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September 15, 1995 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1995-09-15

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4 - The Michigan Daily - Friday, September 15, 1995

ctje rbigri ailg

420 Maynard
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
Edited and managed by
students at the
University of Michigan


Editor in Chief
Editorial Page Editors

Bekinzd your back, t/he
- --constructkmn virus spreads


Unless otherwise noted, unsigned editorials reflect the opinion of a majority of the Daily's editorial board. All
other articles, letters, and cartoons do not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Michigan Daily.
Rushing b
Panhfel should seek alternatives to fall rush

T he beginning of the school year brings
new and exciting experiences for all
first-year students. For many female first-
year students, the first day of school also
brought the mass meeting for Rush'95. Right
from the beginning, sororities challenged
freshly minted University students to decide
whether they would make the intense com-
mitment to rush. For many first-year stu-
dents, the need to get involved and ignorance
of other organizations pushed them to accept
that challenge.
For the students who do decide to rush, an
intensive, month-long chain of events sucks
them into a dizzying schedule of mixers, set
parties, invitation rankings and rush group
meetings. After the mass meetings, the rush-
ees attend two evenings of 25-minute parties
each sponsored by a sorority. This is only the
beginning of Rush '95.
While all this and more is occurring, the
rushees are attending a full schedule ofclasses,
adjusting to life away from Mommy and
Daddy and meeting new people. When will
they find time to do their homework, write
their papers, maintain an acceptable grade
point average and adjust to college life?
By mandating such large commitments,
sororities are excluding students who want to
spend large chunks of time on schoolwork,
those who might be interested in other orga-
nizations and students who simply do not
have such time in the beginning of the year.
Many first-year students choose not to rush
because of the extreme demands so early in
the semester.
Sororities must realize that first-year stu-
dents need time to adjust and to see what else

is available before turning their lives over to
their sorority. The Panhellenic Association
should disallow first-year students from rush-
ing in the fall. Instead, a fall rush for sopho-
mores and a winter rush for first-year stu-
dents could be possible, or rush could be
moved to winter term only. Many object to
this idea because of the cold - but if Panhel
were to commit itself to changing the system,
it could likely find the resources to transport
rushees from house to house.
Many sorority leaders also claim that fall
rush for first-year students is needed to fill
their houses. However, by allowing first-
year students to have time to see what is
available, the sororities may find that more
first-year students will rush because they
sincerely feel that they want to be a part of the
Greek system. This would also increase and
promote stronger devotion and loyalty to the
This summer, the Division of Student
Affairs announced that it might consider pro-
hibiting first-year students from rushing so-
rorities or fraternities. Vice President for
Student Affairs Maureen A. Hartford said
she had heard from concerned faculty that
rush might hinder first-year academic perfor-
mance. While reform is certainly needed,
University interference in any way, shape or
form is not, and cannot, be the answer. The
sororities are independent of the University,
and such interference would infringe on their
Change is needed. Sororities should in-
spect and improve their system to provide an
easier, more enjoyable way for first-year
students to become members.

V ery soon, there will be no open space on
the campus of this university.
After the Diag becomes the Red Berenson
Library, construction transforms Palmer
Field into the Maureen A. Hartford School
for the Study of Student Rights and various
other green spaces find themselves con-
sumed by new experiments in neo-brutalist
architecture, what's next?
Soon, construction will begin eliminat-
ing roads, trees and homeless people, until
the campus is nothing but a single, mon-
strous, behemoth of a building - and very
probably, it will be called Nike Hall, with
the sporting goods company (also majority
shareholder in this planet and several others
nearby) putting up a couple bazillion dollars
to fund a few thousand scholarships, buy all
of us an indestructible new wardrobe, and
ensure that there is an enormous maize and
blue neon Swoosh blinking on the roof, a
symbol visible from Chicago, mainland
China and the near side of the moon.
Those will be the days! Imagine, Michi-
gan Stadium to the Med School in mid-
February without frostbite killing off vital
body parts. Not having to crowd 162 people
into a tiny Mason Hall classroom with seat-
ing for 25. No need for a Diag usage code,
since there will be no Diag.
Sure, there will be no more sunny foot-
ball Saturdays, but nobody goes to football
games anyway. True, smoking would be
illegal for several square miles, but no one at
Michigan smokes, so that's moot. And, yeah,
no more Hash Bash, but the administration's

