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April 11, 2000 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 2000-04-11

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4 - The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, April 11, 2000

tbe irb it u ttilg

Presidents, deans, advisors and the future of my 'U'

420 Maynard Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
daily. letters@umich.edu
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. Allother articles, letters and cartoons do not necessarily
reflect the opinion of The Michigan Daily.

Missing the mark
New Greek measures may be ineffective

Several days ago. a fellow Daily columnist
implored me not to "write one of those
run-of-the-mill sappy, farewell columns." He
need not have worried. I have only written
four columns in my short stint as a member
of the editorial staff. And while I have in
abundance the sentiments that mark many
other farewells to this
university, I will not
share them here today.
Graduation is not
about the past, it is
about the future.
Therefore, this
column is not dedicat-
ed to what I have been5
through during my
college years, but
rather to the future of
the University.
To comment on Josh
the direction in which Cowen
this institution is
headed, I leave my Er'p'as
thoughts to those n
entrusted with its
To University President Lee Bollinger:
You have done some wonderful and some
pitiful things in three years of leadership. You
are now at the crossroads. You must decide
whether you want to be a good president or a
great one. The difference will be based on
your priorities. This university needs your
leadership. Do something bold before you
leave for the Ivies.
To Dean Shirely Newman: One word
should be at the top of your list of priorities
for your tenure here: Teaching. It is your job
to protect those that are here primarily to

instruct. You do this with money and incen-
tives. If there are none, find them, create
them, will them into existence if you have to.
Your success will be judged on your actions
To Gerald Ford: Thank you for being con-
cerned about your alma mater. You have done
some wonderful things for us and I for one
am proud of you.
To the LSA Academic Advisors: You are
an integral part of the college. Despite the
criticism thrown at you from this page two
weeks ago, thousands of students know and
trust you. You guide them through the
labyrinth that is LSA and its procedures. You
show your students the multitude of doors
open to them, but you have the insight and
the restraint to let them walk through it alone.
You are doing your job honorably, and I
admire you for it. Students cannot succeed
without you and the University cannot suc-
ceed without students.
To the History department: Hire a mili-
tary historian. Hire two. Or four. It is beyond
my comprehension how such an intellectually
vibrant faculty misses a very real fact found
in every aspect of our past: Wars move and
shake society. Cultures are born, and die, in
them. In war we find the most beautiful and
terrible impulses of our nature. To study them
is to study what it means to be human. It will
be fashionable someday to examine wars
again, and you better be ready.
To the new members of the Michigan
Student Assembly: Brain and Andy did a
fabulous job this year for one major reason:
They had the skill and conviction to use
MSA as a forum for defending students
rights. Their efforts against state Sen. Mike
Roger's (R-Brighton) driver's license-related

voting act and for our voting rights are pre-
cisely the activities MSA is designed for. No
more empty resolutions against sanctions in
Iraq, or whatever else makes you feel like
To Hideki: You worked hard and you
earned your victory. Now you have a more
difficult task: Keeping MSA focused on what
it CAN do, not what it wants to do. Roger's
public act is one of the first and few acts of
government we can and should fight. Do not
drop the ball.
To the students: You have the privilege to
be educated at one of the greatest universities
in the world. There as no such thing as per-
fection, but I believe the University is, despite
its faults, getting closer by the day. I am often
awed by the accomplishments of its faculty,
staff and most importantly, its student body.
Each day you wake up for class you should
think, if only for a moment, of the good for-
tune that brought you here.
To the graduates: If there is one word to
describe my wish for you, it is excel. Your0
lives are better because of your years here. Be
happy, be intellectually and emotionally ful-
filled, but do not be settled. Your immense
and individual talents have been sharpened by
the resources of the institution you are now
leaving. Do not let them be dulled by inactivi-
ty; there is always more to accomplish.
To my fellow Daily columnist: I hope this
is not too sappy for you. I only stated the
-Josh Cowen would like to thank Bonnie
Gold, Brian Allan, Mike Schmick, Dave Yu,
Katie Westgate, Tom Appledorn, Mike Hul-
swit, Matt Diana, and Kevin Girard for keep-
ing him company he can be reached via
e-mail atjcowen@umich.edu.

