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GEO Holds 36-Hour Walkout BY MATIHEW

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FfER MONTHS OF FAILED negotiation attempts between the Graduate Employees Organization (GEO) and the University, GEO members recently voted to hold a 36-hour walkout on March 10 and 11. According to GEO literature, the goal of the walkout is "to shut down the University .. .. Our goal is not to show the administration that we are capable of hurting them; our goal is to hurt them." (Emphasis in original.) "The undergraduates are the ... ones that are being hurt," said University Chief Negotiator Dan Gamble in a telephone interview. "We don't think this is fair. We believe it's detrimental to their education." "Equally important," said University Provost Nancy Cantor in a letter to faculty, "I believe that the University has been responsive to the financial and educational needs of our graduate student instructors." GEO plans to hold multiple emergency negotiation sessions with the University in the days after the walkout. If the two sides cannot reach an agreement, GEO will almost certainly hold an open-ended strike beginning Monday, March 15. "Most labor movements are unable to accomplish much without the threat of withholding labor, without the threat of a strike," said GEO spokesman Chip Smith. According to GEO literature, GSls manning the picket line will tell passersby the reasons behind the walkout, and discuss the state of negotiations "and the University's stonewalling." They will ask people not to enter Uni-

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versity buildings for the duration of 't he walkout. Smith gave two main reasons for the walkout. He stated thatGEOwants "to try to show that the community is behind us," as well as "build up our own organizational strength for a strike, if it comes to that." Since the beginning of bargaining, the University has agreed to only four of the GEO's original 18 proposals. The three proposals of most concern now

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Serpent's Tooth

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Nothing is sacred in our world of humor. See page 13 for a fond Serpent's farewell to Maureen Hartford,

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to the GEO are: the implementation of a living wage; fraction re-calculation; and compensation for the mandatory training period international GSIs (lGSls) must attend. Smith said' that he doesn't think the University will move on the lGSt or the living wage issue. "The only thing they're really interested in talking about at the table is fraction recalculation," he said. The University has proposed that all GSls with .4 appointments be upgraded to .5 appointments, and receive a corresponding 25 percent increase in wages. (An appointment is the percentage of hours a GSI works compared 'to a faculty member.) The University has reiterated many times that GSIs affetted by their proposal would , not have to work any additional hours, but members of GEO are skeptical. "They say that, but we have no contractual guarantee of that," said Smith. Cantor said that the pay increase is being provided under the condition that the schools and colleges do not

From Suite One

We discuss lTD's decision to stock Angell Hall with iMacs, and offer our opinion on the GEO mess.

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c.J. reveals his owndemands for the GSls, while Lee shoots down gun myths with his U zi of conserva tive thought.

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A look at Social Security,

team homework at U-I\1, a humorous take on majors, and diversity dissected .

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BEHNAN

HE LAST TWO MEETINGS of the Michigan Student Assembly (MSA) sum up its performance this year. Marred by polarization, MSA meetings have become a dogfight between the Students' Party (SP) and the Defend Affirmative Action Party (DAAP), resultirig in utter stagnation. At the meeting on February 16, now former engineering Rep. and SP member Dave Burden called for MSA to reconsider its endorsement of "The Day of Action," a pro-affirmative action rally sponsored by members of the Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action By Any Means Necessary (BAMN) and DAAP. Apparently, Burden was disgusted with the flyer for this event, in which BAMN leader Jessica Curtin portrayed opponents of affirmative action as "racist." Specifically, Burden criticized the flyer's attack on State Sen. Jaye's proposed ballot initiative, which would halt the use of racial preferences in admissions. While Burden respected the right of BAMN members to protest, he argued that the referendum was an issue for Michigan residents, not MSA. After an hour of debate, MSA voted overwhelmingly to reconsider its endorsement, despite protest by DAAP. MSA president and SP member Trent Thompson was quoted in the Michigan Daily as saying, "1 have been trying to get the assembly to trust each other. When those flyers were put out that trust was broken." Later in the session, MSA Rep. and DAAP Vice-Presidential candidate Erika Dowdell proposed that MSAstage a peaceful rally outside the Fleming Administration Building, in a support

News & Views

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increase the amount of work required of GSIs who are currently appointed with 40 percent appoinments. According to Cantor, after the proposed fraction recalCulation, "GSI compensation will clearly exceed that available from other universities." The University has also promised complete room and board, insurance, and a $200 stipend to "any international graduate student who is offered a potential GSI position by any LSA department," who is required to attend one of the mandatory workshops before the school year. Again, though, GEO members are wary because it is an extra-contractual arrangement. Three years ago, GEO agreed to a similar University proposal, but "that program was discontinued pretty quickly," said Smith. "We trusted them three years ago, and it's kind of those 'fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me' things ." "There was confusion surrounding who was eligible for the program," explained Cantor. "The policy has now been clarified, refined and expanded ." Every GSI with an appointment greater than .25 receives a full tuition waiver. In addition, GSIs make an average of $1,133 a month. When asked what he would say to a student who feels that GSIs are already generously compensated, Smith quickly replied, "You can't eat a tuition waiver." He also brought up the fact that "we certainly do bring in a lot of revenue [for the University,] and we do half the teaching!" Smith hopes that GEO does not have to resort to a strike. "When all

MSA Polarized as Election Nears

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' 14

Living Culture

Reviews of The Unmaking of Americans and 'the ' Monsters of A Cappella. _______

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2

March 10, 1999

THE MICHIGAN REVIEW

THE MICHIGAN REVIEW

o SERPENT'S TOOTH

The Campus Affairs Journal of the University of Michigan 'Serving up fat-free conservative thought since 1982!' EDITORIAL BOARD

From our friends at National Review.

" Are those real?" "Will you autograph my cookbook?" "Where can I find pictures of you naked? "So, how about that Howard Stern?" " Are you sure those are real?"

Conservatives make ,fat women depressed, claim researchers at the University of Michigan. "We found that having a conservative ideology, or just being exposed to that viewpoint, has a negative effect on the self-esteem and mood of women who believe they're overweight," says Jennifer Crocker, a doctoral candidate and faculty associate at Michigan's Institute for Social Research. Her research, co-authored by U-M psychologist Diane M. Quinn and published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, also says that "overweight women who endorse the values of hard work, self-discipline; and personal responsibility are more anxious and depressed than overweight women who don't," according to a press release. "The Protestant ethic also makes overweight women feel bad about themselves." It shouldn't be a surprise that a bastion of liberalism like U of M felt it necessary to weigh in on this matter. Get it, "weigh in?" Ha ha ha ha ha!

fill the role of "airhead sorority chick," which'was recently vacated by the annoying Debbie Matanopolous.

LeeBockhom Sang Lee C. J. Camacehio

EDITOR·IN-GHIEF: PUB~ISHER:

eXECUTive EDITOR: CAMPUS AFFAIRS EDITOR: NATIONAl AFFAIRS EDITOR: ARTS EDITOR: ONLINE EDITOR:

Matthew Schwartz Jacob Otllck Julie Jeschke Ben Rousoh

Recently, a group calling themselves Students Organizing for Labor and Economic Equality stormed President EDITORIAl STAFF Bollinger's office and demanded a meetFor those of you who haven't repressed Chris Hayes ing ,with His Eminence. Interestingly, MUSIC EDITOR: the memory, BAMN held its latest " NaSPORTS EDITOR: Rob Wood the group's acronym, SOLE, only intional Day of Action" (Support Racial CONTRIBUTING EDITORS: Matthew Buckley eludes one "E/' not the two found in ILLUSTRATOR: Preferences Day) rally on March 24th. Astrid Phillips their name. Hmmm ... Perhaps group SATIRE EDITOR: Unfortunately, the turnout was quite David Guipe Ryan Painter members would be better served storm- COPY EDITORS: low, as thecrowd was composed ofrich kids from Detroit, sociology professors, ing their old elementary principal's ofDror Baron ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER: fice demanding better English instrucand both members of the Lee Bollinger fan club. Strangely, their numbers soon • tion. Remember boys: you can't take on STAFF WRITERS: Michael Austin, Scott Behnan, Hal those greedy, capitalist oppressors .•Borkow, Brian Cook, Jay Figurski, Andrew Golding, increased due to the simultaneous malwhen you can't spell" greedie, capital- Geoff Hanson, Amol Parulekar, Adam Spindler function" of the fife alarm systems In istoppresors." several campus buiIdingsconvementIy ONLINE STAFF: Michael Rosen located ' near the site of the rally. Benjamin Kepple Ouring her interview with Barbara Wa EDITORS EMERITI: Serpent's Tooth would like to salute Geoff Brown Wa, Lewinsky referred to Clinton as that portion of students who actually her "sexual soul-mate." Huh . If The Michigan Review is the independent, student-run left the buildings when the alarms were Clinton's read his Bible as much as he jOurnal of conservative and libertarian opinion at the Unisounded. Not only did they sa:ve themclaims, Serpent's Tooth questions ex- versity of Michigan. We neither solicit nor accept rrionetary selves from the blazing inferito that donations from the U-M. Contributions to the Michigan actly where he thinks his soul is go- RevieW are tax~uctible under Section 501 (c)(3) of the was once Angell Hall, they also got to ing ... participate in the mass, militant moveinternal Revenue Code. The Review is not affiliated with any political party or university political group. menf'\;to cut class by any means necesII

sary. It appears that academia has hit a new low (if that's possible). The Modem Language Association, a collection of leftist professors in the humanities, is now seeking papers discussing" Martha Stewart as a cultural phenomenon." No, we're not kidding. Questions they wish to see addressed include the following: "How does Stewart's work serve to construct notions of whiteness and middle class heterosexual identity?" "How is Stewart produced by the culture of late capitalism?" "What is the function of nostaJgia in Martha Stewart? Is it an 'imperial nostalgia' in Renato Rosaldo's sense of the term?" Serpent's Tooth is looking forward to papers on other such cultural phenomena, like Old Dirty Bastard, Ed Asner, and the guy who talked for Mr. Ed.

We hate to say "we told you so," but it now appears that our fearless philanderer-in-chief is also a rapist. Now that we've all had a year ~o witness Clintonspeak in action, here's your chance to parse" the president's latest denial, released by his slimeballlawyer , David Kendall: " Any allegation that the President assaulted Juanita Broaddrick in 1978 is absolutely false." Well, let's see - Bill Clinton wasn't technically "president" in 1978; Juanita Broaddrick was Juanita Hickey at the time, and "assaulted" , could simply refer to punching her in the stomach. Serpent's Tooth would suggest that the President himself comment on the matter, but he'd probably just ask for the definition of "1978."

