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April 07, 1998 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1998-04-07

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I - The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, April 7, 1998

420 Maynard Street LAURIE MAYK
Ann Arbor, MI 48109 Ci
Editor inChe
Edited and managed by JC S IA
students at the JACK SCHILLACI
University of Michigan Editorial Page Editor
Unless otherwise noted, unsigned editorials reflect the opinion of the majority of the Dailys editorial hoard.
All other articles, letters and cartoons do not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Michigan Daily.
Tour talk
'U' visit could benefit national race dialogue
onight, the University community tions is dialogue, not bickering. People on
will have another chance to discuss all sides of the issues must be allowed to

Boston. the road


trip to success

'People gettin' busted for this Is inhuman.'
-An Ann Arbor resident known as Eagle Man, on
Hash Bash and the illegality of marijuana use
In the year of '98, the hockey ice was cleaned
By the blood of the opponents of the Mighty Wolv'rines.
They fought with all the gallantry of warriors renown'd,
And stormed each icy battlefield to win the hockey crown.
While Spartan dreams were shatter'd and hopes of vict'ry lost,
At another Thermopylae in a building named for Yost.<
The Wolv'rines marched steadily, throughout the tumultuous fray,
To unleash an Armageddon on the final Judgement day.
Lead by senior veterans, spurred by youth and age,
They raged a path to glory, their hour upon the stage.
The Eagles were no match for them, lead by destiny,
They could not stop the Wolv'rines, who marched on to vict'ry.-

he state of race relations on campus and
n society as a whole when the Michigan
tudent Assembly hosts a Town Hall
'Meeting on Race in conjunction with
'resident Clinton's Initiative on Race. The
neeting will feature a panel led by repre-
entatives from the Clinton administration
- including Judith Light, executive direc-
or of the initative - and from the
Jniversity's faculty and student body, as
veil as an open dialogue on the subject of
ace relations. University students should
ittend this meeting to voice their opinions
>n diversity and on the direction and
esults of Clinton's race initiative.
The meeting is not intended to focus
olely on affirmative action. Although
ffirmative action remains an extremely
mportant issue at the University, it is not
he only issue regarding race worth dis-
,ussing. Affirmative action can ensure
liversity on campus, but it does not nec-
-essarily provide for calm, productive race
elations on campus. And while the
Jniversity is succeeding at creating a mul-
icultural community, it is notorious for
laving a socially segregated atmosphere.
3ut this problem is often forgotten in the
Nake of the affirmative action controversy
- even though bad feelings can often
levelop as a result of the University's
tdmissions policies.
While this forum is a place for open
lebate, it is important that it does not
>ecome a shouting match, as has hap-
)ened at more than one past University
-vent involving race relations. The most
mportant factor in improving race rela-

speak openly if the dialogue on campus
and the nationwide initiative are to suc-
Bringing Clinton's race initiative to the
University may help to foster constructive
discussion of racial issues. But that does not
change the fact that the initiative has lacked
direction and commitment since its incep-
tion last year. The college campus tour, the
portion of the initiative of which today's
discussion is a part, is intended to produce
a report from the president at its conclusion.
While the report will likely detail race-
related problems that universities across the
country are facing, it will not have a signif-
icant impact unless specific recommenda-
tions and suggestions are made.
Since it has not been well-promoted,
Clinton's race dialogue has had little effect
on the state of race relations in the nation.
While it is almost impossible to set tangible
goals for a program intended to promote
discussion and understanding between
races, it is still important that the initiative.
at least gets people to talk openly about
improving race relations outside of the ini-
tiative's discussions.
The race relations forum could help fos-
ter constructive discussion at the University
and give students a chance to address their
concerns about racial issues. It is also a
good step toward establishing some direc-
tion for the race initiative; this forum also
gives students a chance to ask questions
about the initiative and to voice their expec-
tations. It is important that University stu-
dents take advantage of this opportunity to
engage in a constructive debate.

Admitted failure
UC schools should increase diversity efforts

he news last Tuesday that minority
acceptances to the University of
california plunged has cast an ominous
ihadow over the University's admissions
policies. In the first year that the University
Af California system has not used race as a
factor in its undergraduate admissions
rocess, its Berkeley campus will see a 65-
ercent drop in the number of black stu-
:ents in its first-year class. California's
unfortunate fate provides a clear vision of
what may happen at the University of
Michigan if affirmative action proponents
lose their fight. For the sake of the
University and society as a whole, affirma-
tive action must remain strong in Michigan.
The University cannot afford to follow the
UC system in becoming ethnically unrepre-
sentative of the nation's population.
In 1995, the UC Board of Regents banned
the use of racial preferences, and a year later,
the passage of proposition 209 - a statewide
referendum - eliminated the use of affirma-
tive action in public institutions across the
state. The results of these actions are in, and
the nation can see that without affirmative
action, college campuses will lose one of the
aspects most crucial to the strength of their
educational missions - diversity.
Although the University of California has
hit a speed bump in keeping its campus
diverse, there is still hope for the University of
Michigan. Residential College Prof. Carl
Cohen, state Sen. David Jaye (R-Macomb)
and the Center for Individual Rights, among
others, are all intent upon removing the
University's primary mechanism used to sup-
port campus diversity. But there are numerous
ways to work against these actions. The
University must continue to defend its admis-

