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November 03, 1999 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1999-11-03

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4 - The Michigan Daily - Wednesday. November 3, 1999

420 Maynard Street HEATHER KAMINS
Ann Arbor, MI 48109 Editor in Chief
daily. letters@umich.edu
Edited and managed by JEFFRY KOSSEF
students at the DAVID ALLACE
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.

Jump ship
Hazing is an avoidable source of trouble
any Greek institutions use hazing The threat of hazing is a great burden
as a way of initiating new members for new students to deal with. The fear of
to their house, and it .is widely believed hazing may cause students not to join
that younger members of varsity and club clubs that would otherwise interest them.
athletic teams endure treatment of a simi- And while hazing has technically been
lar nature. In reality, the hazing that exists banned at the University, it still does
in these institutions is not beneficial for occur - though not at the same extremes
any of the people involved. It is not the as it formerly did. To not scare prospec-
Lflbst effective means for new and old tive members and follow Greek rules,
nmbers of these groups to form bonds. many institutions do not disclose that
Many other issues arise from having to hazing occurs. If hazing occurs in moder-
.perform unwanted tasks just to be part of ate proportions, it should not be kept a
: 7a group. secret. Disclosing this information will
While the University hasn't publicized not eliminate prospective members deter-
any incidents of hazing in athletics, many mined to join such a club regardless of
rumors have circulated about new mem- obstacles.
bers having to endure initiation. This Hazing furthers the case to eliminate
should not occur in a setting that requires first-semester rush. At the beginning of a
all members to work toward a common school year, many:students, particularly
goal. Additionally, while joining the first-year students, endure a substantial
Greek system is a choice, often playing period of transition. While being a mem-
sports is not. Athletic recruitment and ber of the Greek system helps students
scholarships serve as a means by which meet people, it also may limit their scope
an individual can attend the University. of University experiences. By having to
This does not make team members feel commit to a particular chapter so early,
they are part of a unit, and it takes a great their social life focuses on the house.
deal away from a positive experience. Also, students adjusting to campus may
There is a belief hazing initially not be mentally ready to deal with haz-
appeared as a way for members of these ing. Students who would normally not
'institutions to form common experiences submit themselves to humiliation or
that all members both new and old abuse may do so to feel they fit in at the
endured. But there are more effective University.
-ways for people to bond. In the Greek Students should feel like they can be a
system, instead of hazing, members could part of the community in many ways.
be required to participate in community When putting together valuable experi-
service, athletic or social projects togeth- ences outside the classroom, hazing
er. This would be more productive, enjoy- should not factor into a students'
able and rewarding. extracurricular activities.
n= the closet
Public medical records could discriminate

An open letter to Mr. Complainer: Shut up you brat
N o one likes a Complainer. You know I recently read a complaint from a right. they will get points every day and
the type. If something bad happens, guy who was totally distraught about the the first person with 1.000 points will
they are the first to bitch and moan fact that women could use Ms. Miss. or win first prize, a real tank. Amazingly,
about it. "Did you hear that we're all Mrs. before their names. but men could he manages to shelter his son from all
going to have to get Meningitis shots so only use Mr. No kidding here. "Why the the nastiness and suffering of the
that we don't get hell do women need three freakin' titles Holocaust happening around them.
sick and die? That for their names? Women should just Coming back from a day of hard labor.
sucks. I'd rather die. have Mrs. as there title. And Ms. is the he brags about how he and the men
Shots are horrible." stupidest. Who the hell had the speech played hopscotch and laughed all day.
"I just got bumped impediment that brought that title into Soldiers are referees. The sudden disap-
off my flight. What the English language? From now on, pearance of all the children turns into a
am I going to do I'm going to call all women Mrs. (their hide and seek contest. He manages to A
tonight? I'm stuck last name here.)" use every single circumstance .of their
here. I just want to At least the Complainer seems to situation to further develop the tall tale.
be home. Why can't believe in some sort of Right and The story is a true celebration of the
you just let me on Wrong. A true moral relativist would human spirit.
my plane?" have nothing to complain about. When I walked out of the theatre, I
Complainers are I guess that's the Complainer's sav- wasn't about to complain about any-
good at making bad Mike ing grace. It's just too bad that the thing. Compared to a lot of people on
situations worse. Lopez Complainer has to make everything into this earth, my life is beautiful. Imagine
but this is not their something wrong. There is a lot of good how the Complainer sounds to a
gift. A out there and even the stuff that is actu- Holocaust survivor? The Complainer
Complainer's true ally wrong could be handled in a better says, "I haven't eaten since noon. I'm so
talent lies in his or way. hungry. If I don't eat something soon,
her ability to make a neutral or good sit- This weekend, my wonderful girl- I'm going to die." The Holocaust sur-
uation seem horrible. Complainers love friend and I watched Life is Beautiful at vivor's response is, "I once went without
to drone on and on about petty, stupid the Fox Village. If you haven't had a food for two weeks. I had to bear the
things. When your class receives a chance to see the movie, we highly rec- pain in silence, for anyone who cried for
homework assignment over the week- ommend it. It is about the unbreakable food was shot." I don't know about you,
end, Mr. Complainer is the first to say, spirit of an Italian Jewish man living the but thinking profoundly humbling. It
"My gosh, this class sucks so hard." hell of a Nazi concentration camp. We certainly makes me stop and wonder
If the professor gives you the week- meet our friend, a quick witted, loud how often the Complainer's shoes were
end off, Complainer squeezes out a mouth with a penchant for telling tall my own.
"I've got nothing planned. My life is so tales, as a free man who gets into tons of Anyhow, heed these words Mr.
boring." If the Complainer is single, trouble, but never lets it phase him. Complainer. Be thankful for the life you
"No one cares about me. I'm going to be As the story develops, the strength of have. You've been given a gift far
alone for the rest of my life. I'm a his spirit is put to the test. He and his greater than many on earth will ever
loser." When they have a significant small son are sent to a concentration receive. Remember the old saying,
other, you hear, "My partner doesn't camp. Unwilling to tell his son the hor- "Don't complain about thorns among
care about my feelings. I feel stifled. I rible truth of their situation, he makes roses: be grateful for roses among
need to- be myown person" In a up a story about a game. He tells the boy thorns."

