MSA would be wrong to pass resolution supporting divestment from Caterpillar
To the Daily:
It is unfair to judge a situation based solely on one-sided rhetoric. Following the tragic accident that caused the death of Rachel Corrie, pro-Palestinian groups are pushing for a new Michigan Student Assembly resolution that would urge the University to divest from Caterpillar Corp. This resolution is questionable in content, and would be counter productive to the already strained relationship of pro-Israeli and pro-Palestinian groups on campus.
This is a very sensitive issue that should not be judged hastily. The supporters of this resolution should wait until the investigation is complete, and proven facts are available. The accounts of Corrie’s death are much disputed at this point. Multiple publications such as The New York Times (03/26/03) had to publish retractions to parts of their stories on the incident. According to a source from the Israeli Defense Forces, the area being bulldozed was not a populated area, but it did contain abandoned buildings that were being used by terrorists to stage attacks against Israeli civilians. The International Solidarity Movement (Corrie’s group) contends that its mission is to protect Palestinian civilians. If that is indeed its purpose, then one must ask what it was doing protecting terrorist positions that were used to attack Israeli civilians.
In addition, pro-Palestinian groups contend that Caterpillar bulldozers are being used to demolish civilian homes. What people tend to forget is that the houses being demolished are the houses that belong to Palestinian terrorists. Most people don’t know that the family of a homicide bomber is awarded more than $25,000 for their “loss.” Demolishing their houses serves as a deterrent to those who think that they will help their family by blowing up Israeli civilians. MSA should think twice before passing a resolution that condemns anti-terrorism efforts.
Coverage of admissions policies inadequate, too much focus on war with Iraq
To the Daily:
I have been disappointed by much of the Daily’s news coverage lately because so few of the stories apply to students, and those that do are complete fluff. The affirmative action cases are the biggest thing to hit this campus in decades – maybe ever. I understand we are at war, but this is literally the only place where students can get information on the lawsuits on a regular basis. The whole world is watching our university, but our own student newspaper doesn’t seem like it is. I read the articles the Daily printed and was disappointed they were further down on the page, which seemed to downplay their importance. As the University’s premiere student newspaper, it is the Daily’s duty to provide students with interpretive coverage of the affirmative action lawsuits. I’m not talking about the oral arguments, I’m talking about the everyday articles leading up to and following the arguments. The Daily’s coverage only scraped the surface of the issues; the Daily seemed too preoccupied with the war. Why do I have to go to The New York Times, The Washington Post and the Detroit Free Press to find stories about the racial climate at the University? I don’t want to see another story on how Justice Sandra Day O’Connor is the swing vote, I want to see a story on how the race debate is or is not polarizing this campus.
Yes, the war started right before the arguments were heard. However, this should not have taken the affirmative action coverage off page one. (For example, see the March 21, 2003 edition of the Daily) Students can follow war coverage or any other national or international news on television or online. But the Daily is the only place where students can find out what’s going on in their own backyard. Take a different angle on the war because whatever war “news” goes into your newspaper will be old news by the time we pick up the paper. If you’re going to cover the war, be innovative. Write stories that appeal to students. The war is being fought by people our own age, and tons of students have friends who are fighting in Iraq. Both of these issues affect students in ways the Daily is clearly not grasping.
Alattar’s viewpoint inspires those who support the war
To the Daily:
I would like to commend and praise Laith Alattar’s viewpoint (Operation Iraqi Freedom: an honorable mention, 04/07/03). Never before have I been so moved while reading an article in the Daily. It inspired me, a supporter of the war, and I hope it will move to inspire those that oppose our difficult and massive, yet liberating job. Kudos to you, an American that has seen the horrors of Saddam’s regime, for standing up for what you believe!
Daily editorial guilty of ‘skewed coverage’ on affirmative action, many oppose ‘U’ policies
To the Daily:
While the Daily’s editorial criticisms may be well justified of several newspapers’ portrayal of student apathy regarding the affirmative action cases (Skewed coverage, 04/09/03), its assertion that the student body is unified in its view of the cases is completely off-base.
Specifically, the editorial states that “it is obvious that the media is not convinced that a collective pro-affirmative action status exists among students.” If this is the view that the media are illustrating, then it could not be more accurate! Just over two weeks ago, the Daily reported: “A survey compiled during Michigan Student Assembly elections last week shows students might not be presenting a unified home front when it comes supporting the policies” (Survey shows opinions differ on cases’ policies, 03/24/03). In fact, according to this survey of voters, more students opposed the University’s current admissions policies (41.5 percent) than supported them (40.8 percent). Do these statistics show a collective pro-affirmative action status? I think not.
The irony of the title of the Daily’s editorial is clearly evident. This student body is not solidly pro-affirmative action. Pro-affirmative action voices are generally louder; however, it is the Daily that is now presenting “skewed coverage.”
Student body not unified in support of affirmative action; almost evenly split on issue
To the Daily:
I am slightly concerned with the Daily’s editorial, “Skewed Coverage, (04/09/03).” The Daily claims that major U.S. papers are, “not convinced that a collective pro-affirmative action status exists among students.” Well, neither am I. The only polling I’ve seen done on the subject, the recent spring elections, showed the student body slightly favors an end to considering race as a factor.
While the numbers in the election were extremely close (probably statistically equal), they show the students at this school are at most split on the issue. For the national and local media to say that students are not supporting the University in its stance on affirmative action would be expected on a campus with as many views on the issue as the University.