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September 20, 2006 - Image 4

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4A - The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, September 20, 2006

OPINION

e atchluttn ]Dotg

DONN M. FRESARD
Editor in Chief

EMILY BEAM JEFFREY BLOOMER
CHRISTOPHER ZBROZEK JEFiR E diLor
Editorial Page Editors Managing Editor
EDITED AND MANAGED BY STUDENTS AT
THE UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN SINCE 1890
413 E. HURON
ANN ARBOR, MI 48104
tothedaily@michigandaily.com

iI Martin is watching you
letic department contract won't friend anyone

In an effort to regulate the conduct
of its athletes even more carefully,
the Athletic Department recently
required student athletes to sign a contract
stating that their involvement in social
networking websites like Facebook must
uphold the same standards of "honor"
and "dignity" as expected from them in
other situations. Such vague references
the contract makes to honor and dignity
could potentially result in infringement
upon students' First Amendment rights.
The department should instead allow
students to make their own decisions
within legal limitations, given that there
are already policies in place to punish the
unlawful actions.
The Athletic Department's new policy
went into effect August 1; violations of
the vaguely worded contract may result in
punishments including suspension from the
team and "reduction or non-renewal of any
athletic scholarships." Considering that the
Athletic Department aspires to hold ath-
letes to a higher standard as representatives
of the University, something like the new
mandate was all but inevitable.
The policy appears to be part of the
University's ongoing efforts to raise
"Facebook awareness." Just last week, for
example, the department gave a 90-min-
ute presentation entitled "Welcome Face-
book: Enter at Your Own Risk," in which
it highlighted the pros and cons of joining
an online social network. Included in this
overview were several examples of inap-
propriate profiles, featuring drugs, nudity
and alcohol.
While such educational forums are sure-
ly advantageous to student-athletes, the
newly instituted contract appears to do little
more than compromise their rights. Under
state and federal laws, as well as existing

University and athletic department poli-
cies, students can already be reprimanded
for engaging in illegal activities, as well as
behavior that violates University or athletic
department policy. Further action taken for
posting incriminating information would
be redundant and unjust.
Presumably, the Athletic Department
wrote the contract not to provide a sec-
ond means of punishing bad behavior, but
because there are other aspects of a Face-
book profile that may violate "standards of
honor and dignity" without breaking any
laws or codes. Without a clearer definition
of "dishonorable," however, athletes have
little way of knowing what whether they are
at risk of disciplinary action. The contract
infringes on students' rights by curbing
their ability to express themselves online.
The regulation of student behavior on
the Internet is a growing trend at univer-
sities nationwide. The University of Ken-
tucky, for example, told 500 of its athletes
to erase material on their Facebook profiles
that is "not in the university's best interest."
Additionally, Kent State University student
athletes must not only limit public access
to their personal profiles, but also allow
coaches and counselors to access and
monitor their personal profiles.
In practicing this brand of censor-
ship, however, universities seem more
concerned over student athletes drawing
attention to their inappropriate actions
than with the actions themselves. This
shouldn't be the case. Instead of imple-
menting a vague and restrictive contract,
the department should focus on the well-
being of students athletes by educating
them properly and respecting their free-
dom of expression as long as they stay
within the boundaries of the law and Uni-
versity and athletic department policies.

