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4 - The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, March 28, 2000

iuosbwde S id~igFan & ilg

For a good time, call 414-466-MIKE

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, unsioned 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.

Advising blues
LSA Office is ineffective

Lately there has been an outreach program
taking place in cinema. It moves beyond
Websites with static content about the facts of
a film. Those are old hat in our eBay-addled
world. I'm thinking bigger. I'm thinking of
expanding the fun to be.
had through supple-
mental materials long
after the movie is over.
I'm thinking of
Mike Schank.£
Mike Schank is a
real person. He is a sup-
porting presence inM
"American Movie,"
which will soon be
available on home
video. Although it's a Erin
documentary, it is to the
genre what "The Blair Polsky
Witch Project" is to fic- You W111
tional film: So outra- S
geously real you refuse y
to believe it's true until
you're faced with hard facts proving that, yes,
Mike Schank and his wannabe-filmmaker pal
Mark Borchardt (the main subject of "Ameri-
can Movie") do indeed exist.
What drives the reality of "American
Movie" home is www americanmovie.com.
Here not only can you track Borchardt's sales
of "Coven," a low-budget horror flick he
moves heaven and earth (and palimony) to
make under the watchful eye of the "Ameri-
can Movie" crew, but you, can check back
each day to see how many days Mike Schank
has been sober. By the time you read this,
he'll have been on the wagon for 1699 days.
Despite being interesting, especially when
you've seen Mike Schank in all his Min-
nesotan glory, this is not interactive. The inter-
activity, the edification, stems from Mike

Schank's availability to me, the consumer. His
phone number is right above where the Web-
site updates his sobriety-meter. 414-466-
MIKE.
There he is, Mike Schank, available to the
world at large for questions of small and large
importance. The next time I need to make
meatloaf. I could call Mike and ask for
advice. Want to know who's going to win the
Superbowl next year? Call Mike Schank.
Trouble with your girl?.Call Mike Schank.
Obviously this only works for a documen-
tary, and it would be pretty tough to swing if it
were an expose of, say, some telephoneless
tribe in Namibia. But Mike Schank's phone is
the beginning of something big. I can feel it.
You see him in the movie, and then you can
actually talk to the guy if you so desire. Reach
out and touch someone, indeed.
"Magnolia," also recently in and out of
theatres, has an associated phone number
much like Mike Schank's. It's just an outgoing
message. In the film, Frank T.J. Mackey (Tom
Cruise) does infomercials for his "Seduce and
Destroy" sex seminar series. The phone num-
ber flashes on the screen-within-a-screen sev-
eral times during the course of the film. It is
not, as the grand majority of phone numbers
shown in the movies are these days, the non-
existent 555 exchange. That would not be suf-
ficient for the Mackey lady mack.
The number? 1-877-TAME-HER.
On a lark, I called the number. I didn't
expect it to pick up. But it did; it picked up and
suddenly Frank T.J. Mackey, or Tom Cruise, or
whatever you want to call him, was talking in
my ear. To me. Telling me he guaranteed,
money-back guaranteed, to get me "that
naughty sauce," the "yum-yum" I deserved.
After several minutes of "Seduce" spiel, the
line dumped to a voicemail box that claimed to
be full. I didn't care. I was laughing too hard.

