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April 02, 1998 - Image 8

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1998-04-02

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8A - The Michigan Daily - Thursday, April 2, 1998


"dies in
M O N R O L , M ic h . (A l ) --- - E d w in
Shoemaker lived the La-Z-Boy life to
the very end. He- invented the plushly
padded, rocking-and-reclining chair,
and he died in one, slipping away after
:settling in for a nap at the age of 90.
But the man who left a legacy of
leather-bound leisure was no lounger
"This is a guy that wanted to be pro-
ductive every moment," says Matthew
Switlik, director of the Monroe County
Historical Museum. "Mr. Shoemaker
was in no way ready to lounge around
he had to be busy."
Shoemaker died March 15 at his win-
ter home in Arizona.
Shoemaker and his cousin Edward
Knabusch built La-Z-Boy from a strug-
gling, Depression-era enterprise operat-
ing out of a Monroe garage. Together,
they produced an American icon of
sorts - "the bubba chair," as Nancy
Butler, recliner writer for the trade pub-
lication Furniture Today, puts it, "a guy
with beer in one hand and the remote in
the other."
In 1928, while tinkering with pieces
of plywood and a yardstick, Shoemaker
and Knabusch fashioned an austere.
wood-slat reclining lawn chair. After a
'buyer for a furniture store refused to
buy the chair unless it came uphol-
'stered, they added that feature.

La-Z-Boy lounge chair inventor Edwin Shoemaker died this past March at his winter home in Arizona, while taking a nap in one
of his famous recliners.

Continued from Page lA
closed iI the carly to mid-'90s are now
returning to campus. Once an oreaniza-
tion leaves campus, it can come back at
any time.
MountIz oUld not disclose the
namesof the nearly 10() t-nrnities that
are looking to start chapters on campus.
Among the fraternities that have both
left campus and returned in the past
four years are Sigma Phi Epsilon and
Lambda Chi Alpha.
Some of the retuning fraternities
closed because of risk-management
violations such as severe injuries. while
other houses simply could not survive
financially when their memberships
IFC president Bradley Holeman said
that at the beginning of the decade, Ann
Arbor police officers began to crack
down on fraternities. As a result, the
self-governed Greek system began
switching over to a BYOB policy - but
the policy had a "lot of loopholes."
IFC adopted a no keg policy in an
attempt to combat binge drinking.
Written rules, say many fraternity
leaders, are limited in their ability to
effect real change.
"They're strict, but it's hard to
enforce them," Ranka said.
Iloleman said IFC changed its alco-
hol policies only in part to lessen liabil-
ity risks. The changes are indicative of
a gradual shift away from the wild party
atmosphere that has characterized fra-
ternities for the past 30 years, he said.
"People don't want that anymore,"
Holeman said.
Irvin izChase. National President of
ieta leta lau, which left campus in 1996
and currently is trying to return, said the
Greek system needs to re-evaluate itself.
"Fraternities and sororities were
established with high ideals.' from
which they have strayed, Chase said.
"What we've turned into is drinking
clubs ... we need to refocus back to
grades, friendships and brotherhoods."
Ranka also said that fraternities are
shifting their focus away from alcohol.
"I wouldn't say they're partying less.
I think they're getting a iot smarter."
Ranka said. It's all about striking. the
right balance."

ields noted thatwithin tie 131.
ircek Associtioi ,ipaties, ,,
become less frequent. "In the BGA,
we're focusing more on community ser-
vice," Fields said.
The main frontier for change in fra-
ternities is the recruitment and initia-
tion process, w hich will create new fra-
ternity pledge clasesi-tht focuson the
v alues on which the fraternities were
"That is what is changing the ct
ture loleman said.
For exanple, when IFC abolished
drinking during fraternity rush several
years ago, many members opposed the
measure because they said rush would-
n't be fun any more. Ingber said. Now,
a dry rush has become an accepted fact,
he said.
Fields said he has "tried to focus a lit-
tle more on the freshman class:" by ini-
tiating mentoring and touring programs
to make his fraternity more visible.
"I think the trend is to do more what
I like to call 'complete membership
education,"' Mountz said, adding that
such programs target development
throughout a brother's four years in the
ZBT went one step further when it
outlawed pledging in 1989 - part of a
severe risk-management policy to tar-
get and discourage hazing. PIledgina
was seen as the "window for hazing
Chase said.
Under ZBT's new Brotherhood
Program, new members are initiated
within 72 hours of being given a bid. As
full members, they can take part in the
necessary educational programs with-
out the "constant threat of being thrown
out." which often engenders hazing,
Chase said.
In the places where this program has
been successfully implemented,
had more numbers joining and oo
retention was better," Chase said.
But to many fraternities, getting rid of
pledging is going one step too far. "I think
it's an integral part," said Fields, adding
that it gives new members a "feeling of
ownership"toward the organization.
Ranka explained that the pledging
process is necessary because there is so
much to learn about a fraternity --- his-
tory, traditions, etc. - - and pledgiis
also involves "pride building."

They knew they were on to some-
thing. But what to call it? They held a
name-the-chair contest, and La-Z-Boy
beat out the Sit-N-Snooze, the Slack-
Back and the Comfort Carrier.
Thirty-three years after the first La-
Z-Boy, all the work really paid off. In
1961, Shoem combined a platform
rocker with a recliner. The result: the
La-Z-Boy Reclina-Rocker. It was the
riglht chair at the right time. Television's
takeover of America's living rooms was
nearly complete.
"I don't think there's any doubt that
the recliner and the television are the
perfect marriage"' Butler says.