NOTABLE QUOTABLE
It's a game that the U.S. government
needs to play about 13 million times."
- Kyle Bristow, chair of Michigan State University's chapter of Young Americans for
Freedom, expressing his support for the University of Michigan chapter's "Catch
an Illegal Immigrant Day," as reported yesterday by The Michigan Daily.
The loss of loyalty
EMILY BEAM
fifteen heavy legacy costs, a bleak future. their employees to keep up sales.
years But these are fairly new trends. As They not only consciously built this
ago, recently as 1995, the Big Three was brand loyalty in their employees,
everyone in still the Big Three, holding a 75-per- but they assumed everyone else in
Metro Detroit cent market share. Today that's down America would choose their cars in
was tied to to just more than 50 percent, with the same way.
the Big Three. Toyota first taking DaimlerChrys- As Ford and GM are only start-
Most of my ler's spot as number three, and now ing to realize, this loyalty has
friends had poised to knock down Ford from its already weakened dramatically,
a parent or at number two position. as customers focus more on prod-
least a relative With both Ford and GM frantical- uct and less on producer. But the
connected with the automotive indus- ly treading water to avoid bankrupt- actions both companies must take
try. There were Ford families, and cy, it's not worth arguing whether to make it through their current cri-
there were GM families. (There were Ford is so much better than GM, or ses - cutting costs wherever pos-
Chrysler families too, but they didn't vice versa. Both companies are los- sible - will be the final blow. The
count, at least not at my house). ing sales and have announced mas- mutual respect between employer
My dad sells cars for Ford, and he sive restructuring plans in an attempt and employee that forms after a
was sure to pass on his brand loyalty to return to profitability. Automotive lifetime of employment was what
to me. I knew well before I started News reported Monday that talk created Ford families. With heavy
kindergarten that Ford was good of an alliance between the two has layoffs and wage cuts, this security
and GM was bad. My grandparents come up, perhaps even a merger. will not survive, and neither will
drove Fords, my parents did, and I Such an arrangement would signal the loyalty.
would too one day. not only the end of an era, but the loss Brand loyalty isn't dead entirely.
General Motors made bad cars, of each company's identity. It seems The cult of iPod worshipers is alive
ugly cars, dangerous cars that did unlikely in the near future - besides and growing, and many are full-out
poorly on crash tests. Ford made the convincing Congress that a merger Apple devotees. Lots of Coke drink-
awesome white Aerostar in my drive- wouldn't violate anti-trust legisla- ers would choose water over Pepsi.
way with that blue racing stripe, and tion, the companies don't exactly But unlike the Big Three during the
Ford paid for it, too. have complementary product lines; American automotive industry's hey-
The Ford-GM rivalry was a con- both are excellent in selling trucks day, it's a different loyalty, one that
stant companion growing up, and as and sports utility vehicles, and rath- comes from really liking the taste of
far as I was concerned, there were no er pathetic lately in designing a car Coca-Cola or the click of the iPod's
other manufacturers. In elementary model that sells. click-wheel. If Ford and GM can
school, I counted the number of Ford But even without merging or take advantage of that sort of loyalty
and number of GM vehicles parked forming some sort of alliance, the and compete on product, convinc-
in my subdivision - an easy task, rivalry is over. What Ford and GM ing customers that the Ford Focus,
as nearly every car was one or the had was something special, the last the Chevy Impala or some yet-to-
other. I was proud of my neighbors of its kind - a rivalry fueled by be-imagined model is worth their
when Ford won. I doubt it would fare customers' lifelong loyalty, passed devotion, they may have a chance
so well now. down from generation to generation. of coming out all right. Otherwise,
Where as 1 once saw the Ford- From the instant Henry Ford offered they'll have to find tens of thousands
GM rivalry as your standard battle his employees five dollars a day so more workers to fire.
between good and evil, it seems now they could afford to buy his cars,
that Ford and GM actually have a lot automotive manufacturers relied on Beam can be reached at
in common - falling market shares, this generational brand loyalty from ebeam@umich.edu.
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
Send all letters to the editor to tothedaily@michigandaily.com.

