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November 11, 1999 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1999-11-11

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4A - The Michigan Daily - Thursday, November 11, 1999

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420 Maynard Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
Edited and managed by
students at the
University of Michigan

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Editor in Chief
Editorial Page Editors

Unless otherwise noted, unsigned editorials reflect the opinion of the majority of the
Dailys editorial board. All other articles, letters and cartoons do not necessarily reflect
the opinion of The Michigan Daily.
SdworUl $m5.6
Student fees provide valuable campus service

A 35-year-old pact only once in a thousand years
J2K is now only 50 days away. And its reservations. reunion was cancelled due to lack of intere*
hard to forget. Its probably the most But at least we're together. Nearly four y ars They'v e nexer called each other ott their birth-
over-hyped event so far. since graduation, we only talk sporadically days. We've never had plans to visit them for
Still it's like the prom - sure to be a dis- during the school year. But that's who I want to Thanksgiving. My father never tried to look
appointment, but you know you've got to go remember entering the new millennium with. them up when we visited Chicago.
because in 30 years I guess you could say it runs in the family. But my father always knew that he'd see
your kids are going to My father left his hometown Chicago at the them again.
ask whom you were age of 17 to come to the University and never During their senior year of high school. the
with. looked back. I've never met any of his high Zeolites promised to meet 35 years later on the
This leads me to the': school friends. I've never even heard him tell steps of Chic.go's Museum of Science and
current dilemma: stories about those days --that is until recent- Industry on Jan. 1 ,2000 at noon.
Where to be at the turn ly, when he started making his Y2K plans. My father remembers hearing that tl
of the century. The story goes back 35 years, that part's for museum is opening a time capsule at noon that
Since it became sure. The details are now being debated. but it's day. Some of the other members of the group
obvious my first plan, a the endpoint that is important, so I'll share the thought the meeting time would be midnig'ht.
trip to New Orleans for story I grew up with. My father was part a Each recalls the plan differently. Nonetheless.
the Sugar Bowl, would tight knit group of 10 friends who named all but one (whose employer. IBM. is tandat-
surely fall through, I've themselves the Zeolites. Although my father ing that he stay on call in Dallas) are returning
been on the prowl for a Heather claims he came up with it, how they got that from across the country for this reunion.
new destination. Kamins name differs depending on whom you ask. They're not sure what they are going to do.
Travel agents are They did the things boys do in high school: They're virtually strangers. who knew each
advertising trips on the = i{t play hockey, eat pizza, study and meet girls. other at the age of 17. But they've decided on
Concorde for the super amI s Andofcourse, they pledged to stay close. They one thing, a reading of that old play my fat*
rich to hit multiple des- hung out during vacation from school. The first wrote in 1965. Aptly, it ends with this ballai
tinations at midnight around the world. The summer back after a year at college, my father sung to the tune of "Hey Look Me Over"
super brave are heading to the center of the wrote a musical play about the trials of college Four years at Mather
action, planning on lining up in Times Square. life. They were close enough that they took it Ended we know.
Only Jerusalem and Microsoft seem more seriously and performed it in front of their for- Then off to college most of tis did go.
unstable at zero-hundred hours. And the super mer classmates. And in three more years,
paranoid have already begun building cabins in And it's difficult to pinpoint when they Well, more or less.
Montana and hoarding away packets of hot began to drift apart. What we'll be doing or where we'll be is
cocoa to ensure safety. My father hadn't talked to any of them in at anybody's guess.
Perhaps what I'll end up doing is what least 20 years. They could be married. Maybe And then we'll all start our life's work - -
seems inevitable, a repeat of my recent New they have kids. Maybe one of them still acts Marry and such - -
Year's Eves. What usually happens is a group like a kid. He doesn't know if there's a doctor And very likely
of my high school friends spend most of the in the group, an accountant or maybe a taxi- We'll all get out of touch
day playing phone tag, attempting to come dermist. But let's make an effort to stay together
up with a plan. At about 4 p.m., someone Since my father never talks about them I We shouldn't stay apart.
gets the brilliant idea that we should all dress assume he doesn't think too much what has Let's finish what we start.
up, grab a classy dinner and then hit some happened to them either. Did anyone get sent That's what they're going to do - finish
kind of bar-party. After everything else falls to Vietnam? Have they been fulfilled? Do they what they started. Maybe my father will even
through, we find ourselves in Windsor. brib- still look the same? write a new song for the occasion.
ing bouncers for admittance into festivities All I know is that I have never met them. -- Heather Kumins can se reached oter
for which the rest of the free world has made Even the Mather High School 30th year e-mail at h/k(ig mich.edii.

