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August 03, 1998 - Image 4

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Publication:
Michigan Daily Summer Weekly, 1998-08-03

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4 - The Michigan Daily - Monday, August 3, 1998
Edited and managed by CHRIS FARAH DAVID WALLACE
students at theCHSFAA ADWA AE
uets at Mtn + + Editor in Chief Editorial Page Editor
University of Michigan IJ tP f tl$1t
S424MaUnless otherwise noted, unsigned editorials reflect the opinion of the
42 aynard Steet majority of the Dailys editorial board. All other articles, letters and
Ann Arbor, MI 48109 cartoons do not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Michigan Dail

U niversity theme semesters have
been welcome forums to address
and heighten awareness of serious
issues facing students at the University
and in the world at large. The last theme
semester, which concentrated on the
environment and all its issues, was a
huge success. So it is with great promise
that the University has designated diver-
sity as the theme for the Winter 1999
semester. This theme semester should
help generate discussion and thought on
an important and controversial issue
that all students at the University deal
with.
In the past year, diversity, or rather
the means the University uses to create
a diverse student body, has been perhaps
the most talked-about issue on campus.
And in the midst of it, some ill will has
been fostered. Students' conflicting
views of programs such as affirmative
action can lead to heated discussions
and resentment.
The diversity theme semester can

Strong themes
University plans theme semester on diversity

spread information about the University
community's own conflicts regarding its
admissions policies and also stress the
reasons diversity is a necessary, benefi-
cial aspect of today's world. The semes-
ter's goal should be to create more
awareness of the issue, giving students
the information they need to form their
opinions.
The on-campus affirmative action
debate definitely has left some students
feeling lost. A great deal of information
has come out in the past year, and
numerous developments in the lawsuit
have since occurred. Explaining such
developments and what they mean to the
University can be of great help to stu-
dents concerned about the issue but not
up-to-date on the current happenings.

One idea being considered for the
semester is to have speakers and panel
discussions on diversity. This should
definitely be incorporated into the
semester; because of the issue's contro-
versial nature, many students may sim-
ply choose not to discuss diversity and
its role at the University. Getting started
can be the hardest part, and lecturers
and dialogues can provide the spark.
Also, addressing diversity can help
educate students about dealing with dif-
fering cultures and ethnicities. Students
of all backgrounds encounter some
measure of culture shock on campus,
and obstacles such as language barriers
can segment students who would other-
wise interact. The diversity semester
can help cultivate understanding

between students at the University, an
perhaps reduce the tendency for stu
dents to remain within their own com
fort zones.
A further goal of the planned seine.
ter should be to prepare students for th
diversity they will experience after the
leave the University. Multiculturalism i
a goal of virtually every institution
including big business. Students wil
need to be comfortable dealing with al
sorts of backgrounds to compete ii
today's increasingly globalized society.
There is no doubt that diversit'
improves the University and the educa
tional experience it provides to studen4
The myriad experiences, customs an<
religions that come together on campu
mirror the diversity one encounter
throughout life. Understanding the
importance of diversity is the first stet
in adjusting to our multicultural world
And once people are comfortable wit]
differing backgrounds, one less socia
limit exists.

