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October 26, 2001 - Image 4

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 2001-10-26

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4 - The Michigan Daily - Friday, October 26, 2001

OP/ED

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

EDITED AND MANAGED BY
STUDENTSAT 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 of the majority of the Daily's
editorial board. All other articles, letters.and cartoons do not
necessarily reflect the opinion of The Michigan Daily.

NOTABLE
QUOTABLE
' ( There will be time later
to dig up the history of
recent weeks, the role of
American IRA supporters,
the scandal of IRA links
with guerrillas in Colombia,
the disgust of the world
with terrorism and the IRA's
need to avoid that label.
The need now is for action,
not wonder and not
analysis."
- Staff editorial in
Wednesday's Boston Herald.

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T91S WAS _ tN9 of. T~tj PMED ANJ
won iPATM WAS ON
T . . P O B S ADIi LA ST TE 14 M INUTES.

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4

An out-of-stater's guide to Michigan State
STEVEN KYRITZ YEs, THAT IS SARCASM

ne of the things
that Michigan stu-
dents from other
states have to deal with at
home is ignorance about
their school. I can't even
count how many times
people have asked me how
I'm enjoying Michigan
State University, or
"They're the Spartans, right?" At first, I gave it
very little thought, but by the summer after
freshman year, it really started to get on my
nerves. The problem is that a lot people who
aren't from Michigan don't really grasp the
nature of the relationship between the Universi-
ty and Michigan State. As a result, a lot of out-
of-state freshmen (myself circa 1998 included)
don't understand how intense a rivalry it is. As
an out-of-state senior, I therefore feel it is my
duty to help provide a short guide to the Uni-
versity-Michigan State rivalry.
The rivalry really begins in hometowns
and high schools throughout the state. Michi-
gan has one of the nation's strongest state
school programs, so a high percentage of stu-
dents stay in-state for college. As I understand
it, a high school usually sends much of the top
10-15 percent of its graduating class to the
University, while the next 65 percent or so end
up at Michigan State. Putting that into New
Jersey terms, it would be like having both Rut-
gers and a Rutgers sub-B.
Because most in-state students know so
many people attending Michigan State, the
rivalry is extremely heated and personal. One
unfortunate side effect, however, has been the
perpetuation of a number of myths about
Michigan State. In the interest of seeing the
competition continue to be heated yet civil, I
will now attempt to debunk some of these
rumors, thereby helping fellow out-of-staters to
get a good grasp on this amazing rivalry.
Rumor 1: Michigan State is academically

inferior. This is perhaps the most pervasive
rumor about Michigan State and is patently
untrue. Ignore for a moment what U.S. News
& World Report, Princeton Review, employ-
ers and everyone else says. As the school's
website says, "Accessibility, affordability,
prestige, a land-grant mission and a world-
class reputation are all hallmarks of one of
the country's finest institutions." How the
awful rumor about State being inferior got
started is a mystery, but perhaps it has to do
with the sort of education available. Michi-
gan State has a great deal to offer; it's just
that a lot of it is agricultural in nature. In
other words, while Michigan prepares stu-
dents to be productive in a more urban/subur-
ban environment, Michigan State produces
more productive country folk.
Rumor 2: Michigan State is athletically
inferior. I think this one came about strictly as a
result of bias on Michigan students' behalf. For
one thing, Michigan State has been a veritable
professional athlete factory over the past
decade. NBA and NFL rosters are loaded with
former Spartan stars such as Mateen "Career
Backup" Cleaves, Plaxico "Head Case" Bur-
ress, Shawn "Where are They Now?" Respert
and Dimitrius "No Comment Necessary"
Underwood. For further proof, look no further
than ice hockey, where Michigan State has con-
sistently produced great teams. In fact, the
Spartans have more than held their own against
the University the last few years, though it
could be argued that they haven't been weighed
down by National Championship trophies. As
for other sports, Michigan State may not be
able to claim superstar athletes like Tom Dolan
and Alan Webb, but I'm sure they're still good,
or something.
Rumor 3: Michigan State girls are more
attractive than Michigan girls. Personally, I
doubt that this is true. After all, smart is sexy.
As for those people who do support this state-
ment, they usually give the same explanation.

