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February 23, 1998 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1998-02-23

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4A - The Michigan Daily - Monday, February 23, 1998

(1bE Sirbi gan 13ulg

420 Maynard Street
Ann Arbor, M1 48109
Edited and managed by
students at the
University of Michigan

Editor in Chief
Editorial Page Editor

'Wrestling was getting to the point
where guys were doing anything to cut
weight, but it wasn't fun and it wasn't safe.'
- Michigan wrestler Phil Klein, on college wrestlers 'training

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.
Misgtided action
'U' day of action picks the wrong opponent

r1 -''' iu !f~jp fl

T he fierce rhetoric, violent protests and
student strikes of the '60s signified hope
for a changing world. Particularly in the
South, the Civil Rights Movement gained
nationwide attention as the staging of sit-ins,
massive gatherings and marches were beamed
via satellite across the country. The children of
those that marched in the '60s may now have
a chance to walk a day in their parents foot-
steps. A group of 40 students at the University
have planned a day of events to support
tomorrow's National Day of Action, as set
forth by the Rev. Jesse Jackson, to defend
affirmative action around the country. While
affirmative action is clearly worth defending,
protests that pit University students against
administrators and faculty are counterproduc-
tive considering the University's continued
support of affirmative action.
Most of the planned events, such as stu-
dent testimonials, teach-ins and a march on
the Diag, are appropriate and student partic-
ipation is good. But plans for antagonistic
events should have no place at the University.
Sit-ins in the Fishbowl and event organizers'
encouragement to skip classes have been
advertised campuswide. These types of
protests do not fit at a university where affir-
mative action admissions policies have been
and will continue to be supported by the
administration. The two lawsuits filed
against the University should lead to student
protest, outrage and activism. But protesters
should not let emotion take the place of logic
in their decision making. The University has
not backed down in the face of these lawsuits
and continues to support affirmative action
policies. It needs student support - not
protest - to continue this trend.
Other universities across the country will
also participate in the National Day of
Action. The University of California and the

University of Texas have scheduled events to
rally support for the use of affirmative action
in academia. Student protests, strikes and
class walk-outs are appropriate at universities
like these where the use of race-based admis-
sions is no longer allowed. Since the
University of California system board of
regents voted to end the use of affirmative
action in admissions decisions, the school
experienced a significant decline in minority
representation on its campuses. The National
Day of Action is well-suited to helping stu-
dents' get their voices heard there. Through
well-publicized events, students can mak
lawmakers and university administrators
nationwide aware that they will not accept a
return to the segregated universities of the
past. Where affirmative action has been
ended, defiant protests and marches are a
good method to express student opinion.
But the University has not yet lost its
ability to use affirmative action or more
important, its will to maintain it.
Furthermore, by asking students to defy fac-
ulty by skipping class, it is making an enemy
of administrators who they should treat as
friends. The National Day of Action should
be a forum to educate and gather support for
affirmative action - not a day for students
to protest the University by skipping class or
sitting-in in the Fishbowl. Students should
encourage the University to continue its
fight to maintain affirmative action througi
non-adversarial means such as student testi-
monials, teach-ins or marches on the Diag.
The problems of the '60s have resurged in
the world of academia, and students should
do everything in their power to help support
diversity at their schools. But the day of
action events at the University stand in defi-
ance of administrators who have long sup-
ported the events' cause.


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Scing speech
Prosecutors should not decide what is indecent

A t the core of American values rests the
freedom to express one's views. The
freedom to choose whose expression one
wishes to view or hear is just as important.
By guaranteeing that government will not
interfere with free speech, the U.S.
Constitution prevents government agencies
from restricting expression of views that are
contrary to common taste. Thus, the gov-
ernment should not decide which materials
vendors of arts, music or books may sell,
even if they get encouragement from private
citizens. Since the Constitution protects
free expression, bookstores must be allowed
to offer their customers any publication,
regardless of popular opinion.
This basic foundation of American soci-
ety must seem foreign to two prosecutors
who have decided to file charges against
Barnes & Noble bookstore. These accusa-
tions point to two photographic collections,
"Radiant Identities" by Jock Sturges and
"The Age of Innocence" by David
Hamilton, as being pornographic. In
Alabama, the state attorney general charged
the New York-based bookstore chain with
32 counts of selling obscene materials. In
Tennessee, a prosecutor obtained an indict-
ment because the books were not wrapped
in plastic nor kept five feet off the ground
- regulations that apply to adult material.
But these charges are not coincidental
actions by courtroom mavericks. Leonardo
Riggio, chairman and chief executive of
Barnes and Noble, has said that at least 25
prosecutors across the country have been
approached with complaints against the
store for the publications.
Manv of these nrtests and indictments

