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March 20, 1990 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1990-03-20

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Page 4 - The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, March 20, 1990

the Alidigani ailI
420 Maynard Street
Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109


763 0379
764 0552
747 2814


764 0552
747 3336
747 4630

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.
Faces or numbers?
MTS shouldn't replace student-professor contact

Violence in El Salvador is not limited to one side

University of Michigan, many students
often, and understandably, feel more
like faceless numbers than important
individuals. And because of the ever-
expanding size of lectures - some
classes have more than 500 students -
there is little possibility professors can
learn their students' names or faces.
Most professors try to overcome the
University's impersonal nature through
the use of office hours for discussion
with students. Ambitious students will
take advantage of professors' office
hours to have their questions answered
and to get a little individual attention. In
large classes, a classification into
which most University courses fit, of-
fice hours are the only vehicle for per-
sonal contact.
Some, such as History Prof. Sidney
Fine, make excellent use of these office
hours. Fine holds five hours of office
time per week - compared to two for
most professors - and prides himself
on meeting personally with nearly all of
his students in his popular lecture
But some professors' reliance on
modern technology has nearly elimi-
nated personal contact between profes-
sors and students. Enter the Michigan
Terminal System (MTS), the Univer-
sity's computer, conference network.
There are some professors who mis-
takenly use MTS as their primary
means to conduct relations with their
students, a process which makes a
huge university even more impersonal

and makes students even more unrec-
ognizable to their professors.
Political Science Prof. Raymond
Tanter is a prime example. While Tan-
ter rightly employs MTS to conduct a
learning simulation in his classes, he
requires students to contact him via
MTS prior to individual meetings.
Want to get in touch with Tanter? Don't
bother trying face-to-face contact;
"message" him instead.
MTS may be a convenient way for
some students to contact professors.
Indeed, it can be used to get a paper
topic approved or to setup an appoint-
ment. But professors should not use
MTS as a substitute for personal con-
tact. Many students feel more comfort-
able meeting with professors than us-
ing the often-impersonal mechanism of
computing. Professors need to be ac-
cessible to the students they teach, and
though MTS is one important way to
converse with students, it should never
be used to replace one-on-one interac-
tions. Personal conversation may seem
trivial, but it is an important way for
students and professors to get to know
each other.
MTS is not evil, and it can often be
used as an easy way for students to
communicate with their professors, or
even with other students. Still, as tech-
nology advances and alternative forms
of communication become more popu-
lar, professors should not forget the
most basic method of interaction -
personal contact.


By Roberto Javier Frisancho
It has been four months since six Je-
suit priests, their cook, and her daughter
were killed at the University of Central
America (UCA) in San Salvador. Eight
soldiers, including a colonel, have been de-
tained, but they have yet to be convicted.
And there is still a question as to whether
more people were involved. It is uncertain
whether President Alfredo Cristiani of the
right-wing Nationalist Republican Al-
liance (ARENA) party will have the power
to prosecute all those who were involved.
More than 70,000 people have died in
the 10 years war between the Marxist-
Leninist Farabundo Marti National Libera-
tion Front (FMLN) guerrillas and the Sal-
vadoran government. Consequently, only
the killings of prominent people receive
any attention. Tragically, their deaths are
used as propaganda weapons by both the
Left and the Right.
How important then is one person?
Ana Isabel Casanova Porras, 23, was as-
sassinated on October 17, 1989, by the
FMLN. Why is this significant? Because
while the killings by the Right are well
known, the killings by the Left are not. In
1988, the FMLN assassinated eight may-
ors. In early 1989, it murdered one provin-
cial governor. On top of that, its land
mines have killed many women and chil-
For some reason, the FMLN's attack
on the Committee for Rescue of the Uni-
versity of El Salvador - a group of fac-
ulty, staff, and intellectuals trying to free
the University of El Salvador from FMLN
control - has received little notice in the
Frisancho, a senior in Political Science
and Latin American Studies, is president
of the Coalition for Democracy in Latin
America (CDLA), and traveled to El Sal-
vador in August 1989. CDLA is sponsor-
ing a forum, "Latin America Day: What Is
to Be Done?" on Wednesday, March 21,
at 8 p.m. in the Michigan Union Kuenzel
Room, featuring several noted speakers.


