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February 04, 1999 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1999-02-04

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4 - The Michigan Daily - Thursday, February 4, 1999

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Doing lines with Jagger and other post

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

Editor in Chief
Editorial Page Editors

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.

Bad reaction

Plan to combat binge drinking lacks proper focus

S top doing the crossword and imagine this.
6 a.m., you stumble half-dead into the
shower, slog down some Star Bucks and speed
like a boozed up Mario Andretti only to break
an axle on a freeway pothole, while trying to
find National Public
Radio or that Pearl Jam
Greatest Hits CD in
your trendy eurocar
(VW Beetle). You prac-
tically rear end the back
of a two-hour traffic
jam only to be two min-
utes late for work. You
hide in your cubicle for
10 hours trying to fig-
ure out exactly what the
cost/benefit analysis of
the two-week vs. one- Michael
week pay period is, Nagrant
while hatching diaboli-L
cal plans to abscond
with the company's serial
post it note supply. At
the end of the day, you sprint to your car, only
to find you locked the keys inside. While wait-
ing for the locksmith to jimmy the lock, you
bum a cigarette from him, developing a seri-
ous nicotine habit to cope with stress and the
fact that you cannot understand why rent is
due every month. Then you try to speed home,
but again traffic doesn't seem to cooperate.
You are chasing the setting sun, hoping that
maybe if you roll down the car window you'll
get a tan since the fluorescent office lights
have given you pastier thighs than Bill Clinton.
Finally home, you flop down on the Ikea
furniture wondering if you actually have the
stamina to boil water for the Ramen. Instead,
you call for Chinese takeout, but then you
realize you can only afford a fortune cookie,
but at least you don't have to make it yourself.
Then by some stroke of luck it's must see TV
time. So you flip on "Beverly Hills, 90210."
Yes, it's still on. It's the mid-life crisis years

and Donna's implants have leaked. Dylan has
killed himself three times and he still some-
how gets resurrected for the Christmas
episode as the ghost of Bob Marley. Brenda
and Kelly realize that they really love each
other, and everyone's cool with it except Steve
Sanders. They all have trust funds and time to
hang out and do whatever they want while
winning Pulitzer Prizes and staging retrospec-
tive fashion shows. Soon, Party ofTen, and the
Golden Years: Return of Fred Savage have fin-
ished and it is now 11 p.m., and you have an
excuse to go to bed. On the nightstand lays a
copy of the new self-help book by John
Grisham entitled "Men are High Paid Defense
Lawyers and Women are Underpaid
Prosecutors: How to Reconcile your
Differences in a Court of Law." Too tired to
read the 20-page pop-up book, you pick up the
Dilbert comic strip. The problem is you begin
to weep uncontrollably, because like all things
funny, it's all true. Sleep, Wash, Rinse, Repeat.
Doesn't sound like too much fun, does it?
While we are pulling all nighters strung out on
Espresso Royale, plotting to kill the CRISP
lady and trying to decide how we are going to
make the world safe for democracy, this is the
world that might await us outside. Sure maybe
you were pre-med or pre-law and your cubicle
comes with leather seats, Italian marble or
those cool green scrubs, but it's all the same.
Maybe you have kids, divorces, a couple of
ferrets and think as David Byrne sings "How
did I get here?" Maybe you become famous
and you make phat bank and can finally pay
all your Ann Arbor parking tickets, but then all
you do is develop a drinking problem or do
heroin with Mick on the Stones' Steel
Wheelchairs tour while getting jet lagged on
the flight to Paris in your personal jet.
College is the time to save ourselves from
this mindlessness. I know, you think I'm a cold
hearted cynic, or you're a business major who
knows this is all true, but the signing bonus is
too hard to pass up.

