Greenbelt, A2 two-way traffic more problematic than Paul’s
crazy rants on neocons

To the Daily:

While Ari Paul’s hysterics over neoconservatives once again take
their place on the editorial page, What the hell is a neocon
(09/03/03), where is the concern for the needs of students (you
know, the people returning to campus)?

Over the summer, the city of Ann Arbor has “accomplished” making
many streets near campus two way, making it harder to drive or walk
near campus without being hit or run over. Meanwhile, the city is
contemplating a greenbelt resolution to raise the cost of living in
the city (property taxes and what else; the cost of which, of
course, to be borne by students as well) in order to “prevent
sprawl” on the outskirts of Ann Arbor.

The city is talking about a long-term plan to make the city even
more crowded and expensive; according to The Ann Arbor News, $40
million or so needs to be raised over a 30-year time span in order
to pay for the open land in the greenbelt.

Isn’t this more worrisome than Paul’s rants over “neocons?”
Millions of dollars in waste, and students over the long term will
definitely be paying for this nonsense.

John Laich

LSA senior

Divestment discussions supported by many students

To the Daily:

Danny Aghion has got a few of his facts wrong, Students on
campus do not support divestment from Israel or other nations

(09/04/03). First of all, many students and faculty on this campus
do in fact support divestment from Israel. And many don’t. It is a
debate that is lively, creating much worthy discussion. Those who
try to portray that there is no support for divestment are only
trying to kill the debate. It should be noted that pro-Israel
groups on this campus have repeatedly refused to publicly debate
this issue, a clear sign of their distaste or perhaps fear, of
sharing their true ideas. There is, in fact, much proof for the
notion that divestment has much support on this campus. Almost a
year ago, the largest divestment conference to date occurred on
this campus, and most of the almost-weekly events last year were
well attended and publicized.

Finally, this campus does have a history of divesting from
nations that have as horrible of a human rights record as Israel.
We have divested from South Africa, and if anyone believes there
are no connections between the actions of apartheid South Africa
and Israel, just listen to Nobel laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu,
who said that his visit to the West Bank “reminded me so much of
what happened to us black people in South Africa.” He went on to
say that he saw “the humiliation of the Palestinians at checkpoints
and roadblocks, suffering like us when young white police officers
prevented us from moving about.” (BBC News, April 29, 2002) Don’t
believe me, don’t believe Aghion. Believe those who have
experienced apartheid in all its horror, for they are most able to
recognize it again.

Amer Zahr

Law School

Students should agitate for University to divest

To the Daily:

During the 1980s, when the global community began isolating the
racist apartheid regime in South Africa, Israel stood by their
ideological allies, sending them aid and arms, until they were
finally forced out of power. It appears that support for this
apartheid regime indirectly continues to this day by some of
Israel’s supporters.

In his letter, Students on campus do not support divestment
from Israel or other nations
(09/04/03), Daniel Aghion counters
calls for divestment by stating “Divesting from a sovereign country
is not the correct path to take.” With this logic, by divesting
from apartheid, but sovereign, South Africa in 1984, the University
erred. In reality, after the University divested, over 100
universities followed suit until 1986 when Congress finally cut
their ties to that political system.

Today, the parallels between the two states extend beyond common
calls for divestment. South African anti-apartheid heroes from
Nelson Mandela to Jewish leader Ronnie Kasrils have referred to
Israel’s domination over the Palestinians as “apartheid.”
Archbishop Desmond Tutu has called for divestment from “apartheid
in the Holy Land,” praising the student movement.

As one student among many other concerned students, I support
divestment from apartheid Israel, just as I support divestment from
apartheid South Africa.

Irfan Shuttari

LSA senior

Minority Affairs Commission chair,

Michigan Student Assembly

 

Profs should not exchange grades for evaluations

To the Daily:

In response to Kristin Ostby’s article, Prof book links grade
inflation, evaluations
(09/04/03):

1. Of course, it doesn’t really take a book or a social
scientist to understand that students who get higher grades will
probably be more likely to give their instructors higher
evaluations at the end of the term, and that instructors,
especially non-tenured professors and lecturers, may try to save
their careers by “adjusting the grading scale,” which means
inflating grades to the point at which students are more satisfied
with their grades at the time course evaluations come around.

2. What we do need, though, rather than studies that point out
the obvious, is for professors and administrators (like the
article’s anonymous English professor who speaks about grade
inflation and course evaluations) to cease being anonymous, and to
actually speak up about the tremendous flaws that are part of both
the grading system and the hiring policies for and treatment of
non-tenured faculty at large universities like ours. Until people
like this anonymous English professor publicly acknowledge the fact
that course evaluations are being misused in deciding who should
and should not teach our undergraduates, and then begin to
encourage administrators to seek fairer and more sensible hiring
policies, I’m not sure that the problem of grade inflation will
ever get fixed; instead, we will have, as it seems we are at least
starting to have now, a permanently “adjusted” grading scale. But
maybe this really is a new era, a post-C age for the university?
(Or really, a post-B minus age, or a post-B age…)

Aric Knuth

Lecturer II, LSA English

Daily website an eyesore; restart from ‘square one’

To the Daily:

I am a frequent visitor of your website, www.michigandaily.com,
and I was personally appalled when I recently noticed the “face
lift” which has been applied to it. I must say that in my eye the
new layout is a step backwards and reflects poorly on an otherwise
wonderful publication. Most noticeably, the link in the upper-left
hand corner is one of the most horrendous things I have ever seen,
or actually barely seen, since it pretty much blends in to the
background. It looks as if a monkey was hitting random buttons in
Photoshop. Also, only about two-thirds of the full width of my
screen is utilized by this fixed-width design, wasting a good deal
of space. The advertisement at the top is obtrusive and poorly
placed, since the ad is centered (along with the footer), while the
actual body is not. Personally, I would go back to the old site and
start from square one. You must consider the large audience who is
out of reach of your circulation and relies on the website for
their perusing. An eyesore such as the current site is not
befitting of such a prestigious collegiate publication.

Mike Paradis

Reader

Tired of bunnies, alum seeks nude males

To the Daily:

OK. I’ll try not to bitch too much about the full-page Playboy
cover in the Daily, but I want to see a naked man tomorrow!

Dana Heitz

Alum

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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