Given the great historical importance of the University’s admissions trials on April 1, every University student should try to get a seat on one of the Michigan Student Assembly-provided buses to Washington. MSA should be commended for giving students the ability to represent themselves at this long-awaited trial. However one feels about affirmative action, it is inconceivable to doubt that the result of the trial will not end up in the history books as a milestone in the story of race relations in this country. Everyone should take part in this crucial moment that will help to define our campus community and the future of the United States. In 20 or 30 years, University students should be able to tell their children that they were witnesses to a decisive moment in contemporary American history.
It is essential for the student body to show as much support as possible for the admissions standards at this moment. A tremendous display of support for its affirmative action policies can seriously affect the deliberations of the Supreme Court justices. The essence of affirmative action lies within the student body, as the most fundamental goal of affirmative action is to promote understanding and integration of different ethnicities. The Supreme Court must see that so many students, the most important group in this entire debate, support affirmative action wholeheartedly.
The faculty especially should recognize the nature of this trial and encourage students to participate in the demonstrations on April 1. Professors and graduate student instructors should express their support of those students who choose to do so. Many students fear that they will not be able to go to Washington because missing class will not be an option. This is a serious problem that the faculty must address by informing the students that the deadlines for missed work will not be enforced if they choose to go to Washington. University President Mary Sue Coleman should come out in favor of busing and encourage students to recognize the significance of this event compared to the drudgery of every day homework, which will not have anywhere near as enduring an effect on students.
The buses are leaving this Monday. Students who are interested should contact MSA representatives to find out where and when they can sign up. Most students have already received e-mails about this topic. MSA has done a good job of promoting awareness of this program and students should be jumping at the chance. Not only is this an opportunity to support a just cause and take part in history, it can also serve as an opportunity to build community on campus. This is a chance for students to come together in solidarity to fight for something worthwhile. The University community can come through this stronger than ever if it can send as many people to Washington as possible to represent itself and work together to make a more perfect nation.