THE MICHIGAN REVIEW Volume 18, Number 12
The Campus Affairs Journal of the University of Michigan
Feb. – March, 2000
Michigamuas Dilemma MATTHEW S. SCHWARTZ
IGH ABOVE STATE STREET, from inside the Tower of the Michigan Union, the traditional sounds of a Native American drum echo throughout the campus. Tribal chants in a foreign tongue add to that News familiar drumbeat – the Analysis beat people think of when they hear the word “Indian,” the beat that goes DUM dum dum dum DUM dum dum dum and repeats without end. People below stop and stare upward, listening to the sounds and wondering what is going on in the Tower, in those few floors that the elevators won’t reach. Who’s responsible for all the noise? Not Michigamua – at least not since 1997, when the group stopped using drums at its meetings. In 1989, the formerly-secret society signed an agreement promising to end the group’s use of Indianstyle rituals (the drums persisted because Michigamua wasn’t aware that beating a drum was an exclusively Indian ritual). The Students of Color Coalition (SCC), however, believes that Michigamua (pronounced “MichiGAWmah”) has not lived up to its end of the bargain. So strongly, in
fact, that eight SCC members recently took over the group’s meeting place on the seventh floor of the Union, vowing to stay put until the University meets their demands regarding Michigamua and the other two “Tower Societies.” The SCC – now in its third week of occupation – has several demands. Most importantly, they say, Michigamua must honor the agreement it made 11 years ago to cease its Native America theme. This includes changing the name of the group (“Michigamua” is a Native American word for “falling water”); returning all its Native American artifacts – including a case of 5,000 year old arrowheads found in the area – to Native American communities; and destroying all the group’s
See MICHIGAMUA, Page 8
J AMES JUSTI N WILSON
M. Schwartz / Review
Bollinger Signs WRC
This bust is just one of the many references to Indian culture the protesters retrieved from the attic. It now sits on display in the center of the office.
UCCUMBING TO PRESSURE after a three-day takeover of the LSA Dean’s office, University President Lee Bollinger catered to student protesters’ demands Feb. 19, announcing that he had signed on to the Workers’ Rights Consortium (WRC) as a full member. Led by LSA senior Peter RomerFriedman, a small group of students entered Dean Shirley Neuman’s office on the morning of Feb. 16, feigning interest in a possible a sign-language program. As the receptionist went into a back room to get information for the students, a larger group entered, took over the office, and proceeded to set up a mock sweatshop – complete with recorded sound effects – in which to produce SOLE T-shirts. They intended to occupy the office until the University signed on to the Workers Right Consortium. The WRC is an agreement drawn up by United Students Against Sweatshops
See WRC, Page 3
Sharpton Urges Campus to Support SCC Calls for end to intellectual masturbation
J AMES JUSTI N WILSON
ONDEMNING WHAT HE termed “academic schizophrenia” and “intellectual masturbation,” the Rev. Al Sharpton visNews ited the University on Feb. 19 to support the StuAnalysis dents of Color Coalition (SCC) in its protest against Michigamua. In anticipation of his expected arrival at 7 p.m., the SCC had organized a rally in the lobby of the Union.
Sharpton has earned the nickname “Rev. Soundbite” for his outspoken involvement in many politically-charged racial issues. He did nothing to shake off that moniker in Ann Arbor, suggesting that Michigamua’s use of Native American imagery is analogous to “a furnace celebrating Nazi concentration camps.” Generally considered an outsider at many occasions, he’s been criticized by some for showing up and making a lot of noise, then leaving before a resolution is reached. Recently, to protest racial profil-
ing, Sharpton led a group of people in halting traffic on many Freeways around New Jersey — shedding his trademark baggy jogging togs for a suit and tie. Saturday’s appearance was another departure: Sharpton turned out in a handsome black suit to meet with SCC organizers, who seized the tower earlier in the month. SCC alleges that Michigamua, the old once-secret, once-male society of
See SHARPTON, Page 5
J. Wilson / Review
The Reverend Crying Racism! First three copies free, additional copies 50 cents.
Letters to the Editor
We always thought we might have pissed off a lot of loyal readers with the pot inserts now were certain.
From Suite One
See weak-willed and gutless white man with bad hair sign contract offered by guilty white rich kids.
More Pictures from the Sharpton Visit
Paging Rev. Sharpton: James Brown called, he wants his hair back. Oh, and your visit to Hillel was cancelled.
Vaginas Vaginas Vaginas!
Jake, our resident cunning linguist, offers up a juicy review, exposing the tastelessness of the Vagina Monologues.
More from El Señor Guípe
El Señor Guípe tells us bitter guys how to woo those heartless creatures God created with which to torment us.
THE MICHIGAN REVIEW SERPENTS TOOTH
❑ SERPENTS TOOTH Consumer advocate Ralph Nader is running for president once again, as the Green Party candidate. Political analysts see his candidacy as an alternative to the usual two party system, and as yet another way the American voter can throw his or her vote away. Nader won 684,902 votes in 1996, handily beating Bugs Bunny and Bullwinkle, but falling slightly short of Optimus Prime.
February 23, 2000
THE MICHIGAN REVIEW
membered that he was scheduled to give the keynote speech at the National Hatemongers Convention in Boise, Idaho.
The Campus Affairs Journal of the University of Michigan “Help Me Jebus!”
Comedian Jim Varney, who played Ernest P. Worrell in countless commercials and movies, died recently of lung cancer. The studio heads, however, have decided to make a final tribute film, “Ernest Goes to Hell,” starring Carrot Top.
Matthew “Big Red” Schwartz
the injustice of having only one-ply toiletpaper! Would it break the bank if they bought two-ply? Hey hey, ho ho, singleply paper has got to go! (repeat until very annoyed)
Jacob “Can’t Work F rida y Nights” Oslick Managing Editor
Justin “Goes to Bed Early” Wilson Publisher
Anti-Sweatshop thugs have finally gotten their way at the University of Pennsylvania, forcing their yellow-bellied president to withdraw from the Fair Labor Association. The decision probably won’t have too much of an effect on sales of school apparel however, probably because Fighting Quaker fan apparel aren’t exactly flying off the shelves as it is.
Trying to follow in the Birkenstocked footsteps of their comrades-in-arms here in Ann Arbor, students at the University of Wisconsin at Madison attempted a similar takeover of the office of U-W Chancellor David Ward, but were stopped by campus police with pepper spray. Later, 48 protesters were arrested after police clad in riot gear moved in to forcibly remove them. Apparently – and no one is sure about this mind you – but apparently they have these things called “laws” in Wisconsin, and they’re “enforced” at the behest of a leader with “balls.”
Professional rabble-rouser Al Sharpton came town last Saturday, fresh off his stint as an aspiring speed bump on the Atlantic City Expressway and unsuccessful defendant in a libel suit to defend the SCC’s actions against Michigamua. Sharpton reportedly decided to lend his support because the SCC “had way too much credibility.” Sharpton was not wearing his usual jogging suit, but rather a nice navy blue pinstripe suit with a teal tie. Apparently, he had to give all his jogging suits back to Joey Buttafuoco. Sharpton was still cordial, however, and even allowed one of the Review’s intrepid writers into his press conference. But this was probably because he didn’t know the Review was run by two Jews. Sharpton was supposed to come Thursday, but had to cancel when he re-
Donald Trump recently announced that he would not seek the Reform Party nomination for president this year. Apparently, he doesn’t want to join Steve Forbes and Ross Perot in the Blow-Millions-ofYour-Own-Money-in-a-Futile-and-VainAttempt-For-the-Presidency Club. With the announcement, Trump also announced his intention to build the first resort casino in Salt Lake City, tentatively called “Trump’s Tabernacle,” in an attempt to blow millions of his own money in another manner.
It was announced that the musical Cats will finally be ending its record-breaking 18-year run on Broadway at the Winter Garden Theater this June 25th, due to sagging ticket sales. Unfortunately, once the show ends, all the performers will be rounded up into a burlap bag and tossed into the East River.
Happy Chinese New Year! This year it’s the year of the Dragon. Traditional ways of celebrating Chinese New Year include lighting firecrackers, dragon dances, giving out red envelopes of money, and only making the kids study math only five hours a day instead of the usual six.
Al Gore and Bill Bradley faced off Monday night in the famed Apollo Theater in Harlem. The debate covered a few of the issues and went so well that the two of them ended the debate with a hilarious round of “yo mama” jokes.
