The Journal of Campus Affairs at the University of Michigan www.michiganreview.com
November 13, 2007
Transit Authority Goes Green and Saves Green By Nate Stano, ‘11
ANY STUDENTS ARE now noticing (or riding on) the new hybrid buses around Ann Arbor, but they may not know exactly how much fuel and carbon emissions the new buses save. The new green buses save enough to be considered a great improvement by those on both sides of the climate change issue. Mary Stasiak, Manager of Community Relations for the Ann Arbor Transit Authority (AATA), said she was very excited about the new busses, as well as their reception by the community. The hybrid buses cost about $221,000 more than a regular bus, at about $546,000 apiece, so the problem of extra funding was initially looming over the project, with the Authority’s budget only accounting for the cost of new regular busses. Through the help of Michigan Congressional delegates John Dingell, Carl Levin, and Debbie Stabenow and the competitive Congestion Mitigating and Air Quality (CMAQ) grant, the funding to get the hybrid buses came through last February. These buses are expected to save a lot for the Authority. In terms of environmental savings, the AATA estimates that hybrids cut carbon monoxide emissions, particulate emissions and hydrocarbon emissions by up to 90 percent and carbon dioxide and nitrogen oxide emissions by up to 50 percent. In terms of fuel, more than 811,000 gallons over the next twelve years will be saved, which, given an annual 3 percent rise in fuel prices, adds up to $2.5 million, given conservative estimates. This would pay for half of the extra costs of the anticipated 20 total hybrid buses, but it seems likely that as oil creeps up to $100 per barrel, the savings may be even greater. The idea to replace the old buses with hybrids after their standard twelve years of service was first considered about twelve years ago, Stasiak said. The AATA has replaced fifteen busses with new hybrid models, made by Gillig Corporation of Hayward, California, and plans to replace five more this March. The entire fleet will be hybrid within twelve years. The reception by the community
Brian Biglin/The Michigan Review
Executive Assistant Athletic Director Michael Stevenson called the U-M student section, seen here looking up from row three, intimidating and effective in creating a raucous atmosphere.
Assistant AD Says Statements on Crowd Noise Taken Out of Context By Brian Biglin, ‘08
AVING BEEN ACCUSED of condemning fan noise in the Big House and wanting renewed enforcement of NCAA rules against distracting noises of late on Michigan sports blogs, Executive Assistant Athletic Director Michael Stevenson clarified some past statements, and encouraged crowd
noise as long as penalties are not called against U-M. Stevenson took part in a sparsely attended forum discussing sports fan ethics on October 24th, and in an interview with the Review, he said that his responses, which were characterized as being anti-noise and anti-student by second-hand sources and bloggers, were made in an academic setting with reference
to rules that are no longer enforced. He said that, as a fan, he was playing devil’s advocate. “If you believe that sport is governed by rules that are supposed to be neutral with respect to giving teams any advantage, then making too much noise in a stadium is unethical,” said Stevenson. It would be
“Marked Bodies” Event Brings Out P.C. Crowd On Campus
After Dispute With Nationals, Phi Alpha Delta Disbands
Employees Offer Their Perspectives on LateNight Munchies
By Lindsey Dodge, ‘10
By Erika Gonzalez, ‘09
By Kate O’Connor, ‘09
Go Blue! Beat OSU O
ctober 19-26 was “Investing in Ability Week” at the University of Michigan, and October 25 poet and activist Eli Clark presented “Gaping, Gawking, and Staring: Living in Marked Bodies.” The powerpoint lecture discussed the “disabling” effect of being a disabled person, trans person, fat person, and person of color in today’s society. The presentation was so well attended that some people were turned away at the door.
ecently, the U-M chapter of Phi Alpha Delta (PAD), a longstanding co-ed pre-law fraternity, disbanded. The move came after its national organization demanded that the chapter make changes in admissions criteria. Following that request, PAD leadership decided to split from their national organization and form a new law fraternity, Kappa Alpha Pi (KAPi). An amendment made to the PAD changed the chapter’s rush process.
tb Burrito, Bell’s Pizza, NYPD, Pizza House, Back Room, Pizza Bob’s—all of these places have one special thing in common. These are just a few of the places on campus that you may have spent more time at drunk than you have sober. These are some of the mostly inexpensive restaurants that hundreds of drunken college students flood through every Thursday, Friday and Saturday. But what’s it like there when you’re sober?
THE MICHIGAN REVIEW www.michiganreview.com
Michael O’Brien Editor-in-Chief Adam Paul Executive Editor Brian Biglin Managing Editor Rebecca Christy Senior Editor Lindsey Dodge Jonny Slemrod Associate Editors Chris Stieber Editor-at-Large Business Staff: Karen Boore Publisher Danny Harris Anna Malecke Associate Publishers
page two. the michigan review
■ Serpent’s Tooth •
Last week, Australian officials discovered the chemical GHB in several pink toys. We knew sorority rushees were young, but this is ridiculous.
• After last week’s come-from-behind win over MSU, Mike Hart compared the Spartan’s to “little brothers.” Coach Mike Dantoniore sponded by making fun of Hart’s height. Sometimes these just write themselves. • Ann Arbor City Council held elections this week, receiving only a smattering of votes. Sean “Vote-or-Die” Combs, upon hearing the news, vowed to, “go jihad all over Ann Arbor’s ass.”
Giuliani, a pro-choice, pro-gay marriage candidate. Asked to comment, Robertson said, “Eh, what the hell.”
• Touchdown’s café had its liquor license revoked. Rick’s owner and patrons are thrilled, as “Dignity Free Nights” are set to return to their storied home at Rick’s. • As Ohio State pulls ahead in the Blood Battle, the Red Cross announced in an “unrelated” story that they have discovered unusual amounts of tetanus, venereal diseases, and dis eases previously found only in cattle and white trash. • Headlines of the Future: Dennis Kucinich will be kicked out of a casino prior to the Democratic Debate in Las Vegas, Nevada, on Thursday for appearing to be underage.
• While the Serpent’s Tooth requested a witticism on the Writer’s Guild strike, conditions of the strike prevented them from delivering one.
• Pat Robertson, former presidential candidate and evangelical leader, endorsed Rudy
• Anonymous student groups have posted statistics about the “decline” of minority enrollment. Specific groups cited for declines in enrollment: albinos, vegan Texans, Zoroastrians, and Dharma and Greg fans.
Nick Cheolas Editor Emeritus
Dennis Kucinich mentioned his own “close encounter” at the last debate; turns out abducting livestock was more informative for aliens.
Staff Writers: Steven Bengal, Cherri Buijk, Jane Coaston, Marie Cour, Alexa Dent, Blake Emerson, Samm Etters, Austyn Foster, Erika Gonzalez, Mike Hamel, Josh Handell, Kris Hermanson, Alyse Hudson, Christine Hwang, Erika Lee, Eun Lee, Adam Pascarella, Alex Prasad, Danielle Putnam, Shanda Shooter, Andrea Sofian, Nathan Stano, Christina Zajicek, Zack Zucker
Letters and Viewpoints: The Michigan Review accepts and encourages letters to the editor and viewpoints. Letters to the editor should be under 300 words. Viewpoints can be arranged by contacting the editorial board. We reserve the right to edit for clarity and length. Send all correspondence to firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Us: The Michigan Review provides a broad range of in-depth coverage of campus affairs and serves as the literary voice of conservatism and libertarianism at the University of Michigan. The Review is published bi-weekly September thru April.
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911 N. University, Suite One Ann Arbor, MI 48109 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 reflect those of the advertisers or the University of Michigan. Copyright © 2007, The Michigan Review, Inc. All rights reserved. The Michigan Review is a member of the Collegiate Network.
■ Letter from the Editor
ike many—maybe too many—other students at this University, I’m from Ohio. I’m from Sylvania, to be precise, a suburb of Toledo. But my ties, I should disclose, don’t end there. My own mom is an alumna of the Ohio State University, as are other family members. To top it off, I was even born in the despised school’s hospital. But I ended up here, at the University of Michigan. Michigan has always been the team I rooted for and admired, and it seemed natural to me that I come to a school with as much rich history, tradition, and academic success as U-M. I have found too often during my time here, however, that the orthodoxies of progressive thought that seep into the classroom (masquerading as academic nuance) really hinder most students’ ability to get a true education while they’re here. Too many students “drink the Kool-Aid,” so to speak. They’re told from the moment they get here that diversity is the most important value. A sad proportion of students accept that at face value, without questioning what that really means. This issue of The Michigan Review, I think, explores the contradictions between what I like to think of as the “two Michigans.” (It pains me to have to parrot a John Edwards catch phrase, by the way.) On one hand, there is the Michigan of Mary Sue Coleman and her flacks, a Michigan where a liberal, activist agenda is the role of higher education. Some of our stories this issue explore it. Erika Lee (page 3) writes about an entire new class on “Ethics and Diversity” that is seemingly dedicated towards propagating certain political thought. Mike Gravel
runs rampant (page 6), and none other than the President of the ACLU is invited as the speaker on “academic freedom” (page 6). Or, take for example, the University of Michigan that would be had if people like Eli Clark (page 7) ruled the world: a world where identity politics and a perpetually aggrieved state of being are most important. How about the new undergraduate application that prompts students to respond to a statement by Pres. Coleman praising diversity (page 12)? I wonder how they’ll be inclined to respond… On the other hand, there is a University bound by unbreakable tradition and loyalty. Maybe that’s best represented in our campus institutions and, above all, our athletics. Our cover story fights back against the suggestion that we quiet ourselves at football games, and our review of “The Rivalry” (page 10) explores that storied rivalry with OSU. Meanwhile, we take a look at the lighter side of late-night munchies, a favorite staple of college life in Kate O’Connor’s article (page 10). It’s only fitting that this issue emerge before the Game. It helps define the two Michigans, and clarifies which one needs to win: the side of tradition and loyalty. They’re the reason I personally abandoned Ohio for my new home these past four years. Without those, why even bother fighting against Ohio State? Sincerely,
Michael O’Brien Editor-in-Chief
the michigan review
New Course Tackles Links Between Ethics and Diversity By Erika Lee, ‘11
HE COURSE DESCRIPTIONS in the course guide often turn out to be insufficient or even delusional in giving a general picture of what to expect from a class. A new mini-course offering this term, however, UC 270 (Ethics and Diversity) manages to accomplish what it promises: “understand the ethics of dominance and the ethical systems of subordinated groups as well as the conflicts that emerge when interactions among their members takes place.” This experimental course deals with controversial issues surrounding homophobia, human rights, economic disparity, and racism. The course uses extensive discussion rather than a lecture format to engage such issues. The readings come from provocative and innovative papers or opinion pieces such as Garret Hardin’s essay, “Carrying Capacity as an Ethical Concept.” Despite the difficulty of the topics, the discussion takes place effortlessly during a two-hour class every Tuesday and Thursday. Just as interesting as the contents of the course can be, the manner in which they are conveyed are unusual. In one class, the course instructor, Luis Felipe Sfeir-Younis, showed a clip from the movie “Crash” and provided simple, almost ambiguous guidelines for their discussion about racism. “Story is open; put it anyway you want and we’ll put it together at the end,” he said in the beginning of the class.
