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March 27, 2000 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 2000-03-27

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4A -- The Michigan Daily - Monday, March 27, 2000

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Shakespeare and calculus can't teach these lessons

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

MIKE SPAHN
Editor in Chief
EMILY ACHENBAUM
Editorial Page Editor

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.

Tinte

T he University requires us to take classes
in writing, quantitative reasoning and
foreign languages, whether we like it or not.
Usually, most students are on the side of
not." But the administrators argue that
these requirements build mature adults with
a wide range of knowledge.
Unfortunately, the
University graduates
too many people who
lack maturity. You
might be one of them.
Many students
leave this school with
knowledge of the arts
and sciences, but they
lack basic manners.
They run around
campus like mon-
keys. Untrained mon-
keys. They hope their Jeffrey
top-notch education Kosseff
will cover for their
ignorance of all Beet New
social standards. Style
I have a simple
solution to this prob-
lem. The University should require all stu-
dents to take a class on manners.
This proposal sounds draconian. The last
thing we need is another requirement, you're
thinking. But after four years of observing
the lowest and most primitive forms of
behavior, I know this is the only way to save
our school's reputation - and the nation's
future.
Lesson One: Contain your fluids.
Some people can't even control their bod-
ily functions in public. The most egregious

perpetrators are spitters.
I've gone through 21 years without ever
having the urge to share my spittle with
the world. But countless students at this
fine University walk down the street, spit-
ting compulsively.
Saliva spreads germs, from meningitis
to the flu. Please keep your germs to
yourselves.
And this weekend, a student got out of
his car, urinated in front of my apartment
building and drove away. I guess he
couldn't wait until he arrived at a gas sta-
tion.
We live in a college town, not a zoo. In
public, bodily fluids should stay inside the
body, except for medical emergencies.
They're in your body because nobody else
wants them.
Lesson Two: You're a University stu-
dent. Get a vocabulary to match, and lose
the trucker lingo.
I live across the street from a residence
hall. Instead of walking up the stairs and
knocking on their friends' doors, many stu-
dents yell from the outside of the residence
hall.
Visitor: Hey, asswipe. Get the hell down
here.
Resident (yelling out his/her window):
Fucker, wait a minute.
That's a far cry from Romeo's beckon-
ing call to Juliet. It's a far cry from any
semblance of civilized life. That brand of
dialogue is quite regular on my street.
I don't mind cursing, but the entire block
doesn't have to hear your idiocy. When I
hear it, I truly become embarrassed to attend
the same university.

Election scandal reflects poorly on MSA

Lesson Three: The world is not your
garbage can.
Some students believe the entire campus
is theirs to trash. They leave garbage every-
where, expecting the servants will take care
of it. I guess it comes from years of having
mommy and daddy pick up after their sorry
selves.
Someone even threw a raw chicken breast
onto an awning in my apartment building,
where it now is decomposing.
Until you earn your big bucks with a B-
School degree and can hire a servant to
clean up after you, have a little personal
responsibility.
Lesson Four: Only drink if you have an
ounce of self-control.
I live down the street from some frat
houses and I've seen the occasional drunken
brawl break out at 3 a.m. That was cool in
junior high, but not here.
Your primitive combat skills only impress
yourself. Put down the Miller Lite and take a
breather, tough guy.
These are just a few of the nuggets of wis-
dom the manners class would impart upon
the student body. The professor would test
the students by secretly spying on them and
evaluating whether they use the lessons in
their public life.
I'm not excited about a new requirement,
but it's necessary to uphold the reputation of
our fine school. This class would set an
example for the legions of idiots at the Uni-
versity who never knew it was inappropriate
to spit, curse, fight, urinate and yell in pub-
lic. Monkey see, monkey do.
- Jeffrey Kosseff can be reached via
e-mail atjkossej@umich.edu.
TENTATIVELY SPEAKING

M SA elections struggle to attract
attention around campus. Still,
voter turnout has been up the past two
years. This year, 8,393 students cast
ballots online. Unfortunately, nearly
one-third of these votes will be can-
celled. The Wolverine Party candidates
for a number of schools, including
presidential and vice-presidential can-
didates, were eliminated from the elec-
tions for campaigning and election
violations under the MSA Compiled
Code. The Wolverine Party and MSA
should be ashamed that student gov-
ernment at the University continues to
be clouded by allegedly illegal actions.
The news of the latest MSA scandal
is especially stinging due to record
voting numbers this year. Most on
campus do not hold MSA in high
esteem. It is not visible enough and
students often feel that MSA actions
do not apply to their lives. Increased
interest in this election shows that Uni-
versity students can be intrigued by
MSA issues. It's disappointing that
desperate and petty tactics rear their
head again in an MSA election.
The accusations center around a few
members of the Wolverine Party's
alleged campaigning techniques, such
as asking students to log into their
computers and proceeded to direct
them to vote for the Wolverine Party.
Wolverine Party defenders point to