Since President Bollinger seems to be in a caving-in mood this week, Serpent’s suggests some other, much more worthwhile causes for which to occupy offices, and which offices to occupy for those causes. * Place: uhh, let’s do the LSA dean’s office again * Reason: We shall no longer live with
* Place: the office of the Dean of the School of Music * Reason: What kind of incompetent music majors do we have out there? Can’t any of them think of a better protest chant than a million variations of “Hey hey ho ho?!” * Place: the GEO office * Reason: Would it be too much to ask that math and science GSIs learn to speak English? Must all we students go through class after class asking themselves where the subtitles are?
At a rally in Southfield, George W. Bush supporters were heard chanting, “We Want Bush! We Want Bush!” Imagine the chants if Bush picked a guy named Richard as his running mate...
Ace Reporter Jeremy “Scoop” Peters of the Michigan Daily recently managed to stowaway on McCain’s “Straight Talk Express” campaign bus, obtaining an interview with the presidential candidate. Members of the U-M Students for McCain, including Will “I have no idea how he got that information” Rubens, were shocked that Peters was able to secure the interview without going through “official” Students for McCain channels — until they realized that Scoop, who wrote his article to sound like he was riding with the Senator (“...Sitting in a maroon leather chair aboard the ‘Straight Talk Express’...”), was actually questioning McCain during reporters time, bus sitting immobile in a parking lot. Nice try, Scoop, but let’s try to keep the news pages as factual as is possible at the Daily... it’s only called “misleading” when the President does it; for everyone else, it’s “lying.”
As we go to press, it appears that Iranian moderates have won a landslide victory in their recent Parliamentary elections. It seems all the anti-Zionists hardliners have immigrated to Ann Arbor. MR
“But I don’t even believe in Jebus!” —Homer
Trouble with Metal Detectors” Yeh
National Affair s Editor
ARTS EDITOR: CONTRIBUTING ED.: ASSISTANT EDITOR: ILLUSTRATOR: ONLINE EDITOR: ONLINE STAFF: CORRESPONDENT: (LONDON)
David Guipe R. Colin Painter Matthew Franczak Astrid Phillips Rabeh Soofi Albert Feng Mike Rosen Julie Jeschke
STAFF WRITERS: Mike Austin, Dustin Lee, David Sackett, Kurt Rademacher, Curt Robertson
Lee Bockhorn Benjamin Kepple
The Michigan Review is the independent, student-run journal of conservative and libertarian opinion at the University of Michigan. We neither solicit nor accept monetary donations from the U–M. Contributions to the Michigan Review are taxdeductible under Section 501 (c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. The Review is not affiliated with any political party or university political group. Unsigned editorials represent the opinion of the editorial board. Ergo, they are unequivocally 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 individual 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. There comes a time in every man’s life when he must make a choice, a choice that will set the tone for the rest of his days, a choice that reveals his true strength, determination, and character. When that time comes, one would do well to heed the words of Richard Nixon, and remember that “a man is not finished when he’s defeated; he’s finished when he quits.” I have made my decision.
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February 23, 2000
THE MICHIGAN REVIEW LETTERS, CAMPUS AFFAIRS
❑ LETTERS TO THE EDITOR Reader Surprised and Insulted by Pot Petition
HAVE ALWAYS LOOKED FORward to seeing new issues of the Michigan Review stacked next to the Michigan Daily on my way to class. This week, however, as I grabbed both papers (the latter for a substandard summary of world news and a crossword puzzle) and the inserts dropped to the floor, I was disappointed at what I found. There, among the ads for things I have neither the time nor the means, was a petition form that on one side had a clarification of Michigan’s state Constitution regarding procedure, and the other side an attempt at the legalization of marijuana. I was both surprised and insulted to find such a document within a paper whose leadership I had once thought would not lend its support to such a cause. Needless to say, this insert actually did find itself useful on the floor of the bathroom. I would hope that future publications would not insult the intelligence of its readers by condoning such a viewpoint, leaving as the only papers worth reading the Every Three Weekly and the USA Today. –Michael Rugnetta, Engineering Senior Mr. Rugnetta, I was as disheartened as you upon opening that copy of the Review, and seeing drug legalization forms fall out from within. Alas, while our editorial board neither endorses nor opposes the PRA 2000 campaign to legalize marijuana, the editors have no say over the ads our business staff chooses to run. I have learned to live with it, as we must keep the paper funded somehow — be it with
Continued from Page 1 (USAS), the national group that oversees SOLE and other campus workers’ rights groups around the country. It calls for a rigorous monitoring system for the production of all university-licensed merchandise. The WRC is to be facilitated by a board of elected officials from all vested interests, including USAS members, University administrators, and labor officials. The WRC’s current signers include Brown University, Loyola University New Orleans, Haverford College, Bard College, and Oberlin College, as well as the most recent signers — the University of Wisconsin, Indiana University, and the University of Michigan. The WRC goes a step beyond the much-criticized Fair Labor Association (FLA), the White House’s response to sweatshops. Although the WRC does not mandate that Universities comply in restricting the licensing of any potential
drug legalization inserts, or with full-page advertisements for a “Hot Body Contest” at a certain Windsor music cafe. Do not think for an instant that the Review has taken a sharp turn toward libertarianism; the majority of the ed-board is more conservative than libertarian, and that ratio will continue far into the future. —Ed.
America Was Built on Sweatshops After hearing about SOLE’s occupation of the Regent’s office yesterday, the second though that occurred to me (the first being how silly it was to disrupt someone’s workspace) was how the members of SOLE forget basic American history. Any study of the late 19th century will undoubtedly mention the Industrial Revolution. This revolution wasn’t like our current Information Revolution, however. It was one built on oppression of minorities into feeding big business. I am the relative of Czechoslovakian immigrants. When my great-grandparents came to America over 100 years ago, they worked in the Sweatshops of the iron mills and textile plants because those were the only jobs that they could get. Slaving away in dangerous environments for meager wages was better than starving to death on the street. This ‘oppression’ occurred with Irish-Americans, German-Americans, and many other ethnic groups. And now look, 120 years later,
sweatshop merchandise, it does offer information and urges compliance. Ninety minutes into the occupation, President Bollinger visited the office on the request of Dean Neuman. According to SOLE members, President Bollinger said during the meeting that WRC membership was “off the table.” But after discussion, members say, he agreed to consider a provisional membership. President Bollinger returned to the office Thursday to once again meet with the students to discuss options for a provisional membership in the WRC. SOLE attended the General Council’s meeting, as well as a Regents’ meeting to address the WRC. On Friday, Bollinger called the occupied Neuman office and announced that he had signed onto the WRC as a full member; not a provisional member as he had indicated earlier. This success in hand, the SOLE occupation group left the LSA building and held a news conference to announce their victory.
