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December 09, 1998 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1998-12-09

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4 - The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, December 9, 1998

(ije irthigan affg

420 Maynard Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
Edited and managed by
students at the
University 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.
AN seodoune ieving
Students should volunteer time to those in need

'The University is, in essence, investigating itself.'
- George Cantor; discussing the reports
surrounding the death of his daughter Courtney Cantor
Sem sanser
-* 6

A s the days and nights get colder and
the semester draws to a close, students
no doubt have many things to worry about.
Final exams, papers and next semester's
schedules dominate the minds of University
students. But in the spirit of the holiday sea-
son, many students and Ann Arbor residents
alike are taking the opportunity to volunteer
at various organiza-
tions throughout the
community. Such Volunteer
activities can benefit n>
both the students tak- . Motrn.Meas -
ing part and the com- AnnArborFir
munity as a whole. 994-2772
The holidays are UWa'htenaw Li
the busiest time of the : :..rns : Affa:
year for many organi- 761-995
zations. Many, includ- U Home of New
ing the Salvation 9O%3
Army, step up their * Ann Arbor Hu
fundraising efforts 662-406O
starting right before f C rojec
Thanksgiving and other vounteer o;
extending until New 2437
Year's Day. Indeed, at
this time of year holi-
day shopping is not complete until one
drops some change into a Salvation Army
bell-ringer's pot. But people are needed to
bear the cold and to collect that change
while ringing a bell. Dozens of other volun-
teer positions also are needed throughout
the holiday season. Students filling such

vacancies often find themselves fulfilled
with the contribution they are making.
Volunteer opportunities are often more
than just simple tasks. For instance, the
Washtenaw Literacy project is looking for
volunteers for its English as a second lan-
guage conversation groups. In addition, the
program is searching for volunteers for its
Seasons Readings pro-
.r e gram to wrap gifts in
Barnes & Noble
... Booksellers stores.
763-2377 Ann Arbor
epartmcnt- abounds with possible
opportunities for vol-
racy - 769-009} unteers, especially at
. Medical Center this time of year.
Volunteering can offer
rision -9 13- students not only the
peace of mind in
ger Coalitkon -.. knowing that they are
helping others but
ERVE fr also a chance to
rtuities ,a 936 relieve stress during a
very tumultuous peri-
od. After finals, and if
possible during the
study period, students should take the
opportunity to relax and to help their com-
munity at the same time through volunteer
work. As LSA sophomore Kenny Miller
said, it's "a time to realize how blessed we
are and a time to give some of that back to
the community."

Customs Service should end discrimination

j ecently, the number of people
RX attempting to smuggle illegal drugs
into the United States has been steadily
increasing. In order to curb this inflow of
narcotics and prevent the subsequent
harmful effects, the U.S. Customs Service
has adopted more aggressive search tac-
tics at airports and border stations across
the nation. Suspicious travelers have been
stripsearched or X-rayed in an attempt to
find packages of drugs that have been
swallowed or hidden in body cavities.
Last year, more than 2,000 people were
subject to these traumatic and humiliating
Fexaminations; only 27 percent of whom
,were actually in possession of an illegal
The result of these augmented security
measures is a trade off: More smuggled
drugs are being recovered, but at the
-expense of many traveler's Fourth
,Amendment rights. More than 70 percent
of those who were unrightfully searched
by Customs officials last year were inno-
scent travelers who, for some reason,
appeared suspicious. What it is that
defines a person as suspicious, enough to
stripsearch and probe for drugs, is
-unclear, although some of those subject to
the searches suggest that their race or eth-
nicity was the principal reason. In fact,
rseveral lawsuits have been filed by
minorities claiming the searches were in
-blatant disregard of their civil rights and
clear cases of discrimination.
In fact, they were. If the decision to
invade a person's privacy is based on sus-
picion alone, and such a vast majority of
parties searched turn up clean, then clear-
"ly a change in procedure is imperative. A
:mere personal presumption is a fallible
-means for deciding to deny someone his

or her right to privacy. Everyone has his
or her own basis for suspicion -
Customs officials included. Therefore,
while it is obvious that the government
doesn't specifically tell Customs to target
minority travelers, it is quite probable
that individual officials may base their
suspicion on race or ethnicity. The result
is a significant number of unfortunate cit-
izens being subjected to cruel search tac-
tics without a justifiable reason. One
innocent woman was given a strong laxa-
tive and detained until her bowels were
examined, while another woman was X-
rayed without being first given a pregnan-
cy test, which could have severely harmed
the fetus.
Evidently, changes have to be made.
While Customs officials claims that this
procedure is entirely necessary, one has to
believe that there is a better way. Perhaps no
other plan would retrieve the same quantity
of narcotics, but that certainly is not proper
justification. To overlook people's constitu-
tional rights is wrong, no matter what the
outcome. Customs should instead develop a
more strict and transparent set of regula-
tions for its officials, addressing when it is
appropriate to employ such extreme mea-
sures in a search. Making these regulations
available and clear cut would help decrease
the number of mistakes caused by false sus-
picions and avoid violating innocent citi-
zens crossing a border or traveling by air. It
may very well result in more narcotics suc-
cessfully slipping through undetected, but
this should be a sacrifice Customs is willing
to make for the rights of U.S. citizens. The
drugs will most likely be sold tq, someone
who wants them. The prevention of such a
crime is hardly worth humiliating and vio-
lating an honest person.

