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October 10, 2001 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 2001-10-10

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4A - The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, October 10, 2001

OP/ED

4

(The Wticb....un Dattil

420 MAYNARD STREET
ANN ARBOR, MI 48109
daily.letters@umich.edu

EDITED AND MANAGED BY
STUDENTS AT THE
UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN
SINCE 1890

GEOFFREY GAGNON
Editor in Chief
MICHAEL GRASS
NICHOLAS WOOMER
Editorial Page Editors

Unless otherwise noted, unsigned editorials reflect the opinion ofthe m ' ofthe
Dailys editorial board All other articles, letters and cartoons d not
necessarily reflect the opinion of The Michigan Daily.

NOTABLE
QUOTABLE
Their (academics
and intellectuals) almost
relentless insistence on
contextualization and
their unwillingness to
focus equally on the need
to separate context from
cause, let alone
responsibility, have
added up to blaming the
United States for the ter-
rorist attacks."
- Staff editorial in the Oct. 10 edition
of the Christian Science Monitor.

I
I

Mamomor-
WAW. . .. w, . ....

CVIO.Iwoal +G

C tlc^rtoon .b ,l a t.i . ..r M .s

The real Lee C. legacy
MANISH RAIJI NOTHING CATCHY

4

fter five years at
the University,
almost everyone
is eager to get out. Fifth-
year seniors are seen as a
sort of anomaly - a
slacker who clearly didn't
get his act together and
forgot to get those crucial
science credits. After five
years, everyone is won-
dering why you are still hanging out at col-
lege. The same cannot be said for a president
- especially a good president.
I don't speak only for myself when I say
that University president Lee C. Bollinger
will be missed. I was never a student here
before Bollinger arrived, so I don't have any
personal recollections of a pre-Bollinger Uni-
versity. But from what I've read and heard, I
didn't miss anything.
At the risk of sounding like a 14-year old
at a Ricky Martin concert, I must say this:
Bollinger is the best president this University
has ever seen. That doesn't mean that he
hasn't made his fair share of mistakes, but it
does mean that when people considgr the lega-
cy of our 12th president, they will see a
prominent academic figure. My only regret
when watching Bollinger leave is knowing
that the University was little more than a tran-
sition for him; a training ground for bigger
and arguably better things to come.
The criticisms of Bollinger are incredibly
vapid. He didn't infringe on the First Amend-
ment rights of an historical University student
group. He didn't change the labor strategy of
Nike. He didn't set up 27 acres of parking. He
didn't personally shake hands with every single
student on campus.
In order to take these criticisms seriously,

one has to honestly believe that doing those
things are part of his job description. News
flash: They aren't.
Looking at the bigger pictures, the student
activists will prove to be nothing more than a
brief aside in his legacy, if they get that much
attention at all. In terms of academic legacies,
everyone knows that protesters come with the
territory at a large, liberal college. Bollinger
handled them as best he could - indeed, bet-
ter than he perhaps should have. He could
have called security and vacated SOLE from
his offices in ten minutes; instead, he enter-
tained them and allowed them to make their
point. He could have forced the SCC out of
the Union, but he let them hang their banners
and raise their issues.
In the long run, no one, not even the dis-
placed workers in third world countries
forced into unemployment by a starry-eyed
student group, cares about protests. Protests
come and go on college campuses - they are
as much a part of the scenery as old buildings
and raving Christians.
Bollinger won't be remembered for the
empty accusations of inadequacy. He will be
remembered for doing his job - and doing it
better than anyone else has.
He'll be remembered for firing two shifty
basketball coaches and bringing Bill Martin to
the University as our athletic director. The
turn-around of the sports department isn't
complete yet - years of neglect aren't erased
overnight. But Bollinger has gone a long way
toward fixing things.
He'll be remembered for the Life Sciences
Institute - a program that has already
brought fame to this University., With the
completion of the LSI, the University will be
poised to be a leader in scientific research for
years to come. In and of itself, the LSI would