Land of plenty
New acquisitions do not damage Ann Arbor
T ast month, the University purchased school groups to the area. Also, University
several acres of land near Michigan Hospitals draw patients from many com-
Stadium for future development. No exact munities throughout Michigan, and spe-
use has been determined for the land, but cialists can see patients from all over the
as needs develop, the University will have world. Most of these people coming to
the property to expand. The University's Ann Arbor spend money at the city's
spread and continuing growth are always a restaurants and stores.
sensitive issue to the City of Ann Arbor, One of the most high-profile sources of
which loses valuable tax revenue whenev- revenue is University Athletics, which
er the University makes a new acquisition. attracts numerous fans from all over the
While Ann Arbor fears that University state. Michigan Stadium, for example,
growth will have a negative economic routinely seats more than 100,000 fans on
impact on the city, the University should game day, giving it a larger population
continue to look to the future and purchase than nearly all cities in Michigan - and a
land that potentially fills a need. size roughly equivalent to the regular pop-
The conflict arises due to the ulation of Ann Arbor. And these fans
University's tax-exempt status. Since the spend money in the city for souvenirs,
University is a non-profit organization, food and entertainment.
Ann Arbor cannot impose property taxes Also, the city should not forget that
on any University properties. Given that most of the people brought into the city
the University owns approximately 10 per- through the University spend money on
cent of all land in the city, Ann Arbor takes parking meters and parking tickets -
in significantly less property tax than it money that flows directly into Ann Arbor's
could. And with every new purchase, a lit- purse. All the money spent in Ann Arbor
tle less of Ann Arbor is subject to proper- likely outweighs the money lost on tax-
ty taxes. exempt properties.
The city should not simply look at the For the University to continue to attract
lost property taxes on a piece of land, but thousands upon thousands of people, it must
recognize the immeasurable contribution continue to grow and remain a leading cen-
the University makes to Ann Arbor's econ- ter of higher learning. It should not temper
omy. Each year, the University brings any efforts to purchase property it sees as
35,000 students into Ann Arbor. These stu- valuable to its future interests. As the face of
dents spend their money largely in the city. education changes, the University needs lee-
Student money flows into bookstores, way to change with it. When new projects
restaurants, clubs, theaters, music stores are started, the land the University keeps in
- virtually any place of business in the reserve will make sure that acquiring prop-
city. And the revenue linked to the erty does not hold up the process.
University does not end with students. As long as the University remains a
The University attracts considerable leader people wii1 come o Ann Arbor and
numbers of unaffiliated peopt into the spend money. The city and th Univrity
city. Tourists come to see the museums on havy a symbiotic relatonship, and when one
campus, which also frequently draw is doing well, so is the other.

Di Hornic gains
Economics and diplomacy settle disputes
T here was a glimmer of hope in diplo-' more will develop between rival nations
matic circles when the prime minis- Unrest in the Middle East remains, a,
ters of India and Pakistan met last week in does the subcontinent's dispute ove
an effort to restart the severed peace talks Kashmir, while domestic conflicts remai
delayed by the nuclear debacle this past in Africa, South America and Ba1
May. For an area of the world that is home Europe. But it can be assuredly stated
to a sixth of humanity, this diplomatic ini- as evidenced by the cooling of tension
tiative was of crested importance: a bilat- between India and Pakistan once the U.S.
eral peace agreement has been gravely cut aid - that dollars and cents mak
needed in this region for 50 years. It is more sense than arms races and territoria
noteworthy that these talks, held after hegemony, and international policies an
two-and-a-half months of political stale- agendas are finally beginning to be decid
mate, started a week after U.S. Assistant ed in rational economic and diplomatic
Secretary of State Strobe Talbott visited terms rather than warfare.
this affected region. The U.S. should con- But foreign intervention through p -
tinue to use its diplomatic powers to help ticularly economic means to settle
settle dangerous situations peacefully. putes should not allow powerful nations to
In the aftermath of the Cold War, with hurt weaker ones. In the example o
political disputes existent in Africa, Asia Pakistan and India, both countries have
and Eastern Europe, the U.S. will contin- announced a moratorium on first-strike
ue to play a principal role as a negotiator nuclear warfare, and Pakistan is even
of international disputes. Military inter- reconsidering its previously negative
ventions this decade, such as the Gulf War stance on pacts like the Comprehensive
and crises in Haiti and Somalia, have met Test Ban Treaty and the Non-Proliferation
with less-than-hoped-for results. Now, Treaty.
near the end of the millennium, as spry Nations taking such actions should be
disputes and controversies arise, the U.S. rewarded with restored benefits as
should use its capabilities and direct its incentive towards peace. The U.S.'s dea -
resources to pacify international disagree- ings in North Korea, where Pyongyang
ments. This does not mean that the U.S. was given $4 billion in U.S. assistance to
should send in the troops wherever the cap its nuclear program, is a stellar exam-
bureaucratic climate gathers heat; instead, ple of trade politics.
as the India-Pakistan equation indicates, If disputes can be decided and lives
the U.S. should call into use purposeful can be saved through the economic and
diplomatic and economic factors which diplomatic maneuvering of powerful
will have positive and peaceful effects on states, then such mechanisms should be
the disputing regions. adopted as a means to peace. But ing
The dusk of the cold war has brought way should the world's wealthier nations
with it the dawn of internationalization punish weaker, more aid-dcpendent
and global totality. Free-markets have nations to gain political advuntage or ter-
succeeded where wars and armies have ritorial expediency. The objective should
failed. Naturally, fissures still exist and be peace, not exploitation.

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