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April 16, 2002 - Image 4

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 2002-04-16

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4A - The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, April 16, 2002

OP/ED

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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
Republican
rhetoric suggests
they are fiscally
tight. But they are
big spenders as long
as it is on programs
they want to spend
money on."
- Thomas Kahn, Democratic staff director
ofthe House Budget Committee, on the
increases in the 2003 federal budget as
quoted by The Washington Post.

SAM BUTLER THE SOAPBOX

Ss =

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40

Finding a proper farewell on a campus tour
GEOFFREY GAGNON G-oLOGY

I

s contemplative and
reflective as graduat-
ing seniors can
sometimes be - especially
those planning on penning
some sort of bittersweet ode
in the campus newspaper -
my closing weeks here have
been surprisingly free of
philosophical musings.
In some ways I've been kind of disappointed
in my lack of sentimentality and this disappoint-
ment had me worried yesterday. I've been a fan of
the Daily's goodbye column tradition for years
and confident that if my time ever came I'd be
ready to deliver an appropriate dose of poetic
whimsy and sage wisdom to leave this University
with my head held high, confident that I had made
my peace with it.
This, after all, is a time I had planned to
reserve for pensive reflection and sad stories of the
days I'd soon leave behind. It's a time in which I
planned to be scribbling farewell poems on doors
in the Grad Library and breaking in running shoes
for the Naked Mile.
Instead of the historically appropriate feelings
of melancholy reflection from which the more stir-
ring farewell columns flow, I've been feeling
thankful - and its that sick feeling that's threat-
ened to ruin my shot at a proper goodbye.
In bad need of a sentimental jumpstart, I wan-
dered upon my muse yesterday as I was feeling
sony for not feeling sorry about saying goodbye.
Clutching their obvious yellow folders and bran-
dishing their nametags, I saw my salvation in the
Clear away that u

form of a gangly throng of high schoolers taking.
part in their first campus visit. ,1
The guided tour of campus - full of handy
trivia - was a rite of passage I had regretfully
avoided before enrolling and again at orienta-
tion. Quite frankly it's a probably a shock for
the folks at the admissions office to think that I
managed here for four years without the knowl-
edge that the world's largest fish tank sits adja-
cent to the Law Quad (it's currently drained for
cleaning though).
So, envying those who the University was
grooming to take my place, I hung out with the
tour group for a while and blended in to the back
of the group. Before long I was a wealth of knowl-
edge - able to describe the scene as John
Kennedy proposed the Peace Corps at the Union
and able to picture the students who are said to
play Frisbee in the Law Quad "all the time."
But as the tour went on a little while longer I
wondered when we were going to see my version
of the University. Sure, we saw the president's
house, where manicured bushes guarded the lawn.
But we never saw my first house where a thick
green vine still grows from the decomposed
remains of blue ribbon pumpkins that were "bor-
rowed" to grace our porch in October of 1999
before rotting there sometime the next summer.
We talked about the dorms and their special
appeal. But the kids in the group didn't get to see
the pair of underwear that hung from the window
outside my room for a full year in miraculous defi-
ance of wind and winter, nor did they sense the
intensity of the all-night James Bond games we
had dubiously referred to as "hot action."

The tour guide never pointed to the second
floor of the Daily where a collection of Guns N'
Roses CDs and a 45-cent Coke machine helped
ensure that some of the finest term papers written
between the hours of 2 a.m. and 8 a.m. were
penned not without a lot of fun. (At this point I'm
neither condoning nor accepting responsibility for
the broken windows, the chairs hurled from the
building, or the 24 Snapple bottles that science has
proven cannot fly safely from the Arts room to
Helen Newberry Residence Hall, no matter how
close the buildings appear to be).
You know, the more I listened to the tour
guide describe what Michigan appeared to be, the
more thankful I was for taking four years to find
out what it meant to me. And the easier it became
to sum up what I'll take away and what I'll miss
most.
Maybe it was the school, or the Daily or my
friends or professors - or maybe it was every-
thing combined - but for me, Michigan has been-
more than a collection of buildings and a block
'M' on the Diag. It's been a place where life
breathes seamlessly with learning and where the
pride and the passion that come from being a part
of a community is far too rich to feel on a campus
tour and far too real to forget when they hand you
a diploma.
To the friends I've made along the way, to the
friends I've managed to keep despite the Daily (The
boys of TC), KMD and my family, thank you.
This is Geofey Ganon's last column
fortheDail. ecan be reached
at ggagnon@umich.edu.

.nsightly bull's eye in one easy step

AUBREY HENRETTY NEUROTICA

Consider the following
headline: "'Help! My
Spouse Hates My
Boss':A Whole New Kind
of Love Triangle" (offensive
punctuation and phrase
"Love Triangle" in original).
Now: See if you can
guess which publication
recently contained said head-
line. I'll even narrow it down for you. It's either
A) The Ladies' Home Journal, B) The Wall Street
Journal or C) The Betty Crocker Working
Woman's Cookbook. Take your time.
Hint: The answer is B.
This article appeared Thursday as part of the
Journal's massive redesign, which marketing
gurus hoped would attract the young and the
female, not necessarily in that order. It would lure
us in with pretty colors and hook us with headlines
that screamed (we would know they were scream-
ing because they'd have exclamation points in
them) just like in Cosmo. A makeover of sorts:
Jazzy. User-friendly for the new millennium, with
bullet points for easy skimming.
Spouse hate your boss? Have sub-par interper-
sonal skills? Help is on the way.
I don't know whether to be amused or horri-
fied at the article's advice to married careerfolk on
maintaining peaceful relations between spouses
and bosses. "Agree on conversational ground rules
before boss and spouse meet ... avoid face-to-face

