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November 04, 1998 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1998-11-04

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

~Ie id~iuu &ff
420 Maynard Street LAURIE MAYK
Ann Arbor, Ml 48109 E rC
Edited and managed by E
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.
Moving out
Bollinger's move could backfire on students

'... often we look at grades and standardized test scores
as objective factors. I think that premise is a mistake.'
- member-elect of the University Board of Regents Kathy White, on
how the University should consider changing its admissions process
> {a -i

L ast week, University President Lee
Bollinger announced plans to move
the present administration out of the
Fleming Administration Building and into
the basement and first floor of the more
accessible Angell Hall by the year 2000.
This proposed move out of the Fleming
Administration Building is indeed a good
idea on the part of the president, which
unlike some of his predecessors, is making
a conscious effort to be closer and more
accessible to students. But the plan to move
to Angell Hall may turn out to be less effec-
tive than originally thought, especially since
some of the most vital student services are
located in the basement and first floor of
Angell Hall may be displaced.
. Currently located at the basement of
Angell Hall is the Office of the Registrar,
which provides students with the means to
register for or drop courses after the dead-
line or when CRISP is unavailable.
Additionally, there is the Academic
Advising Office, which is located on the
f ist floor of Angell Hall, where students
rceive advice on class registration, concen-
trations and other undergraduate needs.
'these are two vital services that are fre-
qjiently used by students during their time
at the University, at least in part because
they are centrally located on campus, mak-
ing them very accessible.
A relocation of these services could
result in an unacceptable lack of accessi-
bility. In order for Bollinger's proposed
plan to be effective and have a positive
effect on the student body, the president
needs to come up with a solution to find
an accessible location for these basic ser-
vices quickly. But with limited additional
space throughout Central Campus, this

would be a very difficult thing to do.
Other than student services, the offices
of several academic units such as the
Honors Program, the Great Books pro-
gram and the English Composition Board
are located in Angell Hall. As a result of
the planned move, these departments
would have to relocate, and with limited
space currently available within the
University, Bollinger's move could create
a domino effect throughout campus. The
possibility of mass relocation around the
University would affect both the student
body and faculty members.
The proposed relocation could turn
Angell Hall into a low-usage building as
the frequency of students accessing the
senior administration would definitely be
less than the quantity of students who
currently visit academic advising and the
other services. The move would definite-
ly provide easier access for students to
meet with the president, but increasing
the frequency of students communicating
with the president, while important,
should not come at the price of access to
students services that are vital to every
The president is definitely moving in the
right direction in trying hard to be closer to
students. But this process should not be car-
ried out by removing vital services for stu-
dents or by reducing the accessibility of
these services. Bollinger should either con-
sider a new location that is both accessible
and has minimal effect on the student body
or present a solution to find a new location
where, when basic student services such as
the Office of Registrar are relocated, these
services would be as accessible to students
as it is today.

e wrong enemy
'U' drinking task force is misguided

he death of LSA first-year student
Courtney Cantor sent shock-waves
through the University community,
aaministrators and students were forced to
try to make sense of the senseless tragedy.
One response to this incident has been a
focus on the perceived problem of under-
age drinking. As part of a general trend
across the nation, Vice President for
Siudent Affairs Maureen Hartford com-
missioned a binge drinking task force to
target the problem of drinking among
first-year students at the University.
Although the task force was formed
before Cantor's death, the campaign to
crack down on underage drinking has only
intensified in recent weeks.
While the University's concern for the
welfare of its students is admirable, the
administration needs to rethink how it
deals with underage drinking. The binge
drinking task force is as misguided as it is
ineffective. Alcohol and Other Drug
Education Coordinator Marsha Benz has
stated, in reference to Cantor's death, that
"what tragedies do is allow what work has
been done to try to reduce the problems
associated with alcohol to come to the
Benz's statement confirms what many
have suspected for some time with regard to
the fervor over underage drinking: Cantor's
death was probably not just a result of irre-
sponsible binge drinking - her blood alco-
hol level was 0.059, below the level required
for a legal definition of impairment. While it
is always comforting to be able to point a fin-
ger, underage drinking is not an insidious
plague sweeping across college campuses.
The administration and its task forces are not
the cure to a social plague.
But this issue is not so simple. Alcohol

