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February 01, 1999 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1999-02-01

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4A - The Michigan Daily - Monday, February 1, 1999

QIIpe Bicbigun &d{l

The CCRB: Darwin's theory of evolution in action

420 Maynard Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
daily. letters@umich.edu
Edited and managed by
students at the
University of Michigan

Editor in Chief
Editorial Page Editors

Ijust love the CCRB. I mean, where else on
campus can you go and work out for an
hour or two, sweat out all the weekend's impu-
rities (beer, etc.) and be immensely enter-
tained at the same time? Now, the casual
observer or gym novice might not understand

Unless otherwise noted, unsigned editorials reflect the opinion ofthe majority of the
Daily s editorial board. All other articles, letters and cartoons do not necessarily reflect
the opinion of The Michigan Daily.

the nuances of gym
subculture enough to
appreciate how funny
this really is. However,
the New Year has come
and gone. People have
made their resolutions,
many of which include
getting into the gym to
lose those unwanted
holiday pounds.
But this can be a
treacherous path for
the uninitiated. The
weight room at the
CCRB is home to a
fierce predator, a
creature that is totally
incomprehensible to

The voice of the '
Editorial page speaks for student rights

the Hammer
most everyone on

strange country we call the gym.
Rule 1: "Working In." For some reason,
newcomers to the gym always assume that
everyone trains the way they did when they
were in junior high or when they received that
two-week free pass to Bally's. This is called
circuit training, and it is a process by which an
individual works out their entire body, usually
only one or two sets per exercise.
Fact: Circuit training is for weenies. If
you don't mind having the physique of Bill
Gates, then by all means continue.
Otherwise, you're going to have to spend
significant time on a station. So, when you
see me finish a set, DO NOT just cut in and
take my machine or station. I am not on my
way to the damn Thigh Master. I am simply
resting between sets.
Newcomers, it is okay to share a
machine, but ask first. There are generally
three possible responses to asking if you
can work in: 1) "Get away from me, pencil-
neck;" 2) "I'm sorry, but I've got three sets
left" - which means the same thing as
number 1 or 3), "Uh, I guess so."
Number 3 is, of course, the best answer, but
don't be too discouraged if it doesn't sound
that friendly. After all, no one really wants to
let anyone work in with them. Remember, as
a group, all serious lifters are disturbed
sociopaths anyway. If we weren't, we would
be playing golf or something instead of
spending our lives in a dank, smelly gym.
Rule 2: Patience. This is related to rule
No. 1., When waiting for a machine, don't
stand behind the person and tap your toe
impatiently. Being able to smell your
sweaty Tommy Hilfiger workout shirt is the
last thing I want when I'm trying to squat
400 pounds.
Rule 3: Bullying. This is related to rule
No. 2. If the person you're waiting for is
taking his or her damn sweet time, breath-

"Is the daily paper a go? " This oft repeat-
ed question is answered once and for all by
our appearance today. Yes, the Daily is a go.
It is here to stay.
- The first issue of The Michigan
Daily, Sept. 29, 1890
More than 108 years later, the prediction
issued in the Daily's first editorial is
correct. Since then, the Daily has published
editorials five (and sometimes six) days a
week during every academic year. To under-
stand the Daily's present is to understand its
In its first year, Daily editorials ran on the
left column of page two, adjacent to adver-
tisements for the Michigan Central "Niagra
Falls Route," Gibson Photographer on "No.
12 W. Huron St." and derbies for $2. Many of
the editorials focused on University athletics,
such as the Nov. 19, 1890 observation that
Cornell University's football team exhibited
conduct that was "in a word babyish, not the
manly spirit that one looks for in football."
Throughout the early part of the twentieth
century, the Daily's editorials moved from
having a focus mainly on athletics and rush
issues to concerns affecting students, as well
as national and global issues. The Dec. 11,
1941 editorial rallied student support behind
President Franklin Roosevelt's address to
Congress declaring war. The editorial com-
mended Roosevelt for stressing that the war
was not one for revenge but "one fought with
the sense of dignity that a nation can retain
only when it is fighting for an ideal."
The location of Daily editorials also
changed in the early 1900's. Page 4, as it is
today, was designated only for editorial con-
tent - no advertisements were placed on the
page as to maintain the editorials' indepen-
In 1960, the Daily's editorial page took a
sharp turn to the left. Under the leadership of
Tom Hayden, who would later move on to
found Students for a Democratic Society,
student activism and freedom became a top
priority of the page, one that lives on through 4

