Look to British for good labor standards

To the Daily:

I am not a member of Students Organizing for Labor and Economic Equality. I am not a big fan of Nike. I am, however, concerned about the University”s choice of an apparel company. Nike seems to be a company that is more concerned about profit than their employees well-being, but its big name University needs a big name equipment company. SOLE wants the University to drop our deal with Nike, but I have the solution that works for both parties. What if there was a company that stood for worker”s rights and top of the line athletic equipment? Such a company does exist, British Knights. Their shoes and apparel are made by Noblemen for Noblemen and have Royal quality at a layman”s price.

In addition, working with the British will not only bolster the University”s bottomline, but will increase free trade, lead to world peace, and probably help the ozone layer .

In terms of labor practice, the workers at British Knights receive two pounds above minimum wage, two daily tea breaks, and three weeks off for Boxing Day. An employee can not work more than 60 hours or less than 52 hours a week, which seems extreme, but all time is overtime. Children can not work ever. Senior citizens can not work during manufacturing, only in shipping and management positions. Finally, all employees get free shoes for themselves and their families. For proof of their athletic dominance look no further than the success of the co-ed intramural football semi-finalists Tickles and the All-Stars, who played the whole season one man short.

However, the quality of their British Knights footwear boosted their play and almost carried them to the title.

Moreover, I happen to know a certain Michigan linebacker, who wears the number 62 and plays semi-professional men”s field hockey in the off-season, who wears British Knights. If his heart runs British Knight true, then why not the rest of the maize and blue?

Ryan Bocskay

LSA senior

Standardized tests should be considered in admissions

To the Daily:

The Daily”s editorial “Failing grade” (1/19/01) on standardized tests was flawed in many ways. But I”ll focus on just two. First, the Daily argues that universities need to “look past standardized tests as a measure of intelligence.”

It is, however, completely false that universities consider standardized test scores as measures of intelligence.

Rather, such scores are used as one of the best available predictors of academic performance.

As any admissions officer will tell you, there is a clear correlation between Scholastic Aptitude Test scores and grades earned in college.

Second, the evidence the Daily offers to support the claim that “there is clear and conclusive evidence that standardized tests discriminate against minorities and the poor,” even if true, is insufficient. It is not enough to point out, for example, that whites score better than certain racial groups.

Rather, what must be shown is that standardized test scores underpredict the performance of students in certain minority groups that is, that the students perform better in college than their scores would otherwise lead one to predict.

It turns out that in “The Shape of the River,” the leading empirical defense of race-conscious admissions policies, the authors, William Bowen and Derek Bok, examine this precise issue.

The troubling fact they relate is that black students” SAT scores actually overpredict their academic performance: “Black students with the same SAT scores as whites tend to earn lower grades.”

This result is confirmed even after the authors control for other variables. This finding, then, would appear to weigh heavily against the claim that the SAT discriminates against black students.

In fact, although Bowen and Bok are strong proponents of affirmative action, they do recommend that universities continue to use standardized test scores in admissions, given the tests” predictive power.

Justin Shubow

Rackham

Nike deal is “win-win” for “U” community

To the Daily:

This is in response to Students Organizing for Labor and Economic Equality and all other activist groups that are upset with the Nike contract. The University Athletic Department is one of the few in the country that is completely independent of a university. What this means is that none of the students” tuition costs go to the upkeep of the Athletic Department or any of their teams. To keep this status, there needs to be a source of revenue besides the football team. This leaves the department with two options.

The first is to sign a contract with an apparel company, such as Nike, to provide team apparel and other necessities.

The second is to eventually lose their status of being independent. When this happens, it is possible we may see an increase in tuition to support the Athletic Department.

Now how many of you would be out there protesting after their tuition went up to support the Athletic Department?

Therefore the most viable option is the apparel contract with a major company. Look back at this summer when Nike broke off negotiations at the thought of a labor code.

I think it is commendable that six months later, they sign their first-ever contract with labor stipulations included.

This is a win-win situation for all people of the University, the Athletic Department gets their much needed funding and the members of SOLE get Nike to consent to a labor code.

Jason Mallory

Engineering junior

Wei”s artistic talent, friendship will be missed by many

To the Daily:

As members of the American Institute of Graphic Arts, of which Candy Wei was a member, we are deeply saddened by her unexpected death. Candy was an active contributor to our group and the Art School community as a whole. Her artwork, talent and especially her great personality will be missed.

But more importantly, we”ll miss our friend.

As a group, we would like to extend our condolences to her family, her friends and anyone who is feeling her loss.

Candy, you will be greatly missed.

Members of the AIGA

University of Michigan chapter

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