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March 31, 1985 - Image 4

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1985-03-31

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OPINION

Page 4

Sunday, March 31, 1985

'U

Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan

Vol. XCV, No. 143

420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

GEO get tentative agreement
If a show of hands is any indication, theGmgw
Graduate Employees Organization will have
little trouble wipning enough support to ratify
its new contract with the University. On ;
March 15 GEO agreed tentatively to a one-
year contract with University officials, and
on Thursday night member teaching
assistants met in a closed session to discuss
the measure. All but one-tenth of the mem-
bers at that meeting endorsed the contract,
which includes a five percent salary hike, a
larger tuition waiver, continued discussions
with department chairs on working con-
ditions, and English language training for
foreign TAs.

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

A bold step

The College of Engineering has
taken a bold step towards a broader
curriculum in light of mounting eviden-
ce that engineers today need far more
than just technical training to survive
in a competetive marketplace.
According to engineering Dean
James Duderstadt, the college will be
bringing in a panel next fall to review
its undergraduate curriculum. He said
he hopes the panel-whose com-
position is presently undeter-
mined-will recommend that the
college increase its humanities and
social sciences requirements.
Duderstadt envisions an engineering
curriculum that provides students with
more of a liberal arts
education-"education in a classical
sense," as he calls it.
His ambition-which is extremely
broad-minded in a field which has
traditionally emphasized a math and
science education-is based on his ac-
curate perception that engineers now
need communication skills in their
daily work more than ever before.
Industry representatives say that
they are looking for engineers with a
wide variety of non-technical skills,
ranging from creative writing, to
working with groups and management
practice.
Duderstadt and, the college are wise
to try and fulfill this need, but they
must also remain aware of the poten-
tial problems of a philosophical shift in.
the engineering curriculum.
As industry representatives are

quick to point out, technical proficien-
cy is still the basis for much of
engineering work, particularly as
engineers incorporate advanced new
computer technology into the work-
place.
Increasing engineers' humanities
and social sciences requirements
would, by definition, mean cutting back
on the technical courses that make up
much of the engineering students' 128
required credit hours.
Although increased liberal arts is an
obvious necessity, insufficient
technical preparation could con-
ceivably hamper University
engineering graduates as they com-
pete against their peers from other top -
ranked institutions.'
Given that engineers are
professionals as opposed to
technicians, Duderstadt's long-range
goal of pushing technical courses to the
graduate level seems appropriate.
Engineers, then, would be receiving
analogous education to other
professionals such as lawyers and doc-
tors. Nevertheless, additional years of
education entail additional expenses
which many students cannot afford.
Still, the idea of increased
humanities for engineers sounds
plausible and even necessary in
theory. Dean Duderstadt and his sup-
porters should, however, take all fac-
tors into account when they make
decisions that could directly affect the
future of every engineering student
who graduates from the University.

The Week
in Review
But all of the union's 1,200 members will
vote my mail-in ballots. If the contract fails,
said union bargainer Stephen Grossbart, it
will probably be because members want a
shorter contract. TAs will be covered by the
proposed contract three months beyond the
expiration date of a federal law exempting
TAs from taxation on their tuition waivers.
Some TAs at Thursday night's meeting
preferred that their contract's expiration
date coincide with that of the law. Their con-
cern is that Congress will fail to renew the
legislation when it expires December
31-repeating lawmakers in 1983-leaving
TAs to start paying taxes in the middle of the
year, with no guarantee the University will
compensate them.
But GEO officers are trying to convince the
members the new contract, which expires
March 15, 1986, is better because the later
date will allow the union to bargain next
year's contract after Congress votes on
tuition waiver tax liability. The officers ex-
pect a final outcome of the vote on the con-
tract on April 22.
Greek Week ends
All week longastrange things have been
happening on campus. Large groups of
Week in Review was compiled by Daily
staff writer Amy Mindell and Daily
editors Laurie Delater, Joseph Kraus,
Tom Miller, and Andrew Porter.

