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November 09, 1999 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1999-11-09

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4- The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, November 9, 1999

Ube £i{gun &ziIg

Travels with Casey: In search ofAnn Arbor

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
JEFFR EY 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.

Looingc for lea esm hip
OSCR director search needs improvement

T wo heads are better than one, and six legs
are better than two.
No. this isn't a modern riddle of the Sphinx.
The two heads and six legs belong to my dog
and I.
About a week and a
half ago, amidst beau-
tiful autumn weather, I
gave a canine campus
day for Casey, my
Shetland Sheepdog. If
you're unfamiliar with
the breed, think of a
small. compact Collie.
Actually, that's what
most people say when
they meet him: "Aw,
little Lassie!"D
I did not intend to David
walk Casey for the Wallace
sake of walking. I
wanted to explore the
place I live, and learn
more about it. I know I
miss a lot of Ann Arbor everyday hustling to
class. Going alone would not be fun, so I
brought Casey as a wildcard.
Of course, I'm not the first person with this
idea. John Steinbeck and his poodle, Charley,
went to see America in "Travels with
Charley." Steinbeck took off with his "old
French gentleman," so feeling inspired on a
smaller scale. I set out for Ann Arbor with my
young Scottish lad and his little brave heart.
Our trip began on South Forest Avenue,
then across North University Avenue past the
loud, belching exhaust at the C.C. Little bus
stop. The fumes gave way to an odor of hot-
dogs, and Casey aimed himself at the familiar
cart and umbrella. But just underway, I
steered Casey away from the hotdogs, and
toward Burton Memorial Tower.
Only in college towns can you see people

lying motionless. face down in the grass, and
not stop to poke them with a stick. On this
day, prone bodies fell on e\ ery patch of sunlit
grass leading up to Rackham. In Ann Arbor,
we just assume a nice day encourages people
to get outside and relax - and sleep. Perhaps
nodding off in lecture halls relieves students
of modesty, so we sprawl wherever and hope
no one takes our wallets. But you never know
if that spread-eagle faceplant in front of you
happened from sleep deprivation or, say, a
million-to-one shot from jettisoned frozen air-
line waste.
While walking past our passed-out counter-
parts, several people stopped to see Casey.
Wary of new people, Casey allowed them a
few pets, but backed away after a minute. He's
polite, but he looks to keep greetings innocu-
ous and brief. In that respect, he's learned to
emulate people.
The walk around campus held some sur-
prises. For one, Casey's inherent cuteness usu-
ally makes him the center of attention. But on
the stroll, more than a few people didn't even
make eye contact and seemed slightly dis-
gusted. A friend I ran into put it bluntly with a
wry smile: "Using the dog to attract women?"
Crap. In a town full of young single people,
a dog looks to some cynics like a desperate
cry for attention. It came up a few times
throughout the afternoon. A trio of coeds told
me I would "totally get all the girls" with
Casey, and my little sidekick shot me a glance
saying it cpuld happen, if we first went back
to the hotdog stand.
I ignored the doubters and clung to my
quest. Casey my little Sancho Panza trailing to
my left. We headed to the Diag to join in the
loitering.
The Diag holds the status of a town square
you might expect to find in an old New
England town. Everyone converges there. On
the rare warm autumn day, an elegant beauty

falls across its open spaces.
Casey and I found a seat under a tree near
the Diag and watched. Everywhere, leaves
pirouetted slowly to ground. Frisbees shot
back and forth between friends. On a bench,
two guys emphatically strummed chords from
old guitars.
Other students handed abortion literature to
passersby. One man combed the garbage for
cans. Leaves kept falling, the frisbees kept fly-
ing and the guitars kept playing.
Casey sat down to chew a stick after a
healthy drink of water while I watched the
crowd. Soon a young couple and their toddler
stopped to meet the dog.
"Cute baby," I said as the child approached
Casey.
"Thanks, she's 15 months." said the proud
mother.
"1 was talking about my dog," I didn't say.
Seriously, the kid was cute too.
For the first time, Casey met a person the
same height as him. The little girl gave Casey
a pat on the head while her dad took pictures.
Talking to the family, I found out they hailed
from my hometown of Livonia. After a few
pleasantries about our common roots, the
family continued their walk and Casey
sprawled in the grass. Apparently he learned a
few things observing Ann Arbor.
Eventually, we left our spot and headed for
the car, walking straight through the middle of
the Diag. I made sure none of Casey's paws
stepped on the 'M.'
I don't fully know what we found. Perhaps
a city overloads you with too many experi-
ences to simply categorize it. What Casey saw
knocked him out, because he slept the whole
ride home. Ann Arbor? Maybe it's like the
Diag; everything exists together, but nothing
really intersects.
-David Wllace can be reached over
e-mail at davidmw(aumich.edit.
G IND I NG -1:T HE I IR

