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September 21, 1990 - Image 4

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1990-09-21

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Page 4 --The Michigan Daily - Friday, September 21, 1990
t 19, t *g n B IV I
EDITED AND MANAGED BY STUDENTS
AT THE UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN
420 Maynard Street
Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109

Viewpoint

NOAH FINKEL
Editor in Chief

DAVID SCHWARTZ
Opinion Editor

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.

Electoral process
Reform the system to eliminate money as an issue

IN RECENT YEARS IT HAS BECOME
obvious that the American people are
becoming increasingly disaffected with
the U.S. political system. In the last
presidential election, the turnout was
under 50 percent, the lowest in U.S.
political history. In midterm and local
elections, the turnout is substantially
lower than even that.
These statistics were confirmed
again this week by a Times Mirror
survey analyzed by Princeton Research
Associates which demonstrates that
most Americans feel the two party
system denies them a full range of
choices.
Thus, while we stand by our call
last week on all U.S. citizens to
exercise their constitutional right to
choose their leaders, it is also important
to recognize that the prevailing political
structure severely circumscribes the
meaning of such choices.
The Survey found that most
Americans associate the Republican
Party with "wealth and greed" and the
Democrats with "incompetence." In
fact, both parties are driven by wealth
and greed, which in turn makes it
nearly impossible for either to
adequately represent the society they
are pledged to serve.
In a political system dominated by
money from Political Action
Committees (PACs), individual voters
are effectively prevented from
influencing their elected
representatives.
A few examples can underscore
how serious this structural deformation
is.
In 1984, Senator Robert Dole (R-
Kansas) voted $300 million in tax
breaks to commodity traders, despite
voicing violent opposition to a similar
measure three years earlier. His switch
may have had something to do with the
$85,000 dollars contributed to his
campaign by commodity traders in the
interim.
Even as each taxpayer prepares to
spend thousands of dollars bailing out
this country's savings and loans
institutions, questions about the
currently jailed Charles Keating's hefty
campaign contributions to members of
the Senate remain buried. Yet many
Senators who received such contri-

butions and were members of the
Senate Banking Committe were
responsible for rewarding Keating his
fraudulent contracts.
In the 1988 elections, over 99
percent of all 435 congressional
representatives were re-elected. The
fact that PACs gave 88 percent of their
money to incumbents, and that in-
cumbents outspent challengers by a
three to one margin certainly played a
role in this high rate of returning
representatives.
The increasing use of television by
electoral candidates also helps to
explain much of the estrangement felt
by American society. In recent years it
has become commonplace to learn
about each candidate's position through
30-second and one-minute commercial
spots which spend more time attacking
their opponent's position than
articulating their own views.
This trend has become symptomatic
of the entire electoral process. While
live debates at one time meant a chance
to see how candidates defend their
views under pressure, today's carefully
choreographed television format, with
questions and answers prepared in
advance, prevents genuine exchange
and thus gives the viewer a false,
polished depiction of the candidates.
While these examples only begin to
suggest the problems inherent in our
current political structure, they do shed
light on possible solutions.
To the extent that it is possible,
money must be removed as the
determining factor in the political
process: corporations should be
prevented from donating to any
candidate; their ability to outspend indi-
viduals by a long shot together with
their inability to actually vote should
disqualify them from the electoral
process.
In addition, television coverage of
elections should extend beyond the
major party candidates by giving
quality time to all contenders on the
election roll.
Finally, both electoral campaigns
and their television coverage should be
publicly funded so that candidates can
be genuinely accountable to those they
would like 'to represent. Let's make
elections about politics and keep the
drama out.

Center of Champions: Is it a4

By Patricia Maran
We, the members of the University of
Michigan Varsity field hockey team, are
writing in response to Jim Crockaert's
September 2nd article in the Ann Arbor
News. The article discussed the newly
erected athletic building Center of Cham-
pions. To say that this report angered us is
to downplay what a large obstacle of dis-
crimination this building has become.
While the Center of Champions as a
"bizarrely designed building" might be
ready for action, the administration who
conceived the idea are for from recognizing
what actions are actually needed.
First, the Center's training room facil-
ities must be accessible to athletes other
than football players. There are two major
reasons for this need. At present, all stu-
dent athletes, with the exception of foot-
ball players, who need preventative and re-
habilitative treatments for injuries must
use the training facility in the natatorium.
But this room is currently being renovated
into a banquet room. As a result of this
remodeling, the training room space will
be decreased.
Trainers anticipate overcrowding and
complications which might impede their
ability to efficiently treat the students' ath-
letic injuries. A possible way to mitigate
this problem would be to increase the
number of athletes who can use satellite
facilities of which the Center of Champi-
ons is one. If this option were available,
the natatorium would not be as crowded.
Considering the construction which has
now altered the natatorium training room,
it would seem logical that athletic teams
which practice in close proximity to the
Center of Champions should use this fa-
cility.
The playing surfaces for the baseball,
Patricia Maran is an LSA senior
majoring in English, and is a co-captain
of the Field Hockey team.

ice hockey, softball, and field hockey
teams are all less than one-hundred yards
away from this new building. But because
we cannot enter the building on State
Street, we are required to use a room
which is upwards to one-half mile away
from our fields.
This is both inconvenient and ineffi-
cient. Much time - a commodity of
which all student athletes do not have any
excess - is wasted in walking an unnec-
essary distance (These extra miles become
especially apparent when one is injured
and must resort to the use of crutches).
Why, when Michigan Athletics seems

