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April 17, 1981 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1981-04-17

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Page 4

Friday, April 17, 1981

The Michigan Daily

Edited and managed by students.at The University of Michigan


Benefits of auto deregulation

Vol. XCI, No. 161

420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, Mt 48109

Editorials represent a majority opinion of the Daily's Editorial Board
Hazing: 6 months later

T WAS SIX months ago Sunday that '
Jamie Todd was hazed.
Since then, both the University ad-
ministration and the University com-
munity as a whole have shown a
distressing lack of concern for the
problem and have displayed a hesitan-
cy to act to solve the persistent
problem. The time which has passed
since the Todd outrage has served only
to underscore the need for state
legislation prohibiting such hazings.
In the six months a number of points
have become clear. First, hazing on
this campus is neither limited to the
1980-81 hockey team nor to University
of Michigan varsity hockey teams in
general. The Todd hazing was just the
latest in a long series. And although the
degree of severity and the frequency of
local hazings appears to have declined
ii the past two decades, several cam-
pus groups continue to engage in active
Second, the reaction of leaders in the
University administration and the
student body has been one of ominous
equivacation. In the six months since
the hockey hazing heaped national
publicity on the University, the ad-
ministrataion has not officially approved
a single guideline or position statement
that would deter future incidents.
Although the hockey team was
"punished" by Athletic Director Don
Canham, the punishment was largely
symbolic and largely ineffective.
The University did denounce the
hazing, but its denunciation rang false
after President Shapiro's initial
statement on the matter. Shapiro, in a
statement that has never been retrac-
ted, said "the incident was not serious
because no one was seriously hurt."
Only later did Shapiro say that '"the
University finds the behavior totally
The record of the student leadership
is not any more encouraging. The
Michigan Student Assembly decided
shortly after the hockey hazing not to
exercise power it almost certainly had
to prosecute the hockey team under the
Regental "Rules of the University
Community." The MSA refusal to deal
seriously with the matter came in the
wake of widespread criticism of the
Athletic Department's action on the
Todd case.
The October hockey hazing was a
crime. If the administration, Todd and
the University community all refused
to take action on the crime, the respon-
sibility must fall to the state to do so.
Jamie Todd was brutally humiliated
by a group that owes its very existence
to the University. Its function is a
University function, its actions by im-

plication involve the University. The
state subsidizes the University and is a
party to the University's actions.
Hazing is antithetical to the very
idea behind a state-supported Univer-
sity. The callous disregard for human
dignity that inspires the practice of
hazing is diametrically opposed to the
goal of the state in establishing in-
stitutions of higher education.
The current system of dealing with
the problem - which allowed the
hazers to escape prosecution - is
clearly unacceptable. A reasonable
reform to the current system would be
a state law forbidding hazing activities
in certain circumstances.
A law that would prohibit hazing on
state college campuses and by groups
established by the universities would
help deter hazing. It would allow the
state to prosecute cases where, as in the
Todd case, all other avenues of
prosecution have evaporated.
State Rep. Perry Bullard (D-Ann
Arbor) who is working on a hazing bill,
has noted with some justification that
such a bill would have to assiduously
avoid infringement on civil liberties. It
should not, for example, restrict the
hazing of any purely voluntary frater-
nity hazings. - foolish as they may
seem. Individuals may choose to carry
on in an entirely ridiculous manner
during private initiations, but state
paternalism is not the answer for such
individual stupidity. The state,
however, should not be put in the
position of providing -funds to in-
stitutions in which hazing occurs.
Legislation by itself, however, can-
not solve the hazing problem.
Ultimately the problem has to be at-
tacked by convincing people that
hazing is indeed degrading and
dangerous. Such an education
program is exactly what Chris
Carlsen, a University student services
consultatnt, is working toward. Even
before the hockey hazing came to light,
Carlsen was working on a program to
establish a University policy
statement on hazing and to educate
students on the dangers of the rituals.
Unfortunately, however, Carlsen's
efforts.seem to have dubious support
from the University. An anti-hazing
statementasubmitted to the University
bureaucracy months ago by Carlsen
and a group of students has not yet
been approved.
This sort of hesitation by the Univer-
sity demonstrates whyta statealaw
might prove valuable. It would allow
for open prosecution of hazers and
might itself deter hazing. Until state
law specifically prohibits hazing, we
may expect the detestable practice to