Well, last week former Supreme Court Justice Harry Blackmun, the author of the infamous Roe vs. Wade decision, died. Serpent's Tooth hereby sheds a single tear for Blackmun, and hundreds more for the 38 million unborn chlIdren (and counting) that he sentenced to death.

In related news, Clinton spokesman Joe "I look like a pro wrestler" Lockhart announced that after leaving office the president would be relocating to Italy, where he intends to take advantage of millions of blue-jean 'wearing Italian sex kittens ... And we thought ourSu- . preme Court was stupid.

Guess who's coming to campus this week? That's right, it's everyone's favorite feminist leader, Gloria Steinem. In order to make the most of this once in a lifetime event, Serpent's Tooth suggests that the young people in the crowd ask the following questions during the '. potentiaIQ&A, ~gm~:R.t:. ", '; ,. ;:· / "'/"'.;"7.".,: .' _•

In another proud moment for U-M, Michigan student Lindsay Brien, who starred in the Seattle edition of MTV's Real World, recently made a guest appea ranee on that TV home of girlish gab, The View. Apparently Barbara Wa Wa and Co. are auditioning Lindsay to

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This year's Delayed Reaction Award goes to President Clinton for his ~ent admission that Bob Dole is a much more qualified Diplomat-In-Chief than he. When asked about this, the former Senator was quoted as saying, "America needs Bob Dole. Only Bob Dole can solve this foreign policy crisis. The fate of millions lies in the hands of, uh, the hand of Bob Dole. Bob Dole is 'Da man!'" In preparation for their Day of Action, BAMN members distributed photocopies oithe Reviewarticle "Connerly, Jaye Target U-M Admissions" to supporters. In addition, the Review was cited as a source in BAMN's press release. Hmmm .. , it appears that, unlike MSA President Trent Thompson, BAMN now conSiders the Review an intelligent, unbiased news source. Serpent's Tooth is scared.

Unsigned editorials represent the opinion of the editorial board. Ergo, they are unequivocably correct and just. Signed articles, letters, and cartoons represent the opinions of the author and not necessarily those of the Review. The Serpent's Tooth shall represent the opinion of individ uaI anonymous contributors to the Review, and should not necessarily be taken as representative of the Review's editorial stance. The opinionS presented in this publication are not necessarily those of the advertisers or of the University of Michigan. We welcome letters, articles, and comments about the journal.

Please address all advertising and subscription inquiries to: Publisher clo the Michigan Review. Editorial And Business OffIces: 911 N. University Avenue, Suite One Ann Arbor, MI 4810S-1265 EMAIL: mrev@Umlch.edu URL: hltp:llwww.umlch.edu/..;.mrevl Tel. (734) 647-8438 Fax (734) 936-2505 Copyright C 1999; by The IIdIIgan R......, Inc. AI rights rtservtd. The IIIChIgan RMewil.1IIIIIIber of tile CoIIegiIla ~

Months after Campus Affairs Editor Matthew Schwartz wrote a scathing condemmltion of the iMac, ITO opted to replace all of the Macs in Angell Hall with, you guessed it, iMacs~ That just goes to show how much sway the Review has over the administration... Don't fprget to check out page 13 for our farewell tribute to everyone's favorite student oppressor and Code Queen, Maureen"Constitution? We don't need no stinkjn' Constitution" Hartford.

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The Michigan Review Letters'to the Editor 911 N. University Ave. Suite One Ann Arbor, MI 48109 or email with subject "Letters to the Editor"; mrev@umich.edu ..

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March 10, 1999

3

THE MICHIGAN REVIEW

o LEITERS TO THE EDITOR

Review a "Multi-splendored Thing" Gentle Editors, You certainly produce an interesting newspaper. I am struck not only by the vituperative responses that your journalism produces, but by your own internal complexities and diversity. The most recent front page epitomized this varied approach: you wrote a highly pro-union article about the current negotiations between the University and the GEO, and then placed it on the front page beneath a rather gloating report on the low turnout in the recent BAMN press conference. Your journal has consistently demonstrated that it is not afraid to approach varied issues regardless of the assumed underlying ideologies involved. For example, one of the best reviews of a recent pro-affirmative action book could be found in the Review. Last semester, an article written by one of your female editors depicted a very vibrant and real kind of feminism, although she herself would be loathe to call it that. Your religious and social perspectives are very diverse, although an underlying principle of libertarianism does run through nearly every-

GEO Continued from Page 1 you make is $1100 a month," he said, "going out on strike is a big deal." Gamble doesn't believe that GEO members will decide to strike. At least, "I certainly hope not," he said. WhileSmith is reluctant to speculate as to how the University will react to the walkout - "Dan Gamble, I don't know what goes on in his head" - he is optimistic. "I think they're really going to say, 'Okay, maybe we can work with this' - I mean that's our hope." Gamble stated that they have had some "pretty good" negotiating sessions in the past; and that "I don't think we're that far apart on things. We will continue to bang it out." He said that the University has suggested the possibility of mediation" a couple times." Smith said that GEO might be willing to utilize mediation in the negotiation process, but only non-state mediators. They would not want to

thing you write. In short, the Reviewis a multi-splendored thing, filled with very funny rhetoric, good literary and cultural reviews, incisive political commentary, and, unfortunately, the occasional idiotic, cruel, and brutally biased article. I regret such articles, like the one that asked if we liked our Black Panthers "extra crispy". The gloating over the death of another human being is always inappropriate, regardless of how you feel about that individual. But it is your desire to push the boundaries of journalism that allows articles like that to be printed in addition to your normally excellent journalism. You take risks, and sometimes you lose. I write this only to say that I am, like your magazine, iconoclastic and atypical, and I applaud your efforts. I eagerly await the publication of each new issue, and I am rarely disappointed. Your articles show a real courage, a real interest in publishing ANYTHING good, regardless of whether or not it fits into a particular political box. You might want to try, however, to be a little more careful in your research, more thorough in your writing, and make use of state mediators because "a state mediator comes from the Michigan Employment Rela tions Commission, and they're all Englerites, and that means most of them are pretty anti-labor," Smith explained. "They basically say, 'Sign what the University's given you,' and we don't think that that's a real fair way of going about it," he said. The University is aware of the" disparaging remarks" GEO members have made toward state mediators, said Gamble. Therefore, the U-M team has provided GEO with names of three private mediators who could help negotiations. "We have urged the GEO to agree to mediation," said Cantor. While the GEO Steering Committee already has the power to call a strike, another strike vote will be taken on March 14 in order to gauge GSI support. If the membership approves, an open-ended strike will begin the next day, "the Ides of March," said Smith. M{

consider the fine line between satire and cruelty, between rhetoric and abuse, when you write your more controversial articles. The Review will be made no worse for it, and perhaps you won't get as many death threats. Just a thought. Sincerely, Daniel O'Neil Rackham

"Prozac Profs of LS&A" Offer a "Feelgood Curriculum" Mr. Bockhorn's "Worst of Winter" piece on current rambles through the U-M course guide comes at an opportune time, for we are in the midst of an Alice in Wonderland revival that is echoed by the "with-it" exegetes of Mason Hall. The only quarrel I have with the Bockhom article is that it is too short and does not began to do justice to the "feel-good" curriculum now enshrined by the current Prozac Profs of l.S&A. (Once those letters stood for "Literature, Science, and the Arts." Lord only knows what they refer to now - maybe Lunacy, Sycophancy, and ... [You can fill in THAT blank without any prompting from me.) In any case, students buying the

Look for the next issue of the Review on stands April 1st. And get ready for a treat - the April Fool's issue of the Michigan Delay! -."' ...

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political snake oil nostrums peddled as cancer cure-aIls by our LS&A commissars may well acquire some passing satisfaction from their consumption. There's a lot of guilt these days than needs therapy. In these courses (many of them required) students can learn, for instance, about the blessedness of "diversity" without having to get TOO close. A sort of "Back home in Grosse Pointe we believe that the folks down there in Inkster are every bit as good as we are - so there's no reason for them to come up to Grosse Point to prove it - particularly after sundown." To be serious for a moment, one can take some cool comfort in recognizing that the gyre always turns. Political ideas undergo reverses as rapidly and as inscrutably as reverses in the North and South magnetic fields. A fair example is Humboldt University in Berlin. In 1938, under the Nazis, a student would be booted out (or worse) if tainted with Marxism; in 1949, under the Commies, the same studnet would be eagerly recruited however faint the scent of Marx he gave off in a closed roon â&#x20AC;˘. As to the University of Michig?' oops, my error - the DIVERSm of Michigan, one wonders: "How long, 0 Lord, How Long?" Cecil Eby Professor of English (retired)

TbJa year, our readen have called ua (amonc other ~) "a beacon or bateWeence," "ri&ht-winaed biCota," "a multiaplendored th.lDc," "eloquent and amualnc," "underillformed and uneducated," -terrlfled or women," and "rape coUuden. to Add your contribution to the nat I Fire off a letter to the editor:

Abigail Themstrom

America In 81ack and White

Tamar Jacoby

Someone Else's House

Jamas Jackson

New Dlrechons In Thinking About Roc e In America

These outhors will share their views on raCEl relations in AmerIca and respond to questions from th3 audience.

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March 10, 1999

THE MICHIGAN REVIEW

o

FROM SUITE ONE WE STAND

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CAN'T t;TAND i5EHIND

PRESIDENT! ...

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GEO, U-M: Can't We All Just Get Along?