I

VIEWPOINT
The Republican revolt

By NICK GLAUCH
We are all witnesses to the genius of the found-
ing fathers. Even 200 years later, we can't help but
be awed by the great wisdom exhibited by the patri-
ots who freed our nation. Over the past two weeks,
a commitment to one of their finest creations - the
system of checks and balances - was renewed. I, as
all Republicans should, look with anticipation to the
end of the era where the entire government conforms
with the president and to a return to the squabbling
between branches that protects American privacy and
civil liberties asnour founders intended.
The backdrop of this revolt comes from the pro-
cess of trying suspected terrorists who have been
held in places like Guantanamo Bay. For the past
month, President Bush has pressed Congress to pass
legislation that redefines America's interrogation
policies to better comply with the Geneva Conven-
tion's ban on inhumane treatment of enemy soldiers.
But the bill supported by the president would allow
evidence to be kept from the defendant during his
trial. It would also allow evidence gained through
interrogation to be admissible in court, which
would not comply with the Geneva Convention.
Last week, the Senate Armed Services Committee
revolted against the president's plan and backed the
Supreme Court's reasoning in Hamdam vs. Rums-
feld, which declared Bush's old policies illegal.
All Americans should applaud this stand against
the president, but it is Republican voters who should
be even more proud of their officials: We finally got
something we voted for. At the root of Republican
ideology is a faith in checks and balances, because
it harnesses the great power of competition in the
furtherance of this nation's greatness and dedica-
tion to liberty. It is this competition that keeps the

different parts of government in a never-ending
struggle with one another - and therefore too busy
to violate our civil liberties and privacy. Checks and
balances also give our three branches the ability to
ask questions that lead to clarification and compro-
mise. But over the last several years, few questions
have been asked of Bush.
Last week, that changed. Patriotic Republicans like
Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), Sen. John Warner (R-
Va.) and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) realized that
the president was wrong, refused to remain silent and
reminded me what it means to be a Republican.
I hope that this revolt leads to a return to the
quibbling and competition that have always made
America great. But for that to be so, others in Con-
gress need to stand behind Senate Armed Services
Committee. The senators who led the revolt did so
in support of the values that all Republicans are sup-
posed to hold dear and should be considered heroes
among many too meek to raise their voice contrary
to the president. The three senators from the Armed
Services Committee showed a political backbone
that seemingly never existed among Republicans in
this 109th Congress. These senators reignited the
Republican value of competition within govern-
ment and complied with the will of the framers of
our Constitution. They stood and checked the presi-
dent, as the entire Congress was created to do.
Now, in the wake of this revolt, Bush needs to admit
defeat and find another way to legally try terrorists
and send them to jail. After Hamdan and the recent
backlash by his Senate allies, it is time for Bush to put
his system of tribunals to a rest. It is his duty to com-
ply with a return to balance - just as Madison,
Franklin and Hamilton envisioned.
Glauch is an LSA freshman.

Wearing helmet far
sexier than being dead
TO THE DAILY:
I am writing in response to Lau-
rel Chartow's viewpoint (A public
service announcement, 09/19/2006)
about the importance of wearing
a bicycle helmet. I applaud Laurel
for taking a stand in the name of
safety and addressing Ann Arbor's
naked-headed crisis. We all fall off
our bikes - and that fall might not
just mean a dirty scrape or shameful
getaway, it might mean getting our
skulls smashed onto the concrete like
pumpkins after Halloween.
Now, the reason Laurel didn't wear
a helmet when she fell and broke her
two beautiful incisors is because hel-
mets look really, really dorky. I'm
afraid to lose my badass bike-mes-
senger image to hecklers above Buf-
falo Wild Wings who will probably
call me a pansy and try to hit me with
eggs if I start wearing a helmet.
But Laurel's article made me
think. I don't want to die, I want to
live! I hereby declare I will wear a
helmet while I'm riding my bike,
and so will all of my friends. And we
have a plan on how to make helmets
sexy. So, thanks for the piece, Laurel,
and keep on the lookout for some hot
biker babes wearing stylish, yet deli-
ciously safe, bicycle helmets.
Lizzy Baskerville
LSA senior

coverage of the speech has almost
entirely missed these important and
interesting points, instead choos-
ing to take one quote wildly out of
context. Despite statements from the
Vatican explaining quite clearly what
the Pontiff meant in his speech, dem-
onstrations took place on a large scale
across the Middle East. In Gaza,
churches have been firebombed. In
Somalia, a nun was murdered along
with her bodyguard. Her dying words
were "I forgive, I forgive."
It is profoundly sad that a very
good and intelligent speech by the
pope cannot be discussed seriously
by all who deal with the problems
of faith and reason and religious vio-
lence but is instead met with riots,
firebombings and murder.
It is also very disappointing that
The Michigan Daily chose to further
the poor coverage of the speech by
printing only an inadequate article
from the Associated Press and then
following the rest of the world in
taking the allegedly offensive quote
entirely out of context for the "Nota-
ble Quotable." It would have been
better to provide no coverage at all
than to continue to fuel misunder-
standing in this way.
Those wishing to gain a proper
understanding of the situation may
find the Pope's speech at http.//
www.cwnews.com/news/viewstory.
cfn?recnum=46474.
Sean Moberg
LSA junior

