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February 18, 2004 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 2004-02-18

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4 - The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, February 18, 2004

OPINION

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

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

JORDAN SCHRADER
Editor in Chief
JASON Z. PESICK
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
Saddam Hussein was
dangerous with weapons."
- President Bush, responding to
allegations that Iraq did not
constitute a credible pre-war threat, as
reported yesterday by The Boston Globe.

SAM BUTLER THE SOAPBOX
II
J
1 e lcosi0/f ay

Dog eat dog
SRAVYA CHIRUMAMILLA WEAVING THE.HANDBASKET
T here are a few prominently written on the sheet. the classroom; students are protective of
exams and tests We entered the testing site with a better previous internship experiences and con-
which I have been knowledge of how the exam would be, but tacts, rarely offering resume advice. There
preparing for what were surprised when we saw the actual are thousands of students fighting, tooth
seems like my entire exam: It was the exact same test, recycled and nail, to earn better grades than the
life. I started taking SAT from last year. next. Because employers cannot recognize
prep courses in sixth When I mentioned this later to a friend, individuals' measures for obtaining a GPA
grade and owned materi- she commented how it would be a dream that is .2 higher than the next while simply
al from Kaplan, Prince- to have that happen to her - she would skimming a resume, future applicants and
ton Review and a couple already know the answers and would be current students are encouraged to fib a
of private tutors. the most prepared. While I can definitely little to get ahead. Within this scramble for
Growing up in an extremely competi- grasp the ease of tension of knowing all high-paying, well respected positions, we
tive family, it was not unusual for a round the answers, I cannot get over the fact that forget that we fare the best in subjects and
of phone calls to reach from coast to coast it is unreservedly dishonest. jobs that move us and about which we are
every time a cousin fared well on an exam. What I expected to be the initial reac- the most passionate.
These frequent phone calls reminded the tion did not happen - no one else from The situation remains, though, that we
younger ones to try harder and to out-per- the hallway reported the discrepancy. must perform better than our classmates,
form the nearly perfect scores. When I mentioned it to the professor, it and some students are willing to sabotage
At the same time, my parents' work at was obvious he did not expect students to their classmates' abilities to obtain that goal.
universities and their often tedious job of obtain previous enforced exams. Instead of It is this dishonesty and not just the compet-
proctoring exams made cheating or any stopping the exam, he allowed me to write itiveness that is the most disheartening.
false premises the most deplorable of all a few extra essay questions that would Once again, I feel awakened to how
actions. Once again my frustration comes accurately test my understanding of the things are in the "real world" and now,
from my belief that everyone grew up with material. more than ever, want to race back to my
these standards ingrained in them. I really don't care how the students who naive yet comforting views: People came
I found this not to be true last Tuesday saw the exam prior to taking it fared. I don't to the University because they wanted to
when I entered the Dennison building to feel wronged because I was able to take an learn about the subjects that interested
spend the last few minutes before an exam alternate exam with a clear conscience. It them and while grades matter plenty, they
reviewing. Because many schools at the bothers me though that classmates who reg- are not the ultimate goal.
University offer previously administered ularly attended class, read the books and Previously, I called for an end to pro-
exams for students to copy, it was not sur- studied will not obtain a score true to their fessors proctoring exams, fashioning a
prising to see a handful of students with an knowledge of the course. policy after schools like Rice University;
exam from the prior semester. Some people argue that it was the stu- however, after this incident, it is obvious
There were at least 20 students in the dents' resourcefulness that led them to that students at this university are not will-
hallway, and the copies were passed find an older copy of the exam and that ing or able to uphold the honor code.
around. We all looked over the questions they should have an edge over the students
and remarked at the answers. It was easy who did not seek such an advantage. This Chirumamilla can be reached
to memorize the answers since they were cut-throat competitiveness is not limited to at schiruma@umich.edu.
Oh, I see what's going on; it's because we're black
D.C. LEE 2L COOL J
ace is a sensitive The public thus becomes suspect of mar- intramural director and the other team's
issue, and the ginal cases and may be led to believe, for manager, I'm taken aback to hear the fol-
....trend in our liti- example, that a minority was given a lowing words come out of the other man-
gious society is to impli- speeding ticket because he was speeding ager's mouth: "Oh I see what's going on.
cate discriminatory when in fact it was an actual case of racial It's because we're black." Fifteen minutes
issues in everyday con- profiling. later, the intramural director calls me aside
flicts between individuals Similarly, unwarranted uses of the race to inform me that my team, despite not
of different races. Some card can impose costs where costs need fighting, must forfeit the next round of the
"$of these conflicts are not be imposed. For example - and to tournament, thereby eliminating us from
genuinely racially moti- show that these costs cut across not only competition. The reason he provides:
vated. Others are not. Focusing on the lat- racial lines, but also sexual lines - I swearing.
ter, the race card might be thought of as a worked on a case this summer where a Though I couldn't argue with the letter
trump card. Because society values racial professor at a national, public university of the rule, as swearing is a punishable
equality, it is important to consider every filed suit against the university alleging offense pursuant to the disciplinary proce-
allegation of racial discrimination, regard- sex discrimination in her non-promotion to dures, I couldn't help but wonder how many
less of its merit. department chair. The university was intramural games would be forfeited if the
This over-enforcement of minority forced to defend itself, imposing unneces- director actually enforced that rule as he did
interests benefits society because it pro- sary costs on its shrinking budget, despite here. Thus, it's not unreasonable to suggest
vides a disincentive to those who might the fact that it hired a woman. that swearing was only a front for avoiding
consider discriminating on the basis of Again, the effect of these meritless alle- the conflict that would have arisen had the
race. Thus, on the margin, it might be ben- gations is to cheapen the severity of actual other team complained that the only reason
eficial to play the race card to protect the discrimination and impose costs where they were kicked out of the tournament was
interests of minorities who cannot be sure costs need not be imposed. because they were black. Naturally, a Uni-
whether, for example, they were actually A few months ago, during the intramu- versity sensitive to racial issues would not
speeding or pulled over merely because of ral preseason flag football tournament, my want to be found contributing to alleged
their race. team was involved in an "incident" with racial discrimination in light of its vigorous
Countering this benefit, however, is the another team. Following a contested play, a defense of its admissions policies.
fact that some claims of racial discrimina- player from the other team crossed the line So, we're kicked out of the tournament
tion lack merit. These cases, which lack of scrimmage and laid out one of my team- and the University has clean hands. On the
the necessary causation, stunt the progress mates. One swift jab to the head and my upside, I have more time to pursue other
of the civil rights movement, and they hap- teammate was down. Though he could interests, like doing my part to promote the
pen often enough to create cause for con- have stood up and fought back, he didn't. equitable enforcement of civil rights. On
cern. Regarding Michael Jackson's arrest Our teams exchanged words, but for all the downside, if the examples above indi-
for suspicion of child molestation, Jer- intents and purposes, the game was over. cate the direction the civil rights movement,
maine Jackson referred to the allegations The other team was automatically disquali- I might as well quit. After all, where's the
as "nothing but a modern-day lynching." fied for fighting, pursuant to the discipli- dignity in forfeiting? Again.
Statements such as these, and other nary procedures in the Recreational Sports
unwarranted uses of the race card, cheapen Manager's Manual. Lee can be reached
the severity of actual racial discrimination. As I'm discussing the incident with the at leedc@umich.edu.
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

