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The Michigan Review the michigan review


The Campus Affairs Journal at the University of Michigan

March 21, 2006

Volume XXIV, Number 10

MR March 21, 2006

Who will lead the campus? MSA Elections, Page 3 The University of Michigan in Detroit?

Faceoff: MR vs. MD

Brian Biglin explores the The Review’s Chris Stieber idea of more interaction beand the Daily’s Toby tween UM and Detroit. Mitchell faceoff on Iraq. Page 5 Page 6

MCRI: The Battle Ahead Michael O’Brien analyzes affirmative action on campus and the MCRI. Page 8

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the michigan review Humor

MR Tackles St. Patty

Bram O’Malley and Glen Hennigan return for the second annual St. Patrick’s Day diary


fter last year’s spectacular day of alcoholic debauchery, we - Bram O’Malley and Glen Hennigan, The Michigan Review’s two resident St. Patrick’s Day correspondents - spent the last 364 days conditioning for this year’s great holiday. We increased our livers’ capacity to endure hours upon hours of pints and shots. Needless to say, our bodies were not happy with the adversity faced over the past year, but we knew that humanity and Mother Ireland would be grateful for our sacrifice. Here is our story. The day began at Midnight. Bram was ushering in St. Patrick’s Day with a Car Bomb at his place of residence before taking an obligatory nap before heading off to Ashley’s to be one of the first 25 drinkers through the door – in an effort to capture a coveted free t-shirt. Glen decided to take a chance at midnight, and skip out on a coveted nap, also in hopes of making it to Ashley’s early for an even more coveted t-shirt. Glen felt that the most exciting way to spend the wee hours of the night would be by playing beer pong at a local fraternity house. The plan was to go to Ashley’s at 4am, drinking heavily before waiting in the cold in order to make enduring hours in queue more enjoyable. St. Patrick’s Day was starting well for Glen, as he went undefeated in beer pong against the younger, less experienced undergraduate athletes. Glen made one of the losing beer pong opponents go to Ashley’s at 3:45 in order to scope out the state of the line. To his dismay, the line for a t-shirt was at capacity at 25 people. The only way Glen knew how to cope with the bad news was to drink more, at a faster pace. Bram awoke just before 3:30 to a phone call from one of his friends who was waiting in line. The line was already at 16, and increasing fast. Bram was met with a burst of adrenalin; he had to make the line. Rushing out his front door, still drunk from the night before, he tripped and fell down his front step – almost spilling his thermos of espresso and Jameson. Knowing that he could not run for more than a few blocks, Jesus Christ reached down from the heavens and deposited a cab a block from his house. Thanks to God’s miracle, Bram arrived 24th in line. Praise be the Lord. Glen’s day took a turn for the worse quite early. After making a quick jaunt to McDonald’s for breakfast, lack of sleep and over consumption of alcohol resulted in an unprecedented nap of 4 hours for Glen, who wouldn’t wake up until 10am, but felt recharged and thirsting for liquid courage when his eyes opened. At that late of a start on St. Patrick’s Day morning, there was only one Ann Arbor establishment where Glen felt comfortable showing his face, the infamous Brown Jug. The line at the Jug proved to be formidable at such a late start time, however, by the grace of God and a year’s worth of conditioning there, Glen was granted entry immediately The line at Ashley’s promptly grew to over 150 in less than an hour. Around 4:30 am, fellow dedicated Irishmen, already a few whiskey shots in the bag, decided it would be a good idea to mount the top of his friends car, which was parked conveniently in front of Ashley’s, and urinate off the top of it onto State Street. Unfortunately, the pressure of the crowd proved too much, and stage fright gripped the poor lad’s groin. After three hours of intense Irish coffee pounding in the freezing cold, Bram and his buddies finally were admitted to Ashley’s at 6:30 am. They quickly gorged themselves with the fantastic Ashley’s buffet and chugged a few pints of green beer. By the hour of 9:30, after many Irish car bombs and pints of green beer, one of Bram’s lesser Irishmen friends

found the consumption too much to handle and booted up a frothy green mix of Guinness and Bailey’s in the Ashleys men’s bathroom sink. At this point, it was time to meet up with Glen at the legendary establishment on South University known as the Brown Jug. Our Irish excitement bubbled over, and in a singular act or European solidarity, Bram and Glen connected as one with kissing on each other’s cheeks (and lips possibly, we were too drunk to recall). Every Michigan student who yearned to be Irish but came from some other crap country was parked at Jug that morning. Old friends reunited and new friends were made over pitchers of green beer and broken glasses of Irish Car Bombs. This is where things start to get sketchy. Many photos were taken, many memories were forgotten. This perhaps marks the three hour period, where Bram and Glen blacked out, all before the hour of 11:30. On multiple occasions, Glen felt he would celebrate the day with old friends by ordering the “potpourri sampler” – invented by Glen and consumed by many, this order meant every special on the menu brought to the table for everyone to try a new drink. Bram reveled in his blackout state with the whole bar, singing all of his favorite Irish drinking songs to the whole booth section of the Jug. Glen insulted everyone that he came across, friends and enemies alike and made up for his insults with shots. Bram and Glen went with friends to Dominick’s where they smoked fine cigars, sang Irish drinking songs, and pelvic thrusted all of the clientele from the top of a picnic table – basically a normal jaunt to Dominick’s. Glen and Bram decided it best to take a respite, which turned into an extended pass out adventure from which we awoke to a combined 25 missed calls. Upon waking up, Bram, realizing the late time, sprayed himself in cologne and sprinted to Ricks in fear of a long line. Luckily, he made it in time and was able to meet up with his the final remnants of his Ashley’s crew to enjoy three hours of shots, beers, more pelvic thrusting and drunken face licking. Around 12:30 pm, he realized it was time to go back to his home, the Brown Jug where Glen had been since 11pm. Glen’s late night at the Jug proved to be an exciting one. All those who were not Irish enough for daytime drinking had found there way to the legendary pub for nighttime revelry. Glen felt like a king, and drank like a homeless man with king’s money. He bought shots for friends and foes alike until he could no longer see. He bought so many shots for a few of his finest friends that they were kicked out of the Jug. One friend, unable to control his Irish anger, got too much into the Irish spirit and accidentally broke a window. One of Bram’s friends also couldn’t control his Irish-by-way-of-Africa spirit and regurgitate an Irish Car Bomb all over the bar of the Brown Jug. Bram and Glen, knowing their friend’s limits felt it necessary to continue the festivities away from other human beings. They purchased a 30 pack and headed to a late night private affair. Long story short, they cut the line and Big Ten Burrito where they were treated to complimentary Mexican cuisine, bonged multiple beers at the after party, wrestled their way into face injuries, and passed out at 4:30am. All in all, it was a fabulous holiday. Next year, Bram and Glen will be taking the shit show to New York City where we will undoubtedly have even more outrageous stories to recount to you, our faithful Irish readers. MR

March 21, 2006 The Michigan Review The Campus Affairs Journal of the University of Michigan James David Dickson Editor in Chief Paul Teske Publisher Sekou Benson Managing Editor Nick Cheolas Content Editor Michael O’Brien Campus Affairs Editor Assistant Editors:

Chris Stieber

Staff: Michael Balkin, Brian Biglin, Karen Boore, Rebecca Christy, Tom Church, Jane Coaston, Stephen Crabtree, Blake Emerson, Kole Kurti, Jeremy Linden, Matt MacKinnon, Brian McNally, Natalie Newton, Amanda Nichols, Adam Paul, Danielle Putnam, Yevgeny Shrago Editor Emeritus: Michael J. Phillips 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 University. Contributions to The Michigan Review are tax-deductible under section 501 (c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Service Code. The Michigan Review is not affiliated with any political party or any 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 expressed in this publication do 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, subscription inquiries, and donations to “Publisher,” c/o The Michigan Review: Editorial and Business Offices: The Michigan Review 911 N. University Avenue, Suite One Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1265 mrev @ Copyright © 2006, The Michigan Review, Inc. All rights reserved. The Michigan Review is a member of the Collegiate Network.