T hey can run to Rick's or the Radi-
son, but the Greek system still
won't be able to hide their problems
with alcohol. The Interfraternity Coun-
cil ratified a new Social Environment
Management Policy this week, which
will shift parties to from fraternity
houses to third-party venues, such as
bars, restaurant and hotels.
The policy follows a national Pan-
hellenic Conference proclamation that
sororities can not co-sponsor alcoholic
events held at fraternity houses. Greek
social issues are a puzzle to which
there may be no answer, so the council
should be at least noted for trying to
improve their actions and thus reputa-
tion as irresponsible. But this policy
will be lifting responsibility and creates
loopholes that may allow a more dan-
gerous environment to manifest.
Because parties will not be held on
chapter property, they are not consid-
ered "events," and thus are not under
the jurisdiction of event parameters
specified by the new social policy.
Third-party vendors are also not sub-
ject to monitoring by the Social
Responsibility Committee. While
events held on chapter property are
checked for SRC violations, third-party
venues will be allowed to have previ-
ously-excluded items like kegs, party
bowls and cups. But the new rules may
cause more harm than good because
they are not only unregulated but off-
campus. Will Greek members find
themselves footing a bill to be bussed
to every single event to avoid drunk
driving or walking home alone?
Alcohol is an integral part of not
only Greek scene but the college scene,
and controlling it is a complicated task.

The problem is the over-emphasis of
alcohol, rooted in the 21-year-old
drinking age in the United States.
As a form of rebellion and indepen-
dence, young adults have always want-
ed what they cannot have - often in
excessive amounts. In the United
States, the desired object for young
adults is alcohol, simply because it is
forbidden. The drinking habits of U.S.
college students are uniquely Ameri-
can. The vast majority of foreign coun-
tries not only have a low drinking age,
but it is customary for families to drink
together at meal times. Alcohol does
not have a forbidden mystique. As a
result, these countries are not plagued
with the rates of alcoholism and binge-
drinking that are so common in the
U.S.; youth do not turn to alcohol to
rebel or prove maturity.
Developing a certain degree of
acceptance seems to be a better
approach than current methods of alco-
hol education, or in the case of the new
Greek social policy, avoidance. Moving
the location of parties or limiting the
number of people who can attend
should be resulting in the rolling of
eyes and smirks. Rules surrounding
parties are very hard to enforce, espe-
cially when the rules go against a cul-
ture that is out of our realm of control.
Let's all admit that alcohol is a huge
part of the college social scene, Greek
or not. Let's admit that it's a rarity to
find a dry party and that the vast
majority of us are not interested in such
an event. Instead of moving parties or
banning alcohol from fraternities,
Greek houses should up the number of
sober monitors at each party and we all
should fight for a lowered drinking age.


Don't participate in
the Naked Mile
As the winter term draws to a close,
we're once again bracing ourselves for a
notorious campus tradition: The Naked
Mile. What began as a student expression
of the arrival of springtime and freedom
from academic responsibilities has grown
into something much more unpleasant and
Each year, the number of spectators to
this event gets larger. We know from traffic
on the Internet that nany of these individu-
als do not have healthy intentions toward
our students. Participants are exploited in
the sale of uncensored videos, photo gal-
leries and broadcasts. Despite the attempts
of our staff and a core of student volunteers
to keep the environment surrounding this
event safe, over the years we have had
instances of sexual assaults, students who
put themselves in danger due to excessive
drinking and runners being tripped,
grabbed, struck by objects and hit by cars.
We have indications from law enforce-
ment officials that enforcement will be
tightened this year, increasing the proba-
bility that participants may be arrested.
We arehtold thatithose arrested for inde-
cent exposure may in some instances be
required by state law to register thereafter
as a sex offender. Furthermore, legislation
recently passed in Michigan could pre-
clude those convicted of riot behavior
from attending a public college or univer-
sity within the state. Given the role that
alcohol consumption plays in creating a
dangerous environment, we will have
especially strict enforcement of alcohol
We want you to understand very
clearly the environment we find our-
selves in and the risks that you are facing
if you choose to participate. We are urg-
ing you, out of our deepest concern for
your well being, to stay away from this

