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April 13, 2000 - Image 28

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 2000-04-13

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4B - The Michigan Daily Graduation Edition- Thursday, April 13, 2000

A look back: From Boston College to Bollinger

T he Boston College football
game in '96: If you were there,
you'll never forget it. Although
members of the class of 2000 may
not have several shared experiences,
one of them just may be that game.
The '96 B.C. game, in the view of
football junkies, doesn't mean much
in terms of the sport. But to the
class of 2000, many experiencing
only their second football game as
tniversity students, it was a lesson.
As the alumni and townies made
for the exit with their ponchos and
inflatable seat cushions in tow,
ankle-deep water poured down the
Big House steps and the roar of the
rain was near drowning out the
announcer. One had to wonder if the
stadium was going to serve as a
modern Noah's Arc (the biggest
Noah's Arc in the nation, of course.)
The first-year students reluctantly
remained in their section, cautiously
watching their upper-class counter-
parts.
As the weather prevailed and the
soon-to-be-victorious Wolverines
slid across the muddy field, the stu-
dents remained, their cheers louder,
shirts stripped off despite the cold,
marshmallows freezing in mid-air,
skin turning blue and then some-
thing beyond blue, clothes going
from soaked to something beyond
soaked. Although the new students
may not have been able to put their
finger on it, some sort of initiation
was taking place. There was going
to be something different about
attending this school.
So now you can look back: What
was it about Michigan that was spe-
cial? What experiences will sepa-

rate you from your peers at other
schools? Someday people will ask
you what happened while you were
in college. Today, you might think
of only the most recent events -
when secret societies were exposed
to the campus by an activist group.
When a student carrying a sign all
year got elected student body presi-
dent. When the suspension of Jamal
Crawford put another black mark on
the basketball program's name.
This graduation issue features a
myriad of news stories and sports
features, attempting to serve as a
collective snapshot of the past four
years. They may or may not have
impacted your life, although they
grabbed the Daily's headlines and
held on for dear life.
Will you remember the change
of command in November of 1996
with the University naming their
12th president, a former Law
School dean named Lee Bollinger?
What about our very own landmark
affirmative action case, prompting
some students to devote all their
free time to fighting to defend the
University?
As events were occurring, stu-
dents were finding their roles. After
the September 1997 stabbing death
of LSA senior Tamara Williams by
her boyfriend, some students found
themselves working with SAPAC
and re-examining their-own lives.
When entire schools - the School
of Public Policy and the School of
Information - were created, other
students found their post-graduate
niche. Some students were becom-
ing full-time sports fans, with the
Rose Bowl victory on Jan. 1, 1998

and the hockey championships in
1996 and 1998 setting the stage.
Campus has been teeming with
news that shapes all of us, but only
a few incidents may have been rele-
vant to you. Headlines are a blur of
hazing incidents, MSA resolutions
and state budget changes. Will you
remember those details? Did you
even notice them when they hap-
pened? Does it matter?
What you remember is that
which, over the past full four years,
matters. Maybe it will be the little
stuff, like when they changed the
Brown Jug and Backroom started
closing earlier, or certain high-
placed, short-lived and gaudy let-
ters. Maybe it will be the big,
interna ional stuff, like Clinton's
impeachment trial and Princess
Diana's death.
There is no one Michigan expe-
rience. Even academics aren't what
the class of 2000 shares: Some of*
you carne here to prepare yourself
for medical school, others, to catch
the eye of the NFL. The University
reeks of opportunity. Did you maxi-
mize it?
So everyone comes here for dif-
ferent reasons, values different
things and will be going separate
ways. But at least most members of
the class of 2000 can respond to
"I've never seen it rain so hard in
my life," with "Rain? Hah. This is
nothing like the B.C. game."
-- This viewpoint was written
by Editorial Page Editor
Emily Achenbaum, who isn't
graduating, but still has the
near-dissolved remains of
her Boston College ticket.

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