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THE MICHIGAN REVIEW

Volume 14, Number 5

The New Code BY

GENE KRAss

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T ITS NOVEMBER MEETing, the University of Michigan Board ofRegents is scheduled to vote on whether or not to implement the new Code of Student Conduct, as drafted over a six-month period by the Code workgroup. The Michigan Daily, which printed a copy of the draft on October 24, quoted Michigan Student Assembly (MSA) President Flint Wainess as saying that he "gave the document to the Daily in an effort to solicit feedback." To date, the feedback is quite limited, for this new draft has attracted even less attention from students than did its predecessor. A handful of people who have looked over the draft, however, see a number of problems with the new Code, and maintain that it is not much of an improvement over the old Statement of Student Rights and Responsibilities. One of the largest concerns seems to be .vagueness. According to LSA Rep. Jonathan Freeman, this Code is even more vague than the last one. "They probably didn't want to piss off anyone group by being too specific," he said. MBA Students" Rights Commission Chair Anne Marie Ellison points to vague language when it comes to amending the Code. The section that deals With amending it, in its entirety, reads, "This Code of Student Conduct may only be amended by a majority vote of the Regents of the University of Michigan." A major criticism of the previous Code has been that it puts students at

Better or Worse?

risk of double jeopardy by overlapping with the Constitution, as well as with various state and local statutes. Not much has changed. The Code, as printed in the Daily, reads, "Because some violations of these standards are also violations of law, students may be accountable to both the legal system and the University." Both Ellison and Joan Lowenstein, a lecturer in the Department of Communication, have expressed concern over the possibility of double jeopardy under both the old and new Codes. This double jeopardy might likely result in a student having to defend himself simultaneously in a court of law and in a University Code hearing. Ellison particularly-is concerned with the fact that shouIa'a student choose to postpone the University hearing in order to attend the court trial, he automatically will be suspended from the University. The extensively~overed Lavre v. Welch case from last year convincingly illustrated the lack of due process under the old Code. There is still a lack of due process under the new one, according to its critics. "This new Code is based on mediation and arbitration," said Ellison, "and mediation does not take due process into account." Lowenstein considers the most harmful part ofthe new Code to be the fact thatit,just like the old one, would not allow students to receive legal representation during Code hearings. She said that even if the University does not use an actual lawyer, someone who has presided at a number of hearings already will have accumulated experience handling Code cases, Q:j

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For those interested in more information on reaction to the Code draft. the University of Michigan Board of Regents will~, hold a public meeting on Thursday. November 16. at4 p.m. in the Anderson Room of the Michigan Union. ~.;':., I . . c

3

The Insensitive Ponytailed Guy

"Thinking and voting do mix," says Gene Krass in his debut column.

November 15, 1995 .

The Campus Affairs Journal of the University of Michigan

4

From Suite One

Many aspects of the Code workgroup's draft remain questionable.

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while the student will have not. "It is an imbalance of power," she said. Both Lowenstein and Freeman

Ellison also has a number of concerns about the student panel which would serve at Code hearings. While under the old Code, the panel was selected randomly, under the new one the members comprising the pool for the actual panel will be chosen by the student government of each school and college, proportionate to the total enrollment in that school or college. According to Ellison, there are many logistical problems in trying to select such a student panel. Also, just as und..er the last Code, this panel will be trained by the University as to how to decide the hearings. According to Ellison, such a panel is easily manipulable, and tends to be harsher than an administrative panel. When asked whether they see any The Union houses the offices of MSA. improvements in this Code over the also have expressed concern over the old one, neither Ellison nor Freeman fact that the University can choose had much to say. Ellison only said whether or not to even grant someone . that this Code is easier to read a hearing. This was the case with' ," referring to the regents' request to make the -new draft less legalistic. Jake Baker, who was suspended last Otherwise, she said that it is even less year under Regents'Bylaw2.01, which inclined to protect students' rights grants the president ofthe University and would not encourage the regents the right to bypass a Code hearing if to adopt it. he believes there is an emergency. "The . onI, im.Provem~t:1 800;" EspeCially. troubling to Freeman said Freeman, "is that this Code is is that under this new Code, the Viceeven more unconstitutional than the President for Student Affairs, who is last one, which means that if a stuin charge of overseeing the Code's dent disciplined under it sues the implementation, would have power University, this Code is even easier to do the same. "This Code reaffirms than the last one to get shot down in Bylaw 2.01 and gives Maureen Hartcourt." ford the same power," said Freeman. Given the statements ofthose who "This whole thing reeks of a smoky, have followed the development of this backroom situation." new document, one may assume that Ellison also criticized the Code's student opinion concerning the new statement ofvalues - which includes Code is generally negative. To date, ideals such as civility, dignity, and no one has spoken in favor of the Code diversity - as being ajudgement call the way the small handful familiar which does not necessarily reflect the with the issue has spoken against it. thoughts or values of everyone in the It remains to be seen whether or not University community. "It concerns the regents will adopt it as officialme when the University tries to imor else, as they promised at their pose values," she said. "That comes April meeting, write a code ofconduct dangerously close to denying First themselves. l\R Amendment rights."

Campus 6 Affairs

14 Issue

A look at some of the details of the Code workgroup's proposal.

A discussion of the viability of third parties, and a debate over the passlfail option.

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LIVING CULTURE An interview with Acetone and a dive into the dark woods of poetry.

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.November 15, 1995

THE MICHIGAN REVIEW

o SERPENT'S TOOTH.-

TIlE MICHIGAN REVIEW The Campus Affairs Journal of the University of Michigan "Taxation is Theft"

Purdue University officials have restricted rollerblading activity on campus in any building or on any surface where "damage may occur." The Review had hope to get some comments from the student body for this issue, but Serpent's Tooth has learned that the reporter we dispatched was unable to file her report after having been run down by renegade Purdue rollerbladers. COntinuing in its policy of perpetuating an atmosphere of hope and optimism, the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts (LSA) has announced that the theme for winter term 1996 is "Death, Extinction and the Future of Humanity: Approaching the Millennium." Courses will include: English 240, "Poetry, Loss and Mourning"; University Course 150, "The BookB of the Dead"; and University Course 421, "The Code: Death and Extinction ofStudent Civil Rights." Representatives from the Chrysler

Corporation recently took students on a test drive in a car that could simulate the effects of driving under the influence of alcohol. The simulation was meant to drive home the danger behind drinking and driving. Encouraged by the success ofthe simulator, various campus organizations are collaborating on a simulator that will demonstrate to frat boys how stupid they act when they get drunk and try to hit on women at parties.

the air, posing as the Prime Minister of Canada. The conversation went on for quite some time. Review Managing Editor Mohan Krishnan further exposed breaches in Buckingham Palace security when he was able to successfully place a call to Prince Charles posing as Princess Diana. Regarding Professor Leo McNamara's statements concerning the new and "improved" Code, "This isn't even a literate document" - Serpent's Tooth would like to shake his hand.

By the time this issue comes out, President Clinton will hopefully have Have you ever noticed that nothing made good on his promise to shut ever changes when the government down the government in defiance of shuts down? Republican budget proposals. This had to be the best thing Clinton has done yet! Screw the Co-ntract With . Considering the fact that MLK Day America - let's go with this one all i' celebrations have had nothing to do with Dr. King, his struggle, or his the way!! message, Serpent's Tooth demands a "Space Ghost: Coast to Coast" MaraA few weekB agt), 'a Canadian radio DJ thon in MLB Auditorium 3 - hey, it's made a mockery of British security more relevant than some past events protocols when he was somehow able (like last year's showing ofFried Green to obtain Queen Elizabeth's personal Tomatoes). private phone number, and call, on

DROVING PHOTOGRAPHER

by lisa Wagner

Instead of flyers, what would,you like~ to see inserted in the Daily? David Cho 8th year Senior, LSA ·Paperclips, or something to stop the paper charade at the

Regina Udder Sophomore, Nursing "The latest issue of Playbull magazine. •

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EDITOR-IN-CHIEF: Jamea A. Roberts, II ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER: Benjamin Kepple MANAGING EDITOR: Mohan Krlahnan ASSISTANT EDITOR: Gene Krau COPY EDITORS: Anthony Wen COMPUTER CONSULTANT: Mark Weat MUSIC EDITOR: Drew Petera FILM CRmC: Ryan POlly LITERARY CRITIC: BID Ahren. PHOTOGRAPHER: U.a Wagner STAFF: Jesse Acldel, Devorah Adler, Scott Bickmore, Shone Brookl, Geoff Brown, Matt Buckley, Nathan Court, Patricia Dart, Rob Davis, Paul OeFJorio, Karen Deming, Shefban DnlIea, Molly Elgen, Pat Eskew, Jennifer Feria, Brian Forster. Darren Hardy, Calvin Hwang, MarkJohnaon, Tom Jollffe, Anthony Kaidallla, un Kalish, Christen KJewlcId,Juatln Kou, Bryan Lauer, Laura L.ee-Lun, Ben Lerol, Jennifer McCready, Steve Musto, Dave Patera,. Natalie Pearce, Rodeen Rahbar, Dan Robinson, Maghan Roekie, Fiona Rose, Davidde Stella, Thanh Tran, Mary Jane Wagg, Michael Wheaton, James Wilson, Dave Yun

EDITOR EMERITUS: Nate Jamison PUBLISHERS EMERm: Eric Larson, Aaron Steelman

The Michigan Review is an Independen~ bi-weekly student-run joumal of classical liberal and libertarian opinion at the University of Mlchigan. We neither soUcit nor accept monetary donalions from the University of Michigan, and have no respect for anyone that does. We recognize the fact that GreenAcres was amanifestation of an existentialist sit~, and we think Family Affiar has merits in the neo-Marxist critique 01 the Cold War. You see, Mrs. Beasley represents the proletariat.. Contributions to the Michigan Revleware tax-deductable under Section 501 (c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. The Review Is not affiliated wi1h any political party or university political group. Unsigned EidltorJals represent the.opinIon of the editorial board. Ergo, they are unequivocably correct and just You needn1 attempt to disprove the logic that went into their formation, for you cannot Signed articles and cartoons represent the opinions of the author and not necessarily those of the Review. The opinions presented In this pub1ication are not necessarily those 01 the advertisers or of the University 01 Michigan. We welcome letters and articles and encourage comments about the journal.

Please address aU subsCIlption Inquiries to: Publisher, c/o the Michigan Review. AM advertising Inquiries should be directed to: Publisher c/o the Michigan Review. Editorial And Busineu OffIces: Suite One 911 N. University Avenue

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EMAIL: MREVOumlch.edu Til (313) 662-1909

Corey Flaum Freshman, LSA -Homework answers to Calculus 116."

SamirVarma Freshman, LSA "My picture.·

Love us or hate us, write us. The Michigan Review LetterS to the Editor 911 N. University Ave. Suite One Ann Arbor, MI48109 or email with subject "Letters to the Editor": mrev@umich.edu -

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November 15, 1995

3

THE MICHIGAN REVIEW

o THE INSENSITIVE PONYrAILED GUY

Think Before You Vote, OK? • 'iW'"

KRAss

ally mean to say that it's good that a few seconds, I really meant it). Rethere's a law banning something you acting to something being ugly or disT WOULD BE A GOOD IDEA think is ugly?" gusting takes a lot less thought (into start with a few examples to So my friend, who's pretty much deed, no thought) than acknowledgillustrate my point. as libertarian-minded as myself, aning it as disgusting or ugly, but upA couple of years ago, when Ijust swered, "No, I don't think discovered that the seemingly unusual there should be such a beliefs that I held in high school were law. If people want to put actually represented by the neverpurple lights under their mentioned-by-any-of-my-teachers cars, they should be able philosophy of libertarianism, my to. Ijust think those lights cousin and I were discussing mariare ugly." juana legalization. I think my point is "If one could get it in a drug store clear. Too often do people for the price ofcigarettes, no one would make important decisions have to steal, rob, or kill to get money (i.e., voting) that affect to pay for it, and a great majority of others (i.e., pot smokers the violence on our streets would disor people who put ugly appear," I told her. purple lights under their "Yeah, you might be right," she cars) based on nothing replied hesitantly. more than their personal "And think of the increase in preference for a color or Disgusting? Possibly. Illegal? I really hope not prison space for real criminals when smell. They don't vote ~ the 70 percent currently in there for based on what they think is right, but holding people's right to engage in drug crimes are cleared out. Fewer on what they feel is right. If a ballot .w-hatever it may be. Take the extreme violent criminals released to make question came up,4fl1y cousin (who exampleoffascism. When one watches room for pot smokers. Do you agree?" shall remain nameless to protect her television and sees a documentary on "Sort of." politically-ignorantjdentity) would neo-Naziskinheads, what first comes "And the brand-name drugs keep a medically harmless, nay, poto mind? Most likely, the first (the would be safer than street drugs. And tentially beneficial drug like marivery first) thing one thinks is, "That less government to collect our taxes. juana illegal just because she doesn't vile Nazi scum - I'd like to kick all And there will probably be a sales tax like the way it smells. their friggin' asses," and not, "They on drugs which means other, more In case I sound too preachy, there have a right to speak, despite their immoral taxes could be cut. Well?" are indeed a few good reasons for vileness." "Yeah, I guess you're right." keeping marijuana and other drugs It is, in fact, with great difficulty "So," I again put the question to illegal. Second-hand smoke, children that people acknowledge others' right her, "do you agree that pot should be to voice differing opinions or partake' growing up with pot-smoking parlegal?" in unpopular activities. Many, in fact, ents, marijuana leading to other drugs "Well, I don't know." fail to acknowledge that right at all. that may stimulate violence - all "Why? What don't you know? Why That explains the "No free speech for reasons with which I disagree, but fascists" movement. Here I am in no should pot not be legal?" only after having carefully consid"Well, I just thin~ smoking pot is ered them. Something simply being way condoning that movement. Its disgusting." I would rather have remostly leftist purveyors should, at disgusting, however, is a reason not one point, put aside the fascists' poiceived a kick to the crotch than such even worthy of minor consideration. sonous rhetoric and think (yes, think) a selfish-sounding and uninformed It is often a last-ditch appeal, made answer. of the fact that theirs is often no less after all of the other debatable reapoisonous. Yet for many, the gut inMore recently, I was engaged in a sons in support of a certain position stinct of "No free speech for fascists" conversation with a couple offriends, have been refuted. Using my cousin's when the topic turned to tacky things seems to overwhelm their better judglogic, she would have to be locked up ment. people do with their cars. One of them for using tons of hairspray, just beAs the writer ofthis column, I do inquired as to whatever happened to cause many people don't like the way those purple lights that a few people not mean to put myself above everyit smells. used to put underneath their cars one else and wholly dissociate myself This problem is more pervasive that, at night, made the car look as if irrational impulses based on my from than one would think. My libertarit was gliding on a purple cloud. own, personal, individual beliefs. I, ian-minded friend most likely would "Oh, those," I replied. "There's too, find the smell of marijuana disnot vote to ban those purple car lights. actually a law now - I don't know gusting. My reaction when first seeStill, his first reaction to my bringing whether federal or state - that ingthosepurple car lights was, "What up the law was not, "What?! First banned those lights ." the hell kind of faddish, tacky crap is they tell us what to do with our bod"Good," said the other friend . this?" And, I laughed uproariously at ies, and now our cars!?," but rather, "Those things were ugly." the scene from Blues Brothers in which "Good. I think those things were ugly." "You buttmunch!" I exclaimed, I think. Think what? That the lights Dan Akroyd's and John Belushi's car almost spilling my beer. "Do you actuforces a bunch of Nazi marchers off a might be a significant source of public bridge. I also think that asparagus is or environmental danger? No. Just Gene Krass might not smoke pot or disgusting and that pink lawn flathat they were ugly. That's no reason have purple lights under his car, but mingos (yes, I've seen quite a few) are to pass any law whatsoever. he dares the voting public to take away tacky. Yet, now that I think about it, I his right to eat red meat and not shave If, however, either asparagus or am more and more tempted to take o f ,"- ':l!_e:_~~ ?rt ,end: _ ____ _ ____ , .. . ... _' back my cal~ing ~ ~. ~u.t1;munch (for , . 1~'Y!l" Aam"u:~~s, come ~d~r ,atta~~,