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the michigan review Campus Affairs

March 21, 2006

MSA Elections Promise to be Controversial

For the first time in years, Students 4 Michigan faces a credible challenge from two new parties. By Amanda Nichols, ‘08


sk an average American to name a third-party candidate. Ralph Nader and Ross Perot might come to mind. A third-party candidate who had any success? This question might only elicit blank stares, and perhaps a mention or two of Teddy Roosevelt and the Bull Moose Party, and that from the most educated respondents. It was in classic American fashion, then, that the 2005 MSA election featured only two parties. Last spring, Students 4 Michigan defeated the Defend Affirmative Action Party in the classic American two-party race; in fact, S4M’s victory was so far-reaching that it was almost reminiscent of the Reagan-era elections. However, the 2006 election is proving to be much more contentious and hard-fought. Joining S4M and DAAP in the race are Walter Nowinski’s Michigan Progressive Party and Clark Ruper and Ryan Fantuzzi’s Student Conservative Party. While the two new parties run largely on politics-related platforms, S4M’s campaign focuses on several issues unrelated to either end of the political spectrum, and will target the largest and most diverse voting base. Party Chair Robbie O’Brien told the Review that “fighting for student rights” is what S4M thinks is most important. This includes assuring student groups will receive appropriate and unbiased funding, ensuring students do not receive MIPs while at the hospital, and reaffirming students’ rights to fair housing. S4M also answered the charges of those calling for increased fiscal responsibility in MSA. According to O’Brien, by asserting that in April 2005, the assembly, “began implementing a full revision of student group funding practices.” Furthermore, he claimed the S4M-controlled assembly has worked, and continues to work, toward greater fiscal transparency by revamping “MSA’s discretionary funding procedure with the creation of the MSA-Sponsored Events Fund.” This ensures the assembly complies with the US Supreme Court’s University of Wisconsin v. Southworth decision stating all funding requests be made in a viewpointneutral way. Although S4M claims fiscal responsibility, there has been much talk over the fiduciary ramifications of the Ludacris concert. MSA, and by association, S4M, has been roundly criticized for the loss of $15,000 on the venture. However, O’Brien defended the assembly’s decision. He asserted the concert was

an answer to student demands for more high-profile events, and that it was never intended to turn a profit. He also cited a figure that the concert attracted over 7% of University students; other events, O’Brien claimed, cost much more and attracted far fewer students. Furthermore, MPP Presidential candidate Rese Fox—perhaps the concert’s most outspoken critic since the final figures were released—voted in favor of funding the concert not once, but twice. Therefore, if MSA is blamed for this event’s failure, Fox must share in this blame. Despite criticism, by choosing candidates who are leaders in many different facets of campus life, then representation will already be prepared to immediately lead upon entering office. The party’s belief is “action, not ideology,” in the importance of a politically neutral yet ideologically-diverse MSA. Reaffirming the idea that only liberal groups will benefit from MPP’s admittedly liberal agenda, O’Brien said of Fox, “If I were in PIRGIM or Pi Phi, I would probably support her. Unfortunately, everyone else gets screwed.” This can perhaps be best seen through MPP’s support for the petition that student funds should go to lobbying, even though such a motion failed to clear MSA on February 21, 2006. Most obviously, use of such funds would directly benefit PIRGIM, a statewide group that lobbies for progressive causes, and of which Fox is a member; she herself was a sponsor of the doomed MSA resolution. By avoiding political agenda or affiliation, O’Brien asserted S4M avoids such “cronyism,” and treats all students in an equal manner. Of course, both MPP and SCP disagree. Because they are focused on specific political agendas and issues, these new parties have largely been allowed to determine the campaign’s most visible issues. MPP capitalized on the well-known fiscal ramifications of the Ludacris concert, and has based their platform on the purported errors of the current MSA administration. “Better classes, better housing, and better government,” MPP asserts, and hopes these tenets will carry them to victory. In an interview with the Review, Nowinski, the Vice Presidential candidate of the Michigan Progressive Party, said the party’s first priority is lowering textbook prices for students; to do this, he said the party will have textbook lists released earlier. Through this, students will not be restricted to Ulrich’s, Michigan Book and Supply, and Shaman Drum. However,

MSA passed a resolution on February 7 that made this exact issue a priority for the Winter 2006 semester. This resolution urged “the University administration [to implement] a policy requiring all academic departments and/or professors to disclose the required textbooks for the upcoming semester at least one month before the first day of class.” Although the status of this issue is unclear, textbook prices can feasibly be solved by a simple email to a student’s professors. It is surprising, then, that MPP’s main focus is an issue over which students can truly control. In their efforts for better housing, MPP’s website states the party “believes that making sure students are not exploited by aggressive landlords is a fundamental duty” of MSA. MPP is in favor of Mayor John Hieftje’s proposal to push back lease-signing dates. This is also a good idea, but it does not distinguish MPP from S4M; the S4M-dominated MSA approved such an objective in October 2005. While MPP asserts its differences from S4M, they seem to want to accomplish many of the things S4M is already working on or has already accomplished. Furthermore, the language of the current proposal states landlords must wait until one-quarter of the lease has passed before renewing it. This means, then, that May leases can be resigned as early as August. If the ordinance passes as currently written, why wouldn’t all landlords simply shift their leasing dates to May? In this way, they can continue controlling the market. MPP’s unique focus from S4M, then, seems to be on the assembly and making its legislative processes more transparent through roll-call voting and online records of representatives’ votes. Nowinski also said that, in order to see MSA’s budget, a student must file a request through the Freedom of Information Act; such things are not open to the public and, in MPP’s view, should be. But SCP shares this view as well. In fact, they cite Vice Presidential candidate (and one-time Review writer) Tommi Turner’s work “to secure expenditures data from the current treasurer of MSA,” which means SCP filed a FOIA request. Has MPP? No such information was available. Although SCP also wants to make MSA more responsible to and trusted by students, they have a different strategy to accomplish the goals. Instead of increasing bureaucratic efforts such as posting voting records, they aim to “cut

MSA waste,” according to Presidential candidate Ryan Fantuzzi in a correspondence with the Review. Billing SCP as the party of choice, Fantuzzi went on to discuss the party’s central issue: Coca-Cola. According to SCP, bringing back Coke is critical to their platform because it represents the lack of choice students have on campus. Paraphrasing Ronald Reagan, Fantuzzi stated that “Individuals have… the ability, the dignity, and the right to make their own decisions and determine their own destiny.” He also asserted that the party believes boycotting a company is an individual right, rather than a collective right of the University. This issue, then, ties in with “MSA waste,” because SCP believes it is wasteful for the assembly to make decisions students can make independently. However, Coke is not the only plank on which SCP stands. Like MPP and S4M, they want to work with both on- and off-campus housing; how, though, they do not say. Fantuzzi also stated that divestment from Israel, one of SCP’s issue in this year’s campaign, has been largely overlooked. The party, he says, is against divestment from Israel because it “means tooling with the status quo” and could affect students’ lives on campus. Again, then, SCP seems to feel this issue is personal rather than one the University should deal with. As usual, then, DAAP is the only party dealing specifically with affirmative action. Countering the charges of being a single-issue party, Monica Smith told The Michigan Daily, DAAP instead gives “emphasis where emphasis is due.” Emphasis, then, is also due to DAAP’s ties with BAMN. DAAP is likely to lose what few voters it has to MPP, especially since the MCRI will decide the fate of affirmative action in November 2006. Since the administration’s term would end in Spring 2007, they would be an administration without issue, agenda, or even a single goal for several months. Apparently DAAP does not believe emphasis is due to this, though. Realistically, DAAP has no chance to win, making this a three-way MSA race. So, then, will SCP or MPP prove to be the true American “third” party and spoil the election for S4M? Does a broad, ironically, nonpartisan party have any place at Michigan? And does anyone actually care? Only time will tell. Don’t forget to vote on March 21 and 22—otherwise, you’ll have no right to complain. MR

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the michigan review

The Michigan Review


The Michigan Review is the independent, student-run journal of conservative and libertarian opinion at the University of Michigan. 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. You can contact the Editorial Board at:

■ From Suite One:

MSA Endorsements: Don’t Vote Fox or MPP


T IS REFRESHING to have competition reinvigorate Michigan Student Assembly (MSA) elections for the first time in many election cycles. For too long, the governance of MSA, and by extension, the Students 4 Michigan (S4M) party, have run amuck, spending money freely and largely unaccountable to the student body that elects them. And in the meanwhile, apathy on campus towards student government has grown, with decreasing proportions of students even bothering to vote in recent elections. The monolithic character of S4M on MSA indeed caused the Review to decline endorsing even voting last year. Thankfully, this year, our position needn’t be repeated. 2006 is arguably the most consequential election in several years, thanks to the entry of both the Michigan Progressive Party (MPP) and Student Conservative Party (SCP) in the wake of missteps by S4M. There is no denying that the contentiousness of the race is nothing but the result of the Ludacris concert this past fall, in which S4M leadership lost nearly $20,000 on a concert which never sold out, and was justified to the campus community on the shoddiest kind of reasoning. The almost myopic inability of MSA President Jesse Levine and his partners to acknowledge their mistakes and the mismanagement of the concert might be the shovel digging S4M’s own grave. Insisting that the concert was a success, and that diversity on campus was somehow substantially affected by the concert shows a narrow mentality that is more-or-less inappropriate in leadership for student government. The Michigan Progressive Party was founded in the wake of the Ludacris fiasco. When MPP was first formed, there was initial promise that the new party might be able to serve student government in a more fiscally responsible, non-partisan way. But things have gone downhill from there. Despite its name, party founder (and now Vice Presidential candidate) Walter Nowinski seemed to indicate that the party was less interested in being expressly “progressive,” in the political sense. But the party has quickly devolved into such a slate of candidates, which represents some of the furthest left elements this campus has to offer. But our concerns about the Michigan Progressive Party range far beyond their liberalism. Their effort was once noble, and is now pathetic. We at first admired Representative Rese Fox, especially in her taking to task her fellow Students 4 Michigan colleagues for the loss of money on the Ludacris concert. Her creation of an Events Review Board on MSA to keep a check on the spending authority of MSA was also commendable. But on the whole, Ms. Fox and MPP have led an opportunistic, slash-and-burn campaign more interested in accumulating personal power than any genuine sense of service to the campus community. Our first gripe with MPP is Ms. Fox’s unapologetically Machiavellian move to ditch the party which had first helped her to achieve any political fortune, to run for the presidency on the MPP ticket. This shameless move should be recognized as the self-serving manuever it really was. Also, for as much as the MPP’s leader talks about fiscal responsibility, Fox’s actions indicate otherwise. We remain disgusted by Fox’s sponsorship of an MSA resolution that would have placed on the ballot a referendum to increase student tuition fees considerably, just to fund the Michiganensian, the yearbook that cannot even fund itself, and is conveniently headed by a sorority sister of Representative Fox. MPP’s platform is of similar concern to us. It really seems as if the leadership of the Michigan Progressive Party did not think they would have to bother proffering their own views on issues; it is much easier to steal the Students 4 Michigan’s platform. The only original ideas they really maintain are those in favor of allocating more student money on PIRGIM, which we have consistently opposed as not only a waste of money, but also fundamen-

