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December 13, 1999 - Image 6

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The Michigan Daily, 1999-12-13

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4A - The Michigan Daily - Monday, December 13, 1999

Sirbigun ~ai1g

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

HEATHER KAMINS
Editor in Chief
JEFFREY KOSSEFF
DAVID WALLACE
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.

LOing ahead
Next century's issues face the University now

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Never send an academic to do a normal person' job
N arrator: Although ITD's computers puters. What if a student on financial aid has a with Power Point.
avoided any direct Y2K problems, the paper due and can't write it? Prof, Wallace: I hooked up my home com-
environmental control system in the login Prof Thomas: I agree with Miller. The puter.
servers' building wasn't so lucky. The temper- University must commit itself to providing Prof Jones: I use a Mac!
ature inside the building rose over the first services to underprivileged students. What Gates: Not to be rude. but why are you five
weekend of the new other issues are we facing with this computer taking charge of this then?
year, prompting a fire. breakdown? How does everyone ... Prof Wallace (clicking her tongue): Well.
The ITD login servers Jenkins: I don't mean to interrupt, but I we're all intelligent people. 1 mean, we all have
all overheated, sending think we might be overana .... Ph.D.s, don't we?
power surges through- Prof Wallace: I'm sorry, you weren't on the Prof Jones: Really, I mean how hard can it
out the University's speakers list. be? Besides, there's no one else available nowW
network that over- Jenkins: The what? The weight of the whole University rests on
loaded the majority of .¬į Prof Wallace: The speakers list. If you want our shoulders.
computers on campus. to speak, you should raise your hand and get Prof Wallace: Well, I guess that about raps
Unfortunately, most on the speakers list. Go ahead, Prof. Thomas. it up, doesn't it? Let's adjourn.
ITD technicians were Prof. Thomas (smugly): As I was saying, Jenkins (exasperated): What? We haven't
out of town at a Star what other issues are raised? I think we should even begun to look at possible ..
Trek convention in spend some time determining which segments Prof Wallace: Speakers list.
Fresno, Calif Jack of the University community are going to be Jenkins: What?
Thinking they could Schillaci disproportionately harmed by this fire. Prof Wallace: The speakers list. You forgot
handle the situation, Prof. Wallace: I agree. Perhaps we could to get on the speakers list. I let it slide the past
five LSA faculty form a subcommittee to study these problems couple of times for you guys since you're obvi-
members decided to trhte t and they could write a mission statement. Ooh, ously new to the concept, but I really can't this
form the Ad-Hoc and then we could make a Webpage. time because the speakers list is now closed
Committee on Emergency Computer Repairs. Jenkins: Well, if the IFS servers are down, since we're adjourned.
The committee is holding a meeting on Jan. 3, how are you going to make a webpage? Jenkins: But we never proposed any possi-
2000, to consider the University's options. Prof Wallace: That's a good point. Let's also ble solutions to the computer prob ..
Prof. Sheila Wallace, chair of the committee, refer it to the subcommittee. I think these Prof. Sanchez (laughing): Well we can't
invited two technicians, John Gates and Steve issues could be best resolved in a separate exactly solve the problems until we figure out
Jenkins, to consult. meeting. OK, all those in favor of forming this what they are, can we? Once the subcommit-
Prof. Wallace: OK, let's get down to busi- subcommittee. (All the professors' hands tee makes its recommendations, we'll get to
ness. Would anyone like to make any motions? shoot up.) work on formulating strategies.
Gates: Well, I don't know about making any Prof. Jones: You know, this reminds me of Prof Wallace: Don't worry, we'll call you*
motions, but I think we should think of a quick "The Old Man and the Sea" - man pitted when the subcommittee makes its report.
way to get the servers back up so that e-mail against nature. It's classic. Narrator: Like the well-oiled machine that it
isn't interrupted for too long. Prof Sanchez: Yes, I also see a connection is, academia showed itself to be able to tackle
Prof. Wallace: That's a good idea. Everyone with psychology. It's almost as if the comput- any problem by dealing with the computer
pull out a pad and take notes. Let's brainstorm. ers have been subconsciously willing them- failures expeditiously. After the ITD staffers
Prof. Jones (raising his hand): I think the selves to get back at us and the Y2K bug was returned, they joined forces with the Ad Hoc
biggest problem we'll have to deal with is fail- their big chance. It's very Freudian in a way. committee. Within three weeks, with the small
ure of the e-mail system. Gates: Um, what kind of experience do you exceptions of Angell Hall computers, it was as
Prof. Miller: I disagree. I think that we guys have with computers? if nothing had happened.
should first address the lack of available com- Prof. Sanchez: I outline all of my lectures -Jack Schillaci can't be reached.