college possibilities
Actually, I still think that with hard work
and a little luck I could still be President
the United States. I still think that I can save
the world from population disaster or Bill
Gates or whomever is plotting against us.
Despite being Catholic, I still attend
church on Sunday and think the pope is just
misunderstood, but what I'm saying is that
we need to be careful in the choices we
make. If f ever get to be president, I don't
want to bomb Iraq to make the population
problem disappear. I want them to find th
cure for AIDS and cancer just like everyone
else. (Unless of course I invented AZT or
chemotherapy.) We need to start thinking
about how we will achieve these things,
instead of letting life guide us like it could in
the example above. Let us not bow to our
parents expectations of law school, med
school or engineering. Let's do it because
that is our choice. Let's not take our liberal
arts degrees and sell out to Arthur Anderson,
because that's the best pay we can get with-
out a professional degree. If you're an artis@
do it for the purity of art, not because it wil
award you fame or a Madison Avenue con-
tract. Do it because you have confidence that
your ideas really can change the world.
Follow the real reasons you came here as an
idealistic freshperson, not reasons of money,
greed and avoidance of therapy. Don't look
back in 20 years and realize you got from
point A to point B because everyone else
was doing it. Stop the madness by slowin
down and let everyone else catch up to yoW
I bet you a slice of Backroom that if we
stop believing the propaganda that we are
the lazy X/l/me generation, or that we no
longer have barriers to conquer like our
forefathers, we will go farther, faster,
stronger and higher, and we will be happy
when it's all over.
- If you think Michael Nagrant
is crazy, not because your friends do;
e-mail him at mjnagran@umich.edu

Representatives from Michigan's 15 pub-
lic universities met Tuesday to discuss
the implications of college-age binge drink-
ing. James Haverman, director of Michigan's
Department of Community Health, present-;
ed Gov. John Engler's plan to attack college
binge drinking, which suggests ways state
government, universities and local law
enforcement can help change binge drinking
behaviors. The plan includes an unclear
"mentorship program" and a media blitz to
inform college students about the dangers of
alcohol. The most misguided and severe idea
presented was Haverman's urging of univer-
sities to take a strong stance against college
binge drinkers by either informing parents or
guardians of infractions, expelling those who
have excessive drinking behaviors or "drying
them out" by helping students remain sober.
In the wake of alcohol-related deaths
across the country and the resulting obses-
sive media coverage, politicians and univer-
sity administrators alike have been desper-
ately searching for a way to control students'
alcohol consumption. Despite endless stud-
ies, task forces and conferences - all in the
best interest of students - the key point is
still eluding higher-ups such as Haverman.
College students' personal habits should not
be controlled or influenced by their universi-
ty. While classes and professors may shape
the minds of students, universities simply
cannot take a moral stance on the actions of
students. Expelling excessive drinkers would
be a huge step out of bounds for university
administrations. Furthermore, all the
expelling, dog-sniffing, wrist-slapping and
chastising in the world does not solve the
underlying problem - drinking habits are
culturally ingrained.
As a form of rebellion and independence,
young adults have always wanted what they
Program improves

cannot have - often in excessive amounts.
In the United States, often the desired object
for young adults is alcohol, simply because it
is forbidden. Many countries do not treat
alcohol as puritanically as the United States,
and subsequently alcohol does not have a
forbidden mystique. As a result, people learn
to drink responsibly from an early age and
avoid the drinking problems common in the
Developing a certain degree of accep-
tance seems to be a better approach than cur-
rent methods of alcohol education. Students
know perfectly well that alcohol can make
them throw up, pass out and get into a fair
amount of trouble with the law - that has
already been made abundantly clear. Beating
a redundant message into students' heads
simply confirms to many that if authority
frowns so harshly upon drinking, there must
be something desirable about it. If lawmak-
ers truly want to stop the reckless consump-
tion of alcohol on college campuses, they
need to change their approach.
Rather than play parent to thousands of
college students - searching their rooms
for alcohol and expelling them for a nightcap
- education aimed at changing the culture
of drinking should be implemented, in addi-
tion to lowering the drinking age. Eighteen-
year-olds will drink regardless of whether it
is legal for them to do so or not. But if drink-
ing is made legal for most college students,
the thrill of getting a fake ID, sneaking a keg
into the residence halls or partying until the
AAPD raids a fraternity house will be great-
ly reduced. Thus, the amount of alcohol con-
sumed will probably drop as well.
Lawmakers should take note: it is not neces-
sarily beer that college students are enam-
ored with. It is the social significance that
goes with it.
girls' self image
Carole Lapidos and psychotherapist Sally
Wisotzkey, understand the need for girls to
gain self-confidence during the grueling years
of puberty. Both with children of their own,
these associates have spent time teaching par-
ents how to support daughters in today's con-
stant struggle to fit in and feel comfortable.
The adult workshop became the first step in
allowing females to maintain a healthy
lifestyle. The rest of the neighborhood soon
caught on and answered Lapidos and
Wisotzey's request for a grant to improve their
program. The $15,000 given to the initiators
has helped better the lives of the teenage
female participants. Resulting adolescent self-
awareness has prompted new assertiveness
and happiness.
Twelve University students in women's
studies classes and Project Community serve
as mentors in the program. The mentors and
teachers plan to expand the program of now
more than 20 sixth- and seventh-grade partic-
ipants in upcoming years. Proposals have
been discussed for a program tailored espe-
cially for boys. In the current program, the
mentors actively work with the adolescent
girls by communicating with them through
fun activities and discussions addressing
issues of adolescence such as peer pressure,

