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March 31, 1998 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1998-03-31

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4 -The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, March 31, 1998

c I e ,9llCitf igttn ttil

NCAA 'rule'
amounts to


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

Editor in Chief
Editorial Page Editor

'If they do come down In May, they absolutely
will be driven out of town again.'
- Shanta Driver, a member of the Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action by Any
Means Necessary, on the Ku Klux Klan's plans for a rally in Ann Arbor on May 9

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
UHlf ti e h iuIits
'U' should expand use of midterm evaluations


TiTM) I-


_ Y

S tudents at the University wishing to
criticize their classes often lack a forum
to voice their concerns during the semester.
A group of LSA students, along with the
LSA student government, recently pro-
posed a plan to distribute midterm-evalua-
tion forms that would give students an out-
let to express their views on their profes-
sors' performances. This initiative to
increase the interaction between faculty and
students should be implemented throughout
LSA and expanded to the entire University.
Students presently have only one
University-provided method to express
their concerns about a class - at the end of
the semester. By that point, students can no
longer help themselves -- helping out the
next semester's class is the only incentive to
fill out these forms. Without any self-inter-
est, many students choose not to fill out the
If students are unsatisfied with the course
they are taking halfway through the semester,
their only option is to talk to the instructor
face to face. While this may not intimidate
some students, others could find it difficult to
summon the nerve to speak out and criticize
the person who controls their grade. An
anonymous form provides the security neces-
sary for these students to contribute their
Halfway through the term, students have
time to positively affect their performance in
each of their classes. Often, the greater por-
tion of a student's grade stems from the sec-
ond half of the semester. With the opportuni-
ty these evaluations provide, students may
alert their professors to such common prob-
lems as breezing through material at too
brisk a pace or concentrating on details that
complicate important concepts. If such sug-
gestions clear away problems felt early in the

course, students will see the benefit in their
GPA and how much they gain from the
course at the end of the semester.
Professors should welcome the views of
their students: Through their students' sug-
gestions, professors can fine tune their teach-
ing methods. Those instructing a course may
not be able to see a problem that distracts
from their material. With a great deal of stu-
dent feedback, professors can locate com-
mon troubles their students experience.
When evaluating a course, students
should not overlook the opportunity to praise
the aspects they feel strengthen a course and
best represent the material being taught.
Praising the instructor's ideas that facilitate
learning can only encourage him or her to
use these methods. A student paying a com-
pliment anonymously can feel secure that
they do not look like they are sucking up.
The LSA administration supports the pro-
posal to distribute midterm evaluations to
students and plan to distribute the forms to
faculty with the purpose of expanding the
program. One important aspect of any form
they choose to distribute University-wide -
and a problem the current semester-end eval-
uation system has - is that it should con-
centrate on student comments rather than
scantron answers rating pre-determined cate-
gories. Bubbled-in ratings damage the credi-
bility of the forms. Qualitative measures,
rather than mere statistics, must be the goal.
Students and faculty should recognize
this as a mutually beneficial proposal.
Instructors should voluntarily provide the
forms, and students owe it to them to fill out
these forms with thoughtful, constructive
comments. If both faculty and students
work together, the forms can streamline the
academic experience to produce better,
more fulfilling results for both parties.

OC K- A T m e N t ow
c, S' rM t? 9-R 1 NG.i
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To protect and serve
AAPD, DPS must evaluate role in community

T here is an old stereotype of police offi-
cers who "walk the beat" for many
years, get "flat feet," and ultimately move to
jobs behind desks where their minds
become more exercised than their legs. That
old story has become associated 'with a
long-gone era. In the past few decades, a
new stereotype has come out, with cops
spending their time eating doughnuts in
their prowlers, only being removed from
their beat after they wrongly abuse a citizen.
Recently, allegations of racism and
favoritism by the Ann Arbor Police
Department and the University's
Department of Public Safety have surfaced.
These claims have damaged the generally
amicable and peaceful atmospheres of the
Ann Arbor and University communities.
The alleged mistreatment of students of
color by the AAPD and DPS has left an
indelible mark on the minds of many citi-
zens. For many, the image of the depart-
ments may have changed from a group of
role models who "serve and protect" to a
band of racists who are given the power to
do what they please. The AAPD and DPS
must now try to regain the respect and
stature they once had in the community.
Both departments should begin by hold-
ing discussions between leaders of minority
groups and police officials. These groups
should share their experiences and previous
problems. They should then work to find a
common ground, where each understands
the other's stance and can learn from what is
said. In the end, if there is a better under-
standing of both parties' opinions, they can
work together effectively. Law enforcement
will not be effective if citizens and police

