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September 05, 2001 - Image 37

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The Michigan Daily, 2001-09-05

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'U' prepares its defense

GRASS

By Eizabeth Kassab
Daily Staff Reporter

.You 're in college now,
thave your suburban
TRL past behind
Twas never in the "freshman face" book. Perhaps during the
I summer of 1998, I glanced over and threw out the applica-
ion to be in and purchase a copy of the pseudo-yearbook
* re freshman are lined up, page by page, with a brief
description and a senior photo. I felt a little left out freshman
year in Mary Markley, when guys on my hall would pull out
their freshman face book those first few weeks of school. We'd
look through it on occasion and read the ridiculous little
descriptions below the senior portraits.
Joe Blow
Newton South H.S.
Newton, Mass.
Major: Business
Interests: Wrestling, music, people
Although for the most part superficial, the freshman face
b# speaks wonders about who's coming to Ann Arbor. One
thing you realize paging though the book is that people come to
the University from around the world - from Singapore to
Brentwood, Calif. to even East Lansing. Having no idea what I
wanted to study, knowing that most everyone in the face book
already knew what they wanted to do with their lives was a lit-
tle unsettling. Was I doing something wrong? Should I think
about going to the Business School? Everyone else seemed to
be going there. Well we eventually put the book away and for-
got about it. So just as most freshmen do, my friends and I
wld go out at night in a group no smaller than ten people, to
ve ure out, get a taste of real college life and meet our fellow
classmates. And as freshmen, you have the liberty to lie, or at
least embellish your background when you're out at parties.
Why did we do that? For whatever the reason, whether it be for
the sake of interesting conversation or to hit on that girl you
saw in the face book from Greenwich, Conn., it's inevitable.
Well freshmen, here is your chance to have some fun and try
to outsmart someone who is obviously trying to be who they
obviously are not. This is especially the case with cocky out-of-
staters who try to pull the wool over the eyes of us degenerate,
stu id Michiganders. Blessed with a fairly good sense of geog-
r1 , at parties I could carry on a conversation with just about
anyone by talking about where they were from. Even if I didn't
know where the hell Lake Zurich, Ill. was (or really care), I
could at least name a random Chicago suburb within 20 miles
to make a pseudo-personal connection of knowing where that
rerson was from. I did this to steer the conversation past the
mandatory freshmen chit-chat. ("What classes are you taking?"
Elab, blah, blah. "Didn't the food during orientation suck?") To
=Hake things more interesting, I played a little game with people
i met at fraternity parties, which turned into a psychological
e riment. (Listen up in-staters, here are a few questions that
yowcan use to make Long Islanders squirm.)
Michael Grass: "So where are you from?"
Susie Q. Long Islander, Merrick, N.Y.: "I'm from New York
City."
MG: "Where exactly in the city?"
SLI: "Well, actually I'm just a few minutes outside the city."
MG: (Busted) "Where, Nassau County?"
SLI: "Ah, yeah."
MG: "Do you live north or south of the LIE (Long Island
Expressway)?"
SLI: "Ahhh, south, I think. Are you from Long Island?"
.7: "Ah, no, I'm from Michigan."
: "I'm from Merrick. Have you heard of it?"
MG: "Merrick, isn't that where Joey Buttafuoco and Amy
Fisher are from?"
SLI: "Ahhh, my cup's empty, I'm going to go fill it up."
Offended and surprised that I, especially as a lowly in-stater,
associated a miscreant from the Amy Fisher saga with her
hometown, she leaves and doesn't return. So I get rejected but
my psychological experiment worked. (My good friend who is
actually from New York City, E. 72nd St., Manhattan to be
ex t, used a variation of the game at parties.)
what's the moral of the story? It seems like many fresh-
men are so confident when coming to Ann Arbor. They're ready
to impress. But inside, most freshmen are quite unsure about
their new world. For many, Ann Arbor, or college-life in gener-
al, is completely different from the suburban strip mall subdivi-
sion existence many of us came from. We pretend to have all
the answers, but in truth, all we have are questions.
This past summer, I worked in Detroit and commuted in from
Ann Arbor. When I'd be out and about at night on campus, I'd
always run into a bunch of freshman orientees walking through
the Diag. You can always spot them: either an Eminem wannabe
wearing a white beater and backwards Abercrombie and Fitch
vi@ or a Brittnay worshiper dressed in next to nothing just to