By David Pearson
At long last there is good news for the ailing
American auto industry. The Reagan ad-
ministration last week proposed easing 34
automotive regulations. The most notable of
these being the fleet gas mileage standards,
passive restraint devices such as air bags and
automatic seat belts, 5 mph bumpers, and
vehicle emissions.
Thisaloosening of the governmental leash
will save the industry about $1.4 billion
dollars over the next five years. These
proposals have been long overdue and are
definitely a step in the right direction.
The fleet mileage standard is a perfect
example of legislative overkill. The law
requires the average mileage of all cars sold
by a company to meet a fixed level. The
penalty for not meeting this standard is heavy
fines of up to $20 million.
This law interferes with the free economy
by not allowing the auto industry to produce
cars the public did not wish to buy-namely,
small, fuel efficient cars.
Also, with the demand for small cars now
high, it seems pointless to impose a law which
the free market already dictates.
Perhaps, if the industry would have been
allowed to operate solely under the free
market, the transition from large cars to
small would have been smoother.
The requirements for passive restraint
devices is an infringement on the consumer's
freedom of choice. 'The choice to have air
bags or seat belts should be left up to the
buyer of the vehicle. If it is the choice of the
consumer not to have air bags or seat belts,
then he should not have to pay for them, since
the only life he is risking is his own.
The Reagan plan calls for elimination of the
five mph impact standard for car bumpers,
and reduction of the standard for front bum-
pers to a 2.5 mph impact. Easing this
regulation will put the choice of bumper back
where it belongs - in the hands of the con-
I Aside from principle, the monetary cost of
the five mph bumper is too great to warrant a
mandatory requirement. Besides the ,extra
cost of producing a larger bumper, the
requirement necessitates the added costs of
designed systems of engine size and shock
and spring type to meet a government stan-
dard bumper height.

DOES EXCESSIVE government regulation of
the auto industry cause Detroit to produce
cars that do not meet public demand? The
free market, on the other hand, might force
the Detroit automakers to produce more ef-
ficient, more practical, and less costly cars.
Also, the increased weight of the bumper
hurts fuel economy. If, on the other hand,
enough people desire the advantages of the
five mph bumper, then the free market will
make it available. It is, however, unfair to
force the car buyer to pay extra for a bumper
if he does not want it.
The policy concerning all other safety
devices should also be along there lines, but
with some-moderation. The consumer should
know exactly how safe the product is before
he decides whether or not to buy it. In no in-
stance should a buyer be deceived into pur-
chasing an unsafe product if that is not his
But to deny the public, the availability of a
convertible for a reasonable amount of money
because it could not pass a rollover test (as
the government does) is against everything
for which the free economy stands.
Regulation of automotive emissions,
however, is essential because the benefits of
air pollution control equipment is not easily

seen by the individual buyer and yet has an
effect on everyone.
But again the question is raised as to how
much regulation is necessary. Back in 1969,
cars were responsible for more than 60 per-
cent of the carbon monoxide, 39 percent of the
nitrogen oxides, and 50 percent of the
hydrocarbons present in the atmosphere.
Clearly there was a need for action concer-
ning these emissions. Now, however, the air is
getting cleaner and we must decide how clean
we want out air and at what cost.
The capital cost of pollution control in-
creases exponentially with each increase in
pollutant removal efficiency. Each percen-
tage point higher in efficiency may result in at
least a doubling in cost.
Relaxing or delaying the clean air standar-
ds asPresident Reaganhas proposed will
give the auto industry a chance to work its
way back into competition with the Japanese.
Once the industry is back on its feet, we can
all work for the cleaner air we want.
Government regulation of emissions-
research should alsobe reconsidered.
Currently, auto companies are not allowed to
pool their emissions technology, costing all
companies time and money. The gover-
nment's reasoning behind this was that the
companies would not work. hard enough to
reach that standard and come up short of
their goal.
By segregating the companies, the gover-
nment argued, each company would be afraid
that if it did not meet the standard and the
other companies did, then it would not be
allowed to sell its products. This reasoning
suffers too high a cost and puts too little faith
in the auto industry.
The real beneficiary of the aduirnistration's
proposals is not the auto makers, but the
American consumer. For the first time in
more than a decade, the consumer will have
more power to buy the kind of car he or she
wants. Cars will be more affordable, sales of
cars will increase, and perhaps the industry
will regain its balance and its workers -
which is especially good news for the residen-
ts of Michigan.
The author of this article is a senior at
the University studying chemical