sexual harassment, stress, proper nutrition,
drugs and alcohol.
This weekly arena for encouraging teenage
confidence has brought the Ann Arbor com-
munity closer together. By allowing the
daughters of today to openly share their con-
cerns and grow, the women of tomorrow can
feel spiritually stronger as the nation's new
role models.

MSA - Is this a disposable democracy?

We all love to talk about how awesome
democracy is. Its great openness, its resilient
recognition of minority opinion and its pro-
vision of equal representation are features we
love and preach. But as recent reactions to
the Michigan Student Assembly's Iraqi reso-
lution demonstrate, these freedoms are
quickly and conveniently abandoned when
things get hot. The arguments being used to
quell these freedoms are irrational and irrel-
evant, people get angry and feisty, and in the
end, the greatest casualty is the set of princi-
ples and freedom we all love to praise.
Constitutionally, MSA grants that its
solemn duties are "to help foster and pre-
serve an enlightened, free, just and democra-
tic- academic community" and "to assure
equal and effective participation in student
government to all members of the student
body." There is no fine print saying "except
for international issues" or "unless they are a
minority" or that these only apply for issues
that are directly "involving the relationship
between the University students and the
administration" as The Michigan Daily
No, MSA is a democratic legislative
institution that invites groups of students to

bring qualms, issues and voices, to be heard
and voted on. How can we stand by and
decry this openness? How can we say that
certain students should decide the pertinence
of all issues, and prioritize issues? Anyone
with any moral backbone will agree that the
death of 1.4 million Iraqis is an important
issue that needs to be addressed. And the
University is, historically, the leader at con-
fronting these issues. I challenge the Daily to
apply its criticisms to MSA's past battles
against apartheid in South Africa, the
Vietnam War and the brutal massacres in El
There are many myths in this whole
mess. The Daily's completely anti-constitu-
tional piece "Off Course" (2/2/99) constructs
the ridiculously false dichotomy of interna-
tional issues or campus issues. MSA meet-
ings operate on an agenda. That means that
the Iraq issue was added to that night's dis-
course. Therefore, it dispossessed nothing, it
was not a waste of MSA's time because that*
time was an extension of the regular meeting
time. By addressing the humanitarian disas-
ter in Iraq, MSA did not drop any of its other
projects that the Daily commends.
The passage of this resolution does not

change any of the MSA's successes and car-
rent programs. It still will run the coursepack
store, defend students' rights, seek to have a
student regent and most importantly, grant
all students the civil liberties and democra
freedoms that are their rights; even if tI
means passing resolutions which many do
not agree with or consider relevant.
The MSA did the truly democratic
thing. It embraced a minority's view and
gave it a legislative forum where democrat-
ic processes, are encouraged: by debating,
not by condemning or ruling out. All this
nonsense about MSA's role is non-debatable
and "unchallengeable." It serves as an
inclusive representative body. The MSA did
and will do as its constitution mandates@
you feel that is wrong, propose a change.
The student body and the Daily need to rec-
ognize that democratic freedoms are not
disposable and that the sanctions' effects of
4,500 Iraqi kids perishing each month needs
to be acted on.
This viewpoint was written
by Will Youmans, an MSA represent*
tive. He can be reached over
e-mail at wyoumans@umich.e