have secured Bollinger's incredible legacy,
but he didn't stop there.
He'll be remembered for being the best
fundraiser this University has ever known,
increasing donations to' the University from
$180 million annually to $220 million. That's
the primary job of an administrator - to ensure
the finances of the institution. No one can criti-
cize Bollinger for failing on that end.
He'll be remembered as the president who
opened his doors and celebrated with students
while the football team made its way to a
national championship. He'll be remembered as
the president who opened his doors again to
students distraught over the terrorist attacks on
America. He'll be remembered as the president
seen running through the Arb, the president
spotted picking up his own laundry at Gold
Bond Cleaners on a Friday afternoon, the presi-
dent who met with students at fireside chats.
But above all things, he'll be remembered
as the president whose name is attached to a
landmark Supreme Court trial. Bollinger has
taken the strongest stance on affirmative
action, and whether someone agrees or dis-
agrees with affirmative action, it will be what
Bollinger is remembered for. Even if the
University's lawsuits don't go all the way to
the Supreme Court (which is highly unlike-
ly), Bollinger will forever be considered the
one who set a precedent for the academic
defense of affirmative action.
After only five years, Bollinger has proved
himself-to be an invaluable asset to this Uni-
versity. His job isn't to placate the ever-unsat-
isfied minority, it's to lead this University. No
one can honestly suggest that he hasn't done
that - and done it well.
Manish Raiji can be reached via
email at mraiji@umich.edu.

V VIEWPOINT
MSA execs, reps railroad
war resolution, ignore U'
students they claim to serve

Y LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

I

BY RACHEL FISHER
Last night at the Michigan Student Assembly
meeting, I witnessed some disturbing actions by
certain assembly members. Usually, Steering
Committee meetings on Sunday nights are held
to set the agenda for the Tuesday meetings and
to allow for adequate preparation by the repre-
sentatives and executives. However, quorum
was not reached on Sunday or Monday and
steering was not held until 30 minutes before the
meeting yesterday. It was here where MSA Rep.
John Simpson, MSA Vice President Jessica

Robert Goodspeed and Edgar Zapata, MSA
voted to consider the resolution last night with-
out taking time to consult students. The issue of
war is time sensitive, but that concern is out-
weighed by the need to debate and gather stu-
dent views.
My anger and embarrassment comes not
from the wording of the resolution - parts of
which I support - but rather the disregard for
students that the Assembly continues to display.
Although I[am sickened by the politics and egos
that reside in MSA, I stay involved as Peace and
Justice Chair because I honestly care about stu-

Cash and Student General Counsel
John Carter, introduced a resolution
declaring MSA - and the Univer-
sity of Michigan student body - in
favor of the war in Afghanistan.
These sponsors later argued that
they could not let all MSA repre-
sentatives know about this sooner
because steering committee was
postponed. The resolution, howev-
er, had been ready for the initial
meeting on Sunday night. MSA
President Matt Nolan also contact-
ed student government leaders of
many other Big Ten and Michigan
schools (who co-sponsored the res-
olutions), but neglected to let the
representatives on our assembly
know. Nolan and Cash, leaders of
the student-run Blue Party, also cre-

The members of
the Michigan
Student
Assembly, as
usual, were more
concerned with
themselves and
their personal
gains to actually
consider the
feelings and
concerns of
students.

dent voices. As a non-voting mem-
ber of the assembly, I feel I have a
viewpoint similar to that of most
students. I constantly feel that the
Assembly members do not consider
how students feel about issues - and
I mean regular students, not stuck-
up, resume-building, over-ambi-
tious students that occupy some
Assembly seats. We all are con-
cerned about the actions that the
United States has taken in
Afghanistan. We are all scared. We
all want to do our part to support
our respective viewpoints. Yet the
MSA neglected all of this last night.
This disregard also became
clear this past weekend when I
attended the Association of Big Ten
Schools Conference at the Universi-