U.S. In March 1989, Antonio Rafael
Mendez, the head librarian, had to go into
exile after an assassination attempt, and
Francisco Peccorini Letona, a 74-year-old
philosophy professor, who was a natural-
ized U.S. citizen when he returned to El
Salvador in 1986 after more than 20 years
of teaching in California, was killed.
From 1952 to 1954, at the time a Jesuit
priest, he was editor of Estudios Cen-
troamericanos (ECA), a journal published
by UCA. The March 1989 ECA issue
memorialized him for "raising the intellec-
tual level of the political discussion" in El
Then, in April 1989, the FMLN

in the mid-1960s was the head of the Na-
tional Guard, which carried out most of
the killings in El Salvador during that
time period.
The FMLN wants to provoke severe
repression in order to spark a revolt
against the Salvadoran government. When
the FMLN began its offensive Nov. 11, it
bombed the homes of Cristiani and Vice
Minister of Foreign Affairs Ricardo Al-
varenga Valdivieso. But the FMLN did not
attack the home of Roberto D'Aubuisson,
the founder of ARENA, and widely held
responsible for the assassination of Arch-
bishop Oscar Arnulfo Romero 10 years

While the killings (in El Salvador) by the Right are well
known, the killings by the Left are not.


Asp"< s l

.J *

bombed the house of Carlos Ernesto Men-
doza, the managing editor of Analisis, a
journal published by the New University
of San Salvador, who lost an arm. As a
result, Analisis ceased publication. That
month, it also assassinated Attorney Gen-
eral Jose Roberto Garcia Alvarado.
Without slowing down, the FMLN in
June 1989 killed Jose Antonio Rodriguez
Porth, minister of the presidency, and
Edgar Chacon, a top former member of
ARENA. The FMLN then shot Gabriel
Eugenio Payes, an engineer and director of
the Association of Salvadoran Profession-
als, on July 19; he died a month later.
Later, on Oct. 10, they murdered Elvira de
Fuentes, the wife of the deputy editor of
El Diario de Hoy, a conservative newspa-
per. Up until this time, not one major
leftist had been killed in 1989.
But then Casanova was murdered on
her birthday and the Right starting killing
prominent leftists. But why? The reason is
that she was the daughter of Colonel Oscar
Edgardo Casanova Vejar, director of the
Armed Forces Studies Center, and niece of
General Carlos Eugenio Vides Casanova,
the former Minister of Defense - both
men are sons of "Chato" Casanova, who

It is a sad irony that the murder of
Archbishop Romero has been used as a
propaganda weapon by FMLN supporters.
For the organization of FMLN leader
Joaquin Villalobos, the People's Revolu-
tionary Army (ERP), has never shown any
hesitation in attacking the Catholic
Church. A few months before Archbishop
Romero's murder, it occupied and ran-
sacked his office because he was too
"reformist." As someone who knew him,
Leonel Gomez said to me: "I remember
Monsignor Romero, at the time, telling
me that not even the National Guard had
done something like that." And the ERP
on election day in March 1985 ambushed a
priest and a seminary student in the San
Miguel province, killing the latter.
Unfortunately, the war continues in El
Salvador with no end in sight. But it is
very important not to romanticize either
side. While they were very critical of the
Salvadoran government, the murdered Je-
suits had no illusions about the FMLN,
which they condemned in the June 1989
ECA issue for having "committed terrorist
assassinations and perpetuated numerous
human rights violations." People in the
U.S. should have no illusions either.


h J ':

