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November 25, 1998 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1998-11-25

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4 - The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, November 25, 1998

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420 Maynard Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
Edited and managed by
students at the
U niversity 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.
Corporate education
Profits should not trump academic environment

If we can prove that there is a need for a rewrite
of the Code, that's what we're going to do.'
- LSA sophomore Brian Reich, public information director for the Michigan
Student Assembly committee discussing the Code of Student Conduct

While Bill Gates testifies in Washington,
American technology companies con-
tinue to prosper. Their market seems all but
invincible and recently, colleges and universi-
ties throughout the nation have made plans to
make their own contributions to these grow-
ing giants, often at the expense of the students
whom it is their goal to educate and serve. In
what appears to be a growing trend in higher
education, Clayton and Floyd colleges - both
in Georgia - have signed joint ventures with
several corporations dealing in technologies
from computer manufacturing and Internet
providers to telephone companies. The stated
purpose of these partnerships is to better
acquaint their institutions with technology -
for a price. Although this trend is catching on
nationwide, the University should not hop
onto the bandwagon - students already have
enough of a burden covering tuition.
Clayton and Floyd now require that stu-
dents pay a $300-per-semester fee that
allows them to rent laptop computers, have
Internet access and even be issued a student
ID card that can serve as a bank card, phone
card and credit card. This should not sound
unfamiliar to University students who insert
their M-Cards into ATM machines on a reg-
ular basis. In exchange for the colleges' gen-
erosity to its students, the institutions them-
selves will receive commissions from the
contracted technology companies based on
the number of students who participate -
which will be all of them, since they are
required to. Richard A. Skinner, president of
Clayton college summed it up quite well
when he stated, "We're not asking you to do
this because it's noble and right and true.
We're asking you to do this because it's a
good business proposition"
Closer to home, Northern Michigan
University has already approved a plan that

will require all students to buy a laptop com-
puter or lease one form the school by fall
2000. Students at NMU will pay $600 per
year to lease an IBM laptop. At Michigan
State University, students matriculating in the
fall of 2001 will be required to buy a laptop.
The requirement to purchase laptops rather
than desktops has clear intentions. Both of
these universities want students to be doing
the majority of their work - including taking
notes in class - on computers rather than
paper. As the examples at Clayton and Floyd
demonstrate (as well as at the University of
North Carolina, which has just signed a deal
with IBM for the same purpose), the motiva-
tions for this technological face-lift may not
rest solely in the realm of education, but in
clear economic benefits for the schools
involved. These "benefits" come with increas-
ing costs for students who are already under
heavy financial burdens.
While the University has discussed plans
similar to those at MSU and NMU, it has
decided against them for now. Given that stu-
dents here already have free access to com-
puters, charging them would be, as University
Chief Information Officer Jose-Marie
Griffiths said, "an added burden." What is
alarming about the eagerness to force students
to buy and lease laptops is that it seems that
college and university administrators have
dollar signs flashing in their eyes.
While schools certainly need to make
money, institutions of learning should be
focused on education, not profit: Floyd col-
lege's Website now features prominent adver-
tisements for AT&T, First Union Bank and
Microsoft. At a University where the Nike
swoosh has generated heated debate, it would
behoove students to be on guard against cor-
porate sponsorship in the perhaps already-
soiled environment.

Silent classrooms
Speech codes dull academia's vibrancy

A s at the University, many colleges
and universities nationwide find
themselves in an environment of required
political correctness. Students are more
often than not dictating the tone and
atmosphere of classes, as professors are
chilled by threats of lawsuits and investi-
gations. But things in academia might be
changing. The University of Wisconsin at
Madison, known as one of the most polit-
ically correct institutions, is in the
process of rewriting its faculty speech
code. Established in 1981 along with a
"hate speech" code aimed at students,
Wisconsin's speech code strictly regulates
faculty with regard to acceptable class-
room discussion. In a move to emerge
from an era of political correctness, the
university is moving to narrow the code,
and rightly so.
During James Duderstadt's tenure as
president, the University established a
similar speaker "hate speech" code, but it
was struck down by a federal judge as
unconstitutional. While Wisconsin's stu-
dent code faced a similar fate, the faculty
speech code remained intact. The code
limits the speech of faculty and can pun-
ish those who are found to be in violation.
Since its advent, not a single professor
was formally investigated under the code,
but several professors have been infor-
mally investigated following allegations
that they made offensive remarks. Many
faculty members, administrators and stu-
dents have since complained that even the
presence of a code has chilled their abili-
ty to speak freely.
The world of academia should be the
last place where people feel that their