by Robert Lence



Srvl'y... &so TD ScE9EP. CAN MARPLY WAn





Gun control
To the Daily: people would
The Opinion Page of the Daily possible. This isc
on April 15th exhibited nakedly Britain was worn
the sense of logic that so many Nazis crossing
gun-control advocates have. It is England had
a weak sense, people, leaving th
First, there is an editorial car- prey.
toon of a gun screaming "Stop me , Slosson says
before I kill again!" Needless to "specious" to
say, guns are inanimate objects. criminals wou
Moreover, for every bullet fired anyway, and sugg
at a person in the U.S. (many of confiscation" to t
these in self-defense), over a from criminals. D
million are fired for recreation: pect criminals to
target practice, hunting, etc. their behavior ai
Next, there is the fatuous letter easier? Does he
from Preston Slosson. He draws discouraged by fin
an analogy from drivers' licenses of condiscation?
to gun licenses. It is so weak as to deniable that c
be ridiculous. But even if we were always get guns;
to implement it, how would we vocate of gun co
pay for the bureaucracy it would purported or prov
involve? And who would decide Lastly, Slossdn
who is a "person of responsible the alternative to
character"? Mr. Slosson? trol is to leave the
Slosson says the militia won't and leave ourc
be disarmed. But the standing 'times as deadly as
army is not the militia; the cities in Europe, ,
militia is the civilians mobilized are harder to ge
for immediate action in an the auestin

nae ethis im-
one reason why
ried about the
the channel:
disarmed the
hem defenseless
that it is
argue that
id get guns
gests "fines and
take guns away.
)oes Slosson ex-
start changing
ind get caught
expect to be
nes and a threat
And it is un-
criminals will
no serious ad-,
ntrol has ever
en otherwise.
contends that
strict gun con-
people in arms
cities "several
s corresponding
where handguns
t." Aside from
of what a
city" is, is

Slosson aware that the Swiss are
armed to the teeth - a gun in
every home? Is he aware that the
cities of Puerto Rico are more,
dangerous than most American
cities - and the weapon of favor
is a knife?
Slosson's argument is
fallacious from start to finish: it
is absolutely specious. And it
ignores the predominance of self-
defensive use of handguns.

nakedly displayed

Gandhi said that of the crimes
perpetrated by the British again-
st India, "the Act of depriving a
whole nation of arms, ( was. ) the
blackest". Shall we commit this
act against all people
everywhere? A people legally
deprived of arms is defenseles
- the prey of thugs and despots.
--Ray Brace
April 16

Regrets from registrar

To the Daily:
I would like to use this oppor-
tunity to give special thanks to
our students who registered
through CRISP these past two
Computer-associated problems
caused the system to fail
repeatedly each and every day of
registration resulting in delays of
up to three and a half hours and
on two occasions caused us to
stop accepting students with ap-
pointments after 3:30 p.m.

This is the first time since the
system was introduced in
April, 1975 that computer-
associated problems have been
so extensive; we shall work to
prevent such problems frorf
happening again.
I sincerely regret the incon-
venience thatrstudentseencoun-
tered and, appreciate their
patience and understanding
through a very difficult period.
-Douglas R. Woolley
Associate Registrar
April 16



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