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December 05, 1985 - Image 4

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1985-12-05

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

4

OPINION
Page 4 Thursday, December 5, 1985 The Michigan Daily

Jousting with windmills

GTNEL CER MARCOS PRUUTtU..

4

If they ever make a movie about Don
Quixote, they should cast Perry Bullard in
the lead.
Bullard, of course, is the state represen-
tative from Ann Arbor fighting for students
in Lansing. His initiatives often fail because
college students aren't a potent political
-force in the state, so legislators tend to
Eric
Mattson
regard them as chunks of Alpo beef produc-
ts.
This time, Bullard is lobbying for a con-
stitutional amendment that would
automatically put a student (or students -
the details of the bill haven't been worked
out) on the governing boards of state
universities. If all goes well, the bill may be
introduced by next February.
Sounds like a good idea, right? It is, but it
has a snowball's chance in a microwave of
being passed. One reason for this is that get-
ting students on the Board of Regents
requires a constitutional amendment, so
two-thirds of the Legislature has to approve
it.
It's tough enough to get two-thirds of the

Legislature to agree on anything, much less
controversial issues like student regents.
One reason some people oppose the idea is
that students already can become regents
the same way other regents do - by running
in the statewide election. The problem with
that argument is that it's virtually im-
possible for a 19-year-old to gain enough
political clout to win the party nomination.
One student tried it last year and he was
wiped out in the primary.
Besides, the regents each serve eight-year
terms, and even students on the five-year
plan should be able to graduate by then. It
would be more fair if a student were elected
to a two-year term in his junior year. That
way, he would have time to make an impact
on the direction of the University.
Students' having tangible power at the
University is frightening to a lot of people.
For one thing, they say, students would tend
to vote for their self-interest instead of the
best interests of the University. This
argument is triple-whipped hooey.
For one thing, a bill passed in the mid-'70s
exempts students serving on governing
boards from the conflict of interest statute.
In addition, the reason for having a student
on the board is simply to institutionalize
student power, not take over the board. The
way things are now, every single committee
a student or faculty member serves on at
the University is simply advisory; the
regents and the upper-level administrators
have the option of disregarding everything
those committees suggest.

If a student - and a faculty member,
because the faculty has the same problem
the students do - served on the board, the
University community would have a con-
crete way to affect the University.
The conflict of interest argument
espoused by several current regents can
easily be turned against them. Since they
often pay their children's tuition, they, in ef-
fect, have a conflict of interest when they
vote on tuition increases.
The student regents proposal has received
support from Gov. Blanchard, but that's
because he expects that he would appoint
the students regents and the regents. If that
is how the proposal turns out (Bullard and
his staff have given conflicting statements
aboutrwhether the regents would be appoin-
ted or elected) it could have disasterous
consequences.
The last thing the University needs is a
Board of Regents appointed by the gover-
nor. That could easily change the board
from a group of people concerned about the
University to a group of people concerned
with politics.
But if a student and faculty member were
on the board in addition to the current
members, it would simply make the ad-
ministration and the board as a whole. take
student and faculty concerns more
seriously. And that's an issue worth fighting
for.
Mattson is a Daily reporter. His
column appears on alternate Thursdays.

CNAR.YOU4.
--A L

tRnD \AWIJThA FRES\DWRNTIAL
ELICTIOS NLY~flONTN.. Yi
NOThUING CAN STEP TE M&VRINA

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Eibed t dts3ant iciI
Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan

