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March 29, 1990 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1990-03-29

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Page 4- The Michigan Daily -Thursday, March 29,1990
Ellz idirign Bafil
420 Maynard Street
Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109
ARTS 763 0379 PHOTO 764 0552
NEWS 764 0552 SPORTS 747 3336
OPINION 747 2814 WEEKEND 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.


t4! YvJ roC'O

C Eutl! 1 I
t3ER~l lA



Who would get to see him if he came to the 'U'?

drawing closer, the University has an-
nounced its hope of having recently-
freed Nelson Mandela attend the cere-
monies to speak and receive the
honorary degree he was awarded in
'1987 while still serving a prison term
in South Africa. Unfortunately, the
likelihood of this plan becoming a real-
ity is quite slim. An additional prob-
lem, not addressed by the administra-
tion, lies within the new commence-
ment proceedings. If Mandela does
speak at the University during spring
acommencement ceremonies, which
school will he address?
In previous years, the spring
commencement ceremonies were held
at the Michigan Stadium for all gradu-
ates. However, the poor conduct of at-
tending students has resulted in a
change in the University's commence-
ment procedures. A lack of respect for
the keynote speakers - including Uni-
versity President James Duderstadt, 60
Minutes anchor Mike Wallace, and
Marshall Schulman, a Soviet-American
relations in the 1930s specialist -
compelled the administration to change
the structure of graduation. Starting
this year, spring commencement will
be arranged and held by the individual
colleges which comprise the Univer-
The University believes that this
change will create a more personal at-
mosphere and will thus put an end to
the poor behavior of graduating stu-
dents. However, this adaptation ig-
nrethe rnof the brnh- with

University repeatedly selected people
without regard to the student body's
wishes. The majority of students did
not care to sit quietly through boring
speeches which were intellectually un-
stimulating. Perhaps the cause of this
problem is something which is clearly
prevalent in the speakers of past years:
the University administration does not
actively seek speakers which the stu-
dents would like to hear.
The biggest irony of the attempt to
have Mandela speak at commencement
services is that a man who is both
known for and used to speaking to
massive crowds could possibly initiate
the program of separate graduation cer-
emonies for each school of the Uni-
versity. Not only would a man like
Mandela most definitely put to rest the
problems of the past graduations, but
he would probably rather address -
and hopefully enlighten - a large
crowd as opposed to being limited to
speaking to only a chosen few.
This type of problem will be with
the University for as long as they con-
tinue to utilize the new graduation pro-
cess. Only one select school (most
likely, Rackham) will have the ability
to hear a speaker that perhaps would
interest every student. If the University
thought students' bad behavior would
be curbed by this new plan, they will
be surprised to learn that it might actu-
ally worsen as a result. This year, they
have left each college on its own to at-
tract a speaker of interest to the student
bhri dd hav ietitir n arntiiitn


Conservative Coalition supporters respond to Action V1O

To the Daily:
As a student who ran on the Conserva-
tive Coalition ticket in the fall, and as a
concerned MSA representative, I would
like to address some of the comments
made by Action vice-presidential candidate
Angela Burks in her letter to the Daily
(3/28/90). In her letter, Burks makes many
untrue statements about the Conservative
Coalition and the assembly as a whole.
Burks alleges that the assembly is
"controlled by the Conservative Coalition
Party." This is clearly untrue. There are 50
voting representatives on MSA, of which
only 20 are Conservative Coalition.
Burks alleges that CC "is in support
of the destruction of the shanties." Her ba-
sis for this conclusion is a quote by one
unnamed CC member. This is a textbook
example of the fallacy of composition, by
assuming that the views of one individual
represent the views of the whole group.
CC has never come out in favor of the de-
struction of the shanties.
Burks alleges that "CC has set up
every committee under the sun." CC does
not have the power to set up committees.
MSA as a whole can set up committees,
and until the last MSA meeting, no new
committees have been created.
Burks alleges that the Conservative
Coalition is not concerned with environ-
mental issues. Again this is completely
untrue. I myself presented the funding
proposal for Earth Day, a resolution that
was supported by several CC members.
Members of CC have never been opposed
to an environmental committee, and many
CC members would have supported one if
it had ever been brought before the assem-
bly by any party.
Burks alleges that "CC has failed to
bring diversity to its committees," and
that "CC has the power of appointment."
First, CC doesn't control any MSA com-
mittees, or appoint anyone to serve on

