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March 24, 1998 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1998-03-24

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4- The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, March 24, 1998

UZbe £tirign &g t

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

Editor in Chief
Editorial Page Editor

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.
Be flexible
Eliminating Inteflex would limit students' options

'I think if there wasn't another independent slate,
Friedrichs would have won. We should get a
(gift) basket from the Students' Party.'
- LSA junior and former MSA presidential candidate
Ferris Hussein, on the results of last week's election
BluTus1 loo BAD A ouT
\ ME

Prospective University students who
hope to gain admittance to the
Medical School through the Inteflex pro-
gram may soon find that they no longer
have that option. The program, which
allows 35 first-year students to receive
their bachelors' and medical degrees in
eight years through one program, is cur-
rently facing elimination because of con-
cerns that its existence keeps the needs of
other pre-medical students from being
met. It is currently under evaluation and
- faces an uncertain future - the decision
on what to do with the program has been
delayed. But the Inteflex program has been
successful; although all pre-medical stu-
dents deserve access to the same caliber
education, if the program has faults, it
should be reformed, not eliminated.
While Inteflex of one of the
University's much-touted but academical-
ly restrictive living-learning programs, it
differs significantly from most of its
counterparts. Most of the programs
require participating students to live in a
designated residence hall, thus trapping
then into a situation where they may be
unable to grow academically and socially.
Inteflex students, on the other hand, are
not required to live in a particular resi-
dence hall -removing the most constrict-
ing component from the program. If an
Inteflex student decided half-way through
their first semester to major in English,
they would not be trapped in the same
manner that other living-learning students
may be.
The Inteflex program has been quite
successful in educating future physicians.
Eliminating it would take away a great
opportunity from students who hope to go

into the medical profession, and the
University should offer students as many
academic options as possible. If there is a
discrepancy between the education of
Inteflex students and other pre-medical
students, the solution should be to equal-
ize the programs, not to eliminate one of
them. Inteflex and non-Inteflex students
alike would be hurt by the program's
removal. In addition, the Inteflex program
does not preclude a strong pre-medical
curriculum for students outside of the pro-
gram. It is possible to keep Inteflex and
still take greater care to meet the needs of
other pre-medical students.
The University has a vast array of med-
ical resources that make it especially well-
suited for .a rigorous pre-medical program
like Inteflex. It would be a waste not to take
advantage of these resources for accelerated
training and education. In addition, there
are no significant advantages to eliminating
the program. While some have claimed that
the program is a poor use of University
resources, it does offer a unique learning
environment for students interested in an
advanced pre-medical education.
It is important that the University offer
as many academic options as possible to
its students. Inteflex may serve an addi-
tional service by attracting high-quality
students to the University - benefiting
the entire campus's academic reputation. It
may be helpful to change the pre-medical
curriculum so that it would meet the needs
of non-Inteflex students as well, but it is
not necessary to eliminate Inteflex.
Although it is also important that non-
Inteflex students are not overlooked,
retaining Inteflex would be more benefi-
cial than eliminating it.

Large chains threaten to limit book offerings

W ith the possible exception of the
Internet, the most important source
of information today is published text. The
sheer diversity of authors, publishers and
bookstores guarantees material on any
topic of interest. While recent trends
toward larger bookstore chains, such as
Borders Group, Inc., and Barnes & Noble,
have improved customer service and satis-
faction, a lawsuit filed in California claims
that these national chains use unfair mar-
keting practices. The American
Booksellers Association and 25 indepen-
dent bookstores, the plaintiffs in the
antitrust suit, allege that Borders and
Barnes & Noble receive illegal price
advantages from publishers. They request-
ed that the court enforce antitrust codes
against the national chains not only to pro-
tect consumers' pockets but also to reverse
the rapid dissolution of independent book-
stores. The U.S. District Court ought to
take the importance of a heterogeneous
bookstore industry into account when
determining whether these discounts from
publishers violates antitrust laws.
The primary complaint in the lawsuit
claims that the large national chains
demand discounts from publishers. Since
the chains command a significant portion
of the market, they have the capability to
pressure the publishers for special privi-
leges, which the plaintiffs believe are injuri-
ous to small, independent competitors.
Against the power and size of. the large
chains, smaller competitors have a poor
chance for survival. But one should not
limit the issue to unfair pricing practices.
After all, the larger chains have made print-
ed material more accessible and cheaper to

