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September 22, 2004 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 2004-09-22

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E

4 - The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, September 22, 2004

OPINION

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420 MAYNARD STREET
ANN ARBOR, MI 48109
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 pieces do not
necessarily reflect the opinion of The Michigan Daily.

NOTABLE
QUOTABLE
The big hang-
up was George
Bush wanted to get
life lines, you know,
so he could call
somebody."
- Democratic Presidential candidate John
Kerry, joking about the time it took to sched-
ule the three presidential debates, as report-
ed yesterday by the Associated Press.

SAM BUTLER T
Dewed deets Troman
Elec-roni

Breeding quality students
JORDAN SCHRADER PORT HUiRON STATEMENT
he season has come "So the colleges should get rid of legacy?" the running admissions this way without anyone
once again for me panelist asked after the president equivocated a even knowing. A cloud of secrecy has hung over
to start looking for bit on the topic. the admissions process since the U.S. Supreme
summer work, and that "Well, I think so, yes. I think it ought to be Court changed the rules last year, in a decision
means writing personal based upon merit," Bush said. that told the University it can use affirmative
statements. Which means Wouldn't that be nice. But instead, the admis- action as long as it does it in a vague - sorry,
it's time for self-reflection sions process is more like real life. "holistic" - way.
- time to count off the Getting into the University's hallowed halls Under the "holistic" method, the University
things that have made me depends on your home town, your high school, can assign any weight it wants to its various
who I am today. your skin color, your performance on standard- criteria without making that information pub-
So here they are: hard ized tests of dubious meaning, the amount of lic. Legacy could account for very little, as the
work, talent and nepotism. money you spend preparing for those tests, and a University insists, or maybe a lot. The University
The latter probably won't rate a mention on any host of other subjective qualifications. might consider alumni donations, or it might not.
of my personal essays, but just this once I won't The University argues that in such a holistic No data are released on how many students have
deny its importance. My family has helped me and wide-ranging review, there's nothing wrong alumni parents, or how generous their parents
find work as far back as my first job - moving with giving a small edge to applicants whose have been.
furniture for my stepmother's antique business families bleed Maize and Blue. Legacy is "such a small factor, we've never
- and as recently as last summer's internship "That sense of tradition, of being part of the tracked it in that way," Peterson said.
with a corporation that happens to count my step- Michigan family, is very powerful," University The University emphasizes that the benefits of
father as one of its many employees. spokeswoman Julie Peterson said. binding former Wolverines with their alma mater
Yes, it's good to have connections, whether But unlike, say, "diversity," "tradition" is not go beyond money.
you're an aspiring journalist seeking internships just good for it's own sake. It's power lies largely "Alumni serve on advisory boards, commit-
or a C-student at Andover hoping to study at in the profits it can generate. tees," Peterson said. "They give consideration to
Yale, run an energy company or two and eventu- At a time when state coffers have dried up, the students who are graduating and need jobs. They
ally move into the White House. University depends on its immense pool of alum- recruit here."
Family ties have been a boon for people like ni to give, give, give. They'll be more likely to We do want to encourage such good will. The
President Bush and me. That's why I was so donate if they think they're contributing to their only question is whether that valid goal makes up
shocked when Bush, speaking at a conference for children's future education. for the unfairness of favoring one set of students
minority journalists that I attended last month, And some of the money they give ends up above others.
came out in opposition to legacy admissions. funding scholarships for poorer students, mean- The standards of SAT score and high school
Legacy, derided by many as affirmative action ing everybody wins, right? rank may be unfair, but admissions officials have
for rich white people, gives an edge to college So here's a proposal: As long as we're selling few alternative ways to determine intellect. Con-
applications from children of alumni. I had no off spots in the school, why stop at half mea- sidering race and class may be unfair too, but
personal stake in the issue - my parents were sures? Let's forget about all the useless alumni it's meant to offset other disadvantages. Legacy
Chippewas, not Wolverines - but Bush is the who don't donate. We can even link the amount admissions have no such idealistic justification:
most famous legacy student in the world, a third- of money someone gives with the handicap their All they do is provide money for the school and
generation Yale man, and here he was saying kids get when they apply. help students network.
legacies should be abolished. Is your child aB-student with a 1200 SAT score? That's how it works in the real world, where
