4A - The Michigan Daily - Thursday, February 9, 2006
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DoNN M. FRESARD
Editor in Chief
Editorial Page Editors
EDITED AND MANAGED BY STUDENTS AT
THE UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN SINCE 1890
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ANN ARBOR, MI 48109
got is fear, and
we're going to
the fear card."
- Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY),
describing the Republican strategy for this year's
congressional elections, as reported on CNN.com.
STEPHEN BUSCH LAND CRAIER
Unsigned editorials reflect the official position of the Daily's editorial board. All
other signed articles and illustrations represent solely the views of their author.
A low-tech 'U' in a high-tech world
ALISON GO WHO \\WATCHES THE WATCHMEN?
en minutes into mation Technology Central Services. How 2005, Duke University held a symposium -
class, I stare at many times last year did the school's e-mail full of lectures and panel discussions - about
a blank screen. crash? At one point, it seemed to be a weekly podcasting. At the time, the medium was only
Life is not good. Wire- affair. And when the University upgrades its a year old.
less is freaking out on systems - e-mail and Wolverine Access, for Duke and Stanford aren't quite like the Uni-
me, as it often does, and instance - it rarely goes smoothly, and leaves versity. Both are smaller, private schools that
my irritation with the thousands of students feeling like technology can spend more money per student. Duke even
ineptitude of this Uni- guinea pigs. supplies its students (as a part of their tuition)
versity grows as each As much as the situation sucks right now, with iPods and anything else they'd need to be
minute passes by. For what I really mourn is what's missing on as connected as possible. But it doesn't even
another excruciating five campus - the tricks, gizmos and conver- seem like we're trying.
minutes, I will have no e-mail, no instant mes- sation that more connected schools in the Administrators, professors and even stu-
saging, no Facebook. A terrible life indeed. nation are a part of. dents need to get over their Luddite tenden-
If you've been paying attention to the front Stanford University recently announced cies and join together to take steps forward.
page of the Daily the past couple days, you've that it plans to put 500 lectures on iTunes My little pet obsession with podcasting and
noticed a lot of talk about the wireless situation as podcasts for the general public to enjoy, wireless might put me in the minority on this
at the University. It's incomplete, inconsistent no tuition necessary. As far as I know, the campus, but while other schools are actively
and sometimes just plain bad. There is a com- School of Dentistry is one of the few Uni- seeking out how to incorporate trendy technol-
plete lack of centralized leadership in imple- versity departments to embrace this new ogy - some of which will admittedly go the
menting innovative technology, and as a result, medium - one that I particularly enjoy and way of Betamax - I worry that we'll be left
the University is now lagging behind. abuse. If the teachers here started podcast- in the dust.
But this isn't just about wireless. Not being able ing their lectures, I could finally start listen- Way back in the day (the early '90s), the
to efficiently goof off in class isn't what concerns ing to what I missed while busy surfing the University was one of the first to supply e-mail
me the most - it's the fact that the University Internet. to its entire student body. Knowledge of e-
will slowly become less relevant if it stops look- But more seriously, at a place that encour- mail allowed a handful of alumni to grab jobs
ing forward. Two weeks ago, Forbes magazine ages the eager accumulation of information because their competitors weren't familiar
and the Princeton Review released their list of and insight, making available academic work with such mysterious and new technology. If
the top 25 most connected campuses. Intel also in a hopping new field would allow students this school continues at its snail-like pace when
recorded its top 50 "unwired" campuses. The with packed schedules to sample the many thinking about technology, when the Next Big
University was not on either list. viewpoints circulating around campus. On an Thing explodes into the market, the University
There is no need to discuss the credibility or even more practical level, students could use and all its constituencies will be left - with
methodology of the ranking. I know, from try- podcasts to sample classes they might want to their erratic servers, Ethernet cords and pend-
ing to use the technology here, that there is no take - gauging whether one professor is bor- ing unemployment - scratching their heads
way that the University will make the list any ing beyond belief or if another is a veritable and wondering what the hell happened.
time soon. Notwithstanding the wireless issue, Jerry Seinfeld come lecture time.
there has been problem after problem with the Academically, the University seems behind Go can be reached
services coming out of the University's Infor- in even talking about new.technologies. In fall at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Send all letters to the editor to
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR tot hedaily ~michigandaily. corn.
Open debate, not censorship,
discredits hateful views
TO THE DAILY:
I am writing in response to the Student
Relations Advisory Committee's viewpoint
(An open letter to the Daily, 02/03/2006). While
I object to its arguments and excessive wordi-
ness overall, I have specific objections to the
committee's sixth point, which states, "there
are indeed situations such as a newspaper
dedicated to serving an entire campus commu-
nity in which the abovementioned Fourteenth
Amendment trumps the First. It is easy to
hide behind the First Amendment; but invok-
ing that right also requires the recognition of
responsibility not to abuse it." It is likely that
no example of this "trumping" was included
in this otherwise lengthy letter because no rel-
evant one exists. While there has been much
controversy over the First and the Fourteenth
Amendments, the courts have repeatedly
decided that the First comes, well, first. That
is why we see the Ku Klux Klan march openly
and why hate sites exist without fear. However,
it is also the reason we can guarantee the wid-
est array of competing views in our society, and
it ensures that we can express hostility toward
the government without resorting to physical
violence. It is this openness that makes hateful
speech irrelevant today. The world's most open
societies are also its least violent. Illogically
hateful views have a hard time holding up to
open debate and scrutiny, and it is imperative
that these debates can exist freely. A campus
paper at the University should be the last place
to censor debate, and to demand it at this level
is unnecessarily suppressive.
