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April 15, 2003 - Image 18

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The Michigan Daily, 2003-04-15

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4B - The Michigan Daily - Special Graduation Section - Tuesday, April 15, 2003



United States of vulnerability

Sept. 13,2001
O nce, on a visit to
New York, I hap-
pened to stay at
the Marriott Hotel located
next to the World Trade
Center. After an evening
out, my friend and I
thought it would be fun to
go down to the Plaza at
the foot of the WTC and walk around.
The New York skyline is strange. The dis-
tance you are from many of its most architec-
turally and physically imposing buildings does
not necessarily have any relation to your sight-
line of the particular building. As you
approach the city from northern New Jersey,
the skyline begins to emerge from what is
sometimes a beautiful blue sky. White clouds
rest peacefully above 110 stories of soaring,
almost mythical majesty. From certain vantage
points much further uptown, you could peek
through buildings and make out the WTC's
top-most points. In the other boroughs, a ter-
race on any of the taller apartment buildings
would earn you a relatively unobstructed sight-
line. But when you're Downtown or Midtown,
there are too many other tall buildings, densely
packed, and you would forget just how tall the
WTC -just a few blocks away - really is.
But on this particular evening, my friend
and I lay, with our backs against its concrete
wall, below one of the Twin Towers and
gazed up at this surreal road to the heavens
that stood above us. On Tuesday night,
when I stood at the vigil in the Diag and
tried to conjure up how I could possibly
approach this unfortunately unapproachable
subject in today's column, I again looked to
the sky. And I remembered that night, and
my proximity to the crown jewel in New
York's million-dollar skyline.
Anyway, that's an introduction to a story I
can't really tell, a point I can't really make. It is
probably callous to discuss architectural loss in
the midst of the worst terrorist attack ever, but
the loss of the WTC - the building itself -
from downtown Manhattan is more than an
architectural loss. It is the loss of a crucial
ingredient of our civilization's stew of achieve-
ment. And callous as it may be, it is as far as
my comprehension of what happened Tuesday
morning has taken me. The numbers - of bod-
ies, of dollars - will start to become known,
and hopefully then I can begin to appreciate the
scope of what happened, its sickening horror
and the ensuing grief. But for now, all I can
deal with is what I see on the television.
Even now I understand that the devastation
of Tuesday marks the loss of a security and
piece of mind that we - the United States,
Americans - never deserved to have. Part of

me is keeping myself from becoming too rat-
tled - maybe too outraged - by acknowledg-
ing that the action taken by the terrorists on
Tuesday was not completely unwarranted. We
don't deserve something as severe as what
happened in New York and Washington. No
nation, no people, do. But there was an impor-
tant lesson that our nation's leadership - and
our nation's general consciousness - needed
to learn. It is that we are not immune from
international scrutiny. I am not bothered by
that statement's obviousness. But it is one that
everyone in this country - from President
Bush to you and me - need to realize. We try
to forget about the way this country behaves
internationally -that we too often behave as
terrorists. We are encouraged to ignore that
behavior by the national media, by government
propaganda, by schoolbooks and by each
other. This world is not safe, and this country
is certainly no exception. It wasn't Tuesday, it
isn't today, and it won't be in 50 years -
unless things change. The laundry list of U.S.
misdoings is for another time in another col-
umn - probably one that is not Hornography.
If the leadership of our country has its way,
a dangerous cycle will be allowed to continue.
It is one in which the United States makes ene-
mies abroad, via broken treaties, unattended
summits and tyrannical international policing.
Terrorism follows, allowing leaders to call for
appropriations to "fix" our national defense.
The cycle needs to end, and it ends at the
beginning. Funding the military at this point is
a band-aid solution to a more complex prob-
lem. The problem can be traced back to our
cockiness and arrogance in international mat-
ters, and it needs to end.
When we celebrated my mother's birthday,
we celebrated it in the city she had grown up
in - a city thousands of miles and decades
removed from Pearl Harbor. It was a city that
was safe, but safe only in our minds. This
wave of terrorism may not be over. Let's learn
from Tuesday and not fall back asleep, not
convince ourselves that what happened two
days ago can't happen again today. We won't
panic, but we won't become complacent
either. This is a frighteningly imperfect world,
which fosters an environment where some-
thing like what happened in Manhattan and
Arlington can happen. But we as a nation
play a major part in that world, and our
actions can shape it.
My condolences are with the friends and
families of the victims of the WTC and Penta-
gon attacks, and my faith is in a U.S. people
and a U.S. government that can learn, change
and improve.
Horn is an LSA senior and has been a
Daily columnist since the winter of 2000.

