Daily’s stance on Spring Break does not represent majority of students

To the Daily:

The Daily’s editorial regarding its opposition to moving spring break (Spring Broke, 03/21/03) clearly shows a failed opportunity for it to keep its mouth shut. An overwhelming majority of the student population at the University (80 percent, by last year’s vote) is in favor of the move, and the faculty’s Senate Assembly voted 74-1 in support, as well.

For those students who opt to travel for Spring Break, moving it back a week would allow them to actually meet people from other universities. The week designated for break now matches virtually no other colleges’ breaks; thus it is entirely possible to spend a week in Acapulco and meet zero non-Wolverines. When I want to party with University students, I’ll go to Rick’s, thank you very much.

Even students who opt to stay around the University, or even travel home, would see advantages of moving Spring Break. As a student who has spent two Spring Breaks in sunny suburban Detroit, it would be nice to have friends from other universities home at the same time, to offer relief from my parents and dog.

These points, combined with the idea that midterms and papers would all be before break, show that a change is in order. The Daily may be right that the underlying reasons for moving spring break are party-oriented, but hey, this is college, right? The Daily is supposed to aim to be the voice of the students, but in this case they missed by a long shot.

Kyle Meteyer

LSA junior

‘U’ has failed to make moral case for affirmative action to its students

To the Daily:

While voters’ failure to support affirmative action (by a narrow margin) in just-finished Michigan Student Assembly elections shouldn’t be sensationalized, it’s still real and should be explored. Do students really want “more info,” a choice besides “yes” or “no” on the ballot? With the April 1 Supreme Court date coming right up, how much longer do they need to inform themselves? “More info” may just mean “undecided” or “apathetic.”

One obvious deterrent to more support of affirmative action is the University’s ironic, and widely-noted, failure to practice inclusion in its own court presentation; the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund, Mexican-American Legal Defense and Education Fund and other intervening attorneys, often of color (e.g., black attorneys Theodore Shaw of NAACP-LDF and Godfrey Dillard) have been excluded by University from Supreme Court oral argument time. How can the University preach integration and diversity when it doesn’t even practice it?

The debate over exclusion of interveners has been going on for weeks now, and has probably disillusioned various people with the University’s defense of affirmative action. If the University wishes to show it believes its own supposed ideals, it should immediately file with the court to ensure that interveners get at least five minutes in oral arguments (they’d asked for 10).

The University and its legal team have, since October, failed to keep the cases from ascending to the Supreme Court; failed to satisfy interveners’ desire to participate in oral arguments; failed to overturn a $250,000 sexual harassment judgment won for ex-student Maureen Johnson against the University by intervener attorney Miranda Massie (and winner Massie is now excluded from April 1 oral arguments); failed so far to provide buses to Washington (as the Law School provided buses to the 2001 Cincinnati appeals court hearing) or to cancel classes on April 1 to facilitate student participation (Rutgers Law School is canceling classes); and have now failed to command a plurality – much less a majority – of students polled by MSA about affirmative action. That adds up to a lot of failures. Students should contact President Mary Sue Coleman at marysuec@umich.edu, and anyone else they know in the administration, to advocate at least five minutes of court time for the interveners, and to get the University to stop stumbling over itself so incessantly in the fight for affirmative action.

David Boyle


Schwartz writes from ivory tower, sounds like every other liberal apologist

To the Daily:

Jon Schwartz’s column in the Daily yesterday (Give intercession a chance, 03/24/03) was really a travesty, but typical of the pseudo-analysis propagated by the entire so-called liberal establishment in attempting to justify the war in Iraq. He swallows whole-hog the propaganda given by the government, and distributed by the media, that this is a war “for every one of us,” that this is a war to make the world safe from Saddam. Schwartz does not even care to address the reasons that the vast majority of the world’s population have for opposing this war. They oppose it because they know it is really a war about oil and domination of the Middle East, that it is an imperialist war. In the typical self-important and arrogant manner of the liberal establishment, he dismisses the enormous and heart-warming protests of students as attempts to “do what their parents did.”

Really, Schwartz? Please, step down from your ivory tower and take a look around. Perhaps you might notice that the enormous opposition to this war is a reflection of the intense social contradictions in the United States, a reflection of the fact that the government that is carrying out this war is controlled by a social oligarchy of wealth and privilege, an oligarchy to which you no doubt aspire. Please Schwartz, take your government post or your job at CNN, but spare us your pious words.

Joe Tanniru

LSA senior

Students for Social Equality

Res hall libraries a wonderful ‘U’ resource; librarians are their core

To the Daily:

I work at the Mosher-Jordan Residence Hall library, where my boss, the head librarian, is currently in negotiations because she and her peers have been undercompensated for the great amounts of work that they do. Although the University boasts one of the best residence hall library systems in the country, the University refuses to acknowledge the importance of these employees and the work that they do.

I wish that the people making these decisions on behalf of the University could really see how important these libraries are to the vibrancy of the residence halls. Our library is a beautiful place, and maintains a friendly, down-to-earth atmosphere with music, fun employees and comfortable couches. Residence hall residents do their homework here, they hang out, read magazines, pick out movies, chat, attend programs like Super Bowl parties, make-your-own-valentines workshops and so many great other things – I even see residents reading our displays and books. We are also a fabulous resource for all those things students need in order to take a break from the daily grind of homework – movies, CDs, comic books, magazines. To take care of all this, we have an unreliable catalogue system, myriad organizational needs and equipment and training to process all of these materials.

Our head librarian spends many hours every week coordinating all of these things. She is truly the core of this library – making sure her staff is comfortable, confident and able to ensure that our library remains the amazing resource that it can be.

I cannot understand why the University, which invests so much in its residence halls and its students, refuses to acknowledge the great value of this resource and its staff and head librarian. I hope that all students living in residence halls will take a moment to mention to their residence advisors, hall directors or other staff, the importance these libraries, and the great impact of their dedicated head librarians.

Rachel Warnick

LSA Senior

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