what America has become as a result of the Industrial Revolution. A country who leads the world in almost every area of commerce, and a country that is facilitating the growth of smaller nations through this type of employment. Because face it: a worker in Malaysia would be starving and unemployed if he didn’t work in the Gap or Nike or Adidas or North Face factory. So despite the hardships that a sweatshop worker must go through, it certainly beats the alternative. –Jonathan Janego, LSA Sophomore
Proof That Were Not the Only Satirists On Campus: * * * PRESS RELEASE * * * Inspired by the recent production of “The Vagina Monologues” at the University, a local group of males has come together to produce a similar production entitled “Big Cahoonas.” Jack Spratt, local Lodge co-chairperson, bartender, and the production’s director commented, “Men like to talk about the size of their penises, particularly after they have been drinking on hunting trips.” The production will involve a series of monologues. One monologue involves an inebriated male, dressed in duck hunting attire sitting in a large lounge chair discussing the need for the instant replay as well as the barrel length and proper care of his “12-gage automatic.” Another includes
This latest strike was part of SOLE’s ongoing effort to pressure the University not to license merchandise made by sweatshop labor. In Feb. ‘99, SOLE after a failed attempt to pressure the University to sign
a man dressed only in a fly fishing cap discussing the bodily measurements and number of “the ones that didn’t get away.” Dale, who plays the part of a deer’s rear end in one of the monologues commented, “I spent a lot of time trying to get into the heads of deers while sitting in my blind last fall. I think that I know what it is like to think like one.” It is believed that the production was written by a man known only as Bud—a self-described author, taxidermist, and beer drinker. Bud reported writing the play after losing his job, going on “one [heck] of a binge, and losing all my money in a card game.” Bud said that the idea for the monologues grew out of his anger at the ban on hunting from passenger vehicles in motion, and the cancellation of the Dukes of Hazard in the 1980’s. Although there are no plans at this time for a state tour, the magazine Midwestern Outdoors and the swim suit company Pocket Pool has offered to fund such a tour as well as a web page at www.cahoonas.com. Local production is planned for “D-day,” the opening of deer season, at Bernie’s Pub on old US14 just north of the shooting range. In addition to deer, the “D” in D-day also refers to “ducks, dicks, and dames,” Bud added. Although admission is free, there is a twodrink minimum at Bernie’s. Donations will be taken at the door for Wild Prey Unlimited and to help repair the transmission in Jack’s International pickup. –Jonathon Brenner
onto the WRC, the group gained national media coverage with their takeover of President Bollinger’s office. After negotiations, SOLE agreed to give the U-M six months, which expired Feb. 2. MR
THE MICHIGAN REVIEW FROM SUITE ONE
February 23, 2000
❑ FROM SUITE ONE Opening the Floodgates... Bollinger Should Not Have Given in to SOLE
FTER SEVERAL DAYS of SOLE-directed protests, including the seizure of the LSA Dean’s Office, University President Lee Bollinger caved on the organization’s principle demand: that the U-M affiliate itself with the Worker’s Rights Consortium (WRC). The WRC, as designed by the SOLE-affiliated United Students Against Sweatshops (USAS) movement, would closely monitor foreign textile factories making U-M apparel for poor working conditions and failure to pay employees a so-called “living wage.” While the numerous arguments against WRC membership have appeared in these pages before, most recently in a Guest Viewpoint by Rackham student Charles Goodman, they bear repeating. The WRC, unlike the White House sponsored Fair Labor Association (FLA), is committed to extremism. In total, USAS will appoint 75 percent of its governing board, giving a small minority of American college students tremendous power to determine oversees labor practices. Even worse, the WRC commits itself to the implementation of a high “living wage” that could potentially throw tens of thousands of developing world laborers out of work. In the name of workers’ rights, it would likely lead to the termination of workers’ jobs.
President Bollinger has violated a cardinal rule of international dispute resolution: do not give in to the demands of terrorists. By caving here, Bollinger has established a dangerous precedent. Still, our concern with Pres. Bollinger’s latest flip-flop is even more severe than the negative impact the WRC will have on developing countries. Specifically, by acceding to the ultimatums of a small number of protestors, Bollinger has violated a cardinal rule of international dispute resolution: do not negotiate, and certainly do not give in to the demands of terrorists. By caving here, Bollinger has established a dangerous precedent that will likely encourage future campus disturbances. After all, Bollinger clearly did not switch sides out of a genuine change in personal convictions. The U-M had over a year to study the WRC briefing materials, a meager eleven page document. Surely if the University concluded that the WRC is a sensible organization with reasonable, positive objectives it would have signed the WRC months ago. Instead it waited, and stalled – until presented with SOLE’s ultimatum. Then, poof: a few days of protests, an office occupation and tah-dah, a signed WRC. The thought that the U-M allowed perhaps 100 protestors out of an academic community approaching 40,000 to redirect its policy is shocking in itself. Even more disturbing is its seeming justification of an action the University absolutely must condemn: the seizure of the Dean’s Office. Does the University really want to let every crazy activist know that all they have to do to get what they want is take control of buildings? Unsatisfied with dorm food? No problem! Just close down South Quad’s cafeteria. Want to increase minority enrollment? Simple! Get two dozen friends together and hold the Admissions Office hostage. Who cares about thoughtful decision making when we can just let the violent minority (that’s intellectual minority) determine official University policy? We are particularly disturbed by the acquiescence of the Dean’s Office employee’s to the initial occupation. Apparently, a group of SOLE protestors simply walked into the office – unarmed and without making any threats – and simply asked the workers to leave. After about a half-hour of squabbling, the disgruntled U-M staffers just agreed and walked out. Why, we wonder, was DPS not called in to prevent the seizure? Why did UM employees allow a small group of rabble-rousers to chase them from their desks? In the future, Bollinger would be well-served to follow the University of Wisconsin’s lead, whose president, in the face of a similar office takeover last week, demanded the students leave immediately – not in a personal meeting with them, nor in a phone call, but in a “We Will Not Negotiate With Terrorists” style statement. When the students refused to leave, police with teargas were called in, forcibly removing the occupiers and arresting over forty of them. That’s the kind of strong leadership and ability to take control that the U-M needs. MR
Farrakhan may have his guys in the bowties, but Sharptons got General Chang!
Dealing With Terrorists II
The SCC must respect others property rights
T IS EASY to see why the Students of Color Coalition (SCC) has no respect for Michigamua. For almost ninety years, the secret society had been using Native American style rituals and customs in its everyday activities, giving its members offensive nicknames like “Great Scalper,” and basically ignoring Native American students’ requests that these practices stop. Not until the dawn of the “Politically Correct Era,” and a 1989 contract to which members of the society agreed, did Michigamua promise to cease all references to Native American culture. The contract itself was very informal in nature, and made many errors that any firstyear law student would see. Among them: A) It specified no time frame by which Michigamua must comply; B) It listed no repercussions should the group fail to fully remove every reference to Native American culture; C) It failed to explicitly define vague terms such as “pseudo-culture.” Without a clear definition, how would Michigamua members know what they had to remove? In any case, the SCC has been citing that contract from the start, claiming that since Michigamua didn’t fulfill their agreement, they should be kicked out of their space in the Union, disassociated from the U-M, and publicly flogged on the Diag. Or something like that. Did Michigamua fulfill the terms of the contract? The answer to that question is unimportant. The true concern: does Michigamua have a right to that room in the Union? At the moment, yes. In the early 40s, Michigamua made a deal with the University: the group would renovate the Tower, and in return the University would give them that space, rent-free, indefinitely. That sixty years later, a few disgruntled students disagree with the group’s practices, is of no consequence. Had Michigamua shown some guts when thugs disregarded their property rights, this 2+ week occupation, which the national media have jumped on, might have been no more than a split-second blip on Al Sharpton’s radar screen. Had protesters stormed the Review office, DPS would be escorting them from the building within minutes – hopefully in handcuffs! But instead of exercising their property rights, and utilizing the campus police – which they very well could have – Michigamua tried to negotiate, to strike a compromise with the SCC. And once student activists have been guaranteed a peaceful sit-in with no possibility of being displaced by police, why on earth would they compromise? The University is able to reallocate Michigamua’s office space for whatever purpose they deem fit – from storage facility to (gag) yet another cultural lounge (or as we like to call them, “segregation zones”). Whether they do or not is up to administrators. But without a doubt, President Bollinger – our resident First Amendment expert – should at least stand up for the rights of Michigamua, a group that has broken no rules, and has the right to freedom of expression. There comes a time when continued negotiation will get you nowhere, and Bollinger’s relative complacence – his desire to just sit back and let the students argue amongst themselves – is really starting to get on our nerves. MR
February February23, 23,2000 2000
THE MICHIGAN REVIEW CAMPUS AFFAIRS
Page 5 7
SHARPTON U-M heavyweights, has retained Native American symbols in the trappings of its club’s ceremonies and offices. Shartpon decided to lend his help in response to an SCC request to Sharpton’s National Action Network (NAN) based in New York City. Sharpton sent Tiahmo Rauf, his Midwest regional director to investigate the situation. After a visit on Monday, Rauf decided that the SCC occupation of Michigamua offices warranted a visit by the Reverend. Much to the chagrin of students trying to concentrate in the Union’s study rooms, the SCC organized a rally in the lobby prior to Sharpton’s arrival. Complete with a speaker system and a group of Native American drummers, SCC member Joe Reilly led the ceremony, which honored the contributions of American Indians to the University. During the rally, the Native American Students Association presented its list of demands. They include various apologies from Michigamua; abandonment of the society’s offices; a severance of all privileges; and a clause that states administrators will not be inducted as honorary members, in order to eliminate any possible conflict of interest. In the warm-up to Sharpton’s appearance, Levi Rickert, director of the North American Indian Center of Grand Rapids, told the crowd that “Non-Indians do not get it. … Some people are willingly ignorant.” Rickert said he believes anyone who is not a Native American cannot understand the gravity of the use of cultural icons as Michigamua has used them, and called for an end to Michigamua. “We have got to get the word out,” Rickert said. “We will not tolerate people playing Indian anymore.” After Rickert spoke, Reilly opened the microphone to attendees. Many members of the occupation group spoke, as did many community residents who support the oc-
J. Wilson / Review
Continued From Page 1
Rev. Sharpton with his Entourage, which seems to include a Klingon General... (see page 4) cupation. Following that, the rally became subdued as Sharpton met with SCC leaders in the seventh-floor Michigamua office. After meeting with the occupiers and the press, Sharpton gave a speech in the Anderson Room to a capacity crowd. He praised the students willingness to stand up for an issue, saying that they were acting in the true spirit of Martin Luther King Jr., putting themselves – and, for some of them, their prospects of graduating – in jeopardy. He said he believes King was “not a non-threatening poet sitting on a mountainside dreaming. He was an activist.” King had more than just a dream, said Sharpton. It is, instead, he said, a continued fight. He added that Martin Luther King dreamed of a time when everyone was peaceful, but not quiet. And he commended these students for being peaceful, but not quiet. He said he believes too many students come to college and just learn, remarking that this is the equivalent of “intellectual masturbation.” He urged all campus subsidiary groups to give their support to the
J. Wilson / Review
Sharpton shares a laugh with his pal, perhaps over the pogrom he incited in Crown Heights, NY, leading to the death of Yankel Rosenbaum.