ing down his or her neck can be an effective
method of getting him to finish his set early,
and is also considered acceptable gym eti-
quette. In extreme cases, you may even
resort to ridiculing the offending party's
exercise form and/or physique. (Author's
note: Rule 3 is generally more effective if
you weigh at least twice as much as the per-
son you are attempting to bully. Failure to
observe this can have unpleasant results.)
Rule 4: Mindless Conversations. In the
proper environment, mindless chitchat is
great. In fact, most of the conversations I
start are mindless. But when I have to listen
to them on the gym floor, within earshot of
where I am trying to set a new personil
record, it is downright distracting, not to
mention rude. I don't care if you like
Scorsese orTarentino better, what you think
of Nietzche, whether or not you are going to
Kristin's party tonight or about that new
Saab that daddy is going to buy you. The
serious lifter is at the gym for a purpose,
and this purpose has nothing to do with
MSA, gas mileage, your chemistry test or
that new Abercrombie shirt you just bought.
Rule 5: Ogling. It's rude, not to mention
distracting. Do you honestly think women
who work out want you to stare at them? If
they did, do you think they would wear low-
cut workout tops that barely conceal their
heaving bosoms? Do you think they would
parade around the CCRB in makeup, bar
pants, and tiny thongs wedged up so tightly
you'd need the Jaws of Life to remove
them? Do you ... hey! Wait a minute! Well,
at least be discrete about it, especially if her
workout partner looks like Sam Sword's
twin brother. You can't get big if you're
Happy lifting.
- Branden Sanz can be reached over e-
mail at hammerhead@umich.edu.

the present. "The greatest challenge for the
University administrator today, as well as for
the faculty, is to acknowledge the right of the
student to participate in the creation of those
policies and patterns relevant to the whole
University community and to the education-
al process," a Sept. 24, 1960 editorial
decried. This cry is echoed in the Daily
today, which now calls for the abolition of
the oppressive Code of Student Conduct.
Throughout the '60s and '70s, page 4 of
the Daily was the bastion of liberalism on the
University campus. It was a strong supporter
of the Black Action Movements and harshly
criticized U.S. involvement in the Vietnam
In the '80s, the Daily's liberal values
continued, but the focus shifted to more
national and global issues, including unre-
lenting support of Palestine and hard-hitting
criticisms of the Reagan and Bush adminis-
trations. Addressing newly inaugurated
President George Bush on Feb. 9, 1989, the
Daily wrote that "behind his smile lurks an
evil man with a covert agenda, and getting
giddy every time he plays Congress's tune
is only going to clear the dance floor for
more crimes, like the Iran Contra affair."
As editorial page editors of the Daily for
the next year, we must apply the values set
forth by our predecessors to the day's perti-
nent issues. These include the admissions
lawsuits that threaten diversity on campus
and the trial of President Clinton. Daily edi-
torials are not based on individual opinions;
they are written to uphold 108 years of
precedent. The Daily has many stances,
with many opponents on campus. But one
value transcends all editorial positions --
the pursuit of student liberties and academ-
ic integrity,

campus. The reek of sweat and anger her-
alds his coming; primordial grunts and
screams announce his presence for all to
behold. This creature is know as the serious
You cannot learn about him in your
women's studies class, and even your psych
professor cannot fathom him. You may even
have met him in class, at a bar or party, but
it is doubtful you could possibly understand
the depth of his neurosis. However, once
you enter the gym you are in his house, a
situation which can reduce a poor Chi
Omega to the feeling of a deer strolling
through the wolf's den.
Therefore, gentle reader, I have taken it
upon myself to introduce you to a few
guidelines; sort of a "travel guide" to the



LET f114r CCNfV$7

?4 *


- Jeffrey Kosseff and David Wallace
Editorial Page Editors

GOrncomisingte ion
GEO contract must not be interrupted

onight, when the clock strikes mid-
night, the Graduate Employees
Organization's contract expires. For the past
few months, GEO stewards have stated rea-
sonable demands for wage increases but
have faced an unwillingness to compromise
on the part of the University administration.
GEO has been willing to compromise by
reducing its proposed wage increase from
37 percent to 27 percent, but the University
has not shown the same intent. If the two
sides do not reach a compromise and the
GEO decides to strike, the people most hurt
by these debates will be the undergraduate
About 1,600 graduate student instructors
and staffers are members of the GEO,
which was founded in 1973. These graduate
students play an integral part in undergrad-
uate education. Popular introductory class-
es such as Economics 101, Chemistry 130
and Psychology 111 are taught in large lec-
ture halls with one professor lecturing to
several hundred students. The weekly dis-
cussion sections, which are led by GSIs,
offer a personal connection to the course
and allow students to raise questions they
have of the material.
These GSIs, who are also full-time stu-
dents often working on dissertations or full
class loads, are requesting a pay increase

According to figures provided by GEO,
GSIs earn about $995 per month after taxes,
which is significantly lower than the
$1,166.50 that the Office of Financial Aid
states is a graduate student's off-campus liv-
ing expenses. This 15-percent differential
should not be compensated for by second
and third jobs. Graduate students already
have a full slate between teaching classes
and their own studies, but the University's
request of an increase less than 10 percent
would likely force them to take other jobs.
The University negotiation team claims
GSIs work an average of 17 hours per week.
But the University needs to recognize that
many GSIs give much more of their time
than what is written on the syllabus. Many
GSIs answer e-mail and phone inquiries
from undergraduate students at all times of
the day and are willing to make appoint-
ments with students outside of class to dis-
cuss concerns and questions.
Quite simply, the University cannot
function without GSIs. The two sides must

