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December 01, 1999 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1999-12-01

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4 - The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, December 1, 1999

Cbe £iitjiguu iailg

420 Maynard Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
daily. letters@umich.edu
Edited and managed by
students at the
University of Michigan

HEATHER KANIINS
Editor in Chief
JEFFREY KOSSEFF
DAVID WALLACE
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.

Look closer

Looks like my time wasting is coming to an end
A really cool way to descend into the had e-mail addresses were government pared I was for death. Prepared for death?
Grand Canyon would be on a roller personnel and university faculty, staff and Not something I routinely think about, but
coaster. Forget about the donkeys and students. AOL and Prodigy had been oper- a good exercise nonetheless. What would
mules - the Grand Canyon Expressway ating for years. but were barely connect- 1 say on the other side? I'd say. "Why, oh.
would get you down in less than a minute. ing themseles to the Internet backbone. why did I waste so much time?" I'd be try-
You'd be able to walk At that time. Creighton only published a ing to figure out why I didn't get off my
around the bottom, newspaper once a week. You'd have to go butt and get a move on.
go to the Navajo out of your way to keep up with current I can think of a hundred things on my
stores and see the events. Few people did. Who cares when "to do" list. I want to learn things like how
sites until it was time there are so many girls, parties and to play the piano, play the guitar, cook,
to get back. Then movies repair cars, build houses,. carve wood and
you'd have a prob- We can only live the college life for a rub backs. I want to read the classics and
lem. Roller coasters limited time. Before long, we've got to become a pilot. How far have I gotten in
do a great job going climb our way out of the canyon and back these activities? Nowhere, because "I
down, but they stink into the real world. What does it take? It don't have time." How can I find time to
at going up. Getting takes a mountain of papers. presentations watch hours of TV, catch movies and
back to the top of the and exams. The trail back is marked with cruise the Internet then?
canyon would be a trials and tribulations. Just as college life Basically, I've got skewed priorities
slow, arduous Mike was marked with partying, football. danc- and I'm willing to bet that I'm not the
process. Lopez ing, drinking, eating, movies, romance only one. The beginning of the semester
Sounds a lot like and studying, the climb out of our hedo- shouldn't be a roller coaster ride down to
school. In the begin- nistic existence requires us to let go of wonderland followed by a painstaking,
ning of the semester, each pleasure, one by one, so that we can last ditch effort to make it back to reality.
we all fall quite easi- make it out with passing grades. A lot of people never leave reality. They
ly into life at the University. Partying, It reminds me of a commercial I used still have fun. They party. They dance.
football, dancing, drinking, eating, to hear on the radio back home. In it, the They watch movies. They also learn how
movies, romance and studying. Notice announcer said that there are only a few to play the piano, cook, repair cars and
how studying is tacked on there. That's things that everyone has to do in life. "You carve wood. They build houses. Fellow
how it seems to be for most of us. We tack got to work. You got to eat. You got to time wasters, how about we make this
it on as some sort of afterthought. Once sleep. And you got to ski." Then he goes semester's last ditch effort our last?
immersed in the college life, we get on to say that eating isn't all that neces- As we give up the hours of TV movies
detached from civilization. Think about sary, so all you really have to do is work, and Sega to devote more time to studying,
how isolated the bottom of the Grand sleep and ski. But you know, since you are let's make a list of things we'd really like
Canyon must be to the rest of the world. If saving so much money on food, all you to do. Maybe you'd like to weight train,
it weren't for Netscape Netcenter and the got to do is sleep and ski. Well, sleeping is do some community service or make
Daily, I'd be totally in the dark when it overrated, so all you really have to do is more regular appearances in church.
comes to current events. ski. That's what is happening to us as the When the time comes for us to take that
In fact, when I was a freshman in col- semester draws to a close. "All you get to roller coaster, don't get on. Instead, rip
lege, I was totally in the dark when it do is study." out that list and start filling your extra
came to current events. That was back in When you free your schedule of all the time with the activities that will make
1994 when the Web was just starting to parties, Sega, movies, dancing and drink- your life better.
pick up steam. Netscape was barely get- ing, it is amazing how much time you find - Mike Lope: can be reached via
ting off the ground. The only people who in a day. I was recently asked how pre- e-mail at manarlarge(yumich.edu.

