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March 27, 1998 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1998-03-27

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4 - The Michigan Daily - Friday, March 27, 1998

c 17E irbtiguu~ &i

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.
Clinical curnculum
Academic decisions need a hands-on approach

Parents and advisers love to discuss the
value of a hands-on education and
real-world experiences. But over-zealous
academic advisers are now not the only
ones touting the values of research or
internships as part of an academic curricu-
lum. Last Friday, the University Board of
Regents passed a change to its bylaws that
would allow non-tenured Medical School
professors to vote on curriculum, employ-
ment, promotions and budget decisions
within the school. This improvement
would aid a diverse analysis of the Medical
School's curriculum and facilitate needed
additions to their academic planning.
The abruptness with which the regents
pushed this change through has strained
relations between the faculty and adminis-
tration. The Senate Advisory Committee
on University Affairs wanted the vote on
this matter to be delayed for faculty dis-
cussion, and they complain that not
enough time was given between their being
informed of the possible change and the
regents voting on it.
All Medical School faculty, whether
tenured or not, will now aid in academic
decisions that affect students' classroom
and real-world experiences at the
University's Medical School. But changes
that affect faculty, administration and stu-
dents alike need to be handled with more
compromise from both sides.
Even though this change only affects the
Medical School, the regents' bylaws apply
to the entire University. SACUA is con-
cerned that the bylaw change will give the
University leave to decrease the number of
faculty granted tenure. This is not the aim,
nor would it be advantageous for the
University to do so.

Non-tenured faculty arguably have as
much to offer the University as do tenured
faculty. This is true of most departments
but especially so in the Medical School,
where both clinical-track and research-
track faculty are untenured. Both of these
groups have the clinical, hospital-oriented
research experience essential to benefit the
Medical School's curriculum. In compari-
son to most tenured faculty members,
these types of faculty may often have more
knowledge of current, up-to-date practices
and the ability to apply theoretical knowl-
edge to the field more readily.
In addition, it is beneficial for the
administration to endow faculty with a
stake in the University's future. Faculty,
whether tenured or not, teaching, practic-
ing or researching, contribute to the
University's academic mission. As con-
tributors, it makes sense that all faculty
be allowed to vote in matters that involve
them, regardless of tenure status.
Possessing the power to influence any or
all of the issues will more than likely
result in a more dedicated and involved
group of untenured faculty.
These faculty members contribute to
the University whether given a vote or not;
if voting privileges would give them a
more vested interest in the University, the
contribution would be even more benefi-
cial and would satisfy both the faculty and
the administration. While the change is
good, both faculty and administration
should have been working together to
facilitate its proceedings. The tension that
the abruptness of the change created does
no good for University officials' relations
with professors or for the University as a

'As of this time, no wrongdoings have been
established. The board will attempt to either
substantiate or refute these allegations.'
- Part of the statement released Tuesday night by Elections Director Rajeshri
Gandhi, regarding the alleged violations of MSA election proceedings
Y U~i~OUR JEW ro OA~t r5Cen ."
WM r T1A
Wf S AY.
Ci~to7 rvipmb, nuM
Daily iCeS 1yelow jouralim

