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September 28, 1999 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1999-09-28

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4 - The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, September 28, 1999

cie £rbtiguu &ig

Take me out to the ballgame, take me out with the crowd.

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

HEATHER KAM1INS
Editor in Chief
JEFFREY KOSSEFF
DAVID WALLACE
Editorial Page Editors

Unless otherwise noted, unsigned editorials reflect the opinion of the majority of the
Dailv's editorial board. All other articles, letters and cartoons do not necessarily reflect
the opinion of The Michigan Daily.

Branch out

Students often ignore campus diversity

L ast night completed a season of last
nights spent at Tiger Stadium. Sure, the
last fans got to turn out the lights. but I doubt
it held more meaning than anyone else's last
game spent at the park.
I made my last
visit three nights ago,
to see the double-
decked washtub one
last time. I went to
plenty of games this ?
year, but always with'
the mentality that I
could go once more,
to actually say good-
bye.
So my dad and I
got bleacher tickets
and went downtown David
late Saturday after- - Wallace
noon. I thought ofjE 3
going myself, or with y
friends, but no. Father
and son at the ball-
park.
We sat in the front row, dead center, behind
the wire fence keeping anyone having too
much to drink in the stands. I watched the
game through diamonds of intersecting wire
links. It was the deepest centerfield all right.
the center fielders stood at least 100 feet clos-
er to home plate throughout the game.
Listening to the crowd, most voices spoke
of Tiger Stadium memories: first games with
fathers, grandfathers or uncles. Reminiscences
of school trips and days for safeties. I asked
my dad about his memories of the park, and he
obliged. For some reason. I never asked him
about his first visit to Tiger Stadium until our
last. The time and place weren't right.
I have plenty of good memories of the park.
but my baseball memories recall Tiger
Stadium in the distance, behind the neighbor-
hood games of kids all dreaming of playing
there.
When I was young. the group of kids in the
neighborhood played baseball until the street-

lights came on \e rarely kept traiCk of
innings: we just phlyed until we had to stop.
The streetlights snaled the end: our moth-
ers-forces we could not control-- called us
in, and we had to go. The streetlights snapped
reality to us made our longing hearts come in
dragging bats and gloves.
Everyday during summer. myself and the
guys woke up early to play our first games in
shoes whose toes turned a darker color run-
ning through the dew morning grass. We
went home only to eat, then back to the game,
to a continuation or a new one.
The games made a grand spectacle of mak-
ing due. Frisbees subbed for bases.
Sometimes a tree or a porch filled inat third.
We created the field from backyards running
together. We set the homerun mark an
unheard of three-and-a-half lots straightaway.
It was not the roof in Tiger Stadium s right-
field. No one ever cleared it.
The games taught us a variety of baseball
skills. We dropped extra base hits into flower-
pots and planter boxes. We learned to play the
carom off the aluminum siding. A runner on
second might slide the base closer to third
with no one watching, to score on a single. All
underemployed strategies at the major league
level.
Roofs were in play - catch the ball as it
rolled off for an out. A gutter swallowing a
roofshot awarded the batter a ground rule
double and a time out while we found a new
ball. A routine pop-up? Yell "DROP IT!" at
the right moment and a kid likely would. And
we argued. scrapped, accused each other of
the worst cheating ever and settled all with the
inarguable "do-over!"
We've played all the games now. There has-
n't been a season in years. I wish I could say
we had one last series before everyone split
like the Florida Marlins, but no such luck. I
don't remember the last game we played
together. Now, new neighbors who never saw
us play have no idea their houses sit on out-
fields instead of lots. High school, jobs, dri-
vers licenses all turned the streetlights on.

