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September 15, 1999 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1999-09-15

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4 - The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, September 15, 1999

Cbe Sidligwn DilQg

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 ofthe majority of the
Daily's editorial board. All other articles, letters and cartoons do not necessarily reflect
the opinion of The Michigan Daily.

Emty ebat
Lack of student on regent board hurts 'U'

Questioning and
This week. I'm going to pick on Jews
and Muslims. The continuation of
last week's argument has been pre-empt-
ed for a topic of greater urgency. Jews
and Muslims. people. What is it with
these Orthodox Jews
and devout
Muslims:? These are
two groups of peo-
ple who hold a set of
beliefs so strongly
that American soci-
etal pressures do not
have any effects onl
their behaviors. Am
I wrong? No matter
what is said to them,
no matter what peo-
ple do. no matter Mike
how much you Lopez
berate them for their
beliefs, they keep c
going. Why you t '
gotta wear that
funny hat? What's with the kneeling all
the time? It doesn't phase them. Although
I may not agree with their theology. I
have great respect for them and the
incredible dedication they have to their
beliefs. Why do you think their will is
strong enough to go against the grain like
that? Is it because we are all tolerant indi-
viduals? I don't think so. I think it is
because their society has forced them to
ask the questions that need to be asked to
find the transcendent truths that our spir-
its instinctually search out.
Once found, those truths are their
guide. When was the last time that you
followed your religious or philosophical
beliefs to the point that you began to
openly move against good ol'
Americanism? It seems to me that this

defending religion
whole religion topic has turned into
taboo. Whenever the topic of religion
comes up in the media or public, it is all
anyone can do to keep from stepping on a
toe or two. You know what I say? I say go
ahead and kick my shins with steel toed
boots. Hit me with everything you've got.
People these days have a "don't
impose your beliefs on me" attitude. I'm
not arguing about abortion or anything
like that. Maybe that's where it started,
but now the mindset has been drawn out
to everyday speech.
We are taught that we rnust tolerate
everyone else's religious or philosophical
position so much so that we cannot say
anything that might offend anyone else's
beliefs. How weak must your beliefs be to
be affected by a mere human's nasty com-
ments?
One year ago, I had the good fortune
to enter into a conversation about religion
with two intelligent graduate students. I
shared my theistic beliefs, which were
dismissed summarily by my atheist room-
mate. The interesting part was that before
I could get a word in edgewise, the third
person in our conversation got on the
atheist's case.
She told him that he couldn't say such
things about my religion because it was
disrespectful of my beliefs. "You've got
to respect his beliefs." Maybe she thought
she was coming to my defense, but I only
saw her argument as a conversation killer.
He doesn't have to respect my beliefs. He
can say whatever he wants. If you hold a
belief as absolutely true, then how can a
person's comment change your belief?
Let's say that God is as real as my father.
A statement denying the existence of
God is similar to a statement denying the
existence of my father. What do you say

is necessary
to a person who say s that your father has
never existed? Are your feelings hurt?
Are you offended? I don't think so. If you
are, then maybe it is not their problem tor
offending you, but yours for being
offended.
The growing taboo against talking
about matters of ultimate concern will
only lead to a stale spiritual growth. If
you do not talk about your beliefs, then
you will not question them. As a result,
you will have no chance to grow stronger
in your beliefs or to find beliefs that more
fully represent the truth. Let us say that
you enter into a conversation with some-
one who has a good point and actually
converts you to his or her belief. If you
now see how they are right, have you lost
anything? No, you've gained. That is why
I ask you to lay it on me. Try to convince
me.

0

he idea of having a student regent on the
University Board of Regents is not new.
It is decades old, but only in recent years
have students taken such firm action in see-
ing it become a reality.
In 1998, the Michigan State Assembly
tried increasing student fees by $4 per
semester. That effort was an attempt to pro-
vide the funds needed to promote a constitu-
tional change on the statewide ballot, a nec-
essary step towards appointing a student
regent. The current state constitution restricts
the University from having a seat on the
board reserved for a student. Unfortunately,
the Board of Regents rejected this idea of
fund-raising, even though it was a popular
idea among students.
Being the only public university in the
Big Ten without a student regent, the
University's disadvantages are apparent.
Because other schools have this critical link
between students and administrators, stu-
dents are more involved in the administrative
processes that affect them directly. This
involvement encompasses opportunities
such as exchanging ideas with regents,
awareness of the inner workings of the
University and having more contact with
state officials such as the governor and state
legislators.
Additionally, a student serving on the
board of regents would also motivate other
students and organizations to turn their goals
into reality. Often, administrators can be
intimidating to students, and having some-
one on the same level to correspond with can

