Diversity of thought is crucial to ‘U’

To the Daily:

After years of reading the Daily’s ideologically doctrinaire editorials, it is refreshing to finally stumble across one that affirms the right of individuals with different perspectives to disagree peaceably (Affirmative overreaction, 7/14/03). Too often in the past the Daily has given tacit endorsements to those, who in the name of tolerance and diversity, show a callous disregard – in some cases, outright hostility – for anyone else’s right to make their views heard.

That Ward Connerly’s affirmative action initiative provokes expressions of strong emotions from supporters and opponents makes flaring tempers an inevitable part of such a campus visit. However, it does not excuse the actions of the hypocritical zealots that tried to incite unrest. For those that ostensibly support a more diverse campus and the free interchange of ideas ,here is some food for thought: Diversity comes in more forms than just skin color, it also comes from a broad palette of ideas. Resolving issues as incendiary as affirmative action just don’t happen when one side defines a dialogue as drowning out the voice of one’s opponent.

Randall Roth


Coleman right to open house after victory

To the Daily:

Dan Adams is “a (man) delusional enough to believe what (he) wants to believe” in assailing University President Mary Sue Coleman’s invitation to celebrate the victory of the principle of affirmative action at her residence. In April, the University sponsored bus trips to Washington to witness an event central to its culture, and the nation, much like the University, has sponsored road trips to less politically significant, but still University-centric, athletic contests like bowl games. Although everyone does not agree with the University’s athletic policies, the last official wide-scale invitation to the President’s House came on a Football Saturday in the fall of 1997, a victory over Penn State along Michigan’s road to the National Championship. Certainly there were those who disdained then President Lee Bollinger’s invitation by citing problems with Athletic Department practices like student athlete treatment and merchandising operations, but the party’s intent was to celebrate a victory for the University as a whole. When the University takes a side in public affairs, whether political or athletic, it’s important to remember the namesake of the institution represents the campus community, dissenters and all. The University defending itself against Gratz and Grutter at the U.S. Supreme Court is no different than challenging Penn State and Purdue at Michigan Stadium. Since the entire campus community is marked by the name of the University, celebrating a victory of its official public opinion (ruled a “compelling state interest” in this case) is permissible. Mr. Adams can hold a pity party at his apartment to express his belief, but Dr. Coleman can also open the doors of her house to represent the University’s official opinion.

Tom Campion

LSA junior

‘U’ not spending money wisely

To the Daily:

After all the belly-aching from the University administration about the cuts from the state budget, I thought our beloved University was on the brink of starvation. I could imagine bureaucrats in Flemming contemplating cutting heat to the Hill dorms, President Coleman renting out the President’s house as a bed and breakfast and Canadian lumberjacks coming to campus to clear-cut the Arb.

The only solution to this dire situation was to spike tuition and ask, no, beg the state government for enough money to heat the poor freshmen on the hill. It was the University’s only hope to avoid a hundred years of Ohio State dominance (oh, perish the thought).

But, apparently I don’t need to worry though because I noticed brand new PCs strewn about in the Fishbowl like coins in the Trevi Fountain. Phew, I guess the government has decided to wisely spend my tuition and buy flat screen monitors and new keyboards in this time of government shortfalls. I can only imagine the other ways that the University is “wisely” spending my tuition around the University.

Government is after all an efficient vehicle. They never need to cinch up their belt rather than beg another meal from Lansing. So I guess the crisis is averted. The bureaucrats in Flemming have decided to heat the hill dorms yet another winter and President Coleman has quit taking reservations for the fall.

But as soon as anyone starts talking about the necessity of cutting remember: Our University is highly efficient, and it wisely spends its dollars on new flat screen monitors and keyboards.

Either way, I am going to keep an eye out for those Canadian lumberjacks.

Doug Tietz

State chairman, Young Americans for Freedom

LSA senior

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