Complainer's life, something is always

that for his birthday. he has enrolled
them in a contest. If they play the game

Mike Lopez can be reached via
e-mail at manatlargeaurmich.edi.



Columnists promote
selves, fends
Every day to and from classes for two years
I have read the Daily. Most people agree that
the opinion page is the most popular, perhaps
because it's the most entertaining. But I have a
bit of a problem. It seems as though your
columnists, Branden Sanz in particular, use
their column spaces to promote themselves and
friends. Sanz is great at making an issue out of
something he feels the need to brag about (sav-
ing girls in grocery stores, being a tough army
guy.) Sanz is only part of the problem. Take for
example Jennifer Strausz's piece on killing
centipedes in the name of her and her best
friend! Hurrah for you two. I love you guys!
Come on! Can we get some more obvious
'friend' plugs in a campus publication? It's too
bad Scott Hunter and Jack Schillaci don't have
more time on their hands or they could write in
place of the aforementioned duo. I guess we
don't live in a perfect world: if we did, there
would be a "Man Day," wouldn't there ?
Recycle bin article
clearly wrong choice
I wish to take this opportunity to congrat-
ulate the Daily on its continued excellence.
Never have I felt so secure that my campus
newspaper is bringing me all the information
I need to be aware of the important events of
the University.
In that respect, it's good to see that the
Daily is well on top of today's news. I was at
first somewhat worried that the issue of green
versus clear recycle bins would not receive
enough coverage. Luckily. it received the ban-
ner headline of last Tuesday's issue: "Green
Bins Clearly Wrong Choice" (10/26/99). I
actually have been losing sleep over the idea of
green recycle bins in Michigan Stadium.
Clearly the most important on-campus news

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resident Clinton proposed federal
regulations strengthening medical
privacy last Friday, after Congress failed
to meet the Aug. 21 deadline for legislat-
ing new protections. The plan would
restrict the use of patients' private health
information to employers, marketing
firms and others. This restriction
requires the written consent of the
patient to release the files. Anyone
releasing a patient's files without their
consent faces a $50,000 fine and a year
in prison.
Clinton's proposal is a giant step in
the fright direction. One of the most cru-
cial facets of the plan'is its emphasis on
the electronic transmission of medical
Currently, anyone that wants to obtain
a patient's records through a computer
would be able to do so with ease. This
situation violates the individual's right to
privacy. For instance, an employer could
deny an applicant a job simply because
he or she has a sexually transmitted dis-
ease listed under his electronic file. Most
STDs do not affect on-the-job perfor-
mance, and the individual should deter-
mine whether to disclose the informa-
Along with employers, marketing
firms who have the use of private med-
ical records could skew a patient's data
to their own advantages. Sensitive infor-
Pmation such as blood tests, surgery and
other operations may hinder a person's
ability to obtain or keep employment
when made public.
Patient's have every reason to worry
about their medical records falling into