As the story goes, girls at State don't have to
spend time studying, which gives them more
time to primp and preen, and work on looking
pretty. I don't know if it's true or not,
although I have heard that they're easier there.
The classes, I mean.
Rumor 4: 1999's riot demonstrates that
Michigan State students are dumb. OK,
there's no dodging the fact that Michigan
State had a teeny little disturbance a few years
ago. Who cares? That doesn't prove anything.
After a big loss, any rational college student
would set his or her campus ablaze in an orgy
of destruction and violence, right? Right?
Besides, it's not like Michigan State is the
only campus to have had some civil disobedi-
ence issues. In the last few years, Colorado,
Penn State and Ohio State have all had prob-
lems with riots. It just goes to show that mass
drunken violence and pyromania are not spe-
cific to Michigan State. Or that God is a vin-
dictive Michigan fan.
I know that I've probably upset some of
you out there, and I can't honestly say I
blame you. Well, I can, but I won't. I
acknowledge that I've taken a lot of cheap
shots, and I'm sorry. At the very least,
though, I will say one positive thing about
Michigan State: I'm glad I don't go there.
All joking aside, I am aware of the fact that
I may be causing some stress for in-state stu-
dents. After all, it's pretty much inevitable that
you'll run into Michigan State students at some
point, and it's possible some of them could
have read and been offended by this column.
Fortunately, I have a solution ready. If someone
who goes to State says that they were offended,
just look him or her in the eye and say "I'm
sorry that you were insulted. It was all in good
fun, and wasn't meant to hurt anybody. And
yes, I would like fries with that."
Steven Kyritz can be reached
via e-mail at skyritz@umich.edu.

Y LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

V IN PASSING

NO EXCUSE FOR TORTURE
Last Saturday an article in The Washing-
ton Post quoted an FBI agent, involved in
the interrogation of four men with possible
links to al-Qaeda, with a chilling statement.
"It could get to that spot where we could go
to pressure ... where we won't have a
choice, and we are probably getting there."
There is now a very real possibility that the
next step in the U.S. government's war on
terrorism will be the use of torture.
With the threat of impending terrorist
attacks many Americans may see torture as
a necessary evil to prevent future deaths.
Torture, which leads to unquestionable mis-
ery for the victim, also ensures long-term
psychological trauma for the torturer. If the
torturer is not a sadist at the beginning of
the process, he or she will soon become one.
Language from the CIA's "Human Resource
Exploitation Training Manual" illustrates
how the CIA dehumanizes both the torturer
and the victim. "The torture situation is a
contest between the subject and his tormen-
tor." The CIA makes torture a brutal game
that desensitizes the torturer to the horrors
of violence, making the torturer more likely
to resort to belligerent tactics in the future.
While some may view torture as the sav-
ior of national security, its application must
be carried out by individuals. They are
forced to perpetuate the slow objectification.
of a human being. These trained torturers
are then expected to be productive and just
intelligence agents. The practice of torture
will do nothing but erode the abilities of the
FBI and CIA. In the interest of preserving
national security and humanity, torture must
not be used in the ongoing terrorist investi-
gations.
- Zac Peskowitz
LESSONS FROM IRELAND
Who would have ever thought they'd see
the day when Gerry Adams and Martin
McGuinness would call on the Irish Repub-
lican Army to turn over their arms in order
to save an ailing peace agreement with the
British? And who would have ever thought
the I.R.A. would comply with such a.