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Is the Adnlinistration Listening?

s THE REVIEW GOES TO PRESS, THE STALEMATE BETWEEN THE

Graduate Employees' Organization (GEO) and the University has reached a critical juncture. As detailed in our page one story, it appears that UM's graduate student instructors (GSIs) will hold a two day walkout on March 10 and 11 , with the possibility of an open-ended strike looming over campus. We are sympathetic to some of the GEO's concerns. U-M, which prides itself as being among the "leaders and best," has indeed become one of the leaders in a rather discouraging trend in higher education - the use of graduate students to teach many undergraduate courses. There are several reasons for this trend. First, teaching undergraduates is seen as a less-than-glamorous activity. Tenured faculty usually prefer to spend time on research and publishing, which are the keys to survival in the notorious "publish or perish" atmosphere of today's academia. Second, in order to cut costs universities have shifted large amounts of the teaching burden onto adjunct professors and graduate teaching assistants. The American Association of University Professors reports that adjunct professors and T As did 51 percent of teaching in 1994, up from just 25 percent in the 1970s. The problem with the growing reliance on GSIs is that determining their exact role on campus has become more difficult. Are they primarily students, or teachers? Does their instructional work count as employment that should be com pensated accordingly, or is it merely part of their training as future professors? These questions are the underlying reason for the disagreement between GEO and U-M. GSIs do not have as much teaching experience or knowledge as a full professor, so they should not be compensated as well. Currently, most GSls receive a full tuition waiver and a decent paycheck, considering the few hours they work each week. However, the members of GEO argue that they do not make enough money to live on, and many are forced to work a second job to pay the bills. The big question is: where does the University'S responsibility end? Should the U-M be responsible for both a GSI's academic and domestic obligations? As an employer it should pay full-time employees well enough to live and eat, but GSIs are not full time employees. As an academic institution, the University is responsible for making sure students have enough free time to study sufficiently. So, until the University and GEO can agree upon what a GSI's primary role is in this academic institution, and to what degree the University is responsible for a GSI's obligations, it will be difficult to come to a mutually beneficial agreement. The big losers in this battle of the titans, of course, are undergraduate students. Both GEO and the U-M seem to have forgotten about the students who fork over their cash to fund both organizations. While the GSIs are battling for labor agreements their attention is not focused on teaching, and students miss out on the high-quality education they pay for . With a strike becoming a very real possibility, the University and GEO must come to an agreement. In our opinion, the most expedient way would be through mediation, an option both sides now seem to be considering. Hopefully, whatever agreement is reached will be fair to GSIs, allow U-M to control costs (thus keeping tuition down), and maintain a high level of educational quality for the undergraduate students that both sides of this struggle claim to represent. rvR

TD SPENT ROUGHLY $1.4 MILLION UPGRADING THE COMPUTERS IN Angell Hall and other campus computing sites over Spring Break. Many of the old computers (especially the Macs) have been outdated for several years, so til is opportunity to upgrade was a great chance for ITD to give the students a new, modern computing facility. However, in typical University of Michigan administrative fashion, much of the upgrade money was spent on something flashy, overpriced, and hard to use. A few years ago, the U-M constructed the Media Union on North Campus. More than half of the space in this gaudy edifice is left open and useless, and the computing and library facilities inside are arranged in little patches scattered across three floors . It is virtually impossible to find a computer or book in this monstrosity, yet the administration hails it as the greatest building on campus. Last year, the administration finished the new School of Social Wor k building. This structure is difficult to look at, with its impossibly complicated angles and protrusions and its semi-enclosed courtyard dominated by a giant glass pyramid and picnic tables reminiscent of a McDonald's Happyland. On top of its painful appearance, it is almost impossible to find a room in this building, or the new "Tisch" addition to Angell Hall. The Angell Hall computing site is the latest example of administrative incompetence. The Macintosh half of the site is now dominated by aquarium-like iMacs, with nary a floppy drive in site. Although iMacs are fast machines for viewing the WWW, their ridiculously small mouse and cramped keyboard coupled with a tiny monitor make them too much trouble to use for any length of time (read: more than one minute). You certainly wouldn't want to write a 5-page term paper or EECS 280 program on an iMac. The final kick in the face to students is the lack of a floppy drive on all of the new Angell Hall Macs. The site consultants encourage you to save your work to your IFS account, the same IFS account that is accessible only about half the time. If you want to continue your work at home, you can no longer save the file to a floppy and carry it with you. You now have to configure and learn an FTP program and connect to the Internet just to access your saved files. By forcing students to use their IFS account and denying them the use of a floppy drive, the administration is making campus computing much more difficult and strenuous than it has to be. We predict that because of the administration's blatant disregard for what is easy and convenient for students in favor of the latest trend, there will now be even more empty Macs in Angell Hall, and more people waiting hours for the use of an ugly, floppy-drive fitted Pc. rvR

l

Unsigned editorials reflect the opinion of the majority of the Review's Editorial Board.


Hope. .............

There's Plenty To Go Around. Wouldn't it be great if we went through life without any problems? Well, that's not the way things always are. We all struggle. But there is a way to face whatever comes along with peace, and with confidence. We're your neighbors, the students of University Lutheran Chapel, and we invite you to celebrate with us that special hope and peace that Christ alone can bring.

~L~~ 1511 Washtenaw - (734) 663-5560 - Dr. Edward L. Krauss, Pastor lutheran@umich.edu www.umich. edu/ --ulc Services: Sunday at 10:30am & Wednesday at 7:00pm. Sunday Night Supper: 5:30pm. "Christ in the Passover" presented by Jews for Jesus - March 25 at 7pm. Palm Sunday Worship - March 2gh - lO:30am Good Friday Worship - April Td - 7pm Easter Sunday Worship - April 4th - 10:30am.


6

MarchIO, 1999

THE MICHIGAN REVIEW

o SEND LAWYERS, GUNS &MONEY

The Great Carnacchio Walkout Disclaimer: This rant about GSls in no way reflects my feelings about my current GSls. My,current GSIs are en- ' lightened, highly evolved beings who are closer to gods or demi-gods than mere mortals. I am not worthy ofy ou.

ment to ·defend affirmative action against racists, Republicans, and ReView staff members. Group four, discuss why I have not felt the touch of a woman since I was an undergraduate. Group five, go to Einstein's and get me a bagel and cappucino. You'll each have four minutes to discuss and formulate a presentation. Go!" To sum my argument up in language the average U-M student can understand: "Hey, hey! Ho, ho! Group work has gotta go!" Demand #2 - Change your titles from GSIs back to T As. Enough with all this politically correct gobbledygook! We must end the GSls' delusions tha t they are real teachers. They are merely assistants to the professors. They grade assigrunents and answer all those stupid questions professors don't want to ~ bothered with. At their best they are little more·thanglorified secretaries who can spout revolutionary dogma at will. In terms of the academic food ' chain, GSls are barely above plankton. Demand #3 - Tell the know-it-all students to shut the hell up. The knowit-all .$ tudent is in every discussion sec-

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arch 10 and 11, th e U-M ' s GSls will stage a walkout to protest the University ' s "rigid" bargaining position in the recent round oflabornegotiaC.}. tions. I say let Camacchio them go. In fact, I say fire the whole whining, sniffling lot of them. I am so tired of these pseudo-intellectual, Norma Ray wannabes ranting about their low wages and overbearing work loads every three years. To hear them complain, you would think ~hey were 12 year old Indonesian ',weatshop workers spending 15 hour days making Air Jordans so we can be like Mike. Since the GSls are making all these demands on the University, I have a few demands to make of the GSls. If my demands are not met I will lead a one man strike (complete with picket signs and songs of solidarity) against all my discussion sections . Even though I am one man, I am confident that I will stand behind myself and present a united front against the GSI oppressors. Students of the University unite, you have nothing to lose but your blue books! Demand #1 - No more in-class g roup work! Group work is boring, unproductive, and just plain stupid. The only reasons GSIs do it is because they were programmed to do so in GSI Boot Camp and they know it's a great time filler. Here's an example of a typical discussion section : GSI - "Okay class let's break into groups. Everyone count off. Group one, discuss how neoMarxist thought iri 1970s Luxembourg has influenced the mating patterns of the Pacific sea turtle. Group two, give the group a brief synopsis of world history from 5000 B,C. to 3:13 P.M. yesterday. Group three, build a mass, militant, integrated, civil rights move-

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A GSI directing his discussion gulag. cussion whining about your tumor ridden carcass .. Demand #5 - Hire better looking GSIs. Since most discussions are mandatory and we are forced to spend one or two hours a week attending these

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Group one/ discuss how neo-Marxist thought in 1970s Luxembourg has influenced the mating patterns of the Pacific sea turtle. tion no matter what the course. He raises his hand for every question. He constantly talks to the professor and the GSI before and after class. He always brings up readings he's done in other courses to make himself seem intelligent. In short, he never shuts up. GSls never do anything to silence these Doogie Howser-wannabes. If the GSls don' t have the guts to s.tand up to these section sycophants, at least let me choke them until their eyes shoot out like champagne corks. Demand #4 - Stop ~elling us anecdotes from your personal life. We don' t care what little study tricks you used when you were a lowlyundergrad. We don't care about your big job interview. We don't care that your [girlfriend/ boyfriend/barnyard animal-of your choice] broke up with you because of a sexual inadequacy. We don' t care that your dog Sparky had a urinary tract infection. Your lives are meaningless to us. Just grade our papers and answer our questions. There is one exception to this demand. If you are diagnosed with cancer feel free to tell us, but don't spend the whole dis-

C j Camacchio is the Executive Editor of the Review. He loves it when people send him letters or make blood sacrifices in his name. Truth is., Cj really scares us please send him something to appease his ego. Shh111 He's coming. -.

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sessions in mental masturbation, give us something pretty to look at. For the men, let's get rid of these angry feminist female GSIs who cover themselves like Muslim women, have a skin tone reminiscent of Elmer's Glue, and generally try to do their best impressions of the androgynous Saturday Night Live character "Pat." ·1 want female GSIs who look like Baywatch Babes and wear belly shirts and short shorts. (Note: A few years ago, I did have one extremely sexy GSI for Astro 101 . Shelly, if you' re reading this: I love you.) For the ladies, get rid of all those overly sensitive, scrawny, girly-men who make Bill Gates look like Hercules. Let the ladies have buff studs in muscle shirts. Demand #6 - Accept the fact that students are not going to do the reading on time. No matter how much you beg us, threaten us, or pop quiz us, we will never finish the current week' s reading during that actual week. Most reading is done the week before an exam. It is every undergrad's Godgiven right to slack off on the reading and sit silently in section wondering .

what the hell everyone's talking about while secretly praying for death's sweet embrace. Demand #7 - No more manda. tory attendance policies. This is not elementary school. We don't need teachers to take attendance and scold us if we don't come to class. Although, if demand #5 was met, I wouldn't mind being scolded and punished if I were being a particularly naughty absentee student. That's right punish me good. Oh, your still here? Excuse me. Anyway, the way I see it, I'm paying for this educational safari so if I don't feel the need to go to section I shouldn' t have to go. Those only reason these policies exist is because without them no one would go to section and the poor GSI's feelings would be hurt. Demand #8 - Let's hold section in bars. No one wants to go to those dingy, sterile classrooms in the Frieze building or Mason Hall. Granted, some GSIs try to hold section outside when the weather's nice but that doesn' t cut it either; all that fresh air, sunshine, and singing birds is disgusting. A bar is much more suited to a discussion section. Alcohol loosens tongues and makes everyone more socialable. The only danger would be students getting so drunk that they either start telling the GSI how much they love them or how much they want to nail them to a cross and perform a historical reenactment. These are my demands. If they are not met I will be forced to boycott my classes and stay home where I will smoke stogies, drink Martinis, and watch my vast collection of vintage porn. You strike your way, I'll strike mine . ~

