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October 27, 1995 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1995-10-27

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4 -The Michigan Daily - Friday, October 27, 1995

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

Editor in chief
Editorial Page Editors

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.
Lets Ptalk
DsueResolution Program a posi tive ove

L ast Wednesday, a meeting calling for
volunteers marked the inauguration of
the new Dispute Resolution Program on cam-
pus. The action shows promise in creating a
better academic and social environment for
University students by giving them the op-
p6rtunity to resolve their own conflicts.
The program is intended to resolve stu-
dent disputes via a student mediator. The 25
to 30 mediators will be trained by two attor-
neys from the Center for Dispute Resolution
of Washtenaw County, and will work on a
volunteer basis. Next term, the program will
be tested in Bursley Residence Hall, and if
successful should be expanded to a full cam-
pus-wide service.
The most important function of this new
program will be to give students the alterna-
tive of solving their own conflicts and com-
ing to their own resolutions without legal or
University intervention. This is a positive
move toward creating channels for students
to'work out their own problems rather than
'hving resolutions dictated to them.
:. As past evidence has shown, when stu-
"dents arrive at their own solutions to prob-
rins, they are often more pleased with the
results. The mediation is rightfully an en-
,#ly voluntary option, and if either party is
ihappy with the way the mediation is going,
he or she is completely free to resolve the
conflict by other means. Similar successful
programs at Antioch College of Ohio and the
University of Hawaii at Honolulu also have
demonstrated that student mediations help to

resolve problems in a preventative manner.
Solving a problem before it has a chance to
escalate beyond easy solutions is an excel-
lent way to prevent serious conflicts.
The new program also has the potential to
be an avenue for bypassing the soon-to-be-
revised Statement of Student Rights and Re-
sponsibilities (the code) in determining reso-
lutions and punishments for student conflict.
The Dispute Resolution Program is espe-
cially timely considering the strong student
opposition to the code. While some form of
the code certainly will playa part in student
conflict resolution, any initiatives to prevent
a problem from reaching that stage are wor-
thy. In addition, with the language of the
draft of the new code leaning increasingly
toward mediation, this program could serve
an ever-expanding and important role in con-
flict resolution at the University.
The initiative of the Michigan Student
Assembly's Student Rights Commission is
to be commended for its good work in the
creation of this program. LSA sophomore
Anne Marie Ellison, chair of the SRC, and
others in the program have created the frame-
work for this new program to succeed. The
$2,900 of the MSA commission's budget
should be money well spent.
A process providing student-friendly reso-
lutions to disputes has been a long-time goal
of students. With the advent of the Dispute
Resolution Program, the University will be
one important step closer to achieving that

M ost of my friends rarely dat
This is not because my fr
notoriously ugly. Nor are they so
with studying that they do notl
UGLi except to eat and sleep.
It just seems that the only t
friends date is when I want them to
and watch football.
It also seems that the only tim
immediately after I schedule the4
sevenish on Friday, someone call
offers me a free third-row ticket to
Jam, the Beastie Boys, and Game
the Stanley Cup Finals all on the sa
- Friday, about sevenish.
In economics, that's called "op
cost"; in real life, it's called "m
really bad luck."
Don't get me wrong. Many ofm
have girlfriends and/or boyfrien
just that they don't really date, e
with relationships.
Of course, calling them '"relati
assumes that men and women can
You must realize that this is not
Men and women cannot relate, no
Men think things like, "Hey, In
this girl. Maybe I'll buy her sor
tools for Valentine's Day."
Women do not relate to that.
Women, on the other hand, thi
like, '"This guy is really great. I1
send him a subtle sign that I lik
nodding and flashing a quick smi
while flicking my hair demurely."
Men do not relate to this,
Men think the woman has a b

How to play the data
or at least makeMom
e. hair when she flicks it demurely. Or they baby to
iends are don't notice, because they're too busy de- to hold
obsessed ciding which Craftsman power tools they're overgro
leave the going to buy for that special lady. Or they're If y
thinking about the NASCAR race they're don't ha
times my missing, all because they got roped into this girl
hang out doing that "quality time" thing. Is she trying Letterm
to imply that NASCAR isn't "quality time"? It's, lik
ies I date, Speaking of cars, this may have some- .. or so
event for thing to do with the dating situation. I don't Ther
Is me and date because I don't have a car. (Wouldn't I ing. Yo
see Pearl like to pretend that's the reason?) call whz
Seven of Dating without a car is difficult. It's not "Wh
ame night impossible, but it takes a lot more creativity. It iss
It's tough to say, "Hey, let's do dinner some- any que
portunity time. I'll pick you up Friday, say, sevenish? "Wh
ny really, Oh, dress casual - you have to ride on the "Wh
handlebars of my 10-speed, and I wouldn't "Wh
ny friends want you to ruin any nice clothes in the case "Wh
ds - it's of a sudden loss of balance." talking
ven those Dating, at least among the carless set, is "Oh
dead. The
ionships" W We do not date. We hang out. you can
"relate." Hanging out does not require a car. Hang- not-quit
possible: ing out does not require money. Hanging out it impl
)t ever. does not require a life. riage.
really like This is good for me: I have none of the You
me power three. Hence I should be among the best knot if'
hangers-out of all time. "whate,
The problem with hanging out is that Boy
nk things you're not dating - that seemed obvious, is one s
think I'll didn't it? Getariir
e him by So what are you doing? How do you moon, f
le, all the respond when your mother asks "So ... dat- The
ing anyone? Any romantic interests? Bought
a ring yet? Will you please get married and -- B
iug i her carry on the family name and give me a little

