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October 30, 1998 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1998-10-30

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4 - The Michigan Daily - Friday, October 30, 1998

Ulte £idigan 3 til

420 Maynard Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
Edited and managed by
students at the
University of Michigan

Editor in Chief
Editorial Page Editor

'It's completely unfair ... to vilify a frat who may have
been serving alcohol is just an easy target.'
- LSA sophomore Brian Reich, on the attention on the Phi
Delta Theta fraternity following the death of Courtney Cantor

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.
Vote rater, Hansen
Dems are best to represent A2 in Lansing
N o matter which side of town students live view with The Michigan Daily, he claimed he
on, the best choice for state representa- was running to stop Gov. John Engler from
tive is the Democratic candidate. The 53rd destroying public education. A graduate of the
District - which encompasses two-thirds of University, Hansen wants to see higher educa-
Ann Arbor and most of the University campus tion spending fixed by allocating funds from
-- is blessed to have Liz Brater running for the overblown corrections budget. If elected,
state House. Before serving in the state he would face a problem in establishing a
Legislature, Brater was the first female mayor strong connection to the University communi-
of Ann Arbor and served on the Ann Arbor ty - he stated that he expected students to
City Council for four years. She also has find him themselves if they had a concern.
many connections with the University - she Clearly, he should take a more proactive
is a former English professor and still occa- approach to constituent communications.
sionally delivers guest lectures. Running against him is Dexter native Julie
Brater has been a very active representative Knight. Since 1982, Knight has served as
for education at the University and throughout Treasurer of Dexter Township and believes
Michigan. She realizes the system for allocat- herself ready to enter state politics. Concerned
ing higher education funds is flawed and wants with urban sprawl and educational issues, her
to reform it to better fit with the increased stance on most issues are similar to the
inflation of University spending. Brater wish- Republican platform except that she believes
es to restructure .Proposal A in order to reach charter schools and public schools should be
the goals that were originally intended. She able to work together rather than compete.
would focus not only on putting every public While her enthusiasm for the job would likely
school on the same level of education quality, prove beneficial, she does not possess a real
but keeping that standard as high. In her next grasp of many of the issues facing her district
term, she said K-12 education would be a big --particularly funding for the University. She
priority for her. stated, however, that she would make a point
Brater's goals and beliefs will bring of attending as many student functions as pos-
Michigan in the right direction. She is sible to help build a link between Lansing and
opposed to the new term limits and has many the University - an admirable position that
plans for dealing with the lack of institutional her opponent would do well to emulate. Her
knowledge the new policy will engender. She goals focus on new bike paths to make youth-
would continue to push through legislation to ful travel safer, keeping government at the
better the environment and raise environmen- local level and continued education reform.
tal standards in Michigan. Brater is also a Despite her strengths, she does not possess the
major proponent of consumer privacy and is requisite knowledge to be a state legislator -
in favor of the state lifting the ban on physi- if she took some time to learn about the spe-
cian-assisted suicide. Running against her on cific issues facing the district, she could make
the Republican ticket is Garret Carlson. a potent candidate.
The 52nd district - which includes North Neither candidate in the 52nd district is
Campus - the race is not so clear cut. With a particularly strong in and of themselves, but
background in education, former Dexter Hansen's policies and focus would prove bet-
Public Schools Superintendent John Hansen ter for the University community. Brater, on
ks running for state representative on the the other hand, is a sure shot. Vote John
Democratic ticket. In an endorsement inter- Hansen and Liz Brater for state House.
Jaded Jaye
Website is a disgusting violation of privacy


