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March 18, 1999 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1999-03-18

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4A - The Michigan Daily - Thursday, March 18, 1999

t
c e n tti1

I'll take the College Championship for $25,000, Alex

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

HEATHER KAMINS
Editor in Chief
JEFFREY KOSSEFF
DAVID WALLACE
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.

Lendinghelp
Greek Week stresses community service
ive back to the Community" - completion.
that's the message the University In the wake of alcohol related problems
Greek system is emphasizing in its annual associated with fraternities and sororities
Greek Week. nationwide, this week allows the Greek sys-
This annual week of community service, tem to reinforce its community focus.
which began on Tuesday and will continue Positive actions are often overshadowed by
on through March 25, will see "Animal House" reputations.
members f U ryThe Greek system is not just
Greek System participate in about parties, but about leader-
various charitable events ship and community involve-
around Ann Arbor. ment.
The Greek system should be r 2 Community service should
commended for its efforts in j pf not be reserved simply for
giving back to the community.7 ra14 a Greek Week. The Greek system
Although this is Greek Week, participates in numerous chari-
University students who are not M# . .. g table activities throughout the
involved in fraternities or soror- year; this is one case in which
lties are nevertheless encour- they take a leadership role on

I sat on the bench at Kresge waiting for the
bus to north campus. Across the street I
glimpsed a spotless navy blue Volvo S70
parked in the sunlight.
Foreshadowing?
The answer is 1
"Jeopardy!." The ques-
tion is, "What is the
game show whose col-
lege tournament I tried
out for last Friday?":
The prize for winning
the "Jeopardy!"
College Championship
happens to be a brand
new Volvo, or Fjords David
as they're called after Wallace
the merger with Ford.
Cool prize, but let's not Exile
get ahead of ourselves. Maynard
The bus dropped
me off at Pierpont Commons, filling in for
Culver City, Calif I walked through the door
into a lobby of human entropy. To my right,
people with laptops played "Jeopardy!"
online. Another group stood single file await-
ing the opportunity to play a mock game --
board and buzzers included - hosted by-
bubbly minor-league Alex Trebek.
I walked past these distractions. I was here
for one reason - to take the test and see if I
qualify for the show. That and to get a column.
The exam table wasn't hard to find.
Students huddled around it as if Lloyd Carr
called "time out" on fourth down. And it was
fourth down; mess up here and your
"Jeopardy!" experience was shorter than a
flight from Detroit to Chicago.
It took me about a half hour to position
myself at the front of the table, so I filled time
watching students crease their foreheads over
the pink, white, yellow and green exams. One
by one, they handed in their best shots.

Hopeful eyebrows and widened eyes asked
the question more often than words:"How'd I
do?" Too often the dreaded answer, "Thanks
for playing," slipped from the proctors' lips,
discarding the would-be contestant's dreams
of "Jeopardy!" into the trash.
This, of course, did wonders for the confi-
dence of those waiting their turn. When the
chair in front of me finally opened up, I
almost didn't take it. Perhaps this is why it
took so long to get to the table.
The mind behaves awkwardly in times like
these, looking for a little control. I glanced at
the pile of pens in front of me, searching for
one not infected with someone else's bad luck.
I settled on a white one with "Jeopardy!" in
blue letters that looked untouched. The proc-
tor handed me a green exam. Money.
Not to brag, because it's not a big deal, but
I went through the 10 questions like a box of
Kleenex during cold season. Number 10,
"Who is Agatha Christie?" and I was done.
I handed my test to one of the proctors. Ten
quick hits with a red pen, and she smiled at
me over her clipboard. "Excellent! Can you
come back at 4?" It wasn't a good time, but I
said "Yeah," without hesitation.
I went and got a Sprite at Little Caesar's to
pass the time before the next test and write
' yerything down. I took a window seat and
spit a long time watching people miss the
bus Bonisteel Blvd. I hoped it wouldn't
happen tp me when I went back for the next
phase.
Just to advance to the next round was an
honor. I asked the proctor how many students
were making it, and she told me the testing
section accommodated 75 students. Being
really busy, she figured maybe 2,000 people
tried out for the section.
Those fortunate few of us waited to settle
our "Jeopardy!" fates. Inside, two TVs
loomed; knowing the questions would come