the consumer through fair competition. But
the present patterns in the industry will
likely lead to conditions that will not favor
the consumer at all.
A result of the alleged discounts is clos-
er relationships between the bookstores and
publishers. The plaintiffs claim publishers
consult the large chains regarding a pro-
posed publication before offering the author
a contract. By dominating the market, these
large chains are gradually deciding which
books will make it into print. This trend
toward consolidation and vertical integra-
tion severely threatens the selection of
books that may be available in the future.
The appealing bookstores and reasonable
prices are hardly an adequate price to pay
for the potential decline of independent
bookstores or unattached publishers.
Naturally, publishers always will consider a
book's marketability, but the alleged dis-
counts gradually empower the large chains
to make the publishers' decisions for them.
In addition to the potential decline in selec-
tion, these discounts do not guarantee low
prices in the future. Eliminating the smaller
stores, as well as dictating publishing deci-
sions, will turn the large bookstore chains into
an oligopoly. With tacit agreements between
themselves, they will have the power to raise
prices and restrict availability as they please
- a likely result of the current trend.
Finally, independent bookstores serve
the consumer somewhat differently than
Borders or Barnes & Noble. Independents
can shelf risky titles that the chains might
reject due to public protest. Although lower
prices are not their primary goal, indepen-
dent bookstores offer customer more
options. The courts must take the unique

Hockey fans'
behavior was
I am writing to express
my dismay over the horrible
behavior of many of the fans
at the Michigan hockey game
on March 14. No one could
accuse us of winning with
I have never been so
embarrassed to call myself a
Wolverine as I was at this
game. At any given hockey
game, there are many exam-
ples to illustrate my point
such as "they still suck" or
the utterly stupid litany that
follows "C-Ya." But I have
never been so angry at this
behavior as I was after March
I believe it is safe to say
that most of the blame for
this falls on the students sit-
ting on the east sideline. In
addition to the "normal"
rudeness, these students had
the extreme bad grace and
audacity to start a cheer that
rhymes with "Luck the Irish."
Then, to make it worse, many
people decided it was neces-
sary to punctuate the win by
throwing cups at the Notre
Dame players after the game.
To anyone who participat-.
ed in this ridiculous display:
How dare you malign our
school in such a rude and
uncalled-for manner?
Anytime you are at a
sporting event, you become a
representative of our school
to the outside world. We have
a great tradition of excellence
in academics and athletics,
but we fall woefully short in
terms of sportsmanship.
While our team members
were playing their hearts out
to bring credit to our school
and win for us, these "fans"
were doing their best to dis-
credit us. What do you think
those visitors from Notre
Dame are going to tell every-
one on their campus about
us? It won't be complimenta-
ry, I assure you.
Please remember that
being the "Leaders and Best"
means more than just win-
ning a game or even a nation-
al title. It is also your respon-
sibility to improve the image
of our school at every oppor-
tunity. Show some class!
Please think before you shoot
off your mouths in the future!
action will not
end racism
I think Ward Connerly is
dead wrong when he calls for

As a white student from a
middle-class background, I
have benefited from a series
of privileges, including edu-
cation, that I find it all-too-
easy not to acknowledge.
Because I recognize that my
academic achievements are
strongly rooted in my privi-
leged status from the
moment of my birth as a
white child, I don't accept
that test scores "objectively"
measure my worth as a stu-
dent here.
Thankfully, the
University recognizes that as
well and doesn't put all of its
eggs in the basket of admis-
sion test scores and GPAs.
Nonetheless, with such a
large applicant pool, these
scores must play a partial
role in admissions. I believe
that U of M recognizes that
discrimination, not lack of
merit, is why blacks and
other minorities at all class
levels have across-the-board
lower test scores than white
students, and this is why the
University permits a lower
cut-off rate for minority
applicants. Like any other
public policy, this one is
imperfect, but opposing it
will not end racism.
Stop printing
action letters
Could the Daily please
stop printing the affirmative
action letters?
The "debate" on affirma-
tive action has essentially
turned into a shouting match
between two groups of peo-
ple who are so far apart on
the political spectrum that
neither can hear the other
group, but they are sure of
their correctness.
team was a
On behalf of Michigan's
quiz bowl team, I would like
to thank the Daily for its cov-
erage of our recent success.
The Daily's article ("'U' quiz
bowl team victorious at
regionals, advances to nation-
als," 3/9/98) was welcomed
recognition for a program
that has been very successful
throughout the academic
We would like to add
that the article neglected to
mention team member
Ravin Garg and coach
Michelle Innde Gars

