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October 28, 1999 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1999-10-28

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4A ' The Michigan Daily - Thursday, October 28, 1999

a

420 Maynard Street HEATHER KANIINS
Ann Arbor, MI 48109 Editor in Chief
daily.letters@umich.edu
Edited and managed by JEFFREY KOSSEFF
students at the DAVID WALLACE
University of Michigan 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.

Opportuniiy and obligation today's glass ceiling
N~Tever before has a w oman's position in tionships. been done. We can view the achievements of
society been so mobile. We can be the editor of the Daily, president the many accomplished women who came
Although opportunities available to college ofthe Michigan Student Assembly and maybe before us, but we do not have the volumes oe
women a generation before us surpassed far one day president of the University or the lifetimes as proof that success and contentment;
beyond those of our grandmothers, our cur- nation. lie at the end of the tunnel. We cannot see the:
rent positioning It seems few doors are closed. Those that we entire life of any women - from youth to pro-:
appears enviable to all have to push harder to get open do not appear fession, motherhood to old age - striving to
in previous history. to be locked. We've known all of this since the be the best and reaching the top.
For most women at day we were born and were given the key to a For instance, my best friend, an artist, has,
the University, college equal-opportunity future on our birthday the no model to copy. Instead, like she says, she,
probably was not a second we were wrapped in pink blankets. has only Picasso and his syphilis to look up to
goal, but an expecta- But with it came the knowledge that all we It is our obligation to finish this chapter and'
tion. Not going to col- were receiving was different from the past leave it for the next generation. We will write
lege was not a consid- and an obligation to succeed. We were told the book and star in the movie,
eration. Getting that we are lucky. our mother's told us they This means, though, that we never can rest.
hitched immediately were jealous. And we learned quickly about When asked what profession she wanted to,
out of high school was the generations of women to whom we owe pursue, I recently heard a fellow classmate
not an option. thanks, those who fought for us, those who answer that she wanted to be a housewife,
We knew from our Heather broke sexual boundaries so college wouldn't Everyone in the room turned around with a
first days in the world Kamins be a question. look of surprise. A few people even asked if
that we could be doc- UI And we are lucky. The playing field seems she was joking. Almost embarrassed, she,
tors, lawyers, astro- closer to level, but that doesn't mean things meekly shook her head no. She is the real rebel
nauts. professors or ; niK are easy. The weight of opportunity is heavy. breaking away from societal expectations.
engineers. The bound- Making up for time lost is not a simple task. We can write best-selling novels and be
aries built by our sex seemed beyond sight. College women today were given the CEOs of Fortune 500 companies - and we
High grades and scores on standardized tests responsibility to prove that we are equal. Like will.

,They should learn too
Midterm class evaluations are helpful
A s October comes to a close, the ing class period.
majority of students are busy study- Olson's system involves no numbers,
ing for their midterm examinations. unlike the final evaluation. She asks
These are generally accepted (albeit simple questions to find out how the
reluctantly by students) as a fair assess- class is going. By the middle of the
ment of how much learning students have semester, many students have concerns in
accumulated through the first half of a their classes, and waiting until the end of
term. This is not a problem, but a ques- an entire term is not the best way to
tionmemerges every year: Why should stu- address the needs of the students.
dents be evaluated at the midterm, but Economics Prof. Linda Tesar also
not professors and GSIs? hands out midterm evaluations. Tesar
At the end of each term, professors said that "waiting until the end of the
hand out evaluations, and MSA publishes term is really too late to do anything
the data on Advice Online. Through the except make adjustments for the next
Website, students can see how students term. And the problems in the following
rated their teachers the previous semes- term could well be different." This is
ters; This sort of feedback, while certain- exactly why professors should take the
ly not scientific, significantly can affect initiative to conduct their own evalua-
whi~h classes and which teachers are tions.
sought after or avoided. Time is a precious commodity, but a
Shouldn't the faculty have the oppor- small amount of work can lead to a better
tuna-ty to adjust midway through the second half of the semester. Olson spends
tern4? With each new year comes new between four and six hours collecting her
information, and new students with vast- students' data and preparing a summary
ly contrasting study habits and methods for the class, but the information gath-
of learning and retaining information. ered is priceless. Midterm evaluations
And end-of-term evaluations aren't very could consist of a few multiple-choice
useful for classes that are offered once questions, or a typed response by the stu-
every few years. dents on select topics.
Often, students take time to adjust to With more and more discussion lead-
teachers, and vice versa. Information, ers undertaking this task, the quality of
Business and psychology Prof. Judy classes can only increase. Every professor
Olson said students know she's listening and graduate student instructor should
when she collects the data for all 88 stu- follow the lead of Tesar and Olson and
dents and presents it to them the follow- find out how they're performing.
slash no more
We're skeptical about Engler's education reform

