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February 09, 1998 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1998-02-09

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4A - The Michigan Daily - Monday, February 9, 1998

UIbe Sidiiguu ilg

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

'It's good for the community in general to be
reminded of our presence. It's a week of
expressing pride in out identity.
- RC junior Neela Ghosal, on the Queer Visibility
Week events taking place this week on campus
KAAMRAN HAFEEZ As IT H APPiENS

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
Com ttgther
Coalition has a distinct interest in 'U' lawsuit

p

W hile both President Clinton and the
University are in the midst of legal
troubles, the University received the kind of
support about which Clinton could only
dream. Last Thursday, an interesting yet
positive move was made in regards to one of
the lawsuits filed against the University's
admissions policies. An independent coali-
tion filed to intervene in the lawsuit and act
as defendants in the case against admissions
policies in the College of Literature,
Science and the Arts, asking for the same
courtroom status as the plaintiffs and the
University. Gaining full status as defendants
in the lawsuit may prove difficult but the
coalition is confident that they hold a legit-
imate and distinct interest in the case, which
is necessary for Judge Patrick Guggan to
grant third-party status. The parties
involved in this coalition do hold a separate
interest and deserve the opportunity to enter
the lawsuit. The coalition's bold move in
support of the University and affirmative
action should be commended. While it is
trying to defend the interests of minority
students, it is also defending the interests of
the entire University community, which
benefits from a diverse student body.
The coalition includes 17 Detroit-area
high school students, their parents, local
attorneys, the American Civil Liberties
Union, the National Association for the
Advancement of Colored People's Legal
Defense and Educational Fund and the
Mexican American Legal Defense and
Educational Fund. Most of the students
attend school in either Detroit or Ann Arbor
and hold strong convictions regarding the
defense of minority students applying to the
University in the future. All legal fees will be
paid for through the participating non-profit
organizations. The coalition rightfully claims

that the University's interests in furthering a
diverse student body differ from minority
students' more-focused interest in preserving
their access to an education at the University.
While the University must focus upon its
right to perpetuate a diverse campus atmos-
phere, who then will focus upon the rights of
minority students to attain the high level of
education offered at the University? Enter
the the coalition, which is going by the name
of Citizens for Affirmative Action's
Preservation.
The court should consider the difference
to between the defense of the University
and the defense of future minority students
as a distinct one. The class-action lawsuit
against LSA - filed nearly four months
ago - addresses the issue of affirmative
action and a public university's right to use
it in the admissions process. But if the
coalition could be considered a separate
defense, the lawsuit could also address the
effects of affirmative action as seen by
future students. Addressing only affirma-
tive action within admissions policies, with-
out discussing the effects it will have upon
applicants of all backgrounds, is wrong -
the lawsuit would not address all of the rel-
evant issues in this case.
CAAP has a legitimate claim to be
involved with this lawsuit. If they are not
granted full status, then the rights of
minority students may never receive the
attention they deserve. The coalition real-
izes the necessary distinction between the
University's and the students' interests and
has asked the court to legally validate its
entrance into the lawsuit. It is now in
Guggan's hands to decide whether the right
of minority students to access the
University's education is a worthy cause to
address in a court of law.

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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Clear skies
New standards could reduce air pollution

Thanks to a common-sense pact between
the Big Three automakers - Ford,
Chrysler and General Motors - the air in the
United States could become significantly
cleaner as early as next year. These three
American car companies agreed this past
Wednesday to provide the entire country with
cars and trucks that produce 70 percent less
pollution than most existing automobiles.
The northeastern states will be the first
region outside of California to receive the
cleaner-running vehicles when the Big Three
debut their '99 models this fall. The
revamped vehicles will be sold nationwide,
beginning with the 2001 model year. As the
required changes on the cars' fuel systems
will add just $95 to their price tags, the new
plan constitutes a cost-effective step toward
improving the quality of the nation's air.
The high level of air-polluting emissions
in the United States clearly warrants the
automakers' introduction of the cleaner-run-
ning vehicles. U.S. cars and trucks currently
contribute about 30 percent of the country's
greenhouse gas emissions. That amount is
about 7 percent of worldwide emissions -
and more than those from all fossil fuels
burned for all purposes in countries like Japan
or Mexico. A recent study found that automo-
biles account for nearly half of total air-pollu-
tion in many American cities. As the number
of cars in the nation will likely double during
the next 25 years, the agreement will likely
improve the country's environmental forecast.
The new plan also proves efficient in its
consistency. Currently, each state has the
power to determine how strict or lax to set
emissions standards. Without the blanket