40
ccessible?
building. Suddenly this state of the art fa-
cility which has a training room with
"fourteen treatment tables and five
whirlpools" could not handle eighteen
more potentially injured athletes. How can
something of such magnitude and luxury
have so little ability for expansion to we
women competitors?
It seems ironic that the day Crockaert's
article was published we watched a dog -
yes, man's best friend - follow its owner
into the Center of Champions. Despite a
huge yellow sign which reads "Football
Personnel Only," we had just watched a
canine enter a building from which we

Why, when Michigan Athletics seems so fond of
expounding on its every success, does it deprive the
majority of its athletes an opportunity to enter the
Center of Champions?

so fond of expounding on its every suc-
cess, does it deprive the majority of its
athletes an opportunity to enter the Center
of Champions? Isn't the term, "champion"
indicative of the goal of each Michigan
team member, not just football players?
Why have we field hockey players used
the inaccessibility of the Center's training
room as the focal point for our argument?
Very simply, we compete on Tartan turf:
that field which is enclosed by the brick
wall on State Street. It is the same field
on which the football team practices.
This year we started our preseason
training before the football team had re-
turned to Ann Arbor. For two days we
women were allowed into the hallowed,
64,000 square foot blue building. No ques-
tions were asked. No problems arose due
to our presence. Coincidentally enough, as
soon as football practices resumed, we
were no longer allowed entrance into the

women were excluded. And as if this ex-
clusion were not enough, we have spent
the last week of our preseason climbing
underneath a padlocked fence in order to
reach our game field. This is a difficult
skill to master when one has both equip-
ment to wear and carry.
In writing this letter, we field hockey
players are not asking for our own 64,000
square foot building. We do not expect
that our every move will be computerized
and then reexamined in a coach's balcony
office. What we do suggest is that the ath'
letic directors continue to "chart new wa-
ters." If the fundraising for the Center of
Champions is to prove itself to be a truly
beneficial undertaking, then the building
must be used by a larger majority of the
Michigan athletes. All of the men's and
women's teams must feel included in this
commitment to excellence - this Center.
of Champions.

Mohawk

standoff

Quebecois officials must respect Indian rights

IN MARCH, THE OKA, QUEBEC
government legislated the expansion of
the existing golf course to eighteen
holes and the building of
condominiums to increase the
community's revenue and tax base.
The council, without any consultation
with the Kanesatake Mohawks,
overwhelmingly passed the expansion
on Mohawk burial grounds. In
response, the Mohawks set up an
armed barricade leading to the
Kanesatake "concentration camp."
Four months later, on July 11, Oka
Mayor Jean-Guy Ouellette, frustrated
by the uncompromising militancy of
the Mohawks and by the lack of
response by the federal government in
Ottawa, ordered the Quebec provincial
police to raid the barricades. In the
ensuing fierce gun battle, Corporal
Marcel Lemay was killed, many
suspect, by police bullets. Hours later,
neighboring Mohawks in Kahnawake
barricaded the Mercier bridge, the main
artery from the South Shore of the St.
Lawrence to the Island of Montreal
causing massive traffic jams for white
commuting suburbanites.
In the following weeks, the situation
remained tense. Police erected their
own barricades. They prevented Red
Cross and others from entering the
territories to bring essential food and
medicine. in violation of international

to the imperialist and expansionist
mentality of Canadian officials and
citizens from Oka to Ottawa. The
whites initiated the bogus legislation to
destroy vast burial grounds. They also
took the offensive to raid the
barricades. For a superficial gain of
revenue and tax base, the Oka town
council is willing to ramble over Indian
sovereignty.
These despicable assaults clearly
demonstrate the unrelenting desire to
kill an indigenous culture to win the
power struggle for land in the name of
Western ideas. The legislative and
military attacks on Indian land in Oka is
merely a small snapshot of a long and
horrifying history of overt exploitation
of indigenous people by the imperialist
forces from Australia to Guatemala. At
Wounded Knee, in a struggle similar to
the current Oka crisis, 69 Indians were
killed by the U.S. government over a
three-year period beginning in 1973.
Continued militant occupation of
Highway 344 and the Mercier bridge is
strictly essential for the Mohawks to
exert their right for self-determination.
These tactics strike the faces of their
oppressors and nothing must be
compromised. Among the demands:
-restoration of their title to the
disputed 22 hectares of land
-withdrawl of military forces from
their territories

Cartoon is offensive
To the Daily:
I'm offended at the political cartoon
drawn by Russell Baltimore in the Sept.
14 issue of the Daily. He depicts a help
wanted sign for the University police force
which advertises the requirements of: "If
there is any possible way, you must be
dumber than the average existing U of M
security officer."
This ignorant and insulting affront
demonstrates Baltimore's immature and re-
actionary fear of anyone representing au-
thority.
Having been an RA for over a year, I
have several times depended on University
security officers as backup in emergency
situations. In every single instance these
officers have demostrated professionalism
and courage in confronting dangerous situ-
ations.
These officers are well versed in regula-
tions, sound in their judgments, and de-
pendable in their performance. Further-
more, these officers are generally college
graduates who have undergone extensive
training in an in-house academy here at the
University. This training includes instruc-
tion in community relations, crime pre-
vention, dealing with University commu-
nity life, self defense, and other related is-
sues.
If there is any "stupidity" to be found,
it is in their willingnes to on into dan-

themselves. Since security is not allowed
to use force unless they are first attacked,
and even then they are not allowed the use
of nightsticks or any other type of
weapon, they certainly do appear stupid to
be defending University students against
attacks.
Yet, in the incident that took place at
the Union two weeks ago, several officers
did protect our students, and were injured

in the process.
I am appalled at the Daily's unfair
treatment of the U of M's security person-
nel and can only conclude that I would
much rather have these "stupid" security
officers backing me up than the
"intelligent" Daily cartoonists.

Reg Goeke
LSA senior

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