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January 23, 2003 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2003-01-23

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4A - The Michigan Daily - Thursday, January 23, 2003


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SINCE 1890

Editor in Chief
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.

If you think back to
when we had the draft
(draftees) went out,
adding no value, no
advantage, really, to the
United States armed
- Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld,
reflecting on the effectiveness of the draft.
Rumsfeld later apologized for his remarks, as
reported in yesterday's Washington Post.

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Is a black 'B' worth a white 'A?'
ikely, everyone that the difference between the B-student and sented minority, a scholarship athlete, socio-
knows that in the the A-student is equal to the points awarded for economically disadvantaged - and the
LSA Admissions being an underrepresented minority. The mes- provost can bestow bonuses where he sees fit.
Office, a perfect 1600 on sage this sends, while certainly unintentional, is "Socioeconomic disadvantage" is extreme-
the SAT is worth 12 alarming. It allows a B-student, who also hap- ly vague. The Admissions Office cannot
fy^ points, significantly less pens to be an underrepresented minority to be employ any strategy in determining one's
than the 20 received for viewed (by admissions standards) as the acade- socioeconomic standing. Sure, they could cull
being an underrepresent- mic equal of a racially over-represented A-stu- information from the FAFSA, but they're due
ed minority (a group dent. Those two students should never be much later than the University begins review-
including blacks, Native considered equal under any system; there is no ing applications. Instead, the application
Americans and Hispanics). It is this egregious more telling evidence that the Admissions reviewers must glean information from stu-
discrepancy - completely antithetical to the Office needs reforming than the inflation of a dent's essays, letters of recommendation or
standards of achievement for which the Univer- minority student's B-average to a majority estimations based on an applicant's home-
sity should be striving - that has affirmative member's straight A. town. Because there is no concrete way to
actionantagonistsup inarms. It's equally unsettling to me that I assert that a student has financial need until
Upon examining the University admis- received 20 unearned points (16 for my geo- FAFSA figures are available, these 20 points
sions scorecard further, one finds that the 12 graphical location, and four as a legacy) as it can easily be manipulated by students in their
points awarded for the 1600 SAT are also is to see underrepresented minorities receiv- essays. Whether students would consciously
awarded for a 1360 (or the 31-36 ACT ing 20 unearned points. Ideally, the admis- attempt to impoverish themselves in a person-
range). The rewarding of the same points for sions process should consider the student's al statement ("it was so hard eating Mayon-
these two scores is questionable, if not sinful, academic achievement, contributions to the naise sandwiches for the last two years of high
especially for those who spent countless community and standardized test scores. It is school") is questionable, but the possibility
hours fretting over their standardized test understandable to award points for adjusted exists. And those 20 points could be critical.
scores. Given the rubric, the next tier of curriculums, as students have different Boiling down the University's admissions
standardized test scores (1200-1350) would access to curriculum - but not too many. policy to an examination of race and its
get a single point less than those in the cate- Here, the University's admissions process applicability in admissions is a simplified
gory that received a 1600. A student with a succeeds. However, the curriculum points treatment of a far more complicated issue. The
1200 on the SAT receives just one point less system fails in its penalization of students students at this University - all of them -
than a student with a perfect 1600. coming from poor districts. are here because of a system rife with flaws.
Unfortunately, the incongruities with the This makes little sense. It would be While the specifics of the University's admis-
admissions criteria aren't limited simply to enough of a penalty to give students who sions policy are far more than troublesome, its
disparaging (and somewhat disquieting) have participated in weak curriculums a tokenism! and inconsistency aren't limited to
reward policies for the SATs. Students zero, subtracting points from them is Ann Arbor. The reform of the collegiate
graduating with a 4.0 grade point average counter-productive, especially if the oppor- admissions process needs to be reconsidered
from their high school receive a whopping tunities aren't available. on a far greater level than the"elimination of
80 points on the scorecard. Similarly, a B- The other major deductions on the Univer- racial preference in admittance policy.
student receives 60 points (generally, 100 sity admissions scorecard fall under "miscella-
points gets a student admitted). neous." Students can receive one of four Luke Smith can be reached
This doesn't seem important until it's noted 20-point perks: One for being an underrepre- at lukems@umich.edu.
I went toD.C. and all I got was a peace movement

