Despite improvement, WISE still unsatisfied with female enrollment in the sciences

To the Daily:

The Daily is to be commended in recognizing the important issue of the underrepresentation of women in many science, engineering and mathematics fields (‘U’ female Engineering numbers still remain low 11/7/02). While it is true that the percentage of undergraduate women in the College of Engineering is lower than that in the College of Literature, Science and the Arts, it is equally true that the University is leading the nation in the number of women studying for and receiving engineering degrees. This year’s incoming engineering class was 31 percent female, compared to a national average of 18 percent. In the 1999-2000 academic year, the University of Michigan graduated more women engineers at the Bachelor’s level than any other school in the country. Several engineering departments are approaching parity in terms of male and female students. One department, biomedical engineering, is 63 percent female at the undergraduate level.

While we are justifiably proud of these numbers, we are still not satisfied as was indicated in the article. The Women in Science and Engineering Program, the College of Engineering, and the University are all deeply committed to a diverse student body in these nontraditional fields for women. We will all continue to work on these issues along the entire educational pipeline, from K-12 through graduate school.

Cinda Davis, Ph.D.

Davis is the Program Director of the Women in Science and Engineering program.

Two obvious rules for ‘wave’ at football games broken

To the Daily:

There have been many things to be disappointed with at the Big House this year. The loss to Iowa and the generally quiet nature of the crowd being the most obvious.

However, what has disappointed me the most is the terribly poor job being done by the people who start the wave. In my four years of attending games at the Big House, this is the only group that doesn’t seem to know when the wave is appropriate. There are two very simple rules to follow. First, never start the wave when the game is still close. When the game is close, the events on the field should be followed get the full attention and support of the crowd. This rule has been violated frequently this year, most notably against Utah and Iowa. Secondly, the wave should never be started when Michigan is on offensive. The wave can be distracting for the offense, so it should only be performed when Michigan is on defense. It has amazed me how many times this rule has been broken this year. The final straw was last week against State when they tried to start the wave when the game was still close and Michigan was on offense. Hopefully, by the Wisconsin game the wave starters will learn how to do their jobs.

Daniel Baxter

LSA senior

Let’s prove we can discuss issues peacefully, engage in open debate on Nov. 13

To the Daily:

Nov. 13, 2002 is slated as a national day of action for the pro-Palestinian movement to promote divestment from Israel. Efforts on this campus are being organized by a student group called Students Allied for Freedom and Equality (SAFE). Similar events in the past hosted by SAFE (the divestment conference) have been called “deplorable” and “anti-Jewish” by the Detroit News’ editorial board and many others. On behalf of the Michigan Student Zionists, I would like to invite SAFE to a unique opportunity. Rather than advocating a one-sided perspective that will further divide the pro-Israel and pro-Palestinian communities on this campus, let’s engage in open, formal dialogue.

I encourage leaders of SAFE to join with me to set up areas for discussion of the issues, and to formally organize a system where misunderstandings can be clarified and compromise can be reached. It is very important, but sometimes difficult to look past the issues to see an actual person on the other side. Let’s promote a dialogue to make sure that students who disagree on politics only disagree on politics, and not on character. The divestment point is moot, no University, including our own will divest from the only democracy in the Middle East, and its hateful implications are making our campus a very unstable and uncomfortable place for many students. Instead, on Nov. 13th, let’s get together to prove that our counterparts overseas can in fact co-exist peacefully.

Richard Dorfman

LSA senior

Dorfman is co-founder and president of the Michigan Student Zionists.

Reality of ‘human error’, ‘free speech’ overlooked; don’t read the Daily if you don’t like it

To the Daily:

(Look at me, I’m rolling my eyes) For the past few weeks I feel as though Daily readers, as well as the University community at large, have been inundated with boycott banter. Personally, I feel I can deliberate in a fairly rational manner this (inane) matter at hand, myself being unaffiliated with either side. And I would hate for this letter to be seen as a mere prolongation of the battle; rather, my purpose is not to promote the controversy. I hope to shed some light on this issue (that happens to be blown out of proportion) and perhaps address the matter with objectivity and rationale (there’s so few of us out there today).

What sparked me to start writing this letter? Well, I was in the Union today, walking past a stack of the Consider publication (right, who reads that!), with the phrase “The role of the student newspaper” boldly crying out to the students of today. I use the term “students of today” for the fact that this issue happens to be a compilation of articles reprinted from 1986. It is now sixteen years later and we still ask ourselves the same questions, we still face the same issues. In this edition of Consider (October 31, 2002), it’s quite relevant that the 1986 Editor in Chief of the Daily threw in his two cents, recognizing the fact that, yes, there are “too many inaccuracies, misquotes, and grammatical errors, as there are in every other student and professional newspaper. Even more pressing is the issue of objectivity – will any publication ever achieve that idealistic equilibrium between both sides of any issue at hand?”

I feel that we all too often overlook the basic principles of free speech and human error. We are so fortunate to have the opportunity to live in a society based on freedoms, and too frequently in misunderstandings and mistakes rationale is thoughtlessly thrown out the window. So, if you don’t like what the Daily has to say, just don’t pick it up. Am I too naive in asking, why can’t we all just get along? I think we have reached a point where the original meaning has become garbled; though it makes sense that the more voices joined together results in a louder noise. However, being loud doesn’t necessarily mean you’re being more effective. Ultimately, I guess I have just given everyone something else to boycott – so why not, I’ll join in – let’s boycott Lauren Victor together.

Lauren Victor

LSA sophomore

Reader misses ‘Weekend Magazine’, ‘rules,’ boycotts

To the Daily:

I have of late been very disappointed by the Daily’s lack of a Weekend Magazine! It may quite simply be the embodiment of all things that are good and far fewer things that suck. Without it, dear editor, you are nothing. Truly, your powers have been reduced to the reporting of simple facts and lining the occasional birdcage; a fitting end to a non-weekend-containing Thursday paper.

I feel that Weekend is far more important than last week’s something-or-other about voting and this week’s didn’t-read-it about basketball. In fact I would give up both voting and basketball forever just for a single Weekend Magazine. You may call it un-American, but then I would kick your ass! I am appalled by your unjust discrimination against those who enjoy a humorous column or two inserted snugly between the drab and everyday. For these and other really stupid reasons, I will be boycotting the Daily. I rule! For good and for awesome-

Mike Solo

Engineering senior

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