4 - The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, March 18, 2003
able Aldhtgt DnaIE
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- President Bush in yesterday's
address to the nation.
JOEL HOARD AND SCOTT SERILLA STICK HGURES ARE AWE SOME
oie Crey, what are you
doing out here with all these
hippies? We shovld he back'
at AXQ getting drunk,
he Ir Protong
the war with Iraq. WA
jp'otejinq'? Thars for lors
who CA1,V1 ge ~*s.
tu a tWfpw robe~ketbll?
How does one say "Big Mac" in Arabic?
JOSEPH LITMAN TiE Low END THEORY
's now official:
America East is com-
Who said that Mani-
fest Destiny was dead?
Who heralded the
demise of our expan-
sionist spirit? Who
wrongly surmised that there no longer were
frontiers available for exploration? In the
most American of moves, we've found a new
land to conquer, extending our nation's
proud history of ingenuity. We don't know
the word "can't." (What's that, you say?
We're not the first state to colonize, to use a
military action to dispose of a deplorable dic-
tator? Well, America has done its fair share
of stealing in the past, so calling someone
else's idea our own is fairly American, too.)
The United States is expanding to 51, and
as Puerto Rico continues to eschew statehood,
our government is looking across the Atlantic,
where Iraq has become the likely site of
annexation. Iraq won't officially become a
state because 50 is a workable number, but do
not be fooled by semantics: Iraq will be an
American outpost, at least for a while.
Those who have made my acquaintance
or have read this column in the past know
that I will not be inviting President G-dub
over to watch NBA League Pass in the near
future, however, I need to give the man some
dap because he picked a great place. Iraq is
warm (Spring Break in Baghdad!) and
resource-rich (everyone into their SUVs!).
The only drawbacks are that it may be hard
to separate church from state there (although,
this administration may find that characteris-
tic wholly positive) and it's kind of far, but
that just means more frequent flyer miles.
Two other attractive elements working in
Iraq's favor are the country's dysfunctional
social and economic conditions, plights that
the State Department has already conceded
may preclude stable democracy. But who
cares? Nothing is more American than those
two familiar issues, and while the Iraqi peo-
ple are far less advantaged and far more des-
perate than most Americans, only those who
assess the United States through the rosy lens
of romanticism could say that we've
achieved a utopian democratic state, a nation
where our political system exists alongside
social and economic prosperity.
The latest evidence of our continuing prob-
lems emerged last week. First, the U.S. Senate
banned, save only for cases of imminent death,
the intact dilation and extraction procedure now
only rarely used to end pregnancy. Effectively,
the Congress has unconstitutionally declared
that the health of people like, oh, I don't know,
women, is not of utmost importance and that
more than half the population does not have
absolute freedom over their bodies and their
choices. That's great.
Second, the economic figures released
were quite discouraging, because February
saw joblessness increase and the dollar's value
decrease. Fear over the impending war in the
Middle East has limited our economy's recov-
ery, making employers and investors wary.
Not only is unemployment rampant, but also
confidence in the U.S. markets is slipping, and
investment may soon decline - a negative
that outweighs a potential gain in exports -
the way that the job market has. Super.
On a larger scale, America remains afflict-
ed by terrible gaps - gaps in power, income,
education, quality of life - between the haves
and the have-nots, and those schisms have
created social stratifications that reward the
privileged and the condemn the disadvan-
taged. As for democracy, one need only think
back to the 2000 presidential election for
proof that we haven't even perfected the sys-
tem that we superciliously champion.
However, it is a lot easier to export our
imperfect American elsewhere than repair
our deficiencies at home, and given the situa-
tion in Iraq, that country seems like a
promising fixer-upper, a place where we can
lessen the severity of the problems, bringing
them up to suitable, American standards.
Enough with the serious talk, though,
because no one likes that. Instead, the focus
should be placed on the great potential of
nation building in the Middle East. Yes, we're
likely going to infuriate and galvanize U.S.
opponents, but how great will it be once our
soldiers, stationed in Iraq for at least a year
without the proper skills needed to construct a
nation, can walk past a former weapons plant
and sit down in a pristine, air-conditioned
McDonald's? Don't you think that the Iraqi
people will enjoy driving to the mall so that
they can cop the newest Nikes and watch the
latest Chris Rock movie? If the price that we
pay is a continued neglect of the issues in this
country, so be it. As G-dub will readily tell
you, he can only get reelected once. And it's
not everyday that you can mismanage a coun-
try spanning two continents.
