (or the United
Nations) to cause pain to the
citizens of Iraq. The situation
in Iraq is caused by one man,
Saddam, who cares more
about building lavish palaces
than about the welfare of his
people. I ask Stark why
Saddam has more than a
dozen palaces around the
country while "more than
one million people - more
than 500,000 of whom are
women and children - have
died from starvation and dis-
ease as a direct consequence"
of sanctions against Iraq. If
Iraqi's beloved leader wanted
to end the suffering of his
people then he would comply
with U.N. resolutions and
allow U.N. inspectors to
ensure that weapons of mass
destruction are not in his pos-
session and will not be built
in the future. It is Saddam's
choice, not an effort by the
U.S. government, to oppress
the Iraqi citizens.
Stark thenclaims that
during the Gulf War, the
United States "deliberately
destroyed the civilian infra-
structure of Iraq." Perhaps he
got his information from
Saddam's weekly newsletter.
This is entirely incorrect. The
United States had no quarrel
with the Iraqi people and in
fact, cancelled bombing mis-
sions because they were too
near civilian centers. It's all a
question of proportionality
and military necessity. The
United States had no reason
to and wasn't going to strike
civilian targets because it
wasn't necessary to do so
(the mission was nearing
completion before the ground
Perhaps Stark would be
enlightened by an example of
U.S. restraint when it came to
civilian targets in Iraq:
Saddam purposely parked
two Mig-21 fighters near a
religious center, daring the
United States to bomb these
fighters on the ground and
risk hitting a cultural site,
thereby turning world opin-
ion against the United States.
U.S. military strategists
decided to leave the fighters
,..A .tf na m ntn

further suffering within his
nation. The United States
can't help it if he doesn't
Daily should
be ashamed
of errors
The Daily should be
ashamed, and Mike Wallace
would surely be embarrassed,
to have the caption under his
photo have three spelling
errors on the front page of
the Feb. 3 Daily. With the
availability of spellcheck,
there is no excuse to have
spelling mistakes anywhere
in the paper, but it should be
a newspaper's goal to have its
front page perfect. I hope
"reknowned" "correspon-
dant" Mike Wallace doesn't
even see the Feb. 3 Daily,
reporting his appearance at
the "Leauge," for he may
decide the Daily is unworthy
of his continued support.
Coverage of
forum was
The coverage of the
"Diversity and the News"
forum was a model of bad
journalism ("Journalistsbdraw
crowd at 'U,"' 2/3/98).
Although the Daily described
the protest of locked-out
Detroit News and Free Press
workers, it said nothing about
why they were there or what
they were protesting. For
more than two years, newspa-
per reporters, printers, distri-
bution managers, copy edi-
tors and typographers have
been on strike against unfair
labor practices at these news-
The National Labor
RelationsBoard ruled last
year that the newspapers had
broken federal labor laws by
replacing these workers -
many with more than 20
years seniority - with other
workers, hired in some cases
for half of the wage of the
people they replaced. The
newspapers have appealed
this ruling to a federal court,
dragging the case on for
Anyone who knows the
details of this strike would
find both the newspapers'
actions and their coverage
of the strike sickening. Both
newspapers have declined in

are feasible
The Daily recently pub-
lished a letter attacking the
legitimacy of the claim by
the Center for Equal
Opportunity that white appli-
cants to U of M are 174-
times less likely to be admit-
ted than their African
American counterparts with
equivalent grades, test scores
and high school class rank-
ings ("CEO's study was
pseudo-scientific'," 2/3/98).
Although I agree with the
author that deciding which
applicants are qualified clear-
ly goes beyond just evaluat-
ing test scores and GPAs, I
must point out to the author
and to all Daily readers that
an odds ratio of 174 is not,
statistically speaking, ridicu-
To understand this issue,
one must differentiate the
probability of an event
occurring and the odds of it
occurring. For example, if
the probability of an event
occurring is 0.5 then the
odds of the event occurring
are one in two (that is, the
event is just as likely to
occur as not to occur). The
formula for the odds of an
event occurring is probabili-
ty of the event / (1 - proba-
blity of the event).
Furthermore, an odds ratio is
not the ratio of two probabil-
ities but the ratio of two
Therefore, if the proba-
bility of an event was 5 per-
cent for one person and 95
percent for another person,
the odds ratio would not be
0.95/ 0.05 (or 19,) but
instead (0.95 / I -
0.95)/(0.05 / 1 - 0.05) which
equals 361.
Again, I am not bringing
this to readers' attention in
hopes of supporting the
results of the study by the
CEO. I simply want to point
out that the finding of an
odds ratio of 174 is not a rea-
son to dismiss the study as
Everyone, as a U.S. citi-
zen, has every right to say
whatever they choose about
whomever they choose. But
I would like to point out
that despite what President
Clinton's opposition and
television journalists might

