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April 06, 2000 - Image 4

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4A - The Michigan Daily - Thursday, April 6, 2000

E aticbIgun jattil

Take my cai; take my clothes, but don't take my house

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

MIKE SP'AHN
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.

Privileged tower space is unfair

W hen my father served her divorce
papers, my mom took her wedding
dress out of the box where it had been sealed
for 26 years, threw it the kitchen trash and
discarded her Lean Cuisine lasagna leftovers
on top of the dress. The trash can was placed
in the middle of the driveway for all to see,
specifically my father,
who wouldn't be able
to move his car with-
out moving the trash
can.
It's not the happi-
est of memories of
life at my house, but
you better believe that
scene enters my mind4
when I drive up to my
Ann Arbor home.
nowadays to do laun-
dry (free!) or mooch Emily
food off my mom. AChenbaum
Happy memories and
sad, I love my house Dimond i
because it represents 'the f'
me, my life, my con-
nection to Ann Arbor
outside of "Emily, The College Years." Love
for an object is possible, albeit an imperfect
love, as an object can never love you back.
It's a pretty safe form of affection - caring
about something that can't care back -
because a "thing" won't hurt you. Or can it?
These last few weeks I've had a rough
time dealing with the emotions surrounding.
the impending sale of my childhood home.
It's funny how always knowing something is
going to happen isn't enough to prepare you
for the actual event. To say I love a house is
a mockable statement, perhaps. So laugh.

Some people think showing emotion is a
sign of - heaven forbid - weakness or
illogicality. I try to avoid these people. There
is nothing illogical about the sense of loss
and detachment that have quietly been eating
away at me since I received the news of the
sale. My house is a reference point to a spe-
cific place in time; it is an affirmation of
what was. I'm not sure who I'll be without it.
I remember moving to Ann Arbor in the
third grade and being initially disappointed
with my new backyard. The swimming pool
was cool, but the area was small, with only a
strip of grass around the fenced-in pool. We
could swim in the summer and ice-skate in
the winter, I rationalized. As a city girl, I
grew up thinking backyards were fenced by
definition, and had no idea that the sprawl-
ing, hilly four acres outside of the fence were
also mine.
That pool, along with the creek, the four-
acre front lawn, the vaulted-ceiling library,
the eerie basement and every other detail
that is that house would frame the majority
of my experiences until I went to college.
When I come home - which happens rarely
- it reminds me that things on campus are
not all that I am. There is a danger in forget-
ting who you are or where you came from,
and my house has always served as a reality
check, a safe place, the one thing I could
count on being there when people failed me.
I am worried I will forget all that happened
there, because once the house is gone, I
won't be able to go there anymore and be
reminded. And so I fear losing a big part of
myself.
I dislike our real estate agent the way
children are wary when suitors start
approaching their divorced parent. She is the

enemy, taking away what is mine. But I als4
think she is incompetent, a fact which I fre-
quently point out to my mother, who reminds
me it is pretty arrogant to assume I under-
stand finance, roof repairs and city ordi-
nances better than the agent.
Just as I have grown up, the house has
outgrown its use. It is unwanted - inhabit-
ed only by my mother, who is rarely there.
Without my father, his pipes and his books;
my sister, her homework on the kitche
table; and me, my clothing permeating frotl'
my closet to blanket the whole house, it is a
shell. We don't live there any more, and the
house is not needed. But it is hard for me to
imagine anyone else living there. Certainly
it is not the same house that we moved into
13 years ago. How could such an impossi-
bly chaotic family not leave some sort of
mark?
I work a few hours a week in the home of
a family that, oddly enough, lives directly
across the river from my house. I can see
from the windows. I watch it, I am spelo-
bound by it, I am drawn to it like Narcissus
to his reflection in the pool. I feel the need to
take several rolls of film of the house, to go
spend time in each room, touch the surfaces
of mantels just to confirm that they are real
and that I once was there. I read once that
people with eating disorders love mirrors,
not because their disease has anything to do
with vanity but because they are slowly los-
ing themselves, and every look in the mirr*
is a confirmation that they are still there. I
trace door frames with my fingertips. My
actions almost spooked myself out until I
realized: I am trying to make memory.
- Emily Achenbaum can be reached via
e-mail at emilylsa@umich.edu.

6 t ain't over till we get our way"
seems to be the cry coming from
both Michigamua and the Students of
Color Coalition in recent debates over
the professed offensiveness of Michiga-
mua's name and use of privileged space
in the Michigan Union tower. After an
extensive occupation, removal of arti-
facts, visiting activists, national press
coverage and hours of negotiations, the
SCC still refuses to accept Michiga-
mua's name or space in the tower, and
Michigamua refuses to give up either.
We at the Daily have a few sugges-
tions. First of all, to end this debate
before the school year is out, so that the
new Michigamua members do not
inherit the previous group's mess. In
regards to the cop-out name change,
"Michigamua: New Traditions for a
New Millennium," we believe that
Michigamua has a right to call itself
whatever it pleases; the right to free-
dom of speech defends this.
The names "Students for Life" or
"Students for Choice" might offend
some people, but that doesn't mean the
University or the students should force
either to change. Even if Michigamua
decided to mock Native American

