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January 14, 1984 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1984-01-14

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4

OPINION

Page 4

Saturday, January 14, 1984

(

The Michigan Dail?

Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan

Vol. XCIV-No. 86

420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

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

NO ONE SHOULD feel more secure
about the plight of the poor just
because the presidential commission
on hunger reported that Ronald
Reagan's cutbacks in food assistance
haven't hurt the needy, and that
"allegations of rampant hunger simply
cannot be documented." Amid all of
the cautious wording and claims of ob-
jectivity are both ill-conceived
solutions and a lack of open-minded
examination.
In the face of an increasing number
of privately organized and operated
food assistance programs and greater
numbers of hungry utilizing, such
facilities, the assertion that Reagan's
policies are adequate is, a sham. The
commission admitted that groups just
above the poverty line are affected
most by Reagan's welfare cuts. But
sacrifices should not be made in an
area so fundamental as feeding the
hungry.
The panel also suggested shifting
responsibility for, food assistance
programs from the federal to the state
level. Under this plan, states would
receive a lump sum and could
establish their own eligibility criterion
and benefit levels. The National
Governor's Association has rightly
criticized this proposal on the grounds
that states would not be able to adjust
funding levels as the demand for
assistance rises or falls. Such a rigid

program would sorely be lacking an
ability to respond to the needs of the
poor. U psurges inthe unemployment
rate witin any given state could leave
the needy with greatly reduced
assistance.
That the priorities reflected by the
report coincide with those of the ad-
ministration is not surprising - among
the largely Republican panel's mem-
bers are the likes of Dr. George
Graham, who once commented that,
"The biggest problem among the poor
is obesity - not hunger." His insen-
sitivity toward the poor and minority
groups also, is reflected in his
testimony before a House subcommit-
tee in 1982 when he stated that "as we
look .at the problems of blacks, all we
have to do is look at our sports page to
see who are the best nourished in the
country." In view of the personalities
involved, warped conclusions and
misguided solutions are to be expec-
ted.
As private soup kitchens become
more in demand and portions of our
society face substantial reductions in
assistance, conclusions should be
reached with much more care. The
commission stated that it is "at
present impossible to estimate the ex-
tent of...hunger with any reasonable
degree of objectivity." With men like
Dr. Graham doing the estimating, that
lack of objectivity is unavoidable.

WASHINGTON (UPI) - Im-
ports, as any student of inter-
national relations will tell you,
play a key role in the for-
mulations of American foreign
policy.
Their influence clearly can be
seen in trade negotiations with
Japan and China. If additional
evidence is needed, we need look
no further than the Federal
Register.
ACCORDING TO a recent en-
try in this published record of
government regulations, the
Agricultural Department has
proposed adding 55 more species
to the list of "import restricted"
noxious weeds.
The Register says public com-
ment will be accepted until Feb.
21 on the move to increase to 412
the number of foreign weeds that
require special import permits.
You might think that as a mat-
ter of policy the United States
would strive tokeep all foreign
weeds out of this country, par-
ticularly noxious varieties.
I mean, it isn't as if we had a
weed shortage to compensate for,
or anything like that. In season,
there are enough weeds in my
yard alone to satisfy the needs of
the entire nation for at least 28
hours.
THE DOMESTIC supply
should be kept in proper per-
spective, however. Always bear
in mind that there is big money in
weeds, or at least in weed.

More weeds
get tangle d
by import niles
By Dick West
eradication. delicately balanced economy.
Thousands of workers in "ONE WEED we're proposing
chemical factories, hoe to restrict is the aquatic weed
'Americans who have invested their
life savings in hydrilla weeds might
heartily endorse that step, ex-
claiming that "It's about time!"

about time!"
I remind you, however, that wq
Americans are consumers ai
well as investigators. The conic
petitive imports therefore must
be considered.
For illustration purposes, let's
assume a waterway clogged with
lagarosiphon weeds can ,be
cleared 41.7 percent more
cheaply that a waterway clogged
with hydrillas.
WOULD THAT not bespeak the
value of foreign competition and
spur efforts to find less expensive
methods of dehydrillating
American waterways?
Of course, it would. And
declogging is only the beginning.
Besides aquatic weeds, the
department'shit list includes "all
species of awgineta and alecra'
in the parasitic category as well
as "14 terrestrial weeds."
I'm not suggesting any foreign
country would be so rash as to
resort to force to export noxious
weeds. Yet, let us ask ourselves
what mightahappen if the water-
ways of an underdeveloped(
nation, denied overseas outlets,
became clogged.
These are questions that should
be answered before this country
Sfurther restricts 'imports. To
ignorethe potential consequen-
ces only gives ammunition to the
advocates of an "open weed"
policy.

manufacturing plants, lawn
treatment services and related
industries undoubtedly would' be
added to the ranks of the unem-
ployed were needs to disappear
overnight.
Consequently, any extra im-
port restriction could have con-
siderable impact on our

lagarosiphon, which is similar to
the hydrilla weed that is clogging
waterways in California and
Florida," says an Agriculture
Department spokesman.
Americans who have invested
their life savings in hydrilla
weeds might heartily endorse
that step, exclaiming that "It's

