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October 29, 1999 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1999-10-29

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4 - The Michigan Daily - Friday, October 29, 1999

U~fWtcbiu-a-n t

420 Maynard Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
daily.letters@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 ofthe
Daily s editorial board. All other articles, letters and cartoons do not necessarily reflect
the opinion of The Michigan Daily.

Examining your options
Third parties provide a valuable alternative

To haze or not to
verybodv seems to be makig a big
deal about hazing these days. You pick
up a newspaper and there's some headline
about "fraternity hazing" or "collegiate ath-
letes hazed" or some such malarkey.
So what? Big deal.
You would think
the protest-happy
would already have
their ballots full with
righteous save-the-
whales, save-the-
minorities, save-the-
c h uibby - co I leg e -
chicks indignance.
But it just isn't so.
Hazing, like many
other hallowed tradi-
tions, has come Branden
under fire and is now Sanz
threatened with
extinction in the
politically correct,
kinder and gentler
(translation: softer and weaker) '90s.
Well folks, I am here to Drop the
Hammer and set the record straight once
and for all. The question is not whether to
haze or not to haze. In fact, the question is
simply a matter of how much hazing is
ideal. Simply put: Hazing, in it's proper
place, is a good thing.
I can see the looks on your faces now.
Some of you are thinking that I am misin-
formed and don't know what the hell I'm
talking about. Others have no doubt decid-
ed that I've finally gone stark, raving, bat-
shit-crazy.
Let me assuage your fears. You see, gen-
tle reader. I am quite certain that no one -
I repeat: no one - on this campus is as
qualified to talk about hazing as I am. Prior
to beginning my tenure as a college student,

haze?

That is the question

I spent four years on both the giving and
receiv ing end of some very serious hazing
in the Army (mostly receiving the first two
years, mostly giving the last two). That's
right: day-in, day-out, 52 weeks a year for
four years.
This makes sense if you think about it.
The Army invented collegiate hazing. Ask
any of your frat-guv buddies and they can
tell you that hazing in college fraternities
did not become widespread in America
until the '40s. Why the '40s? Because the
'40's saw the end of WWII and the Gl's
coming back to college began to institute
hazing in their fraternities very similar to
what they endured in the military.
And I am not talking about somebody
making you drink 10 shots, run down the
street naked, then getting paddled on the ass
for some sort of initiation rite. I'm talking
about 30 guys who, bored and stuck on.an
aircraft carrier waiting to invade Haiti,
decide they want to screw with the new guy
and proceed to make you do pushups and
flutter kicks for hours until you pass out
from dehydration and need smelling salts
and an IV to revive you. I'm talking about
your squad leader coming home at 3 a.m.
drunk and pissed off that he didn't get laid
that night, getting you out of bed and mak-
ing you do wind-sprints with all your ther-
mal, arctic gear on. In the summer. In
Georgia. (Needless to say, I needed an IV
after that one as well. The ol 22-gauge nee-
dle and I became close friends that first
year).
And I still think hazing is a good thing?
Damn skippy. Why'? Because hazing
builds character. Nothing builds character
like hardship and adversity, and hazing is
merely a form of artificially created hard-
ship. No, I don't believe in hazing some-
one by physically beating them, but the

governing body of anv prixate organiza-*
tion has a right no, a duty to insure
that they only accept new members ofsuf-
ficient character
Some people sneeringly refer to the
Greek system as a way of "huyi ng friends.
Well, it is exactly these type of hazing-like
rituals which makes the Greek system
something more than buying friends. All
the members of a house have gone through
the same initiation. They pass the same tests0
and share the same memories.
To become a member of any society like
this (whether it be athletic or Greek) with-
out going through the rituals would be like
paying someone to do all your homework
and take all your tests in college. You may
come out with a degree, but anyone with
even a modicum of self-respect could not
help but be ashamed in the manner of it's
acquisition.
Let us look at this from a purely intel-
lectual point of view for second. How can
anyone honestly have an issue with haz-0
ing? These organizations are voluntary,
people. If the thought of subjecting your-
self to harsh treatment offends your deli-
cate sensibilities, here is a real simple
solution: don't join. Duh. This is not rock-
et science, folks. This is not like someone
sentencing you to prison to be gang-raped
here. You have to volunteer to get in and
you can quit any time. So what the hell is
the problem here?.
This is America, folks. We have freedom
of choice here. You can always quit, but if
you do have the intestinal fortitude to gut it
out, you have earned your wa. You are a
member of the club. Some may decide it's
not worth the sacrifice. Good for them. I
just don't want them in my club.
- Branden San: can he reached over
e-mail at hannniheadta umich. eda.
ENTAT ER SPA K\2