AAPD should have taken
fraternity brawl seriously
To THE DAILY:
I am aghast at the blatant hypocrisy of the
Ann Arbor Police Department (Frat brawl may
spur litigation, 02/17/04). Sgt. Tom Seyfried said,
"Its childish nonsense, and we have more
important crimes to pursue"
Translated, "We only investigate the crimes
tht wil mlaranta 2 reirn A nur invetment"

from a few MIP tickets would easily cover the
salaries of the issuing officers and everyone
who processed the tickets in the office.
Basic economics has apparently come home
to the AAPD. I am certainly one for trying to
reduce costs in police enforcement, but not at
the price of allowing serious crimes to be
ignored, and instead have the focus shifted to
those crimes whose investigation is deemed
more profitable. The police are funded by the
government for this very reason - to ensure
that justice is dealt out fairly and equitably -
o,, air e-x ha ia f ths nid t cnn

humble president, Steve MacGuidwin, I would
like to respond (Republican solidarity, 02/17/04).
The College Republicans never supported the
Michigan Civil Rights Initiative and will not
until the state Republican Party supports it. The
information regarding MCRI petitioning on our
website was there in error, and every effort is
being made to remove it. If one were to be
judged by his websites and affiliations, instead
of stated positions of his leaders, students
should ask why the Daily bashes President Bush
so often after accepting advertising money from
the Republican National Committee. Further-

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