were all we needed to reap the same opportu-
nities as the boys.
At school we can take the same classes as
the guys. We can interview for the same jobs,
and our sex even can be an advantage for get-
ting hired in some fields.
We can become Big Ten varsity athletes
and receive equal funding for equal talent
thanks to Title IX.
We don't have to fight for access to the
Michigan Union, a historically male meeting
place.
We can take classes on women's health
issues. We don't have to live in all-girl dorms,
though we can if we want. We can ask guys
out on dates. We can be determined and can
exercise a freedom of choice in sexual rela-

playing a board game, we were given the rules
and what looks like a flat playing field. We
were placed side-by-side a team of men,
trained by tradition and told to 'pass go.' We
are not allowed. The consequences of failure in
this social experiment are too great. We'd dis-
appoint our mothers, great aunts and grand-
mothers. We'd show weakness. And we'd risk
setting ourselves back 20, 30 or 40 years.
Sure males have pressure to succeed too.
But the manual to that path has been written.
So has the screenplay, and their fathers starred
in the movie. All they have to do differently
this time is do it in cyberspace.
Our story has not yet been told. We do not
have role models to emulate, which makes
what we have to do harder than what has ever

Already young women are serving as hero-
ines to little girls. Just look to Mia Hamm, the
most prominent member of the U.S. women
soccer team. The world loves her. We grab
onto her. Flocks of girls travel around the
country to see her play and dress up like her
to gain the courage out on the soccer field.
She is the first of many. Her success, her
life will make it easier for others to follow.
There are no footprints on the path we are
traveling, making the trail long and scary.
There is no turning back because the past is
darker than the future. We have the confi-
dence and we have the drive, hopefully the
weight of obligation will not slow us down.
-- Heather Kamins can be reached via e-
mail at hbkCa umich.edu,.
GRINDING T HE NIB

CHIP CULLEN

HALLOWAEENI

C.OSTUMES YOU

CAM Y WEJAR tIN NI MOR

________________ J. I

ontinuing his history of stringent and
questionable funding moves in
regards to appropriations for state educa-
tion, Gov. John Fngler recently announced
yet another cutback to the state Department
of Education. While no programs were
eliminated, authority for adult education
and state assessment tests was transferred
out: of the Department of Education and
into the Department of Career
Development and the Department of
Treasury, respectively. Given Engler's edu-
cattonal track record and the state of edu-
caton in Michigan, these changes should
be yiewed with skepticism.
Engler has never been a friend to educa-
tion, and students at the University know
this better than most. For two years in a
row, Engler has proposed 1.5-percent
increases in state funding to the University
- a clearly inadequate number given that
it is lower than the Consumer Price Index
of inflation and that the University is the
nation's leading research institution.
Furthermore, while Engler recommended a
measly funding increase for the University,
his' executive office was given a 8.5-per-
cent raise, and the Department of
Corrections received an 8.7-percent
increase. Given these numbers, it is hard to
argue that education is a top priority for
Engler.
Some might argue Engler's latest move
to iransfer jurisdiction for adult education
and state assessment tests out of the
Department of Education is only a "stream-
lining" measure meant to increase govern-
ment efficiency and will eventually result
in increased benefits to adult education and
state assessment testing programs within
the" state. But this is hard to believe. Since
taking office in 1990, Engler has cut fund-
ing for adult education by more than half.

tem of adult education, and his latest move
shows it.
If there is an upside to Engler's move, it
is that no jobs are eliminated - only trans-
ferred. While the Department of Education
shrinks further, those employees do get to
continue their jobs in the Department of
Career Development and the Department
of Treasury. Engler still has a chance to
make some improvements to education. By
using the resources of the Department of
Career Development and the Department
of Treasury to their fullest, Engler can
make a seemingly senseless move into a
positive one.
But we have no reason to believe he
will.
Despite the possibility of good resulting
from this move, the likely end result is only
further damages inflicted to state education
by the Engler administration. As a measure
of Engler's effect on education within
Michigan, consider this: in 1989, the
Michigan Department of Education had
2,058 employees. But Engler issued nine
executive orders since then, reducing the
department to 417 employees. And when this
move is enacted on Jan. 1, 2000, the
Department will shrink to 338 workers. Most
would agree that the state of education in
Michigan is far from perfect. Given that this
is the case, it is hard to justify such dramatic
cutbacks in the Department of Education.
With a strong economy and increases in
funding in other departments, there is no
reason for Engler to continue the dramatic
cutbacks in the Department of Education.
While Engler should do everything within
his power to make sure the Department of
Career Development and the Department
of Treasury carry out their new jobs effec-
tively, he should also strengthen the
Department of EdIucation in an effort to