education is worth when there are millions of people without their necessities fulfilled. The backbone of such intellectual and ethical challenge is the instructor, Sfeir-Younis. He does not hesitate to offer provocative thoughts. “If we have included ethics to economics, things would have turned out differently,” he said in the conversation about capitalist system – another tangent from the topic of famine. On the nature of knowledge, he suggested that physics and biology have largely been a western, masculine fantasy of how the world works. The elements of power, dominance and competition had been emphasized. Now with more women in these fields, there are growing perspective on collaboration and cooperation in nature. Whether his idea is widely accepted or not, he raises a question relevant to diversity: how can we make sure that knowledge is universally true when it continuously changes as new social groups are incorporated into the academic society? As he focuses on gaining awareness, having a moral obligation, and projecting one’s frustration towards positive change, the class at times appears philosophical and abstract. However, the class approaches diversity and ethics from an everyday perspective as well. Many of the topics covered in the course are relevant to the life at U-M. The discussion of racism easily led to the issue of affirmative action
“It’s important to have the pedagogy of diversity. I hope to see ethics integrated into LSA curriculum one day.” -Luis Felipe Sfeir-Younis, Instructor of Ethics and Diversity Mini-Course
Since the ‘story is open,’ digression is welcomed, enjoyed, and encouraged. A discussion on global famine situation led to a heated conversation on the role of education and the pros and cons of a fiveletter grading system. The discussions can become very personal; students drew examples from their personal experience of racism on campus and, in return, the lecturer also provided his own personal perspectives. The intimate nature of the discussion can be uncomfortable, but it allows students to raise daring, challenging, or even troublesome questions inside and outside the class. A student asked herself if she really needed an extra cup of coffee and another asked what college
“The term ‘reverse discrimination’ seems to imply that discrimination is directed towards a certain way; but it is still discrimination, no matter who is victimized,” said Queenscilia Onyebuchi, an LSA junior during the discussion about racism and affirmative action. New ideas are poked at and toyed with during the class. Just like the contents of the course, the course itself is in its experimental stage. It was tried for the first time this year, and Sfeir-Younis just submitted a request to continue it on in the winter term. “It’s important to have the pedagogy of diversity,” said Sfeir-Younis. “I hope to see ethics integrated into LSA curriculum one day.” MR
“Transit” From Page 1 has been overwhelmingly positive, Stasiak said. Drivers have commented that the new hybrid busses have a smoother ride than the older ones, mostly because of the way the bus uses its breaks to capture the energy on stopping, and then use that stored energy to get going again. The Authority has been committed to pro-environment technology and conservation since its inception, Stasiak said. Its building, erected in 1984, is designed to let in as much natural light as possible, allowing the building to operate with virtually no lights on. They recycle the water used to wash the buses until it is too dirty to use. They also try to recycle lubricants and paper within the Authority. Additionally, Stasiak said that The Ride schedules and maps, of which 205,000 are printed each year, are printed on paper from sustainable sources. Other ongoing projects include investigations of a 10 percent biodiesel fuel mixture; current buses operate on 5 percent biodiesel. The Authority is trying to find the most effective mixture, as higher percentage biodiesel mixtures can gum up at
lower temperatures, which would render the bus fleet useless in the Michigan winter. Stasiak said that the Authority wants to do their part to reduce oil dependence and carbon footprints. Furthermore, each person that rides the buses makes a contribution towards these ends. Eliminating the use of one car for public transportation can reduce a person’s carbon footprint between 25-30 percent, a point which Stasiak said was often overlooked by the general populous. She noted that though switching to a hybrid car was a good step, the savings from using any public transit can rival that of the best hybrids. Stasiak said that the Authority is also having a contest to name its new mascot, a smiling cartoon ‘eco-bug.’ The person who submits the chosen name will win an iPhone. Submissions are due by November 28th, and more information can be found on the Authority’s website. Ann Arbor’s Transportation Authority is unique, at least in this part of the country, in its extensive bus system, and even more unique because of its extra effort to help the environment. MR
Austyn Foster/The Michigan Review
The new hybrid buses, such as the one pictured above, can be seen throughout Ann Arbor.
“Stadium Noise” From Page 1 unethical because of the influence fan behavior could directly have on the outcome of the game, by changing field position or extending possession times by leading to first downs. Stevenson emphasized that he was asked to discuss fan ethics, and referred to NCAA rules as guidelines for ethical behavior. But those rules are no longer enforced by officials, and since fans no longer have to worry about incurring penalties against their own team for their rowdiness, fans should be involved and passionate, Stevenson said. Fan noise may impact the calling and execution of plays—which is one reason why student sections try to be loud—but Stevenson noted that “teams today are very sophisticated in dealing with it,” using a variety of signals to call and change plays. Noise could even be called an equalizer; instead of starting on an audible snap count called by a quarterback, giving the offense a split-second advantage, both teams start at the same moment, when they see the ball snapped. Stevenson reiterated the academic nature of the forum where his comments led to out of-context blog reports and passionate emails. If ethics are embodied in rules, he said, then the rules should answer ethical questions. It is perfectly natural for fans to want to give their team an edge, though, and where rules are not enforced, ethical considerations are no longer in play. This is different from the case of obscenities and personal attacks; the Athletic Department would never take action
against stadium noise in the present circumstances, but the obscene chants at Michigan hockey games, and organized chants making fun of individual players (often at basketball games), are cracked down on by the department. The “you suck” chant directed towards opposing offenses at Michigan Stadium has been the subject of some discussion. “Some people [fans] view it as inappropriate, but I am not offended, and I think the expression is used commonly enough,” said Stevenson, regarding the chant. Stevenson said that the Michigan football student section, in its immense size and level of activity, is very intimidating and a great asset for the program. “I am proud of it. Our students are more active than ever,” said Stevenson, adding that the noise that projects onto the field is substantial and makes a difference. He mentioned that the rest of the stadium has a reputation of being filled with passive fans that ostensibly lack in passion. Stevenson also said that he hopes that fans do not sit on their hands in the upcoming game against Ohio State, and that he will be with the students, in terms of showing spirit, on the day of the game. In an era where homes teams are not penalized for having loud fans, Stevenson said the Athletic Department has no policies to suppress enthusiasm that is free of obscenities, and will foster increased noise in the stadium. That directive is enshrined in the plans for the stadium renovations, which include noise-capturing architecture. MR
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he 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.