go get ice cream at Stucchi's.
Here is a warning to all you who fit that description. You're
going to spend the next four plus years in Ann Arbor, not the
sheltered MTV suburb most of you came from. Carson Daly is
back in Times Square and TRL is going to be on when you're in
lecture. (But Eminem lives in Macomb County, just 45 minutes
away, so if you really want to find your idol, he's not that far
away.)
So to you who'll be getting a freshmen face book: Pull it out
o or three years and page through it again. Here's what
you 11 see. Many of the freshmen who come in with you will be
completely changed when they leave.
Many of those who listed their major as business, probably at
the wishes of their parents, end up failing econ. They will later
declare mathematics, English, classical archeology or whatever
they are truly interested in as their major. Many of the people
___. ..,,1< drl rr iri k'AnA

The University is preparing to defend its race-conscious
admissions policies as two separate lawsuits that gained
national attention and resulted in two opposite rulings at
the district court level are scheduled to come before the 6th
Circuit Court ofAppeals in Cincinnati this fall.
Many speculate the lawsuits are ultimately bound for the
Supreme Court, which declined to hear similar cases
involving the University of Washington and the University
of Texas this summer.
The cases seek to clarify the Supreme Court's split deci-
sion in a 1978 lawsuit, University of California Regents v.
Bakke, which stated it was unconstitutional to use quota
systems to achieve racial diversity. In the opinion, Justice
Lewis Powell wrote that the use of race to attain diversity
is a compelling government interest.
Since the Bakke case, the nation's lower courts have
issued conflicting decisions in similar cases questioning

race-conscious admissions in various institutions.
"If ever there was an issue that the court should address
it would be this one," said Curt Levey, director of legal and
public affairs for the Center for Individual Rights. The
Washington, D.C.-based firm filed the cases challenging
the admissions policies of all three universities.
Gratz v. Bollinger et. al. was filed Oct 13, 1997. Two
white applicants, Jennifer Gratz and Patrick Hamacher,
alleged they were wrongly denied admission to the Univer-
sity's College of Literature, Science and the Arts.
The case finally went to trial last November after numer-
ous delays. U.S. District Judge Patrick Duggan released his
summary judgment Dec. 13, 2000, upholding the use of
race as a factor in admissions but striking down LSA's grid
system, the method previously used to aid evaluation of
potential students. CIR appealed Dugganis decision to the
6th Circuit Court.
The second case, Grutter v. Bollinger et. al., was filed
Dec. 3, 1997. Like Gratz and Hamacher, Barbara Grutter is
See LAWSUIT, Page 6C

Ceuterfor IndividualRights ttormey Kirk Kobol answers
reporters' questions at the Federal District Court in
November.

OCK-A=-FELLA

Campus icon
often 1included
in celebration
By Matthew S.Schwartz
Daily Staff Reporter
In this corner, weighing in at 150 pounds, and armed
with a few gallons of paint and a couple friends, is the
challenger: your typical University of Michigan student.
And in this corner, weighing in at a whopping 25
tons, and armed with nothing but a solid disposition, is
the defending champion: The Rock! No, not that Rock.
This rock, a 30,000-year-old hunk of Canadian lime-
stone, is the subject of a campus tradition dating back
half a century.
According to legend, the rock had been sitting peace-
fully at the corner of Hill and Washtenaw, minding its
own business, for around two decades. Then, the night
before a 19508 football game against Michigan State,
the Spartans desecrated our fair campus landmark with
a green "S." The Wolverines, of course, painted over the
"S." Soon, students began painting the rock as a show of
celebration, pride and general drunkenness. Thus, a
campus tradition was born.
The boulder itself was deposited here during the most
recent glacial advance, which covered Ann Arbor in
aboLtwo.miles of te.; After the thawrit was found ina
gravel pit around the-present corner of Pontiac Trail and
Duvon Road. In the winter of 1932, Eli Gallup, the first
superintendent of parks for Ann Arbor, set out to move
the rock to its present location as a monument to com-
memorate the 200th year anniversary of George Wash-
ington's birth.
It wasn't easy. According to city records, none of the
city's trucks was capable of hauling that much weight.
Gallup enlisted the help of Detroit Edison, which loaned
a platform truck at no cost. With money raised by the
Daughters of the American Revolution, and a $15
appropriation from the city treasury, workers transport-
ed the rock just over a mile to the corner where it has
lived for almost seventy years.
Underneath the rock Gallup buried a lead box con-
taining its history, which no one will likely see again.
"I don't anticipate that anyone's going to move a 25
ton rock" to find out what's in the box, said Thomas
Raynes, manager of park planning and development for
Ann Arbor.
Gallup commissioned a plaque honoring Washington
to be attached to the rock's face. The plaque, designed
by former University art instructor and museum artist
Carlton Angell, displays a shield and sword design