BY GENE

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I'll defend them the same way I defend legalized marijuana, purple lights underneath cars, and the Nazis' right to speak. The worst thing to do now is simply to say, "Oh well, just don't install those lights. " "Just don't smoke pot." "Just don't attend a Nazi rally." Often when I argue against governmental interference, people tell me, "Why are you so upset? You don't smoke pot." Yup. I don't smoke pot. I'm not a Nazi. I'm also not a homosexual, a native of Chechnya, or an avid user of pornography. Does that mean that I should automatically support archaic sodomy laws, Russia's brutal treatment ofChechnya, or infringement of people's right to watch videos of consenting adults having sex? Distancing oneself from an activity in order to continue ignoring (or supporting) its forced suppression only serves to create far more harmful divisions than those that already exist in our ever increasingly polarizing society. I know I only gave two examples to illustrate my 'point, but I (and, I bet, most everyone else) can think of coyntless others. I often· have dis""cussed the flag-burning issue with friends and family - and am asked, "Would you ever burn a flag?" or told, "I just think it's offensive." There's that word again: just. People's only reason for thinking and/or voting the , way they do. Well, ineountJess FirSt ' Amendment cases, the Supreme Court has made dear that punishable speech has to be obscene, libelous, or harmful in some way - and not simply "offensive." People who complain about the quality of American education often mention that Americans are not as interested in politics as people in other countries. I believe voting (or merely basing one's beliefs) according to what one feels - while steadfastly daiming that they really do think that way - is part of America's regrettable trend of misinformed politics. Few people, indeed, think sufficiently about the issues; therefore, politicians feel no need to talk concretely while campaigning, and instead run on bumper sticker slogans. And the people who vote for, these empty politicians (or those who don't vote at all) then complain that nothing good ever happens in Washington. To sumit all up: THINK. THINK, DAMMIT, TIDNK! Or else, Nameless Cousin, take down those lawn flamingos before the police do - and start flushing that hairspray down the toilet. Mt

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4

November 15, 1995

o FROM SUITE ONE . Problems Plague Code

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NOTHER YEAR, ANOTHER CODE. THE PROCESS OF CREATING a comprehensive policy for non- academic conduct has continued with interim drafts so long that hardly anyone even remembers what life was like before the Code. Finally, over the course of the past several months, this slow process came to a head. After voicing their disapproval of the old Statement of Student Rights and Responsibilities (SSRR), the regents ordered Vice-President for Student Affairs (VPSA) Maureen Hartford to begin anew and draft a new code with more student input. This eventually resulted in a Code workgroup of paid graduate students, and on October 24, the first draft of the new Code of Student Conduct (CSC) appeared in the Michigan Daily. The CSC was intended to be a monumental leap away from rules and punishment, and toward the upholding of values, and unfortunately, this is where the CSC fails most miserably to protect students' rights and civil liberties. In the introduction of the CSC, these values are specified, including such words as "dignity" and "diversity." While upholding basic values may seem like a good idea, many of these values lack clear legal definitions, and some, such as civility, are personal matters, with which the University has no business meddling. Furthermore, the very concept of a policy attempting to enforce values instead of regulations is frightening; the purpose of a code, if one is necessary at all, should not be to control student behavior, but to protect students in those limited cases in which the actions of their peers puts them in immediate physical danger or makes the learning atmosphere of the U-M .,; hostile toward them. Instead, the CSC attempts to erect some manner of grandiose Brave New Michigan, in which students are regulated to the PQint where they have no option but to be pleasant, quiet .c itizens. Additionally, the CSC continues some of the worst features of the SSM. Students can still be tried under the CSC for violence, lllurder, and many other actions that are already local, state, or federal crimes, and this prosecution under the CSC is in addition to prosecution under governmental laws; a student of the U-M, unlike other citizens of the United States, may be placed under double jeopardy through the CSC. The CSC, like the SSRR, also gives the VPSA the right to expel students under emergency conditions, another example of redundant policy, since the president of the University already has this power through the Regents' Bylaws. However, surely the worst failing of the CSC is its openness to reinterpretation. Critics are correct in seeing the CSC as not being a literate document, and as being vague to the point oLirrelevance. For instance, the draft of the CSC appearing in the Daily accorded to the VPSA the power to name a designee to handle the emergency suspension of students. It places no bounds, however, on who this designee may be, and places no restrictions on this power. This first draft of the CSC also allowed for any action that violates its list of values to be prosecuted, whether or not it was spec:ifically listed as an offense within the CSC . Of course, some of these things are being changed. In fact, at yesterday's meeting of the Michigan Student Assembly (MSA), the fifth draft of the CSC was released. This occurs well less than a month after the original draft appeared in the Daily! While this does show the workgroup's willingness to accept 'Outside input and make necessary changes to its document, it also highlights the poor nature of the original draft. Considering the Code workgroup was given such a large amount of time to write this draft, and considering its members were paid to do it, this reflects very poorly on the workgroup. The workgroup was clearly either incompetent or ignorant on many issues concerning legality and the writing oflegal documents. This new Code must not be approved by students for simple reasons. First, while a code that is restrictive is a very dangerous thing, a code that is unclear is far worse. If students are to be held responsible by the University for nonacademic conduct, then they must at least know the specific crimes for which they' will be held accountable. Also, the University has no place in mandating that students adopt a set of values, whether these values come from the Board of Regents or from a group of graduate students. These values, like civility and diversity, threaten to destroy free speech on campus through the whim of the administrators, to whom the CSC essentially gives the power to re-interpret these values in any way they please. The regents must vote to reject the CSC. Although this will result in the control of the Code's contents passing to the regents .themselves, the CSC cannot be put in place if student's rights are considered to be of any importance at all. Mt ft.,, ~

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o FROM OUR READERS U-M health care is part of a larger problem To the Review: This new U-M- provided health insurance plan is but one more example of how the University of Michigan is becoming just another packager and dispenser of products and services for a captive mass of passive consumers. The aim of making this insurance plan mandatory is to force enough students' parents to foot an extra $700 (and probably more) into the program so that it will become profitable. Profits will then be invested in expanding the already rampant U-M health care bureaucracy which will create the demand for even higher premiums for parents to pay. I was an undergraduate student here when the University of Michigan regents first instituted the by now loved U-M police department and the Entree Plus debit card "option." What this wide array of University-provided products and services does is to drive up the costs of attending the U-M to the point that fewer parents can afford to send their children here and those that can must get high-interest private bank loans (since Congress is cutting back student loans) and take second mortgages on their homes in order to do so. The net result of reinventing the U-M as a packager and dispenser of products and services which have absolutely nothing to do with University education is to make a high quality instruction less accessible for the people the University is supposed to serve. This reinvention of the U-M through mandatory consumption programs like U-M health care helps advance the health care-industrial complex's agenda of conditioning young people to become life-long passive consumers of their products and services, much in the same way that beer companies sponsor spring break events at popular resort areas banking that students participating in them will continue drinking their beer long after their college days. The UM's commodification of all these products in a maize and blue wrapper is a lowblow, slick-ass marketing technique in that it conditions students to believe that consuming all of this superfluous garbage is a basic necessity ofstudentlife at the U-M (and by now, it probably is). Welcome to the Information/Service Age hyperconsumption! - Luis Hidalgo, Class of 1992 Do you have comments concerning this or any other issue? The Michigan Review welcomes letrers from readers. Please address letters to: Letrers to the Editor, Michigan Review, 911 N. University Ave., Suite One, Ann Arbor, Michigan, 48109. The Review also is accessible via e-mail. The address is: mrev@Umich.edu.

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November 15, 1995

5

THE MICHIGAN REVIEW

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o COMMENTARY In MeIllory of Rabin

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HEN THE LATE PRESIDENT TITZHAK RABIN SHOOK THE hand of PLO leader Yasser Arafat at the South Lawn of the White House on September 13,1993, he made history. This single act was the turning point for a nation that had been utterly plagued with years of civil violence between the Israelites and Palestinians over sensitive political and religious issues. These two leaders were finally able to put aside their differences and make attempts at peaceful negotiations . Finally, it seemed, the dream of conciliating the Israelites and the Palestinians seemed a s~ep closer to achievement. But certainly, on that day. no one would have thought that'Rabfu, a man that had done so much for his people, would have his life ended by an Israeli. Similarly, one would not have thought that Rabin, a great negotiator and peacemaker, would die in a single, violent, act of murder-a death that represented the antithesis of his peace negotiating political ideals. But when the 2S-year old Jewish activist, Yigal Amir fired two shots at Rabin at a peace talk this month, irony became reality. Historically, this is an all too common scenario. It is a harsh truth that the men in history that have made the greatest strides towards peace have themselves been cut down violently, that those who have rallied to score the greatest victories for righteousness would themselves fall prey to the hands of dereliction. Like a ghost from the past, history comes back to haunt us; in Rabin's fall, we see again the fate that has met many past leaders, such as Martin Luther King, Abraham Lincoln, and Egyptian President Anwar Sadat. But Rabin's story is an especially unique one. Rabin, a man who had led Israel's army to triumph in the Six Day War, knew the evils of violence. Having witnessed the bloodshed first hand, the spilled tears over lost loved ones and the morbidity of death, and his experiences had taught him the futility of violence. After this, Rabin had an especially keen ability to negotiate, to solve problems not through conflict but compromise, and to support his agenda with an eye on all parties involved. Rabin exhibited many of the qualities of the best ofleaders. But Rabin's death does not have to be in vain. We can learn from this tragedy a lesson that has evaded so many of us in the past. To put aside our differences and peacefully argue our position, to compromise for the good of all people is of profound importance. The peace talks that began with Rabin must continue; the Palestinians and Israelites must learn to help, instead of hurt, each other. In remembrance of Rabin's death, we must promote the ideal of peace he so diligently upheld. Ultimately, Rabin's death is as sad as it is unjust. The young assassin, Yigal Amir, like other Israelites, may have disagreed with Rabin's trading land to obtain peace with Palestinians, but his feelings could have been voiced peacefully. If only we would stop succombing to violence. If only we could learn. l\R -Rodeen Rahbar ......~", ... --

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o FROM SUITE ONE The Contract in Retrospect

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THOUGH SOME HAVE HAILED IT WHILE OTHERS HAVE condemned it, the House Republicans' "Contract with America" is one of the most significant aspects of recent American political history. From its first introduction to its legislative results, the Contract has received an unprecedented amount of attention and analysis. While aspects of House Speaker Newt Gingrich's plan do hold some merit, a retrospective look at the Contract will indicate that it represents little more than the political posturing that has become typical of Washington. One may assert that the "Contract with American was nothing more than a conglomeration of political promises meant to ensure the electoral success of the Republican Party. While such a description is not entirely inaccurate, it overlooks the fundamentally important and unique characteristic of this initiative: The Contract clearly stated the goals ofthe House Republicans, and it challenged the voters to hold Gingrich and company accountable to them. A promise from the mouth of a politician is certainly nothing extraordinary or significant; a direct challenge from a politician to the people concerning the validity of a promise is something that is out of the ordinary. Such is the overriding legacy of the "Contract with America" - it not only provided a means by which the Republicans could make promises to the people, it gave the voters a mechanism to hold the politicians accountable. . The advantageousness of the "Contract with America," in regard to its legislative significance, lays in the extent to which it strived to reduce the strength and scope of government. A glance at the ten provisions will indicate '-some positive initiatives. Indeed, a decentralization of power from the national ~ government would work toward the restoration of the federalist principle of limited self-governance, while a reduction in the capital gains tax is necessary to secure both economic prosperity and individual freedom. It is in the details of some provisions, though, that the Contract tends toward mediocrity. The provision conc~r:ming military preparedness is a fine example ofthis. This plank of the·Contract invokes the defense of the United States as its purpose; this purpose remains consistent with the fundamental powers of government, as established in the United States Constitution. While this aspect may be constitutionally sound, the actual proposal concerning military spending is not, for the Contract refuses to decrease the amount of s.I>ending to a level that is ~ppropriate, given constitutional limitations and 8 lack ofa direct security thieat to the United States. This stubbornness to reduce spending in this area indicates the lack of desire ofthe "Contract with America" to reduce government. A second provision in which details fail the Contract involves the proposed tax cut to families. A reduction in taxes is certainly a positive initiative: it curtails the coercive power of government and grants to taxpayers a greater degree of discretion over their own property. Yet it is the way in which the Contract determines who .receives this tax cut that makes this provision a dubious one. By reserving this tax relief to those with children, the Republicans are effectively using the power of government - in this case, the tax code - to promote a distinct view of social relations among Americans - a tactic that they often accuse Democrats of employing. Specifically, this tax cut discriminates against those who do not have, or do not wish to have, children, simply because these taxpayers do not conform to the Republicans' definition of a proper "family." In this case, the Republicans should have taken the opportunity to bring tax relief to all people. The Contract could have achieved this by calling for an across-the-board reduction in income tax rates, or perhaps by advocating the complete abolition of the income tax system itself. Either proposal would have been superior to the Republicans' tax manipulation in the resulting "Contract with America." It is this unwillingness or inability to focus upon the true reduction of state power that eventually sabotaged the first Republican Congress in more than five decades. As one looks at the "Contract with America" one year after its electoral success, one is . able to realize the relative insignificance of the initiative legislatively. While it does encompass some beneficial proposals, the "Contract with America" tended most to serve as a facade, an impressive, new packaging ofideas to hide the internal corruption of political posturing. It came with much fanfare, but the Contract has left behind little more than a chance for Republicans to serve their constituencies. In this way, the "Contract with America" acted not as an agent of change, but more as part of the problematic status quo. Mt