meetings ... Is the tension masking deeper prob-
lems in your marriage?"
Egad. When did this turn into a mediation ses-
sion with the elementary school psychologist?
Who are these people and what have they done
with The Wall Street Journal? How long before
they start running mascara ads next to articles
about the black-market Mongolian mascara ring in
New Mexico, ads assuring us that four percent of
Maybeline's profits go to support the War on
Mongolian Mascara and Terror? Help!
This is exactly what the Journal's target demo-
graphic (apparently the timid, flighty segment of
the newspaper-reading population) wants. The
marketing gurus have done the research and the
math; women eat this stuff up (newsprint being
fibrous, low in calories and devoid of nutritional
value, like popcorn). This is what sells.
Perhaps that's true. But it's also true that while
almost anyone will tell you the Journal's reader-
ship is overwhelmingly male, almost no one will
tell you it's marketed toward men. "It's marketed
toward interested people," they say. "Men domi-
nate the fields of business and economics, so they
are statistically more likely to be interested." I
agree with both of those statements, but the Jour-
nal seems to have different ideas; otherwise, why
would its marketing team go out of its way to
attract people who under normal circumstances
would be reading Family Circle and Vogue?
"Set good work-home boundaries to keep ten-
sion from spilling over."

This is such touchy-feely bullshit. It smacks of
"That's sexual harassment and I don't have to take
it." It's like articles in women's "health" maga-
zines that suggest counting to ten and breathing.
deeply to ease pre-menstrual mood swings: Pas-
sive, futile and ultimately damaging. Better to let
your spouse and your boss duke it out on their
own terms and charge the neighborhood kids five
bucks apiece to watch. There's entrepreneurship
for you.
Another nasty side effect to marketing cam-
paigns like the Journal's is that it relegates outspo-
ken objectors to the sidelines. "You don't want to
see substance-free pieces in the Journal? But we're
targeting people like you. You must be an aberra-
tion. If you can't stand the fluff, get out of the
crosshairs. Become black or gay or both. Dye your
hair green and learn to speak Tagalog. Change
your name to Dakota and have a traumatic plastic
surgery experience. We'll get you next time."
No. I am not unusual. Having more than six
brain cells does not make me unusual. Most men
do not read The Wall Street Journal for advice on
the unique pressures associated with simultaneous-
ly having a family and a career. Neither do most
women. We don't geed marketers to hold our
hands and show us the ins and outs of old boys'
newspapers; we know our way around. But thanks
for the offer.

0

Aubrey Henretty can be reached
at ahenrett@umich.edu.

VIEWPOINT
The CAC: What Michigan should know

BY R AmOGI HUMA
There are a few points in the Daily's article
about the Collegiate Athletes Coalition, Football
players discussed joining players' association
(4/10/02), that were not made clear.
CAC is a student advocacy group that has estab-
lished an effective means for student-athletes to
voice their concerns and influence over NCAA rules.
CAC goals include health coverage for so-called
"voluntary workouts," safety guidelines to prevent
workout related deaths, an increase in the NCAA's
$10,000 death benefit, and an increase in stipends to
cover the cost of attendance at each school (current
scholarships far well below actual costs as defined
by each school).
CAC has no intention of securing employee sta-
tus for student-athletes and unionizing, nor does it
advocate the use of striking. Such actions would
likely have far-reaching negative consequences on
college sports that are not in the best interests of stu-
dent-athletes.
CAC is not a union; it started as and continues to
be a student group at UCLA that is operated and

corporation that will assist this network of student
groups. The CAC is an association of student-ath-
letes in which student-athletes have full autonomy
and have a voice that is independent from the
NCAA.
Current and former football and basketball play-
ers - not the United Steelworkers of America, are
organizing the CAC. The Steelworkers are support-
ing this group of current and ex-players by providing
invaluable expertise and resources. The CAC is also
affiliated with Student Sports Inc., an organization
that caters to high school athletes. Among other
things, Student Sports has offered the CAC an ongo-
ing column in its magazine that reaches 80 percent of
all high school recruits so that recruits may know
about the realities of D-I sports and stay in touch
with all CAC developments. The CAC has and will
continue to form affiliations with groups that back
the CAC mission and goals.
Contrary to the NCAA's rhetoric, student-ath-
letes do not have an adequate say in the system
through its in-house Student-Athlete Advisory Com-
mittees. The true nature of the SAAC was revealed

dence. SAACs have been in existence since 1989 yet
student-athletes still lack basic protections. With the
CAC, student-athletes now have a powerful voice
and an effective means to pressure the NCAA to
change.
The CAC has pressured the NCAA via countless
media sources such as Sports Illustrated, ESPN, Fox
Sports Net, the New York Times, USA Today, The
Wall Street Journal, CNN, ABC's World News
Tonight and CBS's 60 Minutes. More recently, the
CAC testified in a Congressional hearing and
exposed how NCAA rules leave student-athletes vul-
nerable. Many in the House of Representatives
expressed interest in correcting such problems with a
"federal remedy." The CAC has put a tremendous
amount of pressure on the NCAA to protect its stu-
dent-athletes and it looks as though the NCAA is
going to take its first steps in changing.
We have found that most coaches care about
their players and want them to have a voice as well
as protections. Coaches from major football pro-
grams have invited the CAC to speak to their teams
so that they may be completely informed about what

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