t tAJ


A s part of his effort to provide a "helpful
public service" on Halloween and year-
round, state Sen. David Jaye has sorted sex
offenders in Macomb County by city and ZIP
code on his Website. Along with maps to their
houses, marked by black skull and cross-
bones, the names, birth dates and crimes of
the felons can now be retrieved off the
Internet by parents, community members and
potential vigilantes alike, courtesy of the
Washington Township Republican, who is up
for re-election this year. In March, Jaye plans
to have pictures of the sex offenders posted
along with their other information.
Such reactionary tactics might be
shrewd political maneuvers, but they are
lacking in basic human decency and com-
mon sense. Like all other criminals who
have paid their debt to society, sex offend-
ers are entitled to quietly live out their lives
as normal citizens. Public humiliation is a
quick, superficial and ineffective way of
dealing with the often-repetitious nature of
sex, offenses. Instead of circumventing
mental illness, often the root cause of sex
crimes, with Hawthornian tactics, legisla-
tors should be passing laws that will ensure
that sex offenders receive comprehensive
psychological treatment while they are
serving time in prison. Sex crimes are by no
means trivialized or inadequately punished
when truly rehabilitated sex offenders are
released back into society.
Despite what the cartoon featuring a slob-
bering, hunch-backed child molester luring
children with a bucket of candy attached to a
rope might suggest, there is no indication that
a substantial number of the convicts on Jaye's

crimes attributed to those listed are convic-
tions of criminal sexual conduct, with no
additional pertinent information such as the
date of the crime or the age of the victim.
Many of the individuals listed were born in
the '30s, '40s or '50s, making it quite possible
that they committed their last offense decades
ago. Even more disturbing is the page's dis-
claimer, which reads "This list represents our
best effort to accurately duplicate the infor-
mation provided. We are not responsible for
inaccuracies." When a politician is forced to
make disclaimers regarding potential "inaccu-
racies" in their sex convicts catalogue, one
tends to question whether that his motivation
is as civic-minded as he would have voters
Instead of paying a visit to Jaye's online
sex-offender list, parents would be better off
to practice basic common sense by accompa-
nying their children trick-or-treating. Another
practical way to prevent attacks by sexual
predators is for parents to teach their children
the age-old safety maxims "don't talk to
strangers" and "don't go into the car or house
of a stranger."
Voters in the 12th District should remem-
ber the blatant political overtones of Sen.
Jaye's inhumane, potentially inaccurate and
nonsensical sex offender registry when they
cast their ballots on Nov. 3. Shame does not
cure mental illness - the only effective way
to prevent sex crimes is by directly addressing
the root urges of sexual predators through
thorough psychological treatment. Once
again, this year, it is sure to be general com-
mon sense, not Internet blacklists, that ensures
that Halloween is safe and fun-filled for par-

Vote 'yes' on
Proposal 1
Proposal I on the Nov. 3
ballot is a initiative that
deserves everyone's attention
for one simple reason: Voting
"yes" for the preservation of
farmlands in Washtenaw
County will cost residents
some, but voting "no" will
cost more.
Open spaces and farm-
lands are important for
communities because they
provide an economic base,
habitat for plants and ani-
mals, water-quality protec-
tion and scenic vistas that
contribute to the overall
quality of life. The average
annual millage that a home-
owner in Washtenaw County
can expect to pay to protect
farmlands from unchecked
development, redevelop and
revitalize abandoned urban
areas, and to protect water
quality is approximately
$26. This appears to be a
bargain when compared
with the $200-per-house-
hold tax that Canton
Township just enacted to
pay for road maintenance -
a result of 20 years of urban
sprawl. Other measurable
costs of sprawl may also
include higher taxes for
sewers, schools, and fire
and police protection.
The funds generated from
this millage will be used to
pay farmers for their devel-
opment rights on a purely
voluntary basis. In the 16
states where similar programs
exist, there are more volun-
teer applicants than available
Proposal 1 is a good plan
for Washtenaw County that
makes sense for homeowners,
farmers, business owners and
everyone else concerned with
open space, clean water,
quality of life and their tax
exploits the
Greek system
I was relieved to see that an
article was finally published
that expressed the absurdity of
blaming the Greek system for
Courtney Cantor's death.
Parents, students and faculty
are aware that underage drink-
ing is a common occurrence
not just at the University, but at
colleges and universities across
the United States. It is impor-
tant that University students be
educated about the risks of
drinking, how to drink respon-
sibly and the penalties for
underage drinking, but it also
must be acknowledged that
students who want to partici-

