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September 22, 2003 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 2003-09-22

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4A -- The Michigan Daily - Monday, September 22, 2003

OP/ED

I

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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 opinio 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
He can save
this goddam
nation from
self-destruction."
- Rep. Charles Rangel (D-N. Y) on
Democratic presidential hopeful Wesley
Clark, in this week's Time magazine.

SAM BUTLER CLAsSiC SOAPBOX
. ay
BAG64b,
° at, st .
ems'd b .t~nCGTL= -

'Members-only' diversity
JOHANNA HANINK PARLANCE OF OUR TIMES

n the early weeks of
last year's boycott
against The Michi-
gan Daily, the organizers
of the boycott logically
held many meetings with
,z interested members of
the University communi-
ty to discuss the .issues
surrounding the boycott.
However, one of these
meetings, scheduled to take place in a Univer-
sity residence hall, was designated as a
"minorities only" meeting; in other words,
whites were not welcome.
I'm not sure how the meeting worked - I
have a friend who looks "white" enough, but
her grandmother is Lebanese. Would she have
been allowed into the meeting? I know another
person - again, unequivocally "white"-look-
ing, but he had enough American Indian in his
blood to claim minority status on graduate
school applications - although only at some
schools, not all. Would he have been turned
away at the door? Would the organizers have
demanded a certificate of tribal affiliation?
When I first read the e-mail announcing the
meeting, it evinced a visceral reaction in me -
how, on University property, could a meeting
take place at which the organizers could say, in
no subtle words, "no whites allowed?" Is this
what multiculturalism means at this Universi-
ty? Even though I was in a position of leader-
ship at the Daily during the boycott - and
thus was supposed to keep my mouth shut - I
was outraged enough to write to the hall direc-
tor (twice) of the residence hall which allowed
(in that it did not prohibit) that meeting to pro-
ceed. I received no response.
Why not market the meeting as targeted
at minority communities? Caucasians surely
would not have turned out en masse, and
those that would have attended most likely
would not have been members of The
Michigan Review -they probably would

have been more than sympathetic to the
boycotters' cause.
So what were the leaders of these commu-
nities so afraid of? Would white people neces-
sarily have caused problems, and would the
students of color all necessarily have agreed
with - and kept secret from the Daily staff -
everything that went on? (They certainly did
not.) Was this compatible with University phi-
losophy and policy, and if not, why was it OK?
This kind of situation pops up every once
in a while, and when it does it usually sparks a
few debates, enrages a few students, and is
soon forgotten. A friend of mine who graduat-
ed last year had tried - with the utmost sin-
cerity - to join HEADS, a black male student
group at the University. Not being a black
male, he was turned away, no question.
Student groups who exclude others
based entirely on those others' non-minori-
ty statuses may have a sound justification;
if there is, I would be very interested to
hear it. The University tolerates this, even
if the argument it makes in favor of this
behavior is an argument from silence. As a
white-as-white-can-be student who can date
her European ancestors' arrival in the Unit-
ed States to the 1690s, it is admittedly diffi-
cult sometimes - and very probably
impossible - to always fully understand
what is at stake in students of color's
issues. This doesn't mean that I don't want
to or don't try - I want an explanation. If
you have one, please send it.
Exclusion, as easy as it might be, is not the
way to build a comfortable diversity at this
University. Right now, this ideal that only
exists in small pockets of University life, but
where it exists, it's a wonderful thing. Last
year I read of a University student, quoted in
The Washington Post ("At U-Michigan,
Minority Students Find Access - and Sense
of Isolation," 04/01/03) who complained of the
absolute ignorance that white students display
when-it comes to minority issues. She was

shocked and insulted that a white student had
asked her how she styled her hair.
It's very likely that this student asked
her in a less than sensitive way, but at the
same time, are we supposed to come to the
University knowing everything? Where I
live, at Telluride House, there exists one of
the most comfortably diverse and amazing-
ly engaged communities on this campus.
Every year, each student is expected to pre-
pare a one-hour "pubspeak" about any
topic that they wish to speak on. Two years
ago, a black student presented to the group
about African-American hairstyles and hair
care. In situations like that, when we
acknowledge our ignorance and someone
steps up to help eradicate it, the goal of a
diverse learning environment is most suc-
cessfully realized.
The impetus behind this column was the
story coming out of California that a student
from Oakley wishes to begin a Caucasian club
- and so far, she's collected about 250 sup-
portive signatures. According to The Associat-
ed Press, this girl, who promises that all people
will be welcome to attend, said that she and her
friends feel "slighted" by the presence of other
minority student clubs.
There's somewhat of a natural reaction
behind this idea - in talking about the
"minorities-only" meeting, it followed to
question whether the University would have
allowed a "non-minorities-only" meeting.
But it's an instinct that should be suppressed:
This isn't the path toward the kind of diversi-
ty objective that the University claimed
throughout the course of the affirmative
action case. The proper response is not to feel
offended and strike back - it is to strive for
inclusiveness even when it is uncomfortable,
and to be willing to teach others even when
the lesson seems obvious.
Hanink can be reached
at jhanink@umich.edu:

