2B - The Michigan Daily - Weekend Magazine - Thursday, January 30, 2003
Random in favor of cow-tipping,
Seeking a 'critical mass'r
By Graham Kelly
Daily Arts Writer
The Michigan Daily: Hi, I'm a
writer at "The Michigan Daily." You've
been chosen to take part in this week's
Random Student Interview. Are you up
TMD: Boxers or briefs?
R: Hmm, boxers
TMD: Do you think it's better to
burn out or fade away?
R: Hmm, hang on a second (excruci-
atingly long pause). Fade away.
TMD: How many billiard balls can
you fit in your mouth?
R: Uhh, zero.
TMD:What do you think? Is
Chinaman the preferred nomenclature?
TMD: Have you ever made a snow-
man and put the carrot down around the
groin instead of on the face?
R: No, I've never made a snowman.
TMD: Is today the greatest day
you've ever known?
TMD: Does it take a village?
R: No. She was wrong.
TMD: When's the last time you stuck
your tongue to a frozen pole?
TMD: Have you ever had a tape
R: No. Thank god.
TMD: Have you ever stuffed hot
marbles in your pockets to keep your-
self warm on a cold winter's day?
R: I've never heard of that
TMD: Does two plus two always
R: Uhh, I don't know.
TMD: How do you feel about the
term crotch rocket?
R: When it's necessary.
TMD: Uh huh. What do you think of
Saddam's recent apology for invading
R: I hadn't even heard he apologized.
TMD: Well, he did. Do you agree
that it's cool to apologize for invading a
R: I think, at the very least, it's a nice
thing to do.
TMD: Have you ever been invaded
TMD: Does Canada suck?
TMD: Should we invade them and
R: They don't deserve our apology.
TMD: So you would be for invading
R: And then not apologize.
TMD: What's your opinion of Tom
R: We don't really know each other,
but I'll confess and say that he's really,
TMD: What exactly makes him so
R: Let's put it this Vay. When I saw
him, I wanted to throw my underwear at
TMD: You wanted to throw your
underwear at him?
R: It's acceptable.
TMD: If someone gave you two free
tickets to see Pearl Jam, would you go?
TMD: If it was a Pearl Jam cover
band, would you go?
TMD: What's the dumbest thing
you've ever done?
R: Hmm, applying to State.
TMD: Is the sky the limit, or would
it be the ozone layer?
R: The sky is the beginning.
TMD: Very profound. When you go
cow-tipping, do you do a little victory
jig if the cow topples over?
R: Yeah. On the cow.
TMD: Don't you hate that disclaimer
restaurants have that their quarter-
pound burger is actually a quarter
pound of meat before cooking?
Because then, it's actualy less. It's false
advertising, isn't it?
TMD: Have you ever drank a bunch
of whiskey, passed out in a crippling,
spinning haze and then woken up to
have four friends drag you to go eat a
one pound burger?
R: Yes. Well, it was almost a pound,
but because of the disclaimer, you
TMD: If you were to randomly inter-
view yourself, what would you ask?
R: Hmm. Do I wear pajamas?
TMD: And do you wear pajamas?
R: Yes, I certainly do.
TMD: Do you think it's more impor-
tant to look good but be late or be on
time but have forgotten your shirt.
R: I have to go with be late, but look
TMD: On a mixed tape, do you ever
R: Oh yeah.
TMD: So to you it's okay to break
the sacred rule that one shouldn't repeat
artists on a mixed tape?
R: Well I feel it is, others say it isn't.
TMD: Would you want to know how
much time you have before your death?
R: Um, yeah.
TMD: Do people ever tell you that
you look like a famous person?
R: No. They tell me get the hell out.
R: That's not funny!
TMD: Apologies. Now it's time for
the final five questions that everyone
Who wins in a boxing match between
Mike Tyson and a kangaroo?
R: Is the kangaroo from Australia or
is it a zoo kangaroo?
TMD: That is a fantastic question.
It's wild, from Australia even.
R: Then I'm going to go with the
TMD: Do you believe that in the end,
the love you take is equal to the love you
R: HELL YEAH!