SCC Michigamua effort and to the student occupiers. “Just last month,” Sharpton said, “this university joined the country in celebrating Martin Luther King’s birthday. These kids are doing what Martin Luther King taught. How do you honor King in January and ignore King’s tactics by these students in February? That is academic schizophrenia.” Sharpton said NAN will be a source of ongoing support for the SCC students. “I’m not here to speak to the administration,” he said. “I hope the students can talk to them and solve this in a manner that is respectful and that is fair. Hopefully they can take care of this on campus. If they cannot, then those of us off-campus will get involved.” He added that he will contact Jesse Jackson and Martin Luther King III in order to ask for their support, and probably come back to campus in the near future. Days before his arrival, Sharpton was quoted in press stories saying he’d bring news crews from CNN, ABC’s 20/20 and Dateline NBC with him. None came along, but Sharpton said, “When we come back we’ll bring all of them.” The University has characterized the Michigamua issue as one rooted in freedom of speech. The University claims to endorse a marketplace of ideas, in which no speech is discriminated against, or specifically endorsed. Sharpton answered this stance by comparing it to bus discrimination, prior to the Civil Rights movement. “We’re not talking about ideas,” Sharpton said, “we’r e talking about racism. The university would not finance a student having a room that would have a furnace celebrating Nazi concentration camps. They would not have that. [The plaque of the “Great Scalper Yost” (see Page 8)] represents that for Native Americans. You are not talking about an idea; you are talking about people who would take peoples’ heads, because of who they are. That is
what ‘Great Scalper’ means. That is not an intellectual. That is a lyncher.” Sharpton said he believes in freedom of speech, but not when it is supported by the federal, state, or local system. “You can call me a nigger, but you can’t expect me to pay for it,” he said. At the same time, he also asserted that a fine line exists in the concept of free speech. “There is a big difference,” he said, “between me saying that I disagree with you for being conservative, if you are, and me saying I want to take your head because you are white and I want a room to do that. “There is a big difference.” MR
J. Wilson / Review
Member of the Brown Berets, a millitant political reeducation group which provided security at the rally. You know they mean business when they break out the colored berets.
THE MICHIGAN REVIEW CAMPUS AFFAIRS
February 23, 2000
❑ A CHINK IN THE ARMOR
Embrace the American Melting Pot
EY, HOW’S IT going? Let me The melting pot is an institution that guess what’s going on in your is almost uniquely American. All around mind right now as you read this. the world, there are people who want to A moment ago, as you looked at the title break away from this or that because they of this column, you might have been horthink they’re different. Many times, their rified at the flagrant efforts end in violence, like use of the word in Chechnya, East Timor, “chink.” Then, you or Northern Ireland. And saw the picture, in other instances, you’ve chuckled, and wongot various groups trying to dered how you separate through peaceful could’ve ever been so means, like in Quebec or uptight and politically Scotland. You simply don’t correct. Or, if you’re see this in the United still horrified, you States. Why? Because we, should probably flip to the American people, see page 10 and read ourselves as Americans about hacking and vaabove all else, as we should ginas instead, because – or at least we used to. you’re probably not Everyone talks about going to enjoy what living in a colorblind sociJames Funky ety, where what race you are you’re going to read ahead. Chinaman Yeh doesn’t matter anymore. Matt, our esHeck, I’m all for that, and teemed editor, back from his sabbatical in I’m sure most of my colleagues would the land of Recovery from Major Surgery, agree. So why do people still make a big originally didn’t want me to use this title. deal about it? He thought that it might offended some I’m originally from the Republic of people, and he knew he’d be the one to China. I was originally a citizen there, but catch flak for it. I know this won’t be the now I’m an American citizen. Most, if not last time I say this, but let me say it now: all people would describe me as “Chinese.” if you have a problem with the name of Yeah, I suppose they’re right, but only in my column, email me or Review. Don’t the biological sense. Sure, I’m statistically hunt down Matt and castrate him, because less susceptible to certain diseases than you know, he hates that. Caucasians (so I’m proud to say I’ve never I used to think for a long time about had a doctor’s finger up my ass), I’m less how I could justify the title. I would spend able to perform certain high-G maneuvers the time I was sitting on the bus or in the in aircraft before passing out, and if I ever shower thinking about what the title could have a kid with a “Chinese” chick (somesignify. I knew I wanted to use it, because thing I just can’t imagine myself doing….), I thought it was pretty damn funny, but I our kid would probably look like a milwanted it to have a deeper meaning. Plus, lion other “Chinese” babies. But only in I wanted to have a reason to use it for those the biological sense. Culturally, I’m a prodof you with no sense of humor at all. Fiuct of the melting pot.
History has proven what Americans can do if we stick together. Together, the American melting pot could face down any hardship that we’re faced with. We stuck together as one people during the Depression and stuck together as we toppled fascism. nally, I found it. I’m a chink in the armor of multiculturalism. I’m a proud member of the American melting pot. Some have called for the end of this melting pot, but I think the melting pot is America, that it keeps us together as Americans; multiculturalism, however, is a horrible, horrible thing.
But what exactly does that mean? No, that does not mean I’m white. Being American doesn’t automatically mean you’re white. I haven’t forgotten who I am and where I come from, I just don’t make a big deal out of it. Sure, I celebrate Chinese New Year when I can and eat moon cakes and whatnot during the right times,
Thousands of huddled masses yearning to be assimilated into the American collective. Resistence was futile! but that’s it. The point of the melting pot is to join the collective American culture, to bring a part of yourself and your culture in with you, but also to leave part of it behind. And that’s what makes America what we are today. Why does practically everyone celebrate St. Patrick’s day? Well, to college kids, it’s probably just an official excuse to get plastered, but why do little kids make shamrocks out of construction paper in school? Why do people still celebrate Halloween, a pagan holiday? Valentine’s day is surely a commercial holiday today, but it’s also the feast day for St. Valentine, a Catholic saint. Everywhere we turn there is evidence of the melting pot. We’ve got Taco Bells, pizza joints and bagel shops all over the place in America, not just Ann Arbor. Do only Mexicans, Italians and Jews frequent those respectively places? Of course not. And surely no one would label tacos, pizza and bagels “ethnic” foods. (well, maybe tacos, but give it a few years and you’ll see.) Why do people of different ethnicities voluntarily segregate themselves in the cafeterias? Why are there so many [insert nationality]-American groups out there? Because people think they’r e different from each other. They are victims of this plague called multiculturalism. They’re repeatedly told that they’re different. Why is it that I’m never been in an all-Asian club? (No, my high school orchestra does not count, although it was close.) Because I don’t think I’m different. I’m like everyone else. The people that I hang out with don’t think I’m different either. Well, some might, but not because of my race or cultural background.