be a very helpful way to interchange ideas.
For other schools, the consequent bene-
fits have translated into lower tuition and
inreased funding from state officials, not to
mention a student voice at every meeting
behind closed doors.
Although MSA has put funding on hold
since March, this does not mean students
cannot pursue other avenues of influence to
fight for a student regent. Lobbying the
Legislature directly and raising awareness of
the issue is always a promising way to get a
message across. In fact, last year Gov. John
Engler's office released poll results showing
that 73 percent of Michigan voters would
support a student regent ballot proposal. In
the past, MSA has succeeded in acquiring
sponsorship of a bill to place the issue on
ballot from a state representative.
It is important that University students do
not give up hope. With so much at stake and
such a wide range of support from students
and Michigan citizens alike, now is the time
to get active. As the University continues its
mission to grow and improve, each year that
passes, is one without student interest at the
forefront of change as long as there is no stu-
dent regent.
With the focus of the student body, dili-
gence and perseverance, the goal of obtain-
ing a student regent surely can materialize. It
is crucial for student government to keep
faith in the cause and continually challenge
University administrators and state officials
to maximize student voice in the decision-
making process.

Try to make me believe in your way.
I'll try to make you see my side of it and
after the conversation, I can guarantee
that both of us will be better people
because of it. Addressing core concerns
in this manner will certainly help you
grow in your spiritual development. How
can it not?
Whether or not you decide to be athe-
ist, deist. Christian. Muslim. Jewish,
Hindu, Buddhist, wiccan, or whatever..
any and all questioning you engage in
concerning such beliefs can only be good
for all parties involved. So, stop the reli-
gious silence. Defend your belief.
Humbly share your religious persuasion.
You don't have to become a proselytizer.
Just stick up for what is supposed to mat-
ter most.
Next week: Episode II1.
- Mike Lope: can be reached via
e-mail at manatlarge umich.edii.

'T'.HOMAS ILLIJGis I~~l*Y~~v\

'U' radio station
needs complete
makeover

Giving and receiving
Volunteering benefits students, community

etween jobs, classes and meeting new
people, it is difficult for University stu-
dents to find time for much else.
Volunteering can be rewarding in many
ways. By volunteering, students can gain
work experience, learn valuable skills and
make new friends.
In addition to work experience, volun-
teerism offers the chance to have fun and
socialize. Volunteerism attracts people from
all walks of campus life. You get to have fun
with your friends, help other people, feel
good about yourself and get experience to
put on your resume. It can also help you
explore possible career options and narrow
your career interests.
There are so many different volunteer
opportunities that one is sure to excite you
or help you to explore your career inter-
ests. Some people are interested in reliv-
ing their childhood and helping children
by becoming a big brother or sister to a
child, volunteering at a child care program
or going to schools and teaching children
how to read. Some people want to help
those in need by working in a shelter for
the homeless or with women who have
experienced domestic violence.
There are no limits on ways that you can
serve your community. Project Serve offers
alternative weekends where students may,
for example, spend a weekend at a camp
working with disabled children. Project
Serve's immensely popular Alternative
Spring Break programs offer students oppor-

tunities to not only contribute to a new com-
munity but travel to a different region of the
country. Other options include fundraisers
such as the Dance Marathon, which raises
thousands of dollars in one evening for chil-
dren's causes.
Besides the personal and professional
rewards volunteering yields, there is an
added attraction for students. Students can
receive up to six credits for participating in
volunteer projects. Project Community, start-
ed by the sociology department, has exten-
sive course offerings through the University
in the areas of education, criminal justice,
health, mental health and social change.
A good place to start matching your inter-
ests with an exciting volunteer opportunity is
with the University's Center for Community
Service and Learning, located on the corner
of East University St. and Hill St. This build-
ing also houses Project Serve, a great
resource to provide you with the many vol-
unteer opportunities all throughout the Ann
Arbor area.
Websites also offer free volunteer match-
ing service. By answering an interest survey,
you can be matched with a listing of pro-
grams and agencies that would be the best
match for you. Some of the listings even pro-
vide feedback of experiences from current
volunteers. This service has over 300 agen-
cies listed, so you're sure to find a great
match. These sources are a wealth of infor-
mation that will help you get involved and
have fun.

