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September 28, 1995 - Image 15

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1995-09-28

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

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Roses Are Read
Somewhere he sits. Maybe he feels
vindicated. Maybe he feels a tremen-
dous sense of accomplishment. Maybe
he thinks he fooled us all. Maybe he
wonders how they will ever get some-
oneto play him in the TV-movie. Maybe
he wishes he would go down in history
by his real name, instead of as the
He has some serious emotional prob-
lems, no doubt. That's one of the few
things we can say we know about him
for sure. But really, when you get down
to it, this whole saga has told us more
about us than it ever has about him. We
learned more about the collective psyche
than about the psycho.
Take the decision by The New York
Times and The Washington Post to print
his manifesto. How didyoureact? Should
they have or shouldn't they have?
It is the critics who amaze me the
most. They stand on their soapbox and
shout about journalistic ethics. That's
easy to do if it's not your decision. But
what if it was you who had to make the
call? And what if you didn't print it, and
a week later he killed an innocent per-
son? Would you still be convinced you
were right?
That's not to say that the newspapers
were right to print it. There are argu-
ments for and against the printing, both
of which have merit. It's the decibel
level of the arguments, the conviction,
that amazes.
The publishers of the Times and the
Post were forced either to abandon their
ethics or risk lives, and somehow no-
body has any sympathy for them.
Now that they have printed it, it's
nice to think they can sleep at night
without worrying about another letter-
bomb. It's nice, but it's not true.
Unfathomably, most of the nation has
taken the word of a serial killer as truth.
We believe he won't kill again. Why?
Because he said so.
That's it. There is no other reason. He
has nothing to lose by killing again, but
we assume he won't, because in the
back of our minds we all believe there is
order in the world and people stick to
the deals they make. The Times and
Post printed the manifesto, so the
Unabomber is a happy man.
(Or is he even a man? The FBI cer-
tainly thinks so, and the evidence points
to it. But what if there was no such
evidence? Admit it: If someone asks
you to draw a serial killer, that killer
would not be a woman. Does that make
make all of us sexist? Who knows).
It seemed logical that the Unabomber
would send his manifesto to the Times
and the Post. It goes beyond their circu-
lation. These are the two most promi-
nent, respected news sources in this
country. Papers ofrecord, we call them.
They print The Truth. And he invaded
that respect, called it his own. If they
only print The Truth, and they printed
his manifesto, then is his manifesto also
The Truth? And in this age of the infor-
mation superhighway, it is worthy not-
ing that the Unabomber did not send his
manifesto to some floating forum in
cyberspace. He chose two newspapers,
copies of which would be available in
some form for years, giving him an
indelible mark in our history.
The publisher of Penthouse offered
to give him a column, but he did not

want Penthouse. He wanted to shake up
our worlds, to make us think about him,
respect him. And he knew exactly how
to do it.
And what of the manifesto? It was
poorly written, ranting and raving, bab-
bling. We know that now. A month ago,
all we knew was that he was blaming
science and technology for society's
woes. We laughed at him. The psy-
chotic fool.
Well. He is psychotic. But notice
how quickly we all dismiss any notion
that our technology may be the cause of
some trouble.
Technology is clearly valuable, but it is
not without fault. For one thing, it has
diminished our collective attention span.
So his argument has some value. But we
automatically dismiss his views because
we are uncomfortable agreeing with such
a nut. We dismiss his views not because
they are ranting lunacy but because they






Keith Hering's 'Best Buddies.'

s.,r ..'

Volunteering. Service projects.
These three words often disap
pear from many students' vo-
cabularies once they come to college.
Sure, they may have completed com-
munity service hours in high school,
but for various reasons, such activities
are forgotten as students get older.
Here at the University, though, stu-
dents have the chance to get acquainted
with the numerous service opportuni-
ties on campus during Welcome Week
through Community Plunge, an all-day
affair that sends groups of Wolverines
out into Ann Arbor and the Metropoli-
tan Detroit area to do various volunteer
jobs. Activities range from cleaning up
the Rouge River to sharing chores with
the residents of the Ronald McDonald
House. For this one day, hundreds of
people take time out to help other orga-
nizations and individuals.
But what happens after the Plunge?
Many return to their busy schedules

and their food service jobs, and Com-
munity Plunge becomes a distant
Others never really forget about vol-
unteering though. LSA sophomore
Duke Knapp recalled, "When I came
here, I realized that community service
was something I needed to do, some-
thing that I was really passionate about.
Quite honestly, I consider it a spiritual
motivation. That's really what it was, a
blessing. At that moment in time, Com-
munity Plunge came up."
In Knapp's case, Plunge didn't let go
of him. He continued, "I went on
(Plunge), and I met Julie Lubeck, who
was the organizer of Plunge this year.
She and Frank Cianciola (Associate
Dean of Students) were my site leaders
out in Ypsi. You've got this bigwig here
in jeans in a T-shirt and then you've got
this student leader, taking out these
kids to rake, to clean windows, to
vacuum for this day care service for

mothers who are trying to go back to
college at Eastern Michigan. They led
us on a great reflection time in the gym
afterwards and I've never really forgot-
ten it ... and things really kicked off for
me there."
Knapp went on to take an active role
in Project Serve, one of the bigger Uni-
versity groups that sponsors large ser-
vice immersion events like Alternative
Spring Break and Into the Streets.
Project Serve Director Anita Bohn ex-
plained that Serve "started based on the
need that (they) saw within the Univer-
sity. There were a lot of students out
there doing volunteer work, but there
was no central place for them, either to
find out information about where they
could get involved or to connect with

other students that were doing the same
kind of work."
Bohn helped establish Project Serve
in 1988. She remembered, "What hap-
pened was the University had decided
they wanted to start an office that would
have some structure for students and be
a formal place in the University for
students to find out information about
how to get involved in the community,
and to bring all those students together,
and hopefully build some sort of com-
munity of those people. They got money
to start the program, and they hired me
to do it."
Off-campus, the Volunteer Action
Center of Washtenaw County can also
hook Ann Arbor residents up with about
1000 different volunteering opportuni-

The Center uses a database - which
lists more than 300 groups, many of
which are also covered by Project Serve
- to match people with organizations
which need not only their passionate
interest but also their skills. Groups of
every stripe are in the database, from
environmental groups to the Red Cross
and local hospitals to Ann Arbor
"It's a great resume-building oppor-
tunity for students," said Center direc-
tor Caroline White, "and it gives them
a great chance to get to know their
Affiliated with the United Way, the
non-profit Center can match potential
volunteers over the phone or with a
See SERVICE, page 3

d vison of chbge


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