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October 13, 1999 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1999-10-13

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S - The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, October 13. 1999

... There are still some things that make

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

Editor in Chief
Editorial Page Editors

Unless otherwise noted, unsigned editorials reflect the opinion of'the majority of the
Dailv : editorial board. All other articles, letters and cartoons do not necessarily reflect
the opinion of The Michigan Daily.

Apply liberally
Students should explore all academic choices

like to think that In'm a pretty masc ii
line man. I don't wear pink. I've never
seen Steel Magnolias or Fried Grec2
Tomatoes.l ven more importantly. I iae
no intention to. W\hen I eat. I usual ly
need to use at least
Fiive napkins. I think
cuys like Woody.
Allen gige real men
a bad name. We're
supposed to be
strong and support-'
ive to our ladies.
We're supposed to
be like rocks. Orne
other thing is that
we're not supposed
to like musicals.
As bad as most ike
musicals are. there is Lopez
one musical that has
carved its place in the
stone of masculinit.
Of course, I'm talk-
ing about "The Blues Brothers." And like
the Blues Brothers, I've been feeling kind
of weird lately. Ive been feeling like Jake
during that epic scene when James Brown
asks him, "Have you seen the light'?" and
Jake yells back,"The band! The band! The
BAND!" All of a sudden, they're "on a mis-
sion from God."
I've been feeling like I'm on a mis-
sion from God. Perhaps all this morality
talk has been getting to me, or some-
thing. A few days ago, I was walking
down the street when I passed a bum that
asked me for some spare change.~This is
no unusual thing in Ann Arbor. Usually,
I'll just brush these guys off. I'll nod and
smile, look away, or do something that I
am quite sure I wouldn't like to see if' I
was in their position.

Once dismi cd. th\e n\eer crou Ik
mind again. Nod. smile and t'oraet. I
always rationalized my behav ior b4
thinkii that if I .av e them ,;;xanonic\
thex d just go spend it on booze.
Naturally. I don't want that. I'd also think
that thex should go get a job. Yeah. I'm
prctty cold. I 'n not proud of it. I m not
proud of a lot of thiniis. .\yax, to get
hack to the story, this gux asked me for
As usual. I nodded and smiled. I kept
walkimg and w as just about to forget
wx hen, crap. I couldn't. Instead of for et-
ting about him. I started to feel guilhi. I
thought to mvsel]f. "You are such a oIusk
punk. Talking about 1iorals. trx i to be
a cood person - and you don't exen gixe
a lousy quarter to a poor bum on the
I wondered if lie had any faniily. Did
lie have sisters like me? Mavbe lie used
to be a student here. I felt bad for this
poor guy. As I wondered what could have
happened to make everyone in his life
turn away from him, I kept on wvalking. I
probably had a twenty and a pocket full
of change at the time. Even if I didn't. I
was on my way to the Burro. I could hax e
at least gotten him some nachos. I did
It is amazing how one transgression
can lead to many more.
How does this tie in with being "on a
mission from God?" Like I said, not two
months ago, I wouldn't have given that
guy a second thought. I would have con-
tinued to exist in my own little world. I
would have done some community ser-
vice, but I wouldn't have cared about
those that I helped.
That was my whole problem. I didn't
care. Do you care about what has been

