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March 31, 1986 - Image 4

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Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1986-03-31

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4

PINION
Page 4 Monday, March 31, 1986 The Michigan Doily

te bst a n M ichig an l
Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan

Vol. XCVI, No. 122

420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

Unsigned editorials represent a majority of the Daily's Editorial Board

Great Greeks

HE MONEY that the Greek
. system raised for charity
during last week's "Greek Week"
is a fine demonstration of students
successfully mobilizing for a
worthwhile cause.
"Greek Week" consisted of
various competitive events -
ranging from a spaghetti "chow-
down" and jello jump, to dance
and song contests. The money
collected for each event will be
donated to a specific charity. The
jello jump alone generated $2,400
for muscular dystrophy, and the
dance contest raised $2,000 for the
Arthritis foundation. The proceeds
of the entire week's activities
:totalled $30,000 - a rather im-
A:pressive sum in exchange for fun.
} The Greek system utilized its
primary resource - its members
- to their utmost potential.
"Greek Week" is an excellent.
*example of the "power of the
,masses", each contributing a
'small part to achieve a greater
goal.

The most necessary factor,
perhaps, is motivation - and
determination that people working
together can realize their expec-
tations if they are realistic and
cooperative. During the week of
Michigan Student Assembly elec-
tions, most students didn't care
enough about the issues to get in-
formed and vote. Such a situation
denies MSA of its only resource -
students. MSA like the Greek sy-
stem, needs the support of its con-
stituency in order to attain its
goals, and subsequently affect a
change in University life.
The organizers of "Greek Week"
were only able to raise the money
that they did through the com-
bined efforts of many people, who
share a common interest and are
dedicated to affecting change.
"Greek Week" is an inspiration to
all students who doubt the merit of
individual participation in a group
effort, whether it be a political
protest, student gover-
nment ... or a bed-stacking race.

£N L INTO MW 6-ULE A&ND) WN&N&h
MkY PAi2MP
AND 9-L'LY MYPASeNjaM1e5
To SUPoRT Me

A 1*r-ME A K12AM~ON&r Y
D'IVDP EDOVLI. ,
I E~ &You
t'

Military researcher rights

Spring blooms

'SPRING IS HERE. Officially, it
started last Thursday at 5:03
p.m. but ol' Man Winter stayed
around last weekend, accompanied
by frigid temperatures and gusty
winds. In the past few days,
however, certain signs of spring
have appeared: sunny skies and 60
degree temperatures and the
release of the Fall, '86 course
catalogs. These happenings have.
surely convinced even the most
,skeptical that spring has arrived.
What does this new season
mean? It means walks through the
Arb, hacky-sack and people-
watching on the Diag, outdoor par-
ties, and the temptation to skip the
class you haven't gone to in a week
in order to soak up the afternoon
sun.
But spring also means the return
of preachers, of Mike and Brother

Jed to the Diag to preach to the
spectators and hecklers their ver-
sion of the truth. It also means the
winding down of classes; hold on,
they've only got a month to go. Then
comes summer, with its more
leisurely pace for those working,
vacationing, and even for those
continuing to study.
So take advantage of the new
season. Make that trip up to North
Campus and explore the solitude.
Unrust that bike and explore the
seldom frequented parts of old Ann
Arbor. It'll make the finals season
go a little easier.
While the chill and rain might
return for a while, don't despair.
They're only temporary, and
necessary to make the flowers
grow. Spring is here to stay ... or
at least until summer pushes it
aside.

By David Vogel
The University of Michigan has been
living under a dictatorial-like set of rules
since 1972, and yet most "campus leaders"
are fully in support of them. The guidelines
I refer to are those regulating classified
research on campus: they ban any research
that has publications restrictions beyond
one year ("secret" research) or research
that contributes to the destruction of human
life (weapons research). The restrictions
are intended to create a better research en-
vironment at our university. However, the.
restrictions on weapons research are im-
moral and undemocratic and must be
abolished.
Immoral? Indeed, the main argument
against weapons research is that it is inten-
ded to kill people, and that morally, it is
wrong to contribute to such death and
destruction. Furthermore, opponents argue
that the current US-USSR arms race and
weapons build-up is pushing us toward ar-
maggedon; thus the University must
refrain, in the name of peace, from con-
tributing to world tensions.
This is the predominate view held by most
campus leaders in Michigan Student
Assembly and other student/faculty groups.
Their decisions to not suppport military
research are due to a strong, personal
moral conviction. That, however, is all that
is involved: a personal, moral opinion.
Their arguments have no legal basis; that
is, there are no court cases or laws in this
country that would specifically support
their views. Opponents to the research just
basically believe that weapons research is
wrong.
Well, wake up to reality. This is America.
David Vogel, a junior in aerospace.
engineering is publisher of the Michigan
Review.

