4A - The Michigan Daily - Monday, April 3, 2000
CIl E firtict40,an ttilij
420 Maynard Street .
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
Edited and managed by
students at the
University of Michigan
Editor in Chief
Editorial Page Editor
Unless otherwise noted, unsigned editorials reflect the opinion of the majority of the
Daily's editorial board. Alfother articles, letters and cartoons do not necessarily
reflect the opinion of The Michigan Daily.
t's almost time. White Trash Bash: A cele-
bration of ugly, unpopular suburbanites was
held last Saturday and in I 1 days hundreds
will run down the street naked, despite Lee
C.'s warnings. April, the great "month of the
senior," has come, and that means that I'm
getting out of here soon. Years of studying,
taking exams and the lot will culminate in a
that (fingers crossed)
will not be rained out.
1. like other seniors,
am ready for it: I've
got dinner reservations
and bought my gener-
ic Michigan Book-
store cap and gown
that I now realize
looks a little too syn-
thetic. I've got accep-
tance letters from grad Jack
schools and even the
obligatory "Michigan Schillaci
alum" t-shirt. Slam It
You may be think-
ing: Is "Slam It to the "_ _
Left," a self-described
cynic who pokes fun at war veterans, activists
and other perfectly well-meaning people,
about to wax nostalgic about his years at the
'U?' One week he writes about how he can't
stand his fellow students, the next he gets
sappy because of his impending graduation.
Has he gone soft? What's next, a stirring ren-
dition of "The Way We Were?"
Don't go overboard. I am still cynical, but
there's a reason for that. Editorial journalists
learn to be analytical, to dissect political and
social issues, and often to be less than forgiv-
ing in their writing. One learns to write their
opinion while at the same time standing back
and not getting themselves personally
a return to the cynical and sarcastic
'U' should offer co-ed dorm housing
involved. This attitude of detachment leads to
the cynical sarcasm with which I write this
column every other week.
But that annoyed. hostile demeanor belies
the fact that I will miss a lot about the Univer-
sity when I leave. It's not perfect, and I've
spent thousands of hours as a writer, editor
and columnist cataloging its shortcomings.
But understanding something means
acknowledging its faults and balancing
them against its strengths. The failures and
contradictions of this University are what
make it both a great place to spend four
years and the perfect topic for an editorial.
After all, we all have our fair share of con-
tradictions - for instance, I've sided with
substance in the whole style-over-substance
debate, yet my column is named after a
Spice Girl's lyric.
Among the University's most valuable
qualities is its embrace of tradition. We don't
step on the 'M' for half a year, we walk
through fountains at Orientation and we have
all sung "The Victors!" with 100,000 other
fans in Michigan Stadium. The Daily has
more traditions than you can shake a stick at.
I, too, have my traditions.
That's why the remorseful warbling
stops here. My column has always been sar-
castic and perhaps sometimes negative, and
despite the Daily columnist stereotype, I
can't conclude on a light-hearted note with-
out feeling I've done something terribly
wrong. So I'm gonna stick to my tradition
and present a list of the things that I won't
miss about Ann Arbor. On the other hand,
I'm breaking with my tradition of not using
bullet points as a crutch for disorganized
writing, but you'll forgive me. You can
assume that I will miss most (if not all) of
the things I don't include.
The Ann Arbor squirrel mafia.
All the work 1. have to put into the Daily
E The Klan.
The people who protest the Klan.
* MSA election flyering.
MSA election scandals.
Lee C.'s hair.
People who pronounce Michigamua
Conservatives who complain about the
liberal bias in everything.
Liberals who complain about the racist
bias in everything.
People with megaphones.
Those people that come up to you and
ask to talk about their god.
University toilet paper.
Finding catty, immature little attacks
that most abandoned in the third-grade being
written about me in that shit-rag "journal" that
only comes out once every three weeks (but
still can't find time to be copy edited).
Daily letters to the editor.