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Searching for Diversity Targeting a Bar for For the Seniors, For Bo, in all the Wrong Places HostingDrinkingGame For Lloyd, Tourney is Misguided on Campus ...and for Us
learly, the MCRI is still very much in U-M’s collective unconscious, and one has only to observe the brick walls around central campus for proof. Sporadically written in neon green chalk reads such things as “Diversity? Where? Not Here!” In certain locations notifications of the amount of minority representation in the freshman class are posted next to the graffiti. So how much has changed? According to the statistics, not much. There are, apparently, two fewer Native-American students compared to last year’s class, and about two more AfricanAmerican students. Any decent statistician would label these results the product of variation, if not random. After the MCRI passed, the University administration immediately coalesced into a united front against this perceived injustice. Mary Sue Coleman rushed to the Diag to give an impassioned, if repetitive speech. Diversity Blueprints was designed, willfully excluding the student body as a whole, to ensure that “diversity” was maintained at the “historically diverse” U-M. Yet how diverse was Michigan to begin with? Diversity is great. We all love Diversity, with a capital “D.” But the voting citizens of the state of Michigan have determined that our desire for diversity should not outweigh the University’s determination to accept only the leaders and best. This surely does not preclude students of color. Thus, racial diversity is still achieveable. The difference in acceptance rates is so minimal that we can only determine, for the time being, that a lack of racial consideration does not leave out minority students. They are still represented much as they always were at U-M, that is to say, in the minority. Yet now they can be certain that their acceptance was based on their value and talent as students, not on any quality as completely irrelevant to school as their skin color. This is an improvement to the now illegal U-M policies concerning admissions. Yet somehow many professors and, of course, President Coleman see this as the tragic end to affirmative action at Michigan. As such, they are willing to do whatever they can, however they can, to reserve the effects of the passage of the MCRI. What they fail to grasp is that the MCRI was the end of affirmative action, not of diversity. One has only to look at the misguided statistics posted outside Hatcher Graduate Library to realize this. The numbers would have us assume that there has been a precipitous drop in representation of minorities on campus. But as a matter of fact, the song remains the same, so to speak. The protestations of the “Diversity? Where?” crowd help expose their true, base motivation. That is, despite the University bending over every which way to increase its minority enrollment, no number will ever be good enough. Short of overrepresenting the University’s desired groups, the appetite for “diversity” will never be satiated. And so, a year after the MCRI, we see that the University has still not learned its lesson. If anything, it is more obstinate in its refusal to learn that diversity is more than skin-deep. Unfortunately, having such a shallow perspective on such issues keeps it from doing so. It is comforting to know, however, this this institution is without the tool of racial preferences, which the law at least tolerated before last year’s election. Efforts to increase diversity through broadening the pool of qualified minority applicants will benefit society, as well as the University, on multiple levels. MR
AST WEEK, TOUCHDOWN Café on S. University, which violated the “drinking game” law, had its liquor license suspended. Michigan bars are not allowed to encourage binge drinking by giving alcohol as prizes or holding contests that requires the consumption of alcohol. The ruling prevented the bar from serving alcohol last weekend, a constraint that managers expected would result in the loss of several thousand dollars worth of revenue. It makes little sense to punish a bar for providing people with a place to do what bars are known for — drinking. It is the responsibility of the establishment to ensure that obviously drunk patrons are refused service and provided with a safe option for transportation. Touchdown’s does not require that alcohol be used in the games it offers, and even if it did, no one is forced to play the games or drink the alcohol. The anti-drinking game law is an excessive reach of government into a private enterprise. The law is poorly designed, even if for a goal with which we disagree. There seems little difference between a competitive plastic-cups-and-ping-pong-ball game and testing one’s mettle with competitive dares from a friend over a line of cheap tequila shots. Drinking for college students will be competitive, even if bars do not offer contests. By the time students are (legally) able to enter a bar, most of them already know how to handle themselves, and the novelty of the games will have worn off. This law isn’t erroneous just because it tries to prevent things that we feel are unpreventable. That argument applies to several laws we find effective. The problem is that bars aren’t generating patrons’ desire to play beer pong: they are responding to patrons’ demand for the game. The “anti-drinking competition” law, though not antiquated, is thoroughly out of touch. So out of touch, it raises the question of when, exactly, the last time state legislators went to a bar. In case the representatives have forgotten, let us remind them: yes, bars serve alcohol. Indeed, some of their patrons are even known consume it to excess. It is extremely short-sighted to act as though drinking game regulations are an effective preventative measure against excessive drinking. Drinking games, in and of themselves, are not the determinate factor in drinking to excess—an individual’s decision is. If the lawmakers want to discourage excessive drinking, enforce the laws against it. (We should note, though, that this would be a move we discourage). Don’t disguise an anti-drinking social agenda with an anti-drinking competition law: that is a game we won’t play. This all reflects a sense by many adults that they need to nanny the social lives of college students. We find this statism repugnant in all of its forms, even for those that involve our social lives. Government officials are unfairly projecting their distrust of the combination of college students and alcohol onto bars. College bars, not martini lounges, are most likely to host games like beer pong. The latter of course, could still benefit from their introduction. A rule against drinking games, while ostensibly to protect public health, targets those bars frequented by young people. It is not that we deem all of the decisions made by our peers are entirely healthy. (Honestly, think about the floors beer pong balls have been picked up from and you actually have a better case for improving public health.) They aren’t, and we openly admit that. But these decisions are ours to make, not others’. MR
HIS SATURDAY, THE mighty Michigan Wolverines will meet the lowly Ohio State Buckeyes for the 104th meeting in their storied rivalry. Heading into the game this weekend, students should be mindful to soak up the atmosphere on campus, and realize their role in the best rivalry in all of athletics—collegiate or professional. The game this year is of special importance to this year’s senior class—not least of which include Mike Hart, Chad Henne, Jake Long, and others. Over the past three years, none of us have seen or experienced a victory over the Buckeyes—a painful reminder of the shortcomings of the University of Michigan during the Sweatervest Era. For this year’s seniors, particularly those like our acclaimed running back, a win could not be a better way to signal a reversal of fortunes for the future, as well as a capstone for what they have accomplished these past few years here on campus. The Game this year, of course, is also a somber occasion. As we move towards Saturday, we are reminded of the painful absence of our beloved, late coach, Bo Schembechler. Bo, the quintessential “Michigan Man” passed away the day before the game he helped define, via his rivalry with Woody Hayes. Schembechler was a pillar at Michigan, and still is. Some on campus could still stand to heed his message about what is really important at Michigan: tradition. Bo, in all his wisdom and in all his years, understood what many progressive administrators still don’t. He understood that ideas are not what make Michigan great. It is the pride, legends, and traditions that define what it means to be at Michigan. Bo, the Michigan Man, understood that and preached it to his death. What better way to celebrate his legacy than a victory by the team—his team—ensconced in more tradition and lore than any other in college football. (Yes, Notre Dame, that includes you.) This is, of course, easier said than done. No group of three or four Michigan football fans will give the same analysis for what needs to be done before and during the game in order to win will give. But strategy aside for a moment, winning a game usually has to do more with heart and determination than the playbooks. Furthermore, this may be head coach Lloyd Carr’s last year on the sidelines. Despite recent criticism, especially after the Appalachian State game, this is a man that has contributed greatly to the Michigan football program, leading the team to five Big Ten championships and one national championship (1997). He is one of the winningest coaches in college football, and has served for over 100 games. No matter people’s opinion of his current coaching, as reflected in by the absurdist victories taking place all over college football nowadays, Carr deserves to end this year with the ultimate comeback. That said, us students must be prepared to do our part, too. This is THE GAME, after all. This one’s different than the others. It’s Ohio State—our blood rivals, our hated foes. Many on campus, we’re sure, have received the invitations to the Facebook groups imploring students to make *real* noise at the game on Saturday. We laud these efforts. It’s time for Michigan students to step up—not shut up—and make the Big House live up to its name. It’s for the seniors. It’s for Bo. It’s for Lloyd. And it’s for us. MR
■ Free to Choose
A Path Towards Defeat: Vandalize the Enemy
NE YEAR AGO, Michigan voters passed the Michigan Civil Rights Initiative (MCRI) by a resounding margin of 58-42. It was a sad day for supporters of quotas: race, gender, and nationality could no longer be used by the UM Admissions department when reviewing applications. It was the end of a fiery debate which Jonny enveloped Slemrod Ann Arbor for months. In the months leading up to Election Day, I conducted a simple experiment by placing a harmless bumper sticker in support of the MCRI on my door in
Markley. My door remained untouched for a few weeks, until I came back from class one day to find that someone had decided that it was a good idea to tear off the sticker. No big deal, I thought. Another sticker sat unpeeled in my desk, and was an adequate replacement. This time, I periodically checked my door to try to figure out what time of the day the culprit would strike again, if they in fact did. I waited, but nothing happened. One night, I was studying a few feet from my door, when I heard someone approach my door, and tear off the sticker. I sprung to action, and opened the door, where I was met by two girls. The evidence was unmistakable: one girl held my sticker in her hand. “What’s going on?” I asked. Believe me when I say that I’ve been called all sorts of things in my days as a conservative, but the response that I got from one of
the girls was unforgettable: a simple “Fuck you.” With that outburst of intelligence, the girls exited my hall. Of course, my point here is not to whine about two bumpers stickers, but to point out the pathetic tactics of those who resort to property destruction as a means of advancing their political goals, especially when related to affirmative action. By Any Means Necessary, commonly referred to as BAMN, is a radical group “dedicated to building a new mass civil rights movement” based on affirmative action. In December 2005, BAMN members decided the best way to promote their pro-affirmative action message would be to yell obscenities and flip a table at a meeting of the Lansing Board of Canvassers. BAMN’s disgraceful strategy severely hurts the anti-MCRI coalition and does nothing more than give a bad name to those who don’t desire to vandalize.
The day after the passage of the MCRI, Mary Sue Coleman reaffirmed her opposition to the MCRI, which was now law. An oxymoronic beacon of hope remained for the anti-MCRI folk, as Coleman made it very clear that her administration would do everything legally possible to avoid the law. But as MCRI supporters showed up with huge signs which read “Yes on Prop.2,” emotions boiled over, and some in the Diag couldn’t resist and decided that verbal abuse, coupled with some angst-filled shoves, would help their cause. Supporters of racial preferences should condemn their perceived allies who don’t want to have a real dialogue about the issue, and instead want to vandalize property and spout verbal abuse. Perhaps they’d be successful if they did so. MR
■ Big Talk
End Inefficient Politics by Ending Current Primary System I
DON’T REALLY like national politics. Congress is boring (unlike the British House of Commons), the two-party system is outmoded, and the issues at the forefront are never the issues that this country really needs to be talking about. I do get into presidential races, though, but I am alarmed at how flawed the process of choosing candidates is. My main discontent is with the primary system. Why do two of the most insignificant states (neither of which contains any major cities) decide so much? Why do pundits think it is a done deal if Romney wins Iowa and New Hampshire, implying that the rest of the country should be influenced by those early outcomes? The primary system enshrines trend-voting, and ensures that Brian the candidate that’s hot at the right time gets to go to the Biglin big dance—like the Colorado Rockies going to the World Series. John Kerry had narrow victories in the initial primaries in the winter of 2004. With each successive primary, his wins became larger and larger. Then, competitors started dropping, and a couple months later, the right to run was handed to this weak candidate. National polling before the start of the primary
cycle in 2004 indicated that Howard Dean was the darling of Democrats across America. But Iowa, being the first primary, was not his stronghold. It’s the heartland, where anti-war rhetoric doesn’t fly with the electorate. The democrats there, all ten of them, care about farm subsidies and keeping manufacturing jobs in America. But they had their say, and New Hampshire voters— whose primary became a referendum on Kerry and the Iowa voters’ decision—proceeded to put their stamp of approval on Kerry. People like a winner. People voting in February will know what people voting in the previous month have said. They will formulate conclusions based on the perceived viability of a candidate, using misleading conventional wisdom as their guide, rather than issues. As the process goes on, the hot candidate will tend to look better, be more composed, and make fewer mistakes. The people falling behind will look more desperate, and will only get a boost if the guy in the lead slips up. If another, larger state, perhaps one more representative of American democrats like New York or California, made the first decision, Howard Dean would have probably won the democratic ticket. Thus, Iowa is responsible for giving us an unproductive 2004 election which was basically Bush versus some guy who wasn’t Bush. As they both supported the war, minutia such as Kerry’s Vietnam service and congressional record became the issues. If Dean ran, the candidates’ diametric opposition to each other would have forced Americans and the candidates to confront the real issues facing the country.
