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October 23, 2002 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 2002-10-23

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4 - The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, October 23, 2002

OP/ED

ible £ibing aitg

420 MAYNARD STREET
ANN ARBOR, MI 48109
letters@michigandaily.com

EDITED AND MANAGED BY
STUDENTS AT THE
UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN
SINCE 1890

JON SCHWARTZ
Editor in Chief
JOHANNA HANINK
Editorial Page Editor

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
We will mount
an angry, loud
opposition just as
we did in the
Vietnam War."
- International Action Center co-director
Brian Becker on the U.S.-Iraq war protest
planned for this weekend in Washington,
D.C., as quoted by the Associated Press.

rrioCe auh laws ?
"Cinere Sho td be sw a.tter
gove rmen ! Fewer gpvernr en
rivake.. t\ e ou lieve -t- ne. _-
Ye-t-
c overnrne+ - haS
i e ece_ w a wow~wn's
body re acd oj aboc iov,?
04 7 1

SAM BUTLER TI SOAPBOX

I. u-e5~mcnpy
welyjeM
r

"

I regret to inform you, I won't be rich
JESS PISKOR THis SPACE NOT FOR SALE

Dear Mom and
Dad:
I'm sorry, I'm
not going to grow up
and be a high-powered
tax lawyer nor will I go
through the Business
School and compromise
my beliefs for a six- or
seven-figure salary. Get-
ting rich has its appeals, but frankly, it's not
one of my goals. I don't intend to buy my
happiness. Instead of using wealth to avoid
the stresses of everyone's lives, like insur-
ance costs, children's education and retire-
ment savings, I will work to eliminate those
stresses. It will mean a lower-paying job. I
will not tone down my fight for a better
world even though it might limit my career
options.
I know you're proud of me. You are
proud of me for my achievements so far. But
you're also proud because I have potential. I
attend an elite university and I am earning
the credentials that can easily be turned into
a comfortable, successful life with a wife and
two kids and a three car garage and vacations
and maybe a sailboat. Yes, that would proba-
bly ensure my happiness. I could retire at 60.
See the world. Give to charity. Hate my boss.
I'd be an American success story and you'd
be rightfully proud of me.
Monetary success is the easy answer to
all of life's problems. If I make enough, I
am exempt from the problems in the United
States. High insurance costs? Forget univer-
sal health care, I'll just get rich. Social
Security slowly vaporizing? Don't bother
changing that, I'll just contact an invest-

ment banker who will build up an impres-
sive portfolio from contributions I started
making when I landed that high paying job
at 25. Cancer-causing pesticides in my
genetically-altered food? Well, no point in
changing the practices of huge factory farm-
ers, I'll just pony up a little more for organ-
ic food. Pollution? Global Warming?
Doesn't bother me, I've got a nice house in
the forest and the best air filters money can
buy. Sure my kid has asthma, but I can
afford the inhalers. My kids will go to pri-
vate school to avoid our failing public ones.
Then it's off to college for them so they too
can avoid the problems of the world.
When did life become only worrying
about my own happiness? What happened
to community? What's so wrong with car-
ing about the happiness of my neighbor who
works her ass off but is still one of the 43
million Americans who can't afford health
insurance? I'm not willing to ignore my
feelings that the world is headed in the
wrong direction. I will not sell my beliefs
for the promise of a good job. I'm not will-
ing to moderate my political writing for fear
that a future employer would be scared by
my anti-corporate outlook. I will not
promise never to get arrested for non-vio-
lently demonstrating my beliefs.
I won't buy a big house in the hills, hide
for 50 years, donate a couple thousand to
charity and call it a day. Instead I'll working
from the ground up, starting now. I can tak-
ing an 'active role in the way things work. I
can write letters to Congress. I can call up
local representatives. I can have political dis-
cussions with my neighbors and engage the
community. We can work together to create

new ideas for a better world. I can put up
posters and attend meetings and rallies. And
yes, maybe I can go to a protest. Maybe I'll
get tear-gassed and maybe I'll be arrested for
civil disobedience.
Activism and future success aren't
mutually exclusive. I can fight for good and
still have a decent job and provide for my
family. I'm not actively looking to get
arrested. I'm just telling you that given the
choice of doing what's right or holding
down my feelings in order to secure a job
later, I'll take the former. I refuse to be
shackled in my actions because I'm fearful
of lost job opportunities in the future.
My grades are good enough. Sure I might
get a few more B's than I might otherwise.
Yes, that might make the difference between
getting that great job and that merely good
one. But let's face it, I'm a child of privilege,
I've attended and succeeded at a top univer-
sity. I'm a damn hard worker. I'm not going
to die penniless. My activism opens more
doors than it closes.
I know you have my best interests at,
heart. You have years more experience and
I know my active role in the world worries
you. But please, don't think the alternative
is better. Apathy and self-centered goals
for success are far more dangerous for the
world. Watching the world crumble around
me while I'm safely cushioned by my sav-
ings account is wrong. Yes, my activism
lends itself to a more uncertain personal
future. But it also allows for a future I
might want to live in.
Jess Piskor can be reached
atjpiskor@umich.edu.