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Rackham restrictions
Rackham enforces exclusive use of facilities

N ext fall, the Rackham School of Grad-
uate Studies will begin cracking down
on undergraduate usage of its facilities. In
response to complaints by several graduate
student organizations, the Rackham Stu-
dent Government will now require that
groups register with RSG if they intend to
use the Rackham building. While enforc-
ing limitations on undergraduate usage of
Rackham in favor increased graduate stu-
dent access to the accommodations is
understandable, the school should not
completely bar undergraduates from using
the facilities. Accordingly the graduate
school should consider alternatives, such
as petitioning the Rackham Board of Trust
to allow undergrads to use Rackham when
graduate students are not.
The basis behind exclusion of non-
graduate students from Rackham stems
from the original Rackham Deed of Trust.
In this document, it states that the premis-
es be used "exclusively to furnish gradu-
ate school facilities" for the University.
Since its inception, the deed has been
reinterpreted to allow undergrads to per-
form at Rackham if they belong to a stu-
dent group with substantial number of
graduate members (roughly 25 percent of
the organization). The process allowing
students to utilize the facilities had also
been further liberalized in the past few
years effectively allowing groups not pri-
marily composed of graduate students to
use the building. But RSG made the
process more rigid by changing Rack-
ham's Fair Usage Policy last September
making it necessary for all student groups
to register groups with the Rackham Stu-
dent Government if they wish to use the
facilities. The policy wasn't so much
introduction of a new policy but rather

graduate student organizations that felt that
they were unable to use the facilities when
they wanted to because primarily under-
graduate organizations were using the
While such complaints are valid, as
Rackham is intended for graduate student
use, undergraduate organizations should
be able to use the facilities when graduate
students are not. Even though the instances
where Rackham remains dormant are rare,
in such cases when groups with "substan-
tial" graduate student representation are
not using the auditorium, undergrads
should certainly be allowed to use the
Additionally, it is important to note
that even though graduate students do not
always compromise 25 percent of the stu-
dent groups that currently perform the
auditorium, this does not mean that "sub-
stantial" numbers of graduate students are
not in attendance at those performances.
The auditorium and other facilities there
were intended for use by the graduate stu-
dents; this intention should include view-
ing as well as participating in various
events held in the building.
Reevaluation of the old policy is neces-
sary because undergraduates desperately
need the facilities when they are not being
used. Other venues, such as the
Mendelssohn theater and the Power Center
are almost always in use, and lack of audi-
toriums such as those that exist in Rack-
ham, limit the number of student groups
that are able to have performances on cam-
The original Rackham Deed of Trust
can clearly be reinterpreted or rewritten to
include provisions for undergraduate use
of Rackham when it is not in use by gradu-

event and to find other ways to celebrate
the end of classes this spring.
Hail, grad student
I believe that barring undergraduate stu-
dent groups from using Rackham is a neces-
sary starting point in a movement that is long
overdue. There should be more segregation
between undergraduates and grad students. I
urge you to take this initiative a few steps
further, and consider the following changes.
First, quit going to undergraduate bars
such as Rick's and Scorekeeper's. It is
depressing to see you balding, wiry wind-
bags nursing Amstel Lights in a pathetic
attempt to relive your undergraduate days.

