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September 19, 2003 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 2003-09-19

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4 - The Michigan Daily - Friday, September 19, 2003

OP/ED

Uij~e Lidtijan Datig

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
We've had no
evidence that Saddam
Hussein was involved
with September 11."
- President Bush, Wednesday, on the
perception held by many that Hussein was
directly responsible for Sept. 11, as
reported by the Associated Press.

i
C-is,
CLARk

SAM BUTLER CLAssIc SOAPBOX

I
I

-'AR&IET PRAVTLCE

Cleaning up the mud bowl

0

SRAVYA CHIRUMAMILLA
nce seventh
grade begins
for the resi-
dents of the usually
demure Detroit suburb
of Bloomfield Hills,
the extravagant, dou-
ble -envelopes -and-
RSVP-card invitations
that are more formal
than for some wed-
dings, arrive at curbside mailboxes. Bar-
and bat-mitzvah season is one of the most
exciting and tiring social events of a mid-
die schooler's life; its only rival, the
eighth grade graduation, doesn't hold a
light to the excess celebrations commemo-
rating ones entrance into adulthood.
It is all about choosing the most interest-
ing and innovative theme and carrying out
this selection to the nth detail - be it the
karaoke for the superstar theme or the precise
shade of pink on the stamps chosen to match
the RSVP cards. The guest lists are long yet
selective and include only the haves who
have already experimented (and of course
succeeded) with blond highlights and
engrossed in the decidedly awesome alterna-
tive bands such as Pearl Jam or Green Day.
The PTA and the schools tried to offer
the poor souls not invited to any parties a
monthly Friday fun night. However, it was
more detrimental for someone's social career
to be seen at one of these fun nights if there
was in fact a roaring party to which s/he was
not invited than the actual noninvite.
This season allows us to grow accus-
tomed to the social scenes in high school and
more importantly, those at college and
beyond. While high school can be easily dis-

WEAVING THE HANDBASKET

missed as another hormone-raging, self-
defacing nuance of youth, the social life at
this University is simply a reinstatement of
seventh-grade principles: we are the compa-
ny we keep and people still judge based on
the group to which someone belongs or with
whom someone associates.
Receiving an invitation or being dissed
becomes an issue about which one can
spend hours contemplating. The Minority
Greek Council took a hit in the jugular last
year when the Panhellenic representative
approached MGC about Greek Week. It
was not the welcoming gesture of intermin-
gling that came about at that fateful meet-
ing. Instead, members of MGC were invited
to help set-up and clean up after the IFC
and Panhellenic, who would actually partic-
ipate in the events.
They had already made the teams, the
guest list of sorts, and could not include us
in the festivities. But really, the representa-
tive wanted us to be a part of the week-long
celebration and simply because we would be
cleaning-up after the mud bowl instead of
participating in it didn't mean we were any
less part of the Greek system.
But of course, I mustn't fault the stu-
dents. After all, we're expected to make
mistakes; we are still that child who is
rewarded when he finally succeeds in not
peeing on everyone. And our spoon fed
education, where professors spend hours
reading a syllabus, teaches us to be whiny
bitches incapable of reading a syllabus,
much less being so PC as to include
minorities in our organizations. The MGC
is in a sense that somewhat friend you
didn't want at the party but felt bad about
not inviting and whom you ask over for

lunch the next day. Sadly, the University
doesn't have the courtesy to invite us for
leftovers, and in fact, diminishes our exis-
tence all together.
The Office of Student Activities and
Leadership has been providing students with
a publication, Synergy, since 1997 that
includes an introduction of student organiza-
tions. This year, however, Synergy forgot to
mention that besides the iFC and Panhel-
lenic, other options exist for students inter-
ested in going Greek. Perhaps it is easy to
forget the minorities for whom the Universi-
ty has been fighting in the court system the
past six years, or even more likely, perhaps
those in the MGC don't count as minorities.
The latter point fails in that the MGC
includes some of the "real" minorities, those
whom the University considers under-repre-
sented. Even while riding on the coattails of
a few fraternities and sororities that can be
considered "real" minorities, the MGC is
denied acceptance and admission.
With the Greek system, a minority fra-
ternity at least made the cover of the infor-
mation pamphlet, whereas we're not even
on the books at the University. After years
of stressing the importance of diversity,
the University must take an active role in
recognizing and promoting the students
who are already part of the college tapes-
try. While it is necessary to uphold the
University's image as an all-encompassing
institution, it would be a nice change if in
fact all students, minority, Greek or nei-
ther, were accepted for the diversity they
each bring to the campus.

A

Chirumamilla can be reached
at schiruma umich.edu.