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6

November 15, 1995

THE MICmGAN REVIEW

o CAMPUS AFFAIRS

The ContinuiUg Saga of the Code BY ANrnONY

T

WEN

HE STATEMENT OF STUdent Rights and Responsibilities (SSRR) has a new face and name: the Code of Student Conduct. The new Code came about after about six months of work by a workgroup composed of students hired by the Office of Student Affairs and VicePresident for StudentAffairsMaureen Hartford. The first draft appeared three weeks ago and has undergone several changes since then. The Code is to be proposed to both the Michigan Student Assembly and the Board of Regents this week. What makes the new Code different from the old one? According to Hartford, "It is a value-based statement" and the document itself proclaims to describe "behaviors which are inconsistent 'with the essential values of the University community." Values cited include civility, dignity, diversity, education, equality, freedom, honesty, and safety. The Code tries to use these specified values to say how students should conduct themselves. The new Code lays out a process for mediation and arbitration which is more palatable than in the old SSRR. The Code seems to almost emphasize mediation rather than arbitration or a hearing; complaints can be heard through mediation first and may never even get to a hearing. Previously, the University official in charge of implementing the Code was Judicial Advisor Mary Lo4 Antieau . Now, she is still in charge, but with the title of Resolution Coordinator. Essentially, she still coordinates the Code, just with a more benign title . The old SSRR specified a 30 mile radius in which violations could occur. The new Code says that violations can occur only in the city of Ann Arbor, at University sponsored events, or on U niversity-=Controlled property. One significant exception is that Code violations can occur "if the behavior poses an obvious and immediate threat or harm to any member(s) of the University community." Previously, student panelists were selected randomly from the student population as a whole regardless of school enrollment. In reality, the panelists were not really selected randomly, as in one case in which the professor in charge of the hearing reselected panelists to get a "more mixed" group after getting too many undergraduate males in his first selection. In the new Code, student panelists would be appointed proportionately to ~~ir · 1?c,ho.6~r~ . ~~ro.l~llWll~

ways. The regents had asked for a less rather than randomly. This is an Department, believes the new Code legalistic Code, but the Code attempt to remove any has the same legal problems it had in workgroup may have gone too far tothe past. An ACLU lawyer has supdisproportionality or bias from panelward that extreme. ported the new draft, or at least faistselection. In the Code draft, though, The regents are not bound to ac"it is expected that each [school's] vors it over the old SSRR. In reality, cept this draft nor any other draft student government will appoint a what any of these groups or people presented to them. They could easily say has little impact on whether or diverse pool of students." write their own Code, without any not the Code is adopted. Ultimately, There are twelve specific sancstudent input. Maybe it doesn't really it lies in the hands of the regents tions in the new draft of the Code. matter because the new Code draft not even with James Duderstadt, There are new twists on possible sancsays it may be amended by majority Maureen Hartford, Mary LouAntieau, tions, including attending a class or vote of the regents, leaving no proviworkshop, completing an educational or any other administrator. sion for student input or influence. The Code workgroup, in cooperaproject, and community service. Hartford has said that the new tion with Hartford and apparently The new Code allows for records Code draft is not written like she with MSA President Flint Wainess, to be maintained and. available to would have written it. This underhas been releasing revised drafts of accused students but has an excepscores her lack of awareness of stution to protect privacy rights of indithe new Code over the past several dent opposition to the Code and its weeks. In fact, a new draft is expected viduals. Historically, this exception contents. The new Code is much more to be released for this week's MSA has been used to shield all records acceptable than the old SSRR. But it and regents' meetings. The continual from public scrutiny. still contains glaring violations ofstuflow of drafts only serves to confuse What isn't different from the old dent rights which must be addressed. Code? Students.may still "be account-, students; they are already apathetic The Code may have received a fresh able to both the legal system and the;; towards and sick of hearing about the coat of paint, but its obvious flaws University" - which is in effect, Code. show throu~h. l\R The fundamental flaw - making double jeopardy. The Vice-President 1111E~±L£".S'" the Code value-based - could spell for Studen~Jdfairs can still suspend a student in an emergency situanon. its demise. Since values are inherThere is still ,a lack of documented ently vague, this makes the Code inherently vague. Too much leeway is due process. A student is still not allowed any legal counsel during Code left to interpret sections in different .. proceedings. And the six month limitation in which complaints may be initiated is still there, but now it can be waived if "a late submission is reasonable." Who is to know what any particular person's values at the U- M are? Surely the new Code could not reasonably expect to uphold the v81ues of Join other students; alumni, and parents and sign the all different people. It is almost like Reverse Pledge. The Reverse Pledge states that you will the administration is forcing these values upon the student body. While not give money to 1vfPact, the Senior Pledge, or any other the pursuit of many of these values is University-sponsored funding drive until the Statement honorable, but the values can be inof Student Rights and Responsibilities (the Code) is abolterpreted in different ways, leaving room for unfairness and bias. ished. Apparently, student disapproval of the Code is not The new Code limits its jurisdicimportant to the U-M , so we must deny the University tion, but it has one major loophole: what it cares most about - money. violations can still occur if it is determined that behavior poses a threat to University members. Having student panelists selected to achieve a "diJ, , pI«4s tIud J wdJ HIJI. ~ aIUf verse" group raises many questions. IHDIUIIf 14. 'II~ M~'4. ~Jw; ~ mdJJ u,. Whoever is in charge of appointing panelists can pick whomever they ~o/$~R~ruJR~IJ.~ want for questionable reasons. "Diverse" is a controversial word these days. Is this diversity in race, sex, ~---religion, martial status, or in some other aspect? Perhaps random selection is the way to go - as long as lists • To sign, e-mail the Michigan Review at mrev@umich.edu or mail this cannot b~ returned for not bein~ "rep- I with your signature and name to the Michigan Review at: resentabve" as has happened ill the I past. I Reverse Pledge The Senate Advisory Committee I 911 N. University, Ste. 1 on University Affai~s, ~h~facultysen- I Ann Arbor MI 48109 ate, has recently srud It IS opposed to I ' .I the new ?ode draft. Professo~ J~an . Lor more information or for a petition of the Reverse Pledge, contact the Review.] .. l;A>'Y~l'!t~m" ,9{ .t;he. ' ~.Q~l!l~~Jl.t)..q,~ ,.: .. .~! ~~~" . . . .; . . - ' . . . . . . . - ~- .... - - .~, ~ ~ .~, ~ ~ - ~ ~ ,,~

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November 15, 1995

7

THE MICHIGAN REVIEW

o CAMPUS AFFAIRS

A Typical 'p ay at p.e.D. BY BEN LEROI

B

EFORE I CAME TO ANN Arbor, a current student warned me that I was not enrolling at the University of Michigan, which I had previously believed, but rather at P.C.U. (Politically Correct University). "Ben," she said, "you're not going to be a freshman; you're going to be a freshperson." I had to mull over that fact in my head for a few minutes, for I had never been a freshperson before, but after I weighed the issue considerably I decided that being a freshperson couldn't be all that bad. After all, fresh women never really did get their due before; perhaps it was time for a university like Michigan - oops, I mean a liberal university like Michigan - to right that wrong. So, when the summer ended, I was excited to begin my college career at the U-M as a freshperson. Ab, and what a great experience my first two weeks here were. No classes, no responsibilities - I could explore the culturally rich city of Ann Arbor, or just take leisurely walks

through the beautiful and serene Diag. But shortly after classes began a curious thing happened: the Diag became regularly occupied by students loudly protesting against or rallying for some cause or another. It got to the point where I couldn't keep track of the issues at hand. I asked my friend what this was all about, her having a year's more experience at the University. "It's the warm weather," she explained, "it just breeds political and religious action here." And she was right. I found that as the temperature increased, so did the number of times I had to verbally decline pamphlets on the Diag with titles such as, "You're Going To Go To Hell, Just Accept It ... (You Sinner You)." Though the pamphlet bearers are annoying, they cannot compete with the sheer number of student protests and rallies. It seems as if every day there is a different group pontificat- _ ing with an issu~Some of the rallies, though, have been effective for get- • ting the students'.voices heard, such as the walk-out in support of affirmative action.

Holding a mini-protest everyday, however, does nothing but desensitize the public to the purpose of holding one. People have grown so accustomed to seeing demonstrators preaching or spouting epithets in the Diag that they simply walk by with- . out a second glance. The focal point of demonstrations, protests and the like are to gain people's attention and raise awareness, but when these events become as regular as the chiming of the clock tower they defeat their own purpose. Many of the protests that have taken place at the University have been superfluous. So far this year I have been urged to accept Jesus as the Messiah, to boycott Pepsi products, to stop the needless torture taking place in Burma (you know, Burma - that well documented country next to Thaihl.1ld), to become intolerant of homosexuals, to become sympathetic toward graduate students, and to sign a petition to disallow the drilling of oil in upstate Alaska. Okay, I admit it - I actually signed the oil petition, but I wrote my name down as Joseph Hazelwood and

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gave my address as the Exxon Valdez. And whenever 1 have had the choice between a Coke and a Pepsi machine, I have always bought a Pepsi, and 1 don't even like Pepsi. These are petty acts, 1 know, but frustration got the better of me. I again asked my more experienced friend what 1should do. "Don't worry," she assured me, "we just got the first snow flurry - all the protesters mysteriously disappear during the winter. Personally, I think they go into hibernation, to rest up for the rallies that take place in the warmth of spring." 1 was quite impressed with her knowledge of the matter, so 1 asked her if 1 she wouldn't mind my using her name in this article. "What!? Are you crazy!?" she exclaimed. "I don't want those politically correct loonies protesting outside my apartment at six in the morning!" No, I should suppose she wouldn't. l\R

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8

November 15,1995

THE MIcHIGAN REVIEW

o CAMPUS AFFAIRS

Not Just Fnends and a Keg -..'

BY LISA WAGNER

A

COUPLE OF FRIENDS, A frothy mug of beer, a few sips on a cognac, and perhaps a cigar ... these were the ingredients for some deep Saturday night conversations in front of 8 blazing hearth. Played out over and over again, these meetings bred friendships that resemble brotherhood. Simply, these gatherings cultivated friendships among men that would endure. Thus, fraternities were born in the good, old, honest tradition of-kinship and magnetic intellect. Initially, these fraternities were rejected by the University. They were looked upon as groups of rebellion. They posed threats ofrebellion against the traditional, educational pursuit of the University of Michigan. These same fraternal organizations, however, were sprouting around the nation and were hardly ready to be quelled. Thus, the regents ultimately had little choice but to accept them as a part of the life of the University; and in 1845, the fIrst, formal fraternity, Beta Theta Pi, was born. As the popularity caught on, sororities (sisterhoods among women) were founded on the same premise. Somewhere in the mid to late 1800s, Kappa Alpha Theta was recognized. (The reason an exact date cannot be docwnented is because all efforts to find someone at the chapter who knew the date failed.) in effort to diatin· . guish the fraternities and sororities from other campus groups, they \ named themselv.es after Greek letters. In effect, these closely-knit groups became known, collectively, as the Greek system. Over time, members of the Greek

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Lisa Wagner is a senior in Russian and Eastern European studies and photographer for the Review.

