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April 20, 1999 - Image 5

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1999-04-20

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Daily - Tuesdav. Anril 20. 1999

Wowell's opinion does not
represent Bakke decision
It is very interesting that the CIR is asking for summary
judgment on the lawsuit against the University regarding its
admissions policies. The Daily is correct to point out that
the relevant judicial precedent for this case is the Supreme
Court's decision in Regents of the University of California
0 Bakke. But it is highly unclear that Justice Lewis Powell's
opinion should be seen as the opinion of the court, nor is it
clear that his opinion should be considered as binding upon
later suits, such as the current one against the University.
Powell's opinion did not represent, as a whole, the opinion
of the majority, or even a plurality, of the court.
While groups of the other eight justices agreed with
Powell on some issues, none of the justices concurred with
his entire opinion. The four justices who upheld the
University of California's program found that the
University's dual track system was constitutional under the
.ourteenth Amendment's Equal Protection Clause, and
erefore also decided that universities are justified in using
race as a criterion in admissions. The four justices who
ruled against the University of California did so on statuto-
ry grounds relating to the Civil Rights Act of 1964. They
did not reach their decision based on the Equal Protection
Clause. As the Daily indicated, Powell rejected California's
quota system, but did not enjoin the University from using
race in admissions. His decision was based both on the Civil
Rights Act and the Equal Protection Clause. To this extent,
then, as far as the Constitution of the United States is con-
rned, the Supreme Court's ruling was 5-0 in favor of the
se of race in admissions.
Furthermore, even if CIR's tenuous claim that
Michigan's program is a de facto dual track system (because
it allegedly puts only whites on the wait list) is true, it is
important to realize that Justice Powell was the only mem-
ber of the Court in Bakke to declare that such a program
violates the Constitution. Essentially, opponents of affirma-
tive action need to understand that Bakke did not condemn
affirmative action policies on a constitutional basis as much
as those opponents may like to believe.
Runners face many dangers
from crowd in Mile'
There is something about traditions that make people
ant to cling to them no matter how dangerous or diffi-
cult they prove to be. Tradition is sometimes a valuable
commodity, because it gives people now a link with the
past, and should leave one with a set of memories that
will be cherished for years to come. One tradition on this
campus that falls far short of this measure is the Naked
Mile, which is at best an orgy of mass civil disobedience
by a huge and highly varied number of people. The stu-
dents who insist on running naked while highly intoxi-
cated are a problem as well.
The problem with this tradition is not the students run-
*ng, it is the crowd that gathers to "enjoy" this festival. For
the people who take part in this run every year, especially
those who are female, the run is a wonderful experience in
seeing crowds at their worst. The crowd that fills the streets
of Ann Arbor and throngs the route to watch the students
run is there for one reason alone, to grope and humiliate as
many students as they can running through. But the students
on this campus already know that and if you are going to
make a run then little is going to discourage you from that
at this point.
In addition, some have leveled the charge that the
niversity needs to do something to protect the students, or
how hypocritical the University is for not taking a more
active hand in the run. With all respect to those who have
demanded the University take a more active hand, the sim-
ple truth is they cannot because these actions are illegal.
That aspect of the Naked Mile makes it impossible for the
University to intervene directly; protecting one crowd of
law breakers from another is not something that any organi-
zation can easily endorse. Runners protecting themselves is
an option as well, but runners who take active steps to pro-

