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February 20, 2003 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 2003-02-20

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4A - The Michigan Daily - Thursday, February 20, 2003

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

LOUIE MEIZLISH
Editor in Chief
AUBREY HENRETTY
ZAC PESKOWITZ
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.

NOTABLE
QUOTABLE
If there is somebody
down there who
shouldn't be there,
the sea lions will
find them."
- Lt. JG. Josh Frey, a spokesman for
the Navy's 5th Fleet, discussing
the US. Navy's use ofsea lions to
detect threats on the fleet from small
watercraft and scuba divers, as reported
yesterday by The Associated Press.

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Just give me a number, please
LUKE SMITH THERE IS NO I IN COLUMN
A rguably a factor final grades are tabulated. foundly inflate or deflate student grades is
in grade infla- I was warned before attending the Uni- disheartening.
tion, the versity that "You'll only be a number To many students and parents, grades are
nationwide up-spike in there," in reference to the large student important and the accuracy of these grades
students' academic body here at the University. Wait, so of represent a student's success and knowledge
performance can be 24,000 undergraduates, I would simply be - not a fudged half-grade improvement
related to relationships a number to my professors? because Luke "really worked hard and came
between students and This size of the student body is not the to office hours," or the converse, "Luke
their graders (graduate problem. Being relegated to "just a number," never comes to class, so his essay clearly
student instructors and is central to assigning proper grades to stu- can't be up to my standards."
professors). This is not to imply the dents for their work. If my professors This issue pertains primarily to classes
remotest degree of inappropriate behavior believe my in-class demeanor is studious, that do not have a multiple-choice exam ele-
occurring between students and faculty; in attentive and intelligent, that conduct should ment (many accounting, pre-business and
fact, it is quite the opposite. not under any circumstance affect or alter science classes are excluded), but, rather,
Relationships between students and facul- the grade I receive (except for the "partici- classes that incorporate student writing as a
ty are essential to the learning process. The pation grade"). The amount of work I as a primary source of grading. Classes like these
mentorship a professor or GSI can offer is student dedicate to my studies, evidenced by should reduce the students' to numerical val-
priceless in undergraduate studies. However, my in-class participation or attendance at ues for grading purposes.
these same relationships that are so critical to office hours, should be absolutely indepen- Papers would be handed in simply .with
learning and intellectual development are dent of the grades I receive. the eight-digit student number as the stamp
contributing factors to the escalating grades Inherently, it would appear as though I of ownership. The graders of papers would
of University students. am pointing fingers, suggesting that pro- need to cut out any contact from the stu-
Professors and GSIs will likely balk at the fessors or GSIs on campus are guilty of dent's name and grade in order to successful-
suggestion that their mentoring of students grade inflation or susceptible to manipula- ly establish a system that reports true grades.
- facilitated likely through visits to office tion by students based on their academic Otherwise, the inflated grades that are being
hours - aid in grade inflation. Repeated vis- relationship with the faculty. One would awarded are doing a tremendous disservice
its to office hours or frequent discussion of be incorrect in this assumption. to the academic institution of higher learning
course-related materials over electronic mail What I seek to elucidate is that the pos- we, as students and members of this commu-
can precipitate some kind of adjustment in sibility for grade inflation's existence is a nity should seek to uphold.
one's academic record. This certainly does partial result of student interaction with After all, the grade is a result of the
not imply illegal modification of one's graders. Office hours are vital; interaction paper itself, not the student behind the
grades, but rather, students held in high favor with professors and 'graduate students is paper, isn't it?
with some faculty whose classes they are important to the education system, if not
enrolled in may reap the benefit of their central. However, the possibility that fac- Smith can be reached
devout attendance to office hours when the ulty's disposition toward students can pro- at lukems@umich.edu.
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
Royal Shakespeare CALISON FISKE to highlight the University's insidious use of
GREG HICKS race in admissions, we realized that it is only a
castmembers voices their KIERON JECCHINIS component of admissions.
. t.r.rDAVID KILICK To that end, the bake sale fully represent-
sf TOM MANNION ed all facets of the admissions policy. Not
CIARAN MCINTYRE only did minorities receive a 20-cent dis-
TO THE DAILY: KARL MORGAN count, but we offered proportional discounts
We, those named below, are members of JAMES O'DONNELL for a student's legacy, athletic prowess and
the Royal Shakespeare Company's produc- PATRICK ROMER geographic location, among other factors.
tions of Coriolanus and The Merry Wives of LucY TREGEAR' In one instance, we offered a bagel for
Windsor which will be performed in Ann HANNAH YOUNG 70 cents to a Hispanic Michigander - 20-
Arbor this March. We wish to make it clear Royal Shakespeare Company castmembers cents off for being a minority and another
that our visit is not supportive of the current 10-cents for being from Michigan.
United States (and by extension, United To. claim that the bake sale was "half-
Kingdom) policy toward Iraq. baked" was inaccurate, and the result of
We do not believe a valid case for war poor research. In the end, the event was
has been made and wish to join all those on Da ly needS to do hneork, definitely positive.
both sides of the Atlantic in supporting a i7It is not every day that people have
peaceful resolution to this conflict through frmaie-aCtion bake Sale open, well-reasoned discussions about
the United Nations. affirmative action on campus. It took
We urge all those who feel the same to accounted ar nore than race something a little shocking to get people to
make their protest known. open up. I was really encouraged by the
KATE BEST dialogue we had with supporters and oppo-
CLAIRE CARRIE TO THE DAILY: nents alike.
SIMON COATES The premise of yesterday's editorial JAMES JUSTIN WILSON
RICHARD COPESTAKE regarding The Michigan Review's affirmative LSA senior
RICHARD CORDERY action bake sale (Half-baked analogy, 02/19/03) The letter writer is the editor in chief
LINDSEY FAWCETT was unfounded. Although we staged the event of The Michigan Review
VIEWPOINT
Tired of same old MSA? Try the University Party