system established themselves favoreveryone in attendance at Greek sponfact, there are quite a few student ably in the eyes of the University and sored social events and those with organizations and University activicommanded a certain amount of rewhom they come in contact following ties campus-wide. A small sampling spect. This arose from the politics of these include the Undergraduate the event ... the decreased legal liwithin and the sponsoring of various abilityfor fraternity and sorority chapResearch Opportunity Program beneficial causes - both of which (UROP), the 21st Century Program, ters, their officers, members, memnurtured a well-rounded individual. Kumba, the Pilot Program, and the bers' parents, house corporation So it is the close bonds, leadership boards and national or even internaSexual Assault Prevention and activities and the tional organizations." The policy itpositive causes self clearly defines the manner in that the Greeksyswhich a social event is to be planned. tem advocates. But To minimize binge drinking, kegs, somewhere along party balls, and punch bowls are not the way, the ..... p-, permitted. All who consume alcohol Greeks lost the remust be oflegal age, and if someone is spect and admiracaught drinking illegally, he will be tion of the rest of escorted off the premises and will be the students. Their subjected to both Interfraternity elitist attitude did Council sanctions and the laws of the State of Michigan. In effect, complinot fare well in the ance with this policy is recommended. 1960s, and these The policy also specifIes guidegroups almost vanlines for the duration of the party. For ished in the 1970s example, a sober door keeper shall act and 1980s. In the 1980s as the bouncer, admission should be Beta Theta Pi: The first fraternity on campus by written invitation only, and a list one thought tbat' a primary reason for joining a fraterof transportation service phone numAwareness Center (SAPAC). All of nity or a sororitywas to gain drinking bers should'be provided. Compliance these programs bear merit and reflect in event supervision is enforced by a buddies. This possibly spawned from the values of the Greeks. over-popularized movies such asAni- , risk management team called the Individually and academically, Social Responsibility Committee. The mal House, or from a few highly pubthe Greeks hold their own, insofar as task of this panel is to ensure that all licized hazing incidents. Whatever the upholding high standards for themorganizations that are members of underlying reasons, they were detriselves. Many sororities and fraternithe Interfraternity Council obey this mental to the general view of the ties have a minimum grade point avalcohol policy. Greeks. By the late 1980s, however, erage that members must meet. PubMany participants in the Greek the Greeks finally sat up and noticed. lished statistics received from the In keeping with their established Office ofGreek Life show that in 1995, system believe that this is an importradition, Greeks sought methods with tant step because it goes beyond simthe average GPA for sorority women which to remedy then-rapidly declfu.,. ia;a3.19J whereas the average G:PA . . ply declaring that all houses are dry ing reputation. Capitalizing on their houses. That is not to say that Greeks for women campus-wide is a 3.13; the strength and unity, they inc~eased fraternity average GPA equals that of would not drink from a keg just down their community and University inthe male average campus-wide: a the street, but at least the individual volvemen~. They developed more prochapter would not be liable because solid 3 .0. This demonstrates true acagrams, charity projects, and commudemic initiative. The initiative doesn't the party is not at its specifIc Greek nity-oriented service in hopes of sal.stop here, though. Policies and rules home. vaging their once highly regarded have been enacted and are enforced to It is important for the Greek sysGreek leadership. Their integrity entem to maintain well-rounded, wellassure good behavior among the dured. behaved students with unified ideals. Greeks. Some believe that the implementaGreek involvement today surAs each house or chapter has rules, tion of such policies will assist in passes the Greek community itself. In the University of Michigan interfraachieving these goals, and accept this ternity Council, in collaboration with active self-governance as being conthe Panhellenic Association, has desistent with the best interests of the veloped policies under which members' actions are maintained quite Greeks. Moving forward with the times is rigidly. One such policy that recently as difficult as ever, but the Greeks are has been brought to light is one reattempting to improve their tarnished garding the maintenan,ce of alcohol reputation with tact and principle. use. This policy fIrst became effective Their traditional principles are evion January 1,1992, but amendments dent in the formulation of the alcohol were submitted on September 13, policy statement. With now almost 20 1995. It since has been approved by percent of the student population curthe Interfraternity Council and the rently involved in the Greek system, Panhellenic Association. however, it may be time for the Greeks Itis both pertinent and commendto address the problems surrounding able, the purpose states, "... to enillegal drug use. At this juncture, a courage responsible alcohol use and drug policy does not exist and this is thus reduce the problems associated a growing problem that begs a soluwith alcohol misuse and abuse at s0cial events ....to assure the safety of tion. Mt

Need to know about the hot topics on campus? Too busy to keep track of the important events that affect students? Look for "Campus Mfairs" in the Review.

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November 15, 1995

9

THE MICHIGAN REVIEW

o CURRENT EVENTS

Quebec and the:vDernocratic Process BY MATI BUCKLEY

M

ANY PEOPLE HAVE, BY now, heard about the dramatic vote in Quebec last month over the issue of Quebec separatism. The fact that Quebec voted by an extremely thin margin to remain in Cana4a is not much news. Even more interesting news was the number of people that voted: there was a turnout of 92 percent. Ninety-two out of a hundred is a great deal of people when looking at the usual voting rates. We here in the United States might like to think of ourselves as the standard on which global democracy is set. but the fact is that, when it comes to voting rates, we are not the best example. The typical U.s. voting rate in national elections for the presidency hovers around 40-45 percent in most elections, and had been going steadily down for years before a blip upward in the 1992 elections. This is also disappointing when compared to the voting patterns of the European nations. Both Britain and .France have historicaly had more public participation in the area of voting for public office. and both have higher voting rates than the United States does. The story is even more depressing when one looks at voting rates in local elections. One would think that local elections are at least as imwrtant; these people on city councils and school boards decide the future of our local institutions and schools. But even here the Amefican lack of voting is marked, as local elections get even lower voting rates than do the national issues, falling far behind comparable European rates. When I was growing up, I just thought of voting as something everyone did When They Grew Up. It was a sort of collective birthday gift from Uncle Sam. Onyour-eighteenth birthday you would just begm voting whenever the U.S. called you to your democratic duty; it would take about two minutes every few months, and one could bask in the glory of our democracy. Then I actually learned the real story when I was in high school. I learned in comparative government about America's relative lack ofdemocratic voting. I learned that registration in the United States was a process that turned many people off. And when I turned eighteen and told myself that I was going to keep up with the local issues, I ended up being sadly disappointed. I have no idea v\'110 rC)frcc;ents me at the local level !'. home :n IUW::l. I ilou't: ~}Qw,m:f

city council members, I don't know my mayor, and I don't really know much about my representatives to the state house and senate. In this land where the knowledge and wisdom of the citizenry is supposed to be our protection against bad government, I'm not exactly pulling my share. And I am certainly not alone. Do you all really know the names of those men and women pulling the levers of power in our communities? Try naming all the members of your local city council,eitherhereinAnnArbororin your hometown. Even ifyou can do it, I bet the majority of the people you know cannot. Even scarrier, though, are the topics Americans do take an interest in. Many people voted for the Elvis stamp - would America prefer the young, suave Elvis or the older lounge lizard version for their stamp? M&Ms received some attention - should the new color be blue or purple? While there were not b1'any means national elections on these issues, the marked' amount of attention paid by people to issues like these rather than issues of local policy is pretty scary. Why do people not vote? The reasons I hear time and time again are both bogus. First there is the "registration is too hard" argument. This argument goes like this: registration to voting is really, really difficult and taking~timet6d()itw6UId reallycrimpmyschedule. Now, maybe I am just a simple Iowa lad, but the registration cards I have seen are about the size of an index card, and usually even have the postage paid. One usually has to know one's social security number and voting precinct. Granted, the number of my voting precinct doesn't leap off the tongue, but it is not particuluarly hard to find. Registration could certainly be easier, I suppose. France has had a universal voter registration system for years which lists the names of all individuals in a large databank. While one cannot ignore the fact that previous closeness between society and the state in France is probably the major factor in higher French voting rates, having universal registration is probably a step in the democratic direction. I've heard the arguments about election fraud that inevitably occur when American politcos start discussing the voting registration issue. But seriously, is anyone in Paris claiming that Jacques Chirac bought off the vote? That Eduaord Balladur was robbed through an elaborate system of voting fraud? Perhaps the French know a few things about participaftir:-: si~rnQ)..'ra(,~r,.H1f\;,¥1e iI1} ~qe: U r9"

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could follow. The next big reason for not voting is something everyone knows about - "I am only one person, and one person can't make a difference in elections." Just about every political science professor has one or two good examples of how one vote can make a spectacular difference. I won't bore you with a vast list, but one example will suffice. During the social turmoil in German between the two World Wars, a struggling political party in the midst of a secret meeting voted to elect their leader. The vote ended up being decided by one vote. The party, for those ofyou who have not guessed, was the Nazis, and the elected leader by that one little vote was Adolf Hitler. One vote can make a difference. Sure, when one looks at the national returns one sees that a given "'<lte might be approxiamately 11 84,264,231 of the total. But it is the aggregate of everyone's vote that is important. If everyone thought in the same way, then nobody would vote, which is not a better situation for anyone except those who do not want power in the hands of the people. It's also important to notice that state and local election have fewer and fewer people involved in the voting, so that each vote can have a large impact on the outcome.

ing your life on the local level? In a vast majority of cases, we allow the world of what we want to do take precedence over our political responsibilities. We put reading about the Pistons and "Calvin and Hobbes" ahead of our duty to scrutinize the people that make things tick in our cities and towns. We in America like to think of ourselves as enlightened and democratic, and a far cry above our neighbors to the West. We like to think of ourselves as an educated, diverse electorate. We like to think of ourselves as letting sides have their say in a democratic forum and letting issues be decided by the people. Increasingly, though, we have chosen to be ignorant of the issues at home and in Washington. We've let ourselves fall victim to political ignorance. When people in a democracy do not involve themselves in the issues, then the ability of a democracy to satisfy the electorate is compromised. There will be those who say that the referendum in Quebec was a special case. Over 90 percent of the . people voted only because it was an issue ofdire national importance. Who are we kidding? The fact is that our presidential votes routinely get drubbed in terms of voting rates by several other democraticnati~ns.and

they do not want to admit to themselves. Americans simply do not want to take the time to understand the issues. We like to do other things. Would you rather go see Get Shorty or read the local paper cover to cover? Go party with your friends or see school board debates? Go to the big game or learn about the issues affect-

get informed and involved. The voting rate of the recent Quebec poll should give us pause: almost all ofthe province of Quebec came out to vent their opinions democratically. Isn't that the point of democracy? It might be more fun to watch the Lions, but it is more prudent to get educated and take part in our country. :Mt

t.~.~~t tije~dde"l~~i': . :~t'~A.~_~.~\~~~~\f:~\~ Ameri~~~tt(jnht",~:i8:~ ~~()n that J .. 'admit itS democraticrepsonsibility to

£ ii 21 5 EN! 5 212 XJ JjX ZIB" - Bought yourself a car by the age of 18 through keen trading of baseball cards? -Sold your brother's clothes to go to a Rolling Stones concert? -Knows (and believe in) all of the Ferrengi rules of profit? -Dreams of building a massive conglomerate that buys and sells continents? Even if you aren't any of these people (neither are we), but are interested in business experience, we want you! The Michigan Review Business Staff is looking for a few (well, okay, lots of) good people. You will get a chance to learn about finances, business management, and customer rapport, as well as make local business contacts, all in a real-life situation. No special experience is required (we don't care if you've .never seen money before) so give us a call and get involved!

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Call us at 662-1909, or email MREV@umich.edu

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10

November 15, 1995

THE MIcmGAN REVIEW

o ESSAY

The Fallacy of,Affirmative Action BY BENJAMIN KEPPLE

T

HE TIME HAS COME TO end affirmative action. The time has simply come to end the existence of a program that began with the best of inte,Qtions but now appears more paradoxical to the concept of America as a melting pot: a multicultural society in which we have, to quote, "equality for all, and preference for none." Is affirmative action really doing this? The answer is no. There was a thoughtful Letter to the Editor in the Daily, written on November 3, 1995, in which the letter writer, Michael Burke, stated that he is "sick of hearing about it" - it being affirmative action being labeled reverse discrimination. In his letter, Burke, who is white, states that "For several reasons, I now believe that there is no such thing as reverse discrimination. But that's just my educated. opinion ... Until people educate themselves by stepping out of their own little worlds and get a clue as to what real discrimination is, I don't want to hear about it." While I don't really agree with Burke's letter on the whole, I do think people need. to become more educated about other cultures. I figure this is a good point to indicate the relative fallacies concerning affirmative action. For starters; Times Have Changed. Back before the 19608, minorities certainly faced what Burke calls "real" discrimination. They had to endure much' prejudice, and it was enforced by law' in the South. Do the people who lived during this time and live and work today deserve affirmative action?You're certainly right they do. But what of the people who were born during the 1970s and 1980s? For institutional racism had been abolished, and the "equality of opportunity" was no longer limited by race, but by economics, and there was much greater understanding between whites and nonwhites. Hence, what we now have is a system that advocates one group [born after 1970J over another when it is not warranted. Since all people are created equal under God and, since 1964, the Law, the logical conclusion is that those who were not hampered by institutionalized racism should not benefit from a program designed to correct the injustice of institutional racism. The logical solution? For all those born before a certain year, say 1970 or

Benjamin Kepple is a sophomore in political science and associate publisher of the Review.

What I have gleaned from Burke's 1975, keep affirmative action. For letter is that many people (he doesn't those born after it, who play on the specify race) are not in favor of this same field, discontinue the program slowly by phasing out the program or policy. I think that many whites are quickly by ending it altogether. Secondly, it assumes that Everything Can Be Solved by lumping whites, and men in particular, all of whom have supposedly achieved some kind of tangible advantage and benefits from the color of their skin alone, into one group. Non-whites, all of whom are assumed to be the victims of the aforementioned group because the white males were obviously all attempting to hinder the non-whites A gentJem8~ ponders deeply about Affirmative Action in various ways constiand will become resentful of this tute the seconJi-group. Was this true 30 years ago? Yes and no. Racism was policy, for it indirectly hurts them. I certainly prevalent back then, and in think that affirmative action may actually increase racist attitudes in the some places enforced by law, but it was not practiced by all white people. U.S. Here is a hypothetical situation: Not all whites were or are racist; this The year is 1996, and John and ' Bob are two workers who just gradugoes without saying about anyone ated. from high school. They are apgroup. But are the racial attitudes of plying for ajob at Some Corporation. the people who lived in the 19608 They meet in the personnel departpresent in the people of the 19908? ment of Some Company and find out No,andfurthermore,thereisnolonger they are' applying for the same job. any institutionalized racism. There John is black and Bob is white. John has been none for 30 years. So why is is . more qualified than Bob for the this system ofprefe.ren,tial treatment position and John gets the j()b. But still implemented? A nnijor answeris, "Because of racism and discriminapsychologically, this makes it possible tion." for Bob to possibly blame his failure Racism is not a one way street. on "affirmative action" even when it is People other than whites can be racobvious that John was the best man for the job. It is certainly wrong to ists. One example is Louis Farrakhan, who apparently doesn't really like anythink this way, of course, but it hapone. Anyone of any skin color or napens regardless of whether John was tionality or religion can be racist. It is more qualified, or whether he was less qualified. And now we have one not limited to whites or white males. As a white male, I've had to deal with more "angry white male." With the people who don't like me for the color existence of affirmative action, it of my skin. Hence, due to the omnidoesn't matter who is more qualified, for it increases hostility between presence of discrimination, affirmative action's relevance and ability as a whites and non-whites. Isn't that program designed to benefit those who what we are trying to prevent? , Without affirmative action, Bob's fall victim to discrimination is brought into question. reaction would most likely be to open the classified ads and start searching I'm not saying that discrimination doesn't exist. I know it does and again for ajob, and not even consider race. Affirmative action can directly so do you. But members of all'races and nationalities discriminate, so if fuel the fire of racism even as it atthis is the case, why institute affirmatempts to correct it! Quite a paradox. tive action? All of us face discriminaI've pointed out quite a few serious flaws in affirmative action, but tion, committed by different races, what are the solutions to the racial and since institutionalized racism no problems that America faces today? I longer exists, racism must also exist think solutions are needed ifwe are to entirely on a personal level. Therereplace affirmative action with other fore, the argument that racial disprograms that help those who are crimination is a reason for affirmative action cannot be valid. dlsadv~t~g~ eeono~icaIly, for I be~'"''''''' · ~·~ ' '''' '' · ··~ ' ··_ '_''''''''' ''''"''''''''m'''.''''''.

