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November 17, 1999 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1999-11-17

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4- The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, November 17, 1999
420 Maynard Street HEATHER KAMINS
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
Dailys editorial board. All other articles, letters and cartoons do not necessarily reflect
the opinion of The Michigan Daily.
Vote e on club sports
MSA ballot proposal makes financial sense

Ford's understanding of admissions exemplies leadership

KOSSEFF
Continued from Page 1.
You might think I was describing a
leftist University alumnus such as Arthur
Miller or Tom Hayden. But Ford never
fought the administration - he was the
country's administration for 2.5 years.
This confused me. He holds my view
on the University's admissions system.
That's not fair. I'm the liberal, and he
was a Republican president. Aren't I sup-
posed to protest him or something?
Ford also shares my loathing of quotas.
"It doesn't permit flexibility, unusual
or different circumstances," Ford said. "It
doesn't take into consideration other ele-
ments. I also disagree with the extremists
on the other end who are prejudicial
against people who value racial and eth-
nic diversity."
That's a beautiful distinction too few
people make. You don't have to be in
favor of quotas to support affirmative
action. But most people don't stop long
enough to think about the definition of
affirmative action.
When Ford was a student at the
University, decades before the civil
rights movement, he didn't judge people
by race. As a Michigan football player,
his best friend was Willis Ward. the only
black student on the team. Ward was
forced to sit out of a 1934 game because
Georgia Tech wouldn't play against a

black athlete.
"I treated people based on whether I
like or dislike or whether I admire some-
body." Ford said.
He understands the University's ver
sion of affirmative action equalizes the
playing field. Maybe it's because he's
been around so long that he has seen
many instances where equality isn't
always a given.
After my initial confusion about his
stance, I felt something I haven't felt for
a long time.
This is one of the few times I've had
true pride in the government. I know this
sounds sappy, but as a child of the Iran-
Contra, Whitewater and Monica
Lewinsky eras, I've become disenchant-
ed with national politics. I've always
believed presidents are far removed from
the rest of the country.
But my conversation with Ford
changed this view. I'm truly proud he
was our president. It pains me to write
that. Real liberals hate "the man." And
Ford is one of five remaining "men" who
set the national agenda more than anyone
else.
You don't need a far-left mind frame to
support affirmative action. It's not as
clear-cut as the minimum wage or wel-
fare reform.
To understand affirmative action, you
have to understand life. It goes deeper
than political affiliations.

But when Ford - along with other4
powerful and mainstream conservative
leaders -- support affirmative action,
there is little to protest. The only people
who can't understand the value of a
diverse learning environment are right-
wing radicals like state Sen. David Jaye
(R-Washington Twp.). The powerful
Republicans, including Gov. John Engler,
aren't destroying affirmative action.
They know better.
Who's left for affirmative action pro-V
ponents to protest? Luckily, most people
who are in power understand the need for
affirmative action.
That's why affirmative action isn't
such a hotly protested issue on this cam-
pus. It's not like the Red Scare, sweat-
shop labor or the Code of Student
Conduct - on this issue, the "man" is on
our side. And we're much better off that
way.
As a liberal, you might expect me to be
disappointed that my school will soon beW
identified with Gerald Ford. But I'm not,
because he knows what really matters to
people. That's the best leadership quality
you could ask for. The nation's top public
policy institutions - including Harvard's
Kennedy School and Princeton's
Woodrow Wilson School - are named
after great presidents. My school is no
different.
- Jeffrey Kosseff can be reached ove4
e-mail at jkosseff tumich.edu.

