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April 02, 1983 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1983-04-02

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OPINION

Page 4

Saturday, April 2, 1983

The Michigan Daily

I

die etdenatenist oMig
Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan

Stewart

Vol. XCIII, No. 144

420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

Editorials represent a majority opinion of the Daily's Editorial Board
Morris: A fresh start

,;

WORSE WA[ R
euCHAPUNI($QN
DOEx

r PAMMIT, j
(9F

T WO TERM Mayor Louis Belcher
has grown used to his job as leader
of city council and the power that goes
with it. He has grown so used to the job,
in fact, that he now abuses his position,
and often runs roughshod over council.
Thus, the Republican is not the best
suited to serve as Ann Arbor's mayor.
Instead, Democratic Councilmem-
ber Leslie Morris, though not as ex-
perienced as the mayor in city ad-
ministration, is the more conscientious
choice for mayor, ahead of American
Independent Paul Jensen and Belcher.
Morris has come a long way in five
years as Second Ward councilmember
through hard work and determination.
She has the capacity to work with the
council, instead of employing
Belcher's style of overbearing direc-
tion. She has worked well on social
service issues, including promotion of
poverty aid, public housing, day care
centers, the weatherization proposal,
and others.
Belcher clearly has exceeded the
bounds of the Ann Arbor city gover-
nment, which calls for the mayor to be
a part of the strong group direction of
city council rather than to be a strong
independent leader.
Nowhere is this more evident than in
the recent controversy over Belcher's
plans for expansion of the city airport.
The mayor went so far as to get state
funds allocated for the project without
the council's approval - almost cer-
tainly a violation oflederal law.
His overbearing leadership, which,
has led some to dub him "King Louis,"
also threatens Ann Arbor's $5

marijuana law. Belcher has been the
one prominent politician to fight for the
law's repeal. After a petition drive and
a vote by council members both failed
to place the repeal proposal on next
week's ballot, Belcher pressed on-
ward, finally badgering a reluctant
Republican majority into putting the
question before the voters.
Morris, however, opposes the pot law
repeal, and also outshines Belcher on
what to emphasize to bring better
economic health to the city. The
Democrat stresses the need for small
business incentives and would use tax
abatements only sparingly, if at all.
Belcher, though, is pushing for heavy
use of tax breaks to woo high-tech in-
dustry to Ann Arbor. The practice of-
ten costs the city more in revenue than
is gained in jobs.
Third-party candidate Jensen, the
self-described "street-person," has of-
fered little to the campaign other than
a few good laughs. He has failed to
establish himself as a serious can-
didate with solid positions on the
relevant campaign issues.
Morris, then, is the best choice. But
to be an effective mayor, she will need
to develop a keener sense of leader-
ship, though not to the extremes
Belcher has gone. The Democrat also
needs to come up with a better under-
standing of the complexities of the
city's economy.
Though Morris has a few things to
learn, she can repair the damage done
to the reputation of Ann Arbor's
mayor's office, and work well with
council.

lJ

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LETTERS TO THE DAILY:

Law Review plan explained

To the Daily:
We were very interested in the
views of Ms. Yolanda Lyles
regarding the Michigan Law
Review's new selection process.
("Plan doesn't go far enough,"
Daily March 30). However, her
criticisms are inapplicable; they
do not go to the plan adopted.
The plan is as follows. The top
fifteen students in the class will
receive invitations
automatically. Then, at the close
of the year, there will be a writing
competition. Entries will receive
a score between 0.1 and 0.4. The
top eight of these entries will
receive invitations
automatically. The remainder of
the entries will be divided into
two groups, with only the top 50%

being eligible for further con-
sideration. Within this group, an
entrant's writing score will be
added to his/her grade point
average to yield a "boosted
G.P.A.," on the basis of which the
remaining slots will be filled. If
fewer than two minority students
are chosen through this process,
the top minority entrants in the
eligible group will'receive in-
vitations, in order to ensure that
at least two members of minority
groups are chosen.
Ms. Lyles does not "understand
why only two minority students
will be offered membership." But
the plan does not mandate that
only two minority students will be
offered membership; it requires
that at least two minority studen-
ts will be offered membership.

