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November 03, 1984 - Image 4

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4

OPINION

Page 4

Saturday, November 3, 1984

The Michigan Daily

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Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan

Sinclair

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Vol. XCV, No. 51

420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

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

Write-ins for regent

ST HIS UNIVERSITY needs regents
who will fill the important function of
listening to diverse view-points and con-
scientiously formulating policy based
on more than the wishes of their party
and the University administration. The
regents tend to do nothing more than
provide a rubber stamp to the ad-
ministration's policies and are
democratically elected in only the
most warped sense of the term. None
of the official candidates are accep-
table.
Two write-in candidates who we feel
would represent the best interests of
the University are current regent
Gerald Dunn and former University
student David Mikelthun.
The regents come into town two
days out of every month and essen-
tially do nothing. An hour is divided in-
to five-minute segments for public
comments but apart from that their
time is spent listening to and agreeing
with the administration. In the past
few years the only divisive issue was the
decision not to extend classified
research guidelines. The regents'
stance toward the administration is
completely supportive, rarely
questioning. Thus, the voice of the
students is entirely lost. The regents
have made it perfectly clear that the
student voice doesn't matter in the
formulation of University policies.
Their willingness to pass over the heads
of the students to enact the proposed
code of non-academic conduct is a
stark and representative example of
this lack of regard for student feeling.
Regent Thomas Roach summed up the
problem nicely when he said, "the
University is not a democracy." Un-
fortunately, it doesn't even approach a
democracy. There is no mechanism for
student or even faculty input. The
regents have proven time and again
that they are philosophically and
blatantly opposed to any student
power.
Realistically, only drastic, in-
stitutional changes can reverse the
situation. We would like to see two
seats for students and two seats for
faculty on the Board of Regents. That,
however, is a dream that will most cer-
tainly never be fulfilled.
Working within the system, we
recommend the write-in candidate,
David Mikelthun who ran a makeshift
campaign for regent earlier in the year
with the belief that a student belongs
on the board. We share that belief and
support him for regent.
From the start Mikelthun didn't st-
and a chance within the party
system.Even though he may have ser-

M!

ved the University better than any
other candidate, he lacked member-
ship in the closed circle of Michigan
party politics. Partisanship has affec-
ted and will continue to adversely af-
fect the University.
The citizens of Michigan do vote for
the regents, which gives the im-
pression that it is a democratic process.
In reality, however, their selection is
carefully orchestrated by the
Democratic and Republican parties to
reflect who the parties want to see in
office, not who'the people want to
have in office. In August Michigan's
Democratic Labor Caucus voted over-
whelmingly to reject University
Regent Gerald Dunn's bid for reelec-
tion.
This "democratic" decision had
nothing to do with the best interests of
the state or the University. Party
leadership, particularly leaders of the
United Auto Workers, simply found
Dunn personally disagreeable.
Democracy and good government
finished a distant second behind par-
tisan politics. The Democratic Party
robbed us of our only real choice for
regent.
The nominated Democrats Marjorie
Lansing and Robert Nederlander are a
part of the same system that rejected
Dunn. If elected, nothing can be expec-
ted from them but the same old thing.
Lansing admirably talks about in-
creasing minority enrollment, but when
it comes down to it none of the existing
regents, with the exception of Dunn,
or those up for election will make the
sacrifices necessary. Everyone agrees
it is a problem, but within the system
there is not enough courage or will to
take the measures necessary to
achieve success.
Dunn did more than talk about
problems, he tried to do something
about them. In addition, he was a par-
ticularly good representative of the
student community. He consistently
voiced opposition to the Solomon
Amendment, opposed last year's 9.5
tuition hike, and was the first to
propose the University's divestment
from its holdings in South Africa. In
fact, he has been the only regent to
recognize student concerns as
legitimate. We urge that Dunn be sup-
ported by a write-in vote.
David Mikelthun and Gerald Dunn
may not be a constructive way to vote,
but voting for the official candidates is
worthless. Whether Democratic or
Republican, the result will be the
same: the regents will continue to
ignore the student body and continue to
do little more than give a blank check
to the administration.