WASHINGTON - The path from the
National Mall to the Naval Yard was filled
with a marching infantry - 200,000
strong - armed with banners, puppets,
drums, newspapers and an array of clever
pro-peace and anti-Bush chants. Since the
Pentagon's top-secret plans to formulate a
war on Iraq leaked to the press last year,
there have been massive demonstrations
across Europe, student peace groups emerg-
ing and an overwhelming doubt surround-
ing the idea of war. A former U.N.
weapons inspector became an icon for the
anti-war movement and questioning Repub-
licans have taken out newspaper ads urging
the president to use proper restraint.
The anti-war movement is no longer just
for radicals. Though the sectarians were out
in full force Saturday, the dominant vibe was
that of a genuine belief that this war is wrong
and not just party-line rhetoric. In contrast,
the small counter-protest was uniform,
whose only point was that all 200,000 of us,
as well as the other thousands of protesters in
Tokyo and San Francisco that also marched
that afternoon, were supporting the terrorists
and should all swim to Cuba.
Right, all the World War II, Korea and
Vietnam veterans marching for peace, the
thousands wielding American flags and sev-
eral members of Congress were simply just
being unpatriotic. And people say that it is
the Left that is running out of ideas.
Saturday's demonstration was a pinnacle
in a rising opposition to the war in Iraq
being mounted by people from all over the
world from different political walks of life.
The march on Washington was united, and
it will only be effective in actually making
political change if it remains so. The ques-
tions that it is faced with are how to pre-
serve the unity.
The main organizer for this march was the
coalition known as Act Now to Stop War and
End Racism. Sounds innocent enough, howev-
er, a closer look at this organization is frighten-
ing. Founded days after Sept. 11, 2001 by
former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark, it
acts as a front group for a hard-line Stalinist
group, the Workers' World Party. Among other
outrageous beliefs, the party has expressed sup-
port for the genocide under Slobodan Milose-
vic. the massacre at Tiananmen Square and the

no alternative organization has as loud a voice.
On Saturday, several student anti-war
groups gathered in front of the Supreme Court
for a separate march that would later join the
rest of the protesters walking towards the
Naval Yard. Even though their hearts were in
the right place and their consciences were
opposed to ANSWER's dogma, their numbers
and impact were dwarfed by the intensity of
the rally on the mall.
Therefore, it makes more sense for the anti-
war movement to stay away from the idiotic
and mindless teachings of the Workers' World
Party, but utilize their strengths and resources if
any alternative network of activists fail to gain
the same amount of enthusiasm.
And many activists already believe this.
Many of the students in front the Supreme
Court agreed that
though ANSWER's
core ideology is
repugnant, as one
organizer put it, "soli-
darity is the most
important thing."
District of Colum-
bia Police Chief
Charles Ramsey may
still haunt some
IMF/World Bank pro-
testers dreams. At the
protest last September,
under his orders, Wash-
ington police hogtied
hundreds of activists
for several hours, mak-
ing very little distinc-
tion between who was
committing a crime and.
who was lawfully dis-
senting. And before this
Saturday he made it
clear to the press that About 200,000 people
he was ready and will- Saturday to oppose a p
ing to do the same,
even though there are lawsuits still pending
against his department. On Saturday, however,
we learned that it was just an idle threat.
Instead of the city streets being lined with
riot cops standing shoulder to shoulder with tear
gas canisters at the ready, officers stood with
about 10 yards between them, initiating little, if
any, confrontation with the protesters. The
crowd for the most part behaved well, staying
within the limits of the protest permit, however,

against non-confrontational police officers is
patently inappropriate. One protester peacefully
and respectfully explained to one officer why
she was against the war. While he disagreed, he
peacefully and respectfully explained why. So
much for police brutality.
Police violence should be condemned when
committed, but such wanton antagonism against
this profession alienates those that simply do
their job and on a larger scale, alienates a major
sector of the working class.
As much as Saturday's rally was an anti-
war demonstration, it was an anti-Bush
demonstration. Many signs contained such
thought-out and intelligent criticism of the
Bush regime such as "Fuck you, Bush" and
"Asses of Evil" along
with pictures of
Defense Secretary
Donald Rumsfeld and
Vice President Dick
Cheney. So much dis-
content from so many
Americans proves that
there is an ever-
increasing opposition
to the policies enacted
by the man and admin-
istration we the people
allegedly elected.
For those of us
who bit the bullet and
punched Gore in 2000,
our explanation was
that a Bush victory
was so unbelievably
frightening that voting
for Ralph Nader was
just too dangerous. We
were right. It was
apparent that many at
the march recognized
ARI PAUL/Daily that it wasn't simply
vere in Washington the U.S. government
ssible war with iraq. as a whole that was



committing such
atrocities; it is Bush who is causing the
majority of the problems. Would Al Gore
wage war on Iraq? Would he create a Depart-
ment of Homeland Security? Would he
appoint John Ashcroft as attorney general?
Meditating on these questions, anyone who
still thinks Bush and Gore wefe the same can-
didate has a learning disability.
The awful truth is that there is a stark dif-
ference between what Bush has in mind for



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