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November 25, 2003 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 2003-11-25

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4 -The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, November 25, 2003


£trhenau kiI


SINCE 1890

Editor in Chief
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.

(Americans) love
what (Bush) represents, a
man who's overcome
adversity in his life from
alcoholism and pulled his
marriage back together
and moved forward."
- Democratic presidential candidate and
retired Gen. Wesley Clark speaking Sunday
about the president's past alcoholism on
CBS's "Face the Nation, "as reported
by the New York Post.


The union that cried wolf: GEO's fairy-tale folly

verybody' s
heard the story
of the boy who
cried wolf: Boy works
in fields with sheep,
gets bored, likes to
cause trouble, cries
"Wolf! Wolf!" just to
see the townsfolk come
running, laughs and
laughs as they scowl
and return to their work. Day after day, it's
the same thing - sheep, yawn, "Wolf!,"
townsfolk, laugh - until the day the wolf
actually shows up, at which point the sheep
scatter and no one comes to the boy's aid
because he's ruined his credibility.
The take-home lesson? Don't lie. More
importantly, don't ask for help unless you
really need it, because if you do, a whole
lot of people who might have rushed to
your side won't likely believe you're in
trouble when you finally are. You're not
really supposed to feel sorry for the boy -
he deserved what he got - but you are
supposed to walk away with an acute sense
of how not to waste other people's time
and the consequences you will face if you
Now: Forgive me for simplifying a bit,
but when I heard rumblings a couple weeks
ago that the Graduate Employees Organi-
zation might go on strike for the second
time in less than two years, I reacted just
like a jaded towns-(person? Is there a sin-
gular form of folk??) - I didn't care. I
didn't want to hear about it.
See, the last time GEO went on strike, I
was young and uninformed. "Oh," I
thought. "Is the University mistreating the
graduate student instructors?" I did some
independent research and found the answer

to be a resounding "No." I found that the
University grants full tuition waivers and
living stipends large enough that GSIs can
live comfortably even in the outrageously
overpriced realm of Ann Arbor apartments.
"Oh," I said. "So what are they upset
Enter the "wolf:" They wanted the Uni-
versity to pay for their children to go to
daycare or some such place while they
taught classes and studied. To my ears,
that sounded suspiciously like, "I under-
stand that YOU are paying ME to get this
graduate degree at this incredibly presti-
gious university, but I will not be happy
until you also pay for somebody to take
care of my children whilst I am working
toward said degree. No, I will whine about
workers' rights, applying everything I
learned in my fancy undergraduate educa-
tion (because there's no way I got to be a
GSI here unless I went somewhere really
impressive before this), all the concepts
for which most real workers - hard labor-
ers - have concepts but no words. I will
chant and carry signs and act all downtrod-
den so the liberal kids will feel sorry for
me and then you'll HAVE to do what I
Ahem. Sorry. A little carried away
there. Where was I? Oh, yes:
The 2002 strike taught me that many if
not most GEO members don't appreciate
how privileged they are. They don't under-
stand that teaching two or three college
courses in exchange for a free graduate
education is not, by any stretch of the
imagination, like working in a factory or
even in a public high school. They are not
downtrodden, not put upon, not abused.
So what happened this time? What was
the catch, the grave injustice that had some

in GEO threatening to withhold student
grades? The University was planning to
increase the cost of GSI healthcare benefits
from zero to $12 a month. Twelve dollars.
For guaranteed care at the University Hos-
pital - one of the best in the country.
Read that again. Pause, if you'd like, to
yell and wring your hands and throw things
at the wall. I did.
The trouble is, GEO might have been
right this time. If the University was
indeed prepared to violate its contract, then
GEO was entirely correct to raise a ruckus
about it. As long as there is a contract the
University might violate, there is a need
for a vigilant group of people to make sure
that doesn't happen. No matter how laugh-
ably minor its immediate consequences, a
breach of contract is a serious offense.
Nobody wants to work for an employer
who doesn't keep her word.
But I suspect the University's got a
crack team of legal interpreters at its dis-
posal, and it seems very unlikely to me that
they'd risk strikes and lawsuits (not to
mention all the bad press) over a piddly
$12 per GSI per month.
It's hard - so hard - to care about
$12 a month. Even I could afford that with-
out any trouble, and that's saying a lot,
believe me. Even if GEO had a point this
time - even if the University was in the
legal wrong - I am inclined not to care
about their plight (ha - plight! - now
they've got me doing it) in the same way I
didn't care about the boy who cried wolf.
If what GEO got this time around was a
lack of student support, then it deserved
what it got.
Henretty can be reached
at ahenrett@umich.edu.