March 21, 2006

tally unconstitutional in regards to the Southworth precedent, , as it would take public funds and invest them in expressly political efforts. MPP thought they could slide into office by simply attacking S4M, while claiming to make progress on the issues that Students 4 Michigan had already advanced substantially, no thanks to Rese Fox and her cadre. The bottom line: Do not vote for the Michigan Progressive Party, Rese Fox, or Walter Nowinski. The next major party, of course, is the incumbent Students 4 Michigan. As aforementioned, their loss of money on the Ludacris concert and the subsequent refusal to take responsibility for the mistake were extremely disappointing. Last year, under the leadership of Jason Mironov, it took extraordinary efforts just to prevent a vote on divestment from Israel, an effort that is not only misguided, but fundamentally beyond the province of MSA’s purpose. This round of campaigning has been characterized by the poor visibility of S4M’s Presidential and Vice Presidential candidates, Nicole Stallings and Justin Paul, respectively. They have been upstaged in every way by MPP and SCP candidates. Nevertheless, S4M is not without some merit. We admire their expressly apolitical approach to student government. MSA should not be characterized by the same issues that dominate debate between the Democratic and Republican parties nationally. Students 4 Michigan’s platform is arguably most relevant to student interests, and for that, we can express some degree of support for S4M. Their platform was the obvious inspiration for MPP, and we are happy to give credit due to the party that was the first to generate these ideas. We urge careful discretion in voting for S4M candidates, and the discerning voter should take consideration of the individual characteristics and stances of the candidates in deciding for whom they will cast their vote. We are absolutely thrilled with what Andrew Yahkind has done for Students 4 Michigan on LSA-SG in the past year. Although we are disappointed he is not on this year’s ballot, we are satisfied with S4M governance of LSA-SG. Vote for Joanna Slott and Justin Benson for LSA-SG President and Vice President. For MSA-LSA representative seats, candidates like Allison Jacobs, Josh Kersey, and Nate Fink exhibit the qualities we tend to value in MSA representatives. The Student Conservative Party is, practically and ideologically most in line with the Review’s own philosophy. We have long supported bringing Coke back to campus, which SCP’s candidates Fantuzzi and Turner have enthusiastically supported, to their benefit in this campaign. SCP also seems more inclined towards fiscal responsibility in MSA, something sorely needed in student government today. But the Student Conservative Party is not without its flaws. As of yet, it remains unclear whether the SCP leadership have a comprehensive strategy for governance on the bread-andbutter issues that require the bulk of time in MSA. If they should be elected, we are not entirely confident that they will effectively govern, though we are open to their growth in office. We also wish that candidate Fantuzzi might have been a bit more serious in demeanor, possibly having done damage to his efforts when he said in the Michigan Daily that the Ludacris concert money might as well have been spent on a “Wolverine Fart Club.” The demeanor of the SCP campaign might be a little more serious, in preparation for student government. All in all, though, due to potential conflict of interest (SCP Vice Presidential candidate Tomiyo Turner is affiliated with the Review), we respectfully decline to endorse any ticket for Michigan Student Assembly President and Vice President. We do hope, though, that Mr. Fantuzzi and Ms. Turner earn due consideration from voters. We sincerely do wish, though, that several SCP party members are elected to MSA, and can prove to be a vocal minority in government that provides a check to the actions of the assembly at large. We encourage votes for Rob Garvey and Ryan Glass for MSA-LSA representatives. It remains important to remember that while we are only college students, MSA has a significant, large budget that depends on support from what are essentially taxes on students. We hope that MSA, in the year ahead, with a smattering of S4M and SCP representatives, will be responsible enough to make MSA more humble and in-tune to the real interests of students. So please do vote this week, and be mindful of the ramifications of such action. MR

Vote Slott & Benson for LSA-SG Vote Jacobs, Kersey, Fink, Garvey, and Glass for MSA-LSA Representatives

the michigan review

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Campus and State

March 21, 2006

The University of Michigan at Detroit? Ties between University, City could be better By Brian Biglin, ‘08


n Ann Arbor it’s easy to forget about Detroit, the nation’s 11th largest city, although it sits a little over a half hour to our east. For many reasons, this is something the region can ill-afford to let happen, yet, the ways in which the University of Michigan itself fosters ties within the city are very limited. Detroit, the city of UM’s 1817 origin, is a sad example of all the issues that have affected many ‘rustbelt’ cities. There was a precipitous downfall beginning in the 1950s when Americans became enamored with the notion of prepackaged subdivisions, and were frightened by the challenges of urban living. The real loss in terms of population and tax base was disturbing. A city built to fit around two million now houses a little over 900,000. At the moment, however; the leading indicators, such as downtown development, retail throughout the city, real estate investment, and an expanding upscale residential market, have been solid and strengthening since around 2000. But the city is left with structural, budgetary issues that will last for some time, not the least of which is a poor public school system. Pile on top of this a lingering identity crisis and all the ills of inner-city poverty, and you have a city fraught with problems. There are plenty of ways to look at the level of connectivity between UM and Detroit. The UM community itself, namely the student body, sends mixed signals. There are dedicated people who understand Detroit and who take an active role in organizations which focus on service for Detroit’s underclass. An example of this is clearly the Detroit Project. In addition many students, especially those blessed with cars (trains only run between Detroit and Ann Arbor three times a day, so there are really no commuting options in metro Detroit other than cars), will capitalize on Detroit’s cultural and sports offerings by making trips to special events. Many Greek organizations also plan events in Detroit. On the other hand, plenty of UM students, including those from metro Detroit itself, hardly care about the city, let alone go there. The interests of the student body are one thing; the actions of the University itself, whether it be in administrative decisions or the programs of particular schools and academic units, are a wholly different story. In researching this story, it was astounding to see the

lack of connectivity between one of the nation’s top public universities and one of the nation’s most downtrodden cities. In terms of raw real estate, UM’s presence in Detroit is a marginal 12,000 square feet on Woodward Avenue in the city’s cultural center. Incredibly, this is 12,000 square feet more than UM operated there a little over a year ago. The UM Detroit Center was paid for by the Provost’s office and a distribution over 17 academic units, and is used for meetings and lectures, and as satellite class space especially for the projects within the Taubman College of Urban Planning and Architecture. With the opening of this new facility, President Mary Sue Coleman released a statement saying that UM “has remained committed and connected to this city,” and that she hoped “this center will strengthen the partnership between UM and Detroiters.” Whether or not this is veneer or actual commitment is up for debate. But Coleman claimed U-M’s Detroit facility “makes us far more visible and accessible.” While this can only be counted as a minor bright spot when it comes to UM getting involved in Detroit, there is more substantial good news found in School of Education-run programs. Since one of Detroit’s chief problems is the public school system, it makes natural sense to look at ways in which UM’s well-renowned School of Education shares its resources. In more than one published statement, the Dean of the School of Education, Deborah Loewenberg Ball, stressed the importance of the school of education and its future teachers in helping presently “underserved” children, which one can infer are students stuck in poorly-funded schools. This is seen as an urgent matter and factors into the School of Education’s research and outreach. The School of Education shared its resources and talents very well in a research and science education program which recently was shown to have increased Detroit Public School pupils’ averages on standardized science testing. More than 2,000 Detroit Public School students each year participate in BioKIDS, the University of Michigan School of Education and Museum of Zoology program that uses technology and hands-on learning methods to help middle school students ask questions the way scientists do. The five-year “BioKIDS” pro-

