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September 15, 2000 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 2000-09-15

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4 -_TheMichigan Daily- Friday, September 15, 2000

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Hidden pastoral treasures off of Plymouth Road

.. ,, ,

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

EA
Ed

Unless otherwise noted, unsigned editorials reflect the opinio
the Daily's editorial board. All other articles, letters andc
necessarily reflect the opinion of The Michiganj
First semester rush should be

Mi
Edit
MILY
litori
n of
carto
Daily
dr

Sometimes I really get exhausted with the
cacophony of noises that complicate Ann
KE SPAHN Arbor's touted living space. More than once
tor in Chief this year has a squad of cops or some sopping
drunk slackened my firm grasp on the sleep-
ACHENBAUM ing hours. Of course,
al Page Editor Ann Arbor isn't-
Gotham City or
Metropolis, but its
the majority of beating heart is a land
ons do not grant university, and
V. the pastoral notions
that such-phrasing intu-
its promise a certain
quaintness - one that
should be held dear
even in this glamorous
age of clamor. So I am
surprised at how many Patrick
of my fellow students K
opped -you - don't know K
about our Botanical as <
shees during the Gardens. I say "our" :...,.
answers to these because we support the
"no." Fraternities University with our
about meeting a cash and curiosity. One colorful reward for
y explain to the our patronage is the obsessive yard work of
h has been post- several dendrophiles, the Mattheis Botanical
embership num- Gardens. On behalf of these silent types and
inter. their floral creations, I must tell you to visit
able to survive soon and don't touch any cacti from Madagas-
ough fraternities car.
ew members in This is the place to go when the work is
ouses manage to light or the pressure is heavy - that is, any-
ion and initiation time. A brief guide: Go south on Plymouth
ix months. While Road for four miles, turn right on Dixboro
d, fraternities and road, then soon take a left through the front
ute information gates into our mini-Versailles, winding care-
in order to start free through the manicured lawns. As you exit
semester. If rush your car, try not to be alarmed by the absence
ter, most houses of familiar sounds: The deaf-and-dumb reli-
oo long for new gious zealots are safely at home, oiling their
be a non-issue. rifles and dealing solitaire with novelty cards
dents postponing from the Michigan Militia's gift shop; also,

that middle-aged student from section with a
penchant for veering discussion into a spiritu-
al wall - well, she's visiting her only living
relative in Miami, Ohio. Breathe deep.
I can tell that you are not missing the
sounds already. Even the simple silent act of
reading this column is a welcome relief from
the artifice of noise. Relax, kick back, grab a
beer and think flowers. You like flowers. You
like marigolds and snapdragons and even pan-
sies. You especially like pink pansies. My visit
to the botanical gardens was as much a ritual
as brushing my teeth: It was called for from
deep within. I figure there are no people from
the North Pole because nothing grows there,
and nothing grows there cause there's no peo-
ple. But down here on our parallel, we com-
pare our legs to stems, and pollinate ourselves
with perfumes.
Some of my earliest impressions of life are
set outdoors with summer heat and blooming
luminosity: In a familiar photograph, at the
Michigan State University botanical gardens,
my older brother Sean at three years, march-
ing around the fountain in his sailor's outfit,
confident and unabashed; my sister Caroline
directing him with pointer finger and pigtails,
her little face buttoned like a sunflower. Such
is the promise of both youth and a garden:
Order, variety and a delight of the senses.
Hopefully you can imagine what it might
look like here. The garden of indigenously
American plants is missing only the yellow
bricks and the munchkins. Traversing these
gravel paths, inhaling the breadth of the sur-
rounding wetlands, squinting at the sunset -
you may almost nod in agreement with the
mossy reach of creeping thyme, a rare culi-
nary herb that sprouts low and green. Away
from the plastic clicks of keyboards, it is
warming to sense that the fauna is listening.
And remember to visit the conservatory,
because its exotic plant-life feels lonely with-
out your open-mouthed gaze. Have you ever