n today's political culture, many
Americans take forget this country is
not a two-party system. Americans almost
always vote either Democrat or
Republican, ignoring the diverse selec-
tion of parties available. Instead of only
looking at the two largest parties, voters
should make an effort to examine the full
spectrum of parties, and keep an open
mind to make the most informed choice.
Throughout our history, there have been
many powerful third parties. The
Republicans have only been around since
the Civil War era, coming into existence as
a fairly minor political coalition before tak-
ing the presidency under Lincoln.
Theodore Roosevelt, in addition to running
as a Republican, also started a third party,
known as the Bull Moose Party in honor of
its founder. In recent times, the most
prominent third party has been the Reform
party. Originally created by billionaire
Ross Perot after his independent run in
1992 - which captured almost 20 million
votes -- the Reform party leadership has
since been overtaken by Minnesota Gov.
Jesse Ventura and his allies.
There has been something of a back-
lash against the two-party system in
recent years from a variety of people.
Warren Beatty, who in addition to acting
has also been involved in many major
political campaigns, accused the two par-
ties of abandoning their traditional
right/left views by moving too close to
the center. Pat Buchanan, a strong con-
tender for the Reform Party's next presi-
dential bid, recently attacked the two
major parties as being 'two wings on the
same bird of prey.' If the two parties seem
too centrist, there are many third party
alternatives available that more closely
follow traditional conservative or liberal

views.
There are more than 50 parties in the
United States, with platforms ranging
from environmentalism to manifest des-
tiny, from fascism to socialism. Many of
these parties have yet to actually get a
candidate on a ballot, and instead serve as
vessels for issues that are generally dis-
missed by the major parties as being too
radical or extreme. For information about
most of the nation's current parties, take a
look at Politicsl on the World Wide Web,
located at http://wwv,.politicsI.corn/par-
ties.htm. This site contains a comprehen-
sive list of parties, with links to their
home pages and related resources.
Political diversity is vital to our
nation's survival. It brings fresh ideas and
people to what would otherwise be a stag-
nant field. Two parties alone cannot accu-
rately represent the views of every
American. At best, they can only hope to
gather a large number of loosely related
voters under their banner. With third
party alternatives available, Americans
need not settle for a broad view. Instead,
they can almost always find a party they
more closely identify with.
Voting for a third party may seem
futile; as things stand, there is very little
chance of most third parties winning
major offices. Voters must not adopt this
attitude. If a party represents your views,
regardless of whether it is a large or small
faction, then make yourself heard by vot-
ing for it. Even if your chosen party does
not win, the larger ones will take notice,
and may even adopt some of your parties'
planks if they decide that enough voters
are in support of them. Democracy as we
know it can only work if voters take the
time to examine their options and make
informed choices based on their findings.

THOMAS KULJURGIS

Renewable campus
Students should be more recycling conscious
very day, thousands of University cling bins.
students create recyclable waste. University recycling is so inconsistent
Cereal boxes, plastic soda bottles and that even the University recycling office
soup cans go out with the trash as unin- cannot distinguish what residence hall
formed and unequipped students overlook floors have recycling bins. The custodial
environmentally friendly alternatives. staff seems to have enough trouble sorting
While recycling information may not be through what is recyclable versus trash
prevalent on campus, students need to that they have little interest in further
know the options available to complicating the job by pro-

Recent football
losses should be
blamed on coaches
TO THE DAILY:
I thought Josh Kleinbaum's article
chronicling Michigan's collapse against
the Illini was right on target. 1, however,
think more blame should be laid to rest on
Michigan's coaching staff. The coaches
have only themselves to blame for the
losses to Michigan State and Illinois.
Lloyd Carr should revisit the dynamics
that created an undefeated National
Championship season. They were not
present the last two games. We posted
Josh's article on our Website because it
was insightful and accurate. Let's hope
insight and accuracy can prevail with the
Michigan coaches next week.
ARNOLD GONZALES JR.
UNIVERSITY ALUMNUS
Carr cannot rely on
running to win
TO THE DAILY:
After watching the second half perfor-
mance of the Michigan offensive unit, I'm
reminded of the quote by Lloyd Carr
before the game, We're going to run the
ball or die trying." Well, after Thomas
went out with a broken finger, we found
out what happens when we rely on the rest
of the backfield. When is Carr going to
realize that he doesn't have the personnel
this year to be a running team? Our
chances for the National Championship
and the Big Ten title are both gone. They
"died trying."
ALEX VAN DER KLEUT
RACKHAM STUDENT
Cellular phones
have practical uses
for many students
TO THE DAILY:
I'd like to respond to Emily Mulla's
letter ("Leave the cellular phones home,"

f .g
S y j

t ', £^
. (sL
,_
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III? V
} - .I

