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February 14, 1990 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1990-02-14

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Page 4 - The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, February 14,1990

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Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109


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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.
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Minority representation
Coalition Against Racism presented six
demands to the University, accusing
the administration of not doing enough
to increase the enrollment of students
of color. UCAR's action has high-
lighted a number of questions about the
extent of the University's commitment
to minority recruitment and retention;
but while the University can do more to
achieve these ends, a substantial part of
the problem must be attributed to the
;Michigan state government.
The University, to its credit, has be-
gun increasing its drive to attract a
larger number of minority students by
instituting new programs and expand-
ing already-existing ones. The Ambas-
sador program, which sends University
students to recruit high school students
at inner-city schools, is one such
But at the same time, the adminis-
tration needs to do considerably more
to make the University more appealing
to minority students. Most importantly,
the University needs to overhaul its fi-
nncial aid programs, which often
don't sufficiently cover the cost of a
four-year education. If students can't
afford to attend the University, they
certainly aren't going to choose to en-
In addition, the University must do
more to improve the racial climate on
campus. One way is to better educate
students about the history of racism,
and how it is perpetuated. The only
way to reach the students who most
need this education is to institute a
mandatory course which deals with

deserves more attention
Clearly, the University is far from
doing all it can to improve minority
enrollment. UCAR should continue to
pressure the University to institute
changes that will improve the Univer-
sity for people of color. But at the same
time, UCAR should not lose sight of
the fact that some of the problems re-
flected on campus are perpetuated by
the state government.
Gov. James Blanchard, while
claiming to promote improved educa-
tion, has done little during his tenure to
improve the conditions in the state's
inner-city school systems. Too many
Detroit high school students don't even
graduate, and of those who do, many
don't continue on to college.
Without funding to attract better
teachers and build adequate facilities,
the state's inner-city schools will con-
tinue to turn out students who are less
prepared to compete in the high-pres-
sure atmosphere of the University of
Michigan. These students are not less
smart, they are simply not afforded the
resources that students elsewhere re-
ceive. Until Lansing demonstrates its
true commitment to improving public
education, minority enrollment at state
colleges will continue to lag.
The burden to improve the atmo-
sphere at the University of Michigan
lies solely with the administration,
which has shown some, but not
enough, willingness to deal with
racism on campus and the problems
with the financial aid program. But the
burden to increase minority enrollment
lies with both the University and the
state, neither of which has demon-
strated enough of a commitment to deal
with such a pressing issue.


Feminist Women's Union continues fight.

By Cecelia E. Ober
In Montreal, a man shot and killed 14
young women simply because he believed
they were "feminists" and because they
chose to study engineering, a job he
thought "only men should have." In Ro-
mania, the government programs of the
Ceausescu regime subjected women to
forced monthly examinations and investi-
gations of "failed pregnancies." In Ypsi-
lanti, a recently-passed anti-prostitution
ordinance makes it possible to jail a
woman for loitering or looking like a
You may have noticed posters publiciz-
ing these appalling facts around campus.
You may also have noticed a group of
people on the Diag yesterday, holding
Ober is a member of the Feminist
Women's Union, an activist, feminist
group dedicated to developing a broad-
based feminist movement. Anyone inter-
ested in the group should contact Erica
Marcus at 764-4693.

posters printed boldly with "taboo" words
that are often shrouded in silence.
Are you as angered as we by the
misogynist attitudes and laws that shape
the societies in which we, as women,
must live? If so, you will want to know
more about us.
We are the Feminist Women's Union,
a new group of University and community
women. We understand that the fragile
patchwork of reform that has benefitted
many women since the resurgence of fem-
inism twenty years ago is not enough.
The success of recent attacks on our repro-
ductive rights have served as a rude re-
minder that nothing can be taken for
The Feminist Women's Union is an
activist, feminist group dedicated to devel-
oping a broad-based feminist movement.
We regard healthy dialogue and debate as
an integral part of the process of articulat-
ing our feminist politics. We are commit-
ted to internal education and outreach to
the community. We seek to explore cre-

ative and diverse forms of action for effect-
ing social change. We recognize that form-
ing alliances with other progressive
movements is essential for the meaningful
liberation of women. In our group we seek
to establish and practice an agenda that re-
flects the needs and experiences of women
from diverse ethnic, racial and class back-
We plan to sponsor forums, films and *
study groups. In addition we will feature a
regular newswatch and publicity cam-
paigns aimed at raising public conscious-
ness to contemporary issues affecting
women's lives. Most importantly we plan
to take strong action to challenge any stag
of affairs that serves to preserve the subor-
dinate status of women.
If you are a woman with ideas you
would like to share with us, we are inter-
ested in hearing from you. If however, you
are among those who have followed the
mainstream media of the 1980s in prema-
turely bestowing last rites upon feminism,
we have only one thing to say to you: you
ain't seen nothin' yet.

