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8 OPINION Opinion Editor: Mikk Lukk • clarionopinion@matcmadison.

edu Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Perspective of the Clarion editorial board
Products of
Move ceremony
back to Coliseum
It's time to take MATC's commencement
ceremony – you know, graduation – back to the
our generation
Coliseum at the Alliant Energy Center. Sure, the
Coliseum is a little unsightly, but it is a lot more
First of all, there is the issue of parking. The
Coliseum has a great, big parking lot. Downtown,
parking ramps are jammed and smelly.
Once inside the Coliseum, there is ample seat-
ing. Not so at the Overture Center. Because of the
Overture Center's limited seating, each graduating
student is limited to five guest tickets. MATC is
full of students who are the first in their families to
graduate from college, and they want their families
to be there to share the moment and their pride in
their substantial accomplishments. Furthermore,
many students have children of their own. Five
tickets are simply not enough for those students
from large or multigenerational families. Watching
the ceremony on closed circuit television or live
streaming video is just not the same.
While faculty may be considered window
dressing at the graduation ceremony, parading
through in fancy frocks, students actually delight
in their presence. Students frequently mention
their instructors when asked about what makes
their experiences at MATC so enriching. To have
instructors at the ceremony makes students feel as
though their teachers care about them as human
Our teachers have been with us day in and day
out, guiding us through our programs, propping
us up through crises and teaching us the skills
we need to make new lives for ourselves and our
families. Our instructors have invested much of CHRISTY STETSON / CLARION
themselves in their work and in helping us learn,
and they want to see us graduate and shake our
Young people today appear shallow, self-focused and materialistic; in a word, spoiled.
hands when we cross the stage. No one gets to choose their upbringing: Boomers made the beds we must lie in.
Unfortunately, at the Overture Center, they can't
see a thing. Where they are now seated during the
MIKK LUKK our world are far less impressive. persisted, determined not to let rac-
ceremony, the view is obstructed utterly. No lon-
Clarion Opinion Editor Stephen King, Michael Crichton, ism prevent his pursuit of excellence.
ger do instructors get to be on stage, shake their
John Grisham, Tom Clancy and J. In 2006, Barry Bonds became
students' hands or read their students' names when
“What’s wrong with young people K. Rowling have climbed Olympus only the second person to pass that
they receive their diplomas. They are relegated to
these days?” selling to young and old alike. Their mark. He too endured public tribula-
Overture steerage.
Be prepared, it’s a question oft works make great movies, unlike tions, though he was not a pariah
Bring graduation back to the Coliseum. We
repeated, generation to generation, their predecessors. Of course, their because of the color of his skin, but
don't need hoity-toity ceremonies that we can't
and one to which students should works also fail to make the founda- the content of blood. Bonds per-
even bring our friends and families to. We're proud
be ready to respond. While it may tion of any coherent or legitimate sisted, determined not to let a failed
of our accomplishments, and we want everyone
be tempting to defend the honor of worldview. Their authors challenged drug test and a grand jury investiga-
to see us make that big walk across the stage.
self and generation, it’s simply not the legitimacy and reality of the tion into other impropriety prevent
Graduating college is a big deal. Let's let everyone
worth it. There is something wrong American dream, ours distract from his pursuit of a record at all costs.
see exactly what a big deal it is.
with young people these days, but its failure. Muhammad Ali went to prison for
blame doesn’t rest with those under Likewise, the world recently lost saying no to war, Mike Tyson went
30. It’s how youth were raised, and James Brown. Like so many other to prison because he didn’t under-
the world they face, that has shaped musicians of the previous genera- stand “no means no.” With other fac-
such a generation. It’s not our fault tion, Brown publicly exercised his ets of popular culture, so it goes.
MADISON AREA TECHNICAL COLLEGE our parents don’t like us, it’s theirs. conscience. He urged a generation But it is not popular culture alone
2006-07 They raised us and created the world to “Say It Loud,” and he was not to blame, and as Charles Barkley
in which we live. In retrospect, it is alone. John Lennon, Bob Dylan and reminded America, athletes are not
EDITORIAL BOARD role-models. Apparently, neither are
a small wonder the kids of today are
AMY KNAPP, Editor in Chief America’s leaders. In 1974, President
MIKK LUKK, Opinion Editor
no good: we live in a no-good world. We emerge a Richard Nixon’s administration
The death of Kurt Vonnegut
MELISSA STELTER, News Editor throws into sharp relief the great generation reared finally crumbled under the weight of
the Watergate scandal. A two-year
LINDSEY HINKEL, Arts & Culture Edtior
cultural gap that separates the young to be consumers investigation resulted in the removal
and our predecessors. Vonnegut was
CHRIS DORSEY, Sports Editor the last of a wave of authors who above all else. of a corrupt and dishonest executive.
dared, authors who mattered. Those The Watergate scandal was important
LETTERS POLICY not only because of the break-in, but
Letters to the editor should be typed or writ- reared in the previous generation had
the benefit of a pantheon of literary a host of others parlayed pop culture the pattern of lies and cover-ups that
ten legibly, be 250 words or less, and include success into cultural relevance. The followed.
the writer’s name, phone number and e-mail heroes; men and women who dared
to think, challenge and innovate. generation that sang “Imagine” has Twenty-two years later, Ronald
address. created neither a world nor an artistic Reagan walked away from Iran-
The Clarion reserves the right to refuse to Kurt Vonnegut, J.D. Salinger, Ayn
Rand and Hunter S. Thompson were legacy worthy of their roots. Instead, Contra. Nixon was forced to resign
publish any editorial submission or advertise- the musical landscape our parents for ordering, and lying about, break-
ment, which may be edited for length, taste and but a few of the authors who created
a literary canon that defined a gen- have generated began with “Material ing and entering. Ronald Reagan got
grammar. All submissions become the property Girl,” and the cultural message has away with selling arms to an enemy
of The Clarion and may be used for publication. eration.
The previous generation had the degenerated ever since. of the state. The proceeds were ille-
Drop letters off at The Clarion office, Room gally sent to a group known to the
130 Truax, or e-mail them to clarioned@matc- benefit of a literary culture, and In 1974, Hank Aaron broke Babe the adults of their era cared and Ruth’s all-time home run record
created. The literary celebrities of despite threats against his life. Aaron See YOUTH, Page 9
Wednesday, May 2, 2007 Opinion Editor: Mikk Lukk • OPINION 9
Things to care about by Mikk Lukk