Remember the Fallen By Nate Stano, ‘11
HIS PAST SUNDAY was Veterans Day, and a chance for us not only to remember those who have served, but those who have fallen in service to their country, be they family, friend, or fellow Wolverine. Michigan men have had a long tradition of service to their country, and the University has a long tradition of serving and remembering them. One of the first great surges in UniverStaff sity enrollment happened in the late Opinion 1860s, as Civil War veterans filled the ranks of the University. Construction of Alumni Memorial Hall, which now houses the University Museum of Art, was to begin in 1864, to honor the men of Michigan who had fallen in
the Civil War, but funding prevented the project from moving forward for another forty years. There is a mortar near Tappan Hall commemorated to the Michigan men who fought during the Spanish-American War. Men of Michigan answered the call in two World Wars, a war in Korea, and even a war in Vietnam. War has become such a divisive issue on campus, as students of all walks of life have come to express their own views on the war. Students duel, papers duel, but we have forgotten that no matter what we feel, the veterans among us should be honored for their sacrifice. This sentiment seems to have fallen on some deaf ears as of late. Veterans are verbally abused and even spit on at anti-war rallies. Over the summer, the Vietnam War Memorial was vandalized, with a corrosive substance splashed on the wall. These instances seem
Ah, but America didn’t support Dean, you say. No, Iowa didn’t support him, and then New Hampshire didn’t. And then the pundits decided it was all over for Dean. And then everyone sitting in the other 48 states decided that, among Iowans, New Hampshirites, and CNN, there must be some truth. Primary elections should not be a drawn out process. All fifty states should have both parties’ primaries on the same day. City and State primaries aren’t carried out on a county-by-county or ward-by-ward basis over a period of time; candidates are chosen on one day, and the general election campaign begins the next day. It is important that both parties’ primaries are on the same day, so that voters cannot react to each other’s choices. If Hilary won the democratic primary, Republicans across the country would instantly recognize Rudy as their best choice. But if Edwards were to win, Republicans might feel that McCain was the right choice to counter that candidate’s youth and lack of forcefulness. If no single candidate had a large-enough nationwide plurality, a party could observe which candidates won which states, and as it moved to choose its candidate, it could bear each of those state’s electoral significance in the general election in mind. Sadly, I am beginning to think that with people like me, who want a new election format and multiparty system, being considered pariahs, American elections will continue to lack issue-focused substance. MR
hard to believe, as America has always been a place which honors military service as honorable, even for drafted soldiers, yet in these days perhaps some have failed to see true heroism. In the days of an all-volunteer army, those men and women who enlist knowing full well the risk to their lives, the honor and respect we give to veterans should be indicative of the true courage that anyone who enlists displays. Take time this week to thank a veteran you know for their sacrifice, and take the time to listen to their story, as it is not often in these days that we hear stories of their heroism. Leave the last words to Horace, “Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori.” (“It is sweet and honorable to die for one’s country.”) MR
the michigan review
ACLU President Discusses Pro-Speech Platform at Law School By Christina Zajicek, ‘10
his year’s installment in the Davis, Markert, Nickerson Lecture series occurred Friday November 9, when Nadine Strosser, President of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), discussed the growing vulnerability of academic and intellectual freedom, and how the American Civil Liberties Union protects these First Amendment rights at U-M’s Law School. After a brief introduction by University Librarian and former Provost Paul Courant, Strosser, a Professor at the New York Law School, and president of the ACLU since 1991, began to outline the importance of preserving freedom in spite of the costs of protecting the rights of those who use hate speech. Strosser’s lecture was entitled “Defending Freedom: Even for the Thoughts We Hate.” Strosser points out how in the post-9/11 world, today’s forms of censorship seem justified because of the goal of protecting against terrorism. Examples include government wiretapping, prosecuting the press for exposing illegal government activities, and censoring the internet. However, Strosser said that the American public labors under a historical hubris, a concept that implies that each generation thinks they are encountering new, unique obstacles that require special exceptions when,
in hindsight, they should actually be looking back on history with humility. “Later generations can have the privilege of seeing how the government has oppressed those in the past,” said Strosser, which is why she emphasizes the “bedrock principle of content neutrality” in all cases the ACLU undertakes. Exercising content neutrality is perhaps best seen in the Skokie case of 1978. Skokie was home to a sizable number of Holocaust survivors, and members of the National Socialist Party of America (affiliated with the American Nazi Party) planned to march through it. The village refused to allow the march, and the ACLU interceded to represent the NSPA. The NSPA won the case on the basis of First Amendment rights and continued their march. 15 percent of ACLU members consequently resigned. Representing controversial clients proves the content neutrality and nonpartisanship of the ACLU, Strosser explained. “We all have different ideas for what the ‘just one’ exception is for the cases we cannot represent: people who exercise racism, hate speech, or the desecration of the United States flag. If you add all these exceptions up, it drowns out content neutrality altogether,” said Strosser. Strosser admitted that many of the cases the ACLU
represents appear to be defending “dangerous, odious, evil ideas that go too far,” referencing the Skokie case as an example, but she explained that these demonstrated how first amendment rights are taken for granted until one’s own views are attacked. However, she noted the ACLU complies with Supreme Court rules that hate speech can only be limited if it is associated with direct, causal harm. First Amendment rights cannot be curtailed if the action merely hurts feelings or could possibly lead to potential danger. The importance in preserving free speech is an issue that cuts across all party lines. “The cure can be seen as worse than the disease. If the government restrains our freedoms, it eliminates the choices we have and we cannot decide ourselves. In this case, it is better for us to be vulnerable to all forms of expression rather than to place all the power in the government,” said Strosser. This was the seventeenth lecture in the Davis, Markert, Nickerson series. Established in 1990 by the Senate Advisory Committee for University Affairs (SACUA), the series honors the three University faculty members—Chandler Davis, Clement Markert and Mark Nickerson—who were either suspended or dismissed of their positions after invoking their Constitutional right to refuse revealing their political orientation during the Red Scare of the 1950s. MR
Gravel, on Diag, Asks, ‘How Many Pills are You Taking?’ By Rebecca Christy, ‘08
emocratic Presidential Candidate Mike Gravel spoke on the Diag on Friday, October 26. Chris Chiles, the Executive Director for the Michigan Chapter of Students for Sensible Drug Policy introduced, Gravel with a speech focused on the initiatives of his student organization. “We advocate moving towards [drug] programs that are shown to be effective such as education and treatment and away from programs that aren’t, such as prison and harsh government,” Chiles said. While the introduction gave the impression that Gravel would spend a significant time discussing drug policy, in actuality he spent most of his speech discussing foreign policy. Gravel opened with a criticism on the current administrations views towards Iran. “There’s one thing that’s going on
right now that’s going to affect your lives that may kill a lot of you, and certainly if it doesn’t kill you it’s going to turn around and ruin you economically. And that is what George Bush and Dick Cheney are trying to do to go to war with Iran,” said Gravel. His disappointment extended to the reporting of evidence in regards to the current Iraq war; in fact, he called the The Washington Post “one of the great warmongering newspapers in the United States.” Gravel scarcely mentioned the issue of prison reform, one of the main issues for SSDP. However, when touched upon, he compared the prison system to Nazi Germany. “Think how many people in 1938 Hitler had in jail in Germany. Then take that figure and match it to how many people our free quote government has in jail today and you will find that the United States of America has six times more people in jail per capita than Adolf Hitler had in 1938 at the beginning of the
Second World War,” said Gravel. Gravel did not address the issue of drug policy until nearly 12 minutes into the 15 minute speech and only did so after being prompted by Chiles and an awkward transition statement. “What am I doing next? Am I walking away? Oh, you want to know more about drug policy,” said the presidential candidate. He spoke of the inconsistencies between regulations on drugs that are deemed illegal in comparison with the availability of a variety of other legal drugs. “It’s the war on drugs. The war, not the drugs. We’re all druggies to some level or other. We all are. You take aspirin; you take pills. God, you take a pill to go to sleep you take a pill to get up. What’s caffeine if it isn’t a drug,” said Gravel. Gravel expressed his desire to curb criminal activity in regards to a more liberal drug policy. “If you have a drug
problem you should be able to go to the doctor and get a prescription and then turn around and get it filled at the pharmacy. Then you’ll wipe out any incentives for the criminal elements that are involved in this process,” he said. About 150 students showed up for the Gravel speech. Students there cited a variety of reasons for attending. One engineering student said that Gravel deals with substance, unlike other candidates. Rachel Unger ‘09 said Gravel’s drug policy brought her to the Diag. “He says what needs to be said,” said Unger. Whether or not a majority of U-M students find Mike Gravel’s approach to drug policy as refreshing, Gravel does not view himself as audacious for addressing the topic. He discussed how other presidential nominees appeared surprised when he brought up the issue in a recent debate. His response to their reaction was blatant. “There’s nothing courageous about saying the drug policy in America is stupid.” MR
Visitor tells stories, conveys impact of AIDS on China By Christine Hwang, ‘10
r. Yun “Luke” Lu, the keynote speaker at the Youth Hope Organization’s student and faculty event “Raising Awareness about HIV/AIDS in China,” was one of the students blacklisted by the Chinese Communist Government during the demonstrations in Tiananmen Square. After that, Lu thought that if he helped China with its AIDS crisis, then perhaps he could be allowed to freely travel in and out of his native country, so he investigated the topic for his PhD dissertation topic. When Lu traveled to Hunan province, he discovered a devastating situation: half the villagers in the village he visited had died. Lu said he was initially confused about how the situation got this horrible. He soon discovered that in the 1990s, central China suffered from a mass drought that led to hunger and poverty, especially among the farming communities. Concurrently, there was a shortage of blood in China. People, especially farmers, began selling their blood as their main source of income so that their children could af-
ford an education and dream of a brighter future. These farmers would form groups to collect blood, during which they would all use the same needle. From there, the HIV/AIDS virus spread. What initially was an attempt to save their children led to a loss of hope for the next generation in central China. The children of this area had to give up school to be caretakers. It was an eighth grade girl that Lu met on his first visit that would later inspire him to dedicate his entire life to helping fight HIV/AIDS and help China’s future. The girl’s family had been infected with AIDS, and many of them had died or were sick. The girl’s name meant “Golden Courage.” She had expressed to Dr. Lu her desire to one day to go to college. But during subsequent visits to China, Le had found the girl had given up on her dream in order to help take care of her family. This, Lu said, was the turning point in his life, and this was how his organization, Golden Courage International, began. “We can change the world one kid at a time. There
are so many devastating things happening, but we can change the world one kid at a time,” said Dr. Lu. Nearly 200 students heard Lu tell this story on November 7. Eleven student organizations displayed information, focusing on topics that ranged from destroying the AIDS stigma to providing education for children in China. The displays also informed viewers about relief work outside of China. Amrit Misra ’09 represented AWARE seeks to fight Aids in Africa. AWARE raised money to send Derek Stafford, a Ph.D. student, to South Africa to work on collecting data to look at the effect of AIDS on social networks and structures of communities. “[The event] is effective because it gets all these organizations together to collaborate on one big issue. [It] brings all different people together to discuss this issue,” said Avani Shah ’09, a member of an organization at the event. MR
the michigan review
New Umbrella Group Consolidates Detroit Interests By Adam Paul ‘08
-M is only a short trek away from Detroit, but many students rarely visit. A number of student groups, however, spend a significant amount of time doing service work in the city. K-Grams partners with two of the city’s elementary schools, Gompeer and Vetel, as well as Ann Arbor schools as part of it year-long projects. The Detroit Project (DP) culminates it year-long work in the City with its DP Day each spring. Now these groups and others like them have come together to form the Detroit Coalition to promote their shared goals. The coalition kicked-off its efforts by having five student groups share Diag tables last week.
