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January 12, 2000 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 2000-01-12

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4 - The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, January 12, 2000

cbe Lirtigan &Iiltu

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.

Halo no!

Do not let the evil
T hese days it seems as if the Uniersity
community has lost focus of real
issues. All I hear is talk about GOP func-
tions, fraternities and sweatshops. What's
wrong with you people? There is a greatI
evil on this campus
and it must be
stopped. It discrimi-
nates against no one.
All are subject to its
iron fist. Spam, peo-
ple. I'm talking 4a
about spam.
Someone make it go,
away.
Perhaps you have"
experienced the fol-
lowing scenario.
Class has just let out
and you decide to Lopez
check your inbox.
Walking into the
nearest computer Large
lab, you find a
vacant machine and log in. Pine. Hey, new
mail. Cool ... wait, I got 150 new mes-
sages? What's this?
Yeah, what is this? Some of you people
out there have got a lot of nerve sending
half the campus your crappy advertise-
ments. You're as bad as telemarketers are.
Football tickets at five times the retail
value? Whatever. Your 1990 purple Ford
Escort with 150.000 miles and only three
tires? No way. I'm sorry esteemed gentle-
man of Gamma Lambda Phi Ra Ra Ra; I
do not want to know about your upcoming
party, rock jam, binge-fest. To those devas-
tating ladies of Lambda Who Gives a
Crappa, devastating is a bad adjective.
Tornadoes are devastating. Hurricanes are
devastating. Now, quit devastating my e-
mail.

of spam conquer you from within
We all have our fatal flaws. Things that names in the List. Although I've never
we can't let go of and which eventually used it, I have rather elaborate plans for
lead to our downfall. Achilles had his heel. the day when one of those idiots pushes
I have anger towards spam. Why? Spam is me over the edge.
pure evil. That's why. Let me illustrate. My favorite scenario is that I send all
Do people like spam? No, people hate it. those fools an anonymous e-mail telling
Maybe there are a couple freaks out there them that they should have never sent out
who like it, but the vast majority hate spam spam. Then, I post the list on Christian
with a passion. Even though people hate fundamentalist newsgroups along with a
spam, do spammers stop spamming? No. declaration that all these people need sav-
Is this right? No. I don't buy the argument ing. Next, I send their addresses to NAM-
that spam is just another form of advertis- BLA, order them Sea Monkeys C.O.D. and
ing. If the post office had to deliver 50 inform the FBI that they know who really
pieces of spain to every house every day, I shot JFK. Revenge is sweet.
bet they'd have a problem with it. The post As much as I'd like to ctrl-X those
office is good, but they're not that good. If spammers, I'll never do it. I can dream, but
every house got 50 telenjarketing calls per if I did anything mean, I'd feel worse.
night, I'd bet Congress would have some- Some of my lady friends call this
thing to say. Spam is not another form of "Catholic guilt." They tell m that
advertising. It is another form of nuisance. "Catholic guilt" holds too many of us back
The only thing that spam does is raise the from "expressing ourselves." Am I being
temper of the recipient. The spammer has "held back" from getting revenge? Sure
to know this, which means that the spam- am. I'm held back from doing a lot of bad
mer is purposefully causing people to get things. If it is "Catholic guilt" that keeps
mad. The spammer's care and compassion me in line, I'll keep it. Perhaps more peo-
for humanity is so low that they think the ple should get some. Somewhere along the
money they make is worth all the hate they line, somebody thought it would be a good
kindle. How can this not be evil? To spread idea for everyone to express themselves
ill will in exchange for money sounds like without care for something cabled conse-
a deal only the devil would offer. quences. The result has been road rage,
I'd like to say that I am part of the solu- Jerry Springer, spam, school shootings
tion, but for the past year, I've been part of and Bill Clinton's popularity rating.
the problem. I haven't turned the other I'll keep getting spam from idiots and
cheek or forgiven them. I've been planning people will continue to drive very badly.
to get sweet revenge. It all started about a The world isn't fair. Nobody ever said it
year ago. I had been receiving quite a few was. I guess that is why we're just sup-
messages from a number of spamming posed to turn the other cheek and forgive
idiots. They were really getting on my people. It is better than dwelling on injus-
nerves, so I started the List. The List is tice and planning your revenge. As you've
basically a collection of names and seen with me, this only lets the evil eat you
addresses. Each time a piece of spam lands from within.
in my box, I add the spammer's name to - Mike Lopez can be reached over
the list. Currently, there are about 50 e-mail at manatlarge umich.edu.