T he Office of Student Conflict
Resolution "upholds the University's
essential values in the Code of Student
Conduct," according to its Website. The
06de is supposed to help resolve disciplinary
issues and conflicts among students. But the
(Cde has numerous flaws and often steps on
t& legal system. As the OSCR Director's
Search Committee looks for the office's new
leader, changes to the director's position
s~lkuld occur to lessen the Code's impact if
University President Lee Bollinger will not
abolish it altogether.
IThe Code claims to afford student access
to "University policies which affect them."
Itt the Code does not give students any ben-
dfit; rather, it strips students of their rights.
One of the Code's outrageous aspects gives
the University power to punish students
brought up on criminal charges. This
amounts to double jeopardy, with a student
p tentially punished under the law and again
under the Code. The Code itself admits to
being "an imperfect human process that
attempts very hard to be fair." So why have it
at all? Clearly, the established courts system
provides a better, legitimate alternative. The
University must not tread on the legal sys-
tem's responsibilities and students' rights.
In choosing a new OSCR director, the
voices of students should play a large part.
The individual nominated must possess a
keen knowledge of student lives and prob-
lems that arise. Additionally, if the director is
to maintain a decent level of governing
power, he or she should not report to the dean
of students and vice president for Student
Affairs, who currently have the power to veto

iThe Code's
Many Flaws
Part two of a
heNtwo-part
series:
Reworking
Code leader-
ship.
some Code decisions. The director should
hold the responsibility of ensuring the conse-
quences of actions are reasonable.
The current search procedure also hinders
students. Only one student sits on the eight-
person search committee. The committee
includes members from Legal Counsel and
University Housing. These members of the
community do not possess the unique expe-
riences a committee of current students
could contribute. Students have first-hand
knowledge of what they require from the
OSCR. Ideally, the search committee would
consist of a majority of students, if not com-
pletely.
The ideals of the code are not profitable
to students. Additionally, the vast majority of
faculty members on the search committee all
but squelch student input. The fact that a
committee's decision can be vetoed instantly
exhibits the futility of the Code as a replace-
ment for legal proceedings. The new director
must recognize these flaws and be dedicated
to preserving student rights while not contra-
dicting the judicial system.

CHIP CULLEN

No show
Blackouts keep fans from supporting teams

hile trick-or-treaters in Ann Arbor
experienced an enjoyable Halloween,
fans of the Detroit Lions felt disappointed
Sunday evening. After ESPN advertised the
event all week, the National Football League
barred the cable sports network from airing a
match-up between NFC Central rivals the
Detroit Lions and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers
within a 75-mile radius of the Pontiac
Silverdome. The NFL's policy of blacking out
competitions is unfair to its fans.
The NFL instituted blackouts early in its
existence to boost stadium attendance, the
imajor source of the league's income. In
September 1973, Congress passed a law forc-
ipg professional football to air games that
,Dave sold out 72 hours prior to kickoff. Since
then, team owners and league officials main-
tin that blackout policies preserve profes-
sional football from becoming a "salon"
sport. But denying fans access to competi-
tjons does little to protect the game's appeal.
Televised broadcasts generate much of the
attention local fans give to the sport. Instead
6f procuring an audience by fostering a gen-
uine interest in the game, the NF's blackout
policy forces fans to attend or have no other
6pportunity to view the game.
Blackouts are particularly harsh on certain
fan groups. Hundreds of sports bars in the
Buffalo metropolitan area were targeted in
1997 for using satellite TV to provide patrons
with illegal broadcasts of home games.
Although the NFL lost more in legal fees than
it received in settlements, league officials con-
kidered the clamp-down a necessary course of
action as Buffalo Bills attendance remained
kow. The Buffalo bar lawsuits are a prime
example of how the NFL works against its
fans in enforcing blackout policies.
Aside from hurting local businesses, the

In. May of 1996, a group of hearing-impaired
football fans filed a class action lawsuit
against the NFL for denying them access to
game coverage through their inherent inabili-
ty to use radio broadcasting. The Supreme
Court eventually threw out the case at the end
of the month.
Ticket prices collaborate with blackout
policies to keep some fans from watching
home games. Most stadiums charge at least
$40 for admission, making attendance too
expensive for many families. Fans who cannot
afford such high prices are secluded from
NFL home games altogether.
Congress passed the 1973 law primarily
based upon the local Washington Redskins's
success in repeatedly selling out RFK stadi-
um. But this has led to a major disparity
between various local teams. Detroit Lions
fans are a solid example of the blackout's
inequity. The Pontiac Silverdome hosts the
largest capacity of any stadium in the NFL.
Having space for more than 20,000 more fans
than the national attendance average last year,
Detroit continues having trouble filling the
extra seats. While smaller venues in New
York, Green Bay and Washington, D.C. rarely
experience blackouts, fans in and around
Detroit or Buffalo are often denied the oppor-
tunity to watch their team play at home.
The NFL should reconsider its policy on
blacking out home games. League officials
claim that fans want to see a full stadium
but the aesthetic of a large crowd is not as
important to viewers as the events taking
place on the field. NFL owners want to
secure a sellout crowd simply because
money from ticket sales goes directly to the
organization. The practice is bad business,
alienating fans from their teams. Blackouts
are unfair to many fans and have no place in