W hen University students glance at
their tuition bills, they notice a
charge for the Michigan Student Assembly.
While the $5.69 semesterly fee pales in
comparison to the rest of the bill, an impor-
tant reason supports the separate charge. It
represents the student body's ability to elect
student representatives to allocate funding to
student groups. The U.S. Supreme Court
heard a case Tuesday challenging the legali-
ty of such fees and potentially threatening
this crucial element of a diverse learning
experience. Activity fees are fair, and more
importantly, they provide students with dif-
ferent and often entertaining learning oppor-
tunities, which are a critical part of the aca-
demic experience.
In Board of Regents of the University of
Wisconsin v. Scott Southworth, three
Wisconsin students sued the university
because they didn't want their mandatory
activity fees to support political and ideo-
logical organizations. Their claim complete-
ly ignores a university's core mission -
education. And if their logic were applied to
every aspect of the University, tuition could
not support teaching and research.
Every cent of tuition supports ideological
causes, either directly or indirectly. That
defines academia and sets it apart from all
other professions. Every research experi-
ment has a conclusion, and every lesson has
a point. Some students who pay tuition may
disagree with certain points and conclu-
sions. But does that entitle them to a pro-
rated refund on tuition?
No. Divergent views drive academia. If
every student agreed with all opinions set
forth within the University, nobody would
learn much. Disagreements fuel education.
Student activity fees are vital to continuing
debates outside the classroom.
The plaintiffs cited high court rulings
that allow union members to request
refunds for any portion of their dues used
for political contributions. They claim
mandatory student activity fees are another
form of compelled speech, thus violating
their First Amendment rights. Student fees,
however, differ from union dues because
they support more than one ideology. If you
disagree with a group that receives
University funding, you can form your own
group to espouse your views.
"Nobody would identify a student at a
university with all the diverse views being
espoused," said law Prof. Sheldon Nahmod,
of the Chicago-Kent College of Law.

The true violation of the First
Amendment would occur if the Supreme
Court ruled in favor of the plaintiffs. If the
courts barred universities from funding ide-
ological and political organizations, they
would stifle the voices of thousands of stu-
At the University of Michigan, the
$5.69 fee translated into funding for more
than 218 student groups this semester,
ranging from the College Democrats to the
intervarsity Christian fellowship to
Students for Life. If at least five students
are interested in forming a group, they can
apply for MSA funding.
Furthermore, student activity fees are fair
because MSA's funding process is democra-
tic. While the vast majority of the student
body does not vote in MSA elections, it's
designed as a representative democracy.
Members of MSA elected to represent the
University's schools and colleges make the
final appropriations decisions.
If the Supreme Court upholds the 7th
Circuit Appellate Court's decision in favor
of the plaintiffs, the University of Michigan
would have a few funding options - none
of which match the current MSA system.
In the worst-case scenario, the University
could eliminate the student activity fee and
appropriate money to all student groups
through the University's general fund. Even
if students were involved in this process,
we'd be wary of it. The beauty of the current
funding system is it has little to do with
administrators. Students are more qualified
to make funding decisions than University
The University also could give the stu-
dents the option not to pay their activities
fee. This is illogical. Most students are on
tight budgets, so any tuition decrease would
look tempting. Who wouldn't want a reduc-
tion in their tuition payments? This would
result in a dramatic funding decrease for stu-
dent groups.
"Isn't a university an open forum for
competing ideas?" asked Prof. Davison
Douglas, director of the College of
William and Mary's Institute of Bill of
Rights Law. A ban on mandatory activity
funding would forever damage that open
forum. The student activities fee is the
most just way to fund a diverse range of
student activities, because it allows a gov-
ernment of elected student representatives
to maximize the amount of intellectual
debate on campus.