gram, now in its final year, has proved to have favorable results for the 2,000 Detroit middle school students who participated each year. The improvements were on average a full grade level better on state administered tests. While 30 percent of Detroit students pass the science portion of the tests compared to 66 percent statewide, 42 percent students who participated in the BioKIDS curriculum, showed an average gain in science abilities of a full grade level on state standardized tests. It is good to know that the School of Education engages in research and outreach in a challenging urban environment. The question left un-explored, though, is the School of Education’s willingness to prepare teaching students for urban classroom environments, and promoting a need for U of M students to teach in Detroit schools. Assistant Professor of Educational Practice Shari Saunders said that allocating good teachers in a way that will increase their numbers in underserved urban settings is a concern. “In urban settings, as in all settings, some students are well-served while others are less well-served. I would love for our most competent and caring teachers to choose to work with the most underserved students wherever they may be,” said Saunders. “I am happy to say that some of them [former students of Saunders’] have chosen, and were hired in, schools in urban settings.” Saunders said that preparing teaching candidates for urban settings usually requires courses built around social justice issues and content which deals with the “diversity and various facets of teaching and learning such as curriculum, instruction, classroom management, discipline, and working with families.” Saunders teaches many such courses. Perhaps where the School of Education would have the most sway in terms of immersing future teachers into challenging urban environments like Detroit is in the service requirements for gaining a teaching certificate. Saunders said that she knows plenty of pre-student and student teachers who are placed, willingly, in Detroit Public Schools; she would never place a student-teacher there unwillingly, though. Saunders suggested that the challenges of urban education are not for everyone, and that she does everything in her power to facilitate the success of those who are interested in teaching in a

place like Detroit. She said that she currently knows more than ten candidates for Master’s degrees in education who are student teachers in Detroit, and cites the transportation situation as a limiting step in some cases. For undergraduates, too, field work and a term of actual teaching with a partner school is a graduation requirement for teaching certification. The School of Education webpage describing these requirements suggests a clear bias toward the western suburbs of Detroit. Most of this, one can assume, is for distance reasons. According to the School of Education, students should expect a field placement in Ann Arbor, followed by another one in a district like Chelsea or Plymouth-Canton. “Student teaching placements in Detroit and Southfield may also be available for those interested in learning more about urban education,” according to the same documents Clearly, the emphasis on learning in urban environments lacks when it comes to these requirements, so the sharing of UM’s intellectual capital with the poorest districts like Detroit or Pontiac is significantly capped, if for no other reason than distance. All of this raises the specter of further UM expansion within the City of Detroit. Adding real estate and resources would enable UM teaching candidates to more actively engage the needs of Detroit public schools. It would also help, for UM to get involved in some capacity in pushing for and studying the feasibility of regional mass transportation which would make this increased connectivity more feasible. There is no better time than college to experience things which will help one decide on a career path while doing some good. For teaching candidates, having teaching opportunities in Detroit more readily available than in suburban areas which the school requires, would raise the awareness of social justice issues and the idea of urban teaching as a vocation which Saunders spoke about. Above all, it would mean the realization of the University’s elaborate credo on social justice and cultural awareness. MR

the michigan review

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Michigan Review versus Michigan Daily

n the third anniversary of the invasion of Iraq, questions surrounding the rationale, planning, and execution of the war remain. Below, Chris Steiber of the Review faces off against Toby Mitchell of the Daily, examining the prospects for victory, and the potential for defeat.



By Chris Stieber ‘07 - Assistant Editor, Michigan Review

or some people, there are several indisputable facts about the war in Iraq. No matter what evidence may be shown, there are those men and women who believe: 1) George W. Bush knowingly lied about the pre-war intelligence regarding WMD; 2) the primary motivation behind such lies is to increase the profit of Halliburton/Big Oil; and 3) Dick Cheney is the utter source of all evil. This column is not intended for them, for they have cloistered themselves away where no amount of logic or proof can sway them. What is more of concern is the growing sentiment of the people who supported the invasion to leave Iraq as soon as possible. As they see the escalating violence surrounding the attack at the Samarra shrine, and see polls (of dubious quality) indicating growing frustration amongst the troops, there are more people calling for a withdrawal from the country. In the words of Donald Rumsfeld, however, “. . . anyone looking realistically at the world today – at the terrorist threat we face – can come to only one conclusion: Now is the time for resolve, not retreat.” Supporters of the war can draw some strength from the good news coming out of Iraq, stories often not receiving the coverage they deserve. There are so many good stories, in fact, that I do not have room to list them all in this column. Whether it be the astounding 79% of the electorate passing the Iraqi constitution, or almost 12 million voters in the December election, clearly the idea of representative government is growing in popularity in a country known for its brutal dictatorship and backward social structure. The disbandment of the Iraqi Army has been unanimously agreed upon as a bad idea. That being said, the rebuilding of the Army and the subsequent training have progressed even better than projected. While it may seem easy to train soldiers, be reminded that even in the U.S. Army, it takes between 6 months and a year, and that is with an infrastructure of trained staff and officers. In Iraq, we have to create an educated and properly indoctrinated officer leadership, as well as an efficient ground force. Even with such administrative and military hurdles, about three-quarters of all the military operations involve the Iraqi military, and about one-third are completely Iraqi-controlled. This is yet another example of a success that is taking place in Iraq, and worthy of our continued support. Without a doubt, there are some strategies that need adjustments. There is overwhelming support for a timeline, both amongst Iraqis and the U.S. troops stationed in Iraq. Advocating such a timeline or a benchmark of necessary events, however, hardly undermines the current necessity for a strong presence in country. After decades of hesitant support for pro-West groups in the Middle East, it is of the utmost importance that we maintain a demeanor of solidarity and resolve in the face of opposition. Ronald Reagan’s unwavering opposition of the Soviet Union was crucial in the downfall of communism, and we can do no less in the fight against Islamic fascism. Our support must not be eternal, either. The Bush administration must open itself up to the idea of defining specific goals for the Iraqis rather than nebulous concepts of democracy and freedom. As information travels in faster speeds and with greater detail, public opinion is apt to sway in increasing amounts as well. Immediately following each of the elections, or the capture of Saddam Hussein, Americans supported the Iraqi war. Therefore, each public poll or “general consensus” reached must be taken with a grain of salt. As Secretary Rumsfeld said in a Washington Post op-ed on March 19, “Fortunately, history is not made up of daily headlines, blogs on Web sites or the latest sensational attack. History is a bigger picture, and it takes some time and perspective to measure accurately.” In the bigger picture of the Iraq war, for the Unites States to withdraw from Iraq at this current junction would be unparalleled in its short-sightedness, and a perpetuation of the fallen policies we have used in the Middle East for the past 60 years. Our military, and the U.S. population at large, is learning what it takes to successfully defeat the enemy of the 21st century, the insurgent/guerilla who uses asymmetric warfare to undermine public morale. We are winning in Iraq. We have gained much, and there is much more still. “Now is the time for resolve, not retreat.” MR

March 21, 2006


By Toby Mitchell ‘06 - Michigan Daily

t’s not clear what the conditions for declaring victory are in Iraq, so let’s go with a good empirical measurement. Over 2,000 US soldiers have died so far, versus roughly 40,000 dead Iraqis according to the White House. Since Iraq had no real army, the vast majority were civilians. So if this were a football game, we’re now winning by 20 to 1. Three years after the invasion of Iraq, the US has two options: pull out and leave a behind a failed state which will certainly descend into chaos, or stay for an indefinite period at great cost while the Iraqi citizenry continue to resist violently and the entire world shuns America. Whatever the result, “victory” is no word for it. The Bush administration continues to stand by its disastrous policy of preemptive warfare and claim that victory is right around the corner. What victory would actually require? After toppling Saddam, we would need full military dominance to ensure stability. Given Iraq’s long history of ethnic strife and complete unfamiliarity with democracy, forcible re-education of the population is in order. The inevitable resistance would need to be decisively crushed and the Iraqi media made subservient to our long-term goals of freedom and democracy. We’d need to do the same at home to ensure domestic support. If we continued this policy for a century, we could declare victory once the last memories of the old Iraq died. Mission accomplished: we successfully forced freedom on a nation, and all it took was a multi-generational troop commitment plus an act of wholesale cultural genocide. Following the Second World War, the Allies gave Nazi leaders an open trial, as much out of self-interest as from fairness. As US Judge Robert Jackson declared, “The wrongs which we seek to condemn and punish have been so calculated, so malignant, and so devastating that civilization cannot tolerate their being ignored because it cannot survive their being repeated.” No one would’ve shed a tear had the Allies executed the worst political criminals in history. We knew then that establishing international law declaring that some wars were crimes and some crimes too horrible even for war was more important than revenge. Following the 9/11, the US entered into war in Iraq motivated by a far different self-interest. The attack challenged our supremacy, and the US decided to show the world exactly who was in charge in the crudest possible terms. In doing so we broke the very laws we helped write and replaced the world’s picture of a mostly benevolent superpower with images of the inferno of Baghdad and the tortures at Abu Ghraib. As political writer Jim Garrison noted in a speech at the University in 2005, preemptive war and the shock and awe campaign once went by another name: Blitzkrieg. It’s difficult to overstate how tragically we’ve squandered our political goodwill and how much work we must do to rebuild the moral authority of the United States. Garrison spoke eloquently: “An America hunkered down behind fortified walls may compel by force of arms, but can never inspire by force of example.” Yet there is a victory which can be salvaged. The UN lacks the military power to intervene in the state-sponsored wars of aggression which the US waged a war of aggression to prevent. The US acting alone lacks the legitimacy that only international democratic agreement can provide. Replacing this crumbling international order with one which works is the great challenge of our generation. Meeting it requires America have the courage to give up power in order to continue to lead. The officials responsible for the propaganda which led us to war and for the tortures of detainees must be prosecuted as war criminals. Given the Bush administration’s disregard for both international law and the US Constitution, impeachment should be considered. Beyond immediate accountability for this war, the US can recommit to international law and work with the UN to secure Iraq and set up an International Reconstruction Fund for Iraq. The US must apply to itself the same standards that it demands other nations obey. Anything less is more than hypocrisy, it is a failure to live up to the core truth of our nation: the power we wield is only retained so long as it serves the ideals of human freedom. However you interpret those ideals, our experience in Iraq has shown that the America which led the world by example is far superior to the America which dominates the world at gunpoint.