Daily ignores religion
To the Daily:
I would like to call attention to a rather
serious oversight on the part of the Daily
in reporting news from the University
community. On the weekend of March 16-
17, Matthew Fox, a religious speaker of
considerable stature, visited our campus
and gave a series of lectures.
On March 16, Fox gave three lectures,
one at the School of Natural Resources,
one at the Law School, and one at the
Methodist Church. In addition, Fox held a


six-hour workshop on Saturday. With
more than 1,500 people attending the Fri-
day lectures and 350 people attending the
workshop, Fox's visit to campus would
seem to be an important event for the
University community.
My complaint deals with the Daily's
failure to print any recognition of this
speaker's visit to campus. I have been in-
formed of, and understand the Daily's pol-
icy of not printing articles on upcoming
However, the fact that there was no
mention of the lectures in the Monday is-

sue disturbs me. I see this lack of an arti-
cle as a continuation of the Daily's failure
to cover events of a religious nature on
If the Daily truly intends to be a news-
paper for the student body on campus, this
aversion to printing articles on religious
activities must end. Just as the Daily
makes space on its pages for the opinions
and activities of outspoken minority
groups, so should it provide a voice and
forum for a less vocal minority on cam-
pus, that of religiously-oriented students.
Wesley Neal
LSA Sophomore

Nazi march is simply
a display of beliefs
To the Daily:
In response to the letter "Prevent the
Nazi march" (3/15/90), I would like to
remind the authors that just as the First
Amendment allows them to openly dis-
play their political beliefs, it also protects
others to display theirs, no matter what
they are and who agrees with them.
We should not try to stifle this open
display. If you remember the Golden Rule,

you will realize that doing so would just
lead to others do the same to us.
There are other ways to accomplish
what you want, like holding a larger rally
nearby to gather some attention. This
way, you can display your contempt for
them without infringing on their
constitutional rights.
first-year Engineering student
Send or bring letters to the
Student Publications Building at
420 Maynard, or send them via
MTS to "Michigan Daily."

Black Panther Party should not be forgotten as '60s leader

By Henry Park
This year on campus it is heart-
ening to see some talks and films on
the Black Panther Party (BPP), a
revolutionary Black group from the
1960s and 70s. In this article, I hope
to indicate some of the significance
of the Black Panthers and place them
in some context for University stu-
dents to understand.
In the past few years, the Black
Panthers received no mention during
Black History Month in the Daily.
Yet one cannot talk about the '60s

in the United States.
Although it is hard to imagine
now, in the late '60s a poll of stu-
dents showed that more than one
million people favored the armed
overthrow of the U.S. government.
Moreover, ABC-TV did a poll in
1970 which reported that 62 percent
of Blacks admired the BPP. The
same poll showed that Blacks saw
the future of Black politics with the
BPP, not the NAACP or the South-
ern Christian Leadership Conference.
To be sure, a faction of the stu-

saw the Black communities also oc-
cupied by repressive forces of the
U.S. government. One of the first
BPP actions was to stage a rally
against the police killing of a Black
man. From then on the BPP gained
notoriety for standing up to the po-
The BPP symbol, the Black Pan-
ther, is known as never attacking
except when attacked. This was in
obvious contrast to Martin Luther
King, Jr.'s message of turning the
other cheek.

Rights for Political Prisoners.
Police forces also assassinated
several BPP members including Fred
Hampton, who was asleep during his
murder. A documentary on the mur-
der called "The Murder of Fred
Hampton" is well worth seeing.
Just last year, someone shot and
killed the BPP leader, Huey Newton.
Not surprisingly, given the U.S.
government's murder of several of
Newton's comrades and its now
well-documented covert operations
against him, Newton had not been

less provocative political form.
Basically, the U.S. government'
destroyed the BPP. When students
look back on the '60s, they will
often hear about Martin Luther
King, maybe even Malcolm X, in
the sterile "diversity" of the Univer-
Yet, barely over 20 years ago,
students right here had one of the
largest chapters of SDS in the coun-
try and those students were with the
factions that recognized the BPP as
their leaders. Hill Auditorium was

to scapegoat Blacks for crime and
now drugs.


The U.S. government contin-
ues to invade other countries as in
Grenada and Panama.
Israel is still a "puppet imperi-
alist state" and supporting the Pales-
tinians' liberation struggle still lands
Black and white activists alike the
label of "anti-Semitic."
Blacks as a group still face the *
same level of exploitation in jobs

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