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March 10, 1999

7

THE MICHIGAN REVIEW

o LANTERNS &LANCES Firearms and Freedom: We Still Don't Get It

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HERE'S NO BEITER PLACE than a college campus to see just . how close we are to losing our most cherished liberties. I was reminded of this recently by the campus reaction to a certain New York jury verdict last month, in which gun manufacturers were held negligent in the gunshot wounds of seven victims. The Michigan Daily, true to its liberal form, ran the inevitable antigun editorial Lee which praised the verdict and Bockhom scolded the NRA for attempting legislative action to prevent similar lawsuits. Then, true to form, angry letters on both sides of the debate began appearing. One letter in the February 22 Dailyparticularly irritated me. Written by a freshman in LSA, whom I shall refer to as "Mr. Antigun," this letter was appalling in its ignorance of the basis of individual freedoms . In defending and praising the lawsuits against gun manufacturers, Mr. Antigun began by stating one of the common myths of gun-control advocacy: "Too many people are killed due to the ability of anyone in the country (with a few exceptions) to own, legally or illegally, and carry a gun." In other words, restrict or eliminate personal gun ownership and gun violence and crime will decline. Really? Not in Australia, to cite just one example. A little over one year ago, Australia instituted a ban on personal firearms. Aussie gun owners were forced to surrender 640,381 personal firearms, at a cost to

Lee Bockhom is the editor-in-chief of the Review. According to him, you've gotta answer just one question punk: "Do J feel lucky?" Well do ya, punk?

the government of over $500 million. The result? A dramatic increase in criminal activity. After twelve months of the ban, Australian homicides jumped 3.2 percent, assaults increased 8.6 percent, and armed robberies skyrocketed a staggering 44 percent. In the province of Victoria, homicides committed with firearms are up 300 percent; reversing a twenty-five year downward trend. It's very simple to understand, folks: criminals are criminals because they break the law. You can write all the antigun laws you want, but criminals will still acquire guns. The only two things a ban on personal gun ownership does are take guns out of the hands of law-abiding citizens, and eliminate that last nagging doubt in a criminal's mind that路the person he is about to assault might be armed and prepared to defend himself. Mr. Antigun also reiterated that cities should be able to recoup the emergency room and medical costs of gun violence from gun manufacturers. A closer look, however, reveals that these cities have merely learned the lessons of the tobacco wars, and are only interested in gouging the gun industry for

dated," and that the Second Amendment is an "antiquated part of the Bill of Rights." He concludes by saying that the Bill of Rights - our fundamental freedoms - "aren't untouchable they are meant by their very existence to be changed andremoved when they n() longer serve their originalpurpose." (Emphasis added) Really? Oh well, no one's very religious anymore either - I guess that part of the First Amendment about freedom of religion is outdated. Let's get rid of it. That crap in the Fourth Amendment abou t illegal searches and seizures? Get real. We've got a big crime problem in this country, let the cops search whatever the hell they want.. . Of course, you may object and say that I am picking on an easy target some doofus freshman who probably got a C- in his high school government class. To that I simply respond with the truth: there are an alarming number of people in our government who believe the exact same things that Mr. Antigun does. These are people who think the Constitution was written on a chalkboard, who believe that our

It/s very simple to understanct folks: criminals are criminals because they break the law. You can write all the antigun laws you want but criminals will still acquire guns. big bucks. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, the most common activities that lead to emergency room visits (in order from high occurrence to low) are: baseball/ softball, dog bites, playgrounds, all terrain vehicles/ mopeds, volleyball, in-line skating, horseback ridin~ baby walkers, and skateboarding. Yet you don't see Chicago or Miami (two cities also suing gun makers) declaring war on the Rollerblade Co. or kennels, for the simple reason that some tiny amount of respect still remains in this country for the notion of individual responsibility and liberty. After talking about the merits of the lawsuit and the effect of guns on societal safety, Mr. Antigun moved on to the more fundamental issue of the Second Amendment. Ironically, the outrageous assertions in Mr. Antigun's letter actually demonstrate why gun owners are right to fear for the loss of our liberties. In his critique of the Second Amendment, Mr. Antigun states that" much of the Constitution is quite

liberties are at the whim of what they think is good for us. It was exactly because of people like this that the Framers placed the right to keep and bear arms directly after the rights to free speech, religion, and assembly in the Bill of Rights. The Framers knew how perilous the existence of freedom always is, and they also understood that a country whose government does not trust its own law-abidin~ taxpaying citizens to own firearms does not deserve to be called "free." A true student of history realizes just how rare the personal liberty that we take for granted in America really is. As shocking as it may sound, yes, it is possible that one day, under the right circumstances, American government could become tyrannical. We seem to forget much too easily about the darker side of human nature. Our current government seems benign enough (mostly), but what about ten, twenty, or fifty years from now? Things change. Did the citizens of Germany, possibly the most culturally and scientifically

advanced country in the world in the 1920s and 3Os, imagine that in a few short years their government would gas millions of its own citizens? In this century, governments have systematically exterminated more citizens than have died in the century's wars. The body count is staggering: the Soviet Union, 20 million; China, 20 million; Germany, 13 million; Cambodia, 1-2 million; Uganda, 300,000 Oust to name a few). In many of these nations, the first step on the path towards massacre was the restriction or elimination of the right to possess firearms. The right of citizens to keep and bear arms is the last, best protection that we would have if such nightmarish conditions arose in America. Are we willing to risk giving up that protection just to gain a false sense of security from gun violence? Even Democrats can understand what's truly at stake in the battle over gun control. Take the words of former Democratic Senator Hubert H. Humphrey: "The right of citizens to keep and bear arms is just one more guarantee against arbitrary government, one more safeguard against a tyranny which now appears remote in America, but which historically has proved to be always possible." Unfortunately, America seems to be raising another generation of citizens who don't uJ1derstand or appreciate this safeguard, and because of this it seems ever more likely that it too might one day be lost. Think that can't happen here, either? That's what they thought in Australia, too. t\.R ' \

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March 10,1999

THE MICHIGAN REVIEW

MSA Continued from page 1

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of a "freeze on rising tuition." This touched off more debate between the SP and DAAP, with SP Rep. Joe Bernstein stressing cooperation with the administration, while DAAPmemberGabriel Regentin argued that, "The administration needs to see that there are students that really care about this." In the end, DAAPmembers again found themselves on the losing end of the vote, in which the SP and others rejected Dowdell's proposition. As President Thompson announced the tally of the vote, Jessica Curtin muttered, "We need more people with spines on this assembly."

COMMENTARY

Tension between the parties escalated further during the February 23rd meeting, in which Burden called for MSA to abolish the party system in its upcoming elections. In a letter, Burden commented that all the parties involved in MSA stand for nothing in particular, beyond, in some cases, resume advancement. Or demagoguery." Leaders of DAAP interpreted this proposal as a direct assault on their party and its success in the fall elections. They also argued that Burden's proposal would "hurt students who run on real issues instead of simply popularity or name recognition." MSA Rep. Will Youmans claimed that only the (now defunct) New Frontier Party (NFP) andDAAP addressed real issues during the last election. Although garnishing some support from the SP, including President Thompson, MSA re-

jected Burden's proposal. Several events in the past year triggered the current pandemonium confounding MSA. The DAAP, a flop in past years, won numerous seats in the fall MSA elections, posing a threat to the once dominant SP. Interestingly, simply from reading the platform of each party, one would expect harmony between the two. For example, as its name states, DAAP strenously supports affirmative action. TheSP also takes a similar stance on its webpage, stating, "Under our leadership, the assembly will continue to pursue projects focusing on diversity and minority affairs." However, unlike the militant and united DAAP, the SP for many years has never presented a solid platform applicable to all its members. As a result, MSA president Trent Thompson and other key

representatives faced a daunting task: maintaining order and purpose on MSA with the addition of the frenzied D AAP. Through these struggles, it appears the DAAPisemergingthevictor, while the SP has crumbled from within. This past year, MSA president Trent Thompson and Vice-president Sarah Chopp have overseen the self-destruction of their own party. There once was a time when the future appeared bright for the SP. One year ago, the party established its majority status, and Thompson and Chopp captured the executive slate. However, the jubilation was short lived, as the president-elect Thompson soon faced allegations of illicitly soliciting votes at a fraternity party. While this violation was not severe enough to warrant his removal from office, it set the tone for what was to be a year of

Deconstructing an MSA Budget

N FEBRUARY 3 RD , MSA passed its Budget and Priorities Committee (BPC) and Comunity Service budgets (CS). To deterine where MSA focused its resources, examined the budget and placed varius student groups into categories. To orne extent, where I placed them was arbitrary, and based on personal opinion. Still, since my opinion remained constant as I looked through the two budgets, much of this uncertainty cancels out. What the data reveals is that the this semesters' budgets focused more on political causes. Although MSA traditionally funds activist grou ps, it did so this semester to much greater degree. Further, since most righ t-Ieaning student grou ps declined to request funding, MSA used mandatory student fees to finance primarily leftist organizations. I divided the budget into eight separate categories, indicating the purpose of each funded student group: political, religious, ethnic, professional ethnic, professional non-ethnic, Greek, publications, service, and recreational. Any unidentifiable groups were placed in the "miscellaneous" category. Simply by looking over the budgets, a few figures stand out prominently. First, of the money allocated in the Fall, only a small portion was ever spent. In total, student groups spent only a third of their BPC grants, and only 7.2% oftheirCSfunding. Thus, the vast majority of budgeted money remained unused. Second, the amount of budgeted money differed su bstantially between the two semesters. Specifically, BPC allocations increased by roughly 50% over the Fall semester, while CS funding dipped 21 %. Combined, substantially more money was given for the current semester then the previous.