the michigan review

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■ The Angry Greek


“Debate,” U of M Style

n such a polarized campus, it’s easy to believe that those on the left and right have little in common. In Ann Arbor, where liberal ideology dominates, I’ve noticed that many inside this bubble endure life with little or no understanding of alternate ideologies. Look at any campus debate: the “colorful” Vagina Monologues; affirmative action; the minimum wage. While there are reasonable arguments to be made, the majority of this campus fails to understand, let alone refute, any opposing views. Thus, those who oppose the “all color” Vagina Monologues are misogynists, and have no qualms about domestic violence. Those who oppose affirmative action are racists, seeking to deprive students of color any sense of opportunity. Those who oppose the minimum wage are greedy, wealthy individuals who fear the rise of the impoverished. Nick This type of myopic “debate,” or lack thereof, tends to lead to Cheolas a reinforcement of leftist ideology. In classrooms, conservatism is mocked, broad survey courses focus solely on “oppression” and “inequality,” and communism is treated with tacit approval. There are numerous courses here where attendance is hardly necessary to receive an A; the “accepted” ideology is widely known, and success depends only on successful regurgitation. The lack of debate within the classrooms on this campus once stunned me; it now seems a foregone conclusion. Some of the best debates I’ve ever been in-

By Chris Stieber, ‘07


March 21, 2006


volved in have taken place, rather, in bars and houses, at parties and coffee shops – and certainly in the Review office. In fact, many of these “debates” evolve into a surprising degree of agreement and intellectual acceptance. Take, for example, a discussion I had this past weekend. A liberal friend and I, a libertarian, began to discuss urban education. Conventional campus decorum, seeing as I write for the Review - would label me a racist, wealthy white male conservative who questions any individual who dare challenge my position in society. As such, I would have little in common with my friend, who, per the campus code, was a progressive, tolerant liberal who fought for the noble goals of social justice and equality. But, having known each other for years, we made no assumptions about each other. We saw not malice or hatred as the basis for opinion, but rather logic and reason. Indeed, we saw relatively eye-to-eye when discussing urban education. I have long held the belief – along with many liberals – that a good education critical to a successful life, especially for urban students, and a successful economy. In short, our goals coincided; our means to achieve that goal did not. Regardless, we were able to debate our respective viewpoints on their merits, rather than claiming the moral high ground and declaring our ideas untouchable. The problem I see far too often on this campus, however, is that sweeping liberalism stifles productive discussion. It takes little intellectual fortitude to align oneself with “progressive” ideology, and in turn, the noble ends of “social justice” and “equality” justify any means necessary to achieve those goals.

Many of our courses here focus on the fact that there were, or currently are, aspects of racism, inequality, or malice toward certain groups in our society. These facts are indisputable. However, many professors here seem to enjoy beating that point into the ground. What results is the notion that any and all means to repair such harms are inherently just and correct. Ergo, one who opposes such efforts does so with a sense of bigotry. And so it is seemingly only on the barstool or at the beer pong table that we can open up and discuss the fact that the vast majority of us – not just “progressive” activists – indeed strive to better society. How else could one know that I oppose affirmative action and increased educational funding not because I value my “privilege” or want to save my tax dollars, but rather because I can make a well-founded argument as to how urban education can be improved without those policies? Perhaps I believe that urban students – and the taxpayers – would be better served by completely reforming our educational system, rather than funding a system that has time and time again proven unsuccessful. This system fails half of our poorest children, long before affirmative action or any scholarship program could have any effect. But ask many on this campus – especially some choice, “enlightened” GSIs in prominent departments – what the Michigan Review is all about, and their response will hardly reflect what I have written here. And that’s where this institution has failed us the most. MR

Evangelical Awareness on Campus

his campus, ever the bastion of enlightened “tolerance” and “progressive” thought, prides itself on the plight of every demographic group, how they have been oppressed, or how their culture has been ignored. Yet, for all of this posturing and concern, the U of M community and greater Ann Arbor are woefully uninformed on the behavior and attitudes of one group: evangelical Christians. This is somewhat ironic, as there are few groups hated more around Ann Arbor than evangelicals. Every few weeks there is an editorial cartoon in the Michigan Daily mocking President Bush or the evangelical leadership for its beliefs and how they don’t match up with - according to a liberal humanist - Jesus’ “true teachings.” There are numerous student productions and local events criticizing the Religious Right, touching on everything from evangelicals’ homophobia to their pro-life stance. It even reaches to Facebook, with groups such as “Campus Crusade for Hey, Shut the F*** Up.” Several months ago, there was a “Muslim Awareness Week,” highlighting many elements of Islam, including some not covered by the nightly news. Muslims and non-Muslims alike were eagerly learning more about the inter-

esting religion that is Islam. In that spirit of inquiry, and in the hope that future evangelical-bashing diatribes are more informed, I’d like to make this an “Evangelical Awareness Column.” Firstly, evangelicals are hardly the monolithic political beast some might imagine forever beholden to the Republican party. There are many evangelicals who would hardly consider themselves rightwing. Relevant magazine is a progressive Christian culture publication that is full of articles questioning the Church’s position on the environment, the War on Terror, and other social topics. Sojourner magazine is actually quite liberal in all its policies, and yet devotedly evangelical. Last month, 86 evangelical Christian leaders from all over the political and denominational spectrum wrote a public letter declaring global warming an issue of concern for people of faith. Derek Webb, singer and guitar player from million-selling Christian group Caedmon’s Call, has just released an album with lyrics questioning the close-knit relationship between evangelicals and the Right: “there are two great lies that I’ve heard: ‘the day you eat of the fruit of that tree, you will not surely die,’ and that Jesus Christ was a white, middle-class Republican.” Secondly, Pat Robertson, Jerry

Falwell, and James Dobson aren’t representative of evangelical-dom. Following are a few examples of influential leaders who aren’t spending their time complaining about the latest R-rated film. Rather, they are spending their energies trying to fulfill their duties as followers of Jesus Christ. John Stott, called by David Brooks of the New York Times the “pope of Evangelicals,” is never mentioned in any left-liberal conversation about Christianity, but he has devoted his life to teaching and mentoring third-world pastors in the spread of the Gospel. Rick Warren, whose book PurposeDriven Life has sold over 22 million copies, has become a whole-hearted advocate of African aid, and has helped create new aid programs throughout Rwanda. On our campus, however, none of this is ever considered. Even worse, no one even makes the effort to try and learn these facts. Black Americans get upset when people assume that Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton are representative of the thoughts of all black citizens, and rightfully so. Yet, when someone like Pat Robertson or Jerry Falwell gets on television, liberals have few qualms with painting such a broad brush across evangelical Christianity. In dorm rooms all around campus, there are countless warning signs about bias and

discrimination, on hurtful language against various groups. If anyone hears or sees bigotry, they are encouraged to report it to the authorities. Many students, however, have no problem yelling “Jesus Christ!” as an exclamation. But do you hear protests against, or even reports of, such bias? Never -- and that’s a good thing. Christians realize that there are people who don’t believe Jesus Christ is their Savior, and it is wrong to hold them to the same ideal as one would hold a fellow believer. This is tolerance:allowing people to express themselves even when it is offensive to you. On our campus, though, the Left is eager to eradicate any such offensive behavior, except when it offends Christians. There are many people on this campus who are anti-Christian. They don’t see Christianity in a more realistic and nuanced view, as a religion with problematic events and groups as well as truly bright moments. They prefer to only look at the Crusades, the Inquisition, and every pain and suffering of the West, and blame them on Christians, and decry conservative Christians for “distorting the true message” of Jesus, one that just so happens to coincide with the liberal secular humanist. Frankly, they don’t want to see Christianity any other way. MR

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March 21, 2006

The MCRI: A Battle Ahead, Part I In this piece, Campus Affairs Editor Michael O’Brien examines the battle ahead over the Michigan Civil Rights Initiative. This is the first piece in a series of two, with the second piece appearing in the next issue of the Review.