Recent reports by the U.S. Census
Bureau show an overwhelming
increase in minority demographics in the
United States since the early '90s. The
Latino/a and Asian American populations
have seen increases by more
than 35 percent relative to the ROUs
overall population. Statistically,
the University is one of the
more diverse campuses in the Dialogues
nation. Students originate from Phone:
all 50 states and more than 115
countries. But, many students www : '
do not take full advantage of MESA
this diverse campus. Phone 763
Wbste-
This has led the University
and various organizations to
create classes and programs in IGRCC
the hope of educating and pro- Phone
moting awareness of other cul- Website:
tures and ethnicity. But the pro-
grams are ineffective when stu-
dents isolate themselves in their own com-
fort zones, unwilling to associate with peo-
ple different from themselves.
Students enrolled in the College of
Literature, Science and the Arts are
required to take a class in race and ethnici-
ty. In the ever-changing demographics of
America, the college is trying to help break
down the walls of cultural ignorance, to
promote diverse interaction and to foster
communities of different backgrounds.
Multiethnic Students Affairs, Intergroup
Relations, Conflict and Community and
Dialogues on Diversity have similar hopes.
They offer many programs to help educate
students beyond the classroom and broaden
their learning experiences.
MESA currently is planning the Martin
Luther King Jr. symposium titled "The
demographics of the new pluralism: dimen-
sions of change." Dialogues on Diversity
often brings in guest speakers from around
the world to speak on current issues sur-

:
rx.9
4tl
ock
6-

rounding diversity. IGRCC offers inter-
group dialogue classes - a great opportu-
nity to explore differences and work on
building alliances among groups.
While these programs help bring the
issue of diversity to the fore-
1OMOT1No front of discussion, they still
HT THW have a long way to go. Just
- -- look at a typical residence hall
ierstycafeteria. Scattered about in
2655 distinct groups are the blacks,
the Asian Americans, the
sm wnwedu° Latino Americans and the
international students.
)044 I Some campus clubs and
organizations add to this eth-
7II>Iesf assnic and cultural separation.
Organizations that recruit
members solely based on eth-
nicity sometimes exclude oth-
ers who might contribute. It is
understandable that people
like to feel comfortable. And it is also
important to have organizations that pro-
mote certain cultures and beliefs. But peo-
ple often create inclusive ethnic and cultur-
al cliques that destroy a diverse and grow-
ing community.
Students can help to transform this cam-
pus by joining various clubs to meet new
and different people, getting involved in
multiethnic organizations and even taking
the time to meet new people in classes.
Students should take more time to
explore the options offered by IGRCC,
Dialogues on Diversity and MESA.
Programs and methods do not work if
people refuse to change. It starts with
open-minded students willing and wanti-
ng to work with different people. No
matter how statistically diverse this
school is, there will never be a rich envi-
ronment of diverse thinking and ideas
when people are unwilling to break out of
familiar territory.

making part of our childhood come in.
These were the thoughts I carried watching
tha, last game t Tiger Stadium. None of us
ever made it to the park any other way. I was
on the field once. as part of a tour group.
The crowd delighted in pleasures previous-
ly taken for granted. We did the wave a final
time. I watched a 70-year-old man stand up
and hold his hands high. Everyone wanted a
piece of tradition. Doing our duty. we bleach-
er creatures heckled Carlos Beltran, th*
Kansas City Royals' centerfielder.
"Beltran, you're a loser!"
"Wif stinky bret' added an undersized
fan. who would have fit well with my group a
decade ago.
A younger part of me crept out as I yelled
"DROP IT!" on a Karim Garcia pop-up. and
it worked one last time as Beltran misplayed
the ball and two runs scored.
The game ended in a rout. 11-3, and the
fans rejoiced in seeing a win on their last visit
Then they didn't leave.
My dad asked me. "Why's everyone stick-
ing around?" He was sticking around too. i
heard stadium police say maybe people
thought there would be fireworks.
But I knew why we remained. With last
looks, fans put themselves on the field, turn-
ing double plays with friends now long gone,
or hitting game-winning homers in the World
Series. It was the last look at a friend. the last
look at a dream. We owed it to the stadium*
and the stadium owed it to us.
We emptied the stadium crunching peanut
shells underfoot as hot dog wrappers blew
down the ramps: walked past the souvenir
stands, to the corner of Michigan and
Trumbull. up Trumbull for a picture with the
Cobb plaque, gazed on the famous lumber-
yard. over the freeway to the car in the lot. and
home.
All the time, something called to the
departing crowd's remaining childhood, as it
was everywhere under the streetlights. O
David lluace can be reached over
e-maila datidm{ea umicedu.

