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February 15, 2002 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 2002-02-15

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4- The Michigan Daily - Friday, February 15, 2002

OP/ED

4

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420 MAYNARD STREET
ANN ARBOR, MI 48109
letters@michigandaily.com

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

JON SCHWARTZ
Editor in Chief
JOHANNA HANINK
Editorial Page Editor

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
"Media persons
under no
circumstances
should stand
side-by-side
with criminals."
- Afghanistan Culture Minister Syed
Makhdoom Raheen on al-Jazeera, quoted
in the Times ojIndia, on the establishment
of a court to try journalists who violate
the country's new media law.

ONEW. OF ThE KPEtSOr 5EING A HMOCZ- MIROK- HIAO CAM.PUS CE.L~kTY:

THOMAS KULJURGIS TENTATIVELY SPEAKING

1'LKL YOUC CAKTOONJS.
(I ~ r~ OUT H lE? i
' No.;
v
L 1-02 "'z

I
0

Under suspicion: You may be on this list
JEREMY W. PETERS 1)ON'T MAKE ME COME BACK THERE

Being the keen observ-
er that I am, I've
picked up on a few
behaviors that students at this
university should never,
never indulge in.
Mainly the perpetrators
are the younger members of
our community, freshmen
and sophomores who haven't
quite figured out what is and is not acceptable. Of
course, there are also those who belong to the
upper classes and somehow haven't advanced at a
normal level. So, if you are either: 1) too young to
remember the CRISP lady, or 2) you do remem-
ber her but are the type to take notes on your lap-
top, read on, this list should serve as a guide for
making your college experience (and those of
people who sit next to you in class) a bit more
loosely wound.
1. Never ask a question in lecture during the last
minute of class when the professor says, "Does any-
one have any questions?"
This point really shouldn't require any further
explanation, but I feel as if there are some of you
out there who just can't figure out that class is
boring and most of us don't want to be there any
longer than we have to. If you have a question, go
to office hours. That's what they're for. We don't
care to listen to you talk just so you can hear your'
own voice and schmooze the professor in the
process.
2. Don't make your frat or sorority a frequent
topic of conversation.
You know who you are. Greeks who find it
necessary to broadcast to everyone within earshot

how they had "the coolest two-way with Alpha
Barf Up Dinner, and the social chair was too
drunk to work the door so we're afraid we'll be on
social probation now."
Newsflash. Being in a fraternity or sorority
doesn't make you cool and if you need to talk
about it profusely because it makes you feel cool,
please step in front of the next moving bus you see.
3. If you're over 30, please don't take class-
es here.
Accuse me of ageism, but I find these
"older" people to be a major distraction. They do
things like ask questions in the last minute of
lecture (see above), tell stories about how "when
I was in my 20s" and occasionally bring their
kids with them to class. I had a lecture once with
a 45 year-old woman who used to bring her 10
year-old son with her from time to time. This kid
was bigger than me and somehow, these two
would always find a seat right behind me so he
could conveniently kick the back of my chair
with his L.A. Gear light-up shoes.
4. Don't take up any more than one seat in class.
I've seen kids who have occupied up to four
seats at one time. One for their coat, one for their
coffee, one for their feet and one for their slovenly
self.
Once someone (one of those "older" students)
had her coffee resting on the armrest of the chair
next to me - a chair she was not sitting in of
course because she needed it for her coat - and
knocked her latte right in my lap while she was
adjusting from one butt cheek to the other. I
stopped going to that class.
5. Don't think you're a journalist just because
you work for WOLV-TV.

6. Don't ask your neighbor to keep the noise
down unless it's absolutely necessary - especially if
you live in the dorms.
We're in college, people. It can be noisy.
I had the fortune of living next door to the
Minority Peer Adviser my freshman year. This
woman had an entire quad (with a private
bathroom) to herself while the other RAs lived
a peasant's life in one of the typical University
dorm rooms and had to walk down the hall to
shower. This woman used to call DPS on my
roommates and I when we were partying on
Friday nights. Meanwhile, I had to ask her at
least twice to keep it down on nights during
exam week. What her logic was, I have no
idea.
7. Never take the elevator to the second floor.
I can't tell you how many times I've been
on the elevator at Dennison and it's packed
with people, all saying "hit 5" or "could you
hit 7, please" and there's always the one girl
(usually bordering on heavy-set) who says "hit
2 for me." No. I will not hit 2 for you. You can
walk your fat ass up the stairs and burn off
some of those calories from that Wendy's
triple bacon-cheeseburger you're munching on
in that chubby little hand of yours.
Well, this is almost a top ten list. There are
certainly more than seven things wrong with the
student body here. When and if I go to class next,
I'm sure I'll come across one of you people I
missed. Know this: You're suspect.
Jeremy W. Peters can be reached
atjwpeters@umich.edu.

