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September 10, 1998 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1998-09-10

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4 - The Michigan Daily - Thursday, September 10, 1998

ahte 3lr u utIg
420 Maynard Street
L AURIE MAYK
Ann Arbor, MI 48109 E.C f
Editor in Chief
Edited and managed by,
students at the JACK SCHILLACI
University of Michigan 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.
FROM THE DAILY
Worthwhile theatdcs
~nArthutr Miler Teatre xil nhace arts community

'Colleges should be ranked by their
peers, not outside institutions.'
- Terry Denbow, vice president for university relations
at Michigan State University, in response to the
US. News and World Report annual college rankings
A LoK BACK M
- N
- This cartoon originally ran in the Nov. 12, 1995 Daily.
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

T hroughout the year, the University
sponsors countless cultural and per-
forming arts events that maintain the
University's status as a center for the arts.
Both world-renowned performers and the
University's own emerging artists showcase
their skills in various University-owned
venues. Now the University seeks to devel-
op a theater that will honor one of the
University's most famous alumni, play-
wright Arthur Miller. The University's plan
to construct a new theater will contribute
not only to the University, but to the greater
Ann Arbor community.
Arthur Miller attended the University
in the 1930s, graduating in the class of
1938. He wrote some of his earliest plays
while a student at the University, before
returning to his native New York after
graduation. He struggled for a time, but
in 1947 he had his first hit, "All My
Sons." Miller followed that effort with
perhaps his most well known drama,
"Death of a Salesman," which won the
New York Drama Critics Circle Award
and the Pulitzer Prize. Over his long
career, Miller has become one of
America's foremost playwrights, penning
such other notable works as "The
Crucible" and "A View from the Bridge.'
His body of work, to which he continues
to add, compares with those of Eugene
O'Neill and Tennessee Williams.
The proposed theater may be estab-
lished at Liberty Square, which shows a
new direction of expansion the University
should continue to pursue. Currently,
popular University venues such as Hill
Auditorium and the Power Center are
located near each other within the con-
fines of central campus. Their location
somewhat separates them from the Ann

Arbor community, making performances
there University events more than Ann
Arbor events. Establishing a theater fur-
ther down Liberty Street brings the
University and its sponsored events clos-
er to the community beyond the confines
of State Street.
The University is taking appropriate
steps to contain costs. The theater con-
struction, which may cost approximately
$8 million, will be financed from
University fund-raising efforts. Once com-
pleted, the theater should seat several hun-
dred people. The small theater will not
accommodate elaborate settings; instead,
productions will focus on the actors in the
performances. This should help make the
theater somewhat unique, as many produc-
tions - particularly in large cities - wow
audiences as much with their set pieces as
with their casts.
The only flaw in the plans for the theater
is the lack of room for University students
to perform on its stage. The University
expects to schedule numerous professional
performances, which would likely keep
University productions from using the the-
ater. Given that Miller himself was writing
while on campus, the University should
leave ample time in the schedule for
promising University actors and playwrites
to give performances.
Establishing the Arthur Miller Theater is
a worthwhile endeavor. It would be an
honor to both Miller and the University.
And constructing the theater on Liberty
Street could help strengthen the relationship
between the Universityand Ann Arbor. The
University is a fine supporter of the arts,
and the Arthur Miller Theater shows a
desire to continue cultivating the local arts
community.

Crossfire
Youths' voices overshadowed by politics

I t seems that lately many public events
and statements are politically motivated
and one-sided agendas often defeat ideolog-
ical arguments - nothing exemplifies this
trend more than last week's Million Youth
March, which took place in Harlem, N.Y.C.
The hateful rhetoric between the city's gov-
ernment and the organizers of the march
succeeded in almost annihilating the rally's
stated goal of reaching out to urban youth
by reducing their voices to little more than
background noise.
The rally, which organizers began plan-
ning months ago, was initially denied a
time and place by the city. At that time,
Mayor Rudolph Giuliani claimed that the
rally was actually a hate march, particular-
ly referring to the infamous anti-semitic,
anti-white words of the march's leader,
Khallid Abdul Muhammad. Combining the
permit denial with a denunciation of
Muhammed, Giuliani only succeeded in
aggravating already-existing tensions.
Similarly, Muhammed failed to alert
Harlem's community members of his plans,
negating a united front among - the black
community. These two men, both having
prominent power and influence, have for-
gotten whom they should be representing
- the people of New York City and more
particularly, the youth of Harlem.
But a week before the rally's scheduled
date of Sept. 5, the U.S. Court of Appeals
for the Second Circuit said the organizers
had a right to hold the rally. Terms of the
gathering, however, were to be decided by
the city, which assigned the event a four-
hour time period and a six-block radius. It
seemed as though the Million Youth March
would finally be allowed its due time and