chants on the Diag, they cannot be
forced to change their practices. It does
not mean that it does not offend some
people, but they have every right to do
it. In addition, they should have the
right to do it as a University organiza-
tion, just as pro-life and pro-choice
groups do.
The tricky part is this: Michigamua
does whatever they want to in a privi-
leged space. This is, indeed, unfair. All
student groups under University aus-
pices must apply for space in the
Union; this should be the rule without
exception. This means that both the
Vulcans and Phoenix, the two other
tower societies, should give up.their
privileged spaces in the tower as well.
If the University allows certain groups
free space, it raises questions as to
whether the University supports what-
ever the group stands for.
We urge Michigamua to keep their
promise of "New Traditions for a New
Millennium," and to not bring back any
offensive practices, even if they choose
to move off-campus after this debate.
They should strive to be what the group
was meant to be - a service organiza-
tion dedicated to helping the community.

CHIP CULLEN

MCULPSY FOR

COLEM

STUDENTS

Prisoner art exhibit helps youth

For all of the criticism projected
upon correctional facilities for not
rehabilitating criminals, a few pro-
grams attempt to accomplish this very
goal. One such program, entitled
"Putting a Face on It," will appear at
the University in the Union this month.
Students and stuff should take the time
to examine this exhibit.
From April 10-22, students from the
University will curate the exhibit. The
big night is the opening reception the
night of the 11th. Some of the artists
will be in attendance. Ann Arbor resi-
dents and University personnel asking
why they should take the time to attend
need look no farther than the artists
themselves. From the youth detention
G.S.I.'s have the
Graduate students, like professors, are
wonderful and necessary teaching
assets to University students. Maintaining a
wide variety of responsibilities such as
grading papers, teaching courses and exam
reviews, holding office hours and perform-
ing other administrative tasks, G.S.I.'s
deserve respect. While they are still stu-
dents themselves, they're also teachers who
have direct influence and interaction with
undergraduates and their learning process-
es. And because they are teachers, with the
right to collective bargaining claims over
their salaries, they have the right to orga-
nize unions. This is something that the
administration and professors at New York
University, and private Universities in gen-
eral, need to acknowledge and welcome.
NYU graduate teaching assistants, after
taking their case to the National Labor
Relations Board, are the first private college
G.S.I.'s to acquire the right to organize
unions. While across the nation, G.S.I.'s at
public universities have been organizing
unions to collectively bargain over their
salaries and benefits for many years, with a
total of 27 graduate student unions as of
December, no private University graduate
teaching assistants have been able to up to
this point. And that is not fair.
Graduate students at private and public

centers of Boysville, Vista Maria, Adri-
an, and Maxey Boys Training Center,
the artists will anxiously unveil the
results of months of effort that went
into their poetry and other artwork.
Through the Undergraduate
Research Opportunity Program, Arts of
Citizenship and the Union, prisoners
will have the opportunity to display the
culmination of seven months of dedica-
tion. Proceeds earned from the sale of
works will go to the prisoners. It makes
sense to support honest work from the
young prisoners. We should applaud
the aforementioned groups, and the
detention centers that participated. Pro-
grams such as these are an excellent
effort at rehabilitation.
right to unionize
Universities do the same work as teachers
and so deserve the same rights. While the
NLRB has taken the correct stance in
granting the NYU graduate students the
right to formally organize unions, NYU as
a university has not. Their professors and
administration continue to maintain that
graduate students should not be allowed to
form a union. Within the next eight days,
NYU will decide whether or not to appeal
the NLRB's decision. During this time they
need to weigh the impact that graduate stu-
dents have on the student body as a whole
and learn to respect their reasons for wanti-
ng a union.
As teachers, graduate students have the
right to form unions to collectively negoti-
ate for their salaries and benefits. If the
NYU graduates are so strongly pursuing
the formation of a union, there must be a
need for one. They would not go to the
trouble of fighting the University and tak-
ing their case to the NLRB if they did not
feel that having a union for graduate stu-
dents was essential to retaining fair salaries
and benefits. NYU needs to follow the
example set by public Universities and
allow graduate students to form a union.
They need to acknowledge that graduate
student assistants are teachers and deserve
the right to unionize.

