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January 13, 2000 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 2000-01-13

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4 - The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, January 13, 1999

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Win or lose, lawsuits provide students with rare gift

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.

Sell out

Ann Arbor losing charm to corporations

It started at New Student Orientation.
In the "Diversity" portion of orienta-
tion exercises, we were forced to sit in a
circle and list the benefits of living and
learning in an educational community.
It continued with
course distribution
requirements - to
graduate each stu-
dent must take one
course that fulfills as
Race and Ethnicity
requirement.
These small steps:
originally were
intended to educate
the student body and
establish common
understanding. Heather
But it was obvious Kamins
that these modest u
efforts would not do
much to unify a Kea ins
community made up
of many shades and many sets of beliefs.
And if it had not been for two fateful
lawsuits filed in the fall of 1997, thou-
sands of students would have graduated
with only a superficial notion of how
race and ethnicity really continue to
impact personal and professional rela-
tionships.
The lawsuits have afforded us, as stu-
dents, the chance to confront each other,
challenge views on race and affirmative
action and learn through experience
instead of dictated policy.
Although the two lawsuits attacking
the University's use of race in its admis-
sion processes have the potential to put a
great strain on the school's financial and
academic resources, in some ways they
are a rare gift the University will give

currently enrolled students.
Of course, the University wants to win
the lawsuits.
But from the beginning, administrators
have claimed a second purpose.
"It is important for us to remember we
are an academic institution," University
Provost Nancy Cantor said yesterday.
"This is an opportunity to become aware
and self-conscious of what it means to
live in a multicultural society. To think
about how we relate to each other and
cross boundaries.
"I want the University to use this
opportunity besides the public debate to
really get to the core of a liberal educa-
tion," she said.
Administrators and students alike have
acknowledged the opportunity that exists
here.
As students of science, law, literature
and history, we can take advantage of
being here at this crucial time - in the
crucible where the future of affirmative
action will be decided.
As students of society, we are privi-
leged to participate in what surely will be
one of the 21st Century's great experi-
ments.
It is likely that these cases will travel
to the U.S. Supreme Court and be the
landmark decision on the future of affir-
mative action in the nation.
And everyone in the University com-
munity - Republican, Democrat, liberal,
conservative - is taking part.
Some may say that certain very vocal
organizations have been given too much
attention and space to express their
views. Some may say students at the
University have become apathetic and
unemotional.
But there has been a secret, more pow-

erful force at work that has had a far
greater influence than the colorful
protests and activist literature.
It has invaded bars and coffee houses,
infected athletes and fraternities. It's
become part of lunch, part of class and
its effects will last.
Although it often seems that as stu-
dents at the University, we are bombard-
ed with words like diversity and multi-
culturalism, it is this debate that will help
prepare us for professional situations.
The lessons we learn in impromptu *
debates with friends and classmates
about the pros and cons of affirmative
action far outweigh the value of Race
and Ethnicity classes.
Cantor said that when she travels
around the nation, speaking to alumni
groups, it is apparent that the most recent
alumni are very engaged in these issues.
"It is a direct effect of coming of age in
this period," Cantor said.
The issues are hard to talk about. Even
harder to come to agreement over.
University departments have attempted
to encourage discussions with forums,
speeches and town meetings.
The 13th Annual MLK Day
Symposium, one of the largest MLK
events in the nation, is scheduled for
Monday and should help to continue the
dialogue.
But I fear that such events are not
enough.
I hope the University will continue its
efforts not just to defend itself in court,
but to fulfill its paramount mission --
teach its students.
Just by being here, though, we are
learning.
- Heather Kamins can be reached
via e-mail at hbk@umich.edu.
GRINDING THE NIB *

O ne of Ann Arbor's greatest charms
is the wonderful little independent
shops, restaurants and coffee bars that
stretch for blocks around the University.
Creating a personal atmosphere that is
arguably unlike any other college town
across the country, small chains and fam-
ily owned businesses such as Afternoon
Delight and Cava Java allow this
University to offer a unique city person-
ality for its students.
This is a personality that we as stu-
dents of this University should continue
to support - not the impersonal big
chain corporations that continue moving
to Ann Arbor.
A prime example of this is the recent
addition of Starbucks Coffee Corp. to
State Street. Starbucks, established as
the, "premier purvey of the finest coffee
in the world," has conveniently chosen to
locate in one of the prime coffee bar
areas of campus.
Small and regional businesses will
now have to fight harder to succeed
against this huge corporation. Found in
countries worldwide such as Japan,
China and Kuwait, Starbucks has more
than 2,200 current stores internationally.
What once started as a nice family
owned small business in Seattle, Wash.,
in 1971, has now exploded into a multi-
million dollar corporation. Starbucks
now not only sells drinks, they sell cloth-
ing, ice cream, music and brewing equip-
ment.
They now own the popular coffee bar
tea Tazo Tea Company, have their own