There are worse things than Apaches

Please recall that your undergraduate days
were spent hiding at the library reading Der-
rida, secretly loathing your more socially
adept classmates.
Second, stop going to the CCRB and the
IM Building. I am tired of waiting for a court
behind you hopeless stiffs. Bring your sorry
games, your creaky joints, your pasty thighs
someplace else (attention: The last ten years*
have brought remarkable changes in sporting
attire; it is no longer possible to wear your
high school cross-countryshorts without
looking like an jerk).
Third, stop attending sporting events. You
get all the cheers wrong (if you cheer at all),
you wish that everyone would just sit down.
Only alumni are fully excused for dressing
like idiots and offering tepid support. There
must be a filmfest or some performance art
going on somewhere, stay away. You are cor-
rect in pointing out that grad students are a
separate community. I say close yourselves
in and run your part of campus like the
retirement village you wish it was. Have
quiet hours. Wine tasting parties. Shuffle-
board. We will all be happier this way.
here. Movies, music, hell, "Mr. Ed." Older
than me, but no worse for the wear. It gives
me a nostalgia that I don't really have any
right to, never having experienced that time
for myself first-hand, relying only on reruns
and reissues and rereleases. But it gives me
hope, too. When I'm 91, I'll have more than a
lifetime to look back on. I'll -have two, three,
four, because history never stops coming at
us, because the past is always with us, because
art lives on as long as somebody remembers
I let what is supposed to be mindless
entertainment define moments of my life, take-
them too seriously. I let obsessions wash over:
me, and color my outlook like bloodstains.'-
There's always this intangible something that I
can't put into words; something that compels-
me to stop at the State theatre every week-
after class to see "The English Patient,"
something that forces me to think about "LA
Confidential" so much that it seems branded
on the backs of my eyelids, something that
causes me to buy the "Out of Sight" DVD and
repeatedly watch "Gary" and "Celeste" meet,
something that sends me to theatres at the far
corners of the earth just to see Claudia Wilson
smile one more time in "Magnolia." It's a

C laire Trevor died over the weekend.
There's probably no more than five of
you reading this who have any idea who she
is, but more likely than not, you've seen her
on those black and white, cracklingly old
movies that play in the
wee hours of the night
when you've hit bottom
on that essay and find
salvation in numb chan-
nel-flipping. She was 91,
and won an Oscar for her
role in "Key Largo," as
well as two other nomi-
Her best-known
movie, though. is none
of these: "Stagecoach." Y-
Absolutely one of the Erin
finest Westerns in the Podolsky
history of a tireless, full-
of-classics genre, You
"Stagecoach" is known nwdy moy.
now aday s mostly for
launching a young buck
who went by the name of Duke to stardom
and later icondom. John Wayne had played bit
parts in the years leading up to "Stagecoach,"

an instant classic; often stuck in the less-than-
fabulous role of a woman of ill repute who
somehow redeems herself (or, oftentimes,
doesn't) in the eyes of both the hero and the
audience. Trevor did the same in "Stage-
coach." Playing Dallas, a prostitute trying to
better herself and rise up out of the immoral
muck, she is spat upon by those who imagine
themselves as better than her. Ringo Kid sees
the good in her, protects her and treats her like
a lady instead of like dirt, and their romance is
what makes "Stagecoach," as so many
romances do in so many Westerns, more than
just a chase tale of cowboys and Indians.
Ninety-one years is a lot of time logged.
Age alone pegs Trevor as one of the last of the
old guard, a woman who worked completely
with the studio contract system and outlived
those who signed her to the dotted line. Who's
left? Katharine Hepburn, 92, lives in quiet
Connecticut, emerging with a press release
every year or two to remind us that no, she
isn't dead and no, she isn't dying as the press
likes to speculate. Billy Wilder, 93, recently
humored Cameron Crowe with a series of in-
depth interviews, which Crowe published as
"Conversations With Wilder." Elia Kazan,
Bob Hope.

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