he Michigan Student Assembly will
propose an endowment on today's
and tomorrow's election ballots to
improve club sports funding. Club sports,
which are an integral part of many stu-
dents' University experiences, are severe-
ly underfunded because of the limited
amount of money MSA has in its budget.
MSA is constantly forced to choose
between the money allotted to club sports
and funding to other University groups.
The proposed endowment would separate
MSA's finances into two separate budgets,
allowing every group on campus to
receive more funding.
The endowment consists of only 25-
cent increases in student fees for the next
two semesters. This will allow MSA to
collect $18,000 immediately to begin the
endowment. Students currently pay $5.69
per semester for MSA to fund both club
sports and various other groups. Fifty
cents over one year is negligible.
There are currently 38 club sport
groups on campus. These groups differ
from intramural teams because they are
for the most part learning groups as
opposed to teams.
Club sports have nearly 1,000 student
participants, who must pay out of their
pockets to support each of their groups
due to the lack of funding MSA is able to
provide. While MSA gives each group as
much money as possible, it is not enough.
This semester, for example, the difference
between the amount of money requested
by club sports and that MSA could afford
to give them was an obscene $62,589.

Because club sports desperately needed
this money, each group must charge its
participants to raise the difference. The
amount of additional money required by
each group ranges from relatively
insignificant amounts starting at $20 all
the way up to outrageous four-digit fig-
ures as high as $2,400.
The mere 50 cents MSA is asking from
each student pales in comparison to both
the money solicited from club sports' par-
ticipants as well as to all of the other fees
students are required to pay to the
University each semester.
Students should support club sports
because they were created and exist as a
forum for students to learn an activity not
taught in classrooms. Because all MSA
groups exist to teach students, it is not fair
that club sports suffer more than other
groups every time the budget is revisited.
MSA has plans for raising even more
than the initial fees. By using the $18,000
they will immediately collect as a starting
off point, they plan on building a self-sup-
porting endowment that will survive as a
continuous source of funding for all club
sports.
Every student can afford to dig under-
neath their couch cushions for the 50 cents
needed to support this endowment. And
MSA helps them out even more by putting
all students on a two-semester payment
plan. When you fill out your MSA elec-
tion ballot either today or tomorrow, check
the box that will establish an affordable
and beneficial plan to protect an integral
part of our University.

THOMAS KULJURGIS TENTATIVELY SPEAKING
' ETEST

Bill 306 will not

hurt student voting
To THE DAILY:
Unlike Josh Cowen in his letter to the
Daily. "Rogers's bill may help him next
year," (11/15/99) 1 found it refreshing to
have a politician like Sen. Rogers (R-
Brighton) visit our campus. Rogers is not a
career politician whose primary concern is
fixing electoral districts. A former FBI
agent, he entered politics not to further his
own political agenda, but to make a differ-
ence in our society. I personally have
tremendous faith in our country's political
process, and it was nice to hear from a
politician whose primary concern is ensur-
ing honesty and digtnity in government.
Rogers did not propose Senate Bill 306 to
stifle the student vote and ensure an easy vic-
tory to Congress. Cowen conveniently over-
looked the measures Rogers also initiated that
actually make it easier for students to vote. If
students do not wish to obtain an absentee bal-
lot from their home state (though this is not a
difficult feat, it is extremely easy under the
new system to change your driver's license
online. It would take five minutes for students
to change their driver license from the com-
fort of their own home. They could even
switch their license back to their home state at
the end of the school year if they so desired.
Rogers's support for Bill 306 stems from
his desire to eliminate voting frauand,
wheth r or not Cowen believes this, voting
fraud is a problem in our society. As recent
as the 1998 election, there were obvious
instances of individuals abusing the elec-
toral process. For example, there were actu-
ally Michigan voting precincts that reported
a voter turnout of greater than 100 percent.
Driver licenses are the most accurate
address records the government maintains,
and the only viable option to ensure that one
individual casts only one vote in their cor-

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Chopping away
Bush attacks affirmative action

cally chosen to focus on only one type of
Indian dance, at least visually, I can only guess
that it is because the Bharata Natyam cos-
tumes are the most "exotic," elaborate and
colorful. Ironically, it is this desire to display
the most exotic and different dance of India
time and time again that robs readers of a tine
understanding of the diversity within Indian
culture. By refusing to depict images of Indian
dance that admittedly may be less visually
stimulating than photographs of the Bharata
Natyam, the Daily fails to display the breadth
and diversity of Indian American shows on
campus, and worse, of Indian culture.
ANJUM GUPTA
UNIVERSITY ALUM
Reader hopes
Northwest 'never
changes'