seen the tree from where chocolate comes? I
doesn't hang from the branches in metin
squarish hunks, but looking at the podded
greenery still arouses a faint saliva that will
make you feel silly. This describes the dizzy
enclosure of so much worldly flavor.
If you haven't attained Zen already, you can
still walk one of the paths that lopes over the
river and through the woods. The recent flood
of rain has made the fingerlike trails muddy,
so wear something you don't care about, or
else some extravagant boots that you ca '
afford. I passed several groves of assorte
trees while hugging the river, noting both the
lack of giant squirrels and of my attending
knowledge - a welcome release from the
campus grind. I ignored most of the informa-
tional plaques, though the discovery of the
species "choke cherry" was nothing short of a
revelation.
An experience of this prim nature should
not have to be explamed. We all use the same
word - nature - to describe something
innate in ourselves; so going to the botanic
gardens might feel vaguely like coming home.
Tendrils slope something like an offered hand,
and a soft mattress captures the lily pads with
metaphor. The horseradish and oregano in
your kitchen grow here from the ground.
If all this blather remains unconvincing,
consider finally that nature is sexy. We are
around-twenty-year-olds, so sometimes even a
spatula is kinda sexy, but I challenge our hor-
mones to deny that at the core nature is som
thing of a romance. Like Wordsworth
daffodils, which have been imported from
England: they could stand another frolic or
two. One imagines at these gardens that even
a Plutonic friendship could slip into newness
like so many dewdrops off of a rose petal.
Possibility smells ripe in a garden, so why not
take a bite before the winter comes?
- Patrick Kiler can be reached via e-mail
at pkiley@ttmich.edt.

A t the University, certain campus tra- problem for rejected rus
ditions mark the beginning of a col- second semester? Thea
lege career. First-year students are questions are "no" and'
addressed by University President Lee and sororities concerned
Bollinger, entertained on Elbel Field and certain quota can surel
amazed by the sight of their first Univer- national chapter that rus
sity football game. For many students, a poned on campus and m
large part of their first year is also marked hers will be met in the w
by their entrance into the Greek system. Houses should be.
Unquestionably, fraternities and sororities financially as well. Alth
provide students with many valuable and sororities need ne
opportunities. However, these opportuni- order to pay expenses, h
ties would be better introduced in the sec- survive between graduat
ond semester of a student's first year. The - a period of nearly si:
Greek system should eliminate rush for rush should be postpone
students in their first semester at the Uni- sororities should distrib
versity. and hold mass meetings
The primary reason to eliminate fall rush early in the winter;
rush for first-year students is that it gives is held early in the win
students more time to adjust to college will not have to wait tc
life. Rush is a demanding process - too members.
demanding for the average first-semester, Housing would also
first-year student. First-year students need The large number of stu
the opportunity to ease into their rigorous their decision until se
class schedules and sample other clubs would leave housing
and organizations on campus. Unlike the despite the common my
Greek system, most extra-curricular activ- can be found late in they
ities on campus do not immediately For those students tn
demand so much of a student's time. upon arriving on camp
In addition to being beneficial to first- year, eliminating fall ru
year students adjusting to college life, an important part of the
postponing rush for first-year students But the Panhellenic asso
untif the winter would also be advanta- fraternity Council needs
geous to the Greek system. While winter other students - those
rush is currently available for both frater- rush. Given the slew of n
nities and sororities, most first-year stu- surrounding the Greek:
dents feel like they are "issing out" if year rushees, the Panhel
they don't rush in the fall. The pressure and IFC need to realize
to rush in the fall pushes some students year students are not p
to rush even if they are unsure of their (and many members of t
motives. The Greek system wants a are not prepared to acce
member that is sure of his or her dedica- proper manner). Concer
tion and ability to contribute to the Greek should trump any conce
system. With one semester under their bills or filling quotas.
belt, second semester rushees are more The Panhellenic assc
mature and better prepared to contribute should not take eliminat
to the Greek system. rush for first-year stud
Opponents to winter rush for first- when the options are w
year students point to logistical problems. sion should be clear. By
Will houses fail to meet chapter member- year rush until the wine
ship requirements and pay bills without only for first-year stud
the expected crop of fall rushees? Given mores and others, the Gr
that many rushees are required to live in its applicants a chance
the sorority or fraternity house the fol- lege life and gets a mot
lowing year, will finding housing be a inreturn.
wasting tm

econdsemester
available. And
th, good housing
year.
mly ready torush
us in their first
sh will postpone
ir college career.
ciation and Inter-
s to consider the
not prepared to
egative incidents
system and first-
Ilenic association
that many first-
prepared to rush
the Greek system
pt rushees in the
n for their safety
rns about paying
ociation and IFC
ing first semester
ents lightly. But
eighed, the deci-
postpomng first-
ter semester, and
ents, not sopho-
eek system gives
to a just to col-
re mature rushee

It's not 'get out the vote,' It's 'get out our vote.'
/ MSU senior Curtis Hertel during a meeting oftthe University ofMichigan
College Democrats and Studentsfor Gore yesterday.