Thanks for reading folks. Over and out.
- This is Slam It to the Leftsfinal column
for the Daily. He would like to thank thefol-
lowing peoplefor supporting him, making him
laugh, and allthat crap through the years:
Karen, Carvn, Kara, Kristin, Mr Chairman
Hoffman, Yapsa, Sujav,jon, Carol, 'L'aurie,
Sarah "Locked and Loaded" Lockver, Erin
the Marshan, Edit Board '98, Adamy, Chris, *
Jennie P. Klong, Blark, Kleinbaum, Yachnin,
Zemke, Spai-Dogg, Naheed, Sumeet, Diana,
Antj, Sona, Neha, Zak, Mike and Julie. He
would also like to thank all of the people he
doesn't know that take the time out of their
lives to read his column. For the last time,
Jack Schillaci can be reached over e-mail at
T7j . EN . T .T .VE'! 1" SP1EA KING
T he University is usually on the leading
edge of breaking issues and opportu-
nities. In 1870 the University was the first
large American institution of higher educa-
tion to admit women. It is once again time
for the University to take initiative and
break new ground by being one of the first
universities to allow men and women to
share dormitory rooms.
Already three small colleges in the
United States are leading the way in oppo-
site sex living arrangements on campus.
Wesleyan University in Middletown,
Conn., Hampshire College in Amherst,
Mass. and most recently Haverford Col-
lege in Haverford, Penn. are allowing stu-
dents after their first year to live with those
of the opposite sex in dorm and apartment
living facilities on campus. These living
options make sense for University stu-
dents, as the changes at these colleges
were made due mainly to frequent student
requests and demands.
. The same reasons that existed for stu-
dents at these small colleges to desire
broader living options also exist for stu-
dents here at this University. For example,
it is clear that men and women would like
to be allowed the opportunity to live
While this potentially could become a
problem if couples decide to live together
and then break up in the process, this is
something that could just as easily happen
for a gay or lesbian couple living together
under the current resident hall arrange-
ments. Heterosexual students should be
given the same freedom and choice to live
with their significant other as homosexual
students, regardless of what the outcome
may be. It is also important to note that a
substantial amount of the desire for oppo-
site sex living arrangements is made
between male and female friends, not cou-
Another reason that students frequently
request opposite sex living arrangements is
that gay and lesbian students often have
trouble finding people of the same sex that
they are comfortable living with. Homo-
sexual students frequently prefer to share
housing with students of the opposite sex
but typically, as is in practice at this Uni-
versity, find University housing regulations
that conflict with their preferred living
practices. While under opposite sex living
options no one could force you to live with
anyone of the opposite sex, current stu-
dents are forced to live with someone of
the same sex when living in University
facilities - and that needs to change.
Although many colleges and Universi-
ties are not even open to considering co-ed
living options, this University needs to
once again be above that narrow-minded
attitude and listen to what the students are
telling them. In doing this the University
should realize the rational for these student
requests, and change our housing policies
to meet their needs as well.
In accordance with our desire to be the
"leaders and the best," the University
needs to be the first major educational
institution to make sure that opposite sex
living is a valid and legitimate student
Too close for comfort
Government intrusion in media must end
T n a highly troubling exercise of influ-
ence over the media, the federal gov-
ernment has been rewarding network
television stations and many prominent
magazines for including anti-drug mes-
sages in their content for the past two
This situation was created when Con-
gress approved a $1 billion, five-year
advertising campaign by the Office of
National Drug Control Policy in 1997
and also mandated that for every com-
mercial or page of advertising pur-
chased by ONDCP, one must be given
With the good economy pushing
advertising rates ever higher, networks
and magazines picked to carry
ONDCP's ads were eager to find a way
to avoid giving away their increasingly-
valuable ad space to the government.
As it turned out, the ONDCP was eager
to offer media outlets a way out of their
advertising obligations. A system was
set up to credit advertising space to tele-
vision stations and publications that
included anti-drug messages in their
programs and, articles.