West
dent.

is a,, UPI correspon-

Stewart

PbE

SAVELD/

One step better than none

11 WELL, the NCAA tossed out
tanother opportunity to really
toughe'. :Lp their rules after a long
string of embarrassing scandals and a
general decline in the academic
quality of athletes.
All, however, is not lost, since the
delegates at this week's NCAA conven-
tion did pass a proposal which can sub-
stantially improve the quality of
education available to college athletes.
Last Monday the delegates in Dallas
faced two proposals for getting college
presidents more involved in NCAA
rulemaking. The first proposal, spon-
sored by a group of college presidents,
would have formed a large board of
university presidents who would have
a -had the power to make new NCAA
rules and abolish old ones. It would
have been a, sweeping change in how
the NCAA is governed, a change that
would have tied the organization much
closer to the academic center of
universities.
The delegates didn't buy it. Facuity
representatives to the NCAA were
reluctant to give up some of their
power. Athletic directors feared the

presidents would become too involved
in the organization's finances, rather
than sticking to academics as planned.
The presidents didn't get anywhere
near the influence they sought.
But they did get something. The
NCAA voted to form a large advisory
board of college presidents. Although
the body would not be able to create or
overturn bylaws, it does hold substan-
tial powers. It can comment, within the
NCAA, on any legislation. It can set the
order in which proposals will be heard
at the next NCAA convention, and
propose legislation directly to the con-
vention. It can even hold a special con-
vention if 24 of 44 board members
agree.
Even if the new board's restrictions
do not give presidents the authority to
enact their ideas, it does provide a
forum for them to study and comment
on proposed legislation. It lets them
propose their own ideas from a position
of power within the NCAA.
No, the college presidents didn't get
what they wanted, but they do have the
NCAA moving in the right direction.
Now it's up to the presidents not to
waste the potential of their new board.

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4

LETTERS TO THE DAILY:

Studen ts plaster dorm drinking policy

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To the Daily:
Many times well-intended
corrective actions go awry and
cause problems worse than the
ones targeted for cure. This is the'
dilemma that the new University,
policy regarding alcohol in
residence halls has fallen into.
The new tougher policy of-
ficially was institued to promote
responsible drinking and to
provide a support network for
non-drinkers. Other underlying
reasons were to cut down on
alcohol related vandalism in
dorms and to ease the pressure
from outside forces wanting
policy change. These are very
good reasons for change.
However, the new policy creates
some new and much larger
problems in its wake.
The main fault inherent in the
new policy is that it ends the
existence of the traditional dorm
party that has been prevalent at
the University the past few years.
While many administrators in the
housing department may feel
that this is for the good of the
residence hall system, they are
highly mistaken. Reviewing the
results of a tougher policy shows

why.
One result is to toss drinking
out of the dorm and onto the
streets. For students to drink in a
social atmosphere and meet
people they have to venture out to
bars, fraternities, other cam-
puses, or other towns. This
greatly increases the possibility
of intoxicated students wan-
dering the streets or, worst of all,,
driving cars. In doing this, the
policy directly defeats the pur-
pose behind the 21-year-old
drinking age which is to decrease
the number of drunk driving ac-
cidents.
Another result will be an in-
crease in vandalism rather than
a decrease. Vandalism is usually
an act of an individual or a small
group of individuals. Therefore,
the dorm party atmosphere of 200
or so individuals is not conducive
to vandalism. More vandalism
than present levels will occur
when small groups of intoxicated
individuals return to the dorm
from drinking at outside places.
In other words, the University is
taking away one of the forms of
BLOOM COUNTY

socia'l pressure that restricts
people from vandalism arid acts
of deviance.
We as dorm residents feel that
there was a need for change in
policy, but that the University
went about it the wrong way. In-z
stead of achieving the stated.
goals, we believe that the ad-
ministraton has put an effective
end to one of the reasons why
many students stay in the dorm
for a second year: As a matter of
fact, a good many of the people
who planned to return here in
Adams House in West Quad are
now looking for apartments
because of this. We also cannot
see how this policy protects the
rights of non-drinkers because
people are still going to drink,
still be noisy, and still exert peer
pressure on others but just not in
the dorm party atmosphere. -
Finally, for those who assert
that the change in guidelines is
not a change in policy, ask any
West Quad student what they
think of the new guidelines and
you will be surprised to see how
much things have changed here.

But are these changes for the bet-
ter? We assert that the people at
housing should have thought
twice before they washedtheir
hands of responsible alcohol"
policy and sent the students out-
side for a Molotov cocktail.
-Dave Backer
vince Barker
Peter Burdalas
AriGolan
Mike Pape
January 13,,
The writers are members of
the Adams House Council.

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Letters and columns
represent the opinions of the
individual author(s) and do
not necessarily reflect' the at
titudes or beliefs of the Daily.
by Berke Breathed

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