Daily should
take a stand
on Mumia
As journalists who should
recognize the value of their
editorial freedom, I am
appalled that the Daily has not
taken a stand on the Mumia
Abu Jamal case. Here is a fel-
low journalist who has won
awards for his journalism and
work to expose Philadelphia's
racist and brutal police force.
He now faces the death penal-
ty for the murder of a police
officer, which he has denied
committing. This case has
raised international opposition
for its blatantly racist and
unfair trial procedures. The
Philadelphia Fraternal Order of
Police has controlled Mumia's
trial all the way to having one
of its members be the trial
judge. The Daily, however, has
yet to take any real steps to
inform the University commu-
nity of the case or use its edi-
torial space to support a fair
trial for Mumia Abu Jamal.
Until he is provided a fair trial,
the case against Mumia will be
another illustration of this
country's persistent institution-
al racism and its institution's
ability to violently oppress its
people. The Daily should do its
part to demand social justice
and educate its readers. Passive
support will not prevent the
execution of another black
activist from being added to
American history.
Days before
are relaxing
I am writing in response
to Adam Weinrich's letter
("Extra days off are a waste
of money," 12/4/98).
Although I am not one that
responds to such letters, I
decided this time would be
the first time I would exer-
cise all the facets this won-
derful University has given
First let me mention that I
am sure that all students in
this grand University would
be happy to take midterms
the day before vacation and
have to scramble to the air-
port to get to their flights.
Why must we enjoy ourselves
during Thanksgiving when
we could be worrying about
the exam we failed the previ-
ous day? Maybe it's just me,
but I think my point is clear. I
am sure the faculty are prob-
ably just as happy to get a
day off before Thanksgiving,
too. Do you think they would
like to grade exams during
E..- -. m.no

Finally, I would like to
remind Weinrich, respectful-
ly, that although he may be
three years removed from
high school, the title of our
fine University is not
"Michigan High School at
Ann Arbor," it is the
University of Michigan.
Once that is comprehended, I
believe that he will under-
stand that in college, students
are big people and can decide
for themselves how they will
handle themselves. I am sure
that at these times when stu-
dents are receiving MIPs in
any and every which way,
they would be happy to have
another regulation set upon
should not
attend 'U'
I kept my silence through
the silly debate over the
"injustices" committed by the
Ann Arbor Police
Department while they were
merely enforcing the law.
But the Daily's editorial in
support of Daniel Granger
("Closed Doors," 12/8/98)
has broken this camel's back.
When someone commits a
crime, there are consequences
that exceed the punishment (in
this case, a jail term). One of
those big consequences is
responsibility for your actions.
The University adminis-
tration is just in revoking
Granger's admission because
he has failed to show any
remorse or accept any
responsibility for what he has
done. Granger committed the
crime, not the University. It is
Granger alone who is respon-
sible for the revoking of his
The administration has a
duty and a right to maintain
the highest standards of acad-
emia and community here at
the University. Granger does
not live up to those standards,
therefore, he should not be a
student here. Being a student
at the University is a privi-
lege, not a right. Granger has
denied himself, through his
actions, that privilege.
Sconr HowEs
true 'M' fans
Jill Reeder's response
("Alumni are dedicated to 'M'
football," 12/4/98) to Reza
Breakstone's letter ("Alumni
need to be more active,"
1 J1 / was a nainful exam-