FILE PHOTO
The Rock was brought to the corner of Hill and Washtenaw to commemorate George Washington's birth, but it is now
used by students that have a messags.to-send,-orareooking for something to do on a Friday night.

along with the words: "To George Washington: this
memorial is erected in celebration of the 200th anniver-
sary of his birth (1932)."
Local high school students gathered together enough
scraps of copper to cast a plaque approximately three
feet long. The plaque was once stolen, but later recov-
ered and reaffixed.
The plaque is obscured by many inches of paint
today. According to Raynes it was last seen around a
decade ago, when city workers "partially cleaned" the
rock to uncover it. But the plaque was quickly con-
cealed by more layers of paint - probably "as soon as
someone turned their back, Raynes said.
What do people paint on the rock? Messages range,
from Greek letters to birthday wishes and everything in
between. During the 2000 presidential election, a heated
political battle took place, fittingly, on this presidential
tribute. The night before the election, senior Jeremy
Peters and other members of the College Democrats=
endeavored to turn the rock into a Gore supporter. When
they arrived at the corner, they found that some fraterni-
ty pledges were already painting it. The next morning,
to their horror, the rock was a proud Republican.

"The Bush team had plastered the thing at some point
during the night," Peters later recalled. "So a friend and
I painted over all the Bush spray paint and then plas-
tered the Gore-Lieberman logo on it and on the side-
walks near it."
"I ruined a good pair of khaki's in the name of politi-
cal one-upsmanship," he added. "However, it was a good
feeling to have people cheering you as they drove by."
Paint is not all the rock has seen. The night before the
1999 spring commencement, Chris Schewchenko, now
an LSA graduate, "tarred and feathered" the rock with
two other people.
"We're more creative than those other people," said
Schewchenko. "Everybody paints the rock; we wanted
to be different."
They had been planning it for weeks. Part of the
group went to la slaughterhouse to acquire real chicken
feathers. They all chipped in money for squeegees and
driveway sealant - the makeshift tar was "very black
and sticky."
Schewchenko remembers the night with glee.
"Tossin' feathers up in the air, watching them rain down
on the slick black tar - it was exhilarating."

. ;

New, look: MSA
hopes to restore,
stu ent trust
By Carrie Thorson
Daily Staff Reporter :
Most high schools have a student government or
student council; Here at U of M we have a larger,
slightly more powerful version of those groups called
the Michigan Student Assembly.
MSA serves as the voice of the student body. Each
week elected;representatives from every school meet
and vote on resolutions, proposals and amendments
based on what they think University students will want
most. Issues voted on range from putting ice machines
in Residence Hals to taking a stand against sweatshop
labor in Mexico. MSA is also the most direct student
link to the University's administration.
The other major function of MSA is to distribute
student funds among student groups. Every registered
e-u-n arnne n - m- -ranann o Mn cr

Mass meetings
open doors for
new students
By Sophia Hussain and Shabina Khatri
Daily StaffReporters
Fall is here, school is in full swing and student organi-
zations have commenced with a vengeance. Besides Fes-
tifall, mass meetings are the most effective way for
student groups to actively recruit new members for their
organizations.
LSA Undergrad and Detroit Project Executive Director
Sandeep Jani talks about the workings of his organiza-
tion's mass meeting. "It's very informal. We talk about
who we are, what we do. Because most [new students]
have no idea what DP is about, we try to put across as
much information as possible."
Mass meetings are a great way for new students to find
the student groups which are best for them. In addition to
a mass influx of information, new students should expect
to meet many students and find out how to become active
members of the organizations they are interested in.

FILE PHOTO
President Matt Nolan and vice-president Jessica Cash
hope to revived the Michigan Student Assembly.
takes a significant amount of campaigning. Many
candidates form mock political parties to support each
other during the hectic election season. Last Winter's
election fostered the Blue Party, the Defend Affirma-
tive Action Party, the FRAT party (a gag party consist-
ing of the staff of the Gargoyle, one of the University's
humor publications), the Michigan Party, the Universi-
ty Democratic Party, and a few independent candi-
dItes

1

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