abuse is a serious problem nationwide, on
or off college campuses. But the witchunt
aimed at people under 21 years of age is
not an effective nor sensible solution. For
one thing, the University's task force has
fashioned itself more as a looming
parental figure than a concerned educa-
tor. Hartford has said that the number of
University students who "drink to get
drunk" is higher than the national aver-
age. Such a claim is suspect at best.
Rather than trying to define who is an irre-
sponsible drinker, efforts to combat alcohol
abuse should focus on educating people of all
ages. By providing students with a useful
forum for discussing the dangers of excessive
drinking rather than trying to nip the underage
drinking problem in the bud, the University
would be doing students a service.
By focusing specifically on first-year
students, the task force has used age in
determining whether a student's drinking
habits are unsafe. The assumption is that
when drinking is illegal - when the per-
son is under 21 - it is more dangerous.
This is, of course, absurd. The legal age
limit for the consumption of alcohol is
both arbitrary and illogical. Eighteen-
year-olds in this country are given the
right to vote - they are entrusted with
the responsibility of participating in the
process to determine what is best for the
nation - yet they are told that they are
not responsible enough to drink. The
University's dedication to crack down on
underage drinking echoes this national
inconsistency. Rather than vilifying this
widespread practice, the University
should trust and respect students as adults
by educating them about alcohol abuse
and allowing them to learn instead of

move is 'at
the expense
of students'
After reading the article
"Plan set for move from
Fleming" (10/28/98), 1 was
overtaken by confusion.
Bollinger explains that the
reason for the move is to
make the president "more
centrally located." Is Angell
Hall really closer to the stu-
dents than a building next to
the Union?
From what I understand,
the plans for the new, stu-
dent-friendlier administra-
tion offices will displace the
LSA Academic Advising
Center, the Honors Office
and part of the Registrar's
Office. Instead of having a
quality service close to
undergraduate students, we
will have rows of adminis-
tration offices.
The president and the
regents are moving to Angell
Hall at the expense of the
students. A student-friendlier
administration would at least
make provisions to move
Academic Advising first so
that LSA students don't have
to be advised in converted
classrooms with cardboard
cubicles for four years.
Societies do
not deserve
with the 'U'
The University ought to
discontinue its allocation of
space in the Union to the
Michiguama and Adara
secret societies. The space
ought to be given to groups
of students who are willing to
include all members of the
University population in their
ranks. The existence of such
organizations undermines the
spirit of fairness and accessi-
bility that should exist here at
one of the great public uni-
If indeed the objectives,
activities and social networks
embraced by the secret soci-
eties do benefit the general
population of University stu-
dents, then membership
ought to be open to all who
aspire to join. The societies
seem to me to be little more
than clubs of self-important
people who became members
of the societies through the
very social networks and
friendships that the societies
supposedly exist to further.
Thus, it seems like the soci-
eties exist mainly to perpetu-
ate their own existence! This
hardly seems like something
that benefits the University

such that individuals had to
be hand-picked to be able to
use it, nobody would draw
any conclusion other than
The burden of proof
ought to be placed on the
secret societies to show that
they are indeed worthy of
association with the
University. If the societies
want to continue to exist as
separate entities for men and
women, why don't they start
calling themselves fraterni-
ties and sororities?
Many different
ethnic groups
'rule the
In regard to Jeff Berman's
letter ("Misleading racism is
still prevalent," 10/28/98), I
agree that the misguided per-
son who said that "Jews rule
the world and the country"
was severely mistaken and
ignorant about how the world
works. No single ethnic or
religious group runs the
world. This type of thinking
is very similar to those who
in 1960 thought a vote for
Kennedy was a vote for the
Pope and the Catholic
Church to take over the
United States.
However, Berman is
equally ignorant if he feels
Jews are not represented in
influential and powerful sec-
tors of society. As for CEOs
of major corporations, how
about Michael Eisner of
Disney? Companies don't get
much larger than that. In
Hollywood, Goldwyn and
Mayer founded MGM and
Spielberg and Katzenburg
founded Dreamworks SKG.
In Finance, there is Goldman
Sachs, S. G. Warburg,sJacob
Schiff, Baron de Rothscild
and numerous others.
My point is Jews are influ-
ential, but so are many other
ethnic groups. Those who
"rule the world" are not con-
cerned with petty arguments
about race and ethnicity, they
are too busy running things
while we are distracted.
The Daily
should 'boot'
After reading the Oct. 27
column "Women really do
have it al" by Sarah
Lockyer, I realized that her
insipid column about
"Studio 654" was probably