U /s all the same.
happening in I a i IwiI lIetnI
tiiop7ia. Iraq. DIet roit Y psilani and th*
corner of \\ ill iam ;mid State I didn't.
\\ lien x on dlo t see x ourself in the eyes
of the suffering. it is reallx eas to torget
that t hex ~re human.
1.ike Jlake and I lx ood, I'i startinc to
care. I doni plan to sinle and nod the
iiext time a iraeiit xalks up to me. I
doii't think it is possible to lead a 'ood"
life h iuiormiig t he pli ht o f the less for-
tunate l'i st'ill no saint. I ri p onm
flriends' mothers. I x at to choke some o
the drixers in this town. I refuse to exer-
isL. but hope'ull; all of this will slow ix
chance. 'ci startinli to care. This is the
''iiission Irom Gjod."
I ook xx hat it did to the Blues Brothers
they xx Cut to jail to saxe the orphan-
ae:Thex didn 'tha e to. Jake could blaxe
cotten back tocether wxith Carrie isher
and I lhxood could have hooked up x with
I" i. I' lad they didn't and I wish
more of us were like them. \lay be mor.
of us are.
All I knox is that the next time somhe-
one asks for a small token or a little
faxor, ['moin to care. I'm oing to
appreciate the opportunity to connect
with another person and I'll probably
take it. Shouldn't we all take those
opportunities' The answer to that is a no-
brainer. Unfortunately, for the past 24
years. I've had no brain.
".la(it Lcuge " is about ilt pct
Sot2l e)Cr)(icfl ( 4 0/n1'r averag'e gur'
(t Jour averagc, prestigous university.
Do ou know unv'one who wiaclks through
li/f withe an aura of/peace? ou know
tni h' the rei/xed ctmospherc that
srU/r'outndlsl thor.) Send rc/erences to
dlike Lopc_:: m/cmIrgtcL a umich.elu.
Gloll. Blue!

n this high-tech age, one would expect
engineering or business majors to monop-
olize well paying jobs. But recent studies by
the National Association of Colleges and
Employers show that this is not necessarily the
case. The job market has extensive new
opportunities for liberal arts graduates.
Consequently, University students shouldn't
feel pressured to choose a major early in their
college careers because all types of majors
have available markets.
Students often feel pressured to find a
major that has a high starting salary. This
often forces a first- or second-year student to
choose the engineering or business path.
Many students are genuinely interested in
these fields and should pursue them with
gusto. At the University, a high starting salary
is almost guaranteed upon graduation from
these nationally renowned programs. A liber-
al arts degree may have appeared too general
and not inclusive of the skills necessary to
perform in the corporate world.
Liberal arts graduates may not possess
specific computer programming or profit
analysis skills, but they acquire other abilities
that could be valuable for the entire job mar-
ket. The abilities to write well, communicate,
organize and interact with people are all atthe
core of an effective liberal arts education.
These qualities will assist job applicants no
matter what field they pursue.

In addition, a person not excited about
business or engineering need not pursue such
a major solely for the long-term money. Upon
entering the University, students should take
courses because they excite them -not
because they fulfill prerequisites to a major.
There is a broad range of educational oppor-
tunities here, and students should explore all
sorts of possibilities. They can do this without
worrying if they will be prepared to get a job
when they leave.
It is not the major per se that lands people
desired jobs. Their own efforts in finding the
job and working productively will be the
most valuable asset in the long run. While a
corporate employer will need to spend more
time training an art history major than they
would a business school graduate, the
University degree will help prove such a can-
didate is indeed trainable. Thus the degree
itself without considering major can be seen
as a major asset. Additionally, liberal arts stu-
dents will find that many technology or cor-
porate employers want more than just engi-
neering or business majors for certain tasks.
Employers may target analytical writing or
organization skills. Religion or psychology
majors as well as business majors may pos-
sess these talents. It is unfair for students to
feel so pressured at such a young age. Rather,
they should find the fields that they really
enjoy and pursue them.



