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February 14, 2003 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 2003-02-14

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4 - The Michigan Daily - Friday, February 14, 2003


Ubei *Itditgu arug


SINCE 1890

Editor in Chief
Editorial Page Editors

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.

admissions give
more to kids
who already
have more."
- Sen. John Edwards (D-N.C.), on higher
education admissions policies, as reported
yesterday by The New York Times.

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My Valentine to the house

Lebanon - I
left for Beirut
this week to spend my
final semester abroad. In
doing so, I became the
;... first of my roommates
to officially depart Ann
' Arbor. Leaving college
doesn't really bug me.
I've said it before: If these really are the best
years of my life, I'll kill myself by the time I'm
30. But I will miss the guys.
A lot of my friends balked when I told them
I was living, during my senior year of college,
with five people who not only attended the
same high school I did but the same middle
school. It is a little odd. Most people I know try
to get as far away from high school classmates
as they can when they attend college. For a
while, I did the same, save for living with Mike
in the residence halls freshman year. I asked
him to room with me because I was afraid if I
went in blind there was a chance, however slim,
I would get for a roommate another one of our
classmates whom I couldn't stand.
For the most part, though, I stayed away
from people from high school when I got to col-
lege. I still saw my roommates in Grand Rapids
during vacations and occasionally at school, but
mostly because we had football tickets together.
I'm not sure what exactly brought me
back. I guess I felt I had proven to myself I
could survive without the comfort of people I
had known for so long. More likely I was
tired of a string of roommates I didn't know

so well, who only after I had moved in
revealed habits ranging from cocaine to sere-
nading any girl I brought into the apartment
with really bad '80s songs strummed on an
out-of-tune guitar. My female friends would
often refuse to come to my apartment during
second semester of that year, and bringing
dates home became out of the question.
The strange thing is, my roommates and I
have virtually nothing in common save our
shared years in school. Andrew is the engi-
neer who abstains from drinking and smok-
ing and drew up the plans for the fire pole to
take us from the third to the second floor
when we heard our house was going to be
torn down at the end of the year. He was
even thoughtful enough to equip it with a
trap door so none of the rest of us would fall
down the hole while intoxicated.*
Mike is the alpha male. He became the de
facto coach of our intramural football team,
which caused Josh to quit because he felt
Mike was taking it too seriously. (Mike still
stands by his decision to bench Josh, whose
best play of the season was showing up late
for the first game of the playoffs, just in time
to give our team five players and avoid a
double forfeit and save our season.)
Josh is in the Business School. He's the
only person I know who beatboxes in the
shower. He never turns off the Food Channel
and can tell you, on sight and at great distance,
what year a pair of Air Jordans came out.
Matt studies econ. I think he's all roided
up, he swears he's not. We don't agree on
much, and when he tells me he doesn't like a

girl I'm dating I usually assume I'm dating the
right kind of girl. Matt threw Josh through a
door once in high school. When Mike gets
drunk and starts a row, he runs to get Matt.
Aaron studies psychology and Buddhism.
He's headed to Tibet this summer. Catch his
show freeform radio show at 1 a.m. Mondays
on WCBN.
The closest thing to a real theory on how
the whole thing worked is that our disparate
dispositions created some sort of balance.
Sometimes I wondered if it was really as
good as I made it out to be, but then one of
our other friends would come over to the
house sit next to me on the couch just to lis-
ten to us bullshit. We know just how far to
push each other. None of us ever hit on a girl
one of the others brought home and we've
played baseball in our living room. The
dynamic was so comfortable we apparently
set off matronly urges. A couple girls I know
tried to adopt us like a tribe of Lost Boys.
This is the first column this year I haven't
written while sitting on our ratty sofa, smok-
ing pot, feet propped on the coffee table that
is no longer with us as a result of my going
away party, weaving snippets of the conver-
sation into whatever I'm complaining about.
Sorry, guys, if I left some dishes in the
* Alas, the fire pole never materialized.
Our slum - I mean, landlord, decided to
rent the place out again.
Enders can be reached at