hen I came to MATC
as a returning student
after 10 years, I was
terrified to say the least. Business
He did it his way TO SHAPE
Here are three things you can do in
Professionals of America has Vladimir Simonov Having embarked on the path of the next 12 months to make a difference
changed my life forever. RIA Novosti / MCT democracy and the market economy, to your future, your state's future, your
I would especially like to thank no matter how awful it seemed to some country's future and the world's. Your vote
my advisors Mark Finger and Jeff MOSCOW – President Bush sees initially, the mysterious and dangerous is your voice. Let it be heard.
Quinlan for all they have done for Boris Yeltsin as a historic figure who communist-controlled Russia turned into

me. They have become more than served his country at a time of great a sensible and understandable country.
just instructors and advisors, but change. Russians became more like Westerners. Vote in the
also friends. They have encour- Perhaps at that moment, when differences
aged me to follow my dreams and
Prime Minister Tony Blair recalls
the Russian leader as an outstand- were swept away, the Cold War came to Wisconsin
helped me create goals for myself
they knew I could achieve. I have
ing statesman who realized how much
Russia needed democratic and economic
an end. Credit for this historic accom-
plishment largely goes to Yeltsin as well. Primary
accomplished all of those goals and reforms. By the end of his eight-year-long rule,
then some. I have learned you can Boris Yeltsin had lost the admiration of It may not seem important, but voting in a
achieve anything you want to. Javier Solana, a European Union primary election is one of the biggest effects a
his compatriots. His popularity in Russia,
official and former secretary-general voter can have on his or her democracy. Voting
Being the chapter president of but not in the West, had gone down.
of NATO, thinks that Yeltsin displayed in a primary means choosing who will be on the
BPA at MATC has given me great Well-to-do analysts watching events
incredible foresight and courage when ballot when the national election rolls around
leadership experience while erasing in Russia from afar thought that noth-
he decided to sign a hitherto unthinkable on Nov. 4, 2008. Fewer than one-third as many
my fear of public speaking. Now ing tragic was happening. To be more
agreement on Russian cooperation with voters turned out for the presidential primary
I have the confidence I need upon precise, they believed that Russia had to
the North Atlantic alliance in the early in 2004 compared to the presidential election,
graduation to speak in front of any go through its ordeals like any country
1990s. which means your vote goes three times fur-
size group at my workplace. undergoing a great change.
These statements could be summed The West shares our grief because it ther in determining who gets on the ballot. The
Spending time with other mem-
up in the following words, which the also understands the greatness of the late Wisconsin Presidential Primary is on Feb. 17,
bers on the local and state level
West could write on a wreath to lay at the Russian president. After all, it was Yeltsin 2008.
helping our community's food
pantry tops my list of gratifying grave of Russia’s first elected president: who buried communism and made Russia
experiences with BPA. You don't “We are grateful to you for creating a part of the free world. In history text-
appreciate what you have until it is Russia that no longer scares us.” In other books he will always be remembered as a
words, Yeltsin made Russia look normal giant Russian standing on a tank, the man