TMD: Do you prefer the expression
"making whoopee" or "doing the hori-
R: I would go with bop.
TMD: Nature or nurture?
R: I'm going to go with nature.
TMD: If you could relive one
year out of your life, which one
would it be?
R: Because this is the best day of my
life, I'm going to go with this year,
which is year twenty.
TMD: Why exactly are you having a
R: Have you seen the movie "Office
Space," where every day is getting
worse for him?
TMD: I'm not sure whose interview
this is. But yes, I have.
R: Well it's just like that, except that
every day since I got here is getting bet-
ter than the one before.
TMD: Where did you just get here
R: I transferred.
TMD: All right Paul, well thanks a
R: All right, have a good day.
What do you hate most about
"I hate the girls, because they go fo rthe
cheesy lines that get me shot down at
- LSA freshman Chris Queenin
"The commentators always say
the corniest things that make the
people look like tools."
- LSA sophomore Katie Conlon
"They pick the most strange people, just
because they're going for shock value."
- LSA sophomore Jessica Baker
By Tomislay Ladika
Daily Arts Writer
When the lawsuit against the Law
School is argued April 1 before the
U.S. Supreme Court, the key debate is
expected to be whether the school's
admissions policy is a legal step
toward diversity or an unconstitutional
Like the case questioning the admis-
sions policy of the- College of Litera-
ture, Science and the Arts, the lawsuit
against the Law School challenges the
use of race as an admissions factor.
But unlike LSA, the Law School does
not assign specific point values to
Instead, the policy seeks to create a
diverse environment by giving special
weight to applicants with unique talents
or experiences, including "students
from groups which have been histori-
cally discriminated against," like blacks,
Hispanics and Native Americans.
Former University President Lee
Bolinger said all law students benefit
from racially diverse classrooms
because minorities bring unique per-
spectives to discussions about issues
such as restricting hate speech.
"It tends to be a different, more
comprehensive discussion when you
have a diverse class," Bollinger said.
The policy's commitment to racial
diversity has created what is labeled a
"critical mass" of minorities in the
Law School. Law School Dean Jeffrey
Lehman said by admitting a substantial
number of minorities, the policy has
helped to create an environment that
highlights diversity within groups as
well as across society.
"The value of having a racially
diverse class exists in part because when
you have more than token numbers of
members of racial minorities in the
class, other people recognize that such
people are not spokespeople for their
(race or ethnic group)," Lehman said.
In addition to creating a diverse
environment which all students benefit
from, Bollinger said the Law School's
policy ensures that minorities enrolled
in the school do not feel isolated.
"If it is true that race matters in Amer-
ican society and integration is difficult
to achieve ... if the numbers are below a
critical mass, then minorities may not
feel comfortable speaking out."
But Curt Levey, spokesman for the
Center for Individual Rights, a Wash-
ington-based law firm representing the
plaintiffs in the lawsuits, said the cre-
ation of a critical mass indicates that
the Law School is using a type of
He said the Law School's minority
enrollment in recent years has remained
steady, ranging from 13.5 to 13.7 per-
cent of the student body. This statistic
includes only blacks, Hispanics and
Native Americans, the only minorities
to receive special consideration.
"A critical mass is just a quota
expressed as a range," Levey said.
"Who are they kidding when they say
there is no quota?"
While permitting the use of race as an
admissions factor, the Supreme Court
banned the use of racial quotas in its last
ruling on race-conscious admissions
policies in 1978, Regents of the Univer-
sity of California v. Bakke.
Lehman said, instead of using racial
quotas, which reserve a number of
seats for minorities who are insulated
from competing with white applicants,
the Law School policy stipulates that
admissions officers review candidates'
academic merit thoroughly to ensure
that every student admitted will be
able to succeed in the school.
"By applying the kind of sensible,
whole-person review ... we have been
able to have a critical mass," Lehman
said. "It's just another way of explain-
ing the value of the admission policy."