been trying to rid themselves of that event
for years, and frankly, what's good for the
administration is good for all of us.
There will be drawbacks. Finding classes
won't be easy, as if it were now. It may be
disconcerting to look down at your schedule
and discover that you have art history in
"East 27.394A Corridor B99y of the West-
South-West Engineering and Pharmacology
Substructure." A's will be awarded to those
who arrive on time.
Sometimes small sacrifices like that must
be made in order to realize greater glory, like
Chris Webber selflessly relinquishing the
last two years of his college eligibility so
that Ray Jackson could have the spotlight.
Nike Hall, the greater glory in all this
construction, is the magnificent vision I had
the other day (yesterday, I guess) when Presi-
dent Duderstadt called me to ask me to take
part in a brand-new, super-secret committee
on the construction that he claims is plagu-
ing the campus.
The president told me - in confidence,
of course, since no-name Daily columnists
are often asked to join secret committees on
sensitive issues based on the premise that
we, of all people, can't express ourselves
well enough to expose the issue - that the
construction on campus isn't a planned event.
Rather, the construction is some sort of
virus that is taking over the university, some-
thing like "Outbreak" for dump truck opera-
tors. (David Hasselhoff will probably star in
the made-for-TV movie.)
When we're not looking, it seems, the

heavy machinery on campus mates - prob-
ably more than we do, based on a recent
student survey. That's why tractors peer in
your window when you're asleep, walls
spring up when you turn from the window
and the steps of the Grad have been redone
in charming, attractive stone.
The president is gathering a committee
to brainstorm solutions for the construction
plague, to find an alternative to a campus so
construction-laden that it will be possible to'
wander its halls for days without seeing
another human being.
For example, the University is secretly
negotiating to buy Michigan State, a much
larger campus. (The Dude's offering $6,
change and a can of Sprite; State is holding
out for Biakabutuka and the Cube.) All of
MSU's current students would be employed
in various menial tasks for sub-standard pay.
The same plan was in the works for Ohio
State, but why increase Buckeye students'
chances on the job market? Besides, it
wouldn't make sense to call the school Michi-
gan if it were in Ohio.
The president, it seems, wants to halt all
the construction we love so dearly-doesn't
he comprehend that infrastructure revital-
ization is essential to the school's continued
prosperity? What would he do with the sav-
ings anyway, hire more TAs?
I say no way, man. Nike Hall, here we
- Brent McIntosh can be reached over
e-mailed at mctosh@umich.edu.

o - . .




politics are
vicious precisely
because the
stakes are so


- Henry Kissinger

Cheating teachers
Removing tenure would harm state's children

O nce again, Republicans in the Michi-
gan Legislature are clamoring for dras-
tic change in the way the business of elemen-
tary and secondary education is handled. For
the upcoming session they have created a
sweeping series of proposals encompassing
everything from charter schools to relaxed
teacher certification standards. Along the
way, they also apparently intend to dismantle
the system of tenure that affords teachers
their only real measure of job security.
As it now stands, tenure in the state is
governed by a set of statutes enacted in 1993.
Those standards were adopted in response to
a system that made firing tenured teachers -
even the worst ones - next to impossible.
Although the current law streamlined the
process required to weed out bad teachers,
tie GOP in Lansing would go even further. If
its plans are approved, the 1993 process
would disappear before its effectiveness can
be properly gauged.
At the most basic level, tenure gives edu-
cators job security against unwarranted dis-
niissal. As with tenure at the university level,
public school teachers with tenure are af-
forded a certain academic freedom, to ex-
periment with new, even unorthodox meth-
ods. A tenured teacher can also concentrate
oh teaching without having to worry about
school politics or pressure from outside po-
litical agendas.
The current system is admittedly not per-
fect, and steps can be taken to improve it.
Another Republican proposal involves
awarding merit pay to teachers - an idea

that deserves consideration. If teachers are
performing exceptionally well, there should
be rewards built into their contracts. These
provisions would also give incentive to other
educators to rise to that level. By the same
token, there should be sanctions built into the
system, to avoid abuse of tenure protections.
When teachers clearly cannot perform the
tasks they were hired to do, they should not
be allowed to hide behind the shield of ten-
Under the proposed plan, "tenure" would
last for a limited number of years, after which
school districts could decide to renew tenure,
place the educator on another probationary
period or - in the extreme case - fire him
or her outright. While periodic performance
reviews are necessary, "periodic renewal" of
tenure is a ridiculous concept. In essence,
teachers with years of experience would find
themselves on a par with the rawest teachers
in school. Educators could fall victim to
issues unrelated to their job performance,
such as administrative politics or petty jeal-
ousies. Educator morale would certainly suf-
fer as a result.
Furthermore, the measure would have di-
sastrous effects on the state's teacher corps.
With job insecurity added to the already low
level of respect given teachers in the commu-
nity, more bright young people who would
have gone into the profession will undoubt-
edly steer clear. Inevitably, these proposals
would most harm the people the majority
party claims to help by its misguided ideas -
Michigan's children.