better communication - the AAPD and
DPS must change the role they play in the
community, even if it means finding more
officers and giving them new duties. The two
police units must work to become more pos-
itive and active members of the community.
For many students, the police only become
relevant when one drives over the speed
limit, parks illegally or attends a loud party.
The police therefore are always put in a posi-
tion of regulation and unwanted surveil-
lance. While these forms of regulation are
necessary, they should not be the sole - or
most apparent - function of a group whose
purpose is to protect people from harm.
The AAPD and DPS should spend more
time walking the streets and policing residen-
tial neighborhoods. With more officers visible,
would-be criminals would become more reluc-
tant to steal and harass - the chance of
offenders getting caught becomes greater.
Aside from the possibility of lower crime rates
in many neighborhoods, citizens will feel safer
walking the streets that are under thorough
watch. The actions of the police will become
more understandable if the police become a
greater positive force in the community. What
was once a department that seemed to only
harass civilians could become a department
that helps deter crime and in doing so, comes
across as respectful and caring.
Assuming that the allegations of police
racism are true, it will take a lot of time and
effort to ameliorate the situation. In the mean
time, the police departments in Ann Arbor
should spend more time performing two of
their main duties: getting to know the citi-
zens in the community and preventing crime
before it occurs. Only through more visibili-

MSA does
not deserve
any attention
Quite frankly, I am a bit
irritated about the March 25
front page article in the Daily
regarding the Michigan
Student Assembly voting
allegations ("Allegations taint
MSA elections"). The reason
for my concern is that I don't
feel that the MSA is deserv-
ing of a front page article
ever! The facts are that a
small portion of the student
body actually voted in the
MSA election, and of those
people, a smaller portion
were actually serious about
their votes. Thus leading us
to believe that the majority of
the student body doesn't care
about who won the MSA
election. This is because
MSA does very little for the
student body. Let Trent
Thompson have his ridicu-
lous title so he can take
office and play politician.
store needs
The closing of Michigan
Document Service marks a
great loss for this University.
MDS has offered students a
centrally located and effi-
ciently run coursepack store.
The store has spearheaded
lawsuits aimed at eliminating
royalty fees on educational
coursepacks. The store's clo-
sure gives the University
community time to reflect on
the future of academic course
The Michigan Student
Assembly has been making
significant efforts to start up
a student-run coursepack
store. This feat can only be
accomplished with the coop-
eration of the faculty and
administration. We must
begin by focusing on non-
royalty coursepacks produced
at lower cost and higher effi-
ciency to benefit students.
We must also be a com-
munity: students, faculty,
administrators and the stores.
credited the
wrong author

Steinbeck, who happened to
be a white, American male
and an author of lasting
Don't feed
the squirrels!
I read with alarm but not
surprise the caption under the
picture of the University stu-
dent feeding a squirrel that
appeared on the front page of
the March 27 Daily.
It needs to be pointed out
that chocolate is poison to
most animals. Dogs will go
into a coma if they ingest too
much; it quickly kills birds of
all species and will probably
cause that squirrel a slow,
painful death.
It's true that most animals
love chocolate (except cats,
usually, who haven't got a
"sweet tooth"), but it's deadly
to them. It makes sense that
it would be strongly addictive
to people, since most poisons
are (i.e. alcohol and drugs).
If members of the
University community must
feed wildlife (and they
shouldn't), choose plain pop-
corn, unsalted corn chips or
fruit and vegetables. But
please, keep chocolate
reserved for those who can
tolerate it.
deserved to
win election
I would like to write in
response to the allegations
that the Daily recently
revealed against Michigan
Student Assembly President-
elect Trent Thompson. I am
writing to support Thompson
and Vice President-elect
Sarah Chopp. The allegations
that have been made corre-
spond to a regulation that
was written before online
voting and are frankly unable
to deal with the intricate
issues that the Internet cre-
ates. If nothing else, the con-
troversy that the Daily article
created highlights the need
for reform in this regulation.
The age of online voting
has made polling sites out of
dorm rooms, fraternity hous-
es and apartments. When this
happens, the laws regarding
campaigning must adjust to
fit the times. Clearly, they
have not. Thompson should
be allowed to campaign in his
own house without violating
election laws. Furthermore,
there is not even any proof
that Thompson did campaign

