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April 10, 1986 - Image 4

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1986-04-10

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4

OPINION
Page4 Thursday, April 10, 1986 The Michigan Daily

4

riir 31d1an afllQ
Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan

Low turnout shows apathy

Vol. XCVI, No. 130

420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

Unsigned editorials represent a majority of the Daily's Editorial Board
All other cartoons, signed articles, and letters do not necessarily represent the opinion of the Daily.

Law bent over

A CCORDING TO Georgia
Assistant Attorney General
Michael Hobbs, there is no "fun-
damental right to engage in
homosexual sodomy or any other
sexual conduct outside the bonds of
marriage." (The New York Times,
4/11/86) In Michigan and 26 other
states, sodomy is against the law.
While some people like Mr. Hobbs
would argue that the decency and
morality of the United States is at
stake, sexual privacy should be a
fundamental right which the
government cannot regulate
without a compelling interest. As
defined in the Fourth Amendment
(Mapp. v. Ohio, 1961), the "right to
privacy is no less important than
any other right carefully and par-
ticularly reserved to the people."
The Supreme Court will make a
ruling by July on the "fundamental
right" of a Georgia man to engage
in mutually consenting sexual ac-
tivity within his own home.
In past cases, the Court has ruled
that there is a right to privacy with
regard to matters of procreation,
(Roe v. Wade, Griswold v. Connec-
ticut). But a right to sexual privacy
has never explicitly been
recognized in the Court inter-
pretations. Without fundamental
status, it can be infringed upon by
a state in cases of sodomy for both
homosexuals and heterosexuals.
The court has been warned that
it may be faced with a slew of other

By Lauren Schreiber
Two days after the MSA elec-
tions, the Daily reported a
total voter turnout of 4,889
students. About 1,000 fewer votes
than in last year's elections, this
figure represents about a seventh
of Michigan's total student
population of 35,000. Min-
dboggling. The Meadow Party,
who won the elections for
president and vice-presicent,
earned less than a 200-vote
majority over their main com-
petitor, the Students Rights Par-
ty. Ridiculous - less than 200
votes. What is 200 people on this
campus? An introductory lecture
class maybe.
University publications recen-
tly have been swarming with
stories on student apathy. This
flood of apathy-related articles
are apparently right on the
money if you take the MSA
elecitons as an example.
Just to clear up any misconcep-
tions you may have about me, I
am not: an activist, a poli-sci
major, or really "into" politics. I
am your average student, yet
Schreiber is a theater
reviewer for the Daily.

aware of what is happening in
front of my face. Voting for
student government is important
- more important, really, than
voting for national government.
The student's vote in student
government is far more
significant than in a national
election. What happens at the
University is more relevant, too,
on a day-to-day basis than events
on a national scale.
Granted there were problems
with the organization of the elec-
tions. Just to find out about these
problems, I asked some friends
why they didn't vote..
" "Why didn't you vote?" I
asked a friend on the way to
class. "I dunno. I
didn'tknowwhentheelectionswere,
was the mumbled reply.
* "Didn't know when it was?!"
What idiocy! What apathy!
What a moron! I was practically
molested every time I walked
through the Diag by people ar-
med with slips of paper telling me
to vote for so-and-so and such-
and-such. Huge banners and
posters glared at me from every
wall, tree, and kiosk on campus.
Every trip to the mailbox or the
dorm cafeteria was accompanied
by a "DID YOU vote in the MSA
elections yet?!" Even going to

the bathroom was transformed
into a political event where the
names of candidates were
plastered all over the stalls. Even
if I hadn't been interested in the
political aspects of the elecitons I
would have voted if only to save
myself from being ostracized by
zealous party members.
" "Why didn't you vote in the
MSA elections," I asked another
friend over lunch."
* "I dunno. MSA is stupid. They
don't do anything."
What idiocy! What apathy!
What a jerk! How is MSA sup-
posed to do anything without the
support of those they represent?
Maybe if people showed more
concern and interest, MSA could
be a more productive
organization. Anyway, who are'
those to criticize MSA who don't
have the decency to vote?
Clearly, this student did not know
the issues.
We should all know by now
what MSA does with our $5.07 by
now. For those of you who still
haven't heard,tyou probably did
not look at the Daily's full
coverage of the MSA candidates'
views on the major issues. You
probably did not pick up a copy of
the MSA Campus Report which

also had full coverage of the can-
didates' views.
MSA is the campus-wide
student government which
represents all students in every
college and school of the Univer-
sity. Yes, that means you. You
may recall talk about putting a
student on Board of Regents. In
plain English, that means the
students would have genuine
power. We probably won't get it,
though, without MSA'a support.
MSA is responsible for Student
Legal Services, the Ann Arbor
Tenant's Union, ADVICE, and
providing funds and office space
for the hundreds of student
organizations of which you are a
part.
True, MSA doesn't make laws
or anything. It is primarily a lob-
bying organization which hounds
the University administration
and the Board of Regents to make
things nicer for you.
In all fairness, there are, un-
derstandably, those of you, who
honestly knew nothing about the
MSA elections - when, where, or
what. You, of course, do not read
the Daily, walk through the Diag,
or go to the bathroom. For you,
there is no hope. For the rest of
you, there is no excuse.

