Wednesday, August 2, 1995 - The Michigan Daily - 5
For a better U'...
So, things are starting to finally wind down on
the end o' the summer. And what a summer it has
been. Being a student Orientation leader this past
summer has given me more insight into how the
University functions than I could ever have asked
for. Or wanted. Evidently, I should be the picture-
perfect "well-adjusted student" this fall.
Registering over 1,000 new first-year students this
summer has definitely put me into the academic
end social mindset. I'm roaring for the fall - read:
(fotball season - to begin.
Now, withmy vastknowledge oftheUniversity,
Ihavejust a few suggestionsonhow ithe bureaucracy
can operate a little more smoothly. Or at least make
the whole bureaucratic experience alot more exciting
and fun to deal with. Let me begin.
U Michigan is an expensive place. We all know
that. But how much of a student's tuition really goes
toward the $785 million the University claims it
takes to run this place? In order to make students
really know what they are getting for their tuition
pllar, everything should be itemized. For a student
Michigan, a bill might say something like:
"Thank you for your payment of $4,000. It has been
used to install three windows in Randall Physics
lab."Ormaybel'llgetsomethinglike: "Mr. Knutson,
in the future, please address all checks to Barney
Fitzgibbons, the flower waterer of North Campus
whose salary you will be paying directly. Think of
the possibilities. I could have dinner with Barney's
family, and maybe even enable his kin to attend
college, where they would be used to pay for some
Aw gravel in the parking lot by the Arb. The new
'teps on the Grad could have a hundred names of
students who paid for them, which would go a long
ways in making the 'U' just a bit more personable,
walking on your firends and all.
Phone CRISP is a vast improvement over the
old systems of crochety old folks at CRISP who
really didn't care if you were to keel over after not
getting into any classes. But with the new
technology, why does it still cost $80 to register?
Somewhere in there, the 'U' should use the funds
make registration more fun. The CRISP lady
st doesn't cut it. Something like "Dial-a-porn-
CRISP"would be fun.("Oh, baby, I've been waiting
for you to call. Please press 1, to see where I can
take you next! You know you want to continue,
because it feels so good!") Or maybe you could
fulfill a requirement by CRISPing in German.
"Guten Tag. Welkommen zum Universitat von
Michigan...). Or my personal favorite, Cottage
Inn CRISP. ("Univeristy of Michigan, will you
please hold? Okay, that'll be Math 115 with half
,usage and half ham, Chem 130, uh, would you
mke Chem 125 with that? No? Breadsticks, then?")
Placement testing. It needs to go beyond
math, chemistry and foreign language. There needs
to be a survival skills test. After all, there are just
a few students who do not have what it takes to
survive here in the university community. Let's
just say, they are not quite ready for the social and
civil aspects of Michigan. Here's the deal: You fail
the test, you go to Michigan State. That simple.
Example: "Is it a good idea to buy an open bottle
of gin from a homeless person on the street for
ersonal consumption?" Or, "You are boffing at
the CCRB weight room, sweating and drooling
like a pig on the pads. Do you bother to wipe off
your bacteria infested perspiration and saliva from
the machine, or do you just leave your mark?" And
finally, "Do you watch Jenny Jones regularly?
Really? Have you ever been a guest?"
Wait list boot camp. How badly do you
really want to get into that psych class? Three days
of hard work might let you earn your spot: "Get up
that rope, maggot! And who was Frued, anyway?!
don't think you have the prereqs for this class!
You are worthless! Move it! Move it!" And so on.
Hey, that leaves only two lines. Thank God.
It's time for a vacation from the 'U.'
"Why did the police take so long to get here? Why didn't
they do anything when they finally came? Why, why, why?"
- Verlie Stewart, referring to the shooting of his daughter, Tamara
Simple solutions to a complex problem
LAST PART OF A SERIES lies in "building a social structure that will enable
By Adrienne Janney parents to raise children to have a more productive
"Adult crime, adult time," stated Gay. John population." Desparate parents will raise desparte
Engler, addressing the Prosecuting Attorneys children;abusiveparentswillcreateabusivechildren.
Association of Michigan. Ashe outlined his plan for And those children grow up to be adult members of
juvenile justice reform he called juvenile offenders society.
"predatory punks"opining that "what many of these At the discussion some questioned why truancy,
punks need is not a social worker but a jail cell." asasolidindicatorofhigh risk, is notdeald with more
Engler seems to have all the answers contained aggresively. Gerald Miller, apanelist anddirecstorof
in his seven-part plan. Build a "punk prison," the.MichiganDepartrentofSocialServices,toldthe
authorize "boot camps" and home detention with audience that DSS has its hands full with abuse/
electronic surveillance, lower the automatic waiver neglect cases. DSS cannot do anything about the
age to 14, open juvenile records and greatly extend symptom - truancy, in this case - until it has the
the powersof police, probatejudges andprosecutors. resourestortackethe rot of theproblem. The same
"We must be conscious that some think our powers holds true for the rest of thejuvenile system, as well
too broad," was Engler's ominous comment. as the adult system. "These children have to be who
Only one part of Engler's plan held redeeming they are for observable, quantifiable reasons," said
value: providing judges with a wider range of panelist and Rep. Michael Nye (D-Lansing).