I saw the ballots.
It was ridiculous
how shady they
- Sam Eliad, LSA senior, on the
"butterfly ballots " used in Palm
Beach County, Fla. (Nov. 28, 2000).

r" c\ r-t




Over the past four years, the University has served
as an epicenter of debate on a range of issues.

Clinton should be next
U president
As the University turns its attention
toward finding new leadership to replace out-
going President Lee Bollinger, it should take
into careful consideration what made Lee
Bollinger great for the University. In doing
so, it becomes all the more apparent that the
next president of the University should be
former President of the United States, Bill
During Bollinger's tenure at the Univer-
sity, he was a champion of fundraising.
That will be difficult to replace. However,
when it comes down to it, Clinton may be
the greatest fundraiser our country has ever
known. This would bode very well for cam-
pus expansion and development. As far as
having held previous leadership positions,
we can leave that alone. I think Clinton's
leadership credentials stand up by them-
It is hard to imagine this campus without
President Bollinger. His 5K runs across cam-
pus with students have become legendary.
Once again, it is good thing Bill Clinton
stayed in shape running many miles around
Washington. As far as relating to students,
Bollinger was unmatched.
From inviting students in his classes

into his home at the end of the term, to let-
ting students parade through his living
room after Michigan beat Penn State in
1998, Bollinger made his home the stu-
dents' home. Well, at least Clinton let 20-
somethings into his office. Bollinger will
be sadly missed at the University. After all,
he has guided our University through good
times and bad. From national champi-
onships, to affirmative action, Bollinger
has left an indelible mark on the University.
So, as Bollinger heads off to become New
York's newest resident, I think it is only fair
that the University get one of New York's in
return. President Bollinger left big shoes to
fill at the University. I think Bill Clinton's
size 13s should do the job.
LSA senior
Oct. 4, 2001
Word diversity is without
clear definition
I am writing because I am confused
regarding the recent furor over the Universi-
ty's admissions procedures, and hoped that
someone, be it the Daily's editorial staff or
otherwise, could enlighten me as to how the
process works.
The first issue which confuses me is what

the administration actually means by "diversi-
ty?" Does the University mean diversity in
the "ethnic" manner only, or do regional,
national, cultural, socio-economic, sexual and
religious differences constitute part of what it
means to have a diverse student body as well?
Are the above considerations factored into the
admissions process, and if so, in what manner
and to what degree?
I ask this because while the gay and lesbian
community on campus is certainly distinct -
and adds a constructive voice to many topics
- I am unaware of any complaints of
favoritism regarding the admission of gays and
lesbians. Nor am I aware of so-called "reverse
discrimination," which benefits Hindus, Jews,
Chinese, Koreans, Japanese, Muslims (many
of whom are of African descent themselves) or
any of the other unique and diverse peoples
and individuals who make up the student body
of the University.
To be honest, I am ignorant as to whether
the University even takes religion or sexual
orientation into account when reviewing
applications. Although it seems a University
pledged to diversity would, I am curious to
learn the manner in which it does so.
.Again, I suppose I'm just ignorant regarding
what "diversity" means to the University and am
interested in what kinds of diversity warrants
special attention to the admissions procedure.
LSA student
Jan. 20, 2000



Win a free
DVD player!
EnteratSenior Days 2003.
While you're there, sign up for a FREE
one-year membership in the Alumni Association
and get a free graduation gift!

11 a.m.-1 p.m.
Pierpont Commons
Outside the Piano Lounge


8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
Sophia B. Jones Room
First floor, Michigan Union
Across from commencement ticket pickup

8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
First floor, Michigan Union
Pond Room

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