mail order catalog, a partnership with
American Airlines and fines restaurants
across the world and a cultural literary
magazine entitled "Joe," with Time Inc.'s
Custom Publications Division.
Starbucks is not the first to break into
town. In recent years Ann Arbor has seen
the close of Schoolkids' Records due to
competition from Tower Records and
even Borders, which interestingly
enough, was once a cozy bookstore
founded in Ann Arbor.
Big chain stores take away business
from the local and small chain business-
es that give Ann Arbor character. Unable
to compare to corporate money, mer-
chandise or widespread customer sales,
small local and regional businesses find
it difficult to survive.
Personally invested in their compa-
nies, local and regional businesses have a
large personal risk at stake in the loss or
success of their store.
As impersonal corporations move into
Ann Arbor, these small businesses must
work harder to try and pull in commerce
and compete with the prices of these cor-
porations.
They should provide excellent person-
al service, maintain their small town
charm and look to meet the needs of local
customers the best that they can.
By choosing to support these person-
alized local and regional stores over the
big chain corporations, we can not only
help these small businesses stay alive but
also keep up the charm of this University
town.

CHIP CULLEN

Shattenng the ceiling
Survey highlights room for improvement

The University has long worked with
the city of Ann Arbor to make it a
safe, healthy and prosperous environment
for students. This month, Ladies Home
Journal gave the community some feed-
back on its efforts to improve it by rank-
ing it as the second-best city in the coun-
try for women to live. While the report
touched on some trivial subjects - such
as how Ann Arbor's weather affects one's
hair -.- it touched on several important
areas where the city deserved praise and
others where it needs improvement.
Ladies Home Journal readers ranked
crime as the most important factor in
choosing the best city for women. Ann
Arbor received a score of 90 (out of 100)
in the survey. But despite the magazine's
kind treatment, there are still major safe-
ty problems.
Many off-campus parts of town, home
to many students, have poor or seeming-
ly non-existent lighting. This creates a
potentially unsafe situation, especially
for women alone after dusk. The
University must work with the city to
bring adequate lighting to these trouble
spots.
The city ranked high in education,
both for the University and for Ann
Arbor's successful public school system.
Education has long been an integral part
of this city and will continue to be. But
the University needs more women on the
administration and female professors.
While women are prominent in Ann
Arbor's political scene, the University is
unbalanced.
Ann Arbor rank highest among the top
1 Ladies' Home Journal cities for the

role that women play in local politics.
The success of women in Ann Arbor elec-
tions, including those of state and federal
representatives, is a testament to how far
this city has come in the area of gender
equality.
But we must point out there has yet to
be a female University president. Finally,
this city was called a "Health-Care
Haven" for its successful medical school
and hospitals, leading other top 10 towns
by a large margin. Health issues concern-
ing University women - such as eating
disorders and binge drinking - were
overlooked and are of concern.
There is no doubt that Ann Arbor's lib-
eral, well-educated population makes it a
great place for women in particular to
flourish. But the magazine unfortunately
focused on issues that seem to counteract
equality of the sexes. Out of eight sub-
jects, "Lifestyle" was weighted second-
most heavily.
Ann Arbor received a score of only 44
in part because, according to Ladies
Home Journal, the Michigan weather was
not conducive to hair and skin. Having
such a factor rated with education, jobs,
health-care, child care, amount of women
in power and the strength of the local
economy in choosing the best cities for
women is demeaning.Hopefully, Ladies
Home Journal's research on the nation's
best cities for women will re-ignite inter-
est in women's issues.
Despite Ann Arbor's high ranking -
and some of the magazine's questionable
categories - there is still much to
accomplish in Ann Arbor within the
realm of women's issues.