MSA has done
little to help
student body
The lead article in the Jan. 27 issue of
the Daily entitled "MSA: Lift Iraqi
Sanctions" brought forth a question in my
mind - what is it that our student govern-
ment is doing fortthe students? Or more
specifically, what should MSA begin
doing for the students?
During my three and a half years as a
student at the University, I have seen very
little in the way of constructive achieve-
ments from MSA. I am aware of the $5.40
billed to every student each term to fund
projects approved by the MSA, and that
these projects are intended to "improve the
quality of both academic and non-academ-
ic life for students:'
But as stated in the same article of the
MSA Constitution, student government
should also serve as our voice to the
University Administration. Its influence on
decisions was apparent in last year's
attempt to create a student regent, which
died a quick and painless death.
Many programs it does approve (and
which do pass regent review) have little
impact on the general student body. The
majority of these programs are geared
towards a small subset of the student pop-
ulation, and funded by all of us. While this
does encourage smaller groups to form, it
also draws attention away from the more
important issues at the University that
affect all of us as a whole.
The Michigan Student Assembly
should focus on the role it was elected to
do, serving as a mouthpiece of the stu-
dent body in official University matters,
The formality of a student government
that receives regular audiences with top
administrators and genuinely carries
with it the concerns and attitudes of the
student body is a great boon to student-
administration relations. With the recent
allegations of electoral misconduct,
MSA's lack of influence on administra-
tive processes, ridiculous campaigns
(especially the flyers) and now its seem-
ing prioritization of matters in which it
has absolutely no influence, MSA is and
has been losing credibility with and sup-
port from the student body. This is
increasingly apparent in the turnout for
MSA elections, which is generally less
than 30 percent of the students' vote.
No longer do I see the student gov-
ernment as a proactive in-road to deci-
sion-making at the University, but as a
circus in which the performers only want
an extra line on their resume. They cer-
tainly have no place or basis for repre-
sentative judgement of national foreign
policy. Our MSA representatives lack
the ideals of service to the students who
elect them that should accompany an
office such as theirs. As such, I will con-
tinue to refrain from voting in MSA
elections. Being associated with such an
organization leaves a bitter taste in my

demning the sanctions against Iraq. I,
along with many other students and
community members, have been in a
continuous fight to educate both the
campus body and community on the hor-
rible plight that the Iraqi people are
experiencing as a direct result of the
We hope the MSA resolution will
help raise awareness on campus about
the true genocide that is taking place in
Iraq - as a direct result of actions taken
by our U.S. government. As this coun-
try's future leaders, we need to take a
stand against this blatant violation of
human rights and join the international
community in condemning the sanctions
against Iraq - and our MSA, our fellow
student representatives, have turned the
University in the direction. Thanks again
to the MSA representatives for their
patience and passing of the resolution. I
hope this action by MSA can help influ-
ence other Universities around the world
to condemn the sanctions and genocide
in Iraq - andjoin us in a stand for peace
and justice in Iraq.
University does not
consider financial
constraints of GSIs
When University Chief Negotiator Dan
Gamble claims that the Graduate
Employees Organization wage proposal is
"unrealistic," one must question his claim
that he has reached "a new level of under-
standing" about the GEO wage proposal.
Apparently, Gamble fails to understand
some essential facts about the realities of
First, wages are in part determined by
what the employee produces. For the
University, graduate student instructors
produce tuition dollars by teaching
classes that are earned for credits paid by
undergraduates. Since 1987, tuition rev-
enues have increased 163 percent while

value of those dollars in the place of
employment. According to the
University's own data, University of
Michigan GSIs are paid 48 percent less
than the value of their counterparts'
salary at the University of Iowa and
around 30 percent less than at the
Universities of Wisconsin, Nebraska and
The GEO proposal would bring
University GSI salaries in line with
schools such as Nebraska and Virginia,
whereas the University proposal would
keep University of Michigan GSIs paid
less than their counterparts at Michigan
State University and 20 of 28 universities
chosen by the University as a basis of com-
parison. Is it unrealistic to expect the best
public school in the nation to pay their
GSIs at least what is earned by GSIs at less
prestigious universities?
Lastly, decisions about wages are in
part determined by what employees
demand for employment. According to
members of the University's bargaining
team, the University does not consider
GSIs employees but as recipients of
financial aid. Yet this defies logic. No
financial aid package earns money for
the university, yet the teaching for which
GSls are paid does. Unless GSIs are
treated as valuable employees rather than
recipients of hand-outs, it is certainly
realistic to expect that GSIs will stop
teaching classes until they are treated
with the respect lacking in the
University's negotiations with GEO. And
until GSIs are paid what they have
earned and are paid what they could
expect at less prestigious universities,
Gamble certainly cannot be said to have
demonstrated any "new level of under-
standing" whatsoever.
Seniors' last issue
was 'outstanding'
and hilarious

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work together to reach a compromise, and
they must do it soon. Any break in class
time could be extremely damaging to all
involved. The University community must
not see a repeat of the 1996 GEO work
stoppage, when classes were disrupted for


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