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March 17, 2003 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 2003-03-17

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4A - The Michigan Daily - Monday, March 17, 2003

OP/ED

atbe Ahcig u DtIj

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
"Tomorrow is a
moment of truth."
-President Bush at the summit in the
Azores yesterday, as reported by
The Associated Press.

SAM BUTLERCLsc ABX
A o w A o r
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far
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sa

RSC better on stage than behind the scenes
JOHANNA HANINK PARANCEo 1 UR TIMIES

his weekend, the
campus experi-
enced phase-
denouement of the
Royal Shakespeare
Company's visit to Ann
.. Arbor. I had a chance
to see both "Cori-
olanus" and "Mid-
night's Children,"
"Midnight's Children" on opening night
- not just opening night, but the Ameri-
can premiere. Maybe the "play left the
kindest English critics cold," (according to
Caryn James' March 9 New York Times
article "After the Fatwa, Playwriting and
Partygoing"), but the chill in the Power
Center on opening night was certainly pro-
voked by awe, not disappointment.
The visit of the RSC has marked the
second time this year that the pulse of this
community has risen considerably from
the presence of great theater. In October,
the Abbey Theater of Ireland brought
Euripides' "The Medea," also to the
Power Center. Last semester I took a class
in which we devoted nearly 10 weeks to a
careful reading of "The Medea," a class
that, for me, hinged on seeing the perfor-
mance. There aren't many things that are
2,500 years old and still in style; director
Deborah Warner and Fiona Shaw (the bril-
liant actress in the title role) proved that
"The Medea" is one of them.
But before last October, I had never real-
ly experienced the effects that a play can
have beyond the time of the performance
and the setting of the stage. I was a fresh-
man when, in 2001, the RSC came to
Michigan for the first third of its residency;
apparently I was still too out of it to be in
on the excitement. This year, luckily, I paid

attention - if only because the collective
anticipation of a big chunk of this commu-
nity was too tangible to ignore.
This semester, along with a few hun-
dred other people, I'm taking English 483,
"The Plays of the Royal Shakespeare
Company Residency." I knew some people
who had taken the analogous course two
years ago. What I didn't know, however,
was that this Ralph Williams-cum-RSC
guest speakers half-class half-circus was
only the beginning; in the English depart-
ment alone, 10 courses have some sort of
intellectual buy-in to the visit of the RSC.
Four cover Salman Rushdie, seven cover
Shakespeare, 483 does both.
Amidst the academic overdrive sur-
rounding this residency, the general senti-
ment seems to be that "Midnight's Children
"has come out tops of the three-play pro-
gram. It's given the South Asian Student
Taskforce and the Center for South Asian
Studies a well-deserved place in the intel-
lectual and cultural spotlight.
Between the University of Michigan
and Columbia University, $2 million was
raised to commission the $3 million pro-
duction. To compliment the residency, the
University offered a number of educational
events, from lectures to book clubs to spe-
cial exhibits.
It was the professors holding these
book groups and the academics lecturing
to the community at large who, along with
the play performances, made the intellec-
tual consumer-end of this residency so
wonderful.
In the upper echelon of event adminis-
tration, however, the story was different and
not so community-friendly. Through the
University Musical Society, Rushdie gave
an interview to The Detroit Free Press. No

Ann Arbor or campus publication was
granted exclusive access to Rushdie. It's
problematic when the best place to read
about a University event is in The New
York Times and not the newspapers dedi-
cated specifically to serving the Ann
Arbor/University community.
And while the University offered many
events, it apparently also offered plenty of
alcohol to the guests of the special recep-
tions. A few nights ago, "Midnight's Chil-
dren" "groupies" were seen throwing up in
the halls of the Campus Inn after they'd
had a lot too much to drink at University-
sponsored receptions. The evening appear-
ances of Rushdie were limited to two
donor dinners; a friend of mine was the
only student invited to the dinner recep-
tions at the Alumni Center. During the
opening night "public" reception at Zanz-
ibar, the second level was restricted to the
cast and Rushdie - the public wasn't
allowed. And it seems that the easiest way
to talk to him was to be an attractive young
girl wearing more makeup than clothing.
I've talked to a few people who, under-
standably, have come out of the RSC-Uni-
versity politicking experience disappointed.
But taken as a whole, the aftertaste of the
RSC residency should give this campus a
collective second wind. The Supreme Court
will hear arguments in the affirmative
action case in a few weeks;~at any given
time on this campus it's possible to hear
arguments about the Middle East. The pro-
duction of the three plays has allowed this
university to take a break and let the-profes-
sionals be the ones to raise their voices -
on stage and getting paid for it.
Hanink can be reached
atjhanink@umich.edu.