drinking is
part of life
This letter is in response
to the Daily article
("Drinking nailed after
tragedies," 10/29/98). One of
the more provocative mes-
sages brought forth bymstu-
dents interviewed in this arti-
cle was that of Engineering
student Nate Greenberg.
Greenberg states that "stu-
dents have to choose to limit
their drinking" and that "peo-
ple have to take responsibili-
ty for their actions." I find
myself in agreement with
Greenberg, but I disagree
with him when he and other
students say that blame is too
heavily appropriated upon
those who serve alcohol to
underage students ratherthan
the students themselves.
While the choice remains
ultimately in the hands of the
student, we must decide who
is at fault when a student
who should not have been
able to drink does so in
excess. I feel strongly that
whomever decides to serve
alcohol at a party should also
expect to assume responsibil-
ity for what happens to an
underage drinker in atten-
dance. I know from experi-
ence that little if any care is
ever taken to make sure that
an underage student handles
themselves respectably. In
fact, we usually find that the
opposite is true: A young stu-
dent is initiated into "college
life" with an encouraged
push towards drunken impro-
priety for one very special
night with special people.
Just as we punish the drug
dealer far more than the user,
we should also encourage
servers of alcohol to take
greater care of who drinks in
their homes.
Several readers may
frown at my choice for these
unfortunate people who
"choose" to drink when they
are underage. I believe in the
legal drinking age of 21 years
because I don't feel confident
that the majority of first-year
students who drink at parties
do so with any sound reason-
ing. Do they drink because
they enjoy the taste? If every-
one around you is having a
good time, you want to be in
on it too. Those young girls
who accepted those shots are
precisely the ones who are
protected by the legal drink-
ing age. We have to assume
that when it comes to con-
trolled substances, young
impressionable people will
not always choose wisely.
The young people of this
country have a fixation on
alcohol and its abuse. When
the people of our country cele-
brate their coming of age into
adulthood, they often violently
abuse a legal drug just because
that is the night to do it. This
depressing exhibition of a lack
of experience and integrity is
the impetus for this crackdown

ith the ;
A sa nation, we've become trans-
fixed by apologies. Leave it to us
make things like contrition, penance
and forgiveness into trend-oid com-
modities for CNBC hacks to trade on
the ass end of the cable dial. We make
our president apologize every three or
four hours for a
blowjob. We pre-
tend that a penitent
sound byte is more
valuable than the
parliamentary horse
shit they're usually
made of.
OK. I can accept
But why stop at
the president? 1AMS
There are lots of ILLM
other sinners out
there. T4
Why reserve the
holy fire for him? We all see things
everyday that deserve apologies; from
your housemate drinking your milk, to
the guy who stole your bike to the girl
who stood you up. On a more pervasize
and national level, there are a fev
apologies that, personally, I'd like to
From a fashion executive to the I1-
30 year old population of the United
Dear sirs and madams,
"I would like to extend my most sin-
cere apologies to all of you, for making
some of you vapid, shallow, superficial
and worthless. I realize that we raised
you, but we took advantage #f that posi-
tion of power. In reality, the best thingto
do with your formative years is not
copying Rachel's hairstyle. We also
apologize for creating E!, wasting hours
of broadcasting time on programming
like "What Hollywood's Hottest Stars
Wore to the Oscars." We know that no
one cares about Mickey Rourke's latest
black ensemble, with his not-nominated
"Further, we would like to apologize
for "the skinny girl ideal" Calista
Flockhart, Courtney Cox and every
supermodel since Cheryl Tiegs are ugly,
unhealthy pieces of vermicelli. Men
don't ike girls who look like refugees.
Have a sandwich: We promise it will be
OK. Thank you."
From the Phone Company to phone
Dear Loyal Customers,
"In the Bible days, people like us
were considered so vile and rapacious
even Christ took a swing at us. With
regret, we confess that we are still at it.@
It doesn't really cost anything to have-a
phone "hooked up" at a new address.
Nor is there any such thing as "miscel-
laneous charges" or "local adjusted
fees" or "fees locally adjusted" or "t;
fee for local adjustments." We over-
charge all of you and make stuff u
because we like money, have no morl
center, and were probably toilet-trained
too early. In the future, we will charge
only what our services are worth, and
may He have greater mercy on us tha
"We would also like to admit that we
are the same people that sell textbooks
and rent campus housing. We are also
are in charge of the parking system in
the greater Ann Arbor area. We ensure
that there are four or five spaces for
public use, that UM parking fines are i
times the city fees and that there are
never enough cops, but there are enough
meter maids to retake Omaha Beach
These are enterprises that run in a sim-

]arty evil fashion, and we charge what-
ever we think we can get away with.
"Please have mercy on us. God will
no.* From fleece-wrapped, vaguely
stubbly meatheads to Real Men for giv-
ing us bad images:
Dear Brothers,
"We have done all of us great disser*
vice. Every time a woman says 'Men
are such assholes!' or complains about
forgetting birthdays, Valentine's Days,
neglecting them and generally behaving
poorly, the fault is squarely ours. 5.
We are the ones who have to con-
centrate really hard not to say things
like 'Dat bitch better give that shit
up!' We acknowledge that we are not
Real Men or even actual males, but
rather some kind of penis-toting
mutant. We are the reason that people
in our time find words like nobility
and manners quaint. We have no busi
ness talking to women at all, and will
be content, for the rest of our lives, to
stay at home listening to Puffy and,.
tugging on ourselves."-
From N-Synch, the Spice Girls and
the Backstreet Boys to Berry Gordy, the
Temptations, Stevie Wonder, Smokey'.
Robinson, Gladys Knight and the estate
of Marvin Gaye:
"Dear esteemed legends,
We are less than nothing beford
you. We tooksa poll and none of us
could hit a note with a sledgehammer
and a bench vise. We recognize that
you are artists of taste, style and orig

forcing them to listen.

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