CHIP CULLEN

I

50, MR. A"D IAR . CAAW~rTr1
ARE TIRE fh C RIM IAL

Expesive cuts
Tax breaks are expensive for higher education

T he notion of reduced taxes always gar-
tners popularity. But everyone must con-
sider the results of tax cuts: some vital gov-
ernment programs receive less-than-ade-
quate funding. Last Thursday, the U.S. House
heard a proposal that could cut work-study
funding at universities nationwide by about 6
percent. The end product of this tax cut does
not justify the means. Cutbacks in education
spending would hurt numerous students, uni-
versity-run programs and grant-funds.
If the proposed bill becomes law, colleges
and universities would see immediate
changes in their student bodies. For many
students, the gates of higher education would
shiut. The proposal could damage ethnic
diversity, as many of the brightest minority
students in the country rely on financial aid.
-tudents preparing for life after college
should not lose the crucial experience of
interacting with people from all backgrounds
- both ethnically and financially.
Under the proposed bill, about 62,000
students would not receive the necessary aid
to send. them to college. This means that
these students would have to receive scholar-
ship money through their universities or
another scholarship fund, or they would have
to seek grants. But Pell Grants, the largest
federally funded grant program for individ-
ual students, also stand to take a tax cut of $
2.37 billion. To cover for less students
receiving money, the maximum grant has

money being overly distributed to students
who don't need the money as much as others.
Overall, financial aid programs, the basis
enabling underprivileged students to attend
universities and colleges nationwide would
lose up to $99 million.
In addition to cuts in financial aid, the bill
proposes cuts of up to $140 million allocat-
ed to higher education. In response, colleges
and universities may need to substantially
decreasing programs. This financial uncer-
tainty unnerves administrators attempting to
plan a budget on a year-to-year basis.
Congress likely will not finalize budget
bills for another two or three months. During
the additional time these proposed cuts to
higher education should undergo significant
revision. The Appropriations Committee
needs to recognize the ever-increasing costs
of higher education. Regardless of people's
desire for tax cuts, the nation's representa-
tives must respect the needs for funding for
higher education.
Many national leaders and ordinary citi-
zens bemoan the state of education, but then
choose not to pay to improve the educational
system. Before the federal government and
the American people get excited about tax-
cuts, they should realize everyone pays in
other ways. The motives behind many of
these cuts looked to take it easy on the upper-
class. But in doing this, we harm many learn-
ing institutions and deserving students that

Michigan fans do
not use Florida
State cheer
TO THE DAILY:
In response to a letter by Tony
DiGiovanni ("Michigan fans must close
hands in 'hail' cheer." 912099), I would just
like to point out that Michigan fans are not
doing the Tomahawk Chop.
We are signaling a first down for our
team. We're not copying the Seminoles,
we're copying the referees. Try to remember
this next yout're at the Big House with the
Michigan fans. We'll be the ones signaling
a first down for the Maize and Blue.
JAMES COTTON
ENGINEERING JUNIOR
'U' should mandate
course stressing
campus conduct
TO THE DAILY:
I don't know exactly what percentage of
people have had sexual assault and crimes
similar to it affect their lives in some way or
other, but I do know that I am now included in
that percentage.
This upsets me terribly. To see someone I
care about affected by the thoughtless actions
of a moron just makes me sick. Since I had
never seen the problem first-hand, I didn't
think much about it. Out of sight, out of mind.
Now, I must wonder, exactly what action
is the University taking to. prevent these
things from happening? Voluntary meetings,
run by student groups, which would only
attract good people who would never think of
committing such an act? These types of
things are not adequate at all. Something has
to be done to educate individuals with the
potential to commit such acts.
If the University can require us to take an
English course or its equivalent, they can
make all incoming students and transfers take
a one or two credit course on campus conduct.
Perhaps it could discuss not only conse-
quences of sexual assault and rape for both
victims and perpetrators. but also for racism
on campus, religious bigotry and anti-gay
actions. I see only good coming from a course
devoted to this and believe it should be seri-
ously looked into. Action needs to be taken
before these horrible acts are committed.
A.J. WILSON
ENGINEERING SOPHOMORE
T-shirts should not
reflect poorly on
Greek system