State should not outlaw university discounts

Fight for education Students were cheated Support the UAW

by Michigan State Representative Mar-
garet O'Conner, is designed to elimi-
'nate what she called "unfair competi-
tion" by universities which sell goods
,to students and employees at dis-
cotunted prices.
Because O'Conner represents Ann
Arbor, she likely introduced the bill in
response to complaints by local com-
puter dealers, who claim their busi-
nesses are hurt when the University
buys machines from Apple Computer
Inc. and then sells them with only a
-nominal price mark-up. She also
asserts that because the University
doesn't check the backgrounds of its
customers, it may be selling machines
to people who are neither students nor
' employees.
It is important to remember that
University computer sales, like the an-
nual Computer Kickoff, offer students
who might not otherwise be able to
afford computers the chance to buy
,one. The University is not losing
money or selling goods below cost,
and rather than marking up prices to
make a profit, the University is en-
abling students to buy a much-needed
resource at a fair price. Computers
have become an almost essential tool
Tor college students, as evidenced by
.he long lines before finals at all the
University's computing centers.
And even if some people who aren't
affiliated with the University are buy-
ing equipment, the whole system
shouldn't be abolished. If someone
}wants a computer and doesn't have to
pay an extra $400 for a salesperson to
demonstrate it, where's the harm? Lo-
cal computer dealers make a profit by
acting as an intermediary between
computer manufacturers and buyers.
By removing the middle step, the Uni-

versity is saving the buyers, in most
cases students, from unnecessary price
As early as next fall, students may
be facing Ulrich's-style mark-ups at all
the local Macintosh dealers as their
major competitor, the University, is
forced out of the computer business.
Fewer poor and middle-income stu-
dents will be able to afford the ma-
chines, and rich students will enjoy a
decisive advantage near the end of each
semester, when University computer
centers are packed. Similar conse-
quences are likely at the state's other
public schools, if the bill is approved.
What is most striking is the
hypocrisy required for O'Conner to
even propose such a bill. Fair competi-
tion has been redefined as whatever
allows the business community in
Michigan's college towns to most ef-
fectively prey on students; Ann Arbor's
entire economy revolves around
squeezing money out of students. Lo-
cal businesses are able to overcharge
for textbooks, rent, food, and clothing
because most students lack transporta-
tion to neighboring areas where those
goods are cheaper.
When the University allows stu-
dents to purchase computers and other
goods at less expensive prices, the
owners say it's unfair. Now they're
sending their advocate, Margaret
O'Conner, to legislate our discounts
out of existence. She may not succeed
in getting the bill passed, but that in no
way diminishes her culpability in at-
tempting to make a costly college edu-
cation even more expensive.
O'Conner's district includes Ann
Arbor; when November's elections roll
around, be sure to remember who it
was that introduced a bill aimed at cut-
ting one of the few bargains still avail-
able to college students.

To the Daily:
September 30, 1991 is a very impor-
tant date. This is the date when the Higher
Education Act will expire. The Higher Ed-
ucation Act was passed in 1965, and initi-
ated many financial aid programs which
are in existence today. Such financial aid
programs are Pell Grants, Supplemental
Education Opportunity Grants, College
Work Study, State Student Incentive
Grants, Perkins Loans, Stafford Loans,
and Income Contingent Loans.
If the Higher Education Act is not
reapproved by Congress by September 30,
1991, then these financial aid programs
will cease to exist.
At the State level, Gov. James Blan-
chard has introduced the 1990-1991 State
Budget. The budget includes increased
funding for higher education, and many
seem happy with the budget for the in-
crease can potentially lower tuition in-
creases for many state universities, includ-
ing the University of Michigan.
However, the budget has yet to go
through the State House and State Senate,
and thus, the increase in funding for higher
education is not guaranteed.
The Michigan Student Assembly is
planning to lobby for the Higher Educa-
tion Act and to increase funding from the
state for the University of Michigan to
keep tuition increases down. Students need
to take an active role by registering to
vote, and writing letters to members of the
U.S. House & Senate and the State House
and Senate to show support for the Higher
Education Act and for increased funding for
the University of Michigan.
Students should also encourage their
parents and relatives to do the same. If
students do not want to change their voter
registration from their home state, they
still write letters to the senators and repre-
sentative who represent them.
If you are interested in the issues of
funding for Higher Education, tuition, and
financial aid, come to meetings of the Ex-
ternal Relations Committee of MSA,
which are every Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. at