I truly am dismayed by the Daily's coverage
in the article "Allegations taint election"
(3/25/98). 1 have spent four years on this cam-
pus as a hard-working leader trying to further
the lives and visions of students and student
groups. In those four years, on more than one
occasion, whether in class, at home or even
while working in student groups, I have heard
people bash the Daily for its inadequate cover-
age, errors and weak journalism. Working with
the Daily over these years and meeting and
seeing the hard work and commitment that the
Daily staff puts into its paper, I took those neg-
ative comments personally. I stood up for the
Daily every time and told those people to give
the Daily a break - after all, a few typos do
not undermine a truly great paper. Yet now,
with heavy heart, I know those days of defend-
ing the Daily are over. I have finally joined
forces with the critics of the Daily and am very
sad to say that the newspaper has proven itself
For whatever reason, the Daily has stooped
to the basest level of yellow journalism. The
pursuit of sensationalism and the utter disre-
gard for ethics and morals is purely evident in
this article. The Daily has chosen to under-
mine and question the integrity of our student
government, without fact and in a true muck-
raking fashion. It has printed an article in
which a source alleges some wrongdoing, and
the basis for this allegation is very weak. The
Daily has but one source to substantiate this
claim, and yet the source remains anonymous.
One can only speculate why, but the anonymi-
ty of this person speaks volumes to me. It sug-
gests that they are afraid of being confronted
with reality, of being exposed as untruthful,
among other things. I suppose this conclusion
is just as irrelevant as the Daily's but hell if
they can do it, so can I.
Furthermore, if one reads this article - if
one can get past the incriminating headlines -
they will realize that the Daily has undermined
its whole article. The Daily provides more

sources upholding the reality of the situation,
which is that MSA president-elect Trent
Thompson did nothing wrong. Three sources,
including Thompson himself, attest that noth-
ing wrong had been done. The only real nega-
tive source in this article is undermined by
another anonymous witness saying, "It was
implied that if you were going to vote, you
would vote for Trent Thompson." Something is
either said or it is implied. It cannot be both,
and yet this anonymous source has stated that
Thompson did do this and then another source
that it was "implied." Well, Mr or Ms.
Anonymous, which one is it?
I would accept this article if it were based
in fact or provided cogent facts as to what
actually did occur, but since it does not, I can
only say that this article reeks of so many
things. It reeks of an irresponsible editor in
chief, Laurie Mayk, who has chosen to further
her editorship through tabloid journalism. It
reeks of an irresponsible reporter, Gerard
Cohen-Vrignaud, who has written a story
with little or no support to his concluding
headline. It reeks of naked ambition that
would make Woodward and Bernstein blush.
Yet this naked ambition is clothed and veiled
under the pretenses of solid news.
I still have respect for many of the writers
and editors at the Daily with whom I have
worked over the years, but they should realize
that it is their duty to pressure these bad ele-
ments into writing responsible news. If not, you
will only be adding ballast to a sinking ship.
I write this not in defense or in fear of scan-
dal but truly in the idealistic sense because I
fear that a credible and hard-working student
government must fight an uphill battle to
regain the hearts and minds of the University.
If this is so, then my hard work and my visions
have truly been crushed by the oppressive hand
of an irresponsible press.
Michael Nagrant is the president of the
Michigan Student Assembly and can be
reached over e-mail at mjnagran@umich.edu.