, w
. ..
r
s
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.
r

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I"1OATAG r-~te

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obviously not endorsed by the entire Greek
System. We are not all "contributing to (the)
destruction (of society)" There are actually
many positive aspects of the Greek System
and its members. We often contribute to the
bettering of society. A few idiots in t-shirts
should not affect a person's decision to join
the Greek System.
HARPER GOULD
LSA JUNIOR
JILL PETERSON
ENGINEERING SOPHOMORE
KATIE INMAN
LSA SENIOR
Reinterpreting
Amendment may
cost other rights
TO THE DAILY:
As a supporter of the Bill of Rights, I
find it hard to believe that a newspaper
would advocate the reinterpretation of any
of the Bill of Rights ("Right to bear arms?"
9/22/99). Once the government reinterprets
the Second Amendment, it sets the prece-
dent for the government to reevaluate any of
the other parts of the Bill of Rights, includ-
ing the First Amendment. The Daily claims
that "no amount of gun control will ever be
sufficient" which means that it assumes that
adults cannot make informed decisions
about whether or not they can own a gun,
and therefore we need a government institu-
tion to make that decision for us.
Yet, the Daily is pro choice. How can
you advocate choice in one case and not in
the other? They are the same - both situa-
tions deal with the involvement of the gov-
ernment into our daily lives. I hate to use a
cliche, but "guns do not kill people, people
do." Gun control alone will not stop vio-
lence. suicide or accidental death.
There needs to be an element of educa-
tion that is lacking in American society. It

Diversity is not the
responsibility of TV
networks
TO THE DAILY:
In response to the Daily's recent criti-
cism of the level of diversity in popular tele-
vision shows ("Color TV?" 9121/99),
would like to ask a few questions that I
believe have gone unasked.
First, does anyone really think that
"Friends" is realistic? All racial makeup
aside, the cast is not even a representative
sample of white people.sFor that matter, the
cast isn't even a representative sample of
human beings in general.
In the past, the "Cosby Show" was criti-
cized for portraying only affluent Africa
Americans. The problems that Theo
Vanessa, Rudy and Denise encountered
were right out of a fantasy world.
I recall in particular the episode in
which Dr. Huxtable wouldn't let Theo buy a
very expensive designer shirt. Denise offers
to make a similar shirt for Theo. and in a tri-
umph of feminism, fails miserably. The
family ties hold together, though, when the
shirt that Denise made wins Theo praise
from his peers and turns out to be even
more trendy thanthe one Theo had original
ly wanted. I don't know about you, but I
don't think that scenario typifies Americans
of any ethnicity.
Upon hearing about the recent outcry,
one of the first things I did was feel guilty
about liking "Seinfeld" (a show which con-
tains no non-white main characters).
However "Seinfeld" does feature a fair bit
of Jewish culture (and New York culture)
woven into the plotlines. Last time
checked, neither was completely main-
stream.
Whether a cast consists of the same
demographic makeup as the nation as a
whole is not the issue. Nor is the issue the
realism of the show in question, since few
shows are actually realistic by any stretch of

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