Potentially, every slot could be
filled by a minority student. This
should become apparent upon
even a cursory examination of
the plan. Thus, Ms. Lyles'
characterization that the
proposal would "allow a
disproportionately small number
of minorities into the
organization" is ill-conceived.
Ms. Lyles further states that
"the proposal is, in itself, totally,
degrading." If it were true that
the Review would allow only two
minority students membership,
we would share her sentiment.
However quite the contary, the
plan requires that at least two
minority students be offered
membership.
She contends that "the editorial
board is merely taking action in

order to pacify the cries of those
concerned with discrimination in
this organization." This is
ridiculous. The board explicitly
concerned itself with the
necessity of rectifying the in-.
justice of past discrimination. In
fact, it sought affirmatively to in-
clude the views of minority
students, realizing that such in-
put is invaluable to such an in-
fluential publication.
In conclusion, we commend the
Review's editorial board for its
responsible and responsive ap-
proach. Ms. Lyles' hostility,
while well-intentioned, is
misdirected.
- James W. Clark
John C. Coe
March 31

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6

City council choices

THIS YEAR'S city council elections
present voters with interesting
races in all wards but the second,
where Republican Thomas Deem is
running unopposed. In other wards, the
Democrats have put together the best
package of ideas, programs, and
leadership abilities.
In the First Ward, Democrat Lowell
Peterson is a tried and tested leader.
As a current council member, Peter-
son has proven himself and is one of
the more articulate Democrats. He's
also shown marked ability and interest
in representing student interests.
Peterson's opponents, Republican
Letty Wickliffe, demonstrated sin-
cerity, but she, like most of her
Republican counterparts, has placed
too much emphasis on the private sec-
tor to provide relief from the current
economic malaise. Peterson, however,
has been committed to human services
and taking quick .action to rescue
'people who slip between the cracks of
America's great economic miracle."
The Third Ward offers voters a stark
contrast. Virginia Johansen has
established herself as a steady
follower of the Republican line, while
Democrat Jeff Epton has come out
against the huge tax breaks the
current Republican-controlled council
has given large corporations. Epton is
the better choice as he has shown him-
self to be energetic and innovative and
an avid backer of human service
programs that Johansen seems willing
to cut in favor ot attracting big
businesses to Ann Arbor.
Fourth Ward Democrat John Powell
is a dedicated, hard worker who seems
to really care about his constituents as

witnessed by his door-to-door cam-
paign - a practice he says he will con-
tinue if elected.
Powell's opponent, Republican
Larry Hahn has run a lackadaisical
campaign that hasbeen rather short
on ideas. His patent statement is that
he's content with the city as is and only
wants to keep it that way. Ann Arbor
deserves better and John Powell offers
it.
Powell has served on the Ann Arbor
Board of Education and sees a need for
better city planning. He has em-
phasized that the city should get
something in return for the tax breaks
it offers corporations and has said
business should be encouraged to
provide retraining opportunities for city
workers - a marked contrast to
Hahn's conservative views on social
services.
Fifth Ward Republican incumbent
Lou Velker has consistently followed a
conservative line of helping big
businesses and high-tech industries at
the expense of depleting the city's tax
revenues.
Democratic challenger Kathy
Edgren does not have Velker's ex-
perience,but she is realistic enou h to
see that high-tech firms will not be
Ann Arbor's economic savior. She has
recognized that the core of the city's
economy is small business and has
suggested that if anything, this is
where Ann Arbor should offer tax in-
centives. She would like to see the city
develop a human services plan to iden-
tify priorities and sources of support
for Ann Arbor's social programs. Her
balancing of both human services and
the city's economy makes her the Fifth
Ward's better choice.