the agreed-upon template for the new vehi-
cles - automakers would have to design
vehicles on a state-by-state basis, limiting
their ability to offer low prices. By swiftly
enacting the NLEV guidelines, the Big Three
will likely convince all states to adopt uni-
form standards. Backed by President Bill
Clinton's commitment to preserving clean air
and reducing auto pollution in his State of the
Union address, the Environmental Protection
Agency also championed the standards and
will aid the automakers in pushing all states
to agree to the standards of the NLEV
The Big Three's decision to draft the
NLEV will not only affect American-manu-
factured vehicles. The stricter regulations
will also pressure Asian and European com-
petitors to draft similar standards to remain
competitive in the American auto market.
While some Japanese car makers have ten-
tatively agreed to introduce cleaner-running
cars to the United States in some 1999
models, regardless of American car makers'
actions, the Big Three's new plan will solid-
ify foreign commitment to producing clean-
er cars for the U.S. market. In addition, the
NLEV will challenge foreign car makers to
adopt even more stringent standards.
The Big Three's stricter emissions guide-
lines could yield cleaner air and aid
America's public health. A few states have
been reluctant to accept the new cars due to
a desire for even stricter guidelines. But if
each state has its own standards, the cost of
implementing different emissions systems
could prevent immediate introduction of the
cleaner cars. All states should agree to adopt
the standards to make cleaner air an immedi-

Diversity
benefits the
entire 'U'
community
TO THE DAILY:
I am writing in regard to
the report issued by the
Center for Equal Opportunity
on "race-neutral issues"
("Study finds racial prefer-
ences," 1/27/98). The poorly
analyzed report targets the
Asian Pacific American com-
munity by presuming that
there is "no evidence proving
that Asian Americans benefit
from affirmative action pro-
grams.
The racial, ethnic and
educational diversity
brought to the University by
their affirmative action poli-
cies is not only the reason I
accepted my admittance to
U of M but also theacause
for countless irreplaceable
learning experiences that
have shaped my education. I
would not have learned as
much as I have or even
enjoyed one second of my
experience on this campus if
it was not for my Indian
American, Asian American
and other minority friends,
not to mention everyone else
I have come in contact with
here. The racial, ethnic and
educational diversity
brought to the University by
its affirmative action poli-
cies, contrary to CEO's
beliefs, have definitely ben-
efited me.
RUDHIR PATEL
ENGINEERING SENIOR
Error was a
'humiliation'
for sorority
TO THE DAILY:
My name is Michelle Su
and I am Alpha Kappa Delta
Phi's social chair. 1 was out-
raged with the Jan. 28 article
regarding the on/v Asian
Pacific American sorority on
campus ("Ethnic greek orga-
nizations build cultural
awareness"). If the Daily is
going to write an article on a
sorority, it should at least
have the decency to write the
name of the sorority correct-
ly. After all, Alpha Kappa
Delta Phi isn't just like
another sorority; it is the only
sorority of its kind and we
deserve a little respect! And
even if we were a non-specif-
ic sorority, the Daily should
still have the decency to write
our name correctly.
Alpha Kappa Delta Phi is
a real sorority and we have
worked long and hard to earn
our letters We will not toler-
ate this humiliation!
The Daily should see to it
that there is an additional

John Cox seems to purport
some incorrect assumptions
as to the nature of morality
and the United States.
Cox states that the histo-
ry of the United States
would refute the claim that
"Christianity is not con-
ducive to self-reliance or
individuality." This is a very
misleading thing to present
as the history of the United
States, strictly speaking,
says nothing about religion.
We are, by our very defini-
tion, a religionless people.
We are not founded upon
the dogma of any particular
theology, and the particular
beliefs of those who found-
ed the United States are
irrelevant. Besides, several
of our "founding fathers"
were not raving fans of
Christianity. Just read their
works. The fact is there is
no particular mention in any
founding document that our
nation is oriented toward a
particular faith. It is true
that a majority of Americans
consider themselves
Christians, but let us not
confuse the views of the
majority with the views of
our founders or as the nec-
essarily correct course when
determining public policy.
The United States answers
to notparticularreligion,
despite what the quotation
on Angell Hall's facade
might imply.
Cox also discusses the
ease with which one may
"develop perceptions of
right and wrong according
to one's own whims." When
we boil things down to the
human level, that is the only
type of morality there is. I
am not discussing the popu-
lar constructs of "ethics" or
"government," but simply
the bare bones of humanity.
Right and wrong extend no
further than one can reach.
Right and wrong are
powerful only insofar as one
is concerned with them-
selves. If this sounds inflex-
ible, then the reader is mak-
ing an unwarranted assump-
tion. We are molded in part
by the environment in which
we live, and as a conse-
quence, morality is a very
flexible and fluid thing.
Cox says, "Faith does not
require that one relinquish all
semblance of self rather
believers affirm both their
uniqueness and their com-
mon bond as children of
God." I wish to know how
precisely one can be truly
unique if one's person is
defined in terms of deity, or
rather, how an entire group of
people'who would describe
themselves as "children of
God" really can claim a
unique identity independent
of this one binding factor. I
am not disallowing people
their self-definitions, mind
you, but merely questioning
the use of the word "unique"

