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September 30, 2004 - Image 5

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The Michigan Daily, 2004-09-30

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-OP/ED-

The Michigan Daily - Thursday, September 30. 2004 - 5A

attempt to possess alcoholic liquor."
Therefore, enforcement of existing
alcohol laws is a MUST. It is the law.
And it is consistent with our depart-
ment's efforts to keep our community
safer, help those in danger and preclude
crime as much as possible.
The mission of DPS is to contribute
promote a safe and secure com-
while respecting the rights and
all persons utilizing the facili-
grams at the University. To
mission, our officers must
1p Aryone, including those who
ent and those who choose to
ate in risky behavior. Nonethe-
you are among the few who are
ion of the laws, you can expect
ated fairly and respectfully by
A rt of an educational institu-
o is our responsibility to
embers of our community,
those who are new to our
ity, of the expectations of
e, community and campus.
cers routinely meet with com-
ity groups, student organizations
nd staff units to share campus safe-
ty and legal information. Enforcing
the prevailing laws, regulations and
ordinances is another way to educate
our community.
I hope we can all agree that the path
to success involves living and learning
in a safe, productive environment sur-
rounded by people who care. I'd rather
see you walk across the commencement
stage than in front of a judge. We want
you to succeed!
Bess is the director of the
University's Department of Public
Safety.

Brian Tear of Wyandotte is read his rights by state police
officers after being arrested for smoking marijuana on Uni-
versity property at the 1996 Hash Bash.

Let's not fly Solo

BY JESSE LEVINE
The Michigan Student Assembly's
objective in light of the recent rash of
minor in possession citations is to foster
an environment of education and aware-
ness of the alcohol laws in Michigan, as
well as create a dialogue and change pol-
icy. Student Legal Services is committed
to helping students understand their rights
and responsibilities on alcohol-related
issues.
In an effort to foster discussion on Michi-
gan alcohol statutes, MSA will be launching
its first of many town hall meetings. Come
interact with the helpful staff from Student
Legal Services (which you pay for), ask the
right questions, grab some free pizza and
be sure to drink an ice-cold beverage from
your red Solo cup. Students of the Universi-
ty, join us Oct. 13 at 6 p.m. in MSA Cham-
bers, in room 3909 of the Michigan Union,
and voice your opinions.
I praise the University administration for
taking a bold step in the right direction by
enacting the Brief Alcohol Screening and
Intervention for College Students educa-
tional program in the residence halls. The
program, once implemented, will offer
useful counseling services for students
engaging in risky behaviors. Additionally,
BASICS will feature informative posters,
effective in spreading the message about the
recent changes to the Michigan MIP laws
(such as possible jail time for repeat offend-
ers failing to participate in treatment and/or
pay fines). Responsible living is a must for
all students, and this program facilitates
that principle.
The MIP threat is lurking deep inside
the minds of many on this campus. It
seems as if half the campus has a hand
on their beers and an eye looking over
their shoulders. But this general para-
noia floating around campus is only
warranted because students do not know
the nuances of the Michigan alcohol
statutes. Instead of ignoring the conse-
quences of getting caught, you should be
aware of them, and leara
do to prevent a citation.
Student Legal Services >
best-kept secrets on campu
fairly high success rate in
and one of their main goal
criminal infractions before
students are aware of basic' ntal

legal principles, and act somewhat respon-
sibly, they can most likely avoid citations
altogether. Do not displace your frustra-
tion with the harsh drinking statutes on the
hard working and brave officers of the law.
The police have a responsibility to enforce
Michigan law. In fact, students should be
grateful for the service the police officers
and fire fighters of Ann Arbor provide.
The anger and dissatisfaction with MIP
statutes should be directed at our lawmak-
ers, not our protectors.
In regard to the larger question of leg-
islative reform, former Middlebury Col-
lege President John McCardell wrote an
opinion in The New York Times, argu-
ing that drinking on college campuses
should be out in the open, in a safe envi-
ronment. He also boldly stated, "No col-
lege president will say that drinking has
become less of a problem in the years
since the age was raised."
McCardell's sentiments pose the ques-
tion, if the drinking age of 21 has yet to
address the problems associated with
underage drinking, then why should our
generation simply acquiesce? MIP stat-
utes do not make a dent in the occurrences
of binge drinking on campus. In fact, in a
Sept. 13 article in the Daily, Alcohol viola-
tions back to normal, Lt. Mark Hoornstra
of the Ann Arbor Police Department was
quoted as saying, "I would like to think our
enforcement efforts have kind of deterred
kids, but reality prevents me from think-
ing so." The only instances where MIPs
act as a deterrent are when sick students
need assistance, yet fear going to the hos-
pital because they could get cited.
To those who argue that MSA has no
chance to make any change in local, let alone
state political policy, I ask you to remember
MSA's lobbying efforts, just this summer,
that halted a n on
porch furniturmore
than 5,500 vo n we,
as students, catmber,
we have the rigto hold
_ cal electe ble for
ryman-
i nl all join
3 tudents,

" A senior's guide to interacting with the police

BY JOHN MITTELBACH
Within the University's student body, there are
a variety of opinions on our relationship with the
law enforcement agencies - the Ann Arbor Police
Department, as well as the University's Depart-
ment of Public Safety - that police the campus.
Within this relationship, the most hotly contested
views come in regards to minor in possession of
alcohol tickets.
i Arrival at college brings with it an ultimate

intox tickets," and is being overtly punitive toward
the student population.
In my tenure at the University, I have had my fair
share of run-ins with the AAPD and its affiliates.
In my conversations with them, a fact has become
clear to me: None of the officers I have met entered
their line of work with the goal of giving kids MIPs,
breaking up parties and trying to ruin our good
times. Yet this doesn't mean we can flaunt our law-
breaking in front of the police. Blatant disregard for

Throwing up outside of Bell's Pizza at 3:30
a.m.? Yep.
Stumbling into the football game with a bot-
tle of Hot Damn? I've seen that ticket written.
Drinking 40s at Yost Ice Arena during a club
hockey game? Oh, I saw that one up close and
personal.
In essence, if you show enough stupidity or overt
disregard for the law, you'll land yourself in the
fifth district court with pretty good consistency.

probably stupid ..."
The unique quality of the student-police ratio
in Ann Arbor is a level of respect that is rare on
college campuses today. Yeah, late on a Friday
night, the AAPD isn't the student's best friend
(for that, I recommend looking to Big Ten Bur-
rito for a chicken nacho or the like), but the
police aren't our sworn enemy by any means.
Isn't it always easiest to pick out the freshmen at
a party during Welcome Week because they get

police at one time or another. Yet, I feel overall
we as students need to respect the quality of the
relationship we have with the AAPD. In many
ways, we have earned this level of respect by
showing reciprocal respect for law enforcement.
We don't riot, we don't cause huge problems and
we take our tickets when they are handed out.
We need to keep this up, despite recent rising
concerns that more MIPs are being given out,
that more noise violations are given when they

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