KKK should be
allowed to hold


Reinventing baske tball
Sport must become more student friendly

Though personally suspicious that the
Klan "rallies" in Ann Arbor are meant as
provocation exercises to give the KKK the
conflict it needs for self promotion, I agree
with Pete Doiaoo's Tuesday leer about let-
ting the KKK publicly demonstrate and even
incite crowds in Ann Arbor ("Ann Arbor
should not work to stop KKK from gather-
Why haven't any of the opposition
groups realized what a great opportunity it
would be to get a temporary street vendor's
license and sell pre-filled water (ketchup
extra) balloons and fully loaded Super
Squirters on KKK day?
Think of the effect of mustard or food dye
on all those white sheets. The KKK wouldn't
like it at all, yet selling condiments and bal-
loons (even barbecue sauce in balloons; that's
just packaging) must be at least as legal as ral-
lying. It would also be much harder to make a
case for assault or property destruction against
someone throwing food or colored water than
using a rock.
C'mon people, show some initiative here.
How can we attain
true diversity in the
student body?
It appears (based on letters submitted to
The Michigan Daily) that there is no resis-
tance to diversity at the University of
Michigan, just as long as diversity does not
itclude race.
Critics of affirmative action policies that
include race argue that it is morally wrong
to deny admission to white students who are
more qualified as indicated by standardized
test scores, grade point averages and so
As long as "merit" is the only way to go
in admissions, let's try on a truly fair and
"diverse" admissions policy that allows:
a) admission of applicants who don't
come from racially segregated schools;
b) admission of applicants who don't
come from exclusively wealthy schools;
c) admission of applicants who have
GPAs between 3.2 and 3.6 (not too high and
not too low;
d) admission of applicants with SATs
between 1150 and 1350 only (again, not too
high and not too low;
e) 90 percent admission of in-state
applicants or 100 percent in-state applicants
only (keeps tuition affordable);
f) no more than 49 percent males (equiv-
alent to overall population profile);
g) no greater than 51 percent females
(equivalent to overall population profile);
h) equal weight for a "diversity plus"
such as race or religion or gender or nation-
ality (pick one);
i) one unequal weighed factor for the
poorest in-state applicants (of any race)
with the highest scores in the above ranges
This seems to be the only way to quell
the whining of in-state and out-of-state pri-
marily wealthy, race-monotypic, gender-
monotypic, income-monotypic, and pheno-
type-monotypic challenged critics of affir-
mative action. Did I forget moral-monotyp-
ic? Is this a fair admissions policy or what?
At least as "fair" as the current admissions
policy is to "underrepresented" racial
The truly successful know the econom

H ave you been to a basketball game at
your college? If you're a University of
Michigan student, the likely answer is "no."
Unlike football and ice hockey, which have a
huge impact on social life throughout Ann
Arbor, basketball has trouble barely making a
dent. As we highlight today on page 4B in the
Tipoff '99 section, the Athletic Department
must think on its feet and make the sport more
Only 944 students purchased season tickets
as of press time. This pathetic amount is noth-
ing comparedto the days of the Fab Five, when
more than 6,000 students applied for tickets.
But our basketball team is not the Fab Five
any more, and the Athletic Department must
realize that. The Ed Martin scandal and last
year's 12-19 performance deteriorated the
public image of a once great team.
The team has great potential this year, with
new Coach Brian Ellerbe's first recruiting
class. But to showcase the potential, the

department must draw students into Crisler
The department should restructure the seat-
ing arrangements so more students sit closer to
the court. Why should students take the time to
attend a basketball game when they probably
will have bad seats?
By offering basketball tickets free of
charge, the department would spark more stu-
dent interest. The tiny revenues student ticket
sales bring in do not justify the relatively large
cost to students. Other universities, including
Duke, offer free student tickets and enjoy
impressive student turnout while maintaining
elite programs.
A student-friendly basketball program
helps both the student body and the team.
Nothing is a better spirit builder than a crowd
of screaming students. The Athletic
Department must rebuild basketball as a stu-
dent sport. It can be done, with some consid-
eration of students' needs.