'The Mkchigan Dily weliries tetteir frcm al
hyovm ome~ e tersm~itinilde thie writer's
nam~e, pione .number, and school year or Uiveitik
tyaftian. The Eaity will rotprint any later that
eannmt be werise~. d homri n ita kawilnot he
Lett aen s ld be kept t gniaety30
words. The Michigan Daily reserves the tight ft
edtfor leg~tteaity ad acuacy Longer "view*
poitnts" may be arranged with an editor~ Letters
will be nm aceordmng to erder reeived and the
14tera sbonldbe set der e-mall to diy~let
Maynami$ti ditors can be reached at 764~40&$2
1y aending e-mil to the ahove addrem Letten e
mailed to> the Daily will be given pri*ority ove
those dropped off in person er set viai the U.S.
Spartans deserve
congratulations
TO THE DAILY:
In wake of last year's behavior by fans
the rivalry betwen our two schools hit, in
my opinion, an all-time low. Instead of
friendly banter regarding the sports teams,
the dialogue between both schools has
been reduced to slander, where "Spartan"
means anyone with an aptitude for setting
things on fire and "Wolverine" becomes a
synonym for the personification of snob.
To be quite frank, neither side can truly
say that either moniker is completely
undeserved.
But in this hour it is our duty to tip our
hats to our friends in East Lansing after
their basketball triumph. All season long
their fans and students have showed the
same class that every Michigan student
prides themselves with possessing and have
trevre the ngativepublty rthat plagued
pletely honest, I did root against the Spar-
tans in the championship game, but it was
hard not to feel happy, even proud, of the
way they, the team and the fans, handled
themselves in celebrating their triumph.

r4xwh. U4
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Let's hope this ushers in an era of
friendlier relations between both sides in
the rivalry, as they have proven them-
selves to be worthy opponents both on
and off the playing field. Here's to
friendly rivalries and continuing success
of Big Ten Conference athletics.
ANDY CASPER
LSA SENIOR
Stop your whining,
voting is easy
TO THE DAILY:
Does nobody get tired of hearing this
whining about legislation "preventing"
students at college from voting because
poll sites would check the address on a
person's drivers license or state issued ID?
Is this a problem? No! A drivers
license is supposed to have a person's per-
manent address. If a person considers him
or herself living at an address permanently
enough to vote in the local election, then
the person should update the permanent
address on his or her drivers license so
government documents go to the right
place. And if it's not permanent enough to

bother, then obtaining an absentee ballot
is quite a simple process.
It bothers me that college students can
be so easily swayed in elections. Look at
the recent MSA election for example. A
group could quite easily convince students
to vote for something: Especially some
noble, high-priced civic project. Who
cares? The students aren't homeowners,O
and they don't see the effect of rising prop-
erty taxes through rent. Not to mention
they'll be gone within four years (or five or
six if they're stupid). It is so two-faced to
care so much about how the college com-
munity laws affect you, but be too lazy to
change your drivers license from your par-
ents home address. You should vote for
laws because you care what happens in
your permanent community and under-
stand the repercussions of your choice!
This is a great opportunity for groups*
to influence students into a careless vote.
Don't let the ACLU destroy college com-
munities. Make sure this legislation
holds. Do your part: quit whining and get
an absentee ballot, change your license's
address, or drive home to vote. Take part
in whatever you consider your permanent
community.
JOSEPH ORAVECO
ENGINEERING SOPHOMORE

Stars and stereotypes: Racism flies high in Carolina

The American south is a region of proud
citizens who are plagued by socio-eco-
nomic and racial stereotypes, both towards
them and courtesy of them. Currently, the
state of South Caroli-
na is coming under
fire for the flying of
the Confederate flag
atop their state capitol
building. Groups such'
as the NAACP are'
calling for a boycott:
on South Carolinian.
tourism.
The hope is that
the economic strain on
the state will induce David
the legislature to con-
sider changing the Hom
way in which the flag Hm r hy
is displayed. The
South Carolina Gener-
al Assembly has been criticized by black
leaders and lawmakers from across the coun-

population is African-American) and whites
who are genuinely offended by the flag.
Why is this even an issue? Is it a game to
see how long the state can go before every
black person just says "the hell with it," picks
up and moves away? The South Carolina
General Assembly is a collection of old
white men who wouldn't know what discrim-
ination or racial inequality were if they bit
them in their old white asses. They stubborn-
ly insist that this flag, which symbolizes
hatred and prejudice, be flown in the compa-
ny of the American flag and South Carolina's
flag.
That's a heck of a plan, boys - probably
your best decision since leading the way for
succession, circa 1860. If you're lucky,
maybe the yanks will be so turned off by
your disregard for the citizens of South Car-
olina they won't even bother to send down
General Sherman for a good old fashioned
hillbilly ass-kicking.
There is a certain amount of prejudice
and stereotyping in this very column, and for
-._ T dI . 11, I------aL..

ball, Haverford tennis and the New York
Knicks are among the organizations that
have agreed to participate. Woods and
Williams are among the most prominent
black athletes in the country and each has an
event in the state in which they are scheduled
to play in the upcoming months. If legislato
saw that they could no longer attract blacr
(and white, and Hispanic) athletes to partici-
pate in events in South Carolina, it may just
scare them straight. Woods and Williams
should both be positive role models and help
to support their race, their sports and the citi-
zens of South Carolina.
This is a charged debate that needn't be
so. There is a Confederate flag flying promi-
nently atop the South Carolina statehouse
For a number of reasons the flag has bee'
soured by racism and hatred. As a result it
suggests to the African-American communi-
ty that their government is not sensitive to
their struggles - both past and present.
There are many positive things that the flag
represents - principally the bravery of sol-

I

I M '~iTd TI~

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