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September 27, 1984 - Image 4

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1984-09-27

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a6

OPINION

-p

Page 4

Thursday, September 27, 1984

The Michigan Dciily

Trying to escape the impending flood

rte i i \rr/

By Jackie Young

The other day I walked out of my
apartment and realized that it was
raining: I wanted the rain to stop but
I knew that I did
not have any power over the
rain. Resigned to the fact that there are
some things which you just can't con-
trol, I proceeded to walk to my class.
The rain drenched my face, hair, and
clothes, for I had neglected to put on a
raincoat.
It's easy enough to do. Day by day
one can sit back in his or her cozy dorm
room or apartment, eating, sleeping,
partying, and studying-doing the
things that get you through those
college days. And when there's a down-
pour, one can either take it in the face,
put up an umbrella, or protest to the
rain gods.
LATELY, I have become used to
taking the rain in my face. Sometimes I
even enjoy it. I could be wrong, but I
feel there are a lot of University
students who feel that completing their
homework assignment for class the next
day is more important than protesting a
rainshower or, even more annoying, the
arms race, tuition hikes, poor TAs,
Republicans, and all the tyrannical
elements in life, or forces of evil, which
individuals often are powerless to con-
trol.
Every time you talk to alumni it
seems they bring up the point that the
campus seems so dead these
days-even the fans at the football
games-compared to the student ac-
tivities so prevalent when they attended
the University. Maybe it's the weather.
The pages of the Daily back in the six-
ties told the story. Students protested
this and that and held sit-ins and teach-
ins for this and that cause. Students of

the late sixties, why they had this silly
notion that they could somehow change
the world in which they lived. This week,
in fact, commemorates the 15th an-
niversary of the sit-in which brought
about the student cooperative Univer-
sity Cellar bookstore.
AND WHAT of the students of the
eighties? Perhaps we are all too secure,
nothing really bothers us but an error
on our resumes or a lost job oppor-
tunity. Yet, is this so bad?
I don't think it is. But just as rain
which keeps on without ceasing may
bring about a flood, being apathetic
towards the world around you can lead
to a loss of power over your environ-
ment.
In the case of a flood, in our modern
day society we have "flood-watchers",
better known as the National Weather
Service-those annoying people who
put small pictures of tornadoes on the
screen or interrupt your favorite
television show to inform you of bad
weather conditions. Most people are
probably not very grateful to the
"flood-watchers" these days, or maybe
it's more a case of not really thinking
about the lives those people save or the
valuable service they perform. I
believe the same is true with student
activists on campus today.
THAT HANDFUL of all the thousan-
ds of students who attend this Univer-
sity who are willing to risk missing a
class to protest the administration's
budget-cutting policies, military
research on campus, or the proposed
code of non-academic conduct seem to
carry out an important task. And, like
the "flood-watchers", if people really
took the time to think about the service
such individuals perform, they might
show some respect. However, I doubt
that a great many, or even a majority
of students on campus, even if they

little else. The same is true of rny
feelings regarding student activists. I
dread their extinction, though I admitI
do little to support them.
SO I WORRY what would happen if
the "flood-watchers" give up their oK
cupation for something more profitable
or entertaining. I suspect that too many
of my fellow students are keeping their
noses buried in textbooks, going to
resume workshops, throwing too manty
parties, having too much pure fui
without supporting any cause, and
spending their spare time following
soap operas instead of the latest
political election.
But I am not going to be self.
righteous, for once, and claim that we.
should all become campus radicals and.
press our cause above all else. Partyin
is fun. Studying is educational. Guilt s
painful. And there are a lot of really
stupid causes that people take up, often
to the point of fanatacism, whicliS.
detest.
How should students live their lives
Of course, this is a ridiculous question".
Everyone must choose their own pat_
to success and happiness.
IN OUR spare time though, it would.
be reassuring to me-one who fears
floods and oppressive regimes-if we
all took a closer look at the world out
side of our apartments, houses, and
dorm rooms and at the people who par-
ticipate in rallies and sit-ins. Then, we
might have a safer University en-
vironment.
Right now, I feel as if a whirl-wind or
a tropical storm is just around the cor-
ner. I can't see it yet and probably
neither can you.
It's time we do some watching so that,
we can see the storm coming before i
hits us in the face.
Young is a Daily Opinion Page
editor.

Daily Photo
Students have taken to ignoring the world around them to such a degree that when the rain comes, some may put up
umbrellas but most will stare solemnly at the ground and try not to let the water hit them in the face. it's no wonder

students don't turn out to protest these d
have the potential to be in sympathy
with those activists, are actually glad
such concerned individuals exist. For
most students are just not informed.
Herein lies the danger: what if there
were no "flood-watchers" or student
activists looking out for the best in-
terests of the whole campus com-
munity? Maybe this seems improbable.