“As long as all the organizations at the table sign onto their vision that’s laudable,” said Burrows. While larger coalition members are wellknown on campus, several smaller groups have signed on as well. In fact, Children of Abraham, a national inter-faith group that helps redistribute medical supplies to clinics locally and abroad, only formed a campus group several weeks ago. “We knew that just doing things abroad was not enough and that there was a lot of need in Detroit,” said Children of Abraham executive board member Phil Park. Another young group, Intellectual Minds Making a Difference (IMMAD) formed in 2002 and works to eliminate the achievement
Austyn Foster/ The Michigan Review
“We are like public transit on the conceptual level,” said Chelsea Langston of Mission Serve, a coalition organization that takes a Christian-based approach to community service. Langston explained that like transit a coalition helps to move people and ideas and facilitate new interactions between them. “It’s symbolic that all these organizations are able to come together,” said Megan Hanner, a coalition representative and the Education Director for the Detroit Project. Hanner was able to secure funding for the coalition because of a fellowship she has with Young People For (YP4), a subgroup of the People for the American Way Foundation. The coalition was able receive $2,000 to put towards launching a website, holding events like its Diag day, and to print “M ♥ Detroit” t-shirts. YP4 promotes itself as a group “that identifies, engages and empowers progressive leaders to promote social change in their communities.” In fact, its guide book to coalition building is aimed either at progressive students or, jokingly, at “conservative students trying to steal ideas from progressive student groups.” Hanner does not see the group taking a political tract. “The coalition is not an ideological coalition. YP4 will support us in their familiarity with the non-profit world. We have a campus that is divided by political issues so it nice to unite people,” said Hanner. “We are excited about the coalition because it is looking to provide sustainable, long-term opportunities for Detroit,” said Rachel Burrows, Deputy Director of YP4’s fellowship program. When asked about the compatibility of student groups with specialized goals, Burrows focused on a unifying vision.
gap in Detroit Public Schools by providing ACT workshops and connections to U-M admissions counselors to students. Other groups such as the Muslim Student Association, the Roosevelt Institution, and Alternative Weekends have also signed onto the coalition but did not participate in the Diag day. At the same time that students are mobilizing around Detroit, University officials are also looking to increase relations with the city. In early October, the University announced a plan to expand K-12 outreach by creating the U-M Center for Educational Outreach and Academic Success. The center will begin by targeting schools in Detroit and Southfield. A new semester-long course will launch this upcoming fall, possibly with a test course in the spring/summer term. Called “Semester in Detroit” and following the model of the Michigan in Washington program, students will live, intern, and take courses in Detroit. The program, which is being organized mostly by students, has joined the Detroit Coalition. “What I like most about it [the collation] so far is that people up top in the University are promoting Detroit-Ann Arbor connections and it’s important to see a personal aspect from students,” said Semester in Detroit organizer, Kimberly Cho. The coalition plans to hold bimonthly meetings with representatives from its individual groups, and hopes to plan another unified event for next semester. MR Editor Michael O’Brien is a member of the Detroit Project Planning Team, which is a member of the Detroit Coalition. He did not edit this article.
Gaping, Gawking, Staring: Living in Marked Bodies Campus Event Brings Out the Most Politically Correct on Campus By Lindsey Dodge ‘10
ctober 19-26 was “Investing in Ability Week” at the University of Michigan, and October 25 poet and activist Eli Clark presented “Gaping, Gawking, and Staring: Living in Marked Bodies.” The powerpoint lecture discussed the “disabling” effect of being a disabled person, trans person, fat person, and person of color in today’s society. The event was co-sponsored by the LGBT Matters Initiative, U-M Research of Women and Gender, the Initiative for Disability Studies, as well as having a representative from LGBT. The presentation was so well attended that some people were turned away at the door. Eli Clark, who in addition to his writing and activism, has walked across the U.S. for peace and against rape, and has clamored in other social justice fights. Clark suffers from cerebral palsy, lived 15 years as a woman, then became a lesbian, and is now a man. Before truly beginning the presentation, he made the point of questioning his very presence at U-M when the Iraq war was taking place. “War and disability are completely intertwined both in terms of soldiers and of civilians,” said Clark. At the beginning of the presentation, he made the point of specifying that race is not like homosexuality, which is not like gender. “These specificities are important and I don’t want to erase them,” said Clark. He went on to underline the main idea of his lecture, which was that “bodies are stolen, erased, and abused by various systems of oppression,” a statement he characterized as provocative and idiosyncratic. Clark discussed the idea that fat bodies are used for humor and as a foil for healthy versus not-healthy bodies. He said that in the film “Supersize Me,” the character’s healthy issues have little to do with obesity. Interestingly, Clark had some difficulty describing the images in his powerpoint without using descriptive adjectives, and generally resorted to “big.” Race was handled primarily from the transgenered and homosexual perspective. As a method of resisting stereotypes, Clark used a black gay performance artist, who said he was man enough to let his woman shine and woman enough to let his man roar. Furthermore, he quoted a scholar who claimed that media caricatures of African-Americans, such as Mammy from “Gone with the Wind,” did as much harm as a lynch mob.
“I’m not comfortable calling people thieves...it’s a question of behavior versus people. It’s against systems of oppression.” -Eli Clark Looking at the plight of intersexed individuals in North America, he presented old-fashioned medical textbooks that placed a black rectangle over the eyes of intersexed children. He discussed how this turned all intersexed and disabled individuals into objects, as opposed to the publishers respecting the person’s privacy. The Intersex Society of North America used to be centered in Ann Arbor, and is now based in California. One of the major points Clark wished to make was that all these bodies should be celebrated, as opposed to “fixed.” To demonstrate this, he presented a picture of an ad of a girl suffering from muscular dystrophy, with the caption, “In Dreams She Runs.” He reminisced about when he was a child with cerebral palsy, saying that disabled children want a sandbox that is wheelchair accessible, not the ability to run. All of the people present were than asked to do an exercise where they answered the questions “What have the thieves stolen from you?” and “How have you reclaimed your body.” When asked who the thieves in the exercise were, Clark responded, “I’m not comfortable calling people thieves…it’s a question of behavior versus people. It’s against systems of oppression.” As to what Caucasians had to “reclaim,” Clark does not believe that a heterosexual Caucasian American has much to benefit from the exercise other than possibly learning from a person of color, fat, transgendered, or homosexual person. He described the difference between Caucasians and everyone else as a tail wind versus a head wind. In other words, the average Joe attending this presentation could perhaps call himself the odd man out, and was faced with the tall order of learning the correct way to describe other types of people, even though it seems like there are no correct terms. MR
the michigan review
University of YouTube? Classes go online for free By Samm Etters, ‘11
ne knows where to go to escape the tedium of studying and essay-writing: YouTube—an online plethora of classic Saturday morning cartoons, music video parodies, friends’ embarrassing moments caught on tape, and now, university education. In a press release on October 3rd, UC Berkeley announced the opening of their own YouTube channel featuring free videos of full course lectures. The channel offers eight complete semester-long course lectures: about 200 videos and over 300 hours. To date, there have been more than 700,000 views. The Berkeley courses feature bioengineering, peace and conflict studies, the university’s popular “Physics For Future Presidents,” and a lecture on search-engine technology given by Google co-founder Sergey Brin in 2005. All of the courses were recorded either last year or during the spring semester, but the university plans on automating the uploading process by next fall in order to post current lectures faster. By the end of 2007, they plan on posting at least three more full courses. The university channel also features clips that highlight campus events such as football and lunchtime poetry readings. The recent announcement has created much buzz, but apparently the practice is not new, although UC-Berkeley seems to be taking all the credit. Yes, they are the first university to post full courses on the most popular video-sharing network, but other prestigious universities have been “educating the masses” for years. MIT OpenCourseWare has been running since 2001, offering free audio and video, as well as notes and exams for over 1700 courses. The European Graduate School and other institutions also use YouTube to post course lectures, although Berkeley claims to be the first
to offer full courses on the site for public consumption. A quick visit to Lecturefox. com directs you to free course lectures from universities all over the world in audio, video or note format. Berkeley itself has been posting lectures on its own university site, webcast. berkeley.edu, since 2001, on which audio and videos are available in about a day or two after the lecture is given. Their YouTube content has been on Google video, but the university recently decided to make the switchover to YouTube when Google bought the network last year. Another online education resource is iTunes U, released in April of 2006. The program offers presentations, performances, lectures, demonstrations,
lieve at our core that making this available to the public is truly important,” said Ben Hubbard, co-manager of Berkeley’s webcast program. Of course, parts of the lectures may be tedious for independent learners. Some classes spend time on local concerns, such as going over homework, projects and other topics irrelevant to outside viewers. It must be taken into account that this is complete, unedited coverage of the classes. The courses also do not offer credit, and there is no class interaction or means to ask questions. For the students of the universities themselves, there are both advantages and disadvantages. Students who miss a class have a
debates, tours and archival footage from over half of the nation’s top 500 schools. The main reason universities are beginning to broadcast their courses online is in response to the “open-source video movement” in higher education, where anything and everything can be found online, accessible by anyone. It’s simply sharing their education with the public who wish to continue learning, instead of just reserving their knowledge for students. “I think the whole open-content movement is in keeping with what we are as a public institution, we really be-
means to catch up and a resource to study from for exams, but class attendance may suffer if many students decide they don’t need to come to the lecture if its available online. At UC-Berkeley, the “Physics For Future Presidents” professor Richard A. Muller gives pop quizzes to keep students from skipping class, but even still has noticed a drop in attendance. But if students decide to be lazy, it’s their own responsibility. Says GSI Justin Henderson, “This is for a college environment, I think we can stop treating students like children, you pay to go to class, so its to your advantage to go in