I’ve got problems with grades, I don’t get enough sleep, and I think gas is way too expensive. Are these problems unique to a certain race or ethnicity? Heck no. I don’t feel the need to gravitate toward people that look like me. I don’t think I worship God any better with people that look like me rather than with people that don’t. Problems are problems, worship is worship. Does it make a difference who I’m worshipping God with, as long as they’re of the same religion? No, of course not. Just three years ago, my church back home changed its name from Rutgers Community Chinese Church to Rutgers Community Christian Church. Why the change? Because they didn’t want to continue with the self-imposed segregation. The church leaders believed that it was the will of God to spread the Gospel to all people, of all colors, not just to people of a certain race or ethnicity. Why can’t we all see that? History has proven what Americans can do if we stick together. Together, the American melting pot could face down any hardship that we’re faced with. We stuck together as one people during the Depression and stuck together as we toppled fascism. A former instructor of mine from my days in NROTC said that he didn’t care what color the men under his command were, as long as they bled Navy blue and gold. Well, I don’t care what color people are, as long as they bleed red, white and blue. And as long as we do, as long as we think of ourselves as Americans, then please feel free to sit down and eat with me anytime. MR
February 23, 2000
THE MICHIGAN REVIEW COLUMNS
❑ THE ROAD FROM SERFDOM
An Ode to Baseball The Lords Pastime
HE MOST COMMON English translation of the Bible begins with the phrase, “In the beginning...”, or by adding one space and swapping a letter, “In the big inning...” To some, this amounts to but a minor curiosity. To most, not even that. But to me, it represents an indisputable fact: baseball is the sport the Lord intended for the English-speaking peoples, along with everybody else. So, in Jacob F.M. honor of Spring Oslick Training, the Genesis of a new season, I demur from my usual liberal-bashing and instead present you with this loving ode to baseball. For baseball symbolizes both everything great about the United States, and with life itself. Baseball is, after all, the most individualistic of the major team sports. Unlike socialist football, where the entire offensive line must work collectively for the team to
second baseman inside. And, once the Dodgers broke baseball’s racial cartel, the color-barrier collapsed. Without any affirmative action or government quotas, teams realized they could not compete while maintaining irrational prejudices. Baseball symbolizes America in yet another way: its constant reinvigoration by new blood, new citizens. To me, it stands out in beautiful, perfect irony that America’s pastime is being saved by the very people that nationalist yahoos from Pat Buchanan to the AFL-CIO complain about: new immigrants from Asia and Latin America. For, sadly, elder Americans have lost their way, and no longer hold a passion for the game. Being comfortable on our shores for several generations, and obsessed with a desire for immediate gratification, they lack the patience to appreciate baseball. Instead, they flock en masse to the faster and stupider games like basketball and football. But go to Mexico, or Cuba, or the Dominican Republic. There, a genuine thirst for the game thrives. As new Americans, Latin immigrants quickly become not only the game’s greatest players, but also its most devoted fans. Just as
It stands out in beautiful, perfect irony that America’s pastime is being saved by the very people that nationalist yahoos from Pat Buchanan to the AFL-CIO complain about: new immigrants from Asia and Latin America score, baseball consists mostly of a series of one on one match-ups. Pitcher vs. batter. Catcher vs. base-stealer. Centerfielder vs. the sun’s glare. Like capitalism, it is a sport where nearly anyone can succeed. One need not stand 7 feet tall, run lightening-fast or bench-press 300 pounds to play baseball. But one must work hard, develop superior hand-eye coordination, and master the game’s fundamentals. Thus, the majors this decade have accommodated a diverse variety of physical types, from Ken Griffey Jr. to John Kruk. Baseball also represents a world where bigotry ended through competition, not preferences. The Commissioner did not need to give Jackie Robinson 20 points extra on his batting average for the Dodgers to sign him. Instead, the Dodgers merely looked beneath the skin, to see the superb
America has grown, and prospered, and changed with each new wave of newcomers, so to baseball, whose salvation rests in those still yearning to breathe free. But baseball represents more than just America, it represents life itself. Its season starts in early spring, the time when, as the Song of Songs declares, “for lo, the Winter is past, the rains have come and gone, the flowers have appeared in the earth seen in the land, the time of the birds singing has come and the voice of the turtle-dove is heard in the land” (2:11-13). Life, in short, begins anew. As the season ages, the flowers bloom, and the trees give up their fruit. Some of Spring Training’s early childhood dreams turn into reality; others fail to live up to expectations. In March even the greatest scout cannot tell which scrawny rookie will go on to hit
.320, and which will be washing cars by August. Like life, some triumphs emerge as surprises, seemingly out of nowhere (Paul Byrd an All-Star?), other “sure things” collapse (Dwight Gooden in the early 1990s). By September the leaves are brown and the season nears its end. Its hairs are graying, its body quickly wrinkling. In the end, as Koheleth teaches, “the same fate overtakes both the wise man and the fool.” (Ecclesiastes 2:14). In the cold, quiet grave of midNovember both the champion and the cellar-dweller cease to exist. True, their friends and fans can look back and admire the season—a player, a team, a singular accomplishment. But the season itself is a fait accompli, unchangeable, unable to be brought back to life. For life itself is like a single inning of a baseball game. Each successive one is totally unpredictable and can turn a game on its head. I recall a few years back when my Philadelphia Phillies scored 10 runs in the ninth inning to win 11-10. Sure, that event is baseball’s equivalent to winning the lottery, but, in life, people do win lotteries. Their lives can change in a literal instant — a phone call, a marriage proposal, a letter. Life itself seems to function like
baseball’s clock of outs, frozen during success, speeding towards the end in failure. And if baseball is indeed but one inning of a baseball game, may we live in a “big inning” so that are lives are strong and blessed. MR
Baseball is America. And in America, we have plenty of assholes. But without those foreigners, this asshole might be out of a job.
THE MICHIGAN REVIEW CAMPUS AFFAIRS
MICHIGAMUA Continued from Page 1 “Native American pseudo-culture” and parodies, such as imitation headdresses and figurines. Of the Administration, the SCC demands that they remove the three organizations from the Tower, convert the empty space into a “cultural lounge,” and de-recognize Michigamua as an official student group. “We understand why they’re offended,” Michigamua spokesman Nick Delgado says of the SCC. “We understand the real issue that is at hand: resolving the pain that has been caused to the Native American community.” And members of Michigamua have, on many occasions, stated their intentions of removing ever ything from their meeting space that the SCC deems offensive, and voiced their desire to have an open dialogue. “We have committed to completely abolish anything the Native American community finds offensive,” Delgado says with a certain charm about him. Hearing him speak, one can not help but believe that the members of Michigamua truly want to change. Yet, the SCC just doesn’t believe them. SCC member Diego Bernal, a first year
graduate student in the School of Social Work, says that the Native American community has been dealing with Michigamua’s insensitivity for thirty years, and claims that members of Michigamua have no intention of respecting the SCC’s wishes. “Michigamua’s standard response is, ‘It’s time for dialogue,’” says Bernal. “That’s not an acceptable answer anymore.” Although each side shakes its head at one another, both groups want to end this episode. Here, the SCC seems unwilling to compromise, intending to remain holed up in the Tower until Michigamua and the University accede to every single one of their demands. But because Michigamua refuses to give up the meeting space they’ve been using for decades, an easy solution seems out of reach.
Facing pressure from all sides, the Administration is doing what it does best: nothing.
A Lifetime in the Tower
Seventy years ago, everyone knew what took up the space at the top of the Union: a water tower, which provided clean water to the campus. But as water and sewer systems improved to the point where a water tower was no longer necessary, that space became vacant. At this time, Michigamua – then a group shrouded in secrecy and blatantly using Native American-style rituals – had been around for approximately 30 years, having been founded in 1901 by President
M. Schwartz / Review
A stuffed owl hangs from the ceiling of the tower office. This, claims SCC, violates the contract Michigamua signed in ‘89, promising to remove any references to Native American culture. But, says Michigamua spokesman Nick Delgado, “There are some members that don’t know the owl is [an Indian] symbol of death.” That’s why dialogue is important, he says – to find out what exactly the SCC finds offensive. “At no point has any member of Michigamua had malicious intent to hurt the Native american community,” says Delgado. “Ever.” Delgado realizes that some symbols – such as the owl – are not exclusively Native American symbols, and Michigamua could probably be more resistant. As a Chicano, he cites an analagous situation: suppose Michigamua used a flame on their table during meetings, and someone from the Chicano community complained that to him, flames are representative of “the fire in my heart.” Would Michigamua members cease using it in ceremonies? According to Delgado, that would be going “too far.” But there has been a history of tension betw een Michigamua and the Native American community on campus, and as such, says Delgado, “We have committed to completely abolish anything the Native American community finds offensive.”