I
4

legalities, such as incest,
prostitution, and possession of nar-
cotics. But as the defense lawyer
has pointed out, incest is generally
coercive not consensual and the
case deals specifically with
regulation within a private home
and would not necessarily apply to
public places such as rest rooms.
Hobbs has conceded to the courts
that it would be unconstitutional to
punish a married couple for prac-
ticing sodomy but insists on the
long legal and social traditions of
Georgia, claiming that the con-
stitutional law must not be an in-
strument for change. Yet in recent
years, 26 states have
decriminalized private
homosexual acts between consen-
ting adults, signifying a change in
the country which should be reflec-
ted in the law.
The secular state is not the moral
conscious of America, nor was it
intended to be. The separation of
church and state has been the back
bone of United States freedom and
toleration. The Supreme Court
should rule that sexual privacy is a
fundamental right; the gover-
nment therefore has no jurisdiction
to regulate the sexual behavior of
consenting adults within their own
homes. Such laws which prohibit
this action should be striken from
the books so that they can not be
used in this discriminatory man-
ner.

Phantom invasion

LETTERS:
PIR GIM
To the Daily:
On April 12 PIRGIM petitioners
addressed our classes in the Law
School and the Business School.
They gave a short speech
outlining the reasons for the
petitions drive and offered to an-_
swer questions. Petitions were
circulated throughout the class
period and during that time
students were asked to read and
sign them. No matter what the
merits of the petition may be, the
classroom is an inappropriate
forum to use for this purpose.
The disruption caused by the
PIRGIM presentation wasted our
class time. Because of the drive's
controversial nature, fairness
required that time be granted for
questions and opposing viewpoin-
ts. To satisfy fairness, however,
we would have been forced to
sacrifice more valuable
classtime. Our point isn't that it
is unfair to present only
PIRGIM's side, but that it is
inappropriate to have this issue
discussed during our classtime.
If PIRGIM representatives are
in the Diag, we can choose
whether or not to stop and listen
to them, but when they enter our
classrooms at the beginning of
the period, their audience is cap-
tive. How many students would
stay after class to hear a
PIRGIM appeal and consider
their petition if the represen-
tative entered the classroom at
the end of the period and students
were offered the chance to leave?
With this tactics, PIRGIM has
violated our right to be apathetic.
We ask PIRGIM to stop ths in-
trusion into our classtime. If we
aren't interested enough to stop
in the Diag and sign, leave us
alone!
- Tami S. Mitchell
- Kenneth J. Seavoy

s
ii
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-- --
.- 4
$
--

N THE evening of the Senate
vote for Contra aid, the
United States administration an-
nounced that Nicaragua had in-
vaded Honduras. Honduran of-
ficials have since explained that
the United States coerced them in-
to publicizing the Nicaraguan in-
cursion as a crisis situation. Ac-
tually, the incursion was similar to
any of the 300 previous cross bor-
der attacks into the region.
Nicaragua's attack was aimed at
the Contras, not at Honduras. As
Foreign Minister Carlos Lopez
Contreras staed in an interview on
the CBS Evening News on March
06, the invasion "does not
represent a major threat to the
Security to Honduras." Clearly,
Honduras does not want a war with
Nicaragua.
As one of the poorest Central
American countries, Honduras is
economically and militarily

dependent on the United States.
Honduras will not legally or of-
ficially acknowledge that it is har-
boring rebel camps but hopes to
use them as an effective
bargaining chip with Nicaragua to
reduce the Sandinistas army and
their Soviet-bloc advisers.
Ironically, Nicaragua has offered
to cut both in return for United
States negotiation. The U.S. ad-
ministration has refused to
negotiate on these terms.
United States influence in this
region is powerful. Ann Arbor
residents have already shown their
disapproval of current policy by
voting yes on Propossal A.
Tomorrow, members of the
University community will con-
tinue to protest U.S. intervention
by marching through the city to
express solidarity with people in
Central America who have a right
to self-determination.

VEAK LOUD!
E O c Ro CAKa
6 (-K.

4

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Meadow party is not McCarthyist

To the Daily:
Now things have gone too far.
We could accept mild "red-
baiting" charges when it was
pointed out that Jen Faigel and
Mark Weisbrot were official, if
not active, members of the
"Marxist Group" although, most
of us thought that this was en-
tirely reasonable. After all, we
all hate McCarthyism. However,
we should not forget: either
these people are Marxists, or
they falsified documents to
enable groups without any real
support from students to use the
Universitv's (ie. our) money and

editorial "Congratulations,"
(3/31/86). Unable to leave well
enough alone, however, the Daily
chose to run a cartoon, im-
mediately below that article
portraying Meadow as a group of
cartoon characters who know
only about "red-baiting" and
whose "platform was that (they)
didn't have any views or convic-
tions."
That cartoom was stupid, rude,
and above all, wrong. Meadow's
platform supported dealing with
student affairs (i.e. Michigan
Student Assembly) rather than
Wactnatimnd a n .n...

behalf of all the others who did, I
ask him to keep the post to which
he was elected by us, the studen-
ts. In the name of reason and
sanity, I would also like to ask the
abundance of "anti-McCar-

thyism" groups that have recen-
tly infested us to give it a rest
before they do more harm. They
certainly won't do anyone any
good. -Jeff Allen
April2

Let's work together

To the Daily:
I am the graduate school
representative to MSA recently
elected on the Meadow ticket who
was so magnificently excoriated
I---a- +. n+r«uxA nffr, ha-

stallment of a crony by Mr.
Melendez-Alvira and his suppor-
ters early this academic year.
I am proud to rejoin the ranks
of MSA and look forward to ser-
ving. It is indeed my hope that af- I

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