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lieve that society must deal with the widening class divisions. So what should be done? Educationally, we could: 1) Keep student loans funded and create a special focus to help those who simply cannot afford a college education. 2) Establish no-strings-attached federal funding for any primary and secondary schools in need, to help them increase their ability to educate and give their students the same educational opportunities as others have. For example, as we know, all schools do not have the same curriculum others do. This would help correct that problem. 3) Make it much more possible for qualified students to go to other school districts for instruction. 4) Along with returning to Western Basics, include a good amount ofNonWestern Basics involved in the curriculum, starting in the 1st grade. This will promote increased cultural understanding and would help in combating what affirmative action ineffectually combats. In the workplace, we could: 1 ) Hire, fire, and promote on the basis of merit alone. 2) Make sure that race is not a factor in matters of performance review or disciplinary actions meted out to employees. 3) The corporations could also take a strong role in educating students and prepare them to act in a global economy. It is apparent that affirmative action is a program that is outdated, and needs to be scrapped for those born after 1970 or 1975, and the basis given for having such a program is for the most part invalid. Instead, we ,s hould make a great effort to help those who are in need economically, of all races, while keeping affirmative action for those who suffered under institutionalized racism. We can also make greater steps in educating our youth all the way to the college level by improving education. By ending affirmative action for those born after 1970 or 1975 and instead implementing a totally meritocratic system with increased informative cultural education, we can truly end many of the problems of racism along with adding the benefits of having an educated, culturally diverse workforce. This would eventually lead to a much more cooperative, educated, and driven society that would not only would live together in greater racial harmony, but would be much more able to function in an increasingly global marketplace. Along with this, we can still correct for the institutionalized racism for , those who had to deal with it. So what do you think? Mi ' .: Wi_W'''

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3


11

THE MICHIGAN REVIEW

November 15,1995

o CURRENT EvENTS

Re-examining the Contract BY MATI BucKLEY

I

T'S ALWAYS FUN TO LAUGH at the talking heads in politics, those men and women who sit in studios for the networks and tell us what to think about the issues of the day. Nine months ago, all these shows were in a great tizzy over the prospects ofthe new Republican Congress. With Republicans in control of both houses of the Congress, and the "Contract With America" uniting them with a plan ofaction, it seemed all would be grand for the GOP. We must give Newt Gingrich credit; the use of a "Contract with America" was an inspired choice of tactics. Those wacky pundits are occasionaliy right, as they were when they said that the Contract turned the election into a referendum on Reaganomics vs. Clintonomics. But contracts are sticky little things, and they demand the ability to put words into action. After nearly a year of Republican crooning over the elections, what has actually happened with the ballyhooed Contract? Breach of contract is the only real way to put it. The fact is that the House of Representatives has been very good at keeping its end of the bargain - it has passed nearly all the elements of the Contract - but on most of the major issues of the Contract, the Senate Republicans' moderate leanings have torpedoed large amounts of Republican legislation. The best example of this also is the most important example as well. The balanced budget amendment was the focus of attention after Speaker Gingrich promised it would reach the House floor. The idea that the federal government would have to keep its own financial house in order was an idea ready for the trying by many in the electorate worried about the financial future of the country. The Republicans came to power by stating that they would deal with the budget. Typical Washington politics ended up killing the bill. The House easily passed the bill, as a crop of conservative first-year Republicans (the largest group to emerge in one year from a party since the 1974 class of "Watergate Democrats") rallied the bill to a 300-132 victory. The Senate, however, ran into trouble accepting several key elements of the proposal, and the efforts of Robert Dole could not keep the bill from dying, 65-35. The problem is that this bill is really a microcosm of the Contract itself. If the House was in complete control of the legislative branch, then the entire government would certainly

have undergone massive changes. But the problem is that Gingrich and his new Republican first-year House members can't force the hands of the Senate or the President. The process seems to be almost a constant throughout the Contract. First the conservative freshman in the House pass a bill that is ... well, very conservative. The Senate Republicans see the bill and basically try and pull the House bill more to the center. The House Republicans either

refuse to compromise or compromise and make the bill far more moderate. Still, nine out often ain't bad, and it begs the questions of what exactly has been implemented. In fact, very little - between the Republican squabbling and veto threats by Clinton, most of the Contract is dead .. House approval is worth zilch without a presidential signature, and while the House has had the voting numbers to override a presidential veto, it ~annot directly affect the Senate.

It seems now, however, that the "Contract with America" is not such a big deal. Not only has the legislation not turned out as well as he would have liked, but now his party has a clear moderate-conservative split. Issues like regulatory reform and welfare reform are not just going to go away, and the Republicans will need to be able to form a united front. Given that little legislation has come from the Contract, it seems its real benefactor are the Democrats. l\R

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12

November 15, 1995

THE MICHIGAN REVIEW

o SATIRE

What the U-M Has Not Studied ,Qi~ 'J.'

GENE KR.Ass

instead of Xeroxing them, and then ing students only). getting pissed when something you 12. Claiming that you can do just COUPLE OF YEARS AGO, need is missing. about anything with a women's studthe University of Michigan 7. Making fun of seniors who still live ies degree (LSA students only). conducted a study that deterin the dorms, while saving a whop13. Getting a 5 on your second-year mined, much to everyone's surprise, ping $20 a month to live in an apartAP physics exam, then enrolling in that college students drink alcohol. ment building: not even saying hello Physics 140; getting an easy A while Recently, the U-M conducted another to the other people on the floor, payblowing the curve for everyone else study on student drinking. Given that ing one's own utility bills, and insist(smart-ass students only). the opening of one's eyes is not a valid ing that one can get every necessary 14. Leaving every weekend to spend research method, here are some other nutrient from Ramen and behaviors the University might wish Beefaroni. to suddenly discover among the stu8. Ordering pizza every other dent population: night, and then wondering where 1. Skipping eight o'clock classes. the "freshman 15" (or, in my case, 2. Bragging about alcohol intake (ex.: the "senior 25") came from. "Twenty beers? Dude, that's nothing! 9. Upgrading one's $2000 comI had a whole fifth of vodka, and I puter at a cost of $300 (and six or wasn't even buzzed, man!). seven hours of painstaking ef3. Skipping nine o'clock classes. fort) just to knock 10 seconds off 4. Putting off that 10 page paper on the time it takes to download all Shakespearean uses of phallic imagof those "free" porno stills off the ;; ery until eight hours before it's due, Internet. Gene partakes in student behavior of bygone days thinking, "Hey, I've got all night to do 10. Radically changing one's it" - and then surfing the Net until drinking habits as a sophomore after time with that fabled "boy- or girlthere are only three hours left. being stuck OJ! a substance-free hall friend back home" while shamelessly freshman year. .. 5. Skipping ten o'clock classes (most flirting the other five days of the week. likely to fmish that all-night paper). 11. Insisting that the only people that 15. Putting off doing the laundry un6. Ripping research articles out of will find jobs after leaving college are til there's nothing to wear; then reachJournals in the Grad library stacks those in your field of study (engineering into the dirty pile, pulling out a garment to which the fermenting process has not yet spread, and saying, "You know, I can wear this one more tim e. " 16. Denying ever having listened to heavy metal in high school, then claiming that CIA agents broke into your dorm room and wedged all of those gIant-rock CDs in your music collection while you were asleep (as well as putting that doctored photo on your bulletin board of you with long hair in a black t-shirt and torn, skin- tight jeans shaking hands with Kip A Member of the TravelersGroup Winger). We make money the old-fashioned way. We earn it:" 17. Paying more attention to hairstyles on "Friends" than campus issues, then asking "What is the Code?" Stocks and Bonds or, even worse, "What is Hash Bash?" whenever the topic comes up. Mutual Funds 18. Passing by the Diag as often as Government Securities possible hoping that an intelligent speaker will eventually show up. Corporate Bonds 19. Exaggerating natural intelligence (ex.: "I never even opened a book in Tax-Free Bonds high school, and I got a 4.0 and passed 1RAs and Pension Plans out of Math 116. I think Michigan is a joke ."). Annuities 20. Walking down an eight-foot wide corridor or sidewalk, side-by-side in pairs, in such a strategic manner that U-M alumnus & former Michigan Review editor someone in a hurry cannot pass by David J. Powell, Financial Consultant without, embarras singly, s aying, 201 West Big Beaver Road, Suite 1250 "Coming through ." Troy, Michigan 48084-4169 21. Finally getting one's act together during senior yea r , when it's already 810-740- 71 00 • 8 00- 227 - 19~31 too late to cha nge one's GPA by anything more than a third of a point . t '.22. (i-:"0,-,vln g j::" r;O <.lre~ ~ t a king !Jp Sm (;KBY

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ing unreal amounts of pot, getting one's body pierced in 20 or 25 places, shaving one's head, becoming a vegetarian, taking up Whateverism then, when speaking to one's friends from back home on the phone, saying, "You know, I haven't really changed that much since high school." 23. Balancing a full-time class load, while working two or three 15-hour a week jobs and. sleeping three or four hours a night - and not dying!! 24. Joining sororities because of the supposed leadership opportunities they offer women - then, not being allowed, for whatever reason, to throw parties the way fraternities do and having to beg (sometimes bribe) their male counterparts to be included in Greek Week. 25. Watching Beavis and Butt-head. 26. Changing one's bizarre answering machine message only when expecting a call from a prospective employer, then afterwards changing it back to the original clip from the Great Comholio 9r whatever. 27. September: "I'm a little behind, but 111 catch up in October." October: "I'm really behind, but 111 work hard in November." November: "I'm critically behind, but I'll work non-stop during Thanksgiving weekend." December: "I'm screwed." 28. Developing that permanent, irreversible caffeine addiction that contributes to all those statistics about America being caffein~addicted. . . 29. Keeping your stomach suckoo in all day and wearing really loose clothingwhen your parents come to visit to hide all the weight you've gained. 30. Flocking like lemmings to a giant bowl with seats to watch big guys with helmets run into each other, then singing some fighting or conquering song about it, or something. That $50,000 study from two years ago determined that college professors drink as well. Some other faculty behaviors in need of a study: 1. Putting practice exams in coursepacks WITH THE ANSWERS ALREADY MARKED! 2. Telling students not to be embarrassed to speak out and interrupt their meticulously-planned lectures in front of 500 students. 3. Voting themselves raises .. . Okay, 111 stop here. When it comes to grades, it's much safer to pick on students. You get the point. I guess it's easier to run a study on behaviors we all know exist. I mean, how h a rd is it to determine that students drink? Oh, on e more behavior: 4. Ask for grant money for studies as o~Xt9"!~'i;lG i', m.lh.. ,tflo~li$'y,, 1VR , . · "

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November 15, 1995

13

THE MICHIGAN REVIEW

o SATIRE

Ignorance Tec:llnology Division By GEOFF BROWN

I

NMYCONTINUINGSERIESOF stories that interest people who have a lot of time on their hands, I move on to "How the University Likes to Spend Your Money, Part 2," or, "U-M Continues to Try and Act as its Own Nation by Creating its Own Currency." This month's feature: lTD. Ah, yes, ITO. They provide us with wondrous services we'd rather not do without, and they know it. Their problem is that they like to pretend they're a business. Like most governmentrun businesses, ITO has made this mistake: charging more money without actually giving us superior services in return. Hell, if ITO had sex scandals, they'd be just like Congress! lTD's follies include increasing the amount of services for which they "charge" (via ITO funny-money), while decreasing the amount of our computing allocations. This sleight of hand is made complete when lTD, in their wisdom, doesn't offer any additional services! What a great ideaH The top three things that the American Consumer wants for their money (compiled from The Monthly Report of Made-Up Statistics, October 1995, page 6) are as follows: (1) To pay more for things they have been getting all along, (2) to receive less money to be able to pay for them, and (3) to get no improvements in service in return. One of the things the business wizards at ITO began charging (a lot) for is dial-in service. Now, this would be understandable, even just a little (even if other schopls who use the .arne network don't charge), if we received more dial-in service in return. However, this is not the case. While ITO claims to have a larger pool of high-speed modems, this doesn't appear to be true. It's harder to connect to a dial-in line now than ever! There are more busy signals! And we're paying for' them now! I know I like to spend money waiting forever to get connected. Anyway, the point to all of this is that if ITO isn't spending the money on alleviating the busy signal problem, just what are they spending it on? In this case, it doesn't take much imagination: printing and advertising. A lot of printing and advertising, including a set of custom-printed mailers for the faculty that describe how to reserve lab rooms for class use. Incidentally, these labs rooms, which we supposedly pay for, are generally off- limits to students. The mailers included custom envelopes, and popup displays describing how to get one of these classrooms. No wonder they

had to reduce our allocations. ITO is definitely not spending our funding on knowledgeable consultants. To be fair, I'm sure that there are some ITO consultants out there that know what they are doing. However, much like Colin Powell's political opinions, they are hard to find. I always thank God that I have sufficient computer knowledge and that I will never have to ask an ITO consultant for anything more than the location of the nearest bathroom, because most of these people are clueless. In fact, after they fail to answer a ques-

tion correctly, I usually end up providing the lost soul with the correct answer. But I can't always be there to help you, so here is this handy lTDto-Reality Advice Conversion Guide: • ITO Advice: The network is down. Reality Adjusted: We don't know what is wrong, though it may have something to do with a consultant spilling an entire "REALLYFrickin' Big Gulp" allover the Ethernet routers. • ITO: Maybe your account doesn't have enough funding for printing? Reality: You could have 18 bajillion dollars in your UMCE account; the

