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April 01, 2004 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 2004-04-01

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4A - The Michigan Daily - Thursday, April 1, 2004


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opinion. michigandaily.com

SINCE 1890

Editor in Chief
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.

I am not
interested in
responding to a set of
demands where no
real discussion can
take place."
- University President Mary Sue
Coleman, in an open letter to students,
printed today in The Michigan Daily.


Yv u'RE wq

Walk this way

Lately when I've been
driving around cam-
pus and some ill-
mannered student darts out
in front my car, I've found
myself accelerating just a lit-
tle bit more than I used to. I
don't want to hit anyone, I
just want to strike some fear
in the hearts of the ignorant
and impolite.
Or as I have been walking quickly to class
and a group of fellow pedestrians insists on
walking four abreast, thus blocking my path,
I've found myself letting my bag or elbow
"accidentally" bump one of them as I pass.
You see, I've spent three years of my life
in Ann Arbor as both a pedestrian and a
motorist, and it has given me a unique per-
spective on both modes of transit. I am typi-
cally very safe, attentive and courteous
whether on road or sidewalk, but negligent
and outright rude student pedestrians have
tried my patience of late.
My complaint about the poor quality of
Ann Arbor's student pedestrians comes not
from the perspective of an old, curmudgeonly
townie or an uninformed out-of-towner, for I
am one of you - a student, and it is as such
that I am reaching out to help you today.
Now, I understand that part of the blame
lies with the city of Ann Arbor itself. Roads
are laid out poorly, there are four-way stops
where there should be traffic lights and con-
stant construction reroutes traffic and causes

congestion. But that certainly does not give
one the right to behave like a squirrel and run
headlong into oncoming traffic. Even here in
Ann Arbor, we must abide by a basic set of
rules, which, if you will indulge me, I will
lay out now:
"Don't Walk" does not mean "Walk"
This should really go without saying, but
it doesn't, so I'm saying it. Walk/Don't Walk
signals are in place to assist you, as a pedes-
trian, in crossing streets, so don't be afraid or
embarrassed by using them. They are very
simple in their workings. They have two dif-
ferent icons that are displayed: The first is in
white and shows either a person or the word
"WALK." This means you may safely pro-
ceed to the other side of the street. If you are
struck by a car while doing so, it is not your
fault. The second is in red and shows either a
hand or the words "DON'T WALK." This
means you should not attempt to cross the
street. If you disobey and are struck by a car,
it is your fault. One additional note: A blink-
ing "DON'T WALK" signal is the pedestrian
equivalent of the yellow light. It means run to
the other side really fast.
Obey the rules of the road
The basic rules of the road also apply to
pedestrians. This means that one should
always pass on the left, and slower traffic
should keep to the right. This rule holds espe-
cially true in doorways and on staircases, as
they are cramped spaces.
Mind your group width
When traveling in groups of more than

two, walk with no more than two abreast, and
try to remain as compact as possible - no
one should stray from the phalanx. Groups
tend to move slower than solo travelers, so
they should at all times yield to faster-mov-
ing traffic.
Don't dawdle
Sidewalks are made for walking, not
standing, hence the name. If you would like
to stop and talk with a friend, please move to
a nearby lawn, driveway or parking lot. Oth-
erwise, remember what Pete Rose did to Ray
Fosse in the 12th inning of the 1970 All-Star
game? Yeah, it'll be like that.
Don't make eye contact with motorists
This gesture is interpreted as a threat by
most motorists, and not to mention it is
simply rude. When you have the right of
way and a motorist is waiting for you to
pass, it is best to lower your head and move
quickly to the other side. Also, it doesn't
hurt to run or at least pretend to run, so as
not to take any chances.
Know your place
As a pedestrian, your body is largely
unprotected from harm. Motorists, on the
other hand, have a ton of steel, aluminum and
other metals protecting them. As a general
rule in life, when in doubt, yield to large
objects that have the potential to kill you.
The prefix ped- means foot
Keep your goddamn bikes off the sidewalks.
Hoard can be reached at