February 23, 2000
Angell and Coach Fielding Yost. Members had been meeting elsewhere in the Union, and when the group saw that the Tower area was no longer being used, Yost suggested to Union directors that Michigamua remove the water tower and construct meeting rooms in its place. The Union directors agreed, and rented the rooms to Michigamua and the Vulcan Druids (another secret society, soon to be known as a Tower Society), beginning in the academic year of 1931-32. The U-M Union Finance Committee minutes of May 9, 1932, further Michigamua says they could not remove this state that if prominently displayed plaque honoring co-founder Michigamua finished Fielding Yost, as it is bolted to the wall. construction on the room, and furnished it at its own expense President for Student Affairs Royster before July 1, 1940, then “from that time Harper passed the ball to the Michigan on, it shall be given the room free of rent.” Student Assembly (MSA) in a Feb. 13 Michigamua finished renovations statement. “Michigamua’s affiliation with the University of Michigan as a student within a year, and for almost 70 years, members have conducted business in that organization derives from [MSA] room on the seventh floor of the Union, recognition,” she said. “The decision an old water tower converted into a sacred whether or not to sever the student meeting place. But it isn’t simply a normal organization affiliation is a discussion that room; architects designed the room to reshould appropriately take place within semble the traditional living quarters of MSA.” Native American families, labeling This put MSA in a bit of a bind. Were “Wigwam” on the blueprints. Mock birch Michigamua a normal student group, MSA bark lines the walls of the room; a moose could reallocate its office space rather head is mounted on one side of the room handily. But MSA’s jurisdiction only and antlers on the other; an ominous wolf reaches to the fourth floor of the Michigan stares down from a ceiling mural, and a Union. “We don’t have any capability of stuffed owl swoops overhead. doing anything with the seventh floor,” Michigamua has no intentions of leavMSA veep Andy Coulouris said to the ing its home in the Tower. “The space obMichigan Daily. “The University may or viously is very valuable to us,” says may not. But we definitely don’t.” Delgado. “We have many memories in that Additionally, MSA reps have no space.” intention of severing ties with the group, But the SCC believes it should be a for Michigamua has not broken any rules. public space. “This is a public institution, And as any MSA member, or even and the Union is a public area,” says Bernal. President Bollinger will make clear, a group The minutes from that fateful 1932 should not be punished because it holds meeting are clear: Michigamua would posunpopular views. “We will not recognize sess the room “from that time on.” No or de-recognize student organizations based ending date was specified. Yet, despite this upon their viewpoints,” Bollinger said at a informal arrangement, Michigamua and Feb. 15 meeting of the Senate Advisory the University never signed a contract. Committee for University Affairs. “It is our Thus, technically, the Administration can belief as an academic institution that do whatever it wants with the space. student organizations should not turn on offensive viewpoints of student Why Do Something organizations – it is a principle of the U.S. When You Can Do Nothing? Constitution.” After a five and a half hour meeting Facing pressure from all sides, the on Feb. 15 – 10 days into the occupation – Administration is doing what it does best: MSA representatives passed a resolution in nothing. In a classic example of how not favor of delegating control of the Union to take control of a situation, Interim Vice Tower to the University’s Office Space M. Schwartz / Review
February 23, 2000
Money vs. Media Coverage It is no secret that some of the most influential, powerful, and notable graduates of the U-M are alumni of Michigamua. Since many of these ‘Gamuagrads are big donors, it is easy to see why Administrators would hesitate to stand up to Michigamua’s allegedly racist ways – angry alum are notoriously stingy with their pocketbooks. Of course, the SCC was holding the trump card, and its name was “media.” Should the University side with Michigamua, and forcibly remove the protesters from the premises (possible, although highly unlikely), the SCC would call every media mogul in the book, and possibly cause a firestorm of criticism to descend upon the University and its administrators. Little did they know, the media were already on their way. Within days of the start of the takeover, local newspapers and television stations were covering the protest, and shining a negative spotlight on the University. That spotlight became infinitely brighter once the New York Times started calling, and wrote in their Feb. 13 issue that “a debate that somewhat mirrors the nation’s struggle to come to terms with its history of racism” was taking place at the U-M. The Associated Press picked up the story, and soon the infamous Reverend Al Sharpton decided to lend his support to the SCC cause (see Page 1). As the Review goes to press, nothing has been resolved. While Michigamua agreed to three of eight SCC demands in a Feb. 21 meeting – formally apologizing to the Indian community; scrutinizing the use of its name and its members’ nicknames; and removing all items related to Indian culture – they had always agreed to those points. What the SCC wants most – for the group to leave its office, and disassociate from the U-M – is something that Michigamua will not agree to any time soon. As such, it appears that the sit-in is destined to last much longer than anyone involved had hoped. MR LSA junior Matthew Schwartz is editor-in-chief of the Review. You can e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Leaders and Best?
What Makes Michigamua Members Better Than You or Me BY MICHAEL AUSTI N
NTIL THE TAKEOVER, regular meetings were held in the now infamous office space on the seventh floor of the Union Tower, where the chosen few would sit and do whatever it is they do. Since the campus has been made aware of this secret society, the question lingers: who is this group of two dozen seniors, chosen as best leaders on campus? And what do they do as members of Michigamua? What Michigamua actually does is somewhat vague. “I can’t point to a particular program” and say that this is something we’ve done, says Michigamua spokesman Nick Delgado. Members say that the group isn’t secret, just humble. “If we did point to something concrete, there is a great danger for misinterpretation for that. ... It’s not about that,” says Delgado. And this noble humility is one reason the campus has no idea what they do. Additionally, Michigamua has no definitive purpose other than to serve the university community, a role that is constantly changing. The vision statement of Michigamua reads, “To be a source of leadership and service in all aspects of life at the University of Michigan. To instill in the membership a lifelong commitment to Michigan and Michigamua. To dev elop lasting friendships and enduring memories among a diverse group of leaders who otherwise may not have known each other.” The 24 current members of Michigamua are truly a diverse group, representing a number of ethnic groups and students from all walks of campus life. Each is no doubt a fine leader, but what makes these 24 individuals the best leaders on campus? Clearly, many aspects of leadership go far beyond the achievements one lists on a resume. Leadership can be somewhat intangible, and since no one can clearly elucidate what exactly makes a leader, Michigamua is somewhat peculiar in how they have defined leadership in the class of 2000. For instance, 12 of the 24 Michigamua members are athletes. Athletics are a large part of Michigamua’s history, with notable alumni like Red Berenson, Fielding Yost, and Bo Schembechler. The current class carries on the tradition with athletes from assorted sports who are captains or top performers on their team like Bryce Ralston (Baseball), Erica Widder (Field Hockey), Jose Haro (Gymnastics), Kevin Magnuson and Sean Peach (Ice Hockey), Scott Meyer and Shannon Shakespeare (Swimming), Rob Renes (Football), and Steve Moffat (Track). What is odd is the inclusion of benchwarmers like Darius Taylor (Basket-
M. Schwartz / Review
Allocations Committee, thereby passing the ball back to the Administration. Faced with essentially a collective reassurance from MSA that the Administration was fit to decide Michigamua’s fate, the administrators continued to stall, apparently preferring increasing public frustration to anger with any decision they might make. Why wouldn’t the Administration take a stand? Obviously, this was a very delicate situation, and the feelings of members in each group were at stake. However, the Administration was most likely concerned not as much with bruised feelings, as with the possible ramifications of such bruises.