4l

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Attacks on SAFE
unwarranted; students
express solidarity
TO THE DAILY:
Over the past year, Students Allied for
Freedom and Equality has had to endure a
vicious smear campaign by some pro-Israel
groups on campus. This began with hack
attacks on SAFE members' e-mail address-
es and continues today with the disingenu-
ous actions of the Conference on the
Holocaust organizers (Allowing SAFE to
read victims' names disrespectful, 03/14/03).
This latest incident has crossed the
line, as accusing SAFE of promoting Holo-
caust denial is not only serious and insen-
sitive, but extremely damaging to the
reputation of this dedicated organization.
This accusation, as the conference organiz-
ers know, is patently false, intentionally
deceptive and serves one purpose.
While SAFE dedicates itself to opening
discourse on the Arab-Israeli conflict by
bringing in world-renowned academics and
activists to address the pertinent issue at
hand, some pro-Israeli forces resort to char-
acter assassinations and smear campaigns,
avoiding more often than not discussion on
the conflict, to stifle this discourse.
We stand in full solidarity with SAFE,
particularly in these times when they are
targeted with dishonest and dirty tactics by
some pro-Israel groups who desire only to
silence, rather than address, the voices of
truth on the Arab-Israeli conflict.
COALITION OF ARAB STUDENTS
MUSLIM STUDENTS ASSOCIATION
UNIVERSITY CHAPTER OF THE ARAB,
AMERICAN ANTI-DISCRIMINATION COMMITTEE
Cause and correlation'
must be applied critically;
ISR study accurate
TO THE DAILY:
We wanted to reply very briefly to Dan
Coughlin's recent letter to the Daily (Daily
headline confuses cause and correlation of TV

dinal studies like the one in question. While
only randomized experimental trials can
provide strong simple tests of causation,
with modern sophisticated mathematical
modeling one can evaluate quite well the
relative plausibility of rival causal hypothe-
ses using longitudinal data of the kind col-
lected in this particular study.
In fact, the analyses in the published
article eliminate all of the rival hypotheses
Coughlin suggests as plausible alterna-
tives to explain the obtained 15-year data.
For example, as Coughlin hypothesizes,
children "not properly reared" do indeed
watch more TV and indeed are more
aggressive, but the analyses in the article
show that these relations cannot account
for the 15-year relations between TV vio-
lence viewing in childhood and adult
aggression. Particularly, when the results
of this study are coupled with the results
of many previous short-term randomized
trials and the emerging psychological the-
ory of observational learning, the most
plausible conclusion by far is that repeated
observation of violence (in real life or in
the mass media) during childhood increas-
es the chances that children will behave
more aggressively later when they are
adults.
L. ROWELL HUESMANN
University professor and Senior
Research Scientist, ISR
PAUL BOXER
Research Associate, ISR
Daily continues its habit
of slanted affirmative
action coverage
TO THE DAILY:
I have been deeply disappointed in the
Daily's one-sided coverage of the affirma-
tive action debate on campus. Speakers
and articles in support of affirmative
action have graced the front page daily,
while coverage for anti-affirmative action
activists remains illusive. For instance,
Thursday's front page included a story in
support of the University's admission
policies (Socioeconomic factors used in 'U'
admissions garner strong support, 03/13/03).
Wednesday, there was the article about

Republicans filled a classroom in Mason
Hall to hear Prof. Paul Moreno from Hills-
dale College speak in opposition to the
University's affirmative action policies.
The next day, I scanned the front page for
coverage and found nothing. In fact, there
was absolutely no coverage at all of
Moreno's speech. The Daily is failing in its
efforts to keep the students informed and
educated about the affirmative action
debate by providing biased coverage to
groups that support the University's efforts.
Good journalism provides unbiased report-
ing, and hopefully in the future, the Daily
will explore such practices.
STEPHEN MAcGUIDWIN
LSA junior
College Republicans secretary
Res halls' electronic locks
unecessary, too costly
TO THE DAILY:
I understand that there was a rise in
home invasions and peeping toms in the
University's residence halls. The Universi-
ty has taken numerous steps to address this
issue, including 24 hours a day locked front
doors and the installation of security cam-
eras at the entrances of the buildings.
These are appropriate steps to combat the
rise in criminal activity because they moni-
tors all residents' rooms. I now learn that
my room is going to be equipped with a
new, automatic-locking, electronic lock
that uses both a key card and pin number to
further combat home invasions.
Students must be held - at least some-
what - responsible for their own belong-
ings. There is nothing wrong with
monitoring the entrances and exits to the
building, but the room itself should be the
occupant's responsibility. If the student
wishes to step out for a quick run to the
bathroom without his keys, he should be
able to do so. Now inconvenience is not a
high price to pay for added security, but the
University is facing a huge financial crisis,
and should be looking for areas to cut
costs. Therefore, I find it very wasteful for
the University to replace perfectly good
locks before it assesses whether or not the
first steps taken adequately reduce the

THE BOONDOCKS

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