gone, and working with the hungry
in Madison has given me a greater in the eyes of the civilized world. who prevented his country’s return to the Attend a
understanding of how people less He gave his people three simple, fun- gloomy era of totalitarianism.
fortunate than I am feel. damental rights that citizens of civilized Frank Sinatra once sang “I did it my CANDIDATE
Thank you to everyone who has countries have enjoyed for a long time. way.” The same words can be applied
made BPA such an important part Under Yeltsin, Russians received the to Yeltsin. He did it his way, and both debate
of my college experience. My time opportunity to say what they thought, Russia and the West are grateful to him
at MATC and with BPA has been a elect who they liked to major posts and for choosing freedom. Advertisements and press releases can
most valuable experience and I will own private property, be it a house in ____ be misleading. Instead of relying on other
miss all of you. the Moscow suburbs or a villa in Nice, The Washington Bureau of RIA Novosti people for information, attend a political forum
although the majority could buy the latter can be reached at (202) 328-3238, or or debate. Candidates for all kinds of politi-
– Teri Ott only in theory. cal offices will be holding events all around
Wisconsin. Debates and forums give voters
the chance to see candidates speaking off the
cuff, unscripted. The camera can lie, but face
YOUTH, Continued from page 8 to face, it’s a lot harder to bend the truth. For
information on events, look to the newspaper,
administration to be prolific cocaine traffickers. passé, we have pharmacology. What to eat is no longer an or navigate to the Wisconsin League of Women
Nixon’s indiscretion destroyed his career and legacy, important decision, neither is how much. Instead the question Voters at
Reagan’s destroyed the line between right and wrong. There is is what the doctor will do to take care of the pounds.
no reason to wonder how George W. Bush has lasted so long;
Nearly everything we consume today has been designed
he’s even placed some of the guilty back into power.
to be replaced at an ever-accelerating pace. Cheap, mass-pro-
We emerge a generation reared to be consumers above

duced substitutes have flooded the market. This is a genera-
all else. The philosophy of buy now, pay later is no longer an
option; it is the foundation of domestic policy. The old mantra
tion that graduated from disposable diapers to disposable
computers. The short lives of consumer goods have become
of “work and ye shall prosper” disappeared before today’s
so commonplace that things get thrown out far before they’re Talk isn’t cheap. Keep the discus-
youth learned to read, replaced by immediate gratification as
worn out; we simply don’t know what to do with goods that sion going, keep those around you
the rightful norm. Is it any wonder the generation of tomor-
last. A stitch in time saves nine, but waste stimulates the informed, and keep the issues that
row is perceived as impatient or undisciplined? We’ve been
economy. matter alive. When it comes time to choose a
given alternatives and told we deserve them all.
Fast food replaced prepared meals, and “two all beef pat- Nobody gets to choose their elders, much less the era of candidate on Election Day, information is what
ties special sauce lettuce cheese pickles onions on a sesame their birth. Children don’t get to choose if their astronauts go counts. Furthermore, it’s hard to tell who can be
seed bun” became the great American meal. With all those to the moon or if they drive cross-country in diapers. This is convinced to change their mind or change their
calories came weight gain, and with weight gain came even the Baby Boomer’s world, young people today just grew up in position on a given issue, so press your agenda
more alternatives. Exercise gave way to diet pills, pills to it. Young people today are not a disease; we are a symptom, and change some minds. Keep informed, keep
liposuction, liposuction to bariatric surgery, and bariatric a product of the people and environment that raised us. We the conversation going, and keep in mind it’s
surgery to drugs that inhibit digestion. Exercise and diet are never stood a chance. your world, you deserve to shape it!

Questions asked to you, our readers

What's the stupidest thing you've done over summer break?

My car broke Staying in I almost got I didn't pay to
down on the Wisconsin. fired for wake- get my tattoo
border of boarding nude finished.
Florida. at a wakeboard-
ing camp.

Angie Chad Jake Steve

Romano Culver Gerhardt Salerno