Applied physics
laboratory is not a
federal facility
To THE DAILY:
I was interested to read your story on the
latest National Science Foundation report on
the R&D expenditures of the nation's research
universities ("U. Michigan leads nation in
research spending with $500 million," Jan. 5).
I readily acknowledge that the Johns
Hopkins University's Applied Physics
Laboratory is something of a special case.
Arguments are made both ways as to
whether its spending should count toward
the university's totals in the NSF rankings.
But notice that I said "the Johns
Hopkins University's," not, as your story
did, "the federal government's Applied
Physics Laboratory." APL is not a federal
facility. It is a division of The Johns
Hopkins University, co-equal to our School
of Medicine, our School of Arts and
Sciences and the university's six other divi-
sions. The lab's director reports to the pres-
ident of the university, not to any federal
official. While various federal agencies
(including the Defense Department, NASA
and the departments of Transportation,
Energy and Treasury) sponsor most of
APL's work, other APL sponsors include
state agencies and increasingly, private
industry. The lab's scientists and engineers
also collaborate with researchers from other
Hopkins divisions, and other universities,
on projects from biomedical devices to
astronomy satellites and deep space probes.
More about APL and its valuable
research and development work can be
found at wwwjhuapl.edu/.
DENNIS O'SHEA
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR,
COMMUNICATIONS AND PUBLIC AFFAIRS
THE JOHNS HOPKINS UNIVERSITY
M LK Day rally
offers chance to
support equality
TO THE DAILY:
There is going to be a rally and march
held not only in tribute to Dr. Martin Luther
King and his struggle for equality, but also in
defense of affirmative action, integration and
quality, integrated K-12 education. Since the
attack on affirmative took place, we have
seen the percentage of underrepresented
minorities fall from 15 percent to 11.3 per-
cent at the University. The repeal of affirma-
tive action in California resulted in a recent
UC Berkeley freshmen class of 3,500 stu-
dents, 98 of whom were African-American.
By participating, you will be taking a
stand against the racism, discrimination and
inequality that pervade our society. I urge
you to gather at South University Ave. and
Forest Ave. at noon. on Monday Jan. 17, to
take this stand.
DAVID LEMPERT
LSA FIRST-YEAR STUDENT

something, since there was no rebuttal to
their statements on this specific subject,
only applause of approval from the audi-
ence. The rhetoric in particular which per-
sonally attacked me, other members of my
family, close friends of mine and people all
across this campus and beyond was their
blatant disgracing of lesbian, gay, bisexual
and transgendered people.
People like me were cited for demoraliz-
ing our nation's military and for destroying
the moral fabric of America. I never knew I
possessed such power.
Excuse me, though, for being who I am.
Pardon me for living my life as best I know
how and in the most loving manner I know.
Please don't be offended by my presence,
and my choice to be the person God made
me.
What I heard was bigotry. Bigotry is
defined as stubborn and complete intoler-
ance of any creed, belief, race or opinion
that differs from one's own. Yeah, I looked
that one up. Does no one else see that in
these men running for the top spot in this
country?
In a nation made up of all kinds of peo-
ple, where we constantly declare our toler-
ance of and openness to all sorts of people,
we sure have little difficulty allowing big-
otry to take the spotlight. It did tonight at
this debate. And not only that, but people
applauded quite vigorously with their
approval of this bigotry!
I suppose that, by being a gay man, I am
destroying the moral fabric of this nation.
Little did Itknow. It is my hope that we are
somehow able to move beyond this pathetic
rhetoric which spits in the face of Jesus'
teachings (oh yes, it does) and incites all
kinds of further repercussions played out
against LGBT people. We ought to be better
then that. I sure hope we are. In the mean-
time, don't mind me as I continue to wreak
havoc on the moral fabric of America. It's a
lot of fun.
LUKE KuPP
LSA SENIOR
Decision to check
student ID's is
ridiculous

um. Students do not miss games because
some mean non-students steal their tickets.
Some students choose to sell their tickets
because they cannot attend individual
games or they give the tickets to other stu-
dents who have friends and family visiting
from out of town.
Prohibiting this practice just doesn't
make any sense. And it sure as heck will do
nothing to "preserve the integrity of the stu-
dent section." Furthermore, the additional
check to get into the student sections will
increase the amount of time required to
enter the stadium to unacceptable levels.
The current student section situation is
more than satisfactory to the wide majority
of students sitting there. In fact, if it wasn't
for those people who come to the games 30
minutes late and insist on sitting in their
exact seats, the student section would be
perfect. Let's keep it that way.
BRENT LURIA
LSA SENIOR
ID policy does not
belong in the Big
House
To THE DAILY:
What is this dung about checking ID's
at football games to see whether if the tick-
et holders are students or not? Despite what
Athletic Tickets and Promotions manager
Marty Bodnar says, the student section
does not lack "atmosphere." There would
be more "atmosphere" at the games if the
Victors Club corpses between the 40-yard
lines would get off their asses once in a
while and cheer. If there is a legitimate con-
cern about who uses what tickets, then
shouldn't Bodnar and his friends at the
Department of Pepper Spray be checking to
make sure that only alumni and registered
season ticket holders are admitted, too? Oh,
I forgot. That's where the cash comes from.
Maybe that's why they get to have nice lit-
tle cocktail parties on the Crisler Arena
parking lot, but (God forbid) if a student
wants to sit next to his or her friends.
This is simply about control. If the ush-
ers, DPS and the University keep harassing
students at the stadium, fine. But that does-
n't create atmosphere. It creates hostility

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