sentencing options forjuveniles. The current choice Pontiac probate judge and panelist Hon. Joan
is between adult prison or juvenile detention. Judges Young spoke of"creating acntinuum"-buthowe
absolutely needbetter alternatives. Legislators must If every child in an abuseneglect situation were
do some creative planning to improve the situation. removed, there would be no place to put them. If the
Other means could include programs in the funds for corrections were transferred to prevention,
community, intensive one-on-one rehanilitation, largenumbersofpotentialyunrehabilitatedoffenders
diffeiryentessecurity in juvenile facilities, would be on the street. If every misdemeanor gets a
different levels of liferisentencen esfaietyies'll be dumin eol into
more couseling, more education and especially a life sentence, soiety w dumping peopeito
support program for those on their way out of the psons by the thousands, and paying through the
juvenile justice system. nose to support that policy. And if every social
Elected officials worry a great deal about the deviant were sentenced to death, society would have
short run, ignoring the long run. In the adult system, to keep killing its members indefinitely.
examples of this are rampant: truth in sentencing, In conclusion the panel discussion, Feld
"three strikes and you're out," the death penalty - mentionedthree"magic wand" solutions. "Iwishfor
policies that sound good, but compound the problem needs to havple to have a future," he said. America
in the end. They don't address the complexity of th people because "as long as itis clear to themthat no
problem. "IfIcouldgetoneidea across topeople,it's oe cabout e the as no reaso to ca
to avoid simple solutions," Washtenaw County about anybody elsee"
Prosecutor Brian Mackie said earlier this summer. Fealsowishedtoprohibittheprivateownership
Engler believes that it is as easy as putting tools Fedag , and to deal withissues such as racial
society used to have back in the tool box. Joseph andgunsanteaith ises w as racial
Barbrifomerlabela~outy nd social justice, saying that race was sidestepped
PAAM president, pointedout,y Prosecutorandpast throughout the disussion. "We are now reaping the
is a lot different thanin 1975." It is not a matter of harvest of 25 years of social policy," he observed.
sgoing back to the imaginary golden years of PanelistandWayneCounty AssistantProsecutor
going ba Crie isanew poen o Andrea Solak, conservative and tough till the end,
However, crime becoming a mreprevalent concluded,"What I'd like to see is peaceinthehome.
problem. For example, the number of adjudicated A child who learns violence from the people they
love simply becomes apracticer and it's uncivilized
sex offenders is increasing steadily, even rapidly. for us tomarehs (these children)."
Whether more are bringing it to the forefront, or thefruoaeoue(tese cren)."
crimes are actually occurring more is not clear. But Solak couldn't be more right.
panelist and University of Minnesota law Professor -Janney is ati LSAjinior
Barry Feld was on track when he said the solution and a Daily editorial page editor
+*"c I y Ma wimsa
10 C C_
ENDWMET' N DOWE T Fait
FR HE OR TH E NTT L)
HUMN+Tf SA s ioAcp"T
Nicholas J. Cotsonika/Nickels
The letter arrived in Ann Arbor 55 years ago,
largely unnoticed. University physicist George
E. Uhlenbeck received letters from his old friend
at the University of California-Berkeley all the
time, and few could understand them anyway.
All the talk of atoms and elements would confuse,
if not bore, an untrained reader.
This time however, the message was clear.
"So I think it really not too improbable that a ten
centimeter cube of uranium deuteride ... might
very well blow itself o hell," J. Robert
Oppenheimer wrote. The bomb began its birth.
Oppenheimer's ominous attitude only hinted
at the destruction to come. Hiroshima would be
laid waste by "Little Boy" on Aug. 6, 1945, and
Nagasaki would be leveled three days later. And
Oppenheimer, along with the rest of the United
States, knew that his conscience was doomed.
Fifty years later, Hiroshima still haunts us. It
should. The murder of so many innocent people
should not go away. Time and rebuilding cannot
replace lost souls. Calling to mind those miserable
days of 1945 reminds us that we are not always
good. Stars and stripes can be bullies too.
This does not mean that the use of nuclear
weapons at the end of World War II was a poor
decision. President Harry S. Truman knew
victory would be acheived, and after long years
of bloody fighting, chose the quickest way and
least costly way out.
Later, when the Soviet Union gained nuclear
capability, we knew to respect the bomb. Without
the lessons of Hiroshima, events like the Korean
War and the Cuban Missile Crisis might have
rearranged the planet. Using the bomb taught us
never to use it again.
It is wrong, however, to say the Japanese
deserved it. Yes, Japan did strike Pearl Harbor
without warning. Yes, Axis powers did rape and
pillage China and the Phillipines. Yes, the
Japanese did instigate war militarily.
But in any history class at this University,
you learn about who fights wars, who dies and
who commands. Leaders may puff out their
chests and order offensives, but itsis rare to find
a infantryman with grand ideological notions of
why he is fighting. And as for civilians, they
were at home watching, just like we did in 1991.
Those who died, and those who survived,
paid a price. War demands that. Yet, after the
ships and planes are put in mothballs, we should
examine our massacres. War demands that too.
Hiroshima reminds us of all our slaughters.
Dresden. Danang. Berlin. Baghdad. In all,
thousands of innocent people died, and at times,
they perished for little more than revenge.
The Smithsonian exhibit that was to
comemorate the bombing was scrapped. Too
sympathetic to the Japanese. Too unfair. Too
this or that. In Hiroshima, they don't like to
surface the memories either. The plaque that
marks Ground Zero, where the blinding flash
centered, is small and hardly noticeable. Bikers
ride by without paying too much attention.
That is dangerous. When pride blocks
objective memories 50 years after an event,
there is a problem. Those of us who were not
around then need to pay attention. The wounds
must be ripped open again, deep looks need to
be taken. We need to be reminded of what we're
So don't pass by these anniversary articles
this week. When Oppenheimer wrote Uhlenbeck,
your life was altered. It began with a letter right
on this campus and it could happen again -
right here. For your children, learn about it.
Look at the pictures. See the scars. Sit. Stare.
Remember .. for your sake.