First-year composition often unnecessary

" B ut Intro Comp. sounds so dull. Do
I really have to take it?"
If you've posed this question to your
academic advisors since the abolition of
writing portfolio evaluations, chances are
that they replied, "Yep. Required. Have
to. Sorry' or something to that effect. If
you were audacious enough to inquire
about a possible exemption, you were
probably laughed clear out of Angell
Hall.
Why are the powers-that-be in LSA so
determined to make ever student take a
first-year writing course? The principle
behind it is logical; they want to make
sure that future scientists can publish their
findings clearly and concisely, future doc-
tors can author brilliant medical texts, and
everyone else can at least compose a stel-
lar resume. Put simply, writing is a criti-
cally important skill, which all students
need to have.
Some students however, do have the
skills taught in introductory composition
courses upon arriving at the University.
But no matter how much they beg,
scream and groan, these students cannot
bypass the basic writing requirement in
favor of higher-level, more interesting
and, for them, more appropriate courses.
They can't get anyone to look at past
writings and there are no placement tests.
It doesn't make sense that there are no
placement tests for composition. In other
subjects, placement exams are required.
They prevent students from beingthrown
into classes that are too difficult and from
being forced to sit through those that
insult their intelligence.
Why isn't this the case with writing?
Because, as atrocities like the MEAP test
have proven quite well, writing ability
cannot be accurately tested in an hour or

two. A much more effective system
would be to evaluate writing portfolios
individually, placing students according
to the quality of their work. This was the
university's policy until 1998, when it
was deemed to be too costly and too
tedious. Approximately 5,000 portfolios
were received annually, with only 500-
600 students qualifying to "skip' intro
com .
o, LSA did what any self-respecting
college would do: It passed on all that
"wasted" time and money directly to its
students. Now, over-qualified students are
forced to purchase textbooks they don't
want or need and spend valuable hours in
classes that they do not fid challenging.
The most popular of these classes is
English 125, but not because it is a
favorite; often, it is the only choice.
While other options, such as History 195
and a seminar in Russian film, do exist,
the few sections offered fill up so quickly
that most people don't even know they
were open until after they are closed.
If LSA higher-ups continue to ignore
qualified students who wish to place out
of intro comp, the least they can do is
make it more interesting. Perhaps offer-
ing a wider range of courses (medicine,
math, political science, women's studies,
etc.) would be just the spoonful of sugar
the first-year students needed. It may
require compromise on both sides, as the
college would have to redistribute the
intro comp course requirements to each
department and the some students still
may find the classes overly easy, but both
sides would benefit from such a change.
Students could take writing courses on
interesting topics, and LSA could rest
assured that it was producing decent writ-
ers.

People can decide
on game themselves
TO THE DAILY:
I was appalled after reading the Daily's
editorial ("Play later in the day," 9/13/00)
about changing the time of the Wisconsin
football game because of the Jewish New
Year.
As a Jew myself, I feel that Jews on our
campus are old enough to make the appro-
priate decision for themselves: Go to syna-
gogue on Rosh Hashanah or a football
game.
Unfortunately, in the real world, things
do not always go the way we want them to!
As the New Year begins, we need to
remind ourselves of what is really important
to us in our lives.
DAVID SILVERMAN
COLLEGE OF PHARMACY
Napster use violates
constitution
TO THE DAILY:
In the Daily's recent article about Nap-
ster ("Universities asked to ban Napster
use," 9/13/00) I noticed that all of the com-
ments from students were praising the com-
pany. Has everyone forgotten the fact that
by the Constitution of the United States,
what is taking place on Napster is copyright
infringement? A.k.a stealing. Users of Nap-
ster claim it is "sharing." but it is stealing in
the purest form,
How can you share copyrighted music
that you don't own the rights to and had
nothing to do with the production?
Bands like Metallica and Dr. Dre did not
originally ask for Napster to be shut down.
All they wanted was the right to control
their music as they see fit. Since Napster
was created as such an open-ended program
there currently is n way for a musician to
make that choice. So Metallica and Dr. Dre
had no choice but to try and shut it down.
There are many legal ways to obtain
MP3 tracks if the need is that desperate. A
small fee is charged which is minimal com-
pared with record store prices. Bottom line,
no one has the right to steal any copyrighted
materials.
I hope that when the officials at the Uni-
versity are faced with the decision to shut
Napster down or not, they realize by keep-
ing Napster operational is, in a sense, con-
doning violating our constitution through
copyright infringement.
BROOKE SWEET
LSA JUNIOR
'U' and feminists are
not anti-male
To THE DAILY:
I am shocked that Kyle Marshall feels
that the Men's Health ranking of the Uni-
versity was so important ("Men's Health is
right: U anti-male," 9/13/00). 1 too read
that article. In fact, I read the article in my
Women's Studies 253 class, a class entitled
"Men's Health." The article he is referring
to decided if a school was good or bad
based on the strength of the school's sports