MSA has abandoned the best
interests of Ann Arbor tenants
As the counseling director of the Ann
Arbor Tenants Union, I am extremely dis-
pleased with the Michigan Student Assem-
bly's frequent mischaracterization of our
For over 30 years, the AATU has served
University students and the Ann Arbor commu-
nity by informing tenants of their rights and pro-
tecting them from corrupt landlord practices.
Now, MSA is using its "mandate" of student
opinion (obtained through less than a quarter of
the student vote) to deny the AATU funding for
Winter semester. This action will have the
immediate effect of denying University students
benefits they have enjoyed long before any cur-
rent MSA member was even born.
MSA attempts to justify this decision with
a series of statistics comparing the AATU's
spending with the number of students we
counsel per month. This statistic is terribly
misleading because direct counseling consti-
tutes a mere fraction of the services we pro-
vide. The AATU has spoken at numerous
residence hall events, set up counseling tables
at the Michigan Union, and distributed hun-
dreds of pamphlets helping University stu-
dents rent an apartment for the first time.
Furthermore, the majority of our spending

results from MSA's decision to kick the
AATU out of its office in the Union last
spring. This action had two devastating con-
sequences for the AATU. First, it decreased
our intake by moving us to an unfamiliar
location in the William Monroe Trotter
House. Second, it required us to reprint all of
our materials with the new AATU phone
number and address. Leave it to MSA to
punch a hole in the ship, and then blame the
captain when it sinks.
By effectively destroying the Ann Arbor
Tenants Union, this year's MSA will establish a
shameful legacy, and deprive Michigan tenants
of an important ally for years to come.
Director of Counseling
Ann Arbor Tenants Union
Student Legal Services is
not a viable substitute for
the role of the AATU
I was saddened to come across Joe Bern-
stein's comment comparing Student Legal
Services to the Ann Arbor Tenants Union in
the Daily, AATU fights to keep funding,
(02/12/03). He might believe that SLS is

superior to the AATU because it supposedly
"provides the same thing better and for
free," but if SLS were to completely take
over the AATU's tenant counseling duties,
it would deprive many enthusiastic and
interested students like myself of the oppor-
tunity to counsel other students on impor-
tant and prevalent matters.
Mostly out of an interest in law and
counseling, and partly out of a feeling of
exploitation by a former landlord, I started
volunteering with the AATU in October. I
am proud to be part of the diligent team of
people who has counseled every single stu-
dent who has requested help in the past four
months. Being able to learn about landlord-
tenant laws and applying that knowledge to
assist my peers has been a gratifying experi-
ence, and has served as preparation for me
and my possible future in law.
The fact that Student Legal Services is
staffed by lawyers rather than students does
not necessarily make it a better resource for
students than the AATU. Aside from giving
students the chance to volunteer and gain
experience in counseling, the AATU allows
student tenants to approach peers who special-
ize in landlord-tenant laws with problems and
questions that do not require the assistance of
a lawyer. My only hope is that MSA will real-
ize how incredible and valuable the AATU is
for student tenants and volunteers alike.
LSA senior

'U' should celebrate V-Day with education, activism

Look around you. Pick out five females.
Statistics show that at least one of those five
women will be victims of sexual assault at
some point during their college careers. In
America, a woman is raped every two min-
utes. Around the world, one in three women
have been beaten, coerced into sex or
abused. Seventy-five percent of female rape
victims require medical care after the attack.
Internationally, two million girls between
the ages of two and fifteen are introduced
into the commercial sex market. By the time
you finish reading this article a dozen
women in America will be battered.
Violence against women is happening
everywhere. It is local and specific. It does
not distinguish between class or race or age
or locality. Rape doesn't exclusively take
place in back alleys; it occurs in homes,

tion. As a result, women spend most of their
lives recovering from, resisting or surviving
violence rather than creating and thriving.
These facts are the reason why this cam-
pus and thousands of other locations world-
wide proclaim today as V-Day. Today, the
University joins the global movement to
stop violence against women and girls. V-
Day has become a palpable energy, a fierce
catalyst that promotes creative events to
increase awareness, raise money and revital-
ize the spirit of existing anti-violence orga-
nizations. V-Day is an organized response
against violence toward women. It is a
vision of a world where women live safely
and freely. The supporters of V-Day demand
that rape, incest, battery, genital mutilation
and sex slavery must end now. It is an
unstoppable movement and community. The
mission of V-Day is simple. It demands that
the violence must end. It proclaims Valen-
tinP'c Flav, 'c, VJ'lox, uil the xvinleonca otnnc

3:00 p.m. this international feminist activist
will transform 1800 Chemistry Building into
her vision: "V-World" where all women live
in safety, no longer fearing violence. In V-
World, where there exists no violence,
women and children will be allowed to be
born in China, India and Korea; safe in their 4
beds at home in the United States, Europe
and Asia; eating ice cream in Afghanistan;
keeping their clitorises in Africa and Asia;
voting in Kuwait; openly flirting in Jordan;
safe at parties on college campuses; driving
cars in Saudi Arabia; securely walking home
from work in Mexico; enjoying sex; celebrat-
ing their desires; loving their bodies; thriving
in an empowering world.
I encourage you to imagine your own V-
World. I challenge you to take a stand in the
fight against violence. Get involved at today's
V-Day rally, educate yourself during Eve
Ensler's lecture, celebrate women at the pro-



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