these committees. Secondly, all but one of
the MSA committees are open. to all stu-
dents. The one committee that isn't, and
the one that Burks served on, has its
members approved by the Steering Com-
mittee, not the Conservative Coalition.
Also, the chair of this committee, Bryan
Mistele, made concerted efforts, including
advertisements, to attract more women and
minorities to serve on this committee.
The fact that minorities didn't respond
should not be held against the Conserva-
tive Coalition.
Lastly, Burks alleges that CC is "in
support of the code of non-academic con-
duct" and that they are "against the dis-
crimination and harassment code." In actu-
ality, CC is against all codes that affect
the non-academic life of students. As a
student, as an MSA representative, and as
a former member of the Conservative
Coalition, I have argued repeatedly against
any and all codes at this University. I am
totally against calling anyone "a nigger,
chink, jap, or spic" as Ms. Burks alleges,
but because I don't think that the adminis-
tration should have the right to control
what I say at this University. The First
Amendment is one of the most sacred
rights we have as citizens and I refuse to
compromise that right in any way.
I am sorry that Burks feels angry about
her perceived problems at MSA, but to re-
sort to libelous attacks on theConserva-
tive Coalition is grossly unfair and is a
blatant misrepresentation of the facts. I
encourage all students to investigate the
facts for themselves and I am sure that
they will find, like I have stated above,
that the Conservative Coalition has al-
ways worked to represent all the students
at this university and that they will con-
tinue to do so.
Michael Donovan
Engineering senior
MSA representative

To the Daily:
This letter is written in response to
Angela Burks' attack on the Conservative
Coalition. I found this article quite reveal-
ing - revealing of the Action Party's dis-
regard for reality.
Burks blames CC for the lack of mi-
nority representation on the various com-
mittees, claiming "CC has the power o
appointment." To join most committees
and commissions, all you need to do is
just attend a meeting.
"Why can't there be... five Indian
males" on a committee? Being an Indian
male, I am rather adept at recognizing my
ilk, and to be honest in this entire
semester, there have not been five Indians
who have attended either MSA or commit-
tee meetings. I am sure the same goes for.
handicapped people and other minorities as
Furthermore, Burks seems to express
some distaste for the presence of white
males in CC and in campus politics in
general. Come on; white males may seem
strange, at first, but they are really nice
people once you get to know them. Be-
sides, they're not all the same (see Barry
Goldwater and George McGovern).
Finally, Burks complains about a,.
Black president who voted against the pro-
posal of MLK Day. Has this opinion
caused Aaron Williams to lose his minor-
ity status? This ranting shows to me that
the Action Party doesn't understand the
most basic element of diversity - the di-
versity of thought, the principle that all
great political systems are based on.
Sreenivas D. Cherukuri
Engineering junior
MSA representative
CC member

HUMSJ1C eU IUr l 1 eIU pr Uii VW oU U
previous graduations. Graduates were proc
rude to keynote speakers because the vori
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y, an1 IIVU n IIueC a gr-4Uaton I
cess most likely embedded with fa-
tism toward certain schools.

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Idaho abortion bill would punish physicians
THIS WEEK, THE IDAHO LEGISLA- could conceivably force a woman to
ture approved a bill on abortion which carry the fetus to term. Supporters of
is specifically intended to persuade the bill consciously took the it to Idaho,
Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day where it is more than likely to pass, so
O'Connor to overturn Roe v. Wade, that it would be contested and brought
the landmark ruling that nationally le- before the Supreme Court. Their hope
galized abortion. O'Connor is consid- is that Roe v. Wade will be overturned
ered the Supreme Court's swing vote by this new piece of legislation.
for any case challenging the 1973 rul- It is clear that the worst fears of the
ing. pro-choice movement are coming true.
The Idaho bill would allow doctors Abortion restrictions are passing in
to terminate pregnancy only in cases of state legislatures all over the country
rape, and only if reported to the au- and it is becoming a religious and re-
:horities within seven days. It would gional issue. The supporters of this
also allow abortions in the case of most recent bill took it to Idaho, a
Incest, if the victim is under 18 years of highly conservative state where the
2ge and reported the incident to the au- population is heavily Mormon. The
thorities before the abortion. In addi- Mormon population at large is pressur-
tion, a woman could have an abortion ing the state legislature to pass the bill.
in cases of "profound" fetal deformity, In a state like California or Illinois,
ip the judgment of the doctor, or if the this bill would most likely not pass. If
1ioctor believes the physical, not men- the bill is approved, women in Idaho
4al, health of the mother would be will be forced to go to Montana or
threatened by carrying the pregnancy to Washington to obtain an abortion. Only
term. those who can afford the transportation
Under the bill, doctors who violate and time will be able to have the abor-
the legislation's provisions could face tion if they so desire. Other women
civil fines up to 10,000 and civil law will be forced to return to the back al-
suits by the father of the fetus. The bill lies or abort the fetus themselves,
provides no penalties for the woman which can be fatal.
sunless she tried to abort her own fetus, A woman's right to choose what
in which case she too would be sus- happens to her and to her body is
- eptible to a $10,000 fine. slowly being taken away. After more
The bill's supporters hope to satisfy than a decade of reproductive freedom,
O'Connor's main objection to abortion the issue of abortion has come back,
restrictions, making the doctor, not the and this time it is the pro-choice
woman, criminally liable for an abor- movement which is losing.
lion. "We know that Justice O'Connor It is crucial to see that change is
-wants to overturn Roe v. Wade, we constant and not consistent. The issue
just have to give her something she's of abortion will never "go away."
comfortable with," said Brian John- Relying on Roe v. Wade is becoming
ston, the western regional director of nearly impossible and it is time to
the National Right to Life Committee. resume the fight with the same vigor
This legislation poses an impossible and pressure the anti-abortion
'.gituation for medical professionals, movement has exhibited. It is a right of
giving them almost complete every woman, regardless of her color,
responsibility for their patients' race, religion, or region, to choose
fetuses. In addition, a "date raper" what to do with her body and her life.