Despite the name, La-Z-Boy execu-
tives insist that their chair is not meant
to encourage, well, laziness. "There's a
fine line between relaxation and sloth,"
says John Case, vice president of mar-
keting. "When it starts to move toward
the sloth side, that's when we take
Still, some models make it quite easy
to spend life with your feet never touch-
ing anything but a padded footrest. Sore
muscles? Turn on the massager nestled
in the cushions. Can't make it to the
phone'? Here's a built-in speakerphone.
Want to check your stock prices online?
Plug your laptop into the chair.

Continued from Page 1A
"Many of the men knew that they did not have to do it,"
Goldhagen said. "Their commanders offered them a way out."
Goldhagen also pointed to the zeal with which the Germans
carried out slaughters as further evidence of accepting their
deeds. Many Germans, Goldhagen said, disobeyed orders from
higher authorities and took photographs of their victims as they
would of trophies.
"Frequently, the Germans would take photographs of them-
selves posing, degrading their victims," Goldhagen said. "They
put them in photo albums. They sent them to loved ones."
Goldhagen's book has received unusual critical and commer-
cial success for a scholarly work. In addition to being a best-
seller in the United States and worldwide. "Hitler's Willing
Executioners" was hailed as "one of those rare new works that
merit the appellation landmark" by The New York Times.
4 But scholars at the University and across the world have
not been so receptive to Goldhagen's work.
Chair ofthe German department Frederick Aminne. siding with
other detractors, said the research behind the book is flawed and

that he takes exception to the conclusions drawn by Goldhagen.
"It's a bold thesis, but I think the scholarship is not as care-
ful as it ought to be," Amrine said, "He sensationalizes the
topic. Fundamentally. I disagree with him about the causes of
the Holocaust."
Some Goldhagen critics were in the audience last niiht and
during the Q&A period questioned the work's validity. One
individual denounced Goldhagen for implying that Germans
were genetically predisposed to hate Jews.
But Goldhagen parried the audience's criticism adeptly,
much as he did in 1996 during a tour of Germany when lie
participated in numerous debates with his German critics.
Jerry White, a representative from the Students for Social
Equality, an offshoot of the Socialist Party, said Goldhagen
completely ignored the role of fascism-in the Holocaust.
"We're saying that the argument that this great crime can
be understood as a national cultural trait absolves fascism as
a political tendency form the murder of the Jews," White said.
"Fascismi was used to rally those who were ruined by the eco-
nomic crisis.
Goldhagen summarized his book and his speech best when
he. stated. "No Germans, no Holocaust."

The interesting thing is that
Shoemaker was not the sort of guy to
put his feet up for very long.
Up until his death, the man with an
eighth-grade education served as exec-
utive vice president of engineering and
vice chair of the board. In his later
years, he spent much of his time work-
ing with the La-Z-Boy museum director
on the company's history, and went into
the office two or three times a week
when in Michigan.
"His concept was that everybody put
iII a good day's work and should be
rewarded with a relaxing chair to sit in,"
says his son, Robert Shoemaker.
Continued from Page 1A
Both the House and Senate ver-
sions of the bill include a provision
that wvill pay banks an additional .
percent for each student loan. This
aireement, made in an effort to
appease banks and allow them to
maintain profit levels, will be fund-
ed with taxpayer money.
But the amount of money need for
that funding is still being debated.
The Congressional Budget Office
estimates tax payers will contribute
SI.2 billion in the next five years.
' his was the estimate the House
committee used when they passed
their bill. But the Office of
\Management and Budget calculated
the total to be 52.7 billion and report-
ed those findinuts last week.
"There is still a very serious
problem in the amount of taxpayer
money that will go to the banks if
(the proposed money for lenders) is
more than the administration's pro-
posal," Butts said.
She bill will also reduce origina-
tion fees on loans, which are
charged immediately after a loan is
taken out, from its current rate of 4
"We'dlike to see students nothave to
endure this fee," Butts said.

Continued from Page 1A
midable opponent as well.
"Preparing for Michigan is really
exciting," Matile said. "The tradition of'
Michigan always making it to the final
four and winning the national champi-
-onship is huge. To play them is like
playing the Boston Bruins or Montreal
No stranger to hyperbole, Matile
nevertheless highlighted a major
issue - Michigan's experience in
the final four and New Hampshire's
lack thereof.
In fact, Michigan is the only team to
boast any players with previous final
four experience. Nevertheless, both
teams have mixed feelings about how
much of a factor experience will be

when the puck drops today.
"I don't think it's a factor,"
Michigan forward Bill Muckalt said.
"The key for any teams success is
getting rid of distractions and stay-
ing focused. The team that does that
the best is going to give themselves
the best opportunity to win."
New I Hampshire coach Dick Ulm'
offered his thoughts: "There's n
replacement for experience,: lie said.
But Michigan's edge in final four
experience may be tempered by its
huge freshman class. The freshmen
have all been touched by the fever of
the NCAA semifinals.
"They're pretty excited," Muckalt
joked. "Last night, with the police
escort, the freshmen were jumping up
and yelling like, 'No way!' They
happy to be here."


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