paign. The unfounded accu-
sations have created the
"taint" that supposedly sur-
rounds the election. It is clear
that the Daily attempted to
find some problem with the
winning ticket and have only
been able to come up with
these unfounded and petty
allegations. Thompson and
Chopp received more than
1,700 votes from the stu-
dents, and they deserved
every one of them. While the
controversy has highlighted
the need for election regula-
tion reform, it has not provid-
ed any proof of wrongdoing
on the part of Thompson or
Naked Mile is
for women
Once again, the time of
an annual student revelry is
just ahead of us, the Naked
Mile. For those new to the
campus, this tradition has
students celebrate the end of
the term by running naked
for one mile, starting at the
Museum of Art steps, and
running to the Cube along-
side the Union.
Although an interesting
tradition, it is also highly
degrading and dangerous to
any women who run the
event, not standing on the
stairs or arriving at the cube,
but the actual run, which is
more like running a gauntlet
than a festive celebration.
Men line the sides of the
route, allowing men to pass
with no problems, but closing
in on women forcing them to
,walk. Some women have
'been groped as they run and
many men bring video cam-
eras to film the events. Above
all else, women are taunted
and jeered as they run by a
rowdy crowd of often drunk
males. Many who go through
it state afterwards that it was
a mistake to run, for the
crowd simply is out of con-
But the worse part is that
the University does nothing
to protect the runners; the
only official protection is for
the buildings, to keep runners
out of them. So this year, I
am calling for the University
to take action and either pro-
tect the runners from the
crowd lining the route or
arrest the runners for break-
ing the law. Allowing them to
run with no protection and
leaving them to the tender
mercies of a near mob is beg-
ging for trouble to occur.
As for the women think-
ing of running the Naked
Mile, I can only say, don't. If
syou want to experience the
fun, then stand on the steps of
the Museum of Art and sing

W hile thousands of college hockey
fans from as far away as
Connecticut and New Jersey filed into
Yost Ice Arena this past Friday to watch
the NCAA West Regionals, thousands
of copies of The Michigan Daily's
"Road to Boston" special issue awaite
them inside the
But fans who
entered for the first
game, Ohio State
vs. Yale, couldn't
get the paper, which '.
presented thorough
coverage of each
team in the regional
as well as setting
the national stage JOS
for the hockey WHITE
championships. m :
They couldn't get
the paper because
University Athletic Department offi-
cials, acting under the banner of the
NCAA, removed the papers from public;
parts of the arena and put them in a
storeroom under padlock.
That this act was blatant censorship
of the Daily clearly did not enter int
these officials' minds when they picked
up stacks of the papers and hid them
under the stands. That the University
and the NCAA stole the papers also did-
n't seem to concern much of anyone.
Simply, no one wanted to take blame
for silencing the voice of the student
body and no one could justify the
action. When yet another official told
the Daily's sports editors that they
couldn't get the papers back until th
next morning, there was no rational rea
son for that either. Perhaps because
none of it made any sense.
It was easy for the University to hide
behind the NCAA because it is pre-
sented as the omnipotent god of any-
thing sports related. That no one could
name the NCAA official who ordered
the papers to be taken seems a bit fishy
- considering the University's
Athletic Department had prior know
edge that the papers would be distrib-
According to an NCAA pamphlet
given to the hosts of regional tourna-
ments, the "sale or distribution of news-
papers" is prohibited at the site of the
event, but that document is not available
to the public. The same University that
said all was peachy with the Daily's dis-
tribution plan removed the papers with-
out a word. And the only roadblock t
distribution? Prior written approv
from the NCAA.
When taken objectively, distributing
papers inside the arena was technically
against the rules - rules that are in
place to prevent commercial efforts to
exploit a college hockey audience. But
to stop a student effort to inform the
crowd and present interesting coverage
is an entirely different situation, espe-
cially when the Daily's non-profit stati
is taken into account.-
The papers were eventually released
by another University official to the cur-
rent editors, who then called on several
staff members to distribute the papers
outside the arena on State Street. The'
papers were well-received by the crowd
(I found it both interesting and quite
useful, a testament to a great job by all:
who worked on the issue) and did noth-
ing but promote college hockey and the
NCAA. ol
What bothers me is that no one coul
say why they had confiscated the Daily,
nor give a name as to who was respon-
sible for making the call. Word came
down from Bill Wilkinson, Western
Michigan hockey coach and a member

of the NCAA's Division I Hockey
Committee, that he did not have the
power to reverse the action.
No one knew why, no one knew wh
- and this is everything that is wro
with the NCAA. If passing the buck had
an NCAA tournament, these guys
would be the undisputed champions.
I can't see any good that can come of
antagonizing students who are trying to
learn a trade and trying to help a com-
munity enjoy a few hours at Yost. The
one thing on which everyone could
agree is that something was amiss.
Perhaps everyone was wrong and every-
one was right at the same time -b
for all of our sakes, the least the NCAO
and the University could do is to get
their facts straight.
Phil Buttafuoco, NCAA senior assis-
tant director of championships, was
finally named as the only person alive
who could do anything about the situa-
tion and the only one on the planet who
could give an answer. Where was he
Friday night? Yep, he was doing what all
of these crazy officials should ha4
been doing; he was watching a few
games of college hockey. The problem
was that he was in Albany, N.Y., not at
Buttafuoco, the one on Earth w-a
couild answer. later responded to e-mail'

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