However, very few people realize
how the policy truly works. While
underrepresented groups are given
consideration in the admissions pro-
cess, it is important to realize that all
students, regardless of race, gender,,
sex, religion or ability, have to under-
go the same process.
No one is entitled to admission into
the University. Therefore, the argu-
ment that someone's "spot" was taken
by an undeserving student is not only
invalidbutcannot be supported in any
way. It is also importanttorealizethat
these policies are used to help usher
women of all racial backgrounds and
ethnicities into academic fields where
we are underrepresented.
I'll admit I'm a little less than apa-
thetic when itcomes to political issues.
However, I decided that in order to
become a more knowledgeable voter,
I needed to research MCRI in its
entirety, as well as some of the other
policies related to affirmative action.
To my understanding, the effects of
the MCRI could be astounding on this
campus - and not in a way that truly
treats everyone as equal.
However, I digress. My aim is
not to sway anyone to any particu-
lar side, but to encourage people to
really take time to read about MCRI.
There are non-biased, non-partisan
pieces of literature available through
various organizations on campus
that spell out both sides of the propo-
sition ina clear, concise manner. We
all have access to the information;
the real question is whether we have
taken the time to read it?
Some may argue that affirmative
action is "reverse discrimination.'
Some may argue that affirmative
action allows women and minorities
to be on equal playing fields with their
counterparts. Before anyone jumps
to support or oppose this proposi-
tion, I believe that we all should take
just a few minutes out of our hectic
day to thoroughly educate ourselves
on the effects MCRI would have on
our campus beyond the obvious. I
have made my decision about how I
will vote, and I can only hope that the
campus community will be able to
make an informed, non-biased deci-
sion in November.
Erika Purcell-Williams
LSA senior

4

Press coverage of pope Educate yourself
unfair, incomplete about MCRI

4

KIM.LEUNG TiiE TAKE-OUT Box
i

TO THE DAILY:
Over the weekend, an international
controversy arose regarding a speech
by Pope Benedict XVI. In his speech,
the pope condemned religious vio-
lence by all people of faith, saying,
"Violence is incompatible with the
nature of God.and the nature of the
soul." He also argued that "not to act
in accordance with reason is contrary
to God's nature;" re-affirming the tra-
ditional Christian understanding of
God as the rational creator of a ratio-
nal universenot as something wholly
other, unbounded even by logic.
Unfortunately, worldwide news

To THE DAILY:
There has been much turmoil
and debate on campus as to whether
voters should support or oppose the
Michigan Civil Rights Initiative. My
concern is that people are not truly
researching the effects this proposal
would have on the University. Some
may agree with race-based policies;
others may not. While I am not urg-
ing readers to vote in any particular
manner, I am urging them to fully
research the effects of MCRI.
The biggest issue people focus
on is that affirmative action policies
seem to give a "leg up" to minorities.

JOHN OQUIST

v.Y

THE WHITE HOUSE IS DRAFTING OH PLEASE STOP THIS IS CRUEL
A PROPOSAL TO CONTINUE THE AND UNUSUAL I'LL TELL YOU
CIA'S INTERROGATION TACTICS... EVERYTHING JUST STOP TICKLING
I WISH THEY'D LISTEN TO MY ME HANAHA PLEASEII
GREAT NEW PROPOSAL..
/ . WELL OK.. /
"c5-l

OK.J WAS THE 20TH HIJACKER.,
AND I SWEAR TO GOD I'D KILL
YOU RIGHT NOW IF MY HANDS
WERE FREE...AND YOUR FAMILY
TOO HAHHAHANAIII
I 1 i
/ .'-'

I

I

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