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November 10, 1999 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1999-11-10

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4 - The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, November 10, 1999
~Iie iIligan DigGQ

Heart-shaped tuis, red worm floss and allergies to bullets


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 Editors

Last week was all about complainers.
We all know at least one or two rotten
apples that ruin even the sweetest of pies.
Those complainers can really sink a good
time. This week, let's talk about the other
side of the coin.
We're going to talk
about making the
best of a bad situa-

Unless otherwise noted, unsigned editorials reflect the opinion of dhe majority /ofthe
Dailv.'s editorial board. All other articles, letters and cartoons do no! necessarily reflect
the opinion of The Michigan Daily.

Two years ago, l
spent the summer
with an archaeologi-
cal team working in
Israel. The dig site
was at a state beach
and for some reason,
the local tourists
weren't the cleanest
bunch. Let me paint

Parents' weekend has room for improvement


F amilies from around the globe
recently united on the University
campus for the annual parents' weekend
festivities. Parents' weekend provides a
great opportunity for students to merge
their academic world with their home
life; but rather than impose costs on visi-
tors, the University should improve pro-
gram planning. Currently, families feel
obligated to participate in the set sched-
ule the Student Alumni Council provides.
By introducing more options for the
weekend, more time remains allotted for
families to catch up while reducing costs
and crowding.
The Alumni Association sends out lit-
erature concerning parents' weekend
prior to the fall semester so families can
prepare for visitation. Football tickets
can be purchased on reserve through mail
for a reasonable price of $30, but upon
arrival the expenses keep coming. Lack of
alternatives prompt parents to purchase a
"welcome kit" containing a disposable
camera, a T-shirt and campus maps. When
families pick up the tickets and kit novel-
ties they see people signing up for cam-
pus events they feel are necessary to com-
plete the weekend. Each event like
brunch, speakers, comedic and musical
entertainment is a great idea and well
thought out, but entail more spending and
are often crowded.
Since many find traveling to the
University is expensive for many, enrich-
ing the weekend with savings rather than
expenditures makes a difference.
The University could work with local
businesses provide a booklet of coupons
within the existing welcome kit. Coupons
for different Ann Arbor restaurants and
Students should not
Fires burn on every corner Frenzied
crowds hurl couches into the middle
of trashed intersections. Police eventual-
ly arrest more than a hundred student on
counts related to rioting at Michigan
State University last March. Though all
charged in the incident must deal with
possible legal repercussions, some state
officials feel convicted students should
incur greater punishment.
All convicted may face a state law
barring them from within 2,500 feet of
any, public university or college in
Michigan for one to two years - pro-
hibiting them from public higher educa-
tion. If the House passes this bill, it
ensures an unfair and counterproductive
punishment for rioters.
Supporters presented the bill to the
state Senate in May, and the Senate sub-
sequently passed the bill. The bill then
went to the House Criminal Law and
Corrections Committee, which passed
the bill to the full House this past
Tuesday. Sen. Loren Bennet (R-Canton)
originally proposed the bill after the
MSU riot on March 26 to create a "mea-
sure of response" to the riotous behavior.
If signed into law, it would take effect on

Mar. 1, 2000.
Unfortunately, only six senators voted
against the bill. In the house, several rep-
resentatives including state Reps. Laura
Baird (D-Okemos) and Liz Brater (D-
Ann Arbor) agree the bill focuses on the
wrong issues and will not solve the prob-
lem at hand.y
A17----------- 'f

stores introduce visitors to what is avail-
able on campus and beyond. This way,
students can better select where to spend
time and not feel compelled to join in all
of the registered festivities.
Coupons advertise business and stimu-
late the local economy as parents flood
the campus. Ann Arbor and Detroit con-
tain many alternatives for entertainment
- visitors simply need information such
as calendar events and locations.
Since students primarily attend the
University to receive an education, the
University should promote academically-
centered parents' weekend activities. In
addition to browsing through Ann Arbor's
shops and dining in restaurants, many
parents would probably want to experi-
ence the learning aspects of their child's
college life.
Professors often encourage parents to
sit in on lectures and become cognizant of
their children's intellectual environment.
The University Museum of Art and the
Museum of Natural History are located
directly on campus; these cost-free build-
ings filled with artwork and artifacts can
attract visitors.
Each year the Alumni Association sets
up a different Professor as a speaker who
addresses topics of interest to both
University students and parents. The
Association elects engaging speakers as
an educational alternative to costly enter-
By building up the recurring program,
families will no longer feel required to
spend money unnecessarily. With more
options both entertaining and enlighten-
ing, parents' weekend can become a time
to remember.
be denied education

a picture. tur
Imagine that
you've been working
under the hot,
Palestinian sun all day. Having drunk two
liters of water in the past two hours.
you re heading to the public restroom for
some quiet release. As you walk in, you go
to the first stall. The toilet is jam packed
full of turd. Who didn't flush? You go to
the next one. Whoa! How did it get splat-
tered all over the bowl like that? Who in
the world uses this place? Gross. Finally,
you check the third stall. The bowl is jam
packed, too.
You expect that, but you don't expect
the nicely deposited load of crap sitting on
the. ground. Why would somebody ever
crap on the ground'? I don't know. Maybe
the bowl was so full that they had to. I
don't know why they did it. I only wish
that they had done it with a little more
class. There is no reason for a really bad