tect themselves run the risk of being attacked in retaliation
by the crowd. Therefore, it is time that the tradition itself be
changed into something more practical and safer for the
For all those students who wish to take part in the Naked
Mile festivities, I would suggest a much shorter route.
Assemble upon the steps of the University's Art Museum,
sing "The Victors" and then a dash across the street to dance
around the Cube. With a mass of people doing this it
becomes crowd against crowd, and much safer for everyone
assembled. For those who want to spend more then a few
minutes naked, then sing some more songs on the steps or
hang around the Cube for a while - have a party. The rea-
son this route would be safer is because it is shorter. People
get groped on the run as lines of people press in on the run-
ners and force them to a walk, single file. A planned group
move over a short distance will prevent this and still allow
people to enjoy the thrill of breaking the law and society's
When classes end, no matter what you do be safe and if
you must run, take every step you can to protect yourself.
Just be aware that when you run there is a high chance it
will go from being a fun experience to a gauntlet you must
endure. The University cannot really protect you, the police
will not protect you and the crowds will have no mercy
upon you.
The Naked Mile can teach two lessons, the thrill of
breaking social norms and the horror of watching a crowd
of thinking people become mindless animals. Hopefully
this year fewer people have to learn both.
Naked Mile is a
celebration of school spirit
I am writing in response to the Daily's editorial on the
upcoming naked mile ("A safer 'Mile,"' 4/16/99). I agree that
the University should be putting forth every effort to ensure
that the run is as safe and harmless an event as it should be. At
the same time however, the University community should not
be solely relying on the administration to 0o this.
Last year, 10,000 people (mostly students) came out to cel-
ebrate the last day of school and watch the Naked Mile. This is
a tradition that has everything to do with celebrating and being
young and having a good time, and has nothing to do with
groping, assaulting or taking advantage of the situation.
Unfortunately, a few of the 10,000 spectators do not seem to
think so. Some show up to pretty up their homepages with
unconsented pictures of naked runners. Others do much worse,
crowding the runners and even grabbing at the participants.
Most women are forced to run the mile with what amounts to
a security detail to keep these idiots away. That is uncalled for.
If the students want this celebration to continue, it is also their
responsibility to make sure that the real meaning of the Naked
Mile is not lost.
This year, if you see someone taking advantage of our
school's celebration - our school's tradition - don't just
stand idlely by and let it happen or you will eventually loose
that tradition. Make a scene, let the person know that he or she
is a pervert and an asshole and that everyone thinks so. Letting
it happen is just as bad as doing it, and will eventually result in
the end of the Naked Mile.
So many things at the University have been tarnished
because of a few jackasses. If you don't believe me, just look
at the black eye the 45,000 students at MSU have right now,
because of a few immature idiots. Being young doesn't mean
being an idiot. Go to the Naked Mile, celebrate the last day of
a long, long, way too damn long school year and let everyone
see what the true spirit of the Naked Mile is.
Quotas are used in 'U'
admissions system
Once again, those who recognize the true nature of the
University's racially biased admissions policies are conde-
scended to and called "misinformed"

The University has had quotas for black enrollment for at
least the last 25 years. In the mid '70s, as a response to student
activists, the University set a "goal" of 10 percent black enroll-
ment. In 1987, after more student activism, the "goal" was set
at 12 percent.
These "goals" are approached but have never been met. The
University strives to achieve them by lowering the required high
school GPA and SAT scores for black applicants. At some point
the University has to settle on a balance between unacceptably
low admission standards and unacceptably low black enroll-
This use of lower admission standards is a fact the
University has always tried to deny. Their latest line is that
admission standards aren't really lowered for black applicants;
they just get "points" added for being black.
I'm just glad that 48 percent of the students see through the
double talk and recognize that one can call it a goal rather than
a quota, but it is still a quota, and in an effort to fulfill it, the
University hasiowered admissions standards.
It is particularly galling to see University spokesperson Julie
Peterson say that the students need to be "educated about the
policies" after Peterson and others have lied to them about the
policies for years.
Race should not be a
factor in admissions
Recently, on CNN Headline News, I saw a news story
about a white man applying for the bar in Illinois who was
denied by a federal judge because he was "openly racist."
This man was the leader and founder of a self-described
"white supremacy church." When asked to defend his
beliefs, he asked the question "why is it wrong to be proud
I am white?"
Indeed, this seems a valid question in light of today's
political culture that advocates "ethnicity" and encourages

people to be proud of their "ethnic culture." The University
is constantly supporting such ideas. Around campus there
are black and Asian lounges, countless ethnic councils and
organizations as well as a number of other ethnic or race
related activities, offices and classes, all of which help to
create the all important "diversity" on campus.
Such a tribalistic approach to race relations only makes
them worse. The white racist lawyer's desire to be proud of
his race is made legitimate not only by independent groups
and the University, but, most importantly, by its affirma-
tive action policy.
Why? Because once race is accepted as a valid cp-
cept, there is no turning back. These groups and the
University no longer make the debate about whether or not
racism is wrong, but which racism shall prevail. Such
absurd and, might I add, immoral position can never hoc
to achieve any of its goals because it makes the same rn-,
takes as the enemy it fights. Though the racist lawyer
clearly has a malicious agenda behind his "ethnic pride,"
the University and anyone who accepts race as a valid
concept are guilty of the same mistake.
Certainly, diversity is important on the campus because
no one wants to go to school with a group of people exact-
ly like them. It is wrong, however, for the University to
attempt to achieve this based on race. Diversity exists only
in ideas and in the individuals with those ideas. If I weri)
say "Let me give you my white perspective on this issue," I
hope I would be laughed right out of the conversation.
The recent Daily poll conducted shows that the major-
ity of students on campus would do just that. While 59.
percent of those polled were ignorant as to how adnm-
sions works, the fact remains that they were opposed to
using race in admissions.
That was the question asked and the question thiey
answered. This is a positive sign. It shows that the majori y,,,
of people believe that race is worthless, as they should,If,
the University wants to achieve diversity on campus, let
them devote more than one or two points to the essay - the
only place an individual can express him or herself. If they.
want to defeat racial hatred in this country, let them teach
not "acceptance" of ethnicity, but total rejection of it.

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