Decision to re-renovate stadium is wise

When students, faculty, alumni and
other fans entered Michigan
Stadium in September for the football
team's 1998 season opening game against
Syracuse, they were greeted by renovations
to the stadium. Among those changes were
increased seating capacity, which caused
the attendance at that game to break an
NCAA record. Naturally, the fans' response
to the increased seating was positive. But
some of the other changes drew a much less
favorable response.
Encircling Michigan Stadium was a yel-
low halo that stretched across most of the
top of the stadium. The halo was criticized
by students, alumni and other University
members and has even been blamed for the
Athletic Department having received
$500,000 less in gift revenues this past year.
Recently, University President Lee
Bollinger has said that the halo will come
down before the start of next football sea-
son and that any future renovations will be
planned as a more public process.
Both taking the halo down and the pub-
lic disclosure of future construction plans
are good for the future of the University and
Michigan Stadium in particular. Not only is
it likely that revenue will increase in the
wake of more public participation in future
renovations of Michigan Stadium, but as a
_ matter of principle, fans ought to have a say
in stadium changes.
Viewing the situation from a fan's point
of view, taking the halo down will make
attending a game at Michigan Stadium a

more visually pleasing experience. And
making any future renovation plans public
knowledge before they are enacted will
allow the University community to play a
greater role in maintaining and expanding
upon campus traditions.
Whether or not the halo is responsible
for decreased donations is probably unmea-
surable. The answer to that question proba-
bly won't come until this time next year
when the football team will have played a
full season in the post-halo era. Regardless
of whether the halo is responsible for
decreased donations, taking it down is
clearly a good design decision and demon-
strates respect for fans on the part of the
administration.
Allowing the University community to
be involved at the grass roots level of any
future renovation plans can only make peo-
ple feel more connected to the University
and will probably result in an increase in
alumni donations. Putting up the halo was
clearly a mistake; we hope that removing it
will alleviate any negative l6ng-term conse-
quences that could have resulted from
retaining it.
The re-renovation to Michigan Stadium
is an excellent decision and should allow
the traditions of the Big House to flourish
well into the next millennium. Erecting the
halo was a bad decision, but if its lasting
effect is that future decisions regarding
Michigan Stadium are made on a communi-
ty-wide level, then the halo can rightfully be
remembered as more than just an eyesore.

THOMAS KULJURGIS

T'ENTATIVELY SPEAKING

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Easing the burden
Proposal for tuition trust is good in principle

J

T he prospect of attending the
University free of cost might seem as
far fetched as low-cost housing in Ann
Arbor, but this may soon change if state
Sen. Alma Wheeler Smith (D-Salem Twp.)
gets her way. Smith, a member of the
Senate Appropriations Higher Education
Subcommittee, hopes to organize a peti-
tion drive that would put the idea of creat-
ing a trust fund to pay for Michigan resi-
dents' tuition cost before voters. Smith's
idea is a beneficial endeavor for college
students, parents and the state of
Michigan.
The concept is simple: stretch a .5 per-
cent decrease in the state income tax across
10 years instead of five and add five years
to the 23-year-phase-out of the 2.3 percent
Single Business Tax. The revenue generat-
ed by the tax deferment can help parents
and students finance four years of school at
any of the state's public universities in the
form of tax credits. Georgia instituted a
similar plan that attempted to provide col-
lege education at low to no cost. Under
Georgia's HOPE scholarship, any student
with a "B" average in high school is enti-
tled to free college tuition and a $150 per
semester book allowance. By Jan. 1st, this
year, 426,110 students earned $861.7 mil-
lion in HOPE scholarships.
The main selling point for the plan's
potential supporters is that Smith's propos-
al does not increase Michigan residents'
tax burden. Instead of increasing taxes, the
plan only slows present tax decreases. This
means that if Smith's proposal was put into
effect, Michigan residents would see little
to no change in their pocket books.
Furthermore, residents with children
would see much of their money returned if

wise would be unable to attend college in
Michigan far exceeds the meager savings
incurred through the faster tax cut option.
Smith's proposal could not come at a
better time. College students know that
most tuition assistance, both state and fed-
eral, now comes in the form of loans
instead of grants. The loans, which must
be repaid in full, leave many students with
not only a college degree but huge
amounts of debt after graduation. This pre-
vents students who have the capabilities
and intelligence but lack the financial
resources from attending larger, more
competitive four-year institutions like
Michigan State University and the
University of Michigan. Because of mone-
tary considerations, these students must
attend a community college or not attend
school at all. A tuition trust fund gives
these residents an opportunity they may
have otherwise never received.
Despite higher education's large influx
of money if the plan is instituted,
Michigan's 15 public universities must
hold back the urge to drastically increase
tuition rates. Colleges might see the tax
credits as a chance to improve their
school's quality instead of improving their
school's accessibility. By increasing
tuition past the allotted tax credit amount,
services and programs that were thought of
as too costly before could come within
reach. Universities must remember that the
aim of Smith's program is to eliminate cost
as a factor in a student's decision to attend
college. Although there are benefits in
raising the higher education bar even fur-
ther, colleges will benefit from the inflow
of quality students who were previously
unable to attend a four-year university.