Vote Action for MSA
To the Daily:
It has been claimed by both representa-
tives and non-representatives alike that the
Michigan Student Assembly has accom-
plished little in the past year. This is not
MSA has successfully botched the fall
elections and has also done a great job of
ignoring new University policies which
directly affect student academic life (the
new credit/hour policy). Most impor-
tantly, the current MSA has sufficiently
factionalized itself into strong political dif-
ferentiation, which hinders the idea of one
united student assembly.
With the new elections coming April
4th and 5th, students are given a chance to
end the bickering and slander that goes on
inside and outside MSA meetings. More
importantly, the students have the chance
to elect representatives which will respond
to the issues which pertain to them. One
issue which has not yet been addressed, if
not blatantly ignored, is the environment.
The University is a trend-setting school
with people around the United States look-
ing to us for leadership. Unfortunately, we
have done nothing to take advantage of
this prestige in the way of environmental
policy and practice.
There is a party on the ballot which
gives us the opportunity to use this

users of the Earth's resources, cannot let
them. By electing the Action Party's rep-
resentatives to MSA, we can ensure a di-
rection towards environmentally sound
policies and, on the same note, a directio'n
towards real student representation.
Linda Rosenfeld
environmental activist
Regents are making
dishonest decisions
To the Daily:
The Daily's article on the March 22 re-
gents meeting (3/23/90) should be com-
mended for centering on the important is-
sue of freedom of speech and its relation to
the shanties. But as one quoted in the arti-
cle, I feel the need to clarify the characteri-
zation of my comments.
I spoke before the University Board of
Regents to voice my outrage over the in-
tentions of Regents Thomas Roach and
Neal Nielsen, among others, to remove
the shanties from the diag because they
are, in their eyes, "an unsightly-mess."
But under the aegis of upholding an aes-
thetic norm, a blatantly political decision
is being made.
Simply stated, these regents are ex-
pressing their support for Apartheid in
South Africa and continued aggression

I am paraphrased in the article as say-
ing that "the shanties represent minority
opinions." This must be placed in it
proper context. I stated that one complaint
heard about the shanties is that they repre-
sent the opinion of only a few students.
To this I responded that, even if this were
the case, "The basis of this democracy is
to protect unpopular views from, what
Madison called, 'the tyranny of the major-
This is not to say that the majority of
students do not support the retention of
the shanties or the views they convey, 4
believe they are supportive. Rather, I
meant to imply, however obliquely, that
the shanties must be saved from a
"majority" decision of the Board of Re-
A "clean" diag would appear quite
"ugly" to those who care about their fel-
low human beings, a point that Regents
Roach and Nielsen ignore as they trample
the First Amendment rights of students. It
is the height of arrogance and dishonest*
for these men to claim that they are
merely "cleaning-up" the campus when in
fact they are "cleaning-out" political
On a final note, Regent Nielsen is
quoted in the same article as saying that "I
think Regent Roach is absolutely right
that all that trash should be taken out of
there." I would agree with Regent Nielsen
if only by "there" he meant the regent
meeting room.


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