With 6,000 attendees, the rally was not
as large as expected, but still provided a
platform for black unity among urban
youth. The march began peacefully, but
minutes before 4 p.m. (the rally's court-
ordered ending time) violence erupted
between the attendees and a rather large
deployment of police. Whether
Muhammed's speech, which he intention-
ally began moments before the ending
time, or the police presence sparked the
melee is still up for debate. But as the city
and the event organizers continue to point
fingers at each other, once again, the
underlying message the event was sup-
posed to send has been muddled in fierce
politicking.
The Million Youth March could have
been a day dedicated to change and unity.
Instead, both political forces behind the
march - the city's administration and
Muhammed - used a veil of helping
youth to benefit their own political agen-
das. A menacing police force stormed a
stage threatening an until-then peaceful
gathering and the key note speaker,
Muhammed, encouraged the crowd to
fight the police. Both sides of the fence are
at fault here.
Race relations will never improve if
situations like this continue to occur. A
new generation was taken advantage of by
politically motivated individuals and was
never given the opportunity to unite and
change the status quo. It is a shame that
the leaders of today are setting such
abhorrent examples for the leaders of
tomorrow. In the future, both sides of
such arguments must make sure that they
represent who they claim to, not their own

Natatorium
renovation
wastes
'U' money
To THE DAILY:
I would like to comment
on the recent article describ-
ing the renovation of the
Canham Natatorium and the
type of attitude it presents
("Canham gets a face-lift,
8/10/98).
As a recent graduate who
will soon have to start the
long process of paying back
the $12,000-plus in student
loans that I had to take out to
attend this school, it bothers
me tremendously to see the
University allocate $7 million
to renovate the natatorium.
I guess what I don't
understand is why a public
university such as ours will
take $7 million of their bud-
get to fix an already perfectly
good swimming pool, one
which is already considered
"among the finest college-
owned swimming and diving
buildings in the nation by
students and athletes," while
many of its students are
struggling to pay their tuition
bills and their rent. Are ath-
letics considered more
important than education
from a budgeting standpoint?
From the looks of it, you
might think so.
As quoted by the Daily,
student Randall Johnson said
students "... know that the
natatorium exists, but I am
not sure they visit it." This
might be because a good por-
tion of us spend our free time
working full- or part-time
jobs to pay for our tuition,
the same tuition that con-
tributes to the funds allocated
to renovate the natatorium,
which we never have time to
visit because we are working.
In addition, not only are
the students quite often not
getting the money they need,
but other programs are suf-
fering as well. There were
several activities that I was
involved in as an undergradu-
ate that had trouble obtaining
necessary or adequate fund-
ing. Many of the smaller,
non-athletic organizations on
campus run on tight, restric-
tive budgets that keep them
from being optimally produc-
tive and also keep them from
growing and expanding while
the athletic teams get all of
the funding that they need
and then some.
And this is not to mention
how incredibly selfish it is to
spend $7 million on a swim-
ming pool. It's a good thing
there are no longer any needy
or starving children in the
world.
I do believe that extra-
curricular activities are
important. I think that athlet-
ics build both strong charac-
ters and bodies. It's essential
to have facilities to use for

their commercial value get
top-priority over educational
and scholarship programs.
This is a university, not a
sports camp.
AMY LEBLANC
UNIVERSITY ALUMNA
Clinton
betrayed other
Democrats
TO THE DAILY:
So he did it. The question
haunting America since we
first heard about tapes and
interns and special investiga-
tors has been answered. In
front of a grand jury, deliver-
ing his testimony from his
own living room, President
Bill Clinton admitted he had
an "inappropriate relation-
ship" with Monica Lewinsky.
He admits it and he knows
it's wrong; end of story - or
is it? He forgot about us, his
supportive, liberal party.
That's right, the
Democrats have been left in
the dust. When the news first
came out, Clinton called on
us for support. He told us
nothing ever happened and
he needed our help getting
him out of trouble. And we
did. Democratic politicians
went before their contingen-
cies only months before an
election to quell rumors of a
carousing president. Writers
put their credibility on the
line and stated flatly, "he says
he didn't do it, she says they
didn't do it, he didn't do it."
And then, one day, "Oops.
Y' know, I forgot, I did have
an extramarital affair after
all." Thanks a lot, Mr.
President.
The question is, what to
do now. As a president,
Clinton's done his job better
than anyone since Franklin
Delano Roosevelt. The coun-
try is in good shape, the bud-
get is balanced, and the
future is looking bright. We'd
like nothing more than to
continue our support of
President Clinton and what
he's doing for our country.
But next time he gets in trou-
ble, don't be surprised if
there's an awful shortage of
those willing to speak out in
his favor again.
SETH FISHER
LSA FIRST-YEAR STUDENT
'U' should
accommodate
recent grads
To THE DAILY:
I am a recent graduate of
the University of Michigan,
with a B.S. in engineering. I
am currently living in Los
Angeles, but I purchased air-
line tickets to return to Ann