the fact that the Elections Board,
which oversees campaign violations, is
composed primarily of Blue Party
members, a Wolverine Party competi-
tor. They are appealing the decisions
made by the board to throw out their
votes.
It is difficult to say who is right and
who is wrong. But scandals or not, it
seems that independent candidate
Hideki Tsutsumi would have won by a
landslide. Hideki won without resort-
ing to illegal campaigning or even
spending much money. His campaign
was above the scandal. His campaign
was clean, straight-forward and the
most student-friendly one we've ever
known. He won fair and square - jus-
tice served.
But even with a student-supported
president heading into his term, MSA
should not forget the embarrassment
associated with another election scan-
dal. MSA can be important to students.
It allocates funds for student groups
and serves as a link between the
administration and the student body.
But in order to earn respect from
students and the University communi-
ty, all MSA members (or MSA
wannabes) need to respect themselves
and the students whose trust they wish
to win enough to stop illegal actions.
They only confirm student suspicions
that MSA is pathetic.

THOMAS KULJURGIS

I~p~

- -.-1-j.' Y~L-

Through the cracksa
All HIV/AIDS patients deserve equal care

A t age 13, Ryan White was told he
couldn't go to public school
because he had AIDS. His love for
education prompted him to become an
important national role model who
helped to educate the world about the
realities of HIV and AIDS. Although
he specifically fought for his right to
attend public school, his ultimate goal
was to eliminate the discrimination
against people with the virus. After his
death in 1990, a program was started
to alleviate economic discrimination
by giving individuals with AIDS, but
without enough money to properly
treat the disease, the ability to receive
financial assistance from the govern-
ment. It was named the Ryan White
Act in his honor.
Sadly this law, named for one who
campaigned to end discrimination, is
now accused of being implemented in
a biased manner. A report to be issued
by the General Accounting Office this
Thursday will document that under the
Ryan White CARE (Comprehensive
AIDS Resources Emergency) Act,
African Americans, Hispanics and
women with AIDS are not getting the
same quality of care as whites or males
with the disease.
The report claims these groups
receive substandard care in doctors'
visits, emergency room visits, hospi-
talization and drug therapies. Clearly
this differential treatment must be
stopped to ensure that everyone has an
equal opportunity to fight back against
this deadly virus.
It is most likely that the reason for
this differential treatment has to do
with the way in which the program
allocates funding. It puts emphasis in
fighting cases of full-blown AIDS over
those with HIV.
The result is that new cases of HIV
infection, which have not had enough

time to progress to AIDS, are not
being treated with the same quality of
care as AIDS cases.
Thus the fastest growing groups of
individuals with HIV or AIDS, such as
minorities and women, do not receive
the quality care they so desperately
need. We need to make sure that pro-
grams aimed at treating those with
HIV and AIDS are not blind to the new
populations acquiring the disease.
Given the current state of the AIDS
epidemic, it is especially disheartening
to discover that these groups are the
ones receiving substandard care. Even
though blacks account for only 13 per-
cent of the American population, the
Department of Health and Human Ser-
vices documents that they account for
about half of all AIDS deaths. AIDS
remains the leading cause of death for
African American males age 25-44.
Additionally, Hispanics account for 18
percent of AIDS deaths.
These statistics illustrate that these
groups who are especially at risk for
the virus are the most in need of quali-
ty health care. It is unacceptable,
therefore, that the Ryan White CARE
program treats them as inferior. The
intention of the bill was to help out
disadvantaged people with AIDS. Yet
the most disadvantaged people in the
U.S., minorities and women living in
poverty, are exactly the ones who
received unequal treatment.
The inferior treatment of African
Americans, Hispanics and females
with AIDS must end. Treatment pro-
grams do not intend to be racist or sex-
ist, but such problems are the result.
Ryan White devoted his life to break-
ing down discrimination and promot-
ing equality. The government must
make sure that it doesn't forget his
ideals when implementing the program
dedicated after him.