not a totalitarian dictatorship, but a
pluralistic society that honors all different
views and morals. The basic precepts of the
U.S. Constitution, Declaration of Indepen-
dence, and all American politics (the un-
derlying moral codes of our society) are
that no one has the right to enforce their
morals and opinions over other people. Per-
sonal morals, while honorable, have no
place in laws and society when they directly
prohibit the exercise of someone else's
moral ethics. (Anybody who wishes to
argue with this position cannot possibly call
him/herself a true believer in democracy.)
The Supreme Cuort's Roe v. Wade.
decision, supporting a woman's choice for
abortion, is an excellent example. While the
Court never said that abortion is "good", it
merely said that the "abortion is bad"
argument is based on personal opinion and
not legal fact. Thus right-to-lifers, if they do
not like abortions, do not have to have them.
But they have no right to tell other people,
who believe abortion is not "bad," that
those people cannot have abortions.
The bottom line on the abortion issue, as
far as American courts and legislatures
have determined (as well as' the National
Organization of Women) no legal, legitimate
proof exists to show abortions should be
illegal; thus, if someone believes abortions
are not wrong, they may choose to have an
abortion.
The parallels to military research are
identical. Some people believe that weapons
research is undesirable; that is- their person-
al opinion. Fine, then. They do not have to
participate in such research. But these
people must admit that there are opinions
that military research is good - that it
helps strengthen our military, protects our
nation, and thereby enhances world
stability. Which side is correct? American
law recognized neither side as correct.
Legally, neither argument is "more right"
than the other, stressing the word
"legally." Thus, it is a violation of the Con-

stitutional rights of professors and students
to say that they cannot participate in
research that to some may be very offen-
sive. For those appalled at the research,
recognize that it is immoral to force your
opinions on those who wish to do the resear-
ch.
The crime is that the people who are op-
posed to weapons research are mostly LSA
students and faculty; the people who want
the research tend to be engineers. Fur-
thermore, it is the engineers who would ac-
tually do the research. What we have is a
group of people enforcing their will on the
group who want the:research. (A vaguely
familiar scenario with the abortion issue!)
Are our campus leaders acting in a manner
consistent with our pluralistic democracy?
Are they considering the rights and wishes
of the minority?
One disturbing excuse offered for the
existence of the guidelines is that engineers
are "biased" toward the research: that sin-
ce they are the ones who actually benefit
from the research, they naturally support
it. Supposedly this has caused them to
become "ignorant" of the moral aspects of
weapons research. Again, this argument
has no legitimate basis when applied to
American ideals. Courts have consistently
upheld that it does not matter why a person
holds a certain belief, only that they hold it.
(Naturally, a poor pregnant teenage girl
might support abortions. Has she been
made "ignorant"? I think that campus
women's groups would vehemently
disagree.)
I urge the many leaders on our campus,
whether student, faculty, or administrator,
to dismantle the current research
guidelines. I realize that most leaders are
sickened at the very thought of weapons
research. But I challenge them to show
their commitment to democratic principles.
Put aside your own personal opinions;
Summon your will power; do the morally
right policy. Let democracy return to our
campus.

Congratulations

LETTERS:

H AVING WON the presidential
and vice-presidential seats of the
Michigan Student Assembly, Kurt
%Muenchow and Darrell Thompson
deserve the support of the student
,body. The time has come for both

Student Rights and Meadow to
leave behind irresponsible cam-
paign tactics, and develop good
relations to work together .toward
resolving the issues that were
carefully defined during the cam-
paign.

MSA election marked by dirty politics

NOW T IT
wive BEV E7c7kp,
q-t Vo NJr= Do lyoW >
iY t KNOWA Lrn WRIT ovi-p WE o0
Atvt . ' NY tiN
K R EC7 % Y AK y . t Alf RZ

To the Daily:
This spring's MSA elections were
preceded by the poorest cam-
paign activities that I have seen
in the last three years. Although
the elections are now over I
would like to comment on some of
the things I saw or heard.
One Meadow party poster used
a picture of the Code Rally and as
one of those present in the photo I
would like to draw attention to
the fact that the prominence ac-
corded Kurt Muenchow in the
picture is no relation to the
prominence of his activities
against the Code. All MSA mem-
bers were asked to attend the
rall and mann nf us did shnw im

that the Meadow poster designer
cropped Student Rights presiden-
tial candidate Jen Faigel from
the photo that appeared on the
poster. The Oct. 14, 1984 Daily
and the Jan/Feb 1985 issue of the
Michigan Alumni magazine
didn't delete her. Her removal
does not take away from the fact
that she was there, was
photographed and thus has as
much claim for taking part in the
"action" as Muenchow.
The mudslinging and dirty
politics exhibited by the Meadow
party over the Marxist Group in-
cident was also disturbing. As

past Student Organizations
Board chairperson for MSA I saw
many groups coming into the of-
fice with forms missing
signatures. Often these groups
needed to be recognized in or'3r
to use facilities or receive money,
often they did not have time to
hunt down members. MSA mem-
bers and student employees were
often asked to sign these forms.
Thus I myself became a member
of the Black Greek Association
and the Michigan Alliance again-
st Disarmament even though I
was never associated with these
groups. Additionally the fact that

red baiting happened by students
who might be representing
University students is disturbing.
What happens when those groups
with Marxist philosophies seek
recognition or funding, will they
receive fair treatment?
Anyway, I hope that in the
future MSA elections are a little
more professional, reasonable
and a little less ridiculous.
-J. Homer Thiel
MSA member Mar. 1984
to Oct. 1986

T1nTl rr nr s s ntr T1rni1 r vs irnr inty

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