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Student groups signed onto
boycott don't understand
reasoning behind actions
TO THE DAILY:
I guess I'm crossing the picket lines by writ-
ing this letter. I guess I risk being shunned by
all those groups who wish to make a point and
change the Daily for the better. In fact, can it be
that my Latino community may actually even
disown me for not holding the fort and support-
ing "the cause?" Well, that's life. You know,
it's not that I don't support everyone in their
noble cause for change. I mean if that's what it
takes to get different groups together for a cup
of coffee and a bagel, then more power to you.
But honestly, do half of these student
groups who feel so moved to boycott the Daily
really understand the reasoning behind their
actions? I'm going to step out on a limb and say
no. You know what it is? People, especially
students, especially University kids, love
"fighting for their rights." They love joining
together and donning their capes and cowls and
saving the world from the evils of prejudice and
racism. Great. Lovely, really. I'm all for the
marches here and there, the "make love, not
war" mentality and even the occasional "we are
so oppressed" speech. But boycott the Daily
because there are - dare I say it - opinions
occasionally mixed in? Has anyone ever read
The New York Times? But no - the Daily
misspells a couple of names, doesn't cover
Salsa dancing and now you are marked as the
paper who is ever so slyly suppressing the
minorities (sigh). Anyone else care to join this
fashionable bandwagon? Better hurry because a
month from now there will be another call for
all those super heroes out there to "save the
world" from the evils of democracy.
But hey, I support you. Honestly, I do. Have
your coffee and bagels. Rally together for a
common good. And when you all feel like vic-
tory has been reached and another evil has been
extinguished, come get me. I'll be in the back
reading about it in the Daily. By the way, my
last name is spelled T-o-r-r-e-s. Just thought I'd
help you out a bit.
JOHN TORRES
LSA junior
Schwartz' attack of Creeks
lacked supporting evidence

some more facts: 1) I am aware of two other
incidents since I attended school here in which
a male student took advantage of a female stu-
dent. Neither involved a fraternity and neither
got the same publicity as the Beta incident. 2)
Two years ago a University student died of
alcohol on his 21st birthday. This student was
not in a fraternity. 3) No fraternity members or
guests have died since then due to alcohol. If I
have misrepresented these facts or if there is
something I'm missing, it certainly wasn't in
Schwartz' column to back his opinion up.
"I just wonder what kind of society of col-
lege-aged people needs sober monitors."
Schwartz answered his own question - the
entire society of college-aged people. To sug-
gest that fraternity parties are the only ones that
need monitors to look after a crowd of people
drinking is ridiculous. Sure, Schwartz is a civi-
lized human being; so am I. But we all know
that not everyone is "civilized" when they drink
and guess what - they're not all in fraternities.
Sober monitors are not there to merely prevent
deaths or date rape - they also prevent vandal-
ism and fights. The Greek system is an easy tar-
get, because a few bad incidents have happened
within the institution. But these incidents have
been equalled outside of the Greek institution.
As for what our house showed to poten-
tial rushees, you might (but shouldn't) be
surprised to know it wasn't about keg
stands. We promoted one of our premier
events, our annual pep rally.
This year, in a student-planned event I have
yet to see matched on campus, we brought
together Coach Carr, Bill Martin, the Universi-
ty marching band, the cheerleaders and the
dance team for over 2,000 fans before the
Washington game. We raised hundreds of dol-
lars for the Coach Carr Cancer Fund. This
event received media attention from The Ann
Arbor News and The Detroit News and was
even shown nationally on ESPN College
GameDay. Yet, despite our efforts, the Daily
conveniently ignored it.
If Schwartz wants to hold a personal grudge
against the Greek system, so be it. I'm not writ-
ing this letter to change his opinion. But to use
his editorial space to misrepresent facts to pro-
mote his opinion and pretend as if there is a pat-
tern of "uncivility" within the Greek system is
irresponsible.
PETER LUND
LSA junior
The letter writer is the vice president
of Alpha Delta Phi Fraternity.

derful philanthropic and community-service
based activities and fundraisers and praise be to
them for that. But on the other, there are the
issues Schwartz raised: substance abuse and
date rape. The truth is most freshmen probably
don't join a Greek house for the great charitable
opportunities, but rather for the social ones,
such as a festive weekend atmosphere. While
the date rape cases have been mostly isolated
incidents, I'll argue that they're the result of a
widespread mentality - one that promotes
debauchery (and, as is evident at just about any
frat party, chauvinism) in general and under-
mines any sense of community with the Uni-
versity as a whole.
What's the paint of raising money for
constructive social causes only to turn
around and destroy them? Let's see the
Greeks serve as a better example for the
University; while the charity work is
admirable, it's not enough day to day.
LAUREN RUTLEDGE
LSA senior
Winston sviewpoint only
made IFC look foolish
TO THE DAILY:
Thank you so much for printing Joel Win-
ston's (Editor in Chief has small Schwartz, low
self-esteem, 10/22/02). I was laughing so hard
reading it that I had tears in my eyes. As current
Editor in Chief of the Michigan Every Three
Weekly, a publication that has found it easy
over the past few years to make fun of the
Greek system here at the University, I can hon-
estly say that nothing we have ever written or
ever will write about it could be half as funny
as the words of the IFC's own president.
I guess sometimes, if you really want to
make someone look foolish, you don't have be
the one to provide the evidence. Just give them
a venue to speak, and they'll do your work for
you. Thanks for providing that venue to Win-
ston. Reading it was as sic (sic) as a freshman
after ten Natty Lights at a frat party.
RICH CANTLEY
LSA senior
The letter writer is the Editor in Chief of
the Michigan Every Three Weekly.

THtINK YOU RE STRESSD

AL l

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