he University of Michigan may very well be the home to the ‘leaders and the best,’ a legendary football program, outstanding academics, and a beautiful campus and hometown, but it cannot escape its reputation as “Affirmative Action University.” For the past decade, the controversial policy of offering select minority groups rather strong preferences in undergraduate and graduate school admissions has been the source of numerous rallies, debates, and even two landmark Supreme Court cases. The issue has defined being a student at Michigan more than maybe any other issue, but this fall, all of that might disappear in an instant. History Affirmative Action is a policy that gives preferential treatment to select minority groups in college admissions or professional hiring. The policy withstood constitutional muster in the 1970s, in Regents of the University of California v. Bakke, which held that the policy was constitutional, but quotas in admissions or hiring were not. Two decades later, the University of Michigan’s LSA and law school admissions policies were again challenged. The LSA scheme assigned points for certain qualities, with 100 generally needed for admission. Minority students were given 20 points; more points than even a perfect SAT score would award students. The law school admissions process was less rigid; it considered race more abstractly compared to other factors, and employed the policy in trying to achieve a “critical mass” of minorities in each class of law students. (Curiously, this critical mass almost directly mirrors the percentage of minorities in the general applicant pool every year.) The Supreme Court split the difference in twin 2003 decisions. In Gratz v. Bollinger, the case challenging LSA admissions, the court struck it down 6-3 as unconstitutional in regards to the ‘Bakke’ decision and the Fourteenth Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause. The numerical points assigned to minorities unconstitutionally resembled a quota, the court found. However, the general practice of affirmative action was upheld in a 5-4 decision in Grutter v. Bollinger. Justice O’Connor, writing for the majority, held that diversity was a sufficiently compelling government interest that

overcomes affirmative action’s repugnancy to the Fourteenth Amendment. The Court did not find that diversity had to be pursued at all costs by universities. It only held that affirmative action policies were constitutionally permissible, which states and organizations have the option of opting out on. Enter the Michigan Civil Rights Initiative. Since the 2003 decisions and a re-tailoring of the LSA admissions policy, a group of activists have sought to put the Initiative (MCRI) on the ballot, on which voters in the State of Michigan could choose to outlaw preferential treatment on the basis of race in governmental institutions. This was no doubt a reaction to the University of Michigan decisions, and its high-profile defense of its affirmative action policies. Passing the MCRI would mean that the University, by state law, would have to abandon its affirmative action practices. Canvassers tried to acquire enough petition signatures to place the MCRI on the ballot in the 2004 election, but failed. This election cycle, despite flailing allegations of voter fraud from its opponents, MCRI canvassers have accumulated enough signatures to put the issue to a vote this fall. Affirmative action will be the prime issue on campus this fall, reaching a climax even more consequential than the 2003 decisions.

ricula. This is very well; to act as if race or ethnicity has not been or is not a source of conflict throughout humanity would be an act of profound academic blitheness. But inasmuch as the climate of academics and student life has been profoundly over-racialized in recent years, many courses act as if race, ethnicity, and gender are the only factors that make history. Professors often talk in their classes about race being a social construction, and they are very much right on this point. But for as much as professors unite against social constructions as falsities in our midst, they might also choose to critically reevaluate their own construction or paradigm they have created on campus. The paradigm which now takes charge largely stifles points from those who might be thought of as inauthentic in having personal opinions. “Diversity” is a feel-good battle-cry, and one from which virtually no one can dissent, on its face. But the racialized paradigm on campus substantially chills any speech about what diversity should mean or look like, in terms of the student body and public policy, unless it falls more-orless squarely into line with the vision of “diversity” perpetuated by the University administration, faculty, and select student groups.

Race and the university

Affirmative Action re-evaluated

Affirmative action has increasingly racialized the University of Michigan beyond the point of parody, during its time of prominence. Racialism is pervasive, from Mary Sue Coleman’s office, to the GSI Lounge in the Sociology department, to various radical student groups on campus. Since Justice O’Connor’s majority decision in ‘Grutter,’ the word “diversity” has become altogether a slogan and battle cry; a concept, a single word under which the pro-affirmative action forces on campus rally. Michigan’s liberal, progressive tenor is not exclusive to the affirmative action fights. Students for a Democratic society, after all, was pioneered here, and radically liberal activism has defined several generations of the University’s life. This perspective often creeps into classrooms. History, Political Science, English, Sociology, American Culture, and other departmental classes always maintain a special focus on race in their cur-

With the MCRI looming on the horizon, more voices should be heard in the debate. With an issue of such defining importance to an entire generation of students, there are literally hundreds or thousands of viewpoints that may be voiced by this fall. But simple, catch-phrase “diversity” for which Mary Sue Coleman, et al. will campaign this fall is exceedingly simplistic, especially as a mantra for the student body. Affirmative action is not an issue simply considering the legitimacy in racial preferences, or not. In reality, it is far more complex, extending into the spheres of a number of other public policy and political areas. Affirmative action, first of all, is a stop-gap in having to address a flailing education system in the State of Michigan and elsewhere that only exacerbates inequality and racial problems here and elsewhere. A cadre of educated minorities who might very well leave the state after

graduation does very little, even over long periods of time, to help the vast numbers of students in struggling schools that are still left behind. A few educated graduates of an inner-city school does very little to guarantee a better education and better skills for the massive population of students still left in a stagnant system. Affirmative action allows the University to feel good about itself as a community, and say it is doing something concrete to help minority communities, when in reality it reacts to a bullet wound with a bandaid. Furthermore, little concrete evidence exists vindicating the rather abstract arguments of affirmative action proponents. Many hold up “diversity” as a sufficient end unto itself, and argue that its presence is essential to enhancing the educational experience. Diversity, indeed, may be beneficial in terms of the dynamics it instills in student interaction. But this still begs tough questions of affirmative action proponents. Is there a recognizable amount of sufficient diversity such as to enhance student experiences? But more importantly, how exactly do we choose to define “diversity?” The concept is only given skin-deep consideration, so-to-speak, to the exclusion of a number of other factors that color student life. An individual’s race, especially for minorities, surely informs their life experiences in unique ways. But to act as if race should be the prima facie determinant of diversity automatically reduces to a lower level the arguably more important individual characteristics that add variety to the student body. It assumes a commonality, as well, in minority experiences, in that it does not examine the particular way an individual’s race has affected their life and only looks at what color box for “race” is checked on a student’s application. Affirmative action also exists in a vacuum from socioeconomics. It does little to help class dynamics, especially given the current brain drain out of Michigan. This issue is very much tied to education, as economic status becomes increasingly dependent on one’s education.

See “MCRI,” Page 10

the michigan review

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March 21, 2006

National Affairs

Testing Roe By Natalie Newton, ‘09


ntil this month, the United State’s Supreme Court ruling legalizing abortion, Roe v. Wade, has gone relatively unchallenged. While it is true that in recent years states have sought to limit a woman’s right to abortion, in some cases requiring parental consent for minors, these restrictions have proven ineffective at creating a major dent in the number of abortions performed each year. The law prohibiting partial birth abortion signed by President Bush in 2003 is only now making its way to the Supreme Court, having been accepted by the Supreme Court last month; a ruling won’t be expected until 2007, displaying the obvious difficulty of inhibiting or overruling current abortion laws. South Dakota’s legislature, with Governor Mike Rounds, sought to change that when they signed into effect a law banning abortion, including cases of incest and rape, unless the pregnancy endangers the life of the mother. While the law is a direct challenge to Roe v. Wade, and its progeny, Planned Parenthood v. Casey (1992), it remains to be seen whether the new law will actually go into effect in July, as scheduled. Though clearly passing a law that is, under current precedent, unconstitutional, Rounds decided to sign the law in the hope that it would provide the Supreme Court an opportunity to overturn the Roe v. Wade decision, thereby returning the decision on the legality of abortions to state legislatures. If successful, the law would not only effect South Dakota, but would lead to abortion bans in Arkansas, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, and Montana, which all have “trigger laws,” banning abortion if Roe v. Wade is ever overturned; several other states are waiting

for the results to create their own laws, banning abortion. Whether Michigan will be one of them remains to be seen, but Michigan’s current abortion restrictions are relatively relaxed compared to many other states, requiring parental consent for minors but otherwise allowing women free-reign in abortion decisions. The law is not expected to be upheld with the current Supreme Court members; five votes would be necessary to overturn Roe v. Wade, and only Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas have admitted a willingness to do so. Newly appointed Chief Justice John Roberts and Samuel Alito refused to give a clear answer either way during their confirmation hearings, but conservatives are hopeful that the two conservative Justices will be in favor of an abortion ban. However, the remaining five Justices have some proclivity to uphold Roe v. Wade, and in some cases have previously voted to do so. The only possible contingency could be Justice Anthony Kennedy, who, though he did vote to uphold Planned Parenthood v. Casey in 1992, is the least solid of the remaining five Justices in his views on abortion. South Dakota is essentially gambling with several factors: the views of the current Supreme Court Justices, the possibility of impending retirement for the proRoe Justices, and the inevitability of a long trial process, during which any number of Justices could change their opinions on the case or retire, allowing the appointment of a new anti-abortion Justice. John Paul Stevens, the oldest and most liberal member of the Supreme Court who is adamantly pro-choice, seems the most likely candidate for retirement, though in light of South Dakota’s new law, it seems unlikely that he, being in good health

after 30 years on the Supreme Court, would intentionally retire, knowing full-well the possible and likely repercussions. Before making its way to the Supreme Court, South Dakota’s abortion law may first be sent to the South Dakota voters; the state’s unusual Constitutional provision allows new laws to be voted on before taking effect; Planned Parenthood is currently contemplating whether they will challenge the law by collecting enough signatures to place it on the November ballot. After a stint in the lower courts, the law would then go to the Supreme Court, if it is voted to be heard by four of nine Justices. A ruling could take anywhere from less than a year to three or four years. If put into effect, the law would ban doctors from performing abortions, punishing those convicted with a $5,000 fine and a 5 year prison sentence; there would be no punishment for the mothers upon whom the abortion was performed. Advocates in favor of a woman’s right to choose argue that the law would encourage the performance of illegal abortions, which are far more expensive and likely to endanger the mother, creating an income-based gap in the women able to afford the best illegal abortion care and those forced to seek alternatives, either childbirth, adoption, or cheap illegal services. In any case, though, the results of this new law may shake-up abortion precedent and define another generation of post-Roe v. Wade law. MR