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Recruits must be responsi-
ble if they want to compete
as Michigan athletes
To THE DAILY:
The name "Michigan" does not stand
only for athletic excellence (Informal rules do
not deter recruits from drinking, 09/16/03).
First and foremost, it represents a great acad-
emic institution that has an amazing athletic
department and both operate according to the
mission of being "leaders and the best."
When high school athletes are recruited by
the different Michigan coaches, they are not
recruited just because of their athletic skills.
It takes much more than that to be a success-
ful Michigan student athlete. You need to be
a team player; you need to be self driven and
achievement oriented, you need to be ready
to work extremely hard both in the classroom
and on the field and you need to realize that
you are a part of a program that is greater
than anything you have done before.
There are exactly two purposes for com-
ing on an official recruiting trip: first, so the
high school seniors can get to know this pro-
gram better and decide whether or not they
would be happy here, and second, so that the
team can decide whether or not a recruit has
what it takes to fit in here and make a differ-
ence.
Recruits have 48 hours on campus
according to National Collegiate Athletic
Association rules. During that time, they go
to a couple of classes, they get a campus
tour, they meet with the head coach, they
meet with the academic advisor, often they
meet with an administrator, they watch the
team practices, they work out (during a sepa-
rate time), they take part in team functions
and they go to an athletic event. All of these
activities are designed to give the recruits a
feel for what Michigan is about - to learn
how demanding this program is, but also to
get to know the amazing teams and student
athletes we have here. Given all this infor-
mation, now the recruits can make a much
more educated decision whether or not they
would like to attend the University.,
On the other hand, this is virtually the
only opportunity for the team to get to know
the recruits and make sure that indeed they
moul fi wll into thie nrnorm nTe o sntq

sibility to make sure they come back home
safely. Therefore, it is strictly forbidden for a
student-host to consume alcohol. The only
restriction on recruits is the law, as the vast
majority of them are not 21 yet. It is not the
team's responsibility to preach to the recruits
about alcohol consumption; our responsibili-
ty is to create an environment in which they
would not feel pressured to do anything
against their will. This is another opportunity
to learn about the recruits and their social
conduct.
Recruits that come on a trip just to party
are probably not going to be successful here.
The official visit is a great opportunity for
the recruits to both be impressed and impress
- be impressed by everything that Michigan
has to offer and impress the teams and
coaches so when signing day comes around,
Michigan will still be interested in them.
MAYA MANDEL
Engineering senior
Women's swimming and diving
Notre Dame fans as bad, if
not worse, than Michigan's
To THE DAILY:
In response to the article from the Notre
Dame grad the other day, (Michigan fans show
lack of class at Saturday's game, 09/16/03), I
would like to add that the atmosphere at
Notre Dame is quite identical to the one here
in Ann Arbor. As a resident of northern
Indiana, I have been to my share of Notre
Dame athletic events. I recall one time,
about three to five years ago, when I attend-
ed a basketball game where Notre Dame was
hosting the University of Connecticut.
Khalid El-Amin was the point guard at the
time, and everytime he touched the ball, the
students would chant "bastard child" to the
tune of us chanting "Houston's better" at last
Saturday's rout over Notre Dame. If my
memory serves me correctly, the student sec-
tion was given a warning and Notre Dame
was penalized with a technical foul. There-
fore, instead of this grad challenging us to
experience the same type of atmosphere in
South Bend, he should get over his bitterness
from the loss and face the fact that college
sports fans are known for expressing their
dislike for the other team.

09/18/03). Allowing the free exchange of
tickets on the open market benefits everyone,
from financially strapped students to remi-
niscent alumni. Cracking down on ticket
scalping, and requiring validation are barri-
ers to trade which actually increase the price
of tickets and reduce benefits for everyone.
The University taught me that.
STEVEN STARNES
Alum
"WHEN YOU COME TO A ORK
IN THE ROAD ... TAKE 'T.
'IT AIN T OVER TIL IT'S OVER.
rs DEJA VU ALL OVER
AGAIN."
"NEVER ANSWER AI4
ANONYMOUS *ETTER."
(NOTE: TH E DAILY DOES ftOT
PRINT ANONYMOUS LETTERS)
YOGHSMS ARE GREAT.
SO IS THE DAILY.
STOP BY 4Z0 MAYNARD FOR
SOME FUN TlMES.

LETTERS POLICY
The Michigan Daily welcomes letters from all
of its readers. Letters from University students,
faculty, staff and administrators will be given
priority over others. Letters should include the
writer's name, college and school year or other
University affiliation. The Daily will not print any
letter containing statements that cannot be veri-
fied.

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