The future can
be scary, so liv
in the now
For many people, college becom
something beyond simple educ
tion. Certainly college should be mo
than training for a nine-to-five job a
attending good parties on the weeke
College life should even transcen
intellectual fulfillment of adva
study and the cru-
cial transitions from
parents' homes to
dormitory to the
real world. Higher
education is the
convergence of a lot
of resources -
time, money, intel-
lect and, more often
than not, a little
hard work. I gues SERILL
the message this: SFRILL
walk away with WARA
more than a slip of
paper that says you bought a degree
I would never question that pop
want to get more out of college than
diploma, but sometimes the focus g
misplaced. Sometimes the procss
self-discovery is nothing more
planned route. "You know I'm:ona
frosh, I don't know what I want toi
with my life, but I figure I'll get
degree in biochemistry, go to medic
school, get married, have a son hen
daughter, buy a timesharecondo in t
Florida Keys and then decide what
want to do with my life' That isn't fin
ing yourself, it's a roadmap for the ne
20 years, complete with every rest st
picked out in advance.
Culturally speaking, Americanss
individuality. While many moralists w
claim that this causes social breakdow
I think they are wrong. If you are
happy with yourself, it is hard to
much else than try to better yourself.
other words, you don't have much ti
to donate to the betterment of socie
when you can't get out of bed in t
morning. So many of us use the fre
doms college life provides to figur
who we want to be for the rest o
lives and what will make us comple
people. Many turn to spiritual answe
some of us try to find ourselves in o
relationships with others, and ma
more find contentment in the prospe
of paychecks that close in on six fi
But again, it seems to me that we ha
preconceptions about what findi
yourself means and how you ca.
about it. What are the appropriate t
Read the work of dead German philos
phers, preferably ones that seem chro
ically angry and depressed, or poetry
romantics from the 19th Century at
beatniks from the '50s (either way, r
going to require purchasing a bla
Backpack through Europe, Asia
the subcontinent, never spending mon
on a night in a comfortable be
almost impossible to find yours
good night's sleep.
Finally, move to a commune, live
monastic life and find truth by combi
ing eastern mysticism's greatest hits a
eating granola. Through this metho
you are much more likely to find an e
Grateful Dead roadie instead of you
Since the '60s, Americans seem
search for individuality in the sa
cookie-cutter fashions; quite simr
everyone is rebelling, then it represn
the status quo and not a revolution.
also seems that for all our talk of eiE

open to different ideas, we are simp
close-minded to possibilities, that f
lack ofa better term, simply aren't co
We want to learn from sources th~
seem daring, exotic and maybe just o
kilter enough to be dangerous. We al
become so focused on looking ahead
what we will be that we can forge
we are now and what brought us to th
I am reflective in part because n
Great Grandmother passed away th
week, losing a close family m-embi
makes you take stock of who and wh
you are. I feel lucky to have had her
my life for more than 20 years and 1
have had a closer relationship with r
Great Grandma than most people ha
with their grandparents or any~
older family members. She ha
mind, her bountiful sense of humor ar
a lot of passion to live right up into h4
final weeks - she never made a
headlines, but she affected countle~
people with her warmth, wisdom ar
open mind.
Grandma is a part of the person I ai
today, and that is something I coul
never find in a book, a job or an insti
tion. We shared more than a lo 1
cheap Mexican food and the belie a
really good pie might qualify as its o%
food group. She was a key ingredient
keeping four generations of a famil
together and was a testament to tt
value of surrounding yourself with t

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