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March 30, 2000 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 2000-03-30

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4A - The Michigan Daily - Thursday, March 30, 2000

be £ir i}gutu Dilg

Look around, the NEA and Art Matters, so speak up

420 Maynard Street
Ann Arbor, M1 48109
daily. letters@umich.edu
Edited and managed by
students at the
University of Michigan

Editor in Chief
Editorial Page Editor

S tudent groups go to great lengths to get
attention on this campus. In my three-
and-a-half years here, I've seen groups pull
fire alarms, storm threw important speeches
and even throw fruit at administrators.
I think that most would agree that much
of that type of attention getting is more

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.

annoying than mov-
New MSA Presi-
dent Hideki Tsutsumi
proved during the
recent Michigan Stu-
dent Assembly presi-
dential election that
sometimes the most
effective form of
advertising is with a
simple sign.
Although not all
of us have the dedica-
tion of Tsutsumi, the
University's newest
celebrity, this week, a
group of students
braved a large thun-
derstorm and some
very cold winds early

LSA program needs more faculty, courses

day Morning in Deep Waters near the Michi-
gan League, Regeneration of Time across
from Angelo's and Maya Lin's Wave Field,
the students watched as nature got the best of
some of their new innovations, part of the
second annual Art Matters Week.
The artists decorating Sunday Morning in
Deep Waters with colored fabric and Daedu-
lus with hand-printed American flags saw
their original designs slightly altered by the
wind, and early today only one of the many
cones adorning the science benches by the
Natural Science Building was still standing.
Whether you think the adornments add or
subtract from the original works, hopefully
University students will take notice of these
works and the rest of the very impressive
.20th Century sculpture collection on campus.
More importantly, students should, either
independently or with Art Matters, learn
about, care about and take action to increase
governmental funding for the arts.
Supporting local and national governmen-
tal funding for the arts, contacting your legis-
lators and spreading the word on this issue is
more important now than ever.
The advantages of making art, including
fine arts, performance arts and music, widely
available to the U.S. public are numerous. In
addition to the aesthetic enhancement that
artists bring to the world, artists serve as the
testimony and memory book of the nation's
conscience, recording triumph, tragedy and
humanity's most inhumane acts.
In fact, recent scientific studies by the
College Entrance Examination Board have
shown that students who studied the arts dur-
ing their four years of high school on average
scored more than 100 points higher on the
Scholastic Aptitude Test than those who did

Nietzsche once wrote, "God is dead."
The LSA College Executive Com-
mittee might concur. After April 14, the
religion concentration will be suspended
for two years while faculty and outsiders
review the program. While it is all well
and good that programs be constantly
reviewed and improved, the loss of a
structured program will make it impossi-
ble for students currently enrolled in the
University to concentrate in religion.
During the two-year period, students
can opt for religion classes in other
departments or attempt an Individual
Concentration Program to get a degree.
Still, this is a more difficult task than
relying on a fully operational program
that can supply a major in the specific
subject of religion. The Program on
Studies in Religion is not even its own
department, nor does it have a graduate
With little input from the 37 current
Religion concentrators, the College
Executive Committee has put on hold a
small but popular program. This is not
the first time the University has acted
without student input. Recently, it was
announced that the undergraduate pro-
gram of the School of Natural Resources
and Environment might be phased into
the College of Literature, Science, and
the Arts. Although a public forum was
recently held, few students were origi-
nally consulted about the possibility, and
many have expressed their disappoint-
ment at the potential move. Combining
programs may appear sound for improv-
ing efficiency, but by phasing out indi-
vidual departments, students will be
swept into a more impersonal part of the
University, putting more strain on the
students and the LSA department, not to

mention the already overburdened advis-
ing department.
Although the reasons for suspending
the religion program are different from
SNRE's problems, they are still trou-
bling. Robert Owen, associated dean for
undergraduate education, said the reli-
gion program doesn't currently have a
"sufficient number of faculty." If the
University cannot supply sufficient fac-
ulty to educate students, then the quality
of education will fall, no matter how
many students hope to learn more about
religion or any other program in ques-
Jennifer Eshelman from the PSIR
states that it is far easier to temporarily
suspend the program rather than adjust it
on the fly. Furthermore, there will be no
change in the classes offered, she asserts.
The changes will be a boon to the pro-
gram, provided that everyone bears in
mind his or her commitment to bringing
the program back in an improved form.
This may mean creating a program more
like Women's Studies with joint faculty
members, or giving it its own depart-
University faculty could consider the
option of offering more classes cross-
listed between departments. There is not
only a lack of religion faculty but of
upper-level courses for students to take.
Cross-listing would produce more cours-
es for students to meet degree require-
ments and resolve one of the main
causes of suspending the department.
Also, hiring more full-time faculty and
asking students for input should be top
priorities for the College Executive
Committee. These changes would make
the concentration - wanted by students
- a reality.