The Economy You Aren’t Hearing About By Michael Balkin, ‘09


he US economy has faced widespread criticism in the US media during the past few years. In a recent CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll, only 40% of the respondents said they approved of the way President George W. Bush was handling the economy, while 57% claimed they disapproved. Additionally, in a related Gallup poll, 55% of the respondents rated the economy as “fair” or “poor.” There are many immediate factors that might help explain these dismal poll numbers like high gasoline prices, President Bush’s unpopularity, and/or tepid feelings about America’s place in the world. Still, there is an additional factor to consider: the mainstream media’s interpretation of overall economic performance. It is relatively commonplace for journalists and reporters to “trash talk” the economy. Thus far, we’ve examined some of the factors that contribute to this seemingly universal belief in slow and stagnant economic performance. However, not one of these reasons involves the actual position of the overall American econ-

omy. In fact, it is a wonder people are concerned about the economy when the Dow Jones Industrial Average is resting safely above 11,000 points. Simply put, there is an ever-widening gap between the actual and perceived performance of the overall economy. Here are some facts over looked by the mainstream media. Over the last four years, the real (inflation adjusted) GDP has grown at an average rate of 3.2%. The GDP, or Gross Domestic Product, measures the value of all legal goods and services produced in the United States. GDP growth, moreover, is a very good indicator of how the economy is performing. Therefore, if the economy was performing poorly, then the GDP would be expected to shrink. However, that is hardly the case. Thanks to a combination of factors, including historically low interest rates, companies are producing more goods and services because they have more money to spend on production and labor. This brings us to our next fact. Stephen Moore, a senior fellow at the Cato Institute, says that, “Roughly two-of-every-three Americans who pay

the top income tax rate are business owners or sole proprietors. If you want jobs, you need financially healthy and confident employers with dollars to invest.” From the looks of it, Moore is saying the Bush tax cuts have created jobs. But what Moore is really trying to say is that small business owners pay corporate income taxes at the highest personal income tax level. Therefore, if you cut personal income taxes you cut business taxes for small business owners who can then create new jobs. Most of the jobs in our economy are created by small businesses, not huge corporations. But, wait a minute, the economy is creating jobs and more people are working. Yes, that’s exactly what is happening, but you wouldn’t know it of course. In the last two and half years, the economy has created 4.6 million new jobs. That’s right; 4.6 million more people have found jobs and are now working. Perhaps the most widely unreported data, however, is that the unemployment rate is now hovering around 4.8%. This, by historical standards, is considered “normal unemployment” and is significantly lower than the average unemployment rate of the

1990s, when Bill Clinton was President. The story gets deeper. Economist Larry Kudlow, of CNBC’s Kudlow and Company, notes that, “Poll after poll keep telling us how unhappy people are with the President Bush, the economy, the Iraq war, and the direction America is going in. Yet stocks are telling a decidedly different story. They are making five-year highs among the broadest averages, a completely different message altogether.” In fact, important stock market indexes like the New York Stock Exchange (more than 2500 individual stocks), the Transportation index, and the small-cap Russel 2000 are all registering all-time highs. Is this a reflection of a poorly performing economy? Is this the economy that is “verging on recession, perhaps all out depression?” The American economy is not in shambles like the mainstream media is saying. Rather, our economy is experiencing healthy and intense growth, millions of jobs have been created, the unemployment rate is very low, and Americans are “finding” the time and money to invest in stocks and bonds. So, that begs the question, where are the Hoovervilles? MR

the michigan review

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March 21, 2006

State of Michigan

New Education Requirements for Michigan Schools Critics argue tougher standards will hurt retention rates

By Rebecca Christy, ‘08


ath 105… no one really wants to admit that they’re taking it, but more are enrolled in the class than one would think. In a report by Achieve, Inc., nearly 30% of college freshmen in Michigan are immediately placed into remedial courses that cover material they should have learned in high school. The state does not currently require anyone to take pre-calculus to receive a high school diploma. In fact, right now the state of Michigan has only one course which is mandatory to walk to the rousing Pomp and Circumstance. If the state only insists on one course that every Michigan high school student must complete it’s probably a staple for an education. Math? English? Nope. Civics. The following is from the Revised School Code in the Michigan Complied Laws: “A high school in this state which offers 12 grades shall require a 1 semester course of study of 5 periods per week in civics which shall include the form and functions of the federal, state and local governments and shall stress the rights and responsibilities of citizens. A diploma shall not be issued by a high school to a pupil who has not successfully completed this course.” The 2006 House Bill 5606 to mandate high school graduation requirements adds a little more to the Michigan high school student’s plate. The new regulations require four credits in English language arts and mathematics; three in science; one course each in U.S history, world history and geography; one in health and physical education; one in

fine arts or music; and one-half each in civics and economics. A “learning experience” course would also be required as an online administered class. Previously a foreign language requirement was a component, but was later dropped in order to receive enough passing votes. On March 2nd 2006, the bill was passed by a strong 70 to 31 vote, with support from Governor Jennifer Granholm and the Republican leaders in the State Legislature. The new requirements are expected to be in place for the graduating class of 2011. When adopted, Michigan will have some of the most rigorous state standards in the country. It would join the ranks of Iowa, Colorado, Minnesota, North Dakota, Massachusetts and Nebraska, which have similar state requirements to Michigan’s current system. Once implemented, the new state laws would resemble those of Indiana and Ohio. In regards to the new mandate Sen. Gerald Van Woerkom, a Western Michigan Republican and former school administrator, told the Detroit News, “I think we’re doing a good thing. It’s unfortunate the state has to step in and do this, but we are at the point where we feel like we have to have a statemandated curriculum.” Up until this point, individual high schools were able to choose the requirements for high school graduation, so this bill may not really make huge changes for Michigan curriculum. Okemos High School near East Lansing currently requires two courses in Math, two of Science, three of English, two Social Studies two and a half of Phys Ed/Health, one in the arts,

“MCRI,” From Page 8

Opening the University of Michigan to more minorities scarcely addresses why so many individuals remain impoverished in Detroit, and why so many blue-collar union workers will continue to be laid off. Affirmative action may help a few more students out-compete poorer citizens, and make them wealthier. We should not pretend that wealth and economic success is a bad aspiration, either. But making the University of Michigan more “diverse” scarcely does anything to address Michigan having one of the highest state unemployment rate. Where priming the state economy with incentives to attract jobs, or encouraging individuals to seek technical training or community college education might oth-

and three additional courses in foreign language, career and technical education. The public charter school Black River in Holland, Michigan ranked 104 in the Complete List of 1,000 Top U.S. High School. Their graduation requirements came closest to meeting the new state-wide standards. The only changes the school would need to make in its requirements would be an additional year of mathematics and English, as well as the implementation of the online course. Some who oppose the bill feel the financial burden on rural and inner city schools will be too high to accommodate the new standards. Major strides have been made in improving high school education in the state over the past few years. In July of 2005, Michigan was one of ten states to receive a grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for further reform in the state’s high schools. The 1.8 million dollar grant is going towards funding in high school programs which hopefully will result in doubling the number of college graduates in Michigan by the year 2015. In a meeting with President Mary Sue Coleman in May of last year, Lt. Gov. John Cherry reported that fewer than 22 percent of Michigan adults have bachelor’s or advanced degrees, which is less than the national average of 26 percent and more than 10 percentage points lower than states that are leading the nation in economic growth. State Superintendent Mike Flanagan, who introduced the bill, told the Detroit Free Press that times have changed in Michigan from past decades. “[Y]ou could do well as a dropout. You could get a place

erwise prevail, affirmative action only sets apart another group of students who are increasingly less likely to contribute back to the economies from where they came. Affirmative action is arguably efficacious in helping students broaden their perspective, and befriend more students from other cultures and traditions. But it is not clear how a particular “critical mass” of minorities in a given class of students guarantees this increased awareness. And the attitude that minorities must be brought to campus to combat racism, while sympathetic on its face, wavers dangerously close to an argument that seems to encourage the import of minorities for the benefit of white or otherwise non-minority students. Also, combating racism is not a one-way street where the engineering of a critical mass of students of different races on campus constitutes progress. It involves a kind of personal engagement that is ultimately incumbent upon the consciences of students during their time at Michigan. This is all aside from the dubious constitution-

