Students should move Naked Mile to Big House

To the Daily:

I’m writing in response to Friday’s editorial about
the Naked Mile (A losing streak: The Naked Mile needs to be
revived
, 04/16/04). As the Daily correctly points out, law
enforcement officials are targeting the wrong group when they
arrest participating students rather than protecting them from the
danger that is posed by the drunken and largely nonUniversity
crowd. Of course, arresting the runners is much easier than
controlling a rowdy and widely dispersed crowd. And we should also
consider the fact that police officers are ethically obligated to
prevent anyone from breaking the law, even if it’s just in
good fun. But instead of eliminating a cherished campus event by
arresting anyone who dares participate, an alternative approach is
clearly needed.

My suggestion is this: Hold the Naked Mile in Michigan Stadium.
I realize this would damage the spirit of the event, but stopping
it would destroy the spirit altogether. If the Naked Mile were held
in the stadium, only people with University identification would be
allowed to participate in, or view the event. Cameras would not be
permitted in the stadium. And because it would no longer be a
public event, runners wouldn’t face the risk of prosecution.
These precautions would restore the Naked Mile to its status as a
carefree campus event and prevent this University tradition from
being terminated by the presence of unruly outsiders. Such a
solution is better than the alternative.

Brian Madden

Alum

 

Efforts to stop Naked Mile are useless

To the Daily:

It is that time of year again. Classes are winding down, finals
are approaching and I’m sure the University is flooding
campus with signs saying how running the Naked Mile will result in
you being charged with a sex crime and how you’ll be
photographed and such. The purpose of this is of course to scare
people from running. It has worked, and the number of runners has
decreased every year. In my opinion, this is a total misuse of
University and police resources. We’re not talking about a
heinous crime, but an innocent tradition at which seniors can
express their happiness at finally graduating. I ran the mile last
year and was not arrested — though some of my friends were
caught, but were not charged with a sex crime — and did not
see a single photographer. Because the police will no doubt be
lining the Naked Mile route at midnight, I suggest seniors make
their own route or run at a different time (11 p.m. or 1 a.m.
instead of midnight.) to avoid arrest. Don’t let the
University destroy another tradition.

Nicholas Kohn

Alum

 

Daily overlooks fans at Crisler Arena

To the Daily:

I enjoyed the annual Best of Ann Arbor edition this year, but I
disagree with your coverage of “Best Sports Crowd” Your
article was well-written and captured the great crowds at Yost and
at Michigan Stadium, but it completely failed to mention the Maize
Rage and the great crowds at Crisler Arena.

I don’t intend to take anything away from the crowds at Yost and
at the stadium; I have been a participant of all three crowds for
four years. However, I think that the fans at Yost aren’t quite as
good as they were in the mid-to-late ’90s or even my freshman
year. Going to hockey games became too popular; too often I see
students arriving late, chatting and wearing nonMichigan clothing.
These fans are there for the social aspect of Yost and few of them
are engrossed in the game.

In the four years I have been here, I have seen the atmosphere
at Crisler improve dramatically, from 200 to 300 tame students to
more than 1,900 fanatics this year. The general admission bleachers
have forced students to arrive and make their presence known more
than an hour before game time while Yost crowds arrive later and
later. Crisler had long been one of the easiest places to play in
the Big Ten (as explicitly said by Illinois’ Cory Bradford two
years ago), but you hear nothing of that now from opponents or
their media. Instead, we were specifically praised by Minnesota
players in January 2003, by the Raleigh, N.C., media in December
2003 and by Hawaii players and media just last month (a newspaper
noted that we “would not rest at any point in the
game”). Coach Amaker and the players also repeatedly make
mention of the support we provide the team.

I don’t necessarily expect Crisler to be voted or named
the best crowd at Michigan, as I’m happy to say the
competition is intense. However, to completely pass over such a
great crowd is a clear oversight.

Peter Lund

LSA senior

Former Superfan and leader of the Maize Rage

 

Anti-Americanism based on policy, not culture

To the Daily:

It is a shame that Kenneth Longo’s recent letter attempted
to persuade readers to believe that Middle Easterners by their very
nature hold anti-American beliefs (Syed suffers from the
standard delusions that plague the Middle East
, 04/16/04).
Longo expresses that there is nothing President Bush can do to
satisfy Middle Easterners, as if the Middle East solely consists of
irrational lunatics who continually reject the United
States’s goodwill. The people of the Middle East, like any
other people, respond to injustice with anger and goodwill with
friendship. Muslims are legitimately outraged by the recent foreign
policy of the United States and especially with that of President
Bush’s administration.Rather than ensure that every American
could have the right to medical assistance, higher education and a
secure retirement, Bush has occupied his presidential term with the
invasion and occupation of two Muslim nations and has recklessly
backed Israel’s every move in its occupation of the
Palestinian people.

Dissatisfaction with the United States is not something
ingrained in the genes or cultures of Middle Easterners —
only a racist/Islamophobe would claim otherwise. If the United
States were to end its policy of pre-emptive military invasions and
held a balanced position toward the Arab-Israeli conflict, there
would no longer be strong currents of animosity held by Muslims
toward the United States. Longo may claim that Middle Easterners
would still hold “anti-American” beliefs, but this is
totally absurd. This anger did not brew in a vacuum:
“anti-Americanism” only started to take hold after the
United States started to commit questionable acts in the Middle
East. Therefore, this displeasure with the United States is a
response to things such as the 1953 CIA overthrow of the popular
Iranian Prime Minister Mohammad Mossadegh, the uncompromising
support of Israeli policies, such as the recent endorsement of
Ariel Sharon’s disengagement plan, the recent invasion of
Iraq, which has yet to find the weapons of mass destruction that
were allegedly stockpiled in there and the countless numbers of
brutal dictators, from the Saudi royal family to the Shah of Iran,
that have had their tyrannical regimes stay afloat from strong
American assistance.

Longo also seems to have a problem with a Pakistani citizen
using his free speech rights in the United States, simply because
Pakistan and other Middle Eastern nations do not grant these rights
to their people. It is a shame that freedom of speech is not
protected in the Middle East, but it is probably even more shameful
for an American to use this as a justification to criticize a
person’s beliefs. While taking the opportunity to boast of
these rights, it is almost as if Longo supports the repression of
freedom of speech when it is the speech of a dissenting Muslim.

Mohammed Elghoul LSA junior

Vice Chair, Students Allied for Freedom and Equality

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