S upporters describe Florida Gov. Jeb
Bush's executive order to end affir-
mative action, and his proposal to use per-
centage-based admissions, as a measure
intended to heighten the presence of
minorities in 'Florida state universities
while promoting equity among high
school students. Bush's plan, called the
One Florida Initiative, calls for a mandate
guaranteeing students from the top 20
percent of every individual high school
class admission to a state university. This
sounds great - but if you get past the
evasive language and veiled titles, the
"Talented Twenty" proposal is essentially
a restrictive quota with a more attractive
name.
Consider the implications of such a
plan. The intention of the initiative is to
create a situation in which, regardless of
race, sex or creed, every person who is in
the top 20 percent of their graduating high
school class will be admitted into a state-
funded university. This seems to suggest
that students from ill-equipped, poor,
urban high schools are being given a
greater opportunity. No matter how their
top 20 percent measures up to the best of
other high schools, they are guaranteed
admission to some college. But this pre-
sents a problem on many levels.
The biggest problem with the plan is
how it affects minorities and their hopes
of being accepted into state universities.
If the "Talented Twenty" plan takes effect,
in conjunction with affirmative action's
elimination in Florida, it will essentially
guarantee that only 20 percent of students
from minority-dominated, poor, urban
schools will be admitted into state col-
leges. Minorities already make up a

smaller portion of the population than
whites. Additionally, only 20 percent of
the students at minority dominated
schools will have the distinct opportunity
to attend college. Consequently, the per-
centage of minorities at state universities
stands to be much lower than it is current-
ly. After the top 20 percent are admitted
from each school, other factors come into
play.
One potential factor that cannot be
ignored, particularly in the state of
Florida, is racism. Florida has a long track
record of racism. With no affirmative
action to shield blacks and Latino/as from
racially biased admissions policies, there
exists the potential for a dramatic decline
in minority matriculation at state universi-
ties.
Affirmative action is by no means a
perfect system, and it is most definitely
misunderstood. A passive plan dressed in
appealing language such as the One
Florida Initiative cannot and will not pro-
mote diverse student bodies. It probably
never intended to. Governor Bush's plan
is simply a veiled attempt to create a
quota for minorities in Florida schools
that is lower than the one achieved by
affirmative action.
Florida is following in the footsteps of
states such as California and Texas - an
alarming national trend. Affirmative
action must be preserved. It is an aggres-
sive approach toward giving disadvan-
taged minorities opportunities that they
could not have otherwise attained in the
past. It is important affirmative action be
maintained and advanced as a means to
promote equity in our society and the
quality of our education.

rect district.
One point that Cowen
the perceptiveness of colle
ever, have tremendous c
young Americans, and I b
continue to vote under the
Only 'exotic
photos are
TO THE DAILY:
This letter is in respon
ted "IASA Show Enc
Monday, Nov. 15 Daily
about the IASA Show ap
for the past three years (1
11/3/97). For as long as
University, articles co
American Student Associ
have been accompanied b
dancer performing Bhar
approximately 15 items
remains a mystery to me
dances to choose from,
Daily decides to feature
Indian dance. This phen
other South Asian Ameri
as well.
Last month, the Hind
held an event to Celebrat
holiday. The event includ
mony, called Puja; relit
Bhajans; a cultural prog
various dances and singin
a time for everyone afte
cultural program compris
entire event, and there w
Natyam performed durit
gram; yet again, the 0
about the Navaratri eel
photograph of two Bharat
In considering why th