Ann Arbor should
not work to stop
KKK from gathering
TO THE DAILY:
Why is it that people are willing to give
up civil rights to preserve the quiet? The
Daily recommended in its Football Saturday
issue that the city of Ann Arbor work to dis-
courage the KKK from holding rallies here
("After the trials," II 6/99). I'm sorry, as far
as I was aware all citizens had the right to
assemble, whether or not their views were
popular. That's one of the complications
with the constitution:swe have to accept
other people's opinions.
The editorial stated that the KKK creat-
ed problems because they incited the crowd.
Gee that makes sense, for people certainly
can't be held responsible for their own
actions. I would like to hear Martin Luther
King Jr. and Gandhi's opinion on this sub-
ject, since they and those that worked with
them faced much greater assaults than just
words shouted from steps. and et they
worked without violence. The fact is that
those that started the riot were not members
of the KKK, but they were the audience.
The editorial also applauds the efforts of
other cities that succeeded in preventing the
KKK from holding rallies. Gee. I wasn't
aware the Daily favored the discrimination
against individuals because of their beliefs.
So who in these cities, with their grand
wisdom, decides who gets to assemble and
who doesn't Who actuallycgets those civil
rights guaranteed by the constitution and
who doesn't? These cities use bullshit laws
to keep people from assembling; forgive
me, this seems remarkably similar to when
southern states enacted laws making it near-
ly impossible for black citizes to vote.
such as requiring a literacy test (which most
white constituents couldn't pass).
So we draw the line at groups whose
ideals are opposed to that of most of
America - does that mean the whole
McCarthy era was justified, since most
Americans hated communists at that time'?
Before I get tons of hate mail by those
who feel that I am a KKK sympathizer, I am
not. I despise everything for which they
stand.
However, I do not believer that any per-
son or any form of government has the right
to take away any person or group's civil
rights because they donot agree with the
beliefs expressed. We cannot persecute any-
one for their beliefs; we can only prosecute
them for their criminal actions.
Which means we prosecute those who
throw bottles at police officers, or any
one else. The moment you set the prece-
dent that a person's rights can be taken
away for any beliefs that go against the
social norm, then you open the door to a
society where freedom of speech and
expression is lost. We must fight to
defend the rights of all people, not just
pick and choose.
PETE DONAH00
RACKHAM STUDENT

sengers of EgyptAir Flight 990. As a group
of people from many nations and diverse
backgrounds, this is an occasion for all peo-
ple to grieve for this loss.
Why, thenf is the Rabin vigil described
in a full front page article while the
EgyptAir flight is merely a picture caption?
As a Jewish student, with family in Israel, I
understand the importance of remembering
the legacy of Yitzak Rabin. But as a human
being I know the absolute necessity of hon-
oring the 217 victims of Flight 990.
The oneaspect of the EgyptAir vigil
mentioned by the Daily is the prayer per-
formed by some of the Muslim students, but
there was much more to the vigil than that.
It is a shame that the Daily did not honor
this tragedy.
TONY GOODMAN
SNRE SOPHOMORE
Working abroad
provides valuable
experience
TO THE DAILY:
I enjoyed reading the Oct. 28 "Weekend,
Etc." magazine entitled "Meet the World: A
Focus on Study Abroad." The articles
offered a good deal of valuable information
about many of the options for study abroad
available to University students.
However, students should be aware that
study abroad is only one of several ways to
get a valuable international experience. For
many, work abroad is also a viable option.
Although one of the articles mentioned that
information on international internships can
be found in the Overseas Opportunities
Office, not enough attention was given to
the subject. International work experience
is becoming more and more valuable in
today's global market.
There are several student organizations
on campus devoted solely to aiding students
in the work abroad experience. The
International Association for the Exchange
of Students for Technical Experience 'is a
good example. IAESTE provides paid
internships abroad, available in engineering,
computer science, mathematics,natural and
physical sciences, architecture and agricul-

recent years. Information on programs
such as ICE and AIESEC can be found on
the International Center's website at
vww umich. edu/-icenteri-
Studying abroad can be a great experi-
ence for many people, as can working
abroad. Students should be aware of the var-
ious opportunities available for both.
CHRIS LEJA
ENGINEERING SENIOR
Single moms group
to meet about
Christmas finances'
TO THE DAILY:
I am writing in regard to the article that
appeared in last Thursday's Daily about a
new support group for single mothers
("Single moms find support in new group,"
11/4/99). Anyone interested in this group
can receive more information by e-mailing
smis &umich. edit.
The next meeting will take place do
Dec. 1. Childcare will be available. The
topic will be about Christmas finances and
there will be an expert on hand to give
advice. For more information about this
meeting or the group in general please e-
mail us.
AIMEE BINGHAM
LSA SENIOR
Caption supported
stereotype that all
Arabs are Muslims
TO THE DAILY:
As I was looking at Friday's paper, .I
must say that I was hurt and offended that
the only coverage about the Egypt Air vigil
was a picture captioned "Muslim students
say a prayer for the victims of EgyptAir
flight 990 at a vigil held last night ontthe
Diag" ("Remembering EgyptAir flight
990," 11/5/99). For your information, there
was a group of Christian students praying

AAPAyA MEA
'MONOPOLY?
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PLAYGOOND

10

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