Looking beyond candidates' racial
backgrounds is vital for the Law
School policy, University of Virginia
law Prof. Kim Forde-Mazrui said,
because the Supreme Court will not
approve of it unless the justices decide
race is one of many factors considered
during the examination process.
"If it looks like the main goal is
racial diversity ... the Court's not
going to like that," he said. "They real-
ly want race to be a mild factor."
Forde-Mazrui said even though the
Law School policy does not assign
specific points for minority status, the
Court will look over the overall admis-
sions approach to determine whether
the policy still gives great weight to an
applicant's minority status.
Levey said even if the Court accepts
the University's use of race as an admis-
sions factor, CIR will argue that the Law
School policy places too much weight
on an applicant's racial background.
The Law School's use of race as an
admissions factor must be viewed
within the context of the goal to create
a diverse academic environment,
"You can only think about (the
weight given to race) in relation to
your goals and values," Bollinger said.
"Within this judgment, taking into
account race as much as the University
does is not too much. It's just right."
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Continued from Page 8B
tors in admissions.
By the mid 1980s, the University still had not reached a 10
percent minority rate. Seventeen years after BAM I, the
black enrollment rate stood at 5.3 percent.
In the winter of 1987, several incidents set off another
wave of protests, which would again urge the administration
to look at its progress on minority enrollment.
"It was an enormous amount of activity and concern on
campus and it reached a high level of focus very quickly and
receded very quickly," former President Harold Shapiro said
in an interview last week.
In Febuary 1987, LSA sophomore Ted Sevransky, a disc
jockey on a student radio station, invited callers to tell racist
and sexist jokes including, "Who are the two most famous
black women in history? ... Aunt Jemima and motherfuck-
er," and "Why do black people smell?... so blind people can
hate them too."
Shapiro emphasized the incident mobilized tensions of
issues that were already present on campus.
The next month, the Rev. Jesse Jackson came to campus to
attempt to help relieve tension. At a presentation in Hill
Auditorium, Shapiro was very impressed with how Jackson
handled the crowd and recalled that, after his appearance,
tensions seemed to calm down.
"The kind of heated wave of concern receded the day he
appeared on campus," Shapiro said. "I found him to be extra
helpful in working on these issues. He had a very good
understanding of which of the demands were impossible to
deal with and which ones weren't ... He managed to get
everybody focused on the right issues."
"THE Six POINT PLAN"
Shapiro proposed the Six Point Plan to continue to work
on improving student and faculty diversity on campus. But
in spring of 1987, he announced that he would leave the
University at the end of the year to become president of
Princeton University. After a yearlong search, the University
Board of Regents promoted Duderstadt, then provost, to the
presidency in June 1988.
In Duderstadt's inaugural address, he proposed the
Michigan Mandate, a strategic, long-term plan to
improve not only -diversity but also the racial climate on
campus. In his book, Duderstadt admitted the plan was
broad at first, and required an overhaul of the University
"The plan would have to build on the best that we
already had. The challenge was to persuade the community
that there was a real stake for everyone in seizing this
moment to chart a more diverse future. More people need-
ed to believe that the gains to be achieved through diversi-
ty would more than compensate for the necessary
sacrifices," Duderstadt wrote.
But the.Michigan Mandate proved to be successful.
Between 1988 and 1995, the number of tenure-track faculty
of color increased by 57 percent, while the number of stu-
dents of color increased by 83 percent, along with the num-
ber of students graduating.
The University reached out into more urban areas, to
recruit disadvantaged students. In the 1994-1995 school
year, the minority rate of students at the University stood
at around 20 percent.
In fall 2001, the minority enrollment of undergraduate stu-
dents stood at 5,719 students, or 26 percent of the student
body. But Duderstadt said in an interview last week that
many facets of the Michigan Mandate have eroded because
too much attention has been focused on the lawsuits.
"Many of us were quite concerned when President
Bollinger essentially discarded the Michigan Mandate
strategy to focus instead on the admissions cases," Dud-
erstadt said. "The admissions cases are important, but
they are not the real reason for Michigan's leadership.
Rather it is a far deeper commitment to link diversity
and academic excellence.
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