I called back about once a week over the
next few months, and each time the message
was different. Sometimes it was just a snippet
of the "Seduce and Destroy" banter, some-
times the seminar attendees roaring, "Respect
the cock and tame the cunt!"
Sadly, the phone number is now dead. I'd
like to think it was running out of writer/direc-
tor Paul Thomas Anderson's house, with the
impresario changing the message ever few
days to entertain his most devoted fans.
People say the telephone is a dying tool of
society. I used to agree. There's something
simpler, less intimidating about text on a
screen than an actual human voice.
But sometimes words aren't enough.
They're are all well and good, but they can't
replace the echo in my head when I imagine a
line from a movie. "It's the one that says 'bad
motherfucker."' Try reading that without hear-
ing Samuel L. Jackson taste those words like
fine wine in "Pulp Fiction." I dare you.
Maybe these two auditory incidents will
come and go as their screen counterparts did
at the box office. Maybe it's just one more way
that Hollywood is trying to get me to buy
something, anything, their manufactured
dream, their soft-sold crap.
I'd like to think it's not a fluke. Mike
Schank is real. But he's got real needs, too, as
I discovered when I called him and got his
answering machine.
"Hi, this is Mike Schank from 'American
Movie.' Please leave a message. And don't
forget to buy a copy of my audio cassette on
americanmovie.com with 11 original songs by
me plus all the songs in "American Movie"
for only $6. Bye!"
Sigh. Even Mike Schank is selling some-

T he recent proposal to merge under-
graduate School of Natural
Resources and the Environment into
the College of Science, Literature and
Arts has caused some debate amongst
SNRE students. This merger is intend-
ed to combat the declining enrollment
and budgetary problems SNRE is fac-
ing. But why is this merger putting
SNRE students in such opposition?
They are worried about losing the per-
sonal attention and smaller, more
focused quality of SNRE - and with
good reason. One need not look further
than the Office of LSA Advising for an
example of alienation.
The problems with advising range
from lack of individual attention to not
enough staff. The vast majority of LSA
students do not have a relationship with
a regular advisor who can cater to their
personal needs and has enough back-
ground knowledge to help advise on
important issues.
LSA advising seems to think that
this is not their role -- and such an
attitude makes it very easy for students
to fall through the cracks. Students can
be faulted for not seeking out advisors,
but advisors should be more aggres-
sive. It should be their job to check in
on the students they are assigned with
some frequency.
The lack of an advisor can make
CRISPing an especially stressful time.
When it hits a few days before registra-
tion, hell breaks loose in the advising
office. This chaos can be blamed
caused on the walk-in policy, which in
theory should be helpful, but students
- who have odd schedules by nature
- can find themselves waiting an
hour.

The amount of time spent with the
advisor does not always prove worth
the wait, considering students are hur-
ried in and out of the office as fast as
possible. It is not the quality of the
advisors that is the problem, but more
like a quantity issue. There aren't
enough advisors on duty to serve the
needs of the students on a daily basis,
and especially days before CRISPing.
The lack of staff also leads to prob-
lems in making appointments with
advisors during the school year. If the
advisors are supposed to be there to
help the students in time of academic
stress and turmoil it is imperative that
the advisors are accessible. But stu-
dents find out very quickly that their
problems better be able to wait at least
a week because the advisors are always
booked full.
Advisors are also giving open-ended
advice. College is a time of indepen-
dence and becoming an adult, but the
University can be overwhelming and
confusing. We need someone who
knows the endless rules and require-
ments of LSA and can understand its
red-tape frustrations.
In all honesty, a little hand-holding
is needed. This does not only apply to
first-year students. There is a reason
some juniors don't have a major and
seniors have no clue whether they
should go to graduate school. All LSA
students want is a place where one per-
son knows their name and will take a
chunk of time to speak with them when
they walk in.
Advising must increase their staff
and their involvement in student's lives.
Too much attention is far better than
too little.

0

thing.

- Erin Pbdolsky can be reached via
e-mail at oppsie@umich.edu.