0
0

BY MICHAEL MACVAY & TIMOTHY MOORE
Like all encounters that students will
experience with our members in the next few
months, we will begin with a simple, warm
introduction. We are the University Party, a
new political group dedicated to restoring
credibility and effectiveness to the Michigan
Student Assembly and other similar govern-
ing bodies. One can reasonably ask what
makes the University Party so different from
other groups on campus. Simply put, we
know the role of our government. We under-
stand that MSA has little bearing on non-
campus issues and that resolutions pertaining
to such matters are unnecessary. All these
resolutions do is divide the campus into
numerous factions and threaten to split an
educational union that should strive to per-
fect tolerance and understanding. Moreover,
we represent all ideologies and are deter-
mined to keep national partisan interests out
of a student government that should be neu-
tral on such issues. Education is the goal of
MSA; factionalization and superfluous reso-
lutions are not. We hope that you agree with
rnr nrinrinle and woudlA revel in the AnnAr-

a thriving, politically-aware group helping stu-
dents relate with the administration and pro-
cure necessary founds for various group
activities. Currently, parties rise and fall with
high turnover and the process by which stu-
dents interact with their government changes
just a rapidly. This inconsistency will disap-
pear under the watch of the University Party.
We will remain for many years a strong party
assisting all students, of all political beliefs, in
their endeavors and we will clarify the ways
by which students may participate in MSA and
obtain funds.
Another important focus of the Universi-
ty Party concerns the dissolution of the LSA
Student Government that has occurred under
the current administration. As we all know,
this school is the most populous on campus
and, therefore, carries great significance in
the relation between the administration and
the student body. We vow to bring credibili-
ty and purpose back to the governing body
and rid LSA-SG of rampant apathy.
With that said, election time is fast upon
us friends. At the end of March, winter elec-
tions will grasp the attention of the Universi-
ty for two intense days. Although it may
seem that we iust left an election in the fall.

with campaign posters. This joint venture
will make the campaign season all the more
bearable to the student body and foster a
more personal campaign strategy. In addition
to their pledge, we promise to abstain from
chalking the campus in an effort to beautify
the University. Instead, the student body can
look forward to the University Party engag-
ing students in a positive, verbal manner and
we will not practice the impersonality that
has typified past elections.
Nevertheless, the University Party would
not support legislation against this practice,
as free speech is fundamental to the Consti-
tution of this country. We promise to join the
competition in this endeavor in the spirit of
community appreciation, but the establish-
ment of such legislation degrades those dear
principles of the United States.
We thank the Daily for providing an
impartial forum for student political parties
to express their message. But most impor-
tantly, we thank the readers of this piece
for taking a moment out of their day to hear
our message if only for the chance to take
it into consideration. The University Party
welcomes all students to join our hard
work our nassion arnd our fun For further

asked by the law enforceme:
THE BOONDOCKS

0

AARON MC('TRL.!R.

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