State of Michigan hurt by primary policies

R emember the good old days when politi-
cians went from town to town, standing
on soapboxes and spouting their campaign
platforms? Of course you doli't.You're a col-
lege student. What you know of politicians
comes from advertisements on commercials
and television news programs. Some of our
more politically oriented readers might find
out from a newspaper or the Internet.
However you receive your information, it is
most likely not from the politicians them-
selves. Michigan itself rarely receives more
than a five-hour stop on the campaign route.
The only states to get real personal attention
from candidates, along with lots of attention
and revenue from the media, are New
Hampshire and Iowa, traditionally the first
states in the nation to hold their respective
primary or caucus.
Tired of playing second fiddle to these
states, Michigan has joined numerous other
states in a mad dash to move up their pri-
maries and make their state more influential
in choosing the future president. This front-
loading of primaries causes the dates to be
pushed earlier and earlier, politicians to cam-
paign longer and travel more and spend even
more money on their already multi-million
dollar'campaigns. Essentially, we are experi-
encing a breakdown of the already troubled
primary system.
Michigan Democrats attempted to make
their polls first in the nation by moving the
date to Feb. 12, but backed away after a
thumbs-down from the Democratic National
Committee. Michigan Republicans have
already moved the GOP primary to Feb. 22nd,
one week after New Hampshire. Because of
these and other threats to their leading posi-
tion, New Hampshire has decided to change
its primary date to Feb. 1- the earliest in his-
tory. In fact, the legislature felt so threatened
by other states that it recently passed a bill
allowing future primaries to be held in
December, if need be. Iowa has also moved its
caucus up to Jan. 31 and is considering a
move to December.

Political advisers agree New Hampshire
and Iowa play a key role in selecting future
presidents. President Clinton was considered
by many to be a long shot for president until
he captured second in the New Hampshire
With the actual elections so far off, many
wonder whether voters will pay attention to
the primaries, or take the time to learn enough
about the candidates. Only 18 percent of
Michiganders voted in the last presidential
primary with open spots on both the republi-
can and democratic ballots. How many would
take a break from their holidays or vacation
time to watch CNN, or even bother to trudge
through the snow and vote? In many local
elections, such as very democratic Detroit or
the traditionally republican western lower
Michigan, who wins the primary usually ends
up the de facto winner of the election. States
should encourage as many people as possible
to vote; moving up the primary will do just
the opposite.
This frontloading is also a blow to poorer,
lesser-known candidates, and a boon to politi-
cians with large pocketbooks. With so many
primaries in so little time, candidates will
need to spend more time and money flying
back and forth across the country to build up
support. Those who can put out more adver-
tisements will have the advantage of reaching
out to more people.
Another issue - reorganizing the pri-
maries - is exactly what the National
Association of Secretaries of State proposes.
Their plan would use a system of regional pri-
maries, starting in 2004, where eastern states
would go first, in the first week of March, fol-
lowed by southern, midwestern and western
states in the first weeks of April, May and
June, respectively. The region going last would
go first next time. Iowa and New Hampshire
would keep traditional leadoff spots. While the
preference shown towards the two traditional
starting states should be taken out, this plan is
a necessary measure that should be imple-
mented in the next election.

Affirmative action
not designed to
increase diversity
How could a self-declared "true advo-
cate" of civil rights like Dustin Lee claims
to be say the thins he did in his letter
("Affirmative action detrimental to 'U"
10 11 99)? Knowing now that one has to
feel rather strongly about his or her opin-
ions in order to air them in the Daily. I am
amazed that a so-called defender of "equal
rights and opportunities" for everyone
could say such things. It appears that Lee
has a very elementary view of what affir-
mative action truly means.
I do not agree completely with the ways
affirmative action has been used here, but it
is an essential institution to make this
University the best it can possibly be.
Unfortunately. affirmative action gets the
reputation of only being a way to create
racial diversity within the 'U' -- when. in
reality, it was established to help create an
equal playing field for students who haxe
not had the same luxuries as a student who
went to a prestigious private high school
where they were ale to take five AP class-
es their senior year alone (not to mention
four in their junior year as well).
First of all. you cant tell me that a tal-
ented artist, musician or athlete has any less
of a right to be here than anyone else.
Honing their specific talent has taken up
more time and dedication than simply
studying for an econ exam. It is no wonder
why their grades suffer, they put so much
time into another aspect of the University.
They may not be as academically qualified,
but these different backgrounds enrich the
University in other ways.
Maybe race is too much of an issue,
when it should be a socio-economic issue.
If affirmative action was in place 60 years
ago, maybe it would be your relatives who
were helped by the program: German, Irish
and Chinese immigrants back then were in
a similar place as blacks and Latino as are
today. True affirmative action has little to
do with racial diversity, it is merely a bene-
Leave the cellular
phones home
Okay, what is with the cellular phone
phenomenon'? How many times have you
been walking on campus and passed some-
one yacking away in the Diag? Are they
having an important conversation, or just
trying to look cool'? Is it reall' necessary to
skim through the numbers programmed into
your phone in the middle of a lecture'? Are
you just trying to prove your studliness to
the girl sitting next to you?