up north and drive a nice car…Those days are over.” Recent events in the Auto Industry are showing this to be quite evident. At the end of January Ford Motor Company announced the elimination of 35,000 to 40,000 in North America, and the closing of the Michigan assembly plant. Opponents of the bill believe that the mandate may in fact produce the opposite results the state is looking for. With an increasingly difficult course load, some Michigan residents believe many students will drop out of high school. Another argument against the bill is that with the increase in required classes, many students will not have time to take electives such as music, and shop classes thus eliminating the opportunity to pursue other career paths in the future. The issue comes down to which is the lesser tragedy for the state: More students graduating from high school unprepared for the rigors of college, or the potential for more dropouts, but students entering the collegiate system better equipped to succeed. After Indiana implemented higher graduation standards officials reported an increase in the number of students attending college. College may not be the best choice for everyone, but those who desire a secondary education should feel prepared with their required high school education to flourish. MR

ality of affirmative action. The altered composition of the Supreme Court in the current year probably puts at risk the beloved policy, should it encounter the deliberations of Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Alito. But while the composition of the Supreme Court has changed, the Constitution has read the same in the meanwhile. Many have claimed that scarcely any government issue outweighs the importance of the equal protection clause. And despite the ‘Grutter’ decision, it still remains murky under Constitutional Law how exactly a system that endorses preferential treatment on the basis of skin color can pass muster with the Fourteenth Amendment. MR

Read the conclusion of this piece in the next issue of The Michigan Review, coming out early next month.

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March 21, 2006

Campus Affairs

Getting Intelligent About Intelligence

By Amanda Nichols, ‘08


ow far is too far? This question is becoming increasingly relevant in the technologically advanced world of intelligence gathering. Typically deemed spying or investigating, this work done by the FBI, the CIA, and other governmental agencies is crucial to national security. However, recent leaks from the Bush White House regarding domestic wiretaps without warrants raises this ubiquitous question. After all, does the government—and particularly the executive branch—have the power to bug the phone lines of its own citizens because they suspect terrorism or antiAmerican plots are afoot? And can they do this without any authorization or judicially-issued warrant? On March 13, experts in the field of government intelligence gathered at the Michigan Union to discuss such issues. Republican Congressman Joe Schwarz of Michigan’s 7th district (which includes much of Washtenaw County) joined two university professors, Ken Lieberthal of the Ross School of Business and the Political Science department and Professor Daniel Halberstam of the law school, to discuss the current issues surrounding intelligence and the government. As a former member of the CIA, Congressman Schwarz called his interest in the intelligence community natural, and even asserted this information-gathering culture has been part of the United States since the Revolutionary War. However, he argued that, in the past 100 years, the process of gathering information has drastically changed. While Schwarz called the intelligence methods through his era “proper” and “lawful,” he did assert that now the community has become much more

bureaucratic. Both Professor Lieberthal and Professor Halberstam seemed to concur with Rep. Schwarz on this point; however, the three men were not in accord as to how an honest intelligence community can be achieved. Lieberthal, former Senior National Security Advisor in the Clinton administration, told the crowd that integrity in the intelligence community could be achieved again by questioning the legality and efficacy of the community’s ethics. To illustrate his point, Lieberthal used the examples of terrorism and torture. He asserted that terrorism is very unethical, and therefore counterterrorism tactics should inherently be ethical. However, he noted these tactics could be taken to unethical extremes—such as the now-infamous torture at Abu Ghraib. Calling it “inefficacious,” Lieberthal also pointed out that a government should never take such drastic measures, because the number of fanatics will increase. Lieberthal also addressed Bush’s wire-tapping tactics and called them a method that only increases the number of dots a government or intelligence agency must connect. Like Schwarz, Lieberthal also recognized that the bureaucratic mentality of the intelligence community increases as gathering methods become more technologically advanced. As a professor of Constitutional Law and Federalism, Daniel Halberstam’s spin on the issue of wire-tapping without warrants naturally dealt more specifically with the method’s legality. Calling the President the “main organ in foreign affairs,” Halberstam asserted that our nation’s executive has the powers Congress allows him/her to exercise. Thus, in cases where the President seems to be stretching or going beyond

the laws, it is the legislature’s responsibility to restrain those actions through laws. Although he spoke much about legal precedents, Halberstam’s most interesting points dealt with the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (1978), or FISA. He asserted FISA created a secret court for cases specifically like the current political issues, and since their inception, they have only rejected four claims. However, the Bush administration did not take wiretap requests to FISA, and Halberstam thinks their actions are therefore unlawful. Instead, he believes such issues have to be worked out “in the crucible of political negotiation.” Although each panel member spoke on different aspects of the intelligence community, the moderator attempted to connect each man’s remarks through the question-and-answer portion of the evening. This was not successful, though. Instead of actually determining “what limits [there should] be on American intelligencegathering during an age of international terrorism,” members of the audience mostly asked Schwarz about the integrity of the Bush administration and Republican leadership in Congress. Of course, there were also the obligatory diatribes by political activists—the speeches by an aging gentleman (who referenced his 115-page FBI file of the ‘60s) and by members of the cult-like Lyndon LaRouche camp were particularly memorable. Perhaps the only thing the three panelists— and the audience members—agreed on were the current flaws in the intelligence community; this might be a first step. After all, the first step to fixing an issue is admitting it exists. If only the intelligence community itself were to make such a concession. MR

Solomon Amendment Upheld for Law Schools

By Jane Coaston, ‘09


n March 6, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the government in Rumsfeld v. Forum for Academic and Institutional Rights, deciding unanimously in favor of the Solomon Amendment, a provision in federal law which allows the Secretary of Defense to deny federal funding to institutions of higher education that prevent military recruitment or information gathering. Writing for the majority, Chief Justice John Roberts wrote that the Solomon Amendment did not improperly regulate speech, noting, “Nothing about recruiting suggests that law schools agree with any speech by recruiters, and nothing in the Solomon Amendment restricts what the law schools may say about the military’s policies.” He then said that students can tell the difference between “speech a school sponsors and speech a school permits,” meaning that simply because a school allows recruiters onto campus does not implicitly express agreement with the policies of the recruiter’s organization. He further clarified the Court’s opinion by saying that though law schools “associate” with military recruiters by interacting with them, the recruiters do not become a part of the law school, therefore negating FAIR’s argument that the Solomon Amendment violated the right to

free association. The controversy regarding the Solomon Amendment goes back to Public Law 103-160, otherwise known as “don’t ask, don’t tell” enacted in 1993 during the beginning of the Clinton presidency. It states that a member of the Armed Forces can be discharged if he or she states that they are homosexual or bisexual, or engages in homosexual acts. In response to the new policy, the American Association of Law Schools demanded that the military be banned from recruiting on law school campuses, like other “discriminatory employers,” because of the military’s “inability to fulfill nondiscrimination requirements.” To counteract the ban, Congress passed the first of several “Solomon amendments” that stated that schools that bar military recruiters from campuses were to be denied federal funds from the Department of Defense. In 1996, the amendment was extended to include the denial of funds from the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education. In 1999, the amendment was pushed further by extending the applicability to not only law schools, but to entire universities. Colleges and universities were loath to challenge Solomon’s dictates, with $35 billion in aid at risk, according to the

Los Angeles Times. But faculty at several law schools banded together to support “Solomon amelioration.” According to, the website of the plaintiff, “discretion in the form of mandated silence is itself a form of oppression and discrimination.” Legal challenges to the Solomon amendment culminated in the decision by a lower court in Burt v. Rumsfeld, despite several motions for dismissal made by the federal government based on jurisdiction, to end its enforcement at Yale University in 2005. The federal government filed an appeal with the Supreme Court, which was granted. The decision was upheld by Congress, which voted in a 347-65 margin to support the unanimous court decision. Two-thirds of Democrats voted with the majority, surprising many. Criticism of the ruling was almost immediate. In a press release, the president of the Harvard Law School Lambda club, an LGBT student group, said in an opinion written on behalf of several gay student organizations that the ruling was a “disappointment” that “concentrates on the technicalities and logistics of on-campus recruiting in order to avoid discussion the real issue.” But supporters of the decision pointed to Roberts’s citing of the Constitution, specifically the clause that gives Congress

the right “to provide for the common Defense” through support and maintenance of the military branches. Supporters argued that this is most effectively done through recruitment, and therefore to limit recruitment is to go against the Constitution. At the University of Michigan School of Law, support has generally been with the American Association of Law Schools and their decision to pursue the suit through the federal court system. According to the blog of the UM Outlaws, the law school’s gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender organization, Chief Justice Roberts’s opinion showed that the “Court began its inquiry already knowing what it wanted to find.” But the University of Michigan did not join the lawsuit. The only universities that publicly announced support were New York University, George Washington University, and Golden Gate University. This ruling is not the last in the fight to overturn the Solomon amendments and end the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy in the American military. Possible lawsuits regarding high school military recruitment have already been proposed in several major cities. But the conservative makeup of the court and its Chief Justice will provide a significant challenge. MR

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March 21, 2006