To THE DAILY:
I am writing concerning that pitiful excuse
for a college radio station, Ann Arbor's own
WCBN-88.3 FM. The free form ideal so
championed by the station is precisely the rea-
son why it is so awful and counter-productive.
Ideally. a good college radio station should
use its facilities to support both the indepen-
dent and local music scenes. But there is a
good deal of quality rock and hip-hop music
that people are interested in. yet is not popular
enough to make the playlists of corporate
radio stations and/or MTV. This territory
should be embraced by WCBN, rather than
obscure jazz, rockabilly and God knows what
else.
In the past couple years. Ann Arbor has
witnessed the closing of two quality indepen-
dent record stores: Wherehouse and
Schoolkids Indie. In addition, turn out for gigs
by local bands has been pitifully low. It is not
a stretch to say that 88.3's absurd on air pro-
gramming bears some of the responsibility for
such occurrences. My proposal is to either
restructure the radio station with set playlists
encompassing independent/local rap and hip-
hop, or to shut the station down. Why should
Ann Arbor's independent musical community
suffer, just so a handful of people can be
allowed to show absolutely no self-restraint?
MIKE KEGLER
LSA SENIOR
'True' Michigan
fans always stand
by football team
TO THE DAILY:
Two games, two wins and a handful of
dreams. Could it be that only two years after
winning their first National Championship,
the Michigan Wolverines are on their way to
winning another?) A true Michigan fan knows
better than to buy the T-shirts and hats yet, as
throughout history this team has been known
to break the hearts of little Wolverines all over
the world.
But a true Michigan fan also knows that
this usually happens in the first two games
of the season. So are we at the point where
there is clear sailing ahead - or is this boat
made out of concrete and sure to sink? But
wait - isn't this the school that prides itself
on their concrete boat? Isn't this the school
whose air of confidence can be smelled half
way around the world? Isn't this the school
that is home to the "Leaders and Best?" Yes,
yes it is, but "time out" there are only "six
seconds left" to this story and we all know
the sweet taste of victory and be taken from
our mouths before getting the chance to par-
take.
But, stand up Michigan and show your
colors proudly - then drop to your knees
and pray. But no "Hail Marys" please and no

Daily quoted a University spokesperson
as saying that "acts of hatred have no
place at our University." While I agree
whole-heartedly and am disgusted with
those who harbor feelings of hatred
against any racialor ethnic group, let us
remember that simply drawing, creating
or wearing a graphical symbol that may
have been adopted and perverted by hate-
ful people is in itself not a crime.

WE EEN IN T1t$ MLI4H LIVE I 961, AFTEPTef146 To GET'
roR HOuR$3 Just WATNG TO BE BOOKS AT SMAM-A tDRU.M, TN Is
GOU&E~MAOW CA Y 'OU $STAND R'? 15 A PIECE G' A,4E.
o 9
- r

"A Profile of the Palestinian People," by
Edward Said, Ibrahim Abu-Lughod, Janet
Abu-Lughod, Muhammad Hallaj and Elia
Zureik.)
WLL YOUMANs
LSA SENIOR
Nuclear reactor

Reader: Isr
'guilty' of '
cleansing'
TO THE DAILY:
In the Daily's Sept.
for Palestinians Opens
Michael Gold made the
use of the words "ethni
protesters to descrit
towards therPalestinian
ic." That criticism is
saying that there was r
of the Native Americas
of theUnited States.
t The goal of ethni
change the ethnic fac
graphic entity. In this
of Israel and the occ
was achieved througi
imperialism by the Z
through official Israeli
In the '30s and '4t
the endorsement of
leaders. It was quite un
rebuffed the Zionist
wisdom that "you w,
Arab majority into a m
ceeded in doing
Palestinians live outsid
ically known as Palest
The state of Israel cc
Palestinian homes (bus
ble-to-obtain "license
camps, militarily occu
and build settlements
populations. These all

TIMOTHY MAUN source of damage
SCHOOL OF MUSIC sou r e
not pride
rael To THE DAILY:
ethn i Itt is a shame that the public still posits
c that nuclear energy and related research
are positive and beneficial for modern
society, as in the Daily's Sept. 12th article,
"'U' Reactor Prepares for 50th
Anniversary." Nothing could be further
10 article, "Rally from the truth.
Floor for Debate," Nuclear energy was first heralded as
e comment that the the future of our nation's energy source by
c cleansing" by the being both the most efficient and cheapest. 0
be Israeli policy In fact, the opposite is true.
ns was "problemat- Nuclear disasters including Three Mile
about as naive as Island and Chernobyl as well as a reactor's
no ethnic cleansing day to day activity has resulted in hundreds
ns in the formation of thousands of human casualties. These
have included birth defects, cancers, and
is cleansing is to death. Our environment has also suffered
e of a given geo- from exposure to radiation through conta-
case, it is the land minated water, air, soils, and wildlife.
upied territories. It Yet politicians, scientists and business-
h colonialism and es continually attempt to highlight the
ionists ans, finally, safety and cost-effectiveness of the indus-
i policy. try. In fact, the radioactive materials that
Os, Zionists sought result from such production, including
Asian nationalist spent fuel rods and reactor cores, costs tax-
isuccessful. Gandhi payers billions of dollars annually for their
emissary with the on-site storage.
ant to convert the Furthermore, Congressional proposals
inority." Israel suc- for a single storage facility are an ever-pre-
just that. More sent danger. These officials seek to ship
se of what is histor- radioactive waste through local communi-
me than withint ties nationwide by flatbed trucks to sites9
ontinues to demolish like Yucca Mountain, Nevada that have
ilt without impossi- been proven geologically unstable.
), attack refugee Such "solutions" while profiting a few
ipy Palestinian areas are seeking disaster by jeopardizing the
within Palestinian public and environment's health both now
Iwork to disperse, and for thousands of years to come. Any
wo r Pthdhonor given to our University reactor's

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