Day of action
was important
for students
We would like to chal-
lenge the validity of Scott
Bullock's arguments in
response to the letter "Day of
action did not make sense"
(3/10/98). First, he tries to
explain that he did not under-
stand the methods used by
affirmative action supporters
during the National Day of
Action - but this day was a
perfect forum to express the
support from the students.
We constantly show support
for all sports, but how many
students show support for the
admissions policies that
allow all of them to have
national-champion sports
teams. He also stated that the
day of action's organizers
were "... holding rap con-
certs under the guise of ral-
lies." This statement is both
incorrect and misleading. Not
only was Bullock mistaken to
the lyrics of the cheer, but he
was also not aware of the his-
torical significance of group
cheering. I am sure that he
knows the Michigan fight
song, "The Victors!" The
purpose of group cheering
and chanting is to show
group unity for a specific
entity. To inform Bullock, the
cheer went as follows: "Hey!
Ho! Affirmative action will
not go!" It would be benefi-
cial to be correct on facts
before you criticize.
The National Day of
Action was proposed by the
respectable Jesse Jackson and
recognized by institutions
across the country. The day
was not implemented to pur-
posely conflict with the
University's midterm sched-
ule. How selfish is the idea
that a national day would cen-
ter around students' midterms?
Is not a national issue more
important than one's personal
education? Is not the educa-
tion of the future of millions
of people more important than
one's midterm? On a holistic
level (where Bullock failed to
think), affirmative action has
great implications beyond that
single day. We are protesting
to give educational opportuni-
ties to future children. If
Bullock would have put aside
his selfish and egotistical atti-
tude for one hour and attended
the rally, he would have heard
high school students pleading
to have a chance to attend col-
lege and succeed in life. Yet I
saw countless college students
ignoring this national issue.
The students of the University
need to realize that we are all
affected by affirmative action.
It is a fact that white women
have benefited the most from
affirmative action. This is not
a white-and-black issue, but a
societal issue.
Mr. Bullock, you need to
educate yourself before you

We don't need
replays to enjoy
the Wolverines
C ome September, Michigan
Stadium will once again be herald-
ed as the largest college football venue
in the nation. We will have the largest
crowd in college football history and we
will be embarking on the defense of our
national championship.
Fans also will be
greeted by two
large video score-
boards at either end
of the stadium
bringing replays, ,
flashing lights and .
unending "enter-
tainment" into the
den of the mighty
Approved by theJos
regents on Friday, WHITE
the new score- JUMV N
boards are touted
as the instruments
that will bring Michigan "into the
future," according to Athletic Director
Tom Goss. They are supposed to
enhance the game and make each week
a better experience for all in atten-
An official in the athletic departmen
added that he thinks "when you look at
the way our society is, we get bored
very quickly. This is an opportunity to
keep interest throughout the entire game
Funny, I thought watching the best
football team in America was entertain-
ment enough.
Don't get me wrong - I don't think
there is anything inherently wrong with
video scoreboards. In fact, such board
are used all over the country in arenas
and stadiums of all shapes and sizes,
from small hockey rinks to the Rose
Bowl. Having replays, video presenta-
tions and useful statistics no doubt will
change the face of watching a game at
Michigan Stadium.
That is, however, exactly what I fear
is going to happen; the way we watch
Michigan football will forever be
altered and will never be recovere4
By entering the world of video score-
boards we will lose what makes
watching a Michigan football game so
great: the fact that it is a football
I have seen what happens to the great-
est stadiums in the world when altered
by the new "entertainment-minded"
philosophies of those who think they
can make a buck in every corner of
every venue. The historic Bostog
Garden gave way to the FleetCenter,
with its flashy pregame laser shows,
full-color, live-action video screens and
blaring music. The United Center bares
little to no resemblance to the days of
old in Chicago. And it doesn't stop in
the pros.
Attending the Michigan-Boston
College game in Chestnut Hill, Mass.,
two years ago, I was appalled by the use
of the video scoreboards during
Michigan possessions: On the two
screens, both facing the opposite end
zone, a series of bright flashes with the
words "Signal Deafening Noise" would
run during each set of downs - a dis-
traction for the visiting team's quarter-
back and a headache for fans. This may
be the route we take.
One ofthe greatest things about
Michigan Stadium is that there is noth-
ing on the field save for the hash mark
- not even a block 'M' or a Wolverir
on the 50-yard line - and the classic
"Michigan" stenciled in each end zone.

There is no advertising inside the stadi-
um, the bricks and the fans and the field
is all we get to see. The marquee attrac-
tion is the contest and all eyes areon the
field for the whole game.
I don't buy the "it'll-be-better-
to-do-during-timeouts" crap. I al s
don't buy the idea that we all need to se
each controversial play 14 times on the
replay board. There has always been
something comforting in knowing that
there wouldn't be a replay in Michigan
Stadium, that the call just stands and
let's play the game.
These new boards will also take
something specialout of celebrations.
Imagine the Woodson runback touch-
down against Ohio State had there been
a video scoreboard. All eyes would havy
been locked to the boards to see the
wonderful feat again and again, and we
would have been looking for his emo-
tion on the screen and not on the field.
Our energies would not have been with
each other but they would have been a
few hundred feet above us.
And why pay attention to the game? If
you can catch every play a few seconds
after it happens, why even bother seeing
it the first time? Better yet, why not ju.
stay at home and watch the whole game
on television and save yourself from that
long, cold walk to the stadium?
Sure, it won't ruin the game entirely,
but something will certainly be amiss.
President Bollinger said that he doesn't

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