Lastly, political funding constituted a much larger share of the CS budget in . both semesters. Since the amounted of money budgeted each semester differed su bstantially, the proper comparison mechanism involves not absolute dollar amounts, but percentage growth terms. For instance, although in absolute terms BPC political funding increased an astonishing 125%, as a percentage of the budget it jumped only 33%. Nevertheless, this increase dwarfed comparable changes in the other categories. Thus, to accommodate the rise in political funding, recreational funding (i.e. Tennis Club, Arts Chorale etc.) fell 24%. In accordance with DAAP ideology, funding for both ethnic and ethnic-professional (i.e. National Association of Black Accountants etc.) organizations increased moderately as well. In the CS budget, funding for political organizations received a 41 % percentage-term increase. Accordingly, CS money devoted to community-service based organizations plummeted 28 % in percentage-terms. In reality, the money expended on p0litical activity is substantially higher, as many ethnic organizations help orchestrate leftist events, such as proaffirmative action rallies. Since the budget shifts towards a more political stance, it similarly adopts a more liberal leaning. Of all the groups classified as "political," only one could accurately get characterized as a child of the right. This organization, Students for Objectivism, received $400 each semester. Yet, this allocation highlights perhaps the central problem with rightleaning organizations accepting MSA money. After all, the founder of Objectivism, Ayn Rand, once wrote "I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for me." However, her campus disciples lived off hundreds of dollars oriltinatinÂŁ in

the pockets of students who disagree with them. In fact, this MSA grant was only made possible because of mandatory fees MSA imposes on each student, money which then finds its way to student groups. Thus, unlike the Objectivists, most conservative campus organizatioIl$ declined funding - citing ideological hypocrisy. As Adam Silver, President of the College Republi-

cans stated, "I do not think the students should have to pay to support a group they might not necessarily believe in ... I think the money would be better used to fix the bus system, CCRB, (etx:.]" Elizabeth Keslacy, CoChair of the College Libertarians, concurs, "The mandatory fee system is inherently wrong .... We believe that groups should fund themselves by

Breakdown of Unified Winter '98 MSA Community Service and BPC Budgets Mi scellaneous (12.1 %)

Greek (4.8%)

Recreational (166%)

Professional (112%)

holding fund raisers or by charging dues." Thus, the MSA budget creates a situation whereby, as Keslacy says, students are forced to "fund groups to which they are fundamentally opposed." Further, as conservative groups do not apply for funding, a situation has developed where the College Democrats receive $550, but the College Republicans receive $0, where the Revolutionary Anti-Imperialist League takes $1870 but the Libertarians get $0, where the Michigan Independent (not evidently" independent" of MSA money) gets $900, but the Review gets $0. Critics also point of the questionable legality of the current funding system. By funding political groups

Politics (18 7%)

Religious (2.5%)

Ethnic (188%)

Ethni c-Professional (8.2%)

with public money at a public university, MSA potentially creates a situation known as "forced speech." Effective ly, irregardless of an individual's political, religious, or moral beliefs, he is forced by a government to support an organization he opposes. Since MSA also funds religious organizations to a lesser extent, they might also run afoul with 1st Amendment religious protections. At the University of Wisconsin, students successfully sued to rectify a similar situation, a decision upheld by the 7'h Circuit Court of Appeals. However, as Michigan does not fall under this Federal Court's jurisdiction, another legal suit would be required to abolish mandatory fees here. ~


March 10, 1999

9

THE MICHIGAN REVIEW

MSA scandal and confrontation in MSA. According to its leaders, the SPwas formed not necessarily for ideological issues, butforwinningelections. Therefore, it nominated both liberal and conservative candidates. However, when the DAAP carne on board, self-proclaimed SP liberals such as Chopp sided with the DAAP, alienating conservatives like Burden. This allowed DAAP to propagate a leftist agenda, such as the motion to lift Iraqi sanctions. Debate over this motion left many representatives disillusioned, as MSA devoted two hours to arguing over what was perceived by many as a non~stu­ dent issue. In the aftermath of the Iraqi sanctions resolution, long-time MSA and SP veteran Rep. Burden resigend from MSA's executive board. On Feb. 24, Burden followed this announcement up by resigning from MSA entirely, shocking his colleagues. In his resignation letter, he told the assembly, ''I've lost respect for several representatives in the last two months." Another key breakup in the SP cuI-:minated in the formation of the Blue Party (BP), which consists of mostly left-leaning dissidents from SP. The party emerged following an internal SP dispute about whom to nominate for its executive slate in the upcoming elec-

tions. Review sources indicate that, while prepared to nominate Bram Elias for MSA President, party members were reluctant to support his long-time friend, Andy Colouris, for the VicePresidential spot. Elias and Colo uris subsequently split, organizing the rival Blue Party.

(VP); and from the DAAP, Jessica Curtin (P) and Erika Dowdell (VP.) The BP faces the task of gaining name recognition with the election weeks away, an~ formulating its ideology, assuming it has one. On the other hand, the, SP will rely on its name recognition and the personal appeal of its can-

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However; some observers speculate that Ms. Curtin/s upcoming court-hearing for //inciting a riot// and //malicious destruction of property// might distract her attention from the Presidential race. MSA faces a crucial next couple of weeks before the 1999 winter elections. At this time, the SP has fielded the largest group of candidates, with 19 in 9 schools. The BP has 17 candidates in 7 schools, and the DAAP has 16 candidates in 5 schools. In addition, there are 8 independent candidates in 3 schools. The executive slate includes each of the three parties: in the BP, Bram Elias (P) and Andy Coulouris (VP); in the SP, Sarah Chopp (P) and Sumeet Kamik

didates, in its effort to maintain the party's hegemony. However, many predict that with the current hype surrounding affirmativeactionand the University's lawsuits, the DAAP carries the momentum into the next election. Curtin, leader of D AAP and BAMN, succeeded in reaching out to student backers {)f affirmative action, as well as running a diligent campaign this past election season. However, some observers specu-

late that Ms. Curtin's upcoming courthearing for "inciting a riot" and malicious destruction of property" might distract her attention from the Presidentialrace. Ifelected, BAMN, the only ideological party, intends to d irect MSA's effort and $500,000 budget towards more political outlets. Critics of the DAAP argue that, under her leadership, Marxist groups across campus can expect a fat check in their mailboxes. Still, there is more to student government than minority affairs. Though the DAAP remains inflexible on affirmative action, perhaps its members can learn to trust their conscience and say no to Ms. Curtin on other issues. Or, maybe it is time for the independents to step up to the quarreling parties. All in all, MSA will continue to waste time and confiscate students' money as it sinks deeper into a bottomless pit. Caught in the middle of a warzone, Independent Engineering Rep. Alok Agrawal put things into perspective: "MSA will get nothing done this year." ~ /I

Scott Behnan is an LSA freshman, and a staff writer for the Review.

Blue • Train older students to advise, teach, and guide underclassmen through the selection of a major. Conduct major evaJualjoDs

• Prevent the Administration and Regents from shafting students when the Code of Student on duct gets re-drafted .

• Create an electronjc lobbying system, to allow one-click identification of state and federal representatives, facilitating student lobbying on issues

• Work towards establishing some fonnal system of representation to the Regents for students.

• Make old exms avwlable for students to better prepare themselves for classes (online especially). • Expand the dialogues on iliversity programs, to improve cross-cultural communication • Build on past success, incluiling:

Review's Candidate Endorsements

•• Know Your Rights Cards •• Self-Defense Classes •• Meal Plan Refonn •• Off-Campus Housing Gwdebook •• Lobbying to Keep Twtion Down •• Promoting tobacco ilivestment •• Date Rape Drug Education •• Ambassador Program

• Maintrun and expand the Student oursepack Service. • Institute a system of Direct Constitutency for MSA, so that every student on campus would have only 1 MSA rep who represents their district. instead of the status quo, where eve SA student has 17 different at-large representatives.

mpower individual represen tatives to design and implement projects of their choosing. More communication with constituents

• Defend Afl'innative Action. No resegregalion of higher education • Fight for equality and integration from K-12 through college • Continue to bwld the new mass civil rights movement • Represent and fight for student rights and interests • Stop tuition increases. Organize support for a state-wide tuition freeze in higher education • Defend and expand grants and financial wd • Fight racism, sexism. sexual harassment, anti-Semirism and anti-lesbian/gay bigotry • Fight for students' rights-abolish the code • Support the GEO • End police harassment of student parties. End police harassment fraterruties and sororities. Drop the charges against Pm Delta Theta members


10

THE MICHIGAN REVIEW

March 10, 1999

o NATIONAL AFFAIRS

Socialist Insecurity BY JACOB OsUCK

ACED WITH THE PROSPECT of budget surpluses for the first time in thirty years, President Clinton last year demanded the money be used to "save Social Security first. " This year, he used his State of the Union speech to detail his plan: devoting 62% of the forecasted budget surplus to the Social Security "Trust Fund," investing $600 billion of the fund in the stock market, and using a portion of the surplus to finance individual accounts. Unfortunately , his plan neither saves Social Security, nor places the nation on a solid fiscal path . Even without examining the flaws in the Social Security system, it is obvious to the trained observer that President Clinton's plan "solves" the problem by using tricky accounting. Specifically, most of the expected surplus comes from a current surplus in the Social Security system. As of now, Congress spends this surplus, handing the Social Security system an IOU. Clinton proposes to use this money, credit S0cial Security with an IOU, then spend 62% of the surplus purchasing more Social Security IOU's- effectively counting the same money twice. Through this Houdini budget, Clinton promises $5.5 trillion, but delivers only $2.8 trillion. Despite accounting that would make an elementary math teacher cringe, the program still fails to tackle the central problem: demographics. When Franklin Roosevelt unveiled Social Security six decades ago, he did so in a world where the average life expectancy was below the set retirement age. However, as the decades have progressed, Americans began to live dras-

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tically longer lives- and have fewer children. Thus, whereas FDR's plan in- . volved 16 workers financing each retiree, this ratio could soon reach 2-1, or lower. Simultaneously, Congress expanded the benefits package, placing even more strain on the system. Accordingly, as the system expands, it requires more resources to su pport it. Already, Congress has more then quadrupled the payroll tax rate Social Security's funding mechanism expanding from the initial three pennies per dollar on the first $3,000 of income, to the current 12.4 % on the first $72,600. Even at these rates, as the babyboomers begin to retire, Social Security's ' future looks bleak. By 2010 the system will start running a deficit. If not corrected, this annual shortfall will expand to a staggering $500 billion by 2025. Only ten years later, in 2035, the deficit will double to over $1 trillion. By 2067, it will reach $5 trillion. In total, the system will accumulate a debt of $20 trillion by 2075. Of course, future outflows need ~ot cause a problem,provided the system is fully-funded. Unfortunately, Social Security functions on a pay-as-you-go bitsis, with current revenues funding current retirees. If the system runs a surplus, Congress uses the extra money on the generall1udget. Likewise, should the system slip into deficit, Congress would meet Social Security obligations (i.e. "Trust Fund IOU's") through general tax revenues. Thus, the source of Social Security funding, either the payroll tax or general taxes, is inconsequential: what matters is that the tax is leveled on current workers. Simply expanding the "Trust Fund," as Clinton proposes, merely extends the period Congress can legally su pport this Ponzi