Police should be applauded
for letting students rush field
I applaud the University administration
and the local police corps for not resisting the
inevitable students rushing the field after
Michigan clinched the Big Ten title.
I wag'a senior in 1997, when we beat Ohio
State on our way to a national championship.
That year, the authorities decided that they
could prevent students from getting on the
field by sporadically shooting pepper spray
into the crowd and viciously tackling and
handcuffing students that ran onto the field.
Many people were seriously injured, includ-
ing my roommate who, just inches away from
me, was sprayed in the eyes. Elation turned to
fear, anger and disgust in a matter of seconds.
The administration responded coldly after
the fact, refusing to admit error or bad judg-
ment or take responsibility for such short-
sighted policies.
The truth is that rushing the field is a
time-honored tradition; it is a show of appre-
ciation and support for the players who left
their hearts on the field and made us proud to
be Wolverines. Indeed, Andy Mignery was
quoted in the Daily as saying that the overt
show of student emotion meant a lot to the
players. Can you blame students who, if they
are lucky, will have the chance to savor this
type of victory once within their four year
career at the school?
Thus, when the authorities decided not to
resist the torrent of students and make a
potentially harmful situation even more dan-
gerous, they showed that they indeed can
learn from their mistakes. History did not
repeat itself, students were not injured, and
there was genuine celebration.
Words fail to describe the feeling of being
on the field for the second time in six years. I
hope that this time history does repeat itself
and I am able to celebrate on the field, soon
again, another Big Ten championship.
Go Blue.

middle ground between safety and tolerance
by allowing students to rush the field, but
keeping them from the goal posts. Thanks to
our police, Saturday was a day that I will
remember for the rest of my life. This foot-
ball game was a culmination to a wonderful
four years, and rushing the field made this
surreal experience even better.
At no point during this rush did I worry
about being in any kind of danger. For the
future, my only suggestion is that law
enforcement or stadium officials use portable
stairs to make this experience even safer.
. Thank you law enforcement for allowing
the last football game of my college career to
be such a thrilling and magnificent experi-
ence, while keeping me safe.
LSA senior
Carr deserves credit for a job
well done against Ohio State
On the ride back from Eugene to my
hotel in Portland on an awful day this past
September, I was quite unhappy, stewing in
an uncomfortable mixture of disappoint-
ment, anger and helplessness. The national
title seemed out of reach, I needed someone
to blame, and I could do nothing to change
the football team's fortunes. I had just
watched the team play like the Michigan
that had become a melancholy fixture in
important games - unprepared, under-
coached and incapable. Incapable of exe-
cuting at crucial moments; incapable of
expertly performing the routine; incapable
of playing championship-caliber football.
Following the loss at Iowa, I felt that I had
isolated the problem: Lloyd Carr. I was
convinced that were the University to get a
new and better football coach, there would
be no more such games, and I could forever
leave behind the pains induced by football
heartaches. Really, I had succumbed to the
feeling that had been prevailing in Colum-
bus since Ohio State dumped our favorite
coach for supposed savior, Jim Tressell.
But then Lloyd stepped up. The special-
teams play was broken and he worked to
fix it- the team's conlfidence was destroved

why wide receiver Chris Gamble received so
much hype before the season and where
they'll find a player who can pass physical
education and run with the football following
a handoff, I want to applaud Carr for doing a
good job. I am a vocal critic of his and will
likely remain so, yet it would be pure folly to
ignore what he accomplished this season.
Beating Ohio State should not confer infalli-
bility on Carr, nor should it obscure Michi-
gan's struggles on the road. He still has room
for improvement, and the team still must
prove that it can win key games away from
the Big House. However, Carr, like the team,
needs to be commended for a job well done.
My stroll up the Big House steps after the
band started its post-game performance was
much more pleasant than my march down
the stairs in Autzen stadium earlier this fall.
Hopefully my walkout of the Rose Bowl will
be like the former. Go Blue!
This letter writer is a former Daily columnist.
Reader taken aback by Daily
editorial about gay marriage
I did a double take when I came across
this sentence in the Daily's editorial about
gay marriage (Marry merrily, 11/24/03): "As
marriage requires consent, no animals could
be subject to marriage with humans, save for
a select few primates with advanced sign-lan-
guage skills and, perhaps, dolphins." Good
luck getting Koko to sign a pre-nup.
The Michigan Daily welcomes letters
from all of its readers. Letters from Universi-
ty 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 contain-
ing statements that cannot be verified.



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