BCS is not broken, Horn tries to make controversy where there is none

To the Daily:

David Horn clearly misunderstands the college football situation in his article Buckeyes blamed for BCS Breakdown, (11/20/02). The article implies that there would be a controversy over whom should be in the national title game should Miami and Ohio State win out. This is not true. In fact, this would be the first situation in the BCS’s history where there would be no controversy.

Everyone would agree that Ohio State and Miami should play in the Fiesta Bowl. While there are serious doubts about Ohio State’s ability to compete with Miami, no one has suggested that a team with a loss go in Ohio State’s stead. Horn seems to be trying to create a controversy were there is none.

Daniel Baxter

LSA senior

Plane ad paid for out of own pocket, Daily wrong to imply otherwise

To the Daily:

The Michigan Daily is one of the most widely-read student newspapers in the world. I read this paper every day and I feel compelled to correct the prejudicial and stereotypical information in yesterday’s editorial Just plane ridiculous.

Your editorial staff raises some key issues about campaign finance reform. Students have a right to know from what source their representatives get their money and how much they have spent on their election campaigns. I have spent a total of around $350 on this election. That money came from my job at Morgan Stanley last school year and during the summer.

It was highly dishonorable and unethical of you to print this article yesterday – the first day of elections. The only reason I can imagine that you waited so long to publish this article, is that you had a personal desire to help the other candidates and parties win.

My father is not a “wealthy sugar daddy.” He has been unemployed since the Sept. 11 attacks forced his company to downsize. My mother lost her job in August when she fell outside a vegetable store and broke her arm.

Although I qualify for a need-based free ride to the University, I have earned all of the money that goes into my education through private merit scholarships. You did not bother to ask me about my financial situation. You just presumed that I was wealthy.

The money to fly that banner over Michigan Stadium came from money that I decided would be best spent on getting elected. This is not money from some endless well, as your column suggests, it is money that I no longer have for a car, new clothes or other common conveniences. I decided to sacrifice my quality of life to help put myself in a position where I can affect changes at this campus. Your staff has made a valiant attempt at nullifying two weeks worth of my life. Two weeks of eight-hour campaign days. I hope students saw through the bold assertions of yesterday’s editorial. I am not, in fact, a rich man.

Michael Mascetti

LSA freshman

‘Insightful’ review gives ‘amazing’ look into Dave Matthews Band (sarcasm)

To the Daily:

I wanted to thank the Daily for Joel Hoard’s particularly insightful review of the Dave Matthews Band latest release. In the space of about one-eighth of a page, Hoard managed to use the word “shit” three times (how many definitions does that have, anyway?) and managed to give me such amazing insight as the songs average 17 minutes each (thank God Miles Davis’ “Bitches Brew” has not been put to Hoard’s short-attention-span test, for I fear it would have been “shit” also).

Of course, if Hoard’s linguistic imagination is any indication of his ability to appreciate artistic breadth, (and I’m assuming the former is better given his position as a “journalist”), I cannot imagine that bodes well for much beyond three-chord rock.

John Bemesderfer

Engineering senior

Hoard’s DMB review is waste of space; proves lack of knowledge in genre

To the Daily:

I am upset that The Michigan Daily allowed Joel Hoard to write a review of the new Dave Matthews Band CD “Live at Folsom Field.” When I read a review, I expect some knowledge of the genre of music and then critiques, both positive and negative about the CD itself. Hoard’s article does none of this and just proves his lack of talent and waste of space in your paper.

All his article accomplished was his self-glorifying opinion that Dave Matthews Band is lousy. He gives no reason for his thoughts or opinions and he rudely stereotypes DMB followers. I question whether or not he even listened to the entire CD. I think the Daily editors should require him to re-take English 125 so a professor can work with him on his incoherent and useless music review.

Brad Hanan

Business junior

Issues, not funny slogans will make elections more valuable to students

To the Daily:

It was inevitable. The event had been a long time coming. Someone finally created a curious concoction of football Saturday and student government campaigning – commissioning a plane to hover overhead with a campaign banner trailing behind. Certainly, nearly everyone who has ever campaigned for student government in a university where the canon of football Saturday reigns supreme has dreamt of this day; but until now the costs have been prohibitive. I applaud the Daily editorial board in their promotion of comprehensive campaign finance reform. We need it.

However, this demonstration reflects a greater underlying problem in student government – where are the issues!?! Sure, your name and picture might be cute and I might recognize your last name – but why should I vote for you? What will you bring to the government and the University? What do you stand for and in opposition to? How will my academic experience be improved by your presence on government?

Candidates typically dismiss these questions by invoking the faulty logic that students just don’t care. Very, very false. First, we are at a University lauded for civic engagement. If events in the Middle East have the propensity to polarize the campus, issues ‘back home’ do too – that is, if we know what those issues are. Second, history has asserted that our demographic block (i.e., educated and relatively wealthy), will be the most politically active in future years. Therefore, it is not widespread apathy driving low government turnouts, it is a lacking sense of ownership and potential benefit. Third, as a 40,000 collective, our student status is all that unites us; and being a students constitutes the vast majority of our time, thoughts and energy. If you can convince me that your actions might put me in the driver’s seat of my education, then I’m all ears.

I am certainly not extolling or condemning any particular candidate or party. Just like everyone else, I have misrepresented myself publicly. It was a poor choice, not a comment on character. And the candidates do not bear the entire burden – we will never see an issue oriented campaign until voters refuse to elect faces they’ve seen and names they know. So, voters, pry, ask questions, make demands. Candidates, despite the aspersions of staunch skeptics, government can help to mold what happens in and outside of the classroom – I promise. Realize this power, create cogent policies that would make your and your friends’ academic experiences better and campaign on it. Your pledged platform will not fall upon deaf ears, rest assured.

Rachel Tronstein

LSA senior

The letter writer is the former president of LSA-SG

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