essence, is not unwarranted nor somewhat
necessary. Demeaning comments based
on gender, race, religion, ethnicity, sexual
orientation or disability belong nowhere,
and blatantly inciteful, harmful or deroga-
tory comments should never be part of a
learning environment. But to limit a class-
room discussion to non-controversial top-
ics is to limit the power of thought and
Under Madison's current code, stu-
dents who are offended simply by the pre-
sentation or subject matter of an issue
involving race or gender, for example, can
accuse the professor of violating the code.
This would then spark an investigation,
which not only puts the professor on edge
but could also influence the subject matter
of that professor's course for the next term
or year. Clearly, professors should demean
individual students or entire classrooms,
but there should not be a preventive poli-
cy in store - this only works to chill
If a speech code is to exist it should
focus on academic freedom, which was
not even mentioned in Madison's original
code. The revisions proposed should by
no means allow professors to speak in
offensive or demeaning manners, but it
should allow controversial topics to be
addressed and sensitive issues to be ana-
lyzed. Lawsuits and reputation-damaging
allegations have quelled the vibrancy of
academia, only working to chill speech
nationwide. Madison is moving in the
right direction by narrowing the scope of
its speech code. Political correctness
should not control the environment of a
university - free speech and original

Awa reness
Week was
How could the University
cancel Alcohol Awareness
Week? Alcohol is the most
abused substance on this
campus, yet we decide to
cancel Alcohol Awareness
Week? I know that money is
not the underlying factor
because this institution has
the biggest budget for a state-
run school in the country. I
hope it wasn't due to the fact
that alcohol isn't affecting
our students because we have
had two deaths on campus
this year where alcohol was
said to be a factor.
So whose bright idea was
it to cancel Alcohol
Awareness Week? Alcohol
continues to plague our soci-
ety, claiming too many lives
each year. How can the
University justify and be con-
tent with canceling events
that have a chance to enlight-
en students with the dangers
and effects of alcohol.
Alcohol is an ongoing
problem for our campus and
our society. We need to look
no further than the recent
tickets given to underage stu-
dents at house and fraternity
parties. How many people
need to pay the price before
the University opens its eyes?
Alcohol Awareness Week
should never have been can-
Articles build
a negative
The past few weeks the
Daily has been filled with
articles about the negativi-
ties of the Greek system,
which really isn't something
new. I am not responding to
one article in particular but
to the message the Daily is
sending to all of the non-
Greeks by these articles.
The Daily has a skewed
version of what is going on
in the Greek system and on
this campus as far as alcohol
is concerned. Yes, three fra-
ternity parties were broken
up by the AAPD and minor
in possession citations were
issued, but a house party was
broken up as well. I urge the
non-Greek students at the
University, not to be so naive
as to ignore this fact.
What you don't know is
that the fraternities and
sororities on this campus
have ways to protect them-
selves from the AAPD com-
ing into our parties. By hav-
ing guest lists and door

So I hope the other 80 per-
cent of you watch your
backs. Remember that the
next time you are standing in
line for the keg at a random
house party.
And to the Daily, thank
you for nothing. No matter
what the Greek system does,
it is wrong in your collective
opinion, which is sad con-
sidering you rarely have
enough of the facts to have a
clear picture.
Experience is
the key to
In the article about new
drinking sanctions, the
death of the Michigan State
University student from 24
shots of alcohol is listed as
a reason for stricter penal-
ties. The article also said
that he had just turned 21
years old, and was therefore
a legal adult.
The problem with our
societydis the law makers
are finding it more and
more difficult to accept the
fact that in this country 18-
year-olds are adults, and
should not be treated as
babies. That person died
probably because of his lack
of exposure to alcohol and
it's consequences.
The largest reasons for
teenage drinking is because
they think it's cool to break
the law - it's purely for the
excitement of knowing that
they aren't supposed to or
they're just curious.
I worked at a bar for a
year and a half, and it's not
uncommon to see someone
on their 21st birthday drink-
ing too heavily. In the sum-
mer, the bar ran a teenage
club, and occasionally kids
would sneak alcohol into
the club. Once there was a
young girl carried out and
taken to the hospital for
alcohol poisoning.
Many would say that this
is anexample of a "bad"
girl, but it's not. It's an
example of a young girl try-
ing something new and not
knowing how to do it
responsibly. Responsibility
with alcohol is not some-
thing that you can tell
someone about, it's some-
thing they learn from expe-
I think it's better to have
that experience gained in a
situation where there's
someone responsible over-
seeing the situation, like
parents - not a bunch of
friends doing it just to say
at school the next day that
they were trashed over the
When is the idea of pun-

any less of an adult than a
Selection of
articles is
Excuse me for thinking
that William Bowen's lecture
on race being an important
factor in regards to admis-
sions would be a headlining
article. What was I thinking
when I thought that this
would be an article that all
people on campus who did
not attend the lecture would
be genuinely interested in
reading..It is sad commentary
on the Daily finds a fraterni-
ty's charter to be of greater
importance than an issue that
affects us all.
When the needs of a
group of people who are mad
because they can no longer
live and drink under the same
roof take precedence over the
issue of diversity on this
University's campus, I am
reminded all to quickly that
things haven't changed.
column was
'in ane'
I've got a message for
Jack Schillaci: Underage
drinking is illegal. It's as
simple as that. By publicly
thumbing his nose at the law,
calling it "sanctimonious
bullshit," he is waiving any
rights he may once have had
to bitch and moan about the
cops busting up your parties
and giving him an MIP ("We
are not our University's chil-
dren," 11/17/98).
The ironic self-contradic-
tory nature of his column
was hilarious! He goes
around whining about the
drinking age, claiming that
most people under 21 are
responsible enough to handle
alcohol. But just paragraphs
earlier, he revealed that dur-
ing his first weekend at the
University he got so drunk
that he had a "head-splitting,
sense-numbing hangover"
the next morning!
Is that what one would
call responsible behavior?
The fact that he can't even
realize how inane he sounds
proves to me that he is in no
way mature enough to han-
dle alcohol.
If he would stop grum-
bling and look at it from the
cops' point of view, he