'ggame -
hold and'cuddle and coo at like I used
and cuddle and coo at you, you
wn freak?! ?"
ou're just "hanging out," you really
ave an answer to that. "Yeah, Mom,
and I get together and watch Dave
an and listen to Phish sometimes.
e, pretty cool ... but it's, like, nothing
mething ... don't worry about it ..."
re is an option besides all this stutter-
u can go the nonspecific way, and
at you're doing a "whatever."
hatever" works for most anything.
sufficiently vague to answer just about
stion: "Are the two of you dating?"
hat did you guys do last night?"
ho's this guy Theo that you're always
, he's my whatever."
nice thing about "whatevers" -and
use that term to refer to your current
te-a-boyfriend-or-girlfriend-is that
ies absolutely nothing about mar-
just can't even think about tying the
you categorize what you're doing as
friend/girlfriend, on the other hand,
tep away. You're in the aisle, baby.
ig make reservations for the honey-
fid yourself a good mortgage.
wedding is Friday, about sevenish.
3rent McIntosh can be reached over
e-mail at mctosh@umich.edu.




TH AX WOv. K s....TMY

'I was thrown out
of college for
cheating on the
exam; I looked
into the soul of
the boy sitting
next to me.'
-Woody Allen

Looking to MLK Day
Early planning promises worthy celebration

. {""

1hirty years ago, Dr. Martin Luther King
Jr. was spreading his dream of equality
around the nation. Today, the University
dministration is helping to realize his wishes.
When Martin Luther King Jr. Day is com-
memorated Jan. 15, many minority groups
within the University will be responsible for
4he day's events.
Such cooperation is a change from two
years ago, when the Black Student Union
P.rotested its lack of involvement in the plan-
rIng of this national holiday's campus events.
1|his year, the BSU and many other student
tminority groups will help create and sched-
uIe events throughout the month of January,
fallowing the trend set last year when this
sime conglomeration ofgroups was involved
in the planning.
: Last year's events brought positive reac-
tions from participants and attendees. The
university is to be commended for continu-
ipg an obvious step in the right direction. The
distribution of power among the many stu-
ent groups affords a much more diverse and
eijoyable experience to all.
One feature of this upcoming MLK Day
tiat has already been announced is the key-
gote speaker, Joycelyn Elders. Elders, Presi-
dent Clinton's former surgeon general, will
speak at the University on Jan. 15. She is an
propriate speaker for a variety of reasons.
elders, an African American female, has
sppken her mind quite freely on numerous
Occasions. As Dr. King did, she has voiced

her opinion no matter how radical - even
when it was obvious her statement would
upset many people. She also frequently speaks
of equality for all and superiority for none.
While her outspokenness cost Elders her
position in the Clinton administration, she
still deserves admiration for her refusal to
bend to political pressure.
Elders also fits with the history of activ-
ism at the University. MLK Day was estab-
lished as a campus-wide celebration in 1988
only at the insistence of student protestors.
The movement followed earlier successful
drives - known as the Black Action Move-
ments - for greater minority representation
and support on campus. When the BSU boy-
cotted MLK Day in 1994, members cited the
University's neglect of this activist legacy in
favor of a more conciliatory multiculturalist
perspective in the day's events. Bringing in
speakers such as Elders marks an appropriate
return to the real meaning of MLK Day at the
In this time when the United States seems
to be taking one gigantic step in the conser-
vative direction, it is heartening to see pro-
gressive notions such as the spreading of
decision-making power to minority groups
reinforced here at the University. This cam-
pus houses students of many different cul-
tures and backgrounds. It is only right that
diverse people have a voice in contributing to
a day that is dedicated to a man who fought
for equality.