A sense of closure, due to finals week, the
end of the semester and the end of the
decade, pervades the campus. Review is a
common theme: of notes, homework, events
and our lives during the past 10 years. But on
the eve of a new century, we choose to look
ahead at the issues facing the University and
its students in the year 2000 and beyond.
The struggle to preserve affirmative action
remains far from over. If the current schedule
holds, and that's a big "if," the lawsuits seek-
ing to remove affirmative action from the
University admissions process should go to
trial shortly before students return for the Fall
2000 semester. The LSA lawsuit should begin
in July or August, while the Law School's trial
commences on Aug. 28, 2000.
Affirmative action remains the best way to
preserve diversity on campus. While many
would like to believe otherwise, a consider-
able gap still exists between opportunities for
minorities compared to the doors open for
whites. The University's admissions process
works to counter inequities and select students
likely to succeed in a demanding academic
environment. The system works well; the
University stands as one of the world's pre-
mier institutions of higher learning in part
because of its outstanding student body. If the
University loses the lawsuits, it should imple-
ment alternative methods to ensure a diverse
group of students.
The University continues to face meddling
from other sources. In past years, the
University's status as a "state university" has
come to question. One third of its students hail
from outside Michigan, and this angered
many legislators. They decreased its state
appropriations hikes relative to those of other
state universities. Now state appropriations
only comprise about 8 percent of the
University's total budget. Do we still attend a
state university?
Yes. And fortunately, it's independent from
the state government, as its governing board is
elected. But one of the University's greatest
struggles over the next century will be finding
other sources of funding while increasing aca-
demic excellence.
Combined with costs that exceed inflation,
the University became more dependent on
tuition revenue and less on appropriations.
Unfortunately, we feel it depends too much on
tuition, as high rates severely restrict access to
the University for most people. And financial
aid has moved from a grant-based system to
one that mostly offers loans.
The University is in a tight spot. It doesn't
want to - and should not - compromise
academic quality. But it also must continue its
mission to provide education to everyone,
regardless of financial need.
To accomplish both goals, the University
must continue aggressively lobbying the fed-
eral government for better .financial aid pro-
grams. The Republican Congress continues to
hack away funds from important financial aid
initiatives, like work study. Universities
nationwide must build on their strong lobby-
ing campaigns to force all legislators to under-
stand the importance of equal access to acad-
emia. As students are a part of this process,
they also should lobby their legislators.
The lack of state funds also forced the
University to turn to strong fund-raising ini-
tiatives. The five-year Campaign for

Michigan mobilized more than 250,000 peo-
ple to donate $1.4 billion. These types of
efforts are contingent on student satisfaction,
because they are the future donors. So quality
education and the University's financial suc-
cess go hand-in-hand; they don't work against
each other. Naming schools after famous
alumni should be done cautiously, but it could

