AAPD should focus on protecting pedestrians

To the Daily:

I would like to publicly question why the Ann Arbor Police
Department fails to enforce the law regarding stopping at stop
signs (i.e. stopping behind the sign rather than in the crosswalk).
In fact, they not only fail to enforce this law, but I’ve
also regularly observed them failing to even follow it themselves.
Three weeks ago, I e-mailed this question/complaint to the AAPD
community traffic officer, Sean Lee. He has yet to reply. Given the
number of pedestrians in the University area, this would seem to be
at least something of a priority. Enforcing this law even minimally
would increase community safety as much or more than setting up
speed traps or writing MIPs, and most importantly, would be at
least as profitable.

Michael Fraker

Rackham

 

Ann Arbor’s music scene is not fully
appreciated

To the Daily:

I would like to thank the Daily for its recent increase in
articles about the local music scene. The last two Weekend
Magazines, as well as Friday’s articles about Big Ticket
Productions and the East Quad Co-op were all good sources of
information on a great local scene. However, I feel it’s
barely even a start to providing students with information on
what’s really going on in Ann Arbor. Every night there are
live music events going on at multiple locations around Ann Arbor,
yet for students there’s really no good way to find out about
them. At best the Daily makes fun of a few playing on Thursday
through Sunday, but it generally overlooks the bulk of shows
students will care about. For instance, more than nine different
bands were performing here for Hash Bash, “the event that
places Ann Arbor on the cultural map” according to the
Daily’s editorial board, yet there was hardly any mention of
these events.

Something that should be of even greater concern to the Daily is
the misuse of University budget and facility resources regarding
live music events. BTP is already grossly underfunded, focusing on
one comedy act in the fall and one music act in the winter, both of
which it so far is unable to independently fund. And with all the
talk of budget cuts, it has gone unnoticed that the Major Events
Office has suffered as well. As for facilities, the remodeled Hill
Auditorium is one of the best spots not only in Ann Arbor, but the
entire Midwest, yet nightly is under-utilized by University groups
who often lose money on their performances, while other smaller
performance centers sit unused. All this while larger national acts
resort to similar rooms in East Lansing because there are no places
for them in Ann Arbor.

I understand it’s beyond the Daily’s resources for
extensive music coverage, but it is not beyond the student
community’s. Ann Arbor should be a renowned music town in its
own right. Students should not have to make trips into Detroit and
East Lansing to see shows that Ann Arbor has more than enough
venues and interest to support. Student groups shouldn’t have
to spend hundreds of dollars to advertise for shows on campus, when
the student body at large knows nothing about the bands. Student
bands should be able to more easily make the transition to local
venues and not be trapped losing money on promoting free shows. I
would like to invite anyone who also wants to see change in the Ann
Arbor music scene to the League Underground on Thursday night at
8:30 for the Ann Arbor Music Group mass meeting. Entertainment will
be provided by Roadside Zoo, More Like Zero and Ty Reynolds, and a
compilation CD of some of Ann Arbor’s best local music will
be available. Come help us remake Ann Arbor into the nation’s
best college music town.

Dan Goshorn

LSA junior

The letter writer is the president and founder of the Ann
Arbor Music Group

 

Daily sensationalizes rape, exploits incident

To the Daily:

The Daily’s tendency to sensationalize very personal and
sensitive issues by splashing trigger words across its headlines is
abhorrent and must be stopped. Two days in a row (Alleged rape
under investigation
, 03/30/04 and Woman denies rape at SAE
house
, 03/31/04), the front-page headline has screamed
“rape” to the entire campus community. While the
Daily seems to find it acceptable to exploit such a traumatic,
personal experience, I contend that it is not.  

I understand that accusations of rape affect both the accuser
and the accused. However, the Daily must recognize that by
shamelessly exploiting incidences of sexual assault, it makes it
that much harder for survivors to come forward and seek services
because they must fear that their devastating experience will be
ripped from police reports and turned into news headlines.
Certainly, both women and men on campus need to know that 55
percent of multiple perpetrator rapes on college campuses are
committed by fraternity members, that one in four college-age women
report surviving rape or attempted rape since age 14 and that 3
percent of college men report experiencing rape or attempted rape
as a child or adult. Would it not be more helpful to convey
these facts, rather than using derisive terminology to discredit
women, such as “got drunk and had sex” and emphasizing
that “there were a lot of guys in (SAE) felt really bad about
it” rather than focusing on the feelings of exploitation and
traumatization a woman might feel after seeing her experience so
thoughtlessly splashed across the headlines?

The Daily’s irresponsible handling of the devastating and
life-changing trauma of sexual assault is utterly
reprehensible. By setting a precedent of shamelessly throwing
the buzzword “rape” into multiple headlines, the Daily
shows that it is insensitive to the trauma and issues surrounding
incidences of sexual assault, potential sexual assault or recovery
from sexual assault that countless women and men on this campus
face. Sexualized violence is not a news opportunity; it is a
devastating experience that should be respected and not exploited.
The Daily’s handling of this most recent occurrence,
regardless of the eventual outcome, and its desire to
sensationalize such an experience, is incredibly painful to many
people on this campus. In addition, it encourages the myth that
women frequently lie about rape, making it that much for difficult
for society to see rape for the serious crime that it is. In the
future, the Daily must exercise true thought and journalistic
integrity and print facts, rather than wallow in speculation,
exploit students’ most personal experiences and grab at
people’s innermost emotions in an effort to get
readership.

Lauren Sogor

LSA sophomore

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