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April 07, 1981 - Image 4

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1981-04-07

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OPINION

Rage 4

Tuesday, April 7, 1981

The Michigan Daily

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Edited and managed by students of The University of Michigan

What's in a name?Too much

Vol. XCI, No. 152

420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

I know the tops of my shoes like the back of
my hand. I can always tell you the precise
time of day. And I am familiar with the
displays in practically every store window in
Ann Arbor.
You see, I spend a lot of time looking at
store windows and my watch and my shoes. I
have to. I am a victim of Moniker Amnesia
Syndrome, a little-known mental disorder

Editorials represent a majority opinion of the Daily's Editorial Board

Our answers to the MSA
candidate questionnaire

f4

Witticisms
By Howard Witt

NCE AGAIN, students have the
chance to influence the directions
end goals the Michigan Student
4ssembly will pursue in the future
through their vote in the annual MSA
election today and tomorrow. Students
will have the opportunity to mandate
Jhether MSA concentrates its energies
cn any of a number of issues ranging
from campus security to the creation
a University Department of the
Ihysical Arts that would promote yoga
And massage.
Because of the very large number of
dandidates vying for seats on the
assembly, it would be impossible for
s to endorse individual candidates.
fistead, we will offer our own answers
tb the issues questionnaire given to the
candidates.
On the facing page are MSA can-
didates' responses to a Daily question-
riaire in which they were asked to
prioritize campus issues. Below are
the responses we would give to the
same questionnaire.
* * * *
" There are instances when MSA in-
volvement in issues not directly
related to the University is ap-
iropriate-such as city ordinances af-
fcting off-campus student housing.
But, we feel MSA, for the most part,
should devote its energies to issues
dlose to home-such as administrative
djecision-making and campus security.
41 is on these local problems that MSA
Will have the most impact and influen-
de, and therefore will be the most
productive.
" Clearly, MSA should continue to
expand its commendable record of of-
fbring student services. Beyond simply
serving as the official student voice
with the administration, MSA in past
years has provided a number of
valuable services to students-in-
ciuding low-cost insurance programs,
student legal aid, and course
evaluations. These and other similar
projects have been some of MSA's
greatest contributions to students. The
Assembly should continue to actively
expand these services and continue its
current work toward the creation of a
credit union open to students.
I In light of shrinking state financial
shpport for the University, MSA's role
as a student lobbying organization in
Lansing will become increasingly im-
portant. Thus far, MSA has not been a
very successful lobbyist in the state
capital, and has effectively confined its
lobbying efforts to support for the

Michigan Higher Education Student
Association, a statewide lobbying
group. In the future, MSA should place
more emphasis on this neglected fun-
ction, and develop its great potential to
be an effective voice for students and
the University as a whole in Lansing.
Certainly, MSA members should
not accept the University ad-
ministration's "smaller but better"
approach to budget cutbacks without
careful consideration. But, we feel, af-
ter a good deal of scrutiny, that the
"smaller but better" philosophy is the
wisest manner in which to go about
meeting the University's fiscal crisis
while preserving as much academic
quality as is possible. Though we
believe the "smaller but better"
philosophy is sound, we also continue
to emphasize the need for stepped up
student input into the administration's
decision-making.
* In prioritizing issues, we feel that
student input into administrative
budget decisions should top the list.
The decision made by the ad-
ministration concerning those areas of
the University that will suffer major
cutbacks, and the general redirection
of the University, will have the
greatest impact on students'
education. MSA, as the official
representative of students, should
devote its greatest energies atoward
earning a real and legitimate voice for
students in the administrative
decision-making process.
We feel that MSA candidates should
place campus security, minority ser-
vices and recruitment, and student
housing as the issues of second impor-
tance. In these four areas, MSA can
play an effective role in bringing about
positive change through responsible
work with the administration, local
and campus police, and local
organizations such as the Ann Arbor
Tenant's Union.
The third classification should in-
clude allocations to students groups,
student involvement in tenure
decisions, counseling services, and
University investments. The problems
related to these last issues are cer-
tainly important, and MSA members
should continue to work toward their
solution. But, they are simply not of the
pressing significance that many of the
other issues are.
We hope that students will join us
today and tomorrow in electing
responsible representatives to MSA
who will work seriously in the true in-
terests of students.