Winter 1999, the
fake courseguide
438. University Administration. (3)
(ecci) In this class we learn the fund-
mentals of administrating a large insti-
tute of higher education. How obtrusive
and irritating can you be in the lives of
your students? Can you appear deferen-
tial and still be arrogant and self-impor-
tant? We will study such classic theorie*
as Gutting Student Services, Moving
Useful Things
Away From
Campus and
Desecrating Sacred
Landmarks. Like,
Say. Oh, The Big
House. I'm not
mentioning any
names here, Tom
This semester's
special guest lectur-
er will be Maureen JAMES
Hartford giving a MLER
speech entitled
"I'm way smarter ON A.l
than your parents. Put that stick down,
you'll poke someone's eye out."
211. Cosmetology. (4) (NS)
Lee Bollinger's Hair. What is Lee
Bollinger's hair? Is it merely, as some
have suggested, a loose collection o
protein-based strands with follicle
roots, or is it more? What is the magic
of his hair? How does it make us feel so
good? We will learn two interpretive
modes in approaching the Hair: The
moppish Beatles perspective and the
raffish, Kennedy-esque perspective.
Students will learn to apply both modes
to come up with a complete and bal-
anced picture of this important hair for-
mation. The $100 lab fee will cover a
practice barber dummy and some of that
blue stuff you put your combs in.
100. Freshman Studies. (4) (grad.
req.) Section 001, It's Not Your Fault.
This class will teach first-year students
the importance of avoiding blame and
personal responsibility. We will intro-
duce students to such convenient scape-
goats as alcohol, bad parenting and aca-
demic stress.
Section 002, Lying to Girls. Can you
cry on cue? Have you mastered the art
of putting jazz songs you've never
heard before on mix tapes for the pur-
poses of getting laid? Can you pretend
to like Tori Amos for at least a half an
hour? We can help you. The freshman
girl is a notoriously simple animal.
Students in this course will learn the
basic principles of creating fake emo-
tional conversations, writing trite love
letters with REM quotes and making
bland, mousey, brown-haired chicks
feel special.
Section 003, Lying to Guys. The guys
are even simpler animals. This class will
meet for a half hour every other week.
Students will receive practicum expern-
ence in The Faint Promise of Petting as
a Bargaining Technique, Accumulating
Free Drinks Through Cleavage and the
world-famous "Oh, You're So Mean To
Me" routine.
389. WASP Studies. (3) (HU)u 0
Intro to WASP culture. WASP culture
is the invisible adhesive that holds our
nation together. We will formulate a pic-
ture of WASP culture that explains clap-
ping on I and 3 as well as the "casserole
phenomenon." We will explore the rea-
sons why every incoming freshman is
named Josh, Matt, Dave, Mike, Steve,
Andy, Sarah, Anne, Kristen or Amy. We
will also look at such classic works of
WASP culture as the Carpenters-'
Greatest Hits, "Sleepless in Seattlesthe
whiskey sour and the collected works of
the Oprah Winfrey Book Club.
125. Social Theory. (3) (SS)
Protest and Dissatisfaction as a

Career. In the old days, protest and
social reform movements were designed
to be about positive social change. In
our time, we have moved -beyond this
point to where people pick and choose
the elements of their social consciences.
by what makes them feel warm and
fuzzy inside. The role of the
Professionally Angry Advocate is a
growing in our society. Parents too rich
or white for you to be automatically
cool? Be a Marxist. Sexual issues?
Consider campus feminism.
Students will learn to blow things out of
proportion, misuse statistics, believe their
own genius and rectitude, and say things
like "The movement to redistribute the
wealth of the Man to the oppressed mass-.
es begins at the most expensive public
university in the country.(
412. Political Science. (4) (excl.)
Being a Young Conservative. Students
enrolled in this course must be enrolled
concurrently with Constipation 215. The
teenage and college years are often care-
free, relaxed and fun. By learning to be a
Conservative, you can avoid this. We will
be working from the classic text
"Mistaking an Irritating Personality for*
Original Thinking." From this text, we
will examine the strategies of Using
Examples of Fat Homeless People You've
Seen to Explain Why There's No Poverty,
Misquoting everybody and Elementary
Reagan Worship.
We will also learn to say the follow-

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