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June 30, 2003 - Image 4

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Michigan Daily Summer Weekly, 2003-06-30

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4 - The Michigan Daily - Monday, June 30, 2003
letters@michigandaily.com Editor in Chief Editorial Page Editor
STUDENTS AT THE Unless otherwise noted, unsigned editorals reflect the opinion of
UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN the manorty of the Daily's editorial board. All other pieces do not
SINCE 1890 necessarily reflect the opinion of The Michigan Daily.


The U.S. Supreme Court's decision last
week on the use of race as a factor in
university admissions compels the
University to revise the point-based admis-
sions policy uaed by the College of
Literature, Science and Arts. The college's
admissions policies are in need of a- signifi-
cant overhaul, and the model that the Law
School uses can guide any new system. In
order to create trust among the University
community in a new policy, it would be wise
for University President Mary Sue Coleman
to assign the responsibility of developing a
new system to a representative committee
that includes administrators, faculty, admis-
sions officers, members of the University's
legal team, alumni and students.
One important aspect of such a commit-
tee's task will be to examine the Law School's
system and extract from it those elements that
enable a constitutionally sound pursuit of
diversity. While the LSA point system relied
heavily on numerical comparisons, the Law
School makes essays and interviews a promi-
nent part of its admissions process. The Law

New admissions criteria
Time has come for drastic admissions policy adjustments

School admissions staff is able to consider
factors such as race and socioeconomic status
in the context of an applicant's personal
struggles and achievements.
As the University's legal team argued to
the Supreme Court, the University is one of
the nation's most elite schools of higher
learning. As such, it is past time for LSA to
adopt a system befitting such an elite school
- a system that makes a holistic assessment
of each applicant. Other schools of LSA's ilk
use interviews as an important part of the
admissions process and give serious consid-
eration to application essays. In order for the
admissions officers to learn more about each
applicant, it is important for the college to
begin interviewing its applicants. With the
world's largest living alumni base, this should
not be an overwhelming task. In addition, the

LSA application would be improved by
requiring more essays and if the admissions
officers paid more attention to these essays.
Essays are one of the rare opportunities for
the applicants to speak to admissions officials
and for the officials to get to know the appli-
cants. Until now, LSA's reliance on applica-
tion essays has paled in comparison with
other colleges at other competitive universi-
ties. LSA and other colleges using point sys-
tems, such as the College of Engineering, will
need to hire many more admissions officers
and tap their alumni bases to provide individ-
ual attention to the many thousands of people
who apply to the University annually.
Besides the lack of weight that LSA has
traditionally put on essays and the lack of an
interview process altogether, other serious
flaws have existed in the school's admissions

policies. The University would make a bold
statement by eliminating any "legacy" prefer-
ence given to the relatives of alumni when
applying for admissions. Acceptance should
be based upon each individual's merit, not
upon his family name. The University should
avoid changing its rolling acceptance policies
to a system based on early decision, as early
decision favors wealthier applicants at the
expense of those less fortunate and forces
students to make premature decisions. It is
also important to continue to consider socioe-
conomic, regional factors and race as part of
the holistic evaluation of each candidate.
While the Supreme Court handed the
University a partial defeat by ruling its
undergraduate admissions policies
unconstitutional, the decision also pro-
vides the University with an opportunity
to improve its undergraduate admissions
policies. The proposed committee can
rework the process in order to make it
more personalized, more probing, more
progressive and more in line with the
policies comparable schools use.

Keep the press free
Recent efforts to limit freedom of press must be halted

Where's my check?


In theory, the college experience is
geared toward helping students pre-
pare to become active participants
in society, yet the recent decision by the
U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals to
rehear the case of Hasty v. Carter en
banc questions how seriously public
officials take this objective. An extraor-
dinarily significant case regarding the
free speech rights of those college
newspapers dependent upon their uni-
versities, Hosty vs. Carter has been in
perpetual motion since October of
2000, when the Innovator, the
Governors State University student
newspaper, ran stories and editorials
critical of the school's administration
(the evident final straw being a front-
page story regarding the motives of the
dismissal of the Innovator's faculty
adviser). The administration claims that
journalistic professionalism was in dan-
ger and therefore decided to intervene.
Dean of Student Affairs Patricia Carter
decided that no further issues would be
printed until the implementation of
prior review by school administrators.
In front of the court, which is based in
nearby Chicago, Governors State
University argued that according to a
prior U.S. Supreme Court opinion,
Hazelwood School District v. Kuhlmeier,
which limits First Amendment protections
for high school students by allowing prior
review by administrators, they could
legally demand prior review of articles.
But on April 10, a three-judge panel of the
court rejected that claim by the university
when they stated that the overbearing
Hazelwood opinion was not a model for
the college press and that prior review of
college papers is unconstitutional.