I
I

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Farah oversimplifies,
Arafat an 'incompetent
dictator'
TO THE DAILY:
Chris Farah's viewpoint, To fight or not to
fight (2/14/02) presents an overly simplistic
view of the recent refusal of some Israeli sol-
diers to serve in the occupied territories.
Refusing to serve is, indeed, undemocratic in a
country where the army's policy is determined
by a democratically elected government.
The job of a soldier is to carry out his
orders in the most humane way possible. If he
feels that he has been given an order that is
illegal or inhumane - and I agree with these
soldiers' view that many of the army's poli-
cies are excessively brutal and exacerbate the
conflict rather than dulling it - then he
should refuse to carry out the order and face
court-martial. As Farah suggests, "the best
way to support democracy is not to blindly
obey, but to challenge it": Indeed it is, but
these soldiers have made the wrong decision
with respect to how to challenge their govern-
ment's policies.
It is also worth pointing out that the Israeli-
Palestinian conflict is not one-sided; contrary
to what Farah seems to think, the two-sided
violence is not simply a function of what the
democratically chosen Israeli government
does or does not do. Farah characterizes the
current government as "nothing more than an
angry mob who'd rather shoot first, ask ques-
tions and think about it later."
This is, unfortunately, not far removed
from the truth, but would he characterize the

Palestinian side any differently? One of the
main reasons for the failure of the peace
process is the conspicuous lack of democracy
on the Palestinian side.
If the Palestinian Authority was a democ-
ratic institution with separation of powers, rule
of law, and an ensured peaceful transfer of
power, as many Palestinians want it to be, then
its use of terrorism would be far less common-
place. A majority of Israelis signed on to the
peace process with the hope of creating a
peaceful and stable state next door, but unfor-
tunately, the Palestinian Authority is ruled
with a mixture of chaos and autocracy by a
petty tyrant who both harbors and encourages
terrorists, contrary to all the agreements he has
signed in the past decade.
Certainly Israel has violated its share of
agreements, but nobody has a worse record of
compliance than Arafat. This is the true tragedy
of the Palestinian people, who could already be
free of their ongoing oppression if they had not
been so horribly misled by an incompetent dic-
tator who flees responsibility at every turn and
is ultimately accountable to no one.
HAGGAI ELITZUR
Rackham
'U' tunnels could be an
exercise in natural selection
To THE DAILY:
Regarding yesterday's article about stu-
dents caught tunneling, "Curious students
explore tunnels," I'd tend to agree with the
students that there is a fair amount of absurdi-
ty in the Department of Public Safety taking

such action in a relatively insignificant section
of tunnel.
The three offenders are clearly students
of urban exploration, and I can only assume
that action was taken because of injury lia-
bility or some equally stupid concept. If this
wasn't such. a litigious society, the physical
difficulty of the tunnel network could pro-
vide another instance of natural selection to
those trespassing in the name of ignorance
and malice. On the other hand a thrilling
educational experience could be had by the
equipped and aware explorers in search of
such incredible sights as the Fetus Room.
It would be a shame to see these young
men charged with inflated felonies if they
weren't doing anything harmful to the equip-
ment within. Assuming that they were explor-
ing only to satisfy curiosity and
documentation (by the short list of equipment
confiscated), it would seem really stupid to
judicially cripple their futures when they are
guilty of nothing but physical and intellectual
exercise without harm to others.
Some time in the last two decades, "enter at
your own risk" vanished in order to welcome
the useless and socially unrealistic world of the
oft-abused liability suit ... and it is this concept
of misplaced liability that American and Cana-
dian universities use as an excuse to enforce
tunnel population. Another case of DPS trying
to emulate the practices of law enforcement,
snuffing an honorable hobby in the process?
Probably. It seems like those in charge are just
upholding policies that aid people who refuse to
accept responsibility for their actions ... the ulti-
mate cause of this country's gradual decay.
ScoTT JAEGER
Music sophomore

VIEWPOINT
LGBT rights important for everybody
BY BENJAMIN CONWAY also due to economic issues, effectively, half a mil- the conservative retort immediately: I have spent
lion soldiers died between 1861 and 1865 in the time abroad and am very appreciative of the
Last week homophobic terrorists firebombed struggle to abolish slavery, and this does not opportunities that I have been afforded because of
the home of two University alums and their22- include the countless people who died as a direct my American upbringing. However, I refuse to use
month-old son in Montana (Rate of gay hate cim2s result of slavery itself. During the 1960's, many those positive elements as an excuse to ignore the
continues upward trend 2/13/02). Some may cringe people were jailed, beaten and killed during the plight of innocent people in my back yard.
atmyueofup wrd"trrorsd"n3/i2). o re entge Civil Rights movement and while people of color So, you're probably asking yourself "is there
at my use of the word "terrorist" in light of recent now have equal rights de jure, anyone intelligent some coherent argument?" If there was, however,
events, but no English word better describes peo- enough to be at the University knows that this it would be this: Who we are objectively is not at
ple who would perpetrate such actions. equality is, de facto, a myth. all relevant to who we can become. At a local
This triple attempted homicide is just the latest Countless people died at, or as a direct result level, every person on this campus has the poten-
act of violence in the struggle for the rights of les- of, work before labor standards were enforced by ts
bian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) per- tegvrmn. Now, one could argue that the mitymkthUivnerssipat a n theiint imentco
sons in the United States: Neff and Grayson were issue of women's suffrage lends an interesting siT isomne whm you consider ifer-
attacked because they were publicly identified as example of social change without direct violence. sit d with eone wham you consider d

l

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