Monday morning to

not, according to the National Endowment for
the Arts' Website.
Funding for the NEA, a national agency
dedicated to supporting the arts and "foster-
ing the recognition and appreciation of the
excellence and diversity of our nation's artis-
tic accomplishments," was set in 1998 by
Congress at $98 million, according to the
agency's Website. That was a 40 percent
reduction from the NEA's budget three years
before. The NEA barely scraped by with this
sharp reduction after a vicious fight with
Congress' top Republicans who vehemently
pushed to cut NEA's federal funding entirely.
In February, President Clinton requested a
$150 million budget allocation for the NEA
in the next year. This notable $52 million
increase would above all fund Challenge
America, a $50 million enterprise aimed at
strengthening community art agencies,
encouraging greater access to arts in under-
privileged areas and pushing the expansion of
cultural organizations in communities not
previously assisted by the NEA.
But of course this is not guaranteed as.
there are many in Congress and a certain U.S.
presidential candidate from Texas who would
love to see funding for the arts and the NEA
slashed. Apparently, these politicians don't
care that the national non-profit arts industry
produces more than $36 million in annual
economic activity and sustains nearly one
percent of the country's workforce.
So whether you attend Art Matters' noon
performances on the Diag during the next two
days, sign the petitions the group is sending to
Lansing or call your Congressman yourself,
let Washington know you support the arts.
- Heather Kamins can be reached via
e-mail at hbk@umich.edu.

convey its very important message. M
The students of Art Matters, a relatively
new and small student group established in
October 1997, trekked through campus at
about 4 a.m. Monday to adorn campus sculp-
tures and structures with banners, signs and
fabric cones to draw attention to the works
and important issues threatening the art
Dressing up seven works of art on Central
and North campus, including Daedalus in
front of the University Museum of Art, Sun-


ird vice

Advisors are high in
quality, not quantity
It was ironic that I should sit down to
eat lunch today and find a copy of Tues-
day's paper at my table, open to the editori-
al titled "Advising Blues." Just that
morning I attended a meeting of advisors
(at their invitation) to speak about the large
introductory Biology class I teach.
They wanted to know what was happen-
ing in the course, and to reconcile what
they were hearing from students with what
I was expecting from students. We spoke
for an half-hour about teaching methods
and aims, how to help students make the
transition from high school to college, and
what background would ensure the greatest
chance for success. The advisors were
questioning me to determine what was the
best advice to give to students, and they
wanted enough detail so that they could
modify that advice for students with differ-
ing high school experiences.
The editorial focused on the shortage of
resources and the high "case load" of indi-
vidual advisors. One complaint was that
advisors didn't know their students on a
personal level and couldn't offer advice in
context of the individual's needs. This is
not my experience - I get plenty of calls
from advisors trying to get information for
a particular student. In fact, one of the sug-
gestions which came up at the meeting this
morning was that I use "Progress Reports"
so that advisors would have more informa-
tion about how a student was doing and
could give better counsel.
I thought the editorial hit it right on
when it stated, "It is not the quality of the
advisors that is the problem, but more like
a quantity issue." If that's the case,
shouldn't the Daily really be asking the big
wigs who control the purse strings why
they aren't funding and staffing advising to
the level of student need?


6 ti

3 . '3 O . d Cy t.. + C e oM q "Ma: sa+ w

AAPD's new substation location is suspect

The opening of a new AAPD substa-
tion on Maynard Street last week
is a helpful and welcome step towards
increasing police presence and safety
in that area. The substation is located
on a block that is home to a sizable
parking structure, two bars and a large
abandoned building and that can cer-
tainly benefit from increased police
proximity. However, the station's oper-
ating hours of.9 a.m. to 1 p.m. will
seriously hamper its effectiveness,
especially in an area which receives its
most troublesome traffic at night.
These late morning hours are the
safest of the day and while it will make
filing police reports and complaints
easier for people in the area, the station
will do little to increase safety in a
local that definitely needs it.
It is clear that the AAPD expended
considerable resources setting up its
new substation, but those resources are
being wasted if the station is only open
four hours a day. Ideally, the station
would be open 24 hours a day and a
real police presence could be brought
to the neighborhood, but the least that
should be done is to keep the substa-
tion open at night when it could have
the most impact.
The block of Maynard St. between
Liberty St. and William St., where the
station is located, sees a.large amount
of student foot traffic until late in the
night. Its bars, parking, Borders and.
Kinko's bring a fair number of people
down the street at fairly late hours and
because of this, there should be more
police presence in the area. Now that
the AAPD has set up a substation right
on Maynard, this would be an easy goal