Ex-stu den t appeals dimissal

Editor's note: The following is former
University medical student Scott
Ewing's statement to the Daily concer-
ning his recent iunsuccessful lawsuit in
federal district court. Ewing argued in
court that the medical school unfairly
dismissed him from the Inteflex
program.
By Scott E. Ewing

My attention has been called to the Daily's
articles about my suit against the Univer-
sity (most recently, "Ex-student loses
against 'U'," Daily, March 24). Since my at-
torneys and I have refused to comment
publicly until now, I am not surprised that
these articles generally mischaracterize my
suit.
Good reporting involves reporting all of the
facts, not just some, and both sides, not just
one. This is admittedly made more difficult
when one side talks and the other does not.
Consequently, my reticence can no longer
continue.
Perhaps the most blatant of the Daily's
errors is in reporting that the University
"agreed to sponsor (me) if (I) chose to
retake the (National Board) exam to apply
to other medical schools." I wish this were
so, for, if it were, my lawsuit would be un-
necessary. In fact, I was offered a so-called
"shelf" exam, which no medical school in
North America will accept as a substitute
for the official one. Therefore, the offer was
meaningless. It would not enable me to
complete my medical studies at any ac-
credited school, and thus forced me to file
suit.
I am taking my case to the U.S. Court of
Appeals because the issues that compelled
me to bring suit have not yet been ad-
dressed. I remain the only student in the

student who had nine (9). Nevertheless, he
was allowed'to retake the exam. In fact.
several students were allowed three attem-
pts to pass and one was actually given four
tries.
People deserve to know that these star-
tling facts represent the medical school's
own version of what has occurred. Univer-
sity counsel chose to enter this evidence un-
der seal, apparently to protect the school
from embarrassment. Now, however, the
information is public, and I encourage doub-
ters to check it for themselves.
Before I sat for the NBME Part I on my
first and only occasion, the Medical School
announced in its official publication, the
Medical Center Report, "Should a student
fail either part of the National Boards, an
opportunity is provided to make up the
failure in a second exam." Apparently,
though, the Medical School is suggesting it is
free to set different standards for different
students and is not bound by the very rules it
itself promulgates.
If this decision stands unaltered, a student
attending Michigan does so at his own peril.
Students with several acceptances would be
advised to go elsewhere. Evidence revealed
I was accepted at Brown, Harvard, Stan-
ford, and Yale, but chose Michigan. Studen-
ts must now be forewarned: simply because
you commit yourself to Michigan does not
mean Michigan commits itself to you.
Though my dismissal was largely the
result of unreasonable actions by a handful
of people, their misrepresentation of my
record may have given the impression that
a monolithic faculty had acted. In truth,
only four instructors, of the 40 or so who
taught me, testified against me - and their
words were hardly damning. (For example,
one labeled me a "good student.") Of the
four, one has no advanced degrees of any
sort (she had been a counselor). Only one.

man's testimony is, to say the very least,
disquieting.
Dr. Robert Reed, the senior associate
dean, testified that everything he said about
me in a letter of recommendation is as true
today as when he wrote it. Reed wrote I had
"done outstanding work" and had
"achiev(ed) the honors level." He went on,
stating: "I should stress that the Board's
'action (to dismiss Scott) was not taken
because of unethical or dishonest behavior
nor were his intellectual capabilities in
question." Furthermore, "Scott has always
been sincere, appropriately concerned with
his standing in the Program and behaved in
a manner befitting a medical student and
future physician." (Reed's letter was en-
tered into evidence and is available for
public scrutiny.)
But Reed's praise is mild when compared
to the many supportive letters written by
other professors. A typical opinion, ex-
pressed under oath by a professor prin-
cipally responsible for my last course, was
that my "performance was far superior to
all of the other students."
Further compelling evidence - proffered
by the University itself - included: My
overall grade average (roughly a B) is con-
siderably above the C average necessary for
good standing. I won a Medical Student
Research Fellowship and two Hopwoods for
creative writing (including a major award).
I have published in such prestigious jour-
nals as the New England Journal of
Medicine. And, finally, the University sub-
mitted evidence that my IQ is 174.
People have asked me how the judge
could dismiss monetary damages in this
case. He did so by ruling the University has
sovereign immunity. This anachronistic
concept holds that the University, because it
is a state institution, enjoys absolute im-
munity from any and all claims for
monetary damages, regardless of merit.

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