underage drinking. Underage
students who want to drink
will drink in their dorm room,
at a friend's apartment or at a
house party. Singling out the
Greek system - one entity in
a universal problem - is sim-
ply not fair. Regardless of the
gruesomeness of Courtney's
death, it is also unrealistic and
unfair to expect Greek social
activity to come to a halt.
I am not a member of the
Greek system, nor do I pro-
mote all activities associated
with them, but I do feel the
media unethically used the
Greek system as a scapegoat
for a bigger problem. One
example of the media's
exploitation of the Greek sys-
tem was their news coverage
of Sigma Chi's annual Derby
Days. The fraternity allowed
the media to tape portions of
the event with the agreement
that they (the media) would
provide "good press" for
Sigma Chi's annual charity
event. When the event was
broadcast, it portrayed the
event as Greek "debauchery"
and "irreverence" in the wake
of Courtney's death. It failed to
mention, as it had promised
the fraternity it would, that the
event was a non-profit charity
event for the Children's
Miracle Network. It also failed
to include that the fraternity
had many large corporations
sponsoring the event and that
its cancellation would lose
thousands of dollars for the
Children's Miracle Network. If
students, parents and the media
want to blame underage drink-
ing as the cause of Courtney's
death, which has not yet been
determined, they must examine
an issue larger than the Greek
gender roles
I was under the impression
that Sarah Lockyer intended to
be tongue in cheek in her col-
umn, "Women really do have
it all" (10/27/98), but her lack
of witty disclaimers following
her embrace of female stereo-
types and her tedious misinter-
pretation of a certain Diet
Coke comment made at the
National Young Women's Day
of Action suggests she may be
the only one who fails to see
the irony in her arguments. To
paraphrase her list of feminine
"perks:" As a woman, you get
to cry to your professors and
encourage them to pity your
emotional and intellectual
incontinence. (They might not
take you seriously, but they
might humor you with three-
to-five day extensions at a cer-
tain times of the month.) You
get to use your cleavage as an
underage entry into bars
where men of age will feed
_._ _ _ _r _ __ a.. , . _

just blaming our inadequacies
on our gender?) and (my per-
sonal favorite) you get "spe-
cial" treatment in both the
humanities and sciences
because women's additions to
these fields are included in the
small appendix at the back of
updated textbooks that
acknowledge their underfund-
ed and underappreciated con-
tributions. You see, Lockyer,
you can assert the choice to
drink a Diet Coke, just like
you can choose to wear tight
shirts and blame PMS and
female emotional instability
for your weaknesses.
Those, however, that are
aware of the subtle gender
roles that affect our decisions
will realize that they only
really have those choices
once they recognize how
much of a part the media, et
al., are playing in their deci-
sions. Lockyer might have
been paid by the Coca Cola
corporation to promote "girl
power" a la Spice Girls, so I
might end this by countering
that Diet Coke has a hideous
column was
'like a breath
of fresh air'
I've been a fan of Sarah
Lockyer's column all year
long, but damn if she didn't
really nail this one. Reading
what she wrote on Tuesday
("Women really do have it
all") was like a breath of
fresh air, and it was so nice
to hear a woman at this
school ignore what seems a
perceived social taboo and
say things that normally
would never be heard in
mixed company. She is
absolutely correct in her eval-
uation of Diet Coke, and it
strikes me as ironic that most
young women don't realize
that drinking a martini or
smoking a cigar (and other
things traditionally associated
with "maleness" and power)
doesn't significantly increase
the amount of respect they
are going to get from us
(men) unless they deserve
that respect - in which case
they could be drinking Zima
and it wouldn't matter. I
don't know how the majority
of her readers responded to
this column, but I am not
exactly your average politi-
cally correct student. As an
Army veteran and self-admit-
ted Alpha Male from below
the Mason-Dixon Line, I
know I probably have too
much testosterone for my
own good, but I can laugh at
myself as much as the next
man (or woman). It's good to

