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April 16, 2002 - Image 20

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The Michigan Daily, 2002-04-16

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4B - The Michigan Daily - Changing times - Tuesday, April 16, 2002

OP/ED

Looking

back

The University community has experienced an
interesting past four years filled with an
excess of commentary, opinions and posturing.
Stepping into an uncertain future
MICH-AEL GRASS AT MILE END ROAD

THOMAS KULJURGIS TEN TATVELY SPEAKING, 3/13/01

eniors, think
back to
1998. We
were moving into
our residence halls,
saying good-bye to
our old lives and
getting ready to
craft a new one of
our own choosing
here in Ann Arbor.
Ask yourselves a few questions.
How many of you had a cell phone
then? How many of you now couldn't
live without one? In just a matter of
four years, an improvement in personal
communication has dramatically
altered the way we live our lives.
Think back to 1998. How many of
you then knew what the Taliban was, or
if you did, really cared? How many of
you then thought the key to quick suc-
cess in the world was to get into the B-
School and launch your own dot-com
or pursue i-banking after graduation?
How many of you then thought get-
ting a job would be as easy as it was for
our older siblings and upperclassmen
peers? How many of you have a job
right now?
Although many of us dreamed the
dreams of those who came before us,
those aspirations fizzled during our
four years in Ann Arbor. The world we
are entering is obviously uncertain, but
it is also worrisome. Will our economy
recover? Can we feel safe abroad? Can
we feel safe at home? Will our nation
get back to any sense of normalcy? The
continuation of time is the only thing

we can depend on.
Graduation is a time to look for-
ward, but it forces us to look back as
well. And for us, the Class of 2002, our
vantage point on the world has been
one-of-a-kind.
Do you know that there are fresh-
men at the University who were born in
1984? That blows my mind, but per-
haps just because I'm getting old,
preparing to turn 23 this summer. But
when you think about it, do the current
freshmen view the world through the
same eyes we do?
In many ways, no.
For the Class of 2002, the explosion
of the space shuttle Challenger in Janu-
ary 1986 was the first image seared
into our collective memory. Many of us
watched the disaster live in our kinder-
garten classrooms. We didn't totally
comprehend what was going on; all we
knew was that something bad, some-
thing scary, had happened.
Then came the fall of the Berlin
Wall - the first real image (aside from
Gorbechov's red blotch on his head) we
could connect to the Cold War and the
Soviet Union, things that took a college
education to understand fully.
Then came the Gulf War, our first
exposure to the Middle East. For
many of us, it was our first connec-
tion to places like Iraq, Saudi Arabia
and Israel. The images then were of
Scud missiles raining down on
Riyadh and Tel Aviv, live night vision
camera shots of Baghdad, smart
bombs and oil well fires.
Then came President Clinton and

I

the 1990s were in full swing. The '80s,
Reagan and Bush, Sr. were something
in the past. Many of us lived by the
Clinton campaign mantra, "Don't stop
thinking about tomorrow."
As teenagers, life was comfortable
and most of us had little to worry
about. We knew the Oklahoma City
bombing and the 1993 World Trade
Center attack were horrible, but we did-
n't really care. Those events were just
blips on the radar screen.
We came of age when MTV came
of age. Beavis and Butthead, rap music
and hip-hop freaked out the establish-
ment. Grunge and Seattle withered and
died. O.J. was on trial.
Then came the rise of the Internet.
In high school we got our first e-mail
accounts, but we still remembered a
time a few years earlier when our
teachers told us if we didn't have a
computer, we had to use a typewriter or
stay after school in the computer lab to
finish large assignments. Before the
mid-'90s, the @ symbol was rarely
used. But during high school, while on
AOL Instant Messenger, we were
amused by the introduction of the :-)
into our digital culture; http:// became
second nature to us while typing on a
keyboard.
Then we graduated from high
school and came to Ann Arbor. Life
was generally good. We were here to
learn about our world, enjoy life in all
of our pursuits and absorb everything
we could.
During the fall semester of our
freshmen year, the Daily printed the
full transcript of the intimate details of
President Clinton and Monica Lewin-
sky's sexual relations. Walking through
the residence halls then, it wasn't
uncommon to see the full page cut out,
taped to doors, with the passages about
blowjobs and cigars highlighted in yel-
low. We found it funny. It was a novelty
of sorts, just like many things from the
decade of our coming of age. But Clin-
ton, just like the 1990s, is a relic, that
doesn't seem relevant to our world now.
He, just like the decade that symboli-
cally ended on a beautiful September
morning last year, is in the distant past.
The purpose of a college experi-
ence, as I was once told, was to take in
everything in order to prepare oneself
for post-graduate life. If you learn the
rules of life and of our world during
college, you'll succeed after gradua-
tion.
But during our four years, we tra-
versed a symbolic and very realmeridi-
an that has divided one era from
another. The rules of the game we were
just getting used to have been rewritten
during our senior year. And even as
they are still being rewritten, we're try-
ing to figure things out all over again,
as graduation day nears.
Perhaps as college students with
experience in both worlds, we'll be bet-
ter prepared for the challenges we're
going to face in the coming years and
decades. But we should still realize that
the adventure is only beginning.
Michael Grass is an LSA senior and
served as co-editorial page editor for the
Daily in 2001.