Minority or not to be,
that is the question
To THE DAILY:
In response to Ravi Kumar Perry's sugges-
tion that the regents specifically seek out a
minority to replace Bollinger as president
("Regents should seek out a minority to lead
University," 10/8/01). It seems only logical that
for such an important position the regents would
seek out the best person for the job, regardless of
race or ethnicity.
As Perry pointed out, other universities have
had great successes with minority presidents,
but I think these successes can be attributed
more to the individual's efforts than their
respective races.
In addition, would it not detract from the
new University president's status if a great part
of their appointment was based on their ethnici-
ty rather than solely on their abilities?
In closing, I completely agree with Perry on
the University's precedent-setting history and
stressing of equal opportunity. So in seeking out
our future president, wouldn't it be best for the
regents to look for the most qualified individual,
regardless of where their ancestors called home?
NATHAN BOOTH
ISA freshman
Seibeft's arrogance
clouds his reviews
To THE DAILY:
I'm sure everyone appreciates Daily Arts
writer Dustin Seibert's brash attitude and
respects his prolific presence in your weekly
Breaking Records section. Yet as frank and
seemingly candid as his reviews often are,
they've unquestionably reached the point of
dogma. Or maybe they're just a little too
polemic. Either way, he has transcended criti-
cism and journeyed into the realm of soapbox-
ing -- something that no doubt garners Seibert
plenty of attention but, at the same time, show-
cases his incredible vanity and, as a result,
proves infuriating to anyone not willing to
accept his conceited doctrine.
Take Seibert's most recent review, Ja Rule's
PanInvP f - r p. m.- f raide- Defmini

'Lowly Arab'
should know how
it feels to be hated
TO THE DAILY:
I have always regarded The Michigan
Daily as an objective and respectable
forum for reliable information and rea-
sonable opinions, but last Friday's letter
to the editor titled "Insults from 'white
trash ignoramuses' better than Daily"
(10/5/01) shocked and disappointed me.
I began to question whether the Daily
staff even reviews the letters they receive
before actually publishing them. I hardly
doubt a reputable newspaper like the
Daily would choose to actually put on
display the ignorance of certain members
of its readership, because had any
informed person read that letter they
would have seen right through the
degrading nature of Norhal El Halwagy's
letter.
A "lowly Arab" such as Halwagy
should know how it feels to be the victim
of stereotype and misrepresentation. The
article, "Women of all faiths asked to
wear hijabs (9/28/01)," that Halwagy
made reference to in his letter was, in my
opinion, a commendable attempt at
exposing the efforts of a passionate group
of individuals dedicated to educating the
public about the reality of Muslim belief.
The world is in a horrible state as it is,
with all eyes glaring critically at the
teachings of Islam. Since the attacks on
our nation, the Muslim and Arab commu-
nities on campus and nation-wide have
put forth extra effort to teach people
about the reality of Islam as a peaceful
faith.
Likewise, the terrorist attacks also
forced many non-Muslims to turn toward
Muslims (in a respectable effort) to
increase their knowledge about one of the
largest, yet most misunderstood religions

ETHAN ORLEY/Daily
Muslim women prepare white ribbons for
the day of solidarity
of the world. The "Unveilng Ignorance:
In Solidarity With American Women"
event was an example of such laudable
effort that was a success for those who
partook in it.
It is unacceptable for a random unin-
formed individual to be given access to a
massive readership only to do nothing but
spread the false image of any group of
people, even if they happen to be his own.
All Americans, with special emphasis
on the University community, should be
committed to being a progressive commu-
nity. We should not allow any intolerance
or ignorance to get in the way of educat-
ing one another.
Only by abolishing discrimination and
stereotypes, breaking down barriers and
building a community of understanding,
will individuals be able to empower one
another in times of adversity.
HIBA GHALIB
LSA junior

ated enough time to e-mail students over the
weekend advertising a mass meeting for their
political party, yet could not contact students
regarding this serious issue.
The resolution was then moved from "New
Business" to "Old Business," irresponsibly disal-
lowing the usual week of discussion for resolu-
tions, especially controversial ones such as this.
Some concerned assembly members walked out
in an effort to break quorum, a common tactic,
forcing the assembly to consider the resolution

ty of Minnesota. Even though I am ideologically
opposed to much of what Nolan and Cash
believe, I was beginning to trust and respect
them as competent campus leaders. This was
lost at the ABTS Conference, which Nolan and
Cash used as an excuse to drink excessively,
embarrassing the University. Nolan and Cash
were visibly drunk during a formal dinner. Inci-
dentally, this conference was fully funded by
student fees.
MSA is supposed to be here for students,

South, and goes out of his way to damn com-
mercial artists and that oh so naive "public" that
supports commercial artists like Ja Rule. Fur-
-thermore. he doesn't even bother to consider

doctrine. And by making references to "us" and
"we," he's using rhetoric to not only disparage
the artists but readers as well. After all, artists
like Ja Rule and Snodp Dogg have not only sold

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