challenging the University's admissions poli-
cies with precision and diligence. Students
also should continue to express their voices
through constructive dialogues, rallies and
educational events. The University administra-
tion must defend its policies in court and work
to counteract efforts to end affirmative action.
In light of the UC system's upsetting
admissions results, their admissions offices
should employ other methods to promote
diversity. The University of California should
first increase its recruitment efforts at high
schools with large minority populations. It
should also consider altering its admissions
criteria so that more minority students will be
accepted. By minimizing the role of quantita-
tive measures such as SAT scores play in
admissions decision and increasing the
weight of socioeconomic status, essays,
extra-curricular activities and personal expe-
riences, minority enrollment would probably
rise. In addition, California should evaluate
programs that other schools have implement-
ed in lieu of affirmative action admissions
policies such as the University of Texas' pol-
icy of allowing the top 10 percent of every
high school senior class to attend the public
school of their choice. The UC regents have
already discussed using a top four-percent
standard, and high school counselors in Texas
say the policy is working.
This past Thursday, more than 300
Berkeley students blocked a busy intersection
with a sit in, calling for Chancellor Berdahl to
defy Proposition 209. Although Berdahl can-
not be expected to break the law, his promise
to "make sure the effects are minimized"
should help ameliorate the situation. What
has occurred at Berkeley should act as a por-
tent for all University students, faculty and

Race dialogue
will benefit 'U'
The upcoming week of
will be an important time for
race dialogue on campus.
President Clinton's Initiative
on Race gives U of M a
national spotlight in which
we can set an example for the
rest of the nation. It is impor-
tant to promote understand-
ing, not hinder it with igno-
rance, apathy and hatred.
That is why there will be
events on campus participat-
ing in the President's
On Tuesday, April 7, there
will be a Town Hall dialogue
on race at 7:30 in the Union
Ballroom. There will be
extensive discussion of race
relationships from the stand-
points of students, faculty,
and administrators.
Affirmative action won't be
the subject, but existing rela-
tionships and their future will
be addressed.
More information on
these events can be obtained
from the Michigan Student
Assembly Website at
Do not give
the Klan the
it wants
I have a request for the
"slam the Klan" groups that
will inevitably spring up
before the Ku Klux Klan's
next visit to Ann Arbor: Let
them have their rally in peace
and isolation. Last time, the
groups gave the Klan exactly
what they wanted. They got
national news coverage, a
lawsuit against the city, a
bunch of people angry and
most important, they got the
right to claim the role of vic-
tim. Don't give that to them
Does that mean you
should let them have their
rally and not do anything
about it? No. Plan a counter-
rally, but plan it anywhere
else in Ann Arbor but City
Hall (or wherever the Klan's
rally is going to be). Plan
your rally on the Diag, in the
stadium, in front of Rackham
or on Main Street - any-
where else. Have speakers on
unity, have games, have a
cotton candy machine for all
I care. Make it a fun, posi-
tive, uplifting affair away
from the hate of the Klan.
Then, when the national
media comes to town, as we
all know they will, they will
have two things to cover. On

them what they want. Deny
them the very thing they are
coming here to get - atten-
tion. Let the Klan have their
rally in isolation.
Anti-day of
action logic
is not racist
I've read some letters to
the editor that contain some
rather thinly veiled sugges-
tions that I am a racist,
because I think the first day
of action was misguided. And
with all the insinuations, no
one has been able to give an
answer as to why it's a good
idea to disrupt University
business when the University
is the strongest proponent of
affirmative action in the
country. This isn't racism -
this is logic.
It's also logical to believe
that the day of action would
have been more successful if
University organizers would
have postponed it until after
midterms: Fewer fence-sitters
would have been alienated,
and more people who support
affirmative action would have
been able to attend.
It's also logical that to
facilitate an end to racism
and ethnic tensions, we need
to get away from splitting
ourselves into such groups
and demanding rights and
privileges for one group and
denying the same rights to
other groups. We need fewer
labels, fewer classifications;
why support something that
perpetuates these labels?
How can the letter writers
think that something that, by
its very nature, divides us
will bring unity?
I call it logic. Some call it
racism. Po-ta-to, po-tah-to, I

ent reasons for supporting or
opposing affirmative action.
We must realize that a black
person's motive for support-
ing affirmative action could
be anti-white just as easily as
a white person's reason for
opposing it could be anti-
black. Heilig indicates that
there is an underlying note of
racism inherent in all opposi-
tion to affirmative action.
This is the same ignorance
that is calling all who oppose
affirmative action "resegre-
gationists." This is a ridicu-
lous tag that stinks of propa-
Further, Heilig makes a
mistake in saying that we
should champion the "plight of
people of color and women.' It
seems to me that the purpose
of this movement should be to
champion the plight of the dis-
advantaged. Until education at
the high school level is
improved, the number of dis-
advantaged students will
always be the same. If every-
one living in a poor school dis-
trict is disadvantaged because
of the education they receive,
what difference does it make if
the district is 90 percent white,
90 percent black or 90 percent
Asian? The same number of
people are still being screwed
by the American education
system because we continue to
focus on racial discrimination.
Most of the people who
oppose affirmative action do
so because they are against
racial discrimination of any
kind. There is no plight to
speak of other than the plight
of humanity. I will never
accept the notion that the
rights of a poor black person, a
poor white person, a poor
Asian person, a poor woman
and a poor Hispanic person are
unequal. I wish to help them
%A~h"E+ iLA .i;+h