Greek Week festivities featured bed races among other events

Salvadoran elections

Letters
Death unsuitable solution to hunger

TODAY begins the latest set of elec-
tions in El Salvador. For the four-
th time in three years the people will go
to the polls in order to elect Legislative
Assembly and Municipal Council
members via party voting and to in-
directly elect a president from the par-
ties participating.
The U.S. Department of State claims
that in recent years the elections have
been run fairly. Voters vote in the
municipality in which they registered
and their hands are marked with in-
delible ink in order to prevent multiple
voting.
Today's elections are expected to
run just as smoothly, although the lef-
tist guerrillas who have been operating
from the countryside and recently
from the cities as well have been
travelling around the country bombing
post offices and city halls in order to
erase registration records and other
sources of information vital to the elec-
tion process.
Whether or not the elections run
smoothly may no longer be the impor-
tant issue, despite the fact that they
would still be some indication of Duar-
te's strength. Rather, it is a question of
how to deal with the rebels. Villages
currently exist all over the countryside
in which civilian peasants operate un-
der communist ideologies on self-
sufficient farms. These hamlets
usually contain approximately- 150
inhabitants who tend the fields in the
mornings and return for schooling in
the night.
Unfortunately, the potential of the
villages to serve as havens for
guerrillas causes them to be shelled as
often as four or five times a week by
government helicopters and planes,

peace initiative in which he invited the
guerrillas to meet him for a summit to
discuss many of the country's'
problems. He offered amnesty for the
rebels and guaranteed them the
security to organize politically.
In November, the rebels (FMLN)
offered Duarte a plan which called for
an end to military aid from foreign
nations, territorial demarcation, for-
mion of a new government, and a
merging of rebel forces with the army.
They also justified their use of
economic sabotage as a means of
fighting war, however, and Duarte,
citing this, rejected the entire set of
proposals and claimed that the
guerrillas were only seeking power
through violence.
The rebels have amassed an army of
between 10,000 and 15,000 men and are
too strong a force to be reckoned with
in any way other than a summit. While
acts of terrorism have declined greatly
during the last four years, there have
been small increases in recent months,
including the tennis court murder of
Lieut. Col. Ricardo Cienfuegos.
On the one hand, terrorism has been
greatly decreasing in proportion to
what it has been in recent years, yet,
on the other hand, the rebels are in-
creasing their footholds in the cities
and are strengthening themselves in
this regard.
Thus, the success of the elections is
no longer the issue. The issue has
become how to deal with the rebels
given a stronger central government.
Both sides are guilty of ruthless at-
tacks and shameless aggression and
successful resolution seems just as far
away as it has for several years,
despite the fact that the government

To the Daily:
In a letter to the Daily (March
18th), Tom Leete lets loose a
number of misconceptions about
world hunger.
"Famine is nature's way of
limiting a population-of any
species-that is too large," Lette,
pronounces. With due respect,
Lette seems to have failed to put
to use that which distinguishes
human beings from all other
species. Are we to sit idle and
allow all "natural" life-limiting
phenomena to control our num-
~bers: illness, disease, and
natural disasters?
"If man could produce enough
food, there would not be a large
starving population in any
region,"gsays he. "If man could
provide food for everybody, then
there would be no such thing as
'world hunger' " (emphasis
mine). These two apparently
similar claims illustrate Lette's
unfortunate confusion. There is
enough food produced in this
world to feed today's population.
People starve because the food is
not where they are. Short-term
famine relief efforts are
(sometimes feeble) attempts to
provide food to starving human
beings. Lette confuses produc-
tion and distribution.
Thinking of the whole world for
a moment, doesn't it seem true
that simply eating enough food to
stay alive may be the biggest
single problem facing human
beings upon awakening each
morning?
The causes of famine are com-
plex. Leete is not wrong to speak
of population growth as a
problem related to famine. But
aren't there more humane ways to
affect population growth than to
allow people to wither away till
death from lack of food? I should
thi nk thamt fuinding non-coercive

means to relieve the pain of star-
vation I find Leete's "total
solution" morally repugnant and
appalling.
And yet I find hope in Leete's
closing paragraphs. He states
that if we could be doing a better
job feeding people, then "we

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