There will always be the "fuck
authority" types to pester good-
intentioned University officials, some
might argue persuasively. Though I
think the number of such types has
dwindled to a point where they
deserve to be put on the endangered
species list.
Maybe I'm just a bleeding heart

liberal, but I can't stand to see those
names on the endangered list. I give
money to the National Wildlife
Federation in a futile attempt to stop
the death of certain animal species. (By
the way, the Wolverine is on the list.) I
read all the literature showing the
valuable jobs these species perform
and I fear for their extinction but I do

Sinclair

Gte 3idtorjan n atlQ
Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan

Vol. XCV, No. 19

420 Mayndrd St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

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

fl E klBo~11ON CuNt~ICS
OF RIA4.P FAEAPN, WHO
+AS sMADE MWI*aRiISM~
p CIEN~TPECE OFlHIS
CAMflMIrN 2

1*

Snapping out of summer.

Lmook AT IT
TH' WAY,._.
%T W
REAT TiA(N
L.ASt iTME?..

4?
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PE icIT
SFewN*N&,
-RI QHN1?...._...

-A

THE FUN AND relaxation of sum-
mer have a way of taking the
momentum out of things. September is
h month of still wishing it was August,
not a month for ju'mping right back in-
to the more tedious and taxing of life's
pursuits. A victim of this end-of-
summer malaise has been the protest
surrounding the proposed student code
for nonacademic conduct. Last spring
saw widespread protest involving
petitions, rallies, phone-in campaigns,
and a general questioning of the ad-
ministration's motives. But September
has seen virtually no discussion and
dissension.
Which is why it is especially hear-
tening to see the Michigan Student
Assembly attempting to bring the issue
back into debate. Tuesday night the
assembly called for a public forum on
the code and emphasized a need for the
administration's accountability. MSA
President Scott Page correctly com-
mented that University President
Harold Spapiro is "completely
sheltered " from student opinion. He
went on to ask that Shapiro demon-
strate his knowledge of and concern for
the code. This kind of communication
is desperately needed. The ad-
ministration has too easily
ignored the student voice and failed to
give their own justifications. If they

won't hear the students, then the
students should at least be able to hear
them.
Regents' bylaw 7.02 provides the
assembly with veto power over a
change in conduct rules but there is
some question surrounding the regen-
ts' willindness to honor it. There is
more possibility that the regents would
alter the bylaws in order to skirt
student opposition. The ad-
ministration's proposals also include a
judicial system for the regulation of
punishments under the code-such a
system is not covered by 7.02.
In order to guard against a loss in
student input, the assembly also
passed a resolution Tuesday night
asking the administration to give MSA
the right to approve the proposed code
and its accompanying judicial system.
While this may be wishful thinking, it
nevertheless frames the issue well.
The administration must now openly
deny the student government's right to
regulate the formation of the code.
MSA also has some big plans for the
football game on Oct. 13. Balloons,
banners, cheers, and a "big surprise"
are in the works. This homecoming
hype might seem a bit artificial but it
had to be done. The University has got
to snap out of the September doldrums,
even if it takes a "no code" wave to do
it.

,
iJ
mss-
4

/ -

Isvk&o i

LETTERS TO THE DAILY

Cuba has laudable health ca

The Author replies:
In response to Manuel Utset's let-
ter "Politics is the Study of Fac-
ts", (Daily, Sept. 20), I would like
to offer a few "facts" of my own.
After surveying a variety of
sources, I am of the opinion that
Utset is the only authority that
feels Castro has made no gains in
education, health care, or
nutrition. Cuba, in fact, has the
best health statistics of any Latin
American country. More* in-
terestingly they are comparable
to American statistics. Consider,
fnr examnle these 1974 Cuban

Batista : a treasury emptied by
fleeing ministers, a public debt
over one billion dollars, and a
budget deficit of 800 million
dollars. Recall also that in 1958
about 70 percent of Cuba's expor-
ts were to the U.S., while 70 per-
cent of its imports (of food and
other goods) also came from
America. With the Castro

takeover, this prime source of
business dried up; by 1964, the
Russians and Chinese only ac-
counted for 50 percent of Cuba's
exports and imports.
Utset may laud the high GNP of
the Batista years, but the praise
is uncritical. The Batista
economy was bolstered by hun-
dreds of millions of U.S. dollars

re system
as well as by the fact that Batista,.'
unlike Castro, had no commit-
ment to social welfare.
Facts are fine, but one should
remember Nietzsche's quip: "It.O
is precisely facts that do not
exist, only interpretations."
-Brian Leiter
September 20;
hr Rvke reathed-

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