Students demand to watch Michigan teams on dorm TVs

To the Daily:

As an out-of-state yet lifelong follower of Michigan sports, I always found it hard to keep track of my teams on television. I thought things would be different once I started attending the University, but things are not as they seem. The men’s basketball team is playing as I type this on Wednesday against the second-ranked team in the nation. Like most University students, I’d love to watch the game on television, but cannot find it on the more-than-70 channels offered by the residence hall.

Why are students left to watch reruns of the Huron versus Pioneer High School volleyball game and not our basketball team trying to pull off a great upset? Is it that hard for the University to find one station that will take the time to show the game? I know TV contracts are complicated, but it’s outrageous that students can’t even watch their own team play. We are given the option of listening to live game audio at Mgoblue.com – that is, if it worked. Instead we are left to watch the scoreboard slowly change on cbssportsline.com with scores coming in about as fast as molasses draining from a tree (According to espn.com the score is 33-26 Wisconsin at halftime, though I’m sure its long into the second half by now). Road football games are always on television, so why not the other sports? When was the last time a hockey road game not against Michigan State was on television? Things could be changed if more people cared. But do they?

Graham Block
LSA freshman

Civilian Corps may not have guns, but it’s what we need

To the Daily:

For Thursday’s editorial stating that the Civilian Reserve Corps would be a “Peace Corps – with guns” (From the Daily: Reading between the lines, 01/25/06), the editorial board obviously didn’t do its research. The concept of a Civilian Reserve Corps was first brought into mass media in Gen. Wesley Clark’s 2004 presidential campaign and was also recommended by the National Security Council last March. As outlined by these sources, it would be a volunteer corps of civilian experts and specialists in infrastructure, culture, religion, economics, politics and other non-combat disciplines that the Army traditionally has a poor grasp of.

These reserves would work in the private sector and be called into government service in the event of an emergency like Hurricane Katrina or to aid in reconstruction efforts after a war. There would be no reason to arm them, because they’re not a fighting force. They’re engineering teams, advisors and policy experts. The Peace Corps, on the other hand, is about working directly with the people and winning hearts and minds. Peace Corps members might work as nurses at a hospital or help rebuild homes in a bombed village. Civilian Reserve Corps members would organize distribution of supplies to the hospital or plan out the best way to reconnect the village to the electrical grid and water supply, for example. A Civilian Reserve Corps is exactly what the country needed in New Orleans and needs now in Iraq: real professionals and experts on the ground, committed to using their skills to repair the damage done by war or natural disaster.

Geoffrey Hicks
Engineering sophomore

Blindly fighting Prop 2 hinders larger fight for equality

To the Daily:

I would like to pose a question to administrators and student groups: In what ways are you addressing the problems of racism and race relations and how well is that currently working? I can smash my skull against a wall for the cause of diversity and capture the same results as opposing Proposal 2 and continuing a blind faith in race-based affirmative action. A better approach involves the realization that race is not the key factor in how many opportunities a person has. What matters is socioeconomic status.

Yes, I agree racism is a problem, and I agree most people in poor areas are minorities. And I also agree that many reasons for that are past atrocities committed by white Americans. I feel guilt that my race has done such things, and I’m sure others do as well. So what should we do? Continue to attack the problem by focusing on nothing but skin color? Of course not; we need to start addressing the bigger problem, which is the repercussions of the awful choices made in the past. We need to focus on helping the poor. By that act, minorities who have no need for help will receive none, thus preserving the University’s resources for students in poor areas who can barely overcome the lack of opportunity they were born into.

The reason the current enactment of affirmative action is bad is that the more help you give to those who can do without it, the more who need help won’t get it. In short, “by any means necessary” is never the right approach to take. Even in cases where no answer is correct, one will be more correct than another. Addressing diversity of economics, while not perfect, is better than addressing race alone. Give up the fight against Proposal 2 and the status quo and accept that there are better answers to the problem of inequality and racism.

Stephen Marin
Rackham

Admissions policies unfairly target white male applicants

To the Daily:

While looking through the letters to the editor in the Daily recently, I noticed that the majority of the letters were about Proposal 2. One in particular (Admissions decisions should make up for K-12 segregation, 01/22/07), caught my attention. Weeks after the passage of Proposal 2 and after the U.S. Supreme Court rejected an appeal to delay the implementation of the proposal, there are still those who seek ways to get around the new law. Now, I will not preach that Proposal 2 was the will of the voters, because that much is obvious. Instead, I ask you to consider a different injustice going unnoticed at the University: the unfair punishment of the middle-class white kid.

Yes, feel free to laugh at this point, but when you’re finished, read on. As I sat in my Communications 101 lecture last week, I began to feel guilty for stuff that I hadn’t even done. Discussing women’s oppression, civil rights and the relocation and murder of Native Americans during the westward expansion, I briefly felt that as a white male, American history made me out to be the bad guy. After class, I quickly rebounded from the bombardment of accusations I had just experienced, and I started to get angry. Why should I feel bad for crimes that I haven’t committed?

If the problem of diversity lies in K-12 schools, fix it there. Altering college-admissions standards does not fix the problem and, in fact, creates another: the undeserved disadvantaging of white applicants. The vast majority of white male applicants were not even alive during the civil rights or women’s rights movements, and they surely had nothing to do with slaughtering Native Americans. As far as I’m concerned, in looking to right one wrong, the University is actually committing another by punishing the innocent. It is unfair to make white applicants shoulder the blame for society and history.

But what bothers me the most is the University’s so-called “commitment to excellence.” With affirmative action in place, a minority applicant with lower SAT scores would often receive admissions priority over a white applicant with higher scores. Is this the “diversity” that University President Mary Sue Coleman is so rigorously fighting for?

Michael Colleran
LSA freshman

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