Vol. XCVI, No. 64

420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

A dream of pleasant things

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

Clean, white parks

IN A long war, even the small
battles test the attitudes and en-
durance of both sides.
Dearborn, a Detroit suburb with
a 60-year history of racial bigotry,
is the site of the most recent battle
between black activists and defen-
sive citizens. Last month, Dear-
bornites voted overwhelmingly to
adopt an ordinance to restrict the
use of most of the city's parks to
Dearborn residents.
Ostensibly, the law seems har-
mless and ordinary, but the
NAACP and the ACLU contend that
it is both racially motivated and
unconstitutional.
Detroit black leaders, including
Rosa Parks, protest the measure
as another attempt to keep blacks
out of Dearborn. They planned a
boycott of Dearborn businesses,
but dropped it pending the outcome
of their lawsuit questioning the
constitutionality of the ordinance.
Dearbornites are outraged. They
see the parks as their own, and
their right to restrict them above
the cries of "Racism!" They claim
the parks are littered and over-
crowded. The safety of their
children is at stake. They pay to
maintain clean, safe parks and
those people from Detroit cannot
be trusted.
These transparent arguments do
little to cover the fundamental
racist attitudes of the majority of
Dearborn residents. The city,

which is filled with working class
neighborhoods not at all
economically inaccessible to area
blacks, has a black population of
less than 0.1 percent.
As protesters contend, blacks are
not at all welcome in Dearborn.
Under the reign of 40-year mayor
Orville Hubbard and city benefac-
tor Henry Ford (admired by
Adolph Hitler for his anti-black and
anti-Semitic attitudes), blacks
were afraid to walk on Dearborn
streets. Blacks' applications for
housing were thrown away. The
city was known across the nation
for its blatant emphasis on a clean
white appearance.
Much of the anger behind the
race riots of 1967 was focused on
the bigots of Dearborn. 18 years
later, the tension is still strong but
tacit. Area blacks are invited to
spend their money at Dearborn
businesses, but silently warned not
to dare live in the city.
Dearborn has done nothing to
make up for its past. Of its 90,000
residents there are currently just
83 black families. Dearbornites
do not want to see blacks, whether
in their schools, neighborhoods, or
parks. They still hope for and vote
for a perfectly white city.
This ordinance, if Dearborn is
living up to its history, is indeed
another attempt to keep blacks out
of the city. A boycott or lawsuit is
wholly justified and long overdue.

By Peter Ephross
When I woke up one morning last week, I
looked over at my roommate, Jim, and ex-
claimed, "Wow, what a dream I had last
night!" Jim, in his role as roommate par
excellence, asked me to describe my
dream in detail.
"It was incredible," I began, "I dreamt
that the U.S. got out of El Salvador and
Nicaragua, the Soviet Union relieved
pressure on its Warsaw pact allies and
allowed more Jews to emigrate, Vietnam
got out of Cambodia, and all other foreign
armies returned home. "
"Sounds like another one of your radical,
hippie-like dreams," replied Jim. (He can
be quite cynical at times.)
"Maybe," I admitted, "but there was
more. I also dreamt that repressive gover-
nments in Iran, Albania, Cuba, the Philip-
pines and a host of other places suddenly
Ephross is a Daily arts staffer.

metamorphosized into shining bastions of
human rights and freedom. Handguns and
murderers disappeared from the U.S., not
because of forced gun control, but
because there was no need to have
either offensive or defensive
weapons. "
"Now I'm getting interested," said Jim.
"You actually admitted that Communist
regimes oppress human beings and you know
that although I'm a bit conservative, I'm a
peacenik at heart."
"That wasn't everything that was in my
dream," I continued, beginning to gather
some steam. "I dreamt that apartheid en-
ded in South Africa, and that the South
Africans set up a government based on fair
representation and tolerance. No tribal
wars, no repression, no revenge, no white
flee."
"Well, now you satisfied all international
problems, but the local ones remain un-
solved," said Jim smugly.

"There, you're wrong. I also dreamt that
University professors didn't have to be en-
couraged to do Star Wars research. Gor-
bachev and Reagan put aside ideological
differences, bureaucracy, and image and
reached an arms agreement. Rape
decreased in Ann Arbor, the preachers
didn't yell in everybody's ears in the Diag,
and tuition went down."
"Anything else?" asked Jim
"Oh yeah, one more thing. Peace was
given a chance in the Middle East. Israel
and her Arab neighbors co-operated with
Palestinian leaders in order to set up a
Palestinian state. Terrorism even stopped,
at least for a short while."
"So what was the result of all these
dreams coming true?"
"Well, people didn't rush through life,
they were open to, and searched for, new
challenges." I noticed myself yawning sur-
prisingly, and remembered the real result
of the dream.
"It was boring," I said.