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scheme fiction of retirement insl,lfance program. It does not address the fact that these credited IOU's will Qne day have to be repaid by workers of that generation, a level that, within 100 years, some estimate will need to be as high as 82 %, crippling the economy~ This dream of a fully-funded "Trust Fund" leads many, including Clinton, to advocate letting the Social Security system tap private equity markets. Although this proposal sounds tempting, it would require Uncle Sam to become the biggest stockholder on Wall Street. Jokingly, some have wisely cautioned against establishing "Socialist5ecurity." Of course, with such large quantities of money comes influence, and the temptation for government mischief. For example, should the government purchase stock in tobacco companies, industrial polluters, gun makers etc., or only in "socially responsible companies"? Or, how should it vote on its stock rights, for, say, a new Ford plant in Dearborn or Mexico City? This twicefisted potential for government meddling could threaten the efficient distribution of capital needed to stimulate future growth. To combat this problem, Clinton's plan contains numerous safeguards, such as investing only in broadbased indexes, not individual companies. Yet, the experience of local and state governments who invested public money is not inspiring. While all began with similarly noble intentions, eventually politicians started to meddle. Already, national liberal leaders are salivating over the opportunity to socially invest Social Security funds. Yet, there is one noble aspect of Clinton's plan: individual savings accounts. Unlike government investing, individual accounts eliminate the possibility of undue political influence. However, they will provide immense opportunity to common people. Through the magic of compounded interest, even a minimum wage worker who invests what they currently pay in payroll taxes, and earns an average market return, would refue a millionaire. Of course, some individuals would make poor investment decisions. Still, unless they invested in a Puerto Rican ski resort, chances are they would still be better off then under the current Social Security system. In fact, for many ethnic minorities, Social Security currently provides a negative rate of return. Still, for those rare ski buffs, as previously mentioned, Social Security could still exist in some form to provide a basic subsistence level. Another benefit to individual accounts is their potential to spur future economic growth. According to the Solow Growth Model, a core macroeco-

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nomic theory, per-capita economic growth depends on the rates of technological progress and capital accumulation. By supporting individual retirement accounts, the Clinton plan would increase the savings rate, providing hundreds of billions of new capital for business expansion. In tum, these higher rates of growth will help support the aforementioned ski-buffs. After all, the nations ability to devote resources to the elderly fifty years from now depends directly on its resource capacity at that time. Unfortunately, the President does .not go far enough to support individual accounts. Sadly, he envisions them as a supplement, rather then a replacement for Social Security. Thus, while providing the economy with growth potential, and workers with the chance for financial independence, he maintains the government's $20 trillion in fiscal liabilities. He also means-tests his investment credit, discouraging income growth. When combined with a series of other "targeted" tax incentives, the Clinton plan pushes the country towards ridiculously high marginal tax rates for middle income workers. Also, 'by funding the new accounts through an uncertain revenue source (the surplus could disappear just as fast as it materialized), he leaves open the possibility that this program may not expand to its full potential. A much better use of the surplus would be to free younger workers from the payroll tax burden, and instead direct them to invest in mandatory individual accounts. Accordingly, the Clinton plan does not "save Social Security," and if his stock-grab gets legislated into law, could leave us seriously worse off. Still it does have its bright spots. Hopefully GOP leaders will emerge from their shells to inject the plan with sound Freidmanic economic analysis. 1ÂŁ they don't, our generation might face staggeringly high tax rates, and enjoy unemployment levels three times the size of today. Or, if modified to promote free markets and capital accumulation, the plan could tum all of us into millionaires.In doing so, the nation's wealth could expand faster then Bill Clinton's little black book. tvR Are you an elderly person who has just crapped your Depends over Oslick's views on Social Security? Are you a young college student who is tired of paying taxes to support the elderly'S caviar tastes? Either way, we want to hear from you. mreV@Umich.edu


March 10, 1999

11

THE MICHIGAN REVIEW

o CAMPUS AFFAIRS

Team Homework Unfair BY

Scon BEHNAN

I

N 1992, UNIVERSITY OF Michigan students witnessed a revolution in the math department known as the "New-Wave Calculus." To this day, students enrolled in Math 115 and Math 116 still experience this "New-Wave Calculus," which promotes graphing calculators and a new approach to problem solving known as "team homework." With the graphing calculators, students can now graph functions, and thus understand concepts like differentiation and integration more effectively. However, U-M's policy of "team homework" not only impedes the student's learning process, but also disgraces the meaning of a team. Math 115 is a traditional introductory calculus course geared towards freshman. One of the largest classes in the University, its student body ranges from math-oriented engineers, to students struggling to complete their quantitative reasoning credit. With the introduction of "New-Wave Calculus," individual homework no longer plays a role in the overall grade. Instead,

DHuMOR BY DAVE GUIPE

F YOU'RE LIKE ME, WELL, YOU probably need to seek professional help. What I mean is, if you're a sophomore like I am, it's about time that you start thinking about that age old question that has plagued college students for generations. That's right, it's time for you to decide what your major will be. Right now you're probably thinking: "Dave, you can't be serious. I mean, choosing a major would imply that I actually intend to graduate and go out into (gulp) the real world!" Trust me, I feel your pain. Despite what some fictional characters will tell you, life is NOT a box of chocolates. So, unless you can convince Bill Gates that you're his long lost nephew Theron, you're going to have to actually make an effort to get a degree. This is not a cause for alarm, however, since there are plenty of majors out there for those of us who aren't familiar with the concept of "making an effort." So, in order to guide you in this major decision (Get it, "Major decision?" It's a pun. Oh shut up! Now it's not funny anymore!), I've devised the following description of some potential majors that you may want to consider. Let's start with my own personal choice ...

I

instructors check only team homework, given weekly to assigned groups of students. On the first day of class, the instructor randomly assigns four students per team, who then meet to solve a set of problems. Together, the team submits its written solutions, with everyone receiving the same grade. However, many math students ask themselves: does each member contribute equally? In a class of such wide disparity of intelligence and work ethic, the answer is no. For example, consider the following scenario of "student AU and "student B" assigned to the same group. "Student A" is an eager, diligent, and bright math student striving for high achievement in his class. "Student B," on the other hand, vastly prefers solving Nintendo games to math problems. At the team meeting, a prepared "Student AU quickly answers the questions while his team members stare in awe. A late-arriving "Student B" shrugs his shoulders and stares at his watch. At the end of the meeting, "Stu.dent A" chooses to write the report, because he is unwilling to risk his team homework grade, which constitutes 25 percent of

the overall grade. Sadly, the team homework grade equals that of the final exam. I recently spoke with a friend from a far more prestigious institution than U-M, Johns Hopkins University. "Professors at Hopkins know better than to play around with grades like that with the intense competition for graduate schools," he said. On the other hand, UM's Math Department reaffirms its policy on its homepage, stating, "Everyone in your group will be responsible for everyone else in the group learning the material." In other words, "Student B" will receive a boost to his already failing grade due to the efforts of "Student A," who will be punished for his aptitude. The Math Department is right to assume that people work in t~ams in the real world. However, teams in the professional world form through merit, not chance. For example, biology students are familiar with the dynamic duo of Francis Crick and James Watson. After years of intense study, these scientists became the first to trace the molecular structure of DNA. They voluntarily worked as a team because they envisioned the potential of working

together. Now suppose that we apply the Math Department's philosophy to this DNA team. Instead of a diligent biologist like Watson, Crick might find himself with a drunken poet from the slums of Liverpool. Crick would would have spent the rest of his life teaching him what a cell is, and the acronym DNA would be unknown today. The Math Department should follow the example of the Chemistry Department, which has a more responsible policy for group work. For example, in Chemistry 130, students have the option of forming study groups to assist in understanding. It is highly unlikely that either "Student A" or "Student B" would sign up for such a team. However, common students find these groups helpful, and have enrolled in great numbers in the past year. Furthermore, it is not ridiculous for the Math Department to require team homework in upper-level courses like Math 216, which consists of mostly math-majors and engineers. In an introductory course like Math 115, team homework is a benefit for some and a burden for others. One wonders what's next. Team tuition payment? .tvR

Major Confusion English: Yes, the English degree, a source of bad jokes at any university. The truth is, U-M has a really good English department, and if you are interested in English-related topics, such as literature or creative writing, then you may want to consider majoring in English. As an English major, you will be expected to" analyze" various pieces of writing, from novels to poetry. By "analyze," I mean read the piece and then make up some meaning that has

the influence of such substances. Sociology. Sociology is defined as "the study of making things more complicated than they actually are." If you major in sociology, you will spend a lot of time coming up with intricate theories to explain normal human behavior. For example, in a sociology class that I took here during my first semester (I was young and foolish), I was required to learn about some theories as to why President Johnson escalated the Viet-

Despite what some fictional characters will tell you/ life is NOT a box of chocolates. nothing to do with the actual topic. For example, if you were to read a poem about someone painting a fence, you could argue that the poem actually symbolizes the Crucifixion and probably get an "A." Philosophy. Here's a good one for those of you who aren't planning on getting a real job following graduation. As a philosophy major, you will be required to think about random topics while under the influence of, uh, perfectly legal substances. You will also get the opportunity to read about the thoughts of others who were also uJ,1der

nam War. If! remember correctly, they included the "Johnson Wanted To Win The Next Election" theory, the "Johnson Wanted To Take The Attention Off The Fact That His Domestic Policies Made FDR Seem Like A Conservative" theory, and the "Johnson Was A Moron" theory. Political Science. lf you're reading this newspaper, chances are that you're interested in politics. In that case, political science may be the major for you. Once again, U-M has a very good political science department, and they expect you to actually know what you're doing. But if you have lots of political

opinions that you are prepared to back up with actual facts, you may find this to be an enjoyable major. Physics: If you're one of those people who prefers to major in a subject that has right answers, you may want to consider one of the sciences, such as physics. As a physics major, you will be required to learn various equations that have no application in the real world unless you're a physicist. If you're interested in both political science and physiCS, you could double major and write your thesis on how Star Trek is actually representative of the political landscape of the 1960s (Klingons symbolized Russians, Captain Kirk wasJFK, etc.). Math Yeah, right. General Studies: What's that? You say that you want college to be exactly like high school? Then general studies may be the major for you. This major will allow you to take classes in a varietyofsubjects and ensure that you won't have to work too hard in any of them. It also may allow you to someday appear on Jeopardy! Now that you have my analysis, you should be able to effectively pick a major. So I shall leave you to your decision while I go eat lunch: cold pizza from my refrigerator. Now that's what college is all about . .tvR