needs to be heard. It is a trav-
esty to the University's recent
graduates, and avid Michigan
football fans, that Michigan
Stadium is now larger than
ever and a large number of
recent graduates still did not
receive tickets. I fully under-
stand that the ticket depart-
ment wanted to avoid the
same situation as last year,
when many first-year students
were allotted split-season tick-
ets, and I fully support this.
The students should always
receive top priority whenever
it comes to athletic ticketing.
But with the stadium renova-
tions and the extra seating
capacity, I am compelled to
inquire as to who all of these
seats are being allotted to
since the recent graduates are
being hung out to dry.
I have been a ticket holder
for five years now, and I
think I speak for many
Michigan football fans when
I say that I am very disap-
pointed with the assignment
of football tickets this year. I
have been a fan through the
hardships and the exaltation
associated with the last five
or six seasons, and I will
continue to be a Michigan
fan regardless of whatever
may happen. But the current
unjustifiable ticket situation
is truly a test of my faith, and
I am only left with the feel-
ing of being screwed. I have
travelled with the team, have
gone to the bowl games and
loved every minute of it.
How can the new Big House
not find room for last year's
occupants?
JASON CLEVENGER
UNIVERSITY ALUMNUS
Article lacked
journalistic
skepticism
TO THE DAILY:
I just finished reading
Rachel Groman's story in the
Aug. 10 issue ("Nuclear reac-
tor closed for 3 weeks").
It sounded like a press
release from the University.
Did Groman really take the
techno-veep's word that the
violations were "just techni-
calities," whatever that
means? And how about this
three-week shutdown? Is it
truly voluntary? How do sim-
ilar facilities at other schools
compare?
Would this be a big deal
for them, or the business-as-
usual that Vice President for
Research Frederick Neidhardt
claims it is?
Those are the opening
questions I would ask before
even slotting the story for
possible publication. I'm not
suggesting that anyone
become hostile or combative
(except, perhaps, at the invi-
tation of a reluctant news
source). But when I finished
the story, I sure didn't know

Bmw-nosing fan
club shows MSA
can t represent
student interests
S ometime last winter I first heard of
a fan club for President Lee
Bol linger.
The group's existence seemed a syi
bol of an enamored student body w
over by the
University's charis-
matic new presi-
dent.
I pictured a col-
lection of earnest, .'
well-meaning
undergrads holding
weekly reading
groups for "A
Tolerant Society."
Perhaps they occa- JE
sionally met with ELDRIDGE
Bollinger at a local \
coffee house, where <£; s
everyone discussed
the virtues of Michigan athletics, affir-
mative action and the U.S. Constitution.
The club could hold special celebrations
on Bollinger's birthday. Each fall there
could be meet-the-president tailgate
parties and all-campus ice cre4
socials. Perhaps we'd even see a
Bollinger look-alike contest.
But it's not that simple.
The fan club instead consists largely
of the University's most notorious apple
polishers. Far from of an innocent
bunch of admiring undergrads, the
group represents a massive conflict of
interest for the University's woebegone
student government and a new high in
hypocrisy.
The Official Fan Club for te
University of Michigan President: Lee
C. Bollinger (as the group e-mail list
clumsily bills itself) reads like a who's
who of the Michigan Student Assembly:
Members include MSA President Trent
Thompson, Vice President Sarah
Chopp, Treasurer Bram Elias, former
presidential candidate and LSA Rep.
Ryan Friedrichs, and a host of other
MSA representatives and failed cand*
dates.
It doesn't take a lot of cynicism to see
the hypocrisy behind such a roster.
The folks on MSA like to make a big
show of talking about students. They
run around like a pack of bush-league
demagogues trying to establish a stu-
dent regent. Along with filling the halls
with annoying trash, their campaign
posters pledge to stand up to the admin-
istration and fight for lower tuition
rates.
Naturally, few of their goals materifT
ize.
Converging together in a small fan
club for the University president, as if
Bollinger were New Kids on the Block,
doesn't help.
Such hijinks are why the University
treats MSA like a bad joke.
My criticism is not a dig on
Bollinger. There probably should be a
student fan club for him. He let use
hang out in his house after a football
game; he spars with undergrads in his
poli sci course; he's like a hyper-artic-
ulate version of your best friend's
father. I keep waiting for him to take
the campus population to a Tiger's
game, a swim at the pool, and then
treat us to dinner at Ponderosa; per-
haps, if he can work out the logistics,
this will happen soon.
But no matter how swell a president
is, he or she should always be q4
tioned, respectfully and otherwise, by
portions of the campus - particularly
its newspaper and student govern-

ment.
This fan dlub's cliquey membership
casts a harsh light on MSA's already-
dubious effort to see a student on the
Board of Regents. It's silly (to say the
least) for MSA to argue it needs a voice
in the administration when its lead%
are doing everything they can to sn
gle up to those they might have to con-
front.
It also calls to mind the role of a stu-
dent government in a campus with a
long history of activism and protests. I
don't think it would be a good thing if
MSA and hordes of wild-eyed radicals
stormed the Fleming Building, picketed
daily on the Diag, and annoyed every-
one by screaming chants through mega-
phones.
But it's inherent that the goals c
president and the goals of a student gov-
ernment occasionally diverge - as with
the Code of Student Conduct. I'd rather
see the student government thoughtfully
working to change issues of great con-
cern, instead of fawning over the power-
ful figure who controls their eventual
results.
Does forming a fan club for the
school's president lead to construcW
dialogue between students and admit-
trators?
No. It makes those students look
like star-struck hypocrites. I don't
know if I could seriously engage with
a group of people who formed a'fan
club for me.

I

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