Admissions process tries to go beyond SAT

A group of students who would have
normally been denied by the
University's admissions process because
of low standardized test scores are being
given the opportunity to enroll next fall
thanks to Harvard student Deborah Bial's
research project. Her project, the Bial-
Dale College Adaptability Index, tests
applicants in skills not measured by stan-
dardized tests - such as leadership -
and is aimed at identifying students who
have the ability to succeed in an academic
environment.
Standardized tests like the SAT and
ACT always have been the most suspect
and least accurate method used by col-
leges to screen applicants. Too often, stan-
dardized tests are merely a test of a stu-
dent's ability to pay for a preparatory
course and not their ability to succeed in
college. This problem, along with biases
in the tests, have resulted in aggregately
and artificially lower scores for minori-
ties. Everyone, including the writers,
admit the tests are far from perfect. It is
exciting that the University is acknowl-
edging standardized tests' inadequacies
and is taking an interest in other methods
of examining applicants.
Pursuing tests that strive to pick out
promising students --that would have
bee previously passed over for admission
because of standardized test scores - is
especially important in light of the
impending, lawsuits against the
University's use of race-based affirmative
action in admission decisions. While con-
tinuing the University's current affirma-

Live action policies is the preferable
method of promoting diversity because of
its proven effectiveness, this experimental
program and others need to be pursued.
Recently, colleges have been fairing
poorly in defending affirmative action
admission policies in the courts. In the
possible event the University will have to
end the use of affirmative action, it needs
to have plans in place to ensure this con-
tinues to be a diverse campus.
The Bial-Dale Index seems promising
because it measures non-cognitive skills
and includes interviews - "tests" whose
scores are far more difficult to manipulate
than an SAT or ACT score. Without this or
another new test, the University should
stop placing so much weight on standard-
ized tests relative to the four-year academ-
ic and extracurricular high school records
of applicants. These tests, while they mea-
sure academic ability to some extent, are
so predictable in their content and form
that anyone able to shell out a few hundred
dollars can easily learn how to receive
higher scores on them.
The Bial-Dale Index or any other new
test that can be developed is surely not
going to be a panacea and will have its
own problems. But it is certainly a step in
the right direction away from the highly
flawed standardized tests currently used.
And while the University should certainly
continue to use affirmative action in its
admissions process, it may eventually be
forced to stop that practice and so needs to
continue looking into new ways to identi-
fy qualified minority students.

THOMAS KULJURGIS

EN EA , , (X

COM~PLICATED MOERN VAU4..

What's down, Doc?
Minority med school apps take a dive

The University Medical School, heralded'
as one of the best programs in the coun-
try, is having trouble convincing minority stu-
dents to apply. Despite the Medical School's
current efforts to increase diversity, only 13
percent of this year's entering class were
members of under-represented minorities.
Having recognized the problem, Medical
School officials should do everything in their
power to encourage more minority students to
apply. Declining diversity in the Medical
School poses a serious problem. A racially
and ethnically diverse atmosphere is impor-
tant, impacting both the comfort of enrolled
minorities and the quality of education for
every student. Learning in such an environ-
ment prepares students to associate with oth-
ers in a diverse world.
Also at stake with declining numbers of
minority applications is the University's repu-
tation as a friendly institution to non-whites.
Whether or not programs like affirmative
action are in place to increase diversity, low
enrollment and applicatory numbers among
minorities may cause prospective students to
view the University as an uncomfortable place
to study. In the field of medicine; a business
not exactly known for incredible diversity,
convincing minorities to at least apply to the
Medical School is key to mending this prob-
lem.
The University understands the impor-
tance of diversity in the field of medicine but
seems unsure of what is causing the problem.
Declining minority applications to medical
institutions has become a national trend. At
this University, only 478 minorities applied to
the Medical School. The admissions office
received 501 minority applications last year

Medical School created a number of policies
to encourage minorities to apply. Project:
HOPE, one of the Medical School's minority
support programs, focuses explicitly on
reversing the trend of decreasing interest of
minorities in the field of medicine. This pro-
gram utilizes a coalition of colleges and grade
schools to introduce medical professions to a
wide range of minority students.
The University, through Project: HOPE,
provides middle and high school minority stu-
dents with the opportunity to tour health care
facilities and witness medical vocations first-
hand. Applicants to the University may also
partake in a spring retreat and meet with
minority representatives. In some cases the
Project can even subsidize the travel costs for
these early conventions.
But aside from dealing directly with
prospective students, the University should
review what else can be done to make the
Medical School more appealing. One possible
attraction to the medical program could be to
increase the number of minority professors
within the school. The existence of visible
mentors for minority students might provide
some incentive to matriculate to this Medical
School. The University can also take advan-
tage of the many minority student groups on
campus to pinpoint specific problems within
the program that have repelled minorities
from applying. Whatever course of action the
University takes to combat this problem, it is
imperative that something be done. Such dras-
tic reductions in minority application and
enrollment is a serious issue for any institu-
tion that values diversity. As a champion of
racial and ethnic equality and diversity, the
University must do everything in its power to