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print spooler is still not going to process your job. • ITO: Just double-click on that icon. Reality: Don't EVER touch that icon. • ITO: I don't know why it's taking so long, your paper should print soon ... Reality: Printing your paper will take longer than the duration of the Roosevelt Administration. Well, hopefully this will help you understand a little bit more about ITO. Hopefully they won't read this and decide to sabotage my computer, which would make it really hard for me to finish this artic"%nckx.,s ... MIt

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14

November 15, 1995

THE MICHIGAN REVIEW

o ISSUE FORUM: THIRD PARTIES

Third Parties: The Time Has Come \:,

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BY

GENE KRAss

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LOWLY AND SURELY, Americans are beginning to tire of the two-party system that has polarized politics for the better part of this nation's history. In 1992, 17 percent of those who voted did so for a raving, lunatic billionaire who backed out of the race a few months prior to the election only to buy his way back in and make the largest gain by a third party since Theodore Roosevelt's Bull Moose Party split up Republicans in 1912 and gave the win to Democrat Woodrow Wilson. Given today's political climate of infighting and blatant lying to the public, the voters who determine this country's leadership should question the Republican-Democrat dichotomy. The presence of only two political parties damages the parties themselves. For instance, the Republican Party is indeed split into two major factions: moderates and fundamentalists. Anyone who closely follows politics knows that moderates such as Massachusetts Governor William

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Weld and fundamentalists such as columnist Patrick Buchanan are at each others' throats on the issues and that each one has a sizeable following. The two are even more different from each other than Bush and Clinton were in 1992, and clearly do not belong in the same party. Likewise, the Democratic Party has been plagued by ideological setbacks. In 1994, the more liberal of the lot, such as Mario Cuomo and Dan Rostenkowski, were voted out of office. Some, like Georgia Senator Sam Nunn, have called it quits. And a few others, like Senator Ben Nighthorse Campbell, have switched over to the Republican Party. The Harley-riding, ponytailed Campbell is as much a Republican as he was a Democrat, which further illustrates the absurdity of two political extremes running the show. More and more Democrats, . especially President Clinton, are start- " ing to sound like Republicans on the regrettably ilyportant topic of"family values." Regardless of whether these sentiments are real or typical political maneuvenng, the fact remains that there exists more ideologies than

are represented adequately by the two major political parties. What does this mean for the voters during the more important elections? For starters, only two individuals and their virtually insignificant running mates represent the two major parties on the ballot. They have no way of truly appealing to the diverse makeup oftheir party, leaving voters to choose someone with whom they might agree on only a few issues. Also, philosophies that differ from the two major candidates are currently left to be represented by tiny, Dark Horse parties rather than by better-known politicians. This vicious circle can only be broken by a proliferation of more political parties. If that was the case today, libertarianism in 1996 might have been represented by Weld instead of the much overlooked Libertarian Party, and socialism might have been represented by Ted Kennedy instead of the hopeless Socialist Party. Liberalism would continue to be represented by Bill Clinton, and Bob Dole would continue to run as a conservative. Surely, the blame for the polar-

ization of American politics does not lie entirely with the politicians, but also with the voters who maintain the status quo despite the presence of many other parties. Clinton's victory in 1992 and the Republican landslide in 1994 both came about because people wanted "change." Change to what? We have all seen what various combinations of Republicans and Democrats have done in the past, yet people continue to vote for them. The good news is that the people are buying it less and less. Why else would so many rational, average Americans have voted for an arrogant, impatient little nationalist in 1992? Simple. The people want some variety; the two major parties know that. Why else would so many Republicans dismiss the Libertarian Party as a bunch of anarchists even when Weld recently referred to himself as a libertarian on a radio program? If enough people actually muster the courage to vote for a third party candidate, that pary will go from a good-sounding idea to reality. Remember this in when deciding between Dole and Clinton. l\R

Third Parties Are Unviable BY BENJAMIN KEPPLE

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HE LIBERTARIAN PARTY. The G~en Party. The Natural Law Party. The Reform Party. These are some of the many minor, or so called "third political parties" that exist as honest to God, wham zoom political alternatives to the two major parties. But what do they all have in common? To be blunt about it, they all have an effectiveness rating of close to zero when it co~es to actually influencing politics or the lives ofeveryday Americans. And this is an important point to consider when the question of whether a multiparty American political system is viable. If it was, these various parties would not be, at best, parties that manage to get a scant few percentage points of the vote, and at worst, annoyances on the local ballots. These parties would most likely have a larger role in American government if a multiparty system was viable. Yet they simply exist, failing to attract enough voters to tum their message from a dream into reality. The fact that these parties are unable to get enough votes to tum

American politics into a multiparty system is, howeve:t, only one reason why a major third party cannot exist in the American political realm. For history has shown that the existence of more than two major parties in American politics is an existence that is short-lived and fleeting. The only minor party ever to gain a permanent position in American politics is the Republican Party, and this was primarily due to the strong abolitionist movement and the Civil War. The new Republican Party helped ruin the old Whig Party, and the GOP eventually (d)evolved to what it is today, the seemingly coeternal sparring partner of the Democratic Party. But could a third party even exist in the political realm today? I believe that it is an impossibility. For example, say the impossible happens and a significant portion of the American voters in 1996 decide to vote for the Reform Party (this is Perot's latest hobby). With the electoral college, it is almost certain that an even three way race will lead to no clear winner, throwing the election to the House of Representatives. This fact alone should scare most Ameri-

gets X percent of the votes gets X percent of the seats and much of the time is spent attempting to' build a coalition that can effectively rule. lfit was like this, you could have minor parties and splinter factions in the Congress to your heart's content. But it is necessary to face reality, and realize that two parties are all that our system will and has maintained throughout the past century and for centuries to come. I personally feel that it would be far more effective for the minor parties to become smaller factions within the major parties themselves. That would do more good. It seems entirely plausible to me for the Republican Party to have a strong libertarian streak, for example. It would seem that the Libertarians could change from putting up candidates that seem to frequently lose and instead, work in the selection of candidates or run as Republicans with a strong libertarian streak, attracting more votes and winning elections due to that party affiliation. For as the old saying goes, "If you can't beat them, join them." And in politics, winning is a very important part of the game.m

cans. But if the Reform Party was also

to gain in that election a good portion of the seats in the House and the Senate, enough to allow it to be an effective legislative force (read: cause damage), it would lead to gridlock that the country has never seen, even including the Bush presidency. N othing would get done, whether it was a good policy or a bad policy. It is hard enough for two parties to compromise on something. Can you imagine the conference committees, the havoc in the subcomittees if a third party jumped in and added more chaos to an already politically charged situation? You can plainly see the result: very little would get done and the major role ofthe political parties would be to see how much they can scream at each other. We can see that structurally the American legislative branch is incapable ofhandlingthree parties. The American government is designed for two major parties, and leaves little room for more participants. For while third parties are nice to have in theory as a refuge from the bumbling of the two major political giants, we do not live in a parliamentary democracy, in which party X that

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November 15, 1995

15

THE MICHIGAN REVIEW

o ISSUE FORUM: PASS/FAIL

Pass /Fail Improves Education BY TOM JOLLIFFE

o SOME, THE PASSIFAIL option may suggest a sense of academic illegitimacy. Its opponents find that with the wide availability of the pass/fail option on campus, the intellectual development and self-discovery that makes college so valuable is de-emphasized. The passl fail alternative in no way interferes with these pursuits, however. In fact, the existence of pass/fail actually facilitates the student in his pursuit of such academic virtues. The phrase "pass/fail" may remind one of senior year in high school, when one likely used this option with abandon. But one must not lose sight of the legitimate applications ofpassl fail in the sphere of higher education. An individual choosing pass/fail may be intensifying the study of his major while still maintaining an interest in other courses. The idea is not that one elects to take pass/fail to lessen the workload of one class, while holding constant the time devoted to other courses. Rather, the pass/fail option can further open the door to a student's

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future, allowing for a more concerted effort toward the study of his concentration. After all, it is important to keep in mind one's direction beyond schooling, when one's studies may have some practical use. First thing's first, however: the courses designed for a student's career applications can take precedent over the others, if he desires. Not to criticize the idea of a liberal education, but if a student elects to take a certain non-eoncentration course pass/fail, he ought to feel welcome to do so. In this way, pass/fail is not the device of the lazy; it is an opportunity to prioritize. Contrary to what passlfall's opponents say, the use of this option can indicate a serious intellectual appe.tite, as opposed to the idea that it diminishes the interest in a broad syllabus. Although one may argue that pass/fail can make room for an intensified devotion to a major. this option also may widen a student's._. range of courseS.' For example, the existence of the pass/fail alternative" may encourage students to choose classes that they otherwise would not. With pass/fail, a student's grade point

would not be in jeopardy, and students could take on subjects that are entirely new to them, and possibly above their heads as well. But their desire to gain something from this experience is the essence of higher education. The thirst for a true liberal education, as well as having a declared major, can be satisfied with the election of pass/fail. Learning for learning's sake is elevated beyond a cliche. In weighing the virtues and vices of pass/fail, one cannot negleet the "What am I doing here?" syndrome. Afflicting a fair number of first year students after the drop/add deadline, it sinks the prospects ofa decent grade. The students are overwhelmed by a senseoM'm in the wrong department - get me out ofthis!" and marginality seems inevitable. During this time, many underclassmen have a revelation about their true calling: "fm not a microbiologist; fm an actor!" For this reason, the pass/fail alternative ought not be limited to non-eoncentration courses for underclassmen. Many people take some time to figure their direction in school, and their

grade point needn't be jeopardized in these formative years. This is not the slacker's fallback life jacket, but rather the drowning student's life-buoy. College can be a time of high anxiety about what exactly students want, and the passlfail availability can hel p students to get on the right track without worrying about grades. Now this is not the advocation of an all-out campus-wide pass/fail movement, in which students write home to say, "Dear Mom and Dad, fm not failing at Michigan!" Rather, the pass/fail concept is found to be legitimate in its university application. Some may abWJe pass/fail in order to coast through their education, but this is not reason to eliminate its availability to students who use it to a legitimate advantage. A student electing the passlfail alternative for a certain course now has the capacity to take a more focused approach to his major. Or perhaps a student chooses passlfail just to acquire knowledge from a broad array of classes. In any event, choosing pass/fail takes nothing from academic legitimacy, and its .use should not be discouraged. Mt

Don't Loosen Pass/Fail BY MOHAN KruSHNAN

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ECENTLY, THERE HAS been much argument about the rules for choosing the "pass/fail" option for a course. While it seems like a go¥ idea for the good 01' U-M to be a little bit nicer to the students, the idea of loosening passl fail requirements, particularly with regards to which courses can and cannot be taken this way, is very threatening to the pursuit of knowledge at the University, or indeed at any other institution of higher learning. The first prQblem that occurs is that the GPA system becomes severely incoherent. The performance of students at different universities, and even within different colleges at the U-M, cannot be compared on the basis of the GPA because different students are allowed to have different portions of their academic experience to be represented by this statistic. Fine, you say - the GPA is a pathetic yardstick to begin with, almost as bad as the SAT. Stop-there's the fundamental problem. The-PPA might be a poor benchmark or academic excellence, but it is used by countless honors societies, professional and graduate schools, and even

industry to accept or reject students in Jl).any~es~lileJ;'e'~. 8.J).~ple: Joe Scenario goes to HypOthetical State University, where no one can passlfail for any course. He takes French 232 there, and gets a C. Now, Johnny Exactlylikejoe takes the course here, pass/fails it, does the amount of work that would earn another student a C, and passes. Now, Joe and Johnny apply to Law school, and Johnny is picked over Joe because he's got a higher GPA (they both have all A's aside from the little French incident). It's just plain unfair. As long as the GPA remains the benchmark for so many different aspirations of the college student, universities must not exercise so much liberty with passl fail, which inevitably destandardizes the GPA system. Second, and in a similar vein, passlfail encourages students to do the minimum amount of work necessary to pass a class. Like it or not, students hurt themselves with passl fail, and it lowers the quality of their education by reducing the amount of learning they do. Furthermore, this hurts all the students, because the phrase "1 am a University of Michigan graduate" looses all worth when

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students are allowed to take an excesdoe~ not~c~~YJ!!lfi!L!~Mir~m.~~ . "'"t*';:~": ·.siv:e·.n~r:.~. cO\U'$e$i .•.·.Wiftl'jjUf1'ii:tl!"':"':·'ill)ii!~• •_ _~.~'!!jil:~"" ")!!!'!!11~~~ fear ofbad gracies. fact, these courses can be audited, in Third, consider the classes that brooked the discussion in the first place: the fourth-term language classes that LSA students can no longerpasslfail. In these small classes, and others like them, including discussions, where participation is necessary to make the class work, all of the students in'the class are hurt by each student taking the class passl fail. When a grade is not on the line, many students will just sit back and idle through the class. It is unfair to the professors involved to have to teach disinterested, apathetic students, and it is equally unfair to the other students in the class, who get less attention and are held back by students electing the coursepasslfail. It is true that, in a perfect world, students would take courses pass/fail when they are truly interested in them, and will strive to understand the material. However, if this is the case, students should not need to apply those courses to fulfill requirements necessary for their graduation. In most universities, and at least throughout the undergraduate education at the U-M, any course that

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which case students need not even worry about failing, let alone getting a poor grade. Ifstudents are adamant about having the course on theirtranscripts, then they should also be adamant that their grades appear there, as a grade is sure to be more impressive than a pass. In reality, it is not wise to widen the restrictions placed on pass/fail, to protect students and professor and to prevent the U-M from becoming a mediocre institute. If a course should not be a requirement for graduation (and many challenge that the LSA language requirements should not), then the course should be removed from the requirements. Pass/fail is neither a good nor an appropriate temporary solution to this problem. If courses are necessary for graduation, or if a student wants to have it on a final transcript to impress employers or graduate schools, then the course should be graded. If a course is not necessary for graduation, and is merely taken to fill space or to broaden a student's education, then it should be available for pass/fail election. These guidelines are enough to solve the pass/fail ppoblem. l\R tij'' ' '>'W_'' '__!OIII'' ' '