To the Daily:
I was tickled pink when I opened the
Daily and saw Jennifer Van Valey's article
on the Opinion Page ("Conservative
Coalition works against progressives,"
2/13/90). The reason is that Van Valey, an
appointed and not elected representative, so
futilely tried to portray the Conservative
Coalition as some fascist organization.
Van Valey seems to trivialize the as-
sumption that the students were the true
losers as their "fairly elected" representa-
tives were not allowed to take their right-
ful place in the Michigan Student Assem-
bly. The fact is, the students truly were
cheated, and it is unfortunate that Van Va-
ley continues to deny the truth. It leads
one to wonder whether she is truly suited
to be an LSA representative.
Van Valey then advocates a regressive
position in seeking to prevent a Student
Organizations Bill of Rights from being
voted upon by the student body. It is a
shame that Van Valey and her colleagues
in MSA reject exercising true democracy
in allowing the student body to vote on
important bills such as the Student Orga-
nizations Bill of Rights and the abolition
of the Peace and Justice committee. It
manifests the fear she shares with her col-
leagues in MSA that the students would
actually demonstrate their disapproval with
her and her regressive colleagues at the
polling site. They did it in last semester's
election and they'll do it again if given the
Even more pathetic is that Van Valey
would take the opportunity and time to
needlessly bash the Conservative Coali-
tion when it would have been better spent
working'on the Women's Issues Commis-
sion. There is an old proverb: "Remove
the log from your eye before you attempt
to remove the speck of sawdust from
At least Van Valey and I agree on one
concept: that "students should no longer
stand for a weak, ineffective, and inacces-
sible student government." Well the stu-
dents gave the Conservative Coalition a
mandate in last semester's election.

To the Daily:
For years I have read letters on your ed-
itorial pages lambasting you for mislead-
ing, misinformed, or outright false editoni-
als. I generally dismissed these letter writ-
ers as simply disaffected students whose
ox you had gored. No more. Your editorial
on auto layoffs (2/6/90) is proof positive
that you folks pontificate from ignorance.,
You criticized the UAW for not lookr
ing after the interests of its rank and file
members, and not doing enough to protect
workers affected by layoffs. It is hard to at-
tempt to straighten out such a mixed-up
article, but I'll try.
To begin, the UAW is not "concerned
more with adding perks and benefits td
workers salaries" at the expense of em-
ployment insurance, as you stated. Th0
Big Three (Ford, General Motors, and
Chrysler) workers have foregone general
wage increases and extra paid days off, and
our health insurance - once the envy of
the industry - is now a zoo of different
plans, agencies, and deductibles.
In return for these concessions, the
UAW demanded and obtained extended
supplemental unemployment insurance
retraining programs, and guaranteed em"
ployment programs from the Big Three. 0
suggest you consult a copy of the maste
agreement between the UAW and any of
the Big Three before you tee off on what
the UAW does or does not bargain for.
You point to the Ford-UAW contrac
of 1987 as a model of innovative, protec'
tive agreement, arguing that Ford worker
have been less affected by layoffs. This
agreement is nearly identical to those of
the other companies, as the UAW engage
in pattern agreements, negotiating a con'
tract with a targeted company and using
this agreement as a model for all of the
major auto companies. This agreement
does indeed contain innovative job protec=
tion clauses, as do GM's and Chrysler's. i
Ford workers have been less affected b
layoffs because Ford products are selling'
and Ford slashed production capacity iti
1980, '81, and '82, leaving it with less
workers to keep employed. GM an
Chrysler added capacity during the 1980.s


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