F or some, the road to Boston was
750 miles long. For others, it was
12 hours. For still others, the road was a
superhighway, the beauty of the Finger
Lakes and the subtle majesty of the
For me. the road to Boston was four
years of twisting and turning, of wind
ing roads and the most exciting o
prospects. It was
payback and it was
redemption; the
road to Boston
most certainly
went through Ann
Arbor and unques-
tionably ended in
One friend, who
braved my driving
and the monotonyJOSH
of Interstate 90 WHITE
this weekend, t N
made the observa- i, ,,xg
tion that they
should offer a course at the University
on "Practical Life" - that the
University itself doesn't prepare us for
what we really need to know. In the
ensuing conversation, we discussed'
our four years here (something m
father alluded to later as my great ten-
dency to reminisce) and agreed that
what we learned is not so much about
the school as it is about those of us
who attend it.
As a group of us - both current
students and recent graduates - sat in
a small apartment on Tileston Street in
Boston's historic North End just hours
before the emotional hockey victory;
the tension was extraordinary.
It was not so much nervousness
about the game itself as it was the
anticipation of sharing the experience
with each other; it was about the bond
that comes with going through so
The road trip, one that did in fact
cover 750 miles each way and took
about 12 hours in each direction, was
less a journey to a hockey tournament
than it was a journey toward discov
Much like the various crazy things
each and every one of us has done
while at school here, this road trip was
a story in the making and a story that
will doubtless be told thousands of
times from now until forever. All of us
agreed, hockey game or not, that this
is what college is all about.
Sure, the argument that classes and
grades are why we are here holds a o4
of clout; there are courses here that are
invaluable and help each student to
grow and become ready for the "real
world." But the real lessons are not
learned in Angell Hall nor are they con-
tained in any lecture that any professor
has ever given. We were not put here to
study alone, and our lives do not revolve
around what we got in English 125 or
how we performed on a midterm exam-
The hardest part about life, and
consequently the hardest part about
college, is how we learn from each
other through experience. I could say
that I have learned more on road trips
than I ever could have in any class-
room, and this past one was no differ-
ent - the most important aspect of
your college education is something
that cannot be quantified on paper and
something that has no yardstick fo
success. The interactions we have wit
our fellow students are in no way
graded nor do they transfer well to a
transcript or a graduate school appli-
I am certain that singing "The
Victors!" at the Cask and Flagon on
Landsdowne Street is not something
that I will offer as a positive attribute

to future employers, but it was one
the best moments of my colleg1
career, and that I could share itwith
friends made it a thousand times bet-
ter. I can guarantee that 20 years
down the line, I won't remember my
Tuesday political science lecture, but
that moment in Boston will live with
me forever.
Sometimes we forget what is really
important to all of us and we offer
undue weight to things that don't real-
ly mean a hell of a lot. The hockey
championship is wonderful and a greay
achievement by the best team in col-
lege hockey - something truly to be
admired - but in the grand scheme of
things it didn't really matter who won
the game or that about 17,000 Boston
College fans went home unhappy.
Each and every one of them was wit-
ness to one of the greatest games ever,
and so were we, and so we all have a
This trip to Boston, my hometown,
was particularly redeeming because it
was the trip that never happened from
freshman year. That time around, I
was in a car with two of my best
friends as we heard Michigan lose to
X4§kinp i pt a in C'AA

LSA JUNIOR all the Ks?

Letter was
I found Julian Heilig's let-
ter printed in the March 23
Daily to be insulting and igno-
rant ("Minorities are affirma-
tive action's main supporters").
Heilig says, "In fact, some of
the people closest to my heart
are white ... the white majority
is going to have to search their
hearts and continue to champi-
on the plight of people of color
and women." No person
should ever think that they
deserve any kind of praise for
having friends of another race.
No person should ever do their
friends the disservice of classi-

OK, maybe I am just a lit-
tle oblivious of what it going
on around ourcampus, but
this is getting a little ridicu-
lous! What are are these 'K's
that I see everywhere? Now
at first, I thought they were
from some sort of hate gang
or cult or something. But I
have found an ever more con-
cerning trend that these little
'K's seem to be hand written
by little kids. It was rather
pleasant for me to head to the
bathroom and see a 'K'
scrawled with smiley faces
and the word "service"
underneath it on a dry-erase
board. Walking down that
hall, I saw that the same
combination appeared quite

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