Student group makes much ado about nothing

To the Daily:

An article in Monday’s Daily described Rackham student Sirarat Sarntivijai as being “confused” when she saw what she says is the discriminatory name of the popular campus eatery No Thai! (Thai students: Eatery’s name is offensive, 11/19/2007). She isn’t alone in her befuddlement: I was confused too. However, my confusion did not derive from the name of the particular restaurant or even the prospect that it might be questionable. Instead, it came from the fact that Sarntivijai decided to give this particular issue attention at all.

We live in a society where racial and ethnic discrimination determines so much about the lives of millions. Prisons are disproportionately packed with minorities. Housing discrimination in the past and present makes the suburban landscape look almost uninterruptedly white. It is impossible to deny that discrimination is anything but prevalent.

However, by claiming that discrimination is implicit in the name of a local restaurant, Sarntivijai is doing more harm than good. By focusing on issues that when compared to others are unimportant, it makes it easier for the general population to discount and trivialize all issues of discrimination, especially the ones that are actually damaging. All of a sudden, those pursuing issues that really matter fall victim to accusations that they are being overly politically correct.

We have to use better judgment in our accusations, because if we claim discrimination frequently, we will find that people will stop listening when it really matters.

Abraham Hiatt

LSA senior

No Thai! controversy doesn’t deserve attention

To the Daily:

In my four years at the University, I’ve seen a lot of easily offended people, but never have I heard of anything as ridiculous as the outraged students mentioned in Monday’s article about No Thai! (Thai students: Eatery’s name is offensive, 11/19/2007). The thought that anyone could be “deeply offended” by that name just baffles me. I would tell these students to toughen up, or learn to take a joke, but this is so incredibly trivial that it doesn’t even deserve that kind of mention.

These students should stop victimizing themselves and grow up. Frankly, I’m surprised they didn’t try to go after the White Market too for its equally “offensive” name. Good grief.

Matt Fojtik

Engineering senior

After two losses, fans must support team

To the Daily:

In all of my years as a sports fan there has been nothing that I have wanted more than a victory against Ohio State last Saturday. Like everyone else who supports Michigan football, to say that I was fairly emotional after Saturday’s loss would be an understatement. However, following Saturday’s game I heard people questioning the heart and passion of the players and coaches. Some even claimed that Michigan football was dead. If you see yourself as a leader, a true Michigan fan and a person of class, then you must support what we have. What we have is a team in disarray, a program looking for answers and a retiring coach subject to unfair criticism. Most important, we have a team that needs our support more than ever.

I am damn proud to say that regardless of whether I am in a dorm room watching a 12-inch screen, in my apartment watching the game with friends, at home watching the game with my father or screaming with 110,000 other people in the Big House, there is nothing I’d rather be doing on a Saturday in the fall than watching Michigan football. In my four years at the University the football program has served as something that has inspired me as well as something that has taken my mind off of things. I understand that this senior class never beat Ohio State, but as a senior at the University, I will not stand for calling this class a failure. This team gave the University great memories that are right at the top of the college experience. They have shown character, perseverance and leadership. They will be champions in my book.

We are ultimately judged on how we respond to setbacks rather than success. Last time I checked, Michigan students, fans and players have one more game to prove their character to any doubters. Support this team. Support Michigan football. Go Blue.

Vincent Barrera

LSA senior

Carr’s retirement shows commitment to Michigan

To the Daily:

Although I never joined any of the Fire Lloyd Carr Facebook groups, I do understand those students and alumni who are rejoicing in the coach’s retirement. Regardless of how those affiliated with the University feel about his departure, Carr is doing us a great service. By ending his 13-year stint at Michigan, he is sacrificing himself for the interest of the alumni, students and everyone wearing maize and blue. Carr’s decision to step down again shows his devotion to Michigan.

Essentially, Carr has drowned out the discussion of the Ohio State loss with his announcement. ESPN is not dedicating time to talking about the big loss but rather to Carr, and so the last four years of OSU victories have been relegated to a few words scrolling across the ticker. This is exactly what Michigan needed: a distraction from the poor result of recent bouts with Ohio State and other bad losses. By stepping down, Carr is forcing analysts to debate potential replacements and define his legacy rather than focus on the blemishes of this and similar seasons.

In addition to removing the sting from the OSU loss, Carr has created a wonderful opportunity for future talent here at the University. Many argue that Michigan does not have time to wait for LSU Coach Les Miles, because recruiting will be negatively impacted. I disagree. Carr’s retirement has created a buzz around Michigan: The whole nation is talking about the school and the program. More importantly the analysts and reporters are depicting Michigan in a rather appealing way. Prospects from across the nation are hearing great things about our program. First, they might be playing for a coach that currently helms the top team in the country. Next, with different leadership, recruits will have the opportunity to beat the Buckeyes multiple times during their career here. Beyond that, potential recruits are learning of the pride, tradition and class Michigan students enjoy here in Ann Arbor. Carr has created national attention around Michigan that will entice recruits.

I appreciate what Carr has done for Michigan throughout his time here. Never once was I truly let down by the coach, and I certainly never had to suffer a season like Notre Dame’s current one. As he figuratively throws himself under the bus, Carr has demonstrated his commitment to preserving the tradition of top talent and victories. For the Saturday afternoons full of respect, victory and leadership, I applaud Carr’s efforts, and I hope he thoroughly enjoys his retirement.

Jeff Wojcik

LSA freshman

Daily’s priorities lead to poor coverage of death

To the Daily:

When I heard about Joi Smith’s tragic death, I was shocked (Teammates remember Smith, 11/20/2007). Apparently, the Daily didn’t feel the same way. Rather, the editors were so concerned with Lloyd Carr’s retirement that they could only spare a fourth of page 10 on Smith.

Am I the only one who thinks the newspaper’s priorities are out of whack? When one of our own dies, we should rally around her to show our support to her family and friends. Instead, the Daily is sending the message that Michigan football is more important than our University family. If a Michigan football player had died, would he have received the same poor coverage? I’m tempted to believe that there would have been an entire insert about his life and accomplishments. Shame on The Michigan Daily for putting sports before family.

Emily Cepla

LSA sophomore

Carr was good for all of college football

To the Daily:

I was saddened Monday to hear the official word that Michigan head football coach Lloyd Carr is stepping down. Even though as a Michigan State graduate and fan my blood runs green, I have always admired Carr, particularly his integrity, class and spirit. College football needs more coaches like Carr, and his retirement is a blow to all of college football and to the educational institutions of the great state of Michigan.

Corey Stringer

MSU alum

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