rusn is vital to the campus Greek system

I would like to point out some factual and
logistical mistakes that the Daily editorial
made about "Winter rush being a better alter-
native for Greeks" ("Right on time," 110 00).
As long as I have been at the University, the
Daily has been saying the same thing and
frankly it's getting a little old. Most people
experienced with managing Greek life would
contend that not holding fall rush would be a
disaster for the Greek community and it's
potential members for a multitude of reasons.
I will touch on a few:
First and foremost, eliminating Fall rush
does nothing more than take away options.
Many students choose to rush Winter term
and many others very much want to get
involved in a campus activity the first day
they arrive. Is this to say that the Daily (also 'a
rigorous time demand) should not accept new
staff writers in the Fall? My good friends, who
include past editors in chief and sports editors
started working around the clock at the Daily
in the fall of our freshman year. They did this
because they chose to and the Daily allowed
and promoted them for it. Do I detect a dou-
ble-standard? In my fraternity, we typically
have the same number of new members both
terms. Every person has a different reason for
rushing (or not rushing) when they do.
Also, many people don't rush until their

second, sometimes their third or fourth year!
By eliminating fall rush, you take another
semester away from the people who want to
get involved in Greek life later in their college
careers. The idea that the, Greek community
only rushes as many people as it needs to fill
its houses is completely foolish. My fraterni-
ty has more than 100 members with a house
that holds less that 40 guys. I can't speak to
the reasons for which sororities admit new
members, but I can tell you that by and large
fraternities admit as many people as come
through their doors whose ideals and, person-
al philosophies match up with those of the
membership. Typically, my chapter has about
20 new members each term. That means each
semester we have 20 new people to integrate
into the social unit, to teach about the history
of the organization, to help deeop as people
and scholars through learning better time
management, getting involved in community
service and improving our social skills. We
have a hard enough time getting to know 20
new people in one term, let alone 40.
On the issue of housing, anyone who has
lived in Ann Arbor for more than a year can
attest to the fact that if you don't have housing
secured by January, you're more or less out of
luck. Trying to find new members to sign
leases to live-in fraternities and sororities at

the beginning of winter term is a nightmare
(trust me, I've tried!). From a financing,
house management and getting-to-know-one-
another perspective, the idea of once:a year
rush is completely ridiculous. Why would you
want to rush befriending and learning about
40 people in one semester when you can do it
over two? Our time here is so short, why
would we want to take any time away from
our friendships and fond memories of our col-
lege days. One semester can make all the dif-
ference in getting know a close friend even
better. My only regret about Greek life is that
I didn't rush sooner!
As a final note, I must say that the incident
that happened at Alpha Epsilon Pi this term is
not a function of "'why fall rush is bad" but,
rather it is the unfortunate result of a funda-
mental lack of respect and lack of good sense
exercised by a very small minority within,
what I feel, is an overall very positive Greek
community. That group is no longer a part of
our community and rightfully so. The only
reason the Daily included this "hot topic" in
its editorial was to add a fallaciously slanted
bite to an otherwise baseless recommendation
at terminating fall rush.
- This viewpoint was written by LSA
senior Josh Henschell.

Like the much-over-hyped Y2K crisis,
Boris Yeltsin stepped down from the Russian
presidency on the last day of 1'999 not with a
bang, but with a whimper. In a tearful address,
Yeltsin apologized to the Russian people for
the continued hardships of everyday life
across the country, despite his repeated
promises to cure Russia's woes. Yeltsin's part-
ing words were a far cry from his defiant
stance against a communist coup in August
1991, when he memorably leapt on a tank.
While this time Yeltsin stole the New Year's
thunder, he did the mature thing in admitting
to his limited capabilities.
Yeltsin's actions during the 1991 coup did

Russian president, is better known for brava-
do than diplomacy. His abrupt moves marked
a politician more concerned with his personal
future than that of his nation.
Prime Minister Vladimir Putin stands to
govern Russia in Yeltsin's stead, at least until
elections are held on March 26. Famed for his
tough stance against Chechen separatists,
Putin is confident in his new post. Unlike
Yeltsin, Putin is a relatively youthful 47 years
old and doesn't have to worry about his own
health in addition to that of his country. The
former KGB insider is a career opportunist
whose first act as prime minister was to offer
Yeltsin immunity from prosecution.

Yeltsin's inner circle, who have also come
under fire for corrupt practices, from their
government positions. His promises of
eaonomic reform sit well with investors.
The Russian stock market rose by about 20
percent in the wake of Putin's assumption
of the presidency.
The front where Putin will have to act
most carefully is the war in Chechnya. A shuf-40
fle last week in the top Russian combat gen-
erals suggests panic over the need for a hasty
resolution of the conflict before the March
elections. Unfortunately, high civilian death
tolls and unannounced deaths of Russian sol-
diers have not been perceived as impediments

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