Bollinger was an effective
leader, not a 'spineless jerk'
TO THE DAILY:
I was a bit disturbed by Prof. Robert
Frost's comments about former University
President Lee Bollinger (Lack of plan dooms
wireless, 02/08/2006), apparently prompted
by what Frost views as his "lack of leader-
ship" on the deployment of a campuswide
wireless network. Perhaps our wireless
network isn't among the best in the coun-
from alumni than any other public univer-
sity) and research (the University led all
public universities in research expenditures)
served to enhance the University's national
reputation. And perhaps most importantly,
Bollinger was critical in the University's
successful defense of its affirmative action
admission policies, an accomplishment
with historic implications. Yet according to
Frost, because Michigan lacks a centralized
wireless network, "nothing got done" under
Though people are certainly free to criti-
cize former leaders, Frost's remarks lack
civility and ignore other aspects of Bol-
linger's tenure. Michigan has a rich tradi-
tion of leadership that is entitled to greater
respect. Referring to a former University
president as a "spineless jerk" who viewed
his post as a "trophy job" is misguided at
best and unprofessional at worst.
Few students, regardless of
race, are Ph.D. material
TO THE DAILY:
I am writing in response to an article titled
Coalition accuses 'U' of racism (02/08/2006).
While I do not have enough information to seri-
ously challenge or confirm the legitimacy of
the coalition's claims, I have trouble believing
that the University is guilty of "a full assault
on the African-American community."
One part of the article claims that professors
often discourage black students from attempt-
ing to earn a Ph.D. in the graduate engineering
program. Let's think about this for a second.
Completion of a Ph.D. in any field implies that
the recipient is part of a small group of experts
in that field. Very few people in general are
"Ph.D. material." Unless a student is near the
top of his class, a professor should discourage
that student from entering a Ph.D. program. No
professor is going to think to himself. "John
has received great scores on all of his assign-
ments, but he is black, so I am going to tell him
he's not good enough."
Unless one of the coalition members has
truly been discriminated against in this way,
it would be wise for them to focus more on
schoolwork and less on trying to find situa-
tions that fit their overly inclusive definition of
partly to blame. As reported in the original
piece (Amid controversy, NAACP VP resigns,
01/30/2006), Moffett and the state NAACP
refused to comment for the story.
The letter writer also attacked the Daily's
usage of material posted on Moffett's suppos-
edly "private website." It's not a private website;
I checked it out this afternoon. If Moffett wish-
es to keep certain material private, I suggest that
she not openly post it on the Internet.
The writer's accusation that the article "failed
to highlight any of the positive actions Moffett
took during her stint as vice president" is patent-
ly untrue. The article highlighted her advocacy
against the fringe group BAMN and acknowl-
edged that "her presence will be missed" at
NAACP meetings. Despite her misgivings, the
letter writer couldn't point to anything in the
article that was inaccurate or misreported.
The writer noted that the article was writ-
ten "without any type of contact with Moffett
beforehand." The Daily spoke with Moffett.
Moffett chose not to speak back. Though I laud
Moffett for sticking to her guns and distanc-
ing herself and her organization from BAMN,
refusing to comment for a story and then being
pissed about the end result are not marks of
someone cut out for politics or for leadership.
The letter writer is a former Daily associate
editorial page editor.
South Asians recognize that
divorce is 'objectively bad'
TO THE DAILY:
Divorce is considered taboo among many
South Asians (as well as many Americans)
because marriage is objectively good and
divorce is objectively bad. Who gets mar-
ried thinking it might be fun one day to get
a divorce? Only in the Daily would there be
an article putting a positive spin on divorce
(Conference explores Indian divorce stigmas,
02/07/2006). Let's congratulate the Indian
community for its low divorce rates. Mar-
riage is a promise of fidelity through all of the
hardships life throws at you, even "clashing
priorities." Divorce happens, yes, but it is not
the desirable outcome of marriage. Divorce
tears apart families - the building blocks
of American society - and has severe con-
sequences for children. There is something
Editorial Board Members: Amy Anspach, Andrew Bielak, Reggie Brown, Kevin Bunkley,
Gabrielle D'Angelo, John Davis, Whitney Dibo, Milly Dick, Sara Eber, Jesse Forester, Mara
Gay, Jared Goldberg, Ashwin Jagannathan, Mark Kuehn, Will Kerridge, Frank Manley, Kirsty
McNamara. Raiiv Prabhakar. Eric Karna. Katherine Seid. Brian Slade, Ben Taylor, Jessica