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16

THE MICHIGAN REVIEW

November 15, 1995

:Ji SPORTSCENE

College Basketball, Alpha to Omega BY PAT ESKEW

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T'S THAT TIME AGAIN; COLlege basketball is back. By the time March comes around, you can forget about concentrating on your thennodynamics class. What's really important is filling out your tournament pool. What teams are hot, what players are clutch, what coach can lead his team to the promised land? The answers to these crucial questions could win you $10 in the pool. They could also win you bragging rights as the premier college basketball guru in your pathetic circle of friends . These answers, dear reader, lay ahead . The following is the way this season will unfold. Anyone who doesn't want to know the outcome should stop reading now. It begins with the Pre-Season NIT. Sixteen teams kick- start the college year with a bang that ends with a champion crowned in the Big Apple. This year's solid lineup ofteams witnesses some intense match-ups. Reaching the semi-final round at Madison Square Garden are four of the nation's premier programs; Georgia Tech, Georgetown, Arkansas, and Michigan. Michigan advances over the tuned down Razorbacks while the Hoyas, led by sophomore sensation Allen Iverson, beat out the Yellow Jackets. In the championship final against John Thompson's tenacious crew, the Maize and Blue seem a bit tentative. On the offensive side of the court, turnovers abound; defensively, , no one can stop Iverson. Georgetown wins the title in an easy 87-73 romp. Immediately, Georgetown's stock rises in the national polls. The Hoyas reach as high as third in the AP poll released in early December. Nevertheless, no one can unseat the allpowerful Kentucky Wildcats from their spot at the top. Rick Pitino is sweating through a brand new set of designer shirts this year as he attempts to finally bring a national crown to Lexington. When he took the job, Pitino promised to stay until U-K won it all. Now, seven years later, his kids are getting Southern accents and he's ready to hit the road again. This just might be his year. The Christmas tournament season is always a good opportunity to find an up and coming program, and these holidays are no different. This year's crop includes Mississippi State, Utah, and Virginia Tech. Utah Coach Rick M~erus, not afraid to sweat through his share of shirts either, has his Running Utes poised to prove how good of a' coach ·the former BaIl State '

man really is. for the nation's finest conference. Iowa With the Virginia Tech Hokies is everyone's pre-season pick to win added to the 13 team Big East, no one the conference, but it will be the is questioning which conference is the Purdue Boilermakers and Michigan strongest this year. Georgetown, ConWolverines who share the crown at necticut, and Villanova breathe new the end of the year. One pre-season life into this league many had left for award that is certain to come true is dead . The three big stars in the cohference are also the most dominating players.in the nation. Iverson, who'll have another dominating year in the back court, spends his final days under coach/mentor John Thompson this season. By May he will be dribbling and passing in the preNBA Draft combines. Joining him in the combines will be top three draft pick Ray Allen from Connecti- ~ the Kleenex Tissue Award, given to cut. Allen opted to stay away from the the player who wipes the most tears Draft and a definite lottery pick last from his eyes in the course of the year to play one ,more season for the season. Indiana's Neil Reid will take Huskies under Jim Calhoun. his second straight Golden Kleenex But, despite .their rock solid play,. this year after setting the all-time neither ofthesetwo has the year that mark for most tears shed in a game the nation's number one player, Kerry last year against the Wolverines in Kittles of Villanova, has. Rolly Bloomington. Massimino never had a player with UCLA will win the Pac 10 with this much talent on his 1985 National relative ease. Stanford and WashingChampion team. Now Kittles is out to ton State may take a few games from lead the Wildcats back to those the Bruins during the regular season heights. Unfortunately, he will be but they won't be able to stop the dissappointed in this pursuit. nation's deepest bench from winning The meat of conference play beits second straight conference title. After a grueling and intense regugins in January. This year's Atlantic lar season, the real show begins in Coast Conference lineup is considerably weaker than usual. This said, March. Kentucky is the number one seed in the Southeast Region and the the ACC should only be the second or undisputed favorite to win it all. The third best league in the country. Duke, unquestionably the strongest proother top seeds are Kansas, UCLA, and Connecticut who takes the Big gram over the past nine years, looks East title from Villanova in a thrilling to rebound from a woeful, sub-five championship final . But beyond the hundred year. They do. An early searealm of these media propped proson victory over the Wolverines in grams lie the uncharted monsters, Ann Arbor helps Coach K give his the Santa Clara's, who can't wait'to team some credibility once again. knock the Nike contract shoes off of Dean Smith's North Carolina Tar the civilized sports world. When the Heels will have an off- year but still tournament begins, sanity goes out make the Sweet Sixteen. Shocking the window with last week's tuna the conference and the country is casserole. First round upsets are ofWake Forest's immediate demise from ten the most fun of the Tournament. a banner 1994-95 season that saw Pre-tourney warning - watch out the Demon Deacons win the conferJohnCalipari,yournumberthreeseed ence title. Even Tim Duncan, the numMinutemen get shellacked by Wichita ber one pick in next year's NBA Draft, State (insert your own Shocker joke cannot lead this team back to the here.) Tournament. The longer the tourney goes on, It's a rebuilding year in the Big the wilder it gets. What's new? Going 10. Young stars like Indiana's Andrae unnoticed by nearly everyone is a Patterson and Michigan's Maurice gritty fourth seed team from Taylor will give the league a post-Fab Washtenaw County. That's right, Five image to love. Nevertheless, last they're your Wolverines, and they're year's 1-6 massacre at the NCAA's on a mission. A mission that finally left the Big 10 looking like a hypeddraws attention at the West Region up version of the WAC. A lot of pride Fiiltil: wn~t'f'tlr'ey ftiEe: ·Jdrid edki'6il't" is on the line in th~ \I;~6tn:ibg'Years

Kansas. Typical of Steve Fisher's teams, the momentum has been gaining all year. What seemed like an disorganized intramural offense at the beginning of the year, now runs like a well oiled V-8 speed machine. After the Jayhawks, the Victors face Pitino's Wildcat's in the Final Four at the lovely New Jersey Meadowlands. Going into their game with Kentucky, the Wolverines are a 12 point underdog, but neither team leads by more than 7 at any point. With 30 seconds to go Kentucky takes a two point lead, but the Wolverines seem reserved as Travis Conlon brings the ball up the court. The ball gets entered into Maceo Baston with five seconds to go. Immediately, the Wildcats collapse on him. From the corner of his eye, Baston sees Jerod Ward shouting for the ball. A quick bounce pass goes out beyond the arc, and with one second remaining Ward lets fly. Swish! Pitino's kids will be saying "y'aH" for at least one more year. The other two teams still alive are the Connecticut Huskies and the Duke Blue Devils. At the end of another barn-burner, Duke's sensational sophomore, Trajan Langdon, buries a turn- around 15 footer to seal the win. The final is set, and it couldn't be more poignant. Michigan and Duke renew their rivalry in a new era for both teams. Duke grabs a big lead in the first half, but with ten minutes to go, the Wolverines find themselves trailing by only three. The Blue Devils have no one to match up with Michigan's big men, but their guards keep hitting three point baskets to keep them ahead. Regulation ends in a tie 8282, and both teams head to overtime confident of victory. With 20 seconds remaining and Michigan leading by one, Langdon is fouled shooting. True to form, he nails both free throws to put Duke ahead. Again, the Wolverines have to pullout a game on their last possession. Conlon takes the ball over the midcourt with 14 seconds to play and feeds Ward on the left wing. Ward looks to enter the ball to Maurice Taylor but decides not to try to thread it through the double team defense. He swings the ball back to Conlon who hits Louis Bullock on the right wing with five seconds to play. Bullock looks inside and finds Robert Traylor with four seconds. The big man backs Greg Newton all the way und. the hoop in two seconds then jams the ball as the buzzer goes off. Sweet revenge - the Wolverines are champions in 1996! Or maybe it happens a little bit

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.ri[mSpike Explores Crack Scene

BEN LEROI

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lockers is the latest urban drama film from one of the decades most innovative directors, Spike Lee. Production credits cite Lee along with celebrated filmmaker Martin Scorsese. Not to be misled, Clockers distinguishes itself as a Spike Lee joint from the very beginning, displaying a collection of pictures of brutally killed black men for the opening sequence. The film is set in the projects of New York City, where crack dealers (clockers) man the park benches from dusk until dawn, supplying junkies with their fix. The major themes of Clockers deal with the economical pressures to become a clocker, and the consequences ofthat decision. The latter themes are illustrated through

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incidents involving the main character, Strike, brilliantly played by newcomer Mekhi Phifer. Unfortunately, the important themes in the film are often eclipsed by the plot, which resembles what one would expect to find in a best-selling mystery novel. Strike is a clocker working for the devious supplier, Rodney Little. Little instructs Strike to kill another clocker who has been pocketing more than his share of the profits. Next thing you know, the embezzling crack dealer is lying on the ground in a pool of blood, shot four times. Who shot him? Was it Strike? Was it Victor, Strike's straight older brother? Was it a "friend" that Strike and Victor hired? (Sound familiar?) Enter homicide detective Rocco Klein, a curious character who seems to be "good cop" and "bad cop" combined into one persona.

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The film would have been more effective had it focused more on theme, as did Lee's Do The Right Thing. One of the more endearing aspects of Clockers is Lee's directing style, especially effective in the scene where Klein and his fellow detectives are examining the corpse of the dead clocker. Also, Lee uses creative editing in many of the exceptional flashback sequences to produce distorted, expressionistic images. Spike Lee has already established himself as one of the best directors of the nineties, now all he has to do is let his creative techniques come to the forefront and let go of excess plot. Though Clockers won't be in the running for the Best Picture Oscar, it is certainly a movie that is more than worthwhile to see. Try to catch it while it's still on the big screen. l\R

Klein is played by Hollywood veteran Harvey Keitel, one of the best in the business. He is n() stranger to playing the malignant detective (The Bad Lieutenant, Rising Sun), and it is not a surprise that Keitel is at his best when playing the role in this film. Klein takes it upon himself to solve'the mystery of the murder. He doesn't believe a word of Victor's voluntary confession, rather believing that he is covering for Strike. Klein then sets his sights on bringing Strike down. A series ofspectacular, volatile dialogues between Klein and Strike ensue. Unfortunately, much of the content of these dialogues seems contradictory when the real murderer is revealed. The audience finds itself asking, "Why did Strike lie about that, if that person was the killer?" The plot twists are played up too much.

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The' Power of Red BY SHONE BROOKS

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ERFORMING ACT II OF Giselle (choreographed by Jules Perrot and Sean Coralli) and Red Detachment of Women (choreographed by Jiang Zuhw and Li Chengxiang) at the Power Center, the Central ballet of China created a marvelous cross-cultural aura that permeated the crqwded theater. The professionalism 8.1ld showmanship of this troupe was eclipsed only by its on-stage enthusiasm. The well-accented sets and sense of visual style left little to be desired from the audience's perspective. Giselle's forest glade set effectively pulled the audience into a moonlit sylvan wonderland. The fog machines were turned off shortry after the.start of the performance, revealing the exquisite technique practiced by Seng Ying as Myrtha. With apparent ease and grace, she glided across the stage on the very points of her toes. However, had the fog been present, the illusion of a wraith wafting through the glade would have proved extremely eerie. Seng Ying's greatest difficulty seemed to be holding proper alignment between her outstretched leg and her arm. Far too often. her arm was seen sagging at much less than parallel angles to her trailing leg. The Wilis themselves were talented enough, but evidently the ma· jority of ~~ ~~~, ~~p ,'!-)l!1J!~~~; .

work on its timing. In the many symmetrical dances, what could have been great mirror effects were ruined by a lack of uniform motion. Timing is crucial for such performances to be effective, and this sadly was not effective. LiYan was perfectly 'cast lli her role as Giselle. Her vacant gaze and isolated countenance gave her the appearance of a specter in ways that no make-up or costuming could. She was by far the sm{)()thest dancer on stage, overcoming Seng Ying's alignment problems with carefully matched angles and lines. She was well elevated in her leaps and smooth in her borres. Albrecht (Liang Jing) and Hilarion (Wang Quanxing) held their own in her presence, which speaks well for their abilities. By far the better and more memorable part of the evening's performancewasRedDetachmentofWomen (RDW). After the somber darkness and dreary foreboding of Giselle, the audience eagerly consumed the novelty and energy emitted by this colorful stage play. If the sets from Giselle were good, those ofRDW were incredible. The lightning bolts across the sky and distant mountains were extremely convincing in their approach to reality. The troupe seemed more ready to put forth its best foot in this part of the performance. While the style of dance was often quite different from the romantic Giselle, it allowed the

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fully through the more traditional Chinese story line. The emotion was contagious as Qonghua (Jiang Mei) was whipped and left for dead, then led to the ~d Army camp and immersed . in its patriotic celebration. The feeling ofnational pride was something the largely American audience found surprisingly enjoyable despite the obvious communist themes. Wang Quanxing in the role of

Hong Changqing displayed his dancing prowess with powerful yet airy leaps andjumps. The men in general were given more opportunity to show their stuff than they had in Giselle. With the whip-work, various uses of hand-held props and the series of spotted arm-flips by Qonghua, it was clear that both the men and the women were working in well· defined harmony to increase the entertainment value of the production.