urgently through a notebook as they hurry
along the street, occasionally bumping into
parking meters. Some have been known to
wrinkle their noses and squint, pretending
they have removed their contact lenses and
can't see very well. Anything to avoid that
awkward moment when someone calls their
name and they can only respond with a feeble
"Oh, hi."
- God forbid you should meet an acquaintan-
ce on the street whose appellation doesn't
jump into mind and say, "I'm sorry, I've
forgotten your name." It's as if you've said,
"You could use a facelift" or "You smell like
a horse."
The world would be a much more pleasant
place for MAS sufferers if people didn't get
so upset and feel so rejected when others
forget their names. My mother, for instance,
sulks for weeks when I call her "Dad" by ac-
cident.
WELIVE A miserable life, we moniker
cripples, always having to avoid potentially
embarrassing situations. High school
reunions are always out. So are parties where
we might meet someone we know. History
classes? Not a chance-we have enough
trouble with the names of people who are still
alive. There are even MAS victims who pur-
posely break their arms or legs so they can
get a cast for people to write their names on.
I've tried any number of therapies to over-
come my moniker amnesia. I have asked all
of my friends and acquaintances to wear

large name cards on their chests whenever
they go somewhere where they might run into
me, but most of them refused.
I have attempted to remember people's
names by using elaborate word and picture
associations, but that didn't work either. One
woman I know named Linda was so thin she
reminded me of a lipstick container. When
she called to me on the street one day I an- Z
swered, "Hi, Maybelline."
I HAVE TRIED discreetly to discover:
people's names when they greet me. "Hi,
Howard," they say. "Hi," I respond. "Can I
see your driver's license?"
And I have even tried to punish myself for
forgetting names by placing myself in the
rejected position. Just last week I drove to a
Chelsea truck stop and went up to strangers
saying, "I'm sorry, I don't know your name."
"I don't know your name, either," the
drivers snapped as they poured scalding cof-
fee onto my legs.
It was all to no avail, however. I still don't
recall names. So if you pass me on the street
and call out my name, don't be upset if I don't
acknowledge you-it's not because I don't
want to. Just remember that I suffer from
... ah. . . from.. . now wait a minute...
-.

that afflicts thousands.
Moniker Amnesia Syndrome (or MAS as we
refer to it around telethon time) is a dreadful
illness that impairs the brain's ability to
remember people's names. MAS sufferers
typically walk with their eyes glued to their
shoes or store windows in a desperate effort to
avoid glancing at other people. They fear
making eye contact with a friend or acquain-
tance whose name they will almost certainly
not remember.
THE MORE CREATIVE MAS victims
will stare intently at their watches or leaf

Howard Witt is a Daily staff writer.
column appears every Tuesday.

His

L .

LETTERS TO THE DAILY:

Dealing with MSA mud

To the Daily:
This letter is in response to
Michigan Student Assembly
President Marc Breakstone's let-
ter "Wiping away the mud"
(Daily, April 4). Breakstone's
first point, arguing that MSA had
a "cohesive" and successful
year, is not under debate. As
Howard Witt and other Daily
reporters have seen, however,
personal and political fights have
reduced MSA's effectiveness.
When Responsible Alternative
claimed that MSA has neglected
the students' basic needs, it was
in response to the silly political
resolutions the Assembly has
made this year.
We are convinced that students
would rather see their $3.50 MSA
fee from their tuition fund ser-
vices directly beneficial to them.
That is what Responsible Alter-
native plans to do. Any radical
left-wing group can debate inter-
national politics, and they do not
need to spend students' tutition
money doing so.
Picking apart each of the
things that Breakstone credited
to his administration, one finds
that many things were accom-
plished by his political opponents.
Successes that were achieved on
student housing were due to
Responsible Alternative's
presidential candidate Clarke
Anderson.
Breakstone also misquoted our
literature to say that nothing has
been done about campus
security. If he read our literature
carefully, he would see that we
supported past work, but
recognize a need for more - in-
cluding better lighting and more,
telephones on campus.