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LETTERS:
Language requirement seems arbitrary

To the Daily:
I'm a philosophy major and as
such, am writing torencourage
the University to require all
students in LS&A to take four
semesters of philosophy. I urge
the adoption of this requirement
for two reasons. First, the study
of philosophy contributes impor-
tantly to a liberal education by
considering different systems of
thought on such topics as ethics,
values, knowledge and reality.
Second, the study of philosophy
improves analytical skills,awhich
would benefit students in almost
all fields of endeavor.
Now, I'm sure at least one
student will object to this
proposal. If he is in a generous
mood, he may even that I have of-
fered valid arguments for the
study of philosophy. However, he
is sure to object that while there
are sound reasons to study
philosophy, there are equally
sound reasons to study
mathematics, political science,
physics or almost any academic
discipline. Yet would I, he asks,
advocate that all these be
required, too? Certainly part of a
liberal education consists of the
freedom to elect for yourself
what you will study.
At this point I must
acknowledge the force ofmy
critic's argument. There cer-

my own language requirement
and can vouch for the merits of
such study. However, I question
whether the arguments for
studying a foreign language are
so compelling as to make it a
requirement while there seem to
be equally compelling arguments

to study philosophy,
mathematics, political science,
etc. It seems to this observer that
a foreign language is required,
not because the modern language
departments protect their vested
interest through a strong lob-
bying effort directed at the ad-

ministration.
Let the students decide what is
worth their while and let the
language departments rest on
their merits, rather an arbitrary
requirement.
-Scott T. Rickman
November 26

Many dorm bathrooms are unsanitary

I

mosooy evm aces -ro JhJL.

J

To the Daily:
I am writing to you to bring to
your attention the possibly un-
sanitary conditions of the
restrooms of many of the dorms
and some of the other buildings
on campus. The problem lies not
in the actual condition of the
bathrooms, but in the notable
lack of paper towels and toilet
paper. Now, the reason for this
condition is very obvious to even
the most recent residents of the
dorms.
To those of you who might not
know of the problem, the paper
towels were often collected by
residents of each hall, for use in
their own rooms. The University,
thinking to save itself the trouble
of constantly replacing the paper
towels, decided to simply not put
any in the restrooms. The studen-
ts themselves account for the
lack of toilet paper, by taking it
BLOOM COUNTY

for their rooms in place of paper
towels, or by collecting it for
football games.
The solution to the problem
with the paper towels is so ob-
vious, That I am very surprised
that the University has been so
lax in dealing with it. The in-
stalling of air dryers certainly
cannot be such a major expense
as to be prohibitive. And the
problem with the toilet paper
cannot be impossible to solve.
Perhaps the University should
look into other alternatives, or at
least make an attempt at doing
so. The situation currently could
not get significantly worse.
I am writing in about this in

response to several derogatory
comments I overheard from
some visitors to the campus.
They believed it reflected on the*
state of the University in general,
which may seem appalling, yet
perhaps not to an outside obser-
ver. "If they cannot even keep
the restrooms stocked, then
maybe they are not as great as
they claim to be," might reflect a
visitor. Have you ever washed
your hands in a bathroom, and
were disgusted to find that you
had to wipe your hands on your
pants, because there was nothing*
to dry them with?...
-Paul Andrew Feusse
October 22

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Letters to the Daily should be typed, triple-spaced, and
signed by the individual authors. Names will be withheld only
in unusual circumstances. Letters may be edited for clarity,
grammar, and spelling.

by Berke Breathed

Of aVMw Iv R

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