A note for the potential fraternity rushee

By Martin Wilk
Are you planning to rush a
fraternity this term? Many stu-
dents don't understand much
about the Greek system when they
first decide to check it out. As a
former vice president of a frater-
nity, I know through experience
that there are many common ques-
tion potential rushees might have,
and it is not all that easy to find
answers. Here are some of them.
1. What exactly is rushing,
pledging, etc.? Rush is a visiting
period for students to see frater-
nities and find out what they are
about. Although the exact meth-
ods of rush vary from house to
house, there are common quali-
ties. On Sunday at 4 p.m., frater-
nities will open their doors to
visitors. You walk in the door, get
a name tag or some other form of
identification and have your pic-
ture taken. Then, hopefully, one
of the brothers of that house will
strike up a short conversation with
you, and after a while, he intro-
duces you to another brother and
you have another conversation.
After daysaofthis, thefraternity
members discuss among them-
selves, based on these conversa-
tions or prior non-rush interac-
tion with you, whether the frater-
nity wants you tojoin their broth-
erhood. If they do, they give you
Wilk is an LSA senior.

a bid, or an invitation to pledge. If
you accept this invitation, then
you become a pledge. After a
certain period of time of "educa-
tion," you become initiated, and
you become a full member of the
fraternity. For most houses, this
takes the entire term.
2. Will this hurt my grades?
That really depends on you.
Pledging is a tremendous time
commitment. Some people -can
handle this, others' grades will
suffer. It is more difficult for first-
year students to cope because they
are not completely accustomed to
the college lifestyle. The safest
course of action is either to rush
in the winter term or first term
sophomore year. If anyone says
to you that rushing fall of first
year is by any means easy, they
are lying to you.
3. What is this about a live-in
requirement? This is one of the
most controversial topics for so-
rorities, but considerably less for
fraternities. The standard policy
is a one-year live-in requirement,
meaning that you must live in the
fraternity house for at least one
school year. One thing you should
realize is that the house you see
during rush is not the house you
would be living in. One of the
most extensive cleanings of fra-
ternities is the day (and night)
before rush. Usually they are more
similar to the houses you see dur-

ing a party. They
less clean and san
4. What about
by far the most con
about fraternities.
even at our wonde
of Michigan, haz
more the rule thai
National fraternit
for the local chal
them set rigid gi
hazing; however,I
ternity is not there
ers are drunk at 2
or there after a p
time to clean up.
anything from p
which you are r
food or anything e
when they call y
which does still
houses. This pt
unique to fratern
Sororities and sp
commonly haze.
ing rush gives yc
line "Our house
there is a very g
they are lying.
5. How do II
making the right c
is no clear-cuta
You will find that
meet when you ru
two weeks later
accepted your bi
ent. The best bet
yourself at rush, a
think is best for

are usually far house doesn't give you a bid, that
nitary. does not mean that you are not
hazing? This is good enough for them. In most
ntroversial topic cases, it means that that isn't the
Unfortunately, house for you. This is a very seri-
erful University ous decision to make, and not one
ing exists. It is to take lightly.
n the exception. 6. How much does it cost?
ies set the rules That varies from house to house,
pter, and all of but one common trait is that it is
uidelines about expensive. If you (or more accu-
the national fra- rately, your parents) are comfort-
when the broth- able enough to spend a consider-
in the morning, able amount of money on the fra-
arty when it is ternity - and it is a lot - then
Hazing can be this won't concern you. But if
ledge runs, in you are scraping your way though
equired to buy college, then you should ask the
else for brothers brothers of the fraternity (or even
ou, to paddling, better, ask the treasurer) speci-.
exist in some cally how much the whole thing
roblem is not will cost. If he doesn't give you
ities, however. specific numbers, then he is afraid
orts teams also to, and you should question ifthat
If anyone dur- house is the type ofhouse for you.
ou the common Fraternity rush is a fun time
doesn't haze," - for both you and the brothers.:
aOd chance that For many houses, it is the futurea
leadership and new blood for the
know that I am house. You will meet many new.
decision? There people, and it is only the begin-
answer to this. ning of some good times in the
t the people you next three or four years of your,
ash are different life. You must remember, how-
after you have ever, that when it comes to rush
d. Very differ- and the Greek system in general,
for you is to be things are not always as they seem.;
nd do what you An important decision like this
r you. If some takes time to make.
rarely make out better judgment of the boys stag-
oup of boys. ing the hoax. It was indicated
guys," said the later that none of the boys staging
of you here want the hoax were actually fraternity

'The frat with the six-foot

The following is excerpted
from a column in the Daily on
Sept. 16, 1965.

thing until you've seen the most
progressive fraternity, Phi Upsi-
lon Kappa. Come on with us," the
boy said.
'7"L -I--------

where he could b
the forms of a grc
"All right you
boy. "How many c
.0L"xt r V ;T T

State Rep. Mary Schroer

State Rep. Liz Brater


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