fans "boo the band during
(the) entire pre-game show"
I did see some hostility,
but the majority of people in
St. John's Arena were well-
behaved. They booed when
we played "The Victors" and
cheered loudly when we
played the OSU fight song.
There were the usual zealots,
but those are found at every
school. Just ask Hans Masing
("'U' alumni are poor losers,
too," 12/7/98) about the ones
at the University.
My real source of annoy-
ance is with her snobbish
assumption that the OSU fans
"just drove out here from their
trailer parks." As someone who
grew up in Columbus and
whose mother and father are
both OSU alumni, I can assure
you that we have never lived in
a trailer park. My parents (and
friends who are alumni) have
more class than Reeder ever
will simply because they
would never generalize one
school's alumni in such a
derogatory way as she did. It
shames me to know that some-
one who defines class as you
do may one day have a
Michigan degree. Maybe you
should transfer to Michigan
State University. There were
some interesting idiots at that
game, but they weren't OSU
alumni any more than she is an
enlightened person.
Final report
should end
According to the "final"
report on the paradoxically still
openCourtney Cantor investi-
gation ("Final Cantor report
complete," 12/8/98), the cause
of death is still undecided.
Cantor's father, George
Cantor, shows admirable poise
in this period of uncertainty.
But I'll bet Judith Scranton
and the Ann Arbor Police
Department are chomping
away on their finger nails in
nervous anticipation of the out-
come. Why? If alcohol is ruled
out as a cause of death, they
will have nothing to go on.
Their crusade to change the
social scene of the entire
University will not only be
unsuccessful but also unfound-
ed. They will have to resort to
logic and reason if they lose
this sensational example of an
"alcohol-related tragedy." Their
efforts to curb underage drink-
ing will have to turn to efforts
to curb only irresponsible
This might end their new
influx of MIP dollars.
Fortunately for minors though,
it might also put an end to the
scape-goating and make
dependable and responsible
drinking education more avail-
ahl Unv% 9 m - o r

Things that
e-mail hath
had never sent an e-mail until I
came to U of M. On the first day of
classes, I had to ask the guy next to
me in the computer lab how to log in
to the system.
Since then, it's been a good rela
tionship. E-mail makes it easy to get a
hold of elusive
up administrative
problems, stay in .
touch with friends
at other schools
and a dozgn or so
other things.
On the other
hand, like any
invention that has
widespread use, AMES
there are a few ILLER
problems. E-mail 1,1"
has a sinister and ON TAP
twisted side. There
are e-mail abuses and crimes commit-
ted upon the English language.
The first and most grating is the
conversion of the word "message"
into a verb. I don't know exactly when
or where this started, so there's no*
blame to assign, at least very precise-
ly. I came across this little grammati-
cal treasure when I worked as an
office slave one summer. Several
times a day you could hear it floating
around the office. "I'll message you
with those meeting minutes."
"She messaged him two weeks ago.
I don't know what the deal is."
For all the puffy, polyblend, middle
management execuberries with Celine
Dion CDs in their cars and the com0
plete set of John Grisham books
bound up in their library: "Message"
is not a verb. It's this same caste of
administrative meatsacks that gave us
words like "paradigm," "paradimie"
and "quality" that don't mean any-
thing anymore, except using them
means either you have a slightly over-
active thyroid or want a bigger office.
You can't justtmake a word ad er
- that's not the way it's done@
Grammar rules are arbitrary. That's
their beauty. That's their strength.
Without rules like "message is a
noun" we would all sound like those
post-modernist co-op rats in our
English classes ("Like, man, this is 4
chair. But is it a chair, because it has
some intrinsic 'chairness'? Or
because it's just, like, a word? Think
about that, dude.")_
Let's all be undisciplined, half-edu*
cated grammar artists. No more rules!
Yay! Glick nicks blarney floo. Your
second cousin's underwear. Weedle
weedle neener neener message me this
The next sin is varied and complex:
The mass e-mail. There are several
different breeds of mass e-mail. The
first is the "I don't know you, let
alone like you, but I want something
"Hey gang, I need two tickets to the
Michigan-Penn State game!
Preferably next to each other, my
daddy's coming to see me! Thanks!"'
Even better than this kind are the e-
mails of shameless personal booster-
ism. Your RA or the preppie girl at th
end of the hall, both of whom would-
n't piss on you if you were on fire, all
of a sudden decided to establish a
close personal friendship with you
just as their sorority or engineerin
honors fraternity is having a
danceathon for homeless Guatemalan

performance artists with AIDS. Feels
genuine, doesn't it?
"Hello students of the Psych l l lec-
ture. I'm sure I'll have time to catch up
with all of you later, my personal
friends. But for now, I'm here to tell you
that my organization, The ResumJe
Packers of America, are bringing
speaker to campus. Steven P. Deltoid is
a internationally recognized expert and
speaker in the field of 'being a poli sci,
student group, ass-kissing, overly
earnest, MSA-meeting-attending, stuffy
little weenie.' It'll be great. Everyone
come so I can go to Harvard.'
I think, however, that there is a
small piece of my heart whose hate
burns with the heat of a thousand
suns. That hate is reserved for the E-
mail Retards.
These are the people who are eithe
unaware of what the "reply to all recipi-
ents" question really means or are just
so lonely and pathetic that they want
everyone to read their vapid e-mail,
banking on the fact that bad attention is
still attention.
If I could talk to the Retards for a
minute. Gentlemen, ladies, think about
this for a moment. If the person who
sent you a message is the creator of th*
list, why are you sending everyone on
the list a message that says "PLEASE
LIST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" Are you under-the
impression that that does anything?
Were you born this way? Do you now
see the irony and irritation here? Sigh.

a.... A.....AQ liE 7 A A

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