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December 05, 2003 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 2003-12-05

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4 - The Michigan Daily - Friday, December 5, 2003

OP/ED

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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 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
Someone give me
a list of universities that
allow sex acts in the
classroom. We're not
going to be the first."
- Richard Pierce, spokesman for the
Tisch School of the Arts at New York
University, where a film student
was barred from taping people
having sex in class, as reported
yesterday in The New York Times.

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SAM BUTLER 'THE SOAPBOX

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Unity perpetuates alumni nostalgia
SRAVYA CHIRUMAMILLA WEAVING THE HANDBASKET
WASHINGTON - few Saturdays. Former Michigan Student me for the sole reason that we are both
Women con- Assembly President Trent Thompson put brown. Similarly, I was on the bus yester-
gregate at a aside bygone disputes with the Daily, day and met a girl who is my ethnicity and
special place reserving valuable couch seating for the within three minutes and two degrees of
where we can take a editors of yesteryear. Noting that it was separation found that we share common
respite from the hub- the last game of the season, he comment- friends.
bub, admire that awe- ed, "This is like church to me. I come here It is this phenomenon that perpetuates
some shade of every Saturday to hang out with other alumni nostalgia - the college experience
burgundy in a nail pol- alumni. I don't know what to do after this generates these chance meetings, through
ish or spark a conver- game." which some of the fondest memories are
sation about the Alumni rely on nostalgia of their col- created. In reality though, it is just a
humorous but overly publicized Clark lege years to bring them back to these microcosm of the possibilities everywhere:
weekly viewings. Alumni association People are just more open to meet others
campaign video. Often these interactions clubs exist all across the world, and even at the flagpole outside of South Quad than
occur even before we make it into the on the moon since Cols. David Scott and in a line at the bank.
sanctuary, the women's restroom. In fact, James Irwin and Lt. Col. Alfred Worden of Unlike life outside of college, these
the lines for restrooms at clubs, stadiums Apollo 15, all former University students, surroundings are ideal for fostering
and such, are great places to engage in placed a plaque there in 1971. Since the debates and discussions that generate
random chatter. University boasts one of the largest alumni change, which tend to fall on deaf ears
I joined about every third female patron bases, Michigan memorabilia is every- elsewhere; however, reflective of reality,
at Poli-Tiki, a Capitol Hill pub, in line for where: during an off-season trip to the Taj the insults and stereotypes take a more
the single-person restroom while I kept a Mahal, I found one other tourist who, prominent role than the actual issues.
watchful eye on the big screen displaying being a recent graduate, was also wearing And while on campus we might notice
the Michigan football team's impending a Michigan T-shirt. and comment on the visible yet petty
win over Ohio State. This is one of the The cars flooding the freeways sur- divides between ethnic, racial and even
venues where the Alumni Club of Wash- rounding Ann Arbor on Saturday mornings regional groups, once we graduate we have
ington D.C. hosts its members on football (resonating with audible chants of "The yet another uniting link to bind us togeth-
Saturdays. Similar alumni clubs around the Victors") indicate that there are plenty of er: the University. It seems that it isn't
country meet weekly to watch the action. alumni around the area who are passionate until we are thrown out into the "real
What was impressive about this partic- enough to spend hundreds of dollars to world" that we understand how much we
ular venue's restroom line were the net- enjoy a few hours in and around the Big rely upon our identity as Wolverines to
working opportunities it presented. Even a House. Understandably, since it is Michi- bring us back together. Once we realize
little comment about the Metro Detroit gan football it is bigger than all of us, and that in fact we are only about five degrees
area opened the field to a juvenile conver- thus able to bring together many thousands apart, and not just through an alumni asso-
sation about a particularly scandalous inci- with power unlike anything else. ciation or because of an ethnicity, maybe
dent in a prosperous suburb from four The football games make it easy for we can begin to work toward a goal
years ago. Michigan fans to get together, and obvi- beyond just winning the Rose Bowl.
The patrons of Poli-Tiki enjoyed not ously it is easier for people of a particular
just the presence of their friends that after- group to get together. I was at a conven- Chirumamilla can be reached
noon, but also the numerous people with tion recently when someone approached at schiruma@umich.edu.
whom they had been sharing the previous
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Astrologists do not use
telescope, astronomers do
TO THE DAILY:
Regarding yesterday's article Alterna-
tive to Internet holds promise for science
research (12/04/03), the Daily reporter
writes that "American astrologists (are)
using the Gemini telescope located in
Hawaii and Chile." I'd like to remind the
Daily proofreaders that astrologers, not
astrologists, use pseudoscience in their
attempts to divine hidden meanings from
the positions of the planets. It is
astronomers who would be using the Gem-
ini telescope in their scholarly study of the
universe. I hope you will consider running
a correction or at minimum be less careless
in the name of scientific literacy.
SHARON GREENE
Rackham
Reader chastises students,
wonders how stereotypes
occur on campus
TO THE DAILY:
I would like to know how the article
Snobs v. Slobs, students debate East Coast,
Midwest stereotype (12/01/03), in all of its
disgusting generalizations, is anything
other than a horrifying illustration of
naivete and prejudice. This misnamed arti-
cle is not a debate, but a blatant attack.
This article was insulting, discriminatory
and, above all, unsophisticated. Let's talk
sophistication, since that was one of the
article's main focuses. Sophistication is
being open minded, sophistication is not
slapping a label on everyone with a cell
phone, sophistication is recognizing that
the University is one of the world's most
remarkable universities and that being here
means being a part of something great.
Shame on the Daily for jeopardizing your
own experience here by lashing out against
fellow classmates having based its article
only on crude evidence.
Is no one else scared by the implica-
tions of this article? At the University, of
all places, I think that members of this
community should recognize the harmful