Granted, he didn't volunteer the statement. A donation of $5,000 would probably be enough nepotism reigns. But a prestigious, tax-supported
Asked by a panelist at the conference how he to put him over the bar at LSA admissions. public university may need to consider adhering
could oppose the University's "quota" system But if your kid is a slow learner who barely to a higher standard of fairness than my teenage
and not legacy, Bush was forced to admit that an made it through high school and now wants a after-school job.
alumni handicap had no place in a totally merit- spot in the College of Engineering, you'd better
based system, moving to his Democratic oppo- ante up at Stephen Ross levels. Schrader can be reached at
nent's position. In fact, the University could probably start schrader@michigandaily.com.
My litmus test reads more acidic than alkaline
SRAVYA CHIRUMAMILLA WEAVING THE HANI:DBASKET
very time presi- account that if a doctor is being forced to pay of middle-class Indian families will be able
dential candi- $100,000 in insurance because of lawsuits to help sustain the American stock market.
date John Kerry in his field, he will expect a much larger sal- As a liberal-thinking voter, I find it very
makes news, I hope des- ary than one who would pay less expensive difficult to vote for Kerry. I have been
perately that he does or premiums. Doctors' and health workers' incensed by the Patriot Act, which clearly
says something - any- salaries are increased to accommodate the limits my rights; however, I blame Congress
thing - that will make insurance costs, raising costs for the patient for writing and signing this legislation.
me appreciate him and and the health-care system as a whole. While Bush's administration has no qualms
want to vote for him to Bush's plan addresses the rising costs of in setting aside certain constitutional rights,
be the next president. health care and notes that personal injury it does it with the permission of legislators
Instead, Kerry offers lawyers prey on the current system. Bush such as Kerry and Edwards - two of the
few comprehensive policies; those that he plans to reform tort lawsuits and the amount main authors of the act. Similarly, the idea
has announced are misguided and riddled of money people can claim in malpractice that social issues are once again being used
with weak promises. cases. His plan offers incentives for small to lobby support is a disservice for people
Kerry has campaigned on the platform businesses to band together to choose their who want to vote on issues that will actu-
of health care for all Americans but fails to health care coverage. Bush's plan does not ally change over the next four years. The
recognize the limitations of his plan. Kerry's cover everyone in the country as Kerry's Supreme Court justices were old four years,
"Our Plan for America: Stronger at Home, does; however, it allows people to choose ago and no one has stepped down yet. Gay
Respected in the World" notes that "The their doctors and the care that is right for marriage is a clearly states-rights issues,
Kerry-Edwards plan will improve health out- them. Kerry's plan will limit patients' and and the failures in the Senate to pass the
comes while reducing health care costs by doctors' choices as well as create a more constitutional ban reaffirms that.
cutting administrative costs, waste, fraud and lengthy process to receive treatment. My dislike for Bush is slowly being
abuse; enhancing disease management efforts; Another one of Kerry's main campaign overshadowed by my distrust in Kerry. His
and reforming malpractice insurance." It does promises is to limit the outsourcing phenom- policy shifts (play the Flip Flop Olympics
not address the malpractice lawsuits that are enon. India offers technology firms much on www.GeorgeWBush.com) show him to
the cause of such high malpractice insurance more than a few tax credits to draw them be a panderer whose failure to create a
and in effect health-care coverage. to its country: Workers are more educated, cogent election team creates doubt in his
The Detroit area is in the top 10 for can work for a smaller fee and follow Indi- ability to create a coherent Cabinet. While
most expensive areas to practice medicine an work ethics, routinely working 24-hour I know I will not vote for Bush, I would like
for specialists who are internists ($18,376 shifts without complaints. Until Americans some reasons why I should vote for Kerry.
to $40,233), general surgeons ($66,611 offer this and more, there really is not incen- Unfortunately, the sad response from all
to $94,195) and obstetricians/gynecolo- tive for companies to locate jobs here. with whom I've discussed this is, "visit
gists ($87,444 to $123,890). States such as In the end, the rising Indian middle class www.JohnKerrylsADouchebagButImVotingFo
Nevada saw an exodus of doctors who shut will benefit Americans when the Baby rHimAnyway.com." Shouldn't we hold Kerry
down their practices because they could Boom generation decides to sell its stocks. to a standard of giving us a reason to vote

not afford or find adequate malpractice Our generation will not be able to buy all of for him and not simply against Bush?
insurance or restricted the procedures they these stocks, which could lead to a serious
offered such as trauma care and obstetrics. stock market plunge. By buying even just a Chirumamilla can be reached at
The Kerry-Edwards plan does not take into couple of stocks, the hundreds of thousands schiruma@umich.edu.
LETTER TO THE EDITOR

4

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