THE MICHIGAN REVIEW CAMPUS AFFAIRS
A Wolve looks down upon his chosen few, from Michigamuas ceiling ball), Jason Kapsner (Football), and Matt Michalski (Wrestling). Granted, being a student-athlete is very difficult due to a rigorous practice schedule in addition to normal schoolwork, but the greater benefit they give to campus remains questionable. The inclusion of so many athletes seems to compromise Michigamua’s goal of being a source of leadership in all aspects of life at the University. Furthermore, most of the athletes on Michigamua have no major ac-
tivities outside of their sport. There is little evidence as to why athletes are such good leaders on a campus-wide level, that they should comprise half of Michigamua. Furthermore, the devotion athletes have to the University can even be questioned. As seniors, they are all probably very committed to representing the Maize and Blue the best way they can. However, anyone skilled enough to play on a collegiate level is also dedicated to their sport. It is unlikely that their addition to the wellbeing of campus was a major consideration in attending Michigan. If any of them had ended up playing at another school, they would be working just as hard and probably performing just as well. Much like the athletes, the non-athlete members of Michigamua have both obvious and less-obvious “leaders.” Every member of Michigamua has leadership experience in various student groups, but the issue who is the best comes into consideration once again. Why was anyone in this year’s group chosen over someone else when there must be an abundance of overqualified candidates on campus? Possibly the most notable of this year’s Michigamua members is MSA President Bram Elias. Bram is also a former MSA Treasurer, and helped get the Student Coursepack Service started. Nick Delgado, who has performed admirably in the last
See LEADERS, Page 11
How to Get Into Michigamua A By-the-Numbers Approach to Getting to the Top of the Tower So you’ve been keeping up on all the recent news regarding Michigamua and you’r e more than intrigued. In fact you want to be a “Fighting Wolf ” yourself. From a strictly statistical standpoint, here’s how. Keep in mind that numbers aren’t the whole story, but any way of increasing your chances should help. First of all, the best way to get in is to be an athlete. Failing that, join the Dance Marathon, since an overwhelming majority of the non-athletes are actively involved in it. If you’r e a man, be sure to schmooze with Bryan, Doug, Nick, and Rishi when you join the White Ribbon Campaign. Joining the Greek system won’t hurt, nor will running for student government. Work on those grades too, so you can join an honor society like Golden Key or Mortar Board. Michigamua looks for humility in its members as well, but remember that there’s a fine line between pride and arrogance. Make sure to get yourself quoted
in the Daily, but don’t say anything about your personal accomplishments. Instead focus on what a benefit to the community whatever you’re doing is, or how there’s been such a positive response. And speaking of the Daily, don’t forget that they love anything to do with multiculturalism, so join as many ethnic student groups as you can fit on your resume. The same thing goes for any trendy political causes like sweatshop labor. Any student groups that uses the phrases like “encourage diversity” or “solve [insert issue here] problem across campus” are the ones you want to join. The number one rule is, if it sounds important, it is important. How much impact you as an individual have isn’t as important as your ability to bring together various campus groups while watching the naked mile on the roof of the Union. MR —Mike Austin
THE MICHIGAN REVIEW NATIONAL AFFAIRS, ARTS
February 23, 2000
Hackers Stole This Headline
BY MATTHEW FRANCZAK
HE RECENT DENIAL-of-service (DoS) attack on Yahoo, Amazon.com, and eBay has many people wondering why and how these sites w ere taken down. These sites’ relative prominence has drawn more attention than previous DoS attacks, and has prompted many to question: just how vulnerable is the world wide web to such actions? DoS attacks are actually quite simple in both theory and implementation. The general principle is one of taking out a computer system by overtaxing its resources. By simply sending many requests to a target computer, a system can be taken down. There are, of course, some obstacles to DoS attacks. A single computer can only generate so much traffic, and its IP address can be easily traced and blocked, so it is very difficult to launch a DoS attack alone. To get around this, one must seize control of other, poorly secured computers and implement them in the attack. Individual users with high-bandwidth connections and minimal security are the ideal pawns. These supporting systems do not even have to be broken into, since a cleverly disguised Trojan Horse (a malicious program that is portrayed as useful software in order to get users to install it) can be spread to a sufficiently large population to launch the attack. Additionally, when an attack stems from many sources, it is difficult to find its true origin. Thus, all it takes to launch
a DoS attack is a relatively small amount of skill and motivation. What, then, is the motivation? The most recent DoS attacks did not involve any hacking of the sites to leave a message, the most common reason that web sites are attacked. Therefore, the motives of the cracker or crackers are still a mystery, although there are some lines of speculation that are more probable than others. (Note: “hacker” is a neutral term for an individual with computer skills; “cracker” is a negative term that denotes an individual who uses computers maliciously.) First is the simple motivation of vandalism, which has been the motive behind quite a few malicious actions in the past. Some vandals break mailboxes, some vandals write graffiti, and some vandals attack web sites. The motivations of electronic vandals do not differ from commonplace vandals who destroy and deface physical structures, and may be as simple as boredom and wanting
attention. Like physical vandals, such individuals are likely to take credit for their crimes, but only among a small group of friends, due to the illegality of their actions. The second probable motivation is ideological. Many crackers have strong, and frequently bizarre ideological beliefs. This attack could be a protest of the commercialization of the web, or the outdated security that the outdated Internet Protocol (IP) system uses. If the media does not figure out the correct ideological reasoning behind the attack, the crackers may be tempted to reveal the reason for their attack, but otherwise are likely to r emain silent. Universities are frequently linked to hacking due to the large amount of bandwidth available through the networks. It has been reported that University of California Santa Barbara and Stanford servers was used in the most recent DoS attack. The University of Michigan’s computers
would be especially attractive, since they are connected to a backbone, one of the points where all the traffic in a region is transferred through onto the Internet. These backbones provide tremendous amounts of bandwidth, making the U-M an excellent staging point for a DoS attack. It is nearly impossible to assess the vulnerability of a computer to being used in a DoS attack since there are so many ways that the necessary access can be achieved. Software may have security flaws, gullible users may download a Trojan Horse, and an insider might accidentally or intentionally give access to crackers. Often the manipulation of people plays as large of a role in setting up a DoS attack as technical expertise. In light of this, the best protection against unwanted intrusions is a skilled system administrator. Computers cannot tell what the intention of a command is, only what it is telling them to do. A good system administration can tell when “suspicious” traffic is occurring on the networks and react appropriately to stop it. The same principle is true on the receiving end of the attack, where a perceptive administrator can catch the first signs of an attack although they appear like legitimate traffic to the computer. Although a good firewall and other security software can help, a system is only as secure as its administrator is skilled. MR Note: The Daily’s web site is served from www.pub.umich.edu... hint, hint...
Vagina Monologues Quickly Loses Shock Value BY
J ACOB F.M. OSLICK
OW DOES ONE DEFINE great art? Must the piece contain intense meaning for you, the viewer; or is it enough that it gains mass acceptance? My mother dislikes Shakespeare. Does this mean that, for her, Shakespeare is not a great playwright? Flipping the coin, for years Baywatch was the most popular television show on earth – does that qualify it as great art? From deep inside this mystery known as art appreciation comes a mysterious enigma: Eve Ensler’s Vagina Monologues, performed thrice on campus Valentine’s Day Weekend to standing-room-only crow ds. After much deliberation and consideration, I’ve concluded that I cannot give this work a fair review. For, although to me the play was a source of discomfort, for the majority of the audience it provoked immense enjoyment and laughter. I guess my problem with the play stems from the simple fact that I, a thankfully virginal Traditional Jewish male, am not the play’s target audience. Indeed, before even
setting foot inside the theater, I suspected the play’s subject matter, a series of woman talking about their genitalia, would cause me discomfort. Accordingly, I asked not a fair maiden to accompany me, but rather a fellow religious male, Review Publisher J.J. Wilson. Why you ask, with such foreknowledge of my i m p e n d i n g uneasiness, did I attend the Vagina Monologues? The answer is twofold. First, my dearest cousin was one of the actresses, and I so wanted to see her perform on stage. Second, considering the play’s political themes and its tremendous success on campus, it seemed worthy fodder for the pages of the Review. That said, on with my non-review. The play opened with Director Katie Williams presenting Eve Ensler’s introduction. She
explained the play’s objectives: to highlight the physical and sexual problems of women, including abuse, and to sexually liberate woman to the point where they are comfortable with their vaginas. She suggested, for example, that while men frequently speak of sex, woman rarely express pride in their bodies and sexual lives. The play then progresses with a series of woman speaking of their sexual dysfunctions – some darkly humorous (a woman who “flooded” during intimacy, a woman who “impaled” herself on a bedpost, a woman who experienced orgasms while horseback riding, but not during intercourse), others scary and sad (a Bosnian rape victim). But, as the play wore on, I experienced an emotion I did not expect: boredom.