staying at the technological forefront - but it
cannot do so at the cost of its most cherished
academic values. The conflict between tech-
nology and tradition manifested itself this year
when the psychology department decided to
broadcast Psychology 111 lectures over
closed-circuit television. Some may view this
as an astute move to cope with overcrowding,
but it detracts from the generally positive per-
ception of undergraduate studies at the
University. Technology should not excuse a
poor allocation of resources.
Moving away from the classroom, like
Psychology 111 students; despite constant
efforts to improve a reckless, hard-partying
image with self-imposed alcohol regulations,
the Greek system can't escape bad press.
Recent events span the tawdry - the closing
or suspension of chapters for drinking viola-
tions - to the tragic, such as the 1998 death
of LSA first-year student Courtney Cantor.
Cantor fell from her residence hall window
after drinking at a fraternity party.
Just last week, the events reached a humil-
iating level: A fraternity pledge was shot
point-blank in the groin with a BB gun during
a hazing ritual. Hazing is a barbaric practice
and a major flaw in the Greek system. No
claim of dry chapters or Greek Week charity
fund-raising overshadow the horrific irre-
sponsibility demonstrated in just a few isolat-
ed incidents. Tradition or not, the Greek com-
munity must leave archaic practices and atti-
tudes behind in the 20th Century.
In all likelihood, the judicial system will
determine the fate of fraternity members
involved in the recent hazing; unfortunately,
the University will probably seek its own jus-
tice through the Code of Student Conduct.
The Code subjects students to a form of dou-
ble jeopardy, facing punishments from the
judicial system and the University for the
same infraction. The University should not
attempt to regulate student behavior in non-
academic arenas. Revising the Code is not
enough - University President Lee Bollinger
should abolish it. More students must actively
speak out against the Code to spur such an
action.
We hope to see students increase their par-
ticipation in the political process as well.
Known for traditionally dismal voter turnout,
students must mobilize en masse to make the
nation's young voices heard. While the num-
ber of voters should receive a boost next year
due to the presidential election, students need
to realize the importance of voting at all levels
of government. State and local elections affect
students as much as national elections, and
some might argue they carry more of a direct
impact.
The recent record-setting turnout for fall
MSA elections and the bold efforts of a few
University students to run in local elections
are encouraging signs. Twenty percent of stu-
dents went to the polls last month, and while
this number remained far below the ideal, it
still showed a significant increase from the
pathetic 10 percent turnout of a year ago.
Furthermore, University graduate student
Charles Goodman ran for city council and
LSA senior Jeff Irwin won election to the
Washtenaw County Commission. They exem-
plify the strong political involvement students
should emulate in the next century.
At a University as involved in sports as

ours, one must acknowledge a proud event in
its rich history looms. Early in the next centu-
ry, the first national championship for a
Michigan women's team appears inevitable.
Less than a month ago, the Michigan field
hockey team narrowly missed that honor to
cap its magical season, losing 2-1 to Maryland
in the NCAA Championship game. The

THOMAS KULJURGIS

£ENTATINYTELY PEAKING

Online notes
companies lack
accountability
TO THE DAILY:
A recent editorial in The Michigan Daily
betrayed many of the misunderstandings
concerning online notes companies and the
severe damage they inflict upon.our educa-
tion ("www.don'tskipclass.com" 12 8/99).
Everybody has a right to free speech but
nobody has the right to interfere with the
hard work of others. Professors, like all other
teachers, do not just engage in free speech
but in a carefully planned instruction of spe-
cific ideas and skills in a manner they judge
beneficial to the particular goals of educa-
tion to teach. students. A classroom is most
definitely not a public forum for the free dis-
tribution of ideas in which just anybody can
participate. On the contrary students expect
their teachers to be qualified, skilled and
responsible.
Responsibility and accountability in
teaching are the primary reasons why online
notes companies such as Versitycom repre-
sent such a terrible menace. They interfere in
the relationship between students and teach-
ers in a manner that is totally uncontrolled
and guided by no other concern than mone-
tary profit. It is astonishing to hear that teach-
ers can cooperate with these companiestwhen
we never asked for any such interference in
the first place. I wonder if students (and
teachers) realize the terrible price we will pay
for relinquishing our responsibility and
accountability to a private company outside
the protective guidelines of our colleges and
universities.
Copyright laws are definitely not our pri-
ority - they are merely a tool with which we
can defend and protect our number one prior-
ity - to provide top-quality education in an
environment of respect and dignity, unhin-
dered by commercial motives. This matter has
nothing to do with the use of Internet
resources (which I and many of my colleagues
rely upon very heavily), but has everything to
do with the control of those resources. There
is a world of difference between my own
Internet postings about a class I teach and a
private company doing this without my
knowledge and against my wishes.
I encourage students and fellow teachers
to think seriously about these issues. I have set
up a Website with lots of information that may
be helpful: http://www.sa.purdue.edu/peo-
ple/soc/mdeflem/education.htm
MATHIEU DEFLEM
PURDUE UNIVERSITY FACULTY
Hanukkah article
presented historical
inaccuracies
To THE DAILY:
In the article on Hanukkah ("Hanukkah
marks 'rebirth of light"' 12/3/99), some curi-
ous misprints occurred. "The 2nd century