12

o CAMPUS AFFAIRS

Diversity at U-M BY BENJAMIN

Ra usc H

N RESPONSE TO THE TWO lawsuits against the University of Michigan's admissions policies, Lee Bollinger and the rest of the U-M administration claim that the use of race in admissions is necessary to develop a curriculum and student body based on diversity. This is in contrast to the more traditional liberal arts education the U-M has provided for the last 180 or so years, which the administration says is antiquated and caters to a privileged majority. Interestingly, however, the U-M has trouble officially defining what it means by a diverse education. Since the U-M refuses to give an official definition of diversity, let us examine the admissions policies to discover what the administration is doing to create a "diverse student body." The graphic to the right shows the U-M's undergraduate admissions guidelines for students admitted in the fall of 1998. An a pplicant was required to attain a minimum of 100 points to be admitted, and 90 points to be placed on the waitlist. One side of the graphic shows the point allotments for "Academic Factors" and the opposite side shows the points for "Other Factors." The academic portion of the admissions criteria is straightforward: an applicant received more points for a higher GPA, attending a tougher school, taking more challenging or Advanced Placement classes, and having a higher ACT or SAT score. This portion of the admissions policy does not help to create a diverse student body. In fact, it selects students who have good grades, go to a high-quality school, take advanced classes, and do well on standardized tests - sounds like your typical member of the privileged majority. The definition of diversity and the source of a diverse student body, then, must be found in the "Other Factors" part of the admissions policy. Let us examine each category separately to see how it shapes the U-M's definition of diversity and contributes to a diverse student body. Geography: A resident of the state of Michigan automatically gets 10 points towards admission to the University; an applicant from an "Underrepresented MI County" gets an extra 6 points for a total of 16; and an applicant from an "Underrepresented State" gets a measly 2 points. This is an attempt to bring in students from different parts of the U.s., and especially such rural parts of Michigan as the Upper Peninsula. This category changes the composition of

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March 10, 1999

THE MICHIGAN REVIEW

the student body by offsetting what would be an abundance of Lower Peninsula Dig city and suburban students with students from the rural areas and states like Hawaii and Alaska. Obviously, part of the U-M's idea of a diverse student body is having students from all over America, and especially from different parts of Michigan. Alumni Status. The son or daughter of a U-M alumnus gets 4 points, and if some other relative of an applicant attended the U-M, he or she receives 1 point. It is hard to see how this category contributes to a more diverse student body, and how it does not cater to a privileged majority. Required Essay: The one page essay is the only place in the application process where an aspiring student can express his individuality. An applicant takes great pains in the essay to describe himself, his aspirations, and his past in perfectly formed English sentences. However, all of an individual's self-expression and ~re­ ativity is worth 1 point if the essay is "outstanding," and is worth squat if it is less. It is hard to say what the difference is between an outstanding essay and one that is not, but one point doesn't make much of a difference anyway. The U-M could use the essay to help create a diverse student body, but that would require too many resources and would necessitate a subjective analysis to do so. This obvious neglect of a powerful source of individuality says a lot about what the UM means by "diversity." Personal Achievement This is another category that the U-M does not use to its full potential. Instead of looking at a student's numerous and varied personal exploits, they only look at what level of competition or recognition the student achieved. Getting to state level is worth 1 point, regional level is worth 3 points, and national level is worth 5 points. There is no distinction made between a student who did well in a spelling-bee and a student whose artistic genius earned him national recognition, so it is hard to see how this creates a more diverse student body. Leadership and Service: Once again the U-M does not take into account who a student led or where he served, but only what level or recognition he achieved. As above, getting to state level is worth 1 point, regional level is 3 points, and national level is 5 points. Here, the U-M ignores another powerful potential source of individuality in favor of an objective categorization. Personal achievement, leadership, and service could tell a lot about a student and thus help to contribute

greatly to a diverse student body, but ents are and the color of his skin. the admissions process does not utiAnybody reading this article must lize them for that purpose. realize that what the University conMiscellaneous. This category is a siders diverse is ridiculous. When you hodgepodge of criteria which have the think of how much a person contribpotential to give a student 20 addiutes to diversity, do you think primational points towards admissions. Judgrily of his skin color or how much ing by the point values they are given, money he has? Or do you think about the U-M values these attributes more how creative, original, and intelligent than a student's ACT or SAT score, he is? quality of education, and curriculum Obviously, the University of Michidifficulty combined. A student from a gan is too large to consider each person socio-economically disadvantaged as an individual. If the administration background receives 20 points towards had the necessary resources, each stuadmission. This point allotment brings dent would be interviewed for admisin students from poor neighborhoods sion. However, this is just not possible or neglected schools - situations which at an institution of this size. To commay have hampered their test scores pensate for this, the administration or GPA. A male entering the nursing has imbued its admissions process with program receives 5 bonus points, precriteria that are supposed to show a prospective student's contribution to sumably because men are so rare in that program. A scholarship athlete diversity, but which in fact are a mockgets 20 points for his hard work and ery of what real diversity is all about. dedication to a varsity sport. Also, the If the U-M is truly dedicated to provost can allot 20 points at her discreating a diverse academic atmocretion, but this is usually reserved for sphere, it would have to greatly reduce very unusual circumstances (such as a the number of students it admits so that 12-year-old who started his own busieach student can be considered for his creativity, intelligence, and personalness). Finally, a student who is of an "Underrepresented Racial/Ethnic ity. This is not likely to happen, so the Minority Identification or Education" U-M should stop trying act like a small also receives 20 points. An applicant college - which can consider each stucannot receive bonus points for both dent on an individual basis - and rededicate itself to the traditional acarace and socio-economic hardship. The U-M, then, feels that a student's skin demic program which made it the great color is far more important to admissions institution it is today. tvR than any individual Office of Undergraduate Admissions attributes from his essay, personal Point Sources achievement, leadAtadtmit Futon Othu Fadors ership, and service Geograpby GPA combined, not to 'Mb >- 1.S mention most of his !II Re-'-1 -~ :u 51 academic record. 10 Mk..... 1.7 !1-4 I UIHkt.t,. __ ... MI eo..,y It is easy to deu S6 U ucI Suet 2 1.9 51 termine the UniI 60 J .' Alumni Status versity of l.1 '1 -tno". ....1 '''''''-' Michigan's definiJ.t 64 I SWIll 3J tion of diversity lApcy 0--- , _, 4 .).4 from this examinaJ~~ 711 ~ik.~. . .ul!JI.~"'1, 1 11 :U tion of its admisJ .l 74 sions policy. AcJ ..I Required Essay 3,9 71 cording to the UniU 10 versity, an f-- t..y o-eIl'1.. I ~L' ~""E.aay School Factor individual's contri0 N. o.tRucl" £_r bution to diversity , hlats - 9~ CI 0 I Personal Achievement is not determined I 1 by his personality, 4 I UwI eI Ac1Urt_, __ J .!."t -.!!. creativity, or life ISla.., 1 experiences. How It 5 I ~ J ~.~ 5 diverse the UniverCurriculum Factor sity considers a perLeadership and Service rMllJ DlI'rk..,. son depends on ·1 ' ''-0001)'_1 Leo-tt eI A$Ir\>t.t.. _ !o~ -I -1 what level of com0 0 !Stow I petition he I 1 j '~~M J I achieved in per2 .. I ".dlul 5 3 sonal activities, MisceIJancous leadership, and serT~' Score vice; where he CriUrioMt'I ~ comes from (with js.ri..ecw_ic Dlaa4n."~ 2t ACT SAT 1 T PM... U...... 11 students from the . .no I 0 I-I' bcWItdlllk M'-ri,y UP being quite di1~11 '30-1000 IcIt.,J(I(.OIe_ or tchKlllioII u -u 101 .. 1ItO I 10 5 ~h.1a Nonla. verse); and most 17..JO II 10 ~""""'. Adlirtt '2Ot-'~ i U importantly by JI _~ 1360-1600 i 1. ~_I'. DllrrdlH how poor his par-

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March 10,1999

13

THE MICHIGAN REVIEW

o SERPENT'S SPECIAL

Farewell, Queen Maureen Serpent's Tooth and the Review have had a lot to say about University of Michigan Vice President for Student Affairs Maureen Hartford over the years, so it's only fitting that we should dedicate a full page extravaganza to her departure. Despite protests and outrage, Queen Maureen forced her infamous and Constitutionally-questionable Code of Student Conduct on the University in 1992, and has been merrily ignoring students' rights ever since. It is difficult to determine how many unfortunate students have been prosecuted under the Code, since the administration is not required to release such information to the public. It is also impossible to say exactly what happens as a hapless student is dragged kicking and screaming through the convoluted and oppressive Code process. By adamantly ignoring any and all student pleas to release information about any case which has been processed under the Code, and dealing punishments to students without consulting precedents, Hartford and her cronies have fostered an atmo-

sphere of suspicion and fear at the U-M. We have learned that Hartford has secured a position as the President of Meredith College, an all-female institution in Raleigh, North Carolina. It is said that the innocent and virtuous women of Meredith welcome their first female president with open arms and open hearts. Caroline Fleming, a perky Meredith undergraduate was quoted in the Michigan Daily as saying, "This has got to be one of the coolest moments of my life." We here at Serpent's Tooth fear that these enthusiastic though unenlightened ladies will soon experience an all too familiar crushing oppression when a version of Hartford's despised Code of Student Conduct is conceived at their college. We wish the ladies of Meredith more luck at preventing the implementation of a Code of Student Oppression than we here at Michigan had. The reign of terror which follows Hartford where ever she roams must be stopped before all American college students are stripped of their Constitutional rights. J\R

Yeah, right. Whatever you say Queenie. "I am committed to improving campus life for all students." "The intent of the University being a strict sitter is

"The Code involves student choice and encourages students to know their

"A lot of fear about the Code infringing on student liberties ... didn t prove to be true." I

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As the prolotype publicity poster to the left illustrates, the administration at Meredith College is already preparing their students for the imminent arrival on campus of Comrade Hartford and her brigade of Code enforcers. All dissent will be crushed, and counterrevolutionaries will be exiled to the Code Gulag.

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A Meredith College Code of Student Conduct is already in the works. It opens with:

WillS PUCEI EEII.IS _YI 'I. Will lUll TIlT 2 + 2 =51 AND RUlE.BER, THE CIWIE IS I 'll••lII' C•••••ITYI

The translation of the poster reads:

InENT.IN MUEBITI CIUEGE PRIlDUlIISI BIG SISTER ....EE.IS WITCH ••G'IU' • • ~,::•••;:><.' ,'ok

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MICHIGAN REVIEW LIVING CULTURE

114 .