Class aims to teach
'U' about the gay
community
TO THE DAILY:
"They might study to learn more about
their cultural heritage, but no one has to
learn how to be something they cannot help
being." I would like to thank Mike Carrier
for helping to lay the foundation for my
argument against him ("U' class: Homosex-
uality is a 'learned' lifestyle," 3/24/00). In
Carrier's viewpoint he chose to substitute the
term Irish into the course description for
Prof. David Halperin's lecture. I believe that
by doing this, Carrier proved that homosexu-
ality is not a learned trait. He could have sub-
stituted any term other than gay, describing
how someone is born and the argument
would have worked just as easily. To clarify
my point, let me use his example with Irish.
Carrier might have been born Irish, but he
would have had no idea how to be Irish
unless his parents taught him the culture and
values that create an "Irish man." Without
knowing the history and culture of Ireland,
Carrier could very well be Irish and practice
some of the Irish values, but he would do so
in ignorance. I would also argue that if , not
being Irish, were to learn all that Carrier is
ignorant of, I still would not be Irish since I
was not born that way. Following this idea, if
one learns all the practices, beliefs and histo-
ry of homosexuality he can better understand
and value homosexuals, whether he was born
one or not.
1 believe that the goal of Prof.
Halperin's lecture is to provide the intro-
duction, or "initiation," that one receives
upon encountering the gay community for
the first time. Again, using the Irish exam-
ple, it would be very similar for anyone
ignorant of the Irish heritage to encounter
an Irish community, that he had never
before interacted with, for the first time.
Being a homosexual is nothing that is
learned, it is an inherent trait that one is
born with. However, becoming a integral
part of one's community and understanding
the community is learned. It is this aspect
that I believe Halperin is trying to teach the
University community, not teach how to be
attracted to the same sex. In offering this
class, which explores all the positive and
negative aspects of the gay community,
Halperin is creating an avenue of under-
standing and respect for any member of our
community.
BENJAMIN MUMFORD
ENGINEERING SENIOR
MSA elections not
nationally important
TO THE DAILY:
Jessica Curtin, the Defend Affirma-
tive Action Party Vice-Presidential Can-
didate, told the Daily on Friday
("Election publicity mobilizes students,"
3/24/00) that "students realize the impor-
tance of these (Michigan Student Assem-
bly) elections ... the outcome of these
elections is of national importance."

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M?,JMX: TLED1 z ~ AE'TM
SEtaiSEE'lU. IE HOQ.S tO~uVNE
ATA NPTY - TASTY LAW NA14Y
CAOICES.

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ever read. Mike Carrier stated his case and
fully backed it up. He did an excellent job of
standing up for what he believes in, and I
admire that. I simply don't understand this
University sometimes - now a professor
wants to teach students how to be gay?
Excuse me, but what the heck does that have
to do with English? Has anyone in this city
ever heard of the fall of Rome? It is outra-
geous to ask taxpayers to pay for a class that
would teach such things as "... diva-worship,
drag, muscle culture, style, fashion and interi-
or design." In fact, it's totally absurd. If a
class titled "How to be straight" were offered,
LGBT would fight like hell to cancel it, right?
AMY OLSZEWSKI
RC JUNIOR
Editorial contradicts
abortion stance
TO THE DAILY:
I had to gasp in surprise and laugh at the
Daily's editorial on March 24 concerning the
abandoned infant legislation now pending
("Sad but necessary"). You came out strongly
in favor of this. I was very surprised. Why
would you support this legislation when you
are so unalterably opposed to any law or
statute that would limit abortion in any way?
Please enlighten me -just what is the differ-
ence between a baby that is living in the
womb and a baby that in born a few minutes
later? You would enact laws to protect the
baby when it's born but support legislation
enabling a woman to abort that very same
baby when in the womb. I wonder if you can
see the moral absurdity of this? The point of
the pro-life stance, is that all life from con-
ception until natural death is worthy of being
protected. I have to admit I am glad that your
editors are not enacting the laws of this state,
given their apparent moral illogicality.
GREGORY HAMILTON
RACKHAM STUDENT
Feminism is 'highly
overrated'

The South was
misrepresented by
Achenbaumn

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TO THE DAILY:
This letter is in response to Emily
Achenbaum's column "Get them in the
crosshairs: Vote for Hideki," in the March
23 issue of the Daily. While I have no
issue with the main premise of Achen-
baum's column, I found that a certain ele-
ment contained in her argument left me
dismayed, disturbed and even a little
angry.
Speaking of the great risk (as Achen-
baum perceives it) that Hideki is taking
with regard to his pride, she asks who
would want to do that to themselves. Then
she states, "After all, if we lived in Texas
or Alabama instead of Ann Arbor, Hideki
would have been beaten up months ago:' I
cannot help but wonder what Achenbaum's
reasoning is here. Why is it that he is more
likely to be beaten up in Texas or Alabama
rather than in Ann Arbor, or Idaho, Cali-
fornia or Maine for that matter?
If her point is that such an incident
would be racially motivated and therefore
would of course have to happen in the
South, then Achenbaum needs to realize
that racism in unfortunately present in
every state in the union. If her point is that
the South is less tolerant of people who are
different than the rest of the nation, then I
have to ask how Achenbaum actually
knows this. Has she ever visited or lived in
the South? Does she know many people
who are from that region? Though I can't
be sure, my guess is that the answer to
these questions is no. And if the answer is
yes, them she ought to know better.
I happen to be from Tennessee. I was
raised in the South from the time I was
nine years old. I have spent approximately
seven months in Ann Arbor as a first-year
law student and it is the first time I have
really had occasion to experience an area
outside the South. In the past seven months
I have found the majority of the University
community to be open-minded and fairly
well informed. But this message of toler-
ance and understanding that the University
tries to convey is lost on people like
Achenbaum. Her statement is prejudicial
and quite indicative of her ignorance. In
fct. it makes her no hetter than those she

0

TO THE DAILY:
I would like to comment on Michelle
L2.lL A --^' ^^' -rv ' "P"- -^'o - -n -:-

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