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frenzied motion and color of this play were enough to get the audience involved by clapping along with the music. Accented by well-timed vocal interjections, the show took the focus off the critical aspects of dance and placed it on the show as a whole. One sequence involved a line of dancers moving serpentine through files and columns of Chinese soldiers (The Red Detachment of Women) alluding to the important role of the dragon in Chinese culture. Though the feet were often doing nothing spectacular, the arms were almost ceaseless in dynamic activity. Guns were twirled and lunged. Flags were waved and spun· . Hands were clapped in unison. There was so much more action above the waist than what was seen in Giselle, that it was as if two entirely different troupes had been on display. There were times even in RDW when the same timing problems that _ had haunted Giselle reappeared and marred some fine dancing, but given the caliber ofthe overall performance, it was hardly noticeable. If the standing ovation and furious applause of the audience was any indication of the excellence attained by the Central Ballet of China, it is very likely that the troupe will be invited to return for future engagements. . Thursday's audience is not likely to keep this gem of a performance a secret. If RDW comes to Ann Arbor again, it is guaranteed that the show will·~ll. out v~ry, q~~y. Mt . i ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ .< Q I .' b .I ) 1 . . J ,:J. , ,.' ... ,

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18

tl:n 'Book§

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Another League of Their Own

BY

BILL AlmENs

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HE GAME ITSELF IS deeply ingrained in American society and tradition, having weathered the rigors of wars, depression, and scandals and basked in the warm glow of prosperous times." Thus states Jerry Malloy in his introduction to Sol White's History ofColored Base Ball (University of Nebraska Press, 187 pages), a book which outlines the incredibly complex history of African Americans in the American pastime until the turn of the century. In addition to all of these things, the game has also sadly endured its share of racism. Originally published in 1907, this publication sought to trace the foundation of the League of Colored Base Ball Players (often called the National Colored Baseball League)

and the many adversities that the the mound, while other white players players faced in the form of discrimisimply refused to sit for integrated nation. Sol White, ' as an Mrican team portraits. Such ill will would American player and a team maneventually led to the formation of the ager, was particularly well-suited to aforementioned National Colored reveal the many difficulties African Baseball League, and later, to the American players faced at the time. now famous Negro League ofthe 1920s In addition, the new 65 page introthrough 19408. duction by Jerry Malloy,who comJackie Robinson broke baseball's piled this volume, greatly helps to put color barrier in the major leagues in the statistics and descriptions of the 1947 with the Brooklyn Dodgers 40 somewhat dated text into proper hisyears after the original publication of torical context. this book. Yet the pictures, poems, As was the case with American letters, newspaper clippings, adversociety in general, African Americans tisements, and box scores that Sol experienced a great deal of discrimiWhite compiled in 1907 as a supplenation in the late nineteenth century ment to his text show just how rich of when they began to integrate into a history African Americans enjoyed professional baseball's minor leagues. in baseball prior to the recognition of Internal dissent among the white playtheir talent by American popular culers swelled. Some white players even . ture. The author offers a team-bywent so far as to intentionally commit , team analysis of some of the greatest errors when black pitchers were on ;; talent ever assembled on a baseball /

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Poetrg Sweet words, sweet hands, sweet voice of mine, Among rich gifts I count divine. The blistering beat, the thundering drum, Lead my mind to dance, my thoughts to hum. Gentle songbird sing at night Calm my tears, soothe my fright. I gather this from the world, Amid stars that blink and glass of go/d.

Engarde! Since settling in at U of M And interacting with diverse skin, I've grown to welcome rules infected And leamed to expect the unexpected I had never clipped a coupon before Or endured such long lines at a textbook store, I had never encountered a bicycle cop Or enrolled in a class I'd inevitably drop

The Map From a county piercEtd by interstates to the Woven streets of Ann Arbor I came. So many Funny names I could not pronounce and couldn't find. I'd still be wandering around East Quad nthey hadn1 Given me that guide - that little Map they give the New Students. I cut it out two years ago and put It inside that little secret pouce in the darkest depths Embarrassingly high school bookbag with my last Name and first initial stitched in ugly letters.

I was unfamiliar with "The Code" And how to wash a laundry load, My knowledge lacked the gist of frats And of this man named Duderstadt. I had never seen a squirrel so friendly, Coffee houses quite so trendy, Pocket bibles dispersed en masse, Or pre-game moonwalks next to MPass."

Freshman year that map was crisp and new, and under The blue skies and autumn leaves of eastern Michigan It guided me faithfully from Chemistry to East Engineering, To Angelo's and Observatory, Palmer Field and the Stadium. But now ~ only escapes to light when I reach past it for a stick of gum or folding pencil.

I've become accustomed to construction And its coinciding sleep disruption, My loft provides a stifled feeling: I'm too close for comfort with my ceiling.

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In heart's delight none can savor The wind's troubled pathways The earth's dear tremors As I, in whispers tremble. - Laura Lee-Lun

I am never sure of roy depth, if I exist at all. I run through life like watercolors Streaming down a page, strained, Not .a shade, a tint; diminishing, diminishing. Will I leave a stain on the canvas? I feel blotted and smudged and worn to infinity. I yearn to be the line that defines the image, The curve that provokes the gasp. But when the painting is finished, I will lie beneath layers, Consumed by a burning to meet a gaze, knowing all the time That it should be enough simply to be in the picture. -Laura Lee-Lun

More undiscovered insights await: Unfolding events to guide my fate, No facets of genius could ever compare To the quirky experiences that I have gained here.

And yet I carry it still. It's still there in that pocket. I've kept it, perhaps because of sympathy and sentiment For an innocence and ignorance that is now historic and Unreachable, despite all my efforts. All practicality has disappeared As have the kind people who came up and smiling asked 'Where Are you trying to go?' They're gone now, now that I know these strange Streets as childhood familiars. My map is obsolete and wrinkled. It feels betrayed, and win not be consoled. - Paul DeFlorio ~ '.

diamond. Teams like the Philadelphia Giants, Brooklyn Royal Giants, and Chicago Unions are profiled in great detail, revealing the extraordinary talent that so often went overlooked. In this way, Sol White's Guide truly is the "Dead Sea Scrolls of black professional baseball's pioneering community." Most importantly, however, as Malloy notes, it showcases the African American "ability to create a vibrant subculture that fostered the standards and traditions of its mainstream counterpart." Sol White originally published this collection as a fund-raising effort and advertising brochure, and as a direct challenge to racism. Today it serves not only as one of the few primary sources ofthis information, but as a testament to the spirit ofAfrican Americans and a vivid reminder of the tremednous challenges they faced. 1fR

-by Jennifer Feria

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Nove.m ber 15, 1995

MICHIGAN REVIEW LIVING CULTURE

) Music

19

AcetoQe Tells All

Acetone: A band that rocks Cindy: Their 1993 debut on Vernon Yard 1 Guess 1 Would: Their recent EP of country covers If You Only Knew: The next album of original rockers, due in January No one: Who they sound like Richie Lee: The bassistlvocalist that I interviewed Drew 'Peters: Your host

I watch 120 Minutes on MTV and it amazes me that that is alternative culture. And this is the shit that is on college radio too. If I had a college radio station I wouldn't play the shit that is on MTV. What are those kids thinking? The kids have this forum to do whatever they want and they are little corporate executives in the making. • What's on the soundtrack for hell: Surely shit like Hum and Silverchair. ·11te man: A major label doesn't want to work a band and let it become something good on their own. They don't want the band to evolve because that would cost them too much time and money. They put out their little test feelers and see what will sell and that's what you get for the next few months. -The future of Acetone: I don't know how much longer we are going to survive, unless we figure out some wayto's ell a lot ofrecords which, of course, could happen. :Mt

first five rock records you saw, you'd revolt), to play loud hard music, has probably have the worst impression been totally sucked up. The punkest of rock and roll. These kids hear the thing you could do right now is play first couple country songs that they folky or jazzy music that is really encounter and condemn it. They don't personal. If you are really trying to do realize that there is a lot more to something that is punk in attitude country music than [losers like] * Garth Brooks. • Why the kids like Acetone even though his piece was supposed to run Acetone likes before Acetone's Thursday country: show with Garbage last week Ourmusicistemat St. Andrew's Hall in Detroit. But. pered a little bit, krazy things are going on here at the"" it doesn't sound Review, so now it's running a few days like country muafter. sic per se, it How was the show? For me, great. sounds like us. So Both Acetone and Garbage rocked. it's a bit -easy to And yes, Garbage can pull it off live swallow. (with the aid of some prerecorded YQU can't play punk right now be• How they came to record 1 Guess material ofcourse). For Garbage, good. 1 Would : cause it is so played out . . First of all, they didn't sell out the When we were touring for Cindy, coun·Touring with Oasis: 1000 capacity St. Andrews. Pretty try was about allwewere listening to. There was this huge contingent of 8bizarre considering their single • 12 year olds in the audience. ·lfYou Only Knew: "Queer" is unavoidable on the radio This new record is :Qluch more organic ·Today's rock: as well as on MTV. In addition, the There is not much music that I like. - it still flops around in tempo stage monitors didn't seem to be workchanges between songs but it's a little .MTV's 120 Minutes: '. ... ing so well for them. For Acetone, the more focused than Cindy . And it's show wasn't so hot. The 500 or so pretty mellow, a lot like the country people who were there while Acetone record, only it is our songs. The new played seemed to be looking for somerecord is the perfect middle ground; thing more "alternative." Insults were that's why we put out the country exchanged, beer was thrown ... but r~cord. , '" '. . ..> >, ..... based on their ultra-short set con~ , ·11tereeordungconceptforltyou sisting of some new songs, I{You Only Only Knew : The new record was written pretty Knew is going to be pretty nice and much in the studio .. . for about six subdued. If you aren't like those lame months. We wrote about two albums' Garbage fans, you~ dig Acetone. worths of songs and then picked the Acetone on ... ones we liked best. ·The next record: For this next record we want to write • What they sound like: I don't venture to describe what we the songs, then tour with them and are trying to do, mainly because we come right off the tour and record are trying to do something that is them. We just want to see what ha~ hard to describe. We aren't a mixture pens when you work a song into the ground before you record it. When you of the Beatles and Rolling Stones or , . ~. ,.~ ' I · one band mixed with ahother band. tour with a song you have to put things in the tune that make it inter• Why they don't sound like another Sonic Youth-influenced esting to you. You've played it six indie-rock band: million times and you have to find a way to play it with some life. EventuWe've been around so long that we are gonna listen to the old shit. We've got ally. the song evolves. a true history of rock in our music. • Being punk rock: The problem is that the punk rock • Why the kids don't like country: If vou came from space and e:ot the medium (which was the standard of

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*Editors note: Richie didn't call Garth ~Joser, but it is always implied. .,,"'"

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Do You Like Musi.'c? Not J ust J~.Jike it, Like it-Like it?

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Orchestra, O.p era, Jazz, Rap, Industrial, Rock, Whatever. IDa You-Breathe Music? Do You Want to Write All.o ut it Instead?

Hey, Garth - It's nothing personal. We just don't like your music, your attitude, or that darn hat. .,:.:.;:, ..--',,~.,,:.,.;..,~

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Michigan Review Music Staff. .. CalI Us. 662-1909 -;.:.:

Use the telephone. (That's the thing next to the CD player.) .

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Music

Papas Fritas , :.". A Pleasant Option

BY

l..ARRy P.

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OSWALD

HE MAIN THING IS TO constantly engage the listener. When you play live you've got more than just their ears, you've got their eyes. You are presenting more than one sense to digest. Albums are totally different; once they've looked at your Papas Fritas CD ~over, a~l you ~ot Papas Fritss left IS what IS commg Minty Fresh out of the speakers. '--_ _ _ _---' So you've got to make it a more engaging process." Tony Goddess, vocalist/guitarist for Somerville, Massachusetts' Papas Fritas, takes his music seriously. "Every time you arrange songs you are making a bunch of decisions. You have rhythm, melody, harmony, and, on another level, tone. And every instrument makes up the big picture in music and has its own role. As far as the record is concerned, 1 don't feel that I made the right decision in every case, but in mo~t cases I was at least aware of the decision being made." And his slightly technical, very obsessive take on music has paid off.

With Shivika Asthana on the drums! limited means. To me the drums sound vocals and Keith Gendel on basslvolike the way Shivika plays drums. We cals, this is an excellent pop record. i:ould make her sound like John "I'm definitely proud of it. We Bonham, but that's not how she plays bought an eight track and recorded it drums." at our house and that was a really big Papas Fritas somehow manage to learning process. I had fmally learned walk that fine line between masturhow to write a song, got the band batory, over-production and the a11together enough to do an album and then it was like, I had to learn this totally different language. I got people talking about compressors and condensers and gates. I was pretty paranoid for awhile. But we had it in our basement and every day I'd go down there and learn something new about music." And ifthere is one thing to be said about the record as a whole, it's that everything is appropriate. From the string section, multiple vocal tracks sounds-the-same-and-surcris-oneand elaborate arrangement of the " ~ring-ass-album phenomenon. LisBeatlesesque "Passion Play," to the if ten to "Holiday" one time and you know that you'll be singing it all day subliminal bells of the minimalist long. Listen to it a couple of more opener "Guys Don't Lie," to the ul~a times and you'll start to notice all of thin, drum rr;taohine-like drum sounds throughout the album, it all worJts. the little details that went into it. All thisanditsrefreshinglyuntrendytoo. "To p~sely go for lo-fi is a Tony and I talked at length about crock of shit, and we've always tried to be as hi-fi as possible. We just have all of the up-and-coming, soon to ~.

one-hit-wonder bands that will have to wait until Totally 90's comes out before anyone starts thinking about them again. Dig was probably the first one hit wonder-band for altemarock. The more recent Elastica might be on their way. As for all of the bands in the middle .. . what about ... "Say it!" Tony provoked. So I did. What the heck happened to Minty Fresh's own Veruca Salt? He offered an explanation. "1 thought 'Seether' was a fantastic song, but I don't think that they had another song to back it up." Hmm. Maybe. "1 don't think that everyone should blame MTV for all of our music problems. Everyone should start demanding that their music be good again. Right now, I think that most people don't even know their options." Well, Papas Fritas is clearly an option, and a great one at that. Don't say that I didn't tell you. JIfR Papas Fritas plays the Blind Pig on Tuesday, November 28. All of you non.:spanish majors can go and find out what Papas Fritas means in English.

The Michigan Review is the Campus Affairs Journal of the University of Michigan. We examine campus, regional, national, and world events, from a libertarian, classically liberal, or conservat~,ye viewpoint, "

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Think the Democrats area bunch of stubborn mules?

Tired of Republicans riding the GOP to victory?

If you're saying, hmm ... I sound just like them, YOU SHOULD COME TO OUR STAFF MEETINGS!

We meet every Tuesday at 7:00 PM in our office (3rd Floor of the Michigan League.) Come out and meet us, or call us at 662-1909 All you need here is a sharp wit and an open mind.


vol_14_no_5