MarehlO,19991

{l:nBooks

Americanization 101 BY LEE BOCKHORN

I

N FEBRUARY 1998, THE UNITED States soccer team played a match against Mexico in front of more than 100,000 people. As it took the field, the U.S. team was booed by the largely Mexico-fan crowd. Jeering and whistles accompanied the playing of the Star Spangled Banner. American fans in the

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The Unmaking of Americans John J. Miller Free Press crowd who tried to unfurl American flags were shouted down, and the American players were pelted with beer and garbage while leaving the field after a 1-0 defeat. A scene from a tough match in Mexico City? No - this game took place in Los Angeles. The crowd that lustily booed the Americans was largely made up of Mexican-Americans and legal residents of Mexican origin. The reaction was immediate and harsh across the country, and Pat Buchanan boldly proclaimed that the "melting pot has frozen over." This incident aptly demonstrated immigration's prominence as one of America's most vexing policy issues. Coalitions on immigration cross lines of party and ideology - for instance, environmentalists recently joined the Buchanans of the world in calling for drastic immigration reductions. (They see immigrants as intolerable drains on America's dwindling natural re-

sources.) The overriding concern about today's immigrants, though, seems to be that they do not wantto assimilate they come here only as economic mercenaries, and have no desire to become patriotic American citizens. Into this debate comes a welcome addition, The Unmaking ofAmericans: How Multiculturalism Has Undermined America's A ssimilation Ethic, by John J. Miller. Miller, a political reporter for National Review (and a former editor of the Michigan RevieW) believes that America's current immigration dilemma is not the fault of immigrants, but of native-born Americans themselves. In the past, America made a concerted effort to " Americanize" immigrants - placing emphasis on ensuring that they learned the English language and American history, lived by our laws, and ultimately became our citizens. Today, however, America has endangered its assimilationist tradition. Miller believes that the most significant threat to this tradition is revealed by listening to the pu blic debate surrounding immigrants: "In a remarkably short time, the United States has gone from being a country that could confidently layout a few principles to which immigrants and the native-born could adhere, to being a nation unsure of what it should ask of these newcomers .... The consequences of this national self-doubt have created amish-mash of harmful public policies that actively inhibit the Americanization of immigrants." According to Miller, both multiculturalists on the left and nativists on the right are responsible for this national confusion. "The multiculturalists' greatest fear," he asserts, "is that [Amerianization] will happen. They view Americanization as a kinder, gentler form of ethnic cleansing." In an effort to prevent this horrid outcome, the left has bent over backwards to encourage immigrants to maintain their native languages and cultures, at the expense of assimilation. Examples of this are bilingual education, foreign-Ianguagevoting ballots, and harassment by the federal government of· employers who institute on English-only restrictions at their job sites. In contrast to multiculturalists' fear of pervasive Americanization, nativists on the right fear that Americanization is simply impossible. "Their particularist view of American culture," Miller writes, " believes that outsiders cannot become insiders." In this way, the nativist philosophy ironically ratifies the racial and ethnic essentialism of the left. It also denies the notion that American

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citizenship is attainable by anyone because America is, in Lincoln's formulation, a nation whose people are" dedicated to a proposition" - specifically, equality before the law and individual rights. In the first half of the book, Miller offers historical perspective on how America used to assimilate its immigrants. He focuses on the first two decades of the 20th century, when immigration was at its peak. At that time, a variety of private and public institutions contributed to the process of Americanization, including schools, churches, businesses, civic groups, and government. Native-born citizens rolled up their sleeves to help immigrants learn English and American laws, and navigate the naturalization process. In turn, the immigrants themselves were expected to make a conscientious effort to

the prototypical American character. Arguably, they do so much more than today's native-born Americans, who have grown fat and soft with prosperity. At the conclusion of The Unmaking of Americans, Miller offers an " Americanization Manifesto" - a set of concrete and sensible policy proposals which would return Americanization to its rightful prominence in American life. They include: ending the emphasis on group rights as embodied in racial preference programs; pulling the plug on bilingual education; eliminating foreign-language ballots, and strengthening the naturalization process. Miller's book serves as a valuable contribution to the current immigration debate, which he accurately describes as " trapped in a stale argument

//The multiculturalists ... view Americanization as a kinde!; gentler form of ethnic cleansing. // assimilate into American society. In the book's second section, Miller details the role that multiculturalism has played in the downfall of the Americanization ideal. He offers a devastating look at the failure of bilingual education, providing a wealth of empirical and anecdotal evidence to prove that it has failed in its ostensible goal of aiding students' acquisition of English while emphasizing native language maintenance. Miller also reveals how bilingual ed continues in spite of opposition from the parents of the children it targets, as federal education bureaucrats have forced its implementation down the throats of state and local governments . He also argues that the left's increasing emphasis on group rights encourages immigrants to see themselves as members of victimized grou ps. In turn, this diminishes their commitment to assimilate into a culture that is constantly portrayed by American elites as evil. Miller also relates some compelling accounts of how individual immigrants build their lives in America. These vignettes serve as useful reminders to the various anti-immigration forces that America's economy depends enormously on the hard work 01 immigrants. After all, how many native-born Americans are willing to take jobs slaughtering beef cattle, or driving cabs in New York City? Through their hard work ethic, and belief in the ability of average people to better their lives in America, inlmigrants often exemplify

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... between left-wing multiculturalists and right-wing nativists." His most important accomplishment is to remind us that unlike other nationalities, being an American is about commibnent to universal principles, not racial or ethnic bloodlines. In addition, The Unmaking of Americans is an unusually brisk and enjoyable read for a book on public policy. For all of its merits, though, the book does contain one slight oversight. In the introduction, Miller states that the "vital questions" about immigration are not how many foreign-born people to let in, or which countries they should come from; rather, they concern how we should treat immigrants and what we should expect from them once they arrive here. Accordingly, his book deals only with these issues. However, one could make a very strong case that the relative success of Americanization may depend on determining the appropriate levels of immigration which will allow Americanization to work. (Think of the proGess of Americanization as a tennis player returning balls served from an automatic machine. It is much easier for the player to solidly return balls from one machine; trying to return balls from five or ten machines, though, might prove morechallenging.) This is just a small criticism, however, of an otherwise excellent book that should be read by all Americans who wish to prevent ugly scenes like that soccer match in Los Angeles from becoming the norm. tvR

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MICHIGAN REVIEW LIVING CULTURE-----~-151

;:JMusic BY MATIBEW

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Aural Acrobatics

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ONSI'ERSOFACAPPELLA" is an annual benefit concert sponsored by three timetested a cappella groups on campus: Amazin' Blue, the Friars, and the Harmonettes. This year, on Feb. 20, the sponsors invited two a cappella groups from other universities to perform with the U-M gang: the Spartan Dischords of Michigan State University, and Straight

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Review

Monsters of A Cappella Rackham Auditorium Feb. 20, 1999 No Chaser of Indiana. This was not a competition, and it's a good thing, too - Straight No Chaser would have wiped the floor with every other group. They were, without a doubt, the most talented group to perform that night. In fact, they were the most talented a cappella group this critic has ever heard (and that includes professional groups) .. They stole the show, garnering two standing ovations from the full house - one even before they finished their set! The concert began with Amazin' Blue, the University's oldest coed a cappella group. Last year they competed in the National Championship of College A Cappella at Carnegie Hall, so the crowd expected some damn fine music. We were not disappointed. By far, Amazin' Blue is the most talented a cappella group on campus, living up to their self-imposed description of "amazin." However, what they excelled in sound, they lacked in choreography. Mostly, their performance consisted of all 14 singers bouncing up and down to

expected bursts of craziness, each stunt Club, are well known for their crazy onthe beat with big, cheesy "What am I stage tomfoolery. Traditional shenanimerely served to draw attention away gonna have to do to put you in a car from the fact that their harmonies were gans include dressing up in crazy costoday!" smiles on their faces. tumes, creating a Friar-pyramid and not very tight, their choreography was Next, the Spartan DischordsofMSU pathetic, and their took the stage. In conchords lacked trast to Amazin' Blue, enough fullness betheir choreography was cause there weren't a bit more, well, choreOenough basses. It graphed - that helped to was unfortunate offset the fact that they that the Friars were were performing directly chosen to close the after a fantastic group show, because dewhose blending skill was spite the fact that somewhat superior. Still, they were enjoythe Dischords did a good able, their perforjob and seemed to entermance was not very tain the crowd (even strong. though we were all wonAll-in-all, itwas dering why one of the a .fun night. This singers looked like he critic is rather was in his 40s; that one Straight No Chaser - the hands-down best group of the evening peeved that he will remain a mystery). -leaves the audience on their feet, begging for more. didn't have extra The Harmonettes, an cash with him - SNC was selling their II-member subset of the U-M Women's then tumbling down at the end of the compact discs in the lobby and_they GleeClub,followed. Vocally, they were song, and lifting up their pants-legs to would have made a great addition to the least talented Qf the pre-intermisreveal wild and crazy socks. This time my CD-collection! If you've never been sion groups; but still quite pleasant to they entered carrying a Friar on a huge to an a cappella concert before, I highly listen to. Still, a few problems, such as wooden structure, while wearing recommend you pick one and go. If their costumes made of blinding semasks, throwing streamers, and playyou've never路heard Straight No Chaser quins, distracted from their perforing music through a portable boombefore, I highly recommend you go to box. Their intention was to reproduce a mance. Also, as a subset of a group that theirwebsite.(www.sncproductions.com) Mardi Gras atmosphere on stage. While focuses mostly on classical choral muand buy a CD! You will not be sorry. M{ sic, many Harmonettes possessed a the audience seemed to enjoy these unsomewhat annoying vibrato, a feature. not well-suited to contemporary a capMatt Schwartz is an enbittered ex-member of the Men's Glee Club. We think he pella music. FPlally, while this criticism has no business judging an a cappella group and that he has no idea what he's may be a somewhat politically-incortalking about. What do you think? Email us at mrev@umich.edu. rect, I've found that women tend to poorly simulate drums and rhythm tracks with their voices. This often reAre you sults in a laughable, unnatural sounddistressed ing"Doom! Doom! Doom!" that's about two octaves too high and becomes very by the annoying after any length of time. state of After intermission, Straight No higher Chaser (SNC) dazzled the crowd with the premier vocal performance of the education evening. They amazed the audience at with fantastic soloists, professional choreography, and the tightest, most dyMichigan? namically-challenging, and most carefully constructed harmonies I have ever heard. The crowd's favorite song of the For a tax-deductible contribution of$25 or more, you'll receive a one-year evening appeared to be "Hi-De-Ho," in subscription to the Michigan Review, which includes I 0 inf~;mnation-packed which three members of SNC demonstrated their tremendous ability by ohissues. Your subscription will keep you posted on the state of academia at so-smoothly sliding up and down the Michigan, the continuing erosion of traditional standards of academic scale in a heavenly triad. Before SNC excellence, and the politicization of the classroom . had even finiShed their song, the crowd Please send my subscription to: burst into unrestrained applause. As soon as the group quieted down the crowd and finished , the audience Name: ____ ______________ ____ jumped out of their seats in Godlike Address State: Zip: _ _ _ _~_ adulation. It's no wonder - while City: _:_ _ _ _ _ __ Amazin' Blue was merely a competitor at nationals, SNC took second place. Please make check or money order payable to: The Friars had the undesirable task The Michigan Review of following SNC. The Friars, an 8911 North University Avenue, Suite One, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1265 member subset of the U-M Men's Glee

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The vocally overrated Friars enter the auditorium in a trademark display of drunken revelry.

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