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feu 1 3, ;

NDT EVi9UMI&W% t4SK U'Rioos1.

Four years of anger,
apathy and confusion

Support Ellerbe as
M' basketball coach
TO THE DAILY:
I am writing to express my dis-
dain for the letters printed in the
Daily concerning the state of the
Michigan basketball program. It
seems to me that most of you are
forgetting that just over one year
ago, Coach Brian Ellerbe had this
basketball team playing solid ball, a
12-5 record, including a near upset
of Duke and on its way to a NCAA
Tournament bid ... Give Ellerbe
time. He is just coming out of the
Ed Martin scandal and he has been
handed some very unfortunate cir-
cumstances.
This team is young and talent-
ed. Next year's recruiting class is
shaping up to be one of the best in
the country. We will be back,
please give Ellerbe some time to
rebuild this program without any
outside setbacks. As a true Wolver-
ine fan, I have faith in Ellerbe, as
well as the team.
ANDREW FINE
LSA junior
2/05/01
'Gamua must leave
the Union's tower
TO THE DAILY:
In 1989, Michigamau entered into a
written agreement that the organization
would discontinue the utilization of ref-
erences and practices that are reflective
of Native American culture, with the
exception of the organization's name...
The(ir) meeting room, acquired
through an exclusive provision of space
extended by the University, is adorned
with plaques, commemorative display
cases, traditional Native American
ethos and a host of other items that are
readily accessible to the eye.
One plaque that is particularly
offensive refers to Fielding H. Yost, as
"Great Scalper Yost" and a "Great
Chief." The decor of the room is signif-
icant because it facilitates an environ-

ment that fosters insensitivity and culti-
vates values and traditions that are bla-
tantly racist. Michigamau's journal
entries indicate that interim Vice Presi-
dent of Student Affairs E. Royster
Harper, Dean of Students Frank Cian-
ciola, along with a host of University
administrators and officials have been
aware of Michigamua's transgressions
and in some cases are directly affiliated
with them.
The Students of Color Coalition
demands that the University sever all
affiliation with the Tower Societies
and that the exclusive provision of
space in the tower of the Michigan
Union be eliminated immediately.
KEViN JONES
Alumnus
2/10/00
Halo is horrible
TO THE DAILY:
I absolutely hate the new "halo"
around the top of Michigan Stadium.
Judging from what I have read in the
Daily, it seems its staff would agree. In
fact, I have not met one person who
likes the "halo." I have a suggestion.
How about taking a poll of students
and see what they think about the stadi-
um's new look? I'd like to see what the
results are.
If you recall, Athletic Director Tom
Goss said he was expanding the stadi-
um "for the students." Well, if that's the
case, why not let Goss know what the
students think about the "halo."
JAMES MERCIER
RCfreshman
10/08/98
GEO walkout hurt
many undergrads
TO THE DAILY:
I am perplexed as to why any
undergraduate student would support
the Graduate Employees Organiza-
tion strike. Why should undergradu-
ates support a group which, through

its "strike," clearly shows that it does
not have the best interests of students
at heart, a group which can heart-
lessly deny thousands of tuition pay-
ing students an education which they
deserve?
On top of the fact that the GEO is
forcing undergraduate students to lose
a full day's education, it is also making
demands of the University that will
have a direct negative impact on the
affordability and quality of the under-
graduate education in the future.
KATHERINE ADAMS
LSA junior
3/12/02
Dominick's is central
to campus life
TO THE DAILY:
After reading the article about
Dominick's nine-day suspension
"Dominick's forced to close doors"
(9/14/99), we would like to express our
profound gratitude and support for
Dominick's.
Throughout our last two years at the
University, Dominick's supplied us
with a tremendous atmosphere for
socializing and a welcome respite from
our coursework. Although the beer and
sangria we consumed there has long
since left our system, Dominick's is
still with us in our fond memories,
credit car debt and beer guts. What
Dominick's provides to the University
and larger community cannot be ade-
quately expressed in words.
As alumni of the University and
appreciative customers of Dominick's,
we write in outrage against the injustice
of this suspension. To show our support
for Dominick's, we plan to drink heavi-
ly at the establishment throughout
homecoming weekend.
HUGH SMIH JR.
JEFF KOSIOREK
University alumni
9/20/99
Don't run in the Mile
TO THE DAILY:
As the winter term draws to a
close, we're once again bracing our-
selves for a notorious campus tradi-
tion: The Naked Mile. What began as
a student expression of the arrival of
springtime and freedom from aca-
demic responsibilities has grown into
something much more unpleasant
and frightening...
We have indications from law
enforcement officials that enforcement
will be tightened this year, increasing
the probability that participants may be
arrested. We are told that those arrested
for indecent exposure may in some
instances be required by state law to
register thereafter as a sex offender.
Furthermore, legislation recently
passed in Michigan could preclude
those convicted of riot behavior from
attending a public college or university
within the same state.
Given the role that alcohol con-

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