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Contrary to Pesick's claims,
global free trade is often
harmiu to poor nations
To THE DAILY:
Jason Pesick's column, Free trade and
cowbells (09/17/03) is a shallow National
Enquirer-level analysis which deeply dishon-
ors real victims like Lee Kyung Hae, a South
Korean farmer who stabbed himself to death
Wednesday to protest global trade practices
(The Washington Post, 09/11/03) while
Pesick was jonesing himself up for the big
Notre Dame game. Pesick uses "Red scare"
tactics worthy of Ann Coulter, smearing the
Cancun activists as being a bunch of
"obstructivist commies" or such; but his hys-
terical, inaccurate article shows that some-
times columnists are even more dangerous
than communists.
Malaysia's trade minister, Rafidah Aziz,
has positively noted the anti-subsidy move-
ment so vocal at Cancun, "This has made it
clear that developing countries cannot be dic-
tated to by anybody." And many of the
activists support this anti-subsidy agenda,
knowing that while globalization can spread
wealth, it can also spread inequality, sweat-
shop labor, predatory "sex tourism," etc.
Pesick can bang his cowbell till the clapper
falls off, but all his ignorant cheerleading for
go-go-globalization is not going to solve
world problems; only thoughtful action and
activism can do so.
Or, rephrasing Pesick's fatuous reverse-
Marxist bleat, "Bourgeoisie unite!," one
might say of folk like Pesick, "Columnists of
the world, unite! You have nothing to lose
but your brains!"
DAVID BOYLE
Alum
Divesting from Israel contrary
to U.S. policies supporting
democracy in Middle East
TO THE DAILY:
In order to assert that divestment from an
entity is appropriate, facts must be carefully
scrutinized and evaluated without bias. While
Mahammed Elghoul may be the vice chair of
Students Allied for Freedom and Equality, he

Withdrawing support for Israel would be
inconsistent with U.S. foreign policy. The
United States supports the spread of democ-
ratic values; reprisal to a secular democratic
state such as Israel would be counter-intu-
itive. Also, if divestment were chosen as
appropriate, the next question would be
"Whom should the United States support in
the region?"
The first thought would be to look at the
Palestinian Authority. Justifiably, the United
States refuses to negotiate with Yasser
Arafat, who hindered former Palestinian
Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas's success
and continues refusal to give up his dictatori-
al rule to a more rational leader.
Surrounding Islamic and Arabic states
could be plausible, however, strict Islamic
code in these states prevents the equality that
Israel provides. Israel, more than any other
country in the Middle East, replicates Ameri-
can government and values.
Constant fabrications and presumptions
are made about the Middle East all the time.
However, it is important to maintain an open
mind and look for ways to resolve the crisis
there. Divestment from Israel will only hurt a
fellow democratic state. I support democracy.
Ergo, I support Israel.
STUART WAGNER
LSA freshman
A2 council right to ignore
disruptive tactics of a small
group of individuals
TO THE DAILY:
Rather than discuss the irrationality of the
claims made by a handful of Ann Arbor resi-
dents during Monday's City Council meeting,
(A2 council sidesteps military resolution,
09/16/03) I feel more compelled to examine
the means by which these people chose to
present their cause and why the council is to
be commended.
It is inaccurate to state that the council
"sidestepped" any resolution with regard to
the Arab-Israeli conflict, because no reso-
lution was properly placed in their path.
Over the last year or so, a small group of
individuals has put on a fortnightly circus
for the council, in which they each spend
fou'r minutes brandishing a packet of
papers, and telling the council to endorse

asking them questions on a Saturday morn-
ing - a time set aside for me to make
requests to the Almighty to bring peace to
the State of Israel. I care not to squander my
day of rest asking an oversized posterboard
to remove itself from a place of worship.
While I believe their claims to be highly
amiss and highly sensationalized, I would
still like to offer them the following sugges-
tion: If you are truly interested in being
heard, you must take the proper measures
- not just the time - to schedule a dia-
logue or event, at a time that is convenient
for - not insulting to - your intended
audience. I must admit, though, that your
current decorum does a remarkable job of
highlighting the true plight of the Palestin,
ian people - counterproductive representa-
tion. But I digress.
As a longtime resident of Ann Arbor, I
thank the City Council for maintaining proper
procedural decorum and practicing the demo-
cratic processes that they have been elected to
uphold.
ADAM SOCLOF
LSA freshman
For more enlightening view
of Paul's opinions, turn to
Fortune Magazine
TO THE DAILY:
In response to Ari Paul's column, Secu-
rity for sale, (09/17/03), he and his readers
might consider reading Fortune Maga-
zine's article dated March 17, 2003, which
discusses at length the increasing privati-
zation of the military.
His polemics against President Bush's
"liberal" tendencies to reward his friends in
the defense contracting industry do little to
address the principal thrust of his argument
and his column as a whole reveals little more
than his absence of knowledge on this topic.
JONATHAN PROKUP
Law School
'M' fans finally show some
spirit, crowd antics do not
merit Daily's criticism
TO THE DAILY:

9

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