situation to be so bad. There is always a
way to lighten it up. If those guys had to
take dumps on the ground, the least they
could have done was take a dump in the
shape of a heart. That would show some
class. If some poor guy is going to have to
clean up that mess, you ought to at least
put a smile on his face. If we had to see
those stool samples day after day, we
might as well have gotten a good laugh
out of it.
As responsible individuals, we have a
duty to always face life with a smile.
Granted, sometimes things aren't going to
pan out the way we want, but we can cer-
tainly do a better job at making the best of
what we got. My wonderful girlfriend has
some nice folks. Her father is pretty
sharp. Recently, he taught me how to stop
a potential fight with the better half.
When he gets into an argument with his
wife, he simply asks her a couple of ques-
tions. "Who's the smart one here? Who
picked who'?"
It is obviously a loaded question. If she
is the smart one, then you are a wonderful
man and she's got no business fighting
with you. If he is the smart one, then she
is a wonderful woman and you are obvi-
ously right. She still has no business
fighting with you. Boy does this line
work. Whenever I use it on my wonderful
woman, she shakes her head at me know-
ing that I've taken all her ammo. All she
can do is crack a reluctant smile. Why
fight when you can laugh?
Indeed we should all be like the guy
who got shot during a robbery. When the
paramedics wheeled him into the emer-
gency room, doctors and nurses descend-
ed upon him. He noticed the negative atti-
tude toward his condition and decided to
do something about it. When a nurse

asked him if he was allergic to anything,
he shouted, "Yes!" He paused and added,
"Bullets!" That's making the best out of a
bad situation.
One time, I was stuck in an elevator
with 23 other people. It was a normal ele-
vator. One of those that does NOT hold 23
people - comfortably. As we stood,
packed like sardines, a couple of wise
guys decided to go for some laughs. "Hey
Beavis, this is cool." "Don't touch me
there!" "Jane, will you marry me?" We
weren't in there long, but the jokes sure
helped make our situation a little more
Another story I like to tell is the one
about Chilchota, Mexico. A few years
back, our family drove down to central
Mexico to visit relatives. One of my great
aunts had a large water basin. There hap-
pened to be quite a large number of tiny
red worms floating around in this water
basin. This water was used for washing,
drinking and cooking. Needless to say,
none of us kids ate anything, but my
father, mother, aunt and uncle did. After
eating, Pop decided to make us kids laugh
at the gross situation. He began to look at
his teeth in the rear view mirror and asked
us if we saw any red worms. I think one of
us did.
There are a good many ways you can
make a bad situation better. Life can even
be breathed into the worst of situations. At
my funeral, I don't want to see a bunch of
people crying. We should all be like the
guy who tells St. Peter that what he wants
people to say about him at his funeral is,
"Look! He's moving!" The people who do
that will be my true friends. They'll know
that I'll be right there laughing with them.
-- Mike Lopez can be reached via
e-mail at manatlarge(a.umich.edu.



rioting, and perhaps a deserved punish-
ment, but we feel the bill's philosophy
stems from a completely backward asser-
tion. Inherently, a person pursuing higher
education desires to become a productive
Surely a connection lies between high-
er levels of education and decreased rates
of violence and illegal activity. Is pro-
hibiting someone with a rioting convic-
tion from attending a college - or even
setting foot on campus - solving or
helping the problem?
Absolutely not. The state should not
forbid anyone from an education; this
contradicts the justice system's function
as a correctional institution. This bill
would deny convicted students the oppor-
tunity to begin straightening out their
lives for perhaps two years.
The convicted rioter would face two
punishments for the same crime: proba-
tion or even jail time followed by the
denial of public higher education. In a
democracy, we call this double jeopardy.
The House should kill the bill. Instead
of negatively linking education to legal
punishment, current laws suffice to
address each case.
The only thing worse than a law deny-
ing education is to lump it on top of
another punishment for the same crime.
This aspect is even more unreasonable.
Representatives must not let this mis-
directed bill pass because it takes away
one of a person's primary ways to better
themselves. By no means should the state
tolT - -. 4r e , rimri t -mit n ;lilah r P4ii