and I do agree on is TO THE DAILY:
ge students. I, how How convenient it is for the Daily's edito-
sonfidence in these rial staff to demand that Northwest face com-
nelieve that they will petition because its shoddy service inconve-
e new system. niences them, when they devote almost all the
rest of their time fighting for the control and
BARB LAMBERT subjugation of businesses in the name of the
BUSINESS JUNIOR workers or laborers. It's OK to embiace the
free market when rich college kids can't get
home to their rich houses far away, but when
a business doesn't directly affect the ivory
dance tower that is the University, then the Daily
fe tu e feels free to rail away with all the sob stories,
featured moral outcries and impassioned pleas it can
come up with.
Let me tell you what, if the students at this
se to the article enti- school who spend all their time attacking and
hants 'U"' in the writing against the free market and capitalism
as well as articles have a problem with Northwest, let them
pearing in the Daily enjoy another outrageous near monopoly:
1/15/99, 11/9/98 and Amtrak.
I have been at the My dad has worked in Washington, D.C.
vering the Indian away from our family for the last three years
'ation Cultural Show because we coulda't afford the housing out
ty a photograph of a east (where some students no doubt are hav-
ata Natyam, one of ing trouble flying to every holiday). I could
in every show. It only afford to visit him twice, which means
why, out of so many that outside of Thanksgiving, Christmas and
year after year the Easter, I only saw him two other times. And
only one type of do you know what I did to save money? I took
omenon extends to the train. Sure it was eight hours longer with
can Student Groups terrible bus rides mixed in, but somehow, to
save money, I did it. So if anyone has been
lu Students Council inconvenienced, it is me. And I said years ago
e Navaratri, a Hindu that Northwest should have to face competi-
led a religious cere- tion.
gious songs, called I'm sick and tired of the Daily's
ram which featured hypocrisy on philosophical matters like this.
tg items; and finally Pick a policy, stick with it and stop whining
nding to dance. The in your pages every time your whim isn't
ed only a part of the satisfied. Either you're for the free market or
as only one Bharata your against it. There's no in between and
ng the cultural pro- you can't pick and choose whatever you feel
ct. 25 Daily article like.
ebration featured a I hope Northwest never changes and all
ta Natyam dancers. of you have to crawl across the country in a
he Daily has histori- cramped train for hours on end, stopping

every 30 minutes, just like I did.
GEOFFREY STANTONJ
LSA SOPHOMOR
Drumline draws
crowds; deserves
recognition
TO THE DAILY:
After reading the Nov. 15 article about th*
Michigan Marching Band, I was ye sdisap-
pointed that no mention of step shows were
made. Each Saturday the Michigan Drumline
performs for the public while the rest of the
band does its "visualization." These shows
draw large crowds each Saturday morning.
The Michigan Drumline is one of the best in
the Big Ten, and the step show is just as much
a part of football Saturday tradition as any-
thing else the band does. As a second year
member of the Michigan Drumline, I feel that
any article about the Michigan Marchin*
Band in relation to Saturday morning rituals is
severely lacking when no mention of the
drumline is made at all.
JANEL DWENS
LSA SOPHOMORE
Angell Hall posters
are a waste
TO THE DAILY:
While I don't necessarily agree with the
viewpoints addressed in many of the editorials
published on this page, I found the editorial the
Daily published yesterday ("Invisible candi-
dates") about the campaign posters in Angell
Hall downright ridiculous. For years, I and
many students like me lamented the glut of
paper infesting the walls of Angell Hall. Th
only thing more despicable than the shee
amount of paper on the walls of every hall and
stairwell in the building was the fact that these
flyers were thrown out and reposted every day.
I was therefore thrilled to read the notice post-
ed on the wall outside the Fishbowl that
announced the end to this wasteful practice.
But instead of saluting the MSA's efforts
to reduce this senseless waste, the Daily
decided to criticize the most positive elec-
tion steps that the organization has taken it
years. There are so many other ways to
campaign than to post thousands of unread
campaign posters that win few, if any votes
for the candidates. If fact, I vow to vote this
year, for the first time ever, to voice my sup-
port of the MSA's waste-reduction policy.
Congratulations to the MSA for going
out on a limb and taking steps to reduce the
negative impact on the environment. In the
future, perhaps the Daily will also support
positive activities such as these rather than
criticize anyone and everyone it can."-
B.J. LURIA
LSA SENIOR

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