II

MR. WNTISTAR
WAL DE MPRARI, UNT% WE
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The facts about Reagan

By Eli Chalfin

I was deeply disturbed by Sherri Silber's
article in the last issue of Consider. As a
Mondale supporter myself, I was dismayed to
find Silber's article not only commensurate to
Carl Edelman's pro-Reagan article in
political rhotoric, but as undynamic as Mon-
dale himself. Obviously, Silber and Mondale
are mutually deficient in their ability to
communicate effectively and subsequently
fail to convincingly make their message
heard.
Silber is correct when she says that this
election is not about the Olympic torch, but
this election is nothabout pro-Mondale
political rhetoric either. This election is
about the facts: The inconsistencies, political
double talking, and insensitivity of the
Reagan administration.
REAGAN HAS vowed to remove government
from the public's back, yet he has pushed his
presidential nose into such issues as abortion
and religious prayer. The president is
adamant about his anti-abortion position by
emphasizing his moral and religious convic-
tion. However, as Governor of California,
Reagan signed into law one of the most liberal
pro-abortion laws in history. How does one
account for such a monumental reversal in,
moral and religious conviction?
The fact is that the Reagan administration
professes the importance of the separation of
church and state. Then how does one account
for his adamant stance on prayer in schools.
This last weekend the president attended a
political rally in a synogogue on Long Island,
and in the vice-presidential debate Bush
stated that one of the evils of the Marxist-
Leninist regime of Nicaragua was that it
didn't recognize the church. Now I ask you, is
this administration's policy truly indicative of
separation of church and state, or are we
being deceived?
In the 1980 debate, Reagan promised the
public that the budget would be balanced by
1983 and that he would never cut social
security benefits. However, immediately af-
ter his inauguration the president proposed a
20 billion dollar cut in social security. The
fact is that the budget wasn't balanced by
1983, and instead we have the greatest deficits
in our history. Should we really put our faith
in this president for another four,
unrestrained years?
In foreign policy, the president has claimed

great successes. The Grenada invasion was
hailed last week with pomp and ceremony.
The fact is, that if Grenada was such and
overwhelming success, then why has the Pen-
tagon refused to issue an official report to this
day? The president accepted full respon-
sibility for the Beirut bombings. The fact is
that in the last presidential .debate, the
president blamed the Pentagon staff for the
ill-positioning of the Marines. Again, I ask
you, what does it mean for the president to
accept full responsiblity and why did he shirk.
responsibility in the debate?
THE FACT is that the people of this country
are being deceived. The fact is that there is a
secret war being waged by the CIA in
Nicaragua. We did mine a Nicaraguan har-
bor. For the first time in history we were for-
ced to refuse judgement by the World Court
because it was clear that our actions were in
violation of international law. It is a fact that
the CIA produced a terrorist manual, and it is
also a fact that Reagan has asked William
Casey, CIA director, to investigate the mat-
ter. This is the same man who masterminded
the acquisition of Carter's briefing notes for
Reagan in the 1980 debate. Again, I propose
the question: do people honestly believe that
the current administration is not deceiving
us, and will they continue to accept an ad-
ministration that sweeps important issues
under the rug?
I am a firm believer in the idea that the
people with whom the president surrounds
himself truly determine the quality of the
administration. The fact is that the president
has not been able to dissociate himself from
the likes of Edwin Meese, William Casey, An-
ne Burford, and James Watt, even when
politically pressed. Isn't this indicative of the
president's insensitivity to the American
people? How can one remainso committed to
Edwin Meese as Attorney General when there
is so much controversy over his credibility?
ON THE issue of arms control, the president
has pursued a policy dedicated to nuclear
weapons. He has pressed ahead with his Star
Wars missile defense which has only suc-
ceeded in forcing the arms race into space.
The facts are first, that most scientists
believe the development of this defense
weapon to be impractical and unfeasible until
the late 21st century, and second, that an in-
dependent military research organization in
Europe this week declared that the
president's proposal would only serve to in-