400 hyNoc
a NeIp?
'J I

ic value of diversity. Just ask Bill Gates or
Donald Trump, neither of whom seem to
have problems with the inclusion of racial
minorities in their phenomenally successful
Bicyclists must use
common sense
The article about bikes vs. pedestrians in
the Nov. 4 edition of your Weekend, etc. sup-
plement contains incorrect and possibly dan-
gerous information about the traffic responsi-
bilities of bicyclists. The article states that
"According to traffic laws, bicyclists must
abide by the same rules that are set forth for
motor vehicles. They must ride with traffic."
This is correct. However, the added clarifi-
cation which follows is incorrect: "in the
United States that means the left side of the
street, where they can see oncoming cars:' In
fact, bicyclistsrmust ride on thenright side of the
street, with, rather than against traffic. As a
publication from AAA Michigan states,
motorists don't expect to see other vehicles
going in the opposite direction from them.
This could lead to accidents. Please use
common sense and ride with traffic - it could
caus everyone a lot fewer problems.
Program offers
opportunities to
study in Japan
This leter isa followup to Chris Leja's let-
ter to the Daily on Nov. 9 ("Working abroad
provides valuable experience"). I enjoyed
reading Leja's letter about working abroad
through programs like IAESTE, ICE and
I would like to point out that he omitted
mentioning the Japan Technology
Management Program. JTMP helps students
to obtain paid engineering or business intern-
ships in Japan. In addition, the program also
offers fellowships to study Japanese at the
University of Michigan or in Japan. -
I was a participant of an internship
obtained through JTMP and a so benefitted
from a language study fellowship. Designing
part of an integrated circuit at Oki Electric in
Tokyo for 8 months last year was a very
intense and valuable experience.
Information about JTMP can be found at
theirWebsite http://si:tumichedtu/-mjtmp/.

Animals have the
right to live without
We would like to start by stating that we
do not condone the recent activities of the
Animal Liberation Front.
While we share their frustration with
umsans, and we know how difficult our
chosen task of fighting for equal compas-
sion for all living beings can be at times, we
feel that every violent step forward is in fact
a step backward.
We would also like to say that the mer-
its, usefulness and necessity of many tax-
money funded projects in "medical sci-
ence," as well as the whole scope of medical
research as it stands today can be debated.
In spite of this, we do not wish to start a
Daily debate, much like last year between
former president of the Michigan Animal
Rights Society Allison Hess and several
other University students.
We do want to point out a few disparitm*
in the recent editorial "Threat Against
The fact that animals were not given
"rights" in the Constitution has no bearing
against anything, except maybe social secu-
I'll give the Daily that. One has to
remember that the Constitution did not
actually mean all people when it read "We
the People."
It was meant to include rich, whi*
landowning men, not immigrants, slaves,
women, political prisoners, etc. Does this
mean that the only beings that are entitled to
the "right" to a happy, healthy life are the
ones that the Constitution is directed
This is the "right" animal activists wish
to extend to our fellow sentient, feeling ani-
mals, no matter their status on the "evolu-
tionary ladder."
Yes, there is a difference betwe*
humans and non-human animals. Obviously
non-human animals cannot be given the
right to "vote" or to "bear arms," for exam-
The difference between non-human ani-
mals and humans is that we humans literal-
ly hold their happiness and, more or less,
their life in our bands.
In our view this goes far beyond "adopt-
ing a pet."
One would think thatrhumans wou
naturally extend their greatest compi
sion to those beings who are under their
mercy, but instead animal rights activists
must fight to enlighten people who are
ignorant or apathetic to the plight of non-
human animals in all aspects of this soci-

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