speech last Friday that more than a third
of all Fortune 500 companies check med-
ical records before they hire or promote
Though insurance companies require
some medical information to grant a
claim, they need not know of non-life
threatening medical conditions. With the
ease of electronic information, a compa-
ny could refuse to fund an individual, or
raise premiums so high that they become
unaffordable. If one company has access
to this data, then all others could as well,
creating a dead-end situation for the
Recent information suggests that a
plan such as Clinton's is necessary for
the U.S. A poll by the Princeton Survey
Research Associates shows that one-in-
six American adults has taken steps that
they would not ordinarily take to keep
their medical information confidential.
These practices include switching doc-
tors or paying out of their own pocket foi
health expenses.
But with the proposal's requirement
of the patient's written consent to dis-
close records, people's medical records
will be safer.
Clinton's new plan is only an initial
step towards preserving patients' privac)
- the plan only covers electronic
records and does not allow patient to sue
health plans for needlessly releasing
their records. Still, this initial step is a
welcome change to the status quo. The
program, which would go into effect in
2002, will allow Americans to rest easier.
Congress should heed Clinton's call and
strengthen privacy laws for patients'

was brought to the attention of the countless
Daily readers. I'm sure this issue inspired
more than a "look-over" of the classifieds and
an early morning lecture spent on the cross-
word puzzle.
Personally, when I'm busy aiming for the
cameraman with my Absopure bottle, I'm
glad that other people won't have to recycle
theirs in a bin tinted with Spartan green. I'm
eternally thankfuil that next time I watch the
Wolverines get stunned by a team like Illinois,
I'll be consoled by the fact that at least we
don't have green bins. Thanks again for bring-
ing this issue to the campus' attention. I'm
really sick of hearing about things that don't
affect our lives.
European students
respect alcohol
I am writing to offer an international per-
spective on our University's preoccupation
with under-age drinking. It is well known
among international travellers that a legal
drinking age of 21 years is particular to the
United States.
S .

Last week, I attended orientation at the
University of Lausanne, Switzerland, where I
will be spending this academic year. At this
orientation I learned there is alcohol all over
campus, and it's really not a big deal. There are
cafes in almost every academic building than
serve beer and wine along with other bever-
ages, sandwiches and deserts. There is also an
independent bar on campus. run completely
by students, that serves beer at lunch time,
between classes and in the evening.
I was shocked and ashamed to compare
this to the way the University and its students
handle under age drinking and irresponsible
drinking in Ann Arbor. The idea of students
serving alcohol to other students at lunch time
seems so foreign to the interruption of privat4
parties by police, instigated by an administra-
tion obsessed with in loco parentis. I know
there are cultural differences between the
Europe and the United States and that tradi-
tions exist in each country that necessitate dif-
ferent approaches to alcohol consumption.
But I think the trust and respect with which
the University of Lausanne treats its students
in regards to their consumption of alcohol
puts the University of Michigan to shame. W
are treated like adults in Lausanne and, soml
how, we end up acting appropriately.

T-shirts? If only eating disorders were that simple


I would like to respond to the controversy
concerning the production and sale of the t-
shirt, "Freshmen girls: Get 'em while they're
skinny." As a women's health activist, I find
these extremely offensive. Some people see
this as a joke and that those offended by this t-
shirt should stop being so PC and lighten up.
Let me tell you why this is not a joke.
As a recovered anorexic and bulimic, I
understand the impact messages and attitudes
such as these can have on women who are
struggling with an eating disorder. After years
of dealing with these issues as a high school
student and undergrad at the University, I have
dedicated a significant portion of my time and
energy in the last few years to eating disorder
awareness and prevention issues on campus.
To say the least, I would not wish an eating
disorder on my worst enemy.
Contrarv to what manv neonle think; there

lems due to electrolyte imbalances and infer-
tility. And they have higher mortality rates
than any other mental health issue.
Even if you don't see the overt message,
think about the subversive messages women
receive every day - 400 to 600 messages on
eating/body image alone. Magazines, TV
commercials, billboards, newspapers -
they're everywhere. We are fa phobic in this
society, with many of us programmed to
think, by the diet and entertaiqlient industries,
women's magazines and the general media,
that fat = bad = sinful = unattractive. Fat is a
nutrient that we need in our diets, a fact many
of us seem to forget. These diet and entertain-
ment industries are making billions of dollars
by "feeding off" of women's insecurities.
This is a men's issue too. Do you have sis-
ters, female friends and girlfriends? Do you
intentionally treat them disrespectfully and

This t-shirt is more offensive and harmful
than if a t-shirt made fun of men because meV
are not as affected by this "thin stereotype.
Ninety percent of eating disorder cases are
women. Bottom line: Men are not judged as
harshly on their looks and weight as women.
This t-shirt is obviously not going to "cause"
someone to have an eating disorder, but it is
certainly disrespectful and a small element of
larger media messages concerning weight
expectations of women. In a broader look at
women's issues overall, it's conveying a mes-
sage of disrespect, objectification and degra*
You may think I am making.a big deal out
of nothing, but the woman next to you may
not. She may be identifying with this letter
even though she's never told anyone about her
body image/food issues and wondering what
she can do to get better. It's for these women,




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