After a while, all this talk of “Pussies Unite!” (yes, that was an actual quote) lost its shock value and became mundane.
After a while, all this talk of “Pussies Unite!” (yes, that was an actual quote) lost its shock value and became mundane. In this respect, the play reminded me of the first pornographic movie I saw. At first, the scenes were admittedly titillating. Yet, after a few minutes I practically fell asleep: the endless repetition, sans character development or witty dialogue. Quite frankly and unsurprisingly, I couldn’t remotely relate to the characters or their problems. Then, as I drifted in and out of consciousness, I noticed the sparkling performance of Ms. Karen Soules. This second-year bio-chem major, of all things, turned in a truly memorable performance as a dominatrix who wanted to give women “pleasure.” Once again, I could not even distantly connect with the persona – I’m neither into lesbianism or sadomasochism. Still, Ms. Soules had a certain energy about her, accentuated by her bright red-dyed hair and trampy-blue eye shadow. She at
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February 23, 2000
THE MICHIGAN REVIEW FILLER
❑ STOP ME IF YOUVE HEARD THIS ONE...
El Señor Guípes Guide To Picking Up Chicks Note: The Review is not responsible for any emotional scarring that occurs as a result of using the techniques listed below. You have been warned.
IGHT NOW, YOU may be pretty disgusted with me. I mean, think about it. You’ve been reading my column all semester, taking careful note of my advice, but alas, you still don’t have a girlfriend. Despite my tips on being “cool,” picking up girls online, and finding fun new ways to degrade midgets, you’ve somehow managed to El Señor screw things up once again, leavGuípe ing you with your prestigious bachelor status. As a matter of fact, you’re probably beginning to doubt the abilities of El Señor Guípe. So, in order to prove that I am, in fact, the “Mac Daddy” that I claim to be, I am prepared to give you, my loyal readers, some serious advice on how to find that special someone (read: get laid). The first step to finding a girlfriend is to actually (hold on to this one, folks) talk to a girl! I know, who would have thought that such a technique would actually work? But believe it or not, conversing with members of the opposite sex is the most effective way of eventually letting her know that you want her body. Now I know what
least kept me conscious enough to enjoy the play’s final act, in which my cousin performed. Still, one great performance doth not a great play, to me, make. Too often the play seemed to lose any semblance of meaning and devolve into silly shockinducing skits: what a vagina would say or what clothing it would wear. The audience seemed to get a kick out of those skits, but I just thought they were tasteless. Of all those short skits, only one left a lasting impression: a “vagina fact” about the practice of clitorectomy, or so-called “female circumcision,” in Africa. Why was this “fact” memorable: because it highlights a conflict between two Leftist causes, multicultural tolerance and woman’s rights. If the Left insists that no culture is superior to any other, and cannot dictate or impose values, then it has no right to condemn African tribes for removing the clitoris of young girls to preserve their chastity. If, on the other hand, it concedes the existence of some fundamental human rights that supercede cultural authority, then multiculturalism has limits. When those limits are reached, some respect for the liberal Western Tradition must remain. MR
you’re thinking. You’re thinking “But El Señor Guípe, I can’t talk to girls. I’m scared! They’ll probably just laugh at me and walk away, and then I’ll be the biggest dork in class!” Trust me, you have nothing to worry about. You already are the biggest dork in class. Talking to girls is really not that difficult, and it can be done by using one of three easy methods: Method #1: The Direct Approach If you’r e the kind of person that likes to get right to the point, the direct approach may be for you. Simply walk into lecture, look around for the girl you’ve been incorporating into your vivid sexual fantasies all semester, and sit down next to her. Stare at her until she is forced to look over at you and make eye contact. At this point, smile and say “Hi! My name is [insert name here] and I want to be your friend!” If she responds in a similar manner, she’s yours. If she laughs uncontrollably and moves to the other side of the auditorium, she is subtly trying to send the message that she is not yours, which of course means you should respond by scowling every time you see her for the rest of your life. Method #2: Beating Around the Bush (no pun intended)
LEADERS Continued from Page 9 few weeks as Michigamua’s external relations contact, is active in the Latino/a community. There also are a number of Presidents and Directors of various organizations: Cindy Faulk and Rohith Reddy, former Panhellenic and Intrafraternity Council Presidents; Rishi Moudgil, director and founder of K-grams; Br yan Ackerman, Dance Marathon Executive Director; Michael Forward, former president of Black Electrical Engineers and Computer Scientists; Cathleen Totin, former Army ROTC Battalion Commander; Seema Pai LSA-Student Government President; Damaune Journey, National Treasurer of the National Society of Black Engineers; Doug Henry, one of the Rank Leaders in the Marching Band; and Diana Economy, vice-president of the senior honor society Mortar Board. Each member of Michigamua has held some sort of leadership position, but while that is an aspect of leadership it still gives no indication as to why any of them are better than any other leaders on campus.
Unfortunately, not all of us are assertive enough to use the direct approach. Luckily, there are alternative methods to accomplish your goal. If you really want to go out with a girl but you know there’s no way in hell that she will agree to it, the best thing to do is to trick her into going out with you. This can be done using my second method of picking up girls, which I refer to as “beating around the bush.” A friend of mine recently used this technique; we’ll just call him “El Señor G.” Realizing that a dreaded midterm was coming up soon, El Señor G immediately sensed the opportunity to use this situation to his advantage. He cleverly sat next to a very attractive girl and began talking to her. The conversation went something like this. G: “Gee, I’m really worried about this midterm.” Random Girl: “Have you started studying yet?” G: “No, I haven’t. And the exam is in two days! If only I had someone to study withA. But who? WHO?” Random Girl: “Awww, I’ll study with you. Here’s my number.” G: “Really? Wow. Thanks, I’ll be sure to call you.” Random Girl: “Yep. See ya later.” (walking out of the room) G: “SCORE!!!!!!!” As you can see, the good Senor was
not only able to get the phone number of a girl, but of a hot girl! It’s only a matter of time before he has her wrapped around his little, uh, finger. Method #3: Take Boring Classes As I’ve said before, the best way to pick up a girl is to start a conversation with her. And what better way to do so than to put her in a situation where she is so bored she would talk to almost anyone, even you! The obvious method behind such madness is to take a really boring class that has a high girl to guy ratio. Once again, take a seat next to the object of your desire and slyly observe her. When she looks like she’s about to die from boredom, it’s time to make your move. Open your notebook to a clean sheet of paper, draw a “Tic Tac Toe” board, and slide it over to your neighbor, giving her a flirtatious wink along with it. If she grins and draws an “X” (or an “O,” if that’s her preference), she’s yours for the taking. If she snickers and calls you a dork, start whining as loudly as possible until she apologizes and agrees to make up for her rudeness by going out with you. It’s a win/win situation! Well, there you have it, friends: practical, real world lessons on how to pick up girls, lessons that will get results! And if all else fails, cheer up, there’s always Deja Vu. Remember, fifteen dollars, topless; twenty, nude. MR
“There’s another tier for those people that are truly committed to Michigan.” –Michigamua spokesman Nick Delgado That decision is up to the previous Michigamua class. Each member nominates a number of candidates that he feels worthy, and the group discusses each nominee until the field is narrowed down to twenty-five students. Although there is supposedly no preference towards athletes, it is easy to see how a large student-athlete presence in Michigamua can be self-perpetuating. Also, service and loyalty to the University is a large factor. According to Delgado, it is very important that prospective members “have a love for Michigan. ... There’s another tier for those people that are truly committed to Michigan,” he says. It all comes down to students who will understand the importance of Michigamua and carry on its traditions. So when Michigamua chooses the best leaders on campus, it’s not to say that there aren’t any other excellent campus leaders; it just means that those 25 leaders are the best for Michigamua.
With the University’s growing size, Michigamua’s importance seems to be eroding. By refusing to take credit for their accomplishments, Michigamua has a hard time justifying their importance to the campus community. There are literally hundreds of organizations designed to meet students’ needs, all of which are much more accessible to the average coed. Thus, to the average student, Michigamua appears to be no more than a group of campus bigwigs getting together to talk about their self-importance. It is presumptuous to assume that any of the group members would be so arrogant, but then again one of Michigamua’s main purposes is “To develop lasting friendships and enduring memories among a diverse group of leaders who otherwise may not have known each other” — in other words, a group made by the members, for the members. MR