Disorder statistics
are manipulated
Very interesting, 80 percent of all
women have self-image issues and 18 per-
cent of all women have an eating disorder.
That's what SAPAC tells you. What they
don't tell you, however, is how many boys
have eating disorders and self-image issues,
according to the same conditions.
If chowing down on Ruffles while
studying for a test is an eating disorder, and
going to the gym every day to lose weight is
self-image issues, then we're guilty too. If
only having two meals a day is an eating
disorder, asktyour local boy if he manages
to catch breakfast while sleeping in through
all of his morning classes. If wanting to
look slim is a self image issue, then ask
Nike why they're using athletes as role
models to oppress young boys. Anyone can
manipulate statistics. It takes a villain to
blame an entire gender for them.
Engler improved
state education
Again, the Daily is mounting another
uninformed blind attack on Gov. John Engler.
The editorial "Held Back" (11/899) criticizes
Engler for his education and prison reform.
However, like most editorials of the Daily, it
has very few statistics or facts to support its
so-called argument.
Well. I have a few statistics for you. Go to
http:,'Jwww. migov state. mi. us/gov/ and click
on the "Michigan is #1" icon. You will see on
this web page that student MEAP test scores
are at record highs. You will also see that
Michigan is first in the United States in school
reform, improving math test scores, and state
support for public schools, just to name a few.
Also, the state of Michigan spends more on
education than every other budget area com-
bined. Therefore, maybe the "Engler's priori-
ties are skewed" statement in the Daily's edi-
torial is nothing more than a skewed opinion.
Is the University hurting because its funding
increase is not as large as it has been in previ-
ous years? The editorial does not give any
proof of this. As soon as you can prove that the
increased funding to the University from the
state government is not enough, then you will
have something to write about.
According to this Website, the state oft
Michigan has seen a 22 percent reduction in
crime since 1991. And the numbers of mur-
ders and rapes are the lowest in 30 years. Can
you blame Engler for making sure that our
prisons do not become revolving doors? If
laws are to be tougher on criminals, more pris-
ons are needed. I suggest the Daily should do
a little more research before it writes another
negative editorial about our Governor.

_ ;
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"Animal life not as important as human life,"
there is another way of making his point. One
might think that what is bad in itself is pain,
and that, consequently, we have a moral oblig-
ation to reduce the overall amount of pain in
the world. Plausibly animals feel pain: after
all, they exhibit types of behavior which, in
humans, are explained by the person's feeling
pain. Moreover, unit for unit, animal pain is no
less pain than human pain.
It follows, then, that we have a moral
obligation to eliminate not only as much
human pain as possible, but as much animal
pain as well. So, if an action causes more pain
in an animal than it prevents in a human, then
that action must not be performed. In particu-
lar, if some form of scientific testing on ani-
mals causes more pain in the animals being
experimented upon than it prevents in
humans, then it is morally unjustifiable.
(Notice that I have made this point without
taking a stand as to which sort of life, human
or animal, is more valuable. It isn't obvious to
me that a claim of that sort even makes sense.)
Women need to fight
social messages
I would like to take this opportunity to
respond to Michelle Bolek's viewpoint, "T-
shirts? If only eating disorders were that sim-
ple" (11/3/99). Now, first of all, let me state
that I am not an advocate of the shirts in ques-
tion. However, I do feel that this whole issue
has been turned into one big mass of complete
B.S. Everyone is so quick to point the finger
at t-shirts, or males or society.
One question that I have with Bolek's arti-
cle is that, if "up to 80 percent" of women
exhibit some sort of eating disorder, why is
America the most overweight nation in the
world? She goes on to say that women are
bombarded by 400-600 "thin" messages a day
via TV, magazines, etc. Having made this
assumption, how can she later state that "This
T-shirt is obviously not going to cause' some-
one to have an eating disorder."
Following her previous line of thought one
would think that the T-shirts were a central

we know that one should show compassion
towards women, their problems, and issues
that they feel strongly about (even if you don't
agree with them). Women, from what I have
read and heard, you are at the heart of the eat-
ing disorder question. While men, society, TV,
whatever may be partly responsible it's time to
be the well-educated and responsible individu-
als that you are and take charge of the problem.
So all you girls who are surviving on
overpriced coffee and Parliament Lights,
detach that cell phone from your ear and lis-
ten up. Your party pants and tank tops don't
have to be kids-sized clothing. Put some
meat on your bones and stop worrying
about what your sorority sister or
Abercrombie-laden boyfriend will think of
you if you don't look like a famine victim.
Take care of yourselves and encourage your
friends to do likewise.
KKK has right to
Unfortunately, Pete Donahoo ("Ann
Arbor Should not work to stop KKK from
gathering," 11/9/99) altogether missed the
point of the editorial to which he referred
("After the trials" 11/6/99) regarding the
KKK's right to demonstrate in Ann Arbor.
Nowhere in the afore-mentioned editorial
did the Daily encourage the government
to take away civil rights from anyone,
however heinous their beliefs! Instead,
the Daily argued that citizens, not those in
power politically, should take it upon
themselves to show the KKK that they are
How do we do this? We cannot and will
not stop the KKK by inciting a violence dri-
ven war against them - this only fuels their
internal desire to fight. Let us not give them a
cause. Instead, we must indirectly illustrate to
them our disinterest in their protests and mes-
sage - through tolerance rallies and more
importantly through a cold shoulder.
Donahoo, please do not take part in the
current growing trend of confusing "tak-
ing away any person or group's civil
rinhtc "and ;hnAwng thee csme group of


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