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April 02, 1999 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1999-04-02

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4:- The Michigan Daily - Friday, April 2, 1999

Ultih £igitu &lg

An open letter to the Rev. Jesse Jackson

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.

Thorough examintio
'U' must ensure administrators uphold ethics

Dear Rev. Jackson -
F irst of all, let me extend you an early
welcome to the University of
Michigan, home of the Wolverines,
President Gerald
Ford, Arthur Miller,
Tom Hayden, Don
Riegle, Jessye
Norman ... and us, '
the students. We will
be your hosts, and
we're honored that
you are coming back
to see us again.
I realize you're
probably planning
your speech for next Laurie
Friday, so I'd like to Mayk
make a few sugges-
tions. You see, people She
listen to you. -Says S
I saw you bring the
United Center to hushed attention and the
Michigan delegation to its feet at the 1996
Democratic National Convention in
Chicago. People who had sat through tens
of speeches already that week were not only
listening, but feeling what you had to say. I
saw you likewise captivate a crowd in Ann
Arbor in the fall of 1996.
A recent online survey of college stu-
dents put you at No. 2 in the next presiden-
tial race: behind Elizabeth Dole and ahead
of George Bush and Al Gore. We hear you
aren't running, but no matter, the unofficial
nomination still says something about the
audience you command.
Why do we consider you a national
leader when you have never gotten past the
primaries in a presidential election, have
never served in Congress, held a Cabinet
position or run a state economy?

Somehow, you touch people, and we lis-
ten to you. You may rally the black commu-
nity, but your message finds its way into the
lives of all Americans. And we want you to
talk to us all, because we know we can all
benefit from what you have to say.
So, with that said, there are a few things
we need to hear from you. Some of it is for
reassurance, some for education and some
of it just needs to be said - and you have
the podium.
0 You've probably heard about the two
lawsuits challenging the University's use of
affirmative action in its admissions poli-
cies. This has been an emotional, and con-
fusing, issue on campus for the past two
years. We've protested (on both sides),
argued, discussed and learned ... and yet
we're still not quite sure what to think of it
all. We don't know what the outcome will
be, obviously, but we also don't really know
how to handle the emotions and questions
that this issue has brought to the surface.
Tell us it's OK to be confused.
Tell us the right to free speech trumps all
things politically correct, and that knowl-
edge of viewpoints and ideas should
strengthen, not divide, us as a community.
Maybe because of the way diversity dis-
cussions, theme semesters and debates have
been framed, or maybe because we know
what a tremendous effect the University's
actions could have on admissions and-hir-
ing policies across the country, people are
afraid to talk about what the issue is doing
to our University and the relationships
between students, administrators and
national campaigns.
Tell us how we can make all students and
community members comfortable with the
issue.
Tell us how we can be a public model for
the country while we're still working pri-

vately on appreciating diversity on our own
campus.
U There's a presidential election fast
approaching, and things are already getting
nasty; I heard an MSNBC anchor declare it
"open season on the veep," and report a
bevy of jokes and cartoons about the com-
monly perceived personality of Al Gore. I
groaned out loud.
We're tired of this. We're tired of parti-
san bickering, and we don't want to
endure another year and a half of Monica
jokes, "Wag the Dog" comparisons, accu-
sations of and from Ken Starr, intimate
details of our leaders' private lives ...
Gen X already is the most alienated and
apathetic voting group, and the past year
has made us wonder why we should even
bother.
Tell us we should bother.
Tell us it's OK to be fed up with rhetoric
from both sides of the political spectrum
and let's talk about how to heal gaping
wounds in the national trust of our chief
executive.
And, although you aren't running your-
self, promise us you'll help to make this
campaign a clean one. Well, "clean" might
be a little too much to ask for. Help, at least,
to keep us talking public issues instead of
private indiscretions. Let's talk about a
prison industry that's taking money away
from our schools and young black men
away from the chance at a solid family and
career. Let's talk about how to make sure
Social Security survives the baby boomers
and ... us.
U There will be quite a few seniors in the
crowd next Friday. Tell us it's not as scary as
it seems out there. Tell us wd can make a
difference.
- Laurie Mayk can be reached over
e-mail at ijmayk@umich.edu.

A lthough the recommendation only
came down last month, the
University's incoming dean of the College
of literature, Science and the Arts has
already stirred controversy. Chosen from
an applicant pool of more than 100 peo-
ple, University of British Columbia Dean
of Faculty of Arts Shirley Neuman was
the LSA Dean Search Advisory
Committee's first choice. But former
UBC sessional Gary Arbuckle insists that
by involving herself in a 1996 UBC inves-
tigation regarding research funded by the
Social Science and Humanities Research
Council, a board on which she served,
Neuman ignored a personal conflict of
interest. The University should make sure
to uphold the highest standards of acade-
mic conduct, but at the same time give
Neuman the benefit of the doubt.
In 1996, a UBC graduate student filed
a complaint with the UBC sociology
department regarding the ethical practices
of a professor. The complaint was filed on
behalf of the professor's use of an aborig-
inal people in Japan as human research
subjects. By getting involved, Arbuckle
argues, Neuman broke UBC research
complaint policy and presented a conflict
of interest by diverting the complaint
from the department head to herself.
But according to the procedure of han-
dling a complaint in 1996, Neuman acted
within her boundaries. It was not until
February, 1997, that the board amended
the procedure. Now similar complaints go
to the vice president for Research, or a
department head, before the dean.
,Neuman's procedures have been
reviewed by SSHRC members, many with
no connection to Neuman, and have con-