CHIP CULLEN

GR.NDNG THE NIB

iiea terenson Tor
MSA President '01!
To THE DAILY:
We have just gone through another
MSA election season, and as usual, scan-
dals and meaningless campaigns have
marked the process. The allegations regard-
ing Wolverine Party misconduct come as
no surprise to me. I suppose that the rest of
the nation didn't get out to vote for DAAP
either; I thought it was a matter of "nation-
al importance"? Apparently not. In future
election seasons. I suggest my fellow stu-
dents join me in voting for Red Berenson
for MSA President. If two national champi-
onships and the fourth-most victories in
NCAA history aren't enough, he could at
the very least run MSA without scandal.
Berenson and his assistant Mel Pearson
had my votes for MSA President and Vice-
President last week, along with Northern
Michigan hockey mascot Wildcat Willy
and New Hampshire hockey mascot Wild
E. Cat for Engineering representatives.
LARRY HARVILLA
ENGINEERING SOPHOMORE
Halperin's course
right step for 'U'
To THE DAILY:
Right now I'm embarrassed to call
myself a conservative. Writers like Mike
Carrier are making us all look bad. In par-
ticular, Carrier's viewpoint, "Homosexuali-
ty is a 'learned' lifestyle," (3/24/00) is
about as bigoted as they come. Carrier is
100 percent correct that homosexuality is

0

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Izzol smart move
Students should be encouraged not to riot

Consider this scenario: After a bas-
ketball game, thousands of fans
and other students in a college town
gather in the streets and cause serious
damage. Police come and use tear gas
while frustrated people are injured or
damage property. Think this describes
the riots one year ago at Michigan
State University? True, but it also
serves as a description of last Friday's
riots at Iowa State University, Universi-
ty of Wisconsin and Purdue University.
Campus rioting should not be tolerated
- by the police or by the students
themselves. It is not the proper way to
celebrate an athletic victory and it
reflects poorly upon the university
involved.
After last year's embarrassing disas-
ter in East Lansing, Michigan State
basketball coach Tom Izzo issued a
statement to all MSU students encour-
aging them to be the "sixth man" on
the team by supporting their school in a
positive manner. The respected coach's
message seems to be working -
although the campus is crawling with
cops, East Lansing has remained burn-
ing-couch-free as their the Spartans
inch towards the championship and
"we're a sixth man" banners can be
seen hanging from the porches of stu-
dents' houses.
Izzo and the MSU administration
know the worst effect of campus rioting
is the cloud it leaves over a university.
The University of Wisconsin, Purdue
University and Iowa State University
will be misinterpreted by the public

due to the actions by a minority. All
students need to remember that their
actions reflect not only upon them-
selves, but upon the school as a whole.
One might think college students
nationwide would learn from last year's
rioting that destructive behavior is not
the proper way to celebrate a team's
victory. But this was not the case.
Eleven students were arrested - seven
at the Ames, Iowa campus of Iowa
State, four at the West Lafayette, Indi-
ana campus of Purdue. Crimes ranged
from public intoxication to theft. Like
the latest Woodstock, crowds, alcohol
and frustration combined to cause trou-
ble. Aggression reigned over common
sense.
Like the debatable actions by law
enforcement last year in East Lansing,
this year's riots have been handled with
excessive force: The 40 officers at Pur-
due used tear gas on students. With
competitive bracket pools and amazing
upsets - hello Gonzaga - March
Madness is a lot of fun. But it does not
have to mean lunacy at the expense of a
school's reputation or student safety.
If the students were true fans of the
game, they would demonstrate their
appreciation for the team in non-vio-
lent ways and be a "sixth man." As
police continue to investigate the insti-
gators of last year's MSU riot, students
at colleges across the country - not
just those remaining in the NCAA bas-
ketball tournament - should consider
how their behavior affects public per-
ception of their university.

learned to an extent; however, I am sure
that Carrier did not venture forth from his
mother's womb intrinsically knowing the
history and cultural practices of the Irish
people (to quote his ludicrous example)
without someone teaching him; this does
not make him any less Irish.
Gay men do not typically have the oppor-
tunity to learn about gay lifestyle from their
(heterosexual) parents; furthermore many
parents for some reason feel the need to "pro-
tect" their children from the "bad influence"
of gay men - usually their neighbors, co-
workers, cousins or siblings. Others claim
that Prof. Halperin's class will recruit and ini-
tiate teens into homosexual lifestyles. I ask,
what is wrong with that?
If their aim is to protect teens from
"dangerous" lifestyle choices that have
come to be associated with homosexuality,
then they should be glad that these teens
will have an opportunity to learn about cul-
tural aspects of being gay in an enlight-
ened, intellectual University setting instead