SVA calls students to unite,
hold admin. accountable
In response to Monday's editorial (Taking on
Fleming, 03/29/04), Student Voices in Action
would like to clarify several points. The Daily's
assertion that a decline in student of color
recruitment, admittance and enrollment is "high-
ly speculative" is similarly contentious. The
numbers released by the University's administra-
tion indicate a serious problem with our recruit-
ment methods. Further, the University has cut
student services designed to educate the student
body and create a safe space for marginalized
communities. Public perception of a truly
diverse campus climate is contingent upon the
University's commitment to these services.
Additionally, the Daily finds the idea of
creating a student oversight committee with
veto power as part of the Division of Student
Affairs "laughable." However, students pay an
exorbitantly high price to attend the University
with little agency in determining where these
funds are allocated. Silencing our voices pre-
cludes the expectation of student participation
in civic life. Students must actively reclaim
their role in the decision-making process and
demand an institutionalized mechanism
through which to make sure said ill-informed,
devastating administrative action and inaction
does not occur in the future.
SVA fully comprehends the complexity of
the issues at hand. With respect to financial
concerns and facts, the administration could
help us by responding to our multiple Freedom
of Information Act requests filed to obtain
statements of the University's budgets for the
upcoming year. However, the University has
stalled and refused to provide the requested
information for six months to date.
This noncompliance is indicative of a long
history of the administration's consistent disre-
gard for student needs. These issues affect the
entire student body as an exemplification of the
University's usage of student tuition without
real student input. The only way to increase
University accountability and secure the stu-
dent voice is to come together in solidarity and
support. We call on the student body to recog-
nize this and raise its voices in demanding that
the University listens.
Adams wrong; SVA's
demands met with hot air
I find it ironic that Dan Adams feels it

Most importantly, this meeting was never
intended to be a discussion. Coleman was
asked, and agreed to, publicly respond to the
demands presented to her by SVA on March
25. The moderators of Monday's meeting
attempted to systematically go through the
demands in order for Coleman to have the
opportunity to respond to each of them indi-
vidually. The demands were met with either
wishy-washy noncommitments or patronizing
replies, such as being told that "a little task-
force" could be created to look into issues as
grave as the drop in underrepresented minori-
ty group admissions rates.
Finally, Adams's implication that institution-
ally marginalized groups within our University
and American society have this status because of
their impatience and inability to communicate
with persons in positions of power is offensive,
as well as sexist, racist and heterosexist. I would
hope that someone who prides himself on pos-
sessing a "liberal" heart would take time to gain
a more robust understanding of the issues of
power and privilege.
LSA senior
SVA member
Daily misrepresents Creeks,
should research stories
Your recent reporting of the alleged rape
incident at Sigma Alpha Epsilon was not
only insensitive, it also lacked journalistic
integrity (Alleged rape under investigation,
03/29/04 and Woman denies rape at SAE
house, 03/31/04). The hasty fashion in
which the alleged events were reported have
caused negative perceptions about the
Greek system to unjustifiably persist. Sadly,
your insistence on attacking the Greek sys-
tem at any possible opportunity has led to a
situation in which a group of roughly 100
upstanding men (the brothers of SAE) is
now looked at with suspicion of wrongdo-
ing. If you think that writing a retraction
makes up for your error, you are sorely mis-
taken. This is an unsettling and unsatisfac-
tory trend for your publication. I hope that
in the future the Daily takes more care to
ensure that a mistake of this magnitude does
not occur again. Unfortunately, instances of
sexual assault are all too frequent on this
campus. Even more unfortunately, the insis-
tence of your publication to discredit the
Greek system whenever possible made a
sensitive and private issue into a public dis-
aster. You should consider doing thorough
research before you subject a very large

about rape (Alleged rape under investigation,
03/29/04 and Woman denies rape at SAE
house, 03/31/04). I refer to the recent Sigma
Alpha Epsilon articles and the article about
the woman on Washtenaw Community Col-
lege's campus who retracted her accusation of
rape several weeks ago.
It is important that Daily readers and
staff know that scholars and activists believe
rape is largely under-reported rather than
over-reported. Among other reasons, women
often keep their experiences of sexual
assault to themselves because they're afraid
people will accuse them of lying.
The power of this myth is so great that it
silences women. It would be much more socially
responsible to the Ann Arbor community if the
Daily let readers know that although these recent
accusations of rape seem to be unfounded, that,
in general, many more rapes go unreported and
rape continues to be a serious danger for women
in our society.
Coverage of Pow Wow
needs clarification
As members of the University "Dance
for Mother Earth" Pow Wow committee, we
would like to thank you for printing the arti-
cles on the Pow Wow and its budget cuts
(Budget troubles burden celebration; Dance for
unity, 03/29/04). We commend the Daily for
taking the time to cover the event and the
truth surrounding the budget issue.
We would also like to clarify a few
points made in the Daily's article covering
the event. First and foremost, there were
more than 10,000 spectators and partici-
pants, not 1,000 as was stated in the cap-
tion. Secondly, the Pow Wow did not start
with a grass dance; it began with the Grand
Entry in which all dancers entered the
arena and danced through five songs.
Furthermore, we would like to clarify
protocol around terminology and the taking
of pictures in the Native community. What
is referred to as "garb" in the article is
known as "regalia." Also the "ring of eagle
feathers" is known as a "bustle" and is not
strapped around the waist but on the backs
of some male dancers. Additionally, when a
dancer is wearing regalia, especially eagle
feathers, permission should be granted by
the dancer before photographing them. His
name and tribal affiliation should also be
printed with the picture. The name of the
dancer shown in the article is Neil Wolf-



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