What do I have
to do to get you *
in a car today?'
T here are few things in the con-
sumer world as enigmatic as buy-
ing a used car. It's an important deci-
sion. First, you are going to spend a
whole lot of
money that you
probably don't.
really have.
Second, this vehi-
cle is likely to
become a sort of . °'~
second home, .
especially if you
have a long, daily
commute or have
to travel great dis-
tances a few times PAUL
a year. Last, no SERILLA
matter how much ' l A
you know about W____ FARE_
cars or how much
research you do, you have the distinct
feeling that you are being ripped off.
Of course, all of these things are true
of a new car purchase as well - the
main difference is, well, used cars aren't
new. In fact, even when you buy the
used car direct from the owner, you
have a very limited idea of where that
car has been.
Sure, the classified ad says it was just
used to get to and from work, but what
line of work is this so-called "car
owner" in anyway? Maybe he's an
accountant, but maybe he's the head of
an international drug cartel, and the
next time you get pulled over, the cop is
going to rip the door panel off of your
'86 Cutlass and there will be several
kilos of crack the previous owner forgot
to dispose of. Even worse, the last
owner's chihuahua might have marked
the back seat as his territory, a fact that
will remain undiscovered until July
when the air conditioning conks out.
OK, so I might be a little paranoid,
but as you probably have guessed, I am
in the process of looking for a used car.
I need a car; I want a car; but frankly,
the whole process of even looking for
one has done very little to instill trust in
my fellow man.
Take this one Saturday a few weeks
ago. My Dad and I were driving to used
car dealerships in the area - we had a
price range in mind, a little bit of
research under our belts and a couple of
models we were going to keep an eye
out for; should be easy, right? Well, not
exactly. I mean, does anyone really
know if a '94 Coupe with 25,000 miles
is better than a '95 Sedan with 20,000
miles? I guess it ultimately is just a mat-
ter of taste, which should only make the
decision easier, right?
Enter the used car salesperson. Sure,
they don't all wear toupees, bad ties and
act like they are trying to pick you up at
some sleazy singles bar, but they are
really good at justifying any misgivings
you might have about giving any
amount of money to their business. The
funny thing is, there are really only a
couple of styles these folks follow.
First, there is the really low-key sales-
person. No pressure, buy a car, don't
buy a car - "Hey, can I get you a
doughnut, maybe some coffee?" They
like to talk about side-impact beams,
warranties and affordability. They aren't
like your typical car dealer, but that's
what makes them so insidious. They
seem so nonchalant, but it's just another
way to get under you skin - not by
brow beating you into a high-priced car,
but by appearing objective. Today, most
people don't want to say, "I bought a carO
'cause I like green and it has a CD play-
er." These dealers play off a disguise of

rationality, and just like any other deal-
er, persuade you to drive off in a car that
is just as likely to be a lemon as a win-
Second, there is the salesman who is
your best friend. My Dad and I rolled up
into one dealership, looked around and
talked with the sales rep for a while.
Despite his slicked-back hair and full
tan in the midst of a snow storm, he
seemed OK - even pointing out that
for college-aged drivers, insurance rates
are significantly higher on two-door
cars than they are on four-door cars.
But then we made a fatal mistake -
we actually expressed interest in a car.
Suddenly, our salesman "friend" could
no longer contain himself, he smelled
blood and was ready to pounce. He told
us how the price was pretty firm, but
that if he "beat up on his boss for a
while" he might bepable to knock a few
bucks off the sticker. He proceeded to
try to buddy up to us and describe his
boss in unflattering terms (if what he
said was true, I think the manager used
to run a military dictatorship in Central
America), as if somehow he didn't want
a sale, but instead, really enjoyed screw-
ing the dealership.
I've known the guy 10 minutes and
I'm suppose to believe this line of
crap? He might as well have said, "You
know, the great and powerful lot
manger could cut off my tongue for
saying this, but I think we could save
you a couple hundred dollars. In fact,

U npres item
Boy Scouts' policy harms its members

D iscrimination against gays and les-
bians is a major problem in our soci-
ety, as this year's steep rise in hate crimes
against people of gay, lesbian, bisexual and
transgendered orientation at the University
and nationwide reveals. The new ruling by
the California Supreme Court allowing the
Boy Scouts of America to bar gay members
from its organization, while legal, will do
nothing to alleviate this social malady and
will instead serve to propagate intolerance
in the next generation.
In a pair of unanimous decisions, the
California Supreme Court ruled March 23
that the Boy Scouts of America has the right
to set their own membership policies
because it is a private club rather than a
public organization. Had the group been
classified as a public organization, the
Scouts would have been subject to the
state's civil-rights laws and the rights of
gays in the Boy Scouts may have been pro-
tected. The rulings affirmed the right of the
Boy Scouts to exclude gays, agnostics, and
atheists from its membership.
But the Boy Scouts' victory is more than
dubious. The organization has been influenc-
ing impressionable boys for decades. But
because of this ruling, the Boy Scouts will be
allowed to continue the trend of homophobia
and intolerance that already plagues the
nation rather than aiding in the prevention of
future social problems. Instead of teaching
children to accept others regardless of sexual
orientation or religious beliefs, the organiza-
tion has fought for and, in the state of
California, won the right to practice discrimi-
nation and narrow-mindedness.
The Scouts' policy is, according to the
state's laws, legal. The California court
ruled that the Boy Scouts, in spite of their
n..an+.na of eaain a- cn~p nndc, tthem nh_1