of having to go it alone on the mean streets,
as it were. I'd rather see a gay- or bi-curi-
ous teen learning about gay lifestyles in a
college classroom than a dance club bath-
room (how I hate to invoke stereotypes ...).
The dangers of being gay are largely a
result of the fear, loathing and oppression that
the LGBT community has experienced his-
torically. Halperin's course is another step in
the right direction to correcting those wrongs
and helping gay men to feel comfortable with
themselves. If others don't like it then they
shouldn't take the class. I applaud the LGBT
community for all the work they have done
on this campus and I urge them and the rest
of the University community to get angry
and fight bigots like Carrier. I'm a straight
guy who normally finds campus activism a
bit annoying, but you'll find me standing
beside you, yelling and screaming or what-
ever it is we need to do.
DAVID JORDAN
ENGINEERING SENIOR

0

Note to campus liberals- Look on the bright side

George Will recently wrote that one
major difference between liberal and
conservative citizens of the United States is
that, in the end, liberals focus on negative
aspects of the nation, while conservatives
tend to stay positive. This statement is,
among other things, a
bit too simple and
generalized at the
same time to merit too
much attention. But it
is worth a passing
thought, and my own
passing thought on the $
matter produced a ,,<
small admission.
Liberal messages
are, more times than
not, criticisms of peo- J
ple or policies. Con- Josh
servative messages are Cowen
often beliefs - in E pai
God, in country, in
small government, and Mine
so on. A person can-
not believe against something, but rather in
something - a right or a wrong. A belief is,
therefore, inherently positive, however nega-
tive the outcome (and it often is).
So, along these lines, I offer this column

And that building still stands. It stills shields
its citizens from the horrors of war and
despotism. It's health keeps us fed and edu-
cated. It is a system implicitly designed for
constant self-evaluation, which means it gets
better every day. Be happy. You live in a
nation that allows freedom unheard of.
Republicans
Generally a spiteful bunch, in your eyes,
and it is difficult for me to disagree. But
even their message carries tones of tolerance
and inclusiveness today. Anyone can learn.
Have faith!
Democrats
An imperfect group of varied interests-
teachers, labor unions, minorities, women,
academics and such-somehow keeps its eyes
on the prize: Commanding the issues of the
day. On health care, the environment, educa-
tion, gun control, to name a few, Democrats
hold majority support. Many of the most
active students actually hatenthe Democrats
because they believe the party has "sold
out." "Sold out" is the naive way of saying
someone was being practical. Practicality is
the first step toward accomplishment.
The University
The intellectual vitality of this communi-
ty exists in a few clusters spread sporadical-
ly across the planet. Its faults are

protected and improved upon. But he knows
that takes time. Lee Bollinger is the captain
of this ship, and the responsibility for its
direction lies :n his hands.
But we're going the right way, I'm happy
to say, despite a few rough waters. Give the
president a break. He's a good man and the
best friend you have.
The Armed Forces
A favorite target of student liberals. But
those that make our military into devils miss
the crucial point. We do not live in a peace-
ful world. I believe we will someeday,sbut
until that day comes democracy needs an
arsenal to protect itself. Our men and
women in uniform may someday be called
upon to give their lives to protect your right
to stand in the middle of the Diag and criti-
cize them. If you can't see that bright side,
you won't see anything.
Human Beings
It seems silly to mention, because liber-
als who fight for peace and justice do so to
better humanity, which means they love it.
But they don't often trust it. This mistrust is
the root of negativity. To help people, you
must trust them. You must know your invest-
ment in them will pay off. Humanity is a
wonderful and unique entity. If you believe
in a higher power, you have to see humanity

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