The result of this deal was the sub-
mission of television scripts to ONDCP
for review and in some cases the alter-
ation at the office's request. Magazines
m submitted stories after publication when
trying to qualify for the credits. This
unprecedented attempt by the govern-
ment to alter television programming
and magazine articles to carry the mes-
sages it wants broadcast sets a terrible
precedent for allowing government
influence over the media.
Also disturbing is the willingness of
so many in the media to submit them-
selves to this influence in hopes of sav-
ing money. The insertion of a few
anti-drug lines into a television show
may seem fairly harmless or maybe even
beneficial, but what is being altered by
the government is the attitude about how
a subject is treated across a broad range
of television programming.
The government should not have
such extensive control over how the
media portrays any subject. Defenders
of the magazine arrangement claim that
when rewarding advertising credit,
ONDCP only looks at already published
work and therefore is not exercising
control over any magazine's content.
Having such large financial incentives
can have an effect though, especially in
magazines such as Family Circle and
Seventeen, that have subjective and
News magazines that have submitted
articles to ONDCP for advertising cred-
it, U.S. News and World Report for
example, are being put in the most diffi-
cult position. Regardless whether such
influence exists or not, publications
should never be placed in the situation
where producing a certain type of con-
tent will result in monetary rewards. It
creates suspicion of the motives behind
any article about drugs they published
and damages the magazine's credibility.
By creating a billion-dollar drain on
advertising revenues, the federal gov-
ernment has created a regime of censor-
ship and propaganda through extortion.
It will be extremely tempting for media
outlets to tow ONDCP's line on drugs
when refusing to do so will cost them
millions of dollars.
The Government should not be get-
ting into the habit of trying to address
social problems through control of mes-
sages in the media. ONDCP's advertis-
ing credit program is dangerous to the
editorial independence of every media
outlet and should be ended immediately.
Daily's portrayal of
the Greek system
TO THE DAILY:
I am upset at the way the Daily, a credible
newspaper in every respect, has shone a neg-
ative light onl the Greek system here at the
It began in Emily Achenbaum's column
"Get them in the Crosshairs: Vote for Hideki"
(3/2400), Achenbaum mentions the Greek
system in saying to vote for Hideki "because
you didn't get a bid from a certain Greek
house because the people with the legacies
and Lexuses beat you to it." To me, this com-
ment reflects nothing but poor journalism.
Stereotyping is not something editors are
supposed to do, and this is exactly what
Achenbaum is doing. She is blatantly stereo-
typing against all fraternities and sororities.
Then, Jeffrey Kosseff's column (Shake-
speare and calculus couldn't teach these
lessons," 327 00) again made derogatory and
stereotypical remarks on th fraternity houses
on campus. By saing that he lived "down the
street from some frat houses" and had "seen
the occasional drunken brawl break out at 3
a.m.' I felt that he again was stereotyping as
if showing that members of fraternities are
the only people on campus that drink to
excess. This is not true by any means. Once
again, another stereotype.
Finally, I am upset at the Daily's coverage
of Greek Week. Sure, there have been a few
pictures here and there of certain events, but
not once has there been a mention in the
Daily that the Greek system has raised over
S13.000 for charities in the past ten days. Yet
when there were alleged hazing incidents at
Alpha Epsilon Pi and Delta Sigma Phi, a few
girls at a fraternity party got checked into the
hospital for alcohol poisoning, FIJI's charter
was suspended, the Daily immediately print-
ed these stories.
So, thanks, Daily. You've really helped the
Greek system recently. I thought newspapers
were supposed to be fair ...