from the East Coast as some sort of for-
eign beings. Do we not see what is hap-
pening here? How is discriminating
against a group of people based on their
hometown different or less harmful than
any other sort of discrimination? Stereo-
types are always lingering, but we as intel-
ligent, promising and forthcoming
individuals of this generation have the
choice to either let them thrive and infect
our community or to reject them. It is a
simple choice.
MARY DEYOE
LSA junior
Passing out flyers lame,
E3W on Diag on Monday
TO THE DAILY:
I question the validity of Chaim
Schramm's claim that he saw "an old
friend" while passing out flyers on the
Diag (Handing out flyers for good causes cre-
ates positive karma, 12/04/03). Anyone dis-
tributing something on the Diag is, by
definition, as socially skilled as your aver-
age German Shepherd and wouldn't be
able to make a friend if his or her life
depended on it.
Also, everyone should stop by the Diag
next Monday around noon. I'll be passing
out copies of the newest issue of the Every
Three Weekly.
NATHAN STERKEN
LSA sophomore
E3W staff writer
Liberal tactics lack weight,
should opt for solutions,
not just attacks
TO THE DAILY:
Jess Piskor's column, Bush in Iraq: I'm
not staying long - but you are (12/02/03),
clearly shows the problem with today's
liberal establishment. Attacking the man
who followed the advice of his chief of
staff on what was unquestionably a bril-
liant political act simply adds more garble
to U.S. politics. By going to the front lines
of a combat zone on a national holiday
embodying the essence of our nation, Bush

than it was before March 19. It also shows
how the liberal establishment would rather
grope for support using negative, personal
attacks instead of showing Americans how
they will solve the problems of today.
"Dubya" loves risks; having begun with
the gateway drugs of alcohol and cocaine,
he's moved up to pre-emptive, falsely jus-
tified war and nation building.
So what. The anti-Bush community
needs to let Dubya's gambles do him in,
and focus on presenting the ways they will
solve the issues facing America, rather than
relentlessly attacking Bush on every word
and action. If this is not done, Bush's re-
election is already won.
JOSEPH MICHALSEN
LSA senior
Racial comments not
surprising, only ignorance
TO THE DAILY:
I had to laugh when I read about how
Lauren Strayer "recently" discovered that
people still use the word the derogatory term
"Oriental" to describe people (Racism among
friends, 12/04/03). Growing up as an Asian
American in a predominantly white neigh-
borhood, people have used that word to
describe me and my family for about as long
as I can remember. Here's the thing, though:
it was always clear to me that there was no
intent of malice behind their utterings. It just
seemed like no one had ever taken the time
to tell these people, "Hey, 'Oriental' is for
rugs, not hunians." Realizing that, I was
hard pressed to feel offended by it, even
though I fully understand that the word is
considered derogatory.
I admire Strayer for having the con-
science to want to correct her family friend
for referring to his neighbors as "Orien-
tals," and I agree that everyone has a
responsibility to maintain a certain degree
of knowledge when it comes to sensitive
issues. But I don't think she should feel
terribly "disappointed in his social negli-
gence" and "shocked at his racism" if he
has otherwise proved to be a decent person.
If Strayer (or another conscientious soul) is
faced with another opportunity to enlighten
this man on his usage of the word, I should
think his response would be the same as the
one I invariably receive when I correct
rnd.nnixyhn makethe camefaux n - a

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