request?
Before this week, not many people
would have answered yes to either of these
questions, but both happened and may just
save the peace process that was on the brink
of falling apart. But this move is completely
unprecedented. Both the hand over of arms,
and David Trimble and British government's
willingness to deal with the Republicans are
a phenomenon once thought that could only
happen in happy fairy tales where everyone
loves each other in the end. What has
caused this?
What have Adams and Trimble done
that the Israeli government and Palestinian
opposition have completely missed? What
have the Republicans and Unionists realized
that people like Wael Hakmeh ("Discussing
diplomatic hypocricy hipocritically,"
10/22/01) and Jeremy Menchik ("Diplomat-
ic hypocrisy," 10/11/01) have completely
overlooked? The people of Northern Ireland
(as well as the Republic and Great Britain)
have decided that decades of war and over
3,000 killed is enough. They have decided
that there is something more important than
who controls Ulster. That something is
human life and peace. Fanatics like Hakmeh
feel that it is perfectly justified to murder
innocent people if its in the name of
reclaiming land, and those of Menchik's
camp refuse to concede that Israel is not the
egalitarian state that they may claim it is.
They feel that occupation of land is more
important than human life, and that is sad.
What people involved in these struggles
have to do is come to the realization that
even though there were atrocities in the
past, there is no way to change history, and
that the way to solve these problems is not
by making things like they were before, but
to strive for peace. If the Irish and British
can do it, the Israelis and Palestinians can
too, as long as the process is not tainted
with those that feel that their political goals
are more important than human life.
-Ari Paul
In Passing views are those of individual
members of the Daily's editorial board,
and do not necessarily represent
the opinion of The Michigan Daily.

Affirmative action
benefits students of
all races
TO THE DAILY:
I would like to address two issues that
Peter Cunniffe brought up in "Dilemmas
in a race conscious world" (10/23/01).
First, Cunniffe questions, why "do minori-
ty students band together in social groups
with those of similar hue?" My response to
that is "why do all the white students band
together in soci'al groups with those of the
same hue?"
I must admit that I used to ask the same
question, but I have learned through cours-
es on social justice and through my per-
sonal experiences that that question shows
the root of our society's tension. It is
human nature to want to group with those
who share similar beliefs, experiences, etc.
But the problem with this is that it is hard
to be knowledgeable about someone if we
do not have any contact with that person.
Thus we can resolve this issue by creat-
ing dialogue between the different groups
of social identity. By exposing ourselves
to different ideas and perspectives, we not
only learn about others, but we learn about
ourselves. I recognize this is hard, and I
myself am struggling with this learning
process, but it is necessary to alleviate the
tensions in our society.
Luckily for us, there are many different
resources here at the University, including
Dialogues on Diversity and the Program on
Intergroup Relations. These are both great
resources and I encourage everyone on
campus to at least check it out by enrolling
in Intergroup Dialogues (Psych/Soc 122) or
visiting http://www.dialogues.umich.edu.
Secondly, I agree with Cunniffe's
assessment that affirmative action is "ulti-
mately the right policy." But I must insist
that affirmative action doesn't just benefit
those who receive the extra points for
admission. Everyone benefits from affir-
mative action. Whites, blacks, Hispanics,
Asians, international students ... everyone.
And the reason for this is that although
affirmativeaction might not aid you in
admission, it aids you by exposing you to
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Genocide Awareness
Project angers students

Many University students were unable to avoid the larger-than-life pictures of aborted
fetuses yesterday, as GAP positioned Its truck in a heavily traversed area of campus.

Images of fetuses
'horrible response
to difficult position'
TO THE DAILY:
Yesterday on my way to class I
encountered a truck with the word
"choice" written on the side. Later I found
out more about the "Genocide Awareness
Project" and I was hugely offended. I
agree that an abortion is a terrible way of
dealing with a pregnancy but these dis-
gusting trucks (they feature bloody fetus-
es, mind you) offend me. I do support a
woman's right to choose the spacing and
timing of her children, and to think that
someone would go out of their way to
incite such a horrible response to a diffi-
cult position is heartless. I do not think
such a truck is acceptable in any way. I
hope this community supports my opinion.
ALAN MFINmF

ribly mis-named "choice" trucks deplorable.
The people that orchestrate and support this
form of intimidation are only furthering the
wretchedly tense and hostile environment
that the University community and the
nation have become during the past month.
These people claim to be supportive of
both women and children ... how can this be
true when they force children to see these
graphic images by displaying them in promi-
nent places in the community? What can
they possibly hope to accomplish by scaring
the children and forcing their parents to
explain to them something that is not appro-
priate for their age?
The graphic posters will not dissuade
women from making the choice to end their
pregnancies. They only serve to upset
women who have already made their choice,
further subjecting them to a callous and
judgmental community. Forty-three percent
of women will have an abortion in their life
time ... we as a community should not create
an environment where this huge portion of

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