to accomplish and would be of great
benefit to the students and others who
frequent the neighborhood.
The AAPD's substations have the
potential to be more than simply
offices where paperwork can filled out.
While increasing convenience for peo-
ple who need to do that is a laudable
accomplishment, the AAPD should be
more concerned with increasing May-
nard St.'s safety and there is no reason
it cannot do both at the same time.
Having a police presence in heavily
traveled parts of the community, espe-
cially during the hours when crimes are
most likely to be committed, is a goal
the AAPD should be striving for.
While it may only have been the
AAPD's intention to increase daytime
convenience for people who need file
complaints, they should more con-
cerned with public safety in potentially
dangerous areas, such as Maynard
Many students are nervous about
walking through the area at night and
they should not have to feel endangered
because they want to go to Scorekeep-
ers at midnight or need to go to Kinko's
at 3 a.m. Heavier policing of areas with
large numbers of businesses with late
hours is a reasonable expectation, espe-
cially when the police have already
spent the money to set up a station
The AAPD's new substation is a
location where it can have a real
impact. The safety of people in its
neighborhood needs to be better pro-
tected and keeping the substation
staffed at night would greatly helpful to
that goal.

Assaulted female
lacked personal
This letter is in reference to the Crime
Notes from March 28, 2000, ("Female sex-
ually assaulted after drinking heavily.")
There is a difference between sexual
assault and morning-after regrets. This 19-
year-old student went to a party where she
knew there was going to be alcohol served.
She went there expecting to get drunk. She
drank of her own free will. Nobody forced
her to drink. Nobody spiked her drink or
slipped roofies into them.
In fact, she drank beer out of a funnel.
This is not something that someone can force
another person to do. It takes an effort to
drink out of a "beer-bong." This woman
binge drank at that party with the intention of
becoming extremely intoxicated. I am not
saying that the man whose bedroom she
walked into is not responsible for is actions. I
am saying that the woman is, however. The
fact is, she woke up in her roommate's bed.
Her pants were unbuttoned, but there were no
signs of intercourse. She does not remember
what happened. She could not remember how

she got home or who unbuttoned her pants.
She could not remember whether she said yes
or no to the unbuttoning of her pants. The
fact that she could not remember this does
not give the unnamed man permission to do
with her what he pleases.
However, she put herself in this situa-
tion. She is the one who drank beer to the
point of passing out. She is the one who
agreed to drink beer out of a funnel. She is
the one who went into this man's bedroom.
People have to start taking responsibility
for their own actions and have to stop
blaming others for situations that they put
themselves in.
Oh, the irony!
Am I the only person on this campus
who sees the irony in blanketing the cam-
pus with flyers proclaiming "Environmen-
tal Awareness Week"?

Mariachi madness and other housemate horrors

W hen the clock struck twelve on New
Year's Eve a few months ago, I
breathed a sigh of relief, not because Times
Square had not been blown up, but because
the year was over. I'm sure I speak for
many when I say that 1999 was a rough
year. It was a year of
transition, a year of
uncertainty. But for:
me, most of all, it was
a year of bad room-'
mates. e
There's something ;
to be said about intu-
ition: If you have it,
use it! I didn't when I
agreed to live with
the friends of friends.;
The first semester of
my junior year was Camille
fine, but by the time Noe
that winter rolled
around, I knew things Last
were amiss. Three of Call
the seven people I

a vase and flowers I had dried for the pur-
pose of keeping. Four of my roommates
including myself, approached our room-
mate about this, but she blew us off. It gets
worse - her mother came back to do it
again the next month. When my roommate
"Sally" asked her mom nicely not to clean
for us, her mom called "Sally" a "dirty lit-
tle #*%@c" and ran around the house
screaming about how we lived in a pigsty.
We told our roommate that we didn't
want her mom returning to our house, as
she was both verbally and physically threat-
ening. However, she didn't care, and her
two allies agreed: Who cared that her mom
called us names and came at us with
brooms? The roommate with the deranged
mother informed us her mother was throw-
ing a 21st birthday party at our house for
her, and not only would it entail her mother
cleaning, but further, there was nothing we
could do about it.
The worst happened on a rainy April
morning: It's 7:50 a.m. on my roommate's
birthday. I'm sleeping. Suddenly, the loud-

To make a long story short, my room-
mate's parents were not only rude, but they
asked us to leave the house. They justified
doing so by telling us "You are lazy. You
should go study." I'm not joking - it was
one of the worst days of my life. From that
day on, I spoke no more than two words to
my roommate and her two friends, neither
of who had the courage to speak up when
they knew she and her family were wrong.
The whole episode became a huge dark
cloud that hung over our house - andM
So what's the moral of this ridiculous
story? Good Lord - be careful who you
live with. If you can, live with as few peo=--.
ple as possible. I was talking to my mentor/
professor the other day and she told me,
"There's a belief in Western religion that
it's one's responsibility to transcend the evil
of your environment. But there is an equal
strain of belief based on the idea you truly
can become a 'bad person' if you're in a
bad environment. It's crucial that you sur-


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