cluded that she did not misconduct her-
self. Neuman removed herself from the
investigation when SSHRC began to
examine the complaint.
The University's LSA Dean Search
Advisory Committee was aware of the
charges against Neuman while making its
decision. Members even met with UBC
faculty and staff to discuss the issue, and
their opinion of her remained high, as
there was no evidence that she did not fol-
low University policy.
Neuman has the potential to bring a
great deal to the University. She has been
a supporter and defender of an under-
funded arts department. Although a vital
aspect of education, arts programs in the
United States too often are overlooked
and disregarded. But the arts have been
recognized as an integral discipline in
education and have been shown to
improve students' overall performances in
other subjects. It also provides a creative
alternative to routine academics.
According to University History Prof.
Bill Rosenberg, the LSA Dean Search
Advisory Committee chair, Neuman "is
committed to excellence across the insti-
tution" - something the University can
profit from tremendously.
It would be wise for the University to
keep the incident with the incoming dean
in mind as she takes, on her new role, but
she should not be prematurely con-
demned. The University appears to have
adequately investigated the concerns sur-
rounding Neuman's background. But as
with any new administrator, the
University should ensure that Neuman
will follow the standards of conduct
expected in academia.

Dw

;
a
i

Student activists should be wary of the administration

It's an issue of integrity, of trust and of
power.
When myself and 29 other students occu-
pied the president's office to demand the
humane treatment of workers who make
University apparel, we were pleasantly sur-
prised to hear that President Lee Bollinger
supported our actions. He said the University
should admire our passion and leadership on
the issue of sweatshop labor. Bollinger didn't
ask DPS to haul us off to jail, he didn't ban the
media from coming to his office to speak with
students and he didn't.even lock the door to
the second-floor bathroom.
Wow! Finally, a student's administrator, a
man certainly deserving of the praise and
admiration heaped upon him by the student
body and local media. Don't believe the hype!
I don't want to be the bearer of bad news, but
Bollinger has smacked the University with a
public relations campaign the likes of which
only President Clinton could match. Why
would Bollinger send his henchmen to arrest
and drag us off to the clink in front of cam-
eras, only to watch the footage on the nation-
al news in his bedroom the same night? The
man isn't stupid. He knows that every campus
issue is fought in the arena of public opinion.
When he convinced the world that the stu-
dents taking action against his administration

were his heroes, he ruined the media's story of
confrontation and conflict, two key elements
needed for a successful student action.
Bollinger's reaction to the sit-in was not
proof that he has love for University students.
It was not proof that his administration looks
favorably upon student activism. His behavior
was the implementation of a strategy created
to quell the drama and prevent his grand rep-
utation from being tarnished in the national
media.
Bollinger presents himself as an anomaly
to the traditional administrator. During the 51-
hour sit-in, I learned that our president will
give students the wink and a smile, but when
the administrative wheels begin to turn, it's
business as usual.
As a member of SOLE's bargaining com-
mittee I sat face-to-face with Bollinger and
the University's head lawyer, Marvin Krislov,
to hammer out an agreement outlining how
the University would end its shameful partic-
ipation in the practice of sweatshop labor. Our
"negotiations" with Bollinger's administra-
tion were entirely two-faced. In a private
meeting and statements to the media,
Bollinger declared that he cared about stu-
dents and was willing to work with us to form
a mutually agreeable University Code of
Conduct to end the use of sweatshop labor in
CHIP CULLEN

the production of Michigan apparel. Yet, after
a single meeting where SOLE spent a
painstaking two hours to explain the issue to
our president, he unilaterally released the
University's "official" Code of Conduct 24
hours later This, without hearing even a word
from "his heroes." As students, we cannot
stand by and assume that any administrator
has our best interests at heart. In the '60s, stu-
dent movements and activism ignited because
there was a clear distinction between the ide-
ology of students and that of the administra-
tion. Today, administrators follow "Clintonian
politics' creating apathy and warm fuzzy
feelings by aligning themselves with every
social justice issue students advocate. The
most dangerous administration is not the one
that creates an adversarial relationship
between itself and the students, but the one
that always claims to be listening and sympa-
thetic.
Don't be wooed by the warm sentiments of
the administration. It is essential that students
take the lead in all issues of social justice.
- This viewpoint was written by LSA
senior Trevor Gardne, who may be contacted
over e-mail at trevorgg@umich.edu, and
signed by LSA senior Saladin Ahmed, RC
sophomore Julie Fry, LSA sophomore Lee
Palmer and LSA junior Joseph Sexauer
GRINDING THE NIB

.