show host, has admonished his listeners to
call state and federal officials to request
action against the bookstore for selling
these controversial materials. His followers
also claim responsibility for bringing these
books to the Tennessee and Alabama prose-
cutors, resulting in the indictments against
the nation's largest bookstore chain. Similar
charges have proven unsuccessful because
prosecutors are not allowed to determine
what constitutes obscene material. Laws
against child pornography do not extend to
photographs that a certain part of society,
no matter how large or vocal, deems inap-
propriate or even provocative.
It is clear that Terry and other conservativ,-
figures have demanded legal action against
Barnes & Noble because their political and
religious persuasions oppose the content of
these books. But trying to restrict a politica
opponent's expression is an act of censorship-
Conservative religious groups have protested
outside the bookstore, some going so far as to
destroy copies of the books on the shelves. It
is perfectly acceptable to protest a bookstore
if its materials conflict with one's views. But
asking fellow citizens to not buy a publica-
tion differs immensely from asking the state
to eliminate its sale altogether.
Bringing complaints to a prosecutor
assumes that one's ideas overrule every
other opinion. Regardless of the protesters'
complaints, prosecutors should enforce the
law, not their own political crusade. The
Constitution is not subservient to political
pressures, a characteristic that protects
American democracy from the most critical
challenges. Additionally, society cannot
nrogress without genuine debate and reflec-

P rotesters
hurt their
own cause
In regard to the student
protesters who disrupted the
town hail meeting at Ohio
State University last week, I
don't think they realize how
much harm they actually did
to their own cause.
For instane the accusa-
tions by a student named TJ
on CNN that the United
States was motivated to
attack Iraq because of a prej-
udice against "people of
color" was just totally ridicu-
lous. Such displays damage
the credibility of the protest-
ers and marred the genuine
concerns of others.
But far more serious,
consider how Saddam
Hussein and his associates
probably viewed the whole
matter (they were watching
this, you know). ight
before his very eyes, he
sees an American public
largely condemning
President Clinton's plan to
strike Iraq. Clinton wouldn't
dare attack us without the
moral support of his own
people, he concludes.
perhaps convinced that he
now stands on stronger
ground than we do, e could
have refused to compromise
wih the tIN, weapons
inspections. And we could
atack, bombing buildings
that probably don't contain
the biological weapons we
are looking for and need-
lessly killing scores of inno-
cent Iraqi citizens in the
process. Irony of ironies,
the protesters may very well
precipitate the war they
wanted to prevent.
Miller has ane
unfair bias
against RAs
Let me begin by saying
that I enjoy reading James
Miller's column "Miller on
Tap"" His unique wit and
choice of subjects for com-
mentary make me both
despise him and laugh out
loud. Keep up the good work,
Having said that, I wish
to comment on a recurring
theme throughout Miller's
columns. It seems that
Miller has something against
resident advisers. I guess I
can't blame him for ridicul-
ing us - after all, every
columnist needs someone to
pick on, and we are an easy
target. U pperclassmen still
ling in the residence halls?
(Yes, they pay me to use that

spend their weekends
employing search and destroy
tactics regarding alcohol. Ido
admit that if we see it or sus-
pect it, we have to handle it.
It has been my experience
that most of those who have
been written up for such inci-
dents were seen walking
down the hall, beer in hand,
whispering oh so subtly,
"Here comes the RA!" If
Miller was one of these sub-
tle socialites, I apologize for
making him dump out his
beer. Rest assured that only
the really clever ones get
caught. There isn't a resident
staffer on this campus who
wouldn't rather ignore any
such situation and all of its
paperwork, but as I'm sure
you can appreciate, we're just
doing our job.
I was a resident adviser
for two years and am cur-
rently a resident director,
which I'm sure makes me an
even bigger nerd in your
eyes. (In Bursley, nonethe-
less - a triple whammy.) In
closing, I have just one
more thing to say: No! Not
the stipend! I don't need the
large apartment! I'll do it
just for the honor of sen-
tencing the residence hall
beer drinkers to cafeteria
Now, if you'll excuse me,
I have to get back to my
resume - actually have
something to put on it.
should take
part in MSA
This message is to inform
students that the Michigan
Student Assembly elections
process has begun! Elections
will be March 18 and 19.
Candidate packets are avail-
able in 3909 Michigan Union
and in the Administrative
Offices of the Pierpoint
Commons. Packets are due
back Feb. 27 by 5 p.m. to the
MSA Office. Any student is
eligible and encouraged to
run for election.
People ofen complain
that MSA lacks diversity. At
a school as committed to this
ideal as the University, it is a
shame that some feel this
same quality is not reflected
in its student government.
Now is the time to change
this perception. Many quali-
fied, enthusiastic potential
candidates do not run simply
because they do not know
they have the opportunity. I
urge all students to become a
part of these elections and
consider running. I also ask
that you spread the word
among others who may be
interested. Change only is