some form or another.” Viewing or listening to a course online also takes away from the classroom experience itself. Students are unable to ask questions, and there is less studentprofessor interaction. Freshman Shannon Grossman says that actually going to the class at a scheduled time forces her to pay attention, as opposed to sitting at home listening to the lecture where there are many distractions. Of course, there are many classes that are not structured to translate well to audio or video, such as language, music and art classes, or courses requiring active discussion. The content can be used by students from other universities as well, to compare with local course matter or explore other courses and majors for free. Even teachers from other institutions utilize it to compare their own course composition and coverage of a topic. Here at Michigan, there is no official site for recorded courses online, although there are several professors who create podcasts on iTunes or have other recordings of their lectures available to their students on CTools. The University website does offer podcasts from associations such as the Ross School of Business, messages from President Mary Sue Coleman, the Alumni Association, and Peer Information Counseling as well as current news and health reports. Some large lecture courses are also available on the website, such as lectures in the Michigan School of Dentistry, and The School of Art & Design offers each lecture in the Penny W. Stamps Distinguished Visitors Series as a downloadable podcast as both audio and video. There’s no word on whether the University of Michigan has been working on broadcasting their own iTunes site or public web content. “I think it’s a really good idea,” said GSI Justin Henderson, “Public institutions are here to serve the public.” MR
Eminent Domain Claims Victims in Ann Arbor By Jonny Slemrod, ‘10
minent domain, a controversial act by which the government seizes private property, surfaced in Ann Arbor last month. The Ann Arbor City Council threatened to seize the property of Tíos, a popular Mexican restaurant and a staple of Ann Arbor culture located on East Huron Street. Tios, along with adjacent property owned by Campus Management and the Ann Arbor News, was to be purchased through eminent domain to make way for a parking structure, which is one component of a new development plan spearheaded by the Ann Arbor Downtown Development Authority (DDA). Eminent domain, also known as “compulsory purchase,” is a process by which the government can seize private property for “public use.” Property seized under eminent domain often goes towards the development of public goods, such as roads, parking structures, or railroads. The Fifth Amendment in the United States Constitution, known as the Takings Clause, states that governments cannot take property without “just compensation.” The debate over the validity of eminent domain takings was thrust into the national spotlight in 2005, after the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 in favor of the city of New London, Connecticut, which had allowed a private development company to clear out a neighborhood of homes to pave way for pharmaceutical giant Pfizer to build a new research facility. The ruling brought increased scrutiny over how
local governments were using eminent domain to benefit private economic developement. According to the Institute for Justice, a public interest firm which represents homeowners targeted by eminent domain, fortytwo states have passed eminent domain reform in the wake of the Kelo decision. Michigan voters expressed this sentiment when they passed Proposal 4, by a resounding margin of 80-20 percent one year ago. The proposal, which was ignored surrounding the controversy of the Michigan Civil Rights Initiative, amended Michigan’s State Constitution to place “reasonable and significant restrictions on Michigan governments’ ability to use eminent domain to transfer property from one private owner to another.” Resistance from the owners of the Ann Arbor properties caused City Council members to take a cautious approach to such a move. The Ann Arbor News reported on some of these sentiments, quoting Council Member Stephen Kunselman, who represents Ward 3, as saying that “[Eminent domain is] not a bona fide reason to be using eminent domain.’’ Tim Seaver, the owner of Tíos, also voiced his opposition to any use of eminent domain. “‘I would have to start over completely,’ Seaver said. ‘Once you start a business, you are known for your location.’” The News also reported that Campus Management sent a harsh letter to the City Council and DDA, which stated “Obviously with legal condemnation we will have no choice but to vacate, but in the meantime we are in unanimous agreement to legally challenge any
attempt to acquire our property,” For now, the property owners on East Huron seem to be safe from any threat of eminent domain, as the discussion of where to place the new parking structure has shifted towards alternate locations. But while the “not for sale” sentiment expressed by these Ann Arbor property owners seems to have staved off any attempts by the City Government to seize their property, others in Michigan haven’t been quite as fortunate. Detroit has long been a hotbed in the eminent domain arena due to efforts to redevelop property along the Detroit River, much of which was abandoned when the shipping industry began to decline. Last year, The Review detailed the efforts of the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy, a group which has aided in this development. Much of the redeveloped land was taken over by eminent domain, and parcels abutting the new Riverwalk are in the process of being developed for new uses. In 1981, the Michigan Supreme Court allowed the city of Detroit to bulldoze the homes of 4,200 residents living in Poletown, an area bordering Hamtramack, to make way for a GM plant. While city officials touted the 6,000 new jobs that would be created and the additional tax revenue that they would receive, the residents of Poletown saw it differently. The issue ended in July of 1981 when police forcibly removed twenty residents protesting inside a church, clearing the way for the development. The Poletown ruling was overturned in 2004. MR
the michigan review
After Dispute With Nationals, Phi Alpha Delta Disbands By Erika Gonzalez, ‘09
ecently, the U-M chapter of Phi Alpha Delta (PAD), a long-standing coed pre-law fraternity, disbanded. The move came after its national organization demanded that the chapter make changes in admissions criteria. Following that request, PAD leadership decided to split from their national organization and form a new law fraternity, Kappa Alpha Pi (KAPi). An amendment made to the Phi Alpha Delta (PAD) National constitution nullified the U-M chapter’s rush process. In previous years, U-M PAD looked for students with “good academic standing,” but had held the size of its pledge class to between 35 to 40 people. The new amendment disallowed local chapters from setting admissions standards higher than those set by the national organization; membership was to be open to all who wished to join. The U-M PAD chapter was made aware of these changes in an e-mail from the national board after it had already finished its rush process. As a result, the national chapter insisted that the U-M chapter change its policies this year to conform to the new rule. This would have forced the group to admit all students whom it had turned away this year. The situation was described as a consequence of “bad timing” by both KAPi members and individuals who had rushed that fall. Yet ultimately, the only decision KAPi felt they could make was to split from what Julie Badowski, President of KAPi, and former President of PAD, describes as “the monopoly that is PAD.” KAPi is unique to U-M and is not connected to any national organization. KAPi should also not be confused with Pi Kappa Alpha, a social frater-
nity commonly known as Pike that has a U-M chapter. Badowski stressed that the decision had nothing to do with a desire to be elite but was founded in the hope to maintain the group dynamic and the close-knit feel that is the definitive aspect of their group. “I had never seen such a group of close knit people,” commented LSA student Madeline Nykaza who rushed but did not receive a bid to PAD this fall. Although she had not received a bid after rushing that fall, she said she was supportive of the decision to split. “[I] didn’t want to go to the meeting and have a stigma of those who rushed and those who didn’t,” said Nykaza. The possible loss of the close-knit community that was definitive of U-M’s PAD group dynamic seemed to be a common concern among students interested in PAD. Yet among the new pledge class there was the added fear of stigmatization. Kim Leaman, a junior pre-law student who did not receive a bid, felt that if open membership had been agreed upon, there would have been stratification between the people who satisfied former standards and those who got in by default starting this year. In an intra-group meeting held by KAPi Pledge Trainer, Paul Vaglica, members expressed their concerns about the situation. “There was a girl in the back of the room who had received a bid who stood up and stated very strongly that she did not agree with open membership. This seemed to make the people in the room who hadn’t gotten bids uncomfortable,” commented Ashlie Hauck, an accepted member of the new KAPi pledge class. Fall rush participants were not the only individuals expressing doubts and frustra-
Hail to the Veggie/Vegan-Friendly Campus, says Peta By Andrea Sofian, ‘08
-M has recently been nominated for PETA2’s (the youth division of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) “Most Vegetarian-Friendly Colleges” contest. According to College Campaign Coordinator of PETA2, Ryan Huling, “Schools are chosen based on correspondence through out MySpace, Facebook, our popular peta2 blog, as well as student emails. U of M has shown that they strive to go above and beyond to meet the needs of their students.” The dining halls at U-M have been offering vegan and vegetarian dishes to their students for some time. The University hopes that students will become more educated about different cuisines and have more interest in eating in a healthier manner. Mike Lee, Director of Residential Dining Services explained that each dorm offers different vegan/vegetarian dishes, and a different one is offered at every meal. Kathy Whiteside R.D., the Menu Systems and Nutrition Information Manager, adds that the residence halls have a cycle menu in which one vegan/vegetarian dish is offered each day along with the World Harvest Bar. The World Harvest Bar, she adds, offers an array of vegan and vegetarian dishes to students, focusing on cuisines from different countries. People may wonder if eating vegan/ vegetarian entrees would cost them the joy
of eating good-tasting food. According to Buzz Cummings, Chef at East Quad Dining Serve, this is not an issue. “We are constantly coming up with new ideas for [vegan/ vegetarian] dishes,” he said. “It’s important that students like what we make, so the appearance and the taste is important to us.” In addition to the desire that residence hall chefs have to keep improving their vegan/vegetarian entrees, Cummings wants students to know that there is more he is trying to do for them. For about a year now, he has been conversing with local farmers and wishes to have their produce brought directly into U-M’s dining halls. He says that by bringing fresher ingredients into the mix, all of the dishes, including the vegan/ vegetarian, will look and taste better and be healthier. Although Cummings’ proposal could potentially be costly, he is not giving up easily. “I have passion for this project, and it’s just the right thing to do.” One vital point that Lee, Whiteside, and Cummings have all stressed is that students take full advantage of the ways to let dining services know what they like and what they do not like about the dishes, whether they are vegan/vegetarian or not. Fill out the comment cards, tell a chef what you like or dislike, and do not just assume that someone else will voice their opinion. All three stressed that if students want something specific in the dining halls, they will get it as long as it is brought to their attention. MR