LSA FIRST-YEAR STUDENT
Flag burning ban is
TO THE DAILY
Asa general rule, I don't usually respond
to editorials, but i think this one warrants a
"veteran's" perspective ("Hot issue,"
331 00). In the late 70's and most of the 80's,
I served as an enlisted man in the U.S. Navy. I
have learned much about our constitution in
that time and have come to the realization
that this document is not "living" as some
would believe, but a set of hard and fast God-
given rights which our forefathers recognized
and placed into law. The right to freedom of
speech was considered the ultimate human
right by the Framers.
The right to burn Old Glory in protest of
our governments policies is, in itself, the epit-
ome of this right. Citizens must be able to
address their grievances to the government
they elect. I find it a ridiculous waste of pos-
If burning the stars and stripes gets the
attention of our elected representatives and
forces change for the good of all citizens
without infringing on another citizen's rights,
then I am all for it. Don't get me wrong, you
will never see me at a flag burning. I have
way too much respect for what I believe our
flag represents to watch someone burn it for
reasons I don't agree with.
I have personally burned a U.S. flag
once in my life. I did it one month after the
end of the Gulf War in March of 1991,
when the flag 1 had flown constantly in sup-
port of our troops became so tattered that it
had to be destroyed. While a sailor, I
learned that the only two respectful ways to
destroy the flag was by burial or burning. I
stayed with that flaguntil the last embers
extinguished. I then scooped up the ashes
and buried them.
Patriotism comes in many forms. I still
get a chill when I stand and sing our
National Anthem. At parades. I make sure
that my children stand beside me with their
hand over their hearts when the national
ensign flies by. Everyone has to find their
To those who choose to burn the flag as a
means of telling others that something is
wrong and needs to be corrected, I salute you.
Until I breathe my dying breath, I will always
defend-our constitution and the principles for
which it stands. I may not always agree with
what others say, but I will defend to the death
their right to say it.
TO THE DAILY:
I was very disappointed by the remarks
that Josiah Silverstein made in his letter to
the editor ("Assaulted female lacked personal
responsibility." 3/3000) concerning a woman
who reported that her roommate assaulted
her. His victim-blaming comments may have
caused additional emotional damage to the
survivor and impeded her healing process.
While Silverstein suggests that the assailant
was responsible for his actions, his primary
focus implied that the survivor was at fault
woman is passed out and is unable to give
consent, having sex with her would constitute
3rd degree criminal sexual conduct (punish-
able by up to 15 years in prison) without any
additional factors involved such as force or
coercion. I agree with Silverstein that individ-
uals need to take responsibility for their
actions, but I find it extremely disturbing that
the survivor, not the assailant, is often blamed
for the actions the assailant chooses.
SCHOOL OF SOCIAL WORK
TO THE DAILY:
Usually you folks provide objective and
unbiased coverage. However, the Daily's
about Kurt Zimmer's suicide recent article
("Reason for lTD official's suicide remain
unknown," 3/30/00) was far from your nor-
mal high standards.
The article begins with a paragraph that
seems to say. "he seemed like a good guy -
there is no way that he could have actually
killed himself. There must be foul play." This
is a completely erroneous stereotype of peo-
ple who commit suicide. Suicide victims
(especially adults) are not freaks or loners or
people without families or jobs. Rather, they
are almost always people who are active,
intelligent and involved with their communi-
ties. The naive, outdated and incorrect view
of suicide victims as America's outcasts sim-
ply does not match the reality of this terrible
problem. The media gives a lot of attention to
the few, outlying examples that arise (i.e.
"man shoots 12, then self in post office...")
but none to the tremendous number of aver-
age, middle-class, hardworking, educated sui-
cides that quietly occur every hour.
Unfortunately, the death of Vincent Foster, a
late Clinton aide, several years ago only rein-
forced the public's mental link between con-
spiracy and suicide.
By making Zimmer's suicide seem like
possible foul play, you simply reinforce the
negative stereotypes of this sad situation.
Maybe you could write a follow-up article
describing the massive amount of research
which has demonstrated that adult suicides
almost always invoke a public reaction of
"gee, he seemed like he was so happy..."
Instead of DPS spending time and energy
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