Daily should
give tobacco
accounts to
the Review
For some time now, we
have watched as controversy
erupted on the pages of the
Daily regarding the perni-
cious evil of tobacco adver-
tising. The Daily has appar-
ently felt that tobacco adver-
tising is such an important
and emotional topic that it
has devoted its main editori-
al space to not only con-
demn tobacco advertise-
ments but even its own busi-
ness staff for selling them.
In addition, the Daily has
repeatedly used its back
page to plant anti-tobacco
articles to "balance out" the
obvious lies and deception
present in the tobacco adver-
tising. We at The Michigan
Review feel that if the Daily
considers running tobacco
advertising that hideous and
offensive, then why not give
the advertising accounts for
tobacco to us? For that mat-
ter, if you have any free
samples piled up in a corner
of the Student Publications
Building somewhere, we'll
take those too. You could do
this immediately or you
could wait until after your
contract with U.S. Tobacco
runs out.
At the Review, we feel
that smoking tobacco and
using tobacco products is a
matter of personal choice.
We also feel our readers are
capable of making up their
own minds about whether or
not to smoke just as they
make up their minds about
whether to purchase any
other product. And you may
find it hard to believe, but
the majority of the Review's
editors like tobacco. Many
of us smoke, and God
knows we all need a few
cigarettes after reading the
latest installment of Joshua
Rich's or Paul Serilla's
By turning over the
accounts, the consciences of
Daily editors can rest easy
knowing that they will no
longer have to tarnish their
journalistic integrity by using
an entire page every week to
selectively print anti-tobacco
news stories.
No longer will the Daily
have to insult its readers'
intelligence by placing anti-
tobacco stories next to any
tobacco advertisement (as if
these ads carry subliminal,
hypnotic messages). And
most important of all, the
Daily news editors will again
have the back page of the
Thursday edition free to print
what they think is important:
how students study more dur-

American kids
are stepping up
to show the
world their stuff
After years of criticism, American
kids are on their way back up in the
eyes of the public. And I'm proud of us.
You can't turn on a TV or pick up
paper these days without seeing som
"expert" clucking
about the degrada-
tion of America's
youth. Anyone
would think that the
whole lot of
Americans aged 15
to 25 are binge-
drinking, pot-smok-
ing, rude, irreverent
brats. Seemingly ERIN
innocuous commer- MARSH
cials for products T l"
and services paint q
kids as silly, care-
less, gum-chewing, telephone-gossip
addicts. Whatever will they do with us?
We're constantly being told that we
aren't as smart, industrious, healthy or
ambitious as our neighbors overseas.
And even those of us who have chi
sen to pursue higher education are
fighting stereotypes. "Binge drinking"
stories are all over the news -usually
including plenty of incriminating
footage of smoky bars and wild parties.
Of course, there's rarely evidence of any
other side to the story, which leavesthe
public with this image of college stu-
dents as a bunch of lunatics. It's infuri-
ating to see the whole concept of "col-
lege" equated with slobbering, drunk
louts hanging out of windows at som
Toga State Teachers' College.
Especially when I think of how hard
most of us are working to make some-
thing of our lives. We've been misrepre-
sented lately and it just isn't fair.
But things are looking up. No one can
ignore the power of American youths'
accomplishments - or they won't be
able to for long. American kids are shin-
ing. It's time to devote some attention
the bright side.
U.S. figure skaters Tara Lipinski and
Michelle Kwan demonstrated skill and
grace beyond their years at the Winter
Olympics in Nagano. At age 15,
Lipinski is now the youngest woman to
take the gold in Olympic ladies' figure
skating, and she set another record
when she clinched the 1997 World
Championships in Lausanne,
Switzerland, last year. Twenty-two-yea
old downhill moguls skier Jon
Moseley brought home the gold, as did
26-year-old Picabo Street in the
women's super '0.' To win her gold
medal, women's freestyle skiing champ
26-year-old Nikki Stone screamed
down a jump, soared toward the sky, and
flipped around in the air a few times for
good measure. All of these young
American athletes are the best of the
best, performing on the world's playi
field for millions to see.
And there are more. But it sure does-
n't end with sports.
Now playing in theaters near you,
check out the Oscar-nominated film
"Good Will Hunting," written by
Hollywood youngsters Matt Damon
(who was also nominated in the Best
Actor category for his work in the film)
and Ben Affleck (who can count hit
films "Chasing Amy" and "Clerks"
already under his belt). 41
Even closer to home lives Fiona
Rose, the University student who won a
coveted Rhodes Scholarship earlier this

Sports. Arts. Academics. The kids are
taking them all on. They're performing
brilliantly incredibly early in life when
you consider that at 15, Tara hasn't even
graduated from high school and by 26,
few of us who are graduate school bou
will even be close to collecting a Ph. 4
As a result, at the age of 21, I'm
beginning to feel old. And I'm wonder-
ing if there's.a way that we kids can gain
some respect for ourselves without hav-
ing to break records or outperform our
In the movie "Singles," (which came
out when "grunge" was still cool)
Bridget Fonda says, "I'm 23.
Remember how old 23 seemed when
you were little? I mean, I thought peog
were going to be traveling in air locks,
and I would have five kids.
"But here I am - 23. Things are basi-
cally the same. I think time is running
out to do something bizarre.
Somewhere around 25, 'bizarre'
becomes 'immature."'
Interesting food for thought. Can we
still have the privilege of youthful spon-
taneity without facing unduly harsh
judgment? And if we do show the wo*
that we can do something great while
we're young, will we be stuck with con-
stantly having to prove ourselves?
Because when your standard, pinnacle-
of-a-lifetime accomplishments come
before you can buy beer or enjoy

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