from them, I took a seat in the front row. Once
we were settled, Trebek himself appeared on
screen explaining the procedure and apologiz-
ing for not being there in person, since he was
installing solid gold bathroom fixtures in his
house that week.
Anyway, this phase was a little trickier. The
questions came in seven-second intervals so
we had to adjust quickly to reading olf'the TV.
But again I was fine, and the questions fell
like extras in a war movie.
Sometimes those of us with names at the
end of the alphabet experience a unique hor-
ror. Not realizing the staff was reading the
names of winners in alphabetical order, every
name called pierced me with doubt. One left.
Then the woman read "David M. Wallace,"
and doubt turned to joy. Only 13 of us made it'
past the second test.
The finale required the 13 of us to play a
mock round of "Jeopardy!." We all tried to
exude personality while the staff checked to
make sure we could operate a buzzet.
Everyone did well, and I don't know how
they'll be able to select just one of us. I
assume the same was true of the other two
previous groups taking the 50-question test.
The "Jeopardy!" staff's simple parting words
were, "If you get a letter next week, congratu-
lations. If not, you all should be on the show.
Please try out again."
As we left, the "Jeopardy!" staffers tried to
unload all of their freebies. I reached into a
box and wrapped my fingers around as many
of the uniformly white pens as I could grasp.
"Good to have a lot of these when you're a
writer," I joked. Looking down at my hand as
I left the Commons, I noticed one'blue pen
among the handful of white.
That's how it's going to be, I thought. Those
are the odds. I hope it's me.
- David Wallace can be reached over
e-mail at davidmw(a umich.edu.

TIUOMAS KULJURGIS

aged to participate in many of the various
activities, which are open to the entire stu-
dent body.
Three events headline Greek Week -
an Education Forum, a Blood Drive and
the annual Sing and Variety Show - in
addition to the multitude of events occur-
ring throughout the week. Other events
include a carnival for children at the Ann
Arbor Community Center on Saturday.
Greek Week organizers already document
1,000 hours of community service, with a
goal of doubling that figure by the week's

campus. Students not affiliated with the
Greek System should also make an effort to
give back to the community. Besides frater-
nities and sororities there are many other
organizations in the Ann Arbor community
devoted to helping others.
Greek Week allows the entire Greek sys-
tem to transcend stereotypes about fraterni-
ty and sorority life and show its dedication
to the University and Ann Arbor communi-
ties. During the next several days, the
University should turn out en masse to sup-
port community involvement.

WEc2 im TO Msu,
AE YOU 1HESYt E
t i no mt.d A V~PA7

U Tt L
MY( KIPNs.

WEY MAN, FORGET
P+ kcflYou ti "ThE

N4 JVI1t[NX L[ m I i a .. w * ~s,.
.t

A.S .---
AWWAGY.

INS and outs
ew focus brings much needed improvement
n estimated 5.5 million people asylum seekers awaiting their hearings
throughout the United States can have even stayed at detention centers for
eep a little easier now. The Immigration months or even years after their first
id Naturalization Service is shifting its interview.

katjvrg Q j6"kc--,,. e4u

0

sl
an

focus away from raiding workplaces and
arresting illegal immigrants toward
removing criminal aliens, cracking down
on alien smuggling rings, document
counterfeiters and employers who hire
undocumented workers. Almost 14,000
ilegal aliens were removed from the
country last year. The new focus will be
phased in over a five-year period.
Despite a general budget increase to
around $4 billion, most of the INS's
resources have been geared toward mak-
ing borders increasingly difficult to cross
rather than internal enforcement such as
raids on workplaces. The agency's border
patrol has almost doubled in size during
the past five years.
The new temperament of the INS,
while still far from perfect, is definitely a
step in the right direction. Any policy that,
grants some leeway to the bulk of illegal
immigrants ought to be welcomed. The
United States has always been a country
of immigrants in search of the American
Dream. Rather than boundless opportuni-
ties, however, many illegal immigrants
now find themselves in INS sanctioned
prisons where groups like Human Rights
Watch have sited numerous abuses.
The draconian tactics of the INS, as it
enforces harsh immigration laws, have
resulted in the detention of thousands of
workers arrested in raids on workplaces
and criminals convicted long ago of
minor crimes. Children who ought to be
put into foster care or group homes are
being thrown into juvenile jails. Some
[.OA, 1 !

As the world grows increasingly
smaller, it will become harder for the
United States to avoid the plights of peo-
ple outside its borders. One of the best
ways the United States can help the
world's poor and simultaneously stimu-
late its own economy is to once again
accept immigrants with open arms.
Ideally, all immigrants should be granted
citizenship. But in the meantime, the
INS' new focus away from terrorizing
workers themselves ought to be regarded
as an improvement.
According to INS insiders, the new pol-
icy is not an act of goodwill but rather the
result of political reality and an inability to
effectively deal with the current population
of illegal immigrants living in the United
States. Surveys indicate that while most
Americans still oppose the actual act of
crossing the border illegally, many regard
illegal immigrants as hard working people
who often take jobs most Americans would
not consider doing. On Capitol Hill, power-
ful lobbies advocating lax enforcement of
immigration laws pressure both Democrats
and Republicans.
Regardless of the motives lying behind
the INS' focus shift, the change is desir-
able. The INS still has many improve-
ments to make, specifically in ensuring
that the rights of those in its custody are
not violated. No person should ever have
to live in constant fear of the U.S. govern-
ment and the new goals of the INS likely
will result in fewer people having such
worries.

