Published October 28, 2007
'U' must better protect students from RIAA
To the Daily:
The new BAYU, or Be-Aware-You're-Uploading, automated system ('U' to warn uploaders, 10/26/2007) is a smart idea that makes students aware of the dangerous and illegal activities they may be participating in. I applaud the University's recent efforts to keep the Recording Industry Association of America's subpoenas at bay for students.
However, our peers at the University of Wisconsin at Madison have taken a different approach to the bullying of the RIAA. Wisconsin administrators informed the record labels that they will not pass on individual settlement letters without a subpoena. The RIAA's bullying tactic of using John Doe subpoenas, an attempt to short-circuit the legal system by relying on universities to do their dirty work by identifying users, is under much scrutiny. It allows the RIAA to obtain identifying data without the subject ever knowing about it or being able to question the RIAA's tactics in court.
The University of Wisconsin realizes this problem and does not bow to the pressure. Why doesn't the University of Michigan take this stance when it receives these subpoenas?
Cornerback undeserving of so much coverage
To the Daily:
I couldn't help the laughter building up inside me while reading the recent article about Michigan cornerback Morgan Trent (Slipping the Spotlight, 10/26/2007). I don't know if the writer was watching the same Michigan team as I was last year, because I saw Trent struggle in every game, not just the Ohio State and USC games. His season was riddled with blown coverage and missed tackles. It may not have been as noticeable because last year's veteran defense was better able to cover up his mistakes.
I watched Trent play high school football at Orchard Lake St. Mary's Prep, and I could tell that he was a decent receiver but not good enough to achieve stardom in the collegiate ranks. He is obviously playing out of position at cornerback, and his transition will never be effective at the collegiate level. His instincts are not adjusted for the defensive side of football.
He is better suited to play like the very receivers that constantly torch him in coverage. The article tries to justify Trent's play by speaking of his improvement this season. Sure, Trent played well against Penn State, Eastern Michigan, Notre Dame and Illinois, but these teams are ranked 78, 99, 113 and 115 respectively in passing yards per game. Trent struggled against Oregon, Purdue and Northwestern, ranked 45, 15 and 8 respectively in passing yards per game. I won't even mention his play against Appalachian State.
I support Trent and the Michigan football team. I just think that two pages of newspaper space should have gone to one of many other deserving Wolverine players.
United Way not worthy of University support
To the Daily:
I am writing about the United Way campaign that is being forced upon the University community once again this year. The United Way has had one scandal after another for the past 15 to 20 years locally, not to mention the trouble the agency has caused nationally. The long list of violations includes double-counting money, double-dipping payments and overpaying employees.
Last year, the state of Michigan closed down an agency funded by the United Way in Detroit for its connection to the murder of a foster child. The state granted immunity to at least one employee of the center in exchange for testifying against the foster mother who went to prison for beating a toddler to death. These people watched as a 2-year-old boy with black eyes, bruises and burns met with social workers over the course of several months. Why does such an agency still receive United Way funding?
It greatly offends me that University President Mary Sue Coleman tries to manipulate the University community into giving money to the United Way. This is a common practice among many institutions and corporations, but who is profiting? Certainly not the needy.
The letter writer is a student administrative assistant in the Chemical Engineering Department.