Spelling
errors detract
from Daily's
overall quality
TO THE DAILY:
At the very least, I
would expect the Daily to
spell the names of the
University's buildings cor-
rectly. The front page of the
Feb. 4 Daily referred to a
"Cousins Hall." As a U of
M alumnus, I believe my
memory serves me correctly
in remembering it as
Couzens Hall.
I realize this may seem
like a small error but as of
late, these small errors have
multiplied into a noticeable
decline in the overall quali-
ty of the paper. The empha-
sis on creativity is wonder-
ful, but fundamentals must
be mastered first. Good
luck with future issues.
KEITH BRADY
UNIVERSITY ALUMNUS
'Bear Bones'
is one of the
Daily's best
parts
TO THE DAILY:
It's a shame that all it
takes is a couple people
complaining to remove one
of the best, most ironic parts
of the Daily. While being
sensitive is all well and
good, could the Daily at
least replace the "Bear
Bones" cartoon strip with
another bit of humor?
Sometimes it's all that gets
me through my morning lec-
tures.
DAVID JACKSON
LSA SOPHOMORE
Fisher did not
bring up
lawsuit during
interview
TO THE DAILY:
Sensationalistic head-
lines aside, did anyone at
the Daily bother to actually
read The Detroit News
interview with Steve Fisher?
I find it hard to believe that
you can pull "Fisher to con-
sider his legal options"
(1/29/98) out of the News'
article. Fischer never
brought up lawsuits, and
when questioned by the
interviewer about the possi-
bility of one, he said only, "I
hope it doesn't come to
that."

'Vintage 'means
old and other'
truisms of urban
househunting
It's February, and those students who
have not yet signed their leases for
next year are scrambling about to find a
place to hang their hats.
I had thought that living in Ann ArbA
would prepare me
for the ugliness of
just about any hous-
ing search. Plop me
in an overcrowded
area, show me some
overpriced,
cramped units
badly in need of
renovation (or
demolition), and
watch me make it ERI
livable. I was sure MARSH
that for the exorbi- TINMNG
tant price of my
sunny little one-
bedroom apartment in Ann Arbor, I
could rent a quaint Tahitian bungalow,
complete with manservant/margarita
technician.
And yet now I realize how wrong I
was.4
I now face the reality that in a few
short months, I will pack up house and
home, throw it all in a U-Haul, and head
off to my sixth address infour years.
This grand adventure - upon which
many of my peers will also embark -
leads to the question of the housing
market at large. It means lots of red pen
circles on the classified pages of any
one of a jillion major metropolitan
newspapers. It means real estate agents
snapping humongous wads of gun
while they say things like, "Uch, honey,
this is a fabulous space. Just gorgeous. I
would die for this space."
As University grads-to-be, let's
examine our options: it's going to be
New York or Chicago, essentially. I say
this not because I actually know, but
because everyone in the Western world
seems to end up in one of these two
places at some point. So let the house
hunting begin:U
In New York: Sadly, you have no
Great Aunt Ida who has left you her
posh little rent-controlled brownstone
walk-up on the Upper East Side. You
have to duke it out with the rest of them
for a $1,200-per-month closet to call
your very own. You wait in line for the
first copies of the Village Voice, then
run like hell to a pay phone and leave
messages on 75 answering machines
But half the universe has the same Web
you do, so your messages are buried
under many other desperate-sounding
calls.
Timefor lan B. You get yourself one
of the aforementioned agents (of the
"Uch, honey" lore). Madame Real
Estate Agent - of the agency Dewey,
Screwem & Howe - shows you a num-
ber of delightful lofts, any of which
could be yours if you hocked all of you
possessions and sold some blood. Eve
so, you'd need a place to live next
month, too, so you try to tactfully ask
for some places in, um, a more modest
neighborhood.
By the time you find units you can
afford, though, you're in Hoboken. Your
perky agent stopped "Uch, honey"-ing
many hours ago. You've just about
resigned yourself to parking a nice
Maytag box on the corner of 57th and
Broadway. After dragging yourselg
uptown and downtown until you can't

remember which way is what, you
wearily resign yourself to living on
saltines and hiking the 30 blocks to
work so you can afford a miniscule
apartment in the city. And to add insult
to injury, the gleeful agent reminds you
of the finder's fee, broker's fee, cleaning
fee and security deposit.
And in Chicago: The same agent has
followed you to the Windy City. (She'
probably now wearing some faux leop-
ard/zebra/dalmatian fur coat.) This is
where your classified-deciphering
prowess will really come in handy.
Basically, if it doesn't say it, it doesn't
have it. So good luck finding pkg., A/C,
Idry., heat inc., good loc., H20 inc.,
bright, spacious and easy access to
trans., all in one ad.
Also, it will help to learn to read
between the lines. Now Chicago is full
of really beautiful buildings, but most o*
them are older than dirt and are painful-
ly dingy if they haven't been renovated.
So right away, recognize that "vintage"
means old. "Steps away from El" means
your bedroom window looks out on the
train platform. "Lively neighborhood"
is a tricky one. It means A) you'll never
find street parking, B) traffic noise will
keep you up all night, and/or C) it is,
shall we say, a "red-light" district.
The upside of Chicago (as opposed to
New York) is that you have a reasonably
good chance of keeping a car there, but
it's going to cost a major chunk of
change. Like in the neighborhood of
150 clams per month for a spot. And
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