teams, the fraternity lifea
out, it was not based on
the school. This way of r
the stereotype of men. Fo
the males on this campus
find it hard to believe ti
simply to get plastered, c
ball team and get laid. I b
ty are here to learn.
In fact, the article po
University had a strong s
good greek community an
to hang out. It received
worst simply because
women's studies departi
group of feminists. The
make this such an anti-i
they the same feminists
Men's Health class? And
studies majors and femini
a horrible place to live,v
group of males sitting i
office demanding they be

nd places to hang the correct dates.
the academics of It was not the Interim Clerk's mistal*
anking plays into that caused me to move to put the motion on
irgive me if I give the ballot despite the missed deadline and
some credit, but I other errors. It was the merits of the ques-
hat they are here tion, as well as the information offered by
heer on the foot- speakers (Libertarian Party members) dur-
elieve the majori- .ing the Council session's public commen-
tary, as well as the fact that our City
inted out that the Attorney had prepared acceptable ballot lan-
ports team, had a guage in order to put the question on the
id had cool places ballot this fall.
its rank as third This was not an issue that had co
it has a strong before Council in the past. We had no bac W
ment and a large ground on the issue, and had not been con-
se feminists that tacted by any members of the Libertarian
male campus, are Party or other supporters of this petition
willingly taking a drive: That is, we had an immediate dead-
if these women's line, and no comprehensive information on
sts make this such the issue. These are not the best circum-
why is there not a stances for making an informed, and there-
n the president's fore ideal, decision on an issue.
kicked out? However, knowing that most members
the Democratic caucus support the cone
of the medical use of marijuana, I attempted
JESSICA BOHREN to move that we put the question on the bal-
LSA JUNIOR lot this fall despite the several failures of the
petition drive. It was already past midnight,
and looking more specifically at the charter
dito ri al language as drafted by the petition circula-
tors (the ballot vote would have been a vote
to amend the City Charter, and provided
language to do so), it was apparent that
more analysis would be necessary to support
that specific language, despite any Phil-
sophical support for the medical use of mW
start of one of my ijuana. It was a combination of factors that
he Sept. 7 edition influenced ushthat night, but none of them
prised to read the had to do with the petition technicality fail-
m petition effort to ures, or the concept of the medical use of
a question on the marijuana.
3, which mentions I write because, although I am myself
:stion on the ballot very cynical on occasion, it dismayed me to
fter the petitions see the Daily editorial which did not seem to
fully understand (or which chose to ignore?)
few items of infor- the facts in this case, and which judged 9
rification. Ann Arbor City Council with undue cyni-
leed our Interim cism. Although I will be leaving the City
the wrong petition Council after 6 years of service, I fully
re further disquali- expect that the City Council will support
putting the medical marijuana question on
the regulated peti- she ballot in the near future, either in the
clearly identify the spring of 2001, or for the fall 2001 elec-
ions; tions.

Marijuana e
ignores fact!
TO THE DAILY:
While I waited for the
classes. I leafed throught
of theDaily and was sur
editorial on the Libertaria
put the medical marijuan
ballot for November 200(
my attempt to put the que
by a vote of Council al
missed the deadline.
I would like to offer ai
mation for purposes of cla
Although it was ind
Clerk's mistake in giving
deadline, the petitions we:
fled on two other counts:
1) They did not meet
tion size or they did notc
group circulating the petit
2) The number of qual
the petitions was less tha
to put the question on the
The local court has
despite the Interim Cler
deadline, it is the circula
rather than the City's, to

ifted signatures on
in required by law
ballot.
also ruled that,
k's mistake in the
tors responsibility,
i ae deeno ed

ELISABETH DALEY
ANN ARBOR CITY COUNCILMEMBa
WARD FIVE

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