tion with PAD’s decision to split. Kurt Baumgarten, a second year PAD member, professed that after all of the time he had dedicated to the rush committee, as well as the poor treatment the members of PAD were shown by nationals, he had “lost his enthusiasm with the new organization (KAPi).” The executive board also explained that their decision was only solidified after careful deliberation among PAD executive board members, as well as an official vote regarding the decision to break off from PAD Nationals. A little over half of the current PAD members voted, and of this group there was an overwhelming majority who decided to split. The reasons for the break were grounded in safety and financial concerns, in addition to the continuing negligence and ill treatment that was endured from PAD Nationals from the beginning of the group’s membership. Before the split was finalized, PAD Nationals sent representative Byron Rupp to talk with the leadership. For Baumgarten and many other former members of PAD, Rupp’s disrespectful attitude and lack of preparedness for the group meeting secured their decision to break away
from the national organization. Rupp declined comment for this story. Although the group had to create a new fraternity from the ground up, they claim to be the same organization that they have always been. They were never really dependent upon the national organization for anything, and this independence allowed the group to make the split without falling apart. President Julie Badowski said that the process of deciding upon new colors and a new name allowed the fraternity to find a personal connection to their new organization, a sense of ownership that instilled pride and a greater sense of unification among the KAPi members. Leaving the security of a nationally recognized organization was risky, but Badowski and fellow KAPi Board members express confidence in their ability to foster the growth of a successful pre-law fraternity at the university. Students who were had already obtained membership with PAD National in previous years through the U-M chapter will not lose their membership unless they individually ask the national organization to terminate it. MR
Campus Concert Raises Issues of Diag Regulation By Josh Handell, ‘11
upe Fiasco’s appearance on the Diag two weeks ago highlighted the confusion regarding University policy toward musical guests. The scheduled stop on Fiasco’s Detroit-area tour was publicized primarily through Facebook and word-of-mouth, leading many to believe that the Grammy-nominated rapper would be performing his music during his visit to campus. But the actual event – during which Fiasco briefly rapped a capella between discussions of politics and hip hop—disappointed some who expected more of a concert and less of a colloquy. “If you look at the Facebook event, we were careful to note that this was only an appearance and not a performance,” said Jennifer Yin, Atlantic Records’ Urban Street Team Rep and a senior in the Ross School of Business. “We knew from the start that he wasn’t going to be able to perform.” Yin explained that the University imposes fairly strict limits on musical artists seeking to use the Diag for performances. In order to hold an event on the Diag, student groups must apply through the Office of Student Activities and Leadership (SAL), which considers technical aspects, space requirements, and public safety concerns before setting regulations and issuing permits on a first-come, first-serve basis. “The policy was portrayed to me as ‘local bands only, no big-label commercial artists’,” said Yin of the SAL decision. SAL, however, disagreed with
this interpretation of its policies. Susan Wilson, the Assistant Director of Students and Director of SAL, cited legal limitations such as sound ordinances and the protection of bystanders in the Diag, as the reason for not allowing a concert. She denied any form of lyric-based censorship and insisted that the localgroup-exclusivity policy is a myth. The guiding principles behind SAL’s decisions originate in the “Statement on Freedom of Speech and Artistic Expressions” and the “Scheduled Use of the Designated Outdoor Common Areas,” both resolutions adopted by U-M to govern campus events. While the former liberally guarantees the “rights of free expression for speakers, performers, and protesters alike,” the latter enumerates specific procedural requirements and constraints for speeches and performances on the Diag. Both contain clauses giving the University broad authority to regulate events in order to ensure legal compliance and public safety. Regardless of the precise statutory justification, the SAL decision precluded a musical performance by the artist. “It’s a shame because you hear all of these other universities with big artists coming and performing,” Yin said. “The Diag is a perfect place, and this is such a large university, but we haven’t heard any major artists since Ludacris.” While many students echoed this disappointment, others were circumspect about the event. MR
arts & culture. the michigan review
Late-Night Employees Take Different Tact on Late Night Munchies
Stephen Colbert, Teach Me to be America, too!
By Kate O’Connor, ‘09
By Karen Boore, ‘09
tb Burrito, Bell’s Pizza, NYPD, Pizza House, Back Room, Pizza Bob’s—all of these places have one special thing in common. These are just a few of the places on campus that you may have spent more time at drunk than you have sober. These are some of the mostly inexpensive restaurants that hundreds of drunken college students flood through every Thursday, Friday and Saturday night. According to Liz, an employee at BTB Burrito, Friday and Saturday between two and three in the morning are by far the busiest times to work. This isn’t surprising to anyone who has ever driven down State Street late at night and seen the masses of people surrounding Big Ten and Bell’s. After the parties, the frats, and the bars die down, the masses relocate to eat and the employees wait for the rush. “Honestly it’s kind of a pain ... but it can be fun too, though,” she said about working the late weekend shifts. “You get to know people after a while and they get to know you. There are some people who come in every Thursday, Friday and Saturday after they go out so I’ve actually come to know a lot of them,” she said. Working and being sober around so many drunken people
proves an interesting, often difficult task. Just a couple of weeks ago, for instance, an intoxicated student lost his balance and broke the front window at BTB. On Friday nights before home games, Michigan students love singing the fight song at the top of their lungs or chanting at students from the competing schools. But while working can be frustrating or fun, there are certain things that you can count on drunken customers for. “One of the more annoying things is that drunk people can’t remember what they order. You’ll be calling out an order again and again with no one responding to you, or someone claiming that they haven’t received what they had said they wanted,” says Liz. Other frequent problems include difficulties counting cash and change or getting down a legible signature for credit card purchases. Quick stops for food on the way home from a night out seem to be a tradition for most students and places like BTB and Bell’s will continue to be packed for many semesters to come. Within a few short blocks students can find pizza, Mexican food, subs, other snacks, and anything that they may be craving at the time. These loud, happy groups spilling out onto the sidewalk are quite a sight. If you don’t already, next time you go out stop into one of these places and see what all of the hype is about. MR
“Honestly it’s kind of a pain ... but it can be fun too, though.” - BTB employee
Comedy Central Personality Talks Politics in New Book
tephen Colbert opens his book “I Am America (And So Can You!)” with his trademark irony. “I am no fan of books,” he offers. The star and executive producer of The Colbert Report reaches out to America (and consequently, to himself) through a new medium with his first book. The book draws on many themes of American life. From the family, religion, sports, media, socioeconomic classes, and race, Colbert offers his opinion on it all. Colbert’s voice jumps out as other pundits’ voices do from the pages of their own polemical books. As Colbert says, “My book isn’t a monologue; it’s a dialogue—a dialogue between me and my opinions, and you’ve been welcomed to eavesdrop on us.” To mark where you agree with Colbert, the book even has stickers which say things like “Nailed It” and “It’s Morning in Colbert-ica.” In addition, there are medallions to nominate other books for The Stephen T. Colbert Award for The Literary Excellence. Like other pundits, Colbert adeptly applies conservative theories and values inappropriately and to the extreme, leading to great satire. Colbert decries government regulation not just for seatbelts, but seatbelts for pets. He comes out in opposition not only to social security, but retirement as well. And what effect has the end of racism had on America? (Don’t forget, Stephen is colorblind and therefore does not see race.) The answer: it has eliminated the job market for Civil Rights Leaders who must now find other work. While it reads quite like a show’s script, Colbert fans will not enjoy the book as much as they do the show. The humor is there, but it misses Colbert’s spot-on delivery that simply cannot translate to the page. On the other hand, the Wørd segment easily translates to the book as commentary in the margins. Half the reason to laugh out loud comes from the Wørd. Also included are a word find for racial slurs (if you find any, you are a racist) and a “Gut Teaser” on how to get Tucker Carlson, James Carville, and a Boston Cream Pie from MSNBC headquarters in New Jersey to a press event in Manhattan. When Kanye West’s album sales beat 50 Cent’s, it led Stephen Colbert to conclude that the free market had spoken: George Bush doesn’t care about black people. In the same way, Colbert would have you believe he has written the best book, the number one bestseller on the New York Times list for non-fiction. Colbert’s book is a light read and a good break from the textbooks most students are reading. While it cannot live up to the Colbert Report, fans will enjoy it. Besides, with the television writers on strike, “I Am America (And So Can You!)” can hold fans over until new episodes arrive. MR
‘Rivalry’ Screening Brings Out Wolverine Faithful in Ann Arbor By Michael O’Brien, ‘08
tudents, alumni, and admirers alike—all dressed down in their Michigan gear—poured into the Michigan Theater Wednesday, November 7, to enjoy the premiere of “The Rivalry,” a new HBO documentary profiling the yearly football game between Ohio State and the University of Michigan. A special VIP reception preceded the screening, where former OSU and U-M players mingled amongst fans and other University figures. They were joined by hundreds of other fans in the theater for the advance screening of the documentary, which premieres Tuesday, November 13 on HBO before the football game the following Saturday. The screening was a raucous affair, with fans cheering, clapping, and booing throughout. Before the screening, for instance, the organist playing before the screening—a staple at Michigan Theater—played a rendition of “The Victors,” which brought the crowd to its feet, clapping and singing. The memory of the late Coach Bo Schembechler, nearly a year removed
from his death from heart disease, hung heavily over the crowd. Schembechler’s widow, Kathy, received the loudest standing ovation of the evening as Ross Greenburg, the President of HBO Sports, introduced her. After Greenburg’s remarks, and before the film, he simply remarked, “I just want to say this: This one’s for Bo.” The film itself focuses heavily on the legendary characters that defined the series, Schembechler and then-OSU coach Woody Hayes. The film features the last interview with Schembechler—at Michigan Stadium—two days before his death last year. The film also focuses on the social history of the two schools that help color the rivalry. It casts U-M as slightly elitist and OSU as slightly, well, rural (to be polite). The film’s strength comes in its interviews with players and personalities from both sides, along with its sweeping camera work and renditions of both schools’ fight songs. Desmond Howard explains his “Hello Heisman” pose, and Archie Griffin shows off his golden pants (a charm awarded to OSU players