Looking back on
the first 21 years
and 'The Big
Chill sfirst 15
Here it is, right on time. My birthday
-my 21st birthday.
This one's supposed to be speciL,
clouded by shots and toasts and marke
by philosophical analysis of what the
term "legal adult"
In 21 years, I've 4
received a host of
creative birthday
presents from
friends and family
members. Some of
the more memo-
rable include a
large, fuzzy stuffed
duck named LAURIE
Winston (who now MAYK
watches over activi- 6.1
ty in the Daily Arts SAYSO
room), a New Kids
on the Block posable doll and an aquar-
ium of plastic fish.
This year, however, an anonymous
gift-giver is bestowing upon me one of
the best to-date: the 15th anniversary re-
release of "The Big Chill" tonight at th*
Michigan Theater.
Aside from the fact that this classic is
one of my favorite flicks, I find it fitting
to celebrate my 21st for two hours with
a group of characters looking back on
their college years and wondering
whether they took the right paths out of
Ann Arbor.
The Big Chill is the story of seven
University of Michigan graduates
reunited at the funeral of another col-
lege friend who recently committed sui*
To a soundtrack of '60s tunes such as
"Ain't too proud to beg" and "I heard it
through the grapevine," the friends
spend the weekend reminiscing about
old times, answering lingering ques-
tions andsecond-guessing the choices
they made in life.
"The Big Chill" is a middle-aged
coming-of-age film, of sorts. The chill
of a close friend's death (and th*
opportunity to spend a few days away
from nagging work and spouses)
promptsthecharacters to realize
there's more to life than what they're
living. And moreover, they realize that
what they're looking for just may be
what they once had: a circle of friends,
a few dreams for the future and a place
to fit in.
Despite the fact that almost all
members of the group have been fair
ly successful in what they've pursued
they look back at their collegedays as
their happiest ones. Fifteen years after
graduation, they're all missing some-
thing or someone, and, from a dis-
tance, life at 21 looks pretty appeal-
Even up close, I suppose life at 21
is pretty darn attractive. A few weeks
ago, while I was complaining about an
endless list of job and internship
applications and the uncertainness of
my address come May 1998, my
mother interrupted me to gush about
how exciting it all was. She was excit-
ed for me, she said, because of the°
choices and opportunities I have.
ahead of me.
My October birthday means this
milestone comes quite a bit later for
me than it does for most of my class-
mates. The memories of my 21st
birthday will be thrown in with thos*
last memories of college, the ones that
occur when nostalgia and the term
"remember when" have already start.

ed to creep into Saturday night con-
It's the perfect time for "The Big
Chill" to make an appearance. The
first time I saw the movie was at the
end of my first year at the University,
when I was still a bit unsure how I fel
about Ann Arbor, the- Universityo
Michgan and its traditions. I immedi-
ately fell in love with the characters
and their stories, and I set out to intro-
duce them to every new Wolverine I
could find and force to sit through the
movie with me.
I adopted the movie's soundtrack,
which in alldfairness belongs to my par-
ents' generation, as the theme music
for my own circle of friends. We
squealed when our favorite songs were
played at parties and dragged each
other onto the dance floor so we could
overpower the music with our own off-
key glee.
In a spontaneous show of premature
sentimentality and just plain silliness,
we locked arms and swayed back and
forth in a circle during "You can't
always get what you want." Somehow,
almost everyone we knew at that party
got pulled into our sappy collegiate dis
play, and most of them even knew thO
Looking back at that party now, I can
picture almost all the faces in that cir-
cle. Several are still here, if only for a
few months; one is in Detroit, one in
Rhode Island, one in Boston, one in

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