AIDS exhibit review
had major flaws
To THE DAILY:
This letter is in response to Nick
Falzone's review. "Errors Hinder AIDS
Exhibit," (Nov. 29). This article is a clear
example of the typical Daily "reporter" try-
ing desperately, however feebly, to have an
opinion of his own (yet not convincing due
to his lack of knowledge of the topic at
hand).
This exhibit was created not specifically to
entice students to North Campus, but to
increase H1IV-AIDS awareness among the hun-
dreds of faculty. staff and students who pass by
the Atrium Gallery daily. It is an installation,
not "artworks" per se - Falzone does not
seem to understand the difference. The goal of
the installation is to transform the lounge into
an environment dedicated to AIDS awareness,
in which crucial information is readily avail-
able. The fact that the installation is almost
entirely composed of related facts and statis-
tics (granted. with some misspellings) means
that it accomplished its main purpose of pro-
viding information. The combination of this
young man's knit-picking and lack of under-
standing of installations created a one-sided
review that did not touch on the obvious suc-
cesses of the exhibit.
For those who are unfamiliar with the
gallery containing the exhibit, one side is
completely open, two walls are traditional sur-
faces and the fourth side is all glass. The glass
wall faces the main concourse of the building;
thus it is the first that passersby see. For this
reason, it is the focal point of the exhibit. The
transparent, vertical banners consist of star-
tling information, which is boldly painted in
black. Some information is highlighted by
white backgrounds. Staggered between these
banners are red ones, which break up the
potential monotony of a lot of text, and make
the existing text pop out. If you step back from
the glass, you essentially see a collage, con-
sisting of these banners, the centrally placed
transparent information cubes (which are
indeed cracked) and a black back-drop with
"End the Silence" in white.
On the far wall hangs a painting by School
of Art sophomore Kate Armstrong-Blanchard,
which is dedicated to her uncle who died of
AIDS. It is flanked by two black banners
which help pronounce the painting. While
standing in the concourse, this exhibit can be
viewed at many angles. The astute observer
will notice that different facts become appar-
ent or fade into the background. depending on
their vantage point. This creates a dialog
between the viewer and the exhibit.
Furthermore, upon entering the room, you
are surrounded by the information which
makes the installation/viewer relationship a
more active one. The color palette used for
the exhibit is a simple one - black, white and
red - making it undeniably bold and eye-
catching.Although Nick Falzone's "staunch
opinion" chose not to admit this, the number
of people stopping to view the installation do.
In order to create an accurate depiction in

future art reviews, it is necessary for Falzone
to consider the many facets which compose
exhibits, educate himself in basic art termi-
nology (such as "installation") and recognize
that he is not a big-time New York art critic,
but a student with much more to learn. Rather
than attempting to pass himself off as some
kind of expert, he could have easily summed
up his thoughts with a simple, "I don't like it."
CARRIE WolocKo
PIERPONT COMMONS
ARTS & PROGRAMS
ASSISTANT COORDINATOR
Sanz's view of
hazing 'disturbing'
To THE DAILY:
To comment on Brandon Sanz's column
"To Haze or Not To Haze": As both a United
States Marine and a prospective fraternity
member, I find your article on hazing very dis-
turbing. I might go so far as to say that it is one
of the most ignorant pieces of writing ever to
cross my web browser. But then I would want
to write a lengthy rebuttal defending my view-
point, and it doesn't sound like you're worth
the time. Suffice to say that I am glad to hear
your military service is over and hope that you
are not continuing to inflict yourself on this
country's Armed Forces as a member of the
Reserves. In case you think I lack perspective,
I'm a grunt, have spent most of my tour over-
seas or on a float and have scars worse than
anything you'll get from flutter kicks.
MATT MULLER
SERGEANT, U.S. MARINE CORPS
'White liberal guilt'
has no weight

apologize for not making myself clear on the
definition of racism. I should have stated that
we as white people, were never forced
to sit at the back of the bus, pulled over in our
cars because of the color of our skin, put in
ghettos or forced to go out the side door of the
Union. I agree with Godwin, there are circum-
stances in which white people have been dis-
criminated against. I should have been more
clear, I suppose.
Godwin goes to great lengths to describe
the diversity within the white population. If
we, the white community, are so diverse, how
does he know what kind of life I've lived? I
also wonder why being in favor of equality
automatically makes me feel guilty for being
white? I do not feel guilty for my life. I believe
in equality and when I see something that I can
do to help, I do it. The whole white liberal
guilt statement is just old and has no weight.
AIMEE BINGHAM
LSA SENIOR
Thanksgiving break*
is not enough
To THE DAILY:
In response to the Nov. 30 editorial "Give
us a break," I agree that the extended
Thanksgiving weekend is not truly a vacation
and is late in the semester. Undergraduate edu-
cation, while time and energy demanding, is
not so strenuous as to require an additionali
vacation earlier in the fall term. In my four
years at the University, I do remember feeling
tired right about this time of year waiting for
the semester to end. Though the truth of the
matter is that if a vacation were to be added
earlier in the term, that time would have to
made up somewhere - by beginning the
semester earlier, for example. I don't know
about current students but I preferred having
the overall duration of the semester shorter. *

FAR
iS
u WR

L-E~ / -
'9"

To THE DAILY:
I am responding to the letter by Chris DAVID CHESLER
Godwin that appeared in the Nov. 24 Daily. I UNIVERSITY ALUMNUS

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