Fear is a poor
excuse for being
apathetic
TO THE DAILY:
I am writing about the article that
appeared in last Thursday's Daily ("The
Silent Opposition"). I find this pitiful view
point rather sad. The Daily is evoking sym-
pathy for people that fear speaking their
mind. It is saying that we. the outspoken,
are intimidating people from being outspo-
ken as well. That is funny. It is very funny
considering one of the sources is Matt
Schwartz. I am a member of BAMN.
Matt Schwartz and The Michigan
Review attack us at every chance they get.
We are called Nazis, communists, thieves
and devil worshippers. Jessica Curtin is
attacked so much by that paper that I have
found myself wondering what they would
do if we weren't on campus.
The point is, we don't care. People can
slander us and attack us all they want. We
are not going to stop fighting. Beyond that,
many of us are sacrificing our future careers
for this cause. Do not cry intimidation. We
should be intimidated. We aren't.
1 think that is the real problem. Those
of you that feel that you cannot speak your
mind, that is on you. I have a lot more
respect for someone that cares enough to
say what he thinks than for someone who
is apathetic and uses a poor excuse to be
that way.
AIMEE BINGHAM
LSA SENIOR
Anti-affirmative
action voice must
be heard
TO THE DAILY:
First of all, allow me to thank the Daily
and give a special Kudos to Anna Clark for
the great coverage presented with respect to
the National Day of Affirmative Action.
And while many of you already know where
I stand on this issue, this letter is more
about organization than my position.
In response to Anna Clark's article "The
silent opposition" (10/21/99), I would like
to be the first to make the movement that I,
and I am sure many others, have waited for.
It's obvious that there exists on this campus
strong support for affirmative action, but
what about the other side of the spectrum?
According to Clark's article, it appears as if
everyone is waiting for someone else to
make the first move (in the organization of
an anti-affirmative action group). Well, here
it is everyone.
I understand where many opponents of
affirmative action are coming from, and
how we often become mislabeled as racists
and elitists. However, now is the time to
take a stand. Or at least let everyone know
there is a voice out there. I don't want to be
known as the "silent opposition."
So here goes. This is not a joke, and I am

Sheet
Gkost

I

1

Ckoaptir
i NttG
E1 I ol$ Ir

f r
I
M
t~~'Le ~ Ave1s

-'0 J~ost1g
reser 6es 4--e
~KK.

organized group against affirmative action,
and we can change that. I want this to hap-
pen, and I want to prove there is a voice out
there - a voice that can and will be heard,
and a voice that will inevitably celebrate the
day affirmative action falls by the wayside.
DUSTIN LEE
LSA SOPHOMORE
Women's looks do
not affect their
success in life
TO THE DAILY:
We live in a very superficial society,
in which People Magazine concerns its
readers with the Best and Worst Dressed
List of 1999 and Joan and Melissa Rivers
intrigue viewers with how well
Gwyneth's nail polish matched her stun-
ning evening gown at the Academy
Awards.
Am I to be blamed for these media
travesties, maybe slightly, but for the
most part, no.
I am not ignorant to the fact that
women are constantly subjected to
ridicule of their weight due to societal
pressure.
Is it fair? No, but this would lead me
to the conclusion that our world is ruled
by thin, attractive women who all resem-
ble Heidi Klum.
Yeah, I wish! Movie and television
personalities such as Kathy Bates,
Camryn Manheim and Rosie O' Donnell
are highly successful overweight women.
Janet Reno and Madeline Albright, who
are by no means desirable, are very
important political figures in the news
every single day.
Why do you think these women have
made successes out of themselves - by
being concerned with what society deems
as thin and beautiful?
No, they are successful because of
self-confidence, integrity, pride and hard
work.
They would laugh at this T-shirt
because they know that it is a joke. So
should every person on this campus who

because hey, it's great to be a woman?
Why do all pro-whatever rallies all
begin due to negative publicity?
Whoever is truly upset and disturbed by
the message of this T-shirt has no self-
confidence.
For if they did, they would realize it is
not true. Had everybody who was
offended by the T-shirtjust laughed and
thought nothing of it, then it would have
eventually gone away.
Now all this publicity has simply
brought more attention to it and probably
caused more people to buy it. Good
work!

8As
4,
fb4 ( '%.
l jaas~ er
PGLA~S t jL''
just o c~ari

0

SCOTT GORDON
ENGINEERING JUNIOR

0*

T-shirt opponents
promote double
standard

TO THE DAILY:0
Oh, boo hooh; women are the only
ones objectified in society. Hey, remem-
ber the 'Big Johnson' T-shirts? They were
funny. Admittedly not forever, but they
had their time.
What's more, no one I know of was so
devastated by these funny T-shirts that he
harmed himself in an attempt to lengthen
his penis.
How about all those men right next to
the objectified women in advertise-
ments? Are any of them overweight? Are
any of them missing rippling stomach
muscles or huge pectorals? No, but you
never hear of anyone killing themselves
in the gym to look like those hotties.
There is a physical ideal for men too,
ladies. Its present from classical greek
sculpture straight up through Speedo ads.
We know when we aren't up to par phys-
ically. But if a couple of girls made- a
clever T-shirt capitalizing on it, I doubt
they'd encounter as much flak for their
achievements.
It's time to consider at least the possi-
bility that our two classmates are not
responsible for every eating disorder of
every woman that ever existed.

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