n a society where the dangerously skinny
supermodel poses as a female icon, it is
essential for growing girls to learn how to
accept themselves naturally rather than starve
emotionally. Since treatment from others
bears a direct relationship to self image,
young girls' feelings tend to correspond to
how their peers view them. Adolescence
marks the perfect beginning for embracing
personal appreciation so positive relationships
can form and optimism endures through the
college years. An innovative new program in
Ann Arbor's Forsythe Middle School is help-
ing to facilitate that process.-
The way women handle and regard them-
selves in college depends largely on their
development as an adolescent. In middle
school, all the excitement of budding friend-
ships and new experiences also brings new
dilemmas. Along with tender teenage rela-
tionships come frequent heartache and taunt-
ing. Both boys and girls feel personal conflicts
as they reach puberty, but the two sexes cope
with such feelings in marked differences.
Adolescent girls tend to direct their frustra-
tions inward. Poor self esteem in girls during
middle school often correlates with depres-
sion and eating disorders later on in life.
Luckily, with some help from the University
community, one middle school has taken
measures to reduce such trauma.
The Forsythe Middle School of Ann Arbor
understands the trials and tribulations girls
find during maturation. Two insightful female
members of the area created a remarkable
program, It's Great To Be A Girl, which runs
this year for the first time. The founders of the
after-school organization, social worker

Daily's does 'finejob'
providing reports on
local issues
I would like to take a moment to
respond to Geoffery Stanton's Jan. 26 let-
ter entitled "Daily's sports coverage is
excessive." My biggest problem with
Stanton's notion is the fact that he seems
to fail to realize that the Daily is a campus
newspaper, therefore it should cover cam-
pus events.
The Daily does it pretty well, its fine
editorials are generally focused on cam-
pus issues, as is its news coverage.
Occasionally itsfalterssbut every newspa-
per does.
And since one of the larger events on
campus is the University's athletic pro-
gram, the Daily should cover it extensive-
ly because other newspapers do not, and
let things like world events and the like be
covered by the media outlets that have the
resources and the wider paying audience
to do so.
If you have issues with the lack of
world events, turn on Headline News,
read a Reuters news summary online, or
drop 35 cents and pick up a Detroit Free
Press or The Detroit News. For a free
campusrpaper, the Daily does a fine job,
and its sports coverage is excellent.
Opponents of MSA

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you all. As many of you know, the MSA
approved, by one vote, a resolution
opposing the sanctions in Iraq that are
killing children at the rate of one dead
every 20 minutes.
As many of you may also know, it is
the United States that is the rallying force
behind these deadly measures.
Many representatives say they did not
vote for the resolutionybecause they
believed that the assembly had no place
in such issues.
I would tell them that when more than
20 students take time from their busy
lives to attend a three-hour long MSA
meeting so that they may see the passage
of a resolution that is important to them,
it is a student issue.
I urge the students of the University.
not to re-elect the following students as
they had neither the courage nor the for-
titude to stand up for a just and justified

Please do not re-elect these people as
they either voted against or abstained from
voting on a humane and moral resolution
I ask you to travel to the MSA offi
read the resolution and see for your ,
that by voting against it or abstaining~,
these representatives displayed a lack -of
courage and an acceptance of the mass
killing of hundreds of thousands of inno-
cent people in Iraq.
One last note.
David Burden, as for you, words fail
me in describing my pure distaste for your
politics and ultra-conservative views. But I
will give it a shot. Your anti-progress
tactics have, for a long time, affected stu-
dent interests in a purely hurtful way. You
have finally committed your first act of
public service in resigning your position
on MSA.
I sincerely believe that if it were up to
you. everyone on this campus would be

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