remedies not
created equal
To the Daily:
Folks like Joel Heeres ("Af-
firmative action programs are
another form of racism," 10/23/
95) oppose affirmative action be-
cause affirmative action programs
reek of racism. Others support it
because minorities that have little
or no access into the white-male
establishment will continue to be
denied entry into that establish-
ment without it. I believe the folks
who oppose affirmative action are
perfectly right when the say that
such programs are another form.
of racism. Needless to say, many,
non white males are denied ac-
cess to jobs and universities be-
cause they simply do not have the
same opportunities as some white
males. Affirmative action oppo-
nents risk appearing racist or sex-
ist, and appear to want to main-
tain the status quo ofa society run
by an old boys' network. Propo-
nents risk appearing opportunis-
tic ("reverse racism" and "reverse
sexism" ... ), and seem to want
access to the establishment by
denying more qualified individu-
als on the basis of their own skin
color or sex.
Before I can lend support for
or inveigh against affirmative ac-
tion, 1 want to delineate the con-
cept a bit. Affirmative action alone
is unnecessarily ambiguous. Pro-
ponents and opponents alike risk
appearing as bad guys. Part ofthe
division of opinion for/against
affirmative action is because the
concept itself is fuzzy. I seetwo
distinct types of affirmative ac-
tion: preferential and equa-op-


ily might be able to get into a
university and be awarded Afri-
can American scholarships; a stu-
dent from a poor white or Asian
family might get into the same
university and not be able attend
because ofinability to pay. More-
over, many whites and Asian
Americans are discriminated
against under preferential action.
Often, a system of unfair quotas
is set up, such as in the San Fran-
cisco high school system where
an abundance of qualified Asian
Americans are regularly denied
entry into high schools when the
"Asian quota" fills up.
Preferential action is an insult
to all minorities because it says
that in order for us to compete
with the majority, we must deny
access to some more qualified
individuals ofthat majority. Pref-
erential action balkanizes the
population into communities of
victims. Affirmative action is not
about giving special rights to the
biggest victims. Privileges should
be awarded on the basis of merit
alone. Once we come down to the
level where we as minorities feel
we deserve greater access on the
basis of being the greater victims
of "the establishment" it's the
same as punishing the other quali-
fied individuals based on their
skin color or sex. Louis Farrakhan
said during his speech at the Mil-
lion Man March that it's time to
stop laying the blame on the
whites. He said he doesn't see the
Japanese standing around blam-
ing white males, instead the Japa-
nese bought out white banks and
moved them overseas. If women
and minorities want a level play-
ing field, they should betterthem-
selves and be awarded on the ba-
sis of merit. Individuals as hu-
man beings should be given ac-

nity action should be mandated
by law. Equal-opportunity affir-
mative action is the only fair af-
firmative action.
Calvin Chu
Engineering junior
lurks behind
empty labels
To the Daily:
I see affirmative action as an-
other form of discrimination. It
only allows a percentage of a cer-
tain ethnicity to be accepted, at
either jobs or higher-learning in-
stitutions. Which means that those
from certain groups are skipped
over even though they are more
qualified or would be better for
an organization or institution be-
cause of the color of their skin or
what their ethnic makeup is. As
Adero Fleming put it: "Justice is
where every person, regardless
of color, creed or ethnicity is
judged equally on their charac-
teristics, without having to worry
about racism" ("Groups rally for
affirmative action," 10/13/95).
Racism, discrimination occurs
every day in every walk of life. I
shouldn't have to worry that al-
though I am highly qualified for
something, I will lose that spot
due to my ethnic makeup to some-
one who may not be as qualified
as I am. If I don't get a spot
because the other person was bet-
ter then me, I can accept that.
Everybody has the exact same
opportunities but those who want
them will most likely get them.
As an example: I applied to
the University of California at
Berkeley. I didn't get in because

what affirmative action is doing,
violating anti-discrimination laws
on the basis of one's color, race,
creed, sex, nationality. If they
have too many whites they ex-
clude you, if they have too many
blacks they exclude you, if they
have too many Chinese they ex-
clude you, if they have too many
Southeast Asians they exclude
you, if they have too many ...
they exclude you.
People neea to stop giving
"special" oppotunities to people
when those people should be go-
ing after theirown dreams and
goals with their own merit. I've
worked hard to get where I am at
and wherever I go I will work
hard to succeed.
I don't want institutions to
have to accept candidates for po-
sitions because a law states they
must have a certain percentage of
their population to be a certain
ethnicity, race, color or creed.
I want them to accept those
candidates based on merit and
ability not on race. color,
Adam Thodey
Engineering senior
yields a bitter
To the Daily:
Mr. Rodgers' reply to my let-
ter on the University sponsoring
pornography by showing
"Strange Days" ("'Strange Days'
an important work of art," 10/25/
95) was condescending and pa-
tronizing, featuring a personal and
sexist rejoinder uncalled for in
adult debates about serious is-

University Regent Daniel Horning
(R-Grand Haven)
600 S. Beacon Blvd.
Grand Rapids, MI 49417
University Regent Philip Power
(D-Ann Arbor)
412 E. Huron, P.O. Box 7989
Ann Arbor. MI 48107

University Regent Shirley McFee
(R-Battle Creek)
611 Jennings Landing
Battle Creek, MI 49015
University Regent Nellie Varner
771 East 8 Mile Rd., Suite 223
Detroit. Ml 48220


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