lic, is primarily a private social organiza-
tion to which the state's civil rights law
does not apply. And as a private organiza-
tion, the Scouts can dictate admissions
standards that include such requirements
as religion and sexuality. But regardless of
the legality of the Scout's private or public
status, problems remain. The Scouts have
decided to dictate a policy of ignorance
and hate to a nation of young boys who
join the Scouts looking not only for fun
and friendship, but also to learn from their
role models and build a better sense of
Similar challenges to the discriminatory
practices of the Boy Scouts organization
have been made nationwide with varied
results. In addition to the California ruling,
a New Jersey appeals court ruled on a sim-
ilar case earlier this month that the Boy
Scouts, as a public accommodation, cannot
discriminate on the basis of sexual orienta-
tion. The Chicago Human Relations
Commission also ruled that such discrimi-
nation violated the city's anti-discrimina-
tion ordinance. These decisions hold the
Scouts to a legal level by which most orga-
nizations today are bound. While the Scouts
is an organization with tremendous tradi-
tion and a strong following, its members
will benefit more from a widening of diver-
sity and acceptance than the recent closing
of its doors.
The Boy Scouts intend to appeal the New
Jersey case to the United States Supreme
Court if necessary, but until a national ruling
is handed down, it is incumbent upon the Boy
Scouts of America to realize the error of their
policies. It is the organization's duty to teach
its scouts to "always be prepared" to face the
world's diverse reality - that includes gays,


Online poll
could reveal
'U"s feelings
I think that the Daily
should create some kind of
online poll to find out what
students at the University
think about the affirmative-
action debate that consumes
campus. No, actually just cre-
ate a poll asking a yes-or-no
question and then print the
results. Itaseems to me that
only the affirmative-action
supporters are voicing their
opinions; in other words, they
are the loudest. It would be
interesting to find out what
the general University view
is, not just what those few
loud mouths have to say. The
way Ward Connerly was
treated when he spoke at the
University was very disturb-
ing. It seemed to me that he
stressed an end to race-biased
preference in admissions so
that a socioeconomic-based
system could take its place.
Any person with an average
amount of logic would find
that this is more than just the
present system. Basically, I
just want to know what the
supporting and opposing
aff'irmative actioln nercent-

$432,000. Where does the
extra $32,000 go? The five
dollars for three semesters
would equal $540,000, and
that's $140,000 more than it
would cost to collect the
signatures. What up with
Athletic Dept.
does not
know 'what it
takes to win'
After reading the Daily's
articles about the Michigan
basketball team's disgusting
loss to UCLA, I find it curi-
ous that the writers chose to
focus on how poorly Louis
Bullock played, which was
necessary, but never men-
tioned the fact that Rob Reid
was on fire all game but the
team didn't manage to get
him the ball down the stretch.
Louis Bullock shot about 26
percent - a most John
Starks-like performance in a
huge game. Not only did he
shoot poorly, but he also
made bad decisions about his

Lavin. Ellerbe was there only
because the University
screwed up and broke the
rules. Steve Fisher - an
experienced tournament
coach - wasn't there to keep
the University's team focused
and organized. I don't blame
Ellerbe; he did a great job to
get the team as far as he did
and to win the Big Ten
Tournament.hThe University
should be ashamed of itself.
Administrators thought they
got away with one when
Steve Fisher was made a
scapegoat. They were wrong.
Michigan lost an NCAA
tournament game on national
TV that it should have won
... again.
Thank God for Lloyd
Carr and Red Berenson. At
least someone at the
University's Athletic
Department knows what it
takes to win a championship.
Daily overuses
its photos
Does the Daily ever send
photographers to the men's

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