Michigan Student Assembly serves all students *

Student government - what is it?
Critics say student government exists
because of ambitious political science
majors who want to play government and
see their names in the paper. They say we
(Michigan Student Assembly members)
do nothing and that there needs to be
drastic change.
Well, you know what? They're half
right, I am a political science major, and I
love to see my name in the paper (who
doesn't?). However, I take MSA very
seriously.
When I was elected to be your student
body president, I was overwhelmed with
both excitement and responsibility. When
25 percent of the student body voted and
bestowed upon me such a tremendous
honor, it became my life.
I literally live and breathe MSA. It is
simply my job and it comes first to every-
thing, even to academics. Therefore, I
have a fair grasp -of what MSA is, and
where we are going; as I should, I helped
to direct it.
MSA has two main objectives; one is
to act as the voice of the students to the
administration, and the other is to serve
the students and help make this campus a
better place. The question then must be
asked - do we indeed do what we set out
to do? I vote that yes we do, and I have
substantial proof to back up my claim.

First, I work with MSA representa-
tives every day, and I honestly cannot
think of one person who is not on MSA
for any other reason than to make this
campus a better place.
MSA Representatives truly care about
this campus - trust me, they do.
Second, MSA is a service organization
devoted to accomplishing numerous pro-
jects, and I am proud to say that we have
accomplished many of these projects!
What I ask of you right now is to look
at the advertisement in today's Daily and
read it thoroughly. The advertisement is
located on page 9A.
That advertisement, outlining MSA's
projects in progress and projects complet-
ed, is my proof to you that MSA is and
will continue working for students.
As for Tuesday nights and passing res-
olutions, well, that is, in my opinion, only
10 percent of what MSA really does (the
other 90 percent is in the advertisement in
today's Daily).
Nonetheless, Tuesday nights are still a
part of MSA, and I would like to address
the issue of what MSA should or should
not debate.
For instance, should MSA have passed
the resolution condemning the United
Nations' sanctions on Iraq? This is where
MSA must face its toughest obstacle - to
make everyone happy. Yes, you may dis-

agree with resolutions that MSA passes
and question whether it is relevant to stu-
dent life.
But your neighbor may believe just the
opposite, that a resolution we pass is
indeed relevant and germane to students.
All I can say is that we live in a democra-
cy, and it is your student government. You
can direct MSA by simply voting for rep-
resentatives who you think will best rep-
resent someone based upon his or her*
stances on U.S. foreign policy or on pro-
jects such as what is on page 9A of the
Daily. It is, in the end, up to yout
By voting you can express your opin-
ion of MSA, and you have a chance to do
so next week, March 24 and 25. Voting
will take place via the Internet at
www.umich.edu/-vote.
Finally, as for you critics, I encourage
you to get involved with MSA. If you see
such a great need to change MSA, then
walk the talk. You don't even have to be a
representative.
In fact, some of our most prpductive
members are not elected. E-mail me and I
will promise to reply and set up a meeting
with you. My e-mail is
trentlt@umich.edu.
- This viewpoint was written
by Michigan Student Assembly
President Trent Thompson,
an LSA senior

0

Qureshi was much more than a tragic event
I knew Natasha Qureshi as a strong,
independent and caring person as well as! do not think that it is fair that Natasha s life was judged
a good listener and fun person to be the context of one moment in her life.
around. It is hurtful that people on cam-
pus who did not know Natasha will only because I felt safe. Publishing excerpts from a lettert
know this one part of her. I want people I was also offended that the Daily she wrote to Chris is a blatant disrei
to know that there was much more to her. paraphrased students at the memorial for privacy. The excerpts did not pro'
We spent six weeks together in who could not reconcile Natasha's com- any further information about the si
London on a University study abroad posed and mature appearance with the tion and were completely unnecessary
program. act she committed. the story.
I learned much about myself and my These students went on to assume that Perhaps in the competitive worl
world last summer, and Natasha was a her togetherness must have been a facade journalism it is more important to gel
large part of that. I want people to know covering an unstable interior. I do not story first than to get the story right,
that she was much more than one tragic think that they are in a position to make the Daily is a student publicationt
a r f her life that iudgement. should be more concerned with how:

...

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OFFICE OF GREEK LIFE
530 S. STATE, BOx 547
ANN ARBOR, MI 48109
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