Litman can be reached at
A student's primer on Code conversion
BY ANDREW BLOCK
Students at the University are recognized
across the country for their commitment to
protecting civil liberties. On the level of
national politics, University students are the
first to organize against what they view as an
infringement on their rights or the rights of
others. Now is the time for students to stand
up and be heard in the debate over their rights
as members of the University community by
supporting the Michigan Student Assembly's
proposed amendments to the Statement of
Student Rights and Responsibilities, formerly
known as "The Code." By simply logging on
students can lend their voices to the cause.
Despite a general lack of awareness of
the existence of the Code, this document
directly affects every single student at the
University. The Code governs all behavior
that is primarily non-academic, stating
which types of behavior the University
considers a violation of its policies and lay-
ing out the disciplinary process required to
address such violations.
While the Code can be used to promote a
safer, more responsible campus community,
certain portions of the policy permit an unnec-
essary extension of the University's power or
fail to secure rights that should be basic to the
disciplinary process. While the stated purpose
of the Statement is to educate the student body,
the reality is that students facing the discipli-
nary procedure are subject to punishments
ranging from simple probation or community
service to suspension or expulsion.
The Student Rights Commission of MSA
has been working hard over the past months to
bring desperately-needed changes to the Code.
Once every two years, MSA has the opportuni-
ty to propose amendments, which are then
reviewed by a faculty committee before being
forwarded to the President. While several of our
seven suggested changes have been received
positively by the faculty and the administration,
there is some disagreement over certain amend-
ments that would afford much-needed protec-
tion to students' civil liberties.
With respect to the disciplinary process,
two parts of the Code stand out as particularly
disturbing: The denial of the accused's right to
legal representation during an arbitration hear-
ing and the inability of accused students to
open their hearing to the public unless consent
of the complainant is also given. Although
many other Big Ten universities (including
President Mary Sue Coleman's old home)
make provisions for legal representation at the
student's expense and allow the accused stu-
dent to open a hearing unilaterally, the Univer-
sity lags behind in affording similar protections
to its students. Our amendment would correct
this imbalance by making these options avail-
able to students under certain circumstances. It
is unfortunate that an institution famed for its.
progressivism has thus far been unable to adopt
procedures that ensure that students' basic
rights are protected.
The potential also exists for the University
to overreach the limits of its power. Currently,
behavior that occurs in Ann Arbor but off Uni-
versity property may be considered a violation
of the Code. Through our amendments, the
Student Rights Commission is attempting to
restrict the University's authority within its
natural boundaries: University-owned proper-
ty, public property immediately adjacent to
that property and University events and pro-
grams. The University should not have the
power to punish students for behavior that
occurs away from the campus area unless that
behavior provides a serious threat to the Uni-
versity community, a condition that is explicit-
ly contained in the amendment.
Student input is critical to the amend-
ment process. The faculty are reviewing
the proposals at this very moment and will
soon be deciding whether to recommend
that the amendments be accepted or reject-
ed by Coleman.
Go right now to
let the faculty know how you feel about
MSA's proposals by scrolling down to the
feedback form at the bottom of the page. A
complete version of the proposals and a
quick-review summary are available to facili-
tate the feedback process.
You owe it to yourself as a student at
the University to be a part of this monu-
mental process. Let your voices be heard
now, before it's too late.
Block is the chair of the Students'
Rights Commission ofMSA.
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
'U' relationship with office
supplier tainted by dangerous
TO THE DAILY:
We would like to express our concern
about the University's business relationship
with Boise Cascade Office Products. Boise
Cascade Office Products is a corporate suppli-
er that manufactures and markets a wide vari-
ety of merchandise, including furniture,
software and paper products. The University's
Purchasing Services, Stores and Auxiliary
Services website posted an announcement
that the university awarded a prime vendor
sity's support for a company with gross disre-
gard for our environment's wellbeing.
Please visit our website
ww w.geocities.com/umoldgrowth/ for more
detailed information and to sign a petition to
halt the purchasing of Boise Cascade's prod-
ucts at the University.
Cultural identity can still
lead to cultural uncertainty
and not one is problem free. The fear that our
society has regarding interracial dating con-
cerns me. As a product of an interracial mar-
riage, I wonder where I fit in this emotionally-
segregated country. I am not naive enough to
think that my lack of ethnic definition is fully
responsible for my dearth of dates; however, I
am forced to realize that until there is a promi-
nent half-Indian community, any date I might
go on would most likely be "interracial." I feel
that my cultural uncertainty is due more to
questions such as "what are you?" and "where
do you come from?" than the fact that my par-
ents were born on opposite sides of the world.
When I am among Indians, I often forget that I
am different. Likewise, in day-to-day situa-
tions, it slips my mind that I am not exactly
"white." When race is such an issue, what