On April 24, Illinois Attorney General
Lisa Madigan filed a petition for an en
banc rehearing. The 7th Circuit Court of
Appeals granted the rehearing on June 25,
and while an en bans victory would carry
great moral weight, it is possible that the
court will agree with the attorney general.
If the court rules in favor of GSU, it
would be the end of First Amendment
protection for college journalists at
schools across Illinois, Indiana and
Wisconsin. Essentially, this means that
student papers could possibly be pre-
vented from writing anything of impor-
tance if it may be damaging to the uni-
versity it serves, which defies the pur-
pose of journalism.
In addition, a triumph for GSU would
mean that the case could be used as
precedent for future cases involving stu-
dent-run, university-funded publica-
tions, not to mention other school-fund-
ed activities. Radio, television and the-
ater, among many other events, could
also be restricted or censored, making
college feel a lot more like high school.
First Amendment rights to free
speech and free press are in place to
serve as a foundation for American soci-
ety, and are vital for keeping powerful
institutions in check. Freedom of speech
and press are also necessary for the pro-
gression of society.
It is alarming that Governors State
University, an academic institution
charged with the task of preparing its
students for the future, is attempting to
legally implement prior review to cen-
sor its own journalists. This certainly
does not fulfill the university's role of
teaching its students citizenship; rather
it would prefer to censor dissent.

Around noon on Monday, I went to my
mailbox thinking I had gotten a refund for
my tuition, or maybe they sent out a notice
that the University of Nebraska had relin-
quished its share of the 1997 NCAA
national football title. To my disappoint-
ment, I had no such luck, so why then was
University President Mary Sue Coleman
talking about how "We," the University
had won? I, along with about 50 percent of
the University community, haven't won a
damn thing! Has our out-of-touch presi-
dent not realized that a little over 50 per-
cent of the University community does not
support racial preferences?
Maybe I'm being a bit harsh on ol'
Mary Sue, considering the national media
that swarmed campus made it appear as if
every student had marched on Washington,
supporting the ill-conceived notion of a
"critical mass." In all honesty, however,
you can't blame the media completely.
Given our elected representatives, such as
Michigan Student Assembly President
Angela Galardi, were about as accurate in
representing student opinions on affirma-
tive action as former President Bill Clinton
was about his relationship with Monica
Lewinsky, it's no wonder the student senti-
ment seemed so skewed. The only people
who made any noise about the decision
were those in favor of racial nepotism.
Some of the blame for the misrepresen-
tation, however, must fall on those of us
who oppose affirmative action. We are sim-
ply too lazy and lily-livered. We have
already dodged the racist bullet and were
admitted in spite of racial preferences, so
our attitude is, "Eh, I made it," and we move
on, enjoying college life. Additionally, most

do not want to deal with groups like the
Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action and
Integration and Fight for Equality By Any
Means Necessary, who will label you a
racist or Uncle Tom simply for standing up
for what you believe is right. Their militan-
cy and intimidation tactics scare people into
being quiet.
It should outrage all of us that the posi-
tion adopted by the University and its pres-
ident does not truthfully reflect the majori-
ty opinion of the University community.
This University has spent millions of dol-
lars supporting a policy that the majority of
us don't even want. After wasting our
money defending an unpopular policy, they
held a celebration at the president's resi-
dence, to which we were all invited. Why
were all of us invited to a party, when only
half of us were truly welcome? Granted,
you could have gone for the cookies and
punch, but there certainly wasn't anything
for most of us to celebrate.
Racial preferences were wrong, are
wrong and will always be wrong, and the
majority of us understand that. The U.S.
Supreme Court had its say, and now it's
time for the people of the state of Michigan
to have theirs. As citizens in a democracy,
we are given the power to decide what we
believe is right and wrong. We must use
our voting power and do what the courts
would not and ban racial preferences and
discrimination of any kind. Those who
oppose the mandate of the people will
scream and shout at the top of their lungs,
and when they lose their voice, we will
simply step up and say, "Sorry, equality is
the compelling state interest".
Maddipatiis a ate student in the College of
Engineering anda meberoftheDaily'editorial boand


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