1. PK IN p~'~ SOME' Doh5 rT ovAy, to .L i~uKED V SMCA?- 1t' ow
A CAWxAS ALONG WITH S OME Rri-LIouS fC.oms. IKYHopE is 7N.4r
' tr~tt dE.j N4 IP 5' 'n4'tr

Daily's view of
affirmative action is
'blatantly biased'
I am writing in response to the Daily's
Oct. 6 editorial "The verdicttis still out."
Several of the Daily's blatantly biased
assumptions must be brought to light.
First, the assumption that because the
Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals has struck
down the use of race as an admissions fac-
tor, there will be devastating effects on
minorities applying to top schools in that
district. Why? Is it because they do not have
the numbers to get in without relying on
their race as a crutch? This is as preposter-
ous as it is insulting to all the minorities
who attend the nation's top universities and
thrive due to their hard work and intelli-
Another assumption of the Daily's is that
race seems to be the only assurance of
diversity on campus. I guess the argument
goes you can learn more from someone of a
different color than from someone with dif-
ferent ideas with whom you happen to share
pigment. It sounds to me like minorities are
being typecast to fit a specific niche on
campus - the provider of diversity. I
thought affirmative action was supposed to
erase the prejudices of race.
In this light, I wonder how "affirmative
action would help dissolve the country's enor-
mous monetary and racial gaps,"' as the Daily
claims. I guess by bringing qualified students
down and unqualified students up serves to
somehow bring parity to the different classes
of peoples. How does discriminating against a
person serve to "dissolve" anything? Perhaps
you should write that under the calculus of
affirmative action two forms of discrimina-
tion turn out to equal equality. How profound.
to correct one wrong another must rise up and
take its place.
Rather than furthering discrimination.
albeit against the majority, we should
instead focus on making college an envi-
ronment -where merit matters, not race.
Merit should decide who comes and who
goes, not some vague notion of skin color
as a proxy for "diversity." If you cannot
get into Michigan based on merit, then
why are you here and whose purpose does

sity will be recognized as the difference of
ideas. not skin colors.
Offensive art should
not be funded
I read with utter shock and disbelief the
Daily's misguided editorial regarding the
refusal of funding to the Brooklyn Museum of
Art "What is art?" (10/1299). The so-calla
artwork in question is not "potentially ofl'
sive," it is offensive to this society. The offi-
cials who cut funding to the exhibit are not
"imposing arbitrary moral standards,' but are
enforcing the standards of society. By allow-
ing public funding for the display of this art-
work, they would be allowing the artist to
make a mockery of American society, at pub-
lic expense.
Officials such as Mayor Rudy Giuliani
were elected, in part, to uphold the standai
of society. I think that just about every persor
living in America would agree that this art-
work is well below those standards. He is jus-
tified, make that obligated, to uphold the stan-
dards of the society he was elected to repre-
sent. Nowhere in the First Amendment does it
say the government has to fund free speech -
it merely says there is to be free speech.
Maybe the Daily would like to go on record as
contributing funds to the private display of art-
work such as this; I sure don't want my t
dollars to. 3
M' band director
started 'chop'
The hand chop did not start by copying
Florida State University or copying the refer-
ee's hand signals. The credit all goes to one
man: Gary Lewis. past director of the
Michigan Marching Band. It all started in
1994, the first year "Temptation" was played


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