crease the nuclear arms race. Besides, the
monetary cost for a perfected weapon of this
type would be unbelievable, and to commit to
underdeveloped technology would be
wasteful.
It is a fact that this president has balked at
all previous arms treaties, and has failed to
provide any plausible proposals. Mondale is
committed to strengthening conventional for-
ces so that we do not need to rely on nuclear
weapons and a first strike capability as our
defense. I ask you, who will be better able to
negotiate with the Russians, Mondale, or a
president who has already had a chance and
failed and who has already publicly joked
about declaring nuclear war on Russia?
The fact is that Reagan's civil rights record
is shameful. Countless federal judges have
had to order the administration to restore
disability payments to thousands of helpless
people. The fact is that five Supreme Court
justices could be appointed by this president,
the consequences of. which would leave their
mark on the civil liberties of this land until the
year 2000. It would prevent ratification of
ERA, equal pay for equal work, and would
render abortion illegal without exception.
The president had claimed great success in
his handling of the ecomony. Although it is
true that there is an apparent recovery,
people don't look at the facts. Real interest
rates are up, residential construction is down,
there are more people on welfare than ever
before, and more people beneath the poverty
line. Even if people want to believe that the
economy is better off than four years ago, we
must have foresight enough to forecast what
will happen when the bubble bursts. In his
letter to Nixon in 1960, Reagan said he "year-
ned to hear someone come before us and talk
specifics instead of generalities." Then I ask
you, is this what this president has done?
Why hasn't he announced his plan to reduce
the deficit, or does he truly believe it will
magically disappear?
I believe the public has a right to know the
facts and that is why I feel that although
Mondale is neither the most dynamic of per-
sonalities nor the most photogenic of can-
didates, he is knowledgeable, realisitic, and
truly for the people.

Chalfin is a senior in LSA.

I

Bullard for state House

LETTERS TO THE DAILY
Support those with conscience

FOR THE PAST twelve years
Perry Bullard has effectively
represented Ann Arbor in the state
House of Representatives. Originally
elected with the support of students
here at the University, he has not
forgotten the constituents who had
been his original supporters. Bullard
has acted admirably in the past few
years to oppose the conservative "tax
cutters" who have recently invaded
the state Legislature.
Bullard's opponent, the perennial

suggest that the Republican voters of
Ann Arbor do the same. Jensen does
not deserve any of the partisan sup-
port which normally comes with the
winning of a primary.
Bullard's proposal to insure the
rights of students in the state assem-
bly, and his support of the Nuclear
Free Ann Arbor proposal proves that
he is generally concerned with his con-
stituents and not his own political gain.
Also his Solar Tax Credits legislation is
a positive step forward for the state of

To the Daily:
We have, of course, all ap-
plauded the brave stand of the
KOR group (the intellectual
brain-trust of Solidarity) who, in
the Polish prison, defied the
chicannery of the Polish regime
by insisting that "We must follow
our conscience. We must not be
guilty bystanders."
We also awaited with some
anxiety and great fascination for
the trial that was scheduled to
take place in July 1984 - for
during this trial the members of
the KOR group were determined
to hiurn the tahlec a~nd n,rrtI the

in far away countries. We seem
to be less compassionate and
less understanding to the voices
of conscience in our midst, even
though in the samemanner they
insist that: "We must follow our
conscience. We must not be guilty
bystanders."
I am now refering to the forth-
coming trial of the 11 Progressive
Student Network members,
which is to take place on Novem-
ber 8. It is curious to me, and
BLOOM COUNTY

really incomprehensible that
those young people would be
denied the right to speak in their
own defense, to speak their own
conscience - something that the
political prisoners in the Com-
munist Poland were not denied.
Are we so afraid of the views of
our young people with conscience
that we cannot even allow these
views to be heard?
Is our system of justice less
liberal than the system of justice

of the Communist Poland which
granted those who wished to
speak in their own defense to do
so?
Those questions will no doubt
arouse uncomfortable feelings in
many of you - and so they
should.
-Henryk Skolimowski
October 27
Skolimowski is a University
humanities professor
by Beske Brathed

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