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10/13/99), by pointing out that cell
phones are not mere toys for a large group
of people on campus, including myself.
My cell phone is my only phone, liter-
ally. Like most students, I don't live in
University Housing or sit behind a desk at
work, and can't be reached over a campus
phone.
When you factor in caller ID, voice
mail and the fact that I'm not on the
phone for three solid hours a month, it's
ends up being cheaper than a regular
phone.
Not to mention the fact that I have two
jobs (and the classes they pay for) which
keep me buzzing around campus from 9
a.m. to around II p.m. six days a week.
With that schedule, which I share with
many around here, a phone in my home
wouldn't do me much good at all. Most of
my friends would be studying, partying or
working by the time I'd manage to call
them back.
With my cell phone handy, I'm almost
always reachable by my co-workers,
friends and classmates. I can call ahead to
sav I'll be late or change plans without
dashing to the nearest payphone. It
enables me to'stay one step ahead, and
keeps me from missing opportunities and
good times. Since I've had it, I've been in
closer contact with the people I care
about.
I agree that a lot of people use them
purely as status symbols, and love to
show them off in inappropriate places.
Many people are impolite, some people
are just idiots - that's life. But when you
pass me or my friends in mid-yak on the
diag, odds are we're not trying to look
important or cool - we're trying to save

time, money and aggravation.
NICK FARR
LSA SENIOR
'The Victors' ought
to be replaced with
'Axel F
TO THE DAILY:
I know that Michigan is a great
University deep with many great traditions.
One of those great traditions is the fight
song, 'The Victors.' However, over the pasta
few years I have heard the marching band
strike up this famous tune countless times
and frankly I am getting a bit tired of it. I
think it is time the University selects a new
fight song to replace 'The Victors' for the
new millennium.
I think a great new fight song would be
'Axel F,' the theme song from the movie
'Beverly Hills Cop.' The song has a catch.
beat and would get all the Michigan fans out
of their seats after every touchdown, field
goal or extra point. (What if they go for 2?)
The song would also require the marching
band to expand its roster and include a few
synthesizer players, something no other
marching band in the country has done.
I realize this idea might not fly with
some of the traditionalists initially, but
believe me, after a few years, everyone will
be grateful.
MICHAEL KRAUTNER
RACKHAM STUDENT

them and should take an
active role in preserving the
environment.

America' s
Recycle Week

Students should use
America's Recycle Week on
Nov. 8-15 to educate them-
selves about steps they can
take to better conserve mate-
rials. Last year, more than 2 Nov. 8-1
million Americans partici-
pated in 4,143 events nation-
wide. That is a 180-percent increase over
the participation level in 1997. To get stu-
dents involved with this campaign on
campus, the student environmental group
ENACT has come up with a series of
informative awareness activities for the
week.
ENACT will teach students in resi-
dence halls, Greek houses and co-ops how
and why to recycle. This is an important
task, because so many University students
are misinformed about or ignore on-cam-
pus recycling. One of the University's
major recycling initiatives is the require-
ment that each residence hall room have a
recycling bin. But many rooms lack recy-

viding more facility recycling
bins.
"Student lack of demand
for recycling services and
improper use of recycling on
campus has made it very hard
for the recycling movement to
get underway," ENACT
President Jessica Mendelo
said.

L5, 1999

In making the effort to sort
out recyclable items, University students
and staff can make the recycling process
much easier for the custodial staff.
Students should advocate increasing
the number of recycling bins and increas-
ing the visibility of recycling locations.
Begin helping out by becoming involved
with America's Recycle Week. Help sort
trash from recyclables, contact businesses
to mark products in their store that contain
recycled material and participate in the
week-long Coke bottle send back project,
demanding that Coke live up to its promise
of using recycled plastic in their pop bot-
tles. Even the smallest effort can help to
make a great difference.

'U' should sign onto the Worker Rights Consortium

Last spring, the University made a
commitment to uphold and work to
improve workers' rights around the
world.
Last spring, after months of negotia-
tions with students and a 51-hour sit-in at
University President Lee Bollinger's
office, the University released its human
rights/anti-sweatshop policy. This was
perceived as a valid first step in support-
ing the struggles and rights of the work-
ers who make our University T-shirts.

empowered to report employer violations
of the code of conduct. Worker-allied
groups in these regions will verify these
complaints and help to educate workers
of their rights. In regions in which work-
ers' and human rights are particularly
repressed, pro-active investigations will
be conducted by local, independent
NGOs and human rights organizations.
Companies will be required to publicly
disclose wages, working hours and health
and safety conditions, as well as the

in collaboration with workers and allies
in Central America and Asia.
The University claims that it needs
time to explore all of its options. The
University has told us that it will take si*
months of waiting and stalling before a
decision can be made. This is entirely
unacceptable. Our administration recent-
ly decided - in a matter weeks - to
take part in a corporate-controlled moni-
toring research project, run by the audit-
ing firm, PricewaterhouseCoopers. One

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