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continuously and mercilessly exposed in my
courses to new findings and theories that
require them to look with new eyes at the data
of their tradition. In this case, I am glad to
reassure them that neither archaeological nor
historical discovery has recently occurred to
justify such a dramatic change in our under-
standing of the chronological framework in
which the feast of Hanukkah originated.
GABRIELE BOCCACCINI
UNIVERSITY FACULTY
Falling minority
enrollment is not
the fault of the 'U'
TO THE DAILY:
I find it interesting that because under-
represented minorities' enrollment and
graduation rates are dropping, the Defend
Affirmative Action Party is looking to
blame the University. In the case of enroll-
ment, for God sakes - admissions lowers
the academic requirements and makes it
far easier for minority students to be
accepted to the University than their white
counterpoints, and still that is not enough.
They have the nerve to complain the
University isn't going out into the com-
munity and begging less-qualified stu-
dents to apply.
With regards to the lower graduation
rates: What did you think would happen?
You allow students in who do not meet
minimum grade and standardized .test
requirements in high school, and are
shocked when not as many graduate. Then
you have the nerve to spend $200,000 on
trying to keep them in school. I've said it
before, I'll say it again. You want to fix the
problem? Fix the Detroit Public Schools.
Lower the drop out rate that is now hover-
ing at 75 percent. If only one in four kids
is graduating from high school, how is let-
ting 10 percent of those students into the
University going to help the community?
Especially when only 64 percent grad-
uate for the University ... The fact is, there
is no one to blame for this; this is what
happens when you make race a criteria for
admissions. Maybe we should have a

Diversity is critical
to 'U' experience
TO THE DAILY:
The gaping inconsistencies and false
statements Scott Bullock made are coun-
terproductive to the overall progress of the
University community ("'U' does not need,
to recruit minorities" 12/8/99). Bullock
begins with what was a totally irrelevant
anecdote of an apparently offensive expe- -
rience he had. Bullock says someone he
nodded to "dismissed his presence" an,
went "back to conversation." Oh, and by
the way, that same guy started speaking a
language that Bullock "didn't know negat-
ing (Bullock) as a person." I didn't realize
that not saying "hi" to someone could be
that profound an insult. Bullock then goes
on to criticize the seemingly unfair double
standards of social and racial issues that
are again irrelevant to any constructive
argument about this campus's future. He
dismisses and ridicules the University*
initiative to increase underrepresented
minorities as creating some monolithic
"black squad" or "latino squad."
. Dispersed among his stories of injustice
are fundamentally alarming statements.
Bullock says that "in this diverse' environ-
ment, people cry wolf and sue if there is
prejudice against minorities." It is both igno-
rant and offensive of Bullock to suggest that
claims of racism against minorities are false
and trivial. Tell that to students of color whh
get racist threats on their doors, to thos
same students who are harassed by the
police or to those students who have over-
come the prejudices and achieved at this
University. Instances of prejudice against all
minorities permeate this campus and our
society. Dismissing them as lies can only.k
serve to cloud the truth. Bullock also states
that "In truth, nobody really cares about
diversity here." What truth? His truth, per-
haps, which I must emphatically tell youa
is simply untrue. Diversity is the single most
important element of this school that allows
us to think in different ways, to hear differ-
ent opinions, to have different experiences,
to meet different people. Unfortunately,
many people at this University do not take
advantage of these privileges and criticize

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