9
,,

March pness
MSU administrators ponder off-campus code

- or the last few years, University of
F Michigan students have been subject
to: the Code of Student Conduct, the
Orwellian justice system that allows the
University to punish erring students while
denying them legal counsel, appealing to
precedent or burden of proof. In the wake
of: the recent riots at Michigan State
University, MSU President Peter
McPherson announced that he plans to re-
evaluate an off-campus code of conduct.
This code would allow MSU administra-
tots to suspend or expel students involved
in' crimes off campus. However, it also
violates the constitutional rights of stu-
dents, and should not be adopted.
:The talk of an on campus code comes
after last weekend's riots on the MSU
campus. After the Michigan State basket-
ball team lost in the Final Four to Duke
University, thousands of students partici-
paed in irresponsible and dangerous
activities. This is not the first such
instance of disorderly behavior in East
Lansing, as the riot at Munn Field in May
of 1998 is certainly still in the minds of
MSU administrators. Certainly over-
turned cars, broken windows and throw-
ing beer cans are an embarrassment to the
university, but the response to these
actions should be left to the criminal jus-
tice system.
-A code that allows university adminis-
trators to punish transgressions commit-
ted away from its campus - in addition
to any legal repercussions from those
transactions - usurps the duty of the
criminal justice system. It is the duty of

trators, to dole out criminal justice. If a
university takes this duty upon itself, it
constitutes a violation of the
Constitution's decree against double jeop-
ardy. University students must face the
same laws as any other U.S. citizen; sub-
jecting them to a code of conduct that
effectively punishes them twice for the
same crime is clearly unconstitutional.
One of the most important purposes of
universities is to prepare students for life
in the outside world. They will be held
accountable for any misdeeds under the
criminal justice system. And the vast
majority of university students are legal
adults, who should not have administra-
tors looking over their shoulders at all
times. While universities may think other-
wise, an overarching code of conduct that
handles all crimes by students should not
be allowed.
The proposed code at MSU bears some
striking similarities to the University of
Michigan's Code. And just as MSU should
not adopt a code of conduct which gives
its administration authority over off-cam-
pus events, the University of Michigan
should dismantle its own Code. The Code
violates students' constitutional rights, its
secrecy prevents an accurate use of prece-
dent and is a hindrance to fair sentencing
- and it has never been proven to be
effective. This kind of disciplinary mea-
sure should not be within the jurisdiction
of a university administration. MSU
should not institute an off-campus code of
conduct, and the University of Michigan
needs to examine its own Code and even-
tuall blv ih it.

First annual Persian
Cultural Show was
a success
To THE DAILY:
We've got a big campus, so although it
was disappointing to me, I was not sur-
prised to see that the Daily was unable to
cover the First Annual Persian Cultural
Show, which took place this past Friday,
Mar. 26.
The show wasscomprised of musical
performances, classical and modemn dances
and skits that we decided best portrayed the
Iranianculture of which we are all so fierce-
ly proud.
The Persian Students Association played
the role of the little train that could, for
when the show began, there was standing
room only in the Michigan Ballroom, which
seats 500! I am writing to share my wishes
for a Happy New Year with the students of
this campus (our new year begins with the
first day of spring), and to let the Daily
know to watch out for us next time around,
because it's only going to get better.
LILLY RANA GHAHREMANI
LSA SENIOR
NATO must find
political solution to
Kosovo crisis
To THE DAILY:
The NATO air strikes against Serbia are a
major policy mistake. They began at the
wrong time and for the wrong reason. Western

THWHAS Fee rl AN OPP .CtrlyuIN ,
4.

"'S
aC
"f

0"'

interfere in the domestic affairs of a sovereign
nation. Up until the air strikes began, there
were no reports of anyrconsiderable civilian
casualties among the Albanians; media report-
ed a few thousand dead, mostly among
Kosovo rebels and Serbian troops.
The fact that the action is being con-
ducted by NATO (a military organization
with limited membership) rather than by
UN (a political organization with almost
universal membership) makes it seem more
like an aggression and less like a humani-
tarian effort, while at the same time under-
mining the authority of the U.N. The strikes
will not accomplish anything, but give
Serbs an excuse to pursue ethnic cleansing,
create a refugee problem, cause civilian
casualties and provide Milosevic with sup-
port of those Serbs who had previously
opposed his oppressive regime.
Bringing in ground troops will only
worsen the situation. The best thing NATO
can do now is stop the air strikes and pursue

letter to Tom Goss."
To request the firing of Brian Ellerbe
after two years is absolutely absurd.
Although the team finished second to last in
the Big Ten, bad years are not unprecedent-
ed in Michigan history. Yes, everyone
enjoyed the exuberance of the Fab Five, but
does anyone remember the team that played
the year before the Fab Five? It was a mis-
erable team, led by none other than
Demetrius Calip. This, however, led to one
of the best recruiting classes of all time.
Now that Ellerbe is in a similar situa-
tion, he is getting his first real chance to
recruit. And he has been quite successful.
Jamal Crawford, the player of the year in
Washington, is joining Kevin Gaines from
Las Vegas, Leland Anderson from
Massachusetts and Gavin Groninger from
Indiana. This class is not the same caliber as
the Fab Five, but no class ever will be.
Ellerbe still has a shot at LaVell Blanchard
from Pioneer and Jason Parker from North

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