Breakstone claims that the
current Assembly has "won
significant victories" or has
"initiated long-range efforts" on
minority issues. Ha! As the MSA
minutes clearly indicate, not one
successful project has come out
of the MSA Minority Affairs of-
fice yet this year. Ironically
enough, one of PAC's focal elec-
tion issues, as in the past, is
minority1 affairs. It is unfor-
tunate that minority problems on
this campus are used by PAC
only as a tool for election pur-
poses which they have no in-
dication of following up on. It is
also ironic that the MSA Minority
Affairs chairperson is running
again on the PAC slate.
Breakstone's "cleaning" letter
sadly exemplifies how he will use
his office as president to further
PAC's dominance. It should be
made aware to the readers that
Breakstone ran on the PAC slate
himself and is one of the major
organizers, schemers and sup-
porters.
We believe that Breakstone
wrote this letter because he is in-
secure, as usual, about the threat
Responsible Alternative poses as
a competent group which may in-
terfere in the continued
dominance of PAC in University
student government.
PAC has again promised to do
everything but cure cancer. We
caution all students to see this as
another example of petty
political campaigning disguised
as a concerned student's quest
for truth.
-Nancy Cronk
April 4

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What has MSA done?

To the Daily:
With the 'Michigan Student
Assembly election coming up
soon, I began to ask myself,
"What has MSA done in the past
year?"
Having been here since 1979,
I've seen one MSA election and
have heard hundreds of promises
made but the promises don't
seem to last much longer than the
posters that pollute the campus
for weeks before the election. The
two "major" parties - the
Student Alliance for Better
Representation and the People's
Action Coalition - only seem to
care about the students long
enough to get elected. Once
they're in office they seem to
forget about students and either
retire to the administration
building, or rant and rave at the
administration from the Diag.
It seems that MSA presidents

are either administration-
dominated good ole' boys or ex-
tremist protesters who are totally
ineffective at working for the
things students need.
With the University talking
about major budget restrictions
and the possibility-of eliminating
academic departments, I would
like to know where my student
government fee is going! Studep-
ts should demand both their
money'sworth and their votes
worth from their MSA represen-
tatives.
Its time that students realized
that they will only get as much as
they demand from their student
government. Hopefully, this elec-
tion will offer more than empty
promises and candidates that
only want to work for students at
election time.
-Mark Modras
April 2

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Feiger qualified candidate

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To the Daily:
Today and tomorrow Univer-
sity students will find themselves
confronted with another
Michigan Student Assembly elec-
tion. We feel that Jon Feiger can
provide the necessary leadership
and therefore endorse him for
MSA president.
Our past experience has shown
that student leadership requires
the ability to articulate student
demands, the knowledge to
devise constructive solutions and
strategies, and the stamina to put
in long hours behind the scenes.
Jon Feiger has demonstrated
these attributes through his
commitment to increased student
participation in the budget cut-
ting process, his work in attem-
pting to make the University's
investments more responsible,
and in his efforts to protect the
entire University's interest by
organizing students against the
Tisch tax cut proposal.

He has also taken steps toward
ensuring students' long range in-
terest by becoming actively in-
volved in the statewide student
lobbying group MHESA. And his
work against a proposed city or-
dinance that would require more
parking space for group homes -
such as fraternities, co-ops, and
sororities - Indicates Feiger's
recognition that students' in-
terest often extends beyond the
University.
Most candidates espouse
popular platitudes. But Feiger
has a unique sense of of what
needs to be done and how to
achieve it.
-Rich Goldaber
Member, LSA Curriculum
Committee
-Jane Moore
Former Member,
Michigan Student Assembly
Dan Solomon,
Former President, LSA
Student Government
April 5

To the Daily:
In response to Doug Shokes'
essay on typing male-hating
essays (Daily, April 2): Mr.
Shokes,
I am sorry to hear that you
don't like to type "male-hating"
papers. My advice to you is that
because it offends you so, tell the
authors of the next one you
receive that you cannot type this
on the basis of personal objection
to the content.
If you.are discomforted by
being called insensitive and un-
feeling, I am equally discomfor-
ted by being called totally
emotional because I am a
woman. I am also equally
discomforted by the fact that I
will most likely receive a lower
paying job than my male coun-
terpart and be passed over for
promotion more nften iiut

past 20-plus years, wouldn't you
tend to be a little antagonistic?
Wouldn't you be a little angry af-
ter years and years of people
telling you that you are just a
girl-a dumb broad? Yes, there,
are women who hate men, not all
men, but some of them. There are
many more men who are women-
haters.
In your essay, you are
generalizing about all women
based on the premise of a few
papers that you have typed.
Papers usually generalize in or-
der to get a point across, but the
generalizations are valid only to
a point because they are based on
facts and researching of those
facts.
Your essay reeks of a
"blaming-the-victim" policy. It
is full of misconceptions,
vnoij-nPCC and c narlie

Stick to your typing

d
y

I

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