who beat Michigan). It is difficult, though, to capture the grandeur of the entire series of matchups in just over an hour. And the film suffers from it. The only piece of Michigan football mentioned after 1980 is Howard’s touchdown—no Lloyd Carr, really, or mention of the 1997 national championship. The Cooper and Tressel eras at OSU are at least touched-upon. Nonetheless, the film arguably showcases a modestly pro-Michigan bias. The most drawn-out segments of the film examine two of the most momentous games—the “snow bowl” and the 1969 upset over an undefeated Ohio State squad. Michigan’s campus is pictured majestically; there are fewer such views of the Columbus campus. Former Michigan quarterback Rick Leach spoke after the screening. In an emotional speech, he described his relationship with Bo Schembechler, and explained his three sons’ ties to the University. “When Bo Schembechler died, a piece of me died right with him,” Leach said, fighting back tears. Ohio State personalities were also on
hand. Former OSU wide-receiver Douglas Pauley was on-hand for the screening. He was on-hand for Woody Hayes’ last game, when Hayes punched a Clemson player after an interception. “Actually, right after it happened, and we went to the locker room, it was very quiet,” Pauley said. “It was a very somber moment because, right away, we knew that Woody would probably end up resigning or being fired.” “There are so many college football rivalries,” said George Roy, the producer of the documentary. “This one in particular has so many of the tenets necessary to tell a real dramatic story. It’s got great history, it’s got culture, it’s about family, it’s about heritage, and most of all, it has two real characters in Woody and Bo.” Roy’s film was particularly successful here in Ann Arbor, where several hundred more fans turned out for the event than in Columbus a week ago. As for whether Roy, the producer, has a favorite in Saturday’s game, he said it was Michigan—but not just because he was in Ann Arbor that evening. “I’m a storyteller,” he said, “I always root for the best story.” MR
arts & culture. the michigan review
‘Lake of Fire’ Movie Takes Close Look at Abortion Movement By Samm Etters, ‘11
recently-released film on the controversial abortion debate in the US, “Lake of Fire,” immediately threatens to challenge your opinion on the subject with the upside-down presentation of its title. This documentary by director Tony Kaye (“American History X”), screened at the Detroit Film Theatre November 1-3, attempts to represent both sides of the debate in a revealing yet objective manner. Although the controversy of abortion is full of gray, Kaye filmed entirely in black and white, which also helps to blunt the excess of red in the many horrific images shown throughout the twoand-a-half hour film. The documentary is a compilation of interviews and archival footage collected by Kaye over 16 years, and he presents arguments alongside each other and without narration. The overdramatic music and close-up camera views give us a very powerful, intimate piece of journalism. On the pro-choice side, people like philosopher Noam Chomsky and lawyer
Alan Dershowitz explain complicated arguments such as a woman’s personal choice. Contrary to what most may believe, the pro-choice groups were not all super-liberal youth and atheists; the film also represented a religious organization called Catholics for Free Choice. Unfortunately, most of the pro-life advocates shown were white, male, extremists. Kaye interviewed former KKK member John Burt and excommunicated minister Paul Hill. The latter declared that people who say “god damn it” should be executed, as well as anyone supporting or involved in abortion. Much of what they advocated resulted in violent rioting and crime, exposing the hypocrisy of much of the pro-lifers’ arguments. The film showed bombings at abortion clinics over the years, and even a significant numbers of killings. One young man who shot and killed an abortion doctor in the early nineties claimed that Burt was manipulating him to do so. Later on, Hill shot the doctor who replaced the first victim, and was convicted and executed for the murders of both the doctor and his es-
cort. One shooter who was asked what he believed about abortion only replied, “whatever the Pope believes,” but could not give details. Although the film greatly discredits the anti-abortion movement, their message is undermined by the gruesome images of aborted fetuses. In some moments, tiny feet and hands can be seen among the scrambled tissue mass removed from the women. It is enough to unsettle the stomach of any abortionrights supporter. At the heart of the debate is the Roe vs. Wade case that declared abortion legal in the US. The case represented “Jane Roe,” an unmarried pregnant woman claiming to have been raped who wanted an abortion. During the decades before the case was heard, one of the most common causes of death for women in the childbearing age was illegal, botched abortion. The shocking photograph of a naked and bloodied woman in a motel room, dead from an illegal abortion, sits poignantly in the minds of the viewers. Perhaps the most surprising fact the film examined was the unexpected
change in opinion of “Jane Roe.” Norma McCorvy, who posed as “Jane Roe” had been harassed for years on the streets and at her job in an abortion clinic after Roe vs. Wade. Feeling guilty and personally responsible for all the abortions performed since then, she turned to Operation Rescue, a prominent pro-life group founded by Randall Terry. Soon after, she had converted to Catholicism and become an anti-abortion activist. The last segment of the film, Kaye, the director, follows a woman during the entire process of having an abortion performed, from the preceding consultations to the actual procedure, and finally the recovery room. Throughout the day she speaks in a very passive tone, completely confident in her decision. In the recovery room, she begins to say she is just tired and relieved, but suddenly breaks down into a fit of tears. For some, her reaction seemed to vindicate the perceived lack of regret in ending a life. With the religious fervor of the prolife side, and the zealotry of pro-choicers, the film still leaves the viewer with a serious decision. MR
La Bohème: Young and Light By Lindsey Dodge, ‘10
he Power Center the University Opera Theater presented “La Bohème,” Puccini’s classic opera of young love in Paris, between November 8 and 11. Despite various points of improvement, La Bohème was the perfect vehicle for our School of Music, Theater and Dance, playing up the youth, occasional awkwardness, and impetuous romance of our age group. Although the libretto is written in Italian, the opera takes place in Paris. This production set the opera in contemporary Paris, as opposed to the traditional turn-of-the-century bohemian environment. This grounded the occasional anachronistic humor played up in the sexual rapport between Marcello and Musetta, providing some lightness to the occasionally melodramatic opera. The main characters are Rodolfo (Steven Tompkins 11/8, 11/10, Bernard D. Holcomb 11/9, 11/11) a poet in love with his neighbor Mimi (Rhea Olivacce, Amita Prakash). Their passionate love is the crux of the opera, separated finally at the end by Mimi’s tragic illness and subsequent death. Rodolfo’s best friend, Marcello (Wes Mason, Jonathan Bryan Smith) and his amour for the coquette Musetta (Amanda Opuszynski, Nicole Greenidge) accentuate this story, also including Musetta’ classic aria, “Quando Men Vo.” Graduate students and older undergraduates primarily played the roles, but some elementary and high school students were recruited for the children’s parade in Act II. Another notable exception was Professor Emeritus George Shirley, who played the traditionally older roles of the landlord Benoit and Musetta’s elderly paramour, Alcindoro. The first African-American tenor of the Metropolitan Opera, he came to U-M in 1987 and was a lively and wonderful addition to the cast. The vocals of the cast reflected their ongoing study, although on the whole they were impressive. In the November 9/11 cast, the male vocals were generally stronger than the female, in particularly Marcello. Jonathan Bryan Smith’s (’08) voice was warm and strong, easily moving within the different parts of the voice. Graduate student Bernard D. Holcomb amply filled the role of Rodolfo, but struggled to grow through the higher tenor notes, especially at the end of Act IV, giving the ending an anti-climactic feel. Graduate student Amita Prakash has a lovely, brightly ringing voice, but it dropped out in all of Mimi’s lower range, amputating parts of her arias. Musetta, played by Nicole Greenidge (Grad. Student) was not a highlight of the show, her rather shrill soprano playing up the personality of Musetta but missing the beauty of the music. The scenery of this production did not vary much from a modern image of Montmartre in the winter, which served the mood and theme of La Bohème well with it’s whimsical and romantic color palette. Furthermore, the humble abode of Rodolfo and Marcello provided a nice contrast to the wildly colorful and exhilarating Café Momus. The costumes accentuated the choice of scenery, with everyone wearing bright, paint-stained, and humorously mismatched ensembles. The only foible of the production team was the snowfall, which when it worked was picturesque, but had a few comical moments where the snow cascaded down in a single stream from the rafters. On the whole, La Bohème was a thoroughly enjoyable production, providing a fine diversion from the average Friday night goings-on. MR
features. the michigan review
The new application asks applicants to respond to a statement by U-M President Mary Sue Coleman acclaiming the value of diversity.
A Year After MCRI, University Continues Pursuit of ‘Diversity’ After extensive legal review, U-M leaves most programs and plans unchanged By Michael P. O’Brien, Editor-in-Chief
year after the passage of the Michigan Civil Rights Initiative (MCRI), the University continues unabated in its pursuit of diversity, despite being unequipped with the luxury of racial preferences. Though having undergone extensive reviews by the General Counsel’s office during the past year, none of the programs aimed towards achieving diversity or multicultural affairs on campus have been changed or eliminated due to the MCRI. “I don’t think I know of any program changes,” said Maya Kobersy, the University’s Assistant General Counsel. As largely intended by the backers of Proposal 2, the most substantive change brought about by the law has come in admissions to the University. Application readers are no longer to
“I don’t think I know of any program changes,” -Maya Kobersy, Assistant General Counsel consider race and gender in determining admissions, Ted Spencer, the Executive Director of Undergraduate Admissions, said. “The process includes checks and balances such that, if one reader wanted to use race or gender, a subsequent reader would catch that,” Spencer said. But the physical application itself has changed little, with the exception of a new short response question posed to applicants. The question asks students to respond to a statement from University President Mary Sue Coleman, coming from her controversial speech the day following the MCRI’s passage last year. In the speech, Coleman said, “We know that diversity makes us a better university better for learning, for teaching, and for conducting research.” Students are asked to respond to the quotation and say how they would contribute to the diversity of the University of Michigan. The question allows for the consideration of an applicant’s contribution to the “diversity” of the student body, independent of their race or gender. Adding to the University’s available
tools has been the use of the Descriptor Plus program in admissions, a service provided by the College Board that identifies underrepresented “clusters” of students who should be given priority in admissions. The College Board has created a profile of fifty “clusters” of neighborhoods and high schools from which less than five percent of students enroll at U-M Admissions decisions based on clus-
tering, however, have no impact on the decisions on subsequent applications from students from similar clusters. “We don’t even keep track of students from specific high schools,” said Spencer. The University’s efforts have been joined by recently reported efforts by the Alumni Association to offer scholarships to underrepresented minority students who are admitted to the University, en-
ticing them to enroll. The actions by the University reflect an indication by the University that while they may obey the letter of the law, obeying of the spirit of the law is still very much up in the air. “We take our obligations under the law very seriously,” said Kobersy, “and make sure people understand that the pursuit of diversity, broadly defined, remains lawful.” MR
Published on Oct 29, 2011